Sunday Reviews

“Vulko?”

“My queen?”

“How’s my hair?”

“… wet?”

Mera seeks some advice in AQUAMAN #53

AQUAMAN #53

Tristram Maurer, the sea captain from two hundred years ago, has been summoned to Amnesty Bay, telling Aquaman that hell will follow with him. Before Aquaman can get to the bottom of that, Black Manta attacks, having drawn Mera and the Atlantean forces along with him, to face off against Aquaman.

I get the distinct impressions DeConnick would be happier writing more about Maurer and his mysterious imaginary monsters but has had the whole Black Manta/Year of the Villain thing foisted upon her. Either way, best issue in some time.

CHASTITY #2

Having been kidnapped by human traffickers, Chastity wakes on a ship and promptly escapes, freeing all the other captives along the way, as well as killing as many of the guards as she can. The last guard turns out to be a CIA undercover operative and offers to show her to the armoury.

There wasn’t much happening in this issue – it was basically one big escape story, though the page layouts of the breakout worked well.

INFERIOR 5 #2

Justin, Lisa and Helen survive an attack from the Billy creature before it’s called back in to the Dominators’ headquarters. Lisa’s revealed to be a Durlan, as suspected, and Justin’s mom is being experimented upon to turn her in to a sleeper agent. In the back-up Peacemaker story, we get a glimpse of how messed up he is.

In typical Giffen fashion, next to nothing is explained here – he’s never been a fan of exposition, preferring dialogue to fill in the blanks which makes you work to get the good stuff… and it is good. Oh, and there’s a lovely little WATCHMEN homage in the Peacemaker back-up.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #34

Throughout the various time periods, the various Justice League teams, along with their friends, fight against the Legion of Doom in order to bring together the pieces of the Totality to once more imprison Perpetua. Just as they’re about to win, Hawkgirl’s need for vengeance against Luthor spoils the plan, and the League falls throughout time, allowing Perpetua to rise.

Finally! After months and months of “Something big is going to happen!” something actually happens – the League loses and Perpetua stands ready to reshape the Multiverse. Is this going to lead in to the big changes/crisis that’s coming next year? Who knows!

Sunday Reviews

“There is nobody out there, the whole town is falling apart, and it’s hot as crap!”

The Trip Advisor review of Dangerfield, Arizona, from INFERIOR 5 #1

BIRTHRIGHT #40

Mikey and his family face off against Mastema who wants to create a whole new world from the ashes of both Earth and Terrenos and isn’t going to take no for an answer.Her plans are waylaid, though, which leads to a whole new set of problems.

Just ten more issues to go in this excellent fantasy/modern age mash-up that’s been consistently good in both writing and, especially, the art. Seriously, it’s gorgeous art work.

DARK ARK: AFTER THE FLOOD #1

Khalee attempts to keep the monsters in order following her murdering her father Shrae, while her Dark Lords order her to bring Noah’s Ark to the island.

We’re back in the post-diluvian world with monsters and magic abounding. A straightforward first issue of book two about the Dark Ark, setting things up for the future.

THE GREEN LANTERN #12

Hal Jordan faces off against the Anti-Matter Man (or Qwa-Man) for the final time, only to be amazed when everything he’s fought for turns out to be part of Controller Mu’s plan. It was all a set-up and a trap to force Jordan into using the Miracle Machine to recreate the universe according to Mu’s will.

This is the last issue of GREEN LANTERN for now as there’ll be a three issue miniseries called BLACKSTARS from next month. Morrison’s scatter gun approach of dropping items and characters in left, right and centre was apparently deliberate . . . but it didn’t really work for me as everything seemed so piecemeal, the reveal of a grand master plan was a little underwhelming.

INFERIOR 5 #1

It’s shortly after the INVASION! and Justin and his mother have moved to Dangerfield, Arizona. It’s a quiet town populated with strange people and it clearly has a secret that needs to be revealed. Unfortunately for Justin, that secret may have just killed his mother.

This actually came out a couple of weeks ago but my comic shop forgot to order it for me. Written by Keith Giffen and Jeff Lemire, I had high hopes for this and, sure enough, it’s well worth a read. The art by Giffen is excellent, the writing is crisp and economical, and there’s enough of a mystery to want me to find out more. No-one seems quite sure whether this is actually set just after the INVASION! or whether there’s some sort of experiment going on, but I like this.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #33

One third of the League face off against Perpetua and Luthor in the Promethean Galaxy; another in 1941 face the Legion of Doom in Atlantis; the last in the far future face Brainiac. Can they all get together to defeat Luthor and his team before the end of everything?

Probably, I’m guessing, but by god they’re taking their time getting there. It’s another bombastic “It’s the end of everything!” type issue where nothing much seems to happen. Considering this title has been produced twice a month for the last few years, there’s been a hell of a lot of pages spent talking about how dangerous and cataclysmic everything’s becoming without actually getting anywhere.

Sunday Reviews

“Inconceivable! That was half our fleet!”

Surely we don’t think some omnipotent being snapped his fingers and half our people ceased to exist? HAHAHAHA!”

The Moonheads, dealing with a sudden fall in their numbers

FREEDOM FIGHTERS #9

The torture of the captured Human Bomb and Doll Woman continue, while Uncle Sam and Phantom Lady have to moderate their plan of attack due to Black Condor’s actions. Supposedly in Detroit for a covert mission, he ends up leading a full on rebellion against the Nazis with surprising results.

Another good issue that enters into the final arc; it’s going to be a blast between now and #12, the final issue.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #15

Alive to the threat of Circe, Wonder Woman enlists Zatanna and Kent Nelson to help her access the Witchmark powers from last year’s The Witching Hour storyline; that means using Eclipso’s black diamond. Meanwhile Swamp Thing tries to reconnect with the green only to be defeated by Floronic Man, and Man-Bat goes nuts following his encounter with the Otherkind last issue.

Another cracking issue – tons of stuff happening, along with throwaway references to mystical artefacts like the Spear of Destiny and the Ace of Winchesters, and it all looks gorgeous as well.

SHAZAM #7

Billy sets off to try and find the other members of the Shazam! family; Pedro and Eugene are stuck in what appears to be an amalgamation of Oz and Wonderland, while Darla and Freddie are rescued by Tawky Tawny only to end up in the Darklands, just like Billy.

Plagued by delays, this title is still entertaining when it arrives. I couldn’t help but notice it’s taken these seven issues before there’s even a hint that it’s taking place within the main DCU as Mary Marvel plans to head off and find the Justice League to enlist Wonder Woman’s help. The next issue blurb of “Shazam meets… Captain Marvel?!” sounds intriguing.

THE TERRIFICS #20

The Terribles faces of against the Terrifics and win, finding the power source they need to start up their time machine. They need more, however, which means a threat to Phantom Girl’s home planet, but before that, the Terrifics have to contend with being warped back to the 90s and then the 80s!

Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of Bizarro and the forced backwards speech that always reads inconsistently, but I can ignore than when the rest of this issue is so much fun.

WARLORD OF MARS ATTACKS #4

John Carter finally makes it back to Barsoom, but so do the Moonheads – though half of them promptly vanish thanks to the quantum-flux state of the planet. The remainder are attacked by the Heliumites and the Tharks, led of course by Dejah Thoris and Tars Tarkas, all of which leads to the final confrontation in the next issue.

Still enjoying this – it’s very silly and charges along at a good pace and is clearly having fun with itself.

Sunday Reviews

AQUAMAN #52

Aquaman and his Amnesty Bay friends deal with the monster that rose up at the end of the previous issue with some success, though that comes with a cost. Elsewhere, Black Manta enjoys the oversized underwater robot/sub that Luthor has given him to find a proto-Atlantean site beneath the waves.

Another so-so issue that looks good but plods along.

BLACK HAMMER: AGE OF DOOM #12

As Anti-God is about to arrive and destroy all of reality, Abraham Slam and the others have to make a desperate choice to save their world, and the result is something altogether new.

This is the final issue of AGE OF DOOM and while I know there’s the promise of a new mini-series soon (SKULLDIGGER) I wonder if we’ll see the original team again?

JUSTICE LEAGUE #32

Split across two timelines, half the Justice League aid the Justice Society in World War II, while the other half help Kamandi and Justice Legion A fight against Brainiac. Alongside that, Lex Luthor and Perpetua scheme for the end of the multiverse only to be surprised by the arrival of the Anti-Monitor.

It’s another roller coaster, don’t stop to pause, reality’s breaking issue. I was more intrigued by the multiple mentions of Hypertime and the connection that Jay Garrick and Barry Allen felt for each other, as well as the future Starman for the League – clearly some of these characters know they’ve met before somehow.

LADY MECHANIKA: SANGRE #3

Lady Mechanika faces off against La Madrina before finding out a little more about her adversary and her own connection to her via La Dama de la Muerte. And, at the end of the issue, Mechanika comes face to face with La Reina Roja . . . the Red Queen.

The call back to the previous miniseries was a welcome surprise and the monsters that Mechnika faces are wonderfully designed. Another splendid issue.