Yay, another week of comics! I’m still catching up with DC You stuff! This week I’ll be giving my First Impressions on Sinestro #1, Batgirl #41, Red Hood/Arsenal #2, Deathstroke Annual #1, Green Lantern #42, Wonder Woman #43, and Flash #42!
This week I’m also starting to add an ‘out of 10’ rating system in addition to the 5 star system.
SPOILERS AND MEANDERINGS AHEAD
Ok, so this one’s pretty old. I have no idea how this book is doing, but I DO know it hasn’t been cancelled like the six that are being cancelled by the end of this year. Also, Dale Eaglesham is the artist! He’s awesome! As for Cullen Bunn, I haven’t read much of his work from Marvel, and I believe he also did Lobo, but I didn’t really care for it. Lobo will also be cancelled if I recalled correctly, which I can understand. They need to try a different take on him again.
So what did I think of Sinestro #1? The art is great! My only gripe about the art was the colors by Jason Wright. Some of the highlights, the bright white spots, I felt had too much contrast, but that could just be my tastes.
The story, I really like. It’s a pretty cool reintroduction to his character after all that’s happened. He’s self-secluded himself on this world where it looks like he’s been meditating on things, and training by fighting against these native beasts who prey on him. I get this impression that he often sits in the cave shown, waiting for them to attack. I don’t remember much of what came before all of this for his character, and I don’t know why he’s here, and what he’s doing, but I don’t mind. This is where we find him at the beginning, a very intriguing character. He’s like a dark, outcast Jedi, riding the line between dark and light sides ha ha.
Very shortly, Lyssa Drak finds him. She looks super creepy, and it’s great. The Book of Parallax has been destroyed, but the words are now somehow all over her body. She tries to lure him back to the world of the Sinestro Corps. He had left it to Arkillo, and apparently he’s not doing a good job. That alone isn’t enough for Sinestro to return though; he could care less. She tries to tell him there is some other force, the Paling, a religion of anti-emotion that is threatening the universe, and fear is the “counter-engine” against them. That TOO isn’t enough. What DOES bring him back is the news that there are survivors from his home world, survivors who are persecuted for being the same race as Sinestro.
The thought of his people suffering because of him, caused “fear” in him, which in turn began to power his ring. I thought it was the ability to instill fear of others, that makes one a candidate for the Sinestro Corps? It’s more about creating fear in others, as opposed to using one’s own fear right? Eh, maybe I remember wrong. Maybe fear in the bearer is irrelevant to Sinestro Corps members. If anything, the fear of a bearer only helps to fuel their power and conquering fear or being fearless, is only relevant to Green Lanterns. In any case, the fear that Sinestro has isn’t enough to power him completely, but Lyssa Drak is now somehow connected to him, and touching her powers his ring like she’s his own personal living battery.
SO, that brings him back. He goes to face the current Sinestro Corp, now possibly the Arkillo Corp, to wrest his control back. At the end of the book, there is a little surprise. They have Soranik, his Green Lantern daughter, captured as their prisoner!
Sinestro is a dark character and the book is dark. To me, he’s a pretty cool anti-hero now. I didn’t really care for it at first since there are plenty of those, and I didn’t think they needed him to be one too. But in this book, I’m finally coming over, and seeing it. I like it and it works. It’s like the Game of Thrones in that everyone is a little messed up in Sinestro’s world, ha ha, full of dark and complicated characters. The book seems to imply his quest to find survivors of his planet and an evil greater than himself will be his new cause and the premise of the book, at first anyhow. His modern era portrayal has kinda been about him not being just a black-and-white villain, but a much more complex character, not unlike characters in shows like Game of Thrones. In that show no almost no one is just ‘good.’ Most fall away from either extreme. Good or evil, and regardless of cause, so long as it’s relatable, a viewer will like a character over another if there is more to invested in.
The rich history that Sinestro already has, gave this book a lot more weight than I expected. You can go in with the first issue pretty invested if you ever liked his character in the past! AND, if you don’t like Sinestro, or you’re like me, who didn’t particularly see him as an anti-hero, you may be surprised. Either way, if you’re a fan of fantasy, and sci-fi, this book seems promising. I hope they explore territory that isn’t already familiar in the Green Lantern lore, or at the very least not in any other current Green Lantern book. Make this one different. So far it is. I’m looking forward to reading some more.
Yeah, I’m super behind on Batgirl. Anyhow, this is the issue with the controversial Joker cover. In this issue Barbara meets the new Batman, the robo-suit Gordon Batman. Gordon actually wants to take Batgirl down,.. I think. I swear he kept saying that he was gonna take her in, which is kinda out of character right? Or did I miss something? I thought Gordon always worked with the Bat-family?
Commissioner Gordon tells Barbara the truth, that he’s Batman. He doesn’t want something to happen to him and have her find out later that he was Batman. Barbara feels guilty since she keeps her identity as Batgirl a secret from him, and he’s telling her that he can’t keep secrets from her. Ok. Nothing too exciting with this issue.
In this issue Batgirl also confronts what looks like some cult that worshiped the digital Batgirl entity from a previous issue. Looks like she survived somehow, in some electrical casket or something. Eventually she escapes from it but doesn’t know who she is. Batgirl thinks it’s Livewire, and it turns out it IS Livewire! Whoops. I swear that it was supposed to be the digital Batgirl. Am I wrong? Maybe it’s confused and thinks it’s Livewire cause Batgirl thought she was Livewire? We see a flashback/memory that Barbara has where she is in the Batcave with Batman, who shows her an image of Livewire on a screen saying how Superman had asked him for help with her, and Barbara thought they looked the same. OR I just haven’t been paying attention.
Eh, whatever, she comes,.. then she goes. Gordon Batman, comes in and makes Livewire literally disappear, and confronts Batgirl head-on, saying he’s going to take her in, again. The issue ends. Meh.
Yeah, not a great issue for me. The art is great, but there isn’t much here. If it weren’t for character moments with Gordon and Barbara and Barbara and Frankie,.. we’d really have nothing, but even then, it’s really really little. This may be my least favorite issue of this run so far. Oh well, lets see what’s next. It just seems like an issue they needed to do to address Gordon as Batman, which IS logical while setting something else up. Whatever.
Red Hood/Arsenal #2
I recall not knowing what to expect with the first issue. I didn’t really care for issue #1. It was basically the ‘Red Hood and the Outlaws,’ minus Starfire, which I was back and forth about. I was ready to just write this series off, but here I am with the second issue.
So it’s still just the Outlaws without Starfire, but I actually liked it this time. What makes this book stand out is that it’s kinda funny. It doesn’t take itself too seriously sometimes. It likes to have fun. In a way, it’s like the male version of the books by Palmiotti and Connor (Harley Quinn and Starfire), and that’s not a bad thing. We need a book with heroing and adventure that’s also fun. This is it. Lobdell plays around a bit with the fourth wall, having characters and even the narrative exposition be self-aware.
I don’t remember Roy being defined as he is in this book. It’s possible it’s because I hadn’t read all of Lobdell’s run on the Outlaws. Roy is defined as a tech genius with a focus on weapons. I really like this buddy-film thing they have going on here. Jason and Roy play off eachother well. Jason is the more level-headed one and Roy is the wild unpredictable one. In a way, he kinda reminds me of Beast Boy or Kid Flash when they are portrayed as irresponsible and impulsive. They’re best friends, and they seem to be getting themselves into all sorts of fun and trouble. I miss Starfire. I would’ve liked to see her in the mix. As I recall, in the Outlaws, the tone wasn’t quite as fun.
In this issue, the two guys are still trying to figure what to do with themselves. They are entertaining being hired guns, since then they can help others and make money. Previously, I guess they were aimlessly helping people as vigilante outlaws, but now they may have found their niche.
I’m glad I gave this book a second issue chance. It’s just fun and different. A lighter read, BUT, if you look closely, there’s characterization AND some other plots in the background that could be fun. Oh and did I mention that it’s pretty funny!?!?
The Flash #42
Since the last issue I felt they were starting to add some older, familiar elements into this post-Flashpoint Flash that would also be familiar to the fans of the TV show. They brought in Barry’s father, and Barry’s quest to exonerate him. In addition they introduced Zoom, or Professor Zoom, as character that is new to Barry.
All of that kinda confused me. I’m not sure if the storyline of his father being in jail for killing his mom, was an actual storyline that was told earlier in the history of the book, like in season 1 of the TV show. Or maybe it was something that Geoff Johns brought it or Flash Rebirth? OR it was always there, but had been sidelined? Either way, I was surprised to see it as if it were new, like we traveled back in time. And then there’s the Zoom character. I think this is Eobard Thawne. I believe in pre-New 52, both Zoom and Reverse-Flash were Thawne right? Same character, two names. In the New 52, Reverse-Flash is Daniel West. So, here, they’re two people? I guess what confused me initially is that I thought Barry Allen here in the post-Flashpoint New 52 was the same Barry Allen from Pre-Flashpoint and Flash Rebirth. That would mean his history was intact, like Batman’s, for the most part. So, why does it seem like the Flash had never seen or heard of Zoom, and why is the storyline about exonerating his father treated like it was a new idea? Did I miss where his timeline had been reset like many of the other DC characters in the New 52? And was this move made so the book would be a little bit more recognizable to those who are new to comics and fans of the TV show? I also don’t understand the change in his costume. Was it explained through story? Did I miss that too?! That’s what happens when there is too much time between the issues I’ve read. OR maybe all of this was a change made along with all the other ‘refreshed’ titles with the new DC You initiative? Batman is dead, Superman is in jeans and t-shirt almost powerless, Wonder Woman has pants, Black Canary, Omega Men, Dr. Fate, Martian Manhunter, Midnighter, Starfire, JLA, etc….
Anyhow, regardless, I still find it a good read. It still fun and has potential. Let’s see where all of this goes. And as always, I’m a fan of Brett Booth’s work, though I would prefer Barry not look so thin in the face. Looks a little sickly. Then again, in reality people look different and don’t have to look like everyone else I suppose. And, actually, it’s really just how Brett normally does the average protagonist’s head and face. I miss him on his WildStorm books. I really hope they let him bring back his characters like Backlash, Taboo and Dingo!!
Wonder Woman #43
Ian Churchill is the fill-in artist on this issue. He’s another good artist that I find has a distinct style that’s easy to recognize. With artists like that, for some reason, it’s usually in the face that’s most distinctive about them. I normally go back and forth about Churchill’s work. Mostly depending on the characters he’s drawing. For some artists, because of their distinctive style, it’s hard to see them draw characters you’re are familiar seeing from another artist, while you appreciate their work a lot more when they draw unfamiliar or original characters. With distinctive artists such as Churchill, you’re gonna either like their take on someone as iconic as Wonder Woman, or you’re not. Him drawing Diana was just ok, and I don’t think it helped that it was with her new costume. On the other-hand I really enjoyed his work with everything else. Donna Troy looked great too.
Story-wise, I’ve been enjoying Meredith Finch’s run so far. I really like how she incorporates Azzarello’s run while making her own mark. I’m really looking forward to more character moments for Diana and the inclusion of Donna Troy. I like this take on Donna, and I like how the story of a ‘child made of clay’ was reconstituted with her new origin. Great idea.
The introduction if Donna Troy and the manner in which her story is portrayed and progressing for some reason is making me think of the ‘Once Upon a Time’ TV show. Maybe it’s this marriage of the Greek myths and modern world sensibilities. Also magic, and witches. I think that’s all great. It’s a continuation of what Azzarello was doing. It showcases a different tone and playground for the DCU.
What’s with the end? Diana is attacked by an archer with a flying horse. She it’s hit by an arrow and her eyes start to bleed. She looks sickly and evil now and then she passes out. Reading what I just wrote sounds more intriguing than it actually was for me, but perhaps it’ll lead to something interesting in the next issue. It just didn’t really land for me. In such cases, it could also be art related as well as story.
Green lantern #42
This new take on the franchise and of Hal proves to be very entertaining. Though people may want to call Hal, ‘Han,’ I don’t mind. Hal as a renegade outlaw is a good idea that injects the franchise with something new and fun. I think one of the best things about this is his new look. I love it. I hope they keep it, and the gauntlet. It might even work better for a film. Especially as a sci-fi space epic. He is Han Solo, with a cool prototype of the original device to harness the power of light and will. He also pilots a cool spaceship named Darlene. It’s a little bit of a western also. Hal is running from the good guys and bad guys, and is like a hired gun.
In this issue he was paid to rescue someone and return them to their home. Along for the ride is the person who imprisoned the person Hal rescued. He was captured so that he may be put to justice on the captured guy’s home world. Sorry I forget their names. When they get there they discover everyone on the planet has turned to stone. This problem is compounded by the news that the Green Lantern Corps has disappeared. This seems to be to setting up some objectives for our hero in this series going forward.
I’m very very curious as to who will become the supporting cast of this book. Supporting casts done right can really make a book special. I’d only fear comparisons to the Guardians of the Galaxy. Also, I’m sure people are already feeling the Green Lantern gauntlet is a little reminiscent if the Infinity Gauntlet. All it needs are the other spectrum of light/emotion to add to it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ever happens. I DO think the Green Lantern gauntlet is cool though, and I really like that it’s unpredictable. Hal isn’t always in control off it. It’s almost as if it had a mind of its own.
I also like the stinger at the end where Black Hand is freaking out over not being able to raise the dead, while he is surrounded by what seems to be lots of bodies turned to stone. Hmm, curious how it’s all connected.
I think this new take is so wonderful and Billy Tan’s art is great. I’m very excited for more!
Deathstroke Annual #1
It’s interesting how sometimes they use annuals to continue a story, finish a story, or to tell a side story to the regular story. This annual is a fill-in side story of the regular story. The artist Tyler Kirkham is filling-in. I’m normally really back and forth about Tyler Kirkham’s work; here it’s not bad. For the most part I find it consistent enough with Tony Daniel’s style to enjoy. My only gripe on the art otherwise was that some of the panels, characters are shown full-body, head to toe on 1/3 of the page and no background art. They just looked a little weird but I looked past it. His Deathstroke looks very good. Of all the characters to get right, he’s the one. His Wonder Woman is ok.
The story, as I’ve mentioned is a bit of a filler though it does follow directly from the previous issue and leads into the next. Basically they disappear into a pocket world where they fight a manifested fear they have and then by the end return as if no time had passed. Not super original, and unfortunately not done very well either. Slade didn’t see through the fact that his kids were not real in this manifested fear, as he fought to protect them. I didn’t really believe it. This dynamic, this idea of having kids, and the possibility of them being in danger as kids due to your profession shouldn’t be new to him. In fact, it would be something he had gotten time to set aside, since his kids have grown up. And even if not, its never been shown as a fear of his. On top of that, he should know better than to fall for this trick, and think it’s real. He doesn’t realize that his kids are actually a lot older now? Considering his power set, having this advanced and powerful brain, how could he be tricked. Wonder Woman on the other-hand fairs much better, as she does not fall for her mother being mad at her for her death.
The story didn’t add anything for me. It’s a poor filler. Annuals should be special, and this wasn’t. It just comes off as a ploy for more money. I feel kinda ripped off and annuals aren’t cheap. Not cool.