Sunday, 27 November 2011

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #156

Yeah, Kyle, you'd have thought that, wouldn't you?

And on the seventh day, Gary rested and looked at comics:

ALL STAR WESTERN #3 - written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Moritat and Jordi Bernet.

Oh my word this is good. I am so glad I decided to take a punt on this title in the new DC line-up. Hex and Arkham manage to capture and break up the crime society in short order . . . before getting a loud and lethal lesson in how wrong they are. Surviving the attack by Gatling gun, Hex plans to be on his way and has to deal with Amadeus Arkham's unwanted intentions to become firm friends and hang around together. Whether the harsh rebuff by Hex will be enough to get the good doctor out of his hair will have to be seen.

The El Diablo back-up's a little light on story and I wonder if there's going to be any follow-up to it, but either way both it and the main story and illustrated beautifully.

If you're not reading this title, you're missing out.

AQUAMAN #3 - written by Geoff Johns with art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado.

Mera and Aquaman face off against Scarfish and his horde of ravenous, vicious, big-teethed monsters before they take a number of captives beneath the sea. Despite fighting the creatures back and showing that their victims are possible still alive, Aquaman is openly patronised by the soldiers and police who promise they'll put in a good word for him. We then get to meet Stephen Shin who has a history with Aquaman and drops a hint that Aquaman's trident wasn't his originally and that the owner's going to come for it at some point. With Shin's knowledge, Aquaman and Mera head for the Trench to find the monsters.

Another splendid issue that looks as good as it reads.

THE FURY OF FIRESTORM THE NUCLEAR MEN #3 - written by Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver with art by Yildiray Cinar.

In amongst the fighting we get a bit more background on Martin Stein and the other Firestorms that were hinted at in earlier issues. It appears that every country with a nuclear program was to have its own Firestorm to negate the need for a nuclear arsenal but something went terribly wrong with the American version, turning him into Helix, a mind-addled hulk of a man. Helix is sent against Jason and Ronnie and they have to work together as the composite Fury in order to defeat him.

Another series that's getting better with each issue as Ronnie and Jason struggle with their feelings for each other and try to process what they've done. Meanwhile, is that the new Killer Frost we see on the last page?

GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #3 - written by Tony Bedard with art by Tyler Kirkham, Harvey Tolibao and Matt 'Batt' Banning.

Oh boy, the Guardians really have excelled themselves at being arseholes, haven't they? They attempt to capture and experiment Kyle Rayner and then try and throw him out of the Corps only to find they're unable to remove his ring. The the other rainbow Corps members turn up, partly to try and rescue Kyle, partly to kick the Guardians' collective backsides to no avail. And just as the Guardians defeat them, who should come charging into the battle but Agent Orange himself literally riding on the head of his Guardian Sayd!

This is all still a bit hectic with the pace never seeming to slow and the arrival of Larfleeze at the end promises that next issue will be more of the same. Still, it's certainly not terrible.

THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN #3 - written by Tony S. Daniel with art by Philip Tan.

Hawkman is told that Morphicius didn't escape from his prison but was rather released deliberately. Meanwhile, Morphicius himself is busy being cut up - while still alive - by the real bad guy of the tale, Dr Kane. Finding the apparent traitor, Hawkman gets taken to Kane and Morphicius and a big fight ensues with the alien back on his feet and ready to duke it out with our hero.

Honestly, I'd really like to enjoy this a lot more than I am right now. It looks gorgeous as Philip Tan's art is lovely but the story itself plods from one scene to another until the big fight at the end. I'll stick with it for another few issues and see what happens.

TEEN TITANS #3 - written by Scott Lobdell with art by Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.

Having seen various headlines over the last week or so about the introduction of Bunker who was described as being a "flamboyant" gay hero, I did wonder if we were going to head down the cliche ridden road of Extrano. Thankfully, both Bunker and this issue in general turned out to be the surprise enjoyable read of the week for me. From Kid Flash's excellent two page follow-the-numbers splash, Bunker's introduction and interaction with Red Robin, the scene in the rail car where they poke their heads out to the last page which showed that while I was off equating Danny with Bunker the last time I wrote about this series, I may have been spot on identifying the Doom Patrol's Danny the Brick / Danny the Street.

All told, this really was good fun; yet another series that's finding its feet and improving with each issue.

VOODOO #3 - written by Ron Marz with art by Sami Basri.

Voodoo finds her way to her contact on Earth only to have the meeting interrupted by none other that Green Lantern Kyle Rayner who's investigating the area for a reason only tangentially connected with Voodoo. Meanwhile we find some big, bad, blue alien's on the trail of Voodoo and is killing to find her.

There's a theme running through this issue and, in retrospect, the series so far which Voodoo sums up in the opening captions: "They all look at me. But none of them see me." On the surface, Voodoo - both the book and the character - is all style, a good looking book with more than a hint of T 'n' A (particularly the first issue) which could be written off as nothing else. But there's something more here, from the story of Voodoo's mission, her alien contacts and leaders to her discovering, through Rayner, that not all humans are horrible and some of them might be nice. This sets up an internal conflict that is bound to impact on her mission to enslave Earth, or help with its enslavement at the least, which will hopefully push her over to the side of the angels.

Of course, some, none or all of this could be moot with the news that Ron Marz is off the title after the next issue which is just such a shame.

And what made me smile:

There were plenty of things I could have chosen this week, mostly from Teen Titans, but I went with this two page spread that is just a delight!


  1. Scarfish, ha, I like that. Nice one. As for Aquaman itself, the 'We all think Aquaman is lamne' bit should have been dropped after #1. The cop would have to be the world's stupidest man to patronise Aquaman after that battle.

    I loved the Stephen Shin scene, Arthur's offhand attitude to this odd man is going to come back and bite him on he behind.

  2. I had to call him something and Scarfish seemed appropriate!

    It seems likely that we haven't seen the last of Stephen Shin by a long way.


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