Thursday, December 8, 2011

Stryder's Favourite Comics...Release date 12/7/2011

Hey Fruitless Pursuers!  Long time no see!  I could make a lot of excuses about that, but let's just say sorry folks and move right along.

So, I've been trying for a while to think of something I can write about consistently, once a week or so here at Fruitless Pursuits.  "Self,"  I thought, "what do I do once a week that people at this web site would be interested in?"  Then I realized, "oh yes that's right, I buy COMICS!"  Good work brain!

You may remember back in September I was (still am!) very excited about the DC Universe relaunch with the new 52.  I even wrote an article about it HERE.  Well, I didn't reading stop at #1's.  Every Wednesday I go to my local comic store and buy my favourite titles.  So starting now, every week between Wednesdays, I'm gonna talk about the comics I bought that week.  First up, ACTION COMICS #4!  Read all about it after the jump:

So Action Comics has been going along really well since the September reboot.  If you aren't aware, this title is set more than 5 years before all of the other titles in the new DC universe and showcases a young Superman, just establishing himself in Metropolis.  He doesn't have all his powers yet or even his proper suit!  In particular, he has yet to learn to fly.  We have gotten to see him display his most famous powers...faster than, stronger than, able to....all in the first issue!  I personally love that he's doing it all in jeans, a t-shirt and combat boots.  Oh yes and a Kryptonian piece of cloth (baby blanket?).

In issue #2 Superman meets Lex Luthor for the first time.  He also embarrasses him for the first time.  No secret where THAT rivalry is coming from.  Issue #3 has everyone begin hating the man of steel, mainly due to bad press.  He's seen as a dangerous alien, possibly a scout for a future invasion.  Well, that brings us to issue #4.  It turns out that there IS an alien invasion.  It's just not what people thought.  This looks like a job for....Superman?  He's a little disheartened by all the fear and hatred though so we may just need a certain Doctor John Henry Irons aka STEEL to lend a hand.  This issue was very interesting in debuting Steel as a character and had some good action.  It also felt far too short.  Not too bad of a complaint.  Part of the issue is a mini-story focusing on Steel and the rest of course follows Clark around. There are also several giant maniacal robots.  I don't want to spoil anything but suffice to say I can't wait for issue #5!

That brings us to my next comic of the week. the highly anticipated DETECTIVE COMICS #4

What can I say about Detective Comics?  Some started criticizing it right off the bat (no pun intended) for being too gruesome and gritty.  Well, that's probably true.  I sure wouldn't buy it for anyone under 12.  Luckily there are several Batman titles each month and they each seem to be aimed at a slightly different age group.

In any case, the plot that's developed over the first 4 issues of Detective Comics has had me waiting rather impatiently for each new issue.  The Batman is valiantly trying to stop a new and rather intriguing villain known only as the Dollmaker, who is trying to make a name for himself in Gotham city.  In the first few issues he certainly is on his way, having encountered both the Joker and Commissioner Gordon in ways that will leave both scarred for life (or at least until the NEXT Batman story).  I've loved this plot so far and it's not wrapped up yet.  If anything it just keeps getting deeper.  The Dollmaker's dysfunctional family is both creepy and strangely appealing.

Yes, Detective Comics is maybe the most gruesome book I read every month, but both the art and the writing have been steadily improving and I'll keep buying as long as they keep going at this quality!  My only complaint is that I would really like to know where in the timeline of the new 52 this story is taking place.  I suspect that, like Action Comics, it is an earlier Batman than the other titles, but so far there has been nothing to either confirm or deny that hypothesis.  I'll just have to wait and see.

The final comic for this week is GREEN ARROW #4.

Green Arrow is one of those superheros that I just haven't really decided about yet.  I think the character is interesting and the supporting cast is cool, but I don't know if I'm sold on the premise.  Arrows?  I just don't know.  Can this guy stand up to Superman, Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, etc?  He just seems too B-list for me to really get behind.

Having said that, I got through the first 3 issues of Green Arrow (surprisingly, a self-contained story) and thought they were well done and nicely drawn.  The story was relevant, with a gang of super-powered jerks committing crimes which they film and post on youtube, to the resounding cheers of net trolls everywhere.  Their biggest feature of course is supposed to be the death of Green Arrow.  Well, since the series did NOT end at issue #3, we can imagine how that turned out.  The bad guys in the first 3 issues were a little hard to take seriously, but it was VERY enjoyable watching them get their collective asses kicked.  Little punks!

Issue #4 of Green Arrow takes us in a new direction, introducing the first really serious adversary in the form of Blood Rose.  She's an obviously well trained fighter with a grudge against Oliver Queen.  So far she doesn't know he's Green Arrow but I'm betting she figures it out pretty soon.  Unlike Mr. Wayne or Mr. Kent, Oliver Queen is VERY obviously Green Arrow.  I'm surprised everyone doesn't already know.  Anyway, Blood Rose is an intriguing character, sort of like Electra but with guns.  I'm interested to learn more about both her motivation and origin.  Hopefully she'll stick around for a while.  Over all Green Arrow hasn't been nearly as epic as some of the other DC titles, but I'm still in.  Not everything has to be on a cosmic scale.  Bring on issue #5!

So that's all my new comics for this week!  Stay tuned next week when we'll discuss a whole bunch more from the wonderful world of DC Comics.  In the meantime, please feel free to ask any questions or comments.  Oh and if you think of a catchier title for this little feature, please suggest it!  Have a good week!

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