Sunday Reviews

THE GREEN LANTERN #4

Hal Jordan is held accountable for the (let’s face it) murder of a prisoner in the previous issue and is placed under house arrest by the Guardians. At the same time, a mysterious four armed stranger chats with an equally mysterious woman as he tries to find a way to join the Black Stars, both of them swapping stories of Sun Eaters. Turns out the stranger is actually Jordan, presumably post escaping house arrest, and the woman is the Countess Belzebeth, the titular “Cosmic Vampire’s Beautiful Daughter.

Morrison’s run on GREEN LANTERN continues to be interesting, with lush art by Liam Sharp. The non-linear storytelling works a treat, even if it was obvious from the start that Jordan was the stranger, and I’m guessing Belzebeth’s dad is long-time Justice League foe Starbreaker. Have to admit I’m curious as to who the “wrong man . . . from the Inside-Out” is, though, that Belzebeth finds earlier in the tale.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #17

After the epic events of last week’s JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL, we get a slower, more nuanced tale of Martian Manhunter meeting with Lex Luthor on Mars. J’onn tells Lex a tale of his own childhood which he has recently recovered, a tale where, it turns out, a young Lex and he knew each other and were friends. J’onn appeals to that lost memory within Luthor in the hopes of getting him to stop the Legion of Doom’s plans but, by issue’s end, it’s uncertain how successful he’s been.

A nice character piece, the repressed memory trope notwithstanding, and a nice change from the manic pace of this title.

OBERON #1

Oberon, King of the Fairies, has lost his throne, betrayed by someone he loves, and the key to reclaiming it is Bonnie Blair, a precocious young girl who is sharp as a knife and knows a lot about pretty much everything. Engineering an attack on her, Oberon is able to save her, tell her that her parents are not who she thinks they are, and that he is her friend. With her back home, the truth is revealed and, at her invitation, Oberon is able to rescue her from her not-parents and whisk her away to safety, leaving her not-parents to contact Titania.

I’m so glad I took a chance on this – I think I picked it up based on the strength of a couple of preview pages in another Aftershock title. The writing is crisp and to the point, a little like early Neil Gaiman before he became florrid and over-written. And the art is absolutely gorgeous. Well worth picking up.

SHADOW ROADS #6

Mostly back story on Abigail Redmayne, we get to understand how the world of SHADOW ROADS is connected to, and grew from, the world of THE SIXTH GUN, and her interrogation of the recently captured Hunter. Meanwhile, Anton of the Black Stars (not the ones mentioned above in GREEN LANTERN!) and his friends head off to see a warlock that the Hunter contacted before he was captured.

It took a while to settle into its stride, but this is working well.

Sunday Reviews

It’s a DC heavy week this week.

AQUAMAN #44

Apart from a three page glimpse of Mera being set up to marry someone from a “worthy group of suitors” in Atlantis, we’re back with the amnesiac Arthur on an island that turns out to be populated by lesser gods of the seas from various mythologies. By issue’s end, it looks like Arthur either has his memories back or at least is on the way to it.

I know a new writer traditionally throws away most of the supporting cast created by the previous team but this is such a radical shift that it’s a little disconcerting for me right now.

FREEDOM FIGHTERS #2

On Earth-X, the new Freedom Fighters have their first big success against the Nazis; they clearly work well together as a team and it’s refreshing to see heroes being heroic. We get a glimpse of Adolf Hitler II as well, and I wonder if he’ll be revealed to be a super-villain as opposed to just the son of the original dictator? Maybe this world’s Kryptonian?

This is shaping up to be a good maxi-series.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #16

Secrets are revealed as Martian Manhunter is linked to some experimental splicing of human and Martian DNA; Thanagar’s wealth and opulence are revealed as being a lie perpetuated by the imprisoned Martian Keep using the Absorbascon; and Starman shows up at the end and takes something from Hawkwoman and gives it to Hawkgirl, completing her missing memories  and tells her it’s time to fix the Source Wall.

As entertaining as this is, there’s just so much crammed into every issue that I’m often left wondering what they’re referring to. Maybe the pacing could do with being slowed a little?

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: TEMPEST #4

Where to start? There’s an assassination attempt against M which doesn’t work out; the heroes from the far future are still running around; Mina Murray’s in the Blazing World and realises that Prospero is actually the bad guy who wants to destroy England and return the faerie creatures to the “real” world.

Can’t help thinking this is Alan Moore enjoying himself even more than normal, to the point where the story becomes secondary to the style of storytelling.

SHAZAM! #2

Billy and the other kids head to the first of the magical lands they’ve discovered and while everything looks like fun on the face of it, you can pretty much guarantee things are going to go wrong quickly. Part of that will likely be the reveal of King Kid who describes himself as “the missing seventh champion of the family!” But “Shazam” only has six letters, I hear you say. In a nice twist, it’s shown during the history of Mr Mind (who also gets a first name, by the way) that it “took the combined might of Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, Mercury and ! to stop and contain” him.

Yep, the exclamation mark in SHAZAM! counts as one of the family, and King Kid is going to want in.

Two issues in, and I’m enjoying this.

 

Mash-Up #23

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.

Let’s face it: sooner or later, there had to be a Justice Society/Justice League crossover, didn’t there? I mean, they practically invented the whole thing.

New Justice League Titles

In recent news, Scott Snyder will be taking over Justice League and starting up a whole bunch of different titles. From the article:

Justice League: No Justice will be written by Scott Snyder, Josh Williamson, and James Tynion IV with art from Frances Manapul, and will run weekly in May. In No Justice, Brainiac arrives on Earth with a warning for DC’s heroes about an impending threat that can only be stopped if the Justice League joins forces with some of DC’s worst villains.

Who’s teaming with whom? Here’s some concept art from Frances Manapul to answer that very question:

I’m calling this team JLAliens (which is completely a call back to the Justice Leagues mini event from 2001) and while it’s nice to see Martian Manhunter back with the League . . . Starro? Really?!

JLMagic (or maybe JLDark again?) with what looks to be Raven on the left, though I may be mistaken.

JLMoney (because they’re all wealthy – wasn’t Changeling/Beast Boy the adopted son of Steve Dayton at some point?). As I don’t keep up with the Superman titles, I hadn’t realised Luthor was still wearing the S-shield.

JLScience? JLNerds? And I guess they had to shoehorn Harley Quinn in there somewhere.

First impression – 5 women out of team of 20? That’s not a brilliant score, is it? Why not Batgirl instead of Robin? Scandal Savage instead of Deathstroke? Soranik Natu instead of Sinestro? Literally any female character instead of Starro?

Second impression – no Green Lantern or Aquaman? Are they not in the League any longer?

Third impression – the uniforms. Because that worked out so well the last time the League went in for that look:

Just saying . . .

Reservations aside, I will, of course, be buying these, as I’m a sucker for the Justice League.

Which is why I own a complete run of Justice League Task Force.