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11/4/09 -- Chappy's Blue Plate Specials -- le spoils

Written by chap22 on Wednesday, November 04 2009 and posted in Reviews

After a long and painful absence, I bring you the Blue Plate Specials' triumphant return!



Nova #31nova31.jpg
Man, didn't this book just come out last week? Not that I'm complaining...if Quesada decides he wants to publish Nova on a weekly basis, sign. Me. Up. Divito returns after a 2-issue repreve, and this book remains as gloriously fun as ever. On the heels of last issue's conclusion, Nova-Prime has tracked his old friend (and Universe's Most Wanted) Darkhawk to Shard, a nearly-abandoned planet about to be sucked into the Fault. Just as Nova calms Darkhawk down and the two begin to talk, chaos breaks loose and some straggling Kree scientists need their fat pulled out of the fire. Along the way, the head Kree gets possessed by a Raptor (at least, that's how I understood it) who blasts Nova, briefly planting doubt in his mind about his friend's innocence. As Darkhawk explains, the Raptor blasts them again just as the planet blows up, leaving the Nova probationers, Centurion Philo, and Worldmind to presume the worst.

As usual, DnA tee it up here with fantastic dialogue, plot and characterization, and Divito's art just makes it all sing. I love the addition of Philo as drill sergeant, and his scene with Fraktur is probably the highlight of the book. If I had any complaint, it would be that the revelation of the Raptor as murderer happened a bit too soon for me, but as good as Marvel cosmic has been so far, I trust DnA and their plans implicitly. Loved it.


Captain America: Reborn #4captainamericareborn4.jpg
And here we just have more of the same from this mini. Steve stuck in time, Skull's plan getting slowly explained (in far longer than "hey, I'm going to steal Steve's body for my own" should EVER have taken to explain...yeah, I spoiled it for you; if you hadn't figured out that's what was going on at least a year or so ago, then that's your own fault), Reed and Hank figuring out they can track Sharon and Steve, Norman transporting Sharon to Castle Doom, Doom and Skull posturing over "who's more deliciously arrogant", and a last-page shock reveal that, as you can guess, shocked me not at all.

At this point, I'm just ready for all this to be over. I loved Bru's first 20 issues or so as much as anybody, but ever since Steve's "death", this whole thing has felt less and less inspired. Skull's plots have descended from genius to "seen it before only better-executed", Bucky's getting less interesting, and truthfully, even Hitch seems not to care anymore. The pages in the middle involving Buck, Widow and Clint were, in all brutal honesty, pretty crappy. The issue's one saving grace were all the scenes with the villains...Doom, Skull, and even Zola were a hoot to read, as Bru fits all those egos on the page much better than they fit in Doom's giant lab. I'd absolutely buy a new Super-Villain Team-Up book if Marvel would dare publish one under Bru's direction. However, on the whole, pretty meh.


Secret Six #15secretsix15.jpg
Look, Mr. Wolfe, you were wrong...seems you CAN in fact go home again. John Ostrander returns to the character he's probably most well-known for writing and elevating in his long comics career, in a Deadshot-centric issue. And man, when it comes to getting inside Floyd Lawton's messed-up little head, he hasn't lost a step. In this introspective, Floyd meets up with old Suicide Squad/Spectre spititual counselor Father/Reverend Jim Craemer, to discuss his recent feeling of loss of control over his homicidal tendencies. What transpires is half origin retelling/expansion, half character study, but all awesome. Ostrander really gets into what makes Deadshot tick, and the demons that equally haunt, drive, and shackle him in his chosen path. No big events or shocking statue quo changes, but who needs 'em when the storytelling and insight is this freaking good?

Calafiore fills in ably for Nicola Scott on pencils, and he and Ostrander turn in the one thing I never thought I'd say: a total fill-in on my favorite book that's just as good as the ongoing stuff from the ongoing team. If you love Secret Six, if you loved the 80s Suicide Squad, if you love Deadshot, or if you just love good "superhero" comics, pick this up. I LOVED it.


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