Thursday, March 01, 2007

"New Comic Book Reviews"



I'm not sure when exactly it happened, but I'm pretty sure it was around the time of the whole "Spider-man Clone Saga"; about when Marvel Comics discontinued such titles as "Captain America", "The Fantastic Four", and "The Avengers", then jump-started them all again with a new numbering. However, I AM sure that wasn't the only reasons I stopped buying newer issues of Marvel Comics.

Yes...DC had done the same with a few of their titles as well, in particular, "Superman", but overall their books just seemed more interesting to me, and their Vertigo line had a lot to play in that.

So these days my preference in comic reading leans 99% towards those characters I first enjoyed as a child: Superman, Batman, Supergirl, and the JLA members.

No wonder that I'm following DC all the way through it's 52 series and enjoying it so much; now only a mere 9 issues to conclude.

In the current issues, #'s 42 & 43, we are treated to the likes of The Elongated Man and discover a twist ending to the whole Ralph Digby attempt to resurrect his dead wife, and we also see that The Animal Man is still around and well (Yah!). Then we get into the "Osiris/Black Adam/ Isis/Marvel Family" deal which finally comes to somewhat of a head AND a shock-ending at the close of #43.

Throw in a couple of 2-pager origin recaps of "The Green Arrow" and "Plastic Man", which makes some fine reading.

And ("ARRRGHHH!!!"), AFTER the "52" series concludes, there will be yet another weekly DC title called, DC Countdown which will last ANOTHER 51 weeks! A countdown to what?? Well, DC won't say, but as usual, they promise that the whole idea of what the DCU represents will be changed.



Then over to the icon himself, "Superman" in the current issues of his premiere title, Action Comics.

Since Geoff Johns & Richard Donner took over the writing with issue #844, this has become one of those must reads for me.

It all begins with a scene of a alien space craft heading towards Earth at the end of #843 (so if you want to grab the WHOLE storyline, I suppose you need to grab one of those as well), which crashes into Metropolis (naturally) for the story to begin to unfold in the following issue. Superman stops the craft before it does too much damage to his adopted town and discovers a child within the craft; a young boy.

Being the "boy scout" that he is, Supes takes the child to the authorities, which is headed by one of the most esoteric of all old silver-age heroes, "Sarge Steel" (originally from the 1960's Charlton Comics line).

Superman leaves the child in Sarge Steel's care and goes about his patrol, promising the boy he'd be there when he woke up. But the next morning, he discovers that the whole facility had been moved without a mention to him and the child gone. Well, of course this pisses off The Man of Steel and he crashes into Steel's H.Q. and demands to know "where's the kid!?!" The issue ends with Superman, as "Clark Kent", showing up at the old homeplace in Kansas with the boy and asking his foster Earth parents, "John and Martha", to tell him "how" they got away with faking the original adoption of himself as a baby, so he could do the same with the child and protect him (not that a Kryptonian child needs a whole lotta protection, but you get the idea).

And into #845, we find that with the aid of his foster-folks (and Batman's ability to get some fake documents), "Clark and Lois" decide to adopt this child themselves and call him "Chris Kent". By that time it's already all over the media and everyone's looking for the "kid from Krypton", including our favorite DC villian, ol' "Lex Luthor", who (naturally) wants to exploit the child for his own evil purposes. So much so that he sends "Bizarro" to get the child.

At the end of this issue, Superman defeats Biz', and most is well, until we find out at the conclussion that this is actually the child of Kryptonian "Phantom Zone" villians, General Zod and Ursa, who along with another of the PZ criminals, Non, have escaped the zone and are now hell-bent on revenge again "the Son of Jor-El" (since Jor-El put them there in the first place.

It's an all-out slug-fest when they go after Supes and the child, with Ursa grabbing Lois, and Zod doing one of the most unexpected of moves by releasing ALL of the PZ criminals at once!

And...Superman's fate?? That'd blow it, folks. BUY the books.

Oh...and we see a couple of cameos of "Mon-El" in #846 (just a note here for you "LOSH" completists).

Adam Kubert carries on a rich legacy of great art with these, too. "52" and "Action" are my personal "Pick of the Week" this time.

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