This Week's Haul: Start the War!

Civil War? Pffft. Whatever, Marvel. When DC throws a war it covers the whole damn world. And it lasts one week. That's right. Efficiency. Look it up.

Let's do this thing.

World War III #1-4

First of all, thanks DC for making me have to buy four issues in one week. I'm not made of money. But on the other hand...thanks for wrapping this up in one week.

WWIII was a real whirl wind. It basically showcased Black Adams kicking ass and...not so much taking names. Just ripping faces off and removing various limbs from people. Not important people. A lot of Infinite Crisis loose ends get tied up in these four books, and a lot of questions get answered. Such as:

Aquaman - saves city, gets turned into The Dweller. And I guess that means he's dead now.
Nightwing - oh, it's Jason
Batgirl - manipulated by Deathstroke
Martian Manhunter - sad, confused, hero, reborn in new ugly outfit
Adam Strange, Starfire, Animal Man - Zeta Beam mishap trapped them in space somewhere
Red Tornado - Exploded by Zeta Beam
Killer Croc - dead?
Booster Gold - up to something awesome
Donna Troy - "Well, someone's got to be Wonder Woman."
Young Frankenstein - killed by Black Adam
Terra - killed by Black Adam
Manhunter - takes job, shoves it

I can't really say that I was riveted by these four issues, but they did serve their purpose. They are certainly important reading. I liked this scene with Deathstroke and Batgirl:

Oh, Slade. You're so rad. Let's get a Deathstroke movie made, huh?

So, yeah. That's WWIII. I don't have much else to say about it, except you should read it before you read 52 this week.

52: Week 50

Technically the penultimate issue of 52 proper because issue #52 is going to be the first issue of Countdown. [EDIT: Nevermind. I don't know what I'm talking about. Although the first issue of Countdown will be numbered #51, it will in no way be set up in the last issue of #52.] This is just more WWIII stuff. Captain Marvel is now the Guardian of Magic and he has changed Black Adam's magic word to something he will never guess. What do you think it is?
And that's all I have to say about that. Let's move on to funner stuff, because there was a lot of that this week.

Aquaman #51

This was the first thing I read this week. I read it in the bathtub. I would recommend doing the same. It adds a whole other dimension to your Aquaman reading. It's like you're in the story!

First off, beautiful cover. Really nice. And inside is non-stop fun. I'm really enjoying this. All the more so now that World War III has answered some important Aquaman questions. In typical new series fashion (because, really, this is a new series), the Justice League all-stars show up in this issue. In their little oxygen masks. I like Topo getting stared down by Batman here:

And Wonder Woman hugging it out with Mera is nice. I don't think Superman needs that mask. He just likes it.

This comic has fun adventure, well-written characters, and a great quest-based storyline. It's really got everything going for it. I bought an Aquaman t-shirt today to celebrate how much I like this.

The Spirit #5

Well, that's not the cover we were expecting. But it's fun. I like it. This issue was hilarious, the premise being that a crooked businessman/vulture-loving lunatic named Carrion (nice) has devised a money-making scheme where he markets old Russian army rations (beans and pork) to children using The Spirit's likeness and name on the cans. The ads promise the beans have enough sugar in them to give kids their "fix" without mom or dad knowing. Fantastic! Carrion is a truly weird villain, and makes for some really funny moments like this one:

Man, that's a great expression on The Spirit's face in that last panel. Perfect.

Another great issue!

Justice League of America #8

The big JLA/JSA crossover gets underway. I like it when these two gangs hang out.

As I keep saying, I love this series. I proudly fly the Meltzer flag. You can't convince me otherwise. There are two many tasty nerdy nuggets in these issues for me to not love them.

I loved Batman being offended that Superman had rated Karate Kid a level 15 fighter, and Batman only a 12. He vows to prove Clark wrong as he starts to fight KK. We don't see the fight, but we get this panel a few pages later:

Seriously. That is so funny.

Also funny: Mr Terrific impressing Black Canary and Hal Jordan by playing both of them at chess simultaneously...while blindfolded (though, honestly, I could probably beat Hal at chess blindfolded too). Then Batman busting in and explaining to everyone how he's doing it, and informing them that Mr T stole the trick from The Amazing Kreskin. Awesome.

And that's why Mr Terrific will never be the #1 smartest person on Earth as long as Batman's alive.

Then there's the delightful double page spread with all the heroes, all paired off and having fun conversations. I loved it. Especially this one:

Aaaaand this one:

Y'know, I've never really thought about it before, but now I kinda want Power Girl and Batman to hook up. That could be good for both of them. He might even be looking her in the eye in that picture. Maybe not, though. Do you think Bruce went out and bought a china tea set for the headquarters?

I really like Power Girl and Black Canary as the two chairwomen. I can't wait to see them lead their teams over the next few issues.

Brave and the Bold #3

JLA and Brave and the Bold came out in the same The Spirit. I almost exploded.

Still awesome. Might be my very favourite series. It's pretty damn perfect. I love the structure, and I love the characters that are getting paired up. Batman and the new Blue Beetle? Brilliant. Jamie is just as giddy and nervous hanging out with Batman as I would be.

There were several things that made me laugh out loud. For instance:

Oh please get Batman to write that note.

The lettering on Jamie is great. I picture his voice cracking and just generally being really panicky. Very cute.

Meanwhile, we check in on Supergirl back on Ventura as she tries to find a way to get to Raan:

God damn that's funny. See, I like Supergirl as an obnoxious character. She's not dumb, because she's clever enough to find a way to Raan. Even if it does mean teaming up with Lobo. She's just immature and, say, Hal. Anyway, I am looking forward to the next book because Supergirl and Lobo is going to be a fun ride.

Also, this issue ends with Batman being fused together with Tharok. That's going to be interesting.

Superman/Batman #34

Oh lord. Here we go with another six terrible issues. I can just tell. Maybe I can hypnotize DC: now on this series should only be one-shots...

The art is really hard to look at. Superman looks like Harland Williams:

Sigh. The worst part is I will totally keep buying this thing. I don't want to live in a world where a comic called Superman/Batman doesn't interest me. Christ.

Let's get our minds off that unpleasantness with the awesomeness of...

Nightwing Annual #2

Woot! Now we're talking! A big ol' issue of hot Dick/Barbara action and adorable flashbacks. God I love those two.

Ok, there is a lot to enjoy about this book, but most of all...boner joke! It is not above going for the boner joke!

Flashback to young Robin and Batgirl trapped in a very cramped safe together. Robin's having a hard time keeping his cool when all smushed up against his attractive partner:

Aaaaaahhh!! DC went there!

Also, Barbara is funny:

And Tim is funny:

Delicious. When are we going to see a series about the boys' travels? I know Grant Morrison is going to touch on it in an upcoming issue of Batman, but I would really like a mini-series.

Robin #161

Tim Drake is awesome. Really awesome.

But he shouldn't dress so much like Robin when he's not being Robin. It'll really blow the secret identity thing:

I guess he takes after Bruce (see above panel of three boys on boat).

Oh, this comic was good. Full of detective fun. I'm just getting tired of writing.

Birds of Prey #105

Birds of Prey + Secret Six. That's a fun combo. I'm especially enjoying dreamy Catman and awesome Barda. And now Harley!

I haven't read Birds of Prey regularly for a long time. I'm in the process of getting caught up. The last two issues have been a lot of fun. I'm excited that Sean McKeever is going to be taking over. It will be in good hands. And Simone on Wonder Woman is going to rock.

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #1

New series!

I love the cartoon, and the comic is a lot like it. It captures the sense of humour nicely. This is going to be a Free Comic Book Day comic, so if you didn't grab it this week, you should totally check it out next Saturday. You should also watch the show. And no, "I'm a grown-up and I don't have children" is not an excuse to not watch it.

Plus it has this fascinating story in the middle where Batman teams up with Cal Ripken Jr. They defeat the Penguin. And we learn the merits of Big League Chew brand bubble gum. I remember throwing that stuff up when I was a little kid. A whole bag of it. Good times.