Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Sunday Comic Books Review

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Jun 21st
  • Aquaman #25 - I've been lukewarm on this series so far, but this issue... it seemed to click. I like the idea of Arthur following Bruce's lead and becoming a vigilante in his own city. I love the idea of him working to become a legend. And I have always wanted Vulko to be the hero he really ought to be, instead of a traitor. So this one hit all the right notes for me. Particularly Tula and Mera at the lighthouse. Mera trying to work through her grief while Tula fights to keep her in the world - yeah, I can feel that. The introduction of Dolphin was nicely sudden, and different from previous versions (I'm assuming that's Dolphin). Good stuff, I think. More motive for me to work on catching up with my reading and reviews... I'm only seven months behind...
  • Justice League #23 - The alternate cover of this issue has nothing to do with the story - and features Aquaman prominently. The story itself? Not a sign of Aquaman. This is a Jessica Cruz story featuring Batman and Wonder Woman with an appearance by Cyborg. It's not a bad story, but I'm not sure it really ought to be a Justice League story.
  • Green Lanterns #25 - I admit I'm a little confused by the middle section there, and how Rami and Volthoom got to where they were. Otherwise it was an ok issue. I do like linking Jessica and Volthoom again - that works.
  • DC Comics Bombshells #29 - And suddenly there's a Superman in the Bombshells' universe - and better yet, he's a clone. I love it. This one is mostly interesting because it examines how Supergirl is still dealing with the loss of her sister, but turning that grief into action. Good stuff, even if there's no Mera.
  • Teen Titans Go #22 - More of the usual, starting with an ode to the various singing competition shows and followed up by an artificial prom put on by Starfire. It was ok, but then, I'm not in the target audience.
  • Doctor Strange #22 - More crossover. More boring.
  • Spider-Man 2099 #24 - Time travel is so dangerous, and Miguel is trying so hard to fix the future that he's kind of ignoring the future he ought to have. This is going to end soon, I know, but I'm really enjoying this book.
  • Doctor Who 10th #3.6 - Tying up old storylines and getting set up for new ones. That's ok for an issue of a comic, but then you throw in a completely unexpected cameo of someone who ought not to be there, and suddenly it becomes a lot more interesting. Mild sort of cliffhanger, but that's fine. Gonna have to think about this one.
  • Doctor Who 12th #3.4 - A happy story with a happy ending, as Hattie's music helps an alien ship get free and Hattie's bravery rescues the Doctor when he's knocked senseless. I almost wish Hattie would stay on as a regular, since she's one of the more level-headed companions of all time.
  • Forever War #5 - This issue does an interesting job emphasizing the changes in society that have happened during Mandella's time in the war. Alone, a relic from the past, doing a job he doesn't feel qualified for and doesn't want. Yeah, this is not a happy story by any means, though it has moments of amusement.
  • Spongebob Comics Annual #5 - This one is jam-packed with oddness, including a D&D type adventure, a riff on Alice in Wonderland, a Mermaid Man story that will make anyone cringe, and a choose-your-own-adventure story. Amusing, and at the level of the cartoon. As always, if you enjoy the cartoon, you'll probably enjoy the comic. I buy the comic for the Mermaid Man appearances, personally.
  • Jun 28th
  • Teen Titans #9 - If someone had set out to write an issue of this comic for me, the result wouldn't have been half as good as this actually was. I criticized Justice League last week for being too focused on one character, and this issue is definitely Jackson's story - but it's also a solid book about the entire group and how he fits in. This just works, from top to bottom. And there was an actual revelation I didn't have spoiled for me about Jackson's mother, so that was even better. A nicely strong issue that moves the plot along and has a lovely cliffhanger, too. More like this, DC!
  • Batman Beyond #9 - Damian. I don't like him in Teen Titans, and I don't like him here. But then, he's not meant to be a sympathetic character for most people. This issue feels more traditional than recent issues of this book, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing. I'll just have to wait and see how it plays out in the end.
  • Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 #6 - That ending is quite the tease. I liked how this series moved through Batman's life, with Wonder Woman being herself the entire time while first Bruce and then Dick grew up. A fun book, and a fun story. And maybe someday that tease will result in something else? One can always hope.
  • Wonder Woman '77 and Bionic Woman #5 - The inclusion of too many villains made this book tedious for awhile, but this issue gets us back to form with plenty of action and a clear plotline to follow. I never thought that endless scenes of battle would be better than character development, but this book seems to be intent on turning everything on its head.
  • Astro City #45 - Wow. This storyline has been a long time in developing and moving, but it certainly feels like it's finally coming to a climax soon. I love the concept of a superhero who is the personification of counter-culture, and I'm a little sad at the apparent memory loss associated with it. This is going to be one incredible read once the whole thing is out and done. I'm going to have to gather my issues for a reread.
  • Scooby-Doo Team-Up #27 - Plastic Man joins the gang for a bit of fun. Woozy is a nice character for comic relief, which meant he fit right in with Scooby and Shaggy. Plas himself is often amusing, but with all the comic relief, he mostly played it straight - and that worked for the story. Fun as always!
  • Saucer State #2 - Lots of choices for the president now, and lots of ways this could possibly go. I still feel like we're going to have the rug pulled out from under us at some point, since that's what the last series did. I'm just not sure where I'm standing or where the rug is.
  • Rough Riders: On The Storm #4 - Well, I didn't see two of those plot threads coming at all. I mean, Annie is tough, but nobody is that tough. And as for the leader of the Anarchists (isn't that a contradiction in terms?), that was a shocker too. This book is still gobs of fun with its historical veneer.
  • Jul 5th
  • Justice League #24 - Ok, yeah, I'm delighted to see an issue devoted to Mera, of all people... but should this really have been a Justice League issue? I felt like Teen Titans managed to balance the concept of a team book with a focus on one character, but the last two issues of Justice League haven't. Am I just being overly picky? As for the story itself, I really liked it. Mera geniunely doesn't know how powerful she is, and taking down the entire league after trying for days to get into Atlantis and being exhausted? Yeah, that's Mera. Rath is gonna regret making her angry.
  • Green Lanterns #26 - The first ring, the first ringbearer, and the results of having a ring that powerful - a good story to tell, and probably the appropriate spot in the ongoing story to put it. Most of the general flow of the story was already hinted at in earlier issues, it was just the details the the dumb story about the guitar that were missing. Now we know. So, what happens next?
  • DC Comics Bombshells #30 - It seems that several storylines converged in Leningrad, and now that Supergirl's is mostly done, it's time for Raven to step up and find her father. In the meantime, her friends are also on their way and we get another hero - Swamp Thing! As much as I want to see Mera and Arthur again, this is pretty fun.
  • Doctor Who 12th #3.5 - OooOOoh, are we finally going to get an explanation for the Waters of Mars in relation to the Ice Warriors? I'm intrigued. And I like Vikings, too, so this is a good start for me.
  • Doctor Who Ghost Stories #4 - Ah, a nice conclusion to a story that was based on a television story that was only just ok. I'm glad it's done, and I think Grant works much better in this context than on TV. Good stuff.
  • Doctor Who: Free Comic Book Day 2017 - A nicely done story that concerns a single race of beings on a single planet - through four incarnations of the Doctor. In each incarnation, the Doctor helps a little and perhaps harms a little - but only at the request of the people. A fun story in which we get to see lots of different characters.
  • Jul 12th
  • Titans #13 - Wait, Omen? Ok, I'm still trying to get used to the idea that she and Garth are an item, but for this to happen... my head is spinning a little. I enjoyed this issue, although it was mostly a fight. I wonder about Wally and whatever is happening to him. Clearly the book has got me to care about the characters, so that's a good thing.
  • Scooby Apocalypse #15 - I'm still surprised at how much I'm enjoying this comic, considering how completely off the rocker it is for Scooby-Doo. But I'm even liking how Scrappy is portrayed in this issue, which probably means I'm feverish again.
  • Planet of the Apes/Green Lanterns #6 - Oh, that ending wasn't ominous at all... and the rest was a bit scary. The DC Universe that this book takes place in definitely has been changed by these events. This was a fun series, but will there be a follow-up?
  • Dirk Gently: Salmon of Doubt #9 - The Kitten-Shark was my favorite bit of that first tv series (we haven't watched the second one yet), so I was amused at the implications of one Dirk's cat being the inspiration for the other Dirk's kitten. And that final shot of Bernice swimming away from Dirk and Sally was cute as well. I also liked the bear and the kitten-shark face-off.
  • Spongebob Comics #70 - It's the last issue of an epic that features the writer/artist of the SpongeBob Comic being hunted down by two pirates, and it's got a bit of a Silver Age feel to it with the goofy monster. I do like that the garbage patch is explained both in the comic and in another page. Maybe it will teach someone somewhere to use less plastic and recycle? We can hope. No Mermaid Man, but an ok issue.