I know, I know.. this book is always on here. But, it’s always damn good. Green Arrow’s popularity is at an all time high, mostly do to the Arrow show on WB (sadly I’m way behind…halfway through Season 1) and it’s great that the muggles who come to the shops looking for Green Arrow merchandise, and can find a comic that’s on par, if not better than the show itself.
Lemire and Sorrentino have taken elements of the show; the importance of the island, the conspiracies surrounding the Queen Family and their fortune,… Diggle! and more, and have blended them into Green Arrow’s comic history, without outright copy-catting or awkwardly tv-show-branding it. The result is a beautifully composed fresh take on character who, has had a long and fruitful history, and now is fully accessible to old fans, New 52 fans and Arrow fans alike.
The Outsiders War is over, and no one is the victor. Robert Queen is dead, the Clans broken and scattered, and his family changed forever, but Oliver Queen wants nothing to do with it. After shattering the totem weapon of the Arrow Clan (a green arrow!), and denying his legacy among them, Oliver has left his problems with the Outsiders behind him, or so he thought. Returning to Seattle, Oliver finds his city in ruins, thanks to the events of Forever Evil, and a new crime lord has taken over Seattle’s underworld and he wants one thing…. Green Arrow’s head! Richard Dragon, former head of the Fist Clan ( this is what I’m taking about with Lemire, he introduced the New 52 Richard Dragon a few issues back, but makes reference and ties him into the Richard Dragon of old, in a cool way! The old one hasn’t been seen since the 52 Weekly series, years ago ) , has beaten Green Arrow back to Seattle and assembled a team of miscreants to help him take down Green Arrow. Red Dart. Brick. Count Vertigo. The Killer Moth. I know what you thinking… Whoooo???
Well while Dragon and Vertigo torture a captive Diggle, revealing Dragon’s true reasons for revenge against Green Arrow in the process, the remaining three d-listers put the Eerald Archer through a guantlet even he was expecting from this rag-tag crew. Or as Red Dart puts it: “what do you get when you add three d-listers together? A real a$$ kicking! ”
Sorrentino has reached Epic levels of storytelling, just check out his take on the ol’ see-a-person’s-skeleton-through-skin-when-their-electricuted gag to see how cool this guy can make an outdated subject, which is a necessary talent on book with a main character who’s an archer. He adds personality and individuality to every character he draws, the guy doesn’t have a “standard face” in any of his art, and he knows when to accentuate a panel, either using colors, or black and white to hit the right beats in the story, especially those cliffhanger endings Lemire drops each issue. Keep it coming guys, this is top-notch comic-booking!
Earth 2 #24
w. Tom Taylor a. Nicola Scott
The battle to save Earth2 turns the tide, The return of Alan Scott has a lot to do with it, but can even the Green Lantern save Earth2 from an invasion from Apokolips, led by a Darkseid-converted Kal-L. It’s up to him and Hawkwoman to even the odds by rescuing the Flash from the Begulier, Darkseid’s servant and torturer. With the remaining heroes, Batman, Red Tornado, Jimmy Olsen and a pacifist Cryptonian from another world name Val gathering their forces, will Hawkgirl’s plan succeed.. because this looks like a job for…….
And Tom Taylor sneaks in a “One does not simply walk into Mordor..” joke effortlessly!
Aquaman & the Others #3
w. Dan Jurgens a. Lan Medina
The only thing better than steam punk armor… Atlantean steam punk armor. The latest threat in Aquaman’s growing Rogue’s gallery is …….the Legend. From deep in Alanteans past he comes, to reclaim the Atlantean artifacts that rightfully belong to him…..the same artifacts that give the Other’s their vast powers, including Aquaman’s trident, which enhances his inborn powers. Who is he? What is his connection to Aquaman’s bloodline? And who ends up impaled on the trident by the end of the issue??? Read the book and find out
Original Sin #3
w Jason Aaron
a. Mike Deodato
5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Because I’m a sucker for events. An even bigger one for cosmic events, and the biggest for comic events with a fantastic creative team at the helm. I thought last year’s Infinity by Hickman and company was going to be tough to beat, but Aaron and Deodato, man these guys reallllly know what they’re doing.
The Orb, Z-List villain and former Ghostrider foe, is surrounded by most of the Marvel superheroes, believed to have killed the Watcher. The evidence: the Watcher’s eye in his hands, villains King Midas and Exterminatrix stand at his side and Mindless Ones rampage in his name. And what does one do when surrounded by the combine forces of the X-Men, The Avengers, The FF and S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Well the Orb uses the Watcher’s eye to send out a a ripple of energy, momentarily stunning those around him with images from the Watcher’s Eye. Images of their past, unknown to them until now, but known by the Watcher, assault the heroes’ minds. Why is the Hulk angry at Stark? What did LukE cage see? Where did Spidey and Daredevil rush off to? Thor has a sister???? I don’t know either folks, but I’m guessing that’s what all the tie in mini-series, crossovers and point ones are all about!!! While the Orb set off his ” Secret bomb”, his cohorts were able to escape, but Nick Fury ( who, by the way, was strangely unaffected by the bomb….and who doesn’t have more secrets than good ol Fury!!! ) apprehends The Orb, who comes willingly, because, he too wants to know… who killed the Watcher??? ( guess it wasn’t him huh? )
But that’s not all folks, the “Mysterious Boss” who has teams of his own out in the filed investigating the Watcher’s death has made some progress: Black Panther’s team of The White Queen and Ant-Man have discovered the remains of hundreds of dead monsters underground in Subterranea. Each killed by the same gun that killed the Watcher, over a long period of time, evidence the killer was practicing killing creature of supernatural size and shape. Doctor Strange an the Punisher find out a little bit more about our killer’s skills when the Punisher deduces the killer is an excellent marksman, killing a giant beast of a dark dimension from over 4,000 yards away, a shot he thinks only ten peoplein the whle world could make. Meanwhile, The Winter-Soldier, Moon Knight an Gamora,investigate a trail of shell casings drifting through space,hundreds of bullets we’re fired at a planet from the middle of nowhere in space. The trio land on the planet searching for the victim of this barrage… but is the planet itself the victim???? ( what the hell Aaron, why do you hate Kirby creations??!! ) Aaron and Deodato pull off one of those comic book promises you rarely see fulfilled, the Marvel Universe will NEVER be the same! When you see the last few pages, of a certain A-Lister’s grisly death by a certain B-Lister (okay sometimes A but only for a little bit!), you’ll know what I’m talking about and you’ll be leftwith the ame thought he had before his death. Who has the Watcher other EYE??? This book is the epitome of a company crossover event!
w. Greg Rucka
a. Russel Dauterman
Rucka and Dauterman’s father and son space-bonding adventure continues with Corsair taking his son to an alien planet under the guise of a family outing, while he surreptitiously procures some of the “medicine” he needs to stay alive since his reincarnation (you know those special meds you have to take when a bad writer brings you back from the dead and a good one has to stall until he comes up with a good explanation for it). Meanwhile, Scott meets a girl, an alien girl… or a skrull…who knows out there in the far reaches of space!
Big Trouble in Little China #1
w. John Carpenter & Eric Powell
a. Brian Churilla
3 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because I’ve been a huge fan of the Big Trouble in Little China movie since I was ten years old, and my dad brought it home on VHS. ( For those of you not close to my age, VHS was a means of recording and playing video and audio information on magnetic tape, for watching on your television via a VCR. The VHS Tape was to DVD’s, what DVD’s are to mpegs and netflix ) We watched til the tape blurred and the tracking didn’t work anymore ( still too young eh? ), I’m still waiting for the sequel ( Hey! they left it open for one!), and I wanted to be Jack Burton when I was young, and still do… I just bought his tank top! Hell the first public toast I ever gave was ” May the Wings of Liberty never lose a feather..”.
So I jumped at this. It’s what I’ve waited 27 years ( jesus christ! ) The long-awaited sequel to BTiLC!! In comic book form! John Carpenter!!! Taking up from right where we left him on that rainy night on the California highways, lo so many years ago, Jack Burton is riding the Pork Chop express, preaching his road-wise philosophies for any one who can listen on his C.B. radio,… with a Chinese Troll-Demon hidden in the rear compartment, ready to take his revenge for the death of hi master, Lo-Pan at the hands of our hero! … Or so we thought!!!!! Turns out, by slaying his master, Jack Burton has now taken ownership of the demon, the spell of servitude passing to him. Or maybe he just has a crush on Jack…who knows?
Jack turns his rig around and heads back to China Town, hoping the sorcerer-bus driver Egg Shen can help him solve this problem, and he might as well stop in on his buddy Wang’s wedding to his green-eyed bride Miao Yin, and jibber-jabber about some past adventures involving a marriage, Mexican bikers, a death cult and…. a taco truck?!? The wedding is interrupted, of course, by Qiang Wu, Lo-Pan’s former student and deranged sorcerer, who takes Wang hostage. In exchange for his soul, Jack must travel the Black Road in the Hell of the Seven-Faced Widow ( “Chinese have a lot of Hells, Jack..” ) and retrieve the soul jars containing the spirits of the three storms, return with them in three days or Wang will be skinned alive. What does Jack say to this challenge?
“When some eight foot tall immortal Chinese warlord magician comes looking for revenge and challenges you to some damn near impossible task to save you pal’s skin… well you look that sucker right square in the eye and say… Sister,..challenge accepted.”
This was a fun, nostalgic blast for me, and will be for many others. My only problem, and why its only 3 Space Monkeys was the art. While Churilla’s style is dynamic and he certainly captures the humor of the movie, it’s just a little to cartoony for what I feel should have a more realistic look, with humor coming out in the dialogue. A grittier, darker artist would have made this feel more like a true sequel, rather than the Big Trouble in Little China: The Animated Series feel Churilla’s art gives it. But that being said, I’m still gonna get every issue!!!
Check outWhatchareading’s very own JulieHegner for her take on the long-awaited sequel, as well as some preview art here, Demons and Kung Fu and Sorcerers, Ohhhh Myyyy! Big Trouble hits 06/04!
4 words: Detachable.Face Mask. Cover.
That’s it, the rest of the book speaks for itself!
w. Jonathan Hickman
a. Lenil Francis Yu
Because no one is a bigger Hawkeye fan than me, and, as apparent by how often his books end up in this column; I’m abig fan of Jonathan Hickman. Oh, and Lenil Francis Yu, love his stuff.
So what happens when you put all three of them together?? Comic Book Gold my friends! Comic Book Gold. Tony Stark and Captain America’s confrontation from last issue has dire affects on the team. Cap revealed Stark’s reinstatement of the Iluminati ( see current issues of New Avengers! ) and their destruction of whole planets in bids to save our earth from inter-dimensional incursions, a course of action Cap was against when he was on the Illuminati!
When Cap was on the team with Stark, Namor, Strange, Beast and Reed Richards, he used the Inifinity Gauntlet to stop an Incursion of another earth destroying the Gauntlet in the process. When Cap protested using deadly force, the Illuminati wiped his mind, not only of what happened, but of him ever being on the team. Now, Cap remembers, and he wants answers…. and his got a whole team of Avengers behind him ready to get the truth out of Stark…. one way or another!
But the ramifications of Cap’s destruction of the Time gem has caught up to him, and the Avengers, along with Stark and bunch of his armors are shunted into a strange future, only to be confronted by a familiar face… an aged Clint Barton, Hawkeye of the future.
After having the obligatory shoot-out-to-a-stand-still-to-prove-it’s-really-him with his past self, Future Clint tells the Avengers the time jumps a going to get worse, and past Clint makes an observation about his statement that leads us to belive the problem isnt from an enemy….and what was that Future Clint whispered in Cap’s ear? ( leave it toHickman to leave the ery fabric of time in the whispered clue of Hawkeye ). Plus my favorite scene….. Future Hawkeye kicking the living snot out of Tony Stark. Iron Man Armor and all.The aged avenging archer gives Stark his come uppance, in a verbal barrage of insults that are almost as fast and deadly as his bow skills,all energetically rendered by Yu.
The Avengers are in the best hands they havebeen in in years, and I feel bad for whoever has to follow in the cosmic sized shoes Hickman will leave behind. Not many could top this run!
Have a good week folks… and see you next week for the next thrilling chapter of… Threat Level: WEDNESDAY!