Posts Tagged ‘Suicide Squad


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 283: Bruce Willis and Bruce Wayne

showcase logo smallIt’s a big week for Bruces and Blake and Erin take in Willis’s newest film, A Good Day to Die Hard, and talk about the repercussions of Wayne’s lastest battle with the Joker in the conclusion of Death of the Family. We also talk about the return of The Walking Dead, rejoice in the crapitude of Birdemic: Shock and Terror, and Blake recommends that if you’re not reading Morning Glories, you go back and start at the beginning. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 283: Bruce Willis and Bruce Wayne


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 237: The New 52 Week 2 Review

Halfway through the first month of DC Comics’ New 52, Blake and Erin sit down to discuss the comics they’ve read so far. They dig into Batman, Suicide Squad, Lanterns (both Green and Red), Demon Knights, Frankenstein, Batwoman, Static Shock and much more! In the picks, Erin goes retro with Image’s I Hate Gallant Girl and Michael Crichton‘s novel The Lost World, and Blake stays contemporary with Resurrection Man #1 and Life With Archie #13. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 237: The New 52 Week 2 Review


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 230: San Diego and Captain America

Another San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, and this week Blake and Erin get together and talk about the big anouncements from this year’s show: crossovers between Star Trek and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Archie and KISS, the new Fables spin-off, the upcoming relaunch of the Defenders, and much more! They also give their review of Captain America: The First Avenger, do a Rampant Speculation on the upcoming Suicide Squad, and give a few picks. Erin has discovered Tim O’Brien‘s The Things They Carried, and Blake doubles up with Sergio Aragones Funnies #1 and Locke and Key Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 230: San Diego and Captain America


Time Travel Tuesdays: Son of the Best Comics I’ve Never Read

Well friends, with the great Comixtreme changeover finished, it’s definitely time to use Time Travel Tuesday to re-present all the lost EBIs, since there will be more of them soon. So let’s just go to the oldest column I’ve got that you haven’t seen elsewhere. This is from February 25, 2004, a column I wrote about going in and reading some comics that were recommended to me by well-meaning readers…


Back in November I sat down with you, my rabidly devoted readers, and we had a long chat about some of the best comic books out there that don’t get enough attention, as well as some of the best books I haven’t read but that you guys think are in the upper eschelon of comic book goodness. (You can check out that first column by clicking here.) This week, we’re going to take the first look at some of the books you suggested and that I’ve checked out in the interim, as well as one new book I’ve discovered that I’m adding to your reading list. And I think some of you will be surprised by my findings.

This works rather simply — any book you guys suggest that I haven’t read (and don’t know enough about to have formed an opinion) gets put on my reading list. I’ve formed a second reading list of great graphic novels that I think you should read. When I read a book from the first list, if I like it enough, it moves up to the second list. The complete lists will be at the end of the column.

The first book I checked out from the list you guys gave me was the premiere Hellboy trade paperback, Seed of Destruction. I’ve always had a marginal interest in Hellboy, even though I’ve never read any of his comics before, because the idea of a demon working for a paranormal investigation agency seems deliciously campy to me, and with the movie coming out soon I thought it would behoove me to read this introduction to the character before I saw it.

And actually, I thought that was the best way to sum up Hellboy: Seed of Destruction: as an introduction. We meet the character and examine the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. We meet the ancillary characters, including my favorite, the weirdly entertaining Abe Sapien. We get a story about Nazis and monsters and a lot of cool fighting.

But that’s about it.

Reading this book and looking for answers about Hellboy’s past (let alone answers about Abe or the others) is a futile effort, there are none to be had. But that’s okay. This book exists to let you meet these characters and get interested in them, and as such, it succeeded. With any graphic novel series, the primary function of the first book is to interest you enough to make you want to read the second one. Well done, Mike Mignola (and a tip of the hat to scripter John Byrne as well.) Hellboy: Seed of Destruction is the first book to “graduate” from my list of books I need to read to my list of books you need to read.

Unfortunately, I don’t have such high praise for the second book I tried out based on your recommendations. Some people will be shocked to hear me say this (and others, I suspect, will be somewhat gleeful), but I was quite disappointed in The Invisibles: Say You Want a Revolution.

It pains me to say it, folks, it really does. I enjoyed Grant Morrison’s run on JLA and he’s writing the first X-Men comic to really get me excited in over a decade. But The Invisibles didn’t really work for me. Before reading this book, I really knew nothing about it, other than the fact that some people claim the Wachowski brothers ripped off some of the concepts for The Matrix. Maybe that’s what hurt it for me, as I read I kept looking for the parallels and I didn’t find many. The only similarities to be found in this first volume were those of a secret organization fighting against a some sort of phantom big brother that is secretly controlling the world, and the idea of people leaving their bodies behind to travel to another reality (or another level of reality). Did Morrison use these concepts before the Wachoswkis? Certainly. But there were a lot of people using the same concepts before Morrison as well.

That wasn’t what let me down, though, it was the story that let me down. Once I put down the trade paperback I felt like I’d read a 200-page anti-establishment rant with no real soul to it. The characters let me down. When we first meet our “hero,” Jack Frost, he’s blowing up a library. As someone who considers a book to be the highest product of humankind, this did not serve to endear him to me. I was let down because when I finished reading, I didn’t feel like I understood any more than I did when I started.

Now I’m going to be fair about this — I did just read the first graphic novel in a rather lengthy series, and it’s entirely possible that many of the questions and doubts I have are addressed later in the title. In fact, I intend to read the second book in the series, The Invisibles: Apokalipstick, in the hopes that it will lay some of my fears to rest. But with Hellboy I’m reading volume two because I liked what I read in volume one and want to read more. With this title, I’m reading volume two out of a sense of frustration, in the hopes that something about the book will begin to make sense. Graphic novel format is the only thing that could have saved this book for me, because if I had tried reading it in single-issue form I would have dropped it after issue four and never looked back. So sorry, Mr. Morrison, but Invisibles: Say You Want a Revolution doesn’t make the cut.

Third, I’m adding a book that I really dug that wasn’t brought up in our last discussion (it’s my column, I reserve the right to do this): Kurt Busiek and James Fry’s short-lived series from Eclipse Comics, The Liberty Project.

For those of you who have never heard of The Liberty Project (even I, crazed Busiek fan that I am, had never heard of it until About Comics announced they were releasing a collected edition last year), the concept is simple — the federal government starts a program that allows supervillains to pay their debt to society by acting as government-sponsored superheroes instead of spending time in jail. If it sounds familiar, that’s because DC comics used almost the same idea at almost the same time (1987-1988) when it relaunched its old property Suicide Squad.

The Liberty Project was a bit different, however. First of all, Suicide Squad used established DC villains like Deadshot and Captain Boomerang, while these characters were all-new (although the similarity in skill, if certainly not in character, between Deadshot and Crackshot is curious). Second, while DC’s team stuck to the shadows and didn’t operate in the public eye, the Liberty Project members were out in the open, and actually found themselves celebrities. Third, many of the Suicide Squad members remained cruel, unrepentant creatures, whereas Busiek’s creations almost all were changed by their experience working on the right side of the law. In many ways, it’s like reading a beta test for his later work on Marvel’s Thunderbolts series (about villains masquerading as heroes and some of them realizing the prefer life on that side of the fence).

Busiek still owns the characters, so I keep hoping someday he’ll return to the world of Slick, Burnout and Cimarron. In the meantime, About Comics recently published a dandy digest-sized, black and white, inexpensive volume of the eight-issue run, along with a Total Eclipse special. If you liked Busiek on Thunderbolts, you’ll dig this book.

So let’s recap. As of last time we talked the list of books you guys think I should read are as follows:

Animal Man Vol. 1
Cerebus Vol. 1
Doom Patrol: Crawling From the Wreckage
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Boy in the World
Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 1: The Assassin’s Road
Maus: A Survivor’s Tale
New Teen Titans Archives Vol. 1
Punisher: Welcome Back Frank
Record of Lodoss War: The Lady of Pharis
Safe Area Goradze
Terminal City
Top 10
V For Vendetta

Conversely, the list of books that I really dig that you should be reading is now this:

The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius (Vol. 1-4)
Bone Vol. 1: Out From Boneville
Creature Tech
Daredevil: Wake Up
Dork Tower Vol 1.: Dork Covenant (then Vol.s 2-6…)
Fantastic Four: Imaginauts
Hellboy Vol. 1: Seeds of Destruction
The Liberty Project
Meridian Vol. 1: Flying Solo
Preacher Vol. 1: Gone to Texas
Road to Perdition
Understanding Comics/Reinventing Comics
The Wizard’s Tale

I’m open for suggestions to add to the first list, folks, and if you’ve read some of the books on the second list and want to comment, this is the place to do it. In the meantime, it’s back to the bookstore for me!

(By the by: If you’d like to suggest a title to add to the list, please try to suggest books that are available in graphic novel form — either original works or trade paperback collections. It’s not that single-issue runs aren’t great, but for the purposes of this project, it’s a lot easier to track down graphic novels and read those.)

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: February 18, 2004

Since I started the “Favorite of the Week” feature in this column, I think this was the hardest week ever to choose a winner. I was very close to selecting Fantastic Four #510 and Superman: Secret Identity #2, both titles that have won this honor before. I was close to selecting Abadazad #1 because it was such a great beginning for what promises to be CrossGen’s best comic yet. But in the end, I picked a title that was a fantastic conclusion to a fantastic storyline: Superman/Batman #6.

Jeph Loeb is the best writer either of these iconic characters have had in over a decade. He nails who they are, what they mean to the world and what they mean to each other. He caps off the story of President Lex Luthor in a way that is smart and satisfying (and also answers a question I had about Aquaman #15, which clearly takes place after this issue). It’s a fantastic comic book. You can keep your spiders and your x-people friends. This is a comic book that proves the first two superheroes are still the greatest.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page.


What I’m Reading: Catwoman #83 & Power of Shazam! #48

All this month, DC Comics is bringing back canceled titles “from the dead” for one-issue Blackest Night tie-ins, and we got two more of them this week.

Catwoman #83: Although Selina Kyle still stars in a monthly book, Gotham City Sirens, she’s the co-star of that title along with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. When I heard that her now-defunct solo series was one of the books that was coming back, I figured we’d get a solo story to go with it. I was surprised, but not unpleasantly.

Writer Tony Bedard brings back the late Black Mask, once the top crime overlord in Gotham City, until he pushed Catwoman one step too far and she put a bullet in his skull. (Catwoman, it should be noted, may be a thief, but she’s no killer. It took an awful lot for her to get to that point.) When he rises from the dead as a Black Lantern, he decides to torture Selina for a while before taking her heart, and how better to do that than make her watch while he tortures her beloved sister? To save Maggie Kyle, Selina, Ivy, and Harley take off to face off against an undead menace.

This was actually a really good issue, although it could have fit in pretty easily as an issue of Gotham City Sirens. The girls are all in character, and Black Mask’s scheme is just sadistic enough to work, if that makes any sense. The book even lays out a plot thread that could easily be picked up by another writer later (or Bedard himself if he does more work with these characters). There are four different artists on this book, and while it is a bit noticeable when the styles shift, it’s not so bad as to ruin the book. And DC gets bonus cool points for getting original series cover artist Adam Hughes back to handle the cover of this one.

Rating: 8/10

The Power of Shazam! #48: I’ve always been a big fan of Captain Marvel and the Marvel family, and when I heard their title was coming back as part of this event, I had two reactions:

1. Woo-hoo!

2. Wait, why isn’t Jerry Ordway doing the book?

Not that I’ve got anything against Eric Wallace and Don Kramer, but Ordway made that book what it was. Not having his involvement in this new issue didn’t feel right, and as it turns out, neither did this issue. It wasn’t a bad story, exactly, but it didn’t really feel like it deserved the title Power of Shazam. Billy and Mary Batson, currently powerless in the DCU, make only a cameo appearance. Instead, the book focuses on Osiris, one of Black Adam’s own “Marvel Family” that was murdered back in 52. Osiris and his murderer, Sobek, have both risen as Black Lanterns, but something about the magic of Shazam seems to maintain the connection between Osiris’s body and his soul. While most of the Black Lanterns are dead bodies being manipulated by rings that have “downloaded” the memories of the host, Osiris seems to be the real thing riding shotgun in his Black Lantern body — and that means he’s going to want to come gunning for Sobek. It’s an interesting conceit, and it helps set this title apart. It’s not just another “heroes face the corpses of their loved ones” story like many of the tie-ins to this series have been. At the same tie, I miss the Marvel Family. I suppose when DC inevitably brings them back, they’re not going to want to do it in a one-shot tie in (that would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it, bringing back Captain Marvel in a one-shot that’s only vaguely related to the event whose title it bears?), but somehow, I just feel this book should have had a different title. I dunno, I’m probably just nit-picking. Never mind me.

Rating: 7/10

Also this week…

Secret Six #17 is part two of the three-part story begun in last week’s Suicide Squad #67. I gave this particular book the full review treatment over at, so I won’t duplicate my efforts here. You can click on over there to see my full thoughts about the issue. And while you’re there, hunt around the website. There’s plenty of cool stuff there. Besides my own Everything But Imaginary columns and 2 in 1 Showcase podcasts, CX is the home to some of the best commentary, humor, reviews, and forums on the web. Chat about current comic and pop culture events, argue who would win in a fight between Galactus and Ms. Lion, sign up to join in a Mafia game — there’s a lot of cool stuff over there, and I don’t think I give the site enough props around here.


What I’m Reading: A Month of Blackest Night!

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 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.

Rating: 7/10

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.

Rating: 8/10

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.

Rating: 7/10

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.

Rating: 8/10

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.

Rating: 9/10

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?

Rating: 8/10

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.

Rating: 9/10

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.

Rating: 6/10

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.

Rating: 7/10

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.

Rating: 7/10

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?


Everything But Imaginary #325: Back From the Dead

In January, DC Comics is going to bring back eight canceled comic books for one more issue. Granted, they’re all Blackest Night tie-ins, but I think it’s a pretty cool idea. This week, I look at why those eight books were chosen, and talk about some other comics I’d love to get just one more issue of.

Everything But Imaginary #325

Inside this Column:


Everything But Imaginary #320: Bad to the Bone

Secret Six is one of the best comics being published right now, but villain-focused comics rarely last. What makes Secret Six different? And why do villain titles fizzle out?

Everything But Imaginary #320: Bad to the Bone
Inside this column:


Everything But Imaginary #297: Comics For the Completists

At Wondercon this weekend, IDW Publishing announced a new complete collection of Dave Stevens‘ classic comic, The Rocketeer. As an old fan of the character from the movies, I’m really anxious to read the comics that inspired the film. This week, I give you a wish list of other comics I’d like to see get the “complete” treatment. Meanwhile, in the picks of the week: Green Lantern #38.

Everything But Imaginary #297: Comics For the Completist
Inside This Column:


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 92: March of the Villains

From Suicide Squad to the Secret Six, Thunderbolts and Venom, over the years a lot of super-villains have broken free from their heroic nemesis and starred in series of their own. This week, the Showcase boys talk about some of the villains who have become stars in their own right, why some villain series work better than others, what makes a good villain comic, and which heroes they think could star in a title of their own. In the picks this week, Chase has found the Marvel Comics Guide to New York City and She-Hulk #34, while Blake was pleasantly surprised by the first issue of the Terra miniseries! E-mail us with your comments, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at!

Episode 92: March of the Villains
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March 2023

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