Sunday, 17 February 2008

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #16

Salvation Run #4No hesitation in picking this week's Cocktail - two gorillas fighting on the cover, one beating the other with the disembodied brain of the other's lover? What's not to like?

Booster Gold #0 was a Zero Hour tie-in (fourteen years after the mini-series finished! And people moaned about Last Son and Who Is Wonder Woman? taking a while to complete!) and was a treat though not as good as the series has been; Suicide Squad #6 showed once more why the DCU needs John Ostrander writing a monthly title again; everything began to go pear-shaped in Countdown To Final Crisis #11 for our heroes; and Boodikka's retconned back story in Green Lantern Corps #21 was something of a scene setter and didn't really do much. There were a couple of other titles I picked up, including Green Arrow And Black Canary #5 with its cleavage-laden flashbacks but it was easily Salvation Run #4 that won out this week.

Despite the emphasis on the gorilla fighting in the first line, there was more to this issue that giant simians beating the crap out of each other.

Glasgae kiss - Grodd style!Martian Manhunter's presence on the prison planet has been discovered by Catwoman and his cover identity of Blockbuster appears to have aroused the suspicions of Lady Vic; members of Luthor's team quarrel and are calmed down by the man himself who promises Deadshot and Bane "an even million apiece when we get back home"; meanwhile Joker's group has its own frictions with Bolt demanding to be fed and Kid Karnevil saving Joker's life so that he can kill him at some point and skin him alive; and Vandal Savage takes four ladies and finds the Safe Zone where he intends to build paradise.

That said, it is the gorilla battle that takes centre stage in this issue with Monsieur Mallah approaching Joker's group under a truce to privately discuss with Grodd the idea of them ruling both groups of villains. Rejecting his idea, Grodd insults Mallah leading to a fight during which Grodd beats Mallah half to death with the Brain's jar, killing the pair of them in the same attack.

Farewell, GroddMallah gets his shots in (literally) before the end, using a pistol to shoot Grodd in the chest several times. Wounded, Grodd slumps to the ground on the edge of the cliff where the Joker finds him, in pain and in need of help.

It's no surprise that, with a kick, the Joker sends him plummeting over the edge. You'd think, by now, people (and apes) would learn that the white skinned fella in the purple suit can't be trusted.

The chances of Grodd having died are - to my mind - minimal. It's something of an unwritten rule that if you don't see the body then there's always a chance they'll come back and with three issues left to go, I doubt this is the last we've seen of the "proud child of Gorilla City!"

I really like Matthew Sturges's writing on this series - he's taken over from Bill Willingham seamlessly and with the ape-fight (have I mentioned there are gorillas fighting each other?) Salvation Run has reached new heights. Maybe Ostrander isn't the only writing who needs an ongoing monthly in the DCU?

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