John Buys Comics Yet Again

Incorruptible No. 1

You know, I was just thinking about how long it had been since I declared a SECOND ISSUE OF JUDGEMENT.

Honestly, I hadn’t expected to have to with this one. Irredeemable has been entertaining me fairly consistently and I figured that Mark Waid would be able to flip the concept without straining too hard, but this all seems a bit forced.

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s the skinny: Irredeemable is about the Superman-esque Plutonian turning evil and effing up the world, while Incorruptible is about the, I don’t know, evil white Luke Cage-esque Max Damage going over to the good guys.

Some of it definitely works, particularly the idea of the super-strong, invulnerable dude who fights crime despite the law’s objections simply because they can’t do anything to stop him. Plus I like the name Max Damage. On the other hand, Max’s former henchmen deliver more bald-faced exposition than I can comfortably overlook. The first page of the thing reads like a poorly-written Wikipedia entry on the guy.

And then there’s the manner in which Max goes to the good, which is totally, from rejecting his under-aged girlfriend to burning his ill-gotten gains. As the polar opposite of the Plutonian’s descent into genocidal debauchery, I guess that unrelenting purity is it. In terms of interesting character traits… meh, I could use a bit more moral ambiguity.

Eh, we’ll see. This is precisely why the SECOND ISSUE OF JUDGEMENT system was created.

Batman 80-Page Giant No 1

How could I resist an 80-Page Giant, long-lost child of the Silver Age (except for that one fifth week event a few years ago)? And a themed one at that!

Gotham City is blizzarded up and as per usual things are going all to hell. You got Batman and Robin vs. looters, Alfred doing a lady of the evening a nice turn (oh, that Alfred), Catwoman in a nice-looking but slightly odd (no I’m not going to specify, mleh) tale of theft and old folks, and so on.

Gotham’s ever-swelling vigilante ranks grow by two or three in this issue, with stories featuring the Saint of Orphan Alley and Veil (oh wait, I guess that she appeared during Battle for the Cowl and retroactively during No man's Land. Well, I don't actually care.) This means that I can now think of at least ten or twelve Gotham crimefighters off th top of my head, which further means that there have probably been three to five times that number over the years. That's a troubled city.

My favourite is the Commissioner Gordon/Mr Freeze story. Because I like seeing villains have a good time now and then.

Silver Streak Comics No 24 (wink, wink) - The Next Issue Project is one of my favourite things ever. Paul Grist is at this point one of the few people who I would consider not avoiding for fear of inadvertently fawning. Damn that man - how did he get so damned entertaining? Damn!

Green Lantern Corps No. 43 - Red/Green Lantern Guy Gardner is a Black Lantern-killing machine! Why the hell aren’t all of the Lanterns doubling up on rings? I may have to start a pool about this - how many issues until the various Corps realize what a good idea it is.

Power Girl No. 7 - How much did I enjoy this? Very, very much! Vartox of Valeron, Silver Age Superman pal, returns to the DCU after long absence. He’s a macho jerk vain enough to own a space ship in the shape of his own head, and he’s looking to woo Power Girl! I don’t know that it’s always the way to go but by GOD do I enjoy it when an old goofy character is brought back without being modernized. Shine on, Vartox!

Streets of Gotham No 7 - Humpty Dumpty, yeah! What a great character when written right - all poignant and insane. Between Dini’s writing and the Nguyen/Fridolfs art team, this is a fantastic appearance by the big round dude. Also, the rest of the issue is pretty great too. I really wasn’t expecting to like Streets of Gotham so much when the latest batch of Bat-titles started but hey, colour me pleasantly surprised.

Batman Confidential No. 39 - Dammit, why did I buy this? I assure you that the conclusion was just as stupid as the rest of this story. At least I read it early and didn’t leave myself in a bad mood.

The Last Resort No 5 - OVER! Was this supposed to be only five issues? Was it unexpectedly cancelled? Why does it feel like about three issues were compressed into this one(possibly via some sort of mechanical contrivance of fearsome aspect)? I swear that issues 1 through 4 had a nice, steady pace. Bah, bah I say.