The Doomino Effect for the week of August 22, 2007

Well, I’ve been arguing about how the 14th Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause applies to Somali refugees over on a pro wrestling message board, so what better motivation could there be to compose this week’s highly anticipated Doomino Effect?!

Speaking of high anticipation, I sure was eager to read Countdown #36 this week, after last week’s cliffhanger of Jimmy Olsen figuring out he knew Superman’s secret identity – the first time I’ve been excited for the next issue of Countdown! Oh wait, what’s that? The follow-up happened in a different comic? And last week’s Countdown didn’t say “To be continued in (other comic)” ? So once again, Countdown proves to be a disconnected series of meaningless events that only serve to slightly embellish on stories that are actually being told in other comics?

Okay, so on the cover, we have Mary Marvel symbolically pulling Zatanna out of a hat. Zatanna is of course so busty that even a collared shirt has no choice but to get sucked into her cleavage. First few pages, stupid stuff to make Jason Todd look stupider. Next few pages, the loser villains are trapped by Poison Ivy, but her pheromones don’t work on Piper, because he’s The Gay.

You know, completely by coincidence, I happened to read the first few chapters of Hush tonight. You might remember them – how Catwoman gets tricked into doing things she didn’t want to, because Poison Ivy’s seductions are so powerful that they work regardless of your sexual inclination. So yet again, Countdown goes for the convenient and contradictory. Doom DeLuise has resumed his weekly reviews so I’ll move on from this, but one last thing – I cannot believe how blatantly they were willing to rip off the visuals of Wolverine’s claws with that Pitt-wannabe at the end of the issue.

Speaking of Wolverine, that leads me to Wolverine #56. Sorry, that wasn’t much of a segue. Anyway, it’s the first issue after the abysmal Jeph Loeb run, and it cost $3.99!?! For what, the 56th-issue anniversary?

I’d be willing to place a bet that this issue was originally conceived as a stand-alone fill-in issue, but they added a few pages and a few lines of dialog to make it fit in with the stupid Romulus / Wildchild nonsense. As a standalone issue, it would have been pretty good. I’m a fan of Howard Chaykin, and I always like the Wolverine stories that are more about people who cross his path than they are about him. Kind of like Wolverine’s Tangled Web.

Speaking of tangled webs, I didn’t buy any Spider Man comics, but Batman #668 is all about a group of heroes ensnared in an ongoing murder mystery, where the suspects and potential victims keep dropping one at a time.

I said it last issue, but I love how simple the concept is and how brilliantly it’s being pulled off. A group of people, each with no love nor trust lost for one another, trapped in a house where people keep getting picked off. They have to put aside their mistrust and learn to work together to solve the mystery without keeping their guard down, because it could be any of them.

The only thing I’m slightly worried about is the ending – where the Black Glove says “We have your children. Advantage evil,” to which Batman responds “Hh. I don’t think so.” I really hope that next issue isn’t just Grant Morrison proving to the critics that Damian was worth bringing back. It has the potential to be cool, but man, it was going so perfectly for the first two issues. If the kid doesn’t screw it up, it’s definitely got potential to be my Arc of the Year.

But speaking of potential letdowns after two issues of story, that leads me to Supergirl and the Legion of Super-heroes #33, the conclusion of “The Quest for Cosmic Boy: Lord of Lightning.” I’m a little unclear as to whether or not The Quest for Cosmic Boy is going to continue with just a different sub-heading or if it’s over, because clearing Cosmic Boy of any criminal charges at this point kind of undermines the urgency of finding him. Sure, he could still get into trouble, but it’s not a race to find him before some angry authorities do. But anyway, that was just a minor disappointment. I’m still enjoying this series with Bedard at the helm.

Speaking of a lack of urgency, that leads me to Astonishing X-Men #22, which apparently no one is in a hurry to release. This book comes out so slowly that I really have trouble remembering what has happened, and it seems like it’s all happened before. All of it except Cyclops getting killed, at least. Well, now that I think about it, that does sound familiar.

Nobody really seemed to care, though. The reactions were more like “Well, if no one else is going to buy more beer, I guess I will!” and everyone’s like “Okay…thanks Scott. Sorry you have to be the one to go buy more beer.” Why couldn’t he just send that escape pod out un-manned to go buy beer? I mean, just send out that space pod unmanned to serve as a decoy? Anyway, Cyclops is now dead and blue (and probably exploded out in de-pressurized space), Cerebra still looks stupid, I think Emma is openly evil yet still leading the X-Men, and I don’t remember who any of the aliens are. But the bad guys have a Death Star.

And speaking of the bad guys having a Death Star, that leads me to Green Lantern Corps #15. It’s another issue of fighting, but this time the Sinistro Corps are trying to destroy Mogo the Planet. We also get the ultimate battle cry of 2007, “I CARE!!!”, sure to strike, um, caring into the hearts of villains everywhere.

And I might’ve lost count, but this seems like it’s about the eighth issue in a row in this Sinestro War to end with a giant, foreboding splash page of the Anti-Monitor, who apparently must sit in a hole in the ground so that we can only see him from the waist up, which enables artists to fit him on a page better. I’m ready to see the Anti-Monitor do something more substantial than simply be seen dramatically on the last page of sequential comics.

And finally, speaking of sequential comics, I love that Green Arrow: Year One is coming out every two weeks. This week was #4. A native helps set Ollie’s broken arm and gets him hooked on opium.

I wrote an issue or two ago about how I was getting a little bit sick of how coincidences drove this story. Well, in GAYO #4, the native who helps Ollie just happens to be the girlfriend of the guy who was prisoner back at Bad Guy Headquarters. GAYO! And wouldn’t you know it, as Ollie is running from his life from armed thugs looking to kill him, he happens upon his very own stranded yacht!! GAYO! And I’ll be gosh darned — guess what’s just still lying on the deck? Even though Ollie figures out Hackett tried to sink the boat and it got caught up in the current, washing it ashore, his fancy, super awesome bow is still just lying there!!


The Green Arrow really deserves better than this. But come back for issue 5, where Ollie will probably find robotic clones of the Justice League waiting to do his bidding and a big switch that makes all the bad guys die.