Before we get to the DC section of our selection, I want to take a moment to congratulate friends of the blog Papafred and Tomato, who found out this week they're going to be parents! While the idea of being a parent is terrifying to me, other, more mature people are naturally excited at the prospect, so congrats to them.
Batman Beyond Unlimited #2, by Adam Beechen (writer), Norm Breyfogle (Artist), Andrew Elder (colorist), Saida Temofonte (Letterer) on "The Trigger Man" and Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen (writers), Nguyen (pencils), Fridolfs (inks), Randy Mayor (colors), Saido Temofonte (letters) on "Konstriction" - I appreciate the attempt to incorporate the "Featuring Batman and the Justice League!" into the cover, but I don't think it works. The words are too orderly to really fit with the explosion design, but if you have the words getting blown apart, then the reader probably can't tell what they say, so what good are they?
What do you know? Mad Stan wasn't killed by Hush. Good. But since everyone thinks he was, his arms dealer is selling to British Jokerz, which makes Mad Stan uh, mad. After some early violence which ended with Stan taking a very dangerous detonator, the arms dealer decided to get it back by stealing Stan's dog. Which leaves Terry dealing with a very angry Mad Stan threatening to blow people up. Which describes Mad Stan all the time, now that I think of it. Oh, Dana's brother has stopped even trying to hide that he's a wackaloon, and Bruce will be supplying the Gotham PD with some nice tactical weapons. That could be interesting, but the real draw is Breyfogle. He really likes that rapid succession of short, wide panels to depict a violent sequence, and he makes it work. Doug decking his dad was laid out beautifully.
In the Justice League story, the League follows Micron's signal to an old Cadmus lab on Dinosaur Island, where Micron steals something and tries to blow everyone up. This fails, and Batman manages to hitch a ride. We don't find out what Micron stole, though we know Kobra plans to awaken something from the bottom of the ocean, and they had Amanda Waller prisoner for some reason. Eh, I'm more intrigued by Kobra's scheme than I was last issue, but that part of the book is still just sort of there. I think of it as a bonus if I enjoy it, since the Batman part is what I'm buying it for.
Green Arrow #8, by Ann Nocenti (writer), Harvey Tolibao (artist), Richard and Tanya Horie (colorists), Rob Leigh (letterer) - What the heck is that little guy in the jar in the upper left. Some toad gremlin? Weird.
We open on Ollie fleeing wolves across a dead landscape. He fends them off without killing them (and without arrows), which impresses the father of the Skylarks, a large fellow named Leer. Ollie gets the one Skylark who seems to really like him to give a tour of Leer's lab, which is full of animals the guy's been modifying to survive - by turning them into monsters, natch. He and Ollie fight, Ollie and the Good Skylark escape, but it was all part of Leer's plan! He's also probably involved with this Emerson fellow back in Seattle who's quite hot to have Ollie declared dead so he can get all of Queen's company. Whether Ollie would even care while he's off playing horndog is another question.
Nocenti has something really interesting cooking here. I'm not totally sure what it is yet - it feels like there's something about the dangers of not caring about people past the exterior for one - but I'm definitely intrigued. Tolibao's art I'm less excited by. Maybe it's personal taste but I feel like he either needs stronger inks, or he needs to simplify. Fewer lines, or make some of them stronger, for contrast. Some sequences or particular panels are good, others are a mess. You would expect the Skylarks to look relatively identical, but that doesn't always happen. Would you ride in a sleigh standing in such a way the your butt is thrust back and you've curved your spine? Seems very uncomfortable way to stand, plus I'd think you want to have a wide stance to give better balance in case the sleigh shifts suddenly. But I don't often ride in sleighs, so what do I know?
Also, what is with the hair pulling? Good Skylark has someone grab a hank of her hair 4 times in this issue. Ollie does it once, so does one of her sisters, and Leer Old Dad (did I just type that?) does it twice. How do they expect it to maintain curliness if everyone's always pulling it straight?
Resurrection Man #7, by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (writers), Fernando Dagnino (art), Jeromy Cox (colors), Rob Leigh (letters) - My only problem with that cover is the way Mitch's upper teeth are so visible there in the corner. It gives the impression he has a hilarious overbite or something. Kind of at odds with the tone. Otherwise, it's great.
Mitch awakens in Metropolis to the police demanding someone come out. He initially believes it's for him, but no, they're after a meth lab operation downstairs. It occurs to me it might have been safer to get all the residents out before telling the criminals to surrender over a megaphone that alerts them to your presence. At any rate, the cops are overmatched because the lead criminal has a forcefield just like the one Mitch had in his flashback in Arkham. Mitch (after some static from that one cop who always has to be a jerk) goes to try and stop Mr. Untouchable, but gets spooked when he starts to cook the guy from inside the forcefield. He hesitates, which gets him shot repeatedly in the back, which gives him an even better power (with cool glowy green special effects!), and he defeats Mr. Untouchable, and safely channels the explosion into space. Well, I assume he didn't hit an airliner or critical satellite.
I like how on the first page, as you move down, Metropolis gets steadily seedier and more rundown. What's up top is shiny and new, and what's below is grimy and in need of work. That was a nice touch by Dagnino, and it's sort of mirrored by the last page, where the part of the city Mitch walks through (at the bottom of the page) doesn't look nearly as nice as the elevated train zipping by at the top. Other than that, Dagnino had some odd poses for figures. Mitch on page 2, where he seems a bit oddly bent and twisted. It's not hugely obvious like that one I mentioned in Green Arrow, and maybe it's just the angle, but his butt it still seems like an odd way to stand, especially for someone jumping out of bed suddenly. Still, why should female characters be the only ones to stand oddly? Awkward poses for all!
Awkward poses for none!
Awkward poses for some, chromium covers for others!
Audience: You mean poses for the girls and chromium for the guys, right?
*Sighs, shakes head* Come back tomorrow for the Marvel books, won't you please?