Comics were a day late this week, due to Memorial Day.
- Countdown #48 of 52 (backwards), by Paul Dini, Adam Beechen, David Lopez & Don Hillsman (DC)
- Justice Society of America #6, by Geoff Johns, Dale Eaglesham & Ruy José (DC)
- The Incredible Hulk #108, by Greg Pak, Gary Frank & Jon Sibal (Marvel)
- Hellboy: Darkness Calls #2 of 6, by Mike Mignola & Duncan Fegredo (Dark Horse)
- Girls: Extinction TPB vol 4, by Joshua Luna & Jonathan Luna (Image)
- Pacesettiner: The George Pérez Magazine #8 (Tony Lorenz Productions)
The problem with “The Lightning Saga” currently running through JLA/JSA, I think, is that it’s got too many characters, and hence, essentially no characterization. With only one chapter to go, either this whole thing has just been a set-up for some other story (possible, since Karate Kid has also been appearing in Countdown), or else it’s just going to fizzle. The unfortunate thing is that it feels like it’s undercutting the ongoing story of Starman, who is semi-amnesiac and not all right in the head, but it’s hard to envision him not heading back to the 30th century following this story, and that would be a big disappointment.
Girls wraps up with this fourth collection. This was a moderately interesting story showing how we an turn against each other in times of stress and danger: A group of girls appears in a small town, which is also cut off from the outside world by a force field. The girls reproduce by seducing the men of the town, and also attack and kill any of the women that they encounter. It feels like a good old horror flick, but takes its psychological drama more seriously, and doesn’t just kill everyone off.
As a study of human nature, it’s not bad. As a story with a plot, it’s pretty weak, and the ending feels like J. Michael Straczynski’s Rising Stars series (which is not a flattering comparison). The ending feels empty and a little pointless. I suspect the Luna brothers thought that the human tensions could carry the story, but since there’s been a big “what’s going on?” question hanging over the series since the beginning, the lack of a satisfying answer to that question just means that they were wrong. So it ended up being an interesting read, but ultimately it was lacking.
I’ve been a fan of George Pérez’s artwork for decades, so I decided to give Pacesetter a try. This issue is a hodgepodge of material not often seen in the past, and despite some nice drawings, there’s not much meat here. Ultimately, no matter how pretty Pérez’s pictures are, without a decent narrative – either fiction, or about Pérez himself, as in the Modern Masters volume – I don’t think it’s worth it. I’ll wait until he draws some more comics and buy those instead.