- 52 #51 of 52 (DC)
- Justice #11 of 12, by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger & Doug Braithwaite (DC)
- Justice Society of America #5, by Geoff Johns & Fernando Pasarin (DC)
- Supergirl & The Legion of Super-Heroes: Adult Education vol 4 TPB, by Mark Waid & Barry Kitson (DC)
- Wonder Woman #8, by Jodi Pilcoult, Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson (DC)
- Astro City: The Dark Age vol 2, #3 of 4, by Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson & Alex Ross (DC/Wildstorm)
- Red Menace #6 of 6, by Danny Bilson, Pal DeMeo, Adam Brody, Jerry Ordway & Al Vey (DC/Wildstorm)
- Castle Waiting #6, by Linda Medley (Fantagraphics)
- The Professor’s Daughter TPB, by Joann Sfar & Emmanuel Guibert (First Second)
Okay, I admit it, I’m enjoying “The Lightning Saga”, part 2 of which appears in this month’s JSA. Mainly because it’s a kooky old-style Legion of Super-Heroes geekfest, especially the two-page spread of statues of the original Legion, mostly in their classic costumes. I have no idea what’s going on in this story (especially why speaking Lightning Lad’s name in Interlac seems to return the Legionnaires to their right minds), and I really don’t care how or if they reconcile this with current LSH continuity, it’s just entertaining. (The Interlac title of this chapter is “Dreams and Fire”.)
Speaking of the Legion, the fourth volume of Supergirl & the Legion of Super-Heroes is as entertaining as the first three. I think it’s the best of the various reboots and re-imaginings of the series over the last 20 years (dating back to Giffen’s “Five Years Later” series). The characters are vivid and entertaining, the stories are novel, and Waid (no surprise here) has a respect for the series’ history which makes the whole thing even more palatable to old-time readers, while being no less fun for new readers. I’m still not a big fan of Barry Kitson’s artwork, but it works well enough, and I do like his character designs.
(I guess Waid and Kitson have left the ongoing series early this year; I hope the new team carries the torch as honorably.)
The new issue of Wonder Woman resurrects Diana’s mother Hippolyta, who was killed in a crossover event a few years ago. While this makes Kalinara happy, bringing back dead characters has been an outright clichÃ© in comics for at least 20 years, maybe 30, so it makes me just roll my eyes. Hippolyta isn’t a particularly significant charactre, and I don’t really care whether she stays dead or not, but her return undercuts any storylines which she factors into, including the Amazons Attack! event, which launches in a month or less (and which I can tell you I care about not at all).
I haven’t been a fan of Jodi Picoult’s run on WW, but this mess isn’t her fault (I presume it’s all about DC defending its trademark on this minor character). It is, however, another nail in the coffin of this series.
While I confess I’m such a fan of Astro City that it would take a long time for my goodwill towards the series to erode, I will also confess that “The Dark Age” has been rather slow and unfocused. That said, vol. 2 #3 appears to be a turning point for the series, with the lives of our ordinary characters Charles and Royal reaching a tipping point, and one of the mysteries from the first volume rearing its head. Next issue should be the climax of the second act, and I’m hoping it will be a terrific set-up for the third act.
Red Menace wraps up as an entertaining period piece, but unfortunately nothing more. It feels all-too-isolated, without any deeper meanings to give it weight either historically or as a character drama. Lovely artwork by Ordway, I wish he would hitch his horse to a project that would do for him what Watchmen did for Dave Gibbons. Of course, perhaps such things are largely luck.
The Professor’s Daughter is a little graphic novel about the Pharoah Imhotep IV, who is revived in the present day as a mummy and falls in love with the daughter of the professor who found him. It’s a cute little romance, although not very substantial. The way it wantonly disregards plausible reactions of the general public to Imhotep makes for some amusing scenarios. It feels like it could have been more than it is, but I enjoyed it anyway. Guilbert’s artwork is simple but dynamic and expressive, similar in style to Tim Sale, but with more realistic faces.