Saturday, February 8, 2014

Stack Rundown, 02/08/2014

Pretty heavy DC week, capped off by the release of the delayed Forever Evil #5... I got the inside scoop that DC editorial wasn't happy with how little Batman has been emasculated recently, so everything had to be redone. You heard it here first! Hot, totally not made up scoop, from Gotham Spoilers!

Forever Evil #5

So whenever people say things like “Geoff Johns hates Batman!” I always think that’s ridiculous… then issues like this come along, and it seems like half the time, Johns is just focused on emasculating Batman. I mean, you look at that low angle shot of the Injustice League towering over Bruce, and it’s kind of hard to defend Johns at that point… That camera angle was literally made to belittle the lower subject. But I mean, DAMN… it sure felt like Johns set out to knock Bruce down a few pegs. Guess he’s tired of Batman outselling him? Anyways… I think the main Forever Evil story is cool, and my theory that Jessica Cruz eventually gets Power Ring’s ring seems to be coming true… but god damn, it’s five issues in, and the main cast just got assembled… Now there’s two issues to deal with the Crime Syndicate, Dick Grayson, the hooded prisoner, the world being FUCKED, and whatever chased the Crime Syndicate to Earth 0, or whatever the main one is called. Good series, but I really just wished it moved quicker. At this point, I really wouldn’t mind if DC adopted Marvel’s event schedule, double shipping books. Kind of crazy when you start thinking “well, this event took over half a year of my life to complete.”

Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #16

Okay, so after the first half of this crossover amounted to pretty much nothing, I’m really ready for the JLD just to go up agains the Crime Syndicate’s magic allies, and get on with this already, but NOOOOOOO. That conflict gets set up towards the end of this issue, but a good deal of this is The Stranger dealing with Constantine who’s gone mad for some reason in the time between the last issue of this story and this one, so of course The Stranger has to fix it with Nightmare Nurse (who is either a red head or a blonde in any given issue… figure that shit out, DC) and we get characterization! I’m tired of characterization! Just give me a good guy saying some magic to the bad guy and vis versa, they fight, and blaah! After a whole lot of nothing from Forever Evil: Blight, I’m just waiting for something to fucking happen that’ll mean something for once.

Swamp Thing #28

We finally get the story of Capucine… but first, some interesting events unfold with the Parliament… which is gone. Turns out the three people Alec pulled from the Green were Brother Jonah, the Wolf, and surprisingly enough, Lady Weeds. I don’t know what Soule’s got planned for those three, but having three former avatars in the regular world as humans now could prove to be really interesting… Anyways, Capucine’s origin… Basically, 1000 or so years ago, she was trained to be a warrior to defend a monastery, and given an extended life by an alchemist… who was probably Jason Blood, and a deal was made for her that she’d be Etrigan’s servant, vessel, consort, whatever when she finally dies… And that’s why she wanted sanctuary provided by the Avatars of the Green… I’m just sort of confused what Alec is supposed to do for her when she dies? Not like a soul is part of the green, but I guess we’ll find out, maybe that teaser DC showed off a little while ago has something to do with all this.

Green Lantern #28

First of the two-parter, and I’ve got to admit, I really stopped caring about those aliens that were a problem in this book and GLC, so I didn’t pick up the last annual, and I’m a little lost as to who all the characters in the beginning of the book are… I guess some cons helped them out? Eh. Don’t care. Anyways, so Supergirl is a Red Lantern now, and I think its really weird they didn’t show how that happened and just said “read it in her own book!” …Yeah, no. Not going to do that, but whatever. Anyways, this was “oh no, what do we do” which lead to the superior Red Lanterns, so… moving on. Actually, wait… one final note. Looking ahead, the villains in the solicits don’t really interest me a whole lot… Not sure how long I’ll continue with this book.

Red Lanterns #28

Oh HEY! Red Lanterns came out too! With Green Lantern, and only for $2.99. This was a cool move by DC, they definitely didn’t need to do this, but I’m not going to complain. So to address the most pressing matter… When Zox showed up in GL, I was thinking “Why are they drawing his shape incorrectly?” And he was drawn weirdly in here too which was EXTRA weird because Vitti has drawn him before… then I realized it was a running gag through the issue, fixed by the end, and it was totally worth it. Anyways, addressing the three big scenes… I feel bad for Guy getting rejected by Ice. Heart was in the right place, but she was right in her thinking, still a bummer. I kind of saw a… thing between Rankorr and Bleez coming, but it might not be expanded upon, because I’m not sure that Atrocitus won’t kill him… because it’s certainly in character. Finally, for how temporary it is, I’m totally into seeing what Guy’s plans for Kara as a Red are, when he learns she’s related to Superman, he seems to have an idea, and I’d REALLY like to see him come into play, but who knows. Are people still pissed about Kara as a Red? I know at least one site is… but as JLU proves, it’s temporary, and why not have fun while it lasts?

Earth 2 #20

Well, this issue was sort of slow, comparatively speaking, it almost seemed like with the fill in art (which was pretty good) that the story was just buying time until the regular art team comes back. So, while this wasn’t the most action packed issue, it still had its good qualities here and there, most notably Lois’ interaction with the new Kryptonian kid, Val. She really gave him a good pep talk, and it was nice to see Lois used in such a way, even if she’s a robot now. Why do I say this? Because last I checked, Lois was either in a coma or had electricity powers or some shit in Lobdell’s Superman, which is… fucking stupid, then she’s being pretty great in Superman: Unchained, but that’s basically Batman Inc, and will probably never go referenced again… So it was nice to see SOME good Lois usage, in one form or another. Other than that, okay issue. 

Green Arrow #28

Coming into this issue I was thinking “I wonder where Diggle went?” and there he is, popping up again… make sure to watch Arrow tonight at 8, kids! …well, not tonight since this goes up on Saturday, but YOU GET THE JOKE. So, Ollie’s worldview is totally shattered, and now the Outsider War is actually going to begin, oh hey, Onyx! Lots of stuff goes down in this issue, and so far this story has been really good, and I’m looking forward to when Ollie inevitably cooperates within the war. This story feels like it’s been going on forever though, and that might be just because there was a whole lot of build up to it. While enjoyable, part of me is really itching to see Lemire tackle more of a street hero vibe with this book, whenever (if ever) Ollie gets back to Seattle. I guess Diggle and Ollies new buddies will keep that plot moving for awhile, but I’m just itching to see Lemire do some vigilante hero stuff soon.

Batman: Joker's Daughter #1

So, I read this… I originally wasn't but then the artist who drew this issue is drawing the final issue of Nightwing, I sort of wanted to see how that might look, and maybe the issue would be better than the absolute garbage that came before it? And guess what! It wasn't complete trash! I actually did enjoy it a bit, and dare I say… kind of found Joker's Daughter interesting? If I'm reading this right… she's just kind of a poser who is trying way too hard to fit in… "way too hard" is an understatement. Part of me doesn't really know what exactly to think of it, but for a single issue story, I thought it was fine enough, and I wouldn't dry heave at the character showing up in any book I read regularly… We also did get our first sign of Joker coming back, so there's that.

Action Comics #28

Every month I go into this book thinking “Is this the issue where I stop kidding myself and remember I don’t really care about Superman?” but then I read it, and it just keeps me hooked in. There’s no real reason why I should like Superman this much, or even give a second thought to caring about Lana Lang, but for some reason… I am. I just love everything about this creative team’s take on the book so far, the story, the art, and the cast, especially he cast. I really enjoy the dynamic between Clark and Lana, and how they’ll be in sync with each other, having the same thought about the other, just from their own perspective, makes for a really believable friendship between the two. I think why I like those two so much is that it’s just nice to see someone outside of the Justice League who knows Superman as Clark. Lana obviously isn’t intimidated by the fact she’s hanging out with Superman, and seemingly to her, Superman doesn’t really exist, he’s just Clark, and we just don’t get a lot of that, which is unfortunate, because it really helps humanize Clark a whole lot more than anything else going on at the moment. So yeah… this book has just been great, and constantly surprises me into liking it more and more each month.

Wolverine #1

I’ve probably said this somewhere before, but I’m not really a fan of Wolverine solo, I don’t know why, but I just prefer when he’s surrounded by characters in a team, so why am I reading this? Well… because I’m real interested how fucked the continuity is going to get. Logan has left the school, has no healing factor and now is working as a villain, shooting Daily Bugle reporters in the head… Meanwhile, Wolverine and the X-Men #1, with logan at the school, coming next month! …WHAT?! The cynic in me is just interested in how stupid and contradictory this shit is about to get. As for the issue itself, I thought it was interesting, and the status quo update is crazy… but when it comes to other books, I’m really feeling like they’re going to treat things as usual. I have this weird relationship with Paul Cornell books. Knight and Squire, Stormwatch, Demon Knights… anything I’ve read from him, I just lose focus during every read, and it happens here… I’d come to an end of the page and just forget what happened. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t focus with Cornell’s writing, it’s weird. It wasn’t as bad here, but still remained.

Loki: Agent of Asgard #1

This was one of those “Whatever, why not?” books for me. Here’s what I know about Loki… He was a kid or something, then in Young Avengers recently he became an adult again, he’s tricky, and the ladies (and some fellas) love him in the movies… So I don’t have a whole lot of investment in him, but whatever, it looked fun and I like Lee Garbett’s art. I was pleasantly surprised by this issue, actually, because what I thought looked fun, was in turn, pretty fun. They’re definitely playing up the “lovable scamp” sort of angle, as Loki has his own agenda, and will go about doing it as he pleases. There were definitely a few laugh out loud moments in this issue, especially the one where Loki tricked Hawkeye into thinking Bruce Banner was him, which of course didn’t end up well. The final page was definitely a head scratcher as well, and I guess I’ll continue reading another Marvel book… while I drop DC titles. Funny how things work.

X-Men #10

Aside from the .NOW needed recap pages that took up a couple of actual story pages, I thought this issue was pretty good. Arkea doing her thing, making it clear that Lady Deathstrike that she might have fucked up a bit, meanwhile the X-Men are doing their thing to try and stop it.. Simple premise for the issue, but it was enjoyable. Couple of things to note… Did I completely miss Rachel and Sublime becoming a thing? In fact… (as I’m writing this, I’m going to check on that right now)… Yeah, what the hell? When did this happen in the span of the first three issues? There are a couple of scenes where Rachel and John make some comments towards one another, but I’m trying to find any sign of an actual thing between those two, and can’t find anything. I don’t know… Weird. Oh, also… Hey Psylocke, remember that time last week where you said you weren’t coming back to the school with Storm… uh huh… God, UXF sucked. Anyways, one issue I had with the book is the final scene felt a little tacked on, and maybe it was, considering the fill in art, but who knows. Other than that, like I said, enjoyable issue.

Black Widow #3

Another single issue story which I really enjoyed. Was it just me, or did Noto change up his art in the jungle sequence to the point where it started to look a bit like Trevor McCarthy’s recent work? Definitely more structured in terms of traditional layout, but the heavy blacks and colors really made me get a McCarthy vibe. Anyways, I love this book, and it’s really making me become a fan of Black Widow, but after three issues of (seemingly) single stories, I’m starting to want just a tad bit more from it, to connect everything. I don’t need some big super plot, but something like the Tracksuit Mafia in Hawkeye, really just to have this underlying plot through the book. I just think some connective tissue between these missions would really help flesh the book out, and give it a true reason to be, so to speak. Maybe those seeds have been planted already, I know the second issue definitely suggested as much, but at this point it’s just waiting to see what comes from that. Regardless, still a great, and hands down fucking beautiful book.

Lazarus #6

Full disclosure, I read this book in a morning where I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, so maybe that’s to blame when I say I just don’t have a whole lot of opinions towards this issue. It was okay? More of what you’d expect… Forever has some questions, yet she still has her duty, and then there’s that B-Plot about a family who live within the Carlyle system… That’s pretty much it. Like I said, it was fine, good even, but nothing that happened in this issue really stood out and grabbed me, if I’m being honest… I’d say the best single part about this issue is the first letter in the back, where someone who doesn’t get the series suggests that it would be made better with an alien invasion, and the very first line of response is “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, yeah, you’re wrong."

Invincible Universe #10

Another enjoyable issue, where Kid Thor and Knockout get married, but of course since it’s a wedding full of superheroes, some people start fighting and things go south. What surprises me about this book, is for however lighthearted it can be, it also deals with some serious shit from time to time, like in this issue, one of the hero’s struggle with alcoholism. Definitely a varied book in terms of themes and tones, but it’s good. One thing I kind of wish this book would provide is some supplement to Invincible itself. In the main book, Robot, who appears here from time to time, has made a heel turn, and will be attempting to take over earth or something, and I’d like to see that reflected in here, which is something this book doesn’t do a lot, unfortunately. Often characters might mention big events that went down in Invincible, but the ripples aren’t really felt. I don’t need a crossover or anything, I just want to see that connection between the two titles a little more front and center.


  1. Yeah, I really don't get why Johns backlashes so strongly against Batman being able to work in these superpowered worlds, whenever Batman actually gets the spotlight in Johns' Justice League work it seems to only be to emphasize how he has no powers and is thus mostly useless. I guess I could sort of understand keeping him when it was about the "big six", but with GL leaving, Forever Evil happening, and the post-FE removal of Supes and Flash I'm mystified as to why Johns even wants to keep Batman on the team. Maybe one day out of nowhere he'll get his due in this run, but I doubt it at this point.

  2. I'm sure the conversation between the Stranger and Zauriel sets up his storyline after this event.
    Another thing I'm sure of is that whatever the confrontation between Etrigan and Swamp Thing, Charles Soule is gonna make it amazing.
    It seems to me you went into Green Lantern having a bad attitude about it, and wasn't willing to give it a chance.

    1. Not give it a chance? I've been reading Green Lantern for years, and I found the most recent story to be boring, so I stopped reading it, thus didn't care about the left overs from the annual.

  3. Maybe if Batman decapitated more people Johns would like him more.