Faces of Evil: Prometheus
I'll admit it, I always thought this guy was a total jobber; even from his early JLA appearances, I thought he was just some typical Morrisonian all-flash, no-substance creation that was never as cool as Grant's sycophantic fans made him out to be. And when he showed up later in Gotham Knights as a TOTAL milksop, this theory was confirmed. Well, damn if Sterling Gates hasn't changed my mind. We get a combo origin/hints of what's to come issue, showing why Prometheus seemed so different in JLA than he ever has since: it seems that for nearly two years he's been in Blackgate under a J'onn-induced mental loop. Once J'onn died in FC, the loop was broken, and Prometheus immediately escapes. It seems that in his absence, a guy he took in as a kid to be his "Robin" has stolen his ID and ruined his rep, so Prometheus then goes out to get revenge, cutting off Gunfire's hands and cutting Anima in half in the process (New Bloods are apparently the new "JLI" or "Titans" for 2009 cannon fodder purposes). A really nice one-shot establishing Prometheus's character and abilities, with nice art too; liked it.
Final Crisis #6
OK, everybody, you know the spoilers, you saw it coming, Batman shoots Darkseid in the shoulder with the same bullet that killed Orion and gets himself killed by the new Omega beams; whoopty-doo. This book is still a morass of jump-cut scenes that Morrison apparently think are cool and in no way tell a coherent story. Compound that with about 8 billion (OK, I exaggerate just a bit) artists this issue and this book remains just a mess. Tawky Tawny kills Kalibak, Freddie saves Mary from Desaad by pulling a patented "grab them and yell Shazam!" tactic, more of the JSA gets beat down by the new Female Furies, Tattooed Man joins the JLA in a temp role and discovers the Metron tattoo disrupts Anti-Life, the Super Young Team continue to waste page space, Mr. Terrific reveals Checkmate's grand scheme for survival in the face of meta-takeover (which apparently is run like scalded dogs to another planet...real heroic there, Michael), and Superman arrives back from Beyond just in the nick of time to heroically...cry. Yeesh. As has been the case since issue one, I didn't like it.
My God, this book is so good it almost chokes me up. I have waited literally YEARS to see Dick Grayson handled as well as Tomasi has handled him, and Kramer's art is just the cherry on top. We open with Dick standing in the still-messy Batcave, looking at all Bruce's costume glass cases and lamenting his loss. We quickly get a host of League of Assassin ninjas rappelling down from the shadows to extend Dick an "invitation" from their master. This gives us a great action scene where Dick promptly curb-stomps the whole lot of them, and then accepts Ra's's invite. They meet alone in the desert, discuss each other’s loss (in their own way), and have a classic Bat-Ra's swordfight. Dick promptly whoops Ra's's ass too, telling him off throughout (similar to how he verbally manhandled Two-Face a few issues back), and promising him that while Bruce may be dead, he will still always be there to fight and beat Ra's just as his predecessor was. A great scene at the end shows that Ra's has left Dick an unwanted souvenir in the cave, and a caption box showing Ra's views him as a worthy successor to the mantle (even if Dick doesn't view himself that way yet), by calling him "Detective". I admittedly geeked out huge for this, and as you can probably tell, I LOVED this issue.