On the tenth anniversary of Free Comic Book Day, Blake and Kenny set up camp at BSI Comics in Metairie and chat with fans, pros, and fellow podcasters about everything! In this episode: a spoiler-free discussion of The Avengers, our thoughts on the DC Nation cartoon block including Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice, discussions of the free comics on sale, Kurt Amacker tells us about his new graphic novel Tad Caldwell and the Monster Kid, and we chat with the hosts of the Nola Nerd podcast and Adam from the Graphic Panels podcast. In the picks, Adam recommends Earth 2 #1 and Blake (surprising virtually no one) talks about the first issue of the new X-O Manowar. And the free stuff isn’t over — Blake is giving away free downloads of his superhero novel Other People’s Heroes! Just go to Smashwords.com, use the coupon code XG56X, and download the book in your preferred eReader format! (Coupon expires on May 20, 2012.) Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!
Posts Tagged ‘Nicola Scott
Tags: 2 in 1 Showcase, Atomic Robo, Avengers, David Aja, Earth 2, Eternal Warrior, Free Comic Book Day, Green Lantern, Harbinger, Hawkeye, James Robinson, Kurt Amacker, Nicola Scott, Planetary, podcast, Rai, Spider-Man, Tad Caldwell and the Monster Kid, The New 52, Valiant Comics, X-O Manowar, Young Justice
The Showcase guys had a long weekend in Florida this week, but on the way back they find a few minutes to talk about some of the comic shops they found in Pensacola, this week’s announcements regarding the New (New) 52, and why it’s a bad idea to take a road trip with Mike. In the picks, Blake jumps in with The Ray #2 and X-Men: Legacy #260.1 Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!
Tags: Adam Beechen, Adam Hughes, Amanda Conner, Avengers, avengers academy, Batman, batman beyond, Bryce Carlson, Christos Gage, Disney, Don Kramer, Eduardo Pansica, Fantastic Four, Francis Manapul, Gail Simone, Geoff Johns, George Perez, Greg Horn, heroic age, Ivan Reis, J. Michael Straczynski, Jason Howard, Jonathan Hickman, louise simonson, Lynda Carter, Morgan Luthi, Nicola Scott, Pixar, Power Girl, Robert Kirkman, Ryan Benjamin, Ryan Ottley, Scott Kolins, Sea Bear and Grizzly Shark, Superman, wall-e, Wonder Woman
Continuing my look at some comics that have hit the stands lately that I think are worth talking about…
Avengers Academy #1: Marvel relaunched their Avengers franchise with a new first issue… heh, just kidding. That’s FOUR new first issues. Actually, six if you want to include miniseries. But I digress. I decided to sample each of the new ongoings to see which, if any, I would want to continue reading. Not surprisingly, the one I enjoyed the most was the one written by my favorite writer in the group: Avengers Academy by Christos Gage. With the Initiative camp shut down, a group of Avengers is given the job of training superpowered teens that were recruited under Norman Osborne’s regime. In the first issue we’re introduced to our core group of six young would-be heroes and the team of Avengers responsible for their training. There’s a lot to like about this issue — the inclusion of Speedball among the trainers not the least of those things. I absolutely despised it when he became “Penance” after Civil War, and bringing him back into the fold this way is keeping true to who the character really is without just ignoring that part of his continuity. The six new characters are well-shaped, well-developed, and each with their own distinct personality. Gage also finishes off the book with a pretty stunning revelation about our young cast. It’s a nice surprise, one that reminds me of the classic reveal at the end of Thunderbolts #1. (It’s not the same reveal, that wasn’t a spoiler, it just gave me the same sort of jolt.) This title has a wealth of potential, and I can’t wait to see what Gage does with it.
Batman Beyond #1: Ever since the Batman Beyond TV show went off the air, fans of the character have been waiting to see him get some love in the DC Universe. A couple of years ago, we did get a glimpse of one of DC’s 52 Earths where he seemed to exist. Finally, after a tease in Superman/Batman Annual #4, Terry McGinnis is back in his own miniseries. If you didn’t watch the show back in the day, the premise is simple. We’re in the Gotham City of the future, a “Neo-Gotham,” where Bruce Wayne has gotten too old to continue the fight as Batman. Terry is the heir to the throne, a young man Bruce is training as he once trained his Robins, only this young man has taken on the mantle of the bat. In this first issue, someone has murdered one of Bruce’s old enemies, and as Terry races to save another, it turns out the perpetrator may be someone no one would ever have suspected. The last-page cliffhanger here is fantastic. Adam Beechen has plucked Batman’s most potentially dangerous adversary (even more than the Joker) and put him front and center here. It’s also nice to see a nod to the TV show, with Micron of the new Justice League again trying to get Terry to join up. I hope to see more of those characters as the series continues. Ryan Benjamin‘s style is interesting. It’s not a dark, gritty sci-fi comic, but it doesn’t have the animated feel that the original series did either. It exists somewhere in an in-between place that helps to ease the story into the DC Universe. Great first issue. I can’t wait for the rest of this arc.
Fantastic Four #580: Also part of Marvel’s Heroic Age soft reboot, Jonathan Hickman‘s Fantastic Four has become probably their best ongoing title again (as it should be). Reed Richards has assembled a group of child geniuses to be his new apprentices, a group that includes his daughter Valeria, but doesn’t include his son Franklin. (Frank is potentially the most powerful mutant in existence, but doesn’t share Dad’s genius. Johnny Storm instead takes Franklin and his pal Leech to a toy store, where they encounter a pair of old adversaries — the mischievous Impossible Man and the murderous Arcade. Franklin and Johnny’s story makes up most of this issue, and it’s a good one, but what really knocks this issue out of the park is the conclusion, where Reed’s young geniuses decide on a class project, something they can do to help the world. What they decide on is something totally unexpected, something that can actually have a permanent effect on one of the members on the team. There’s something wonderful and brilliant about it. This has always been the book that housed my favorite Marvel characters. I’m really glad that, with Hickman writing it, it’s also a book that finally lives up to the name “The World’s Greatest Comics Magazine.”
Sea Bear and Grizzly Shark #1: Sometimes it’s worth it to just do something silly. Artists Ryan Ottley and Jason Howard, best known for their collaborations with writer Robert Kirkman on Invincible and The Astounding Wolf-Man (respectively), were at a convention last year, throwing around some crazy ideas. One of those ideas, the idea of a bear and a shark getting “mixed up,” somehow stuck and turned into this one-shot. In Howard’s Sea Bear story, we watch as a young man undergoes terrible personal sacrifice to destroy the ferocious sea beast that killed his family. Grizzly Shark, on the other hand, follow a group of hunters that delve deep into the forest to try to hunt down the ferocious killer. Both stories are bizarre, crazy, and bloody as hell. They’re also a lot of fun. The stories themselves are somewhat ridiculous, and the one-page origin tale written by Kirkman to explain just how “they got mixed up” is even sillier. But it’s an awful lot of fun. The giant-sized book gives you two complete, full-length comic book stories for your money, and you’d be hard-pressed to find two crazier, more enjoyable stories on the shelves of recent comic books.
Wall-E #7: This issue wraps up the “Out There” story arc, in which an astronaut named Andy (a nice little nod to Toy Story, I imagine) has returned to Earth to find it empty of human life, including his wife and children. With Wall-E’s help, Andy has been trying to repair his spacecraft, and he just may be on the verge of doing it. This was kind of a low-key ending to this arc… kind of quiet, even a little anticlimactic, but it actually sort of fits in with Wall-E and the desolate world he inhabited before the events of the movie. It’s a bittersweet story, and a highly appropriate one for this title. Bryce Carlson and Morgan Luthi have done a good job with this arc. Carlson’s story is sad, but hopeful, while Luthi’s artwork is a little grimy and dirty, which is absolutely perfect for a story set on the BNL-ruined world that we met in the motion picture. Whether or not the next arc (or any future arcs) will be set after the movie, I don’t know, but I hope they get to that part of the timeline sooner or later. I think there’s a lot of potential there for different kinds of stories than we’ve gotten in this comic so far.
Wonder Woman #600: The 600th issue of Wonder Woman’s title (if you add up the three volumes) arrives with a bang. Outgoing writer Gail Simone and legendary Wonder Woman artist George Perez start off with a tale about an invasion force that only has the power to control men. Diana’s solution? Round up a team of DC’s greatest female fighters to take them out. This story really does the job of showing the position that Diana holds in the DC Universe — who she is and what she means to the other female heroes. There’s also a much more personal half to the story, where we catch up on a forgotten member of Wonder Woman’s supporting cast, someone who first showed up in George Perez’s legendary run on the title. In the second story, Amanda Conner writes and draws a team-up between Diana and Power Girl (with a little Batgirl thrown in). It’s a nice “girl’s night” story that’s very cute, but actually seems to fit in more as a chapter of the Power Girl title Conner recently left than a Wonder Woman story. Louise Simonson and Eduardo Pansica give us a Wonder Woman/Superman team-up, which isn’t bad, but is fairly generic.
The last two parts of the issue get more into the real meat. Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins (doing some work that’s very different than his usual style, but in a good way) provide a story that delves a bit into who Wonder Woman is and how people don’t realize her importance. This serves as a sort of prologue to the last part of the story, the beginning of writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Don Kramer‘s Odyssey storyline, in which Wonder Woman finds herself in an alternate reality where Paradise Island is in ruins and she never became the warrior we know her to be. This is also the story that introduces Wonder Woman’s much-publicized new Costume. I actually rather like the new look (although, like many others have said, I don’t care for the leather jacket), but I also recognize that it’s most likely a temporary change. Even if it doesn’t go back when Wonder Woman inevitably succeeds in restoring the original timeline, she’ll go back to the classic costume sooner or later. It’s an interesting starting point for a story, and I sincerely hope it does the job it promises to do — show people why Wonder Woman is so important, not just to the DC Universe, but to the culture of comic books in general. She’s been severely undervalued as a character for years. I don’t know if Straczynski is the man to change that, but I’m willing to give him a chance.
In addition to the stories, the book has an introduction by TV’s Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, a cover by Perez, and an avalanche of pin-up pages by the likes of Adam Hughes, Nicola Scott, Ivan Reis, Greg Horn, Francis Manpul and many more. Some of these are just okay, but many of them are great. It’s a solid issue, and a fitting anniversary for comics’ first female.
Two more Blackest Night entries this week, both written by the awesome Greg Rucka. Let’s get right into ‘em.
The Question #37: The last of the eight “back from the dead” titles once belonged to Charles Victor Szasz, a.k.a. Vic Sage, a.k.a. the faceless vigilante called The Question. In 52, Vic died and passed his mask on to former Gotham City Police Officer Renee Montoya. Montoya, the new Question, is with Vic’s old friend Professor Rodor when Lady Shiva arrives. The greatest martial artist in the world is out to test her mettle against the new Question, but with the dead rising, the old Question is seeking out his old companions.
Rucka co-writes this issue with Dennis O’Neil, writer of the original Question series. As Rucka himself has pretty much shepherded Renee’s adventures, it’s safe to say that no one in comics is more qualified to write this issue than these two guys. The bit with Shiva feels a little superfluous, but the interaction between Renee and Vic is wonderful. Although she’s interacted with them, the Question (neither of them) has ever really been a traditional “superhero” like most of the DC Universe, so making them fit in a story of this nature is an impressive feat. Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz on the artwork give the book a rather disjointed, confused feeling that’s very appropriate for these characters. This wasn’t my favorite of the “back from the dead” books, but it was a good way to bring these characters into the event.
Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #3: This book is by Rucka and the fantastic Nicola Scott, and takes place shortly after Blackest Night #6. Wonder Woman was in the clutches of the Black Lanterns, but when Carol Ferris’s Star Sapphire ring was duplicated, it chose Diana as its deputy. This issue shows Diana’s first few minutes as a Star Sapphire, and how wielding that power is going to force her into combat with a friend.
I have the same issue with this issue as I did with the last one. It’s technically very good. Rucka knows this character very well and does a great job of showing how she’s dealing with her sudden influx of power. Plus, Nicola Scott’s artwork is magnificent as ever. She’s one of the finest artists working at DC today, and I love her interpretation of Diana, the other Lanterns, the undead monstrosities that are attacking and everything else. And how ’bout that spiffy Greg Horn cover? Just a great cover.
The problem is that the three issues of Blackest Night: Wonder Woman together don’t really make for a cohesive storyline. The Superman, Batman and Titans miniseries all told their own story — related to the main crossover, but pretty much self-contained. The Wonder Woman issues don’t really tell one story, but rather fill in the blanks between pages of the main storyline. I guess it’s personal taste. If that’s what a story is going to do, I don’t know if it merits a spin-off. It wouldn’t bother me if these were actual issues of the Wonder Woman title, but a miniseries should stand on its own.
It’s not bad. It’s just not independent enough for my tastes.
Tags: Atom, Bat Lash, Blackest Night, comics, Dan Didio, Deadman, Deathstroke, Derec Donovan, Doctor Light, Ed Benes, Eddy Barrows, Eduardo Pansica, Fernando Pasarin, Gail Simone, Geoff Johns, Green Lantern, Greg Rucka, Ivan Reis, J.T. Krul, James Robinson, Jerry Ordway, Jim Calafiore, Joe Bennett, John Ostrander, Jonah Hex, Justice League, Justice Society, Mark Bagley, Mera, Nicola Scott, Outsiders, Patrick Gleason, Peter Tomasi, Ravager, Red Lanterns, Renato Arlem, reviews, Scalphunter, Secret Six, Suicide Squad, Super-Chief, Teen Titans, The Ray, Weird Western Tales, Wonder Woman
Okay, so over the holidays I fell behind on my Blackest Night reviews. I’m sorry. I’m so… so sorry. Please forgive me.
Okay, now that that’s done, let’s talk about some comics! First, as promised, let me link you to my Comixtreme.com review of Superman/Batman #67. (I’m not going to duplicate full reviews from there over here, but I will point you in that direction.) Then, I’ll go through the rest of the tie-ins to the event of the year in the order in which they came out. There’s a lot of ‘em here, so let’s get started!
Outsiders #25: Terra confronts her brother, begging him for help. She begs him to kill her, ending her existence as a Black Lantern… but is she being genuine, or is this just another example of Black Lanterns pulling the emotional strings of the living? Katana, meanwhile, faces her late husband, while Creeper does the surprise team-up thing with captive Killer Croc. As I’ve come to expect, Tomasi does a really good job nailing the emotions of each character. He sells us on each of them, working in great stuff for the Outsiders who are forced to face a dead love one, and having fun with those who don’t. Halo gets some very nice moments in this issue, and the Creeper/Croc team-up is a blast. I almost wish Croc was joining the cast of the book. We also get a feel for how the original members are somewhat divorced from the “newcomers” (namely Creeper and Owlman). The dynamic is interesting. Fernando Pasarin and Derec Donovan are the artists this month, and while both of them are good artists, their styles are really quite different. If you’re going to shift artists in one story, you need to get two artists whose styles mesh, and that’s not the case here. I’m sorry to see Tomasi leaving this book, but he had a good run.
Justice League of America #40: In part two of “Reunion,” we watch as the remnants of the Detroit-era Justice League do battle with their less-fortunate teammates, and Gypsy and Vixen find no love lost with the dead Steel and Vibe. Zatanna continues her battle with her dead father, Red Tornado is out and Plastic Man can barely hold it together. James Robinson has a nice feel for these different characters, and even though most of them aren’t going to carry over to his regular JLA team, he makes them feel like significant, important characters, and that this is a story worth telling. The highlight of this issue, however, is the battle between Dr. Light and her late villain counterpart. Between this book and Superman, Robinson is doing really interesting stuff with Dr. Light, stuff I haven’t seen before. This is some of the best screen time the character has ever gotten, and I’m really glad she’s made the cut on the regular team. Mark Bagley has always been a fan favorite artist, but I must admit, all of his characters seem to look really young. Not a problem during his days on New Warriors or Ultimate Spider-Man, but it’s been noticable in stuff like Trinity. Fortunately, most of the new team is going to be relatively young, so it shouldn’t be a problem. Really good issue.
Green Lantern Corps #43: After the staggering events of last issue, I have to admit, this one was a bit of a letdown. (If you haven’t read issue #42 yet be warned, spoilers follow.) Last month we watched as Kyle Rayner sacrificed his life to save the main power battery on Oa from an invading army of Black Lanterns. This month, his lover Soranik Natu struggles desperately to bring him back. As Soranik — a doctor as well as a Green Lantern — works on Kyle, his partner Guy Gardner allows himself to succumb to his rage… Guy Gardner is now a Red Lantern. The Guy stuff here is handled really well. Peter Tomasi has done a nice job of selling Kyle and Guy as buddies, and I’ve got no problem at all seeing Guy go red with anger at Kyle’s death. My only real beef here comes in the bits with Soranik Natu. (I’m going to try very hard not to spoil this particular issue, but that won’t be easy.) Soranik’s efforts have an interesting result. Nothing happens here that I didn’t expect, but I didn’t expect it to happen quite so quickly, and I feel like there was a missed opportunity to tell an interesting story or two in the meantime. There, I think that did it. I still liked this issue, but not as much as I expected to.
Blackest Night: JSA #1: The last Blackest Night spin-off miniseries starts here with the creative team of Blackest Night: Superman picking up the story they began there. The Justice Society is caught off-guard when several of its Golden Age members — the original Sandman, Dr. Mid-Nite and Mr. Terrific among others — rise from the dead and attack. Superman and Superboy, meanwhile, have brought the defeated Black Lantern Superman (of Earth-2) and Psycho-Pirate to the current Mr. Terrific to study and — hopefully — find a weakness. This issue takes place on the heels of Blackest Night #5, and it’s a nice way to shine a spotlight on these heroes in the midst of those events. While most of the zombie comparisons to these titles have been derisive, this is one of the few stories I’ve yet seen where the comparison is apt. Watching the still-living JSA members holed up in their headquarters, trying to stave off the swarm of Black Lanterns, has a definite Night of the Living Dead vibe to it, and I mean that as a compliment. James Robinson nails the mood of this piece, giving us a fantastic stand-off between the living and the dead. The plot threads carried over from Blackest Night: Superman are also solid. I don’t know if DC has really considered how these miniseries will be packaged in the inevitable trade paperback releases, but the two miniseries by Robinson and Eddy Barrows really should be collected together.
Teen Titans #78: Why in the world has J.T. Krul not been given one of the Titans family books to write on an ongoing basis? I don’t even care which one. Between this two-parter and the previous Blackest Night: Titans miniseries, he’s shown a better grasp of these characters than any writer since Geoff Johns left. In fact, I’ll say this is one of the beast Deathstroke stories I have ever read. Ravager, last issue, hunted down her father with the intention of killing him. Instead, the two of them found themselves in an uneasy alliance, fighting for their lives against the Black Lanterns of their shared past. And just when things looked their worst, an unexpected ally arrived — Ravager’s brother and Deathstroke’s son, Jericho, who is looking in much better shape than he did the last time we saw him. The richness of the characters here is wonderful. Krul absolutely sells us on a genuine relationship between the father and children that makes sense and works perfectly in the context of the story. And while Deathstroke is still undeniably a bad guy (as he should be), this issue also manages to paint him as a father too, something that hasn’t been done very well since the days of Wolfman and Perez. There are a few things in this issue that make me believe there are plans in the works for Deathstroke, and in fact he’s supposedly joining the regular cast of the Titans series soon, but without Krul at the wheel, it’ll be hard to get me on board. He’s one of DC’s rising stars, and I’ll be anxiously watching where he goes next.
Green Lantern #49: Since this event began, Geoff Johns has used the main Green Lantern title to basically tell the stories in-between issues of Blackest Night. This issue is no exception. While Hal Jordan has been assembling the “new Guardians” and Kyle and Guy are facing the dead of Oa, what’s been up with John Stewart? The fourth Green Lantern of Earth takes the spotlight this issue, as he has to face the dead of the planet Xanshi, a world he failed to save from destruction years ago. If that wasn’t bad enough, his dead wife Katma Tui is part of the assault. John is, in many ways, the Neglected Lantern these days. He had a bit more of a spotlight when he was on Justice League Unlimited, but he’s taken a back seat to Hal in the title they ostensibly share. This is a really good spotlight on John, and it comes not a moment too soon. What makes this issue more interesting, however, is the back-up story. In a “Tales From the Corps” story, we follow the Atom and Mera, who shrank down between the molecules of a Black Lantern ring. With the Black Lantern Jean Loring as their guide, the delve into the origins of Nekron himself, and find a valuable ally in the process — Deadman. This look back into the history of the Black Lanterns is pretty good, and even better is the fact that the always-welcome Jerry Ordway does the art. And when it’s over, it’s time to jump right into Blackest Night #6. So let’s shall we?
Blackest Night #6: The only book that came out on December 30 is likely the book that would have been the best in any given week. Last issue, Nekron revealed that he’s been allowing people to “return” from the dead for years, setting them up as foot soldiers for this invasion. Now he’s turned the likes of Superman, Green Arrow, Superboy, Wonder Woman, and more into Black Lanterns, and the grand prize will be taking Hal Jordan and Barry Allen. As the two of them race for their lives — literally — Ganthet decides a little more firepower is needed for this battle to turn, and he begins a really interesting recruiting drive. The fanboy in me turned as giddy as a child on Christmas when I realized where this was going, and the final two-page spread had me as excited as I’ve been for a comic in a very long time. Beyond just the action figure potential of these pages, we’re seeing something that’s a hell of a lot of fun playing out against an intense backdrop. We’re seeing the restructuring of the Green Lantern Corps and DC’s cosmic side as a whole, we’re seeing characters like Ray Palmer and Mera (freaking Mera) raised to A-list status, and we’re getting it all under the prism of just beautiful art by Ivan Reis. Have I said I love this book? Because I’ll say it again. I. Love. This. Book.
Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2: Set between the pages of Blackest Night #6, this issue features Wonder Woman as a Black Lantern. As we’ve come to suspect, we see that the real person and the Black Lantern are separate entities, with one controlling the other. As Black Lantern Wonder Woman battles Wonder Girl and Mera, the “real” Wonder Woman, riding shotgun, struggles for freedom. The book also expands greatly upon the last few pages of Blackest Night #6, showing what happens to Wonder Woman there from a different perspective. In and of itself, the issue is fine. Greg Rucka is a good writer and knows Wonder Woman well. The art, by Nicola Scott and Eduardo Pansica, is very nice. Scott is one of DC’s greatest artistic assets right now, and they’d be insane not to try to get more high-profile work out of her. The issue here is that, unlike the other Blackest Night miniseries, this one doesn’t seem to be telling a solid story of its own. Instead, it seems to exist only to slip between the pages of the main event. That’s not quite enough for me. It’s not bad when it happens in a spin-off issue of an ongoing, especially one as tightly tied to the main book as Green Lantern is, but it seems a bit superfluous to create a miniseries expressly for that purpose. It will also make it a less satisfying read in collected edition later.
Suicide Squad #67: There will be no issue of Blackest Night in January, which is very very sad, but that doesn’t mean the tie-ins will stop. In fact, DC is doing something pretty cool this month to come up with unique tie-ins. They’ve taken eight old series, books that have been canceled for years (or, in some cases, decades) and they’ve brought them back for one more issue. If the characters can come back from the dead, why not the titles, right? First up is Suicide Squad #67, written by Gail Simone and original series writer John Ostrander, with art by Jim Calafiore. As Simone is using former Squad member Deadshot to great effect in her Secret Six series, it only makes sense that this one-shot would tie in to that one. The Six and the Squad find themselves at odds when the Six are hired to break out a convicted drug dealer from the prison where the Squad is based. As the two teams face each other, the dead of the past begin to rise. This isn’t a bad issue, and it’s great as part of a crossover between the two teams, but the Blackest Night connection is actually pretty tenuous. It begins with one character rising from the dead, it ends with several more rising, but otherwise there’s no real connection. The story continues in next week’s Secret Six #17, so there’s more to come, but I can’t help but wish there was more here.
Weird Western Tales #71: The next book brought back this month (and the last in this review-a-thon) is one of DC’s old-school western titles. The light-based hero called The Ray has managed to snare one of the Black Lantern rings, and he brings it to a facility in the west, near the mass graves of a slew of cowboys, soldiers, and Indians slain during the wild and wooly days of the DC Universe. The likes of Scalphunter, Super-Chief, Bat Lash, and the king of DC’s western tales himself, Jonah Hex, all rise to reclaim the ring. Honestly, I didn’t really have high expectations for this book — it seemed a bit more of a stunt than some of the other “dead” titles brought back here — but I was pleasantly surprised. DC’s executive editor, Dan Didio, has put together a story that is suitably creepy — in fact, this too has the hopeless horror movie feel of a great zombie flick — but he also managed to capture the flavor of a western in the process. That sort of combination isn’t easy. Renato Arlem‘s artwork fits in nicely, and the result is a book that’s actually better than it should be.
So that’s it, friends. I’m all caught up, and actually, I kind of like this format. I have no intention of letting another month go by with no reviews, but from now on, I may do a single weekly review post instead of separate ones for each title. Seems more efficient that way, doesn’t it?
Former Wonder Woman writer Greg Rucka and current Secret Six artist Nicola Scott team up for the three-issue Blackest Night: Wonder Woman miniseries. In a first issue that clearly takes place before the events of Blackest Night #5, Diana takes up the search for a Black Lantern sent back to Earth to torment her — Maxwell Lord, the man she killed in order to prevent him from using his mind-control powers to turn Superman into a mass murderer. Lord leaves a bloody trail that takes her to Washington, D.C. The Black Lantern Lord has the same powers the living version did, and Diana is forced to face off against good men, good soldiers, forced to succumb to Lord’s will.
And if that isn’t bad enough, what happens when a rain of Black Lantern rings falls on Arlington?
Rucka, who also wrote the story where Wonder Woman killed Lord, does a magnificent job here. The emotion is real, and his understanding of the character is second-to-none. Even at her most desperate, Diana’s emotions are in check, her heart remains the same. Her reluctance to go to war with the honored dead of Arlington is as indicative of Wonder Woman’s character as anything I’ve ever read.
Nicola Scott, truly one of the best artists working in comics today, does her magic here as well. Ugly monsters, a beautiful and strong Wonder Woman, and a nice surprise guest add up to a wonderful visual package. Throw on a cover by Greg Horn and this is one of the best-looking Blackest Night books yet.
This easily could have been a stand-alone one-shot, but there are two issues left. The “next issue” blurb seems to indicate those two will catch up to the events of the main series, so it’ll be really interesting to see where things go from here. But taken on its own, this is some of the best Blackest Night yet.
Tags: 2 in 1 Showcase, Action Comics, Andy Lanning, Archie, Batman, Battlestar Galactica, Blue Lanterns, comics, Dan Abnett, Ed Brubaker, Fables, Flash Gordon, Franklin Richards, Gary Frank, Geoff Johns, Green Lantern, Greg Pak, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hack/Slash, Hercules, Iron Man, James Bond, Justice Society, Legion of Super-Heroes, Lone Ranger, Lost, Mark Buckingham, Mike McKone, movies, New Krypton, Nicola Scott, P.S. 238, podcast, Secret Invasion, Secret Six, Smallville, Star Trek, Stargate, Superman, television, The Dark Knight, The Walking Dead, Uncle Scrooge, WALL•E, Wizard of Oz
The year is almost over, friends, so it’s time for Blake and Chase to make their nominations for the best in comics for 2008! Listen to the guys discuss their choices, and then e-mail your votes to Showcase@comixtreme.com. One randomly-chosen voter will recieve a prize package. Votes must be received by December 26, 2008, to be counted in time for their announcement in our end-of-the-year spectacular!
The nominees are:Best Ongoing Series:
The Walking Dead
Best Miniseries or One-Shot:
Franklin Richards: Sons of Geniuses
Justice Society of America Kingdom Special: Superman
Superman: New Krypton Special
Action Comics: Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes
Batman Confidential: The Bat and the Cat
Fables: War and Pieces
The Lone Ranger: Scorched Earth
Best New Series:
Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Writer or Writing Team:
Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Best Artist or Art Team:
Title Deserving of Wider Recognition:
Best Genre TV Series:
Best Genre Motion Picture:
The Dark Knight
Quantum of Solace
The Next Big Thing:
The Legion of Super-Heroes
Marvel Illustrated: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz