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Sequential Snark: What’s The Matter With Kids Today?

I’ll give this week to the little boys.

On one hand its Jon Kent trying so hard to prove he can help, or Ben Guest, the sweet kid of a former assassin.

On the other end is Lor-Zod, who could have turned out so much better (I remember Christopher Kent), and Jason… who also seemed incredibly emotionally stunted for his age.

 

Action Comics #998
Words – Dan Jurgens
Pictures – Will Conrad, Ivan Nunes, Rob Leigh

After the dramatic end of last issue, with all the Lanes and Superman’s son lying in crumbled bullet-riddled heaps in a dictator’s banana republic, we’re reminded we have a time travel story to get back to.

Supes and Booster are still being blasted on all sides and Booster’s shields are failing.

Their only hope (Skeets) lies in a broken heap… wow that was a good story, too bad we never got to issue 1000.

Just kidding, comics don’t work that way and it is a good conclusion.

The good guys use ingenuity, improvised tools and the infighting of their enemy against them.

Booster’s heart is as large as his ability to play the incompetent fool and he shows us again why he’s the best hero the DC universe can’t know about.

(and P.S., extra point for Avengers’ reference)

 

Batgirl #20
Words – Hope Larson
Pictures – Sami Basri, Jessica Kholinne, Deron Bennett

The conclusion to our short wintry Penguin arc.

Batgirl is feeling played, and why is everyone so open to Penguin’s charitable charm offensive?

Not like he has decades of deceit under his corpulent belt. Could it have something to do with her friend’s new hush-hush job?

Let’s not forget Barbara is a detective, able to collect all facts – except for the cover (sigh, don’t give too much thought to the cover, it gives away plot points as bad as an anime opening).

Art and writing are (as always with this team) fun, but this arc was strained and I look forward to the next one playing out more naturally.

 

Blue Beetle #18
Words – Christopher Sebela
Pictures – Scott Kolins, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Josh Reed

A breather issue!

The characters could use one. Jaime’s back to his regular life, school home, friends.

Well… mostly, Naomi (his girlfriend) just found out his secret and he’s worried to pieces that he messed up everything with her because of that.

Unfortunately life does not wait for teenage crisis-es to resolve, and the job offer at Kord Industries is his only current chance to use his powers AND be able to tell his parents he has a job.

But nothing could happen on his first day to endanger his life and cause him to disappoint Naomi again, could it?

That would be risking his life twice in one day, I mean how unlucky would a guy have to be?

 

The Demon Hell is Earth #4
Words – Andrew Constant
Pictures – Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy, Chris Sotomayor, Tom Napolitano

Walking and talking issue! (Well it is, but Constant, Walker and the rest are talented enough to pull it off.)

One of the side effect of so much Hell seeping into Earth, is the torture of a long trip becomes a literal torture. The ground and the sky conspire to make it feels like it’s going on forever.

A big fire breathing yellow demon needling you with “are we there yet?”, that’s just frosting on the cake.

Though Etrigan taking out his familial frustrations on mutated attacking wildlife almost makes up for the annoyance.

Meanwhile, his snootless father still schemes and gloats to the pretty caged Lucifer. More action to come, only two issues to go and everything that annoys Etrigan (family, ex-girlfriend, Jason Blood) is right there with him. So many demons are going to loose vital bits when they get to Hell proper.

 

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #39
Words – Robert Venditti
Pictures – Rafa Sandoval, Tomeu Morey, Jordi Tarragona, Dave Sharpe

A learning issue here.

Apparently rings are like transplanted organs in horror movies.

If you get one, the personality of the last owner seeps into you. Now our sweet calm, compassionate Kyle is spouting jet pilot gung-ho one liners if he likes it or not.

Unsurprisingly Guy Gardner’s the first to like the change, and to quickly after that be sick of it.

But they’ll need that extra thoughtless vigor. The Guardians when brought up to date insist on deliberating among themselves before allowing a rescue effort to occur. Gee I hope the Zods aren’t known for rash, violent and fatal decisions.

 

The Hellblazer #19
Words – Tim Seeley
Pictures – Davide Fabbri, Christian Dalla Vecchia, Carrie Strachan, Sal Cipriano

John is back on familiar soil.

After the ruckus in San Francisco, Constantine could use the lives of his few friends not being in danger.

Unfortunately no one mentioned that to the Day brothers, the surviving one (now a well respected exorcism priest) feels real bad for turning his back on their criminal enterprises.

You don’t think someone who knows the steps and mechanisms of an exorcism could reverse the process?

That would be so unethical.

Let’s hope no attractive old flame friends of John reach out to any kindly old priests for help.

That would be too similar a threat too close together, and John might forget he pretends to be a gentleman.

 

Justice League of America #25
Words – Steve Orlando
Pictures – Miguel Mendonҫa, Minkyu Jung, Dexter Vines, Chris Sotomayor

I got pretty excited over the last two issues. I feel for you readers who wondered what the strange exotic hell I was talking about, because I’m there on this issue.

If you knew who Forager was before the latest mini-series, this issue is your jam.

As for me, I read it with a wiki tab ready, because many of these characters I had never heard of before.

Batman and Black Canary step away from their normal Earth to help Dreamslayer with his. Apparently, you can cruise from world to world in the multiverse via the microverse… it’s comics, sometimes you’ve got to nod and not think too hard about it.

Enemies Blue Jay and Dreamslayer had put their differences aside to try and save their world, but each attempt has failed. Maybe this time with outside help it won’t fall into a fiery post-apocalyptic ruin.

 

Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1
Words – Dan Abnett
Pictures – Lan Medina, Richard Friend, Vero Gandini, Simon Bowland

A very serviceable first chapter.

Wish I could give this higher praise but it’s an “everything you need to know” first issue,

There is so much laid out here between Mera’s history, Arthur’s history, Atlantis’ political history and the activities that are actually occurring in the present.

It’ll get you up to date if you’ve never heard of any of these characters before, but it is a mini-series and this does take up a sixth of it’s total run time.

I look forward to the next issue when hopefully we are given reason to care about the recovering Mera and the “conflicted” Orm who seems destined(?) to go after her.

For so much being laid out here, why he’s going to maybe hunt, maybe fight her is still unclear.

 

Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #35
Words – Sholly Fisch
Pictures – Walter Carzon, Horacio Ottolini, Silvana Brys, Saida Temofonte

Speaking of serviceable, Fisch brings us another issue of Scooby-Doo that feels true to both the main and guest cast, but does not challenge them or the reader.

There is nothing wrong with it, it’s a “just as described on the tin” issue and if you are a fan of the characters and want to read what feels like an episode on paper it’s amusing enough.

Art feels on-model and has good flow to it. It’s an enjoyable way to spend fifteen minutes and is all-ages enough to feel comfortable handing to a little kid to enjoy.

It knows it’s target and serves it well.

 

The Silencer #2
Words – Dan Abnett
Pictures – John Romita Jr. and Sandra Hope

This book took me by surprise.

It’s old-school aesthetics feel so 90’s while the storyline both fits as a movie (think “Long Kiss Goodnight” or “Kill Bill”) and in a part of the current Batman universe I hadn’t even considered.

In only it’s 2nd issue the world is deep and full of people I want to see succeed, Honor/Silencer (who earned her way out of the life and will kill to keep her family’s existence “normal”), her sweet oblivious(?) husband Blake, Ben (their precocious but not annoying little kid who’s more perceptive then they notice).

Even Talia gets some character development.

You’d never trust her to babysit but she cared enough about Honor to give her a heads up and you kinda don’t want to see her die either.

Fun stuff, I’m excited to see how far this ride goes.

 

Wonder Woman #41
Words – James Robinson
Pictures – Stephen Segovia, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Saida Temofonte

Both Wondy and Steve are back from their current missions.

They are one of those cute couples that can have “me time”, “you time” and “me and you time” but you know they text each other regularly when apart.

After bringing each other up to date (and cutting through each other’s BS) they’ve taken enough of the day’s stresses off to finally be relaxed with each other.

Though it’s a nice and rare private moment to see, the plot flies in from above them to keep the multiple storylines grinding forward. A good example of a “break” issue that still keeps the action going as it lets the characters decompress.

 

 

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