Worst to First: August 26th, 2009

Holy hamburgers, it’s been four months since I’ve reviewed any of my blasted comics! In my defense, I spent a little time in New Yawk City, got a job, did a lot of drinking, and just recently returned from a little European Vacation (not nearly as funny as the movie, btw). Well, okay, so mostly I was just drinking.

Anyway! My sleeves are all rolled up for some reason, so I may as well put some work in and review my funny books. This week, I picked up two books by Geoff Johns, two books by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning, and one by Grant Morrison. Let’s get right to it, shall we, sports fans?

nova 28Worst: Nova #28

This was my favorite series, oh my god, like, in the world when it first started coming out a couple years ago, but lately it’s been sucking something fierce.

To recap, Worldmind is back online (speaking like a fourteen year-old girl, mind you), the Nova Corps has been scaled down to single digits (in terms of how many members it has, not fingers or something stupid like that), and Richard Rider is once again Nova Prime. Well, that was a fun little storyarc, but only the opposite of that thing I just said.

I really hate it when a series piles on a bunch of interesting new developments only to take them all away and put us back where we were when things started. Feels like a cop-out and a rip-off.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, this series is still entertaining, to a certain extent. The writing has its moments, but for the most part, not much really happens that’s all that interesting.

And, for the love of the game, will somebody make Richie stop saying, “Blue Blazes!” every third panel? It’s maddening.

This is Way Stupider Than it Should Be: Flash Rebirth #4

Let me get this straight. Reverse Flash, or Zoom, or Thawne, or whatever the hell this guy’s name is, was killed by Barry Allen years ago, but came back, ran really fast to accumulate negative energy to birth a Negative Speed Force, at which point he contaminated Barry so that when Barry came back to life, he’d kill his family with his touch and live out the rest of his days in guilt?

Ok, now, where does that whole chasing-a-God-bullet thing play into this? I thought Barry came back because he had to save the universe from Darkseid, not because he was being manipulated. Y’know what, I don’t care enough to think about this.

Strictly aesthetically speaking, though, it had darn pretty pictures, even if I wasn’t too thrilled by them. There was more red and yellow in this thing than you’d find in a hillbilly bar full of cowards. Because, uh, see, hillbillies are REDnecks and, well, yellow is another word for, y’know what, we’re just gonna leave that one right there and move on.

By the way, loyal readers, who the heckfire is this main villain guy? I thought he was Professor Zoom, but they say this guy’s the Reverse Flash or something stupid. I vaguely recall him being in the TV show when I was younger, but my Flash Facts are jumbled. Having never had an opportunity to pick up the series, I didn’t start following Flash until well after Barry had died, and even then, I don’t think I ever regularly picked up the series. So somebody clue me in on this stuff!

green lantern 45Stories That Aren’t Interesting Enough to be Included in Blackest Night Proper: Green Lantern #45

It could just be the complete lack of Hal Jordan (or any GL other than one page of John Stewart, actually), but this issue really felt like back-up filler that doesn’t really need to be shown to the reader. We got a few interesting character moments with Sinestro recalling his lost love, but, by and large, this issue was just a bunch of bullcrap stuff that doesn’t really have a place in the larger context of the Blackest Night story.

The art’s good, and I certainly enjoy the way Johns writes Sinestro, but, beyond that, I can’t help but feel a little bit bored by the whole process. The way I feel about this issue is a lot like the way I usually feel about Green Lantern Corps as compared to the regular Green Lantern series: Not interested.

This is More Like It: Batman & Robin #3

Overall, this series is still chock-full of Grant Morrison’s freaked-out gobbledygook, but at least the main heroes are acting the way they’re supposed to, and the story is flowing in a way that doesn’t make me feel like my copy is missing pages. That’s a definite plus.

Really, this is just a nice little Batman and Robin story that reaches a satisfying conclusion, yet leaves the door open for further interesting stories to spring forth from what has already been planted. I also appreciate the way Damian is finally starting to show the muscle to back up his bratty attitude. When he was first introduced, the kid was all bark, so it’s nice to see that he’s also packing some mean bite.

Plus, as an added bonus, Frank Quitely just so happens to be one heck of an artist. He’s one of a small handful of guys whose work I can tell is completely theirs without having to check who drew it. Very unique stuff, and I’m a fan.

First: Guardians of the Galaxy #17

Ah, so that’s what they’ve been waiting for. Over the past several issues, I’ve felt like this series has been treading water until the War of Kings event was drawn to a close, and this did not disappoint in its awesomeness. I’m going to throw around some spoilers, so please don’t continue reading if you want to come upon this issue with fresh eyes.

At the issue’s close, Phyla-Vell and Gamora both appear to be dead, and Adam Warlock has saved the universe with his magic; however, the side effect of this universe saving is that he’s been replaced by the Magus, an evil version of himself that was responsible for all sorts of badness during the Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War days. When it comes to crazed psycho villains out for limitless power, you can’t ask for much worse than this guy.

This is basically exactly what this series has needed: A central bad-guy to challenge the Guardians and bring them closer together as a team. Plus, with the additions of Groot and Jack Flag and some of the other B-Teamers, it’s great that they’re cutting down their numbers so that the core team will eventually be established after the confrontation with the Magus. In one issue, this series gained focus, direction, and a main storyarc to propel them through the next year, at least.

I’d say that’s pretty damn cool.