Monday, May 24, 2010

The Wry's Rants for May 19 comics, with a Rant on Second Features

Happy long weekend to everyone! This week I'm covering Avengers #1,
Justice League of America #45, X-Factor #205: Second Coming Revelations, and Batman: Streets of Gotham #12. I'll also be doing a second rant in as many weeks, this time on those Second Features we're seeing on some DC titles.

The Avengers #1

The big reset button on the Avengers universe starts with this title, brought to you by Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr. It starts off in the aftermath of Siege, with Steve Rogers going around and asking heroes if they want to join the Avengers, with almost all of them saying yes. They're not all going to be on this title, most of them are being spread out. The one person that said no was Wonder Man, who gives Steve a warning not to do this. (oooo, foreboding...) Anyway, the plot is that Kang (!!) shows up and warns them that in the future Ultron has taken over the world. On top of that, the Avenger's children are the ones who take him down, but now THEY are the ones taking over the world. So the Avengers have to go in the future to prevent the world from ending.
Good, solid first issue. Nice to see "the big three" together, even though one of them is Bucky America. Clint Barton is back as Hawkeye, which I liked better than Ronin. Always good to have someone there to banter with Spidey. Don't know how the other Avenger titles are going to work out, but if you plan on being one or two of them, this title should be one.

Justice League of America #45

It's the prelude to The Dark Things, a JLA/JSA crossover. The issue by James Robinson and Mark Bagley is setting up all the players involved from both teams. The story is about Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, and the Starheart, which is what gave him his powers. It seems a big chunk of it has now come to earth, bringing along Jade. The JLA and the JSA end up meeting at the Starheart's landing, where a seemingly possessed Power Girl starts kicking all their butts. Turns out this isn't a coincidence, as a few things like this have been happening globally. At the end Alan Scott, who has been spending the issue in sort of a waking coma, is now alert again but has been changed. To What? Buy the damn issue and find out.
The only reason I got this issue is because I get JSA and only getting half the issues of a crossover REALLY sucks. But this was a good setup issue for the crossover. It looks like it's going to be a good story (I hope) so getting the JLA issues for the crossover will be fine (I had dropped the title once the roster got really weak). Plus I'm a fan of Mark Bagley's work since waaay back on Amazing Spider-Man, so I enjoyed this issue. If you're a JLA or JSA fan and you haven't been getting these series, at least pick them up for this story.

X-Factor #205: Second Coming Revelations

It's a Second Coming side story by Peter David and Valentine De Landro, and this issue is part 2 of 3. Last issue had Trask, under the orders of Bastion, getting the X-Factor team eliminated. But it seems (surprise!) that they are actually okay, and knew they were being setup. It also has Trask's team try to take out Siryn (actually she's now going by Banshee) in Ireland, but things don't quite go the way they were hoping once Shatterstar and Layla show up.
This story is related to the events in Second Coming, but it's not (so far) mandatory reading for the crossover. It's a good story, and I like Peter David. X-Factor has been a solid title for a while now (not on the top of my read pile, but no threat of being dropped either), and it continues here. Not needed for those only getting Second Coming, but I still recommend the title.

Batman: Streets of Gotham #12

This story by Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen focuses mostly on a girl named the Carpenter, who's known for making or re-structuring villian hideouts, complete with booby traps and the like. At this point she's currently doing some pool hustling when someone approaches her with a job to take a theater and lethalize it. Her employer is some guy called the director (hence the theater hideout) who wants to make snuff films with superheroes in the lead roles. His first target? Batman. However the Carpenter finds out that not all is what it seems and gets in trouble
before she can do anything.
Okay, I'll say it, Paul Dini has been my favourite Batman writer since he took over writing duties on Detective Comics. Maybe I have a bias because he did great scripting those "Batman: The Animated Series" episodes back in the 90's, but it's there. No epic storyarcs, no massive events, no 12-part series. Just good stories that usually are just 1 or 2 parts (anything longer is the exception, not the rule). And I like Streets of Gotham because it doesn't HAVE to be about Batman directly,
like this story is. I recommend it to people that feel burned out by "events", and just want good comics.Oh yeah, this issue also has a Second Feature about Manhunter, but it's not why I buy this title, so I'm not going to review it. In fact, while we're on the subject of Second Features, let's now go to....

The Wry's Rant on "Second Features"

Okay, DC has been going on this concept for a little while now (and Marvel has jumped in with Captain Amercia and Nomad), and I've seen enough now to form an opinion on it.
I do not like it.
Basically they're taking a 2.99 comic, reducing the main story by about 4 pages, then adding a backup story that has nothing to do with the main story and raising the title by a dollar to 3.99. Now if you a fan of both, then this is actually a great deal. (I liked the Booster Gold/Blue Beetle combo, for example) If you don't mind the characters and like the backup story then it's not so bad (like JSA/Hourman-Liberty Belle), but with backup stories that I don't really care for (like Captain Atom, The Question, Manhunter) then that's when it bugs me.
If they want to run a story that they don't think will make an ongoing, then release it as a limited series. Having to pay an extra dollar per title per month would pretty much get me an extra issue to buy.This is kind of a wierd issue because it's only a negative issue if you don't like the second feature that's in the comic you're buying. I found myself already dropping one of these titles (Teen Titans w/Ravager), and if I need to drop other titles, I think the ones with Second Features
would be the ones going first.

No comments:

Post a Comment