The Doomino Effect for the week of Nov 19, 2008

So I went against my word and decided to pick up Supergirl #35, part 5 in the New Krypton saga. It turned out to be not quite as skippable as I thought, which was nice.

It did, however, open with one of the best jokes I’ve found recently in a comic book. General Lane is telling that green guy whose name I have forgotten that the American people don’t realize the threat they’re up against with these Kryptonians flying around everywhere. The Americans are being just too welcoming, because they see the Kryptonians as just another group of immigrants. And they show this welcoming attitude toward immigrants on display IN OKLAHOMA! Hahahahahahaha!

Oklahoma’s Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act has been described as “the nation’s toughest state law targeting illegal immigrants.” But hey, they probably just needed a good place to show a cowboy rounding up his dairy cows. I’m sure this was all just subtle delivery of the message that, much like this kind Oklahoma rancher, humans shouldn’t judge Superman based on the threat of the other Kryptonians. Yep, I’m sure of it.

So anyway, now that Kara has her parents back, she’s going through that thing all teenagers experience once they come of age — her parents are telling her to stop being all independent and to move back home. But her father diagnoses her with a case of Kryptonite poisoning, which means he needs to take her back to the lab and purge her body of the K-radiation in the Regeneration Cabinet. Her dad says he’s willing to endanger himself and his wife, and potentially the city by extension if they can’t contain the Kryptonite energy, in order to cure this urgent case of poisoning that hasn’t shown any symptoms since Kara first arrived on Earth.

The process apparently makes all of her memories come back, or relive the memories she had, or something like that. Kara’s father tells her that Kandor’s shields are maintained by the Brainiac head, which he assures her repeatedly cannot turn back on!! which of course means that it will turn back on.

This issue made me quite quickly learn to think that Kara’s dad is an absolute moron who deserves no sympathy whatsoever. Tossing his daughter in a rocket is perhaps the one smart thing the guy ever did.

But the issue ends with someone putting on a Superwoman costume, which marks at least the second issue in a row that had its surprise ending spoiled by the Alex Ross cover, which has the best updraft upskirt shot this side of the Seven Year Itch. I’m not even sure that lady in the Kryptonian tunic is wearing superpanties!

So the issue wasn’t totally skippable, though I kind of wish it would have skipped it. It did a decent job of explaining Supergirl’s predicament, which truly sucks, but the process of reading it was about as enjoyable as sitting through a friend’s complaints about his overbearing obnoxious girlfriend.

Speaking of complaints about girlfriends, that leads me to X-Factor #37, where Siryn is all upset that her baby daddy has been secretly working with Val Cooper behind his team’s back.

The rest of the team is in a warehouse where the floor falls in right before the place explodes. Since Monet can fly, she’s the only one hit by the blast. Since she’s invulnerable, the blast just tears off her clothes. Longshot credits the convenient floor collapse to his luck powers.

Guido makes the observation of the week by pointing out how lame Longshot’s powers are. “No matter what happens, if yer still suckin’ oxygen when it’s over, y’get t’say ‘I meant to do that!'” he says. “Yer like the Pee Wee Herman of the superhero set.”

The gang continues through the subterranean passage until they find a gang of armed soldiers. Madrox has some dupe trouble. Then that bad guy with the Skrullish chin manages to sneak up on X-Factor even though he’s standing in the same room they are and flanked by a few hundred clones of Darwin! It’s like I’m reading Justice League of America #13.

Though I didn’t dislike Larry Stroman as much as the rest of the gang, Valentine DeLandro is a better art fit for this book than Stroman was. But honestly, I don’t really care for X-Factor much anymore. I picked it up because of what a slow week it was otherwise. And my decision to pick it up next week will be entirely dependent upon the same circumstances.

Speaking of books that I picked up based on what a slow week it was, that leads me to Fantastic Four #561, which was this week’s Book of Doom. As I said then, I’m not a regular FF reader by any definition; I chose it to try something new.

I actually liked it, unlike Fin Fang Doom and Jason @ Legend. I was fortunate to not come into the book with a Millar problem or any kind of Fantastic Four appreciation, however, and that seems to be the variable that helped me enjoy it.

Something I didn’t address in my review, though, was that this issue includes what appears to be the death of Galactus. Wikipedia and the various online Marvel character bios don’t seem to acknowledge this death, though, so I don’t know if this is going to matter at all. His death seems to be overshadowed by the death of the conveniently introduced Future Invisible Woman, which was stupid. Who cares?

Speaking of not caring, that leads me to The Goon #30, a comic book I read but don’t know why. I think maybe it’s a combination of these factors:
• I really like Eric Powell’s art
• I used to love this comic more than any other, and so I feel a little bit of loyalty to it
• I keep thinking this will be the issue that makes it good again (this has been happening less and less over the past few months)
• I’m a masochist
• Maybe it’s going to end soon, and so I’m an anticipatory completist
• It’s possible that someday I’ll sit down with all of these Goon issues, reread them all, and realize just how wrong I was to get down on the series I once loved so much.

I think it’s probably the art, though.