Friday 22 September 2017

Comic Reviews

This I didn't have much time to read, didn't have strong or interesting enough opinions on what I did manage to get through and so mainly I just bitch about crossovers.

Nightwing #29
Gotham Resistance part 2

And once again we have a crossover acting as a huge roadbump to a series' ongoing narrative. Last issue we saw Nightwing and Huntress about to bang away only for Dick's estranged girlfriend to see them through the window just as she about to see if they still had a future. Also, she was wearing rocket boots because comics. This issue its a Metal crossover that continues a story from Teen Titans with the next installment in Suicide Squad... good grief.

Here's the thing, writing this I had to flick back to the credits to check this was the regular writer and, yeah, its still Tim Seeley but something just feels off about the characterisation. It just strikes me as very telling that Seeley doesn't seem to be able to close the gap between Dick as he has written him for the last couple of years and the Dick that needs to exist for plot reasons of this crossover. Its exactly what I was complaining about with the Secret Empire crossovers at Marvel (sans fascism, that's a whole other Nightwing series, apparently): the regular plot is just getting roadblocked as yet another crossover demands that the actual point of the series be put on hold for a few months.

And I like Metal, just to be clear, I'm really keen to see where it goes but so far the main series seemed more than able to tell the story without interrupting two series I was otherwise enjoying and boldfacedly demanding of me that I give Suicide Squad a try while I'm at it.

Batman: The Red Death one-shot

The cover offers me the Flash by way of Batman by way of Judge Death and, even better, its an additional one-off purchase that doesn't railroad an ongoing series. See this, DC, this is a lot more palatable to me as a consumer.

Its a decent done-in-one. Its main job is to give context to one of the evil Batmen introduced at the end of the main series' last issue but it also gives more information on the Dark Multiverse and how it works than we had before. Interestingly, the Dark Multiverse world the Red Death comes from takes a lot of design cues from Frank Miller's Batman work which is either a nice little nod or a very, very harsh judgement on how his vision of Batman relates to the way DC wants to portray the character now.

Still and all, its a bit slight, that's the nature of one-shots like this. I'll pick up the next one and see if there's a continuing thread through them or if they're all just going to be origin one-shots. If there's an ongoing story I'll stick around, if its just a series of comics where the only plot is “here's how Batman went wrong” then I'll probably just keep to the main story.

U.S.Avengers #10
Same As The Old Boss

This is a big aftermath issue for all the Secret Empire stuff which, oddly, I actually understood because this was the one series I could absolutely not do without during that whole mess since Al Ewing absolutely refused to play along with the “and then everyone lost and lost and lost” narrative Nick Spencer was mandating.

Its mainly future set-up, these issues always are, but Ewing always delivers the fun exposition and here we have Sunspot (I will never call him Citizen V) having a sit down meeting with Not Steve Bannon Honest Guv about the future of SHIELD and the U.S.Avengers that goes pretty much exactly as you'd expect a conversation between a Trump advisor would go with an immigrant leading a team of immigrants. Like everything about this series it is not subtle and very welcome for it.

There are also developments with Toni Ho, by far my favourite character, which I hope are followed through on. I adore the character and watching her cycle through different phases of identity and self-image on this team has been fascinating (and probably something other writers should be taking note of, to be frank).

I'm in the process of cutting down my pull list and this series is front and centre of the ones that absolutely will not get dropped. 

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