Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 3/20/2013

Ah the first new comics of Spring!  Strangely, in this time of renewal, DC continues to say good-bye.  Both with more "Requiem" issues in the Bat-Family, and to the creative team of Grant Morrison and Rags Morales on Action Comics!

Action Comics #18 - "The sun burned red and the sky was black and the rain was blood where it fell."

The final battle between Superman and the "Little Man" Vyndktvx - the twisted and malicious Imp from Dimension 5 - finally arrives in this, the grand finale of Grant Morrison's amazing tale of the beginnings of the New 52 Man of Steel!  This is the ending that fans of this run have been hoping for...a crazy, psychedelic explosion of various elements throughout time, space and multiple dimensions!

It's impossible to really explain what's going on in this comic..the various elements of this battle have been building since the New 52 began!  I had to reread the entire run from Action Comics #1 on so that I would catch all the intricacies...and all ready I can't wait to read it again!  It's the sort of story that gets better each time you read it and will definitely make an excellent collection someday soon.  One of the best Superman stories EVER!

I also have to give mad props to the back-up feature, which referenced my favourite line from Superman The Movie - "You've got me!?  Who's got you?!?"  Oh Margot Kidder...it's all in the delivery!  Anyway, great work all-around!  A Stunning finale to an epic run! 

Of course if Superman isn't your cup of tea, there's Justice League, Nightwing and more after the JUMP!

Nightwing #18 - "You were my brother.  In every sense of the word..."

Dick Grayson, in many ways, was closer to Damian "Robin" Wayne than anyone.  When Batman was lost in time and presumed dead (just before the New 52 but still at least sort-of in continuity) It was Dick in the Batman outfit with Damian as HIS Robin.  Bruce only accepted his own son as Robin because he was doing such good work alongside the original Boy Wonder!  Even though Dick's since gone back to being Nightwing, he always had a special bond with Damian.

All of this to explain that if anyone is going to feel Damian's passing as strongly as Bruce (or arguably Alfred) it's Dick Grayson.  This "Requiem" issue explores the depths of that feeling, how it changes Dick's perspective, the new distance between Dick and Bruce, and what steps Nightwing will take going forward as he tries to make sense of all the tragedy he's been through lately...Not only with Damian, but also with the death of several of his circus friends at the hands of the Joker.  Dick's dream of a happy, functional Amusement Mile is gone...the future he was planning has been stolen.  So what is his next step?  Relocating to Chicago!  The seeds are planted here...

Justice League - "We're going to need more chairs."

The Justice League, in the aftermath of Atlantis' attack, have decided that it's officially time to revisit the idea of expanding the team!  They found strength in numbers when several unofficial team "reserves" came to their aid in the last few issues...how much more useful could it be if these so-called "reserves" were fully trained and briefed teammates? So Batman and Cyborg get together and send out some invitations, to a sort of Super-Hero Meet-And-Greet!

Of course, the problem becomes...who can the League trust?  Who is worthy of membership in the PREMIER super-team of the DC Universe?  Only one thing is for sure...there is definitely at least ONE potential recruit that can NOT be trusted...

SHAZAM chapter 10 is also in this issue...Billy has reverted to human form so that Black Adam can't find him and essentially is hiding in the zoo so as to avoid certain death.  Smart kid!  Of course, in his absence, innocents are suffering!  Will Billy step up and do the right thing?  Say the magic word!

Red Hood and the Outlaws #18 - "I wiped your pretty pink brain matter off my crowbar--onto my finely pressed purple suit.  When am I not in your mind?!"

Jason "Red Hood" Todd got a nasty surprise last issue as, upon donning his Red Hood helmet, he found it had been sabotaged by the Joker!  A face-full of acid later and our hero is in a coma, being kept at Wayne Manor under the watchful eyes of Alfred Pennyworth and Bruce Wayne!  +

The story this month is almost all in Jason's head, as we bear witness to his feverish coma-dreams...Jason's doubts and fears and loves and hates all made real and larger than life in his subconscious mind as he battles to regain himself!  It's an excellent and poignant character study that will hopefully have lasting effects on both Jason and his one-time mentor, the Dark Knight! 

Incidentally, much like last month's Arsenal issue, this month's DC Universe Presents #18 features Starfire!  I suppose DC feels bad that the last few issues of this book have been all about Jason and barely acknowledged the rest of the "Outlaws".  Kori and Roy only appear in one panel this month, and they're both dead and hallucinations! 

Wonder Woman #18 - "I'm going to have to fight, aren't I?"

The search for Zola's kidnapped infant child reaches it's final chapter as Wonder Woman catches up to Hermes and confronts him in an attempt to rescue the baby!  Of course, while Diana is busy fighting with Hermes (with a little help from Orion...credit where it's due), Aries has managed to locate the being who's actually keeping the child...the goddess Demeter aka Harvest!  What does the God of War want with Zeus' last child?

Meanwhile, the First Born of Zeus continues his battle with his Uncle Poseidon.  Although it seems like Poseidon's got the upper hand at the moment, my money's on the First Born to win this one and shake up the entire pantheon in the near future...

Another awesome issue of Wonder Woman from writer Brian Azzarello!  Much like Morrison's Action Comics, I feel like I can't do this story enough justice month-to-month.  It's so much better than these little plot summaries can express.  Also, even though this issue has 3 different pencillers, the artwork manages to stay both clean and consistent!  Great work! 

Justice League of America #2 - "This is a different world than it used to be.  A crazy world."

Team building is the game of the day as the all new, Obama-approved JLA not only meet for the first time, but also go out on their very first mission!  That mission?  Try and figure out what took Green Arrow down in the FIRST issue!  He's been unconscious ever since, but with a little telepathic snooping from Martian Manhunter, the team has a lead!

This issue also hints at the beginnings of some type of villain's league, as a mysterious old man recruits a super-villain to his side...that villain?  Scarecrow

This is a nicely drawn and executed second issue!  Most of the characters on the team get at least a couple of panels to become somewhat fleshed out and the mystery (including the mysterious final page reveal!) certainly has me intrigued!  This team may never replace THE Justice League in our hearts, but I for one am definitely looking forward to issue #3 next month!

Catwoman #18 - "Chasing me down, Batman?  How romantic..."

Last week in Batman #18, Batman punched an innocent teenage girl so hard that she was sent through a wooden fence and had her nose broken.  This week right here in Catwoman the Dark Knight administers an incredibly over-the-top beating to Selina Kyle!  Both of these women were only trying to HELP Batman.  I understand he's dealing with the terrible grief of losing his son, but this is too much.  He's BATMAN, not some drunken ass.  He can't deal with his grief by beating up innocent women!

Both Harper Row in Batman and Catwoman here FORGIVE the Caped Crusader simply because he says "I'm sorry."  Well, that IS a typical response of many women who become abused and victimized by men that they trust.  What are they trying to do to Batman???  To say I'm not too happy with this new direction is an understatement.  I hope DC Comics backs right off of this frankly extremely creepy and disturbing trend...

Oh, there was some other plot in this issue too, but honestly I forget what it is.  Catwoman uses her bruises as a disguise or something.  Gross. 

Supergirl #18 - "Krypton is DEAD all right?!  Everyone is dead!  I'm dead...inside."

 In the aftermath of the "H'El on Earth" event, Supergirl has a severe case of Kryptonite poisoning and a tortured, broken heart.  You know what that means...it's back to angry, irrational emo-teen Supergirl!  My favourite!  The only difference is, now she can be difficult and unreasonable in English as well as in Kryptonian!

To be fair, when Supergirl awakens she is strapped into a satellite orbiting the sun...this is a strange parallel to her original Kryptonian escape pod which ALSO kept her in solar orbit over the years...it has to be disorientating.  It gives her lots of excuse to be all emo towards Dr. Veritas and completely ignore her sound medical advice.  Also, for some reason, Kara's Kryptonite poisoning seems to be affecting her Earth-2 counterpart, Power Girl!!

Oh, also as a result of all the commotion involving H'El...Supergirl has a little more recognition on Earth...unfortunately for Kara, she's come to the attention of Lex Luthor!!!  That can't be good!

Birds of Prey #18 - "That's Mr. Freeze to you.  Hand over the Talon and walk away if you wish to live."

 Fun issue this month as Mr. Freeze shows up to take his revenge on the Birds' newest member, Strix!  He's been mad at the Court of Owls since they stole his technology to reanimate their undead army of Talons back in the "Night of the Owls" cross-over all those months ago.  Strix, meanwhile, isn't making too many friends in her new life...aside from Batgirl, she doesn't really trust anyone and the feeling is mutual!  Surprisingly though, the Birds' other new member, Condor, is willing to give her a chance!

Of course, this may not do them much good against Victor Freeze.  Dude's a one man army and Winter is coming!  Oh wait...wrong franchise...

And that's it for comic books this week!  Big week and aside from the unfortunate issue of Catwoman, a lot of fun!  As always, I'm excited for New Comic Book day tomorrow, too!  Look for new issues of Batman, Inc, The Flash, Aquaman and more!

Oh, in case you're curious...here's the cover to DC Comics Presents #18 discussed above:

Gotta love Starfire!

So I discuss my Geekiness Quotient in this week's Stryder's Dementia!  Take a look...and see if you can find the hidden link to an all-Lego version of the video for Weird Al's "White and Nerdy"!

 Have a great week everybody!  Peace and love!  Spring is here!!!

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