A Creaking Door. A Scream! A Waxen, Blood-Caked Visage! John Has Risen From the Dead and Bought Comics!

Hello, folks! Welcome back to Living Between Wednesdays, the blog written by four busy people. This week was especially filled with events for all us Living Wednesdateers, but our usual semi-regular updates should be back on track shortly.

And now: the reviews!

Green Lantern No. 46

Flip-flop time! I have unearthed, I think, the root of my dissatisfaction with Blackest Night. There was a bit of hashing out in the comments section of my last post and I eventually came to the conclusion that I should stop reading the spin-off titles. And I feel light as air, having skipped Blackest Night: Titans this week, not that I was going to buy it anyway. Most of my problems with the whole event can be very firmly located in the adventures of DC heroes as they scrap with their innumerable deceased friends and enemies. By contrast to that very-quickly-boring scenario, the drama in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps revolves around the interactions between the various corps rather than being solely reliant on dreadful corpse reveal after dreadful corpse reveal  – witness how cool the Sinestro/Hal/Mongul stuff is this issue. Heck, even the costume thing isn’t a problem, since almost all of the deceased characters involved started out as Lanterns of one sort or another and that’s a pretty compatible aesthetic. Sorry to imply that your story sucked, Geoff Johns – turns out that it was just piled up with a lot of similar-looking stories that did suck.

So screw you, Blackest Night spin-offs! You’re terrible and I hate you!

Batman: The Widening Gyre No. 2 (of 6)

As I said last time, I have no personal experience with the supposed soul-wrenching badness of Kevin Smith’s comic writing, so I’m going into this without expectation. That being said, this is the SECOND ISSUE, so I suppose that it’s time for some JUDGEMENT.

Hell, I don’t know. This is a really hard second issue to judge. I can’t decide whether Smith is setting up three or four themes that will be important later or just had half a dozen cool Batman moments that he wanted to write. Like, Superman shows up: will he be back? Is this meant as an illustration of Batman’s trust issues? Is it just a chance to have Superman call Robin “little shaver” (any points smith got for that, by the way, were negated by Robin saying “Wow. Just… wow.” in the next panel. “Wow. Just… wow.”, in my estimation, is one of the most contrived, overused, irritating and smugly deployed [witness how transported I am! I am a highly sensitive person!] expressions ever coined. Never, ever use it, I implore you)? Likewise, the issue opens with Batman tracking Fun Land, the obese serial killer from the pages of Sandman. Not that it’s not nice to see Fun Land finally get caught after getting off so easily in his last appearance, but is there any real purpose behind it? I have no idea!

I guess that I’ll go ahead and gamble the twelve dollars and get the rest of this series, and for these reasons: 1) That goat-headed guy has an unusually interesting costume for a Gotham vigilante. 2) I want to see if it does indeed get really bad, or if all people are blowing this way out of proportion. And 3) I just can’t deprive my fellow bloggers of the joy that I am currently providing them. Seriously, the comic shop was like a friggin’ comedy club yesterday. Tiina, Dave, Cal, Ben… everybody was pulling out their A material for this one. I think that a couple of kids who wandered in looking for Pokemon cards managed to crack wise at my expense. I feel like the Santa Claus of cheap laffs!

Astro City Special: Astra No 1 (of 2)

Ah, the one- or two-issue Astro City story, how I love you. Dark Age is a great time, don’t get me wrong, but it was the self-contained tales of Silver Agent and Jack-In-The-Box and the like that I fell in love with, way back when. Busiek and Co. have an enviable knack for telling tales that manage to hint at a whole heck of a lot of history to both their characters and their world, and this story more than many because it hearkens back to an earlier yarn, the one in which Astra Furst, of the super-hero team First Family, runs away from home to go to school and learn about hopscotch.

Now, having evidently aged roughly in real-time, Astra is graduating from university college, so it looks like she kept up that “going to school” thing from the last time we saw her. And… aw, all of my examples of how things have obviously been going on in the meantime are a little to spoilery for my liking. Let’s just say that a hundred or so issues of whatever nonexistent comic the Fursts normally operate in have gone by in the meantime. Of course, Busiek will never spell out precisely why things are the way they are, so I shall spend my declining years in an increasingly frantic quest for information on why there are three more members of the First Family now.


The Last Days of Animal Man No. 5 (of 6) – I know that I would eventually get tired of the whole thing, but I kind of want “The Last Days of…” to become the next “Year One”. I could really stand to read more miniseries set in an indefinite and not-guaranteed-to-occur future and only beholden to the continuity that the writers feel like including. Sure, some of them would be terrible, but if only one in five contained something as fun as Whale Green Lantern then it would be worth it. No matter how it ends, this series was a great idea, well-executed.

Superman No. 692 – Flip-flop numba two: Remember how bored I was getting with the extended Superman family of titles? Well, I’m interested again. Now, if the pattern holds, this World Against Superman sub-story will go on about two issues too long and I’ll get bored again. Let’s see if I’m right!

I was, by the way, almost physically shocked to see the original Outsiders in a comic book again. Good show, I think.