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Cleaning the Plate for 1/6/10

A dark week as we examine the barrage of Blackest Night books and the final issue of an underdog series.

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Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2

bn-wonderwoman2.jpgThe first of three Blackest Night tie-ins, and a fun one to boot. If it was up to me, I’d have Rucka and Simone doing Wonder Woman for the next thirty years. In the middle issue of this three part story, Wonder Woman has been taken over by one of the black rings and systematically wipes out Donna Troy and Wonder Girl. Though she is trying to fight it, it seems to be too powerful for her. Now here is where it tends to get a bit weak for me. Suddenly Aphrodite shows up and proclaims that the battles were illusions cast by the Goddess so that Diana could resist the power of the black rings. That is okay, I guess, but then to make sure they wrap it in with Blackest Night #6, the sapphire ring shows up and changes her... again! Now she’s love and flies away all happy like. I don’t blame Rucka for this sudden turn of events since it is obviously dictated by plot, but it took me out of the moment, that’s for sure. Still, Greg Rucka is one of the greats when it comes to writing Wonder Woman and I’m happy to see him doing this mini. My Score: B-


weirdwesterntales71.jpgBlackest Night: Weird Western Tales #71

Fresh off his run on... umm... Wednesday Comics Mettle Men, Dan Didio gives us this one shot that features the undead return of Jonah Hex, Scalphunter, and my favorite, Bat Lash, to name a few western heroes. Not having read much of DC’s westerns, I wasn’t overly thrilled with this. The fact that it showed us what happened to the black ring that was unable to take over Don Hall was pretty cool, the art of Renato Arlem was some of my favorite this week; however, this is one story that didn’t really need to be told. I will say that I thought it was well written, though. Dan has the chops, that’s for sure. Story just wasn’t worth telling. My Score: C-


Blackest Night: Suicide Squad#67suicidesquad67.jpg

What do you get when you combine Gail Simone with the legendary John Ostrander? Simple, you get a highly entertaining walk down memory lane. Amanda Waller wants Deadshot back on her Squad and she’s not taking no for an answer. Poor Scandal Savage is alone when she come calling since the rest of the Secret Six has been sent to Belle Reve by the mysterious Mockingbird on an assignment to bust out a supposed drug lord. They of course, are confronted by members of the Suicide Squad and a battle ensues. But that’s not all, add to the mix the walking dead body of The Fiddler and a cliff-hanger that shows the black rings acquiring the bodies of many of the deceased from the Squad and you’ve got the makings for a powerful ending in next weeks Secret Six. This was my favorite book of the week, hands down. Gail and John’s signature are all over this title, with tight, witty dialogue, rapid pacing, and characters that are loved by both writers. If there is one small complaint, it is that we see much more of the Secret Six than we do the Suicide Squad, but with writing this damn good – the quibble is the size of a grain of sand in an endless sea of awesomeness. My Score: A-


jsaallstar2.jpgJSA All-Stars #2

Two issues in and I’m eating this up like a kid with a full Easter basket of candy! While its parent title (JSA proper) seems to be treading water; Matt Sturges and Freddie Williams II are breathing new life into this new team with some classic old villains. Stargirl has been kidnapped and the team must decide if they should contact Jay Garrick and crew, or deal with it on their own. While Magog (DC’s version of Sentry in my opinion) feels they should be standing on their own, Power girl is more conflicted as she knows that Jay, Alan, and the rest think of Courtney as a member of their family. This is where the real action is in this book. The conflict between Kara and Magog is palpable; a volcano just waiting to erupt. It is taken from a low simmer to a boil when later Magog shoots Icicle in the back of the head to save Cyclone. Power Girl is able to stop the bullet in time, but this is a definite sign that Magog may not be much longer for this team (aww... buh bye). Oh, and who has been chasing after Stargirl for the last several months?  SPOILER ALERT! Johnny Sorrow! And to top it off, the final scene shows the new Sandman having a dream that reveals Sorrow releasing The King of Tears! And did I forget to mention that this issue also has the Injustice Society as well? I hope this book stays at this pace because it could well rival Geoff Johns original JSA run. There’s also a back up feature with Hourman and Liberty that stands strong as well. My Score: A


The Mighty #12themighty12.jpg

Peter Tomasi and Keith Champagne wrap up their maxi series that chronicles the origin of Alpha One and Captain Gabriel Cole. Alpha’s plot is ruined by his own stupidity. His desires to have the man who he once saved as a boy join him in his misguided machinations is his down fall. Captain Cole is a man of honor. He takes Alpha One down, not with his new found strength and heat vision, but with his brain. There are a LOT of questions left hanging at the end of this, which I hope is Mr. Tomasi’s way of saying he is going to return to these characters again. I really enjoyed this book; though my guess is that it will read even better in trade format. My Score: This issue: B; Entire Series: B+


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