Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 7/25/2012

Last comics of July this week!  However, once again, Internet connectivity issues have destroyed my ability to post this article when I normally would.  According to the cable company, they have top men working on it now.  Who?  TOP MEN.

On that note...

Green Lantern #11 - A whole new story arc begins this month in Green Lantern!  William " The Black" Hand killed himself last issue to escape from under the influence of the Indigo Tribe.  Of course, being this ultimate bad ass Black Ranger guy he rose from the dead, free from their powers!  Now he's returned to Earth where he creepily got Chinese food and resurrected  his very dead family to invite them to dinner.  His plan?  To kill as many people as possible on Earth, raise them as zombies and give them the ability to do the same, until everyone on the planet is one big happy undead family.  Delightful...couldn't he just watch "The Walking Dead" like the rest of us??

Meanwhile, Hal Jordan has gotten the Indigo Tribe to release Sinestro to his custody, having them recharge and reprogram both his and Sinestro's rings in the process.  You may remember Hal's ring was enslaved to Sinestro's when this series began.  Now it's fully independent and able to effect Sinestro just as it would anyone.  Hooray!  After this it's off to Sinestro's home planet to pick up "The Book of Black" and figure out what to do about both Black Hand and the imminent, prophesied betrayal of the Green Lantern Corps by the Guardians.

So yeah, there's a lot going on!  I'm STILL wondering what happened to Star Sapphire....hopefully with this return to Earth she'll come into play.

Superman, Batman, The Comedian and more after the JUMP!!

Superman #11 - Clark Kent is out on a double date with Lois Lane, her boyfriend Jon Carrol, and Lois' sister, Clark's date, Lucy Lane.  It's a little awkward for Clark, who's placed in the classic "I like her but she thinks of me as just a friend" situation with Lois...one ALL of us geek boys have been in, probably more times that any of us would like to admit.  He actually deals with it pretty well...helps that Lucy is both attractive, interesting and seemingly interested!

Regardless, the date is interrupted by a flurry of text messages (God I hate that), as news comes in that the Russian military has been mobilized due to rumours of death and destruction at an R&D facility and a small town with a nuclear plant in Mother Russia!  This looks like a job for SUPERMAN!!!!

We finally get to see more or less exactly what happens when Clark becomes Superman with the Kryptonian bio-tech suit he found on Braniac's ship!  It's a cool transformation sequence...so much better than "my mom sewed this for me from a baby blanket..."  Looks like the whole suit compresses into an S-Shield attached to an undershirt and expands as he removes the outer layers of his clothing.  Not quite sure what happens to his pants/shoes/etc.  Still, it's more practical and believable outfit change than what happened back in the old days...

Oh, so on arrival to Russia, Superman learns that the submarine he rescued a few issues back was carrying a life pod from another dimension!  It's opened now, and an inter-dimensional alien that looks a LOT like a predator has emerged and killed every living thing in it's path, cutting a swath STRAIGHT to the Nuclear plant for reasons as yet unknown.  Despite the piles of dead bodies everywhere, Supes is "super" confident that he can take this loser down...until he CAN'T!  Overconfidence is Clark's weakness this month, and he gets himself SEVERELY beaten!!!  This is NOT good...

Before Watchmen: The Comedian #2 (of 6) - This month we begin as Eddie "The Comedian" Blake and Bobby Kennedy watch a boxing match in Miami and discuss the future of America.  Just like the boxing match, it seems like the future may be predetermined.  As Bobby says "Eddie, you of ALL people should recognize when the FIX is in."

All of this culminates with the Comedian heading off to Vietnam as an "advisor" where he enjoys killing indiscriminately and scaring the crap out of the U.S.A.'s somewhat criminal "allies".  We also learn all about the shady underbelly of war funding...basically how American drug use will fund the "peace effort". 
Of course Eddie Blake takes to Vietnam like a fish takes to water...no surprises there!  By the end of the issue, though, it looks like the war is just about to REALLY heat up.  What does this mean?  We'll find out...next issue....

Batman The Dark Knight #11-  "You'll thank me one day.  For teaching you how to control your fear.  How to conquer it...I do it for you, you see."

Last month, Commissioner Gordon was kidnapped by the new, extra creepy Scarecrow, who also had kidnapped a young girl and released her in a catatonic state shortly after sewing his own lips shut, you know, just for fun.  He's running his fear experiments again and collecting the terror tears of yet another young child he's abducted this month!  Of course, Batman isn't going to let him get away with it!  Not if he can help it...

We get an interesting glimpse into the deeper nature of the Scarecrow this issue.  A flashback to his own childhood, and his own father..another scientist interested in fear.  Guess who his number one guinea pig was?  There's also an interesting moment where the little girl whom Dr. Crane is torturing, despite her own fear, asks him if he's okay!  His lips are bleeding and she shows concern.  It gives the Scarecrow...pause.  It's an interesting moment and one we never would have seen a few issues ago without the change in writing duties.  Kudos once more to new writer Gregg Hurwitz!  He's taken a pretty but uninteresting book and made me think about it...a far more fitting story, so far at least, for a title called "The Dark Knight".

The Flash #11 - "I've left behind the woman I love and my life as Barry Allen, faking my own death so that I can focus on the thing that I was meant to do.  RUN."

Barry Allen is DEAD!  Or at least that's what he wants the world to believe!  The Flash has decided since everyone already thinks Barry is dead he might as well live that way.  Thus he's moved the the worst area of the Gem Cities in an attempt to "get to know his enemy".  He walks into a notorious villain bar and it's not too long until he finds what he's looking for.  Captain Cold and Heatwave!!!

Those two villains are NOT too happy with each other either.  Heatwave, like Captain Cold, now has actual powers instead of technology, and unlike Cold, his powers are literally burning him up from the inside!  He's looking more like Freddy Krueger every day!  He blames Cold for his predicament...I guess however the Rogues got these new powers, it was his brainchild.  Another mystery for poor Barry...er, I mean Al the Bartender...yeah, that's it...to solve!!

Teen Titans #11 - Cassie "Wonder Girl" Sandsmark is having a BAD day.  Seems that the "Silent Armour" that she has taken upon herself to become the powerhouse that she is is consuming her, mind, body and soul.  It's an agony that has not been felt by a human being in over 3000 years.  The bloody spikes protruding from her limbs, piercing flesh, muscle and bone are the least of the pain that she's experiencing.  All of this, and it's only the FIRST PAGE of this month's Teen Titans!! 

Bunker, worried about the state of the Titans after Red Robin threatened to disband the team last month, has taken out an internet ad to search for more potential members.  A dude, going by the name Loose Cannon answered the ad, but it looks like he's just a thrill seeker out to take on the Titans himself!  No worries, as Cassie REALLY needs someone to take out all of her rage and pain on.

One catch...someone's tracking Cassie.  He's been getting closer every time she manifests her armour.  Now he's only some 30 blocks away.

All of this, and some great characterization moments with Red Robin and Superboy, as well as with Kid Flash and Solstice and their budding "It's complicated" relationship!  Lots going on in Teen Titans!!

Oh and as a finale....remember how Danny the Alley sacrificed his life to bring the Titans home from Mystery Island??  He might not be quite as dead as we thought, and the Titans might not have been the only folk to teleport from the island to downtown NYC.   Howsabout some mutant humanoid-dinosaur hybrids to keep things interesting??  Like I said, there's a LOT going on....

Aquaman #11 - Black Manta's plan is finally becoming clear as Aquaman and The Others try to keep him from stealing any more Atlantean artifacts or killing any more of their friends!  We get a bit of a history lesson as we learn about the origin of these artifacts, found by The Others 6 years ago in the "Tomb of the First King of Atlantis", unnamed but referred to by Atlanteans as "The Dead King".  This Dead King was the one who built Atlantis and forged the weapons Arthur and his friends use, including Aquaman's famous Trident.

Anyway, Black Manta is out to find the Tomb.  He believes that there is a 7th, as yet unfound artifact...the most powerful one of all...the one that SANK Atlantis.  He means to discover it.  Arthur wants to stop him.  Game on!

And that's the end of another week!  No Batman, Incorporated this month...got delayed, I guess due to SDCC and all...apparently Grant Morrison has announced he's leaving superhero comics for a little while anyway, giving up writing for both Action Comics and Batman, Inc.  Of course, Action will go on, but the 5th Batman title is up in the air...we'll have to see what happens...

Don't forget new comic book day Wednesday!  Looking forward to the aforementioned Action Comics, not to mention Detective Comics, Worlds' Finest and more!

I got poetic at Stryder's Dementia this week.  Stormy days at the beach'll do that.

Have a great week!  Peace and love to all the hippie kids!  Haters suck!

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