Holy crap was that a good issue! This is the final part to the “One World Under Gog” storyline. Normally I don’t have the time to write a review for things so quickly after I read them, but I had to on this one. Geoff Johns and Alex Ross just hit a monster home run on this one. Normally when I read comic book storylines, I’m never quite satisfied with the ending. Sometimes the story starts off good and ends badly or the ending ends up being just okay. Not this one, this was one of the best endings to a comic story arc I’ve read in a long while.
Figure Caption: You gotta love Supergirl!
It’s that time of year again when we look back at the year and see what lived up to our expectations and what fell flat on its face. So without further ado…here is MY Best of 2008.
Book of the Year: Captain America
When my friends ask me what the best comic out there is, this is my answer. Every month, Brubaker mixes social commentary, superhero history, and pulse pounding action into a symphony of awesomeness. As icing on the cake there is always a new twist or a new piece of character development that makes aspiring writers (like myself) bang their heads on a table wishing they thought of it. Damn you, Ed. Steve Epting’s artwork continues to be realistic and energetic with fun homages to great artists like Steranko.
Worst Book: Countdown to Final Crisis
Wasted time. Countdown to Final Crisis was an over-hyped highlight reel of the DC Universe that promised to set the stage for Final Crisis. Not only did it not set the stage for Final Crisis, it didn’t do much of anything except steal minutes from my life I’ll never get back. That and about $156 from my wallet.
Presented for your enjoyment a series of random thoughts:
* Is it possible that they are publishing more Captain America comics now that he is dead then when he was alive?
* Is the Superman/Supergirl Maelstrom mini-series drawn by someone who had never seen the characters before he got the assignment?
* Isn’t the Secret Wars Requiem a real rip-off because it is mostly old Ant-Man stories?
* With all the different colored Lanterns showing up in the DC universe, will we get to see the Pink Lanterns? You know, the gay ones? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
* Wasn’t it cool when in Ultimate Spider-Man, Peter answers the phone with “Hall of Justice”?
* Exactly how many named characters in the Marvel universe has Tony Stark slept with? Apparently She-Hulk and the Lady Liberator’s are taking a census. And who thought up the name Lady Liberators anyway? Sounds 1940ish to me.
* If Batman 683 is picking up from 682, a miracle in itself, don’t we still want to know where the heck in continuity this story line lies?
* Didn’t we just have a year without Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman?
* Can we find out once and for all if Earthlings and Kryptonians can reproduce? All-Star Superman says no, but aren’t the All-Star books set in a different universe? Apparently Clark and Lois spent a year together without Super-powers so shouldn’t we know something by now?
* How could they send off SuperGirl in Smallville? In a Smallville filled with gorgeous women wasn’t she the tops?
According to the advanced March solicitations for “Action Comics” and “Superman,” Superman will be MIA and other heroes will be patrolling the skies of Metropolis in his place.
The current storyline running through the Superman books is called “New Krypton”. It has the city of Kandor returning to Superman continuity and this time around the people are no longer living in a bottled city, but are now living on Earth. There is tension developing between the people of Earth and the Kryptonians and this will all lead to a “dramatic finale” which will lead into the new “World Without Superman” storyline. So come 2009, DC fans can look forward to not having both the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight staring in their own monthly books.
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Grant Morrison is a polarizing guy. You either love his work or find it completely incomprehensible. When you try to get someone to explain, a typical answer is “it’s Grant Morrison” as the owner of my comic store, The Phoenix of Westchester and Comix 411 colleague, Joel Rosenberg learned. So where does Morrison’s “Final Crisis” fall in the scheme of his work? A little from column a and a little from column b.
Reading the first three issues of “Final Crisis” was like watching a five-car pile on. Morrison hit you with one thing after another without explaining anything. I felt like I missed an issue (and the tie-ins didn’t fill in any gaps). Then issue four hit and “Final Crisis” started making sense. So if you still don’t understand what’s going on, here’s a little primer to make sense of the basics so far…
It’s been announced on various comic websites that Geoff Johns is leaving “Justice Society of America” (JSA) after issue #26. I read this last night and was very disappointed. I thought JSA would be a book Geoff would stay on for many more years to come - unfortunately that will not be the case.
I will probably drop JSA after Geoff leaves. I’ve liked Geoff’s run on this title over the past two years, but I think the work he did on the previous JSA title is far more superior. I think by the end there were just too many characters to really focus on. What happened to Mr. America? I’ll flip through the first issue after Geoff leaves to see what the new creative team is doing, but if it doesn’t grab me, I’m gone.
There is no one at DC right now that’s doing anything that would make me consider continuing this book if they came on after Geoff. Maybe Paul Dini. Right now comics are getting too expensive and with a family to support, other things have to take top priority over comics. I’m looking forward to Geoff’s “Flash Reborn” next year and I’m interested in seeing what he does with “Superman: Origins”. Hopefully this reboot of Superman’s origin is much better than “Birthright”; it was so boring. Great art by Leinil Yu though.
JSA is a great book and has great characters. I hope a writer is found who respects and loves the characters as much as Geoff does. Many of these characters have been around for decades and I would love to see them continue to shine in the limelight for decades to come.
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It’s been a busy week for me. Between the birth of my second son this past Monday, as well as Thanksgiving, I haven’t had much time to read or write about comics. Today after coming home from the pediatrician, I went and got the mail and in my mailbox was this month’s “Wizard” magazine. On the cover was a picture of the new “Justice League” comic, which will be written by James Robinson. I completely forgot about this book as the announcement for it came early this year.
James Robinson is responsible for writing one of my all-time favorite comic books: “Starman”. “Starman” only lasted 80 issues, but it was not canceled because it stunk. Robinson created a story that had a beginning, middle, and end that DC allowed him to tell - similar to Neil Gaiman’s run on “Sandman,” Robinson had carte blanche when it came to that book and it’s protagonist, Jack Knight.
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The other night we had Chloe’s wedding and it was the disaster that it was projected to be. Doomsday crashed the party and carried off the bride (yes, bride, they did get married before all the hullabaloo). Lana came back after learning Green Arrow’s secret and is working with some suspicious character. Lex came back plugged to some weird machine. Jimmy is half-dead. Lois thinks that Clark might be the One. Clark is plain pissed. A typical “Smallville” cliffhanger because they never put one person in peril when they can end a half or full season with just about everyone up the creek. But what do we have to look forward to on January 15, 2009 when the show returns?
Well, how is Clark to deal with Doomsday? Even with Impulse, Cyborg, Aquaman, Black Canary, Martian Manhunter, and Green Arrow, it seems Supes is going to need more help. Even though a lot of shows, including “Smallville,” are cutting back to reflect the current economy, we still have room for a slew of guest stars. Well, comic book guest stars as opposed to big name actors.
On January 15, we are going to see the arrival of The Legion of Super Heroes. Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl are going to arrive from the 31st century with stock market tips and to help our hero out. No more worrying about corn prices for a certain Kansas farmboy. DC is digging a little deep from the bench, in my humble opinion, because time travel shows, even when fun, makes my hair hurt. Let’s face it. Go back in time, fail in your mission, then try it again 10 minutes earlier until you succeed. Surely those Terminators sending guys back in time must realize their guys have failed when John Connor and the resistance is still there. Didn’t kill him, try again for Sarah. Fail with her, try the grandmother, etc.
If I have the scenario right, this Doomsday is made from Kryptonese genetic material so he should be superior to Supes. Assuming green kryptonite doesn’t kill him, I wonder if magnetism, lightning bolts, and telepathy will do any good. Well, we will find out in January.
Now that we know that the casting of Will Smith as Captain America was just a rumor, we can continue to debate who we would like to see be cast as Captain America. Personally I would like to go with an unknown. Prior to the Richard Donner “Superman,” not many people knew of Christopher Reeve. Instead of going with a big name for the lead, they went with this unknown actor and surrounded him with well known actors like Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, and Glen Ford. The movie was of course a big success and is now a classic. In my opinion, it’s the best comic movie of all time. So I would go with an unknown, but here are some of the names floating around.
This issue was written by Peter Tomasi with the art provided by Fernando Pasarin. It’s a very good issue featuring Lance Corporal David Reid who was resurrected as Magog in the current “One World Under Gog” storyline. I liked the introduction of David Reid to the team by Geoff Johns and Alex Ross. The character is the great-grandson of President Franklin Roosevelt who was a part of the formation of the Justice Society of America (JSA). I love American history and I always love comic stories that weave real history into their storylines.
This issue has some JSA members following Gog on his “mission” to help the people of the world. The group comes across a river with dead bodies floating in it. They discover that it has been poisoned by militants and it will kill everyone in the immediate area who use it for water if they don’t block it’s path. The river is blocked by Gog and he and the JSA members make their way to locate the militants.
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