|Flash and Hawkgirl get off to a flying start.|
Time for a cocktail while we peruse the week's comics.
Wee Hughie follows his detecting hunches and finds the place where Butcher had stored Vogelbaum, the man who invented Compound V. Trouble is he finds Butcher's already been the, killed the old man and cleaned the place out, leaving no clue for Hughie and the remaining Boys to find out what Butcher's done with the weaponised V. Then Butcher gives him a call on his phone and they have a long chat which doesn't end well. Back at the HQ, just as Hughie's returning, Butcher sets off a bomb which leaves poor old Hughie the last one standing to stop Butcher's plan.
Oh man, this is harsh. Excellently done, but harsh.
With Washington reeling from the rise of the Gray, personified by Grundy, the wolrd army sends in its own hero: the Atom! While he's on his way, Flash and Hawkgirl dive into the fray, the former being told by the latter to help save civilians while she takes on Grundy directly. The monster in question keeps shouting for the green knight who, in the form of Green Lantern, turns up soon after and tries to knock the crap out of Grundy but with little success. Cue the Atom's very impressive entrance which takes Grundy out and captures Hawkgirl.
Another fine issue - the new Atom's a fresh take on the old guy, mixing in powers last seen being used by Atom Smasher, along with revealing that the Hawkgirl here on Earth-2 appears to be Kendra Saunders so a welcome return for her. Excellent fun all round.
Fury and Hatherly parachute into Cuba while the Bay of Pigs invasion is underway, their mission to assassinate Fidel Castro at any costs. Meanwhile, Senator McCuskey entertains the Cuban rebel leaders who are becoming more than a little concerned with the lack of support their troops are receiving. As the invasion becomes one big foul-up, Fury and his team manage to track down Castro but are rumbled at the last minute and are captured by the Cubans. Meanwhile, McCuskey makes a hasty exit.
Another fine issue.
The League attempt to pay their respects to their fallen comrade, Rocket Red but are attacked by the brother of their late enemy, Lightweaver. It takes a harsh lesson from Batman to make him realise that his brother wasn't the good guy his grief is making him out to be and he finally admits his mistake. Cutting him some slack, Guy Gardner lets him head off while the rest of the team attempt to find some sort of direction. Pledging to continue fighting the good fight, they head into the forthcoming JLI Annual in a couple of weeks.
I'm sad to see this team end - they work better together in the space of a couple of months (comic-book time) than the Justice League do after five years. I really, really hope DC do something with them that allows them to keep going.
Kondo, the Japanese officer, relates what he knows of the Shadow's origins, telling a tale of Kent Allard, a thoroughly despicable man who went missing and later returned a changed man out for bloody justice. Later discovering Allard and Lamont Cranston are one and the same, Kondo is determined to evade the Shadow as much as he can. With Cranston following his ship, however, he seems out of luck but having mined the river, it's Cranston's vessel that is in for a bumpy ride.
This isn't terrible but it's not particularly engaging, either. And the news that Ennis is leaving after #6 has led me to cancel it. I won't be making the same mistake I made with Jennifer Blood.
One by one, the members of Stormwatch are confronted by the Martian Manhunter who mind wipes each one of them, removing their memories of him. Some are easier than others, although the Midnighter is difficult in the extreme, promising to remember eventually and come after the Manhunter. Our favourite Martian appears before the Shadow Lords and bargains with them to allow him to leave after he discerns something about a fourth Shadow Lord presumed dead for many centuries. And it's just as well he got mentioned as the Eminence of Blades is planning on pretending to be him.
Not a terrible issue by any stretch though the introduction of the missing Shadow Lord and then Harry Tanner planning to masquerade as him seems a little contrived.
Animal Man and Swamp Thing descend into the Rot, facing Anton Arcane and his Un-Men while above them their families and loved ones attempt to protect the portal they've used to enter the Rot. But, unfortunately for our two heroes, the all too easy descent into the Rot turns out to be a trap. Up above, Abby reveals she knows where the Parliament of Decay, the ruling entities behind the Rot, is and plans to destroy it. Back in the underworld, though, Arcane takes delight in telling our heroes that time moves differently there and, when he spits them back out into the real world, a year has passed and the Rot has destroyed everything.
I found myself a little confused as I hadn't picked up the first part of the Animal Man crossover but once I worked out what was happening, this was another good issue. Nothing fantastic, but not bad.
Power Girl's plan to get Hakkou out into the bay rather than smashing up Tokyo seemed like a good idea until the situation's accidentally made worse by her splitting an oil tanker in half. Then, to make matters even worse, the American fleet turn up, complete with nuclear warheads. With the Irradiated Man now grown to an enormous size, Huntress instructs Power Girl to give him the warheads which detonate inside him, forcing him to absorb too much energy which makes him simply dissipate.
Another good issue featuring two heroes who get on so well together. It really is refreshing to read characters who like each other and which isn't all grim and gritty even when dealing with oil spills and nuclear missiles.
And what made me smile:
Fans of the classic costume rejoice - it only took a missile to get Power Girl's boob window back!