Sunday Reviews

Away last weekend so no reviews; back now, though.

FREEDOM FIGHTERS #7

The Fighters hold out with a sympathetic family but they’re betrayed by the father who calls for the Plasstic Men. Phantom Lady manages to kill a number of the rubbery Gestapo types, allowing the Fighters to escape but, unknown to them, one of the Plasstic Men has disguised himself as Doll Woman and is now embedded in the team.

Another solid issue, thankfully unencumbered by the ongoing Year of the Villain event that’s being shoe-horned into almost every other DC title at the moment.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #13

Kent Nelson tells of the origin of Dr Fate and Nabu and how, after everything Nabu made him do over the years, he’ll never become Dr Fate again, nor will Khalid Nassour. Zatanna confronts John Constantine about his part in her father’s grand plan and doesn’t much like the answers. And as the Year of the Villain event rolls on, Lex Luthor turns up to ask Circe to set up an Injustice League Dark.

Another good issue although I missed the pencils of Alvaro Martinez Bueno; I only hope he’s taking a rest and will be back soon.

THE TERRIFICS #18

As some of the team gather up the mini-Plastic Men that represent Eel’s sins before forcing him to reintegrate, Mr Terrific manages to get in to the Noosphere and strike a deal, a result that Ms Terrific isn’t happy with, ending in her breaking off any chance of a romantic hook-up between them. At the end, Lex Luthor manages to send one of his probes to Earth-29 where he recruits Bizarro to destry the Terrifics.

Not a bad issue, though the ethical dilemma of what Mr Terrific has done doesn’t get enough room to breathe here, making Ms Terrific’s unhappiness seem a little out of place.

A WALK THROUGH HELL #12

Garth Ennis’s horror story comes to an end with a final issue that is as horrible, nihilistic and inevitable as you’d imagine. There’s commentary about the world today, and America in particular, but over and above that, there’s a grim indictment of humanity as a whole. We’re all screwed, Ennis’s characters say, and it’s all our fault. I mentioned last month that I was expecting “something dark and nihilistic” and I wasn’t wrong.

This has been an excellent series and ends in the only way possible, as much as you might not like it.

WARLORD OF MARS ATTACKS #2

The Moonheads from Mars continue their attack on Earth while Dr Norman and his compatriots head to an abandoned mine where Norma reveals all – he’s the great grandson of Edgar Rice Burroughs and everything Burroughs wrote about John Carter of Mars was true. He explains a theory about the quantum state of Mars, how when viewed from one vantage point it’s a lifeless planet, but when viewed from another – as John Carter had – the place was full of civilisations. Norman had created the Insight Lander that landed on Mars in the previous issue to show the world the wonders of Barsoom . . . but found the Moonheads instead. And, finally, he reveals the body of John Carter in the mine as well, just waiting for the right time to wake up . . . which happens to be at the end of the issue, saving Norman and the others from the Moonheads.

It’s silly and fun and rattles along at a good pace. Still happy I took a punt on this.

Sunday Reviews

It was mostly independents last week – this week it’s just two DC titles.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #12

The Lords of Order force the magical beings who want to survive to give up their powers but before they can get around to everyone, the new Lords of Chaos – led by a transformed Wonder Woman and Zatanna – arrive and wreak havoc. There’s an epic struggle between Nabu’s Dr Fate and various magicians led by Khalid Nassour – the short lived last host of Nabu – that sends most of the Lords of Order fleeing. When the smoke clears, Wonder Woman pledges to protect the magical realms and people.

Another cracking issue, split between the current action and a flashback to Wonder Woman explaining to Batman why the Justice League Dark had to be set up in the first place. And next issue, we get a “new Fate revealed” as well!

THE TERRIFICS #17

Trapped by the AI in the Stagg Industries building, the Terrifics struggle with the ethics of having to contain or destroy a sentient being that threatens to destroy everything. Mother Nature herself makes her presence known in the craziest way possible, and Plastic Man suffers from a truly split personality.

It’s mad, full on action and crazy superheroics at its best. So happy that Gene Luen Yang has continued the tone set by Jeff Lemire.

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!

New Plastic Man Series

First, I’m intrigued by the news of a new Plastic Man series – while I’ve never been a massive fan of the character, I like Gail Simone’s writing and will definitely be picking this up.

Second, as I came across this yesterday, I couldn’t resist re-purposing this old ad and dropping in the new series art:

Plastic Man, folks . . . not as wet as Aquaman.