Thursday, August 20, 2009

Buy Pile Report

Well, as anticipated, it was up to Black Lantern Earth-2 Superman to save the day.

And while Kal-L wasn't quite enough to make up for the rest of the waste of space books out this week, but he sure was awesome.

Blackest Night: Superman #1 was everything you could ask for in a tie-in. For one, it's pretty clear that you really don't NEED to read this issue to follow "Blackest Night" proper. For two, any Superman-family fan will gush over this. With the possible exception of Power Girl's absence, given her connection to the character, James Robinson wrote the perfect zombie Kal-L story. I say that because it wasn't enough for him to simply write about Kal-El meeting again with Kal-L, he includes Superboy as a main character, and considering how "Infinite Crisis" played out, the choice was brilliant. Also, Kal-L brought another Black Lantern friend back with him that I wasn't expecting whatsoever (No, it's not Pa Kent, at least yet), but she too was just a perfect choice.

On top of all those good choices, we also get a strong first issue to this storyline which, while didn't include all that much action yet, definitely showed the potential for plenty. Also of note, this was the first time in the "Blackest Night" event that we have seen characters exude more than one emotion at once. Frankly, to me, this looked like a slight editorial mistake. But, if Robinson's script was on the level, then Superman showed the potential to wield just about any emotion you can ask for.

Unfortunately, the other three books I picked up this week were pretty disappointing.

Supergirl #44 was the third installment of the four-part "Codename: Patriot" crossover. Or, at least it called itself the third installment. Very very VERY little was advanced here, which, frankly, was a shock considering how short this crossover is. General Lane showed his plan is moving along, but we already knew the plan was to make Krypton look like a much bigger threat than it is, so what's new there? Lois Lane was still acting irrationally bitchy toward Supergirl, so what's new there? The only thing that we really saw was that that Mirage girl is fixing to trick Nightwing, Flamebird and Supergirl into looking very bad. That's it. Waste of time and money.

But, not as big of a waste of money was Superman Annual #14 was. This book, the "Secret Origin of Mon-El and his World," rarely even featured Mon-El!!! It was literally just the story of how Daxam was founded, and the big reveal was that for some God awful reason Robinson chose to make Mon-El's great great great great grandfather an Earthling. Let me tell you, when DC said it would be bringing the concept of annuals back a couple of years ago, I was thrilled. I loved annuals growing up and how they provided exciting, self-contained stories as a bonus to what I was following on a monthly basis. But, if DC keeps insisting on making these annuals glorified back-up tales, the concept is going to die again.

Speaking of back-up stories, Justice League of America #36, the second part of a three-issue story featuring the Royal Flush Gang -- a story which surprisingly had a very strong first issue -- spent most of its pages explaining the origin of the Gang. Let that set in for a moment. If you can picture a freight train coming to a screeching halt, that's what happened to the momentum this story built last issue. It's almost as if Len Wein had two-issues worth of story to tell and DC told him they needed three.

Oh well, at least we got more glorious zombie action this week. And now, back to "Shadow Complex." Jealous?

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