Power Girl #10 – Writer Jimmy Palmiotti& Justin Gray, Art Amanda Conner, Colors Paul Mounts. – I almost have tears in my eyes knowing that this creative team is only on the book for two more issues. I will give the new team a chance, but damn if this is not one of the best books on the stands. I hope DC collects this 12 issue run in a hard cover so I can add it to my collection. From the cover of this book until the final page you are just flat out entertained. The book has humor, characterization, action and builds masterfully on what has come before. The art work is not your standard more photo realistic super hero fare, but is masterfully designed, laid out and rich in its detail and has great ability to convey emotion. This book could be a course in how to do comic books rights. This issue we see Power Girl be saved by Terra from Satanna, we have the kid who is black mailing Power Girl with his photos of her, we see Kara at work, we see her pay off the kid by taking him to a comic store and the great reveal that Terra is not Terra and in fact the Ultra-Humanite has taken over Terra's body. The story and art go hand in hand mixing drama, comedy with big and little moments with equal aplomb.
Nemesis #1 (of 4) - Writer Mark Millar, Art Steve McNiven, Colors Dave McCaig. This book delivers the goods as a fast paced, slam bang, over the top action pack story that grabs hold of you and then never lets you go. Say what you will about Millar but the man has his finger directly on the pulse of a segment of the market that loves the big wow moments and could care about whether or not there is a coherent plot. I'm a harsh critic of Mr. Millar but I have to hand it to him that in the midst of Blackest Night and Siege he manages to have a book that has to be the number one book for the week. No the actual events themselves are not out this week, but of all the books that hit the shelves this week, this was the one I wanted to read first and I bet it is the same for many comic fans. Whether it is morbid curiosity or anticipation if you are a fan, this is the book you need to have read this week to be part of the comic scene. Also remember while Marvel publishes the book and allows the book to use their distribution channel this is for all intents and purposes a self published book. Millar knows how to promote himself which is hugely important in this type of market. Of course having Steve McNiven on the art side doesn't hurt this book at all, as every page looks great and all the action is shown in graphic and gory detail. Steve captures the big moments and conveys the subtle moments with equal aplomb. While I sometimes miss his older style from the Crossgen days I get that this super hero style sells and this book is some of Steve's best work ever. I hope both Mark and Steve make a ton of money selling this to the movies because it makes sense if someone else uses their ideas to make a big time movie that the people who had the idea reap the rewards. See my full review here.
Scalped #36 – Writer Jason Aaron, Artist Davide Furno, Colors Giulia Brusco. Jason takes a bit character Shunka and breaths some depth of character into him. In some ways making Red Crow's tough brute of a character gay has almost become a cliché within the entertainment medium, but still that was just one element of the entire story. Not only did we get a glimpse into the world of being gay for a Native American, we got a glimpse inside of the heart and soul of a background character that has been in the book for quite some time. Shunka was about to walk away from the killing of another gay Native American but had the cab driver stop as he is going to return to the town that killed him. Next issue looks like a typical revenge fantasy, but Jason usually does more than expected in Scalped. What I enjoy is how Jason takes the various players in this drama and makes them three dimensional. This makes the main story line have more of an impact because you have come to know almost every player in this drama. Artist Davide Furno has been my least favorite fill in artist on this book, but his ability has seemed to take a step forward with this job and he is becoming a capable fill in artist for this series. Of course it doesn't hurt that colorist Giulia Brusco is helping.
Uncanny X-Men #522 – Okay Kitty Pryde is back, but she can't become solid and they put her in some sort of hyperbolic chamber. She was bought back by Magneto who used his power across light years, read that again light years and then he collapses and the medical staff has him on a table trying to help him. I wanted to try and get back into the X-Men but this type of crap just stops me at the front door. We want Kitty back, okay you have her, but not really as she can't talk and is permanently in a phantom like state. Then the method to bring her back is such a ridiculous extreme use of Magneto's powers that I can't even believe it in a comic book. You want to bring back an old fan give me something I want and at least make it plausible in comic book terms. Certain writers in comics today think anything goes because it is a comic. Cyclops eye blast are not only destructive but when he wishes they can heal, he just never knew it before Emma unlock the part of his brain that was still afraid of his power, the Beast can actually transform to his human form now as the mutation has continued to progress, Bobby can actually become ice and reform if broken, no matter what it is, it is okay because it is just a comic. This destroys any internal logic and instead of making comics fun it disrespects what has been established and what has gone before. Of course this allows writers to pull any damn rabbit out of a hat to fix a problem. In this case Magneto can reach across light years to bring back the missile and X-scientist can hypnotize satellites around the world. The problem with that method is now nothing matters and no internal logic exists and I can never even try and figure out anything when a solution is pulled out of the writer's a**.
Other Books of Note
FVZA #3 (of 3) – I really enjoyed this story and thought David Hine did an outstanding job with the whole concept. I loved the cross and double cross at the end. I hope we get to see more of the FVZA in the future and more of Landra.
Green Lantern #52 – This was a good lead up to next week's Blackest Night #8. Johns has really crafted a great story and I have enjoyed the entire event so far, one book to go.
Justice League The Rise of Arsenal #1 (of 4) – A lot of re-hashing of what I had read in the Rise and Fall Special and even in GA, but all done from Roy's perspective so it give it enough of a difference to be good. A nice start and I'm curious to see where this goes I rooting for Roy to come out of this as the new Green Arrow.
The worst category made an unhappy return this week. I think the X-Men should be so much better then what it is that it just stirs the passion in me. The characters even after almost 50 years still have potential in them but it seems mired in the role of being the outlaw hero type ideal. The other category got short shrift as only a few books made me feel like commenting. Often middle chapters in strong series don't need a comment and some weak books don't need to be raked over the coals for the heck of it.