DeadFett: Welcome readers, all three of you, to another edition of DeadLord's Weekly Reviews. Another week and another chance for Starlord and me to review three books from our pull lists. Keeping reading to get our view on this week's selections.
We'll be taking a look at Green Lantern #52 to start the week. This series has been great, especially during Blackest Night, and this issue was no exception. Sinestro has become the White Lantern. Through him we get a brief history of the universe and how the emotional spectrum has influenced evolution of life on Earth. Each emotion has an entity tied to it like Parallax is to fear.
Nekron rips out Sinestro's heart and tears him in half. Meanwhile, John Stewart leads a team of Lanterns as they attempt to stop the Black Lantern planet, Xanshi, from destroying Earth. During the struggle John finally puts the fates of Xanshi and Katma Tui behind him. John and his Lantern's discover that Xanshi's core is made up of thousands of Black Lantern rings. Using the colors of the emotional spectrum, the Lanterns unite and destroy the core of Xanshi before it can fire a fatal blast to Earth. The issue ends with Sinestro returning from a presumed death and declares himself the True Guardian of the Universe.
I loved this issue as I have this entire series. I love the absolution John feels here for Katma Tui and Xanshi. I like what Johns has done with Sinestro. I've actually enjoyed Green Lantern over what's been happening in Blackest Night. I can't wait to see how it all ends. This issue gets a huge thumbs up from me.
Starlord: Couldn't agree with you more on this. I've had such a great time reading this and Johns has added another chapter to the ongoing tales of all the Green Lanterns that is making the last ten years the decade of the Lanterns, that's for sure. I'll give it a huge thumbs up as well.
Believe it or not we're going to stick with DC for a few minutes longer as we check out Power Girl #10. Continuing the story from last issue, Power Girl and her new friend Terra battle Satanna and her animal creations. Once they are defeated Terra begins spending the day with Karen, questioning every heroic move she makes. When Santanna attacks a second time, Power Girl confirms what she had already suspected. Terra is not Terra at all, but the Ultra Humanite! Which begs the question, what did the villain do with Terra's brain?!
I've yet to not enjoy a single issue of this book. Story and art both seem to roll off the page like an old fashioned funny book, but is balanced with the modern age sensibility that is needed to make it relevant. I'm really going to hate seeing this creative team leave this book since it has continually entertained me for the last ten months. A strong, solid, and enthusiastic thumbs up.
DeadFett: I totally agree with you about Power Girl. The whole series has been fun and this issue just continues that. The writing and art compliment each other perfectly. Despite being a recent convert to the series, I have bought all the back issues and read them all. Each issue has been great. I'm disappointed the creative team is changing. Big thumbs up from me.
Now, on to our last selection for the week, Uncanny X-Men #522. I have been reading and collecting Uncanny X-Men since I was ten years old. And for one of the few times in 25 years I'm really not enjoying this title. There are a couple things here to like though. Magneto is a favorite and I'm glad to see him used here. I liked Dr. Nemesis and Emma comparing Scott to Magneto. But that's about it. Kitty returns from space only to be "permanently" phased. It's something that has been done before and to me, just not that interesting.
I find it strange that Fraction's Iron Man is great and his Uncanny run has just failed to keep me interested. There are some intriguing ideas here but they fail to deliver. I did enjoy Portacio's art but some of the characters faces looked off to me. I give this issue a thumbs down. What did you think my friend?
Starlord: It seems there are a lot of people that feel the same way about Fraction’s run on this title. I’m not as disappointed in it as some, but it really hasn’t thrilled me either. It feels more like this is just a placeholder for the next writer. I think Fraction is pretty solid here, but he doesn’t seem to be pushing the envelope, as they say. I really enjoyed Emma’s speech that compares Scott with Magneto, thought it was the highlight of the issue. I’ll give it a thumbs up, but a rather weak one.
So that’s it for this week. Join us next week for three new books and six new opinions.
Mighty Avengers #35
Probably the most solid story Dan Slott has written so far in this series. Ultron is back and he’s taken over the Infinite Mansion much to his daddy’s (Hank Pym) chagrin. This is a taught thriller that not only brings back one of the Avengers greatest villains in a fun and unique way, but also hints to bringing back the one original Avenger who may or may not be dead after all. I’ve enjoyed Slott’s run on this book, unlike some. This book has always been a bit closer to the Avengers “style” that I grew up on and enjoyed. That being said, this was probably the best the series has been, and Dan has done a solid job making Hank Pym the oddest scientist on the planet. It’s a shame this series is ending when it seems to be finally hitting its stride. My Score: B
New Avengers #63
This Avenger title had the opposite effect on me. Didn’t care for it when it started but as Dark Reign really heated up, this title has too. As the battle for Asgard continues, we are presented with the personal hours before the Dark Avengers began their attack. Luke and Jessica discuss their roles as both heroes and parents, while Clint and Bobbi contemplate a fresh start when the war is over. It’s sprinkled with the occasional battle scenes and witty banter of Spider-Man, but the focus is mainly on these two couples. In the end the walls of Asgard comes tumbling down, with Mockingbird directly in its path! Will she live? Will she live or will she die? I’m guessing live, but hey, its comics, either way she’ll still be around in a year. As much as Bedndis’ dialogue really irritates me at times, this issue was very well written. My Score: B
Batman Streets of Gotham #10
I still hold that Paul Dini knows how to write Batman better than nearly anyone else in the last ten years. Not only that, but his grasp on the whole Batman family and its mythos is second to none. The story of Zsasz continues as Dick and Damien continue top search for the killer of children and a new character steps into the fray, also searching for answers. His name’s Colin and he has his own powers thanks to a demented Scarecrow and some of Bane’s venom that was pumped into his body. When Colin and Damien accidentally meet at one of the crime scenes they are jumped by one of Zsasz’s men and taken to where the brutal competition is held. Colin figures out by watching Damien’s fighting style that he is really Robin. They escape but Damien finds himself in the arena fighting Zsasz himself. After a very short and bloody fight it doesn’t look good for the overly arrogant Damien. Another strong issue from Dini, though I’m not a fan of this story itself, I can’t say that there’s a real weak spot in it. Dini does write a much better Damien than Grant Morrison though. I’m also knocking my grade up a half grade for the Manhunter backup story. It was even better than the main story. Why they had to cancel her book I’ll never know. My Score: B
Siege continues its bloody destructive path in the Marvel Universe, but none bloodier than the title that the story is directly related to. Volstagg continues to battle the android Thor called Ragnarok, but wisely gets him away from innocents this time. Tyr, who has been spooked by the words of a prophet, realizes he could have been wrong by the warning when he is shown the dead body of Ares, killed by Sentry. Tyr goes after the Red Hood who is empowered by the Norn Stone. As Volstagg is about to be beaten by Ragnarok he is saved in the worse way possible when he watched Asgard crumble in front of his eyes and right on top of his foe. Gillen has done an excellent job with this title; giving it the perfect blend of mythology, present day storytelling and powerful “God Angst” that I’ve enjoyed when this title is at its best. What felt uneven in this particular issue was the art. Rarely can multiple artists on one issue of a title pull it off without a disjointed feeling. This was not one of those times. None of the art was bad, but the different styles did shift enough for me that it was a bit disconcerting in parts. All in all, though, it was a strong story that showed us another view of Asgard’s fall. My Score: B-
Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal #1
The story, written by J.T. Krul is actually rather good. Did that sound like I was surprised? I actually am to be honest. This whole JLA “event” has felt very uneven and slightly disjointed to me, and don’t even get me started again on what they did to Lian, but I do think this could be one of the best stories Roy has been given in ages. Krul handles the tragedy deftly, allowing Geraldo Borges the chance to shine in several scenes that if you are a parent, could rip your heart out. The scene in the morgue is especially heart wrenching. Krul also stays true to Roy’s character as the younger archer finally gets back on his feet (though he was told not to) and heads back to Star City and the only place that he and Lian had considered home; popping pain pills the entire time. Also an extra kudos to J.T. for bringing Dinah and Roy’s relationship back to the forefront with this issue; if anyone is going to be there for the crimson archer, it makes the most sense that it would be Black Canary. My Score: B+