5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Because now, after a short Future’s End break, we returned to our regular scheduled programming. Last we left Batman, he fought and tricked his way through the Justice League headquarters to get to his Hellsuit in his bid to get to Apokolips and rescue Damian’s body from the clutches of Glorious Godfrey, Darkseid’s henchman.
What’s a Hellsuit you ask? I’ll gladly tell you!
The Hellsuit was Batman-designed with and at the behest of the League. Realizing Batman’s importance to the League, and lack of Superhuman Abilities that could place their greatest tactician in danger during a cosmic level event… you know like Darkseid stepping through a Boom Tube with a legion of Parademons at his back…something like that.
Designed by Batman, forged in the sun by Superman, quenched in the sub-artic temperature and pressure of the deep sea by Aguaman, detailed by Green Lanterns ring, energized by the Flash, wired and cybernetically enhanced by Cyborg and ward and blessed by the God of War herself, Wonder Woman, the Battle Armor is Batman’s extinction level event protection and armory all in one, to put him on par with the world ending threat the League might be facing.
Someone has some really big, brass, bat-shaped ba…anyway
Now on Apokolips, tearing through Parademons like they’re butter, Bruce Wayne is on a vengeance quest to save his son, and no man, demon, god…New or Old, is going to stop him. Except maybe Kalibak…son of Darkseid!!!!
Meanwhile, after Batman convinced Batgirl, Red Robin and Red Hood ( even good old Dick Grayson got the speech, even though it was from the shadows, since he’s believed dead but really working undercover to take down the criminal organization known as Spyral,( what you’re not reading Grayson!!! Shame shame! ) to stay behind in Gotham and carry on his legacy.
The three return to the Batcave, no surprise to Alfred, who was awaiting their return, and the eventual plan to get to Apokolips and back up Batman on his mission. Too bad that plan includes taking down a member of the JLA!!!
Tomasi gets your blood all pumped and heart-racing action pages, putting Batman on Apokolips, where he can really cut loose, showing us the angry driven side of Bruce as he unleashes on the hordes of Apokolips, and then stabs you in the heart with emotional string pulling of Alfred backing up Red Robin, Batgirl, and Red Hood in an attempt to heal the rift since Death of the Family.
And Pat Gleason captures the poignant moment it all in shadowy hi-fi brilliance. From the cool design of the Hellsuit, and how Batman uses it, to being one of the few artists capable of rendering Apokolips and it’s denizens in all there horrifying apocalyptic glory. But what really puts the icing on the cake in terms of artistic story telling, is his use of facial expressions that really enhances the story. Red Hood’s cocky swagger and stance. Barbara ‘s smirk at Jason’s jokes and her wide eyed intensity. Tim Drake’s tongue sticking out of his mouth as he assembles a device to create a Boom Tube. And finally the knowing, fatherly pride on Alfred’s face when the three sidekicks return to mansion. Each one…. priceless!
Thank you both for putting out a fantastic Batman book month after month for the past three years.
The Gist: Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor make nice. At least in public during a press conference. But behind the closed doors of Luthor Corp, things get a little…. let’s say “catty” between the two. I was gonna make an”measuring” joke but I’m keeping it clean….How about…urinating contest? Is that good??? Anyway tension builds between the two until an impromptu meeting between Bruce Wayne and Lena Luthor, Lex’s younger sister!( yeah, surprised me too!) Are those sparks flying between those two??? I don’t knowwwww…
But the meeting cut short when an exploding assassin know as Neutron shows up to kill Lex, and nearly takes out Lena instead. While Lex races to his armor to stop the assassin, Bruce covers Lena, but the explosion did more damage than it seemed. What was released from the canister marked A13 in Lex’s secret lab…. and why is he terrified of it? Read it and find out.
Original Sin Annual #1
w. Jason Latour
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Well we found out in the Original Sin miniseries, that besides being Director of SHIELD, Nick Fury was moonlighting as “The Man on the Wall” since the 1958. You know all those giant monsters that have been showing up in the Marvel U for decades, or those mystical beings who pop in from dark dimensions, and those pesky sentient planets, alien invaders and giant space-God’s coming to Earth to lay waste or enslave us. Those guys and gals the F.F., Avengers, Thor and Doctor Strange.always dealt with.
Well those were just the tips of the iceberg.
“The Man on the Wall” let them through, or they got past him. More likely the former, as Fury would deem them “easy” targets for Earth ‘s superheroes. Nick Fury has been taking them down and protecting all of us from the horrors of the realms beyond ours, from his secret satellite base.
He wasn’t the first Man on the Wall, and after his death in Original Sin, he wasn’t the last( see current issues of Bucky Barnes: Winter-Soldier for details on his new role ).
During Flashback scenes in Original Sin, we saw how Nick Fury, then a former member of the Howling Commandos making a name for himself in the C.I.A., first met Woodrow McCord, his soon to be predecessor. McCord, alongside Howard Stark were fighting off a Tribellian invasion, when he was killed by a laser blast. Fury watched this man, who just stopped an alien invasion that killed Fury’s comrades, and he single-handedly saved the Earth. Fury was impressed by his sacrifice, and when learning of the scope of his mission, offers to replace him. Under one condition… he wants to know everything about McCord.
Howard Stark, himself a hard parties and social butterfly, can’t really help.Fury since McCord spent more time alone in his Spaceship/War room than socializing with the outside world. Stark directs him to McCord’s journals, and then all is revealed….
Since his first appearance in Original Sin #1, I’ve been fascinated with the character of Woodrow McCord, and the newly revealed position he held. The Marvel Universe has a deep and rich history that begs to plumbed for writing gold. There are literally handbooks full of locations ( The Savage Land, Lemuria, Attilan, Wakanda), Dimensions ( Darkforce, Limbo, Nightmare, Asgard), Monsters ( Zaxx, Gorgollo, Droom), and Aliens and cosmic beings (Droom), and Aliens and cosmic beings ( The Shi’ar, Celestials, Cotati). All these concepts and more are ripe for storytelling, and introducing The Man on the Wall
position and characters like Woodrow, Stratford, McCord’s mentor and his team of Men on the Wall allow for plenty of exploration in all those nooks and crannies that make the Marvel Universe awesome.
Latour and Cisic give you a grade A action-sci-fi yarn, with a pulpy-spy feel that spans from the Martian Invasion of.1913 up to the Roswell incident. Take a look at the darker side of Marvel ‘s history, and see things that can’t be… Unseen.
Duhn duhn dunnnnn…..
The Gist: Red Onslaught is unstoppable. Consolidating his home base on Genosha, The psionic manifestation of the Red Skull powered by Professor X ‘s mutant telepathic powers, is spreading waves of hatred,.distrust and confusion across the world, causing friends to turn against each other, and enemies to explode into battle. Nation turns against nation and the world is descending into chaos…
And not even the combined might of the Avengers and X-Men can stop him. Especially with two Adamantium Hero hunting Sentinels at his beck and call.
And just where did our meglomaniacal villain get his hands on these bad boys? My telepathically ripping the plans from the mind of Tony Stark and.manipulating their construction…that’s where!
And as one Avenger or X-Men falls at the hands of Red Onslaught, Magneto does the unbelievable… he runs away!! But have no fear the Master of Magnetism, whose been fighting sentinels for decades, has a plan. How do you beat a Sentinel programmed to hunt heroes?
Get a bunch of villains! (See Magneto #11 for Details )
5 out 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: OhmygodOhmygodOhmygod!!!!! Squeeeeeaaaalllllll!!!!! That’s the actual unconscious reflex response I had to this when it was announced a while ago.
Quantum and Woody was a surprise hit for me when it came out, with its original storytelling style, social commentary and sly,sly humor.
When Valiant announced it was introducing Quantum and Woody into the rebooted universe, I have to admit, I was disappointed when I found out it wasn’t going to be a Priest/Bright production. Asmus and Co. did a more than fine job of updating them for a new era, but I always end up longing for the O.G.s who paved the way.
Now low and behold… Comic book dreams really do come true!!!! Imagine Kevin Smith directing a Jay ans Silent Bob movie 15 years from now, with both himself and Jason Mewes reprising their roles. Yeah that cool!
Now this book isn’t reaalllly New reader friendly, but goddamn is it good! The magic is still there and then some!
Complete with flashbacks to their childhoods ( they’re step-brothers. Quantum is a conservative, black rich kid from Connecticut, Woody is a white trash maniac adrenalin junky), arguing with tanks, an aged Eric and Woody reunion, replacement Quantums (and Woodys) and for the real fans…. Canned drum crash sprays!!!! ( If you get that, face it…you’re old!), this has all coolness of the original series, and uses the lapsed time device to add heaps of humor to an already funny duo.
If you weren’t a long time fan, go grab the Q&W omnibus and see the funny happen before your own very eyes.
Last Week’s Surprise Pick:
Earth2 World’s End #1
w. Dan H Wilson with, Marguerite Bennett & Mike Johnson
a. Scott McDaniel ( breakdowns ), & Ardian Syaf, Jorge Jimenez, Eddy Barrows, & Paolo Siqueira
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Because I’ve been looking forward to this title for a while now, enjoying the idea of it as i usually do DC’s cosmic event books when their announced (April can’t get here soon enough ) and this one does not disappoint. We already saw some of the results of this upcoming war with Earth2 over in Futrue’s End. A battle with Darkseid, the fall of Earth2, refuges streaming from their world to ours, and their heroes and villains interred in Cadmus Island as prisoners.
Now we get to see it all happen! If you haven’t been following Earth 2 or World’s Finest, worry not, Wilson and Co. do a fantastic job of blending the work’s of James Robinson, Paul Levitz and Tom Taylor and bringing them up to the current status and adapting them to fit the greater DCU. Basically a re-cap issue of the goings on Earth2 for the past 3 years, this #1 is new reader friendly for those not familiar with all things Earth2-y, gives a nice intro to the multiverse in general, and works for long time readers as the creative team moves characters into play like pieces on a chess board ( Darkseid injoke!).
The characters, although similar in names to their New Earth counterparts, have vastly different stories, relationships, and motivations, making them fresh and cool. Thomas Wayne is Batman, Lois Lane is in Red Tornado’s body. Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon are expecting a child. Val-Zod is Superman and the most dangerous man alive is… Mr, Terrific!
Read. Enjoy. Read Again… tell your friends!