Mash-Up #63

Twice a week I randomly generate two dates and then compare the titles I own from both of them, trying to find some covers that, with a little basic photoshopping, I can mash together, and then I force the results on you lovely people.

By the way, I admit to being HUGELY influenced by the wonderful Super-Team Family blog which has been doing this for years (and a lot better) on an almost daily basis.

Hey, why not – they let Catwoman join for a while.

Sunday Reviews

AQUAMAN #46

As Aquaman tries to convince Caille not to give in to the terrible secret inside her, he battles Namma who is intent upon destroying the world. Meanwhile, the gods who sent him and Caille on this quest realise they should have stepped up themselves and summon their powers to battle Namma.

Last month’s issue – which was basically Namma’s secret origin – was a wonderful example of world building; this issue’s just a bit meh in comparison.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #20

The League are in the Sixth Dimension, supposedly meeting future versions of themselves that have already fought and won against the Legion of Doom and Perpetua. Not surprisingly, given the ending of the previous issue and the cover of this one, not all is as it seems and while we don’t get to see the two Supermen battle each other, we do see Batman being suspicious (no, really?!) and J’onn and Hawkgirl’s future son reveal that the future heroes aren’t really the future heroes.

Not a bad issue, just a little by the numbers.

And yeah, that was it – just two comics this week.

Sunday Reviews

BLACK HAMMER ’45 #1

The Black Hammer Squadron was one of the fiercest group of fighters in World War II, a group of daring-doers who took on the biggest missions and overcame the enemy time and again until the fateful day when they have to go up against the Ghost Hunter, the dreaded ace from Germany. Tasked with saving a scientist and his family from a Nazi camp in Vienna and returning them to the States, the Squadron must contend with both the Ghost Hunter and the Russian’s Red Tide – huge, mechanical war robots, who have the same mission, only they plan to have the scientist work for Russia.

Jeff Lemire expands his Black Hammer universe again, this time with a take on the Blackhawks, setting up this mini-series nicely. My only complaint would be Matt Kindt’s art – never really been a fan of his style.

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9

Following Firestorm’s detonation at the end of the last issue, the heroes trace the energy that caused the explosion to Mars and Dr Manhattan, believing him to be responsible. Manhattan’s vision of a final battle with Superman that is yet to come is enough to trigger the heroes into attacking him but he dispatches them all, seemingly killing them, but not before revealing to Firestorm that Professor Martin Stein is not only in league with the shadowy agency behind the creation of government sanctioned heroes, but that Stein deliberately created Firestorm in order to infiltrate the heroes at large.

There’s a lot going on in this issue aside from the summary above, with Batman, Lois Lane, and Wonder Woman all dealing with their own problems. There are nods back to the original WATCHMEN series as well, alongside a mostly silent four page spread of the heroes heading to Mars that works really well. The story is ramping up now, and the art by Gary Frank is simply gorgeous. Despite all of fandom’s misgivings about this story when it was first announced, I’m really enjoying it.

THE GREEN LANTERN #5

In order to prove his desire to join the Blackstars is sincere, Hal Jordan is taking to Belzebeth’s homeworld of Vorr, a planet of vampires, where he must run a gauntlet to find his Blackstar uniform and confirm he is worthy to join them.  Not surprisingly, he passes the test only to face a final one where he must kill the Blackstar’s prisoner – Adam Strange.

I’ve been enjoying Grant Morrison’s run on this title so far, but this was probably the weakest issue. There was never any real doubt that Jordan would a) complete the trial, and b) in a flashback be revealed to still be working undercover for the Guardians. Do we think he’s going to kill Adam Strange next issue? I very much doubt it. Morrison scatters some vaguely cool sounding phrases – “necro-sun“, “blood bells“, “deadnoon” – but they sound more like 90’s image anti-heroes than anything else. I’m hoping next issue picks up with some surprises. (Oh, and don’t think I missed the mention of the Over-Master, either.)

JUSTICE LEAGUE #19

The League recruit Mr Mxyzptlk to help them find their way to the Fifth Dimension where, they hope, they’ll find the key to fixing the Multiverse that is on the brink of collapse following the breach in the Source Wall. Mxy reveals, though, that they need to go to the Sixth Dimension, the home realm of the Monitor, Anti-Monitor, World Forger and their mother Perpetua – that’s where they’ll find what the need to stop Perpetua. A handy portal takes Superman to the Sixth Dimension, and he returns moments later a decade older saying he’s found what they need. Most of the League follow him and appear in a different realm where future versions of themselves live happily. Unknown to them, the real Superman has been trapped in a different place.

Once again, big ideas abound in this title but the execution is better than previous issues, as though Scott Snyder has finally wrestled the story into a direction he wants it to go.

OBERON #2

Bonnie wakes in the house of Oberon and is taken by him to Mother Mayie who, in turn, takes her to the Endless Labyrinth where her magical potential – if she has any – will be determined. While Bonnie is being tested, Oberon discovers that Titania knows he has the girl.

Another good issue, with Oberon’s narration adding a wonderful counterpoint to his actions on the page, and though the story seems a little thin this issue, there’s no doubt that it’s setting things in place for further down the line.

A WALK THROUGH HELL #8

Carnahan, the child killer thought dead in the real world, is happy to spill the beans about his early days and how he came to take the path he did before a revelation of who else is involved comes to light.

I’ve read and watched a lot of horror books and films over the years but this story keeps surprising me – just when you think you know where it’s going, something else happens instead. This really is worth picking up.

Sunday Reviews

ANIMOSITY: EVOLUTION #10

With the death of Wintermute in the previous issue, responsibility falls to Adam North to do what he can to ensure the animals and humans live together in some way, bringing together others to help him.

As enjoyable as this series has been, the ending here is a little ambiguous – I’ve not heard that this is the final issue but there are no more solicited and the last page has “The End” written but there’s so much more that could happen. I guess we wait and see.

JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1

Holy crap! I’ve mentioned before about how crammed with ideas the main JUSTICE LEAGUE series is and how so much stuff is going on; here it all comes to a head in a straightforward way that genuinely left me feeling like big things are coming. The Source Wall is gone, Perpetua – the “mother of the Monitor [and] Anti-Monitor” has been released, the Justice League lost, and the Multiverse itself is on the move.

Massive ideas are being thrown around here and it’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #5

Darkseid’s plan to recreate Apokolips using the lost worlds is revealed, the followers of the League are rejected and pledge to destroy them in turn.

Despite the grandiose proclamations about the League members being revered as gods on some of the lost worlds, this was fairly by the numbers. The bad guy betrayed the good guys, the good guys fought amongst themselves and then made up, the worshippers – after being rejected – became the new bad guys. It’s not terrible, but it’s not setting my world on fire, either.

THE QUANTUM AGE #6

Jeff Lemire’s BLACK HAMMER take on the Legion of Super-Heroes comes to a close with a battle against the bad guy that’s resolved in a neat twist rather than a straightforward fists flying, powers smashing ending. It’s nicely done and I can’t help but wonder if we’ll get to visit Quantum World at some point in the future.

THE TERRIFICS #12

Doc Dread has assembled a team of bad guys from various different Earths in order to defeat the Terrifics who are currently split up trying to sort out their own problems. There’s a lovely scene between Plastic Man and his son which ends with him stealing the Batmobile and taking his kid for a spin; Phantom Girl gets back to Earth and sends out a signal to alert the rest of the team that Mr Terrific’s in trouble; and Metamorpho returns to his grumpy, composite self again.

Still one of my favourite comics, still enjoyable!