Sunday, 18 September 2011

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #146

Madame Xanadu displays her grasp of British colloquialisms.

Hey look: Sunday! Comics! New format for Cocktails!

DEMON KNIGHTS #1 - written by Paul Cornell with art by Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert.

I picked this title up on the strength of Paul Cornell's Knight & Squire which I thoroughly enjoyed and once again, he doesn't disappoint. In short order we get a glimpse of the fall of Camelot, the binding of Etrigan to Jason Blood and an origin of sorts for Madame Xanadu. Then we're off to 400 years later where the pair meet up with Vandal Savage and the Shining Knight before someone throws a dragon at them. It's gloriously good fun and nice to see an Etrigan who isn't rhyming at all, eschewing the usual sort of doggerel that most writers feel compelled to put in his fanged mouth. There's also a nice surprise concerning Etrigan and Blood's travelling companion Xanadu which I honestly didn't see coming. Throw in a handful of new characters and an apparent pair of villains who seem to think they're doing the right thing and this is off to a cracking start.

FRANKENSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. #1 - written by Jeff Lemire with art by Alberto Ponticelli.

Had it not been for the enjoyable Flashpoint mini-series featuring Frankenstein, I probably wouldn't have picked this up. As it is, we get a regenerated Father Time enlisting Frankenstein once more, this time to defeat a rampaging horde of monsters as well as rescuing the Bride who has gone missing while making her own attempt to stop them. Also coming along from the Flashpoint mini are the Creature Commandos who accompany Frankie in his mission. Admittedly it's not as immediately engaging as the mini-series and the art's a little untidier than I like but it's still enjoyable.

GREEN LANTERN #1 - written by Geoff Johns with art by Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen and Christian Alamy.

Following on from the last series and thus not really being part of the reboot (and I wonder how that's going to be explained in-story as well) we find Sinestro as a Green Lantern once more while Hal Jordan's unemployed and unemployable. Even Ferris Air won't give him a job due to insurance reasons. Jordan's still over the top, throwing himself into situations and apparently unable to consider anyone else's feelings which leads to an uncomfortable scene between him and Carol, while Sinestro's caught between wanting his own Corps back and hating that they've overtaken and enslaved his home planet. No wonder this book is one of the best selling in DC's line-up.

MISTER TERRIFIC #1 - written by Eric Wallace with art by Gianluca Gugliotta and Wayne Faucher.

Mr Terrific hops over to jolly old England to capture some mad scientist before being roped in by the Los Angeles police to help solve the case of an ordinary man who went mad as his IQ rocketed and became a murderer. Terrific's always been played smart and it makes sense that in his first solo outing he mentions it but blimey, he doesn't half harp on about his intelligence. Hopefully that sort of thing will calm down as we go along. Now, a confession: this title was already on my pull list when the line-up was released but I have to admit that since hearing Karen Starr aka Power Girl was to be part of the supporting cast, that's what I've really been keen to see. We first see her in Terrific's apartment, she in (presumably) his T-shirt, he wandering round bare-chested. Despite her claiming later that she and Terrific are "just friends" there seems to be a lot more to their relationship than that. Whether she's Power Girl or not in this reality (and if she is, whether she's Kryptonian or not) is yet to be revealed. With Mr T's messing around with other dimensions (he has a laboratory in the ninth dimension, don't you know) there's the possibility that Starr is PG from Earth-2 and he's helping her get back but it's too early to say right now. The art's not terribly consistent as characters' faces seem to change from one panel to the next but it's a pretty good start over all.

PUNISHER MAX #17 - written by Jason Aaron with art by Steve Dillon.

Aaron's story of the Punisher continues as he introduces another Marvel mainstay into the Max mix. This time it's Elektra, offered to the Kingpin as a bodyguard by The Hand and despite his initial scepticism, Fisk hires her after she effortlessly kills four of his men. Meanwhile, the Punisher's back on the trail of the Kingpin and everyone's unaware of the real person behind Elektra's new job: Vanessa Fisk, Kingpin's wife. Another damn fine issue by Aaron and Dillon.

RESURRECTION MAN #1 - written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Fernando Dagnino.

I swear, it's as if the last eleven or twelve years just haven't happened. Mitch Shelley is back, dying and being reborn with some new power every time, directed to be where he's needed. This time, though, there's an angel out to get him - and not a cute, chubby baby with white wings kind of angel, either. Try a four-armed, armour wearing psycho angel who causes the crash of the plane he's on. Plus the angel knows that the "basement office" is after him too which means something more infernal will be on the way. And if that's not enough, the Body Doubles, his bĂȘte noires from the previous series, are back and on his trail as well. Another good start with enough background to get a handle on the character while there's plenty going on.

THE STAND: THE NIGHT HAS COME #2 - written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with art by Mike Perkins.

Harold Lauder finally pays the price for being the lackey of the Dark Man while Nadine finds her beau and pays her own price. Things start to get a little "flaky" for Randall Flagg as his men miss the last spy and Trashcan Man is found to have booby-trapped their planes and helicopters. It's all rushing to a conclusion and even though I know how it's going to end, I still can't wait.

And what made me smile:

The new Father Time!

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