3 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Red Daughter of Krypton starts here (or in Green Lantern/Red Lanterns #28 depending on how you look at it), that’s why! I always had a problem with the redundancy of having Supergirl and Superboy around; it takes away from the “Last Son of Krypton” thing, and they never seem to be able to do much with the characters, unless they drastically alter them (like make them plasma psuedo-lifeform shapechangers, or angels, clones , etc.). And with Powergirl and Superman around, they are both constantly in the shadows of their elders.
The New 52 version of Supergirl however, had from the beginning been a pretty interesting character. Previous writers have really played up the disconnect she has arriving on Earth fully grown, compared to her cousin Kal, who was raised here. She was only able to speak Kryptonian at first, did not have the mastery of her Kryptonian super-powers, and has been attacked, coerced, lied to and manipulated from the moment she landed. So it’s kind of understandable why she’d be angry and full of rage all the time (or maybe the genetic/mental manipulation of her father’s experiments have something to do with this??)
But what pushes her over the edge, and a leads a Red Lantern ring seeking someone burning with enough rage to replace a fallen member right to our lovely Kara -El, is a knock down drag out fight with Lobo. He pushes her buttons and eggs her on to make her sloppy, but when he still can’t beat the Girl of Steel, Lobo tries a different tactic… by offering her a job! But a Red Ring arrives after her…ahem… refusal and makes her a better offer!
I’m glad Bedard and the folks at D.C. are doing something wildly different with the Supergirl character, and one that grows organically from both Supergirl’s ongoing alienation and ostracization, and the current Red Lantern story arcs. This looks like its gonna be a fun read, and although probably just temporary, a good chance to explore the character of Kara-El and her importance in DC’s New 52 Universe.
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because Azzarello has been building to something big, and the book is right on the cusp of it. You can just feel the storm on the horizon, as the various pieces of Azzarello and Chiang’s chessboard come into play. Wonder Woman, Hera and Hermes have now enlisted Artemis, goddess of the hunt,on their search for Zola and Zeke (the deceased Zeus’ latest conquest and their illegitimate son), and are close to finding them, but so is Cassandra and her man-beast army. Cassandra needs a god to get into Olympus and enact her nefarious revenge, and she knows just where to get one!
Meanwhile, Apollo, new ruler of Olympus and King of the gods, finds moving from torturer to executioner difficult. The Firstborn just won’t die. Zeus’ first child, abandoned and raised in the wild on a primal earth, then trapped in her core for millenia, wants the throne he believes is rightfully his, and much like the Necromongers in Chronicles of Riddick, on Olympus; You keep what you kill. This book ends in a bang that can only change the Wonder Woman universe forever!
Bonus Steampunk Cover!
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because, I was there when the New Warriors first appeared, way back in the early 90’s. I bought issue #1 right of the rack and collected it right to the very end. I gave later interpretations a try, but never enjoyed them as much as the originals. I decided to give this one a whirl because, I always enjoy a book written by Chris Yost (who doesn’t nearly get enough cred), and I dug Marcus To’s cover, and designs on some of the newer characters. I have to admit to being drawn in to this series pretty quickly and will keep collecting it for the near future.
It opens with the death of a much beloved character (okay, if your over 25, I guess… most new readers wont even know the character and their importance) and quickly establishes who the main villain will be. Yost makes the Marvel B-List his sandbox, and goes nuts; literally bouncing around the globe. Justice and Speedball are in New Salem, trying to get the New Warriors together and get out from the shadow of the Stamford Tragedy (the cause of Civil War!) and end up getting into a tussle with the Salem 7, new comer Sungirl is fighting crime in downtown NYC, and runs into some serious trouble for a rookie, and Scarlet Spider and Hummingbird (Aracely Penalba, from Yost’s Scarlet Spider run) are vacationing in Mexico when they run into a blue skinned Atlantean warrior named Faira Sar Namora (an obvious Namorita replacement, but with a stunning character design that sets her apart from the deceased Atlantean princess), and Kid Nova in New Mexico fighting aliens, until the Big Bad shows up with his cohorts, the Evolutionaries ( last seen in Yost’s Adjective-less X-Men run ) and steals the show. Yost and To seem to have a big story planned here, steeped in the mystery and wonder you can only find in the Marvel Universe!
Only Two Problems (and it’s a matter of opinion really):
Speedball was cooler as Penance
Justice needs a new costume, please! (go back to the Marvel Boy outfit ,you can keep calling him Justice!)
5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because Aaron’s run on Wolverine and the X-men reminded me of the X-men of my childhood, Chris Claremont at his peak, tossing the X-men around from one adventure to the next. Aaron pulls off the same zany, anything can happen vibe here, while giving us the depth of characterization that made us fall in love with these characters in the first place. Wolverine, Storm, Beast, Iceman, Northstar and new member Firestar are transported to hell, by a device created by the mysterious Bamfs which have infested the Jean Grey School. Separated and beaten by Azazel and his pirate crew of demons, the X-men find themselves in blazing infernos, and glacial frosted wastelands. Their only hope lies in their deceased teammate Nightcrawler, who falls from heaven to save his friends. Happy reunions are abounds, framed by flashback sequences showing friendships each of them shared with our Teutonic Teleporter. Now, with a crew to man his stolen pirateship, Nightcrawler will lead the X-men in fierce battle against his father, with the fate of the underworld in the balance. McGuiness gets better and better on this book, seeming to have as much fun drawing it as I do reading it.
Oh the origin of the Bamfs is finally revealed… and it’s pretty disgusting.
This is the one true X-book out there as far as I’m concerned, and now is the time to get into this book! The arc ends in what is sure to be a big bang next issue, so you’ll be all caught up by then! This series is a can’t miss for X-Fans, new and old alike!
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because anything to do with Atlantis is cool, from the song by Donovan, right down to the current run on Aquaman and the show on BBC America. Besides that, I flipped through it and it looked cool. Image is quickly becoming the Heavy Metal of America, pumping out cool sci-fi concept after concept with top ranked talent behind them. Black Science, Bounce, Nowheremen, Sex Criminals, Planetoid, Storm Dogs, Jupiter’s Legacy, East of West and anything else Hickman does have all been superior, high concept books, and Undertow is right up there with them.
Ukinnu Alal was a privileged upper-class Atlantean, who joined the undersea nation’s army to avoid business school, an office job and an arranged marriage, as well as to see the ocean as it is meant to be, not as it is in the sterile boring nation of Atlantis. Ukinna gets more than he bargains for, a he is soon recruited by Redum Anshargal, lead Anarchist and enemy number one to the Atlantean army. Much like a book, you can’t judge an Atlantean Anarchist by his cover and a deeper level to Redum than rampaging pirate is revealed. Redum wants more for the people of Atlantis and their stagnant, unchanging society. He uses advance Atlantean technology to build and anti-gravity airship, and special, water-filled spacesuits to explore the surface world, watching nascent humans develop tools and a society, and as always looking for a future or his race. This all consuming quest leads him and his fellow intrepid crew on the hunt of the fabled Amphibian, a creature able to breathe in both water and on land, and quite possibly the key to his plans.
If you’ve read any of the above titles I mentioned, or if your currently reading Snyder and Murphy’s The Wake, you’ll love this book, the concept is cool and original, and the art is perfect for capturing underwater scenes and the earth in its primodial age. This one of those sleeper hits people will be talking about in the coming months.
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because the only thing cooler than a Werewolf story, is a Werewolf story wrapped up in a rural crime-horror drama. Hometown football hero Laney Griffin, has exhausted all is finances trying to pay his son’s mounting medical bills. In an attempt to get some cash, Laney goes on the hunt for the savage animal wanted for a series of brutal killings in the rural Montana town. Getting more than he expected, Laney has captured a werewolf, and is holding him prisoner in his cellar. Counting the days to his next transformation, Laney contemplates what do with his captor. Meanwhie the town Sheriff begins looking at the killings in a new light, and it sets her right on the path to Laney Griffin. The writing is tense and well paced, learning more and more about Laney’s past an the tragedies his family has been through and the art is dark and spooky, especially Riley Rossmo’s flashback origin scenes of Aton, the werewolf. A good genre blending story for a variety of tastes. This creative team has a story to tell and they’re doing a damn good job of it.
Last Week’s Surprise Pick
Sorry Folks No Time! Checking out the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer on Jimmy Kimmel!