Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Post No. 634"


New comics that have arrived this week include: All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder (DC) #1, Amazing Spider-man (Marvel) 528, Batman (DC) 635-637, 639-641, Civil War (Marvel) 1, 3, 4, Fantastic Four (Marvel) 533, 534, 541, Identity Crisis (DC) 2, Justice Society of America (DC) 9, The New Avengers Annual (Marvel) 1, Superman V2 (DC) 166, 206-211,215, Superman/Batman (DC) 6,10,11,13 & Wonder Woman (DC) 2. Here are some comments on those I've already read.

All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder (DC) #1 (2005) is by Frank Miller and Jim Lee. It is a grittier re-telling of the origin of Robin in the pre-team days of The Bat-Man, when he'd concentrate on the playboy persona during the day to become the bat as night falls. Here we see Bruce Wayne and Vicki Vale attending the circus the night "The Flying Graysons" are murdered and Batman showing up, of course, to find the assassin and bring him to justice, and also recruiting Dick Grayson as his team-mate against crime. I've decided, over the years, that I like Miller's scripts much better when he's working on some title or character he owns, rather than one of the Marvel or DC icons ("Daredevil" being an exception). Oh this story is okay for Miller, but not quite up to what I expect from him, although I will admit that I've only read this single issue and might change my mind after reading more. Jim Lee's artwork seems to have matured a bit more and I'll admit to liking it these days after avoiding any comic like the plague in his time at Image .

The Amazing Spider-man (Marvel) #528 (2006), is part 12 (or 12) of "The Other" storyline written by one of my current favorites, J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by Mike Deodato Jr., and is rather anti-climatic in its ending, but not too bad a read with Spider-man discovering there's much more to his spider powers than he ever thought before. Deodato does his more than acceptable job on the artwork.

Fantastic Four (Marvel) #'s 533, 534, & 541 (2006) written by Straczynski and illustrated by Mike McKone. McKone isn't the best FF artist I've ever seen, but he's far from the worst. Sometimes his work reminds me of Dale Keown, and that's okay. It's mostly clean and uncluttered and never interfers with the flow of the story. In these issues (533-534) we start with Straczynski's tale of how The Hulk's been recruited by the government to check out some odd situation in a cave, only to discover that the villianous organization, "Hydra", has put a gamma-ray bomb in there which goes off in his face! Well, naturally this alters Hulk's mentality and appearance and he goes back to being the old "Hulk Stomp!" character raising hell, and that's when the FF are called in to help out. But the FF has other matters at home to attend to as child services want to take Reed and Sue's children into protective custody, saying the children's home life isn't a safe inviroment. So Johnny and Ben go looking for "The Greenster" and attempt to bring him under wraps.

#541 is one of the "Civil War" issues and involves The Thing trying to take a vacation in France and getting drafted into helping that country's own group of super-humans, many of which appear to be parodies of The Justice League. They all fight a villian similiar to "The Mole Man" , and Ben discovers the guy is causing all this trouble due to being rejected by his girl friend. It's pretty funny, self-contained in a single issue, and probably the best solo Thing story I've ever read.

Identity Crisis limited series (DC) #2 (2004). I hate jumping into the middle of a limited series, but from what I've gathered about this whole title is that Sue Digby (the wife of Ralph Digby, aka "The Elongated Man") was beaten and raped by "Dr. Light" and Zatanna with the JLA's concent decided to lobotomize him, rather than to outright kill him, and it's a story being told to the Wally West version of The Flash and the Kyle Rainer version of Green Lantern. I really don't think themes such as that should be in a mainstream comic book, but a lot of people seemed to have liked it (so what do I know).

Justice Society of America (DC) #9 (2007) is a book I'd buy just for those great Alex Ross covers, and this one has Power Girl in all her glory on it, as well as a tale that revolves mostly around her and her feelings over the loss of the original Golden-Age version of Superman. Written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Eaglesham, it's always been a pretty decent comic.

The New Avengers Annual (Marvel) #1 (2006) is all about "that other" Black Widow's revenge from nearly being burned alive and putting her mind into a new version of "The Super Android" to take her vengence out against The Avengers, and along the way, we have the wedding of Luke Cage (aka, "Powerman") to his longtime girlfriend and ex-super hero, Jessica Jones. I think maybe Bendis wanted to write a story that'd been as memorable of the wedding of "Reed & Sue" in Fantastic Four Annual #3 (1965), but...well...this is another time in comic book history and it just can't be done. Still not a bad story.

And...in other things... my knee's now somewhat better after straining it the other day trying to remove a large "rock" from my mother's yard, which I accidently drove over with the riding lawn mower and busted the housing on same. I went out there to try to pry the rock up only to discover that it was a large amount of concrete instead, probably from an old clothesline pole that had been on the property 50-75 years ago! You see, my dear, late father used to pull his trailer up behind the house there with his pickup, which resulted over the years in some deep ruts. These eventually got washed down by the rain and melting snow, exposing the concrete, which I didn't see (of course) and ran over it.

Any hoo, I ended up having to use the "push" mower to do my entire back yard, which was a good 6 to 8 inches tall so I had to literally shove the mower through most of it and try to keep it from dying all the time. This took me a good 2-1/2 hours (which usually takes me a half an hour or less with the riding mower), so I swore right there to get the riding mower repaired "no matter what the cost", or buy another one, 'cause I certainly am getting too old to be doing that sort of chore come this Summer when the temperatures are in the 90+ range! And, it wouldn't be just my yard I'd have to do, but mom's large yard as well, so I called a guy who does such repairs. Looks like I may be lucky enough to get everything repaired for $100. or less. The housing's already been repaired and I'm just awaiting the repairman to find the right blades, and it looks like by next week she'll be up-and-runnin' for at least another season.

But, getting back to my knee, I had the pry bar under this concrete and stepped down on it when I heard a "Pop!" and I fell right to the ground! I think I only strained it however as it's better now.

And tomorrow, May the 14th., is the 5th Year Anniversary of "Elmo's Junction"! My, how time do fly. So I'm taking the day off and letting a friend host the site instead since I never could think of anything special for the day. What my friend has planned for it? Who knows...?

Then I'll be back again soon after that to kick off yet another year of comic book, movie, etc. reviews, rants and my useless political views.

See you then, and my thanks to one and all who have followed me over the years! (Comment MORE, dammit!)

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