Sunday, 12 January 2014

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #256

Batman's a chamomile tea fan. Who knew?

EARTH 2 #19 - bad Superman unleashes the Parademons upon Earth 2, part of the plan to turn Earth into a new Apokolips. Meanwhile, the new Batman scurries about, pulling a rag tag team together, including a new Kryptonian.

This is really good, to be honest: there's plenty of plot movement but also room for character development - Batman shows a surprising soft side when he reveals he doesn't want Jimmy Olsen's photographic memory to be scarred with the sight of the battle going on outside the bunker. The art's as lovely as ever and there's the promise of the return of one of the original heroes of the title soon. Splendid stuff.

FATALE #19 - Jo's time in Seattle in the 90's comes to a violent and horrific end as the band members are caught between her and the serial killing cop who's been tracking her, leaving only one member alive to be used by the cop to call Jo to him. In the present, Nick Lash realises that Nelson, who's been telling him the story, has his own motives and things don't end up well for poor old Nick.

As I say with just about every issue, this series just keeps impressing - both the art and the writing are spot on.

GREEN LANTERN #27 - Saint Walker wakes up to find he's the last of the Blue Lanterns and, not surprisingly, loses a little hope. The braidmen launch a surprise attack when they're delivered to Mogo, allowing them to get to the command post, knock out Hal Jordan and have a Durlan take his place. He then broadcasts to the entire universe that the Green Lantern Corps is now in control, like it or not. Hardly surprising, the universe rises up against the Corps as Jordan recovers to discover he's walked into a long-planned trap and that this is the pay-off.

Good stuff again from Venditti who reveals that his last few issues and storylines have all been building up to this. Well played, sir. And was it my imagination, or were there one or two significant moments between Hal and Soranik Natu?

LETTER 44 #3 - President Blade is convinced by his chief of staff to at least consider releasing knowledge of the aliens' presence to the world. Meanwhile, in space, the astronauts discover an anomalous asteroid which reflects their laser scan without any degradation in the signal. They determine this means something copied their signal and returned it, so figure it's worth visiting. Back on Earth, the chief of staff learns the hard way that some buttons are best not pressed.

The writing's good though I'm still not overly liking the art, if I'm honest.

THE MOVEMENT #8 - the Graveyard Faction's attack on the Movement's headquarters is repelled though not without difficulty, while the Coral City PD have their own problems. Recovering from his beating, Mouse plucks up the courage to (sort of) tell Tremor how he feels and at the end, things are looking hopeful.

It's taken a while (eight issues in fact) but with this issue, The Movement feels like it's finally finding its feet. The writing by Gail Simone seems to work better here than in earlier issues and there are some wonderful moments that have been missing since this series started. I just hope it continues like this.

THE PHANTOM STRANGER #15 - Blight strikes at its host's family which the Stranger is set on preventing before God turns up and tells him to join Blight. At first he agrees but then rebels, taking on Blight in order to save his host Christopher - only to discover Christopher is a more than willing partner. Escaping back to the House of Mystery, the Stranger picks up on Constantine's idea to hold God to task over it all and they all head off to heaven.

Not following the Blight crossover within a crossover, there's a fair bit of catching up and picking up what's happened in previous issues, but it's passable stuff.

SWAMP THING #27 - Alec Holland, supplanted by Seeder as the Avatar, struggles to find a way to regain his position. He takes on the Parliament of Trees, returning to Earth to defeat Seeder and forcing each of the previous Avatars to go into a dormant state so that they will never trouble him again.

It's good stuff, if a little light on the plot side, though the art more than makes up for it.

And what made me smile:

This - light-hearted throwaway character moments - are what I've been missing from The Movement. Nice to see them back.

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