THE WEEK IN COMICS: FEB. 21
We actually got our comics on Wednesday in Valpo this week!
52 #42 - After a brief bit with Renee Montoya (she sees herself as the Question), this issue brings the Ralph Dibny storyline to a head. It turns out the Helmet of Fate was actual the villain Felix Faust. And it turns out the Ralph has been drinking Gingold, the elixir that gives him his stretching powers, all this time. And it turns out he used a wishing gun back in the first issue and has known what Faust was up to. He defeats Faust and the demon Neron but loses his life while doing so. It was slightly confusing, just because many of the events in this storyline were so spread out. But I did like it and you get the feeling that the series is really coming to a close...as it should be with only 10 issues left.
The Brave and the Bold #1 - The old Batman team-up book is back after 20 plus years. This new incarnation is slightly different, as it will feature team-ups between the many heroes of the DCU rather than just ones with Batman. That said, this first issue features Batman and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan). They both discovers corpses that turn out to be the same person, get attacked in the Batcave, go undercover at a casino, meet up with Roulette, and discover that the Book of Destiny has been stolen. High octane fun by Mark Waid and George Perez, who is super-hero comics to me ever since New Teen Titans in the 80s. Looking forward to seeing more of this book.
Superman #659 - Superman ruminates on what Arion revealed to him last issue about his getting in the way of man's destiny and we see a story from his early days involving a women who thinks Superman is an angel and gets hurt trying to change things in Metropolis. It's kind of a standard Superman story but Kurt Busiek always manages to elevate those (if only slightly in this case). Guest artist Peter Vale does a solid job - I've not seen his work before and hope to see him pop up somewhere else in the near future.
Checkmate #11 - Hey, look - it's a cover where a character has burnt off enough so you can see the first page! Haven't seen one of those in a while. On the inside, we have the start of a new storyline - elections in Santa Prisca have gone badly thanks to some meddling and Checkmate needs to extract a villain to find out exactly who and why. Bane, who once broke Batman's back, currently runs the country. Some side intrigue with Fire and Tommy Jagger, whose father (Judomaster) was killed by Bane. Things take a turn at the end of the issue. It sounds like a lot but it's well done; there is another artist I'm not familiar with who does a good job with it all - Steve Scott. More from him too, please.
Wonder Woman #4 - Hey, it's an actual issue! I had forgotten about Circe and Hercules but caught myself up fairly easily. The big master plan is revealed and things take a turn for the worse at the end of the issue (hmm, sounds familiar). It's a little confusing in its storytelling and the art from Terry and Rachel Dodson can tend towards cheesecake but it's still a solid issue of super-hero comics. My biggest problem is that the conclusion of the storyline is not scheduled - it's been bumped for a new storyline and creative team due to lateness. That doesn't make me feel good. You'd think they'd want to finish their "Who is Wonder Woman?" storyline before more stories with said Wonder Woman. That's been a major failing of DC over the last year - lateness and content change; I hope they can get things back on track.
The Spirit #3 - This is an origin story for The Spirit, as the name of someone long thought dead comes up in connection with killings. What I like here is that the origin is told in flashback and drawn in a different style by Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone. The story is a good one and hints that the current series will be more than done-in-one tales. This is good comics, people.