Category: books of doom

Book of Doom: Green Lantern Corps #21

I’ve never liked John Stewart. More often than not, he’s just the token black character. He was the token black Green Lantern back when he was introduced and he was the token black character on the Justice League cartoon. His military background never really interested me. He killed Mogo (although I think he/it is back now) and apparently destroyed Fatality’s homeworld, but what Green Lantern hasn’t done some horrible things in the srevice of the Gaurdians? He’s just boring to me. Green Lantern Corps #21 didn’t really do anything to change my opinion of him.

Thankfully, this book is called Green Lantern Corps. John Stewart might be the star, but the supporting cast is a lot more interesting. I’ve always liked Soranik Natu as the Lantern who has to represent Korugar after Sinestro gave her race such a bad name. I liked Salaak as the protocol officer, but I like his new mission to search for the Gaurdians other hidden plots even more. That could be a really interesting subplot that builds up slowly. And I can only hope Kilowog will become a regular member of the cast as well.

I’m not sure about the four new Lantern recruits introduced in this issue. Granted, they’ve only been given a page of introduction each, but some of them seem miscast as Lanterns. Jruk, the gladiator seems like he’d be a better fit as a Red Lantern. Feska, the mother, seems like she might be a better fit as Star Sapphire. Maybe this will play into the story in the future, maybe not. These two characters also seem to have been recruited against their will. The Green Lanterns are supposed to derive their power from the strength of their will…so if they’d rather be at home with a child or battling in an arena, how effective will they be? The only specific example I can think of someone turning down a power ring is when Batman rejected the Sinestro Corps ring, but I guess I always assumed being a GL was a choice. And if it isn’t, then what’s with all the talk of Salaak and Stewart quitting the Corps?

I did really like the artwork in the issue. Bernard Chang has a great classic superhero style. The coloring by Marcelo Maiolo was also really nice, and I have a feeling that the color schemes in the new Lantern introduction may have been very intentional and a hint as to what may come with these characters.

In summary, this issue didn’t amaze me. Sorry, Van. What it did do, though, was set up a lot of story possibilities. Why did Stewart and Fatality’s power rings go wonky? Was this related to the Durlan attack or a complete coincidence? What’s Salaak’s place in the Corps going to be? Will Kilowog take over as protocol officer? How are these new Lanterns going to react to being recruited against their will? And that (coupled with the fact that I don’t have a lot of monthly titles I follow anymore), is enough to bring me back next issue.

Let’s see what Jim Doom has to say:

I’m late adding my thoughts to this based on some unexpected family stuff that came up this weekend, so I apologize for that.

Going into this issue, I can tell you I wouldn’t have bought it if it weren’t for the fact that Van wrote it. I’ve tried in the past to get into the greater Green Lantern universe characters and they’ve just never really held my interest. I’ve been able to stick with Hal Jordan, but that’s it.

I took this issue (along with the rest of last week’s haul) to my usual Wednesday afternoon comics-reading spot (Don & Millie’s, Saddle Creek & Farnam, 99 cent margaritas) and pulled it out of the bag first. I started reading it, sort of stumbled through the opening pages where John Stewart is talking to Fatality, thinking “This is kind of clumsy exposition,” but at the same time, “I need this exposition because I don’t know what’s going on here.” So anyway, those first few pages, I’m thinking “Yeah, I just still don’t really care for these characters.”

But then a funny thing happened. I got to the part on Oa where that guy with all the arms was resigning his position, and I forgot this was a comic written by my friend that I was trying to fairly assess, and I got sucked right in. I was reading these characters I knew (even though I can only remember him as “that guy with all the arms”) and I was reading the development of a universe I’m familiar with and I just completely forgot the Van aspect. And honestly, I can’t think of a reaction that could make me more excited for my friend who wrote this.

One of the things I liked most about the assembly of this new Green Lantern Corps is that these people seemed almost abducted by the Corps. I guess that kind of always happens, but it seemed especially jarring. I think one of the things that worked well about it was the subtlety of the coloring. Based on the reds, the oranges, and so on, I thought we were seeing recruitment of all spectrums. But instead, we’re getting personalities that would’ve maybe worked better as red, orange, blue, whatever lanterns, but because of the relative decimation of the Corps, they’re being chosen as green. I don’t know why, but I find this much more compelling than the new Green Lantern who has shown up over in the main title (which I subsequently dropped after a few issues).

Another thing I really liked about this issue was the little hint where the multi-armed guy was talking about the Guardians’ secret projects around the universe. I am hoping that was alluding to some pursuit and discovery of those projects and that got me pretty excited too.

This review is unfortunately vague because I don’t have the issue beside me, but I came away from it wanting to read the next issue and being happy for my friend who wrote it. And these days, I’m really happy to find a book I want to keep reading that only costs me $2.99.



Book of Doom: Green Lantern Corps #21

We haven’t done a Book of Doom for quite a while here at doomkopf.com. In fact, we haven’t been doing a whole lot of anything lately. But from time to time, motivation hits us and we feel the need to blog about something. So what’s so special about Green Lantern Corps #21?

Well, it’s the start of a brand new era in the Green Lantern universe. There hasn’t been one of those in at least eight or nine months…so it’s probably not that. Well it’s starring John Stewart, everyone’s third favorite Green Lantern of Earth (sorry, Kyle Rayner)…so it’s probably not that either. And there isn’t a new superstar creative team, so it can’t be that…or can it?

You see, I KNOW one of the new writers. Well, perhaps “met” is a more apt word. Jim Doom “knows” him. His name is Van Jensen, he of Pinnochio: The Vampire Slayer fame. But to me, he’ll always be Jean-Claude Van Doom. Way back in the day, JCVD was a founding member of the Legion of Doom, the precursor to doomkopf.com. [Note: Doom Deluise is embarassed by the truth about what happened and edited my post. No, really. Follow this link to view JCVD’s old posts] Van Jensen has since moved on to bigger and better things. Namely, getting paid to write comics instead of writing ABOUT comics for free. And Van’s got his first gigs for one of the major publishers as the new co-writer of Green Lantern Corps.

I’ll be honest, I don’t have high hopes for this issue. Van’s a nice guy and a talented writer, but the concept of the GLC without Guy Gardner or Hal Jordan kind of bores me to death. But maybe he’ll surprise me. Of course, you can rest assured that we won’t pull any punches just because our friend is writing the thing.

So come back this weekend for my review (and hopefully at least one from Jim Doom) of Green Lantern Corps #21!



Book of Doom: Green Lantern Annual #1

It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these Books of Doom, but it seemed appropriate, given that the first chapters of the previous massive Green Lantern crossovers — Sinestro Corps #1 back in June of 2007 and Blackest Night #0 from May of 2009 — were both also Book of Doom-style reviews.

gl_annual_1So the Legion is partially reunited, with Doom DeLuise offering his thoughts on the issue below [and Fin Fang Doom manning up after all]. I’ll get us started, though, by prefacing my review with the admission that I am suffering some major Green Lantern Huge Event Fatigue. We have always been at war with The Guardians.

On one hand, I do genuinely admire what I assume to have been some major long-term planning — or at least long-term outlining — on the part of Geoff Johns. I like to know that the stories I’m reading are going somewhere and that there are consequences to the actions I’m asked to get emotionally invested in. And this latest event is definitely a result of events that were put in motion more than six years ago. So bravo for that.

On the other hand, though, these Lantern events have started to feel somewhat formulaic. I no longer react to seeing The Guardians huddled around to discuss what they’re going to do about whatever they’ve decided the problem is, because they’re going to decide something stupid and illogical in the name of supreme logic. I no longer react to Black Hand’s threats to raise the dead, because we endured a many-months-long crossover in which he and his boss resurrected a whole bunch of people and made them bad guys. These plot points, god bless ’em, seem to be unveiled in a way that acts as if we haven’t seen them done a lot in the past few years. But we have! And so they fall flat.
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Book of Doom Preview: The Unwritten #1

We dropped the ball on last week, folks, so hopefully, your hearts went on without the Book of Doom. But we’re back! This week’s pick is The Unwritten #1, courtesy of Mike Carey, who was nice enough to do an interview with me about the book a bit back.

So the rundown?


Everyone’s read the Tommy Taylor books, the popular series of novels turned pop culture phenomenon about a boy wizard’s adventures. And everyone knows about Tom Taylor, the boy the novels were based on, whose life was so overshadowed by his Dad’s fictional epic that Tom’s become a lame Z-level celebrity at best and a human viral marketing tool at worst.

But what if the resemblance goes even deeper? What if Tom is the boy-wizard of the books made flesh? And if that sounds crazy, why is it bringing him into the crosshairs of an ancient faction that has never been named in any book or text?

To discover the truth about himself, Tom must search through all the places in history where fiction and reality have intersected. And in the process, he’ll learn more about that unwritten cabal and the plot they’re at the center of –– a plot that spans all of literature from the first clay tablets to the gothic castles where Frankenstein was conceived to the self-adjusting stories of the internet.

Can’t argue with that, right? To participate, email me at doominator_at_doomkopf.com.



Book of Doom: Blackest Night #0

One of my earliest thoughts when reading this story, most of which is a conversation between Hal Jordan and Barry Allen near Batman’s grave, was “I can’t believe this was written by the same guy who wrote Flash: Rebirth #1. I actually – no lie – flipped back to the cover to double-check that this was Geoff Johns, but more because Flash: Rebirth #1 was so bad and this felt so much like Johns at his best. He packs so much power into so few words when he needs to, like “It’s not my fault hiding in the shadows is your only ‘super power'” and “…If there’s an escape [from death], you can bet Batman’s already planning it.” Then there was that fantastic bit of dialogue in which Hal reveals the new Robin to Barry:

HAL: “…And Robin’s insisting that Bruce isn’t really gone.”
BARRY: “He’s holding onto hope. That’s what Dick always gave Batman.”
HAL: “I meant Tim Drake, Barry. You haven’t met him yet. He’s the current Robin.”
BARRY: “Right. Tim Drake. I like him already.”

I mean how sweet is that? Barry learns a little about the new Robin, but the readers learn a ton about Barry, and count me among the readers who needed to learn about Barry, particularly after not liking him much post-Flash: Rebirth #1. But what is so cool about this is that these two guys who have returned from the dead are having the luxury of reminiscing on their deaths as part of a conversation, all the while the threat of the Black Lanterns is looming overhead.
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Book of Doom Preview: Blackest Night #0

I’m going a little unconventional this week and picking a book that doesn’t officially come out until Saturday for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. So you’re all free to choose whatever you want at the shop tomorrow — just be sure to visit your local comic store on Saturday and grab the Book of Doom. Because of the later release, get your reviews in by Saturday night to be included in the roundtable, which we’ll post Sunday.

by Geoff Johns (W) and Ivan Reis (A)

This May, DC Comics will debut its first-ever all-new title for Free Comic Book Day: BLACKEST NIGHT #0, the prelude to “Blackest Night,” the biggest comics event of 2009! Featuring a story by writer Geoff Johns, BLACKEST NIGHT #0 is illustrated by top art teams Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert and Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy. The issue also features an introductory text page by Johns that sets the stage for new readers and a cover by Ivan Reis. The issue includes a lead story that leads directly into BLACKEST NIGHT #1, as well as a special guide to the various Corps that have recently emerged as forces in the world of GREEN LANTERN.



Book of Doom: Detective Comics #853

When DC was getting ready to relaunch their continuity after Crisis on Infinite Earths, they needed a good farewell to the then-fiftyish years of Superman stories. Thus, we were given Alan Moore’s “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?,” a nostalgic trek down the menagerie of Kryptonian heroes, allies and villains. By the end of the story, Superman found one final task and then disappeared.

Neil Gaiman has given us a follow up of sorts with “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” With Bruce Wayne gone, we need a farewell to seventy years of Batman stories. Part one gave us the funeral and a disembodied Bruce Wayne wondering how and why he’s watching his own funeral. Part two gave us the answers.

How do we address a long, convoluted history with twists and turns and do-overs and forgotten characters across a few universes? How do we know what did and what didn’t happen?

Simple. We just don’t dwell on it. It all happened and it was all the story of Batman, the idea. When Batman dies, his ultimate fate is that he stays Batman. It’s immutable. A dead Batman is still Batman. And why is Batman watching his own funeral with a calvicade of familiar faces? His brain is in its dying moments.

Like its sort-of predecessor, this is more mythology than continuity. To say goodbye, we have to know what we’re leaving behind. Through each vignette from the friends-or-foes gallery, we have that much more Batman to remember – for anyone who’s picked up the book at any point in its history.

Neil Gaiman did here what he does best – take mythology and find a new way to present it. And the more I think on it, the more I enjoyed this book.

Now, turning it over to Jim Doom: (more…)



Book of Doom Preview: Detective Comics #853

Of any Batdeath / Captain Batcaveman related books, this is seemingly the best. It’s part two in Neil Gaiman’s arc “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” This book is sure to be as memorable as Alan Moore’s “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” where Superman made his pre-Crisis exit.

“Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” part 2 of 2! This second part of Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert’s special collaboration is sure to be a BATMAN story for the ages. This extraordinary tale, told as only Gaiman and Kubert can, explores the intricate relationships between Bruce Wayne and his friends and adversaries and builds toward an exciting and unexpected climax. It’s a classic in the making

Jim Doom loved part one, so hopefully it lives up to our expectations. If you want to participate, email doomkopf@doomkopf.com.



Book of Doom:
Rampaging Wolverine #1

rampaging wolverine 1The thing I’ve always liked most about Wolverine is that he’s a character who, for all intents and purposes, is indestructible, but unlike, say, Superman, he’s able to feel pain. That’s one thing that Marvel’s always been pretty good at – – making their characters relatable to the reader. By tempering Wolverine’s healing factor power with his very humanistic feelings of pain and agony, a new side to him develops and makes it so that the reader can sympathize with him more than they can the Man of Steel (sorry to pick on Supes, but he’s a pretty boring character sometimes).

Unfortunately, this one-shot book with three separate stories kind of ruins that entire concept. Wolverine is brutally shot, again and again, in places like his eyeballs or his neck or his mouth or, hell, right straight through his heart, but he never shows pain or acts as if he’s in any sort of harm (except for during this three-page prose section that pops up midway through the issue that is just ridiculously stupid and a waste of time and space).

What I’m saying is that it turns Wolverine into a Superman that bleeds, and it takes away all of the tension from the story. For example, there’s one little section that has Wolvie being targeted by a HYDRA sniper who repeatedly delivers headshots to the ol’ Canuckle-head, but it never feels like the outcome of the bout is in question. I know that, to a certain extent, we all know the outcome of every comic (the Day Evil Won is invariably followed the next day by the Day Good Came Back and Eventually Beat Evil), but, in this case, the excessive use of gore and violence just took me out of the story and made me feel like there wasn’t much point in my continued reading of it.

Plus, to further tank it, there are quite a few ridiculous lines of dialogue that, again, took me out of the story and/or made me groan. Telling a pack of wild monkeys to, “pack their bananas” is one such example. But that feels like a nitpick, comparatively. I just didn’t care for this thing, at all.

Fortunately, we had one other taker this week, as good ol’ Doominator took a look and has agreed to offer up his own thoughts on the issue. Here we go:

Doominator: (more…)



Book of Doom Preview:
Rampaging Wolverine #1

rampaging wolverine 1“Herman, how could you? We’ve all thought about counterfeiting jeans at one time or another, but what about the victims? Hard-working designers like Calvin Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt, or Antoine Bugle Boy. These are the people who saw an overcrowded marketplace and said, ‘Me too!'”
– Homer Simpson, “The Springfield Connection”

While the analogy doesn’t fit perfectly, it still makes me laugh. Wolverine seems to be in every single Marvel comic book these days, and, yet, here we are, ready for a new ongoing series about even more of his exploits. I’m hoping this is decent, but it’s starting to get a little tired at this point. But, hey, at least it doesn’t have any ads, so it might be worth checking out. Here’s what Marvel says about it:

WRITER: JOSHUA FIALKOV, CHRISTOPHER YOST, ROBIN FURTH, TED MCKEEVER
PENCILS: PACO DIAZ LUQUE, NELSON, TED MCKEEVER

THE STORY:
The Marvel Magazine that never was—three ALL-NEW, ALL-ACTION Wolverine tales, all in fantastic BLACK AND WHITE! Josh Fialkov (ELK’S RUN) and the fantastic gray wash art of Paco Diaz Luque pit Wolverine against South Pacific pirates…and worse. Plus, X-FORCE writer Christopher Yost introduces a sniper with a secret—and a canuckle-head to kill! Finally, comics legend Ted McKeever (METROPOL, EDDIE CURRENT) tells a third island adventure. Plus even more! It’s non-stop Logan—too hot for color to handle—and NO ADS!