Sunday, 8 January 2012

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #161

Come on, Godiva, most of us would kill to be in space. Some of us have . . .

And on the seventh day, let there be comics . . .

THE BOYS #62 - written by Garth Ennis with art by Russ Braun.

The Boys make short work of the team sent to test them by Vought-America; Vought show they're the power behind the new President; Hughie comes clean about a couple of things; and the Homelander promises things will be different in the morning.

It really is all barrelling towards a big ending which should be coming in just a few more issues and while I hope poor old Wee Hughie is going to come out of it in one piece, I'm really not sure he will. As to the others - with Frenchie and the Female taking on another Vought super team next issue, it wouldn't surprise me if the Boys end up a man (or woman) down by the end of next issue.

I'll be sad to see this series go, I'll tell you that for nothing.

FATALE #1 - written by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips.

What's this? A non-superhero comic? Something published by a company other than DC? Here, on Crisis on Earth-Prime? Fear not, normal service will be resumed in just a moment.

I picked this up on the strength of a three or four page preview in . . . er . . . Previews a couple of months back. Not only did I like Phillips's art and know of Brubaker's reputation but the article in Previews described this as being a hard boiled detective story with some vaguely Lovecraftian overtones. Anything mixing those two together has me hooked and thankfully Fatale more than lives up to my expectations.

Hints of ageless, otherworldly women, occult sacrifices and strange proto-men in black that, I suspect, are anything but all combine to make this a great first issue. Well worth a look if you want something different from the spandex.

GREEN ARROW #5 - written by Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens with art by Jurgens and Ray McCarthy.

If you've no objection to spandex, however, the Green Arrow continues to pass the time of day nicely. Our hero meets the slow talking minder of the super-strong assassin we met last issue and only just manages to take him down before said assassin returns with a gun to Ollie's head.

It's not bad on the whole, though the fight between Arrow and Midas takes up a little too much of the issue for my liking. The stand out for me was the one page, six panel origin of Midas which hit on so many archetypes in such a succinct manner that it was just golden. Other writers would take the best part of an entire issue to turn out what Giffen and Jurgens do in just one page.

Having mentioned them, though, it does sort of feel like this title's marking time until the new creative team come in with #7. It's not bad, but neither is it anything fantastic.

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #5 - written by Dan Jurgens with art by Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan.

The JLI manage to survive last issue's dousing with lava thanks to Booster's force field and then escape with some help from Guy Gardner. Deciding to take the fight to Peraxxus, they sneak aboard his ship and stop it from strip-mining the planet, although the ship crashes to Earth and Peraxxus gets away. While the mission is considered a success, a mysterious voice ends the issue promising to end the team.

Still one of the best of the New 52 titles, JLI continues to be fun, solid superheroics that not only reads well but looks good too. Each of the characters gets to do something (which is no mean feat when there's nine of the buggers) with Ice and Godiva standing out for me as Ice stands up for her new team-mate when Gardner berates her for being scared. While Godiva doesn't end up saving the day - bringing the ship down is thanks to Rocket Red - she does end up overcoming her fear and saving Booster's life. My only gripe is when they use their ship as a decoy while they approach from within a hollowed out rock. As Peraxxus had destroyed anything that approached him regardless of whether it was a threat, why not simply opt for the rock in the first place?

That little detail aside, this is a cracking issue. And the mystery voice at the end? Max Lord, maybe?

STORMWATCH #5 - written by Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda.

Adam One appears to have been killed so that he can join the Shadow Cabinet, Stormwatch's clandestine backers. While the Projectionist is selected as new leader by the Cabinet, Midnighter and Apollo decide to leave before finding something approaching the base. With Apollo distracted by that, Midnighter finds Harry Tanner stealing as much data as he can, convinced that something's coming to Earth that only he can defeat. It all ends with Tanner kidnapping the Projectionist and blowing up Stormwatch's base, potentially killing all on board.

As with previous issues, there's a lot going on and it's all at a frantic pace. Splendid stuff.

SWAMP THING #5 - written by Scott Snyder with art by Yanick Paquette.

Sethe manages to get all the way down to the Amazon rainforest while back in Texas, Abby and Alec come face to face with William Arcane and his horde of reanimated cows and pigs from the nearby slaughterhouse. Despite Abby's best attempt to get through to her brother, he's having none of it, forcing Alec to finally embrace his powers, destroying the animals and growing a tree to contain William. Just as Alec and Abby embrace their destined romance (and each other) both William and Alec sense the threat to the Parliament of Trees which are about to be burned to the ground by Sethe.

Another fine issue, the story moving along at a great pace with Alec using his powers and thus taking one step further towards perhaps becoming the Swamp Thing we all know and love.

And what made me smile:

William tiding atop a three headed cow!


  1. aside from the Suicide Squad JLI and Swamp Thing were the other two titles i was picking up but i dropped them from my pull list. both titles had strong first issues but started to loose me shortly after. i enjoyed the interaction between the characters in JLI but the story line and villain feel very mundane to me. as for ST i did a review on Youtube of the first issue but i said their going to need to explain Holland's appearance quickly cause that made no sense to me. although the feel of the book is very "Allan Moorish" i just don't like some key things about the story line like there not being an actual Swamp Thing.

  2. With the New 52 reboot, Holland's appearance here doesn't really bother me, nor the lack of a big shaggy Swamp Thing.

    JLI's pretty good - fairly straightforward superheroics like I said, but done very well.

    Still, each to their own, eh?

  3. yeah and just for the record i wouldn't say either book is bad they just failed to keep my interest. as for ST despite being part of the 52 relaunch it doesn't appear to be an actual reboot. it pretty much continues the story line from the Brightest Day Swamp Thing Aftermath 3 issue mini-series.


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