Sunday, 16 October 2011

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #150

Or gender, and rightly so.

One hundred and fifty of my little weekly wrap-ups. I almost feel a tear-filled Oscar-style speech coming on but will resist and just talk about comics instead . . .

DEMON KNIGHTS #2 - written by Paul Cornell with art by Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert.

This is, I think, probably my favourite of the new DC titles. The dragon attack on the inn from the last issue roars into the first few pages, pitching our heroes against huge dinosaur-like creatures and Vandal Savage, for one, is thoroughly enjoying himself. Think less the millenia-calculating villain from DC One Million and more a manic barbarian intent on eating as much as killing. Etrigan and Madame Xanadu attempt to flee - well, Etrigan does while carrying Madame X whether she likes it or not - but run into soldiers on pterodactyls which leads to Shining Knight, who appears to be convincing no-one she's a man, into using her flying horse.

It's all fantastic fun with some cracking dialogue - thoroughly recommended.

FRANKENSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. #2 - written by Jeff Lemire with art by Alberto Ponticelli.

Amid the investigation into the monster-spawning lake, we get a look at the new origin for Nina Mazursky and a hint of possible threats to come - I can't see a hidden zoo of psycopathic monsters within the Ant Farm going to waste any time soon. Turns out the monsters are actually aliens attempting to invade Earth and it's not long before Frankenstein has to lead his Creature Commandos through the portal in the lake to take the fight to them.

Another cracking, full on issue.

GREEN LANTERN #2 - written by Geoff Johns with art by Doug Mahnke, Keith Champagne and Christian Alamy.

Hal Jordan shows just what an idiot he can be  as Sinestro effortlessly proves himself if not the better man, at least one more thoughtful and in control. He creates a new ring for Jordan which the ungrateful berk immediately uses to try fight Sinestro before finding out the hard way that his former mentor has put safeguards in place. To teach Jordan a lesson, Sinestro saves everyone at a nearby bridge that's been damaged, making Jordan look like a rash, impulsive fool before taking on the source of the bridge's damage, a member of the Sinestro Corps. This leads to Sinestro's reason for enlisting Jordan: he wants to destroy his own Corps.

For a writer who has such an obvious love for Jordan, Geoff Johns isn't afraid to show the man being an idiot. It's very easy to sympathise with Sinestro throughout this issue while simply shaking your head in bafflement at Jordan. It'll be interesting to see what the Guardians make of Jordan's apparent re-instatement.

JENNIFER BLOOD #5 - written by Garth Ennis with art by Kewber Baal.

Nina Mazursky's not the only one to get an origin tale this week as we finally find out exactly what happened to drive Jennifer to take down the mob led by her various uncles and, not surprisingly, it's not pretty.

While she is seeking vengeance for the murder of her father and the death of her mother, it turns out to be not that straightforward as her father happened to be the brains behind his five brothers and was as guilty as them of the hideous crimes they committed. However, that's not stopping her going down the same path.

One more issue, I believe, of the Garth Ennis run which will wrap up her crusade against her uncles. Oh, and she also has to deal with her confused neighbour who, I'm sure, is going to get the shock of his life.

MISTER TERRIFIC #2 - written by Eric Wallace with art by Gianluca Gugliotta and Wayne Faucher.

The bad news is, Karen Starr once more gives no indication of being Power Girl, more's the pity. Mr Terrific, though, manages to get his mind back and switches off the earthquake machine, there's a new corporate threat introduced, the villain of the piece is revealed and more pseudo-scientific nonsense is spouted than I've heard in a long time.

The relationships between Terrific and Karen, Terrific and Aleeka and between Karen and Aleeka are all a little forced and the dialogue's still a bit clunky. If I'm honest, the art isn't that brilliant either but I'm holding out for another few issues at least to see what happens.

PUNISHER MAX #18 - written by Jason Aaron with art by Steve Dillon.

Jason Aaron shows what really happens when you allow your main character to carry and use a gun: recurring villains become very thin on the ground. It appears that we won't be seeing Bullseye turn up in these pages again as Frank puts a bullet through his head, centred neatly on the bullseye tattoo on his forehead. Meanwhile Wilson Fisk and Elektra indulge in some violent instant messaging when Fisk's nerve is questioned. And, for another little twist, Elektra's revealed to have yet another angle she's working. It all ends on a very nasty note.

This series just keeps getting better.

RESURRECTION MAN #2 - written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Fernando Dagnino.

Mitch Shelley finds the nursing home where his father died and ends up speaking with his late dad's neighbour who, it appears, used to be a supervillain. The staff think he has delusions but I'm willing to bet he actually was one. Meanwhile the angel from issue #1 heads off to find him but the Body Doubles (as gloriously nuts as they were in the original series) beat her to it and kill him once more, leaving him to wake up in some form of Hell.

Yet another splendid issue as details begin to get filled in on Shelley's past while he runs from the present.

THE STAND: THE NIGHT HAS COME #3 - written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with art by Mike Perkins.

If Flagg wasn't such a complete bad guy, you might be able to find a little sympathy in your heart for him as things start going wrong all around. Nadine tricks him into hurling her (and their unborn child) off their hotel balcony; Tom Cullen has eluded him; and Trashcan Man has bombed his fighters and armour. Elsewhere, the Free Zone committee members continue their long walk West, losing Stu Redman along the way.

It's been an excellent adaptation - much better than The Dark Tower books - and it's all starting to draw to a close.

And what made me smile:

So many moments from Demon Knights to choose from!

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