Sunday, 9 December 2012

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #207

Hawksmoor paraphrasing Oscar Wilde. A Haaaawwwksmoooor?

Sunday afternoon comics - enjoy.


EARTH 2 #7 - Hawkgirl easily tracks down Alan Scott and calls him out for being such a stuck up git at the end of last issue, telling him that the team needs him and vice versa. Meanwhile, Sloan is allowed to continue working for the World Army, much against Khan's wishes. Suspecting the ex-hero of not having turned over a new leaf, he has the Sandmen infiltrate one of Sloan's hideouts where they find a deranged and captive Mr Terrific. Sloan, meanwhile, promises to get the World Army's Red Tornado project up and running.

It's another cracking issue with sub-plots of intrigue and double dealing being introduced amid the superheroics and, with the freedom he has in this world, Robinson's able to drop hints of other characters to come. You know, I think I can forgive his work on Justice League of America with this series.


FURY MAX #7 - Fury's reminiscences edge into the 70's and take him into the jungle of Vietnam where he has the opportunity to take out an NVA General that Fury's had a run-in with in the past. And who better to work with him than one Frank Castle. They head into the jungle but run across a small boy that they know is going to rat them out so the issue ends with them preparing to take on a squad of enemy troops.

Good stuff; solid story telling from Ennis and Parlov with little fanfare needed to carry the tale.


HUMAN BOMB #1 - ex soldier Michael Taylor is working at the Ground Zero site of the World Trade Centre when a series of suicide bombers attack various sites in New York. As he helps his workmates evacuate, he notices one of his ex-Army buddies heading into the site in a dazed, confused state. Realising he's one of the bombers, Taylor stops him as he detonates but somehow absorbs the blast. That triggers a memory of an attack by black-suited operatives in Afghanistan before coming back to the present and being targeted by another of the human bombs. S.H.A.D.E. are watching the reports with Uncle Sam paying keen attention to Taylor.

It's not as light hearted as Palmiotti and Gray's other Freedom Fighter mini series but it's still well done and, along with the new Human Bomb, there's an appearance by a S.H.A.D.E. operative called Joan - a new Miss America to be? My only gripe, though, is with Joan's appearance: with all the other operatives in full body suits, why is Joan's jacket open almost to her navel with nothing underneath it? Can the poor woman not afford a shirt?


THE PHANTOM STRANGER #3 -the Stranger faces off against the Haunted Highwayman before having to return home and - of all things - go to the leaving party of their neighbours where the husband's heading to the Far East. The party's interrupted by Dr Thirteen managing to get in touch with the Stranger and force him to come back and save him once again from the Highwayman by enlisting the shade of his ancestor.

I really want to like this, if only because of my affection for the Phantom Stranger, but it's making it difficult. The art's not engaging me and the writing's . . . clunky. It's not dreadful plot wise, but the dialogue's awful. I wonder if this would be allowed to continue if Dan Didio weren't the writer?

[Update - ha! Newsarama have news that from #6, Didio will be joined by J.M. DeMatteis as co-writer!]


STORMWATCH #15 - the rogue Shadow Lords convinces the team that Midnighter is an infiltrator sent by Harry Tanner to destroy the team from the inside, a line backed up when the Projectionist returns and - with the Engineer's help - they see a memory of Tanner and Midnighter plotting together. Despite his cries of innocence, the team attack Midnighter forcing him to leave, taking the Projectionist with him.

Honestly, I thought it was all a little predictable. For all their vaunted intelligence, couldn't the team see they're being set up in one of the most clich├ęd ways imaginable? Seriously, if the boss you've never met before tells you one of the team is a traitor and conveniently has proof culled from the mind of a woman whose superpower is to create false images please take a moment to think things through.


SWAMP THING #15 - waylaid by William Arcane, Swamp Thing and Deadman are forced to take drastic measure to continue with Deadman sacrificing himself for the greater good. In flashbacks, we see Abigail facing off against Arcane and putting up a heck of a fight before she apparently falls, while in the present Swampy gets to the Batcave and finds not only a rotted Batman but a whole and healthy Batgirl as well.

Not a terrible issue by any means but blimey this whole Rotworld thing just keeps going on and on and on . . .


WORLDS' FINEST #7 - as Huntress and Robin track down who's been stealing from Bruce Wayne in one location, Power Girl heads to Africa to check out another signal. Huntress and Robin come up against a pack of wolves and, possibly, a werewolf to boot, while PG faces off against a bunch of child soldiers armed with Apokoliptian tech. Both manage to find some information before their foes retreat or escape.

Not a bad issue - the child soldiers being taken via a Boom Tube and a voice saying "Come to me, children..." leads me to think Granny Goodness is in the heroes' future at some point, but as with last issue, Robin's dialogue is just awful, stilted and dreary.



And what made me smile:


Right there's the potential for a female Earth-2 Crimson Avenger some point down the line!

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