This Week's Haul: Countdown to Everything!

I suppose I could take some time out of my busy schedule of repeatedly watching the 3:10 to Yuma trailer to review some comics. Although none of these comics feature Christian Bale and Russell Crowe in cowboy clothes. So I have to get over that disappointment first.

Countdown to Adventure #1

I had basically no expectations for this comic, other than it was exciting to have a comic with Animal Man in it. And Adam Strange. And Starfire. I guess.

So this was really very enjoyable. Long after the events of 52 (too long, perhaps) we get to check in on our three space heroes. Adam Strange is still getting used to his new eyes, but is generally very happy to be home and ready to return to his full-time job of being Rann's protector.

Buddy is back to being a family man...and is working as a film stunt man, which is fun. His family is still getting adjusted to the fact that he is both back and alive, but overall things are pretty decent in the Baker household.

Kory has been asleep this whole time in the Bakers' guest bedroom. Despite Ellen's constant suggestions that Buddy contact the Titans about Kory because maybe she needs medical attention, Buddy insists that they should just let Kory sleep and they'll see what she wants to do when she wakes up. I have to say, that is kinda weird.

In this issue, Buddy comes home from work to find that Kory is finally awake, and is looking super fine:
I love Ellen in the background, wiping up the coffee that Kory spilled. I'd want that leggy golden bitch out of my house too.

So Kory is going to take a stab at a normal life, and live at the Bakers' house as their nanny for awhile. I'll bet that doesn't last too long.

Meanwhile, on Rann, Adam has been replaced by another Earth man as Rann's protector (incidentally, the action movie star Buddy is stunt doubling for). He's been forced into retirement.

So there it is. Three heroes who have hung up the capes. But not for long, I suspect, for they have only five more issues in which to countdown...TO ADVENTURE!

Oh, there's also some Forerunner nonsense at the end of this comic on which I have no opinion.

Countdown Week 35

Everytime I get out, a McKeever issue pulls me back in.

This issue didn't even have Piper and Trickster and I still liked it. I think the key to enjoying this comic is to just let everything go, like timelines or continuity or things making sense. Instead focus on fun moments like Jimmy Olsen getting his ass handed to him by the Justice League:
Superman scorched his pal!

Does Vixen have her animal powers back, then?

I should clarify, in case people are following the whole Jimmy-as-a-super-hero thing. Jimmy is trying out for the Justice League with his new powers which only seem to surface when he is in mortal danger. So he insisted that the JLA beat on him so his powers would show themselves. Instead the JLA went a little too easy on him, so the powers stayed dormant and Jimmy took a beating.

Amazons Attack #6

Well this took an unexpected turn on the last page. Anyone else very surprised?

I don't want to give away the surprise, but it was pretty crazy. I also liked this final issue quite a bit. As I have mentioned before, I am so confused about what is actually happening in the DCU right now, and about what order it's happening in, that I have decided just to ignore continuity and such and just enjoy each comic/series individually. It's very relaxing. I invite people to join me. I appreciate that DC is trying to bring all of their various comics and series together using Countdown as the glue, but sadly the glue is more like that shitty scotch tape you buy at the dollar store that only holds for one second. So I appreciate what DC is trying to do, but I think they may have gotten a little cocky after the success of 52 and now are just basically in way over their heads. I'm glad that they have now introduced the Final Crisis as a focal point (or at least an ending point) for everything. We are indeed counting down to something. And the death of the New Gods (which, I'm just going to say it, is pretty lousy. I don't want the New Gods to be killed off. Isn't there anyone interested in writing new and awesome New Gods stories? It's like The Death of the Legion of Superheroes or something. It's just so cynical).

I'm getting way off track here. What is it that I wanted to say about Amazons Attack? Hrm...Ok. It's for whatever reason prompting a lot of people to get really angry and say mean things about it on the internet and in comic shops. And while I'm not saying that it was fantastic, it certainly didn't suck on the level that people seem to think it does. Especially considering that it spun out of a pretty weak Wonder Woman book. Amazons attacking Washington DC and the Justice League showing up to stop them is a pretty fun idea for a series. It was well-written and had beautiful art. The Catwoman tie-ins were awesome. The last issue of Supergirl was great. But if you try to figure out when exactly this war is going on in relation to other DCU events, your head will explode. But that's true of pretty much every DC title right now. So what I'm saying is that I need to not think about that stuff and just enjoy my super hero stories on their own. And I suggest everyone else who is getting fed up with DC's jumbled mess of a multiverse do the same.

That all being said, the surprise twist ending of Amazons Attack does actually tie it more tightly into current DCU continuity. I'm not sure if that makes it more or less confusing. It's certainly surprising.

Wonder Woman #12

I think J. Torres is doing a bang-up job on these fill-ins.

In this issue, which ties up some Amazons Attack lose ends, we get to see Nemesis battle Everyman. Which is pretty neat.

Ah, people who can change into other people. Always good for keeping you on your toes.

Wonder Woman got in on the action, expertly using her tiara and lasso. It made me happy.

And we get some fun at the end because Nemesis forgets that Diana Prince and Wonder Woman are one and the same. He continues to harbour a crush on Wonder Woman, and believes that Diana is jealous. Oh, Nemesis. It's wacky ironic alter-ego love triangles like that one that make me read comics in the first place. But I still say Wonder Woman is way out of his league.

52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen

Remember WWIII? Ah yes, I remember that week well. I am one of countless victims of that war, in that I spent $12 on four comics which I will never read again.

Let's all get in our time machines and go back to that week and see how our heroes deal with its aftermath. At least I assume that is when this takes place, mostly based on Superman's angry face reaction to the president(?) of Bialya's accusing remarks about the Flash not being around helping people:

I liked this comic. I liked it a lot. It's much, much too late, but I still enjoyed it. For one thing, it's no secret that I totally nerd out about Superman/Batman interaction. And this comic had better banter between the two of them than any issue of Superman/Batman ever had:

The four horsemen of the apocalypse, Famine, War, Pestilence and Death, have possessed the bodies of four random people in Bialya. Bruce and Clark have a run-in with Famine in this issue, and it's pretty insane:

What you are seeing there is Bruce Wayne running as fast as he can out of the building full of corpses with his mouth covered because he suddenly has an uncontrollable desire to eat them. Or anyone he can get close to. And that's just interesting reading.

Also interesting is that Superman gets his arm bitten by the possessed guy. I really like this series of panels. Especially Superman clunking that soldier on the head. Keep in mind that during all of this, Bruce and Clark are both trying to ignore how badly they want to eat people:


I think this series will be fun.

Teen Titans #50

McKeever! And friends!

I am very excited about Sean McKeever getting the Teen Titans gig. I think it will rule, and will turn Teen Titans into a comic I almost read regularly, to one that I can't miss. Especially if that lovable Blue Beetle is involved.

I also like Robin's new low-rise shorts. Trendy!

So this was big and had a lot going on. It was basically several short stories, all in memory of Bart Allen. It was cute and fun and sometimes sad. My heart broke for Miss Martian when she tried to cheer everyone up by shapeshifting into Bart. Poor, misguided Megan.

Heartbreaking. But look at how well Tim handles it! He's just so mature. Man I love that kid.

And guess who else loves him!

Yowza! Teen romance! (They didn't actually kiss. Something distracted them...but now it's out there! Honestly, those two probably shouldn't go there, but what fun!).

I thought it was kinda odd that they inserted a good-sized chunk of last week's issue of Blue Beetle into this comic. Especially since it didn't seem to be credited anywhere. [EDIT: upon closer inspection, I guess it is actually just the same scene, re-written and re-drawn. I totally thought they were the exact same pages]. But overall it was really good. And look at where Martian Manhunter is chillin':


Action Comics #855

Man, it was really nice to finally see this. It was just as beautiful as I'd hoped, and the writing was great. I've been saying lately that I am getting tired of Bizarro stories, but this was really great.

You think that the Bizarro jokes have been exhausted, and then a comic comes out with a bunch of new funny ones:

Good times.

And the two flashback pages of young Clark Kent and his dad were very sweet:

I'm glad there are two more issues of this. And then Geoff Johns continues on with Gary Frank! It looks like Superman is in good hands for awhile, and that makes me happy.

Batman Annual #26

I was really happy to see Team Lopez doing the art on this book. Those guys draw a nice Batman.

Alright, do we need another Ra's Al Ghul origin comic? Maybe not, but it doesn't hurt. And this was entertaining, nice-looking, and will bring new readers up-to-speed. I know some hardcore fans don't like updated versions of stories that were don't right the first time, but it is important to consider new readers. I'm just sayin'. The real challenge of re-telling an origin story is to make it both informative for newbies, and interesting for long-time fans. I liked reading this, and I definitely liked looking at it. Plus it's not a bad idea to incorporate Damian into the re-telling of Al Ghul's origin. It's a good comic. I've got no complaints.

Incredible Change-Bots by Jeffrey Brown

This book is hilarious. Everyone should buy this. Jeffrey Brown is on fire lately, after the awesomeness of his last book Cat Getting Out of a Bag. What Cheat Commandos does for G.I. Joe, this book does for Transformers.

It's so, so funny.

Alright, that's all I've got to say about comics. I still have to get caught up on the World War Hulk tie-ins. And I literally have nothing to say about the Last Fantastic Four Story. It was fine.

And now back to that 3:10 to Yuma trailer.