Monday, April 19, 2010

What I Read This Week

Brightest Day #0 -- The Blackest Night is finished!  The Brightest Day has broken!  But what secret connects the dozen resurrected by the White Rings?  Johns sets the stage for the new adventure, with Boston Brand given a tour of the DCU, checking in on Aquaman and Mera, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch, the Martian Manhunter, and more.  Johns juggles the large cast and multiple stories well, and I mark out for Fernando Pasarin as a general rule.  This issue sets the stage for the rest of the Brightest Day event, and so far all of the individual stories being teased look extremely solid.  

Flash: Secret Files & Origins #1 -- Barry Allen is having a restless night, and finds himself drawn to his childhood home.  Also, we get profiles on many of the crucial folks in the Flashiverse.  Nice little preview story for the new series, but I especially liked the profile pages, which include differentiating Central City and Keystone City.  Nice lead in to...

Flash #1 -- ... the new ongoing Flash title!  Barry Allen is back in the Central City PD's Crime Lab, but the burg has changed since he has been gone.  Cases need to be closed quickly, turnover is high, and wrongful conviction suits are way up.  Add to this the Rogues and you've got a job for the Fastest Man Alive.  Johns and Manupaul knock this one out of the park and waste no time in getting things moving for our hero.  Very much looking forward to reading more of this title!

Green Arrow #32 -- Did not read as I am still waiting on my copy of #31!

Human Target #3 -- Chance and his charges are in Venice to retrieve more documents, which means that the goons chasing them aren't far behind.  In the backup, Chance tells the story of a small scar on his pinkie finger which may be the hardest one to bear.  Len Wein could probably write this stuff in his sleep he is so good.  I hear all of the show's stars voices very clearly in his dialogue.  Bruno Redondo seems at home on the art as well.  Very enjoyable series for a fan of the show, like myself.  This would make a great ongoing or series-of-series feature.

The Shield #8 -- The team is off to Paris to stop a Black Seven scientist, with the newest recruit, The Brain Emperor in tow!  Meanwhile, the Fox continues to stalk the streets of Tokyo.  The lead story is something of a letdown.  It's a slower pace than the first two missions, which hurts the pacing, although the character bits are appreciated -- especially the interaction between The Shield and Brain Emperor.  The Fox backup is underwhelming.  The art by Oeming is very nice to look at, but Jerwa script is not really going anywhere, and the setup -- a gaijin becomes a super martial artist to get revenge on the Yakuza -- is pretty hackneyed.  I really like this title but it's lame duck status is hurting it.  (At least we will be getting the Mighty Crusaders Special and then a miniseries.)

Iron Man Legacy #1 -- Tony Stark's designs have been conscripted by an ethnic-cleansing group in Transia, and they are using their armors to wipe out anyone who stands in their way.  So he does the only thing he can do: defy orders from the government and head in, guns blazing.  It's not the most unique plot in the world but it's a standard Shellhead hook, one which has a nice twist at the end which is very promising.  Iron Man is a good fit for a series like this, but I don't know how long the Powers That Be will keep it up.  I dug it, though.  BTW, this story clearly is meant to take place in the 90s, Heroes Return era; check out the armor and James Rhodes association with "Rhodes Recovery."

The Phantom/Captain Action #1 -- There's a new counter-intelligence agency in the wild: Tatsu, and chaos is their only goal.  Diana Palmer-Walker, head of the UN Intelligence Taskforce, is charged with rooting them out.  Lucky for her she has two forces on her side: the dashing Captain Action and the mysterious Ghost-Who-Walks, The Phantom.  A nice setup with plenty of action, I like how Mike Bullock (who writes the regular Phantom: Ghost-Who-Walks series) integrates the two universes with such ease.  There's no reason why Captain Action and The Phantom couldn't work in the same universe, so it's nice to see the Moonstone crew run with it.  (Death Angel also seems to belong to this universe, if KGB Noir is any indication.)  There's also a great gag involving the Captain wearing The Phantom's uniform which will be a treat for older CA fans.  

Re-Read Pile: Brightest Day, Flash, Human Target, Iron Man Legacy.

The Pick Of The Pile is Brightest Day, which shouldn't come as a surprise.  Flash was really good as well and almost had the nod.  A lot of good titles this week!

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