Prickly – Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1 – Review

Legion of Superheroes Millennium 1 coverI’m a Legion of Superheroes fan. Issue 251 of Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes was my first ever DC Comics purchase. The sheer wealth of characters, their colourful costumes, odd names, and equally strange powers (Matter-Eater Lad? Bouncing Boy?) appealed to my sense of wonder, drama, and fun. I’ve had a soft spot for the Legion ever since. So, when DC announced that Brian Michael Bendis would take on the responsibility of penning the next chapter in the Legion’s labyrinthine adventures, I was excited. And a little concerned. That Bendis would play fast and loose with Legion continuity was certain. But how fast and loose? Would his teenage superheroes simply be 31st-century analogs of today’s ‘kids’, or would Bendis manage to give them more distinctive, unique voices? Speaking of voices, how much dialogue would there be? (I mean, I like a good bit of banter more than most – and certainly more than Jim and Eric – but even I have limits.) Most importantly, would Bendis manage to capture the sense of wonder, fun, and adventure that had so hooked me as a kid? Well…

Continue reading “Prickly – Legion of Superheroes: Millennium #1 – Review”

Rainmaker – The Wild Storm #17 Review

The Wild Storm 17 - coverAnother month, another stop on the John Lynch/Gen-12 reunion tour. While the general level of quality in terms of writing and art continues to remain extraordinarily high in this series, there’s little doubt that Ellis’ decision to shift focus from both the brewing IO/Skywatch war and Jacob Marlowe’s WildCAT to Jenny Mae Sparks’ Authority-building and Lynch’s trek down memory lane has resulted in a slowing down of pace and a certain structural repetition that, personally, I could do without. This issue sees Lynch visit yet another Project Thunderbook subject. Let’s see how he gets on…

Continue reading “Rainmaker – The Wild Storm #17 Review”

California Burning – American Carnage #1 Review

American Carnage - 1 coverWhen the new wave of Vertigo titles was announced to great fanfare earlier this year, there was only one that really caught my eye. Since first encountering his writing in The Wild Storm: Michael Cray, I’ve come to appreciate Bryan Hill as a thoughtful writer of action comics and a refreshingly calm and personable presence on Twitter. And here he was being announced as the writer of a six-part mini-series dealing with themes of racial tension and violence in the age of Trump, increasingly vocal pushback against the perceived excesses of political correctness and the social justice movement, and the reemergence of white supremacy exemplified by the tragic events of Charlottesville. I was intrigued and a little worried. The potential for American Carnage to be a simplistic anti-Trump spleen-venting (the title is lifted from arguably the most controversial section of Trump’s inauguration speech) or a jeremiad on the dangers of white (gun) violence was certainly there, but Hill is a writer I’ve begun to trust, so I approached this first issue with more hope than trepidation. Let’s find out if I was right, eh?

Continue reading “California Burning – American Carnage #1 Review”

The Wild Storm: Michael Cray #10 – Review

Michael Cray 10Over the last few issues, this title has become a lot more of a character study of its titular character than anything else and it is all the better for it. Writer Bryan Hill has, with no little skill, put Michael Cray through a wringer that, I suspect, still has one or two turns before it’s done. A few weeks ago on Twitter, Hill expressed his belief that heroism is in large part about suffering and endurance, in which case Cray might just be about to become the biggest and baddest hero of them all. With a psychotic John Constantine showing up at his love interest’s door at the end of last issue and an uppity sentient tumour in his head, Cray’s got his work cut out. And that’s not including a boss who doesn’t trust him and an insane version of Wonder Woman intent on bringing back some extra-dimensional entities and destroying half the world in the process. Let’s see how he gets on, eh?

Continue reading “The Wild Storm: Michael Cray #10 – Review”

Biting Off More Than We Can Chew… – Electric Warriors #3 Review

Electric Warriors 3 coverA state of post-flu weakness – light-headed, enervated, lacking appetite, gullible – might actually be the ideal condition in which to read a Steve Orlando comic. Too feeble to rant and rail against the excesses of the script, one tends to just let the story flow on, absently noting its inconsistencies and heavy-handedness while not being able to summon up even the smallest shred of indignation about how silly it all is. And so it has been with Electric Warriors 3. Last month’s cliffhanger is about to be resolved. And a couple of significant mysteries are about to be revealed. (The mysteries themselves, that is – any explanation of them is some way off yet.) Buckle up, pilgrims! It’s going to be a ludicrous – and curiously chewy – ride…

Continue reading “Biting Off More Than We Can Chew… – Electric Warriors #3 Review”

Peacemaker – Wonder Woman #55 Review

Wonder Woman 55 coverI must confess that Steve Orlando’s short run (which ends this issue) on this title has been less terrible than I’d expected. While a number of problems that are pronounced enough in the writer’s work to earn the adjective ‘Orlando-esque’ have persisted, there has nevertheless been a thematic coherency to the five issues that has been very welcome – namely a clear focus on Wonder Woman’s compassion and peace-making, on her dignity and moral strength. This continues with the current issue which, while by no means perfect, manages to leave this reader at least with a rather pleasant feeling of satisfaction.

Continue reading “Peacemaker – Wonder Woman #55 Review”

Gloria – The Wild Storm #16 Review

The Wild Storm 16The expansion of the Wild Storm universe continues apace this issue as John Lynch’s road trip brings him into contact with possibly the weirdest and creepiest Project Thunderbook alumnus yet, and elsewhere Angie Spica finds a new friend on the internet. (Well, it’s all about connecting people, isn’t it?) Let’s dive in and see how they get on…

Continue reading “Gloria – The Wild Storm #16 Review”

Smouldering – Martian Manhunter 2 Review

Martian Manhunter 2 coverDC’s second twelve-issue series in a row featuring characters whose initials are ‘MM’ trundles on this week. After a quite frankly bizarre first issue which mixed noirish sensibilities with an (at times very) intimate look at pre-catastrophe Martian society, will things settle down this issue or will the madness keep on coming? There’s only one way to find out…

(This review first appeared on the Weird Science DC Comics website.)

Continue reading “Smouldering – Martian Manhunter 2 Review”

A Greener Shade of Kale – Superman/Top Cat Special Review

Superman Top Cat coverAlong with Scooby Doo, Hong Kong Phooey and Captain Caveman, Top Cat was a Hanna-Barbera cartoon that became a staple part of my childhood in the 70s. So, when the call came out from Weird Science Towers for people bold, crazy or stupid enough to review the latest round of DC/Hanna-Barbera specials, I got my request in quickly. Not having read any of the solicits for these issues (I mean, really, why would you?), I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Would this one-off special be an overly earnest disappointment, a right-on politically correct ‘satire’, a rollicking good-time adventure or something else entirely?  Let’s find out!

Continue reading “A Greener Shade of Kale – Superman/Top Cat Special Review”

Ding-Dong In The Desert – Wonder Woman #54 Review

Wonder Woman 54 alt cover

Jenny Frison’s covers are one of the highlights of the Wonder Woman book. Just. Awesome.

So, Wonder Woman, eh? I’ve been a Wonder Woman reader and fan for a lot of my life and it’s always an honour and a privilege to read and review her adventures. The last couple of issues have seen Diana team up with Artemis and the new Aztek in order to free her aunt Atalanta from the clutches of Tezcatlipoca, the Shadow God and sworn enemy of Aztek and the now-defunct Q-Foundation. While the art for those two issues (by Aco) was astonishing and there were some rather nice ideas thrown into the mix, it’s safe to say that the story’s resolution, depending as it did on a somewhat hackneyed ‘let’s-all-band-together’ Maguffin and a typically Orlando-esque quantity of technobabble (“I’m hacking a weapon from a higher plane of existence and hoping I don’t lose my mind, okay?” – Hmmm. Passive-aggressive technobabble at that), left much to be desired. It’s a good job, then, that this issue the creative team lowers its sights a little and decides to tell us a tale that’s more grounded in political reality.

Let’s find out how they get on…

Continue reading “Ding-Dong In The Desert – Wonder Woman #54 Review”