Thursday, April 16, 2009

Buy Pile Report

In a slow week, there were three top-flight titles to pick up. The only question was, would they be good enough to carry us through?

Green Lantern Corps #35 sure as shoot was up to snuff. Since "Sinestro Corps. War" began, the status quo in the GL Universe has been clear. "GL" and "GL Corps." were to be separate but equal storylines, with "GL" concerning mainly Hal Jordan and "GL Corps." concerning the bulk of the Ring-Slingers. And while both books have been unquestionably strong, it has always seemed like the bigger developments in the grand scheme of things have occurred in Geoff Johns' Hal Jordan book. That is, until this issue.

If I didn't know better, I would think the "War of Light" was breaking out early in this issue, the third part of the "Emerald Eclipse" storyline. I don't want to wreck the surprises for you, but all it takes to imagine the carnage are these two situations coming together at the same time: A rampaging Red Lantern in the OA Prison and EVERY confiscated Yellow Ring busting free to look for their owners. The mayhem got going in a hurry, and thankfully we still have a good deal of action left waiting for us next month.

If that wasn't enough, half of this book was spent with Sodam Yat and Arisa flying to the Sinestro Corps-infested Daxam. Personally, I've never been sold on Sodam Yat. He's always been one of those guys to me that, we keep getting told how important a character he is, yet we've rarely been shown why. Well here we get some interesting character moments with him, both when discussing lethal force and lecturing his fellow Daxamites, and learned a lot about the background of where he comes from. Frankly after reading this issue, I'm a little bit worried about what side he's going to be fighting for in the future.

Action Comics #876 was far less complex, but nonetheless fantastic. Here, we get one big fight scene (surprising, since we know this story will be 12 issues and only 12 issues), but along the way you learn everything you need to if you were still wondering whether Ursa and Zod had any common decency in the least. I was a little worried about this issue when I saw the issue's narrator would be Ursa herself, but it worked very well here, especially since the other pivotal character in this book, Chris, had his story told expertly by artists Eddy Barrows and Sidney Teles.

Where we hear everything going on in Ursa's head, this issue really shows the emotions of the moment on Chris' face. And, come on, for a kid who is apparently growing constantly and was born in the Phantom Zone, did he really need the trauma of fighting to the death with his birth mother? Plus, call me an old-school comics cheeseball, but can you get any more iconic than this exchange:

Thara: Kill her, she'll never stop chasing us.
Chris: Superman wouldn't.
Thara: Superman isn't here.
Chris: All the more reason.

BAM! I am a BIG fan of Chris, all thanks to Greg Rucka. Now let's just hope he stays alive through this whole deal.

Two for two! But did Captain America #49 make this week's top titles a clean sweep? Not quite...

Ed Brubaker's latest tale was not horrible by any stretch of the imagination. It just wasn't quite up to the standard he has established for this series. And a standalone issue spent entirely with the mostly retired and recovering Sharon Carter was a bit too much of a departure from the full speed ahead momentum the series had going for it. Maybe that's unfair to say, especially since I admit a step back from all the action is well-timed at this point. The bigger problem was that I felt the issue was a little long-winded, and could have had a little more plot interjected to keep the pace moving more than it did.

But I suppose I should take a step back myself and explain. This issue catches us up with Sharon, who still doesn't remember everything that went on. Throughout the issue Brubaker uses an ongoing metaphor to Alzheimer's patients, each living in a prison of their own memory's limitations. Frankly, I felt the metaphor was a bit of a reach. To get back to that bigger problem I mentioned above, I think the flaw here was dramatic irony. WE knew everything that has transpired, even if Sharon had not, making the big reveal at the end -- Sharon realizes she was pregnant -- fall very flat. Heck, I forgot she didn't remember the pregnancy.

Oh well, don't be sad. Two out of Three ain't bad. And with that, a slow week ends.

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