Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Paul's Purchases! 31/07/13



During the past year I've got into the habit of doing mini reviews of my weekly comics haul on Twitter. Recently however I've decided to spend a bit less time on Twitter and so I figured I'd start doing my weekly mini reviews as a regular blog post. They won't be too detailed, just a few random thoughts that struck me while reading through my purchases. This week I've read:

Aquaman #22
Batman/Superman #2
Batman Inc #13
The Flash #22
The Flash Annual #2
Superman #22
Superman Annual #2
Batman Annual #2
Superior Spider-Man #14


Warning, there may be spoilers!

Aquaman #22

Even though Peter David's Atlantis Chronicles is no longer canon, the character of the Dead King indicates that Geoff Johns seems to be replacing it with a mythology every bit as rich. It's great that this time 'round, Mera's people seem involved in that mythology. Also great to see a character like Scavenger being bad ass!

Batman/Superman #2


Even though this issue's battle was between Batman & Superman and their Earth 2 counterparts, it felt (at least with the Superman scenes) like we were seeing New 52 Superman vs. Post-Crisis Superman. It seems that the main contributing factor to the differences between the two versions is Ma & Pa Kent and their deaths in the New 52 Universe. It's great to see the importance of those characters highlighted. Also, I wonder if Earth 2 Catwoman was kept in the shadows 'cos the Earth 2/ Worlds' Finest artists haven't designed her costume yet?

Batman Inc #13

This issue didn't just feel like the ending of Grant Morrison's run on Batman, it felt like an ending to a chapter in Batman's life that began decades ago with Denny O Neil's early Ra's Al Ghul stories. I wish all superhero writers had Morrison's ambition and scope.

The Flash #22
The Flash Annual #2


If you ever find yourself complaining that mainstream superhero books aren't as fun as they used to be, then you should be reading Flash. The art is consistently brilliant (even with the fill in artists) and the stories contain a perfect mix of superhero action, super-science, soap opera and secret identity problems. The book covers new ground with the character without jettisoning everything that's traditionally made Flash comics work. If you're not reading this 'cos of the absence of Wally West then you may consider your nose cut off and your face spited! Issue #22 reveals that Dr. Elias (the most likely candidate for the true identity of the Reverse Flash) isn't actually the Reverse Flash at all. I love the mystery surrounding Reverse Flash's identity but I hope they do actually have someone in mind and that they won't be dragging it out for too long. It was also great to see Iris revealing a little bit more of her feelings for Barry. The Annual gave us a fun look at Barry's friendship with Hal Jordan. Barry can sometimes seem like Hal's straight man but (while Hal is depicted as being more impulsive) that thankfully wasn't the case here.

Superman #22
Superman Annual #2

Scott Lobdell's run on Superman has been consistently entertaining and these two issues are no exception. I can't deny that Lobdell's dialogue can sometimes seem a bit dodgy and a lot of the time he seems to be making things up as he goes along (i.e. Jimmy's parents are dead, oh no wait, they've just disappeared), but his issues are never boring and more than any other writer he's really embraced Grant Morrison's depiction of New 52 Superman as a hotheaded youngster with a passion for justice. I love how Lobdell has given Brainiac an interesting new motive for collecting cities without ignoring everything Morrison established. And the concept of 'The Twenty' is an intriguing one. I also love how Clark noticed what Cat Grant was sacrificing in order to launch their blog, and how he acknowledged that he had been too dismissive of her. Cat has always been a character with hidden depths and it looks like Lobdell's keeping that up. I also really enjoyed seeing Lois Lane taking centre stage in the Annual. Lobdell's voice for her was spot on. It looks like she'll have a big part in the upcoming storyline and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her.

Batman Annual #2

This story begins with a compassionate, young idealist starting a new job at Arkham Asylum. I immediately expected the story to end with him being disillusioned, killed or corrupted. It was therefore very refreshing to see his compassion and ideals somewhat validated by the end of the story! I hope we see more of this character.

Superior Spider-Man #14


This book always remains at a consistent level of awesomeness! Those readers out there who've been complaining because Doctor Octopus does indeed seem to be doing a better job of being Spidey than Peter are missing the point. Ock's pride and arrogance has always been his downfall, just as it was Peter's downfall. The difference is, Ock's never learnt from it and that's why I'm certain we'll be shown that Peter is without doubt the truly Superior Spider-Man. After all, Ock's inherited the old Parker luck. How many times have we seen Peter on top of the world, only for it all to come crashing down around him? Ock's undoubtedly heading for a fall and this issue sees the first cracks beginning to form in his Superior status quo. And as always with Spidey, those cracks are being caused by a Goblin!

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