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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Peach the Destroyer: Issue 030

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Good morning, Destroyers!

So I've re-learned the joys of writing new characters. Entirely my fault, but clearly our cast should have expanded far more than it has by now.
Another lesson I re-learned was something Guillermo del Toro said in the commentary track for Hellboy: if you research anything, eventually you'll find evidence. In my case, I needed something to support Virginia being a supernatural hot spot. Turns out there really is an urban legend about The Gates of Hell and ley lines are all over Virginia (I also stole the idea to research ley lines from del Toro). The Linoge bit is a throwaway reference to Stephen King, which I'll let you research on your own.

And now...on to the comic reviews! WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS!
This week is a mix of bullet-points and paragraphs, depending on which I thought best suited my mini-review for each title...

  • Aquaman #2
  • This issue really solidifies Aquaman & Mera as a DC power couple (no pun intended), with great stuff like people referring to Mera as Aquawoman. At one point in the issue, Aquaman looks like he’s about to kill the man when he corrects him.
  • I love the new villains, the mysterious monsters from the trench and I can actually see them getting some serious mileage in the future...they feel like the Aquaman equivalency of zombies
  • My only complaint (and it’s more of a nitpick) is that the creatures' dialogue is translated into English throughout the issue. While the cliffhanger would've been pointless without it, there were a few scenes that could have been ratcheted up a notch or two if we didn't know what the creatures were saying (not that they say much, which is why I'm saying this is just a nitpick).
  • The Fury of Firestorm #2
Okay, I know I picked the first issue up out of curiosity...but I wasn’t expecting this. Jason and Ronnie (our Firestorms) are now on the run from an international special ops team who discredit them to their families as domestic terrorists! This...this is a freaking Firestorm book! I recommend it, it’s a good read and this issue was better paced than the first issue, it’s, I was not expecting one of the darker titles on my pull list to be freaking Firestorm.
  • Justice League Dark #2
Speaking of dark... (see what I did there?)I’m not saying that the book is “losing” me, but it feels like it has the same problem several people have about Justice League: "When is the team actually going to form? What’s going on? Waah, waah, waah." Maybe I feel the issues here more than Justice League because I’m less familiar with the characters. I freely admit this is just my problem. Watch, next month I'll be singing the book's praises (hey, it worked for Action Comics)This issue focuses on Deadman and Dove’s relationship drama (an aside: in one scene, Dove transforms into her superhero alter ego by saying “Dove.” Does this happen every time she says it? What happens if she tells someone that’s her favorite brand of soap or chocolate? Does she just transform in the middle of the grocery store?) and...I’m sorry, it’s so scattershot I have a little bit of a hard time figuring out what’s going on. And don’t even get me started on Madame Xanadu. Overall? I like the idea, I just want to get everyone on the same page and heading somewhere. Then I’ll probably be on board 100%
  • Kirby: Genesis #3 & #4
If Aquaman hadn’t come out, these would be my default picks-of-the-week. I love everything about the Genesis concept and it’s just so much fun to see this team playing with Jack Kirby’s box of toys...enough happens in one issue to fill out at least two or three issues of a Marvel or DC book, with enough concepts to cover at least three or four spin-off books. If you’re not reading Genesis, you need to get on board before it’s too late.
  • The Savage Hawkman #2
NOTE: This review is going to be in two parts, because there were two panels that launched me on a several-minutes-long rant to my wife last night that you, unfortunately, must suffer through as well. But first, the rest of the issue: 
I’m really digging this new Hawkman series, and I’ll say that as someone whose experience with the character was mostly from him laughing at Green Arrow’s Batman impression back in Quiver. This series makes him feel easily accessible for the first time in who-knows-how-long as he’s met with new mysteries, plus his wackadoo symbiotic-like costume. I was glad that this issue addressed my one problem from last time: the Nth metal can create weapons at Hawkman’s will, so he’s not stuck with that caveman-looking mace from the last issue. Plus we get to see Carter Hall trying to crack a translation, slowly making this book a bit of a superhero Indiana Jones
And now for the bad... 
In the middle of the book, we cut to the N.L.A.S. (Non Lethal Alternative Studies) Building. And I have one question about it: WHO THE HECK DESIGNED THAT THING?! It looks like Superman built a skyscraper using one of those Kryptonian build-a-building crystal (assuming those are still around post-relaunch) and then some architect said "know what? That design's not quite pompous enough…"And then, one panel after seeing that eyesore of architecture, we read about budget cuts and how the N.L.A.S. is on the chopping block…know how you could've avoided that? By not building that blight on the New York skyline (oh, by the way, N.L.A.S. is in Manhattan…probably should've mentioned that). Oh, and of course this is our villain’s hide-out, as if it weren’t obvious enough. Y’know, most supervillains aren’t this over-the-top, they just hollow out a volcano or something. Ugh.
  • Superman #2
Okay, this was a fun little mystery comic. There’s a little bit of arc-building (using aliens whose dialogue isn’t translated to English for us, but Superman can make out the word “Krypton”...not that I'm telling you how to do your job, Aquaman), but most of the comic is Superman fighting a monster who he can’t see or hear. Other people can see it...for a while, Superman has to go by clues like bystanders saying “why isn’t he doing anything?” to figure stuff out. This was a great example of Superman using his head to solve a problem, which could be said about the last issue, too. I’m more than happy that we’re showcasing the fact that our Man of Steel’s got a brain to go along with that brawn.
  • Teen Titans #2
I’ll say it: we’re two issues in and a lot of people still owe this one an apology.This book could seriously have no arc, no world-building, and just consist of Tim Drake globe-trotting and righting wrongs and I’d still be on board for it. Speaking of which, he stays at Wonder Girl’s place for the night, leading to the hilarious image of him doing research while sitting under a pretty pretty unicorn painting. With a rainbow. People, if that’s not worth the price of admission alone, I don’t know what is.
That's all for this week, kids. I'll see you next time, same Peach-time, same Peach-channel! 


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