Monday, June 20

Teen Titans #95, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #10, and Action Comics #901 (7/11)

I don't have a whole lot to say about any one of these – more just short impressions, random quips.

“How the Mighty Fall”

I jumped onto reading Teen Titans as a monthly a while back after reading most of this current run in collected format, mainly because after a series of rather lackluster, critically-panned writers J. T. Krul was coming aboard along with Nicola Scott and Doug Hazlewood on art. Frankly, however, despite the fact that I really liked Krul's work on the Titans in their Blackest Night miniseries a while back and have good memories of Scott's art from when she was paired with Gail Simone on Birds of Prey several years ago, there's been nothing terribly impressive here. Nothing really bad, just nothing really memorable. Nothing that, in retrospect, I wouldn't have been just as happy to have waited to read in trade where it may have even read better. I'll finish this series out, but the new post-Flashpoint Teen Titans is not currently on my list of probable continuances despite it apparently being the only place I'll be able to get my Tim Drake fix. Even his return to the team a couple months ago, despite occurring in the context of a couple of Krul's better issues with the brief introduction of Damian Wayne to the mix, didn't really seem to go anywhere. Tim's out for the count throughout all this issue.

War of the Green Lanterns, Part Nine”

The four Earth Lanterns (Hal, Guy, John, and Kyle) finally come back together in the aftermath of Part Eight's cataclysmic ending, which allows them to make contact with the only Guardian willing to get his hands dirty as a Lantern himself, Ganthet, and free the Green Lantern Corps from the control of Krona. Along the way we do get a little insight into the character of Guy Gardner. The little blue bad guy (has it been explained why Krona's so reduced in stature in this event where he's previously been pretty imposing?) thinks it's all going according to his plan, but I'm sure he'll find out otherwise in the concluding Part Ten next month.

Reign of the Doomsdays, Part One”

After the big anniversary issue last month “concluded” the “Reign of Doomsday” cross-over story-arc, now we find that things are much worse than just the big savage crystal-encrusted Kryptonian monster that long ago “killed” Superman beating the tar out of all the Superman “family.” It seems that there are a whole bunch of Doomsdays, and our heroes are now trapped in a pocket universe with them – which is on a collision course with Earth. (–? Yeah, me too.) Apparently this will finish out the pre-Flashpoint run of the highest-numbered super-hero comic of all. Paul Cornell, who rapidly endeared himself to a lot of fans with his brilliant “Black Ring” saga of the past year in which Lex Luthor took the starring role in Action Comics, deftly mixes action with characterization in this issue, so I'm fairly sure it will be a worthy send-off. Why oh why are DC gutting this venerable title's numerical accomplishment, however?

A couple of specific comments on this issue: Obama's President of the United States in the DC universe? Huh? I thought it had been fairly long established that our “real-world” presidents are nowhere to be found, rather a string of “DC” presidents including Lex Luthor and Pete Ross (briefly). And Obama sure doesn't seem to know anything about Superman “renouncing” his US citizenship (the notorious short story in the back of issue #900 – to be fair, that story is not anchored in time and obviously could not take place where it did in sequence! Perhaps it hasn't happened yet. More likely it was just a story to make some kind of “point,” garner publicity [which it did], and was never meant to become a story element in future) - “Superman – your country needs you now!”

I've read some comments praising Kenneth Rocafort's art on this issue (most of it), specifically in contrast to the more “pedestrian” sequence in the middle by Jesus Merino (not really my word, nor a quote, just my characterization of what the internet commentators have been saying). Really? I didn't care for Rocafort's interiors at all. I don't like sketchy, angular, cluttered, overly rendered art. Some specific images were good, but could have benefited from “smoothing” out. A lot can be and is accomplished by colorists these days providing highlights and depth to the image. There's no need to outline in black things like the little reflection of light off the tip of Supergirl's nose in panel three of page seven! (Man, I wish they still numbered pages so I wouldn't have to count these things.) There are plenty of other examples. For me, the shift to Merino's more “natural” art was noticeable – and welcome. I'm glad he's going to be the finishing artist over Perez's layouts in the new Superman title.  By the way, notice I said "Rocafort's interiors" - he did the cover as well, and it frankly looks much better, more "finished," than much of what you see inside.

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