Saturday, August 24, 2013

Stack Rundown, 08/24/2013

So, what happened this week? Trinity War got closer to wrapping up, Superman got punted, and Wonder Woman's status quo quite possibly changed in a very interesting way. All that AND MORE, in this week's stack rundown post!

Justice League Dark #23

"Okay, let's get on with it!" That's pretty much my thoughts coming out of this issue. Sure, we all knew the Crime Syndicate was coming due to all the various leaks, but now that they've been confirmed I'm sort of just waiting for them to show up. Here's it's more "We still don't know what's going on! Shit!" on the heroes' part mixed with some fighting over the box… Then Zatanna and Constantine find Xanadu, followed by Batman's team (because Batman) and evil Alfred shows up. It was an okay issue by all means, but with knowledge of who is really pulling the strings, as a penultimate issue, this really didn't do much to compensate for that big point being public knowledge. I would have at least liked a little more substance to this issue in terms of the secrets behind Trinity War, rather than leave it all up to next week's issue of Justice League. Oh well, still enjoying the heck out of the story and Mikel Janin's art was as fantastic as ever.

Trinity of Sin: Pandora #3

This is a weird book, and sits in an uneasy place for me, between dropping it, and being curious enough to keep going. Now, I thought this issue was well written, I enjoyed the format between the fight that we saw in JLD this week, and Pandora's past, but if this book's main antagonists are going to be the Seven Deadly Sins, I don't know if I care. Granted, I thought the way Pandora was able to kill one of them, by giving in to the specific vice, was clever, but ultimately, I don't think the Sins are all that interesting. What I pictured this book being was a huge DC Universe type book, after all, she somehow completely altered it, and I was expecting maybe that to be touched upon… but the Sins, I mean there just isn't anything really captivating about them. I'll stick around after Trinity War to see what's up, but solicits haven't really gave me any hope.

Superman Unchained #3

Yep, this book blows Superman clear out of the water. For what it's worth, I enjoyed Superman for the art with Rocafort, and it sometimes was the right kind of goofy, but the overwritten exposition, and bad internal monologue turned thought bubbles, really just got too much for me. Unchained on the other hand is only three issues in, but the story is already vastly more interesting than anything in the "main" book. Wraith and the US Army's position are an interesting contrast to Superman, and Wraith positioning himself as an ally to Superman was honestly unexpected… that is until the final page, which I'm not quite sure how to take. What I really enjoy, and I mentioned this last time, but it still holds true, is the fact that Snyder is juggling three plots spread through Superman, Lois and Lex here, and doing it perfectly. I really can't think of any of his other work where he had characters share the spotlight. Sure, you have your scenes between The Riddler and Philip Kane, but those are more or less tangents of the main plot. Here, Lois has her own stuff going on, Superman obviously does too, and Lex is all sorts of screwed over, and I really can't think of a story where Snyder has done that sort of stuff… pulls it off well.

Green Lantern New Guardians #23

Somewhere along the lines, maybe SDCC, it was mentioned that one of the Lantern Corps would get destroyed, and I think the general thought was that was going to happen in October's "Lights Out." …HAHA, NOPE! Goodbye Blue Lantern Corps! I actually had figured this was going to happen with the preview of the issue, because what the fuck are the Blue Lanterns going to do, when they don't have any Green Lanterns to power up? Die. That's what. Let's be honest, they're the hippies of the Lantern Corps, and when faced with a cross dimensional power house, capable of mass destruction, what are hippies going to do? Get blasted into oblivion. That's what. All but Saint Walker. Yeah, the Green Lantern books are going really strong, which is great. They had to come out of the gates swinging, and they certainly have.

Wonder Woman #23

I think it's safe to say that this was one of the best issues of the series. Here we get Diana, Orion and War all going after the First Born, because he's a dick, and things don't go well… they REALLY don't go well. Everyone gets their ass kicked, despite their best efforts… that is until Diana uses the old "impale my ally so I can impale the bad guy" trick, and down goes War. The scene that followed, where War died in her arms, was really emotional, and brought their relationship that Azzarello has fleshed out pretty full circle. The biggest thing to come out of this I guess is the fact that Diana is the God(dess) of War now? That's certainly what Hell made it seem like, based on what he said to Diana after she decided to spare the First Born. Things are getting pretty intense in this book, people are dying, and it just keeps getting better as a result. Gonna miss the Azzarello-War, but his death really made for a great moment.

Animal Man #23

Boy, I kind of hate the tabloid angle that frames this title now, but I'm pretty sure that's the point. Tabloids and celebrity obsession is pretty fucking stupid, and it bothering me here means Lemire did it right. Other than that opening scene, I think this may have been my favorite issue of the series post Rotworld. This book definitely operates better in more of a small scale setting, the things that are going on in the red are pretty big, but it all surrounds Buddy and his daughter, and that's pretty much it. The betrayal that took place in the Parliament of Limbs was pretty unexpected, and with Brother Blood now being in the Red's favor, it should be pretty fun to see how Buddy and Maxine react and fight back. This book has really started to pick up again, and I'm glad it has, can't wait until Rafael Albuquerque comes aboard next issue.

X-Men #4

Wasn't sure what to expect going in on this issue, but ended up liking it, regardless. The issues time was spent between Jubilee, her adopted son and Wolvering cruising around SoCal, taking a trip down memory lane, while the rest of the book's team were off saving a plane, while some tensions boiled over. I really enjoyed the Wolverine and Jubilee stuff, while I'm relatively new to reading Marvel in the grand scheme of things, I was well aware of their relationship, and found this issue to have quite a few sweet moments. The other half of the issue saw Rogue, Psylocke and Kitty being fun, while drama brewed between Storm and Rachel, after Storm was willing to kill whatshername last issue. I get why Rachel wouldn't like it, but my problem was that the previous issue didn't do a great job of making that scene feel important to this issue. I get it was tense, but maybe if Storm and Rachel exchanged some words after the fact, then it spilled over to issue, it would have worked a little bit better for me. Anyways, good issue. Battle of the Atom is up next… though no book has really set that up. I guess that's the job of the special issue in two weeks.

Cable and X-Force #13

This issue went real light on the Domino, so it was terrible… Okay, not really. While there was less Domino that I would have liked, there was a good amount of Nemesis being a total dick to Forger, which we haven't gotten for a while, so it was a good substitute. I enjoyed it, the Hope on Hope stuff gets fleshed out a bit, and X-Force takes the attack to the Avengers, I feel like a big shift is coming to the title sooner than later, but I'm not quite sure what it may be. What I found weird was the hard shift in artists, surprisingly Larroca didn't do a full issue, and I say surprisingly, because apparently he's a machine? Then the November issue was solicited as TBD on art (which I hate) so maybe Larroca is leaving the title soon? I don't know. He does have an issue of Uncanny Avengers coming up, but who knows… I hope he stays. I can really think of another Marvel issue I've read where there's a shift in the middle of an issue. Gerardo Sandoval's pages were nice, but I'd really like to see Larroca stick around.

Revival #13

I've really been loving this book since it got into the "second season" so to speak. No more characters have really been introduced, and everything that had been introduced previously is starting to pan out and we're learning a bit more about the actual revivers… like how they can "die" if they find peace? Maybe? I think that's what happened with Joe here. This is really just becoming a great character story, there's a bit of mystery going on, but with all the introductions out of the way, I'm getting more and more invested in the characters, most of which are all very interesting, and seem to have a bit something more to them, deep down. This issue in particular made me really feel like this would probably do well if optioned as a TV and treated correctly.

The Bounce #4

A good time spent reading this issue had me at google translate, typing in spanish dialogue, to find out what the more-sympathetic-than-he-seems villain in this issue was saying. So that shows I do care! I mean, spoiler alert, this book seems to be on a slow burn, its not exactly Officer Downe or anything, but I do enjoy where it's going, building this world where super heroes are relatively new, with some trippy elements to go along with it here and there. There's some sci-fi shit going on with the guy who will probably be the real antagonist, The Darling, which I'm TOTALLY lost on, but it's one of those things where I'm not sure we've gotten enough for readers not to be confused about. Anyways, still a bit slow, but I'm having fun nevertheless.


  1. My prediction is that Pandora's Box causes whoever holds it to be replaced by their doppelgänger in whatever Earth the Crime Syndicate, hence the Justice League is dead.... On this Earth.
    I was very disappointed by the third issue of Superman Unchained, especially with Wraith, and Ascension not yet grabbing my attention and the Lois storyline. The only story that saved it was Lex's.
    I'm not as impressed with War's death as everyone else is.

  2. the horns-for-eyes dude always seemed kind of a jerk to me.. at least, a bit more of a jerk than the average on the parliament of limbs. Animal Man is getting its above the average greatness back.