Now that I’ve started getting my comic books from an online service and get a shipment every other week, I’ve decided to do biweekly short comic reviews. I’ll be writing some brief thoughts on a handful of comics every other week or so. I won’t be reviewing all that I read, just the ones I feel like I have something to say about.
- Flashpoint 3, Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert
With this issue, Flashpoint goes from being merely slow to being pointless. Last issues (hilarious) cliffhanger is quickly ignored and the plot moves on, but Flash and friends haven’t really done anything yet. This sort of slow build could be effective, but this is only a 5 issue series and we’ve already burned through three of them. I also take offense to the idea that Superman would be a hero no matter what. I would be fine if he didn’t return after this issues cliffhanger. ** (2 stars)
- Green Lantern 67, Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke
The War of the Green Lanterns finally concludes. This crossover has been plagued with shipping problems and I’ll need to go back and reread the whole thing to really rate it. This issue was big on noise but short on sense. As is the way with Johns’ Green Lantern stories, it all comes down to Hal and Sinestro. It is suitably explosive, but the logic behind most of it is either not explained or nonexistent. *** (3 stars)
- Green Lantern Corps 61, Tony Bedard and Daniel Hor
A fallout issue that follows up on the crossover that just ended. Most of the Lanterns who got their rings from the corrupted Mogo give them up, but one feels that she belongs in the Corps. So she and John Stewart go to her sector and try to stop a war. In general, this is the kind of story I want to see from Green Lantern Corps, highlighting a new/unknown member while still being about the main characters. Unfortunately, this is not a particularly good example of how to do that, unlike last months Emerald Warriors, which was perfect. *** (3 stars)
- Birds of Prey 14, Marc Andreyko and Billy Tucci and Adriana Melo
Marc Andreyko comes on for two issues between Simone leaving and DC blowing the whole thing up. I like the concept of this story, exploring the WWII origins of some of the Birds characters that is really unexamined. Unfortunately, the art, as it has done for most of this series, hampers the writing. Not the Billy Tucci pages, those are good. But Adriana Melo is not great (weird faces) and her style clashes horribly with Tucci’s. **½ (2 ½ stars)
- Detective Comics 879, Scott Snyder and Francesco Francavilla
Snyder’s excellent run on this title continues. Francavilla’s art is stupendous. Excellent use of color, with red and green tinting everything. There is a lot of good in this issue, but some stuff is unwanted. Like the opposite surprising appearance of the Joker and James Jr.’s goofy plan. Of course complaining about the Joker being in a Batman story is also really dumb. **** (4 stars)
- Batgirl 23, Brian Q Miller and Pere Perez
Brian Q Miller’s excellent 2 years of Batgirl comes to end, part 1. As usual, this issue is great. It does feel like this is a larger story crammed into less space than would be desirable, but the snappy dialogue and excellent characterization are still in full effect. I am really going to miss this book. Month in month out this is one of DC’s best. **** (4 stars)
- Superboy 9, Jeff Lemire and Pier Gallo
Superboy under Jeff Lemire has also been one of DC’s best books. Much like Batgirl, this issue seem to be trying to compress a longer story into the issue left before the relaunch, with longer building subplots abruptly coming to a head. Very good, if rushed. ***½ (3 ½ stars)
- Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown 2, Jeff Lemire and Ibraim Roberson and Alex Massacci
While most of the Flashpoint tie-ins haven’t been very good, Frankenstein has been a welcome exception. This issue is not quite as good as the last one, but when you open with Frankenstein killing Hitler there is nowhere to go but down. Still, this is good stuff, though the art suffers in spots. **** (4 stars)
- FF 6, Jonathan Hickman and Greg Tocchini
On the first page of this comic is a cast list. None of those characters appear. This issue exists to explain who Black Bolt is and bring him back to life. Presumably, this is a necessary step for later parts of this story, but it still makes for a disappointing issue. ** (2 stars)
- American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest 2, Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy
I was going to criticize this issue for being too slow, then I realized that was dumb, just because this issue doesn’t get to any actual vampire fighting. However, the heroes survive a plane crash and infiltrate a castle full of Nazi vampires. And it is drawn by Sean Murphy, who is really good at drawing. Best of all, I don’t see this mini-series getting anything but better. **** (4 stars)
Even Quicker Reviews
- Secret Seven 2 *1/2 This is not good.
- Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager 2 ***½ This is good.
- Citizen Cold 2 ** I like Kolins’ art, but his writing is stodgy.
- Booster Gold 46 **½ Jurgens has left Booster a little fun.
- Batman: Knight of Vengeance 2 ***½ Crazy, and good.
- Emperor Aquaman 2 **½ Yawn.
- World of Flashpoint 2 **½ Guy Gardner is an Australian Buddhist
- Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt 3 **½ I like the characters because no one else does.