The Doomino Effect for the week of September 26, 2007

Get this – I’m late doing the Doomino Effect because I went to a Mandy Moore concert and had an awesome time. No kidding! And then we hung out at a bar with her and her band. For real! It was actually really good! Who knows what kind of crazy things I’m going to say about my comics now! Suckers!

Speaking of suckers, no, not really, but I’m tired and a little drunksy so I’m going to just start with the first book on my stack, and that’s Batman #669.

I really liked how this series started out, but I felt a little bit let down by this last chapter. It all seemed to resolve too quickly. Plus I don’t remember any of these characters so I have a tough time remembering who is who.

I will tell you what, though – I appreciate the varying styles of the art, even if I’m not always sure why the styles are being varied.

Speaking of endings, that leads me to Astro City: The Dark Age: Book Two #4, the final issue in this second chapter. I love Astro City. The Dark Age issues are the only ones I’ve been picking up as they come out, and they manage to work for me even though I don’t know who many of the background characters are and there’s like 4 months between issues. Kurt Busiek is doing something right in his storytelling if it functions that well with that little effort.

I’m also really enjoying the Silver Agent’s appearances throughout time. I have a feeling that’s just going to lead up to something even cooler than his ironic demise in Book One.

I can’t recommend Astro City enough. Busiek manages to carry out these alternate takes on traditional character archetypes while making it far more meaningful than something as lame as a “What If?” or Elseworlds story.

And speaking of alternate takes on established characters, that leads me to All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #7. This title is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Hopefully Jim Lee can keep something resembling a regular schedule.

I’m growing extremely fond of Miller’s sociopath Batman, and I’m not sure if I enjoy his battle-scene ramblings or his even nuttier internal monologues more. The best part is, as this issue shows, this is actually leading somewhere!

I get enough enjoyment out of reading this that I think I’d honestly be content if it was just Batman beating up and mocking criminals while acting completely inappropriate throughout the rest of his interpersonal exchanges.

And speaking of exchanges, that leads me to Green Arrow Year One #5 in which Green Arrow destroys his own boat so that he can fight bad guys and steal theirs. GAYO! Why didn’t he just use his own boat and save the arrows? Anyway, he discovers that he’s on an old Japanese sub pen island, which was later used for US bomb tests, which is why it’s not on any map. That makes me wonder how many other unmapped islands are out there in the ocean, and maybe if I could go get one.

Battle cries like “Knock out arrow!” don’t exactly match up with ASSBAR, but at least this issue of GAYO wasn’t as riddled with moronic coincidences as previous issues. This time, Ollie just blasts straight ahead into bad guy territory after everyone fails to kill him.

I tell you what – I’m glad this series is done after next issue. Due to budgetary concerns, I had to make a decision between GAYO and Sub-Mariner last week. I had to ask myself, “Which six-part mini-series to I want to continue purchasing this week, and which will remain forever incomplete in the long boxes I’ll probably never open again?” I decided to go with GAYO.

GAYO!! This series has been a pretty big disappointment. Year One stories should be huge, character defining moments! Get a load of what passes for character defining moments in GAYO:

OLIVER QUEEN (in his mind): “All my life I’ve climbed over the little guy on my way to the top of the heap, and never gave it a second thought. But here, a woman with nothing risked everything to save me. I owe her more than just my life…I owe her my soul.”

Now let’s stop for a second and think about it. A woman with nothing risked everything. So in other words, she risked nothing. She risked nothing, so her gesture was basically meaningless. If she had something and risked everything or even just something, she would actually be in danger of losing something, so she’d be taking a gamble for another person.

We’re supposed to believe that Oliver Queen opens his eyes to the selfish life he’s lived after a woman risks nothing to save him. I don’t want to cheer for a stupid hero. I want to cheer for a smart hero. Andy Diggle has given me a guy who blows up his own boat so he can fight people to steal their boat and who has epiphanies after people risk nothing to help him. Andy Diggle has given me Oliver Queen: Moron on an Island.