Category Archives: Comics

And Then I Read: WONDER WOMAN #22

Image © DC Entertainment.

Here’s part 4 of the “Godwatch” storyline, taking place in the present time. As it opens, Wonder Woman is taking part in a charity event where she will be the date of the highest bidder. Though both Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor are in a bidding war that runs into millions of dollars, Doctor Veronica Cale tops them both. Diana is surprised to say the least, as she knows Cale has been one of her enemies, but agrees to an instant dinner date. Just her, Dr. Cale, and two of Cale’s bodyguards. Diana is clearly not worried, at least until the party is attacked by unknown assailants on a lonely stretch of road.

This was fun more because of the frank talk between enemies than for the rest of the story, but it reads well and looks good. Artist Mirka Andolfo does a fine job in the somewhat less realistic style than Liam Sharp on the other storyline. As the two stories begin to merge, it is a bit confusing to have the art style change this much from issue to issue, but Greg Rucka’s fine writing pulls it all together.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: NEW GODS SPECIAL #1

Image © DC Entertainment.

As part of their tribute to Jack Kirby’s 100th birth anniversary, DC is putting out new books featuring his Fourth World characters. This one features Orion versus Kalibak in the main story, with supporting roles for Lightray and the Bug, Forager (also in a new series) written and pencilled by Shane Davis, inks by Michelle Delecki.. The backup is a story of young Orion and Seagrin (Kirby’s Aquaman, sort of) written and drawn by Walt Simonson, and eight pages of Kirby New Gods reprints.

Davis’s main story reads like something Kirby might have written, except that it’s a retread of things he did write in the original NEW GODS series for the most part. Entertaining enough, but it misses the most essential Kirby element: breaking new ground. The art has many Kirby touches, and several visual homages like the sound effect KIIIRRRBBRACK! The figure work is more along the lines of Jim Lee and other Image Comics artists, though.

Simonson’s backup story is more original and fun, as Walter doesn’t fail to add touches of humor to balance the action and fighting, and the art, while referencing Kirby, is Simonson’s own style, itself full of energy and grace. John Workman’s lettering is part of the Simonson look, and equally fine.

The Kirby material is fairly obscure: two pinups and two very short stories featuring the New God Lonar. Even so, the unique style and energy of Kirby tends to show up much of what came before (even with Vince Colletta inking).

Not a bad package, but with more appeal to nostalgic fans of the original material than new readers, I’d say.

Mildly recommended.

And Then I Read: HAL JORDAN & THE GL CORPS #15

Image © DC Entertainment.

As the Quest for Hope storyline continues, Green and Yellow Lanterns are being paired and sent out by Stewart and Soranik (head of the Greens and Yellows respectively) to track down and either recruit or imprison the remaining rogue Yellow Lanterns. This creates some friction, but not as much as the fact that the three other Earth-born lanterns: Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner, have snuck off on their own missions. Hal and Kyle are trying to find and perhaps rescue Saint Walker, the embodiment of Hope, or the Blue Lanterns. Guy is after a particularly dangerous Yellow.

This all reads well, and the character stories are as interesting as the fights. Writer Robert Venditti seems to be having fun with the DC mythos, and I love the inclusion of the old Julie Schwartz-era minor character Space Cabby. The art by Ethan Van Sciver is impressive, and this book is fun from one end to the other.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: GREEN LANTERNS 16

Image © DC Comics.

One thing I enjoy in comics I read is balance. A balance of serious and humorous, plot and character moments, action and ideas. Gaining balance is difficult, and not often achieved, but writer Sam Humphries gets it right in this one for me.

Simon and Jessica, Earth’s newest GLs are on assignment with Batman in Gotham City for this storyline, to combat a new threat. Ordinary people are becoming obsessed with the idea of killing Batman. Simon Baz thinks The Scarecrow is a likely culprit, but Batman thinks it’s Yellow Lanterns. Guess which of them is right? As Jessica Cruz puts it, “He’s the detective.”

The interactions between these three characters as well as Batman supporting cast members Commissioner Gordon and Alfred, is handled brilliantly. I loved the insights, the humor, and even the clever plot moving the story forward. This is great comics. The art by Neil Edwards, Lay Leisten and Keith Champagne is excellent, too, as is the color by Blond and the lettering by Travis Lanham. Well done, all. Looking forward to more.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: THE FLASH #18

Image © DC Entertainment.

I’m falling behind on this and other DC titles, and it feels like I haven’t visited Barry Allen’s world in a while. Here a new storyline begins that focuses on Kid Flash’s real father, the Reverse-Flash. Wally wants to see him, but he’s been moved to Belle Reve prison in Louisiana, secretly the home of Suicide Squad. When Barry and Wally try to find him there, they run into unexpected trouble. Perhaps Digger Harkness, the former Captain Boomerang, can provide some answers when they track him down.

Nothing wrong with this story, but there have been so many versions of the Flash cast and family over the last few years that I’m never quite sure who they are now. Thankfully, writer Joshua Williamson is filling me in as we go along, but it all kind of feels like an Elseworlds story, and made more confusing for me by having watched some of the TV series, which is all different again, and has itself switched things up constantly. Still, willing to see where this goes, but I kind of long for the days when a title’s cast stayed consistent for many years.

Mildly recommended.