Sunday, 15 July 2012

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #187

Nothing dampens Vandal Savage's opinion of himself

Comics on a Sunday afternoon:

CROSSED: BADLANDS #9 - written by Jamie Delano with art by Leandro Rizzo.

Steve, the last survivor of our messed up bunch has managed to last long enough to have her baby despite the Crossed members of the group following her and waiting until she's at her weakest. She holes up in an old hotel, booby trapping it as best she can before being forced to run with her newborn, pursued by her one-time co-survivors, electing to sacrifice her baby to buy herself some time. Realising there's no hope in this world leads her to a final confrontation with the group.

Honestly, it's not bad but it's not that good, either. That's the trouble with a rotating team on a comic, I suppose, and I'm wondering whether I'll both to make it through David Lapham's run on the next few issues as I wasn't at all impressed with his Crossed: Family Values. Let's see how it goes.

DEMON KNIGHTS #11 - written by Paul Cornell with art by Diogenes Neves, Robson Rocha and Oclair Albert.

The Demon Knights, with the exception of Madame Xanadu, are transformed into their essential essences  before Etrigan decides to buy them time, allowing the apparently undead King Arthur time to restore them to their former selves. With that done he leads them towards Avalon, storming their way inside in order to revive Merlin, unaware that an old enemy waits within.

Another good issue - perhaps not as fun as some but still a darn fine read.

FRANKENSTEIN: AGENT OF S.H.A.D.E. #11 - written by Matt Kindt with art by Alberto Ponticelli and Wayne Faucher.

Escaping from the extra-dimension, Frankenstein and Nina land in the ocean, fortuitously just above the next rising point of Leviathan, a huge water-dwelling beast which they manage to infiltrate. Within they find a small town populated by people who have been retired from S.H.A.D.E. for either knowing too much or wanting to talk about it. With that knowledge, Frankenstein decides Leviathan must be killed.

Again, not bad although the plot seems a little all over the place and Frank isn't as much fun as he was.

JENNIFER BLOOD #14 - written by Al Ewing with art by Kewber Baal.

Jen's husband Andrew returns after the mess with the news reporters but his new friend Emily raises Jen's suspicions. Thankfully she's kept one of her old bugs and hears him when he pays Emily a visit and isn't that surprised when Emily turns out to be an old girlfriend of Andrews and a swinger to boot who's offering herself up on a plate. While he turns her down, he admits he's no longer in love with Jen and claims that he and Emily will always be friends, a phrase which sends Jen into something of a rage.

Not a bad issue but I'm wondering where this is going and whether it'll just lurch from one excuse for mass murder to another. Plus with this issue, Jen becomes less sympathetic and more of a complete psycho so you can't help but start to root for Detective Pruitt who's trying to bring her down.

KIRBY: GENESIS #8 - written by Kurt Busiek with art by Jack Herbert and Alex Ross.

As Kirby lays dying while all around him the various gods, heroes and bad guys pile into a big fight, he has something of an epiphany and realises he knows what the Pioneer Two that started everything have been looking for. With the help of the Wanderer, Kirby reveals that what they're searching for is the spirit of mankind which manifests as a big bearded bloke in the sky who takes care of the Pioneer Two. The Galactic Rangers charge in and take out the big tentacle-faced bad guy and everything goes pretty much back to normal.

* Sigh * I had some high hopes for this, having enjoyed Busiek's work in past as well as Ross's art but it was all just something of a mess with a revelation that came as no surprise. If there's ever a sequel, I don;t think I'll be picking it up.

RESURRECTION MAN #11 - written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning with art by Jesus Saiz and Javier Pina.

Mitch and Kim finally find their way to the The Lab which is hidden in plain sight in a Soder Cola factory. They manage to find the Transhuman and attempt to rescue him; trouble is, he's a self-confessed super-villain and reveals he's been acting as bait for Mitch. The Body Doubles show up and manage to take Mitch down, leaving him for the Director of the Lab.

Good, straightforward storytelling with a little twist and turn in the plot make this a good read. Shame it's only got a couple of issues left to run.

SAUCER COUNTRY #5 - written by Paul Cornell with art by Ryan Kelly.

In an attempt to de-fuse the situation caused by her ex, Governor Alvarado is hypnotised by the same UFO believing hypnotherapist that her ex had visited. While she remembers more of the apparent alien abduction, she tells the therapist only what she wants him to hear, feeding him a story about visiting friends. This renders his story of the abduction from her ex worthless though he's still thought of as some use to the conspiracy community. Thinking that at least the hypnotist has been neutralised, Alvarado and her team decide to find out as much about what's going on as they can, only for her ex to have another abduction episode.

This is good stuff; a little funny, a lot sinister which makes for a great read.

STITCHED #6 - written by Garth Ennis and Mike Wolfer with art by Mike Wolfer.

The team prepare for their assault on the Stitches camp before launching it, finding a whole load of women and children who had been captured by the slavers. Try as they might to keep the attack quiet, it all goes to pot and pretty soon bullets start flying. They manage to blow up the fuel store in the hope that it'll be spotted by some friendlies but they know that's going to take a while. And, in the meantime, they still have to deal with the Stitches themselves.

Not bad at all; things are heading to some sort of conclusion now and I think there's only a few more issues to go.

SWAMP THING #11 - written by Scott Snyder with art by Marco Rudy.

Anton Arcane gets together with his niece Abby who, not surprisingly, isn't exactly pleased to see him, particularly as he's brought his un-men with him. Outside, the presumed dead Alec Holland is woken by the Parliament of Trees and, though beaten and bruised, heads off to rescue Abby from Arcane. The Swamp Thing and Arcane fight and just when things seem darkest for old Swampy, Abby returns the favour and saves him. While Arcane gets away, the last page leads to a cross-over with Animal Man.

As usual, a darn good issue with some lovely art. The forthcoming cross-over is a little bit of a downer as I won't be getting the Animal Man issues but I'm sure I can follow the story.

And what made me smile:

With these guys bhind her, how can Governor Alvarado fail?

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