|Man, you do not want the August General in Iron pissed off at you|
Bumper week this week and very little time to write up so apologies if this is a bit rushed.
Well that didn't go down as I was expecting.
Here be spoilers so highlight at your own risk: Black Noir turns out to be the villain of the piece all along, grown from the same DNA as the Homelander to be Vought American's safety catch. Should the Homelander ever lose it, Black Noir is there to kill him. Thing is, he's the exact spitting image of his target who shows no sign of going mental so stages all the horrific killings to frame the Homelander, forcing him, as Butcher says, to become a psychopath by mistake.
It's a grim little tale that leads into the last arc of The Boys. Six more issues and we're done.
After the delays in delivery of previous issues, I'm finally back up to speed with this series and am thoroughly enjoying it.
Crooked cops, newspaper reporters and black magic cultists all revolve around the mysterious and seductive Josephine who is willing to do anything and use up anyone to stay alive. It's a gruesome story with killings aplenty and comes highly recommended.
After last issue's debut of this creative team didn't exactly thrill me, I was hoping for some improvement this time round. Instead, it's worse.
Nocenti's writing jumps around all over the place with no flow, the Skylark characters make even less sense, Ollie's behaviour is utterly contradictory and the art is horrible in places.
It's all a mess and I'm just hoping that the title gets its fourth creative team soon.
While Jennifer Blood's aware of and can plan for the attack from Mason Buwick's woefully inadequate mercenaries, she has no idea at the moment of how close the police are to her and, more importantly, how connected the cops are to the mobsters left in the wake of her original killing spree.
And then there's the arrival of Ninjettes Two which really shows that sequels aren't as good as the originals.
Batwing joins Booster Gold in defending the hospital where Booster's injured team-mates lay while the bad guy behind the UN bombing is revealed. Meanwhile the rest of the team have to deal with the bureaucratic nonsense of the media scared UN council and then the arrival of OMAC, fresh from his own cancelled series.
Despite the heavy subject matter, this is still one of my favourite series right now.
Yet more Kirby created characters are thrown into the mix here, giving the impression that Busiek and Ross simply can't wait to use them.
As it is, the sheer proliferation of characters means that you don't get to spend any time with them and thus they're not that interesting.
The main story's not too bad but will probably benefit from a re-read.
Oh it's nice to see Tom mandrake's art again. The story moves forward a notch with a bit more background on the characters and a clearer hint at what they're going to be fighting both against and for.
Baron Winters remains deliberately enigmatic and obtuse, and that last page makes me wonder if our two main characters have ended up in the Dreaming or at least at the foot of the House of either Mystery or Secrets.
The Gravity Miners are dealt with by Midnighter and Jenny Quantum, saving Apollo along the way while the rest of the team stand around chatting mostly. Don't get me wrong, this was splendidly done on the whole and the dynamic between Midnighter and Jenny may hold promise for future issues but as Peter Milligan takes over from next issue that may get lost.
While unhappy that Paul Cornell left the title, I could have learned to like Jenkins's stuff.
The Rot takes over Monument Valley forcing Swamp Thing to fight his way through the horde of possessed dead things in order to save Abigail Arcane. While he gets there as quick as he can following his transformation last issue, he's not quite quick enough to prevent Abby changing into something new, leading to a last page that promises a heck of a next issue.
Damn fine issue as usual.
And what made me smile:
A gently funny moment that had repercussions later in the issue. Splendid!