This Week's Haul...At The End of a Long Haul.

I'm back!

I have five weeks of comics to catch up on, so this week's reviews are a little late. The stack of comics from the past month or so is daunting, but I am up to the challenge. I pledge here, today, that I will read every single one of those comics. Because I am a trooper. A rugged, fearless trooper.

I also have five weeks of comic book news and rumours to catch up on. (Final Crisis? Yay?).

Ok, the best way to get these reviews done is to just dive in. Just like riding a bike. And so forth.

The Immortal Iron Fist #8

What is it about Iron Fist that is so appealing? Beyond the fact that it combines some of the best writing and art on the stands right now, this book is just so delightfully macho. And not macho in a babes and guns kind of way. Not even macho in a Green Arrow Year One kind of way. Macho in a way that the men are men, and the women are also men. And everyone is really good at fighting.

This is the first issue of a new story arc that I am saying right now is going to RULE. Look at how this issue ends:

I was enjoying reading this so much. I want to pick up a controller and play this comic book.

Green Arrow Year One #4

And speaking of macho, this mini-series continues to roll along on gritty, testosterone-filled tires. Still on the island, Ollie gets a very disgusting protruding arm bone set by a local enslaved pregnant lady/doctor. She gives him some opium for the pain, and next thing you know he's a total junkie. Suffice it to say, Green Arrow's rookie year was a tough one.

I should clarify: I am really enjoying this series. Based on this, Black Canary should totally marry the guy.

Birds of Prey #109

This week I am all about the segue.

Dinah and Babs have a heart-to-heart about Oliver, which mostly involves Babs telling Dinah why she should not marry him, while Dinah gets angrier and angrier. It ends nicely, though, with Dinah saying that if she decides to marry Ollie, she would like Babs to be her maid of honour. Well, duh. Who else is it going to be? Wildcat?

They really need to just have Dinah say yes and move on because there really isn't any suspense here. Especially with an ad for the upcoming wedding issue being inserted into this very comic.

The real joy of this issue came from the Barda plotline. First, Barda learning about Pokemon from Sin was fantastic:

And also, Scott Free on the phone with his wife as they discuss the current threat against the New Gods:

Oh, those two.

Tony Bedard does a great job with this issue. It was lots of fun.

Astonishing X-Men #22

As an aside, I recently started watching Buffy for the first time. I am now almost finished season 2, and damn. I can see why people like that show. So I can also see why people go batshit crazy for anything that Joss Whedon lays a pen to. Not that I wasn't already enjoying this series and his issues of Runaways.

This issue was every bit as beautiful, funny, and sexy as the others. And I thought this was a fun moment:

Lockheed's a mole!

This issue has a very sad ending.

Batman #668

So I've been hearing for the past few weeks from various comic fans that Batman #667 was the greatest thing, like, ever. I finally got to read 667 and 668 last night and daaaammmnnn. Oh, Mr Morrison. You just do what you do so well: Unearthing crazy obscure crap from the past and polishing it until it is absolutely brilliant!

As usual, it is easy to argue that Morrison is more interested in treasure hunting in the sliver age than in telling an accessible and entertaining story. BUT...this story is definitely entertaining, and with minimal research (a Wikipedia search for "Batmen of All Nations") it's also an accessible story. And even if you don't want to learn about the Batmen of All Nations, or The Club of Heroes as they have since been renamed, I think everyone can enjoy a good old-fashioned murder mystery where party guests on an island are being killed one by one. That's just something that never gets boring. And it allows Batman to do what he does best...figure things out!

And intimidate people:

Oh, Batman. Were I trapped on an island at a real-life Evening of Murder party, I would be very glad that you were there. Unless I were the killer. Which I very well could be.

You know who would be a surprising killer in this storyline? Robin. It's always who you least suspect.

Blue Beetle #18

I love this series so much, and this was even better than usual. The characters are so likable, and the dialogue is so damn funny. Now Jaime is hanging with the Titans and fighting Lobo, so the hilarity is flying!

I really liked all the arguing about sensible uniforms:

The Titans/Beetle have to take over a rocket launch, so Kid Devil gets sent in to clear the launch control centre of actual employees. The result is one of the funniest scenes I've seen in awhile:


And the last highlight I'd like to point out is this exchange between Jaime and Tim:

Jaime gets invited to hang out with the Titans whenever he likes. Yay! Tim can really use a new friend.

Superman #666

This must have been fun to write.

It's definitely a confusing story, but one that involves the Phantom Stranger, Zatanna, a demon from the extinguished Hell of Krypton and a Superman who is mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore.

As best as I can understand it, Superman has had his soul split by the Phantom Stranger so he would be able to face the demon from Krypton without being corrupted. Basically, we get to see the douchebag half of Superman have a little field day in his dreamworld. Or something. I don't really know, but it's fun.

See Superman not care about people!

See Superman kill Lex Luthor...with his spit!

See Superman toss Lincoln out of his chair so he can use it as a throne:

See Superman hand Jimmy Olsen an ironic death:


Anyway, everything is back to normal in the end. But it was a fun ride. Fun and confusing.

The Spirit #9

I was able to meet J. Bone briefly at the Toronto Comic Arts Fair over the weekend, and say hi to Darwyn Cooke. Now I hear that they will both be done with The Spirit as of issue #12?! Noooo!

If you are going to leave a comic book, then you should at least have the common courtesy to make your last few issues really, really suck so it isn't so hard to take. Sadly, this issue totally rules, just like every other issue of The Spirit. God dammit.

Alright, that's all I have to say on this week's comics. I still have a lot of reading to do until I'm all caught up on everything. This time next week I'll be super informed!