Beneath the big DC kahunas in Flashpoint, Batman, and Green Lantern – there lied a series from Gail Simone that stuck around that fans called one of the most consistently great books around. That all came to an end last week as Secret Six took its final curtain call. There was much to appreciate about this quirky band of murderers and mercenaries. Simone brought a charm to an anti-hero book line none other and it was great to see the team go down in a blaze of glory.
In the indie scene, Robert Kirkman and Rob Liefeld give us The Infinite #1. If you never thought you’d see a time-traveling buddy cop movie with your older self teaming up with your younger self, Kirkman and Liefeld prove you wrong.
Music provided by 2 Sided Story – Last Goodbye
A new month takes us closer to the end of the Flashpoint universe and to the beginning of a new one. That hasn’t stopped the bat from taking away the spotlight. Or Robert Kirkman from putting more stock into creator-owned books:
5) Infinite #1
A time-traveler goes back to team up with his younger self to prevent an apocalypse? Kirkman has sold me already, even if Liefeld hasn’t yet.
4) Batman Gates of Gotham #4
While things slowed down a notch last issue, one can only expect it up to pick back up as the Bat team looks for the Architect hunting down the descendants of the founding families of Gotham. Snyder and Higgins are crafting a beauty of a mini-series.
3) Jonah Hex #70
How can they possibly top last issue’s confrontation with Hex’s daddy? Perhaps confronting the one thing he always seems to eludes – death. If this is the way it is to end for our favorite bounty hunter as it leads into the All-Star Western book in September, it shall be such an end.
2) Flashpoint #4
So skinny Superman high-tailed it. Now what for Batman, Cyborg, and Flash? With the war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman hitting close to home, we’ll find out if Barry Allen has enough time to undo what Reverse Flash has brought about.
1) Batman Knight of Vengeance #3
A tie-in picked over the main event? If you read the last issue of Brian Azzarello’s take on the Flashpoint Batman, you’d understand why. We’ll see how it all went down in Crime Alley one more time, only things don’t look too rosy for little Bruce.
Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt continue to paint an epic in The Sixth Gun #11. A final showdown with a new entity comes about and more is learned about the guns that hold the fate of the world in its hands. Westerns don’t get their share of respect nowadays, but this one is keeping me glued.
Green Lantern #65 and Green Lantern Corps #59 continue the War of the Green Lanterns event with the key characters on the run from a corrupted Green Lantern corps. Been a fun read so far, but I’m worried about the slow pacing and the fact that we’ve already seen the old ring switcharoo during Blackest Night. Nevertheless, it’s not so overbearing like the last arc was.
Lastly, leave it to Robert Kirkman to give us something like Super Dinosaur #1. A good start to a new all-ages series about a boy and his, um, super dinosaur. You do the math.
And just like that, the inaugural season of AMC’s The Walking Dead comes to a close.
There was a lot of buzz for this show going into its pilot debut on Halloween. The result was one of AMC’s most highest rated shows ever, consistently hitting numbers in the 5-6 million range each week. And it’s no surprise why – as I contemplated finding pros and cons to write up for this season review, the cons were a list as long as a finger nail. Here’s what we have:
1) Pilot episode – Any new show must set the tone on the get-go to capture its audience and let them know what they’re in for. AMC gave it 90 minutes to do so and it delivered. Actually, it set the tone in the first minute when a little zombie girl’s head gets blown off. From there, you get the noble sheriff’s deputy, Rick Grimes, waking up in a dead hospital and a world gone a little awry with walker fever. I still get chills watching Rick re-visit the half-torso zombie girl in the park. We’ve all seen the zombie apocalypse done multiple times, but to build it as effectively for TV as it was done here is no small feat.
2) The theme – I have yet to read the comic book, but I’ve come to know from people who have that what makes the comic book so compelling was its focus on the human survivors looking to re-build their society in a world ruled by the dead. And sometimes, those very survivors can be more frightening than the dead. Merle was an example of that in the 2nd episode when he wasn’t afraid to shoot somebody because he just didn’t like him or her. Shane showed that in the last episode when he tried to make advances on his buddy’s wife. It’s always been compelling to see how people react to extraordinary circumstances and this show provided ample opportunities to demonstrate that.
3) The characters – Andrea’s relationship with her sister, Amy, tested to the very end in episode four and Morgan’s struggle to take out his walker wife in episode one are two strong examples about how this show is not about the zombies at all.
4) The walkers – You’d think you seen it all, but the make-up done on the latest zombies was exquisite.
1) Episode Two – “Guts” had one gruesome sequence that kept you glued to the TV, but beyond that, it was a typical zombie story you’d see in any zombie movie in the last 10 years. It was filler content at its finest that served the purpose of Rick and the survivors getting back to camp and it’s fortunate that the audience stayed on for the long run.
2) Lori – This pet peeve bothered me more than I thought it would. Here’s Rick’s wife, a few weeks removed from thinking her husband dead after the world shuts down, and she’s already developed a thing for Shane. I’m sure it’s open to interpretation as to her intentions in the show and her role gets better as the show goes on, but I didn’t think her character started off on the right foot.
You can see how my cons don’t add up to much. This was a fantastic start to this series and makes it all the more painful that we have to wait till next Halloween to re-visit this world for 13 more episodes. Robert Kirkman and Frank Darabount should take a bow for making a very entertaining adaptation of the hit book. And props to AMC overall for green-lighting an indie series that nobody knew if it’d ever catch fire with audiences.
What are your thoughts? Any good or bad things missed that you want to highlight? Should the walkers create a political party and run for President of Dead World?
This week, I sing the praises of Invincible Ultimate Collection 5 first and salute the stellar run Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley are having. Then I make haste and talk about a new arc going on in Action Comics led by Paul Cornell – a name I wish I knew well during his Marvel days writing Captain Britain and MI:13 in the midst of Secret Invasion. It’s a good start and makes Luthor the center of attention in the long-running Superman book. We were wondering when we’d get the follow-up to Luthor’s tenure as an Orange Lantern and it pays off well as Luthor obsesses over the power he once had.
Enjoy the show and have a safe 4th!
Mike and I recently wrapped up the decade with our 2-part Wizard Decade Edition podcasts (latest one is here if you want to check it out), but I figured to also provide one focused particularly on 2009 as well. A lot went on this year alone, which explains why this was probably the longest podcast I’ve ever done solo. Some highlights on the podcast:
- DC was the big publisher this year in my eyes with Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns leading the charge on the major story arcs.
- Vertigo continues to innovate with their new Unwritten and Daytripper series
- Marvel’s Dark Reign storyline dominates the year, but hear why I believe it lost its focus as the year went on.
- Image and Dark Horse continue to put out quality work in spite of the domination by the big two publishers
- 2010 will see more excellent books and a more focused direction on both DC and Marvel’s sides.
- I lay down challenges as to supporting independents and why comics should never be considered as just “spandex” books
A happy and safe New Year’s to all and we’ll see you on the other side of 2010!