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Welcome To The Planet: ‘Action Comics #966’, ‘Blue Beetle #2’, ‘Vigilante Southland #1’, ‘Wonder Woman #9’

From the violent defender, Vigilante, the symbol of peace, Wonder Woman, the inexperienced teen, Blue Beetle, to Earth’s greatest champion, Superman… The Rebirth movement continues and in a myriad of fantastic stories.

Lois Smith adds familiar challenges to her new ones in motherhood.

Jaime Reyes finds out his mother has a secret.

Donnie Fairchild threw his life away but maybe it isn’t too late.

Diana finally meets someone that is a match for her on and off the battlefield.

Comics aren’t perfect, we know that from arcs such as Grounded, the Clone Saga and Truth… ok, I jest, but why did Vigilante & Wonder Woman beat the rest for a 5* score? What went right? What went wrong? Do you feel the same?

This is my look into the DC Universe this week!

 

ac_cv966_dsACTION COMICS #966

Lois Land, Back At The Planet – Part 2
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Stephen Segovia
Inker; Art Thibert
Cover: Clay Mann, Tomev Morey & Dan Jurgens
Variant: Gary Frank & Brad Anderson

Clark and Jon return home to find Lois hasn’t gotten home from Metropolis yet. While Clark is more concerned that Jon’s powers seem to me fluxing Jon is more stressed that him mother isn’t home. Clark tells him that because of their work they won’t always be at home as much as they once were.

In Metropolis, Superwoman is questioning Lois Smith on her impersonating Lois Lane but as Superwoman becomes more imposing Lois secretly calls home. Jon reluctantly agrees to stay at home and Clark races to the rescue but instead of finding trouble, he discovers Lana Lang!

Lana explains how she got her powers and they unlock Lois Lane’s laptop to discover a message from her that distresses them all. Lois knew her powers as the second Superwoman were killing her, but she had an intense feeling that anyone wearing the ‘S’ is going to suffer the same fate. Before she signs off Lois begs her counterpart to assume her life so that her loved ones wont suffer.

Lana tells Lois and Clark that Lois suffered the same ‘burn out’ death that the other Superman did. Lois decides to fulfill her “New 52”-er’s dying wish and keep an eye on the human Clark at the same time.

The next day, the man in a baseball cap arrives on the outskirts of Metropolis  and summons a portal through which a huge gladiator called Zade arrives swearing to punish the criminal wearing the ‘S’ shield!

To Be Continued…

STORY: 4/5

A nice ending to the arc that really cements Lois Smith in her new role as ‘herself’ It’s also a fitting goodbye for the original Lois on this earth. We now know she was dying just as Lana is but also that she was every bit the reporter Lois was. I like that Lois, Clark and Lana have chosen to honour the dying woman’s wishes while also giving Lois Smith new purpose.

There are a few mysteries like Jon’s powers fluxing, who the third Clark is, the wearers of the ‘S’ facing a terrible fate and also this new character Zade but that will have to wait!

The scenes with Lois facing up to Lex and then to touching surrogate father moment with Perry were pure gold.

ART: 4/5

There is clearly a lot of effort for the art to match the paper stock of older comics, the colouring process, hand lettering. It looks great, again with that nostalgia running through it. I don’t feel I can give the art a full rating, it is just so crushed into the three pages. As time goes on and there are more pages perhaps I can give a fairer analysis but so far it’s going in the right direction.

COVER: 4/5

Superman is front and centre, with Clark literally soaring over the bustling Metropolis. The inking style is a little patchy, and the digital effects take a little away from the art but it still looks fantastic.

VARIANT COVER:  5/5

Gary Frank delivers a superb Superwoman and both are smiling, something seldom seen on comic cover art.

ac_cv966_open_order_var

The cover still doesn’t top issue #961 but it’s a close second. More a Superwoman cover than Superman but I’ll take it!

 

blue_cv2_dsBLUE BEETLE #2

Blurred
Writers: Keith Giffen & Scott Kolins
Artist: Scott Kolins
Cover: Scott Kolins
Variant: Cully Hamner

Root, Blur, Nightcatcher, Sphish, Blot & Smokey are now reunited, they form the street kid super team, The Posse and for the moment they are Blue Beetle’s allies. They reveal that holes in the ground have been appearing all over town and with them, super powered teens have been vanishing. Jaime is surprised to hear that his mother had been helping to treat them when injured.

As Blur decides to scour the skies, Blur, using her teleport power, gives chase. Blur flirts with Jaime but he’s more interested in cracking the case.

Elsewhere Paco & Brenda bump into a teenager after school but are horrified as he vanishes right before their very eyes.

Blur chases Beetle all across town but when she makes physical contact the suit protects itself. The counter measures take out Blur and Jaime finally warms to the headstrong girl. They share a kiss by way of an apology but unknown to Jaime, Root has been watching and signals Blur to disappear.

A puzzled Jaime returns home and confronts his mother. The family watch the stand off with neither backing down. Jaime hugs his mother and the Reyes household get ready for supper.

The End.

STORY: 3/5

The story descended into nothingness unfortunately.

There were plenty of character moments throughout and some fun dialogue between Ted and Jaime but unfortunately the story fell flat aside from this. Blur took up the bulk of the issue but was more an annoyance than a progress in character or story. The main action was Jaime climbing down a hole and then the teleport tiff fight between Blur. Nothing that was set up in the first issue was really looked at a bit disappointed, as the first issue was so good I  am hoping the story gets better as it progresses because snappy dialogue isn’t enough.

ART: 4/5

The art is as energetic as ever. Blur artistically isn’t as spectacular as Sphish but there are some great looking scenes nonetheless. I think the inking perhaps did too much; I would have liked to see Romulo Fajardo Jr. play a little more with the colouring.

COVER: 4/5

Like the interior art, the cover is bursting with energy and fun, but just as before it feels like the colouring is taking a back seat to the inked artwork.

VARIANT COVER:  5/5

blue_cv2_open_order_varA slick piece of art by Cully Hamner that really makes you feel like you know Jaime Reyes and want to read his adventures! The best part of this so/so issue so I’m making it my phone wallpaper!

 

vigso_cv1_ds VIGILANTE: SOUTHLAND #1 of 6

Part One
Writer: Gary Phillips

Artist: Elena Casagrande
Cover: Mitch Gerads
Variant: Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea & Tomeu Morey

At Del Pueblo University while Donny is playing basketball his girlfriend is taking part in a campus protest and as the evening comes to a close, Donny heads home to smoke weed while his girlfriend Dorrie Smallwood sneaks onto campus and photographs confidential blueprints.

The next morning Bobby complains about Dorrie and her activist ways, his cocky attitude doesn’t win him brownie points amongst his friends but while he complains Dorrie is deliberately mowed down on her cycle to work.

Donnie is in shock when he is told it is an accident.

At the wake, Nina Smallwood approaches Donnie and asks him to help her to go through her daughters’ things later. As Donnie leaves he bumps into Mike Regalado, a scientist on the board of the company Nina works for.

Later a hitman named Spectros tells his boss that Dorrie is dealt with, and her confidantes, Donnie, a washed up sportsman turned a pothead janitor poses no threat but her mother might know what Dorrie had found.

Spectros has underestimated Donny as he heads to The Stairstep Club to meet with its owner, Percy ‘Pop’, and ask for a favour; to investigate Dorrie’s death. When Pop reveals he’d already gotten hold of the police report and there seems to be a bigger cover up at hand Donny is more worried than ever.

Heading to Dorries apartment he finds a metal box hidden away and when he unlocks it he finds a spandex jumpsuit and a double-ended mace bola delivering a literal shock.

Soon Pop and Donnie are interrogating witnesses to the hit and run find a homeless man they convince to talk with the aid of the ‘meteor chain’. Days go by with each night delivering more and more information. A young street kid watching from the shadows calls in a tip for cash.

As Donnie heads home a noise catches his attention and seconds later, his apartment explodes…

To Be Continued…

STORY: 5/5

A really good story. Engaging from start to finish. A very cinematic read and a really good reinvigoration of the character who has been no less that six characters before him. This version is as far removed as possible from his other mantle holders. Whether Donnie Fairchild can live up to the legend of the Vigilante remains to be seen.  I love a comic that can make you feel like you are in on the action too. The only negative is that there aren’t enough narrative boxes to give you more information and figure out who is who and what exactly is happening.

I’m sure the Luke Cage parallels will be drawn but aside from skin colour and fighting for the people, they are really nothing alike.

There is a resonating feel that this story is personal.

ART: 5/5

It is all about that film feel from start to finish!

The book is a real page turner! Elena Casagrande has the feel of the script down to perfection. As with a lot of books recently the narrative boxes seem to be at a minimum, I’m not after spoon feeding but some background info would make some scenes flow better.

COVER: 4/5

The main cover looks great but to me it doesn’t tell you what he’s all about. Great action but it doesn’t tell the story. Still a really superb piece though!

VARIANT COVER:  5/5

vigso_cv1_open_order_var

I love this cover. It really has that man of the people feel to the book.

Tony S. Daniel hits a home run!

 

ww_cv9_dsWONDER WOMAN #9

The Lies – Part 5
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Liam Sharp
Cover: Liam Sharp & Laura Martin
Variant: Jenny Frisson

While Steve delivers a mission report to ARGUS’ Director Bordeaux along with the Urzkartaga sapling, Barbara Minera, (formerly Cheetah) Wonder Woman and Commander Etta Candy are shopping in Virginia but their trip is cut short as the shopping mall fills up with Wonder Woman fans eager to see the heroine.

At Empire Enterprise, Veronica Cale is being filled in on information of Wonder Woman’s recent exploits. When Cale discovers Diana can’t find Themyscira her eyes light up. Finally she has a plan and with Wonder Woman unwittingly doing the work for her.

At The Picket, ARGUS facility, Wonder Woman and her friends are trying to track down the paradise island but have no clue to its geo location. Even with Dr. Minerva’s expertise they are drawing a blank. Diana reveals she was just always able to find it as if by magic and leaves them to their work.

Diana arrives at a secluded beach only to meet Steve Trevor for a long awaited date, Steve and Diana have always loved one another but he took the role of friend when she was with Superman. When Clark and Diana split and he subsequently died in action, things changed for both Diana and Steve. Now, finally they can explore their long hindered romance.

Babara calls them back to The Picket and reveals that they’ve been concentration on where the island is, not how to reach it. Minerva further theorises that Diana was able to ‘shift’ between the divine plane and ours but something has prevented that from happening.

Diana, with Steve in tow decide to head to a place they know where the barrier is weak, the place where Steve was once able to pass through, and as luck would have it, suddenly Diana and Steve find themselves on Themyscira and greeted by none other than Queen Hippolyta herself.

Is Diana’s quest finally over?

To Be Continued…

STORY: 5/5

Greg Rucka has been turning heads with this run on Wonder Woman and deservedly so. I know Rebirth is a way to repair the kneejerk damage that the New 52 did to the mythos, heritage and adventures of some of the characters but this run alone shows there is much more to ‘The Lies’ than that.

I am enjoying this story immensely, it is some of Rucka’s best work.

I like that the Cadulo mission had some gravitas to the story and continues to, sometime when an issue ends its completely forgotten but I see from the sapling more is in store for both Barbara Minerva and Urzkartaga.

I am not sure where the conclusion will lead us, and the suspense is killing me, but I can’t wait till the finale and what it means for Diana.

ART: 5/5

I noticed not only the shout outs in the mall to all the creative’s past on Wonder Woman but how truly detailed and lush the artwork is on the book.

The scenes between Diana and Steve were fantastic. Kudos to the art team.

COVER: 5/5

Pretty H.R. Giger-esque and with a feeling of dread here. Just as Diana and Steve have gotten together after years of missing out, just as they seem to be truly happy and content, something dark and mysterious threatens to take it all away.

VARIANT COVER:  5/5

Yet another stunning variant. A winsome, pondering, determined Diana embracing nature but also ready for combat.

ww-cv9_open_order_var

Jenny Frisson continues to ensure Diana is a wonder!

 

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