Sunday, November 06, 2005

New comics 11/2/05

Apparently I missed Wonder Woman #222 (written by Greg Rucka, pencilled by Cliff Richards, inked by Ray Snyder) last week. Not surprisingly, it's plugged into the rest of DC's crossover madness, but the bulk of the issue is a straightforward Wonder Woman/Cheetah fight. Despite being saddled with a bad case of the Eartha Kitts during her Legion of Doom tenure on "Super Friends," the Cheetah has historically been an interesting villain. George Perez revamped her as a maverick archaeologist who stumbled into an Edgar Rice Burroughs-esque pulp-fiction cat-god religion, and she went after Wonder Woman for (among other things) her magic lasso. Rucka revisits that, but also brings in a bit of the old "Wonder Woman is too perfect" jealousy which informed the character originally. In any event, it all meshes well with other current events surrounding Diana, and plays much better than the star-crossed Cheetah-Zoom team-up from the recent Flash crossover. The art is good enough, although some of the shading reminded me of woodcuts.

Superman #223 (written by Mark Verheiden, pencilled by Ed Benes and Marc Campos, inked by a platoon) is likewise a Superman/Supergirl/Blackrock fight, with Infinite Crisis implications. Basically Superman tries to teach Supergirl, who's been trained by Wonder Woman, not to cross the line into killing the way WW has. I like Supergirl as a concept well enough, but this Supergirl still hasn't emerged as a real person for me, and sadly this issue didn't do much to advance that.

Firestorm #19 (written by Stuart Moore, pencilled by Jamal Igle, inked by Rob Stull and Keith Champagne) is also an Infinite Crisis tie-in, but it inserts Firestorm into the proceedings with the happy-go-lucky style and charm this title has developed. Jason merges with a couple of fun "partners," and meets up again with Gehenna, the strange girl from a couple of issues back. Along the way Firehawk introduces him to the Outsiders and Donna "No New Hero Name, Evidently" Troy, who have recruited him for a big space mission evidently meant for Infinite Crisis #2. This book is DC's She-Hulk, showing just as much love of the superhero milieu without being so silly. (Not that silly is bad.)

Detective Comics #813 (written by David Lapham, pencilled by Ramon Bachs, inked by Nathan Massengill) presents the penultimate chapter of "City of Crime," and as a single installment it's pretty good. Lapham basically tells a straightforward story of Batman riding to the rescue, throwing in Robin, Gordon, the Batcopter, the Batmobile, and an omnipresent Bat-Signal. Batman also confronts the mind behind the conspiracy. In short, this issue brings everything to a boil for the big finish next month. Honestly, I realize this may be at best just an above-average Batman story in the whole scheme of things, but as I said it pushes a number of good buttons and helps remind me what I like about Batman. These days that's pretty good.

Opening Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #1 (written by Grant Morrison, pencilled by Yanick Paquette, inked by Michael Bair), I noticed two things right away, and they kept popping up the rest of the issue. Man, Bulleteer has a nice set of ... hair. Seriously, for a comic that explores the quasi-pornographic aspects of superhumanity, what's the message here? My guess is, we're all voyeurs, because check out our heroine's huge ... tracts of land! I did like the issue -- for the writing, too, perverts.

And then I read Captain Atom: Armageddon #1 (written by Will Pfeiffer, pencilled by Giuseppe Camuncoli, inked by Sandra Hope), about a guy also trapped in silver skin, and it was okay. I've followed Cap from his post-Crisis series through pretty much all his DC appearances, but once he was outed as a government agent, he lost a lot of what made him compelling. Now that his "man out of time" aspects have also been downplayed, he's just another indestructible guy who flies, shoots, and leaves. (Okay, maybe not "leaves," but you saw where I was going.) Anyway, I'm hoping that this miniseries, which once again makes Cap a fish out of water, will help spark the character. So far not bad, although no cheesecake. At least it's a good introduction to Cap.


Ragnell said...

I think the emphasis on the Bulleteer's, umm, assets, were to accent the normal plot. Her husband was obsessed with women like that, after all, and she was built precisely to his obsession except bullets didn't bounce off her chest -- and so she just had to be improved. *Shake head*

That's the message. Totally unrealistic standards.

Tom Bondurant said...

That sounds plausible enough, although I'm sure there's a smart-aleck joke to be made at the hardcore Morrison fans' expense about "totally unrealistic standards...."

Ragnell said...

The word "realistic" belongs nowhere near the name "Grant Morrison" unless it has the prefix "un-"