Birds of Prey #108 had a lot of ground to cover. In what I believe was Gail Simone’s last issue on the title, she wraps up the Secret Six crossover story, has a knock-down drag-out fight between Spy Smasher and Oracle, and finishes it off with the “core” BoPs reminiscing about their time together. The best moment in the issue occurred after Oracle finished whooping on Spy Smasher. When Spy Samsher tries to claim ownership of Oracle’s operatives, she runs into a bit of resistance from pretty much everyone who’s every worked for Oracle: Huntress, Gypsy, Vixen, Katana, Catwoman, Manhunter, Metamorpho, Nightwing, Judomaster, Misfit, Power Girl, Wildcat, two Green arrows, Big Barda, Lady Shiva, Lady Blackhawk, Hawkgirl, several people I don’t even recognize, and of course, Black Canary. It looks like series artist Nicola Scott actually drew the lineup as a four-page splash, but apparently Birds of Prey isn’t as important as ASSBAr or JLA, because the image was divided into two two-page splashes. Regardless, it was a great mark-out moment for loyal readers of the series, and was a great way to cap off Gail Simone’s stellar run on a great title (even if I only caught the tail end of it).
Worst Issue of the Week- Quasar #1
I’m not sure what to make of this whole Annihilation: Conquest thing. I really enjoyed the prologue issue, and I really enjoyed the Nova crossover issue, but I couldn’t bring myself to pick up Wraith #1 a couple weeks ago, and I really didn’t enjoy Quasar this week either. I can’t really put my finger on why I didn’t like it, either. I really enoyed the art at times, but then other times the penciller used unconventional panel breaks that didn’t really read as panel breaks unless you were paying really close attention. The writing was decent, but then again, nothing much happened this issue. It’s really disappointing that these lead-in mini-series don’t interest me, because I was really excited by the prologue and thought I had missed out on a great story by skipping the first Annihilation. Now, I’m not so sure. I’m still tempted to buy the Annihilation: Conquest mini-series when that comes out, but I’m not sure it’ll make any sense if I skip the lead-ins. Help me out, readers of the first Annihilation: are these lead-ins essential to the story? If so, I guess I’ve gotten my fill.
Surprise of the Week- Justice League was good
Justice League has not been a good book over the last ten issues. It’s come to the point where I’m just counting down the issues until Dwayne McDuffie takes over. So imagine my surprise when I finished reading Justice League of America #11 and realized that I really enjoyed it. For Brad Meltzer’s penultimate (that doesn’t mean last, right?) issue, instead of telling a really broad story featuring dozens of different characters and several parallel narratives, the writer focuses on just two characters, Vixen and Red Arrow, in a great done-in-one issue. It’s a great change of pace that almost makes me disappointed Meltzer’s leaving knowing he’s got eight other characters he could write stories like this one for. Even the Michael Turner cover doesn’t completely suck. What’s going on here?!
Testicular Euphemism of the Week- brass ones
It’s not incredibly uncommon while reading a superhero comic to come upon a creative way of saying “balls” without actually saying “balls.” Because “balls” isn’t a very family-friendly word, I guess. Balls. It’s not very common, however, when two different writers use the same expression in two different titles during the same week. That was the case this week: In Avengers: The Iniative #4, War Machine tells Tony Stark “Damn. They ought to change your name to Brass Man. How can you even walk around with those?” In Captain America #28, Sharon Carter says concerning Nick Fury “I Still can’t believe he hid a communications hub on the roof of the Daily Bugle. The man seriously has brass ones…” Am I weird for noticing that?