The Doomino Effect for the week of July 25, 2007

I keep intending to cut back on how much I’m buying, but I ended up with nine comics this week. You know what that means – nine times for me to show off my fancy domino-based rating system!

First up is Green Arrow: Year One #2. Green Arrow for me was one of the few successes of DC’s One Year Later. I think I gave nearly every OYL title a chance, and Green Arrow was one of the few that I stuck with (even including titles that I read regularly before Infinite Crisis). I was sad to hear that his regular series was coming to an end, but this origin series – especially coming every two weeks – leaves me with little to nothing to complain about.

Diggle Jock continue the story of Oliver Queen, left for dead and washed up on an island. I love fiction like this, where you sit there and read it and actually wish that you were lucky enough to be stuck on a beautiful tropical island, able to find just what you need to hunt and purify water…it’s the writer’s job to make the mundane interesting and the impossible possible, and I have no problem with Oliver Queen mastering his domain. I’m excited to see where this series goes.

And speaking of being excited where a series is going, that leads me to Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #32. When Tony Bedard initially took over the writing duties from Mark Waid, I was not impressed and getting to the point where I was considering dropping this series. Last issue I mentioned that it seemed like there was a purpose coming for this book, and this issue paid off. I’m very intrigued about The Quest for Cosmic Boy and I also like that I’m getting a taste for how a different writer handles this gang and I’m enjoying it at the same time. Good prediction by me!

Speaking of predictions, that leads me to Countdown #40. I declared last week that I was dropping this series, but Rich Johnston said that “this week’s issue should be quite interesting for all sorts of good reasons…” which illustrated nicely a certain fact about Rich Johnston’s predictions. Notice how vague that is. That way, if the issue turns out to be good (which it wasn’t), he can point out how right he was (like he always does when he’s right; note how later in the column how he toots his own horn for revealing the name of “Final Crisis” a few months ago). But when the issue turns out to be just as stupid and pointless as the rest, his “insider hint” can be written off or forgotten like the other deliberately-vague insider hints that don’t pan out.

And speaking of insider hints, the cover to Wolverine #55 has Wolverine holding Sabretooth’s decapitated head! I wonder what happens in this issue… But Sabretooth has now lost his head, so he’s probably done for good, and this is apparently ultimately leading to something bigger, but I can’t help but feel that his death was wasted. Sabretooth’s glory was in his clever, sadistic evil. Yes, seeing him diminished to something so helpless does elevate whatever villain is behind the curtain, but it’s unfortunate that this was the last Sabretooth story. Oh well. Maybe letting Jeph Loeb slip away to Marvel was a little more like signing Ed Leslie and a little less like signing Scott Hall.

Things I learned from Wolverine #55:

1. You can say “douche bag” in Marvel Comics but if you want to refer to balls, testicles, nuts or gonads, you have to say “brass ones. I hope that’s a rule, anyway. It would be unfortunate if there was that much grapefruit groupthink at Marvel.

2. Sabretooth had lost his mind and become a savage beast, but while he was running around in the woods looking for things to kill, he took the time to put on his costume. Not sure where he was hiding it in all that nakedness, but I guess now we’ll never know.

Speaking of running around in all that nakedness, that leads me to The Mighty Avengers #4, in which Naked Janet Ultron is continuing to cause trouble in spite of the MA’s best efforts. In a sad moment, NJU murders The Sentry’s wife. In a happy moment (for me the reader), the good guys gain on the bad guy through being clever!

One of my major pet peeves with Bendis books is that the big conflicts usually resolve very anti-climatically; the good guy will just quickly beat up the bad guy, or someone will cast a spell changing everything. But in this issue, the Might Avengers actually examine Naked Janet Ultron’s path of destruction and figure out a pattern and turn the undoing of the enemy into a mystery to be solved! Granted, there’s still plenty of time for this storyline to end with “The Sentry uses his infinite power and turns Naked Janet Ultron into a stapler,” but I like where it’s going.

And speaking of beings with near infinite power, that leads me to Green Lantern Corps #14, part 3 of the Sinestro Corps war. Sinestro returns home to Korugar to school Natu, the current Green Lantern. He beats her up and tosses her around, intending to leave her behind to fool the locals into thinking she has won, and just before he leaves, he tears up her costume so that she has to hold her boobs in. The issue ends with a giant metal Sinestro planet eclipsing Green Lantern planet Mogo’s sunlight. Looks like the Sinestro corps has Unicron on their team now too. The Green Lanterns appear to be meeting their final damnation.

And speaking of God damning things, that leads me to All Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder #6. I am quickly growing to love this series. Now that it is triumphantly clear that Frank Miller is writing a different Batman – one that takes joy in inflicting the whims of his psychosis onto those he can intimidate – this series can be read as the story of a pointy-eared bully and the world that swirls around him, particularly written for hormonal boys who want to fight and f— everything in sight (see: “The ‘Blagg’ Scene” and “Vicki Vale undresses in front of Jimmy Olsen” as new evidence).

The great thing is, though, just like sitting down to watch Lone Wolf McQuade, sometimes grown up boys like to shut their brains off and enjoy it too.

Good luck finding a girl who likes this, though.

I’m going to go out on a limb and make my very own Rich Johnston-esque prediction:

“I wonder how Jim Lee is able to maintain this somewhat-regular schedule…”