This week was a hefty week, a real hefty week. A total of thirteen books came out this week from my pull list, so needless to say I haven’t managed to get through them all yet, what with everything else I try to get done and with the ongoing TrueAchievements Winter Olympics going on. So today I’ll be going through the issues I have read, and will try to get stuff posted up on the issues I still need to read early next week, Monday or Tuesday ideally. What I’m aiming to do with this is provide a brief insight into what I think of each week’s releases. Do note though, I’m going to be spoiling a little each time, such is the nature of reviews on things like comics. Out of thirteen releases, plus an additional issue 1 recommended by Dave of Nostalgia, I’ve managed to read a fairly pathetic four. In my defence though, I’ve just started reading Geoff Johns’ run on Teen Titans and it’s ace, so that’s not helped. Let’s start with the big one, shall we?
Batman #28 – Gotham Eternal
The whole idea with this issue was to provide us with a glimpse of what’s to come in Gotham, particularly through the upcoming weekly series “Batman Eternal” so, basically, this entire issue is a mini spoiler. But, oh boy, is it a good one. We get to see Selina no longer really in the role of Catwoman anymore, but boss of bosses of the Gotham Underworld. Christ knows how this comes to pass, and unfortunately since Ann Nocenti is still helming the absolute shipwreck that is Catwoman, I won’t be finding out too much about that series. It’s an interesting idea though, and I like that Selina is still very partial to Batman, rather than shunning him completely. It seems as though something pretty serious has gone down with them, whether that happens in upcoming issues or is a reference to recent events in the main series, I’m not sure for the afore mentioned reason. We also have Batman’s new sidekick, Bluebird, who is none other than Harper Row, the girl that helped Bats out in previous issues before the Zero Year storyline kicked off, which is pretty cool.
And how about the new helper Batman has co-ordinating from the Batcave? Clearly another female aide (clearly there is plenty of Batman to go around!) which is something I am not going to complain at, although I am a little concerned by the lack of Alfred. The biggest spoiler in the issue, though, was Spoiler. Stephanie freaking Brown is back! Hell yeah! She’s here in Gotham under the guise of Spoiler, and is apparently the key to saving Gotham from some impending doom, so not only do we have Steph back but she is going to be a major player through Batman Eternal, and will hopefully be sticking around past that too. Here’s hoping we get a Spoiler/Batgirl team up, I’d love for her to show up in Gail Simone’s Batgirl run.
Overall verdict: This has me so unbelievably psyched up for the next twelve months of Gotham action, so considering that was the point of this issue, it get’s two thumbs up from me!
Justice League of America #12 – Tick, tick, tick
Forever Evil is heading full steam towards it’s conclusion now, and while not all of the tie ins are required reading to enjoy this story, I think all three Justice League titles are, really. JLA has been covering the ongoing struggle of Martian Manhunter and Stargirl throughout this event, figuring out that the heroes of Earth are trapped in the matrix of Firestorm and trying to firgure a way to help them. This issue provides us with a really nice and long overdue role reversal, we’ve had Stargirl essentially sitting on the sidelines since this book started, being more of the JLA PR rep than anything else, with J’onn being the tactician and powerhouse of the team.
Not this week. This week we see J’onn after the mental split he and Stargirl went through, from which he came off far worse, emerging extremely weak and seemingly quite mentally fragile. Then Despero happens, and frankly the Martian can’t handle this right now, so we see Stargirl step up to the plate and manage to hold her own while trying to keep her quite depressing history well and truly supressed. The stakes are raised even further with the impending detonation of Firestorm, who has become extremely unstable, so aswell as pretty much taking on Despero single handed Stargirl is heading straight for Firestorm to save the day.
Only problem I found with this issue, was the final scene where we allegedly see J’onn die. You see, the problem with this is not all that long ago, DC announced the title that will be replacing the soon to end JLA, Justice League United, starring Martian Manhunter. Well, he’s on the cover but so was Simon Baz for Justice League of America and he didn’t show up for ages, but still, the fact that he’s on the cover says to me that he’s not dead.
Overall verdict: Amply raised the stakes in an already high stakes event, great action scenes and Stargirl finally out of the shadow and kicking ass. I enjoyed it immensely, great read.
Injustice Year Two – Protection
Whether you’ve played the game this is based off or not, if you are a
DC fan fan of great stories, this is an absolutely essential read. It takes characters we know and love, and puts them through hell. Year One sees Superman accidentally kill his pregnant wife, Metropolis is utterly destroyed, Superman then cracks down on anyone causing disruption to mankind, taking a much more “proactive” approach to keeping the planet safe. The year ends with Batman leading a team into the Fortress of Solitude to steal a serum devolped by Lex that essentially turns everyone as strong and unbreakable as Superman himself. It results in Batman being utterly broken, and Green Arrow dying.
So while last year was a very “downfall of Superman” year, Injustice Year Two is looking to the fall of another hero, Hal Jordan. Even though Ollie was a very close friend of Hal, as shown in a flashback scene involving Hal “third wheeling” celebration drinks with Ollie and Dinah (yes, they are together in this series), Hal is still siding with Clark, effectively ended the friendship between himself and Dinah. He actively takes part in the oppression of humankind under the order of Superman, catching the unsettled gaze of the little blue men from Oa. The Guardians are not best pleased by this development and Ganthet heads to Earth with Guy Gardner in tow.
Sinestro has arrived too, showing up near Superman who instantly attacks him, however, Sinestro informs him that the Guardians are coming for him and we see what I assume will be the next partnership Supes will strike up. I can see it working, just look at the way Sinestro treated Korugar when he was the Green Lantern of that space sector, it’s exactly what Superman is doing now. This has turned out to be a major hit for DC, and while I thought the story was very strong, I’m not really a big fan of the game myself. I thought Mortal Kombat was much better, but that’s not a discussion for now. This is a must read comic series, it’s as simple as that. The first trade for Injustice Year One is out now, go get it if you haven’t read any yet.
Overall verdict: This series is going from strength to strength with every issue, I can’t recommend it enough. The artwork is perfectly suited to the tone of the book, and in a series that has so many characters worked into it, it’s nice to see the Green Lantern side being focussed on now. Loved every panel, bring on issue 3!
The Superior Spider-Man #27 – Goblin Nation Part One
What a ride this book has been. As anyone with the internet and a passing interest in Spider-Man will know, Peter Parker is making his return in a couple of months time, so we know that this series, as it is right now, is winding down to a close. Except that it’s not really winding down, New York is in a state of semi destruction as the Goblin Army takes advantage of the glitch that’s been uploaded to Ock’s spider bots, allowing them to roam without the Spider being alerted to their presence. Ock can’t figure out what’s gone wrong, he really thought he had this whole super hero thing down. Not as easy as you thought, eh Doc?
To top it off, the head honcho Goblin, who it is largely assumed is Norman Osborne (it’s Dan Slott though, so let’s not assume anything until the mask comes off), has clocked him. They have a sit down meeting where the Goblin bluntly tells him to his face that he knows it’s Ock under there, congratulates him on a job well done and offers him an alliance of sorts. Ock might have well spat in his face, not best pleased at the idea of working for, or even with, someone he considers so far beneath him. This is where the Goblin also informs Ock that he is well aware of his new Spider Island, the base of operations for Ock and his Spider minions, and the closing scene of the issue sees the base come under a full blown attack from the Goblin Army.
Overall verdict: This is gettting pretty serious now, we see a little more of Peter, plotting inside the mind of Ock and looking for a way to make a power grab. We have New York falling under major attack, J Jonah Jameson convinced the Spider is in cahoots with the Goblin and overseeing the creation of new slayers to deal with the threats and Ock outed as, well, Ock. Fantastic addition to an already fantastic series that I will still be talking about for years to come. It’s had it’s detractors and while I will be thrilled to see Parker return to us, I’ve loved every issue Slott has put out of Superior. Well worth catching up on!
Thanks all for checking this stuff out, sorry I cut the last one a little short but I’m feeling pretty tired now and am off out tomorrow morning to go check out a new comic book shop in a nearby town. Hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekends and I will be back for more tomorrow! Good night!