Thursday, June 28, 2007

Comic musings for 27 June

This week, everything changes! Maybe I should name this column that, but, in this case it's kinda true. Big things are afoot in the comics world. Marvel and DC appear to be having a contest to see who has the biggest crossover events. It's all getting to be a bit much. I hope the companies have a plan for what they're doing...?

Spoilers ho!

Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special 1 - The excess starts here.

You know, by itself this would have been a great idea. Sinestro forms a team to counter what the Guardians did, but their powers are based on fear. I'm not entirely sure how that works, but it sounds really cool. Then Sinestro grabs the meanest mofos in current DC continuity, like Cyborg Superman, the man who destroyed Coast City for example. And yeah, these next two are spoilers, but you were warned; they are more spoilerish than "Bart dies." Superboy Prime is freed from his prison and joins the Sinestro Corps, as does the Anti-Monitor (Question, are there 52 Anti-Monitors, like there are 52 Monitors?). But wait, there's more--Kyle Rayner knows fear and Parallax uses him as its new host. The most powerful creature in the universe, the next generation of Green Lantern, a host for the embodiment of fear.

I have to admit, unlike most of Geoff Johns's writing, the things he does in this issue sneak up on you--I did not expect most of this. I have to admit, I was just pleased with the back-up Sinestro Corps stories in Green Lantern. These were going to be cool characters. But then Johns's breaks out the ugly stick. Come on...the Anti-Monitor with a power ring? If you listen carefully, you can hear the drool of al lthe DC fanboys hitting the floor atthe same time. It is Johns's strength to bring out the inner fanboy, and he excelled at this one.

But then the doubts come rushing in. America is already under attack by nhappy Amazons. New Gods are falling out of the sky. Flashes are dying, Flashes are being reborn. Isn't there already enough to keep track of? Apparently not, and at last we know this has been planned for a bit. There are threads tying this to 52 and to the Ion mini-series. If they can pull all of this off, DC fans are going to be in for a hell of a ride the next few months. Just remember, Kyle has to be de-Parallaxed in time for his next mini-series.

And if nothing else, thank you for making the crabface mask of Kyle's finally look good.

Blue Beetle 16 - Jaime is thinking about what it would be like to have a girlfriend, when Traci 13 falls into his lap. Coincidence? Are there ever coincidences when heroes meet up? No, of course not; in this case, it's just the return of Eclipso.

[pause to let that sink in]

Yeah, she's back. And Blue Beetle is fighting her. What really works for me in this issue is that we have no idea how she got free from her stasis, but it doesn't really matter. Writer John Rogers nails the characterization and interaction between the teenagers as they work together, that this issue is just a joy to read. It also helps that Traci 13 and Blue Beetle make a very good team. But there is just the right mixture of action and comedy, especially when Eclipso turns Blue Beetle into the vision he has of himself, because all heros want to be badass power junkies, right? It'll make you laugh.

And just as the issue appears to be rocketing towards its comic climax, it takes another turn. Some classic DC characters are retconned a little, but they are treated honorably and completely in character for how we know them. And Eclipso momentarily learns that vengeance is a hard mistress. This one I won't spoil. It's totally unexpected, though foreshadowed a little in this issue alone, and its delivery is spot-on perfect. Blue Beetle certainly has been picking up of late. I'm beginning to feel glad I've kept getting it as the reward for my patience is starting to settle in.


The comics themselves don't tell you, but there is a specific order you should read some of this week's DC comics in: Teen Titans->Amazons Attack->Wonder Woman. Anything else won't really make sense....let me rephrase--anything else will make less sense than the totally lame out-of-character stunts pulled in Titans and Amazons.

And though I really doubt it would ever happen, having an American president pull out the McCarran Act in a comic is at least something to make you think.

And seriously, gobsmackingly beautiful art in the Fallen Angel half ofthe Fallen Angel/Shi flipbook. Need to find out more about Joe Corroney.

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