- Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #54, by Tad Willians & Shawn McManus (DC)
- The Brave and the Bold #5, by Mark Waid, George Pérez & Bob Wiacek (DC)
- Countdown #41 of 52 (backwards), by Paul Dini, Adam Beechen & Dennis Calero (DC)
- World War Hulk #2 of 5, by Greg Pak, John Romita Jr. & Klaus Janson (Marvel)
I still can’t say enough good things about The Brave and the Bold. This time around we get Batman and the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Legion being one of the very few team books that George Pérez has never drawn regularly; other than a few covers and in Crisis on Infinite Earths, I’m not sure he’s ever drawn them professionally. Here he gets to draw the current version, and he does a bang-up job, as you’d expect: Futuristic cities, two dozen costumes, lots of debris, all the stuff you love from George Pérez.
Waid sets up the scenario perfectly: Batman arrives in the 31st century by accident, his body merged with the villain Tharok. Brainiac 5 splits them, but Batman’s travels have resulted in some unfortunate side-effects, which all the heroes have trouble dealing with. Batman gets tired of Brainy’s sanctimonious nature (this version of Brainy is an egotistical prig), cold-clocks him, and escapes, leading the Legion on a merry chase through the future Metropolis. While I get tired of the “Batman is just so clever he can take on anyone” stuff that DC puts Batman through these days, it’s still a lot of fun when done well, as it is here.
We also get to check in on what Supergirl, Green Lantern and Adam Strange are up to, and the series ends up a big cliffhanger, presumably to wrap up next issue. I can’t wait!
Given what a mess the Marvel Universe is these days, I’m really curious to see how this resolves, but I know that if they use one of the usual Hulk gambits (turning him back into Banner, or send him to another dimension, or make him revert to being a brute, or whatever) then it’s going to be a big waste of time.
Anyway, another good issue of ass-kicking. I have a suspicion that Doctor Strange isn’t going to come out of this series in very good shape, which would be a shame since he’s the one admirable figure of the ones the Hulk is hunting in that he resisted the Superhero Registration Act. He’s also the one who’s probably fairly expendable from a marketing standpoint. But we’ll see.
Incidentally, Marvel editor Tom Brevoort posted Mark Millar’s original pitch for Civil War. Although the thing is really wrong-headed all around (I’m no fan of Mark Millar’s writing, I freely admit), it’s interesting to see that World War Hulk was part of the plan from the get-go. I sure am glad they avoided an invasion of “Hulk Babies”, though. Anyway, Marvel fans might want to give it a look. (via Comics Should Be Good)