Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What I Bought 6/6/2014 - Part 3

The NBA Finals were most agreeable to me. I don't actually dislike the Miami Heat that much - they can be pretty entertaining when they actually try - but the beat writers who cover them are insufferable. Greg Cote and LeBatard in particular. You'd think they were the ones who won two consecutive titles, for as much condescending trash as they talk about other teams. Now the Heat get kicked in their faces, and Cote's trying the "Hey, two championships in four trips to the Finals is nothing to be ashamed of" route. While true, it's a surprisingly moderate approach from a guy who was talkin' that good shit five seconds earlier.

Harley Quinn #6, by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti (writers), Chad Hardin (artist), Alex Sinclair (colorist), John J. Hill (letterer) - Love the crossed out hammer-and -sickles on Harley's mallet.

After dropping the lady they attacked at the end of the last issue into the inferno she turned her house in to, Harley and Syborg head for the zoo, to find their next target. He, in turn, tries to unleash the animals on them, but only succeeds in getting his head knocked off by a bear. Eh, it was funnier when Ennis and Dillon did it in Punisher. This guy was dumb enough to kick and berate the bears, he was asking for it. The remainder of the Russians show up, and are swiftly dealt with through use of pipes, exploding bagels, and gunfire. Which just leaves one remaining target, the one Sy didn't have a file for. The guy who sold him a beautiful car with a radiator leak. And when Sy had to leave it by the road to get more coolant, it was completely stripped down. Quite why it took Sy decades to get after the guy, I don't know, but it was a mistake. Once he mentions that with no family, he might have left the car to Harley, she chucks the guy out the window. Ah well, dead is dead, right? Sy and Harley watch a sunrise together, and Harley returns home to find Poison Ivy with two more would-be assassins, claiming she knows who put the hit out on Harley.

I had toyed with the idea, after Sy's first target was a guy in a coma, that this was going to be a case of senile dementia. That Sy might very well have been a secret agent, but these were not his surviving arch-foes. I ruled it considering they had just done a story about Harley being mislead by an old lady with Alzheimer's, but Sy going after a guy for selling him a lemon was a bit much. Is it just Palmiotti and Conner trying to remind us Harley's not a hero? She chucks some dude out the window over a car that wasn't even hers? The one thing that confuses me - other than Sy waiting so long, because Harley didn't seem that vital to things - was why he was so hellbent on killing them. One of the Russians even asks. They aren't spying, they're living comfortably, they like America, with its soft toilet paper and assortment of breads and cheeses, what's Sy's deal? Is it that they committed horrible acts in the name of their country, and should not be allowed to enjoy life, the principle of it, or can he just not let go of the past?

Chad Hardin's art is still OK. I don't love it, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it. The sequence between Sy and his old flame/arch-foe, where we the panels keep getting closer to them, and Harley and the animals keep squeezing in to watch, then Harley winds up upside-down when they actually kiss, that was nice. The elephant wrapping its trunk over its eyes was a good touch.

Ms. Marvel #4, by G. Willow Wilson (writer), Adrian Alphona (artist), Ian Herring (color art), Joe Caramagna (letterer) -I do like that new costume, though I wish it wasn't taking quite so many issues for her to get around to putting it together. The scarf is a nice variation on Carol's sash accessory.

Kamala was shot, but when she changes back to looking like herself, she's healed. Quite the surprise for Bruno, who had unfortunately already called the police about Ms. Marvel being shot. The injury seems to prevent her from shifting back to the Ms. Marvel look, so they improvise a mask for when the cops show up. The cops are not convinced, since Ms. Marvel is the blonde with big. . . powers, but Kamala demonstrates that she does, in fact have, BIG powers. That was well done. Her wearing that goofy, lopsided makeshift mask and a big grin as she makes herself tall and smashes the top of her head into the ceiling.

At any rate, that's enough for the cops, and they leave. Which leaves Kamala and Bruno to decide what to do about Bruno's wanna-be robber brother. Kamala makes herself the beginning of her costume, and heads to the last place they know Vick went (Bruno went through his phone). She fights some creepy, laser-firing bug robots, and finds Vick tied up in the basement. As they turn to leave, they're confronted by some idiot with a mohawk, a glowy pistol, and a shirt that says, 'I'm the Bad Guy'. Sir, if you have to advertise it, you aren't. Hope you enjoy that giant knuckle sandwich you're about to get.

I'm worried the friendship between Kamala and Bruno could get a little too precious, but I appreciate that sometimes you need a friend to help you see your own worth. If Kamala intends to be a superhero and save lives, it'll be easier to do if she isn't also focusing on looking like what she thinks people want their heroes to look like. Be yourself and save the day, that's plenty. And her powers even play into it. If she needs to heal, she can't change to look like someone else, but she can still grow or shrink. Trying to hide who she is not only complicates things, it hurts her in a way.

Alphona's still doing a stellar job. During the fight with the little robots, all her attacks are defensive. She's always leaning away, or scrambling backwards. She's still a rookie, not confident, working mostly on instinct. It's like if a spider plops down in front of your face and you flail at it while stepping back quickly. Nothing graceful or aggressive about it. Also, the cop actually making those hand gestures when he says, 'big. . . powers', just amuses me. And still, that grin as she shows off her BIG powers in response. Didn't even react to hitting the ceiling. Fantastic. I really love this book. Oh, and the line about sneaking out to a party with her ten atheist boyfriends. Though, if her mom hates sarcasm that much, she'd hate my guts. I expel more sarcasm than I do carbon dioxide.


SallyP said...

I was told that Ms Marvel was good, and by Jove it is!

CalvinPitt said...

Yeah, I continue to be impressed with it.