Category Archives: Comics

And Then I Read: JIMMY OLSEN #1

Image © DC Comics. Written by Matt Fraction, art by Steve Lieber,
colors by Nathan Fairbairn, letters by Clayton Cowles.

As soon as I saw the cover of this comic I had a feeling I’d enjoy it, and I was right. Here, as in the distant past when he had his own title previously, Superman’s Pal is played for humor while getting into lots of trouble. Writer Matt Fraction also takes some time to explore Jimmy’s roots in Metropolis, as in the opening sequence, but the main story is Jimmy attempting to survive jumping out of a spaceship above the Earth without a parachute. As usual, everything goes wrong to an amusing degree, and even Superman’s rescue isn’t entirely successful.

Jimmy’s boss Perry White has every right to fire him, but settles for another solution to his Olsen problem: sending Jimmy on assignment…apparently a 12-issue series of assignments…beginning with Gotham City.

The art by Steve Lieber hits all the right notes, the script by Fraction is clever and entertaining. The colors by Fairbairn and letters by Cowles add to the fun, making this the most appealing new DC comic I’ve read in a while. Recommended.

And Then I Read: HASHTAG: DANGER #4

Main story by Tom Peyer & Chris Giarrusso. Backup by Paul Constant & Fred Harper with colors by Lee Loughridge and letters by Rob Steen. Cover by Richard Williams.

Once again the cover of this comic has nothing to do with the contents, but ain’t it a beauty!

As a parody of super-hero teams, the three members of Hashtag: Danger are amusing. Even their bickering is entertaining. When they run into a trio of impostors who look just like them, things get complicated, particularly when the impostors turn out to be better at the team thing than they are. Also better at the time-travel thing. Fun story.

The Snelson backup is a strange one, more an anecdote than a story, though it advances the title character in his inability to do the stand-up comedy he thinks he’s great at. I wouldn’t pay him either!

Recommended.

And Then I Read: BRONZE AGE BOOGIE #3

Lead story written by Stuart Moore, art by Alberto Ponticelli, colors by Giulia Brusco. Backup written by Tyrone Finch, art by Mauricet, colors by Lee Loughridge. Letters on both by Rob Steen.

This book continues to combine disparate genres and characters in an entertaining way. It opens in a 1975 where Martians have conquered the Earth (or at least New York City), and they are staging a battle between two captives: street fighter Lynda Darrk and martial arts master Jackson Li. Their other prisoner, Brita, has recently arrived from 2,000 years ago, and is a warrior herself. Before long, Brita and Lynda are back in Brita’s time where a super-intelligent monkey is making trouble. The Martians are there, too, but what happened to Jackson Li?

The backup, Major Ursa, is about a bear who has gained high intelligence through being sent into space as an experiment. Now he holds the key to further space travel, even though he’s being treated as slave labor. Ursa has an ally in Selma, another cog in the space program machine. Can the two of them sneak into the waiting space ship and get it airborne?

I’m not sure why these ideas work, but they do. Recommended.

And Then I Read: GREEN LANTERN #9

Image © DC Comics. Written by Grant Morrison, art by Liam Sharp,
colors by Steve Oliff, letters by Tom Orzechowski.

Grant Morrison is having fun with this series and the dusty, forgotten characters from ancient DC issues too. The first half of the book has a group of superheroes called the United Planets Superwatch overmatched by a new gamma-radiation-spewing enemy, the Qwa-Man or Mad Lantern. This group is made up of one-appearance heroes mainly from Superman-related titles. (I only know this from reading it online.) United Planets is connected to the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th century. Qwa-Man appears to be unstoppable.

Meanwhile, Hal Jordan is having a fantasy heroic quest vacation on the planet Athmoora with a warrior woman and a demonic satyr as companions. They are up against a fearsome enemy who gradually becomes familiar to Hal. Without spoiling things, I’ll just say the two storylines connect at the end with more interesting characters from Grant’s imagination.

The writing, art, colors and letters are all top-notch in this series, and it’s a pleasure to read. Highly recommended, and this is a good jumping-on point.

And Then I Read: PLANET OF THE NERDS #4

Written by Paul Constant, art by Alan Robinson & Randy Elliott,
colors by Felipe Sobreiro, letters by Rob Steen.

The jocks from the 1980s continue to struggle with life in the present they’ve arrived at thanks to cryogenic freezing by their high-school nerd nemesis Alvin, now the CEO of a major electronics company. They’re staying with the former girlfriend of Steve, a situation which can’t last long…unless Steve is able to rekindle that relationship. Trouble is, there’s now a huge age difference between them. Meanwhile, Chad has a new plan to get revenge and compensation from Alvin, since they found out where he lives. The backup story is about Jenny, and equally entertaining. Two text stories by Carol Lay and Mariah McCourt are worth reading, too. A fine effort by everyone involved, even if two of the leads are massive jerks.

Recommended.