Tuesday, February 06, 2007

New comics 1/31/07

[EDIT: Yes, it took me almost a week to realize the 2/7 date in the title was wrong.] Last week was Hawk Week, with both JSA Classified #22 (by Walt Simonson) and Hawkgirl #60 (written by Simonson, drawn by Renato Arlem) chronicling the end of Hawkman's Rann-Thanagar War involvement and his return to Earth. Oh, and Hawkgirl's there too.

Simonson provides his typically hyperkinetic art for JSA Classified, which is mostly a series of fights involving him and Blackfire, and sometimes Hawkgirl . It ends with Hawkman de-powering Blackfire in a way that seems a little extreme until you remember Identity Crisis. The Hawkgirl story involves the Curse of Hath-Set, which apparently influences the Hawks' romantic futures (I'm not a longtime reader), and a Fourth World artifact that's now part of an ancient Egyptian collection. Arlem's art isn't as expressive as Simonson's, but the story doesn't need it to be. The upshot, which is hardly surprising, finds the Hawks separating, and overall the issue feels like wrapping up the last subplot of the days when the book was called Hawkman. That's fine; Simonson is steadily getting better on this title, although the book may already be doomed.

I was actually a little disappointed with Batman and the Mad Monk #6 (by Matt Wagner), because it appeared to wrap things up a little too neatly. Also, I was really hoping that Wagner would work in the first Batplane, like in the 1939 original. Furthermore, circumstances take care of the bad guy more than Batman does. However, these are minor quibbles. "Dark Moon Rising" has been an exemplary set of superhero tales, blending old-school elements with modern sensibilities.

52 #39 (written by JMRW, breakdowns by Keith Giffen, pencilled by Andy Smith, inked by Ray Snyder) focused on Nat Irons vs. Everyman, but I was more interested in the scenes on Oolong Island and outside Atlantis. Maybe I'm just incredibly slow, but I'm now thinking that's not the real Helmet of Fate. Loved the pocket-sized Metal Man, though.

Finally, JLA Classified #33 (written by Dan Slott and Dan Jurgens, pencilled by Jurgens, inked by Trevor Scott) presents Part 2 of "The 4th Parallel," in which the Red King ingratiates himself with the Justice League. This includes a couple of moments which strain credibility, but the story excuses them by having this be a best-case scenario. However, the question then becomes whether the issue knows how much it asks of the reader, and here I'm not sure it does. The fact that it involves an alternate-reality generator also takes some of the suspense out of the story. It's still an interesting setup, but it comes off just a little stiff.

1 comment:

paperghost said...

I'm glad someone else thinks it might not be the real helmet, I've been thinking that for quite a few weeks now. Everyone is saying Skeets is the fourth horseman, but I think they might throw curveball in the shape of a fake Dr Fate helmet.