Starlord: So here we are again Mr. Deadfett. Hope you and everyone reading had a great holiday weekend. This week we thought we’d review Green Lantern #49, X-Men Legacy #231, and New Avengers #60. So let’s get right down to business with our first DC review for this feature, shall we?
Green Lantern #60: With Blackest Night in full swing, Geoff Johns takes a moment to feature what many could arguably consider the most neglected Green Lantern of Sector 2814, John Stewart.
John faces his greatest regret when he returns to the now dead planet of Xanshi; the planet that he was not able to save and where not only all the inhabitants were wiped out, but his one true love as well. This is a well contained little story that brings the haunting pain that has lingered for so long, full circle. Battling the undead inhabitants of Xanshi; John comes to realize that he cannot let the past drag him down anymore. He accepts the fact that he was not able to save his lover or her people and by the end of the book he is flying off to OA for help in destroying the massive amount of flying dead that are following him. Of course he discovers that OA is not exactly what it used to be.
This may sound like a simple story, but that’s only because it actually is. I’m not the biggest fan of Green Lantern Stewart, but for those who are, this was probably a well written character piece for them. I’ve always enjoyed Ed Benes’ art, so that was a nice bonus for me.
There is a second story that continues the adventure of Ray Palmer and Mera who are in the clutches of the undead Jean Lorring. This I enjoyed a lot more! Jean explains the Nekron and the Black Lanterns in a way that makes sense on what their purpose is. Geoff also explains why there have been so many returns from the dead as well; and if Nekron was behind all of them, I think it’s a brilliant explanation that works in the context of the last fifteen to twenty years of DC continuity. The final panel that reveals a lurking Deadman is a nice little twist as well.
I’m going to give this book thumbs up; more for the second story than the first. Not being a huge reader of DC comics, DeadFett, I’m curious on your take of this issue.”
DeadFett: Well, I loved this issue. Like you said, John Stewart is the most neglected of the Earth Green Lanterns. I've always liked the character so it was nice to see him in the spotlight. This continues to be one of my favorite titles. I loved how Johns finally laid to rest what happened on Xanshi. For this to happen during Blackest Night was a perfect opportunity to address it. I wish there was more character driven issues during big crossovers like this one. I also enjoyed the flashback to John's Marine days. Even though this was a fill-in issue it was very well done.
As for the art, Ed Benes is my favorite DC artist. It was great seeing his work here. His style reminds me a bit of Jim Lee and that's never a bad thing.
The back up story was very good as well. I felt it really she some light on what Nekron is all about. I agree with you that it really adds to the past years of continuity.
Overall, I thought this was a great issue. It gets a big thumbs up from me.
This brings us to our second selection of the week, X-Men Legacy #231. This issue ties into the crossover, Necrosha. Yay, more dead characters coming back from the grave. I don't know if it's the endless supply of Marvel Zombies minis, Blackest Night and now Necrosha, but I am zombied out.
In this issue, amidst the battle with the undead hordes of Selene, Blindfold reveals the future visions that Destiny has shared with her. She informs Cyclops that there is a threat on Muir Island as well. Cyclops orders Nightcrawler to assemble an away team and head there. Among his team his Magneto, who reminds Rogue of what they once shared in the Savage Land. Once on Muir, the X-Men split up to investigate. Little do they know that Destiny has escaped the clutches of Selene and is on the island. Blindfold finds Destiny and when they touch, Blindfold apparently becomes a host for Proteous.
I didn't think this was a bad issue but it was certainly nothing special. I was glad it featured two of my favorite X-Men characters, Rogue and Magneto but it had the feel of "been there, done that". I don't know if it's the dead rising, the return to Muir or even the return of Proteous.
As for the art, Clay Mann does a good job here. Nothing spectacular but very solid. I guess having Acuna the past few issues spoiled me.
Overall, I'm giving the issue a very weak thumbs up. Having Rogue and Magneto really saved it for me. Otherwise, I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. I'll be happy once this undead crossover is done.
Starlord: I totally get what you’re saying about the whole zombie thing; this is over kill on so many levels. I really don’t have a lot more to say about this that you haven’t already covered.
I do think I liked it a bit more than you did, however; if for no other reason than seeing Nightcrawler back in a leadership role. Kurt and Peter and Scott are three of my four favorite X-Men so seeing them all in the same book again was fun.
Also, being a child of the seventies, the reveal of Proteus at the end totally blew me away. Still, this was pretty much a typical middle issue of a larger cross-over and it really felt that way. I’m giving it a little stronger thumbs up, but I really hope the only zombies we have to see in 2010 are from the Walking Dead.
Finally we have The New Avengers #60. The team has recovered Luke Cage, and is smart enough to realize that Norman Osborne has implanted some kind of device into Cage’s heart when he saved Luke’s life after his recent heart attack.
Through some pretty creative writing by Bendis we see a tense issue where Norman and the Dark Avengers are racing to find the secret location of our heroes while Dr. Strange and the all new Wasp (Hank Pym) work feverishly to remove the device from Luke’s heart. In the end, the device is discovered to be a bomb that blows up just as Iron Patriot and crew arrive at the summer home of Norman. This seems to be the final insult to that wonderfully pompous jerk who calls in what he calls his “storm troopers”: The Red Hood and his motley crew (including the Wrecking Crew). Norman wants them to hunt down every Avenger and kill them... except for Spider-Man. He’s to be brought in alive.
I have to admit that I really enjoyed this issue, as well as the last few. There was some great tension in this story and Bendis was able to keep me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Even the dialogue that sometimes annoys me seemed to work here. In fact, I actually laughed out loud when “Hawkeye” complained that Norman didn’t say Avengers Assemble and then found himself slightly surprised that it actually bothered him.
Between the story and the more than solid artwork by Immonen, this was really a terrific read. I’m going to give this one a big thumbs up. It’s taken me a long time, but I’m actually sold on this team... finally.
Deadfett: I've been a fan of New Avengers since the beginning. Granted the team has changed, but I still like it. I thought this was a good issue. Bendis did a great job with the storyteling here. I thought the line of, "I have two men inside me" was hysterical. It was nice to have some humor injected into the tense situation. I thought it was great they tricked Norman into blowing up his own house. I get the feeling that Cage might "retire" once The Siege is over. I hope that isn't the case. He's a great character that Bendis writes well. I am a bit tired of The Hood though. Norman is starting to crack and I'm loving it. I only hope it's Spidey that finally takes Norman down.
Immonen was great as always. I love his style. I think he's one of the most diverse artists working in comics. My only regret here is that he;s not working on Nextwave.
Overall, this issue gets a big thumbs up for me. It wrapped up the recent story with Cage's health problems and sets the stage for The Siege nicely.
Couldn’t agree more! Well that’s it folks. We’ve worked so hard in our first two weeks that we’re going to take next week off and be back in two with three more!