Category Archives: Comics

And Then I Read: SWAMP THING 34

ST34Image © DC Comics, Inc.

Swamp Thing brought three past avatars of The Green back to life when he shut down the Parliament of Trees some time back, and they’ve given him nothing but trouble since. This time it’s Lady Weeds in the lead, and she’s a ruthless opponent who will stop at nothing to regain the position of Avatar for herself. As the trail of blood, revenge and cruelty continues — really, it’s never stopped on this title — the final page of the book hints at another option. Writer Charles Soule is holding the football for us, who wants to kick it? Both the writing and the art by Javier Pina are terrific on this title, even if the storylines are grim.



GLC33Image © DC Comics, Inc.

In the final chapter of “Uprising,” just as the Durlans seem defeated…well, of course there’s one more. A powerful one who tricks John Stewart and succeeds in getting the immense energy to be had on the planet Zezzen, making it apparently unstoppable. But the Corps must find a way to defeat this Durlan, and that’s what the issue is about. Lots of fighting, but also lots of plot twists and some nice character moments. Well done overall, though the setup for the next struggle is waiting right at the end, which is a bit tiresome. A breather would have been welcome.




Image © DC Comics, Inc.

I’m not a fan of cop shows, I don’t watch any on TV. Don’t read murder mysteries either. For a story about guns, gangs and drugs in Gotham City to work for me, there has to be great writing and characters first, and this one has it. Tops in my estimation is the handling of Harvey Bullock vs. Batman. The story takes place early in the careers of both, when they’re completely at odds, and it makes for fascinating reading. We also see Batman doing actual detective work, something this title has often lacked, and the art by Francis Manapul manages to make even the most brutal and abhorrent criminal activity somehow lush and appealing to me. Quite a trick. Quite a team, Manapul and Buccellato.


And Then I Read: THE ROYALS 6


Image © Rob Williams & Simon Coleby.

The final issue of this series did not change my previous opinion of it, which is not a good one. For a story to work for me there has to be at least one character I like, or at minimum empathize with, and I didn’t find any here. The cast is mainly super-powered royalty, British and otherwise, at war with each other and dragging their populations with them. Meanness, treachery, cruelty and bloody violence are their stock in trade. Young Henry, prince of England, had the best chance of being likeable, and I did like him and his sister Rose at first, but their inability to do anything effective to help themselves or the people around them wore me down. Perhaps writer Rob Williams meant his story to be a dig at the idea of royalty, or a cautionary tale about abuse of power. Certainly it’s tragic, but not in a way that I thought profound or moving. Those qualities would have required characters I liked. I’m sure there are readers out there who will have other opinions, every story speaks best to someone. The art and storytelling are competent, if a little too vague in the faces at times, and the book looks good overall. Just not my cup of British tea.

Not recommended.



Image © DC Comics, Inc.

I’m finding the Guardians of the Galaxy as they’re written now more interesting than the previous bunch. These are a group that was locked away by their fellows for billions of years, so they’re not up to speed, and in some ways are treated like dependents by Kyle Rayner and Carol Ferris, who are accompanying them in a tour of the galaxy. This time the Guardians have been captured by Psions, creatures once raised to intelligence by the Guardians who have held a grudge ever since. It’s an interesting encounter, and these Psions seem quite powerful. The writing by Justin Jordan and the art by Brad Walker and company is all good.