Monday, 29 September 2008

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #23

Once again a little late with this due to being away on the weekend visiting relatives and enjoying myself. Anyhow, onwards -

Ambush Bug: Year None #3 gave me my first laugh out loud moment ("Finally, I'm going to get some face time!") in comics for what seems far too long. I love Ambush Bug! I've said it before and I'll probably say it again at some point, but Giffen's ridiculously surreal character just makes me grin. Just the idea that Bug got married is crazy enough, but to Dumb Bunny?! Hey, least she got out of comic book limbo which probably explains why she wasn't shown hanging round there with Merryman in Superman Beyond 3D #1 the other week. A round trip to find a way to divorce his new wife includes a run-in with the Earth-Two Superman and Lois Lane, along with Alex Luthor, in their own limbo as well as Darkseid who greets him with "Irwin, baby!" He eventually realises, though, that Dumb Bunny's the one for him and seems to settle down as a happy family unit that includes Cheeks, The Wonder Toy . . . yeah, right, like that's going to last.

But what's this? Something other than a superhero title showing up on Crisis On Earth Prime? Yep, 'fraid so, folks. In Back To Brooklyn #1 things are about as far away from a spandex suit as you can get. It's the first issue in a new mini-series by two of my favourite writers, Garth Ennis and Jimmy Palmiotti. It's the story of a mob boss, Bob Saetta, wanting to get out of the game for some unknown reason but, as he offers a deal to the cops, they receive word that the mob has his wife and kid. Worse, it's the mob's big boss, Bob's brother Paul himself who has them. Bob gets a weekend to try and get back to Brooklyn, find his family and get them out again before the cops charge in, running the risk of his wife and children being killed in the cross-fire. It's nice and taut with gorgeous, understated art work and promises to be a good read.

As I'm sure most of you do, I get my comics on a weekly basis from my local comics shop. The guy who runs mine, Terry, is a good bloke and often throws titles my way based on what I'm reading, like the aforementioned Back To Brooklyn. Every now and then, though, things get a little fouled up which is why, when I got home to find Blue Beetle #31 in my bag, I was a little confused as I read it. It didn't seem to make much sense and I thought it had been a while since I read it last. A quick check in my boxes and, sure enough, I'd missed Blue Beetle #30. So even though I've got it, I've only read the first few pages so can't really say more than that at the moment.

Another slight foul-up was DC Special: Cyborg #5 which I should have had last week but Terry forgot to put that in as well (not to mention Tangent: Superman's Reign #7 which I'll need to get this week). I'll admit it's all gotten a little confusing right now with Cyborg battling future versions of himself as well as facing off against a bunch of military personnel who've been fitted with technology based on his own, not to mention the newly formed Cyborg Revenge Squad . . . It seems to be one big, long fight that's just dragging out to six issues and unless writer Mark Sable pulls something unexpected and fantastic out of the hat in the last issue next month, I'm just going to be glad this is over.

Project Superpowers #6 has, like DC Special: Cyborg, become a little crowded but at least the pace is a little less frenetic. More time has been spent with the likes of the Green Lama and the Fighting Yank, perhaps because they needed to be introduced to many readers for the first time. Things are building to a climax nicely as the machinations of the Dynamic Family are revealed to have simply been the will of a hidden cabal, The Supremacy, who plot the end of the returned heroes. A nice touch was the Scarab (who started out as the original, Golden Age Blue Beetle) giving Samson his origin story which was based around finding a stone shaped like a scarab. As Samson assumes the stone to be the source of the Scarab's powers, the Scarab simply tells him he sold it and made a fortune! Trapped by members of the Frankenstein troop, Scarab and Samson are joined by the other heroes but they are all quickly overwhelmed but, due to the plots of The Supremacy, are unable to escape.

Double Giffen this week as Reign In Hell #3 came along as well. The various heroes wandering through Hell are, unsurprisingly, having a rough time of it, getting annoyed with each other and/or falling sick. Black Alice appears to have completely gone over to the dark side as she sets the denizens of Hell on to the new Ibis, runnign away and leaving him to his fate. Trying to strike a bargain with Satanus, Blue Devil ends up having to fight Etrigan (who, last I saw, was turned to stone in the pages of Shadowpact) in order to rid himself of his demonic aspect. Meanwhile, Dr Occult wanders round trying to find his (literal) other half Rose Psychic.

A lot of the comics I read are because of the characters rather than the writers or artists though there are exceptions. Team books, particularly, lend themselves to this as there's a lot of characters to like and this week Teen Titans #63 cheered me up no end as it brought back a character that, I thought, has a lot of potential but who was tossed aside in her first real outing. Bombshell is back in the pages of Teen Titans and even though it's not completely clear to the others whether she's on the side of the angels or not, I'm glad to have her back. True, she seems a little too much like Ravager at the moment with the whole facing off against Wonder Girl thing, but at least she's no longer lying dead on a slab. Good to see Wendy survived last month's team-up with Wonder Dog as well, and Lycus and Ares seem to be making things difficult for Wonder Girl.

Things seem to be getting difficult for Batman, Superman and Wonderwoman in Trinity #17 this week. The bad guys have succeeded in unleashing . . . something . . . which seems to have pretty much screwed up the world. And we finally got some back ground on Konvikt as well which saves him from being a bog-standard alien villain. I'm still enjoying it though it seems a little thin on the whole; maybe it'll benefit from being read in one long run once it's all complete?

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