Monday, October 12, 2009

What I Read This Week

Doom Patrol #3 -- The Chief pulls in another member of the Patrol to take care of the living black hole anomoly -- whether he wants to or not.  Meanwhile, the new member of the Metal Men who's name I cannot remember tries to help out and runs into Douglas, Robot Hunter!  The Doom Patrol feature does a great job of introducing Mento, and showing him to be just as screwed up as the rest of them.  But the real treat to me is seeing Dr. Caulder really play the role of the "Anti-Professor Xavier," as the manipulative SOB essentially bullies Mento into helping him (and violating a teammate in the process).  As a fan of the original, pre-Giant Size #1 X-Men, I am totally digging that potrayl.  The backup is just great fun, especially since your blogger is a fan of Magnus, Robot Fighter.  Apparently sales are not great on this title, but I don't care -- I'm still supporting it fully.

House of Mystery #18 -- The Space Between is filled with all sorts of strange and bizarre sorts of creatures, but nothing may be more bizarre than those already in the House of Mystery itself.  More Sandman-esque oddness from Sturges and company, this current storyline is not really talking to me.  The second story, telling the epic tale of a brave roach of legend, is much more entertaining.  This is a title which I enjoy while reading, but doesn't stick with me; it's perpetually on the chopping block.  Time will tell.

REBELS Annual #1 -- The first of two DC space opera epics this week, this oversized issue brings us inside the inner circle of Starro The Conqueror, and his armada bent on galactic domination.  Nearly worth the cost of admission just for the showdown between two classic JLA bad guys in Starro and Despero, but the additional fleshing out Starro and his elite warriors is very satisfying.  This is clearly written in the mold of Marvel's Anihillation books, but if you are going to ape something, it's smart to ape something really darn good.  

Red Tornado #2 --  The Android Atlas (bwa-ha-ha) and his sister, Red Torpedo, have to deal with the fact that they kinda sorta are trespassing on a US Naval base, while Red Volcano continues his interrogation of Professor Morrow.  Strong second chapter which does it's job of setting up the balance of the story very well.  So far I have enjoyed the characters on display here and am eager to see them all thrown together -- seeing Reddy and Torp streaking across the sky was very enjoyable.

Strange Adventures #8 -- Synnar: the most powerful being in the universe.  And now he has gathered his Abberant Six together in order to take the next step in his ultimate plan to overthrow God Himself!  I must admit that I expected a huge blowoff from this issue, but Starlin mixes it up and throws us a more philosophical climax.  We learn the role of each member of the Six, and Synnar is, ultimately defeated -- at least as "defeated" as someone with unlimited cosmic power can be defeated, anyway.  Starlin's art, as always, is a real pleasure to look at, and he really seems to be having a blast drawing these characters.  The cosmic side the DCU has a new god-level character to contend with, and hopefully at some point this story will get picked up.  (Holy crap, can you imagine if Synnar put his gaze upon Starro as his instrument of destruction?  DC, make it happen!)

Superman: World of New Krypton #8 -- Thanks to a miscommunication, a Thanagarian fleet has engaged the Kryptonians right while they are transporting one of Saturn's moons to their new digs!  But things are going to get worse for Kal-El and his people even if they can handle the forces of Thanagar.  This issue was remarkably disappointing.  James Robinson and Greg Rucka try to give the Thanagarians an "alien" speech pattern which tries very hard to be catchy but ultimately fails (and sounds nothing like any Thanagarians I have ever read).  Ultimately, this story seems like filler to get to the next guest star (who, admittedly makes a FREAKING AWESOME last page appearance).  Pete Woods' art is the main draw here, although I am pretty sure that Thanagarian space ships were not bird-shaped.  Of course, I am just nitpicky (and could very well be wrong as well).

Warlord #7 -- Travis Morgan comes to the aid of a young maiden being chased by brigands, but after the battle, finds that he has no memory at all of who he is.  Beautifully crafted comic by Grell, who looks like he never actually stopped drawing Skartaris.  (What a treat this week -- Jim Starlin and Mike Grell both on pencils.)  The issue is a set-up, but so far I like what it is setting up: a lost city, forgotten gods, sub-humans, all good stuff.   If Grell can continue to do the art for one story a year or so, while still handling the writing chores, I'll be a happy reader.

Iron Man: Armor Wars #3 -- The Red Barbarian's Soviet superweapon Omega Red has been deployed against Iron Man... and the Golden Avenger doesn't even have a full set of armor to fight him with!  Fast-paced All-Ages armored action, with guest stars and cameos a-plenty.  I was super-jazzed by the villian choice -- have Shellhead and Omega ever tangled before?  I'm very much looking forward to getting the last issue so I can read this story in one sitting.

Justice League of America 80 Page Giant #1 -- A week late, but I got this one!  The Justice League is battling the time-manipulating Epoch when they are scattered through time and space!  Classic set-up for this kind of story produces a lot of fun pairings, including Black Canary and Zatanna hanging out with the Crimson Avenger in the 1930s, Vixen and John Stewart matching up with Shining Knight in 6th Century England, and Firestorm and Green Arrow fighting a different immortal foe in World War II.  One question: Where the heck did Steel come from?  Another question: Why didn't the Samurai use his wind powers?  A nice big read which should satisfy those looking for a Justice League fix, like me.  Nothing Earth-shattering, but a lot fun nonetheless.

Re-Read Pile: Doom Patrol, Strange Adventures, REBELS

The Pick of the Pile is Doom Patrol.  Strange Adventures was good but ended on kinda of a weird note, the 80-pager was a lot of fun, and REBELS was very solidly what an "Annual" should be, but the double dose of quirky heroics takes it this week.

So what did YOU read this week?

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