Music provided by Green Balloons – Superman
The last week in April brought us a crap load of quality content. Probably my longest solo podcast ever, so bear with me (or cut it into 2 parts for your 2 sessions at the gym – whichever works)…
Brightest Day #24 ends the year-long, bi-weekly saga that saw 12 resurrected characters complete different tasks for the white light to the full resurrection of Swamp Thing, as he fights off the dark avatar version of himself. Great splash pages and fight scenes throughout. One can make a case that all of this to just bring back a long lost Vertigo character was cheap, but I thought it worked out great when you consider the story as a whole. I’m sure we can give it a better chance if we read it all in trades. We have to wonder though how Vertigo is fitting into the grand scheme of things in DC continuity, especially when you look at the big reveal in the last page…
Justice League Generation Lost #24 ends another year-long, bi-weekly saga that finally sees the Justice League International confront Maxwell Lord and his Omac Prime creation. Just one big action scene like last issue, but you can’t help but love how well this series performed, at points even exceeding what Brightest Day was doing. This cast of characters will definitely not go away into the DC vault, especially knowing what the last page showed us.
Action Comics #900 gives us 96 pages of great content, hopefully enough to justify its $6.99 price tag. We wrap up Luthor’s quest for the Black Rings that sees him achieve a god-like status and confront Superman one more time. It also ties into the Reign of Doomsday storyline that reveals how Luthor used the character to distract the Superman family. Overall, Paul Cornell gave us a great character study on Luthor, where we come to learn that despite his attempts to reflect the best of humanity, he’s not the most human of all. There were also some decent to good short stories in the issue, one of which caused controversy around the media with Superman renouncing his U.S. citizenship to hopefully become a bigger advocate for human rights. No word if this is in continuity or not, but it’s a big game-changer that has everybody talking. What do you think about it?
Despite all the big books though, leave it to Scott Snyder once again to break out his writer’s pen and script another beauty in Detective Comics #876. He wrote an excellent arc between Commissioner Gordon and his estranged son the last 2 issues and now he takes things back to Dick Grayson with a murder tied to the daughter of his parents’ killer, Tony Zucco. It’s amazing how Snyder has taken this back to basics and yet makes it seem so fresh. Having Jock back on art adds to the awesomeness as well with a few jaw-dropping pages of Gotham at its eeriest.
Music provided by Possible Oscar – Wolverine
Nothing too spectacular this week, but solid nonetheless for these 3 books.
First, we enter the penultimate issue of Justice League Generation Lost #23. This series has been known to be a great homage to the JLI of old with its characterization and interactions. That sort of took a back seat to the action involving Max Lord’s Omacs hunting down Wonder Woman, but still moves the story to the endgame where the JLI will hopefully get Max once and for all.
We then talk about Flash #10 and its lead-up to DC’s next big event, Flashpoint. The lead-up was actually minimal and made me question if the pacing of the plots was affected by the delays in getting this out. Still, I trust in Johns and if anything, you should check it out for Francis Manapul’s art alone, who continues to impress with his watercolor artwork.
Finally, Uncanny X-Force #7 wraps up the Deathlok arc and sees the team confront the “Father” of the alternate reality cyborg race looking to carry its cause to X-Force’s world. It says something that Rick Remender can make you sympathize with Deadpool, as he continues to wrestle with devotion to the team since the Kid Apocalypse story arc. A great group of characters to play with, all leading well into the Dark Angel arc planned for this summer.
NOTE: We’re re-doing the intro song for our shows. Until then, enjoy my voice upon hitting play (if you’re ok with that, of course)
There’s not enough words any more to describe how awesome Judd Winick has been on Justice League Generation Lost. Issue 21 continues that trend with bringing things down a notch and showing us the team’s reaction to losing one of their own. This was great characterization that had been lacking at times in this series what with the focus being on JLI’s never-ending chase of Maxwell Lord. With the big cliffhanger at the end, the last three issues are looking promising.
Zatanna #10 supposedly ends the battle between the titular magician and the magically cursed puppet she finds out to be quite the bad guy her dad thought him to be. I say “supposedly” because anybody who read the last couple of pages knows things didn’t exactly go Zatanna’s way. Nevertheless, it’s enjoyable reading because of Paul Dini’s passion for the character.
I had been hesitant for a bit to get into Venom #1 until I learned that Rick Remender (of Uncanny X-Force and Fear Agent writing fame) was writing and Flash Thompson was taking on the symbiote suit. The first issue gave us a taste of what the Army’s plans are for Flash and the suit and how Flash will react to constantly being taken away from the suit. Those of you who know what Flash’s current physical state outside of the suit know what I’m talking about. There’s a lot of story ideas to come out of this next volume in the Venom series and I for one will enjoy this ride.
Scott Snyder’s work on Detective Comics continues to impress me. It says something when he is able to tie in his original back-up story between the Gordon father and son into the main issue, but also can keep the flow going with Dick Grayson’s continuing adventures. And Francesco Francavilla’s art was just jaw-dropping – easily maybe 3/4 of that issue could have been on a “Best of Panels” article.
If that wasn’t enough, Judd Winick continues to bring goodness to in Justice League : Generation Lost #20. I didn’t think we needed to just have a few pages to confirm that Blue Beetle is no more, but the back story behind Maxwell Lord’s rise and fall was great for a guy like me not all up to speed on his character. The Brightest Day event as a whole is doing great with its cliffhangers and character development and this issue does that event justice.
DC must really like packing everything in for one week. There easily could have been a number of their books from last week to hit the top 3, but ultimately, I’m running with Justice League Generation Lost #19, Flash #9, and Batgirl #18. Whether you wanted more quirky one-off charming stories from Stephanie Brown, a good lead-up to the Flashpoint event, or an homage (or re-hash?) to a shocking death during the Infinite Crisis event – you’re plate was full this week. Enjoy the show and let me know your thoughts.
It’s all come down to this. 2010 was a banner year for comics, but only 5 could survive as the top 5 Quick Picks of 2010.
Sign off here on your thoughts as to what you think are the top choices. Have a happy and safe New Year’s from Comic Book Fury!