Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 8/15/2012

First off, did you guys see my spiffy new banner?  It appeared as if by magic last week!  I suspect elves, possibly of the Keebler variety.  I bet you didn't know that along with cookies, they also make custom graphics!  Sweet!

Anyway, I have a RECORD BREAKING number of comics this week, NINE in total.  I've tried to be brief, m'lord (as woman's love).  Hey, don't get mad at me, SHAKESPEARE said it!!  Moving right along...

Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1 (of 4) - "I am the lonely man, who stalks the executioner."

In the first issue of what is probably the most highly anticipated title in the Before Watchmen universe, we take a closer look at the fascinating and maniacal vigilante known as Rorschach.  This issue is mainly all about establishing character...we get to see how Rorschach operates as he stalks a drug dealer and attempts to quell the flow of opiates onto the NYC streets.  He uncovers more than he bargained for and ends up in a fight for his life against a whole gang of street scum, including an as yet unnamed ringleader who towers over him and whose face is a mass of scar tissue.  He's also down one nose.  Rorschach, of course, is NOT intimidated.  He DOES, however, know how to bleed...

B-Plot includes the police finding the naked body of a woman in a dumpster who's had messages carved into her flesh with a scalpel.  The killer, apparently, has never heard of blogging.  Oh wait, that's right, this story is set in 1977.  Well, before the Internet, I guess expressing yourself was more challenging...

Another EIGHT comics briefly discussed after the JUMP! 

Nightwing #12 - After weeks of trying to figure out what's up with the anti-mask group "The Republic of Tomorrow", and who might have been framing him for two of their members death (they ended up beaten to death with one of his own weapons), Nightwing is finally getting the answers to this mystery!  Detective Nie, of course, is also looking for answers.  He THOUGHT Nightwing was the murderer.  Then the leader of the Republic, a guy named Paragon, showed up at his home and led him to another pile of bodies in the sewers.  Now Nie and Nightwing are both underground to investigate.  Just where Paragon wants them.  IN the immortal words of a certain lobster-like Admiral, "It's a TRAP!"

Meanwhile, Mr. Combustible drops by the Iceberg Lounge to find a very distraught Penguin preparing for the worst!  What's got his feathers so woefully ruffled?  A mass murder of the largest contingent of organized crime in Philadelphia was just committed.  Rumour is the killer's next stop is Gotham City.  This killer's name?  Lady Shiva.  It means nest to nothing to me, but Penguin is NOT happy...not to mention that Mr. Combustible, on hearing that name, has decided to leave town.  Interesting!

Catwoman #12 - This issue, Catwoman confronts Dollhouse, the crazy chick who's been kidnapping hookers and street kids and using them to practice her taxidermy skills on!  If that sounds familiar, it should!  Turns out that Dollhouse is the daughter of The Dollmaker (who famously peeled off The Joker's face in Detective Comics #1) and granddaughter of the Toyman (whom I've yet to see in the New 52).

A cute moment here as Catwoman sends her newest partner in crime, Spark, for reinforcements.  He modifies the bat-symbol with a cartoon kitty-cat and leaves a mobile phone with an open call to Catwoman.  Did I mention there's a cameo this issue by Batman??

Incidentally, this is apparently the last issue of Catwoman written by Judd Winick. It wraps up most of the story pretty nicely.  Without saying too much, I'll tell you...not everyone makes it to the end alive!

Green Lantern #12 - Hal Jordan and Sinestro are flabbergasted to have been teleported directly to the Black Hand and his growing army of the undead here on Earth!  He's not simply inviting them to dinner, either.  His plans generally seem to involve random gleeful murder and then Chinese Food.  So I guess he IS inviting them to dinner.  Huh.

Meanwhile, the Guardians continue their plans to decommission the Green Lantern Corps and replace them with something called "The Third Army".  I guess it's all about control.  None of this bodes well for our heroes, of course.

What may be worse?  You know the Book of the Black, the prophetic tome that teleported Hal and Sinestro to the Black Hand and represents the darkness that is raising undead to threaten the universe?  The one that practically drips with malice and evil?  It proclaims, on EVERY PAGE, repeated over and over:  "HAL JORDAN IS NOT YOUR ENEMY."

What could it mean?  We'll have to wait for the Green Lantern Annual to find out!

Red Hood and the Outlaws #12 - Red Hood, Arsenal and Starfire are still in space, orbiting Starfire's home planet of Tamaran, hoping to free it from occupation by a hostile alien race known as the Blight, who've taken the planet, and Starfire's sister, Queen Komand'r, captive.  Oh, and as of last issue, Arsenal as well!  This issue explains both HOW and WHY Arsenal ended up being captured!  The how's involve a teleportation ray aimed at Starfire, and the why?  Well, if I told you it was all a clever ruse to bring Roy close to Starfire's sister so he could enact a rescue, would you be surprised??

Incidentally, Jason's still on a date with Isabel, the girl who was accidentally teleported to Starfire's starship along with the team.  It's going pretty well!  All of this "potential death by hostile alien attack" seems to be quite the turn-on for Isabel.  If nothing else, she's got a pretty cool suit of alien armour out of the deal...I've had far worse dates!

Wonder Woman #12 - "How many times do I have to tell you to stay close?"

Wonder Woman, Zola and Hermes are atop Mount Olympus in a final showdown with Apollo, Hera, and the rest of the gods as they try to determine who shall take Zeus' place as the supreme ruler of the skies!  Diana, of course, isn't really too interested in who will eventually lead this outdated pantheon of pettiness and deceit, as long as that person agrees to leave her, her friend Zola, and Zola's unborn child alone!  Of course it's never quite that easy, is it??

This issue I believe we see the origin of Wonder Woman's ability to fly as Hermes hits her with a magic feather, allowing her to take to the skies and save Zola, who's gone into labour whilst simultaneously being chucked off of the mythical mountain!  How Dumbo-esque!

Speaking of Diana's powers, she reveals an interesting charged up form as well.  The bracers she wears, along with allowing her to deflect projectile weapons, seem to actually be harnessing some of her power...removing them prompts her to begin glowing with a strange, eldritch light and gives her the strength to stand up to the gods!  Even this, however, may not be enough...the games that deities play always have another hand...

Birds of Prey #12 - "I knew that we were finished as a team when Starling shot an unarmed man.  Never mind thast it was a dart and not a bullet.  The effect was the same--a death sentence."

The Birds of Prey are still reluctantly doing Poison Ivy's bidding after she infected them with a virus that will destroy all humans should they stray!  However things get dodgy as "innocent" (ish?) lives are put in jeopardy by Ivy's mad environmentally friendly terrorist plots!  Cries of hypocrisy abound as the team doesn't want to take lives, regardless of the fact that all save Batgirl have been known to do so in the past.  Batgirl, incidentally, is ONLY going along with any of this out of peer pressure or some misguided loyalty to Black Canary...she's confident (as am I) that Batman could solve their little "virus" problem with ease.  Unfortunately it may be too late, as, by the end of this issue, the metaphorical simmering pot is boiling over...

Supergirl #12 - "If you don't let me go, you're going to have to FIGHT me again.  I'm stronger now.  I can control my powers better than when we met.  Just say the word and I'll SHOW you."

A lot has changed for Kara Zor-El since she first crashed down on the planet Earth.  She's gone from an out of control emotional wreck to a reasoned, responsible entity.  She's learned about her powers and responsibilities and she's learned about us, about human beings and the crazy things we do.  However, one thing has not changed.  From issue #1 until now, when all else fails, Kara likes to solve her problems by PUNCHING them.  Never change, Supergirl, never change...

Lots of bombs dropped this issue, as Kara meets her cousin Superman once again in his Arctic Fortress of Solitude??  Wha?!?  First appearance of THAT particular Kryptonian hang-out here in the New 52!  Not only this but we learn that a second part of Kara's escape pod survived entry into Earth's orbit!!  It's at the bottom of the ocean and perhaps holds the key to the mystery of Kara's journey to Earth!  Of course she's got to go check that out!  IF she can make it that far....

DC Universe Presents #12: Kid Flash - Bonus comic this week!  I picked up DCU Presents to fill in the story between Teen Titans #11 and #12, featuring Bart "Kid Flash" Allen!  He's investigating the appearance of strange, dinosaur/human hybrids in New York City!  They may mean well, but chaos is the watchword of the day!  Can Kid Flash move fast enough to clean up their mess?  When that mess includes "enough Mutagenic Compound to harm countless innocents" and a love triangle between dinosaur people...um...maybe not!

This is a great spotlight on Kid Flash that I hope happens more often.  Not necessarily for his character, but for characters from "team" books who don't always get a chance for growth when they have to share the pages with several others.  I'd love to see this done for every Titan, not to mention the Birds of Prey, the Ravagers, etc...

Oh, as mentioned the story in this book is total middle-chapter.  To be continued next week in Teen Titans #12!

And so we FINALLY come to the end of this week in comics!  Hope you made it all the way through...if so, enjoy this awesome Youtube video I found...

Don't forget new comic book day tomorrow!  I'm super excited for Dr. Manhattan, The Flash, Superman and the return of Batman Incorporated!  And of course that's not all!!

Groundhogs make me smile in this week's Stryder's Dementia!  I'm a strange lad, I know...

Geesh this is long.  That's it I'm done!  Screw you guys, I'm going home!  Screw you guys....Home....

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