Sunday, 30 October 2011

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #152

Some people ask the stupidest questions.

With my electricity restored we can have a look at what I picked up this week.

ALL-STAR WESTERN #2 - written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Moritat and Jordi Bernet.

One of the surprises in the New 52 titles, this series continues to delight. Following last issue's discovery that the rich of Gotham in the 1880's are part of a secret society, Hex and Dr Arkham prepare for the inevitable attack before striking back at them. The attack against Hex and the doctor is rendered beautifully, most of it crammed economically into two pages littered with panels that works wonderfully. It's framed with two splash pages both of which concentrate on Jonah Hex which round it off and more than make up for the slightly cliched interrogation of the only survivor. Discovering that the society are worshippers of the Crime Bible, Hex and the doctor try to save the Chief of Police who is their prisoner, an attempt which doesn't go terribly well.

There's a back-up story featuring El Diablo which wastes no time getting into a story about zombies and is also illustrated in gorgeous fashion.

All together, this is an excellent series so far.

AQUAMAN #2 - written by Geoff Johns with art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado.

How so you differentiate between a bunch of monsters that all look alike? Give one of them scars and let him become the big bad guy. Scarfish leads his band of munching marauders towards a small town and they proceed to eat as many of the landlubbers as they can. This leads to Aquaman and Mera being drafted in to help which results in a fight with the monsters before Scarfish capture's Aquaman's trident and plans to take both it and him back home to the trench they came from.

It's fairly light on plot but Johns still keeps it interesting as Mera and Aquaman plan to build a life together out of the sea but get interrupted by the arrival of the monsters, and there's a little Aquawoman running joke as well. Good stuff on the whole.

THE FURY OF FIRESTORM THE NUCLEAR MEN #2 - written by Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver with art by Yildiray Cinar.

I've a feeling that van Sciver left more of the dialogue to Gail Simone this issue as it's nowhere near as clunky as last. The combined force of both Firestorms wreaks havoc on Carmichael's team but seems to have a Hulk / Betty Ross thing going on with Tonya who appears to be able to reason with it. We get a little more background on what Martin Stein was up to before being introduced to the drug taking homicidal strike team called the Hyenas.

This felt a lot less forced than the first issue which is a relief.

GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #2 - written by Tony Bedard with art by Tyler Kirkham, Harvey Tolibao and Batt.

Despite Kyle's best intentions and attempts to surrender the other Corps rings that flocked to him at the end of last issue, it all ends up in a big fight. Arkillo's lack of tongue is compensated for by his ring speaking for him and I found it odd that Fatality refers to Kyle only as "Green Lantern" - she knows full well who he is, or at least she did. Kyle heads to Oa to confront the Guardians and discovers that they've removed Ganthet's burgeoning emotions . . . though for an emotionless lot, they all look pretty angry when the see the rings Kyle has brought with him.

A lot happens and it all promises to come to a head next issue as the ring-slingers go head to head with the Guardians.

KIRBY: GENESIS #4 - written by Kurt Busiek with art by Alex Ross and Jack Herbert.

Talking of a lot happening . . . we get to see more of the many, many characters inhabiting this series and have a glimpse into the background of the Knights of Gazra before Captain Victory - sporting the most 70's haircut seen since the first Star Wars film - appears and throws his weight around. True, Silver Star throws it right back, but he still comes across as something of a git. In amongst that we have pet Tyrannosaurs, hidden underground caves holding deep secrets and bad guys teaming up all over the shop.

Honestly, it's a little difficult trying to keep all these new (to me) characters straight in my head and it may need a re-read at some point but it's very well done all the same.

STITCHED #1 - written by Garth Ennis with art by Mike Wolfer.

"It's got swearing, violence, blood and guts, and women with guns." was how my local comic shop owner tried to sell this to me.

"So it's Garth Ennis, then?" I responded.

Ennis has written a short film which was shown at one of the comic conventions and this is the comic of that which promises to continue where the film left off. I think. I may have read that somewhere or just made it up. Either way, trite summations of Ennis's output aside, this is a good opener: a team of American troops in Afghanistan come up against seemingly unstoppable zombie-like creatures as they attempt to rescue a British team.

Let's see where this goes, eh?

TEEN TITANS #2 - written by Scott Lobdell with art by Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.

Another second issue that improved on the first one, this wasn't bad. Red Robin and Wonder Girl go their own ways despite Tim developing something of a crush on Cassie (who really needs to learn how to wear a pair of sunglasses) and he ends up capturing and possibly recruiting a new Titan member by the name of Skitter. Meanwhile the captured Kid Flash escapes and runs into someone called Solstice who's being literally kept in the dark and so may be the New 52's version of the character introduced in the Teen Titans just before it was cancelled due to Flashpoint.

Like I said, it's not bad and an improvement on #1. The Next Issue blurb mentions a new member called Bunker - Kid Flash was imprisoned in the next cell to an apparently invisible prisoner called Danny. When Bart escaped, he looked in the cell and saw nothing but a bricked floor. Could Bunker be Danny the Brick from Doom Patrol?

VOODOO #2 - written by Ron Marz with art by Sami Basri and Hendry Prasetya.

I haven't done a great deal of searching yet but so far I don't think the internets have melted following the release of Voodoo #2. A large part of the net didn't like the idea of her being a stripper - I wonder how they'll cope with Voodoo being a shapeshifter who took the form of a male FBI agent she'd just killed in order to sleep with his partner Jessica Fallon in order to find out as much as possible about why the FBI want her.

Honestly, I'm okay with this. If anything, Voodoo's not a hero and has her own agenda so playing dirty - either by killing an FBI agent or sleeping with another one - fits in with what we're discovering about her character.

Basri and Prasetya's art is as clean as ever but they still do next to nothing with backgrounds and for some reason this issue really highlighted that.

Still, I'm enjoying this so far and next issue we get to see Kyle Rayner written by his creator.

And what made me smile:

Arkillo's ring back-tracking!


  1. Interesting theory on Danny. Lobdell has revealed some information on Bunker that's drawn some attention. Don't know if you want to know or be surprised.

  2. Yeah, isn't bunker the flamboyant one ... hey, that would fit Danny to a T!

    As for Firestorm, I didn't know Ethan Van Sciver had done dialoguing last time, I'd assumed it was all Gail Simone.

  3. Erin - Thinking about it, Danny the Brick's probably a bit too weird for Teen Titans. Guess we see what happens.

    Martin - I'm assuming Van Sciver did last issue's dialogue simply because it wasn't up to Simone's usual high standard. Could be wrong.

  4. I haven't written a word of dialogue on any issue of Firestorm. "Co-plotter."

    Ethan V.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Ethan - thanks for stopping by and clarifying; hope you didn't take offence as that certainly wasn't the intent.

    (earlier comment by me removed because it really didn't make much sense!)


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