Saturday, April 3, 2010

Comic Book Moments of the Week for 03/31/10

March ends with a Blackest Night filled Moments of the Week, with the conclusion to DC's mega event claiming a huge chunk of the moments this week.  We've got a few other books featured as well, such as Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men: Second Coming and even JLA, so hit the jump for these and more!

Amazing Spider-Man #677
I liked seeing Peter shown putting his brain to work for a change.  This isn't rocket science,  but something simple like looping a camera image was nice to see from him.  Rare to see him do something like this anymore.

Who can stop the Juggernaut?  Captain Universe.

Blackest Night #8

Sinestro controls the White Lantern Entity for a couple issues and 'dies' two or three times without really doing anything noteworthy.  Hal Jordan gets it for two seconds and resurrects everyone in the DCU and creates an entire White Lantern Corps.

And for his next act, Hal kills Nekron in one hit.  Full death in the next moment.  For this one, though, I want to point out just one instance of the sub-standard art I mentioned in my review.  Note the heroes in the second panel and complete lack of depth or detail.  Nekron in the third panel looks likea completely different character from all the previous drawings by Reis of him.  

It's still better than most art you'll find in books, but you can't tell me it's up to Reis' regular standards.  Even the previous White Lantern Corps page looks like he did the basic layouts and the inker or some ghost artist filled in the details compared to his previous work or even the upcoming LIVE moment.  None of these numerous moments has any backgrounds either.  That's a major failing in my eyes.  Your mileage may vary.

The aforementioned one-hit kill on Nekron.  Spent the three issues he was in the series for standing around, called up the Entity, the one thing that can kill him, and then died in one hit once Hal took control of it from Sinestro.  Personally, I would've killed everyone on Earth, then killed the Entity, but that's just me.

This was a huge foldout piece of art showing off everyone resurrected (or most of them) by the White Lantern rings.  It's everyone that was shown in the spoiler images floating around just before Blackest Night #8 shipped, so no surprises here.  As I mentioned in the art discussion above, this looks amazing, but once you stop and examine it for a moment, even this has it's problems.  

For one, it's a poster.  There's no story here.  People were revived, but everyone is striking a pose.  Even Firestorm is just making random nuclear explosions for no reason.  Then there's the fog covering up everyone's feet (Liefeldian technique at its finest) and, like every other moment, no background to speak of.  Characters are pretty and make a great poster, but I don't like this kind of art in a book.  I know Reis can draw.  If I wanted a poster, I'd buy one.  This is a story and this is four pages wasted on character sketches coloured in. Put this in an art book from Reis and I'll buy it in a heartbeat.  Here, it's just four wasted pages to me.  

This resurrection makes even less sense to me than the others.  They spent an issue having everyone fight and defeat the Black Lantern Anti-Monitor over in Green Lantern Corps.  Instead of killing him, he got put right back in the lantern.  Then he was resurrected and whisked off to the anti-matter universe by Nekron before he could even do anything.  They've really undermined any threat the big AM had.  No one even reacted to his return, despite his being a universal threat bigger than Nekron.  Not even Barry Allen, the guy who "died" to stop him in the original crisis batted an eye at his return.

One of the nicer moments in this issue.  I don't even like Aquaman or Mera and this was great.  Nice backgrounds, too.

Deadman gets revived as well.  Very odd choice seeing as being dead is kind of his only gimmick.  Note he has the White Lantern ring on his finger.  Reverse-Flash was never shown with one on his hand in Flash: Rebirth, so we can't presume they need the ring to remain alive, but it seems like it would be the case to me. 
Compassion = slavery. 

You'd think the people with the strongest willpower in the entire universe (aka Green Lantern Corps members) would have some ability to resist telepathic suggestion.  Hell, you'd think the ring could stop it for them.  Nope.  Sucks that they didn't do a retcon on Max Lord's heel turn while they were busy reviving him.  I figured they'd have him brought back good for that JLI biweekly reunion book.

Dark Wolverine #84

The Daken/Bullseye kiss everyone is making a big fuss over.  I think it was all a dream based on spoilers I've read online like the previous 'kill's Norman Osborn' splashpage that was caused by the Fates.  Think people were saying it resets to just before this with it all being a vision the Fates show Daken.  Could be mistaken though.  But the fact remains, two men kissing in comics is apparently news, so here's the image. 

Fantastic Four #577

The Universal Inhumans introduced in this issue or also known as "Black Bolt's Harem".  

The Universal Inhumans are awaiting Black Bolt's return so they can reclaim New Hala.  It's that blue marble in the moment above.

Justice League of America #43

The Multiverse?  DC has one of those?  I didn't know that.  It's about time they started using it after all the time they wasted setting it back up.

Punisher #15

 Frankenstien Punisher, known as Frankencastle, riding a dragon while firing an anti-aircraft chaingun and killing cyborg samurai guys.  All is right in the world.

X-Men: Second Coming #1

Cable and Hope are in trouble.  The X-Men see two fans chasing them on the freeway.  What do they do?  Kill everyone.

My thoughts exactly Illyana.  And what's up with Cable?  He sees his persuers get completely taken out by the X-Men and...keeps driving?  I thought he was trying to meet up with them?  Why not stop and help/team up with them?

Oh, they didn't kill everyone in that opening jack knife/killing spree?  Let's fix that!  At least Nightcrawler still has something between his ears. I kinda understand why Cable kept driving away now.

And the person behind the attack on Cable?  Bastion, though I'm not sure what's up with his new look/pose.  Last I checked, over in X-Force he was still humanoid and leading his Purifiers/army of techno-organic undead human squad (Bolivier Trask, William Stryker, etc).  Probably just going for the symbolic 'Jesus on the cross' look.

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Ivan said...

Aquaman got his hand back. And too bad we still get "evil" Max.

So, now we have a Charlton and a Fawcett universe too? Hm.

Radlum said...

I thought that Hal knowing most of the dead superheroes and being less of an egomaniac than Sinestro, knew how he could counter Nekron and the Black Lanterns, so I didn't have any problems with him being better at being a White Lantern than Sinestro (tough the rest of your comments are pretty accurate).
Also, I thought the kiss between Bullseye and Daken looks hilarous because of Bullseye face.

Anonymous said...

Only the X-Force members were killing. Psylocke and Nightcrawler were knocking them unconscious.

Aaron Kimel said...

So, THAT's where the Uni-Force has been since Annihilation: Conquest - in some guy who wants to kill the Juggernaut? Gabe Vargas seemed a better choice...

Ivan said...

By the way, where's Captain Universe's surfing board? :P

Anonymous said...

According to preview art Bastion can get out of that contraption whenever he wants.

Matt Ampersand said...

So what are the odds that the Captain Universe is The Captain from Nextwave? Zero? A man can dream, right?

It's interesting to see that the Dire Wraiths are back too, it may mean that Marvel/Disney has sorted out the rights to ROM the Space Knight. Although, weren't the Dire Wraiths supposed to be an off shoot of the skrulls?

It sure is foggy in Coast City! Seriously, the first thing I noticed in that foldout was that everyone's feet were covered up by mist or whatever that is supposed to be.

And goddamnit, Nightcrawler is totally going to bite it in Second Coming. Those moments totally set him up for that. Shit, he's my favorite character too.

Kraken said...

"Frankenstien Punisher, known as Frankencastle, riding a dragon while firing an anti-aircraft chaingun and killing cyborg samurai guys. All is right in the world."

Hilarious that you love that concept while nitpicking about the plausibility of every itty bitty detail of Blackest Night.

Matt Ampersand said...

@Kraken: I obviously don't speak for Kirk, but I think there is a difference in a comic book that knows that is goofy, and embraces that goofiness, while another one that is presented as SERIOUS BUSINESS.

If you want to be treated as a big deal, say by making a nine month long event about the nature of life, death, and emotions in your whole universe, you open yourself to a higher degree of criticism. This is especially true if the conclusion to said event is just a trailer for the other books that you are publishing and lacks in the "internal logic" department.

Anonymous said...

Blackest Night is the best event in years. So many cool things happened in it. It was simply amazing. Johns really crushed the competition this time around.

brandon said...

If Blackest Night is the best event in years then we don't need we don't need any more explanations as to why "events" are an old and tired trick.

Blackest Night just wasn't a story rooted in anything except invalidating previous events.

Blackest Night doesn't even come close to Sinestro Corps War. In fact, I'd argue DC Versus Marvel was a better event.

Dickey said...

@Matt - And to add further support to that point go take a look back at any interview Johns & Co. have done about BN or the upcoming Brightest Day. There's no indication of any sort of tounge in cheekiness in these stories, but rather they are supposed explore "deep" messages and have "deep" ramifications for everything in the universe. So instead of just inviting a deeper criticism I feel they are demanding we hold this story up to high standards. High standards of which it definitely falls short. If they had presented it as the Michael Bay movie it really was perhaps I could have just read it as the collection of "awesome" moments and long term fan pandering that it was.

On a happier note though, damn that Punisher image is putting me close to the edge of adding that to my pull list. Axe Cop levels of comic fun there.

Joe said...

My favorites of the week were both showcased here: Daken and Bullseye and Aquaman and Mera :)

Kraken said...

"there is a difference in a comic book that knows that is goofy, and embraces that goofiness, while another one that is presented as SERIOUS BUSINESS."

Blackest Night featured death defined as being infinitely reversible, sentient planets coming to the rescue, Rainbow Randolph’s Lantern Corps, not to mention a character called Deadman being brought back to life... and you call that "serious business"?
It's just standard, mainstream, won't-be-a-classic superheroics. No difference to Frankenfurtercastle whatsoever, except the other is more obviously "bwa-ha-ha" than the other.

Lucho said...

BN was a great event, even with it´s flaws it´s a comic about rainbow rings, fer god´s sake. Very entertaining.

About Anti-monitor returning to life, I was like "F#[K Yeah!" but no one else seems to wory about the guy that almost killed all of the Universe, the one who killed Bary Allen and put The Spectre in a coma??? The one guy that because of his actions the Darkness in hell attacked and Sargon and Zatara died???

Hello??? Crisis anyone???

Steven said...

I didn't read it as Hal getting the white entity, but the entity enpowering all of the heroes that were seen in white costumes. All the resurrected heroes "belong" to the white, not Nekron.

Also, that blast didn't finish Nekron. Returning life to Black Hand did. The blast didn't mean much in comparison.

Big events are always presented as "serious business", but they wouldn't even begin to work if they weren't. It would be hard to be big and silly. If you doubt me, go read Secret Wars and Secret Wars II.

Franken-Castle actually works better for me than a serial killer working unmolested in a city full of super-heroes. I cannot believe that all of those god-like beings, most of whom would NEVER take a life, abiding a mass killer just because his victims are criminals. He has never worked in a world of heroes. It's even worse when he teams up with them, or makes fools of them.

The current idea is actually a lot better for the MU. Keep the Max series a world power free and have your old school Punisher.

Nathan Aaron said...

I found this new quote from over on Comic Book Resources very timely concerning your Blackest Night art comments:

"The couple also discussed their lopsided workloads, with Palmiotti writing and Conner on the considerably more time-consuming art duties. Palmiotti suggested the industry’s current emphasis on monthly comic books is taxing on artists and has resulted in lower quality art." - Jimmy Palmiotti (discussing his wife, Amanda Conner)

Daryll B. said...

I finally caught up with my reading so I can feel free to comment on some of these:

-Totally agree with you about Spidey. I actually got into a lil argument over at CBR about me wanting to see the science loving Spidey more often.

-Best reaction to resurrection was Firestorm. That scene had more context that the WHOLE freaking event.

-By the way, speaking of glitches with this event: Are we to assume Tempest, Ice, Ralph, and Sue are dead since they weren't on the scene for the immediate resurrection?

-What about the "lovers" aspect to Star Sapphire Corps? Especially with Hawkman and Hawkwoman's return?

-So NOW Hal is showing caring for Mera's condition??? lol Kirk, Matt you both know I been harping on this with the indifference he showed her since she got a red ring. If anything Hal wins "Douchebag Hero of the Year" for the flip flopping on this alone.

-Max Lord? Captain Boomerang? They both come back too? Wow I think someone screwed up as the "Ultimate Lantern"?

-I so tired of harping on the villain thing it isn't funny. On a side note, no "curing" Roy Harper or bringing back Lian huh?

-Nightcrawler shows why he's still underrated. I know he can't say it truly, but this was his "What the f*** are we doing here? We supposed to be bigger than this" moment

-Off the subject, I really liked the Rogue/Indra moments in Legacy and she's going to make a great headmistress of the school. Now watch her be one of the ones not to survive "Second Coming".....

Thanks guys...

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