/\ /\ /\ /\ Splash Page from Green Lantern #55 Pencils Doug Mahnke /\ /\ /\

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SUPERMAN: THE BLACK RING TPB #1 includes: Action Comics 890 891 892 893 894 895

RATING: 2.78 out of 5

There is NO...repeat NO Superman in this trade, what-so-ever.  There's not even a panel with a faint image of him, so I dropped the rating by a partial point just because of the flagrant gimmicktry of them using "Superman" in the Title.

What's in this trade paperback?

Lex Luthor's Odyssey.

{EDIT: Superman does show up in Issue 900 which is the last part of the second TPB of this story arc but not in this TPB.}

Lex travels from one place to another looking for the elusive answers to the Black Ring residual energy and yes... I took another partial point away because the odyssey doesn't end with this trade.

The interaction between Lex and the other characters in the DC universe is at times fun, but the plot itself seems to languish and moves only a little from issue to issue.  The plot is basically there only as an excuse for Lex to meet the other cameo characters.

In this trade Lex meets up with Mr Mind, Gorrilla Grodd, Deathstroke, Death {vertigo's female version}, and Vandal Savage.

Below are my reviews as the issues came out.  At first I was intrigued with the plot...then my opinion started going down hill with each issue.

Writer:  Paul Cornell, Pencillers: Pete Woods & Cafu, Inkers: Woods & BIT, Colorist: Brad Anderson, Letterer: Rob Leigh, Cover: David Finch, Batt & Peter Steigerwald, Publisher: DC Comics 2010
 Rating:Rating: 3.3 out of 5

This story was very intriguing and I enjoyed reading it.  I'm not sure how many issues are involved in the whole story line, but the writer, Paul Cornell,  is on the series at least through #894. With 40 pages a story, he should be able to give us something good.

Spoilers if you want to skip the go to the next review in Blue

This is one of the times where the story is better then the art work, and carries the book. Not that the art was bad, but it wasn't the grandiose stuff that has been coming out.  For the most part the art fit well with the story.
For 40 pages the issue passed quickly and was entertaining.  The writer, Paul Cornell, has written several Doctor Who novels, so ... he is no stranger to writing a entertaining story with interesting characters.

I'm not normally the type to like stories that have only the second bananas in it, and Lex Luther is not... my favorite bad guy, so I'm a  little... trepidatious  about the future issues in the story, but I'm intrigued enough to WANT more, which is true to form for the story.

During the Dc Comics Blackest Night mega event, Lex Luther wore the Orange Lantern ring of Avarice, extreme greed. Now that the ring is no longer on his finger, he still has the extreme greed.  He has always been greedy so whats the difference, he used to have  the ability to wait in order to obtain something that one wants.  
The  wanting ...and longing... that he has now, takes precedence over everything.   

He is already wealthy, so the extreme that he craves the most is power (nothing new). Specifically, he wants the power that a Lantern ring will provide. Why is he interested in the Black Lantern Rings? They all disappeared... didn't they? Because he is a smart man, and he knows that they are not totally gone.  All those rings and all that power for the taking.



ACTION comics #891 Review

RATING 3.3 out of 5

This issue doesn't rank high on action, but... what did I expect with Lex Luther as the main character. It's not a "Wow" kind of book, more of a comedy.  I'm not a fan of the character of Lex Luthor, but I still enjoyed the story and plan to get the next issue.

Spoilers if you want to skip the go to the next review in Blue

Paul Cornell is able to keep the character of Lex Luthor true to form, but this issue seems to be a bit  off course from the main storyline started in the previous issue, which was Luthor searching for a way to build his own power ring from the Black Lantern rings that disappeared.

This issue seemed a little slow to me. Even though I see the humor of going into Lex Luthor's mind and seeing his fantasies, it just wasn't my type of action packed comic.
The storyline starts with Luthor, as a caveman, stealing "Fire" from the gods to bring to mankind. The gods looking suspiciously like The Trinity (superman, Wonder woman, and Batman.)

We find out ....that Lex's antagonist... the adorable  "Mr Mind", is trying to gain information from Lex, by having him live through his fantasies (I don't get it, but a plots a plot).

AND personally, I believe Lex's antagonist needs to be bottled up and sold to promote the acceptance of cute caterpillars everywhere.
He is....Just so ...adorable.(see panel to the left)

What is the  information that Lex has in his mind for Mr Mind to find? Whatever it is ...Mr Mind himself doesn't know. (So cute...I could just pinch those cheeks...ah... if he had any.) Mr Mind seems to be afraid of someone else, who he thinks is watching him. This "mysterious" someone... wasn't clear on what Mr Mind was to extract from Lex's mind.

I might have made it a bit more complicated then the story  really is, so lets try again: Lex's mind...controlled by Mr Mind .... looking to find ...information undefined...for someone not become a headline.

Lex creatively gets free of Mr Mind and gives him "The boot", then decides to get extra muscle to help him on his quest for higher power, Deathstroke. 

I would say that you could skip this issue if you want, but the story was cute and humerus.

I'm looking forward to the next issue. Deathstroke is one of my favorite bad guys, plus he's a eyed... katana swinging way.  If I have a choice between a cute evil caterpillar, and bad ass hunk, bad ass hunk will win in my book every time.

ACTION COMICS #892 The Black Ring: part 3 Review

Rating 2.5 out of 5
This rating is on the story by Paul Cornell not on the co-feature in the back of the issue.

Meh...really Meh... Not bad ... not good... Meh..
The action seemed two old men fighting.  This issue is part of a ongoing storyline and... I did like the previous two issues and ....I'm looking forward to the 'Death' issue, so I'll  still buy into future issues.
But if you haven't started the story yet don't start it on this Issue. 

Review with SPOILERS Skip to the review in blue if spoilers are not for you.

I was trying to cough out my lungs last week because I had come down with whatever is new at the kids school, so I thought maybe it was my Meh... mood when I first read it , but even today as I re-read it, I could care less about this story.

Lex is still looking for answers about the left over energy of the Black Rings.  He is in the Antarctic with his crew and hired bodyguard Deathstroke. They come upon a dome of blackness which Lex believes is "...a different kind of spacetime. An allotrope of normal space."

The dome starts messing with Deathstroke's emotions and he starts making a path toward Lex...killing anyone in his way.  I think the biggest problem is that Deathstroke didn't look fierce, he looked like a old man in a winter coatMaybe if he wore his mask it would have been better.

 Lex gets in his portable green Power suit and the two face off, but... it two old men fighting.  

FOR Example....--> 

Of course I added a few touches to help with the picture but it's close. 

Am I wrong?...

Maybe ...

BUT I'm close....ain't I..?


Am I feeling better...?


ACTION COMICS #893 : The Black Ring Part 4

 RATING 3.3 out of 5

This issue is a lot better then last month's issue.  The art has made the characters pop out and the story wasn't as blah, but ...this issue didn't  move the main plot about the Black Ring energy any further then  last month's issue.

Review with SPOILERS Skip to the review in blue if spoilers are not for you.

Lex investigates another location for Black Ring energy in Uganda. It just so happens to be a base of operations for Gorilla Grodd, who is hungry for information, literally hungrey for information.  Grodd is popping brains in his mouth like they were pills. 

I don't remember Grodd ever doing this in the past, plus... I always thought Gorrilla's were herbivores, but I'm not a expert on Grodd, so I just shrugg and move past this and enjoy the issue.
Unfortunately for Grodd, Lex's noggin is a bit more solid and ...Lex has planned ahead (pun attended) for Grodd's appitite.  The lingering Black Ring energy is found inside Grodd's base, and once again, like when they sampled it in Issue #892, the energy changed. Despite Lex's ingenuity, Grodd get's in the final blow, which leads into next months guest appearance with Vertigo's female Death.
There are quite a few cute moments in the story and the art was able to make the intention of the writer to be funny... to come across funny, but also was able to convey the fierceness of Grodd.  This art team is so...much better then last months. The pages are similar to the art on the cover, which was done by David Finch, Joe Weems & Peter Steigerwald.

I'm looking forward to Death appearance next month but I hope the plot doesn't start sagging, because ...I also want to know more about the the black ring energy, and how Lex plans to use it.. 


RATING 2.5 out of 5
This cover is awesome. Look at the background detail. Fantastic. Then you open it up. BLAH Blah blah blah... They talk and talk and talk.

Review with SPOILERS Skip to the review in blue if spoilers are not for you.
There's not even a good panel to pull. Maybe if David Finch had done the interiors, but all they did was talk. They walked around in the glade talking. Then she zapped them to a place where they could sit down

The best part of the issue was shown in the previews where she touched his nose ...WITHOUT TALKING.

I'm leaving this title for awhile. What was a great idea for a story in the beginning of the arc isn't really being worked on.

Major Spoiler of ending:

How does Luther get out of... Death? Was it creative? Did he escape Death?
Well...He wakes up. Yelp. The ol' dream sequence skit was pulled.


ACTION COMICS #895 Review:

I didn't get this issue. Other reviewers gave it a 4 out of 5. I doubt that I would've.
Here is the review by Craig McEhatton
He seems mighty excited about the issue.
Issue #895 is the first part of a two parter with Vandel Savage and the Secret six...which is in the middle of the 10 issue limited story, which could have been summed up in three issues. Um... I guess I'm bit tired of the gimmickry of Lex's Odyssey.    

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

DC Presents : BATMAN - IRRESISTIBLE: TPB Includes: Legends of the Dark Knight 169 170 171, HOURMAN 22 Review

Originally published as Legends of Dark Knight 169-171 in 2003
RATING: 2.9 out of 5 for the Trade Paper back as a whole.
The first story in this trade:
Batman: Irresistible: 
Writer: Tom Peyer, Pencilleer: Tony Harris, Inkers: Tony Harris,Wade Von Grawbadger &
Wayne Faucher, Colorist: J. D. Mettler and Tony Harris, Separator: JD Mettler, Letterer: Kurt Hathaway,  Editor: Harvey Richards

Rating 2.5 out of 5 on individual story.
The story is kinda meh... I felt nothing but resentment for the main character of the story which wasn't Batman. It kinda reminded me of the more recent Streets of Gotham series, where the stories are told more from the perspective of the bad guy, yet it isn't as good as the Paul Dini's stories. Not that Tom Peyer did a awful job, it just was ...blah.  The ending was I guess one of those happy endings, yet I really didn't think the guy deserved happiness.  It had some cute moments of dialogue between Bruce and Alfred, but all in all it's not a story I would rave about or even remember.
SPOILERS FOR FIRST STORY, skip to next story review in Blue.

A guy with a drastically deformed face, has the power to manipulate minds once he shakes their hand. He holds a lot of resentment against his parents and uses this power to get beer and women...until he starts to get crafty and get wealthy, but he finds all of this unsatisfying because he wants people to accept him as himself. {Even though he is crass and generally unlikable person.}  In the end, he decides not to use his gifts anymore and Batman checks him into a mental hospital, and his parents reconcile with him.  YAWWWWN...luckily this is only three issues long, or the rating would have been lower.
  Second story REVIEW:
HOURMAN Issue 22
Title: The Chrono Bums
Writer: Tom Peyer, Artist: Tony Harris,  Colorist: John Kalisz, Separator: Heroic Age,  Letterer: Kurt Hathaway,  Editor: Tony Bedard.
Originally published Jan 2001.
RATING 3.2 out of 5

What the heck?!!!...where's the rest of the story. This is like the beginning of the end for the Hourman series, so you need issue 23-25 to finish it. This series was fun and enjoyable... and this issue was fun...but it is NOT a done-in-one story issue...and you will want to read the rest, which is only available on ebay...if you are lucky, so even though I may want to give it higher points on the fun factor, I can't because it leaves you hanging. After reading these two stories, I've concluded that Tom Peyer should have stuck to creating light hearted fun which he excelled at. Same with the artist, Tony Harris, the art in Hourman has a fun enjoyable feel.