Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Welcome Todd Squad to your favorite weekly comic content comments, the former review a few, the post that's better than the Best of The Rest (Yeah, I said it X.) and the ONLY place where you can get my thoughts and ramblings on comics, because who doesn't want that... Ratings and Rantings! I'm your part host, Jason Todd, and this is a gargantuan week where we have a total of nine, count em, nine reviews. We've got comics from Marvel and DC this week, and also the first ever JTCS review of the critically acclaimed Morning Glories ongoing series, add that with a brand new Weekly Poll to vote on and you've got the making of one hell of a post. So, let's kick things off with one of my favorites, Generation Lost.

JL Generation Lost #20

We start off things in Gen Lost with a Flashback to seeing a sixteen year old Max Lord, sneaking a girl into his house. She's worried they'll get caught but he's positive his parents will be in a deep sleep due to how late it is, and they head inside. While walking to the basement Max walked into the kitchen to see his father dead, with a chunk of his head blown out, blood everywhere, holding a gun. We learned that Max's dad Arthur Lord was a good man who'd found out his company was doing bad things, and when he tried to take those things public, he was silenced. At his funeral, Max's mother cries as she angrily tells Max she doesn't believe what anyone said, and she knows Arthur didn't commit suicide and he was murdered. She tells Max to never underestimate powerful people, and when going up against them, plan every step and remember, when fighting bad people, good people are always going to get hurt. From there we jump to present day and we see Max Lord standing over the recently shot-in-the-head Blue Beetle. Booster and the rest of the JLI looked shocked and Booster screams out that Max is a dead man and he'll pay for what he's done. The JLI break through the almost unbreakable walls thanks to Captain Atom and pursue Max as we see another flashback. We see Max apologizing to his mother because his hostile takeover on Chemtech failed. She tells him that Chemtech didn't kill his dad, the men who ran it did, and Max has already dealt with them, but he says he hates seeing the name as a constant reminder of what led to his father's death, and we see it's been bought out by none-other than Lex Luthor. Max mentions that Lex doesn't play by the rules, leading his mother to ask him why he continues to allow evil men who hide behind their businesses when he could be stopping them with his. From there we see Max paid terrorists to take over the United Nations and the Royal Flush Gang to attack the League's headquarters, just so he could manipulate the heroes and form a team with them, the Justice League International. From there we see Max talking to his mother, telling her about his mind control powers that happened as a result of an alien invasion, which I wasn't aware of. He says he's like the league now and how having powers scares him, and his mother tells him it shouldn't scare him, and he's always been able to make people do what he wants, now fate has made it easier. She tells him never forget that he's one of them, and from there we see him drinking in a room. Booster walks in and asks if there are any survivors, and he tells him no, that Coast City is gone. The two talk and Max says he understands that people die and it's God's will and such, but he tells Booster what makes him sick is win the deaths are caused by one of "you" people. He mentions how when Joker shot Babs Gordon that Joker killed sixteen people before Joker locked him up, or how John Stewart's arrogance caused billions to die when Xanshi blew up. He asks Booster if they cause more harm than good by being around. Booster tries to tell Max not to give up hope when Max says that his Mother lived in Coast City. A surprised Booster asks if there's anything he can do and Max says, forget we had this conversation, before making Booster forget. From there we see Max's life from the OMAC's, to killing Ted Kord, to being killed by Wonder Woman, becoming a Black Lantern, and his return. We see how he came back more powerful than ever and made everyone forget, and planned everything, step by step until now. We see him at the present day, telling Booster he's sorry it's come to this but maybe one day he'll understand that he's just trying to help. The issue ends as Max escapes and the JLI try to save Beetle, but appear to be too late. This was a great issue, I loved to see Max's horrible actions being humanized, and showing us why he changed from the fun old Max to the supposed villain he is now. We saw that he had remorse for everything he did, but believed he was doing the greater good, much like Lex. This issue was very well written and one of my favorite so far, definitely my favorite Max-centric issue. I'll give this a solid 10/10.

Max Lord: I am sorry that it's come to this. I hope some day you'll understand, I'm just trying to help.

Teen Titans #92

Teen Titans and Red Robin continues here! We start things off with Tim and Damian, Red Robin and Robin, The Wonder Boy and The Boy Wonder laying into the Calculator Robots while thinking to themselves how annoyed they both are with the other one. Right off the bat we get the obligatory guy love thing between Tim and Connor, as Conner tells Tim he'll always be his Robin and Tim says Connor will always be his clone boy. Who do they think they are, X and I? I kid, I kid.... Anyway... As the Teen Titans take care of the Calc Robots, we see the real Calculator watching them on a giant monitor. He mentions how the Teen Titans are pretty much responsible for the death of his son Marvin, and how it happened over Cassie's leadership and how it's time to return the favor. Kill Beast Boy Calc, Please!!!! From there the Teen Titans enter a club while trying to find Calculator's signal and find out their above him, so Superboy shoots a hole in the floor, cause I'm sure there aren't any stairs or a more stealthy way to do that. JT Krul then shows his amazing writing abilities by having Ravager and Beast Boy say damn near the same thing in the same panel. Nice work, Krul. And, I spoke too soon, because Superboy then drops the horrible line "Now this is what I call Underground." Oh god, is this Teen Titans or Teen Cliche's? Then... Calculator, who's been watching them the entire time, so HAS to know their right above them, says out loud, "Where did they go?" as his camera's just show a hole in the club's floor that's right above his hideout. Really? He's THAT stupid? The Teen Titans break through his wall as he activates more robots, leaving Bart to say "Great, more robots." My sentiments exactly Bart. As the Teen Titans deal with his Robots, one grabs Cassie and Calculator talks about how the Titans don't let anything get in their way, not even the bodies of fellow Titans, and he tells her how basically used Kid Eternity as a phone to call up Marvin from the dead and after it stopped working he killed him. Cassie starts crying for her fallen teammate that was only on the team for like twelve issues. (Looked it up, fourteen issues.) Not long after that the entire team is subdued by the robots, but Robin throws his very sharp version of a Batarang and breaks the mainframe, taking out the robots. Cassie wants to kill Calc for killing Kid Eternity, but Red Robin reminds her thats not who they are. After she tosses him away, Robin goes over and stabs him in the stomach, shocking everyone except Tim, showing that Robin and Red Robin knew Calculator was a robot, but no one else did, not even Calc himself. Also Superboy didn't, even though he should be able to hear heartbeats, see through people and whatnot. Afterwards, Red Robin says something about the team and refers to himself, and Robin gets upset and says he's ready to go back to Gotham, especially since the Teen Titans already have a "Robin". Later, Tim asks Robin if he wants to stay, and Robin says he can't deal with them AND him, and they'd obviously rather have Tim around. When Damian goes back to join Dick, we see him comment on how Damian is more patient, how he's picked up new moves and hasn't used his blades to harm anyone. The issue ends with Damian saying he didn't need the Teen Titans and telling Dick he already had one friend in Gotham and one is more than enough. I enjoyed this issue for the Red Robin/Robin interaction, the swerve ending, the character development with Damian, and Tim rejoining the team apparently. What I didn't like was the way Calculator was made to look like a fool, especially after Tim put him over so much, like Catman in Red Robin, only for him to come out looking like a dud. Also I didn't like a lot of the dialogue, it seemed like some stuff a drunken Chris Yost would write, and Krul is much better than that. But with those as my only gripes I guess I'd give this issue a 6.5/10 rating.

Superboy: I don't care what your costume your or him wears. As far as I'm concerned, you're my Robin, always will be. (More ammo for me and X-Man's Tim/Kon-El wanna date each other theory.)

Power Girl #21

My favorite female Kryptonian kicks things off in this month's issue of Power Girl as she speaks about how we all make mistakes, from the putting your foot in your mouth mistake of congratulating someone on being pregnant when they aren't, or her undressing while the window washers happen to be outside her window, or ripping doors of the hinges with her super strength. We then see she means the recent mistake of beating the crap out of Captain Atom because she thought he was a evil Superman thanks to being mind-controlled by Maxwell Lord. After she's snapped out of it, Power Girl is told she should leave by Booster, which is actually him telling her she should try to find some help in the form of Batman, Superman and some more heavy hitters. From there we see her trying to tell Batman about Max Lord and how he keeps forgetting him. For the record, I'd recommend the comic just on this conversation alone because it was hilarious. After not being able to convince Dick Grayson who Max Lord is, Power Girl says she;s going to find a way to make him believe. From there we see Peej thinking about Ted Kord, and she says how she never took him seriously due to him being so goofy. We see a flashback that someone had broken into a Kord Universal warehouse and stolen some things, and left two dead guards in their wake. So Ted had called in Nightwing, Power Girl, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Wonder Girl, Speedy, Green Arrow and Wonder Girl to investigate. Power Girl tells Ted that this is a team for Darkseid, not to investigate murders the police could do, but Ted remained adamant that he felt there was something bigger going on. He tells her about the mysterious name O.M.A.C. popping up during his search for answers and she said that he should be the one trying to find answers, not calling on everyone else. She and the team of heroes then left, and she said that was the last time she saw Ted, and he was right in his suspicions and it got him killed. So Power Girl goes to Ted's grave and digs up his casket, she takes it to Dick and tells him to scientifically prove that Ted shot himself. Dick starts to say how crazy she is and he won't play along with her game when Batman (Bruce) walks in and says Dick won't do it because Max Lord shy's everyone away from remembering the truth. Power Girl is shocked Bruce remembers and Bruce said so will Dick, and Bruce starts to do the autopsy on Ted. Once the autopsy gets underway, Dick has no choice but to conclude Ted Kord was murdered and instantly remembers what happened. Dick says he'll contact the JLA and Oracle as Bruce and Power Girl head to find the JLI, which will continue in Gen Lost #22. This was a great issue, I loved seeing Power Girl try to prove everything, and so obsessed that she got Ted's body, which was a great touch at how badly she needed Dick to believe her. I also loved that I as right in my speculation months back that Bruce would remember Max since he was away when Max did his worldwide mind-wipe. The only thing I didn't enjoy was the stuff about Starrware, so much so I even omitted it from this issue, since it almost ruined the flow of it, so that aside I'd give this an 8.5/10.

Power Girl: We've been having this conversation for thirty minutes!  I get you halfway down the field, boom, you fumble! Your forget again and we're back at home plate! 
Batman: You really don't know anything about sports, do you?

Action Comics #898

Lex Luthor's Action Comics starts off with Lex, still after the mysterious black orbs, as he's told one is wildly moving around space. While planning on going to get the orb, he's attacked by Larfleeze and his Orange construct, Glomulus. Lex notices that the orb is in Glomus' stomach, and Larfleeze explains that he found it and wants Lex to tell him how to use it so he can get more stuff. Ah, the wonderful gift of greed. Lex plays it cool and says he'll gladly help, telling the only Orange Lantern to hand over Glomulus, but Larfleeze doesn't fall for it, and figures out that Lex's Lo-bot activates the orbs and quickly figures out Lex is on a quest for power. Lex then explains that Larfleeze should be worried because after having a taste of that power he had while being an Orange Lantern. he wants the power back. He then launches a sneak attack on Larfleeze and tells one of his people to start a force field to keep Larfleeze there. An enraged Larfleeze yells that this is his attack and blasts Lex to the ground. Lex sends his Lo-bot to get something from Lab 8, and Larfleeze demands Lex have her come back, and grabs one of Lex's employees. He threatens to kill Lex's "construct" is Lex doesn't comply, and Lex, not wanting Larfleeze to think he cares about any of those people, just shoots the poor man square in the head, killing him instantly. Lex then surprises Larfleeze and pushes him into the sphere he got from The Joker, causing him to disappear. Larfleeze comes out of the orb somewhere in the Antarctic, and keeps shooting at the orb, telling whatever's inside to get back. He says Luthor must be mistaken to want that and no one would want that, even Larfleeze doesn't. which shocks him since he usually wants everything. The issue ends with the robot Lois talking to her boss as she leads Lex towards doom. Well this was an alright issue, I couldn't really get into it though, and I didn't care much about the reveal of Lo-bot's boss, what I did like is the mystery of what scared off both The Joker and Larfleeze, but I'll give this issue a 5/10.

Larfleeze: Hairless Lex Luthor!!! (Oh Larfleeze, always stating the obvious.)

Gotham City Sirens #20

We get things started as we see a very upset Harley Quinn, she explains how she has a quiet rage inside her that she hides behind her happy-go-lucky personality. How that rage only wants one thing, revenge for all the things she's been put through by a certain Clown Prince of Crime. She vows that she's gonna do what no one else has been able to, to kill The Joker. She uses four items to break into Arkham, because she claims that's all she needs. First while breaking in, she encounters an Arkham guard named Officer Hendricks. She remembers how she noticed he admired marbles, and used her fantastic psychiatrist skills to discover that as a kid he loved playing with them, and how he used them to escape and wished there were worlds inside them he could escape away to from his abusive father. So Harley throws marbles his way, and when he picks one up to inspect it, they explode. Harley claims she always liked Hendricks, but her rage won't allow for distractions, because they aren't enough. Harley starts to hallucinate and see's The Joker, she throws a crowbar but it fades through where she thought she saw him. From there, Harley recounts her meetings with Alice Sinner, the current head Director of Arkham Asylum, and how everyone knew that Alice's parents were apart of a mass-suicide cult. We see that Alice once loved a boy who loved her back, and he made her a flower out of fabric, and once they fell in love and were caught, he was forced to repent and act like Alice didn't exist. So she took her revenge and thirty-seven bodies were found at the crime scene, and a fabric-made flower. Harley said she had known Alice murdered those people, but recommended her to be hired at Arkham anyway, because of a request by The Joker, and notes that people with trauma are easier to manipulate. She then drops a flower made of fabric from an above vent onto Sinner's desk, and when she reaches for it, some knock out gas expels from the flower. From there Harley breaks out Basil Karlo a.k.a. Clayface with a crowbar, and we see how he goes crazy when a remake of his classic horror film is changed, and the weapon used to murder his character is changed from a Crowbar to a shoe. Clayface reacts by killing the director with a crowbar as Harley states to Clayface a crowbar represents failure. Clayface, once loose, starts attacking guards due to his anger. The issue ends as Harley heads on her way to kill The Joker and is confronted by her final challenge, Aaron Cash. Man, this was a great issue, it was great to see a new side of Harley, especially one that shows why she's such a damn good threat. Harley has so much talent and ability and I love seeing it utilized, although that Clayface explanation was pretty lame, I'll give this a 7/10.

Harley Quinn: It is a talent I've had my entire life. It's what made me a skilled therapist. I can find the weak spot. The one everyone has. Then I push.

Amazing Spider-Man #655

This issue of ASM is titled "In Memory of Marla Jameson", and starts off very interesting. For the first ten pages or so there are no words, thought boxes or any text. We see J. Jonah Jameson wake up in bed alone, and shower and shave, and we see he's still wearing his wedding ring. We then jump over to see Peter Parker finishing up shaving, he puts on his Spider-Man suit and gets dressed over it then seems to think while closing his eyes tight, and ends up leaving his Spidey costume on his bed and leaves for Marla's funeral. We see everyone from Betty Brant to Glory Grant showing up at Marla's funeral. We see as Jonah stands over Marla's grave and doesn't shed a tear, all the while with an emotionless face. These pages were done amazingly, they done so little in terms of words but they really hit home, the visuals are what sold it and that was a bold move that really worked out, so kudos to the ASM team. From there we see Peter lie down to bed later that night, as he finally drifts off to sleep he dreams of the night Uncle Ben was killed. This time Peter tries to stop the robber but can't catch him, as we see Uncle Ben in a blood-soaked shirt telling Peter to let it go. He tell's Peter he's at peace, and he's with family and points over to Peter's parents. Peter runs over to them and they turn around, only to see they have no faces. They say that Peter doesn't even remember them, that he thinks of Ben and May as his parents and his actual parents mean nothing to him anymore. From there Peter's family are boarding a plane to the great beyond and he see's Aunt May boarding, when he tries to grab her arm she morphs into Marla, and asks if she was Aunt May would he have found a way to save her. As Marla walks away she says don't worry, she'll be back, she used to build Spider-Slayer's and that makes her a super villain, and super villains always come back. Peter says she wasn't a villain, she was a good person, and she replies, never mind then. I loved that line so much because it really is true in the comic world. Villains come back every day but Uncle Ben or Batman's parents never will. From there we see Peter running around a Topsy-turvy New York that's full of people that have died in his life including Ben Reilly, Kaine, Gwen Stacy and Captain Stacy, and so many more people. He then see's Kraven, Green Goblin, Mysterio and the other villains that have returned from the dead, while his love one's haven't. He then sees vigilante's like Socurge, Punisher and even Wolverine killing off his rogue's gallery since Spidey wont take that step, and even has Captain America tell him to wake up and smell the coffee, even Cap killed Nazi's back in the day. Spidey then has the chance to stop the man who would go on to kill Uncle Ben once again, Spidey catches him and beats him to a bloody pulp, before realizing he was attacking Uncle Ben. Uncle Ben tells Peter that by crossing that line, that's how he'd be responsible, for the death of everything he's given him, and Peter promises he won't. He wakes up in a cold sweat and we later see him vow that from now on, whenever he's around, no one will die on his watch. The issue ends as we see a super villain with hostages, kill a hostage for no reason after making no demands because he can. This was an amazing issue, no pun intended. The look on JJJ's face never changing, Spidey's demons of his past and all the death's that are on his hands. I'll give this issue a solid 10/10 rating for one hell of a great story.

Marla: I used to build Spider-Slayers. That makes me a super villain. And Super Villains always come back.
Peter: But Dr. Jameson, you're not... I know you. You're a good person.
Marla: Oh... well then... never mind.

Detective Comics #874

James Gordon starts this issue off, as he's face to face with his son, James Gordon Jr. Commissioner Gordon doesn't look happy to see his son, but after James tries to get his dad to listen for two minutes, he finally complies. He tells his dad he's sorry for all the trouble he's caused him, his mom, Sarah and Barbara over the years. Gordon doesn't believe James, and recounts many times that James has hurt and tortured people over the years from Jocks that teased him to a girl when he was a kid named Bess Keller. James says he's not a good man but he's never killed anyone. He tells his dad about how he left Gotham thinking he'd be able to get away from who he is, and after being hassled in Texas, he wanted to go find the person who did it and hurt him and his family and friends, but stopped himself and checked into a psych center. He says what he found out there is that he is a psychopath, and he's fine with that. He shows his dad that he's in a drug trial that pretty much tames his psychosis, and he says he wants to help people like him. He says he's applied to work with Leslie Thompkins and she knows the truth about him, he just wants his dad to speak to someone at the Wayne Foundation, namely Dick Grayson, and make sure they don't say anything to block him from being considered by Leslie as well. Gordon doesn't answer as James gets up and walks away while telling his dad it's good to see him. Next we see Batman and Red Robin, since he's in everything this month, on stakeout. Tim doesn't think Dick should be on control after what happened with him being poisoned by The Dealer, but Dick, just like Bruce, is too hard-headed to ever take a personal day. While getting the drop on some criminals, the toxin comes back to bite Batman, causing him to make mistakes and get caught slipping by a few criminals. After the assist by Red Robin, they search the criminal area and find a bunch of endangered animals, they try to figure out who's behind it before figuring it was someone new. The issue ends with Commissioner Gordon thinking of his son and their recent encounter. Well this was an alright comic, I feel like signs point at it being James as the culprit and that seems to obvious. I liked the stuff with him and Gordon but the Batman stuff seemed filler and Red Robin was pretty pointless in this, his role could have easily been filled by Robin or even Oracle verbally. I'll give this issue a 7/10 because I'm enjoying the way James Jr. has been portrayed so far.

Gordon Sr.: What's that on your shirt?
Gordon Jr: It's blood, Dad. I killed a waitress while you were talking to Barbara. Her head is stuffed in the toilet of the Men's room... It's just ketchup, see?

Deadpool #33

The Merc with a Mouth is back doing what he does best, finishing up with the Hero lifestyle, DP now plans on getting paid, getting laid, and blood getting sprayed. And yes, I did just make that up. He starts his intergalactic voyage going to the planet Ongulia, or what's left of it after it's nuked by it's enemies and goes the way of Krypton. The remaining Ongulians seek help in the Red and Black form of the Regeneratin Degenerate himself, Deadpool. But before that, Deadpool must confront the widow of Macho Gomez, after killing him last issue. She threatens to chomp off DP's stupid head, so he plants one on the big hippopotamus resembling woman, and finds out that he's now married to her through that kiss. Surprisingly, Deadpool is fine with that, but he does have a thing for big chicks and old women, so maybe we should've seen this coming. After a honeymoon, Deadpool joins the family business of towing and recovery, and heads out on his first run, and after a bunch of bloodshed and calling himself Fatty a few times, Deadpool proves to be successful, which proves he's awesome at mostly everything he does. While doing this, he pisses off his boss, who happens to be his wife's brother. While talking about Deadpool with an employee, the employee suggests they bump off Deadpool, and says Deadpool's wife could do better, considering the guy is obviously in love with her. They make a few calls and we come full circle as the Ongulians ask Deadpool to get revenge for them by killing Id, who happens to be a moon. So yeah, Deadpool has to kill a living moon. It's the kind of wackyness that's so stupid that it's hilarious. The issue ends with Deadpool, eager to take on a living moon, accepting the job. This was a stupid, fun comic, nothing more, nothing less. It was perfectly acceptable and fun, I'll give it a 7.5/10.

Deadpool: You want me to kill a planet...
Ongulian: Well, a moon...
Deadpool: You want me to kill a planet. Just say it.

Morning Glories #7

This issue of Morning Glories starts things off with a flashback to Mumbai, India, thirteen years ago. We see a man named Abraham, as his guide warns him that people in this area have proved to be liars and charlatans to see special. Abraham asks questions and we discover that the young woman their going to see is an orphan, due to her father murdering her mother. Abraham believes this young woman is the one he's looking for, solely based on faith. When Abraham and his guide walk into the room, the young woman finishes Abraham's sentence and greets him by name which shocks the guide, not only because she knew his name, but because she responded to Abraham in English, which is a language she had never even heard before. He tells the guide that this is the young woman their looking for, and that she is to be given to an adoptive family and her new name will be Zoe. We then fast forward to Zoe at Morning Glory academy talking to Casey, but she seems to be in her own world.When Casey acts what the problem is, Zoe goes off on her, asking why she wasn't made aware of their plan to save Jade. When Casey says she wasn't sure she could trust Zoe prior to that, Zoe tells her now she knows she can't trust her at all. Zoe storms out and walks past the gym and runs notices the cheerleader squad working out, after practice ends she confronts a cheerleader. Zoe, shocked the school even has a cheer team asks about it, and when the young woman asks if Zoe cheers, she takes great offense to it, implying that she's pretty much the Muhammad Ali of cheering all through the facial expressions she gives. (Kudos to Joe Eisma.) We then get another flashback, this time to last year, and we see Zoe on the cheer squad. She and a friend are talking about how they probably won't promote Zoe to Junior Varsity Cheer Captain unless she's dating a popular guy, or at least someone. Zoe makes up the lame excuse of the guy her friend recommends as being too tall, so her friend says maybe she'll date him, and calls Zoe a V-Tard, which just made it's way to my vocabulary. (Kudos to Nick Spencer.) The Cheerleader chatter is cut short when a teacher interrupts and says he hasn't gotten Zoe's friend's paper and she has until five to get it turned in, so she takes off to go finish her paper as Zoe looks on. Back in the present, the Morning Glory squad cheerleader tries to convince Zoe to join, saying she wouldn't even have to try out, but she'd have to pass a initiation ritual. Before she can explain she has to run, but asks Zoe to meet her on the soccer field at ten if she's interested, and she promises the sprinkler's full of hydrochloric acid won't go off then, which I loved because I honestly expected that... well minus the acid part. After she leaves Hunter comes over to say he thinks Zoe was right but she quickly brushes off his sympathy and says she has to trade up on the friend food chain. We then get another quick flashback as Zoe's leaving the gym at her old school she walks past a room and hears her friend crying out, she looks inside and see's the teacher trying to force himself on her, and Zoe clocks him in the back of the head with a book, causing him to fall forward and hit his chin on the desk, pushing back and breaking his neck. Back in the present, Zoe heads to the soccer field (which has goal posts, so I'm assuming that's a slip or they multitask on that field.) Zoe walks up and see's the cheerleaders with a ram, and she quickly announces she's not killing or having sex with it to join the squad. They laugh and tell her it's their team mascot and hand her something. They say what she has is basically a lie detector test and their gonna ask her three questions, two standard and one specifically for her, and if she lies she can't join the squad. They ask her earliest memory and we see Zoe's father strangling her mother while she watches from another room. The next question is what is the worst thing she's ever done, and we see that after she knocked out that teacher and mistakenly killed him her friend admitted the sex was consensual and they were playing a game that was her idea, for her to pretend he was forcing himself on her. After finding that out, Zoe decides they have to get rid of the body, and do so by putting his body in the school furnace. The final question is who is David, which refers to something in an earlier issue. Zoe doesn't ask, and instead runs off. We then see the main cheerleader reports this news to Miss Daramont who seems pleased with the information. The issue ends soon after with Zoe exacting revenge on the cheerleader, but I won't ruin it by saying how. Man, this issue was amazing. It started out great with a piece Zoe's past, then we saw her anger at being excluded, and the swerve with the teacher and the girl really caught me by surprise and the ending was shocking yet satisfying. Now I'm wondering what caused the change from sweet little girl to the "Mean Girl" that Zoe is now. If all comics were this good I'd never stop reviewing, I'll give this issue a perfect 10/10 rating.

Zoe: You know what's funny? I can't even remember your name. I wonder if it's because there's nothing interesting or attractive or useful about you? (In the words of Michael Kelso... BURN!)

Well, this was a long post but I definitely saved the best for last. Here's hoping you all enjoyed my reviews and rantings, and as always week free to comment. Be sure to vote on the new weekly poll as well, and check out the results of the last poll below. Well that's it for me guys and gals, until next time I'm your friendly neighborhood blogger-man, Jason Todd!

Last week's poll asked "Which Bat-family member should have a solo ongoing comic series?"

Last Place with 9.1% - Alfred Pennyworth, but he still makes a mean cup of tea!
Third Place with 18.2% - Cassandra Cain, Well I'm not opposed to her joining the Birds of Prey. ;-)
Second Place with 31.8% - The heir to the Wayne Fortune falls short to his "brother"...
Winner with 40.9% - Jason Todd returns from the grave and gets a series? I wish!

Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Batman Beyond #3, Streets of Gotham #20, Brightest Day #21, and Green Lantern #63.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Hey everyone, it's that time once again for your weekly dose of comic content comments, Ratings and Rantings! I'm your host Jason Todd, and this week you get your Rantings and Rantings in the middle of the week instead of this weekend! Oh lucky you! We've only got four comics but hopefully their good ones. But I won't bore you with an intro, let's get to the meat and potatoes of the post, the reviews, starting off with Green Lantern!

Green Lantern #62

We start off with Hal and Krona confronting one another, and we see a bit of Krona's past. He was apparently a Guardian and mistakenly caused the creation of the Antin-Matter Universe, and subsequently Qward, The Weaponers and Sinestro's ring. Hal tries to take on Krona, in failing effort, while Saint Walker and the other Lanterns save the people that were formerly possessed by the entities. Hal then hits Krona with a huge punch and places him inside a Green Lantern but Krona breaks through. Krona then eases his way out of it and depletes Hal's ring battery, but Hal is surprisingly saved by a very angry (when isn't he angry...) Atrocitus who wants revenge on Krona, and gets it by biting his neck like a damn Dracula. (Thank you Deadpool!) Jrona blasts Atrocitus off and gets ready to leave with the entities, but Hal, Atrocitus, Saint Walker, Larfleeze and some more Lanterns all go to attack. Their interrupted by Hector Hammond, who is still possessed by Ophidian, the Orange Lantern entity. While Atrocitus is subdued, Krona uses this time to take his entity too. Hal tries to make on last ditch effort and blasts at Krona but Krona is ready and blasts ALL the lanterns back with a blinding white light. While Hal is blasted unconcious he see's the Guardian's discussing how dangerous Hal is, especially with the loss of one of the Lanterns of sector 2814 (Interesting...) as a robed figure says Hal isn't as dangerous as him. Hal then awakens on the JLA Satellite surrounded by The Flash, Superman and Batman. Batman has apparently dropped the loving role as he pretty much goes off on Hal about working with Atrocitus, as he's going around killing people. Superman, Flash and I'd assume Batman offer their help in taking on Krona as they all know how powerful he is, and Atrocitus, Saint Walker, Indigo and Larfleeze also show up saying Larflezee can track Hammond. The heroes tell Hal not to turn his back on friends and he can't do this alone, and Indigo replies he isn't doing it alone. Hal then says sorry as he leaves with the other Lanterns as the issue ends. This issue wasn't bad, we learned a lot about Krona and his past, as well as the Guardians used to all wear White Lantern symbols which is interesting, you'd think they would know more about the Lantern in that case. We also saw Hal turn his back on his friends which may lead to other things, I'll give this issue a 7/10, it wasn't bad but nothing memorable really took place either, nor was it explained where the hell Hammond even came from. Was he just watching and waiting?

Hal Jordan: What... What happened?
Batman: You Lost. (Haha, there's the Batman I remember!)

Brightest Day #20

Last time Aquaman lost a hand... again, this time I'm gonna predict.... Hal gets Parallax and kills everyone? Firestorm gets impaled with a sword and flies into the sky and explodes? Wonder Woman snaps Max Lord's neck? Oh... we are just rehashing old storylines right? Right from the opening page we see Boston Brand trying to join the fight on the beat between the Aqua-family and Siren, her people and Black Manta. The ring tells him it isn't his fight and that the ring opened the Bermuda triangle to see how Aquaman would handle this, as well as the truth about Mera being sent to kill him. Damn, that ring is pretty evil, it's like it's planning a reality TV show. Manta walks up to kill the crying Aquaman, but he's tackled by his son, Jackson. Jackson asks why Manta sides with people that killed his mother and wants to kill him, and Manta says neither Jackson or his mother mean anything to him. Damn Manta, you're one cold blooded S.O.B. Manta is then attacked by water constructs of sharks as Mera and Aquagirl show up to the fight. Jackson see's Aquagirl and gets a tingle in his swordfish. Yeah, I said it. From there, she tells him to try to knock off their helmets since most of them can't breathe air, and the two start to take on Siren's men. Aquaman is shocked that Mera is alive, because sure, Siren would never lie to you Arthur. She tells Arthur he needs to get his hand or lack of hand fixed because he's losing blood rapidly and she has Jackson cauterize the wound with his electric powers. From there the Four Aquamembers try to take on their opposers and Mera controls the entire sea and grabs all of their enemies and throws them into the water. They then follow them in as Aquaman calls on his fish friends to help even the odds and hundreds of dead Sharks, Octopi and the like follow him into battle. Once they battle the bad guys, Jackson uses his powers to turn the Bermuda triangle back on... okay... and lock the enemies away. After that, everyone makes up and Aquaman and Mera kiss as Lorena tells Jackson not to get any ideas. The issue ends as Aquaman is granted life by the White Ring, as Deadman stands there and we see a repeat of what happened to the Hawks. This issue was okay, I'm starting to believe the ring is just teleporting people away. That makes more sense, and this issue wasn't bad at all, but I think the ending of the fight was pretty lackluster. I did like that it stuck with one story for the whole issue though, so I'll give this a 6.5/10.
Black Manta: Your mother meant nothing to me. Just like you.

Green Lantern Corps #57

Green Lantern Corps guest-staring Firestorm, well alright then. We get a quick recap on the Firestorm Brightest Day story, for those lucky enough to not be following that series. The two fly around and sense White Lantern energy so head towards Qward, where of course their sensing the Weaponer's white lantern powered weapon. From there we see Soranik Natu as she talks about how she could tell the Weaponer wasn't evil. His main weapon being a shield shows that he fights defensively and isn't a murderer. The Thunderers and Green Lantern Honor Corps use the Weaponer's weapons to fire on Sinestro, as Soranik thinks to herself how much devastation Kyle has brought to this world by bringing Sinestro. Well he WAS trying to save you... Sinestro meanwhile blasts everyone with his counter attack except the Green Lanterns to keep the truce intact. The Weaponer then blocks the blast with his shield to save some of the Thunderers, before rushing Sinestro with an attack. As the Weaponer takes on Sinestro the Thunderers and the Honor Guard fight off the Sinestro Corps, and Firestorm joins the fight as well helping out the Green Lanterns. Back with Sinestro and The Weaponer, they trade blows with one another but Sinestro gets the upperhand. He then puts a force field around himself and The Weaponer and tells him he'd forgotten how resourceful the Weaponer is, how well he could harness the white light and how he knew to go after Soranik to draw Sinestro there. He then tells The Weaponer he could use a man like him to arm the Sinestro Corps with rings. The Weaponer, clearly defeated, agrees and joins the Sinestro Corps as the Thunderers promise to make him pay. Sinestro and his corpsmen leave as Sinestro tells Soranik if she had been harmed he would have turned the whole planet into dust. Firestorm then says "I have to bounce."..riveting... as he leaves to try to find Deathstorm who's apparently on Qward. This issue ends as Ganthet warns the Lanterns about Krona. Well this was a good issue, they built Weaponer back up, I didn't like how quickly he failed and joined the Sinestro Corps, but it made sense. The thing I didn't like was Firestorm's very unnecessary appearance here. He showed up, didn't even grab the White Lantern powered weapons, blasted some people and left. That really seemed pointless to add him, so I'll give this issue an 8/10.

Soranik Natu: Sinestro was right, you are not the same man that abducted me. That man, at least I respected.

Amazing Spider-Man #654.1

Lmao, this issue is called Flashpoint! God Bless you Marvel Comics. So anyway, we start things off with the newest Symbiote Host to Venom, Flash Thompson, as he scales a building and breaks in. He then uses the awesome suits morphing abilities to turn the costume into a tux. Flash, who wants to be the new Spider-Man, has to be called Venom, because Venom scares criminals because of his past habits of eating and killing them. Flash then mingles at the black tie affair he's crashed, under the army provided pseudonym of Gene Heisman. Flash is there to track Countess Bianca Demonico, and it proves easier than he thought when the blonde beauty wants to dance with Mr. Heisman. While dancing, Flash uses the tiny syringes that his suit has absorbed to implant a tracker into Bianca, proving that Spider-Tracers are indeed things of the past. After his mission is completed, Flash has the symbiote removed in the army lab as they verify it hasn't bonded to him, and let Flash know that he can wear the symbiote for nineteeen more missions before it tries to permanently bond with the Flash-Man. Back at home, Flash is in his wheelchair when Betty Brant comes in crying, she tells him that Marla Jameson is dead, and how the Jameson's are like family to her. Flash tries to get up and comfort her but falls, obviously forgetting that he can't walk without the symbiote. After checking on Flash, Betty asks him to talk to Peter since he's shut down upon knowing of Marla's death, and Flash agrees to. He goes to see Pete and finds out that Pete is talking about it with Mary Jane and not Carlie. Flash thinks Pete may slip up and ruin his relationship and is gonna talk sense into Pete but gets a call from the General. He tells Flash that someone was wrongly accused due to Flash's last mission and they need Venom on the case. From there Flash suits up as Venom and heads to go save the wrongfully accused man, which after some stealth work and using his suit to dress up like one of the guards, or as I call it, the Storm Trooper trick, he rescues his target. While trying to escape Flash is blasted with a grenade that blows off his legs, talk about deja vu. This causes him to go berserk, and change from this slender, athletic, Spider-man type Venom to a huge Mac Gargan monster-type Venom. He then brutally murders all the guards and even bites off the arm of Flag Smasher before spitting it out and claiming he isn't a cannibal because "We didn't ssswallow." When Flash meets up with the other army members he's ready to get the Venom suit off but they don't have a containment pod so they tell him he has to wait until they get back to the base. He's then asked if he Venom'd out because they lost transmission, and when they ask the man Venom just rescued, he looks at Venom, then seems afraid and says he saw nothing out of the ordinary. When they get back to the base they extract Venom but only 99% is in the tank, leading them to think something isn't right before telling Flash he has eighteen missions left. Flash gets home and Betty tells him he missed Marla's funeral and he admits he didn't get to talk to Pete. He promises to talk to Stupid Parker and keep him from ruining everything as we see the Symbiote's shadow behind Flash and this issue ends. This was another great issue, I love to see how the symbiote is going to try to slowly turn Flash against Peter, as well as giving us a glimpse at the upcoming Venom series which looks to be damn interesting, I'll give this issue a 9/10.

Kate: Sooner we get the symbiote off this amateur and on to a real agent, the better.
Flash: Um, Kate? My communication implant's still on. I can hear everything you're saying.

Well that's it for me, Todd Squad. This week's poll results will be posted next week along with a new poll. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment, and until next time I'm your friendly neighborhood
blogger-man, Jason Todd, signing off!

Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Action Comics #898, Gotham City Sirens #20, Detective Comics #874, Generation Lost #20, Power Girl #21, Teen Titans #92, Morning Glories #7, Amazing Spider-Man #655 and Deadpool #33

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Hey Todd Squad, Jason Todd here with another edition your that weekly sensation known as Ratings and Rantings. This week we've got a whopping six reviews compared to the last few smaller installments. Before I jump right in, I wanna plug my most recent post, which is called "Why you should be reading Morning Glories", so please swing by there and check that out if you haven't already. So, since we've got more reviews, that's less stalling and prattling I have to do, so let's get things underway with one of my favorite series, Generation Lost!

JL Generation Lost #19

We start things off getting a brief history lesson as we see a flashback of Jaime Reyes explains to his friend how he got the scarab, and when it's mentioned that the two previous Blue Beetles, Dan Garret and Ted Kord are dead,his friends say maybe he should take up a mantle where the namesake doesn't die. Um... Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, Green Arrow.... that might be kind of hard. Jaime tries to explain that the scarab chose him and he didn't choose it. We then jump to present day to see Max is still pretty much torturing Beetle for the sake of Science. When Ivo tells Max Lord he thinks he's found the suit's nervous system, he heads over to see what Ivo has found. While Max is gone, Beetle's suit goes into emergency mode and plugs itself into a machine to send an emergency distress signal to the JLI. Back with the JLI, they decide to send Power Girl to warn the JLA and JSA, and she claims that she won't be forgetting about Max again, well I hope so Peej, you've only done it like four times by now. After she takes off to get reinforcements, Skeets tells Booster that he's just picked up a distress signal from The Blue Beetle. Back with Bettle, his armor finally reboots and he blasts Max Lord through a wall. Max claims he has home court advantage and fires a ton of lasers at Beetle, but Beetle fights back and causes Max to have to retreat the entire base. Just as the base starts to move, still with Max, Ivo and Beetle inside it, the JLI show up ready to save Blue Beetle. A clearly enraged Beetle keeps taunting Max as the JLI arrive and Max seems to be all out of escape plans when suddenly Max hits a button and Beetle is zapped and falls to the floor. Max tells him that while studying his suit he's learned all of his strengths and weaknesses, and the JLI arrive just in time to see history repeat itself as this issue ends. This was a great issue, it seemed like it flew by because it was so action packed. I'm waiting for confirmation on the end of the issue but I will say they made Jaime seem like a very capable hero in this issue. Anyway, I really, REALLY enjoyed this issue, I'll give it a solid 9/10.

Booster Gold: JAIME!

Batman and Robin #20

We get underway in this issue of Batman and Robin with Tim, Dick and Damian in the kitchen with Alfred, making smoothies and popcorn as they talk about how rare it is for them all to be together and not in costume. We then see Bruce join them, and that the five Bat-family members are getting ready to watch The Mark of Zorro, the movie that Bruce saw with his parents the night they were murdered, to symbolize a new beginning of sorts. From there we see Dick attend a fancy opera performance after fighting crime as Batman alongside Robin. Alfred picks up the Dynamic Duo and drives them there as Dick changes in the car, and before he can enter the building, a man just wearing a towel and white wings falls to the ground and splatters all over the red carpet, as Dick, Damian, Alfred and the other guests watch in awe. This leads to an autopsy as we see Batman, Robin and Commissioner Gordon discussing the autopsy. The always brash Robin refers to the victim as Mr. Potato head, joking about his death, which draws the ire of Gordon, who threatens to never let Robin "tag along" again, to which Robin brushes off and replies that he doesn't tag along. During the autopsy we discover that this suicide victim has burned off his finger and footprints and his face is unrecognizable due to the trauma of falling eighty stories. From there, Batman and Robin go to look for clues, and find a very odd suicide note, but Batman is then randomly attacked by Man-Bat, who rants about being able to hear screams. The issue ends with a very confused Batman and Robin taking down Man-Bat. Well this was interesting, this issue was basically used to build questions, but I loved seeing Bruce and Tim appear, as well as them watching Zorro together because it shows more Bruce Wayne evolution after his "death". This was a fun issue though, and I'm looking forward to the next one, although this issue was perfectly fine. I'll give this issue a 7/10.

Bruce Wayne: It may have been the worst night of my life, Dick, but up until Chill stepped out of the shadows, it was one of the best days of my life.

Birds of Prey #9

Black Canaries! Well that's what we see when this issue kicks off, Dinah and her mom face to face, as Dinah's mom asks her why everything she loves dies. From there we see her confronted by ghosts of her past in the form of her father, Arsenal, Green Arrow and Sin. Batman and Oracle try to help Dinah as she deals with her visions and Oracle tells Batman to take Canary to Savant and Creote so they can watch over her since Savant has medical training and Bruce complies. We then see the other members of the Birds of Prey, Huntress, Lady Blackhawk and Dove are being transported to the Calculator via a school bus... I guess times are tough for everyone in the Board of Education. After almost being frisked by a bunch of goons and delivering a knee to the groin for their troubles, Lady Blackhawk is slapped by one of Calculator's henchmen. She delivers an awesome line that makes him back off (line of the issue) as they arrive to the drop off point. Back at Oracle's new headquarters, Hawk shows up and asks where Dove is. Oracle asks him how he managed to be off the grid for fifteen minutes and why he went to see Penguin, but he ignores her and asks where Dove is. Oracle tries to find out but see's the team's signals are blocked. Soon after that, Batman shows up with the still incapacitated Black Canary. When Hawk starts to say he needs to save Dawn and tells Oracle to shove this team, Batman tells him to relax, causing Hawk to start swinging on the Caped Crusader. Babs calms Hank down and tells him she has a plan to save the other Birds. As they leave she tells Savant to watch over Dinah and he promises he will. We then see Mortis in Dinah's mind, asking her if she wants to see Lian again, and Dinah of course cries no. She then turns around to see herself, when she was kidnapped and beaten to near death during Longbow Hunters. Canary then starts to regain her mind by stating Mortis pulled the wrong trigger because she knows her friends are on the way to save her. Dinah fighting back reverse Mortis' powers I guess and causes Mortis to start convulsing. The rest of the Birds are being watched over by Calculator who plans on killing Lady Blackhawk, but due to a diversion by Dove and a timely save by Oracle, but the issue ends with Calculator having the upper hand. I really enjoyed this issue, it wasn't bad but it was better than last months. I'm wondering what Batman will do and how Oracle plans to help her team. I'll give this a 8/10.

Lady Blackhawk: Hittin a handcuffed woman. Guess somebody found his lil' berries, huh? You look like you're fixin to try that again, Mister. Let me just say this friendly thing, all right? It ain't smart to hit a Blackhawk once.

Batgirl #18

 Batgirl featuring Klarion....Bum...Bum...Bum... The Witch Boy! And yes, those were for dramatic emphasis, just like the Witch Boy has demanded. Things get started with Batgirl talking about how she just wants some quiet time as she spends Valentine's Night on patrol. She soon comes across a murdered man on the streets and follows the bloody footprints that lead to a very shocked looking Klarion as he writes in the blood of the recently murdered man. Batgirl confronts him and makes the mistake of calling him a blue pilgrim which causes Klarion, Bum Bum Bum... The Witch Boy to shrink our heroine and place her into a tiny magic ball. We then find out that Klarion is looking for his beloved cat, and agrees to turn Batgirl back to her normal size if she helps. We then find out his cat wanted to get it on with another cat and Klarion got jealous and kept them apart, so now his cat is out stealing hearts. Well, I've heard worse Valentine's Day related crimes. When Batgirl and Klarion hear screams, they head in that direction and find Klarion's cat, only he's six feet tall and has claws that would make Sabretooth look like a kitten with clipped nails. Batgirl uses a few gadgets from her utility belt to subdue Klarion's cat, Teekl and Klarion puts him into a magical orb, much like he did to Batgirl. Klarion explains how Teekl will keep murdering until he finds a mate, and Batgirl convinces Flarion that if their as good as friends as he says they are, then he should trust Teekl will come back to him. From there they go on a hunt for a mate, which takes Klarion and Batgirl to Klarion's home land, which makes Batgirl stick out like a sore thumb since she isn't blue. So is Klarion an Avatar or a Smurf? Anyway, after a plot that goes hilariously wrong, Steph and Klarion find Teekl a mate. Back in Gotham, Klarion is amazed at how much the humans want to find someone to be with, much like Teekl. And when Steph's arch-rival Jordanna shows up and almost incites the wrath of a certain Witch Boy, Steph plants a kiss on Klarion to calm his engines. The issue ends with Klarion and Stephanie spending Valentine's Day together. Well this was a cool issue, nothing amazing but it wasn't bad. The story was pretty odd but it included a Witch Boy and a Were-Cat so what can you expect? I'll give this issue a 7.5/10... BUM BUM BUM!!!!!

Klarion: My name is Klarion! And I'm a Witch-Boy! (You tell her Klarion!)

Red Robin #20

We start off with a quick rundown of what happened since Tim got back from Russia, and how after someone tripped an alarm in Lonnie's room, he knows someone is on to him and his friends jumping into the Unternet, and how this all leads to him being confronted by someone he doesn't want to fight as much as Doomsday and the Anti-Monitor, Catman. Okay, right off the bat, what?! I get that they wanna put Catman over as a threat but really?! In the same league as the Anti-Monitor and Doomsday?! This same guy that's in a group with Ragdoll, Deadshot and Scandal Savage? I mean... not Darkseid, Bizarro, Solomon Grundy or Deathstroke... but CATMAN?! Come on... Anyway, Red Robin and Catman fight as Catman tries to get away with the Unternet Firewall code he stole from Lonnie. When Catman get's trapped he pulls out a pink phone and tries to access the Unternet from it, so it'll draw the attention of Calculator (since he created the Unternet), and Tim realizes that it's Tam Fox's phone. He rushes over to find Tam, leaving Catman to escape. As he heads to save Tam he calls Stephanie to make sure Calculator isn't attacking Batgirl or Proxy and warns them. Red Robin arrives just as someone with an RPG (rocket, not video game) blasts Tam's dorm room to smithereens. Way to be late Tim, you could have just called Bart or Connor and had them get there in time. Luckily for Tam and her roommate, they appear to have been out studying and missed a near death. Back at his makeshift lab, Red Robin checks security camera's and gets a view of the rocket man (And I think it's gonna beeee, a long long time...) and recognizes him as the Calculator. When he runs a facial scan on him, he doesn't get a 100% confirmation so he searches the world for people with 94% facial matches of Calculator and finds 147 matches, so Tim determines he needs help and calls on his former team, the Teen Titans, and is surprised to see Damian is now a member. With Red Robin and the newest Teen Titan team all caught up, he tells them about the Calculator robots and how he'll need their help. Tim realizes that Calculator will recognize the team without their uniforms so they send the one person he doesn't know, Damian, to infiltrate. Things end soon after with the Teen Titans and Red Robin getting ready for one heck of a battle. This was another fun issue, I loved seeing the Teen Titans and Red Robin meet up together, as well as Damian's smart mouth. The only thing I didn't like is how dumb Red Robin came off here, shocked that Catman had a pink phone. I mean really? It takes that long to realize when a guy like Catman has a pink phone that it's not HIS phone? Also, overrating Catman doesn't make Catman look like a threat, it just makes Tim look like an idiot. That aside, this was another well done issue of Red Robin, I'll give it an 8/10.

Damian: Perhaps it's time to retire then... since the Titans have been more than satisfied with the energy brought to their dynamic by... The real Robin!

Amazing Spider-Man #654

We jump right into the fray of things with Col. Jameson arriving at the space station. He tells them to send him back asap so he can help his dad but they tell him they need to work on it due to the damage caused by the fight between Scorpion and Spider-Man. While they talk we see a tiny robotic bug climbs off of the ship, the same bug we saw earlier that was being controlled by Doc Ock. Back with Peter Parker, Max Modell has figured out his secret and confronts him. He knows that Peter Parker... invents tech for Spider-Man. God... have you people EVER heard of Occams Razor? From there, Max even helps Peter make something to block out Scorpion and the Spider-Slayers Spider-Sense. From there Spidey heads to join Ben Grimm and Mockingbird in saving the Jameson women, but checks in via phone call to Glory to make sure the Jameson men are okay. We then see the crew of the Daily Bugle trying to escape, and as Norah runs out and the Robertsons are trying to escape,  Phil Urich breaks a column which causes the building to start to cave-in. One of the big rocks falls on Randy's legs, and Robbie realizes since the Spider-Swarm is after him, he leads them away from Randy by having Ms. Marvel and Power Wom..screw that, Jessica Jones, fly him away.. Back with The Jameson women, Marla uses her knowledge of Spider-Slayers to make a frequency which screws with the swarm and allows The Thing to really start Clobberin! While Spidey is trying to place his Spidey-Sense screwing up devices around for triangulation purposes when he is confronted by The Scorpion again. Scorpion notices Spidey's new weapon and promptly breaks the remote detonator, like the jerk New Yorker he is, right X? So Spidey detonates it himself, and also feels the brunt of the device that screws up his Spider-Sense. He then takes down Scorpion with one huge punch and webs him up before heading to join the Thing. While the Jameson's all reunite, Spidey is talking to Ben and a explosion causes a piece of metal to fly and smack Spidey dead in the forehead, and Spidey is shocked to see he no longer has Spider-Sense! Smythe climbs out of the wreckage and tells Spider-Man his machine had no effect on him and subdues Spider-man's friends and allies before going after Jameson. He sends a spiked tendril at J. Jonah Jameson but hes pushed out of the way by Marla who is impaled. Spidey, feeling a surge of adrenaline rushes Smythe. This issue ends as Marla tells Jonah not to blame anyone, and to stop living his life with hate as he holds Marla in his arms. This was probably the best comic I've read in a long time. I didn't expect the ending and it was amazingly done, down to the last page. The artwork, especially on the last page was amazing, as was the ending, and we're left to also wonder what happened to Spider-Man's spider-sense and how he'll cope with that as well. Along with this we also see a great sneak peek at the new Venom, and man that made me even more excited for next week's Spider-Man 654.1 issue. This issue deserves a perfect 10/10 rating.

Jonah: I'm not going to say it.
Spider-Man: What?
Jonah: "This is all your fault, Spider-Man." Because I know. This is my fault. All mine.

Well that's it for me guys, here's hoping you enjoyed this week's Ratings and Rantings. I'll be back next week with four more comics to review, and as always comments are appreciated. Below are the results of the last Weekly Poll, and be sure to vote on this week's new poll as well. So until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off.

Last week's poll asked "Who do you think will die in Reign of Doomsday?"

Last place with 0% - Cyborg-Superman, you just can't win can ya Hank?
Third place with 10% - Tie between Superboy and the Kryptonian Killing Machine, Doomsday.
Second place with 30% - John Henry Irons himself, Steel.
Winner with 50% - The Eradicator, voted most likely to be eradicated.

Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Brightest Day #20, Green Lantern #62, Green Lantern Corps #57, and Amazing Spider-Man 654.1 (?)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Why you should be reading "Morning Glories"

Hey Todd Squad, yours truly here but not for what you think. As of late, all my posts have been about Ratings and Rantings, and reviewing my monthly comics, so you can imagine my surprise when I picked up six issues of a relatively new ongoing series called "Morning Glories", and enjoyed it more than most of the current ongoing comics on my pull list. In fact, besides all the critical acclaim that Morning Glories has gotten so far, many people can't get a chance to read it since it continues to sell so many issues that it has to go to reprint, and has done so every month since it's inception! So, instead of reviewing all six issues so far, which I doubt I could do well enough to convey them, I decided I'd do my best to convince my readers to give Morning Glories a try. So, here are five reasons why you should pick up Morning Glories.

1.) The Story - Morning Glories is a very interesting comic, in the since that you never really know the full story. Many people have compared it to the ABC television show Lost, in the sense that you learn a little bit here and there, and eventually may or may not get answers, but you still have enough to piece it together. I'd say this is a valid comparison, and a damn good one. Our story starts off as we see six teenagers, all sixteen years old as they prepare to embark on their journey to a prep school called Morning Glory. Morning Glory is a very prestigious school so when our characters find out about their acceptance we see how each of them deal with it. From there our students get to the school and everything changes. They can't call home, their families claim to not remember them, and things seem to be very different from how they imagined. From there, things get more and more weird, as our main characters find out they have eerie coincidences, like all sharing the same birthday. So in a world where you can't trust your teachers, can't reach your parents, and can only trust strangers you just met, there's bound to be very interesting results. If you ask me, I'd kind of like Lost mixed in with the classic movie, The Breakfast Club.

2.) The Characters - Morning Glories chronicles six main characters, and each are different, yet oddly similar in the sense that they were each "special" enough to be accepted to Morning Glory academy. Each of our characters has a quirk, we have the dedicated, smart and spunky Casey, the mysterious and quiet Jun, the Emo and possibly unstable Jade, former cheerleader and token "bitch" Zoe, the rich, preppy problem child Ike, and my personal favorite, the comic-loving, video game playing average (or so it seems) Hunter. Over the course of one issue, I became emotionally attached in some way or another to all six of these characters, to which I commend the writing of Nick Spencer. Each character, in their own way is guaranteed to remind you of someone in your life, whether it;s yourself, a friend or family member, or even your ex-girlfriend. (Zoe, anyone?) Add in the homicidal teachers and you've got a cast that makes the current cast of the JLA look even worse.

3.) The Mystery - One of the best, if not the best things about this comic, is the air of mystery about everything. Whether it's wondering why our characters share the same birthday or wondering what the Morning Glory faculty is actually looking for in their ever-expanding (and dwindling) body of students, it's one of those things that keeps you guessing, searching and re-reading for any extra clues you can find. Another thing is the mystery of who you can trust, and who you can't. Are our characters all secretly linked with one another? These are the things that make an interesting story even more interesting.

4.) The Art - I'd say I'm the average comic fan in the sense that I don't have any art training, I'm not an art student or anything of that nature, I'm just a guy who barely notices art unless it's really bad or it's really good, and Morning Glories definitely falls into the latter. Joe Eisma's artwork in Morning Glories is greatly done, from the action of seeing an explosion to the subtle look of heartbreak on a character's face. In Morning Glories six issues I've seen someone glow as they looked forward to the future and I've also seen some of the more brutal things I've seen in a comic book. The colors are vibrant when they need to be, but also project a dark and gloomy tone as well, which makes for a very interesting viewpoint. The art, able to change on the fly, blends well with the "anything can happen at any turn" type story that Spencer has crafted, and Eisma's work definitely plays off of that well.

5.) It's Just Started - Morning Glories has been raved about, and I'm just one of many people that seems to agree that this comic is one of the better new series in recent years. As a guy that mainly reads DC and Marvel superhero comics, Morning Glories is a welcome change of pace. And the fact that this comic has cause so much good press after only six issues shows that it may be as good as everyone says it is. The top draw to me was, the fact that this series is still new, there's still time to catch up without having to rely on trades or a wikipedia page to catch up. If you want a good, interesting read that will keep you interested for a time to come, I'd highly recommend you treat yourself and pick up Morning Glories.

And there you go, just five small reasons why I think you should be reading Morning Glories if you aren't. I'm also contemplating reviewing Morning Glories here at JTCS, starting with issue seven which comes out later this month. Here's hoping you guys enjoyed my hype session for Morning Glories and you at least think about giving it a chance. But that's all for me, I'll be back this weekend with my Ratings and Rantings post. Until then, this is Jason Todd, signing off.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Hey everyone, Jason Todd here with another edition your that weekly sensation known as Ratings and Rantings. Before we get underway I want to apologize for mistakenly listing Gotham City Sirens for this week's reviews, as I decided to just wait and pick it up next week at the beginning of the new arc. The bad thing is that only leaves us with three reviews for this week's R&R. So, now that that's been addressed, let's see what this week has to offer, starting off with the Aquawar in Brightest Day!

Brightest Day #19

We kick things off with a confused Deadman, screaming at his ring over what he's done to the Hawks. He asks why it did what it did, and the ring says it's a part of the plan. The ring says that Nekron's recent return has caused contamination of the Earth, and the corruption will soon rise in the form of a new evil  to rise in the Star City forest that the ring created. It then notes that the forest holds the key to Earth's salvation. I notes that the twelve people returned to life have a role in saving the world, and how some have completely their goals and bought more time. It also notes that Hawkgirl, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter and Firestorm are unique and how they were brought back to overcome what held them back in life, whatever that means. It claims that Hawkman and Hawkgirl completed their goals and purified their life forces, and they must be purified to keep the earth safe. We then see Aquaman and Jackson swimming past hungry sharks, as Arthur mentions how out of wack his powers have been since his return to the land of the living. Jackson then asks if Arthur is going to forgive Mera, but Arthur avoids the question. After talking a bit longer and heading to fight Mera's people, they discover their too late, as Siryn and her people wage war on Aquaman, Aqualad and a beach full of innocent civilians. The Aquamen try to defend the many beach-goers, but when Siryn distracts Aquaman by claiming that she's killed Mera, Black Manta appears out of nowhere and slices off Aquaman's hand. Damn Arthur, again?! The issue ends with Aquaman clutching where his hand should be as Manta gets ready to go for the kill. Well... this was... something. The explanation the ring gave was pretty lame, and Aquaman getting his hand cut off AGAIN annoys me so much that it makes no sense. I don't get why that would ever seem like a good idea, let alone a second time. I'll give this issue a 3/10.

Black Manta: What are you crying about, Aquaman? You should be used to that.

Batman Beyond #2

We kick things off with Batman confronting the futuristic JLA as they try to recklessly break into the mall where many hostage's, including Terry's mother and brother are being held by a disgruntled man who used to work for the JLA. When they tell him to stand aside, Terry delivers a perfect Batman-esque "You're in my city, you play by my rules." line that was so good even Bruce complimented him on it. Bruce then walks Terry through what he needs to do to take down the JLA, to which Terry follows to a "T" and takes down the entire JLA single-handedly for a while, until he let's his emotions get the best of him, and is frozen by Aquagirl, who can apparently freeze people, meaning in the future, Mr. Freeze and Captain Cold will be very obsolete. Meanwhile in the Mall, Terry's mom and some other people try to talk down the evil Mr. Jatts, and of course some idiots end up dead after trying to sneak attack him. Back with Batman, a little help and guidance from Bruce frees Terry, which leads to him attacking the JLA again, but he soon realizes that he'll be fighting the JLA to a stalemate for hours so surrenders. He tells them he has loved one's at stake, and will help if they follow his instructions, and the JLA agrees. When they ask what Bats' plan is, Bats says he plans on using the Green Lantern, but GL isn't fully powered due to being concussed since Batman laid him out during his attack on the JLA. Oops! Back in the station, Jatt's starts to focus on his powers, and surprisingly that makes them work better. Who would've thunk it?! Concentration equals Competence. Meanwhile, The JLA and Batman discover an old subway entrance into the mall, as Bruce warns Batman just how powerful Jatts can be with these powers at his disposal, and how quickly he needs to be taking down. This issue ends as Batman and The JLA go to confront Jatts, who seems to have figured out what kind of power he now wields. This was a solid issue, perfectly acceptable and not a bad read. It wasn't amazing but it kept my interest and made me interested in the next issue, which is all I ask. I'll give this issue a 7/10.

Batman: You're out of bounds. My City. My Problem. (Yep, he's Batman alright!)

Amazing Spider-Man #653

We pick things up with our neighborhood Spider-Man going after John Jameson to rescue him, and being confronted by the new and hopefully improved Scorpion. Meanwhile the other two Jameson men, Sr. and Senior are being pursued by the drones, I guess you could call them? Well, that's what I'm calling them anyway. Spidey, who doesn't even seem surprised that Mac Attack is no longer rocking the Black suit and is now back as his original namesake. Spidey tries to web up the Scorpion but his web's don't shoot due to them being so high in the air, or something of that nature. Spidey comes up with a plan and calls the Avengers for help but Squirrel Girl answers the pho...wait.. WHAT?! Squirrel Girl?! I'm reading a comic that has Squirrel Girl in it? Oh dear God... what have I gotten myself into? Anyway, Spidey asks for her to send someone else, someone that has usefulness, but of course she manages to be an idiot and leave Spidey hanging, no pun intended. Spidey then decides to use Scorpion's power against him to break into the rocket so he can save the distressed astronauts. Meanwhile, Peter's boss, Max Modell, is trying to figure out a way to help as well, and realizes that Peter is missing, much like he was when Spidey fought Hobgoblin. Oh yeah Max, you're a genius, figure it out buddy! The Astronauts are saved, but surprisingly enough it's due to actions by Doctor Octopus, who's moreso using this as a distraction to keep him out of mind than actually helping. Meanwhile, Spidey is hurdling towards earth after falling free of the rocket when he's grabbed by Scorpion, who plans on using the Amazing Spider-Man to absorb the impact when they hit the ground. Surprisingly Spidey is saved by Ms. Marvel who decks Scorpion into the ground. Spidey, Ms. Marvel, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jewel protect the two older Jameson's until Peter remembers that Jameson's wife Marla is with his Aunt May, so Spidey, along with The Thing, Mockingbird head to go save them while Jewel and Ms. Marvel go to the Daily Bugle to protect Robbie and the DP Crew. This issue ends soon after as Peter Parker is confronted by Max Modell, about him, and Spider-Man. This was another good issue of Amazing Spider-Man. Of course Spidey will find a way to keep his identity a secret and save the day, but I can't wait to see how. I'll give this issue a 8/10.

Ms. Marvel: I have eyeball on package... and tango.
Squirrel Girl: I... I have no idea what you're saying. Is that fancy army talk?

And that's it for me Todd Squad, after only three reviews I'm all done for this week's Ratings and Rantings. I'll be back next week with more comics, more reviews, and a new poll. Sadly I don't have an idea for a poll this week so I'm gonna take a break and recharge my polling batteries, if anyone wants to submit a poll, feel free. Until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off.

Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Batgirl #18, Batman and Robin #20, Birds of Prey #9, Justice League Generation Lost #19, Red Robin #20 and Amazing Spider-Man #654