Thursday, July 16, 2009

Comics Roundup for 7/14/09

Blackest Night #1 of 8
- For those who don't read superhero comics, you're probably not familiar with the concept, but this is the first issue of DC's latest crossover event. In a nutshell, crossovers involve stories with an epic scope and many of the company's characters. This particular one stems out of a story that's been building in Green Lantern for the past few years, and now it spills over into the lives of all the other heroes. The concept is fairly simple - the dead are rising. Think of a zombie movie that stretches across the universe, and you have an idea. Also, these zombies, the Black Lanterns, are not mindless, but they are intent on killing everything in the universe.

Crossovers can be hit or miss. Overall, I've been much more engaged by Marvel's crossovers over the past couple of years. The main reason is that their concepts are much more simple and direct. With Civil War, you had superheroes fighting each other over a government superhero registration act. With the current Dark Reign, the bad guys have essentially taken over. While Blackest Night is a bit more complex than what I described, it's definitely one of DC's better crossover ideas. I think that the reason why is that it grew naturally out of stories that had been developing for some time. I'm not sure how much people who aren't already reading Green Lantern are going to dig this, but so far, it's pretty good. This issue just sets the stage for the rest of the story, but it really leaves you hanging with "Oh crap! How are they gonna get out of THIS one!"

Blackest Night - Tales of the Corps #1 of 3 - With the big crossovers come a lot of superfluous stuff that tries to cash in on the popularity of the main title. I've been fairly good at avoiding a lot of those. This one, however, I wanted to pick up. The main reason is that Geoff Johns, who writes Green Lantern and Blackest Night is co-writing it. Also, it goes into some background detail regarding characters who have been introduced in Green Lantern, and I'm interested in learning more about them. I gotta say, this definitely didn't feel like filler. Each of the three stories was pretty compelling on its own, even if it wasn't part of a larger event. I'll get the next two.

Batman: Streets of Gotham #2 - Paul Dini continues his streak of making mediocre villains awesome and cool villains cooler. (He's the guy who made Mr. Freeze cool in the animated series, only to have The Governor of California ruin him again.) With this story, Firefly is more interesting than just a flying arsonist. Also, Hush breaks out of his prison only to impersonate the supposedly dead Bruce Wayne and offer to donate a billion dollars a month to the poor in Gotham. What game is this guy playing here? I'm interested in finding out. Oh, and there's some backup feature I didn't bother reading. Maybe I'll get to it later, but I don't remember anything that happened in the last installment of it.

Amazing Spider-Man #599 - Norman Osborne definitely wins the "worst dad ever" award in the conclusion to the "American Son" storyline. What did he do? He knocked up his son's girlfriend (who's also the supervillain Menace). It was a pretty satisfying ending, even though it had some fill-in artists divding up the art chores. I'm hoping that what happens will have consequences for the other Marvel titles in which Norman also appears.

Captain America #601 - Honestly, this felt like a bit of a filler issue, as it didn't have anything to do with the current "Reborn" storyline. It's a flashback issue of Cap and Bucky fighting vampires in WWII. It's a decent enough of a read, and while I usually don't like Gene Colan's art, it did the job. Here's hoping that Ed Brubaker continues to develop the stories that he set in motion when he started this title.

Wednesday Comics #2 of 12 - Even though I wrote quite a bit for last week's issue, there isn't much for me to say on this one. I flipped through it, but I'm going to wait until I have all twelve issues until I read them. It's hard enough keeping all the stories of the various comics I read straight, and adding fifteen more every week only throws me off more. Anyway, I flipped through it, and it looks gorgeous, just like the last one.

I passed on the latest issue of Action Comics. What with all the Batman and Blackest Night stuff coming out, I need to cut back a little. Action is probably my least favorite of the current Superman books, so that was an easy call to make. I also skipped the latest Dark Avengers. While it's one of my favorite current titles, the next few issues are a crossover with the X-Men, and a different writer is taking over for that storyline. I'll come back when all that crap is done.

One final note - Just in case anybody has the idea that this is an attempt to create some sort of comics review blog, you might be disappointed. As you can tell, I have good things to say about pretty much everything I write about. This is a good thing, considering these are the ones I buy. If I was buying them and complaining about them, that would be a different story. So, unless somebody wants to send me free comics to review, this is probably going to more of a lovefest than anything.


Ben said...

Good to read this Lance...I rarely make it to the store anymore, and was a loyal Marvel Zombie until I moved to Philly, then I statrted reading more DC, and Blackest Night sounds very interesting. I just read a bad review of "Tales of the Corps" on CBR, so good to hear you liked it. Also, I read on there that Cap 601 is an annual from a few years ago that they never used and they printed it now because Reborn is getting all the attention...keep writing the lovesfests!

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Will do!

And that reviewer on CBR has been ragging on all the Green Lantern stuff for some time now. I don't really understand where his criticisms are coming from most of the time. Also, I think he totally missed the point with the story of the Blue Lantern.

The nice thing about comics nowadays is that if you miss out on a big story, you can always get the trade!

Ben said...

Definitely true about the trades...which is nice...i kinda want to get my runs of some stuff like Ultimate Spider-Man from my parents house and sell em, and just collect the trades...and some things like Y:The Last Man and other that tell us they are finite series, i just want to get the whole thing in trades. Do you read FABLES?I collected it in SF and am now catching up on what i missed after i left on trades i get from the library...

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Haven't gotten into Fables yet, but Y the Last Man was awesome. Got the whole thing in trades.