|Can I get an "Amen" on that, people?|
The good thing about missing one week's comics is having a bumper crop the following week.
ALL STAR WESTERN #24 - Jonah's trek through modern day America continues. Having beaten the murder charges against him - thanks in no small part to Bruce Wayne's lawyers - he heads out west with his new girl to pick up some of the stashes of gold he'd buried a hundred years before. Cash in hand, they end up at a festival of drink, drugs and sex in the desert where a demon is currently lurking about. And that's when John Constantine shows up.
Another cracking issue, the story moves along at a good pace and while you might think Constantine and Hex aren't a natural mix, their first meeting works and promises good things for the next couple of issues.
AQUAMAN #24 - six months after the fall of Atlantis (and presumably after whole Forever Evil thing has finished as well) Aquaman wakes up to find Vulko having looked after him and basing the pair of them in Antarctica, specifically over the old Dead King's prison. Spurred on by Vulko, Arthur takes the old king's throne and gets a telepathic history lesson where he learns no only the identity of the Dead King but his own ancestry as well.
Not bad at all, on the whole, though I have to wonder if I'm the only one creeped out by the implication that Vulko has been trimming Arthur's beard for the last six months. How else has it remained so neat and tidy?
GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #24 - as Hal and the rest of the Corps try and work out how best to take down Relic, six of the emotional entities turn up and proceed to possess Kyle who then sends Hal and the others to Ysmault where they're to meet up with Guy. The Templar Guardians, meanwhile, help Kyle to regain control over the entities before he tells them that they don't need to defeat Relic, but rather help him.
It was okay - a bit muddled in places and despite everything, Hal is still a complete arse, rushing in wthout thinking before someone else calms him down.
THE GREEN TEAM #5 - the Team end up on a rocket, heading to a meteor that is apparently going to hit Earth. On the way they discover a tech company has worked out a scheme to mine the meteor of its minerals while getting paid to do so and then, with the aid of a supervillain who's already on the meteor, crash it into the Earth anyway. There's some infighting in the team and it all ends badly.
This seems like it's just sort of thrown together; if the series wasn't ending in a couple of issues' time, I'd probably be looking to ditch this.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #24 - We start the issue with Ultraman's origin, a suitably twisted version of the tale of Krypton, a rocket and the Kents that we all know and love. In the present, after he and the Crime Syndicate have landed on our Earth and taken it over, he heads to Metropolis to check out the Daily Planet staff, comparing them unfavourably with his own versions. He's interrupted by the arrival of Black Adam who, sadly, is surprised to find Ultraman a more than capable adversary.
Have to admit I enjoyed this, mostly down to the origin of Ultraman and it's dark version of Superman's story. There's a lovely nod, too, towards the original Crime Syndicate story with the (very) brief appearance of President Lee Oswald as a counterpart to Earth-3's President John Wilkes Booth. Whoever designed Grid's dialogue boxes, though, needs their head examined - small black text on a yellow and green background is not easy on the eye at all.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #8 - the Martian Manhunter and Stargirl wake up in a prison designed specifically for them and the other members of their team which J'onn discovers as he works his way through the various levels. As J'onn finds his way down the bottom of the prison, Stargirl finds a way out, back to the real world.
It's not bad, although it's a little bit like a holding issue; each scene is basically the same as J'onn discovers a team mate and works out what his prison is. Can't help feeling most of it could have been told in half a dozen pages.
LARFLEEZE #4 - Larfleeze's Orange Lanterns attack him now that they've all been freed while Stargrave is taken to a planet ruled by the Wanderer's sister, Dyrge.
I really want to like this more than I do but I think the title character works best in small doses; a complete issue leaves me feeling irritated and bored by him and as he's the main focus, that's not the best reaction to have.
LETTER 44 #1 - the new President of the United States learns that his predecessor had a secret: aliens had been discovered in the asteroid belt a few years before and he has sent a long term space mission to find out more about them and their intentions. When the new guy, President Blades, takes over, his first job is to be brought up to speed on what's been going on.
It's a good, solid introductory issue, though Alburquerque's art is taking a little getting used to.
PRETTY DEADLY #1 - a town in the Old West plays host to a blind man and a young girl who spin a tale about Death falling in love and siring a daughter, Deathface Ginny who became a reaper of vengeance. As they leave, the girl, Sissy, steals something from Ginger Johnny who in turn takes something from her which later allows Big Alice to track down Sissy and the old man.
Ahh, the Old West, magic and Death. It's a splendid start to the series.
TEEN TITANS #24 - thrown into the time stream by Johnny Quick in the pages of Forever Evil #2, the Teen Titans appear in different moments - the most interesting offering a glimpse of why Kid Flash is a wanted criminal in the future - but it's all a ploy for Raven to get their souls.
Some nice dialogue but really this is just another holding issue to keep the Titans out of Forever Evil, I'm thinking.
TRINITY OF SIN: PANDORA #4 - Pandora briefly visits Earth-3 before being pulled back to her own world where she determines the only person who can help her rebuild Pandora's Box and thus, hopefully, send the Crime Syndicate back where they came from, is the Outsider.
It's not bad - nice to see the Earth-3 Martian Manhunter however briefly - but nothing brilliant.
VELVET #1 - Velvet Templeton, the secretary to the director of a top secret black-ops outfit determines to find the killer of one of the agency's top operatives. As she goes about her own investigation, the official one concludes that an embittered ex-operative is behind it, one whom Velvet knows and can't believe would have murdered another agent. As she tracks him down, she misses the fact that he's not the only one being framed.
It;s a cracking start to a spy/espionage story that I'm really glad I took a punt on.
And what made me smile:
A Superman origin that's almost as cheerless as this year's Man of Steel!