Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Comic book reviews for the week of February 16th in six sentences (or less)

Brightest Day #20
Writer: Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi
Penciller: Ivan Reis & Joe Prado

The Aquawar continues. Aquaman, Mera, Aquagirl and Aquaboy (Aqua, Aqua, Aqua!) fight off Black Manta and the rebellious soldiers from the kingdom of Xebel, who are intent on conquering the surface world. The Aqua Squad manages to reimprison the Xebelian soldiers back inside the Bermuda triangle before White Lantern Deadman shows up to kill Aquaman.

Only in comic books does that last sentence make sense.

I’m still not 100% sure where Johns and co are going with this thing. Clearly the White Lantern energy functions as a bit of a deus ex machina allowing the writers to kill, torture and maim characters with little or no lasting repercussions. A little wave of the magic wishing ring and the characters can be resurrected in any incarnation that DC wants to use. Its an interesting premise but it also cheapens the story since all of the major character changes (breaking the
Hawk curse, Aquaman losing his hand...again) can arbitrarily be undone at any time.

Still enjoying the series and I think its one of the stronger titles DC is putting out these days. Its a shame that it’s wrapping up so soon.

Green Lantern
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Doug Mahnke

Green Lantern and the original renegade Guardian, Krona, face off. Even with the help of the rest of the Rainbow Corps the Lanterns are easily overpowered and Krona makes his escape. Hal wakes up surrounded by the Justice League who try to convince him to accept their help in catching Krona. Only Hal ditches the Leaguers and decides to go after Krona with the rest of Team Lite Brite instead.

Looks like this is the last issue before the next John-sian Green Lantern event, War of the Green Lanterns. It seems like Johns is starting to tread on KNIGHTSFALL territory here. With each escalating conflict Hal is slowly being pushed to the limits of his endurance, mentally and physically. And of course we all know what happened the LAST time Hal went down this path.

All together now, “Parallaxxxxxxx”.

Also, I’d like to give an obligatory shout out to Doug Mahnke. The man knows how to draw. His wonderfully detailed and expressive work is always a treat to look at. Colourist Randy Mayor also deserves credit. With Green Lantern being a comic based primarily on bright and shiny colour based powers a skilled colourist is key to bringing the whole look of the book together. And with this issue Mayor does a great job of seamlessly blending the entire gamut of the rainbow during the larger fight scenes.

Green Lantern Corps #57
Writer: Tony Bedard
Penciller: Tyler Kirkham

The conclusion to the Weaponer storyline. The Sinestro Corps and the Qwardian Thunderers throw down in the anti-matter universe. Amongst the fighting a small band of Green Lanterns work to rescue the Lantern Soranik Natu from the hands of the vengeful Weaponer. Unfortunately, Natu just happens to be Sinestro’s daughter and he wants her back.

There were some good things in this issue. The art was solid, the story well written and there was an interesting character turn with the main villain that I didn’t see coming. One strange thing, all the Qwardian Thunderers are written like the chorus in an ancient Greek tragedy. It was a bit off. I kept expecting to see someone get ritually disembowelled or sleep with his mother (oh Oedipus Rex).

This also marks my last issue of GL:Corps. The series has fallen off a bit since Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason helmed the title. Tony Bedard and Tyler Kirkham are perfectly serviceable, but regrettably neither one of them has been able to hold my flagging interest in this series. I only have so many Green Lantern dollars to throw and this is the title that was sacrificed.

Wonder Woman #607
Writer: Phil Hester
Penciller: Don Kramer

Wonder Woman is harried by the forces of Morrigan, looking to recruit her as a third aspect of the God of War. The Morrigan sends mythological Grecian beings and brainwashed Amazons after Diana in order to wear down her defences in the hopes of corrupting her.

I have to say, I started reading this series only to sneak a peek at Wonder Woman’s new costume and narrative direction. Eight issues later I find myself enjoying this title a lot more than I thought I would. Shallow or not I was always a little put off by Wonder Woman’s crime fighting attire. Her propensity to slug it out in a star spangled bathing suit always struck me as being at odds with her character as a warrior and ambassador to man’s world. And Phil Hester as a writer? I’m diggin it. I’ve always counted the man among some of my favourite artists so its nice to see he’s got some writing chops as well.

Sadly, its fairly obvious that this new direction won’t last very long. Her Amazonian support crew is already being permanently dispatched with clockwork regularity and there’s a lot of narrative foreshadowing (or flashbacks, depending on how you look at it) to her previous incarnation. It seems a shame that DC is unwilling to try playing with this new status quo a little longer. If we can muck around with the fundamentals of Batman, a character who’s popularity seems to buoy the entire company, then why can’t we take a risk and see what can be done with this new look Wonder Woman?


  1. There is no picture at the top of this post.

    I find your lack of picture disturbing.


  2. No "Best of" this week.

    They were all good, without being great.

    No points are awarded at CBRFRWOINS(OL) for mediocrity.

  3. Is that elvish?

    ..and I told you what you need to be reading. THUNDER Agents, Darth Vader & The Lost Command and The Road To Flashpoint.



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