I can’t believe the Spider-Man musical will hit Broadway on December 21. Are there really enough little old ladies who want to take the bus in from Long Island on a Wednesday afternoon to see an all-singing, all-dancing super-hero? That’s quite a bit different from Starlight Express and Cats, right? My prediction: It’ll close before the Tonys are announced, but then a touring version will criss-cross America for years with Jake Lloyd, Mischa Barton, Gabe Kaplan and Angela Lansbury in key roles.
Now let’s see what else is going on:
Scott Pilgrim I: Over at John Scalzi’s Whatever, guest blogger John Anderson bows down before the triumph that is Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.
Scott Pilgrim II: The Early Word takes a look at how a comic book movie adaptation might help sales of said comic and then delivers a slap to the way DC Comics handles itself. “However, those intrigued by the Green Lantern movie are unlikely to be engaged by the continuity-heavy, you-must-buy-every-single-collection tale like Blackest Night. The folks buying Blackest Night? They are already Green Lantern comics fans.”
Rating: ** 1/2*
I was a big fan of James Robinson‘s Starman in the 90s. So much so that I got a tattoo of the insignia on my shoulder. When I heard this idea of having the Blackest Night “resurrect” canceled titles I thought it was great, especially as it would be resurrecting this long-time favorite of mine. Unfortunately, like the material that writer James Robinson has been doing since his return to comic books full-time, this issue is sub-par compared to his old work.
For those of you not familiar with the old Starman series, the Golden Age Starman, Ted Knight, had finally retired thanks to the events of Zero Hour and his son, David Knight, decided to take up his father’s mantle as the new Starman and protector of Opal City. In the very first issue (really issue zero), David is killed by the son of the super-villain, The Mist. As a result, Ted’s younger son Jack takes over the role of Starman for the duration of the series which ended with issue 80 when Jack retires to live in San Francisco with his son. One of the supporting characters of the book was the former super-villain, The Shade, and he along with another supporting character, Hope O’ Dare, are the focus of this issue of Starman.
First off, I really wish writer and co-creator, James Robinson, would have used Jack Knight in this special issue. I think it would have been cool to see Jack battle it out with Black Lantern versions of his father and brother. Maybe Robinson feels that he’s done and said what needs to be said with that character and that having him return would not be a good idea. I can respect that, but as a fan I would have loved to have seen it.
If you were a fan of the run Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins did on The Flash, this book is for you. I wasn’t a fan of Kolins’ work on The Flash at first, but the artwork grew on me and the stories that Geoff was pumping out were classic. This issue picks up during the Blackest Night event and after the Flash: Rebirth series.
I was a bit confused by the story in this issue at first because we see that Eobard Thawne aka Professor Zoom the Reverse Flash appears as a Black Lantern, which got me wondering how could he be a Black Lantern if he’s been resurrected? Then I remembered that when Zoom returned in the Flash: Rebirth series, he stated that he was from the future after he was resurrected by a friend of Barry’s. This is what happens when series get delayed. Flash: Rebirth has yet to end so we don’t know what has happens to Zoom at the conclusion to the series. One can assume that he’s still alive at the end. Who is the “friend” that resurrects Zoom? My guess is it’s Hal Jordan as it seems he will get possessed by Paralax once again in Green Lantern #50.
This series will also focus on the Rogues as they battle the Black Lantern Rogues. Geoff has done a great job in developing the Rogues characters. He really writes them as characters who walk the line between good and evil - especially Captain Cold, my favorite of the Rogues. The current Captain Boomerang Owen Mercer makes an appearance at his father’s grave here. I’m sure his father the original Captain Boomerang will be resurrected and we’ll be seeing father and son battling it out sometime during this series. Boomerang is buried at the special Rogues cemetery and it is here that a Black Lantern ring find the grave of Zoom and resurrects him as a Black Lantern.
Happy Halloween! You won’t find any Halloween-themed stuff down below because thousands of other people are already way ahead of me on that. What you will find is some very nifty reading (and looking) on folks like Howard Chaykin, Frank Robbins, indie cartoonist J.R. Williams, Stan Lee, and Blackest Night. Start the ball rolling downhill…
Incognegro: Galleycat gives a shout-out to the new graphic novel by Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece, making it their Featured Book of Color. This Vertigo book has “movie” written all over it, and I’m sure Diane Nelson has noticed that.
Die Hard: Those We Left Behind enjoys the new Howard Chaykin/Stephen Thompson Die Hard prequel, Die Hard: Year One, from Boom! Says TWLB of the just-released second issue: “The series is really capturing the spirit of the McClane character, with his quick wit and regular-guy attitude.”
The Avengers: James Reasoner reviews Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Volume 1 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers. “It’s also interesting to see the introduction of storylines that would resonate through the Marvel Universe for years, and in some cases, decades afterwards.” But there’s a “but” coming that you’ll have to click and discover for yourself.
I’m a bit disappointed in this issue. After the first three issues blew me away and I proclaimed that this series was a future classic in the making, writer Geoff Johns stumbles a bit with this month’s issue of Blackest Night. For me, some of Black Lantern Firestorm’s dialogue was written poorly in the opening pages. We also jump to Gotham City for no reason other to see Jean Paul Valley aka Azrael resurrected as a Black Lantern while The Scarecrow whines about admiring the fear that the Black Lanterns are able to invoke (he can’t get scared because he’s used too much of his fear gas). Poor baby. He does have one fear of course - The Batman (cue dramatic Batman music).
This issue mostly focuses on Barry Allen - the Flash and his quest to take the reigns and try to “hold down the fort” here on Earth against the Black Lanterns. He’s with the Atom and Mera of Atlantis and he gives them a good pep talk to try to get them to step up and fight back against the Black Lanterns. The Flash then runs across the Earth continuing his pep talk and informing the other heroes of the situation. He tells them that Green Lantern is off trying to destroy the source of the Black Lanterns’ power and they have to keep fighting until that happens.
Rating: *** 1/2*
Blackest Night comes to end for Superman this week - at least for now. Issue three of Blackest Night: Superman is a lot of fun - this whole series has been fun. As I mentioned in a previous issue, sometimes the most simple plots can be the most fun. All you need to know is that the Black Lanterns are resurrecting the dead in the DC Universe, and they are attacking the living. It’s Night of the Living Dead meets the world of superheroes - what more can you ask for?
Writer James Robinson did a very good job with this one. Behind the story of the Black Lanterns attacking Smallville and New Krypton is the story of a family - the Superman family. I like the dynamic between Martha Kent and her sons Superman and Superboy (and of course the family dog Krypto); on the flip side, we see the difficult family relationship between Supergirl and her mother as they tackle their father/husband who has been resurrected as a Black Lantern. Great drama.
Our story jumps back and forth between the events happening in Smallville to the events on New Krypton. Kara is sad and angry over this thing that she has to fight, this thing that looks and sounds like her father. Meanwhile, Superman and Superboy fight off the Black Lanterns of Earth 2 Superman and the Psycho Pirate. The Psycho Pirate has been able to take over Superboy and make him fight Superman, but Superboy is then able to regain control of his senses use his tactile telekinesis to fight off Earth 2 Superman. Conner wants to be more like Superman, but he hasn’t been using this power because Superman lacks his own. Superman tells Conner that he must use all of his powers and be himself, to not worry about being more like Superman.
The Black Night continues its reign of terror in Smallville in this issue of Blackest Night: Superman. I really enjoyed the first issue of this series, but I felt a bit let down with this second one. One of the things that I felt hurt the first issue of this series continues here and that’s bad dialogue. As you know, Earth 2 Superman has risen from the dead as a Black Lantern and is fighting Superman and Superboy. As they are fighting, Earth 2 Superman taunts Superman with this “amazing” piece of dialogue,“My world was better! I was better! Earth 2? No, it was Earth mine!” Bad. Just bad. I can’t believe that this is the same writer - James Robinson - who wrote one the best comics ever in Starman. What the hell happened?
The story is still decent enough for me to have been entertained along with the solid artwork by Eddy Barrows. This guy is great. I look forward to seeing more of his work, hopefully on bigger projects for DC.
Rating: *** 1/2
Blackest Night: Batman continues this week as Batman, Robin, and Deadman battle the Black Lanterns in Gotham City. I really like what Peter Tomasi is doing with this story. My only problem is again the way he writes Damian. Compared to the way Grant Morrison is writing Damian it’s like they are two different people. If you get past that, it’s a fun story.
Batman and Robin break into the Gotham National Guard Armory to get some weapons to battle the Black Lanterns. At first Damian wants to grab a gun, but Dick tells him no and that they have to honor Bruce’s memory to not use a gun. Not sure why in this case since everyone they’ll be fighting is dead already, but it’s the thought that counts I guess.
When we were first given information about the Blackest Night min-series, we were told that this story would involve all of the various Ring Corps that exist in the universe. So far, we haven’t seen much of them - only the Black Lantern rings racing across the universe and resurrecting the dead into Black Lanterns. That all changes with this month’s issue of Green Lantern. All of the various ring colors are represented here, but the major feature of this issue is the battle between yellow ring leader Sinestro of the Sinestro Corps and Carol Ferris of the violet colored Star Sapphires Corps.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a long-time Green Lantern reader so I didn’t know until recently that Carol Ferris was at one time a Star Sapphire. So the impact of her as a Star Sapphire again and her fighting Sinestro does have the same impact on me as a long-time reader would have. Still it’s very cool. You don’t normally have the girlfriend/wife of a super-hero becoming a hero herself and then fighting her boyfriend/husband’s archenemy all that often. Have we ever seen Mary Jane get powers and fight the Green Goblin? So this is very cool and it adds a whole dynamic to the relationship of Hal Jordan, Carol, and Sinestro.
Rating: *** 1/2*
The Blackest Night makes its way to Smallville in this first issue of Blackest Night: Superman as Black Lanterns resurrect the deceased Earth 2 Superman and Lois Lane. Our story begins with Pete Ross and some local Smallville townsfolk talking amongst themselves when they notice something flying in the sky. Being a Superman comic, someone is guaranteed to utter the famous “Is that a bird?” quote. Well it’s not a bird of course, but it’s instead the resurrected body of Kal-L, the Superman of Earth 2 as a Black Lantern. He arrives in Smallville and makes his way to the Kent farm where Superman, Superboy, and Krypto are sitting down for coffee with Martha Kent.
I love that Conner is back and Superman has a “brother” of sorts; I love the little family that DC is developing here. I would have Supergirl start to develop a yearning to become a part of this family and have her mother become jealous—this would cause a big rift between them, resulting in a throw down with Superman and Allura with Supergirl caught in between. Speaking of which, we see Zor-El become a Black Lantern on New Krypton later in the issue.
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