The Doomino Effect for the week of June 20, 2007

Hey kids, welcome to this week’s Doomino Effect.

Starting off this review of segues falling into others is Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America: Spider-Man, the fourth in this series. Following the stages of grief, this one is “Depression” and it stars everyone’s favorite self-doubting moper, Spider-Man.

I really liked this series at the beginning, but I’ve enjoyed each subsequent issue progressively less. It was well-written, and the characterizations were effective and believable. It’s just that with the built-in structure of this series, it seems to be doomed to lose momentum. I guess we’ll just see in a few weeks how Loeb and John Cassaday handle Iron Man and the conclusion.

Speaking of conclusions, that leads me to Justice League of America #10, the conclusion of The Lightning Saga. While this was definitely the most satisfying chapter of this story, I still don’t know if bringing back Wally West was the Legion’s original intent or not. I still really don’t understand probably at least one in every three speech bubbles or caption boxes. Maybe if I re-read it, I’ll get it, but what was the point of Karate Kid not using his force field? These references are so obscure that I think most of the dramatic impact is just lost on me. The one thing I did really like, in which the drama really resonated, was Batman’s admission that he “thought it was going to be someone else.” Welcome home, Wally!

Speaking of being welcomed back, that leads me to Captain America #27, in which Bucky tracks down Captain America’s shield in his quest to honor the death of Cap and kill Tony Stark. This whole post-death storyline with Bucky and Sharon and the gang has been good enough that it doesn’t even matter that the title character is gone! In fact, Bucky’s good enough at carrying his own book that I bet before too long, he’ll star in his own comic that will be poorly written and drawn and will exist only to cash in on whatever little potential Marvel thinks lies within him instead of the well-crafted stories he resides.

And speaking of cashing in, that leads me to Ghost Rider #12, a World War Hulk tie-in! I’m taking the World War Hulk challenge, but I normally purchase Ghost Rider so I’m still following the rules. Don’t worry, kids – nothing happens in this book that you need to read to make sense of WWH. In fact, nothing happens in this book that you need to read to make sense of GR either. This is probably the worst issue of GR I’ve read so far. I do quite like the characterization of the devil – it kind of reminds me of Judd Winick’s playful evil Black Mask in Batman – but this whole issue just served to get Ghost Rider in New York so he could fight the Hulk next issue. So any regular readers of Ghost Rider will be disappointed because their series was hijacked for nothing, and anyone who picked this up for the World War Hulk crossover will be disappointed because nothing at all happened except “Ghost Rider drove to New York and then the Hulk was standing there on the last page.”

I guess I’m being too hard on this. The one thing that does happen that is worth noting is that Johnny Blaze overrides the Spirit of Vengeance’s decision. I guess the way in which it played out was just cheesy enough that it didn’t count in my brain? Who knows.