Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 6/6/2012

Controversy, suicide bombers and radioactive men!  These are the things that this week's comics have in common!  DC starts off the month of June with a bang!  Of course I took a look at Before Watchmen:  Minutemen (after the JUMP!) but first, let's take a look at...

Earth 2 #2 - OMG Controversy!!   There's a man in in this comic and *GASP* he kisses ANOTHER MAN!!!

Unless your internet connection is out, you should already know that New 52 Alan Scott, who has yet to BECOME the Green Lantern of this universe but who certainly will in issue #3 is (wait for it) GAY.    For reasons beyond my understanding this is supposedly controversial, despite the fact that my calendar CLEARLY states that it is 2012

SO this issue starts, from what I understand, 5 years after issue #1, when Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman gave their lives to protect Earth 2 from Darkseid and the Parademons of Apokolips.  Darkseid's general, Steppenwolfe, is believed to still be on Earth in hiding (possibly releasing hit singles?  Naaah), and the Earth has NO super heroes (or "Wonders" as they are called on Earth 2).  This is about to change, though, as the Roman God Mercury plunges to Earth conveniently near a young Jay Garrick, who rushes to see the "meteorite" that crashed to the ground.  He instead finds a dying god.  Mercury gives a long, long speech about a dire threat, worse than Apokolips, on it's way towards Earth.  Then he gives Jay Garrick his powers, "the Speed of a God!" warns Jay not to trust ANYBODY and promptly dies!

Meanwhile, Alan Scott returns to NYC from a so-far undisclosed time away and meets up with his limo driver and his boyfriend Sam.  They have a sweet, romantic moment and decide to take a train to a country hideaway (sans limo driver).  Oh yeah, Alan Scott is a mega-rich head of a corporation or some such.  Probably why his boyfriend is HOT!  I mean, I'm A: straight and B: not a cartoon but still...

Well, of COURSE they run into trouble on the train!  I'd tell you about it, but hey, just go buy the comic! 

Oh did I mention that Mr. Terrific from Earth 1 shows up?  We also get a taste of "the world's smartest man" who does NOT act very heroically.  Why is it that all the "smartest men" in comics are villains?  Are they trying to tell me something??

Read my thoughts on The Minutemen, Worlds' Finest, Action Comics and more after the JUMP!!

NEW! Before Watchmen:  Minutemen #1 (of 6) - Continuing in the over-hyped controversy department, we have the first of several new miniseries set in the Watchmen universe!  All of the miniseries to be released over the next 4-6 months are prequels to the original Watchmen story, but Minutemen is by far the um..pre-est?  The story begins with original Nite Owl, Hollis Mason, who has just finished his tell-all novel, Under the Hood (As seen in the original Watchmen).  The comic is narrated by Hollis in first person and basically IS his novel, at least so far.  This makes it a little wordier than a normal comic book, but it's also a good call as readers will quickly warm to Nite Owl as almost certainly the most accessible "everyman" of the original Minutemen.

Not a whole lot happens in issue #1 here, but we have an introduction of all of our team members, some brief information about each and the beginnings of the formation of their team.  Again, it seems a little exposition-y to me, but if you haven't read Watchmen (or if it's been a while) it DOES help remind you who all these (originally) secondary characters were and what they stood for.  I particularly liked the stories of Mothman and Silhouette.  Each have the potential to be strong, albeit tragic, characters given time.

A note on the artwork...it's really pretty and retro!  Drawn and coloured in a way to make you think "1938" or perhaps "Classic Comics".  Of course it's got some modern sensibilities to it, but you can see the artist was having a lot of fun drawing in this style.  I like it a lot!  Once the story picks up and we get off all of this exposition, I think that this could be an excellent book!  Just don't tell Alan Moore I said so.  That dude scares me!

Worlds' Finest #2 - Power Girl and Huntress are still getting settled in to "our" Earth and managing to find things to do to occupy their time while researching some way to get back home.  This issue, one of their potential travel plans, a "Quantum Tunnelling Generator" is smashed up by a giant Radioactive Japanese guy in power armour.  He calls himself Hakkou and he's powerful enough to HURT Power Girl.  This leads to some speculation that he may be Kryptonite powered, or worse yet...he may be powered by APOKOLIPS...Incidentally, Hakkou is allegedly Japanese for "Radiation".  They refrained from making the obvious joke about elegant poetry...

This book is still playing "start-up", giving us far too much exposition.  If I was friends with someone and all we talked about all the time was how 5 years ago we got teleported somewhere, I'd probably stop calling.  I understand that they need to establish these characters as "lost" but SERIOUSLY...how long can they still be harping about that?  5 years is a LONG time.  Luckily, at least some of this is shown in flashbacks rather than just discussed.  Still, it's almost a rehash of the first issue.  I'll be happier once they feel well established and get into what's going on NOW instead of what happened BACK THEN.  Right now, Power Girl and the Huntress may be about to DIE in the ruins of a nuclear power plant.  Let's focus on that.  These are two of my favourite DC heroes, and I want this book to be awesome!  Maybe next month...

Oh they did plant a few other seeds that make me hopeful.  Helena is using some sort of computer virus to fund her and Karen's various plans, and it looks like after all these years it may suddenly be under suspicion.  Also of note is that perhaps someone else came WITH the ladies from Earth 2.  This Hakkou guy may have ties to Earth 2 but beyond that, there may be another shadow!  Time will tell....

Action Comics #10 - Nimrod the Hunter makes an appearance this month.  He's killed every dangerous animal on the planet.  Now he wants to kill Superman.  Not only that, but he's pretty sure that all he has to do to accomplish his goal is to kill Clark Kent!

Around the same time, Superman is having some philosophical differences with the rest of the Justice LeagueBatman lets it slip that he knows that Superman's a journalist.  To be fair, Supes knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne, too, but still.  That's two people who suspect that Superman is Clark in a really short time.  Superman's answer?  Clark Kent must DIE! 

A distraught suicide bomber sets off a bomb and Clark is standing at ground zero.  Now, everyone believes that Clark is dead.  Opportunistic, I know, but hey, you have to admire Clark's split-second decision making skills!

Incidentally, Superman is JUST fine...thereby proving he couldn't possibly have been the late, lamented Kent boy.  Speaking of whom we are treated to a touching gathering of friends to honour young Clark.  A wake, of sorts.  It seems to take Superman by surprise that so many people care(d?) about his life as a mild-mannered journalist!

Oh, remember that all of this is taking place in the past...right around the formation of the League and while Superman's still spending at least some of his time fighting crime in jeans and a T-shirt!  Clark Kent is very much alive and well and being Superman in the "current day" New 52.  Oh Grant Morrison...where ARE you going with this?  Love him or hate him, Mr. Morrison is rarely predictable!  Can't wait to see what happens next!

Detective Comics #10 - It seems like it is Radiation Week in the DCU as our story opens with three armed assailants robbing an armoured car of a highly sensitive, radioactive substance that was being shipped to a lab for analysis.  Oddly enough, these 3 armed assailants?  All dressed like BATMAN!

It doesn't take the REAL Batman long to get on their trail!  When he does it leads him into a mystery involving melted scientists ("Melted?"  "Yeah.  Like cheese pizza.") self-destructing henchmen and a super villain who's head is a skull and crossbones floating in a red dome.  He calls himself Mr. Toxic.  Well, his silly name belies his deadly results.  Can Batman possibly survive? 

Hmm...radioactive villains AND people blowing themselves up.  Trending this week!

In other news, the second part of an ongoing Two-Face story is also included in this issue.  Some of the mobs in Gotham are trying to muscle Old Harvey Dent out!  Meanwhile a mysterious sect of monks? maybe? is trying to purify the man and bring him fully onto the side of good!  None of these people seem to have a full grasp on just what exactly they are trying to accomplish, much to their ultimate sorrow...What will happen?  We'll let the COIN decide...There are always 2 options...

Green Arrow #10 - So my favourite love-to-hate-him "hero", the Green Arrow is apparently feeling "detached" since he's been written off as dead by his company and double-crossed and dumped by his triplet bimbo girlfriend last issue.  Oh and the Justice League doesn't want his sorry, arrow-shooting "skills".  Poor little rich boy...

This issue Ollie comes across a young lady trying to commit suicide because she thinks that she is a robot.  Turns out she's part of a whole support group of people who wish they were robots or are in the process of becoming robots or cyborgs or just THINK that they are? It's a little ambiguous and perhaps varies from case to case.  The range seems to be somewhere between fully converting from a human body into a robot and simply extreme piercing.  Anyway Oliver fights for the depressed crazy girl's life (or operational status, if she actually IS a robot), but you can tell he's secretly thinking "wish I was a robot...then I wouldn't be all emo about stuff!"

Grow up Green Arrow!  The robot people are morons...please!  Maybe if you WIN a few battles or, I don't know...stop some crime?  You'll feel better about yourself!  Points for trying to help YET ANOTHER pretty girl though.  Get right back on that horse, man!

And that's it for the first week of June!  It's a big month though, with new issues of Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre, Batman, Green Lantern, Batgirl, Ravagers and more coming out tomorrow!  New comic book day FTW!

Oh yeah, and as always, a new post on Stryder's Dementia to tide you over!  This week I try to understand the universe whilst getting sand in my underwear...Enjoy!

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