4 out 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Cause it finally happened! The Hooded Prisoner from Earth 3 is revealed! A lot of fans guessed this one, (no spoilers, but I’ll drop half a hint later on!) but Johns being Johns, he puts his spin on it, and we meet another Alternate JLA member from the Crime Syndicate’s home universe.!
The threat that destroyed their universe, has begun to breach ours, and the Crime Syndicate is going to stop it from fully entering our dimension, but first they have to deal with a more immediate threat: Batman and his Injustice League, consisting of Lex Luthor, Black Adam, Black Manta, Bizarro, Catwoman , Sinestro and Captain Cold have broken into the Syndicate’s home base to rescue Nightwing, whose Dick Grayson identity was revealed to the public by the CSA. One problem though: Dick is hooked up to the Murer Machine, a powerful explosive device that will only be deactivated by the stopping of Nightwing’s heart, any attempts to defuse are self repaired by the techno-organic bomb. Batman views this as a complex problem to solve, while Lex sees a much simpler solution! One that will shock you and change the face of the DC Universe (at least for a little bit)
The villains of our universe show these Earth 3 wannabes they are definitely out-matched, as Black Manta quickly dispatches one member, and Captain Cold… well let’s just say you won’t make too much fun of him after you see how he takes down Johnny Quick. Johns continues to bring the New 52 into the 21st Century, with high concepts, serious villainous threats, and more Bad Guy on Bad Guy smack-down action you could want in this issue. Finch is amazing as always, the perfect artist for a world shattering blockbuster event; every panel explodes with action and energy. This is an event that lives up to its name!
Oh the hint: MAZAHS!
5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Holy $%!^ Lemire! Your driving me mad! After last month’s revelation of his father being alive, and Oliver’s life on the island being more than just an accidental coincidence, and the father and son’s violent and suddenly dismissive reunion, I thought I was done being surprised. Then I got to the end of this issue!! What the HELL????? Jeff ol’ boy you’re gonna have to reach deeeep into your bag o’tricks to pull Ollie’s @$$ out of this one! (Don’t know why I’m cursing so much, probably cuz this book just pushed me too far this issue!) Another 30 day wait for a serious…serious cliff hanger! I love this series! Lemire and Sorrentino are doing for Green Arrow what Johns and Reis have done for Aquaman and what Azzarello and Chiang have done for Wonder Woman. The perfect combination of writing and art that leads to perfect worldbuilding around a character. Green Arrow can no longer be considered a B character, as these two have crafted a mythos consisting of great antagonists and a supporting cast, that, is truly supporting, while pushing a character that has never reached his full potential until now.
Read this run. You’ll be better off for it.
5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because we all know the best scene in X-Men First Class was Michael Fassbender hunting down and executing Nazis in South America. This whole book is like that, only it takes place in the present, an instead of Nazis, he’s taking down Anti-Mutant militants and hate-group supporters. Magneto quits the X-men, finding Cyclop’s revolutionaries a little too tame for his definition of revolutionary, and goes off the grid: no helmet, no cape, no space station or secret island and getting around by driving, instead of flying( the shave head helps in disguise, but it’s really an homage to the fallen Professor X ).
Besides keeping under the radar, Magneto is also keeping it low-key due to the recent troubles he has had with his powers (the character’s previous writer* decided to mess with his powers, like he did with the other Uncanny X-men who were possessed by the Phoenix Power, even though Magneto wasn’t possessed by the Phoenix so it really didn’t make sense, and now it’s someone with talent’s problem), so now instead of conquering island nations or blacking out the earth with a worldwide electromagnetic pulse, he’s pulling out the fillings of a mutant hater and replacing them with a traffic sign pole. Yes this actually happens.
But a dangerous game of cat and mouse starts when Magneto realizes the mutant haters he is hunting, are now laying false reports and setting people up just to trap our Master of Magnetism, and when these genocidal maniacs set traps,they use…Omega Sentinels!
Bunn and Walta are taking Magneto down a dark new path, and it’s great to see someone considered a “villain”, be turned into a vigilante you can sympathize with. The Simon Weisenthal allegories are there, of course, but it’s perfect character progression for a holocaust survivor with deadly powers, to transpose his hatred for Nazi’s onto Anti-Mutant Haters, especially those who kill or torture mutants. Bunn and Walta are continuing what Claremont, Cockrum and Byrne started, turning a run of the mill, ranting meglomaniac super villain into a deeply complex, sympathetic anti-hero. This is gonna be a good run! Just check out that cover by Paolo Rivera, it tells a story by itself!
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because I’ll give just about any Ellis project a try, he just seems to find a way to always give a fresh look or nice upgrade to a character or concept. Plus I’ve always liked Moon Knight, especially his tenuous connection to my favorite character; Hawkeye ( while lost in time in ancient Egypt,Hawkeye helped the original Priests of Khonshu design the weapons Moon Knight would later take for his own ). The character of Moon Knight has had many interpretations over the past 30 years, with writers taking advantage of his split personalities and mystical/resurrection powers. Ellis takes full advantage of these facts and still manages to produce a very unique take on the character. Moon Knight now works nights in his all white suit ( business suit mind you, not a superhero get-up) and mask, helping the police solve cases involving what might be psychotic superhumans or maniacal madmen, while he police look the other way on his extra-curricular activities,treating him more like a civilian consultant.
Ellis incorporates all aspects of previous Moon Knight interpretations, including the laughable talking to Wolverine,Spiderman and Captain America ghosts that the last writer* burdened this character who already had multiple personality disorder with, into a simple explanation which is perfectly backed up by the semi-mystical origin of a resurrected man serving an ancient egyptian god of justice and vengeance…and its got that nice Warren Ellis flavor that makes an idea so delicious. Now a cross between Batman and Monk, Moon Knight is using his damaged mind ( guess what? It’s not a multiple personality he has, but something far worse than a medical condition ) to solve crimes a bit beyond the abilities of the NYC’s Boys in Blue, while dealing with the fact that his mind might not be his own. Ellis and Shalvey are taking Moon Knight in the same direction as Bunn and Walta are with Magneto, some place dark and scary, but fresh and new!
* it’s the same guy and the reason I dropped Guardians of the Galaxy. If you can’t talk bad about somebody, fine a realllly circumspect way to do so
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Like Ellis above, I always give Millar’s stuff a chance. I like his ability to take old comic tropes and re-spin them for the 21st Century, i.e. Avengers/Ultimates, Shazam/Superior, Spiderman/Kick-Ass, DC Legacy Heroes/ Jupiter’s Legacy, etc. This time it’s his take on John Carter, Warlord of Mars, with a little Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers feel to it. Captain Duke McQueen, while test piloting a jet, found himself transported to another world,where he lied a life of high adventure; fighting aliens, saving princesses an freeing subjugated planets from tyrannical rule. When the chance to returnto earth appeared, he took it, just to be with his on true love, Joanne.
Ridiculed on his return with tales of alien worlds, and thought to be a fraud, Mc Queen retired to a simple life, marrying Joanne, opening a repair shop in the quiet country and having a few kids. Now, at a low point in his life, old tired and a widower, distanced from his children McQueen finds himself longing for days past, a longing that seems will be quenched by the appearance of a Starship in his backyard. Millar impressed me with the emotional side of this story, but it really was Goran Palov’s fantastic art that rocketed it out of the stratosphere for me. A cool blend of Howard Chaykin and Walter Simonson, Palov captures the sci-fi pop feel of those old comic strips( his signature included! ) of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, without feeling stiff or dated. This looks like its going to be a deep book, full of science fiction fun and familiar themes.
3 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Seriously. You have to ask. It’s the freakin origin of the coolest super-powered quadruped animal sidekick ever: Vincent Van Goat.
Really now, what more do you need to know? His meager beginnings to his daunting task of escape and travel to find his one true love, Dolly the first cloned sheep. Alien Abductee. Mascot. Savior of women, children and yeti. Accomplished wrestler. Vincent Van Goat is the Most Interesting Man in the World of hoofed creatures. Learn about the hitherto unknown connection between The Goat and the Henderson boys, not only in the past, but in the present; where a cryptic message left or Quantum and Woody by the Goat goes unheeded, revealing there is more to Vincent than meets the eye. Fowler returns just in time to spill all the secrets on the character he re-introduced into the current Valiant Universe with James Amsus. If you’ve followed Q&W, you can’t miss this! If you want to catch a taste of what Q&W is like on monthly basis, this is the laugh out loud comic romp to get you interested.
Last Weeks Surprise Pick:
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because Hawkeye is Back in the spotlight! Fraction gave Kate Bishop some lime-light, but now were back on track; with the Barton brothers neck deep in hot water. The ongoing plot from the very beginning boils to a head this issue, as the Russian mobsters that have harassed Clint and his fellow tenants (Hawkeye stood up to the goons on several occasions,defending the people in his building from being forcefully moved out), have called and all out strike on our Avenging Archer, the complex real estate land grab they are orchestrating is being held up solely by Hawkeye’s apartment building. A bunch of mobsters are no match for Hawkeye and his equally talent brother Barney, but what about the deadly assassin who has stalked him for weeks? Fraction and Aja work there magic as always, and this issue leaves you wanting more so bad you’ll scream! With an ending eerily similar to this week’s Green Arrow, all I can say is …. it’s a real crappy time to be a guy using a bow an arrow!
See Ya Next Week Super Friends!