Friday, January 22, 2010

Comic Reviews - Blackest Night Sucks... Literally!

Green Lantern Corps #44
When I read Green Lantern Corps #43, I suggested that it'd be a good idea to leave the Red Lantern ring on Guy Gardner's finger and let him obliterate the Black Lanterns. At least one of the Green Lanterns has that same idea this issue but I'm willing to be he regrets that decision on the final panel! But I get ahead of myself. The issue picks up with Mogo's arrival on the scene as the various colored Lanterns battle to keep the Black Lanterns from devouring the green power battery. On the surface of the planet, Guy Gardner continues to cut a bloody red path through everything he sees. Upon seeing this, the recently resurrected Kyle Rayner attempts to try and get the ring off of Guy only to be stopped by Lantern Vath who tells Kyle to let Guy go and just stay out of the way. Kyle doesn't listen as he's afraid of the damage the red ring is doing to Guy's mind. Kyle's attempt to reveal that he's not dead to Guy goes sour when Guy believes Kyle's resurrection to be a trick of the Black Lanterns. It's about this time that Mogo reveals why he's actually moved. He says there is a secret directive for him to purge the planet. He does his "purge" by increasing his gravity to suck all the Black Lanterns into his core where they'll totally burned up over and over for all eternity. After the Black Lanterns are gone, a few of the Green Lanterns prep a plan to remove the red ring from Guy's finger only to come face to face with a very red and very pissed off Guy! Showdown time! Blackest Night had a lull right around the midpoint where it seemed like every issue was just more reveals of who was rising but it's definitely turned around and is blasting full steam ahead into awesome now!
Score: 4.5 out of 5

Blackest Night: The Flash #2
The main power battery may be safe but Keystone City is still under the shadow of Blackest Night in this issue. It begins with the Rogues seeking out Black Lanterns to try and find Captain Cold's risen sister, Golden Glider, who he hopes can be saved. The Rogues have a run in with some risen Rogues including the Mirror Master, Top, Captain Boomerang and eventually Golden Glider. Cut back to Barry who is granted a blue ring for always having hope and instilling that in others. Blue Lantern Flash battles the risen speedsters including Black Lantern Thawne and is doing pretty well. The battle picks up as Wally and Solivar arrive. Back at the Rogue's battle, while Captain Cold faces up to the fact that Golden Glider is dead and isn't coming back, the rest of the Rogues are having their collective rear handed to them. After Cold comes to his senses and takes down Glider, he discovers that the Top and Boomerang are using Weather Wizard as a punching bag. Before Cold can put the freeze on them, the new Captain Boomerang shows up to save his dad. Can he? We'll see in the next, and final, issue!
Score: 4 out of 5

Superman/Batman #68
While Blackest Night rips through the rest of the DC Universe, Batman/Superman goes off on a tangent with an "aftermath" issue from 2001's Our Worlds at War storyline and it's actually pretty cool! With some amazing art from Ardian Syaf, writer Joe Casey takes us on a fun romp this issue and I like that it's a slightly lighter turn from the rest of the death-laden DCU. We get to see Batman facing down a villain called Death-Man who's gimmick is that he falls into a death-like coma whenever he's captured. Superman meets the financial backer of S.T.A.R. Labs, who may be a shape-shifting alien from the Kryptonian ship revealed last issue. To top it off Clark is attacked at the Planet by a nuclear-powered villain called NRG-X. That's an anagram for something but no one cares because he's just there to smash things and lead our team on a search for whoever hired him to kill Clark. The issue ends with NRG-X coming face to face with a slightly angry Superman who I'm sure will pummel him next issue before heading onto S.T.A.R. Labs to take down the Kryptonian(?) shapeshifter who contracted the hit. This is a good, if rather predictable, story but it's a light fun side-trip that I really enjoyed.
Score: 3.5 out of 5

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Comic Reviews - Batman Goes to the Birds

Action Comics #885
After trading a sample of her blood to Jax-Ur in exchange for him curing Nighting's rapid aging, Flamebird must help him excape S.T.A.R. Labs. They make it as far as the roof before running into The Guardian, Mon-El and the Science Police. Rather than continue fighting humans and making an even worse case for Kryptonians, our heroes surrender. While the arrest is being made, we discover another of Zod's sleepers on the Science Police force. Things get worse as Nightwing and Flamebird are celled in via some red-son radiated rooms. and Zod's sleeper places what appears to be a kryptonite-laced bomb in the labs. Nightwing uses his one phone call to call for Lois and a race is one between Lois and her father to get to the Kryptonians first. Lois arrives first but Gen. Lane arrives with full forces and it's a stand-off... until Guardian switches sides and attempts to help his new prisoners escape. In the midst of the escape, Zod's krypto-bomb explodes and we're left wondering who will still be alive next issue. The main story is followed up with the continuation of the adventures of Captain Atom which begins with him facing the Justice League. The League kicks him around a bit before Mon-El and Hal Jordan stop them and realize that Atom's telling the truth and he's back on the side of good. He explains to them that he's been trapped in the magical realm that General Lane has been planning on using against the Kryptonians and that he needs to go back there to stop him. With no Zatanna around, the JLA has no idea how to return the good Captain to magic-land. Of course, that doesn't mean the Shadowpact hasn't got an idea or two!
Score: 3.5 out of 5

Batman #695
Batman continues to track down Kitrina Falcone via a little interrogation of a few of Gotham's criminally-inclined citizens. Kitrinia, in turn, has her own run in with Catwoman. Batman makes a pit-stop at the newly rebuilt Arkham Asylum to discuss the mental profile of Black Mask with Dr. Arkham. Meanwhile, Huntress is on the tail of Mario Falcone who is heading out of town. The chase comes to a screeching halt when the new Reaper arrives and attempts to kill Falcone. Huntress and Batman save Falcone but the Reaper escapes in a cloud of poisonous gas. Back at the Bat-Cave, Damien says he's solved the mystery of the hypnotic gas masks that he's been working on and wonders if Dick has figured them out as well. Batman catches up with Catwoman to retrieve Kitrinia only to find that she's escaped a set-up that supposedly was inescapable according to Bruce. The meeting of the Bat and the Cat is cut short with a call from Oracle with a tip on where Kitrina may be hiding out and Batman is off in persuit. Cut to a brief interlude with Edward Nigma in a phone booth telling someone that he's slowly getting his memory back and that he's dumping his conversation partner as a client. It appears that the client was the Penguin and that the Riddler is on his way back to becoming a threat to Gotham. Back on the trail of Kitrina, Batman arrives at a run down amusement park and instantly makes the mistake of following a mysterious character into a fun house where he's attacked by a murder of crows with poisoned beaks. Through clouded vision, Batman comes face to face with the Penguin and Mad Hatter as they present him with his very own version of a mind-controlling gas mask. These tales with Dick behind the cowl make me kind of sad that we all know the "Return of Bruce Wayne" is coming soon. I think Dick's been doing a good job as Bats and is bringing a fresh take on the character that honestly was growing stale being the uber-genius that no one could take down. My hope is that, when Bruce returns, he takes on a role similar to that in Batman Beyond and allows Dick to keep the cowl.
Score: 4.5 out of 5

Friday, January 8, 2010

Review - Geek Girl #0

I remember being in high school and having friends who would attempt to draw their own comic books. Invariably, as they were written by teenage boys, they always seemed to be one of two types. They would either be about the dark brooding anti-hero (The Crow and Miller's Dark Knight were both popular at the time) or they'd be excuses to draw pin-up art and call it comics. Sadly, Geek-Girl's freshman outing falls squarely in the latter of those two types of comics.

Created by Sam Johnson of, Geek-Girl is the tale of popular high schooler Ruby Kaye. The story begins with the tale of the school brainiac Trevor who has invented a pair of geek glasses that he claims can give him superpowers so that he might woo the girl of his dreams. Trevor and one of his buddies run into Ruby and her sexy friends at a local restaurant and spill the beans about the special glasses. Naturally, Ruby wants these super geek glasses. After a series of sexual jokes and innuendos, Ruby wins the glasses from Trevor in a strip poker game (Yes. A strip poker game. I couldn't make this stuff up! Well... I could... but I wouldn't.) Now that the glasses are in the hands of Ruby, she finds that, when wearing them, she gains the powers of super strength, flight and apparently looking really hot in glasses. On the downside, the super geek glasses also give Ruby super klutziness. After a random encounter with a criminal, Ruby jokes that she should become a superhero. Her friend who is with her at the time agrees and tells Ruby that she'll make her a "geeky sexy" costume. And that's where the issue ends leading into the upcoming Geek-Girl mini-series.

Granted, this comic is aimed at a particular audience and, if I were still 14, I'd be all over it. The artwork here isn't great by any means but the main mini-series will have art by Pablo Martinena who, from the preview pages, is damn good at sexy cheesecake superhero art. But, as it stands, I can't recommend Geek-Girl to anyone. If you're a geek, you'll be offended by the idea that klutziness = geekiness. (We all know brains = geekiness = real sexy.) If you're a girl, you'll be offended by the sexism. And if you're a comic fan, you'll be offended that you're reading this instead of something good.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Everybody Needs "Validation"

I had to watch this short film for class and it's just become one of my favorite pieces of film ever! It's sheer brilliance! I won't give anymore away but if this doesn't make you smile, you probably aren't human.