Thursday, February 5, 2009

Buy Pile Report

I am back from my day trip to New Hampshire, and no book I picked up at "That's Entertainment" in Worcester, Mass., got me going quite like Final Crisis: Legion of Superheroes #3. If you've any love for the Legion at all, this book was better than crack. Oh, so many Legion members. Oh, so many villains. And, oh, so much more.

And before I even go into how much fantastic Legion action there was in this book, I need to talk about the opening pages featuring a good deal -- Geoff Johns, you property-tying genius -- Green Lantern news. In a short scene with the ageless Sodam Yat, there is plenty of possible "Blackest Night" foreshadowing:

1) Kyle Rayner dies at some point in Sodam Yat's past, at which point Kyle appoints Sodam the new "Torch Bearer."

2) Sodam recites a NEW Green Lantern Oath: "In Brightest Day, Through Blackest Night, No Other Corps Shall Spread it's Light! Let Those Who Try to Stop What's Right, Burn Like My Power, Green Lantern's Light!"

3) Sodam says he has "Done too many things that have stained my soul."

That last part is likely a throw-away random bit of future characterization, but the first two points are worth pondering.

Following the Green Lantern bit, there was just so much to love, from George Perez's gorgeous splash page of the Legions brawling to the Brainiac trio squabbling to Superman calling Superboy Prime "Clark."

And speaking of Prime, I know he's an awfully divisive character, but count me in the camp who loves this guy. I buy his motivations, I buy his characterization, and I even buy his over-the-top antics, seeing as this whole world he's mucking around was at one point completely fictional to him. If you at all see what I see in the guy, this was one issue where Prime shined. The only thing better than Prime burning a hole through Superman's hand was "Did YOU Do THAT?! IDontThinkSo."

But, of course, the showstopper was the man (or is he again a boy?) who shows up on the final page. Who called it?!? OK, at this point, everyone called it, but I remember being one of the first, back when Wally West first came back. And say what you will about delays and solicitations ruining big moments (I've certainly said plenty on the topic over the years), but Johns and Perez manage to keep a good bit of drama in this predictable moment with some stellar dialog and art direction.

What an issue. And worth the wait.

DC's other top book this week, as far as I am concerned, was The Mighty #1. Now, I actually just read a less than stellar review of the book on another site, but I, for one, am very happy to have given this first issue written by Peter Tomasi and drawn by Keith Champagne (who I normally don't like) a chance. Again, I may be in the minority here, but I am intrigued by this world inhabited by just one hero who attained his powers in World War II. The main character is actually the new head of his supporting "green beret"-esque force, a likable young guy who was forced to take the job after his mentor was murdered (cue the plot!). The series still has a way to go and even has yet to have its superhero "Alpha One" speak a word, but I felt this was a good first issue.

The only Marvel book in my Buy Pile worth noting was Cable #11, continuing the tale of Nathan Summers and Kid trooping around the desolate future. My one problem with this book is that the Messiah Child -- now named Hope for fantastically touching reasons -- is growing up too fast. This issue lists her as seven, although their count of days on the run age her at four and a half. Either way, this issue features some narration from Hope, for a change, and it really adds a sense of humor to an otherwise hopeless situation for the pair, jumping farther and farther into the future only to find less and less food and shelter. Given my current faith in the X-Men creative team on the whole, I am really nervous the upcoming "Messiah War" ruins this series in a couple of months. But until then, these last 11+ issues of "Cable" (counting the "King Size" issue) has been some must-read stuff. The only major flaw here? Replacement artist Jamie McKelvie was pretty horrible.

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