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

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 #21

Jesse and Sandor continue their drug fuelled vision quests to find the answer to the question of who is behind the Wake., but Jesse ends up in trouble.

It’s a nice looking issue but the rationalist in me doesn’t really cotton to drug trips to find mystic answers – it’s all in their heads so the only answers they’re going to find is from within themselves already. But then, this is a comic about talking animals, so you know . . .

FREEDOM FIGHTERS #6

Having rescued Uncle Sam from the Nazi last issue, the Freedom Fighters try to catch their breath and continue the struggle, but they’re interrupted by the arrival of Overman, the Nazi Superman, who manages to capture Human Bomb while the others escape.

Another splendid issue where the action just keeps going – honestly, this series has barely let up. And if you thought you knew who Overman was, you may be in for a surprise.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #11

As Dr Fate and his Lords of Order track down the magic users who have fled before them, Wonder Woman and Zatanna meet up with Mordru who has been hiding under their noses the whole time. While they attempt to have him join them in their battle against Fate, he rejects them, telling them that he, as an agent of Chaos, doesn’t care about their battle. However, he does imbue the Ruby of Life with chaotic power and leaves it for them, transforming Zatanna and Wonder Woman into the new Lords (Ladies?) of Order.

It’s another cracking issue that runs along nicely, at the same time looking gorgeous.

THE TERRIFICS #16

Stuck fighting a military grade virtual reality combat simulator intent on connecting to the outside world via the internet, the Terrifics must deal with outlandish versions of the Plagues of Egypt, specifically gnats and flies. This beingĀ THE TERRIFICS, things aren’t straightforward as the gnats are robotic and the flies are merchants forcing the team to take weapons and armour so they can claim they’re thieves and attack them.

It’s mad, crazy and fun, and so far writer Gene Luen Yang is continuing the tone from Jeff Lemire’s run. Long may it continue.