Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Best to Worst of Last Week

One of the reasons I love comics is the wide range of material that is out there and that there are super-heroes. Sure the movies have gotten into the act, but only comics give us so many heroes and with a pencil they have an unlimited budget. That point brings me in a roundabout fashion to the fact that so many comics now show us with more then one pencil artists. I understand it is a way to make deadlines work, but does that also mean that the big two no longer has books done in what is known as the “Marvel” style? I always s liked the fact that Stan Lee gave a few plot points to his artists and they essentially crafted the story and then Stan would add dialogue. After awhile I believe it was more Stan would get the book from Ditko and Lee and just add words. All of this was done to keep things moving and it become a style, but was done to save time as full scripts take a lot longer to write. Has that style been abandoned by the big two so books can be split up between artists to keep production moving along? If do it is ironic that full scripts maybe the new way to move things along faster.

Catwoman #80 – Writer Will Pfeifer, Pencils David Lopez, Inks Alvaro Lopez, Colors Jeromy Cox. The fact that this book is being canceled is a crying shame. I know it sales have been stagnate at the 20,000 mark, but that is a successful book in today’s market. They better have been plans for Selina to cancel this book. Another reason DC is irritating me. This issue was a high water mark for a book that is always a great book. Selina catches up to the thief who had taken everything away from her and takes him apart. She tells him he only was successful because he caught her at a bad time in her life. She photographs him killing Repro, follows him to a job and then beats him within an inch of his life, breaks his fingers on one hand, blows up his apartment and have the police show up to arrest him as she gave them the photos of him killing Repro. A great issue showing Selina at the top of her game and showing the spunk, confidence and wit that makes Selina one of the best. The art by David and Alvaro Lopez is always so well done, with great camera angles and dramatic effects, emotions and the whole gambit. If Catwoman is canceled they should be on a high profile book as their art is great super hero work. It is so good and so consistent that I think they maybe under appreciated.

Sparks #1 (of 6) - Writer Christopher Folino, Art JM Ringuet. Okay you can see the review on the blog here. On second reading I like the book even more. Actually this is my third reading, but the first time actually reading the comic book itself, much better then a PDF file. First off the artwork, JM Ringuet is one hell of an artist. No he is not George Perez or John Cassady, but JM’s style for this noir book is perfect. His expressions are great, his dramatic shots and camera angles are blocked out to perfection. It is so full of detail that I imagine each page takes him a lot of time. Then to Chris’s story itself, it pays off to read this book more then once as the little subtle things he brings to it is just fantastic. From the time Sparks walks into the city Dr. Mantanza is a menace. As the story is starting with Sparks reporting his own murder you know Mantanza is behind everything happening to Sparks. This issue we get Spark’s origin, his growing up, and his meeting with the love of his love. The issue ends with Lady and Sparks facing Mantanza and apparently the bad guy knocks both of them out. What Chris does so well is pacing. The last book done this well was Left on Mission by Chip Mosher and Francesco Francavilla. Chris knows when we do not need a single caption or dialogue as we are at an exciting part of the book and the pictures are left to carry the story. That is where JM’s great abilities for expression and detail can carry all the information we need in each and every panel. I have read all the way to issue #4 and can tell you the book builds very well on itself. This is a wonderful beginning to an excellent series. Sparks takes the golden age and merges it with film noir to give us one hell of a thrill ride. Don’t miss it!

DC Wildstorm Dreamwar #3 (of 6) – Writer Keith Giffen, Art Lee Garbett and Tevor Scott, Colors Gabe Eltaeb & Randy Mayor. This book is so much fun. It has beautiful art and is just a fan fiction delight to see the DC heroes face off against the Wildstorm heroes. What is even better is Giffen has come up with a reasonable premise on why they are fighting each other. To add icing to the cake he has taken the JLA, LOSH and Teen Titans from different eras and used the classic versions of those characters. In the background Chimera who is dreaming and apparently controlling the DCU heroes is making this a battle to the death. The Batman / Zealot battle was so great and very cool that is has to be seen to be appreciated. Ultimately Zealot wins by killing Batman in very dramatic fashion. If you want an entertaining story and some great action fight scenes between two Universe heroes with stunning art, stop in and pick up Dreamwar.

Scalped #18 - Writer Jason Aaron, Art David Furno, Colors Giulaa Brusco. This series just blows me away. Jason Aaron has come of age on this book. When it first started it was a very good book, but has continued to grow over the 18 issues to where month in and month out this is one of the top ten series on the stands. How this book has sales numbers under 8,000 copies a month is a sin. I just keep thinking are there really 200 books a month better then this? The answer is absolutely not. This issue was a one and done about a back ground character Officer Falls Down. He has been basically existing since his wife was killed by a drunk driver, but a night with his grand mother and friends takes him on a spiritual journey that reconnects him with who he is. A powerful story and a great character study of one man. Jason Aaron has to be the fastest rising star writer in comics over the last year. Take the comics out of the comic shops and put them in trades at a newsstand and I bet Scalped would outsell 90% of the rest of the stuff on the stands.

Superman / Batman #49 – Writers Michael Green & Mike Johnson, Pencils Shane Davis, Ins Matt Banning, Colors Pete Pantazis. A good ending to the Kryptonite saga as we find Lexcorp is behind all the kryptonite weapons. Superman knows Lana is running Lexcorp and will shut it down, but she says it was the only way to keep Lexcorp profitable and keep all of her employees working. She tells Superman that if he tries to shut them down she will explode all the green “K” and poison’s Earth’s atmosphere and make Superman have to leave. He says she won’t do it and tells Batman to proceed with taking out her database and she hits the button. It was a little too comic book convenient to have Toyman (the super genius Hiro one) fix the problem with miniature mechanical self replicating spiders that eat the micro green “k”, but it was okay. We did find out that Lana is apparently under someone’s control, but Superman does not know that. We also see Superman give Batman the last piece of green “k” as a final precaution and find out Batman already had saved some. This has been the best arc on this book to date. Michael Green does not seem to really worry about continuity, but I don’t worry about this book being in or out of continuity. Shane Davis and Matt Banning are really at the top of their game and DC needs to be lining up a high profile project for them.

Grendel Behold the Devil #8 (of 8) - By Matt Wagner. This was a satisfying end to this Grendel saga, showing Grendel to be the evil bastard that he is. Matt had shown us a Grendel who was off his game due to this demon that was watching him, once resolved Hunter was everything you’d expect him to be. The reporter had gathered all his evidence and was now sure Hunter Rose and Grendel were one and the same and he had proof. Grendel shows up at his apartment kills him and torches his apartment, burning the evidence and 15 other people also die in the fire. What I did not quite get (and hopefully will on a second reading when the hard cover comes out) is why Stohler killed himself. One big thing that made this series shine is it showed up each and every month on time. A worthy addition to the Grendel saga and proof that sometime you can go home again.


Justice League of America #22 - Writer Dwayne McDuffie, Art Ed Benes, Colors Pete Pantazis. Now this was an excellent issue of the JLA and it felt like the book has a little bit of a direction. The fact that I enjoyed a Red Tornado story is amazing in and of itself. Ed Benes has certainly become a top flight artist for DC and this issue he is inking himself, which gives the book a little darker look. The story is the JLA has built a new android body with the help of Dr. Magnus and the Chief from the Doom Patrol. As all the preparations are done and they are just about ready to transfer Reddy into the new body when John Henry Irons calls Batman and they find out his old body has self repaired. Amazo has hijacked the old body and takes out the group trying to give Reddy a new home and takes over the new body. A great return of Amazo who has become the JLA villain. Even with all of this going on we get plenty of characterization, movement on Vixen’s story and Red Arrow. DC just needs to leave this book alone and let McDuffie and Benes have fun with it. Any character in his own book can’t have any real change fostered on them here, but you have plenty of other characters to play with.

Brave and Bold #14 – Writer Mark Waid, Art Scott Kolins, Colors Rob Schwager. I always enjoy Deadman stories, especially when Nanda Parbat is in the mix. This issue we find Deadman is trying to stop Siva Anuttara, a death worshipper who has captured Rama Kushna, from basically taking over the world. He has used Rama’s powers to activate an army of ghosts who can take over people’s bodies like Deadman, except that it kills the hosts unlike Deadman. Deadman teams up with Green Arrow and they are unsuccessful in stopping Siva. Then Green Arrow shoots Deadman (they are in Nanda Parbat so Deadman is “alive”) and tosses his body off a cliff. All a feint I’m sure to buy time since Siva stopped GA from freeing Rama already. My guess Deadman’s body goes into the real world and he becomes a ghost again. Next issue Nightwing and Hawkman join in the fun. I was very sad to hear Waid was leaving the book soon, but I can’t imagine the hours he is working at BOOM. Scott Kolins is inking his own work and his style has certainly been changing over the years. It is always good to see an artist who continues to push themselves. Scott is a very good artist and occasionally can be a great artist. Funny how certain people appear to be more at home at one company or the other and Scott seems to fit better at DC.

War is Hell: The First Flight of the Phantom Eagle #4 (of 5) – Writer Garth Ennis, Art Howard Chaykin, Colors Brian Reber. This has been a really nice series to watch Karl Kaufman go from an almost bumbling boob of a pilot to apparently the second most seasoned and more grizzled veteran of the bunch. This issue we watch as he cringed taking two pilots with less then two days experience in the air to fight. Both lost their lives and his friend pointed out at least they took bullets that could have taken out more experienced pilots like themselves. In the background is the mystery of who he really is as there are references to his file never being found. Ultimately he has become a hell of a pilot and one of the leaders of the group and I’m curious as to how this will play out. Chaykin’s artwork, while highly stylized works very well for this book and I even forgive the fact that he only draws about five different people ever. Chaykin does a great job with the WWI planes. Ennis just seems to thrive on war stories and I think he does his best work on that genre.

Ghost Rider #24 – Writer Jason Aaron, Art Tan Eng Huat, Color Jose Villarrubia. Johnny Blaze continues his quest to have a showdown with the Angel Zadkiel. This issue Johnny shows up in prison to go after a Preacher who has had dealings with the Angel. The actual story was a little odd as Johnny shows up in a solitary confinement cell and gives the old penance stare to a bad guy to fry his soul and demands to see the warden. He tells the warden he wants to see the Preacher. The warden refuses and locks Johnny in the solitary confinement cell. Johnny goes half Ghost Rider kicks down the door and goes to find the Preacher. SO WHY DIDN’T HE JUST SHOW UP IN THE PREACHER’S CELL? Anyway the Preacher tells Johnny he is screwed and at the same time it appears Zadkiel has taken over a guard who has realized this really big bad a** guy called the Deacon. It seems like Zadkiel is just playing with Johnny, but Jason Aaron makes this stuff work and Ghost Rider is a cool tough anti-hero again. We have a new artist for this arc and Tan Huat who was competent, but not as dynamic and perfect for Ghost Rider as Roland was.

Anna Mercury #2 (of 5) – Writer Warren Ellis, Art Facundo Percio, Colors Paul Duffield. This series is structured very well. Issue #1 we jump headlong into an adventure and have no real clue what is happening, but the book moves and we are totally focused on Anna Mercury. It ends with a shock as we see Anna is working for what appears to be the British government. This issue we get the low down on what is happening. Essentially there are a group of parallel Earths and they are exploring them and have been for years. There are severe restrictions on crossing from one world to another and if not handled right it can be the death of an operative. Anna is the operative we are focused on and we are still sorting out exactly why she is doing what she is doing. This series should be a lot of fun and have some great sci-fi ideas thrown in for good measure. The art is also very strong and it is nice to see that the internet has brought as a lot of art from many different people, who I’m sure live all over the globe.
Hellblazer #245- Writer Jason Aaron, Art Sean Murphy, Colors Lee Loughridge. It amazes me how low the Vertigo single issue sales numbers are as they have some of the best series on the racks. This issue is a two-part story that is a fill-in, but is brought to us by writer Jason Aaron, which is a huge plus. Jason has three books this week with Hellblazer, Ghost Rider and Scalped and all are good books. Hellblazer is about a low end cable station doing a story on an old punk bands and John Constantine was a member of one such band. Of course something went horribly wrong and there is a bit of mystery as to what happened. The intrepid reporters while waiting for sunlight get stoned which causes the most disgusting sex scene I have ever seen depicted in a comic and other mayhem. Constantine is seen at the end buying a ticket back to Newcastle where these reporters are investigating what happened to his old band. A lot of set-up for next issue, yet a very good read and if you read this you have to get next issue. Guardians of the Galaxy #2 - Writer Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, Pencils Paul Pelletier, Inks Rick Maygar, Colors Nathan Fairbairn. This series is starting off on the right foot. We get a second mission right away. The galaxy has another fissure that needs to be closed and the team teleports in and finds a frozen Vance Astrovik with Captain America’s shield. This is apparently the original Vance from the first Guardians series (not 100% sure). Anyway, they fix that fissure and get back and another emergency arises and the team leaves again only to find out the Universal Church of Truth has set a trap for them. I’m amazed how well this series has been set-up and how well all the players have been defined. You really get the feeling that the writers really thought this book through before launching it.

Flash #241 – Writer Tom Peyer, Art Freddie Williams II, Colors Tonya and Richard Horie. This was a very good issue of the Flash and I hope Tom Peyer is signed up for this book long term, but recent solicitations indicate that may not be the case. Note to DC rotating writers on a book that needs a long term plan is a bad idea. This issue Grodd has Jay, Wally and Spin captives and is using his mental control to force them to do his bidding. The ominous words Grodd says while speaking to Jay seems to be setting up a story down the road. The heroes escape with the help of the newly aged Iris who now has super speed powers. The Flash museum is under attack and on fire and the Flashes go to save the day there. We also got some great character moments as Wally saves Inertia from the fire and then we see Iris on the last panel now apparently a young woman. The rapid aging of Wally and Linda’s children has kicked back in for Iris and what that means for her is the danger that her entire life could be done in a few months.
Birds of Prey #119- Writer Chuck Dixon, Pencils Nicola Scott, Inks Doug Hazelwood, Colors Hi-Fi. A decent issue and getting us back into the new status quo. Tony Bedard is taking what Sean McKeever left him with and running with it. The Birds have moved to California and are investigating a group of mysterious bad guys who seem to have quite a hold on some very powerful business people. Babs has Manhunter watching Black Canary for unknown reasons. Also we find out Babs has been getting information from the Calculator. Tony seems to have a good handle on these characters and this series looks to be in good hands.

Tangent Superman’s Reign #4 (of 12) – Writer Dan Jurgens, Pencils Jamal Igle, Inks Robin Riggs, Colors Dom Regan. This series is one you have to be invested in because after the first two issues I think it is impossibly dense with needed information to be able to join in. Still this is a 12 issue maxi-series that I have signed up for and I’m enjoying. This issue we find out the good guys did not save the real Atom and the Tangent Superman still has him. Batman, Hal Jordan, Black Canary and Black Lighting make it over to the Tangent world. The fake Atom was the Tangent Power Girl and the crap just hit the fan. The back-up History Lesson by Writer Ron Marz, Pencils Fernando Pasarin, Inks Matt Banning, Colors Dom Regan continues to really help bring us up to speed with how the Tangent Universe ended up under their Superman’s thumb.

Wolverine #66 – Writer Mark Millar, Pencils Steve McNiven, Inks Dexter Vines, Colors Morry Hollowell. First off I will blame (credit?) Troy Brownfield from Newsarama’s Best Shots column to dragging me into this story. I had planned to skip it, but Troy gave it a decent review and I read it before hitting the comic book store and the damn thing jump into my pile of books and made it home. First off Steven McNiven’s art looks great as always and his more heavy realistic style that he has been using works very well with this book. It is a “What If” story more then anything else. If you look at the story that way it is a decent set-up to the story. Strip it of that and apply any logic to it and the story falls down even inside of its own logic. We see an aged Logan whose healing factor is no longer all that, who lives in a USA that has been divided up by the bad guys who won the war years ago. Logan will no longer fight and has a family now, with his son being named Scott, which I found amusing. Logan is past due on the rent and the Banner grand children (hulk like people) beat him up and tell him double next month or his family will be killed. A blind Hawkeye shows up with a delivery job and offers Logan big $$ to help out and they take off across country in the old spider-mobile. As an elseworld type story a writer is free to make up anything and just use whatever he wants and we are suppose to accept it. Within that context and with the great art I can handle this book and enjoy it on some level. I will give it another issue, but I want more explanation of how things got to where they are before I can really “buy in” to the story. The biggest plus to this book is McNiven and this maybe his best super hero work ever.

Gemini #2 (of 5) – Writer Jay Faerber, Art Jon Sommariva, Colors FCO Plascencia. What a fun book. The art has an exaggerated and slightly cartoon like feel to it, but is well done and fits the mood of this book perfectly. Gemini was shot in the face but has regenerative abilities, so he wakes up with no mask and no contacts that his controllers need to track him. Gemini is a hero, who does not know he is a hero. The controllers in a panic have to get another hero who is controlled to go and try and give Gemini a deactivation code. Of course this causes quite a melee, but ultimately Gemini is sent back home and all appears to be back in control. A knock on Gemini’s door of his civilian identity has both Gemini (as a civilian) and the controllers wondering who is showing up. It is Gemini’s ex-controller who recently quit the company. It is a fun concept that some nebulous company has created super heroes and the people who are the heroes have no idea they are heroes. The mini-series seems to be about one such hero breaking free from not knowing what his life is really all about. Jay has another winning book and I’m looking forward to the rest of this series.

Streets of Glory #5 (of 6) – Writer Garth Ennis, Art Mike Wolfer, Color Greg Waller. This was a relatively quite issue as our “hero” Joe Dunn is settling back into this small town and renewing his relationship with his ex-wife. The entire issue is well done and full of characterization as we see Joe’s friend have a stroke and become an invalid, Joe and his ex-wife renew their good and bad feelings and Joe beat the crap out of a man who threatens his daughter. The background is the wealthy man who is looking to change the town. I get the feeling the end story is Joe versus this man who is going to foster change on this town, whether they want it or not. What they seems to represent are two different eras in time, Joe is the old west and the rich guy is progress coming to the west. Ultimately you can’t stop change from coming.

Fallen Angel #27 – Writer Peter David, Art JK Woodward. Things have not let up in this series at all. Angel, Black Mariah and Jude have lost the war of Bete Noire. Angel is content to just live out life and not worry about anything. Mariah has noticed how the headlines depict the world has become a nasty and worse place as Bete Noire is the city that controls the world. Jude needs to help the city and take it back and he is going to the hidden city of life for help as apparently he now knows how to find it. On the way there in a plane being flown by Mariah, a winged Demon attacks them. Angel gets rid of him, but not before the plane is crashed. It is going to be a long trip getting to the city of life. David seems to have a solid direction for this book and it is the best it has ever been. JK Woodward’s moody art style is now the signature look of Fallen Angel and it works very well for this series.

Gotham Underground #9 (of 9) – Writer Frank Tiera, Pencils Jim Califore, Inks Jack Purcell, Colors Brian Reber. Now this was a week late for my store, but timing was not critical on this series. I enjoyed this series a lot. It was nice to see the Bat family all work together for a change and I liked how the Penguin was going to go down fighting against Intergang. The little summation in the end by Jim Gordon was perfect way of spelling out the new status quo in the Gotham Underworld. The only problem is that I do not think any one will care about the new status quo as Batman RIP is what all the bat books are about right now. That does not diminish the fact that this was a good series and enjoyable it just makes me question why it was suppose to actually impact anything when it appears we may not see that impact ever reflected in the Bat books. Salvation Run was a series that never purports to have an impact, just a story about all the villains being on one world. DC feels really mismanaged right now.

Kill All Parents #1 – Writer Mark Andrew Smith, Art Marcelo Di Chiara, Colors Russ Lowery. What a terrific one shot story. The simple premise is that most heroes are born due to the tragic circumstance that shaped their lives, which usually involves parents dying. A scientist who has a machine to see into the future tells him the only way to save the world is to create these heroes. In order to create heroes the computer tells him to kill their parents. From shooting a couple in the alley, to killing parents on a far away planet he creates the heroes the world needs to survive. It is hilarious and at the same time you feel for these heroes when they find out the truth. The doctor then tells them if they had not become heroes most of them would have almost worthless existences. A great read and some terrific art.

Iron Man #30 –Writer Stuart Moore, Pencils Robert de la Torre, Calo Pagulayan & Steve Kurth, Inks Robert de la Torre, Jeffrey Huet & Andrew Hennessy, Colors Dean White. This is a funny book for me; in that the story did not stay with me from issue to issue, but upon reading the first page or so the entire story came back. Shield is trying to quell a high tech terrorist who happened to be an old research buddy of Tony Stark. At the same time a rogue Shield agent has stolen the overkill horn and has been merged with it to create to Overkill Mind. So we have two menaces that are now converging on Shield and Iron Man at the same time. This is a rock solid entertaining adventure of Iron Man and I’m constantly surprised that I like it so much that I hang in on this book.

Trinity #3 - Front Story Writer Kurt Busiek, Pencils Mark Bagley, Inks Art Thibert, Colors Pete Pantazis, Back Story Writers Kurt Busiek & Fabian Nicieza, Layouts Mike Norton, Finishes Jerry Ordway, Colors Allen Passalaqua. This was another decent issue, The story for the front part of the book, the JLA shows up to help John Stewart against Konvikt (the big purple alien who beat GL last issue) and Konvikt basically beats the crap out of them. The JLA is reeling and the big three show up and we cut to Morgana talking about how they all defer to them. Now I get that Busiek wanted us to understand that even within the JLA these guys are the big guns, but this was overplayed. The JLA has never been shown as a group that is babysat by the Trinity. What was nice was how Konvikt laid out Superman with one punch. This comic has a long way to go, but this issue read like a decent super hero adventure and nothing quite so special to make me want to invest for 49 more issues. Still Busiek is a very good writer so I will cut him some slack. Bagley’s work looks good and he is certainly being given a chance to draw a lot of the DCU early on. The back-up focused on a tarot card reader who is obviously starting to exhibit an ability to really foretell the future with her cards and how she ties into this has yet to be revealed. Overall we are three issues into Trinity and it is a decent book, but has it is not really drawing me in with any element that makes me need to have this book on my list and that should be what a weekly does. The one big plus is this project is off on its own and is not dragging the rest of the DCU into it.


Cthulhu Tales #3 - Writers Willima Messner-Loebs, Michael Alan Nelson, Todd Lepre, paired with artists Andrew Ritchie, Eduardo Ferigatoo and Chee respectively. Three eight page stories using the Lovecraft horror ideas as the focal point. Each story was well done and enjoyable, but the Messner-Loebs story was a real trip. It was like every character was a worshipper of Cthulhu. I think the Cthulhu stuff has a nice eerie feel to it. I just wonder how long an anthology will last in today’s market.

Casey Blue Beyond Tomorrow #2 (of 6) – Writer B. Clay Moore, Pencils Carlo Barberi, Inks Jacob Eguren, Colors Carrie Strachan with Darlene Royer. The mystery of whom or what Casey Blue deepens, but we get no real answers. An FBI and Casey seemed to have a mental connection and Casey is drawn to him. He tells her that you know you can’t succeed and then she kills him. Casey is more aware of what happen this time, but still has no level of control. Then a dart hits her in the neck and she starts to pass out she sees it is her brother’s neighbor. The art work is great, as I always enjoy the clean and fluid line work of Carlo Barberi. Moore is certainly lying out tons of mysteries, but in a six part mini-series I want a few more answers and by next issue.

Checkmate #27 – Writer Bruce Jones, Pencils Manuel Garcia, Inks Travis Lanham, Colors Santiago Arcas. Oh joy, oh joy I get to have Bruce Jones give me the Al Gore pitch in this comic. I know it was a set-up for the big ass monster that Chimera will have to go up against, but it was just such tripe and a use of Native Americans which has been overplayed in comics. Chimera is certainly a powerful creature. He has physic abilities, healing factor, incredibly strong, can read a person’s fear and morph into it and is apparently a little mentally unstable. I’m close to dropping this book as it really feels like it is all about Chimera and Checkmate is a supporting player in their own book. Manuel Garcia’s work is very strong in this and I swear I see Neal Adams and Joe Kubert influences in his work.

X-Factor #32 – Writer Peter David, Pencils Valentine De Landro, Inks Drew Hennessy with Craig Yeung, Colors Jeromy Cox with Chris Sotomayor. This book has gone from one of my favorites to a book that is in the middle of the pact and is losing my interest. I blame the Messiah Complex with throwing this book off its rhythm. This issue Val Cooper from O*N*E tells X-Factor they have to split up or become part of the Initiative. They escape for a few months and then Val finds them and states the old line from Casablanca about the beginning of a beautiful friendship, which in a bizarre coincidence is also used in Gotham Underground. What happened to Jamie discovering he is not a mutant and then losing Layla took the heart out of this series. I’m giving it two more issues and then it gets cut if it doesn’t go back on an upswing.
Batman and the Outsiders #8 – Writer Chuck Dixon, Pencils Julian Lopez, Inks Bit, Colors Marta Martinez. We are eight issues into this book and it really feels like it has gone nowhere. I’m not clear what mission they have been trying to accomplish, we have different people showing up to help out almost every issue and Metamorpho is still floating around in outer space. This book is a microcosm of what is wrong with DC. They first cancel the last Outsiders to set up a new team with a writer/artist and they don’t get along. Then the second writer gets things going and for some reason any work done on that gets scraped. Chuck Dixon comes on and has a team and is immediately told he has to give up two team members. Now struggling to get this book going, Chuck has been trying to get a rhythm going and has now left (been fired from ?) DC. This book soon ties-in to RIP and then who the heck knows where it goes from there. Hiccups, making a mistake occasionally I can understand, but BATO has been a clutter cluck since day one and the only people to blame are management.

Teen Titans Year One #5 (of 6) - Writer Amy Wolfram, Pencils Karl Kerschl, Inks Serge Lapointe, Colors John Rauch. Wow if this series had more then one issue left I would drop it like a hot potato. Even the whimsical art and amusement I get from the odd portrayal of Aqualad can’t save this anymore. It read like an after school special or some piece of work from the Disney channel, that perhaps would appeal to some 12 year old somewhere. For me this was a waste of time. Speedy goes out with Wonder Girl, gets the Arrow Car wrecked and then tells Wonder Girl to go away because he was embarrassed that she had to save him.

This week it was a toss-up between Catwoman and Sparks as to who was number one, so I'm calling it a tie. That wraps up another week and then next week will be skewed due to the shipping problems, I’ll be curious to see how things shake out for my rankings on that week.

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