Alright, it's comics! Originally, these were supposed to show up a week earlier. At least, that was the plan I had in mind. Things never work out how I expect, though, so here we are, with the DC selections. Still no Dial H, though. Hopefully I'll get that sorted out in the next week.
Batman Beyond Unlimited #5 by, Adam Beechen (writer), Norm Breyfogle (artist), Andrew Elder (colorist), Saida Temofonte (letterer) "Legends of the Dark Knight: Jake"; Derek Fridolfs & Dustin Nguyen (writers), Eric Nguyen (art), Temofonte (letters) "Beyond Origin: Warhawk"; J.T. Krul (writer), Howard Porter (pencils), John Livesay (inks), Randy Mayor (colors), Temofonte (letters) "Superman story" - Still no title I can find for the Superman part. Then again, I said last month I was going to try ignoring it. Except I forgot by the time the comic came.
This is a format I can work with. Three stories instead of four, so one gets 20 pages. In this case the Batman story, which is exactly how I'd like it to work out. We'll get to it. The Superman story involves him helping out the new Supercop guys, but finds him unable to stop the theft of data on their nanotech, because she anticipated how he'd respond to a threat. Which is clever, I suppose. I'm not sure about Krul going with Smart Solomon Grundy as a crime lord, though. And Porter's art is still awkward and misshapen.
Moving on! The Warhawk story quickly details what's up with Shadow Thief, why he killed Vixen, and then John Stewart kills him. Which gets him booted from the Green Lantern Corps. John's argument he didn't use the ring for killing is apparently unpersuasive. Big surprise, the Guardians are rigid dorks. There's some other stuff about Warhawk helping liberate Thanagar, then facing prejudice because Thanagarians are even bigger ungrateful dicks than your standard Marvel Universe inhabitant. I suppose I shouldn't complain about a story that concludes in 20 pages, but damn, that went fast. Nguyen and Fridolfs may have spent too much time recapping the future John Stewart saw in Part 1, because they really crammed stuff in for Part 2. Oh well, I wasn't really interested in Warhawk's origin, but it wasn't a bad story, pointless Vixen killing aside. Which is a big thing to set aside.
The Batman story is concerned with a guy who used to be part of Derek Powers' (aka Blight) security force, and beyond that, secret unit within it who handled special missions for Powers. Including the murder of Terry McGinnis' father. This particular agent fell apart after doing that, and has mostly given up on life, until he stops some kids from robbing his apartment and realizes he can contribute to the world. The punchline (as hinted at by his repeated mention of his great-grand uncle) is that his last name is "Chill". And that ancestor, he killed two people who haunted him forever, too.
Oh brother. Look, I like the general arc of the character. It's not a new one, kind of Spider-Man like, but that bit about his great-grand uncle is entirely unnecessary. Why tie it together like that? That aside, it's a good story. Breyfogle kills it on the art as usual, especially the page of Batman beating down Jake. Very well put together. Elder's colors are all bright and crisp, which is nice. I know it's a Batman story, but you can make things dark and moody without making them murky and indecipherable.
Ultimately, all three stories had good points, but had certain things which held them back.
Green Arrow #10 by, Ann Nocenti (writer), Steve Kurth (penciller), Wayne Frucker (inker), Richard and Tanya Horie (colorists), Rob Leigh (letterer) - Howard Porter's Ollie needs to drop a few pounds.
Ollie saves a woman trying to commit suicide. A woman who says she's a machine, and even has certain machine components under the skin. Ollie finds a man who makes very human-looking robots for different purposes, then returns as Green Arrow to find that these were all people who chose to abandon humanity for one reason or the other. They asked to be turned into machines to get away from their pain. Or so the man says.
Huh, so that's kind of strange. It made no reference to all the things that went on with Ollie's company while he was presumed dead. Maybe that was cleaned up between issues? It's an interesting story, kind of similar to the "Daddy Issues" arc that wrapped up recently in Angel & Faith. A bit more obviously of a messy ending than that story had, since we don't know how many of them chose to try and reclaim their lives, and how many are willing to go on as robots. All in all, it's another interesting issue that taps into Ollie's various problems, and maybe also looks at how we shape our own memories to suit ourselves. Or maybe it's how perception shapes reality. I'm not sure. Steve Kurth steps in for Tolibao, and I'd consider him a step up. Kurth isn't a flashy artist, but everything is easy to follow and understand, which is the more important factor.
Resurrection Man #10 by, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (writers), Jesus Saiz (artist), Jeromy Cox (colors), Rob Leigh (letters) - The cover is a blatant falsehood. Mitch doesn't find the lab this issue. He finds the Transhuman's old set-up instead, and I was not aware the Lab took the Transhuman in issue 5. I knew he teamed up with the Body Doubles to try and attack Suriel after she took a crack at Mitch, and he got beat down, but I didn't know what happened after that. Maybe I just missed it.
While examining the digs, Mitch and Kim Rebecki are attacked by a host of angels this time. They're determined to make him come with them, though how they'll manage that without killing him, I don't know. It's a moot point as someone from Hell shows up disputing their claim. Rather than do the smart thing (grab Kim and run for the Lab), Mitch tells both sides if they give him a week, he'll go with whomever can get their claws on him first. Well then, nothing like a deadline to get one moving.
Unlike the last issue, Jesus Saiz draws this entire comic, which is very nice. Shadow-form Mitch looks pretty cool, the fights with the angels are well done, and that guy from Hell is kind of creepy. Not terribly so, but the background behind him makes up for it. Jeromy Cox' colors keep things nice and neat as well, which is nice. Since Mitch is a shadow for much of the issue, Cox has to make sure everything else is bright enough he stays well-defined, which he does. I'm still curious why the angels seem to favor, what would you call that? business casual? A full length skirt, with a partially unbuttoned blouse? I guess if you can fly, you don't really need a lot of range motion for your legs.
This is the plot line I've been most interested in, Mitch's soul and why everyone wants it, so this issue was a nice return to the early form of the series for me after a few slow months. Hopefully there'll be more of this even as he reaches the Lab, as I can't imagine both sides will actually honor the agreement and stay out. Or there could always be another 3rd party to step in.