Thursday, December 01, 2005

Two pints of booze, tell me, are you This Week's Reviews?

JLA Classified #14: The League faces their fears, which means Wally's got no speed... on the moon... while being chased by pterodactyls... made of dark matter. But he can breathe, for whatever reason. Wonder Woman fights eels. Superman faces a giant that claims to be "everything [he] fears. All the little people who hate that [he's] special, rolled into one." Batman clevers his way out of a fight with an infinite number of Jokers. J'onn has a chat with his crazy Martian fire god. Kyle wears stupid armor for the whole issue again and is put up against a samurai, for some reason. Aquaman reads this month's Vogue while battling a sense of ennui.

It has its moments, but this story's gone on too long, unless next month's payoff is something spectacular.

Also, not to totally continuity-geek out here, but at one point, Oracle talks to herself for a while about how, since she's still here, the JLA haven't been lost. Now, Luthor was shown to be president at the time of this story, so, coupled with the fact that Kyle's wearing his lame-ass most recent costume, this story's somewhere around when Virtue and Vice happened. Which means, I guess, that Aquaman would be dead, so disregard my earlier comment about how he's kicking back in an underwater recliner while his team faces off against an ancient Martian Danger Room, but at least Plas and the Atom were semi-active Leaguers. So there's at least two other people running around with JLA credentials, one of whom is typically written as, like, the third-smartest guy in the DCU. That Oracle sure does have an inflated sense of importance, given that she's more or less a talking, slightly-more-mobile version of Google.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #25: What the Hell is the point of this "Gold Standard" thing? I could swear it was supposed to be one of those "these are good jumping on points for new readers!" deals, but this one's part two of a three-parter, and Ultimate X-Men #65 was the last part of a five-parter. Not that either book is really throwing heady concepts out there that a new reader could get lost in, or anything.

Anyway, Ultimate Namor's a pretty funny guy. Seems Atlantis was a million years more advanced than our current society, so he spends most of the issue comparing contemporary man to apes and saying we smell and such. He learns English in under an hour while feigning unconsciousness, claiming that it is as simple to him as a normal human imitating a dog's bark. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect from Namor, except he's younger, he doesn't have an Atlantean army to back him up, and he might be a criminal and not the prince he claims to be. Also, he has some legendarily stupid hair.

See? Looks like that the whole issue. Like he was going to see My Chemical Romance or he was posing for a MySpace picture, or something.

At one point, he refers to Johnny Storm as "[Sue's] young friend with the ridiculous hair." Pots and kettles, Sub-Mariner, pots and kettles. I mean, granted, Greg Land makes Johnny look like a total douchebag, but take a look in the mirror. You look like you're falling straight down at all times.

Oh, and those robots? HERBIES. Tee hee.

There was another installment of Ultimate Vision on the back, but, wow, who cares?

Red HoodBatman #647: The Society sends in some ringers to help Black Mask take out Red Hood. Mask is none too impressed that he's stuck with Captain Nazi, the Hyena and freaking Count Vertigo, but, then, who would be?

Bats gets, like, nine lines the whole issue, wherein he more or less reteams with Jason Todd to save the latter's life in a battle against some suddenly dangerous C-listers. When Vertigo attacks, Batman negates the effects of his (really lame) powers by "dropping down the eye shields and ear plugs" in his cowl, ostensibly put there to combat Scarecrow's fear gas, which, by his own admission, renders him blind and deaf. Which is all well and good, except he then carries on a conversation with the Red Hood. Somehow. And he also has sonar in his mask that... again, somehow... relays visual information detailed enough to show me the little bullseye on Vertigo's chest. I think maybe Doug Mahnke read "sonar" and thought "but thermal makes more sense" and drew it as such. It's certainly colored that way.

Ah, well, next issue's THE BEGINNING OF THE END, so buckle down.

I also grabbed the first five issues of Kirkman's Fantastic Four: Foes, which is a snappy little FF story. I need to find number six now, though. My local shop was out. Sad face.


guerrilla blogger said...

i never understood why namor doesn't kick aquaman's ass and make him his bitch...

Jon said...

Well, if you think of Namor as sea life, Aquaman could probably just command him to punch himself in the face for a while.

Adam said...

I wonder if DC ever looks at Namor and says, "Why the FUCK did we never think of that?"

How many billions of fairly interesting story arcs is Namor in when compared to Arthur?

I guess that's the trade off for the old Captain America movie or something.

Jhunt said...

The great thing about Aquaman is that he can be used to tell a tale of political intrigue in Atlantis, or a straight-up superhero crimebuster slugfest. He has inherent flexibility. It takes all sorts of weak manoeuvring to get Namor to fight bad guys, as evidenced by virtually every story I recently read in Essential Defenders v1.

Is Namor more bad-assed? Yeah, he sure is. But as the central figure in a comic book he's also much more limited in terms of the approach that can be taken.

..oh, sweet lord.. I've become an Aquaman apologist...

Jon said...

I only like Namor when he's written as a total dick, myself. I like him best when he's in full-on evil villain soliloquy mode, chucking frozen Captain Americas back into the ocean solely because he doesn't like that eskimos are worshipping it or smashing the big table in the Avengers conference room just because. Or, you know, invading Manhattan for reasons lost to logic.

Aquaman, however, is only likeable when he isn't acting like Namor.

Oh, snap, Red Foreman's on Malcolm in the Middle right now yelling "suck my dick" over and over, so I'll be wandering off.

kelvingreen said...

My God, Namor is Morrissey!