Sunday, 26 February 2012

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #168

Somehow, I can't see Batman ever saying that.

It's Sunday and in my world that means comics:

ALL STAR WESTERN #6 - written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Phil Winslade and Moritat.

Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkham manage to find their way out of the caves beneath Gotham, round up  some help in the form of Batman's ancestors and close down the child slavery construction team. Thurston Moody, the man behind it all, manages to escape before they come for him and heads to New Orleans where two friends of Hex's are waiting.

Another damn fine issue with the slavery story wrapped up in a mass of gunfire and fist fights and Hex being given free rein to leave Gotham behind for a while, something he's been wanting to do since the start of the series. And we have Nighthawk and Cinnamon turning up as well which can only be a good thing.

The Barbary Ghost back-up finishes too though it seems likely there'll be a follow up to her story.

AQUAMAN #6 - written by Geoff Johns with art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado.

Mera goes shopping for dog food and, not surprisingly, all hell breaks loose. She's pestered by a ridiculously pervy security guard - seriously, would anyone that overt be in a job like that these days? Tell me I'm not being naive - before being arrested by the police who just happened to be on their way to a killing/kidnap situation that Mera deals with.

It's not a terrible issue by any stretch and it's nice to see Mera end up with a friend but all she seems to do is fight. And the art this issue is a bit . . . off. Joe Prado seems to be doing most of it this time round and every woman's face (including Mera's) is elongated with over-large features that never really look the same twice.

Still, writing wise it's much better and they end the issue heading off to find out who sank Atlantis.

FURY OF FIRESTORM THE NUCLEAR MEN #6 - written by Gail Simone and Ethan Van Sciver with art by Yildiray Cinar and Norm Rapmund.

Jason and Ronnie struggle to deal with the aftermath of last issue's terrorist attach at a rock concert before having to cope with the arrival of the Russian Firestorm, Pozhar who initially thinks they are responsible for the deaths. He gives them a good pasting before they turn their anger against each other, swearing never to work together again.

Another good issue of a series that's really ticking along now. Of course, this is the last issue co-written by Gail Simone so who knows what'll happen next month.

One question, though - since when did Ronnie start wearing freaking spiky eye liner in every panel?!

GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #6 - written by Tony Bedard with art by Tyler Kirkham and Matt 'Batt' Banning.

The dreaded (apparently) archangel Invictus comes to his home-made solar system and takes on the Lanterns all because they're working with Glomulus, one of the Orange Lanterns and, by extension, Larfleeze. For some reason yet to be explained, he has a major problem with Larfleeze and his ilk with only Blue Lantern Saint Walker giving him pause. And just as things look bleakest, Bleeze turns up, now speaking in coherent sentences.

It's not terrible by any means; Kirkham's art is usually nice to look at, but the story does seem to wander from one fight to another.

JENNIFER BLOOD #9 - written by Al Ewing with art by Eman Casallos.

Jennifer's son finally brings out one of the guns he found two issues ago which forces her into cover-up mode; meanwhile the detectives charged with finding her have a heart to heart and the real bad guys send some "discrete reconnaissance" to Jennifer's address which ends in all sorts of badness.

Again, another solid issue that does what you expect, mixing a dose of sub-plots with the main story and adding just a dash of physical violence. Okay, more than a dash. Actually an eyeball popping and squeezing amount of violence.

Kewber Baal is replaced on art by Eman Casallos who does a much better job on the whole as the characters look a lot less cartoonish.

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #6 - written by Dan Jurgens with art by Marco Castiello and Vincenzo Acunzo.

Batman shows that this version of him isn't entirely mean and moody, encouraging Booster to be the leader than he knows he can be and giving him the Bat's seal of approval. The rest of the team do some clean-up at the sites of the giant planet-destroying robots from the last couple of issues while the UN debates whether or not to continue with JLI amidst a plot to blow up this team and the UN. Booster shines as he stands up to the UN delegation and, with a little help from the August General in Iron, the future of the JLI is secured.

Just in time for them to be blown up.

A delivery snafu meant I've only just picked this up and it was worth the wait. The story's great from Booster fulfilling Batman's faith in him, to the giant robot apparently downloading something into Rocket Red's armour, to Godiva opening up a little to August General not to mention my favourite moment this week . . . which you can see at the end of this little lot.

Really enjoying this series.

THE RAY #3 - written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Jamal Igle and Rich Perrotta.

The Ray manages to save his girlfriend but ends up facing her angry parents first before being confronted by the totally insane film director who is altering reality with just a thought and wants the Ray to be the star in his disaster movie. Just when things seem bad, though, Chanti, Ray's girlfriend, turns up giving us a cliffhanger before the next and final issue.

It's good fun, light superheroics with gorgeous artwork and it would be nice to see the Ray elsewhere in the New DCU after this mini finishes.

TEEN TITANS #6 - written by Scott Lobdell with art by Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.

In the aftermath of their battle against Superboy, the Titans have a problem with Kid Flash who's vibrating so fast he's likely to explode. Thankfully they're able to get him to S.T.A.R. labs where the intern happens to be Static. While he constructs a suit that will keep Kid Flash together, the rest of the team battle against a nutter called Grymm whose only purpose appears to be to prevent the rest of the team sitting round watching Static work. He attacks and is beaten in a handful of pages leaving only a last page reveal of Kid Flash's ugly new costume which is so tight it reveals he has 0% body fat.

On the whole, though, it's a fun issue and the big question surrounds a police officer who's from the 30th Century, speaking Interlac and identifies Kid Flash as a wanted criminal from the future.

Good fun.

VOODOO #6 - written by Josh Williamson with art by Sami Basri.

A confused Voodoo heads to the Daemonite warship to find some answers while in the Black Razor Bunker, Blackjack and Jessica Fallon break out Priscilla Kitaen.

That's pretty much it on the plot front, but it's done nicely. Voodoo discovered she was a clone last issue and wants an explanation from the War Council, killing her way through a bunch of Daemonites to get there. Blackjack and Fallon rescue Priscilla, the original from which Voodoo was cloned, who turns out to have been experimented upon by the Daemonites and who has a couple of surprises up her sleeve. There's also a nice scene with Fallon's boss receiving word of what they've done who, rather than react by ordering a massive retaliation, actually relaxes and says "They must have a reason." and simply has them observed.

While I still kinda miss Ron Marz and wonder what he would have done next, Josh Williamson isn't doing a bad job so far, and Sami Basri's art is always nice to look at.

And what made me smile. And by smile I mean jump for joy:

Ice is a goddess again! Dan Jurgens got my letter! Winick's hideous retcon has been retconned!

Mr Jurgens, I salute you!

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