We’ve got magic rhino horn, body swapping, and a dog with thumbs.
The word for today’s gaggle of comics is definitely strange.
Cyborg # 19
Words – Kevin Grevioux
Pictures – Cliff Richards, Ivan Nunes
When is a rhino’s horn a monkey’s paw?
Victor (Cyborg) and Sarah investigate the strange phenomenon of meteorites pelting a small African village. They find they’re hollow and packed like nature’s most expensive pinatas with billions worth of rare metals and diamonds.
In perfect story set-up fashion Vic once again wonders about his man-machine dichotomy before an armed terrorist group (GUR) attacks the area. Vic protects the locals and finds a hollowed Rhino horn (and attached Jinn) in the fracas.
Like any genie worth it’s salt he tricks Vic into wishing out loud to be human, but it’s not that hard a task Vic is many things but especially clever is not one of them (sorry dear, I’ve read you since Teen Titans).
The GUR is a bit ticked off to lose the MacGuffin (I mean magic cursed rhino horn). They were using children to make wishes on it (as well as for child soldiers, a resource IS a resource) to fund their illegal reign of terror.
So now a fully fleshed Victor is trying to take them on, with minimal backup no firepower and no travel vaccinations (no spoilers, but remember how War of the Worlds ended? >wink<).
I’m intrigued to see how this gets resolved. Victor is the type to want to save everybody and it’s not hard to root for him there but he’s completely forgotten how squishy being a normal person can make you. Cursed items are a fun story element.
Dastardly and Muttley #4
Words – Garth Ennis
Pictures – Mauricet, John Kalisz
Back to our heroes on the run Richard Atcherly and the very doggish Muller as they chase down War Pig the marauding drone to clear their names and hopefully reverse the effects.
Oh boy, the effects that cartoonish gas is having are starting to become very evident.
Atcherly is becoming more “Dastardly” in appearance and will fall into villain monologue without seeming to realize it.
Their surprisingly bloodthirsty pursuer has been equally bent by the technicolorish gas that this drone (which seems to not run out of any resource and has a mind of it’s own)is continuing to spew, and it’s not unfair to call the stakes world warping.
Garth Ennis is obviously having a blast on this book.
The artists Mauricet and Kalisz do a wonderful job of keeping it mostly realistic to highlight when the dangerously goofy cartoonish events intrude themselves (like in the middle of a Senate hearing on the matter). You want them to pull it out in the end and be the heroes the source material never had room for them to be.
Green Arrow #35
Words – Benjamin Percy
Pictures – Juan Ferreyra
I give this the high compliment that it has the artistic feel of an Elseworlds book. There’s a painterly manner and freedom of page layout to further that vision that you forget you miss until you see it again.
The story’s simple but enjoyable to read.
Ollie is helping his newly re-discovered mother recover information and gold so far below the ocean that the pressure itself could be a death sentence.
Luckily for him and for us the Green Arrow universe is populated with many friends and foes to expand the story (and help him when the trip inevitably goes wrong).
I was just as into the Law & Order-ish drama with Spencer (his lawyer) and Shuffleton (an honest cop) happening on Ollie’s behalf while he was away.
Green Lanterns #36
Words – Tim Seeley
Pictures – Ronan Cliquet, Hi-Fi
Our two Lanterns, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, complete the story from last issue from the perspective of a week after it happened, so at least we know they got out ok.
It seemed like everything was going fine until his lawyer (yeah, I guess the pale dangerous alien lady Singularity Jain was his lawyer) is just there next to Bolphunga’s ship. She shows off her black hole-like eating abilities, by eating said ship and Baz’s Green Lantern light right off the ring.
The fight (which takes up a lot of the story) is alright, we get a bit of character development for Bolphunga but it feels like an afterthought. Bolphunga’s story was only given as a device to introduce Jain their new badass boss-level villain.
Jess’s life is threatened but since we knew she survived, there’s no bite to it.
A character dies (but no one we knew for more than two issues) to reinforce how amazing the new character is and I hope next issue is better.
Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #3
Words – Paul Dini, Marc Andreyko
Pictures – Laura Braga, Adriana Melo, Arif Prianto
After the killer party last issue all four main characters find themselves in unfamiliar territory. Selena (Catwoman to you) dropped Harley and Ivy off at Pamela Isley’s (Poison Ivy) place in Gotham. Betty and Veronica wake up in Veronica’s room – or at least it appears that way.
Sabrina and Zatanna’s spell slinging switched the ladies around, Betty ↔ Harley and Veronica ↔ Pamela! We get fun high school hijinks from the two felonious females (so lucky Veronica had botany and Betty had gymnastics class that day).
The reader wonder if Pamela wants to stay a bit longer not just to foil Lodge’s anti-environmental plans, but also because she’s enjoying being a teenager with her best friend.
Back in Gotham, Betty in Harley and Veronica in Pam aren’t taking it as well.
Besides Veronica freaking out over their sudden boost in age (hard eye roll there) neither know how to be incognito and the fruit-headed gangster that’s been in the b-story of this catches up with them.
If only a Chekhov’s gun they set into motion last issue dressed in 1989 cinematic style could show up and save them!
The details are worth savoring in here folks (Selena was at the party to see Josie play, my weebism was happy) and we’re only half way through. I get the feeling these miniseries are less the usual faire of assigned story and (dare I hope?) the stories these creators are excited to tell? We’ll continue to read and wish for the best.
Justice League #34
Words – Christopher Priest
Pictures – Pete Woods
It’s called “The People vs. Justice League… Part 1: Three Rooms” but it occurs in more locations than that, maybe the next part will make the title make more sense? For my bad sense of punnish humor you could think of it as “A Hard Night’s Bat”, because we follow a bad day that Bruce is just too exhausted to keep up with.
Three emergencies pop up, the level of severity only known as they happen. Bruce tries to coordinate the resolution of two them, while heading the attack of the third all highly sleep deprived. It’s sad and thoughtful.
One of the threats looks dangerous and frightening but was a misunderstanding.
One goes horribly wrong at no fault of the League, and the third had minimal losses.
As the story starts we find Bruce passed out on the stairs, and it ends with him passed out on the stairs and blaming himself for all the mistakes in between.
No one ever said he was a healthy role-model, it’s the interpersonal relationships that make the character human and the story worth reading.
Words – Tim Seeley
Pictures – Javier Fernandez, Chris Sotomayor
This story was a nice introduction to Dick’s extended circle of support and why he fights so hard for a city that seems to be on it’s last legs on a good day.
Nightwing, Defacer, Orca, Mouse, Thrill Devil, the Squirrel, Grimm, Stallion, and an uneasy alliance with Roland Desmond are all that stops two crazy people from dosing Blüdhaven with their knock off Blockbuster serum. Those two (Raptor and The Pigeon) are using birds to tear the town apart for the best/worst reason – for love. For the love Pigeon demands of him and that Raptor wishes for from a lost lover.
The struggle is fun (to read) in a mission impossible everyone plays a part way, the power of friendship with science and lots of punching. Even Police Captain Svoboda gets a chance to join in.
Boundaries are tested, broken and reset between characters between punches. The guy doesn’t get the girl, the girl doesn’t get the guy, but the city lives on and gets a chance at another day.
Words – Patrick Gleason, Peter J. Tomasi
Pictures – Doug Mahnke, Jamie Mendoza, Wil Quintana
This was a good, big, throw all your action figures together in a pile drag out fight. Everyone the heroes helped is on their side here.
There’s an adorable panel with the Apokoliptian puppies protecting a prone Lex Luthor. Even Lois gets her moment to shine using fits and logical argument to beat the Furies (their narrow minded views are easily translated to modern discussion still sadly), and I cheered at her triumph in all it’s comicy-goodness glory.
The cute reconnection of Lois and Clark a panel later was just a cherry on the cake, Mahnke and Tomasi have a good handle on writing people in a relationship.
Apokolips does not get what they think they need, but steps are taken towards freedom, liberty and democracy. If I was cynical I’d say it gets reversed as soon as someone finds Darkseid. The Apokoliptians are struggling with the new concepts but they’ve attained hope (and Superman’s cell number).
Now I want this sandcastle to last as long as possible, don’t let me down folks!
The Jetsons #2
Words – Jimmy Palmiotti
Pictures – Pier Brito, Alex Sinclair
I want to like this more than I do.
The art is competent, but flat and there’s no life or energy to the images. Even when it’s something as dramatic as George being electrocuted by chameleons or Elroy hanging on for his life, everyone is at most somewhat perturbed. Faces stuck on to the head like decals, overly-long limbed jointed doll bodies not adding anything more than being there.
The story, (which a good one can boost the art we have) is… overly complex yet obvious. It starts with Judy having a prophetic dream. Rosie exposits with her about it. In this incarnation she has the consciousness of George’s mother which explains her attachment to the family but makes other things awkward.
Future machinery is failing and the only one Spacely ever sends out to fix it is George. After that hilarious accidental electrocution happens (well it was meant to be), Jane is called away to help the government with an impending meteor.
Elroy is good friends with and maybe dating Cogswell’s daughter Lake (oh my goodness the wackyness!) and their picnic is interrupted when their floating campus upends. Don’t worry though named characters don’t fall in the ocean, but a huge thing underwater wakes up among the old past (to us modern) skyscrapers.
George is tapped to investigate the disturbance on the same mission his wife is on and… please let this get better next issue.