Twelve Days of Christmas Special Review Series, Part Two, By Johnathan

Dammit, I’m writing this on Calling Birds but I’m only up to Turtledoves (Augh! I was away from the internet again! It's Golden Rings!). Have to pick up the pace, Johnathan, or those Lords’ll be a-leaping sometime in February.

Continuing with Adventure Comics No. 289, today we answer the pressing question: what do super-heroes get each other for Christmas? (tangential observation: Red Tornado giving Batman a “World’s Greatest Detective” mug in the latest episode of The Brave and the Bold? Utterly adorable. That series is nothing but JOHN APPROVED)

Man, I don’t know how I feel about those pictures. I have some experience with that type of gift, and it is a super thoughtful/heart-warming thing to receive, but… there is absolutely no doubt that the implications of that time scope are profoundly creepy. I mean, think about what you did this morning. Now, think about a good friend of yours watching you do what you did this morning, with you all unaware. Gives me the shivers.


So what do the Super-Cousins come up with to top that eerily thoughtful gift? Time-scope images of each Legionnaire’s death, maybe? Drawings of what they think everyone looks like in the shower, perhaps?

Flight belts! This is a good gift! So good, in fact, that it travels back in time - the teen Legion are using them in their next appearance and the poor Substitute Heroes have to make do with them for about twenty years after everyone else gets fancy-pants flight rings.


Still, I wish that the “glowing crotch” aspect of the flight belt had remained a part of Legion canon. It’s just so… festive.

"eleven Tyrocs shouting,"

Twelve Days of Christmas Special Review Series, Part One, By Johnathan

Hallo hallo! It's me, Johnathan, back from the far-away land of Offline and fat with turkey and buttered vegetables. As promised, I'm going to rock the twelve days of Christmas with twelve reviews highlighting various modes of holiday celebration in the comical booklets that I so love. And since we're already on Day 3 (French hens!) I'm going to be playing catchup.

What are we going to look at for Partridge/Pear Tree Day? Who else but the Legion! From Adventure Comics No. 289, as recently looked at over at Super Future Friends, we have this:

Supergirl has a plot to get a little action for her cousin, so she hauls him into the 30th Century to hang with the adult Legion for Christmas. More on the action-getting plot later - today we're looking at the Legion's decorations.

Not too sure why there isn't ever any snow around the Legion Clubhouse, as it's located just outside of either Smallville or Metropolis and I'm pretty sure that at this point those estimable towns are both located in Kansas. Isn't Kansas snowy? Maybe the poles flipped in 2567 or something like that. No matter. I'm sure it's Brainiac 5's doing.

I sure do like the Santa dummy in the space ship. Some of my favourite things about the Legion's future are its intersections with our past - rather than playing some crazy game where you simulate nuclear fusion with electronic beans they play holographic Dungeons and Dragons or Spaceopoly (which I hope is all about capturing the Boardwalk Nebula early in the game). Likewise, rather than having a robot out front with a special time portal that loops images of history's greatest Nativity scenes, including the original, they have a crappy Santa dummy that someone thought would look cute in their rocket car. My Dad's neighbours would do that!


As for their tree: fantastic! This is the solution for my irrational aversion to even the most convincing fake Christmas tree - make 'em weird abstract treeoid forms. I haven't had a tree in my own place for upwards of ten years but I sure would set up that cone-stack. Especially if I could arrange to have planets revolving around it. Or possibly something else, I don't know. Towns I've lived in? Snack foods I have known and loved (oh, Punkys. I miss ye). The important thing is the revolution.


"Twelve beasts of lightning,"

This Week's Haul: Supergirl for Everyone!

So I've already told you how awesome The War at Ellsmere, which came out this week, is. But there were also a lot of other awesome comics! Probably some bad ones too, but I fortunately didn't read any of those!

Batman #682

I think that all the confusing mess that was Batman: R.I.P. was worth it if it got us to this issue. It is absolutely bananas, but really, really enjoyable. It reminded me of All-Star Superman, the way that it embraced and celebrated Batman's zany silver age past. Grant are alright with me!


Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade #1

I definitely had high hopes for this one, and I wasn't let down. It's fun and silly and it pays no attention to proper canon or continuity. In other words, it's perfect for kids. And, much like Tiny Titans, it is fun for adult nerds as well.




Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom #3

Everyone should seriously be reading this series. I am going to keep saying that every week until it is over. This is the Superman/Supergirl interaction I have been waiting for.



Jonah Hex #38

And everyone should seriously be reading this series. I can't say enough good things about Jonah Hex, even though I don't talk about this comic nearly enough on this blog. It's completely and totally awesome. I know it is perpetually in danger of being canceled, and it would be tragic if it happens. Comic fans keep asking for one-shots and this is a whole series made up of them. Plus it has great writing and all-star artists.


The Amazing Spider-Man #579

I don't want to say the word 'perfect' here, but these last two issues of Spider-Man, by Mark Waid and Marcos Martin, have been pretty damn close. They have everything you could possibly want in a Spider-Man comic. Not only is Spider-Man witty and likable throughout, he is also incredibly heroic. I was almost teary-eyed. HE JUST GIVES SO MUCH OF HIMSELF!



JSA #21

Man, that Gog guy wasn't as cool as he seemed. Colour me surprised. I was sure everything would work out fine for those tortured souls who populate the Justice Society.



Hey! Y'know what else came out this week?! Showcase Presents: Supergirl v.2!!!

Ohhhh yessssss.

Not convinced? How about a 2-part story where Comet the Superhorse turns into a human temporarily and starts dating Supergirl?

Oh it gets worse...

That's why I don't date horses. They lie.

This Week's Haul: So very sick

Welcome to Living Between Wednesdays...where we like our coffee black and our comic reviews late. I have been awful sick lately, but fortunately there were a lot of good comics to read. I have been very slowly writing these mini-reviews over the past few days, taking frequent nap breaks.

Super Friends #9
J.Bone not only did the cover for this issue, he did the interiors! Yay! It's Superman's birthday and everything is adorable, from Lex Luthor being cranky about not being invited to the party, to Batman explaining pinatas to the readers.

Amazing Spider-Man #578
Mark Waid teams up with Marcos Martin to bring us one of the most delightful comics I have ever read. This was seriously great stuff, the latest in a long series of great Spider-Man comics.

Terra #2
If you like hot naked ladies, then you will probably enjoy this. And even if you are more into well-written, nicely-drawn ladies, like I am, then you will also enjoy this.

Uncanny X-Men #504
And speaking of hot ladies, Terry and Rachel Dodson provide the art for this month's issue of Uncanny, and that made me very happy. Especially since this issue gives us a tour of Cyclops' horny psychosis, which is full of beautiful women made even more beautiful by Team Dodson's art. I'm glad I am reading X-Men comics again. It makes me feel like I'm 15.

Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom #2
I just wanted to remind everyone that this series is great and the art is beautiful. Look at that cover! She's tying her hair up! Just like girls do when they are exercising!

Supergirl #35
I am loving this New Krypton cross-over story so far. Not only because there are so many talented people working on it, but because it is non-stop and has been coming out on time. Every week we get a new piece of the story via Superman, Action Comics, Supergirl, or a number of fantastic one-shot specials. It's fluid, it's interesting, and it's fun. And Sterling Gates is doing a great job writing Supergirl.

The Age of the Sentry #3
I can't even tell you how much I am loving this series. And a good thing is made even better this month because there is a very long back-up story drawn by Colleen Coover! And it features Milly the Model! Seriously, Jeff Parker. You are killing me.

Ghost Rider #29
My love of Jason Aaron's run on Ghost Rider runs deep. This issue gave us what he has been building to since he started: a big ol' battle between Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch! Sweet Ghost Rider on Ghost Rider action!

Ambush Bug #4
It's a good time to be an Ambush Bug fan. Not only has this series been a lot of fun (and badly needed because there is so much DC craziness to make fun of right now), but it looks like we're finally going to get the long-rumoured Showcase Presents Ambush Bug collection in February! Yay!

If you have an extra $9 you could do worse than picking these up.

This is a little late, but there were three comics that came out last week that I'd like to bring everyone's attention to because they were good and probably overlooked.

Superman/Supergirl Maelstrom #1

If you have been enjoying recent Supergirl comics as much as I have, then you should definitely check this out. If I had to say when it takes place in continuity, I would say sometime in the last year, before the Death of the New Gods and certainly before New Krypton or a lot of recent Superman events. Supergirl is still heavy into her self-doubt phase, and Superman has decided to help her out with that.

The main premise is that a Apokaliptikan babe named Maelstrom is in love with Darkseid and is hoping to impress him by killing Superman. She goes to Earth, destroys a chunk of Metropolis, and makes Supergirl sad. It's all very well-written (Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray) and beautifully drawn (Phil Noto). It's one of those mini-series that you can easily ignore, but if you are a fan of Supergirl at all, this looks like it's going to be a really high-quality mini-series starring her, and that alone is something to celebrate.

Terra #1

It's been a Palmiotti/Gray-heavy week for me. For the record, Jonah Hex was also awesome this week.

I stopped reading Teen Titans months ago. And I REALLY don't care about the Terror Titans or whatever. I definitely would not have picked this up if it weren't drawn by Amanda Conner, who is fantastic and doesn't draw nearly enough books. So if I have to read a comic about a charcter I don't care about to see her art, I will do it.

But this actually was really enjoyable. The Justice Society, and, in particular, Power Girl played a big role in it, so that was good. Everyone looked really hot, especially Terra. And I love the fun stuff that happens in the background of Conners' art, and her facial expressions.

X-Men/Spider-Man #1

This comic was BEAUTIFUL. Mario Alberti throws down some gorgeous art for this story which is set in the sixties. The comic tells a story of one of the first meetings between the original X-Men and Spider-Man. Christos Gage provides fun dialog and lots of humour. AND...Kraven the Hunter is the main villain!

My understanding is that this 4-part series will move out of the sixties and tell a story that spans the last several decades. I think this is going to be a great mini-series.

Supergirl Week: To be Continued...

Alright, so I picked kind of a busy week to attempt a theme week on this blog. But I have much more to say about Supergirl. So I promise another Supergirl Week sometime soon. Because I didn't even get into anything past the Silver Age, or her team-ups, or any of the other awesome adventures the last daughter of Krypton has had. And that's a shame, because look!:

Remember to vote today, Canada. And if you want to vote against Harper, that's cool with me.