My day began at 3:45 AM, an hour earlier than usual, and I arrived at Philadelphia International Airport around 7 AM for a nonstop flight to San Diego leaving at 8:30. All went well, and I arrived in San Diego around 10:45 AM after adding three hours to my day because of the time change, which I would be feeling later in the day. Because I didn’t decide to go to the con this year until after the annual hotel room lottery, I had no hotel reservation, but was able to get one through the con as an Eisner Award nominee. They gave me a wonderful room at the Hilton Bayfront next to the newer end of the convention center, and here’s my room view looking down on it. This will be the most expensive room I’ve ever had, but it’s wonderful, and I plan to enjoy it as much as possible! The area in front of the con center is always jammed with traffic. To get me there, my cab from the airport went out to the interstate, drove east past downtown, then back down to the hotel. Much quicker he said, and I believe it. Continue reading
Odd numbered issue, so “present day” storyline. It’s hard to imagine Diana being so troubled that a stay in a mental hospital is warranted, but that’s where she’s just been. Friends have come to take her out, finding her mind now back on course. One of those friends is a giant bull-headed man? That’s not madness, that’s comics. Meanwhile, Barbara Ann Minerva has been turned to Cheetah once more at the command of Diana’s enemies Veronica Cale and her electronic creation Doctor Cyber. Back on Themyscira, Diana’s mother and friends wait for an expected battle to begin, unable to contact Diana directly. The issue ends with a shocking strike against Wonder Woman that looks very serious. Well written by Greg Rucka, well drawn by Liam Sharp, as usual. Fine colors by Laura Martin and letters by Jodi Wynne, too.
I’ve been enjoying the return of the original Rogues Gallery (sort of), and this time everyone piles on Barry Allen at once, after Captain Cold’s initial attack. While there’s lots of fighting, the conversation is also interesting, as Barry tries to reason with Cold. As we see later, Barry’s arguments did have an effect, but not the one he desired. Most of the other plot lines in this series take a break this time, though we see Kid Flash briefly. The art is by four artists, usually a signal that deadlines were missed, or could have been without that approach, but it works together reasonably well. Are the Rogues finished for now? We’ll see.
The alternate cover of this issue finally has a logo I like. The art by Michael Cho is great, too…clear and easy to understand. If only the rest of the book were so.
I’ve about given up on trying to follow the plot of this series, but the opening scene of two aliens on a picnic is out of left field even for this book. Visually interesting, but puzzling, as is much of the issue. So, we have Cave and his daughter with Mad Dog (for some reason) in Cave’s old mole car trying to catch the newer mole car in the hands of his old boss’s son, and the entire care is physically in the hands of The Whisperer, a Lovecraftian monster who is also, somehow, Cave’s old boss too. There are time caves and alternate worlds, lots of psychedelic imagery, and characters who I can’t identify or even tell apart at times. If I don’t try to follow the story, I can enjoy the images, and that’s about it. Some of them are gory here, but in a cartoony way, which lessens the impact. How Mad Dog survives his wounds this time is another mystery. The end brings us back to the alien picnic, so it does tie in, but I’m not sure why.
Visually interesting, but not a book I can really recommend.
Kurt Busiek has been teasing us with his character The Broken Man (who I think of as purple balloon guy) for some time now, and at last is promising to fill out his story. He’s rather mad, but part of his madness is breaking the fourth wall and talking to us readers, which is always interesting. The other main character is Glamorax, who has musical/light powers and a smooth confidence in her own abilities that make her crime-fighting fun to see. But Glamorax is much more complex, and much older than it first appears, with a history tying her to other music-based heroes in Astro City’s history, ones we’ve seen in past issues. As always, Kurt weaves it together beautifully. Brent Anderson’s art is particularly well enhanced by Peter Pantazis’ colors and the lettering of Comicraft (Roshell and Betancourt) this time, and I love Alex’s Ross’s cover, which shows some of his ink work for the first time in a long time. Looking forward to part two!