Friday, July 23, 2010

Comic Book CA-CA-CAAARNAAGE! #001

Welcome to the first edition of a new semi-regular feature where Mike (from It's a Bit of a Shame) and I talk about some comics we bought. This week, we're looking at Legion of Super-Heroes #3, Neonomicon #1 and Meta 4 #2. There may be spoilers.

Let the ca-ca-carnage begin...

Yan: Good morning.

Mike: We're all professional, getting up before 1:00.

Yan: Yeah.

Mike: I guess we can get right down to business. Oh, and don't worry if we get off topic.

Yan: No, I'm not worried. If it gets really bad, we can edit later. Or just throw it all in. It's not like anyone's gonna read this. Except maybe Gail Simone. So how are we going to do this?

Mike: I guess we name a comic and then start talking about it until we get bored and then move onto the next.

Yan: That sounds like a pretty good plan.

Written by Paul Levitz; art by Yildiray Cinar, Francis Portela and Wayne Faucher.

Let's start with Legion of Super-Heroes #3 then. This one should be interesting, because you're an experienced Legion reader, whereas I'm a total noob.

Mike: Yeah, and after reading this most recent issue, I was left wondering if any casual reader could enjoy this.

Yan: It's a bit overwhelming.

Mike: It's like this explosion of characters that never really get fleshed out. I mean, how many friggin' characters have shown up in this issue?

Yan: A lot. I think it was Johanna at Comics Worth Reading who said something about how if you want to be a fan of the Legion, you have to do a lot of work. But I kind of like that it's a challenge, even just in terms of the ridiculous number of characters.

Mike: Yeah, but I don't know if it's much of a reward. Like, this book continues the tradition of having the Legion books get saddled with the most average artwork possible. Also, the two artists on this book do not resemble each other in the least.

Yan: I guess the art is sort of average. But it hasn't bothered me too much so far. Maybe because I'm too busy trying to figure out what's going on and who these characters are. But I do like is that there is so much happening, and while Levitz keeps a fairly quick pace in terms of the action, I also get the sense that he's very carefully putting a lot of story elements in place that are going to pay off later. I mean, there's a lot of different plot threads going simultaneously.

Mike: Thoughts on that last page?

Yan: Some jerkoff blogger spoiled it for me. I took him of my RSS reading list. But I'm excited. I just wish I had read Great Darkness Saga already, but I'm waiting for that Deluxe Edition to come out. Is it next month?

Mike: I have no clue as I possess the actual issues and therefore have no need for a luxury priced hard cover. Yes, that sounded as catty as I had hoped for.

Yan: Oh, yeah, I forgot we were supposed to make this catty.

Mike: You can always play the role of the guy who gets befuddled by my sassy remarks and mumbles "Oh, jeez" to himself.

Yan: I don't like that role. I'll come up with a better one. Anyway, what's your take on the last page?

Mike: It's cool. Definitely had me excited about the next issue, but at the same time I was rolling my eyes because Levitz is already going back to that story.

Yan: Yeah, I guess it's a bit obvious.

Mike: Any final thoughts before we move onto our next book?

Yan: Maybe just a few comments on how the Green Lantern power ring ties into all this. That was an odd choice, I thought, and I'm wondering how it's all going to come together. It seems like the Green Lantern mythos ties into this story in a big way. Even the thing that triggers the destruction of Titan at the beginning is tied into Oan mythos and their ban on witnessing the beginning of the universe.

Mike: I didn't even think of that!

Yan: I can't remember the character's name... Who was it again?

Mike: The one who received the ring?

Yan: No, the guy who wanted to study the birth of the universe and 'caused all that shit to happen the first time around.

Mike: Krona.

Yan: Yes.

Mike: Ugh, how do I know this?

Yan: 'Cause it's important.

Written by Alan Moore; art by Jacen Burrows.

All right. Let's move on to Neonomicon #1.

Mike: It makes me think of a friend I had who looked just like HP Lovecraft. He used to carry around a cigarette case which he used to store his coke straws.

Yan: LOL. Was HP Lovecraft a cokehead?

Mike: No. I doubt there were any coke dealers in Providence.

Yan: That's a shame.

Mike: I see him being all about absinthe, probably thought that would make him look like a rebel in front of the ladies.

Yan: Yeah, that seems more his style.

Mike: I liked this comic. It was scary, which is such a rarity in comics.

Yan: True.

Mike: But I was not down with the artwork. I felt like Jacen Burrows wasn't getting Alan Moore's script, like certain character actions weren't emphasized correctly and there were scene transitions that didn't work.

Yan: I'm not a fan of the art either. I'm not even sure I understand what's going on with the location. Are they in some kind of domed city? Is the city underwater?

Mike: Yeah, that was pretty weird. I guess we're just supposed to roll with it.

Yan: The page where you see the dome for the first time is confusing as hell. I think it's meant to be the equivalent of a crane shot, with the camera pulling back until you eventually move out of the dome. But when I saw it, I thought the dome was a completely different location and it took me a while to put it together. Aside from the art, though, I was really surprised by how much of a Law and Order feel this book has. I didn't really expect that from a Lovecraftian story. But it's an interesting start.

Mike: So that Cthulhu punk band singing in that...uh, squid language. Were you also more amused than scared by that?

Yan: Yeah, that part was hilarious. I don't know if it was meant to be scary. I mean, "I want my thing on your doorstep." I'm totally stealing these lyrics for my punk band.

Mike: I really don't see R'lyeh bands ever getting popular though. They'd probably all come off as extremely nerdy, kind of like Nile and their Egypt thing.

Yan: To get back to the police procedural feel... I'm not sure how well it's working for me. I like the mystery that Alan Moore has set up, and the creepy scene with the Michael Jackson lookalike in the mural painting was my favourite part. But the police work seemed kind of amateurish. I didn't find it very believable the way they botched the club raid at all. Why would they spot the guy, immediately call in back up, and let him run out of the building? If they were after him specifically, the first thing they would have done would've been to arrest him before blowing their cover. I don't know how much of that is the art and how much is the script, though.

Mike: Naw, that's probably 100% Alan Moore. I'm sure he thinks Americans do things exactly like they do in 24 and Law and Order.

Yan: But look at the panel where the guy escapes. Every cop in the club has his back turned on him. You'd think they would since he was their #1 target they would pay some attention to him instead of letting slip out the back door. And then Gordon's like, "Don't worry about it. We've got cops in the back. They'll take care of it." It's like they don't even give a shit.

Mike: They live in a domed city that's either at the bottom of the ocean or on the moon. Things don't work the same in there!

Yan: My guess is that this is still on earth. They mention Washington DC and Brooklyn. Maybe the air has become unbreatheable, or the ocean levels rose and covered the continent. Underwater would make sense, since that's where Cthulhu sleeps. What did you think of the "money shot," the naked old woman with her throat sliced and her genitalia exposed. Gratuitous?

Mike: For an Avatar book I thought it was pretty tame. Did you catch the spent strap-on dildos in the corner of that panel?

Yan: OMG, no, I totally missed that.

Mike: Oh man, and they only had one bed in that house!!

Yan: Yeah, that part I did catch. Anyway, I'm going to keep reading and see where this goes. How many issues are planned for this?

Mike: No clue.

META 4 #2
By Ted McKeever.

Now for Meta 4 #2! I picked this up because you were fond of the first issue, so why don't you start us off?

Yan: Okay. Did you read the first issue?

Mike: I did. I rather liked clip art speaking Santa woman.

Yan: Yeah. I have to confess I have no idea what this comic book is about. It's pretty hard to say anything about it without having read the full 5-issue run, I think.

Mike: Totally. Will you feel cheated if those police transcripts add up to nothing?

Yan: Um, I don't know. I don't necessarily expect them to be directly tied to the main narrative. I'd like to think they're not just totally random, but I don't know how they relate yet. The cover calls this an "allegorical series" which seems like a big clue as to how one should read it. The police transcripts in this issue hint that they are from some kind of school shooting, which adds a new dimension to it all. I haven't had a chance to go back and re-read the first issue with that in mind.

Mike: Yeah, I got a Columbine feel with this issue's transcripts as well.

Yan: Oh, actually, a quick Google search led to this. This matches the address given in the transcript. So I guess it's not a school shooting. [EDIT: For more on the Binghamton shootings, see here.]

Mike: I guess those transcripts really don't have anything to do with the story. So have you read much else by Ted McKeever?

Yan: No, nothing.

Mike: All of his comics are like this. Really ugly looking people doing weird stuff.

Yan: I'll probably try to write about it once it's done, but it seems kind of silly at this point to say anything more than, "Huh?"

Mike: Very true.

Yan: Well, this was fun. Next time we'll try to keep it down to an hour. Maybe if we're more focussed or something.

Mike: Yeah, we'll get better at this.

Yan: Might even prepare for it with some specific things to bring up for discussion.

Mike: Bluh. I'm going to go fall asleep now.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quick Reviews: Batman and Robin, Red Robin, The Atom, Sweet Tooth, Tom Strong, Orc Stain

Haven't had much time to write reviews lately, so here are some quick comments on the books I bought last week.

by Grant Morrison and Frazer Irving.

This issue was the best and most fun the series has been since the first arc (with art by Frank Quitely). The first three or four pages are shocking and amazing. The scene between Damian and the Joker is another highlight. All the loose threads from the beginning of the series (and some from Morrison's previous work on Batman) are coming together brilliantly. This arc is going to be very exciting, and it all culminates with the return of Bruce Wayne, probably in issue 15 or 16. Don't miss it.

by Fabian Nicieza, Marcus To and Ray McCarthy.

I can't get enough of Marcus To's art. This issue is mostly about Tim and Damian fighting, and as much as I'd like to see these two get along, Fabian Nicieza handles the characterization really well, making both of their motivations believable and somehow making us sympathize with both. The question everybody is asking is whether Tim has become too much like Bruce. I don't think this book gives us an answer yet, as I'm sure we haven't seen all the repercussions of Tim's "hit list" plan yet. Another solid issue.

by Jeff Lemire, Mahmud Asrar, John Dell.

I probably shouldn't have bought this because (a) I don't really care about Brightest Day and (b) I don't really care about the Atom. But I do care about Jeff Lemire, and I was curious enough about his transition to mainstream super-hero comics at DC to check it out. It's not a bad book, but unless you're following the bigger story of Brightest Day or are a big fan of this particular character, there isn't really a whole lot to recommend here. Although this is a one-shot, it's not a self-contained story but rather the prologue to the story that will continue as a back-up feature in the next few issues of Adventure Comics. I haven't quite decided yet whether I'm interested enough to keep following, although the fact that Adventure has Paul Levitz writing the Legion as the main feature is certainly an added selling point. We'll see.

by Jeff Lemire.

This is more like it! This is the conclusion of the "In Captivity" story line and probably the last of the flashback issues filling in the gaps about Jepperd's background from before he met Gus. What's amazing is that by the end of the first arc, Jeppard was pretty much revealed to be a "bad guy," but now that we better understand where he's coming from, his motivations don't seem so selfish and what seemed like immoral actions before now need to be reinterpreted and seem to fall in a much greyer area. There's so much more to say about all this, but I'm going to save it for a longer review of the full series up to now that I plan to write soon. This is probably one of the best ongoing series out there at the moment.

by Peter Hogan, Chris Sprouse and Karl Story.

I feel pretty much the same way about this as I did about the first issue. I think the art is brilliant, but I don't feel too invested in the story. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I'm not familiar with the character, but I'm still kind of waiting for things to really take off. I was surprised to see Tom go back into the past so soon. I thought most of the issue would take place in the alternate timeline where Nazis have taken over the world, with Tom fighting the robots of doom promised in the title, trying to find a way to go back and fix history. But instead, a few pages in this issue, he's conveniently handed a time machine and goes back to enlist the help of his younger self to set things right. I kind of hate this type of story, but trying to keep an open mind here. It's still early in the mini-series, but I hope things get more interesting.

by James Stokoe.

This came out a while ago, but the store had sold out so I had to re-order it. I've got issue #3, and #4 comes out this week. Unfortunately, I still haven't been able to get my hands on #2, which screws up my reading plans. This opening issue was amazing and everything I'd hoped it would be – insane art, lots of penises, sex on hallucinogenic drugs, and lots of weird looking creatures. The best part is definitely the bear-safe-cracking scene, which reminds me of Aeon Flux in the way it mixes bizarre puzzle-like technology and biology. This comic book is pure joy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Is It Wednesday Yet?

Here are a few comics worth checking out this week.

Finally! Seems like it's been forever since the last issue. There were a few delays, but most importantly, we've seen three issues of Return of Bruce Wayne since we last checked in with the boys. The Joker's back. Bruce is on his way. Shit hits the fan and you don't want to miss it. Written by Grant Morrison, with art by Frazer Irving.

Neal Adams is writing and pencilling this potential trainwreck. This will either be brilliant or terrible, or possibly a mix of both (à la All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder), but there can be no in-between. I think I'm going to trade-wait on this one, but I'm really looking forward to the reviews and fan reactions.

I don't really care about the Atom or Brightest Day, but the reason this is on my list is that Jeff Lemire is writing it, and this marks the beginning of his transition into mainstream super-hero comics. I probably won't buy this. But I'll definitely give it a flip-through at the store. Maybe if the art is good enough I'll give it a try. What I'm really holding my breath for is Lemire's Superboy, though. And we haven't even been given a date for that yet.

The second issue of Fabian Nicieza's run, with the excellent Marcus To providing the art. I'm really enjoying this book.

I haven't read a single issue of Secret Six, and everyone keeps telling me that I'm missing out on something really fantastic. I just hate to jump in at a random spot, so I think I'm going to continue to hold off. Too many good books this week anyway.

This is going to be epic. This is the conclusion of Jeff Lemire's second arc, and it's gonna be brutal!

First issue left me a bit lukewarm as far as the story goes, but Chris Sprouse's art blew my mind. I'm sure the art will be just as brilliant in this issue, so the real question is will the story pick up or not? We'll see.

I have no idea what this is. I kinda like the title and the fact that it's a limited series. But am I going to spend money on another random Avengers title? Probably not. I'll give it a quick flip-through, though.

It's got a big monkey on the cover. It's also a mini-series. I don't know.

Marvel's big epic event. Well, the one that doesn't feature vampires anyway. I'm totally clueless when it comes to all this Marvel stuff, but apparently this is a big deal. I'm almost tempted to go along for the ride. Comics Alliance has a very useful post for people exactly in my position, called 10 Things You Need to Know Before Reading Shadowland.

The only reason I mention this is that I've seen some pages from the creative team's previous X-Men/Spiderman mini-series, and the art was really beautiful. Mario Alberti is the man responsible for that. Google him.

Another Captain America book written by Ed Brubaker.

Okay, this is issue 4 and I haven't read the first 3. But I wish I had found out about it sooner, because I hear it's excellent and I saw some pages from it and the art looks really cool. I might check it out if they still have back issues lying around. This is an all-ages title.

X-MEN #1
Something about vampires. I didn't pick up the Death of Dracula last week, and apparently that was a big deal. I don't really care, I guess.

I have no idea what this is. Published by Archaia. It looks kinda cool.

Sorry for the half-assed nature of this post. It's really hot and disgusting here and I can't think straight. I think my computer is melting.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Review: Wonder Woman #600 (+ some closing thoughts on the other two anniversary isues)


So with all the media fanfare and blogosphere kerfuffle this past week about Wonder Woman's costume redesign and origins overhaul, I feel like there's nothing left for me to say about this anniversary issue that hasn't already been said a hundred times. But I'm going to try anyway.

by Gail Simone and George Perez.

By far the highlight of the issue, the first story is a veritable tour-de-force. The sheer number of panels is enough to give you an idea of how jam-packed with awesome this story is: Excluding the opening splash page, I counted a total of 65 panels on 6 pages!

The story starts with an epic battle featuring about 20 female super-heroes against an army of cyber-sirens who have the power to turn men into slobbering idiots. The art is simply flabbergasting. Every page is bursting with detailed action. Amidst all this chaos, Simone manages to showcase several qualities that have made Wonder Woman an icon: she's a leader, a fierce warrior, and an inspiration to her peers, which is reflected in the different ways the other characters respond to her.

The story ends with a more intimate moment between Diana and Vanessa. Unfortunately, with my limited exposure to Wonder Woman stories up to now, I don't think that final scene resonated with me to the extent that it was supposed to, but for anyone familiar with the back story, I'm sure it packs a much stronger emotional punch.

"Fuzzy Logic"
by Amanda Conner.

The next story is a team-up with Power Girl and Batgirl. It's a lot lighter in tone, and features jokes about tentacle porn and several awesome shots of Power Girl's cat. I enjoyed it.

by Louise Simonson and Eduardo Pansica.

Next is a team up with Superman against some guy called Nikos Aegeus, a "terrorist organization of one, driven by green, not ideology." I have no idea where this character came from, but he doesn't really make sense to me. I just don't get why someone powerful enough to steal lightning bolts from Zeus would then waste his power shooting airplanes out of the sky and asking the U.S. government for a hundred million dollars. Why does this guy need money?

I felt pretty indifferent about this story, but there's one thing about it that really surprised the hell out of me. Check it out:

A thought balloon! I spotted at least three of them! I thought those were extinct, at least from mainstream super-hero comics, as this somewhat recent piece by Joe McCulloch at Comic Comics pointed out.

I guess DC can make an exception for Louise Simonson, because she's old school.

The last two stories + extras
by Geoff Johns, Scott Kolins, JMS, Don Kramer, and a bunch of other people

The last two stories kind of bleed into one another, ushering in J. Michael Straczynski's re-imagining of the character and featuring Jim Lee's ugly-ass retro 1990s costume redesign. I don't really have anything to say except: thumbs down.

In addition to these five stories, there's a cool introduction by Linda Carter and a bunch of pin-ups by various artists, most of which are pretty cool and generally better than the collection of rejected covers thrown together for Batman #700. One pin-up stands out as a total head-scratcher. Apparently I'm the only person on the internet who has absolutely no clue what the hell is going on in this image by Guillem March:


A few closing words about the three big anniversary issues that DC released last month… In my opinion, all three were kind of underwhelming. I enjoyed each of them to various degrees, but they didn't seem all that special to me the way I would expect an anniversary issue to be.

Batman #700 was probably the most epic and "significant" as far as the story goes, in the sense that it not only stands on its own quite well, but also fits into Morrison's greater arc, which we are smack in the middle of right now. However, the thrown-together feel of the art was a disappointment, especially with Frank Quitely unable to finish his section and the jarring shift to another artist in the middle of it, ruining the whole one-artist-per-time-period thing they were going for. Could they not have given him more time to finish his part? It's not like they didn't see it coming.

In contrast, both Superman and Wonder Woman relied on shorter stories by different writers. Lots of cameos, some tying up of loose ends and some foreshadowing of new stories to come. On the surface, they seemed designed to appeal to anybody interested in the characters, from older fans to curious new readers. But the way they were used to launch new arcs by super-star writer JMS made them feel more like promotional material than celebrations of iconic characters.

I felt that the 5$ cover price wasn't really justified for either of them. Yeah, I get that there was a larger page count (either because of pinup galleries or actual story pages), but so what? Part of the celebration of such landmark issues should be to give a little something back to the fans who have supported the characters and their books for all these years. Would it have killed DC to throw us a bone without jacking up the price for it? I've already said this several times, but it bears repeating: You can't really call it "bonus" material if you're charging extra for it.

Review: Secret Avengers #2

SECRET AVENGERS #2 "Secret Histories, part 2"
Written by Ed Brubaker; art by Mike Deodato, Will Conrad.

For some reason, I'm not quite as excited about this comic as I was after reading the first issue. I can't point to anything that is specifically wrong with it, but I think maybe it has something to do with the fact that the team members all kind of blend into one another for me. As a new Marvel reader, I'm not familiar with any of these characters and I need them to really stand out individually in order to care about what happens to them. The first issue spent a lot of time introducing each of them and they all seemed to have distinct personalities and appearances. But here, they're all walking around in space suits, checking things out on Mars and getting into fights with anonymous bad guys who are even more indistinguishable from one another. There just doesn't seem to be a lot of characterization.

I probably make it sound like a terrible comic, but it really isn't. I'm sure that those who are already familiar with these characters won't have the same problem I had. The issue focuses on advancing the plot and I'm sure that there will be more character moments coming up in future issues.

The art also seems a bit less impressive to me than in the first issue, maybe because most of the issue takes place on Mars, which is not depicted as the most visually interesting setting.

Overall, this is a good issue, even if I don't have a lot to say about it, and it ends with a double-cliffhanger that promises a lot of action in the next one. Looking forward to it.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Review: Action Comics #890

ACTION COMICS #890 "The Black Ring, part 1"
Written by Paul Cornell; art by Pete Woods.

(This review contains spoilers.)

This comic was great!

JMS is taking Superman on a year-long tour of America as part of his über-lame story arc "Grounded" in the other Big S title, which leaves Action Comics without a protagonist. Marc Guggenheim, who was originally set to take over the title with this issue, wasn't too happy about that, so he quit. In steps critically acclaimed writer Paul Cornell with this story starring Lex Luthor.

Some have argued that Luthor is not really interesting enough as a character to sustain a story without his arch-nemesis Superman, but the way Cornell kicks things off with this issue seems to suggest otherwise. Cornell has a firm grasp of Luthor's character and motivations. He writes him as a brilliant, though delusional, ego-maniac, his calm and calculated demeanor covering the seriously twisted nature of his ambitions.

In the aftermath of Blackest Night (as the banner points out), Luthor has had a taste of almost limitless power when he wore the orange power ring, and now he wants more. But the ring had the unfortunate side effect of revealing his deep, hidden motivations – his desire to be Superman. Luthor now seems almost embarrassed by the greed and lack of self-control he displayed as a member of the Orange Lantern Corps. "The things the orange ring makes one desire. Ridiculous." And yet, when he has his team run a holographic simulation of the possible outcomes of his new plans to acquire a black power ring, it shows him all-powerful as the supreme leader of humankind, with Superman on his knees calling him "master."

So basically, it's business as usual for Luthor and his underlings at LexCorps. What makes this new story so promising, though, is all the crazy Silver Age-inspired sci-fi twists that Cornell throws into the mix, including a group of mind-controlled weirdos who have Luthor hanging upside down from a skyscraper in the first pages; a bizarrely out-of-character Lois Lane who turns out to be a robot built from Kryptonian technology; something called the "isopod," which Luthor uses against the advice of his assistant Spalding (new character?), who warns him that it "hasn't even been tested on animals yet, let alone homeless people"; the famous purple-green power armour; and last but not least, a giant alien caterpillar.

All of which I absolutely loved and can't wait to find out how it all comes together. My favourite part was the Lois Lane robot, which is quite obviously a disaster waiting to happen. As Spalding puts it, "the parts used to construct her came from Brainiac – we don't even know what a lot of them do." Three pages later, at Luthor's command, she goes into "smash mode" – her eyes turn red, she says "Grrrr!", and her arms turn into a ridiculously over-the-top arsenal of machine guns. It's like something out of a manga, and it rules.

Quick note about the art from Pete Woods, who apparently has been drawing Superman comics for a while. I'm unfamiliar with his previous work, but I thought the art in this issue was outstanding and a perfect match for Cornell's storytelling.

I'm super-excited about this comic and can't wait for the next issue. I did not expect Action Comics to turn into my favourite monthly title, but if Cornell and Woods keep this up, that's exactly what's going to happen. Go buy this comic!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Review: The Flash #3

THE FLASH #3 "The Dastardly Death of the Rogues, part 3"
Written by Geoff Johns; art by Francis Manapul.

Francis Manapul continues to blow my mind with his art and is seriously turning into one of my favourite artists. One of the reasons I really like his work on this series is all the background action and characterization that is constantly happening around the main story. During the fight scenes, almost every panel shows some "extras" running for cover or snapping quick pictures with their camera phones. Particularly impressive was the coffee shop scene, which as far as the story is concerned consists of Barry and Iris sitting at a table and having a conversation for four pages. But while this is happening, the background is filled with customers waiting in line to place their orders, students working on their laptops, people on the street outside getting into cabs. There's even some continuity involved, like with the man who finishes reading his paper, gets up and leaves, as another woman quickly takes the free table. Some people might find this distracting (like this reviewer who complains that Manapul "switches camera angles" too often), but to me it just adds to the sense that Central City is a real place inhabited by real people.

As far as the story goes, Geoff Johns is taking his time. Three issues in and the future cops are still trying to arrest Barry for the murder he hasn't committed yet, and it doesn't really seem like we're much closer to figuring out exactly what their deal is, although we are thrown cryptic hints here and there. The much more exciting plot development, though, is Captain Boomerang's escape from prison and the revelation that since coming back to life in Blackest Night, he now has the ability to "manifest black construct boomerangs in times of duress," all of which makes him pretty badass.

There's a humourous two-page extra at the end called "Flashfacts," which gives us a history of the boomerang, followed by an explanation of Captain Boomerang's powers. I found the second part of it actually quite useful, as someone who hasn't read Blackest Night and who isn't all that familiar with the character. Scott Kolins handles the art on this section. I hope this will be a recurring feature.

Overall, this was another good issue and I'm still enjoying this series a lot.

Read in June 2010

Air vol. 1 (TPB)
Sweet Tooth #10
Red Robin #13
Detective Comics #616-617
Batman #450-451
Robin II #1-4
Mesmo Delivery (TPB)
Pluto vol. 5-6 (TPB)
Batman #700
Secret Avengers #1
Daytripper #7
Meta 4 #1
Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #1
Birds of Prey # 2
Hard Time #1
Detective Comics #866
Legion of Super-Heroes #2
Superman #700
A God Somewhere (original graphic novel, TPB)
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #3
The Spirit #3
JLA: Paradise Lost #1-3
The Flash #3
Action Comics #890
Secret Avengers #2

My favourite single issue: Action Comics #890 (review coming up).

Other highlights: Sweet Tooth is still a favourite. Secret Avengers is off to a good start. And the new Tom Strong mini-series looks promising too, with absolutely gorgeous art by Chris Sprouse.

Least favourite single issue: The Spirit #3. (Reviewed here.)

TPB department: I wasn't as thrilled with Air vol. 1 (Vertigo) and A God Somewhere (Wildstorm) as I expected to be, although both are probably worth checking out. The manga series Pluto continues to blow my mind. And Mesmo Delivery (Dark Horse) was a blast, too.

Stuff I missed out on/didn't read yet: I wish I had picked up Bulletproof Coffin #1, but my LCS sold out pretty quickly. I bought Superman/Batman annual #4 and Wonder Woman #600 yesterday, but haven't read them yet.

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