Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - Release Date 1/25/2012

Ok, so it's the day before New Comic Book day and I JUST finished last week's comics.  All sorts of real life got in the way of my TOP priority, you know, finding out what happens next to Batman, the Flash et al.  Luckily, It's all better now with some great final issue #5's to discuss!  Starting with:

Justice League #5 - Wow!  Great issue!  Darkseid attacks!  Superman and the Flash have to try and outrun his Omega Beams, but only one avoids getting hit!  Batman has a VERY serious discussion with Green Lantern and inspires him to be useful!  Good old Hal also shows some serious testicular fortitude and wins me back after 4 issues of being a complete dick!  I knew there was a reason the ring chose him!  Cyborg has NO idea what's going on, but he's ready to fight!!  Wonder Woman and Aquaman, um...stand there and look COOL!  I use a LOT of EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!  Finally, the battle is joined!

Seriously, both story and artwork in this issue are outstanding!  Without spoiling anything, I was shocked and amazed at the actions of Batman, and had to stop and catch my breath right along WITH the Flash!  I can't wait to see what happens next!!  Great book!!  My favourite this week, and maybe even this month!

But that's not all!  Find out what else I read this week after the jump!

Aquaman #5 - The great thing about Aquaman is that despite coming across to others as an occasionally over-confident, in charge kind of guy, he's really just a mass of neurosis and low self-esteem, never knowing for sure if his actions are right or what he should be doing with his various powers and his various responsibilities.  is he just a beach bum?  Is he a king?  Is he a super hero?  A husband?  What?  Aquaman may be confident enough to walk around wearing shiny gold shirts and bright green pants, but underneath it all Arthur Curry doesn't really believe he belongs anywhere.  The constant gentle mockery from Earth's surface dwellers certainly doesn't help him either.  Poor Arthur...at least you have Mera!

So I guess I relate to Aquaman.  This month's issue was really all character development.  The story of the trench from the last few months might not be quite as wrapped up as we were led to believe, as a new mystery from the far-distant past is unearthed (unoceaned?) that may teach us why Atlantis sank in the first place!  Really though, this issue is all about Aquaman, his motivations, his daddy-issues and the fac that he is both literally and metaphorically lost.  I still can't get over how they made Aquaman interesting!  Good work DC!

Batman The Dark Knight #5 - Batman confronts the Scarecrow and gets a dose of a new drug - apparently the same one that has been used on many of his foes in the last few issues!  This drug makes him stronger, faster and fearless.  It also makes him delusional and out of control!  Luckily a special guest star shows up to take charge of the situation.  He's big, he's blue and he's got a big red letter "S" on his chest! 

Superman vs. Batman!  There are not one but TWO great pages showcasing the Bat and the Boy Scout in this issue.  A one-page of Superman standing over the beaten-up and drugged Batman on the floor, and a two-page spread of Batman and Superman fighting in a stormy sky.  Each would make an excellent poster, and either one is worth the price of admission all by itself!  Not too much happened in this comic book to make the story move forward, but it's still a great issue to read for one reason:  it's FUN!  Pretty, colourful, fast-paced and FUN!  I like it!  And next month?  BANE!!!

Flash #5 - No matter how fast you can move, there are some problems that you just can't outrun!  The Flash has to learn that the hard way this month.  As anyone who reads this column knows, I LOVE the Flash.  He's got cool powers, a cool costume and best of all, the biggest heart and purest motivations of every super hero in the DC Universe.  He's the nicest guy in tights around, and every issue I'm convinced that it's going to be his undoing.  In this issue it very nearly is.  Not only that, but the worst is yet to come!!

Secondary characters in this book are also starting to come along really well.  We get to learn more about Iris West (she's feisty!) Flash's childhood friend Manuel (looks like he's gonna be a recurring character, and NOT necessarily as a good guy!), alternative love-interest and co-worker Patty (does she have a chance next to Iris?  Time will tell!), and Dr. Elias - a scientist who claims to have learned something pretty bad about the speed force.  We'll find out more....NEXT MONTH.  Sigh.  Why can't Flash have as many books as Batman?  I'd buy them all!

Superman #5 - The storyline in this book has been kind of silly so far, and this issue is no exception.  The weird super powered aliens that have been possessing citizens of Metropolis for the last several days now seem to have quit playing around and possessed the Man of Steel himself!  What's more, they're using him to "purge" the "infestation" of criminality in Metropolis that Superman is unwilling to do himself.  By this of course, I mean that they brutally murder a portion of the criminal element that Superman only subdued.  Of course this leads to increased suspicion of poor Clark by those whom he's sworn to protect.  What WILL he do?

The most important part of this book is more or less only teased, but they at least hinted, if didn't come right out and say, that LOIS LANE has already figured out that Clark Kent maybe doesn't just cower in hiding when danger strikes!  MAYBE Clark Kent takes off his glasses and fights back!!  Could it be??  Does Lois know??

Teen Titans #5 - This month's issue of Titans poses the question "Can any of them defeat Superboy?"  The answer is no, not really.  Maybe, but doesn't seem too likely.  Still, watching them TRY was incredibly entertaining!  This was a great issue because we are finally starting to learn a little more about the team, their strengths and weaknesses, their motivations and the bonds that are just starting to form.  It feels much more natural and organic than the Justice League's method of we-all-just-happened-to-show-up-one-day.

Incidentally, Red Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Barricade and Solstice ALL had at least one cool moment in this comic.  Red Robin, in particular, was very impressive!  He's quickly become my favourite of Batman's proteges, beating out Nightwing, Red Hood and the new Robin, Damien Wayne (although I may still like Batgirl more - I have a soft spot for the ladies).   Tim "Red Robin" Drake might not be the best fighter, but he's clearly the smartest and most Batman-like, personality-wise.  He also came really close to taking out Superboy single-handedly and without a speck of kryptonite (if that even works on the kid) in sight!  Good work Red Robin!

So once again we come to the close of another fascinating month in the lives of all of our favourite super heroes.  Stay tuned next week for the first of the #6's...Action Comics, Detective Comics and Green Arrow!

Oh PS - Thanks to everyone who has submitted ideas for new column names for this column!  Keep 'em coming!  I also have some ideas for a slightly tweaked format...still in the planning stages.  Stay tuned for more info as I figure all this stuff out!  Have a great week!

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