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Sequential Snark: Endings and New Beginnings in The DC Universe

We have some great beginnings and endings this week. In Action Comics we get one of each as a character passes away and a wild new story is introduced. Ollie’s short arc wraps up in this issue, Brimstone starts to find it’s legs, and Snagglepuss ramps up to an explosive ending next month. But alas the theme holds true for myself as well.

This is my last review for a while, I look forward to watching the next reviewer in my seat riding the highs and lows of this amazing medium.

 

Action Comics Special #1
Words – Dan Jurgens, Mark Russell, Max Landis, Steve Orlando
Pictures – Will Conrad, Jill Thompson, Francis Manapul, Ryan Sook, Cary Nord, Mick Gray, Wade von Grawbadger

Four larger than life tales in this monster of an issue.

One of them blew me away with it’s subtle cheekiness and sardonic style.

The first two are solidly good stories, both classic in feel but stepped up in ambition.

A great villain pushes the character of your hero, great heroes push the extent a villain will reach. We have Clark and Lex both playing their parts admirably here.

The last is a large-stage introduction to a lively dichotomous figure that I wouldn’t mind reading more about.

Meet Janet Fals (aka Firebrand), a fighter with the heart of a healer. But she has no choice, if she doesn’t fight every single day she will literally die! (darn unscrupulous mad scientist life saving technology!)

 

Cyborg #22
Words – Marv Wolfman
Pictures – Tom Derenick

A continuation of the robot vs. mech suit story Cyborg intruded upon last issue.

Both writing and art are serviceable (with the exception of page 2, where young Nijiro receives a robotic arm so excitedly he’s FLOATING above the ground to reach it.)

Cyborg meanwhile is still being ‘napped by a mech suit and brought to the secret base of the S.O.B.s (Starlight Original Business… low hanging fruit Mr. Wolfman, but I did smile).

They broke away from STAR labs to do their own thing and are the most friendly Cyborg repairing, mech suit lending, we have no secrets happy nerd group that Cyborg does noooot trust.

 

 

Green Arrow #40
Words – Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelley
Pictures – Marcio Takara

Last issue ended with Ollie bleeding out.

He’ll never bounce back, that was a super short arc ‘yall. Do I even need to mention I’m joking?

Green Arrow wakes up fully healed in a secret base (he’s got that in common with Cyborg). The only resistance left in this war-trampled land grabbed him and used the water of mysterious underground cave puddles to bring him back (so the Lazarus pit has tributaries?).

Ollie is surprised the freedom fighters are a bunch of kids, but really?

Seriously? Anyone who’s made it to adulthood’s been crushed too hard to fight.

Good thing for these kids Green Arrow’s as mature as a fifth grader.

 

The Snagglepuss Chronicles #5
Words – Mark Russell
Pictures – Mike Feehan, Sean Parsons, Jose Marzán Jr.

Sasquatch Detective
Words – Brandee Stilwell
Pictures – Gus Vazquez

Penultimate issue here! It’s getting hot, the fur is starting to fly, and everyone must make their choice – Break, Bend or Fight.

We get a peek at the “enemy” (deep within Moscow’s halls of power) and the results are frightening. If “your” side is unbalanced and dangerous you hope the other one will be wiser.

If there’s no one willing to be an adult, a fiery screaming end can come at any time without logic or reason. Snagglepuss’ point rings truer with so much death hanging over their heads, “We must live our lives the way we want to. Whatever the consequences.”

Next issue will be a 22 page explosion

This segment of Sasquatch Detective expands on the format of last issue and they solve a case by Tonya going undercover. It’s obvious this creative team’s found their storytelling groove, and that’s great for them. (though it’s stuck between drama and comedy – uncomfortably)

Tonya goes to a massage parlor suspected of illegal activity. We get a guest appearance of Selina Kyle. An enemy mentions to Tonya that when she’s the only Sasquatch anyone knows, her going undercover is completely pointless. Will this story last past the next issue of Snagglepuss? Who knows?

 

The Curse of Brimstone #2
Words – Justin Jordan
Pictures – Philip Tan

Joe stands transformed and the town burns.

But our devilish salesman is angrily flabbergasted when Joe calls on the memories of everyone he cares for that this would hurt to pull him back.

No you can’t, we had a deal, etc etc he yells.

Somehow Joe gets back home safe.

His sister found and dragged him back to the secret base – I meant house (maybe that should have been this week’s theme). She believes his crazy story easily enough (since the town sits half-smoldered and Joe went all burn-y in front of her for a bit).

Unfortunately the salesman had a schedule. Joe finding his self-control slows that town.

He has no worries this project won’t complete, but now it will require a plan “B” called The Hound.

 

Green Lanterns #46
Words – Tim Seeley
Pictures – V. Ken Marion, Sandu Florea

Simon takes a trip into the deep dark inky darkness that swallowed his partner. He’s determined to free her, but there’s no guarantee either will emerge. What’s more twisted than a pained mind?

Jess continues her hunting trip memory.

All her friends are still alive and they’ve taken down a deer. With bad luck they look up to see – two men burying a woman in the woods. It’s agonizing to live through again but isn’t this what Jessica wanted?

She will finally learn the answer of who killed her friends that afternoon.

Simon tries his best to get to her, but a troupe of Earth-3 Power Ring users stand in his path.

What are they doing here?

Why are they trying so hard to stop him?

What the heck could they have invested in Jessica learning this truth?

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