With 5% more funny... maybe 4...
So Nate Gray is back and boy is he ticked at Norman Osborne. Seems he doesn’t like what the guy’s been doing to his home away from home. In typical comic book fashion he does the only thing that any hero with anger management issues would do – kicks in the front door of Avengers Headquarters and start beating on things. He takes out Venom without batting an eyelash and gets Sentry running away just by saying hello to him (loser!); he doesn’t fair as well with the other Dark Avengers however, and is finally subdued. Before Osborne and crew can take him into custody, however, Nate disintegrates before their eyes. The middle issue wraps up with Mystique demanding her release from Norman or else people will know what happened to X-Man. Another great outing by Paul Cornell; but I wasn’t as thrilled with this one as I was the first two issues. Perhaps it was because the Dark X-Men seemed to take second stage to Osborne’s Avengers. Mimic and Omega have both grown on me and were barely used in this issue – and Dark Beast really was kind of a waist. Still, the story was solid and the humor sparse and well placed. My Score: B-
Another Blackest Night one shot in which Black Mask is reanimated and wants to say hello to Selina Kyle. He’s actually impressed that she killed him; not so happy that he’s dead. The plan is simple; make her suffer before he eats her heart. He wants Selina to be overflowing with emotion before he feasts. To do this he goes after the one remaining love in her life – her sister Maggie. Now Maggie has been catatonic after being forced to eat her husband’s eyes by Black Mask. Figuring out what he intends to do, Catwoman calls in her homies to help. Poison Ivy and Harley come running and the battle continues. When Maggie sees Mask she comes out of her mental state and is not happy with Selina either. It seems that eating your husband’s eyes can cause you to hate your sister. Huh, who knew? Though the three ladies are able to temporarily stop Black Mask – damage has been done. It ends on a very ominous note as Maggie slips away, now determined to destroy the demon “Catwoman” that has taken over her sister’s body.
This was amazing! Amazing! Picking up on all the threads that made the Catwoman a must read; Tony Bedard is even able to forward Selina’s story in a book that is now defunct. I just hope that Paul Dini grabs this story over in Gotham Sirens. I actually enjoyed this even more than Suicide Squad last week. My Score: A+
Speaking of last weeks Suicide Squad, this book picks up in the Blackest Night crossover that is well worth the money. Ostrander and Simone fit together like Jonathan and Jennifer Hart. The battle between the Six and the Squad rages on with some surprising wins and losses on both sides. Bronze Tiger and Catman, however, take the award of battle of the week. Which one is the stronger one? Neither and both. Since this is the second of the three parts story, what we mostly have here is battle, glorious battle. Thanks to the incredible work of J. Calafiore and colorist Jason Wright, each panel is a song unto itself. There are so many terrific moments between characters here that it is hard to mention them all. Deadshot and Flag was probably my favorite. With the second part ending on the arrival of the Black Lanterns, Black Alice and Bane look like they are in a world of hurt. And this story hurts so good! My Score: A
The story of Gladiator, the Imperial Guard, and the Starjammers continue in this “Realm of Kings” mini. As the Guard and the Starjammers work together to investigate the fault that was created thanks to Black Bolt; the new leader of the Shi’Ar is growing ever more restless in his new role. At one point he imagines taking out one of the members of the Inhuman Royal Family as he decrees the Shi’Ar are nobody’s puppets. In the mean time the two teams that are working together detect an energy pattern that could well be a life form. When they find it, they discover the battered, but living Quasar! Talk about a small world... err... universe! Before they have time to even be shocked they are surrounded by aliens that look like flies that have mutated with giant dog turds. Once again we are in the middle of the series, which is always a hard trick. As much as I love Abnett and Lanning, they really don’t tread water that well in this issue. Much more could have been done to make this more enjoyable. To the point that Quasar’s appearance was not as surprising as it should have been. My Score: C+
Another single issue return that ties into the Blackest Night story. This time it is Osiris’ turn to rise from the dead, but unlike the others who have acquired the black ring, the young man with the powers of Shazam is not immediately affected by the take over. Also doing the resurrection mambo is Sobek, the person that killed Osiris the first time. By the time Osisris puts two and two together (remember he’s still dead and zombies don’t think quite as fast as the rest of us), he once again has to fight Sobek and save the people of Khandaq. He does just that, and in the end he’s severed from the ring and dies a hero. Pretty quick synopsis but it’s a real black and white story. Not my favorite of these once shots, but the ending puts a heroic closure on this character who I wish hadn’t died in the first place. My Score: C+
Booster’s sister is a main player in this issue as we finally find out where in history she is. The death of Superman has happened and soon his rise will follow; which will mean the destruction of Coast City. Booster ends up in the same time period as Rip sends him there to make sure Hank Henshaw goes up in space like he’s supposed to. After Booster accomplishes his mission and stops the mysterious woman from ruining the flight; his sister follows a man with a “Coast City is Doomed” sign into an ally to find herself face to face with Cyborg Superman. Someone you really don’t want to meet in a dark alley. This is another excellent addition to this title with enough time travel to make it fun. I love the way Booster and Company bounce around through DC history. The backup story of the new Blue Beetle is just as enjoyable. For the money, you can’t beat this book. It’s got the best double header of any DC title out there. My Score: B+