Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Best and Worst of Last Week

This week's best has something in it that is rarely ever a best type book and that is a mini-series from DC or Marvel. Often these are almost throw away stories and seemed to be made for no discernible reason. The worst also is a disappointment as I have been really enjoying the Superman books since One Year Later.

Best of the Week

Connor Hawke : Dragon's Blood #6 (of 6) - Chuck Dixon (writer) and Derec Donovan produced all six issues and I believe the book pretty much came out on time. Now Chuck Dixon always writes good stories, flat out Chuck Dixon is a professional writer and he knows his craft. He has never had that seminal work, but his runs on Nightwing and Robin were excellent and really built up a lot of supporting cast for Dick and Tim. Plus Chuck started Birds of Prey and that has always been a great series. Back to the mini-series at hand, the story was great and I thought it would wrap up nicely, but a real surprise was pulled out when Connor was forced to kill the bad guy to keep him from becoming a truly evil and very powerful super villain. Connor has never killed and never wanted to ever kill, but he was given the choice of letting a great evil cause pain and death to perhaps millions or stopping it in its tracks before it could begin. He did the right thing, but it cost him personally. This is actual change and growth of a character in a mini-series. Usually mini-series leave the character with the exact same status quo. I believe that since Marvel and DC are reluctant to launch many ongoing books that maybe mini-series can have a real meaning for the character who is being given the spotlight. I hope so. Finally I was not really familiar with Derec Donovan's artwork and while the style is loose and a little cartoon like, I grew to really enjoy his work and really appreciate an artist who can actually deliver a monthly book (for at least six issues).

JSA Classified #25 - This was a single issue story that focused on Green Lantern (Alan Scott). Recently Alan had been the White King in the Checkmate organization. Checkmate is an UN sanctioned super spy organization. As with any political and spy type situation there are many, many shades of gray. Situations that may make you feel you have to sometimes do bad things to do a greater good. In this issue we see an old foe of Green Lantern remind him of what it is to be a hero. Being a hero means doing the right thing, because it is the right thing, not because it furthers your agenda. It was a story that all of us go through in life, when sometimes the crush of day to day living causes us to loose what has meaning and that our ideals need to be practiced. A spiritual rebirth of Alan Scott if you will.

Wormwood Gentleman Corpse #7 - This book just absolutely rocks and kicks seventeen types of ass. A worm who animates a corpse, with his trusty robot and his punk rock female sidekick. Beer drinking, shotguns, inter-dimensional travel. drunkard Leprechauns, the worst stripper in history and squid beings looking to take over the multi-verse. Ben Templesmith brings in all to life as artist and writer. Each issue makes you laugh, feel squeamish and still root for the "hero" to make it through to the other side. Not for the faint of heart or your eight year old, but this book should be required reading at your comic book store.

Worst of the Week

Action Comics #848 - This was a total fill in issue. Often books will have a different writer/artist team to keep up a monthly schedule. Usually the "fill-ins" are strong and if done well can incrementally push along the current continuity. This issue was so bad that I can't even remember what the heck the book was about. The only way I could remember was to look at the DC solicitations and apparently this is a two part tale that revolves around Superman facing off with a super Jesus type character. The analogies between Jesus and Superman have been played out by many writers and can be interesting if done well, but this was a poor job done by the writer (who is not a bad writer normally). Feels very rushed and not really thought out. Given the delay issues with the Johns/Donner/Kubert run I believe this to be the case. Still I rather have nothing, then this type of issue.


  1. Didn't care for Callero's X-Factor pencils, but this issue of JSA Classified was the bee's knees. Top notch stuff.

  2. I cannot seriously believe that anyone would find any of Dragon's Blood even remotely readable, let alone "The Best" of any week.

    The entire run was a bastardization of the character of Connor Hawke, a ridiculous plot, trite dialogue, and unbelievable "surprises," that were neither surprising nor important.

    And having Connor kill was the dumbest thing I have read since Superman did the same. Even Judd Winick knows better than to have Connor behave that way.