|Please pardon my French|
Okay, it's Sunday, we've got a lot to get through, let's settle down and get started.
Hughie manages to get the Boys back together to discuss, with the help of Mother's Milk, what Butcher's been getting up to since the failed uprising and it's not good news. Spoilers ahoy! Between them, MM and Hughie have found enough evidence pointing to Butcher's killing of Vas and the Legend that they realise something has to be done. Trouble is, while MM's on his own, Butcher returns and the pair come to blows leading to a particularly gruesome end for MM. Spoilers off.
It's a horrible, mean story (aside from the first page's dialogue which graces this week's banner) that can't help break the heart of anyone with some feelings. Comparisons between Preacher's Cassidy and Butcher are perhaps inevitable but while the former was weak willed and easily led, Butcher is driven to complete his self imposed mission and will not stop.
Alan Scott is the only survivor of last issue's train crash, saved not by a mystical lantern but the "embodiment of the Earth's energy" so that he may fulfil his destiny when an unspecified evil comes to the planet. In Poland, Hawkgirl puts Flash through his paces, trying to gauge his powers before their impromptu training session is interrupted by the plantlife around them dying. As Scott is transformed into the Green Lantern, the power of the Grey - antithesis of the green Earth energy - forms its own avatar in Grundy.
Another cool issue with Hawkgirl dropping hints about a certain "Fate" character who sent her to find Flash, and the setting up of the traditional enmity between GL and Grundy. A little more could have been done with the loss of Alan's partner Sam as he seems all too accepting of his death but otherwise an excellent issue.
Nick Fury continues his reminiscing of the wars he's fought, moving away from Indochina and towards the training of Cuban guerillas to fight against Fidel Castro. He's good at his job and, as a loyal American, he'll do it to the best of his ability but he's not happy with the fact that his soldiers will eventually head off to fight while he remains at base, unable to officially partake due to the covert nature of the task. Thankfully, some of the leaders of the Bay of Pigs plan want him to take out Castro himself.
It's another good issue with Fury bemoaning the cloak and dagger world he finds himself in, ably illustrated by Parlov.
Ollie's at a charity casino which gets attacked by the Dark Arrows, a bloke and a woman in similar outfits to GA who want to steal the money and give it to the poor, quoting the Occupy movement and the whole 99% deal. Ollie deals with them, realises he has no friends and then something else happens.
I say something else because that's enough for me. I can't stand Nocenti's dreadful pacing, scene jumps and God-awful dialogue any longer. As much as I like the character of Green Arrow, I'm afraid this title is now the second one since the New 52 reboot that I'm ditching.
Farewell Ollie; maybe I'll try you again as and when the writer changes.
The League are captured and paraded in front of the public by Breakdown but despite his rhetoric, not everyone is clamouring for the JLI's heads. Eventually Guy Gardner manages to enrage OMAC so much that he breaks free, allowing the others to escape and take out Breakdown's crew, though one of the bad guys dies in some crossfire. Counting it as a win, Booster and Godiva finally get together while the brother of the dead bad guy vows vengeance.
Not bad for a title that's only got a couple of issues to go, although the brother vowing revenge seems a little odd considering last issue and this he was berating the bad guy for what he was doing. Still, not bad as I say and I'll be sad to see it go.
Captain Victory is hunted throughout his ship by what appears to be a mind-controlled member of his own force but which, right at the end, turns out to be something else.
Another series that really is doing nothing for me whatsoever and is joining Green Arrow on the pile to be ditched.
Things continue to move ahead as the conspiracy to get a mind-controlled, magically conceived and empowered senator elected as President of the USA. Ranged against the sorcerors are Baron Winters and his sorely unequipped helpers. Trouble is, Winters is stuck in the past and the helpers don't know what they're doing.
To be honest, the plot's wavering a little and I feel as though I could do with re-reading the entire lot once it's finished. Saying that, it's still enjoyable and the art of Tom Mandrake is, as ever, a joy.
With the help of one of her father's militiamen, Chelsea Buwick (or is it one of the others?) finally gets the Ninjettes officially up and running and part of the Assassins Network and the first targets they have to take out are Kelly's cousin Wayne and his gay lover. They take the hit and somehow manage to get it done, the issue ending with them planning to take on Jennifer Blood.
Honestly, if this weren't finishing next issue it would be joining Green Arrow on the discards. I have real difficulty telling any of the Ninjettes apart and can't keep them straight in my head - sure there's the smart one, the crazy one and the one who's a little reluctant to go along with it but really, which one's which?
The Neanderthals, contrary to what we might believe, didn't really die out through conquest or interbreeding with the Cor-Magnons. Some of them continued on for centuries, mastering magic and eventually developing a machine that would devolve modern humans, leaving them in charge. Becoming the Hidden People, they fought against previous incarnations of Stormwatch until know when they finally have enough energy to power their device. Thankfully, the Engineer is able to cancel it's effects though the lasting effects may be worse than she realises.
Not a bad issue although the story of the Hidden People - pure-breed Neanderthals able to send their spirits or essences down through generations - seems to come from nowhere. Nothing terrible but nothing special either.
Hakkou the Irradiated Man continues to bother both Power Girl and Huntress as well as dropping hints that he's either from Earth-2 like them or at least knows of it. In their attempts to stop him wreaking havoc, they inadvertently make him both stronger and larger leading to him launching a Godzilla-style attack against the skyscrapers of Tokyo. In the flashback sequences we see the start of PG's quest to become financially stable enough to buy the services of someone who can (unknowingly) help her research how to get back home.
It's another cracking issue although Hakkou keeps reminding me of the Anti-Monitor; maybe it's Perez's pencils, maybe it's the Kirby dots but I can't help but think of the big bad guy. There's some nice interaction between PG and Huntress - particularly in the flashback sequences - that is a nice counterpoint to the action scenes.
And what made me smile:
Maybe it's Power Girl saving a cat or maybe it's because my wife and I have just adopted two kittens this weekend but I'm a bit soft on the furry beggars right now.