Forgot to mention yesterday, comics finally arrived. And for 6 weeks of comics we have. . . 13 books. Shoot. Atomic Robo Real Science Adventures #2 hadn't shown up yet. Hopefully by the next shipment. Jack was out of Dial H #1, but hopefully the reorder will have shown up by that next shipment. Let's start in on what I did get, though. I'm going to hit the anthology titles today.
Atomic Robo/Neozoic/Bonnie Lass Free Comic Book Day by: Atomic Robo - Brian Clevinger (words), Scott Wegener (art), Matt Speroni (colors), Jeff Powell (letters), Neozoic - Paul Ens (script), J Korim (art), Ivan Plascencia (colors), Troy Peteri (letters), Bonnie Lass - Michael Mayne & Tyler Fluharty (story), Michael Mayne (script & art) - It was nice of Jack to pull this for me. I hadn't even thought to ask for it.
The Atomic Robo story is an enjoyable little done-in-one about Dr. Dinosaur causing a disaster at Cern Large Hadron Collider to lure Robo into a trap. A trap involving a timevolved T-Rex. Which he cannot control because Dr. D doesn't think things through very well. I love how Clevinger and Wegener use Dr. Dinosaur. He shows up, causes trouble, suffers setbacks, escapes to vow revenge. He's too ridiculous and disorganized to carry a multi-issue arc, but for something like this, he's perfect because he's somehow smart enough to do what I told you he did up there. And Wegener draws a perfect bit where the Futuresaurus, having sprouted guns from all over, takes time to cough up a couple of Mausers it can hold in its still tiny forelimbs. That was gold.
The other two stories don't work quite as well for me, because they're more about setting up future stories, and in Bonnie's case, quickly recapping what came before. Which is OK, I've read both the earlier stories, but a refresher can be nice. And neither had quite as many pages as Robo did to work with, but still, they weren't exactly complete stories. Mayne and Fluharty in particular, didn't have enough space to really give us a feel for their story's world, though they made a good try of it. Anyway, those were just icing on the Atomic Robo cake, which I would have gladly paid for, but fortunately, I didn't have to.
Batman Beyond Unlimited #4 by: "Konstriction" Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen (writers), Nguyen (pencils), Fridolfs (inks), Randy Mayor (colors), Saida Temofonte (letters); "Beyond Origin: Warhawk" Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen (writers), Eric Nguyen (art), Temofonte (letters); "The Trigger Man" Adam Beechen (writer), Norm Breyfogle (artist), Andrew Elder (colorist), Temofonte (letterer); "Superman story/I can't find a title" J.T. Krul (writer), Howard Porter (pencils), John Livesay (inks), Randy Mayor (colors), Temofonte (letters) - Apparently the decision is to go with four 10-page stories, rather than alternate which of three stories gets 20 pages each month. I'm not sure this is gonna be worth it for only 10 pages of Breyfogle. I do like the "Serpent's Maw" view for the cover. And it's very bright. I'm guessing Mayor did the colors for the cover, too, and it's almost too much, but there's enough contrast between adjacent colors to keep it from becoming a muddle.
In the JL story, they travel to New Genesis with a Mother Box Bruce Wayne had, and find it has already been destroyed. Oh, and something weird is up with Darkseid and Highfather, probably from unlocking the Anti-Life Equation, which has somehow not solved the Serpent problem already. Also, terry had to wear an older version of the Batsuit. It still has all its gizmos, but also a cape. I think Nguyen just missed drawing Batman with a cape. He does draw it well, though.
Then there's the start of a story which explains how John Stewart and Hawkgirl got back together to have Warhawk if John was dating Vixen. It involves Vixen dying. That's bad. It also involves Shadow Thief and Adam Strange, which is good, I think. The Vixen thing is still a poor decision, though I have this weird nagging suspicion this amped up Shadow Thief is some future or alternate universe Vixen, really pissed at John. That may simply be me forgetting what happened on the cartoon that would make Shadow Thief so angry at GL.
In the Batman story, Terry manages to resolve the Mad Stan issue before Gotham gets blown to bits, no thanks to stupid arms dealers who underestimate Stan. It's mostly a lot of fighting, but as it's drawn by Norm Breyfogle, I am completely OK with that. The ending is even fairly happy, which is a nice turn for a Batman story. Maybe it shouldn't be, given Stan's unrepentant about blowing stuff up whether people are at risk or not, but what the hey. Maybe getting to see Boom-Boom will keep Stan from getting any more bitter.
In the Superman story, Hologram Lex lays out his jaundiced view of Superman for his daughter, and she decides she'll try and kill the Kryptonian. Because. . . I'm not sure really. She's angry at the world? She's bored? She figures it's the only way to get at Lex' stored up wealth? I hope Krul isn't going with "She's bad because she's Luthor's kid". I hate that kind of predetermination crap. Also, Howard Porter's figures still look off. Proportions are strange, there are some very odd facial expressions. On the plus side, Superman eats a hot dog. While internally moping about how there are too many goldarned distractions for a good walk to clear his head these days. Hey, I get the feeling, I walk for the same reason, and hate distractions, too. But I can't fly at supersonic speeds to anywhere in the world, which should make it pretty damn easy to find a place for a quiet walk. So yea, the Superman story probably lost me already. Might be better to just skip it in the future, you think?
Rocketeer Adventures 2 #3 by: "Coulda Been. . ." David Lapham (story), Chris Sprouse (art), Karl Story (inks), Jordie Bellaire (colors), Shawn Lee (letters); "Butchy Saves Betty" Kyle Baker (story, art, and letters); "History Lesson" Matt Wagner (story), Eric Canete (art and colors), Cassandra Poulson (colors), Shawn Lee (letters) - I don't have anything to say about the cover. It's nice, it works with the theme of the previous two.
First story. Cliff embarrasses Betty by getting jealous again (and possibly punching out Clark Gable) and tries to make amends by showing her a little farmhouse he could buy cheap they could spend their lives in. The fantasy starts off well, but then the doubts creep in, but interestingly enough, each of them is more concerned about ruining the other person's life than their own. Which is an encouraging sign. I think. Sprouse's art is alright, for some reason I keep thinking Betty's mouth looks odd when she's speaking. Maybe too wide open?
Second story. The Shadow bought the air show Cliff works in so he can use it as a front for his international operations. They need to hire a girl to stand on the wing and collect a package in midair, and Betty's a little peeved she wasn't offered a chance. While she's blasting away with a shotgun, the dog's blasting off with the rocketpack, sending Cliff and Betty up in a plane after him, while Peevy tries to assuage any concerns about the operation the Shadow might have. OK, they never come right out and say the Shadow, but we know who it is. He clouds men's minds, it's the Shadow. I don't know about Baker's art. It's expressive, tells the story, incorporates the sound effects well enough, but man, I just don't like the look of it. The shading and the coloring make it look unfinished sometimes. Also, there's a panel that's basically nothing but innuendo, that I don't know why he threw that in there. Guess it's my fault for having a dirty mind.
Third story: Set in the far future, children learn about the Rocketeer, the first human to fly without a plane, I guess. It seems a little odd to me that he'd be remembered so well, but I guess the point is that even though Cliff originally used it to make some cash (and because he loved to fly), he grew into using it to do great things helping others, and that's the important thing. I'm not sure if Wagner and Canete are suggesting that if he abused the power, or if the Ratzis had gotten to it first people wouldn't enjoy the flight opportunities they do in that fictional universe, though the emphasis on what he did points me in that direction. I do wonder what Cliff would make of all that. Probably swell his head so much he couldn't wear the helmet. Canete doesn't use panels until the last two pages; prior to that it's a collage of images with some text boxes running down one side. There's still a sequential aspect to it, you just have to follow the panels, but I can't decide whether I like it or not.
If we're keeping score, the Atomic Robo was the favorite in its book, Beechen and Breyfogle would be my pick from Batman Beyond Unlimited,, and I guess Wagner and Canete edge out Lapham and Sprouse with the Rocketeer. I guess I wasn't quite in the mood for a melancholy Rocketeer story, and even though I said it was encouraging, you could read it as discouraging, if you think they're too worried about whether they'll be interfering with each others' dreams. It also means they each may think they don't come first in the other person's life, that flying and acting do.
Great, I've depressed myself. Tomorrow, the ongoing titles I only received one issue of over the last 6 weeks.