Sunday, 23 October 2011

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #151

Hal Jordan showing how NOT to win friends and influence people

It's Sunday afternoon so let's look at comics.

BLUE BEETLE #2 - written by Tony Bedard with art by Ig Guara and Ruy Jose.

Last month's first issue didn't impress me that much but #2 has improved a little and was more enjoyable. Jaime is basically trying to wrest control of his armour away from the scarab which is a lot more talkative this time round but at least he's still insistent upon looking for non-lethal solutions. Meanwhile Brenda is trying to celebrate her quinceaƱera at her aunt La Dama's house; this establishes her as being fifteen so I'm guessing there's going to be minimal romantic sub-plots beyond awkwardness and holding hands in the near future. The meeting between Beetle and La Dama is the closest the issue gets to the feel of the last series but it's heading in the right direction. The last couple of pages showing the Reach discovering the scarab's reactivation and heading to Earth are a little rushed but cram in the forthcoming threat.

As I said, on the whole this was more enjoyable and had a hint of fun about it. Hopefully that'll increase.

THE BOYS: BUTCHER, BAKER, CANDLESTICKMAKER #4 - written by Garth Ennis with art by Darick Robertson.

Ennis blind sides us at the start, showing a funeral on the first page before we realise that it's not the one we expected to see. A simple, banal everyday tragedy sets Butcher one step closer to losing his restraint but thankfully he still has Becky to hold him to the straight and narrow.

And then it all goes terribly, horribly wrong.

Becky's demise is a dreadful thing in many ways but it's handled well and you can't help but feel sorry for Butcher though that may not excuse what he eventually becomes.

Another excellent issue.

CAPTAIN ATOM #2 - written by J.T. Krul with art by Freddie Williams II.

Atom saves New York from the volcano that mysteriously appeared in the middle of the city (don't you hate it when that happens?) before rushing back to his HQ at the Continuum to try and stabilise himself. We get a brief run down of his origin - which hasn't changed much since the reboot - and what may be a love triangle forming which can't be good. The rest of the issue's taken up with Cap curing a small boy's brain tumor before a last page cliffhanger which put me in mind of John Carpenter's The Thing.

Not bad on the whole; nice to see a little more interaction with the supporting cast and Atom using his powers in a manner that I don't think we've seen before.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #2 - written by Peter J. Tomasi with art by Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna.

The Green Lanterns attempt to prevent another world-wide catastrophe as the planet of Xabas is stripped of natural resources only to be confronted by a bunch of warriors that are able to break through their ring constructs. Isamot Kol makes a bold attempt to halt the attack but only succeeds in getting his arms and legs chopped off - it's okay, it's been shown before that they'll grow back - leading to a last page and bit of dialogue that recalls Terminator 2 and Edward Furlong's line about the number of cops.

This is a fast paced issue that hardly slows at all, even when we get the hint of the evil mastermind behind it all. A couple of the new(ish) Lanterns get to start developing a personality (Sheriff acting like a police officer for example) while Guy Gardner and John Stewart get to rule the roost.

Splendid fun.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #2 - written by Geoff Johns with art by Jim Lee and Scott Williams.

As is the law when superheroes team up for the first time, Superman, Batman and Green Lantern get involved in a fight with each other, roping in the Flash for good measure. Eventually they all calm down long enough to talk to each other and try to discuss the Parademons and the Mother Boxes. Elsewhere, Vic Stone's father proves himself to be a complete arse, crushing his son's dreams and breaking his heart in the process. The Mother Boxes that both the heroes and Stone Sr are examining erupt at the same time, unleashing Parademons into the world and, for Vic, starting him on the road to becoming Cyborg.

Johns's dialogue is, as ever, splendid - the exchange between the Flash and Green Lantern about identities was worthy of a chuckle as I read it - and the art by Lee is equally good though it gets a little busy at times and he does like his two-page spreads. The story rattles along at a pace and I'm keen to see the redesign of Darkseid whenever he turns up.

And what made me smile:

Sure, vomiting jokes are a question of taste (no pun intended) but this little hint of fun in Blue Beetle gives me hope for the series.

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