Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #158

Parents - they have no idea how to talk to your girlfriend, do they?

I've been dealing with a faulty modem over the last few days which gave me net access for 30 seconds at a time, twice a day but only when I was asleep . . . at least that's what it felt like. But hey, new modem installed so on with the comics.

DEMON KNIGHTS #4 - written by Paul Cornell with art by Michael Choi, Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert.

So Merlin watches the storm, lives backwards and is going to kill the universe? Seems pretty obvious, then, that this version of Merlin and Adam One from Stormwatch are one and the same and that's not the only thing that caught my eye in this issue which features the secret origin of the Shining Knight. Merlin makes mention of the Knight's "two natures" and it's obvious and tempting to think he means whether or not this Knight is a male or female. Merlin also gives the Knight a vision which reaffirms her quest for the Grail but at the end of the book, we see that the Questing Queen, the big bad guy in all this, has also had a vision that gives her purpose to find the Grail. Are the Queen and the Knight "two natures" of the same person? Oh, and in amongst all this it appears a traitor has been revealed . . . or possibly killed . . . or not.

A damn fine issue and be sure to check out what snell over at Slay, Monstrobot... thinks all this is leading to.

FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. #4 - written by Jeff Lemire with art by Alberto Ponticelli.

The fight against Monster Planet and its inhabitants comes to a conclusion and while there's a sight surprise in how the denizens of the deep react to Nina, the deployment of Toybox and its cargo is a little too deus ex machina for my liking. That one small disappointment is more than made up for by the rest of the issue, though, which is a great romp that simply works a treat and while I said Alberto Ponticelli's art wasn't to my liking in the first issue, I've grown accustomed to it by this one and it perfectly suits this book.

Damn good issue.

GREEN LANTERN #4 - written by Geoff Johns with art by Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen and Christian Alamy.

Not a great deal happens in this issue to be honest. We find out Jordan wasn't disintegrated at the end of #3, rather he was being transported to the anti-matter universe though that gets blocked here and he's spat out to be captured along with Sinestro by the latter's Corpsmen. They're both thrown into prison where we discover that Arsona, from last issue, turns out to have been one of Sinestro's allies way back when he first took control of Korugar, a role she now regrets. At Jordan's suggestion, Sinestro arms the Korugaran prisoners, Arsona included, with Green Lantern rings which they promptly turn against him.

Despite it looking as gorgeous as ever, it's a fairly light issue and I'm guessing that the rings Sinestro has created for his fellow Korugarans have the same fail safe about being used against him as the one he gave to Jordan did so no real threat there.

KIRBY: GENESIS - SILVER STAR #2 - written by Jai Nitz with art by Johnny Desjardins.


You hear that? That's the sound of heavy, dull, leaden dialogue and exposition landing all over the place in the pages of Kirby: Genesis - Silver Star #2. For example:

"In the end though, I battled death. I battled the angel of death inside Drumm. It killed me and I was reborn. I was reborn with the same amazing powers I had before."

Sweet Cthulhu it's dreadful. If this weren't a mini-series I'd be dropping it about now.

MISTER TERRIFIC #4 - written by Eric Wallace with art by Gianluca Gugliotta and Wayne Faucher.

If I may quote Admiral Ackbar for a moment: "It's a trap!" Those ugly but cheery pan-dimensional beings from last issue turn out to be the bad guys, leading Mr Terrific into captivity and experimentation. The aliens try to decide whether or not to invade Earth before leaving Terrific in a jail cell to get acquainted with his fellow inmates one of whom - a giant flea/crustacean hybrid looking thing - decides to try and fillet him. Thankfully Terrific finds an ally who takes care of the flea and helps him break out of the cell.

It's not a bad issue but, like Green Lantern, there's not a great deal going on. Oh and that flea creature? At one point it spouts some Interlac and, thinking it might be something important, I translated it. Both captions (the first is upside down!) read "ABC DEFGH IJKL"!

THE RAY #1 - written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Jamal Igle and Rich Perrotta.

You can always count on Palmiotti and Gray to produce some fun superheroics, can't you? Here we meet Lucien Gates, the new Ray, along with his hippie parents, smart girlfriend and long suffering friend. There's a quick romp through the secret origin along with how he came up with the costume and a first battle, this time with giant flying jellyfish. All of which is handled with a deft touch for gentle humour - the new Ray is just a nice guy all round.

Trouble is, heroes are nothing without villains and the last couple of pages introduces us to Thaddeus Filmore, whose death and immersion in a Lazarus Pit decades ago was filmed. When that film is played for the first time, Thad comes back and kills at will.

It's a good first issue; I'm glad I decided to go for it.

RESURRECTION MAN #4 - written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Fernando Dagnino.

Mitch Shelley finds an unlikely ally in the Transhuman who attacks the Body Doubles in the hope of saving Mitch from them. While he's off fighting Carmen, though, Bonnie and Mitch get to talking and it appears there's a connection between them that Shelley's totally unaware of. They've obviously worked together in the past and she convinces him to come quietly once he convinces her that his amnesia is genuine. Then Suriel, the angel from earlier issues, turns up and things go really bad.

Another cracking issue.

THE STAND: THE NIGHT HAS COME #5 - written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa with art by Mike Perkins.

We're almost at the end as Stu Redman is found in the aftermath of last issue by Tom Cullen. Together they manage to head East, waiting out the worst of the winter weather, and - in Stu's case - fighting off infection. Eventually they make their way to the borders of Boulder and head back home.

If only The Dark Tower adaptation had been as interesting as this I might have carried on reading them.

STITCHED #2 - written by Garth Ennis with art by Mike Wolfer.

The two teams take a moment to regroup and find out a bit about each other, sharing information about the Stitched, how the Brits first came across them and worked out how to stop them. They soon find that the creatures have been left all across the country like landmines, simply waiting for someone to stumble across them. Getting home - or even out of the mountains - isn't going to be easy.

Any bets on how many of the team are going to make it out alive?

And what made me smile:

Father Time's expression is just priceless!

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