Sunday, 1 July 2012

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #185

Thankfully, my wife's never said that to me.

Buttload of comics this week so let's get to it:

ALL STAR WESTERN #10 - written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Moritat and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.

While Tallulah Black recovers from being thrown out of a casino window, Alan Wayne attempts to face down the ambitious landlord vying for the same property as himself. Elsewhere the Court of Owls gets all mysterious in masks and huge capes while Hex pays a visit to Wayne before returning to find the recovered Tallulah on her feet. As they reacquaint themselves, Amadeus Arkham treats a patient who's convinced the owls are after him and, while he doesn't believe at first, Arkham has his mind changed when the patient's killed almost before his eyes.

Yet another splendid issue, complete with a fun Bat Lash back-up.

AQUAMAN #10 - written by Geoff Johns with art by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Andy Lanning.

The Operative breaks into Black Manta's hideout and finds some information which he wants to get to Aquaman. Mera's still with Dr Shin who tells her of the fight Aquaman had with Manta in years gone by which ended with Aquaman accidentally killing Manta's father. In the present day, the two square off against each other again before Manta teleports out to Shin's house.

A good, fast read that looks good on the whole. Mera shouldn't hold Aquaman's secret against him; after all, she had the whole other dimension, hired to kill him thing and he forgave her.

FATALE #6 - written by Ed Brubaker with art by Sean Phillips.

Nicolas Lash has spent a year in paranoid seclusion, convinced he's being followed. When he and a private investigator sent to find him to take him to his godfather's safety deposit box get attacked, he knows it hasn't all been paranoia. Jump back to the late 70's and we find Josephine living quietly before a young actor and his female dope dealer end up in her house having escaped with a film from a cult meeting.

Another find round of mystery and weirdness with gorgeous artwork. You really should be reading this, you know.

THE FURY OF FIRESTORM THE NUCLEAR MEN #10 - written by Joe Harris and Ethan Van Sciver with art by Yidiray Cinar and Marlo Alquiza.

Pozhar and Ronnie are heading to Pakistan to confront more rogue Firestorms - seriously, these things are a dime a dozen at the moment - while Jason and Firehawk end up in Russia, trying to work out if there's a link between Zither and Pozhar. He and Ronnie are confronted by the Indian Firestorm - Rakshasi in the story, Raksashi on the cover - before Ronnie sparks up demanding Pozhar tell him what he's been hiding.

It's not bad, a little meandering but okay.

GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #10 - written by Tony Bedard with art by Tomas Giorello (and probably Matt Banning)

The Reach's invasion of the Blue Lantern home-world continues as the Rainbow Corps turn up - or at least some of them do - to help repel the attack. The Blues manage to temporarily remove the scarab's influence from their hosts but it pretty much all goes to pot fairly quickly as there are simply too many of the Reach to deal with and a retreat is called. It ends with Saint Walker planning to confront Larfleeze who, evidence indicates, told the Reach where to find the Blue Lanterns.

Not a bad issue; lots of fighting and a surprise defeat for the good guys which doesn't happen often.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #10 - written by Geoff Johns with art by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Mark Irwin and Jonathan Glapion.

David Graves is transformed a few years ago by ancient, minor gods so that he can become the bad guy called . . . er . . . Graves today and attack the Justice League after torturing various villains to glean what they know about the JLA. He heads up to the Watchtower and defeats the team far too easily.

Shazam! - written by Geoff Johns with art by Gary Frank.

Billy and Freddy bond a bit more after the latter follows the former on a midnight excursion to the zoo where Billy is found talking to an enormous tiger he calls Tawny. Meanwhile, Dr Sivana finds the tomb / prison of Black Adam and manages to release him.

The main story's not that good, frankly; the team has apparently been together for five years and yet they still don't trust each other or know that much about each other. Seriously, it reads as though no time has passed at all since they got together. Oh, and Martin over at Too Dangerous for a Girl makes a great point about Jim Lee's art which I'd missed. The Shazam! story, on the other hand is a cracking read. Hard to believe they're written by the same bloke.

KIRBY: GENESIS - SILVER STAR #6 - written by Jai Nitz with art by Johnny Desjardins.

Silver Star goes off to the astral plane; some bloke in a metal suit that looks like he should be a member of Kiss attempts to destroy a cube world; he in turns gets assassinated by some bloke in the shadows who's the son of another bad guy only just introduced; a negative Silver Star turns up and gets beaten; and Star's girlfriend wakes up.

Or something.

This really is bad - no pacing at all, things just thrown into the mix in a very haphazard fashion. Once it's completed, the whole lot's going on ebay.

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN - CENTURY: 2009 - written by Alan Moore with art by Kevin O'Neill.

Having failed to prevent the birth of the Antichrist, the League reforms and heads off to battle him, failing spectacularly to make any real difference before the arrival of perhaps a most literal deus ex machina who's practically perfect.

To sum up this book in just a couple of lines by no means does it justice - there's a mass of character and plot here, not to mention the dozens of references and in jokes thrown into the background art and dialogue. It's a damn good read and while I'm sure Moore has stated somewhere that this is the last League book, I can't help but want more.

TEEN TITANS #10 - written by Scott Lobdell with art by Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.

The Titans regroup on Dinosaur Island (well it may as well be called that as it's as near as makes no difference) and despite a little bit of self doubt on the part of Red Robin, they manage to pull through despite having lost a couple of members in the recent Culling cross-over. With the sacrifice of one of the team, they manage to get home though just when one enemy group appears to have been defeated, another seems to be raising its head.

Another good issue, focusing on characters more than fighting and with some good dialogue and interaction.

VOODOO #10 - written by Josh Williamson with art by Sami Basri.

Voodoo finds the Dead City of the Daemonites on Europa only to find that it's inhabited by a bunch of lesser Daemonites left behind when the others abandoned the place. Coming to find them are Priscilla, Lincoln and the others who are starting to feel the effects of cabin fever after being cooped up together in a small spaceship. As Voodoo is led to the entrance to the city, guarded by two gigantic living centurions, Priscilla and the others crash land and are captured by the Daemonites.

I'm still a little saddened that this series is ending as it's really not that bad. The plot may have gone way off from what Ron Marz had planned but it's entertaining enough.

And what made me smile:

I don't know whether it's Graham Linehan being pushed out of a comic shop by his creation Bernard Black, Father Jack's exclamations being turned into magazine titles or the picture of Torquemada on the T-shirt but this panel from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen made me laugh out loud!


  1. Wondrous set of reviews, Gary. It's sad how few of these titles I've read. Teen Titans, I bought, and while I also enjoy the characterisation for the most part, Red Robin is getting on my proverbials a tad; he's too much the whiny hothead. Well done Bunker, I say!

    Ah, Firestorm, the book I keep trying - I do want to like it, but the GL-ing of the concept has led to an awful lot off clutter.

    And thank you for the plug, what a lovely surprise!

    1. If you're not reading All Star Western, you really should be. The writing's top notch and the art's gorgeous. Easily one of my favourite titles.

      Teen Titans - yeah, I liked Bunker basically telling Red Robin to man up and stop whining!

      Firestorm's okay at the moment although I'm not sure where it's headed with this plot line that seems a little jumbled; it's like they're desperate to travel the world and introduce as many new Firestorms as they can.

      And hey, credit where it's due - I didn't notice that Wondy was looking in the wrong direction on that splash page!


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