Sunday, 10 March 2013

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #217

He's not wrong.

Roll up, roll up, get your bite-size comic reviews here!

EARTH 2 #10 - the reluctant host of Dr Fate, along with Flash and his looks-way-too-young mother, are trapped by Wotan and, after a display of power, the two heroes are forced to enter the Tower of Fate to retrieve Fate's helmet. Elsewhere, Alan Scott tries to find out who targeted his lover for death and eventually asks Hawkgirl for help.

A slower issue here as Khalid - the new Fate host - and Wotan spend a fair amount of time explaining what magic and the Tower of Fate are, but it's still a fine issue.

GREEN LANTERN #18 - Simon Baz wakes up in the land of the dead to find Jordan and Sinestro waiting for him, the latter of whom is more than willing to steal Baz's ring to get back to the land of the living. Elsewhere, the newly released old Guardians fight Black Hand and together with B'dg manage to swap Black Hand for Baz, with Sinestro tagging along, leaving Jordan in the land of the dead.

Sinestro slides towards being a villain once more as his urge for revenge against the Guardians comes to the fore while Jordan is undone by his concern for Carol. It's a good issue, on the whole.

HUMAN BOMB #4 - Michael and Joan are trapped on a moon of Jupiter, facing an alien horde intent on invading Earth. Just as they find a potential means of escape, Joan gets shot by the aliens, prompting the Human Bomb to go on a rampage, destroying not just the aliens and their base, but the entire moon as well. He gets picked up by Green Lantern Kyle Rayner and later meets Uncle Sam and the rest of his team.

Not a bad ending to the miniseries though of all the new versions of the Quality heroes, the Human Bomb seems the most one-dimensional at the moment. Hopefully Joan will make a comeback at some point in the (please, please make it official) Freedom Fighters series that was hinted at on the last page.

NEMO: HEART OF ICE - a tale of Nemo's daughter Janni who heads to the Antarctic in an attempt to prove herself above piracy and better than her late father. She's pursued by the agents of a certain citizen of America, a Mr Kane, and the two groups converge among the deserted ruins of an enormous city that will be familiar to readers of H.P. Lovecraft.

There's the usual round of sly nods to older works, some more obvious than others, but at its heart, this is a done in one adventure story with cracking dialogue and the lovely art of Kevin O'Neill. Splendid stuff.

THE PHANTOM STRANGER #6 - still on the trail of who abducted his family, the Stranger heads to Las Vegas which is apparently full of hookers and gamblers. He unwillingly guided by Dr Thirteen to a room where the sons of Trigon are playing a poker game, one which he enters in order to find out their involvement in his family's disappearance. With a hidden ally, he discovers they had nothing to do with it although he earns their enmity and ends up being recalled to Thirteen's hideout on the orders of someone else.

It's not bad on the whole, though the poker game's a little too drawn out. The last page, though, shows the Question holding the Spear of Destiny which, from the solicits for next month's titles, will soon end up piercing the Stranger's side.

STORMWATCH #18 - the Engineer takes control of OMAC and has him attack Midnighter and Apollo, bringing them back to Stormwatch HQ where she offers the the choice of being lobotomised and controlled by her, or being killed. Suffice to say, they refuse the easy route and are inadvertently helped by the Eminence of Blades who overcomes his programming to free Jenny Quantum who sets the world to rights.

It's not a bad wrap-up to Peter Milligan's run on the title; I'm not a huge fan of his but this works, tidying up his storylines and leaving the place in a mess for next month's arrival of Jim Starlin.

SWAMP THING #18 - sent back from a future world where the good guys lost, Swamp Thing finds Arcane about to kill Abby and literally tears him apart before she reveals the only way to stop Arcane for good is for her to become the avatar of decay. She takes on the power just as the future Arcane arrives and kills Swamp Thing before she, in turn, kills him. There's a final meeting between Abby and Alec which is a little poignant before things come to a close.

Despite Rotworld going on for far, far, too long, this was actually a good finish to Snyder's run. It alters the status quo a little and leaves things in place for the new team to pick up.

WORLDS' FINEST #10 - Power Girl goes on a rampage, destroying Michael Holt's businesses while still making it look like natural disasters were to blame, even going so far as to cause a small earthquake which she then has to help out with by saving innocent civilians. Huntress, meanwhile, uses her tech skills to find out what Holt was up to before PG informs her of Robin's recent death. While she deals with that, narrowly missing Batman, Holt - last seen captive on Earth 2 - appears to be back.

I've given this title a bit of leeway when others have knocked it but this issue really annoyed me, principally Power Girl causing an earthquake. Seriously, Mr Levitz? That's a really crappy move for her to pull and not to be that bothered about it.

And what made me smile:

Because you don't get much better than Alan Moore referencing Lovecraft.

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