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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Peach the Destroyer: Issue 050

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Hey, guys! So…yeah. 50 comics. Crazy, right?! Anyway, this is hands down my favorite comic that I've done so far. I really think everything from our unnamed archer...arching his eyebrow to the almost Doctor-like sensibility of him calling out our bad guy and standing as "this world's Champion" is guiding this comic squarely to what it was always supposed to be about. I also like that for once, the cliffhanger actually leaves you in a place where you can't wait to see what happens next (at least that's how I feel about it…hopefully it's not just me).

Anyway, I'll have plenty of time to talk next week. For now, onward to comic book reviews! I'm going to try things without the solicits this week because I don't think they really add anything to my reviews. Who knows, I might go back to them next week.
  • Justice League #7
    • Okay, two pages into this chapter, "The Villain's Journey: Prologue," we get to the present day and meet DC Comics' answer to Marvel's top-tier superhero military force SHIELD in the slightly-less-elegantly-named A.R.G.U.S. (Advanced Research Group Uniting Superhumans). They're the guys with guns who basically hold off the bad guys until the League shows up.
    • We learn our bad guys consist of a scientist who was exposed to some stuff and now he can create these…little gooey, bitey masses of teeth and claws. Maybe not the most inspired design, but they still look like something you won't feel bad about seeing them get punched. Oh, he also has super strength.
    • Batman tries to…y'know, be Batman and divide the team up in a complex Bat-strategy and Green Lantern literally tells him "We're the Justice League. We got this." And then Batman makes the funniest gritted-teeth angry face I think I've ever seen in comics. It's beautiful.
    • Steve Trevor, Agent of A.R.G.U.S. (you watch, I smell spin-off comic) holds a press conference that turns into a bunch of paid journalists yelling "we totally want superheroes to run the government!"
    • Steve also gets to Skype with the Justice League, which is a scene chock full of those bits of banter I love (my personal favorite is Batman telling Steve to "tell the U.N. to shut down that joke calling itself the Justice League International." It makes no sense in the context of Justice League International, but grumpy Batman always reminds me of this, so I give it a free pass).
    • Our narrator (revealed to be the guy who wrote the in-universe Justice League book from the end of issue #6) tells us at the end of the issue that Steve Trevor is the key to destroying the League.
    • Also: next issue: Green Arrow vs. Justice League. YAY!
    • Oh, but we're not done yet! Starting in this issue, we begin the backup comic THE CURSE OF SHAZAM! Now, I was one of the many nerds who complained about Captain Marv--err, Shazam's New 52 makeover. That being said, a lot of my rage had gotten out of my system long before this issue went to print.
    • This first story serves as a "teaser" for the story. Sure, we meet Billy Batson, and we even get to see more of Shazam's arch nemesis Dr. Sivana than we do Shazam (who shows up on the final page). I'm probably going to need at least another issue to see how Shazam holds up as a character, but…I think this is going to work. I actually have a good feeling about it.
  • Birds of Prey #7
    • This was a good book that made you think it was ending one plot and starting another when ZOMGSUDDENTWIST!!!
    • The team THINKS they have the mastermind behind the mindwarp attacks (and he goes by the name of "Choke"). He barks out some orders and team members learn the hard way that they all have planted suggestions in them.
    • Then, when the Birds assemble to properly interrogate Choke, he starts getting trippy like fatally disabling Poison Ivy's powers or telling Starling to start shooting up her teammates. Katana cuts his head off, saying the spirit of her dead husband that lives in her sword will carry on the interrogation (comics!). This makes you think the book's going to do a "what kind of team are we?" arc that threatens to tear the group apart.
    • Finally, Black Canary and Batgirl are doing some investigating at Choke's apartment…when Canary gets a phone call from Katana. The man they killed? Wasn't Choke! Maybe that was an obvious twist, but that had me floored!
  • Kirby: Genesis! Silver Star #4 (hey, look. I finally looked at the cover long enough to realize there's a correct way to type that out)
    • Okay, so previously in Silver Star, he got blown up out of existence by a folded-entropy bomb (which, by the way, is my new favorite sci-fi term), but it seems something went wrong. Silver Star's alter ego, Morgan, still exists in the world his lady love Tracy returns to.
    • It seems the world's gone crazy for superpowers; in this Bizarro world, Morgan describes it as "here, it seems like I'm the only person without superpowers, and there I'm the only one with them. Crazy."
    • I'm going to level with you…I'm not 100% sure how this one ended. It looked like the reality Tracy left to was a figment of Silver Star's imagination? Or it unraveled and cancelled out the effects of the folded-entropy bomb? I'm sorry, I'm just not too sure…
  • Wonder Woman #7
    • Wonder Woman and friends seek out some help to get Zeus' latest babymamma out of the clutches of Hell. Who do they enlist? Eros (Greek mythology's answer to Cupid, who's packing two…let's just call them love guns) and Hephaestus, blacksmith of the Gods (who works in the back room of a jewelry store [well, actually the back room opens up to Mt. Etna, but the first way sounds funnier]).
    • Hephaestus arms Wonder Woman with a crazy-lethal whip and Hell fires back by sending what looks like a giant Kimodo dragon made out of molten metal. Hephaestus tries to fight it…and fails.
    • In the aftermath, we learn that Hephaestus employs the male offspring of Amazons. Wonder Woman, under the impression that they're slaves, tries to bully Hephaestus into releasing them. Yeah, it doesn't go over so well as the…Manazons (I'm sorry…look, if it's any comfort, they're never called that in the issue. I swear) view Hephaestus as their leader, who cares for them and lets them live their lives making art instead of the swift death the Amazons would have inflicted upon them.
    • Also, a VERY warm welcome back to artist Cliff Chiang, whose work is especially well-suited for Wonder Woman. Cliff's skill makes her look like a warrior, the way she should be.
  • Hoax Hunters #0
    • Hoax Hunters has a really interesting premise: basically, what if there were a reality TV show that claimed it was hunting down monsters, but it was really disinformation? It's certainly a good explanation for how Ghost Hunters has been on the air for so long without actually…y'know, finding anything.
    • They go to Russia to investigate some crazy 1960s spacesuit powered by crows. This one guy, who claims to be a "personal friend and assistant to the president" describes the Hoax Hunters as being "from silly American television program, chasing wolfman and UFOs." I love this book already.
    • Need a plot recap? Here: "Let's tie these two up, then we can stop an immortal Russian from taking over the world." In case you're wondering, yes, Nazis are involved and no, it's not as much like the first Hellboy movie as you might be thinking (note: absolutely no one is thinking that).
    • The book wraps up with the televised ending of Hoax Hunters, where they basically give a Scooby Doo explanation for the events in the comic and conclude the hoax as hunted. They then go to bury the spacesuit…but his spirit/murder of crows want to join the team! Wacky!
    • This book was awesome. I say indie book of the week. If you're looking for something different than the typical offerings of DC and Marvel, this is the book for you.
  • Supergirl #7
    • This is Supergirl's "trial by fire" issue as she fights the Kryptonian Worldkillers and…yeah, I gotta say, this was pretty darn great. And the big plus for me was the fact that the Worldkillers WEREN'T 100% DEFEATED! Heck, Reign practically promises a rematch! You have no idea how happy that makes me, since the majority of the New 52 villains I've seen have been wrapped up in one arc with no hint that we'll ever see them again.
  • Batman Beyond Unlimited #2
    • This was still a good book…I'm still having occasional hiccups in placing it between the DCnU and the animated DC Universe I grew up with. I know this book exists in a gray in-between, but…I don't know, it's my own problem, I guess. But good book. Heck, in the Justice League story, they visit Dinosaur Island. DINOSAUR ISLAND! I have a hard enough time thinking about stories taking place in 2012 take place on Dinosaur Island, but the future, too? That's just crazy talk.
  • Galaxy Man #4
    • We're finishing this week with my local comic book shop's in-house book.
    • Things start off crazy as friggin' space pirates try to hijack a shuttle launch. Yes. Read that sentence again because it is awesome.
    • Cosmic Girl to token teenaged astronaut: "Aren't you a little short for an astronaut?" Oh, Galaxy Man. I do so love your referential humor.
    • The book has some well-played dueling narration from Diago Dogstar, captain space pirate and Cosmic Girl. It creates some really cute parallels in the story.
    • This is another stellar (no pun intended) issue that feels like a great all-ages book. You can feel the love of comics in every page of this thing.
Well, that about wraps things up for us this week. I'll see you next week for our epic ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY CLIMAX!


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