Sunday, 29 July 2012

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #189

Jordan and Sinestro - the DCU's Odd Couple

Sunday is comics day on Earth-Prime.

ALL STAR WESTERN #11 - written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Moritat and Scott Kolins.

Hex and Tallulah Black try to assassinate Lucius Bennet whom Black held accountable for her family's killing. They're interrupted, however, by the Talon who kidnaps Bennet and kills him for her own reasons, leaving Hex and Black to take the blame. Arrested by some crooked police, they're taken to Slaughter Swamp to be executed by the Crime Bible followers, Bennet's villainous comrades. Trouble is, by the time they arrive, Tallulah's already escaped.

The back-up introduces us to Dr Terrence Thirteen, a rational man of science in a Gotham filled with people who believe a ghost is doubling up as a highwayman.

Both stories are good although for my money, the Dr Thirteen (a surprise re-invention of the old character) works an absolute treat. If Palmiotti and Gray were to produce more of this bloke, I'd cheerfully read it.

AQUAMAN #11 - written by Geoff Johns with art by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Jonathan Glapion and Andy Lanning.

Following a flashback to when Aquaman found the Atlantean relics that power the Others, we see Manta attack Mera to get to Dr Shin. The remaining Others get together in the flying fortress of the Operative and try to convince Aquaman that he needs their help in tracking down Black Manta. Being the stubborn fool he is, he rejects them and goes on ahead returning to the same Atlantean tomb from the start, just in time to watch Black Manta find "the weapon that sank Atlantis"! That can't be good.

While the story's good, I have to admit to finding Aquaman a bit pig-headed and just down-right rude to his former friends. Hopefully he'll stop being such an arse at some point.

CROSSED: BADLANDS #10 - written by David Lapham with art by Jacen Burrows.

Young Edmund "Yellow Belly" Wickenthorp graduates from high school a complete coward, loser and loner. When all the others kids are out partying, he's being taken to the circus-cum-freak show with his parents. There, even his younger brother calls him Yellow Belly after he initially refuses to go and see the Geek which, even though he sees it, still scares him. Minutes later, the first Crossed victims appear and all hell breaks loose. His father makes a brave but ultimately futile stand after hiding his sons and Ed finally manages to escape back home where he hides in his closet.

Having disliked Lapham's Crossed: Family Values story - mostly due to the art - I wasn't expecting much here but, thankfully, I've been surprised. Following Jamie Delano's almost rambling tale from the last few issues, and with Jacen Burrows on art, this is a good start.

THE FURY OF FIRESTORM THE NUCLEAR MEN #11 - written by Joe Harris with art by Yildray Cinar and Marlo Alquiza.

Ronnie, along with Pozhar and Rakshina the Indian Firestorm, finally confront the rogue Firestorms controlled by Ashra Khan. Meanwhile Jason and Firehawk do some investigating in an abandoned Russian experimental site where he appears to meet the disembodied Martin Stein. He heads off to meet up with Ronnie who is goaded into action by Pozhar, defeating the rogues before Pozhar betrays him, forcing a merger between the two.

Perhaps mirroring its different locales, this issue's a bit all over the place, really. Pozhar's probably going to be revealed to be Ashra Khan at some point and Ronnie and Jason will merge again to be the perfect Firestorm. Maybe. Honestly, I don't have a great deal of interest at the moment and am more marking time till Dan Jurgens takes over.

GREEN LANTERN #11 - written by Geoff Johns with art by Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Tom Nguyen and Mark Irwin.

Sinestro gets released into Jordan's custody and, as an added bonus, Jordan's ring is no longer tied to his former mentor's. As cocky as that makes him, it takes Sinestro to point out that Black Hand is missing. Turns out he's gone home back to Earth and raised his family from the dead, treating them all to a Chinese meal. Indigo takes Jordan and Sinestro back to Korugar and we learn that the Indigo rings are destined for the Guardians, if Jordan can get them to wear them. Sinestro shows Jordan the Book of the Black (stating that there are other "Books of Light" as well) and they catch a glimpse of a dark future before appearing before Black Hand and his zombie family.

A cracking issue which shows Johns at his best. The glimpse of the upcoming Third Army story shows Kyle as a Red Lantern, Guy imprisoned and John being tortured/executed by the Guardians. It also shows the new GL of Earth and Atrocitus apparently leading the Manhunters. Should be good!

GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #11 - written by Tony Bedard with art by Tyler Kirkham and Matt "Batt" Banning.

Kyle gets the rest of the Rainbow Crops together to finally confront Larfleeze about stealing the power rings from the various Corps. Try as they might to sneak up them, he's able to detect their arrival and attacks with the full Orange Lantern Corps. Elsewhere, Invictus (remember him?) destroys the entire planet of Aello and replaces it with his home-made copy, something he's obviously planning to do with the rest of the Vega system. Back on Okaara, Larfleeze is about to kill Kyle before Glomulus sacrifices himself for his new friend. This leads to Sayd revealing herself as the thief of the rings, doing so to bring the Rainbow Troop together.

A good romp this one, with the ring thief finally being unmasked. Still not entirely sure about the whole Invictus thing, though.

NATIONAL COMICS: ETERNITY #1 - written by Jeff Lemire with art by Cully Hamner and Derec Donovan.

Christopher Freeman was killed along with his father. Thing is, Chris managed to come back and can now raise the dead for 24 hours or so in the hopes of helping them solve their murders. Why murders? Because Chris works for the police department in the mortuary. Here he helps solve not only a murder but another attempted crime as well. And, along the way, he's earned the attention and perhaps enmity of someone else who speaks with the dead.

For a one-shot, this is excellent and I really hope it means that Lemire can return with at the very least a mini-series, if not an ongoing. Well worth picking up.

TEEN TITANS #11 - written by Scott Lobdell with art by Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.

As Wonder Girl hangs out in her bathroom, bleeding from her armour, Bunker and Kid Flash deal with an unwanted guest who's intent on trashing the place. Cass freaks and takes out the new guy using her powers which someone else detects and is on his way. By the time Red Robin and Superboy arrive, Wonder Girl's gone postal and has taken out the rest of the team with her sparkly, spiked armour.

A little bit of a mess here - either I've missed something or this whole armour thing's come out of the blue a bit. Still, nice to see Radu's coffee shop get a mention but that new guy who tries to take the Titans out? It's Loose Cannon! Of all the characters to choose, they go with this guy!

VOODOO #11 - written by Joshua Williamson with art by Sami Basri.

Voodoo takes on the giant robot centurions and has no luck getting past them until she has an idea: lead them to the Daemonites and when they're distracted by them, get into the temple for the weapon she's come here for. Meanwhile, Priscilla and her team manage to hold off other Daemonites before Pris takes off to find Voodoo, Axel Walker in tow. The team's cut in half - maybe that should be pulled in half - while Pris tracks down her double which will lead to a confrontation next issue.

This has the feel of winding things up; the two protagonists have hated each other since we were first introduced to Pris but now there's a sense of "Oh, my double's the only one who could understand this" from both of them. I'm guessing they'll team up next issue to beat the Daemonites. That said, I'll still miss this title.

And what made me smile:

Ladies and gentlemen, Dr Terrence Thirteen - I demand to have more of him!


  1. That new old Dr Thirteen is excellent! But does he have a Traci? More likely a Theresa.

    As I'm off the GL books, would you indulge me with a query? Why does anyone worry about prophecies in them? Do we know who the prophets are? Are they bound to come true, ie non-Naltorian? I really hate prophecies in comics, they're sch a lazy way to add 'drama'.

    1. The small glimpse we had of him totally sold me on this version of Dr 13! Sadly, no Traci as yet and as he's only in a two-part back-up, it seems unlikely we'll see her. Really hope he comes back for more, though.

      As to the Lantern prophecies, the Blackest Night was originally part of the Alan Moore scripted story that introduced the Five Inversions and Atrocitus but I think that's the only one that's been given a name.

      You're right about adding diluted drama. Another thing they bring is a reinforcement of how strong the hero is. If a prophecy (like Blackest Night) says all life will end, how strong must the hero be to overcome it (as Jordan did)?


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