Friday, April 14, 2006

This Week's Reviews may not be Ms Right; she'll do right now

Captain Atom: Armageddon #7 (of 9): Does anybody remember when some members of the Authority were actually averse to killing things as a solution to a problem? Jack Hawksmoor had a solo Stormwatch story (probably his third or so appearance ever, actually) where he killed a guy and it moved him to freaking tears. Swift negotiated with the civilization living inside of God at the tail end of Ellis's run instead of lighting them up with the Carrier's weapons systems because she didn't like how much her and Jack had been forced to change since they joined Stormwatch Black. They killed clones and invaders from parallel earths, sure, but until Millar took over the book, they didn't all seem to take such baffling pleasure in it. Now, beating things to death is the team's go-to strategy and defining personality trait.

Anyway, the Engineer's fix of the vaguely-defined explosive McGuffin inside Cap last issue apparently didn't take, so she tries to fix things with punching and lasers. Grifter gets involved, because he's the WildStorm universe's Wolverine. Or maybe Gambit. Fight fight fight, Authority angry, Midnighter and Apollo V. Cap next month. Whee. And then another issue after that. Maybe he'll fight Gen 13. Or DV8! Or Tao!

The Battle For DökkenBlüdhaven #1 (of 6): It's One Year Later and Blüdhaven's a veritable No Man's Land after suffering a devastating Cataclysm. It's still irradiated after the Chemo-whammy the Society dropped on it, which makes me wonder why nobody's called in, like, the Ray or Firestorm or Swamp Thing or a Green Lantern (Hell, Kyle and Kilowog restarted life on Thanagar about six months ago, it's got to be within the Ring's powers to absorb radiation) to detox the place. In theory, I guess, it makes for a better story. There're walls around the city, keeping those who'd want to move back in out (someone should just tell them to move to Central City, there's more than enough room for refugees there), but doing a crappy job of preventing the Society from sending delightfully themed gangs of C-listers in to try to rescue a glowing green fetus situation. The group they send in this time is called "The Nuclear Legion" and features six radiation-themed villains, none of whom are the Atomic Skull. Sad face.

Defending the city for the government are three of the five members of the Force of July (replacements for the dead originals, and now calling themselves "Freedom's Ring" because, presumably, they lost a bet) and a to-my-knowledge new version of a Forgotten Hero. There's also a new Firebrand, a transparent set-up for a new Human Bomb, and a character I can only presume is Uncle Sam with an even lamer codename. Get ready for a new team of Freedom Fighters before this one's out, folks.

And the Golem shows up, which is a freaking head-scratcher until you remember that Palmiotti and Gray wrote his book, too.

Ultimate X-Men #69: I have no idea how I missed the last issue. It's in a pull box, somewhere, maybe. Anyway, Lilandra wants to examine Jean Grey to see if she's the Phoenix because she runs a cult that worships said bird-shaped plot point. In return, she'll fund the X-Men, which is good, because Xavier's recently lost government support and no longer has cashflow from the Hellfire Club coming in. There's also a probably-evil new mutant with reality-altering powers hanging about the mansion. And Colossus goes on a date with Northstar.

The scene on the cover, like virtually every issue of the series, has absolutely nothing to do with the content. They should throw, like, a mid-seventies Daredevil cover with Ultimate X-Men trade copy on it out there some month and see if it in any way affects sales.

Or, say, a '90s Avengers issue.

Yeah, that cover actually has about as much to do with the issue as the one they went with. Vision's been punched so hard, he's obscuring the UPC! HOW WILL THEY RING YOU UP NOW, TRUE BELIEVER?

Boy, am I ever glad I learned how to make stupid things in Photoshop.

Ultimate Extinction #4 (of 5): You know, I'd really have liked this Ultimate Galactus thing if it was just this book. I mean, the other two minis were just inconsequential in light of this one. Things happen in this one. I'm probably in the minority on this, but I really wish Ellis was still on Ultimate Fantastic Four.

Superman #651: Still very, very good. Woods is still great, Luthor's still mysteriously working in the sewers Gene Hackman- style, Toyman is still pretty much the version of Toyman from the cartoon. There're three great Superman books on the shelves at the same time, and I can't recall a point in my life where that's ever been the case.

Planetary #25: As always, more than worth the wait.

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