This Week’s Haul

  • The Brave and the Bold #24, by Matt Wayne & Howard Porter (DC)
  • Ex Machina #43, by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris & Jim Clark (DC/Wildstorm)
  • Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War vol 2 TPB, by Geoff Johns, Dave Gibbons, Peter J. Tomasi, Ivan Reis, Patrick Gleason & Ethan Van Sciver (DC)
  • Jack of Fables #35, by Bill Willingham, Matt Sturges, Russ Braun & José Marzán Jr. (DC/Vertigo)
  • Power Girl #2, by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner (DC)
  • The Starman Omnibus vol 3 HC, by James Robinson, Tony Harris, Wade Von Grawbadger, Gene Ha, J.H. Williams III, Bret Blevins, Michael Zulli & others (DC)
  • Sleeper Season One TPB, by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips (DC/Wildstorm)
  • Incognito #4, by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips (Marvel/Icon)
  • Invincible #63, by Robert Kirkman & Ryan Ottley (Image)
  • Phonogram: The Singles Club #3 of 7, by Keiron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Leigh Gallagher & Lee O’Connor (Image)
Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War vol 2 The odd thing about The Sinestro Corps War is that it’s an epic battle with way more carnage than your average mainstream superhero comic, but it ends up feeling like a prologue to a larger story. Which in a way it is, since there are all sorts of broad hints dropped about the upcoming event Blackest Night. Plus there’s Superman Prime and Sodam Yat, who both headed off to appear in Legion of 3 Worlds, the Anti-Monitor, and various other nasties running around who pop up later. This gives the ending anything but an air of finality; we know all these guys will be back. It’s a little disappointing that the story feels so up-front about it.

Anyway, the premise is that long-time GL villain Sinestro gets his own corp, wielding yellow rings, and they go to war with the Green Lantern Corps. The Sinestros are willing to kill, while the Guardians of the Universe won’t let the GLs kill, which makes the battle somewhat lopsided. Plus the Sinestros recruited the aforementioned villains to help take down the good guys. Meanwhile the Guardians are struggling with a prophecy in the Book of Oa (their homeworld), which most of them resist believing in, even though it seems clear it’s all going to come to pass. So the war is sort of a test for the Guardians sticking up for what they believe in, which would be more comforting except that over the years the Guardians have seemed less and less trustworthy in that regard. Which of course is why things start to go downhill from here.

Green Lantern is writer Geoff Johns at his best, as I’ve said before: His best plotting, and his best character bits, seem to end up in here. The story’s climax has the best moment, with Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner taking down Sinestro after they’ve all been taken out of the larger conflict. Unlike the Guardians, Hal and Kyle are all about sticking up for what they believe in. Ivan Reis’ art is perhaps the best it’s even been in this volume.

The story also includes several issues from Green Lantern Corps, which are not as strong as the mainline GL ones: Patrick Gleason’s art isn’t as polished as Reis’, and the characters are generally not as interesting as Hal Jordan. The issue where Prime and Sodam Yat fight is disappointing; I still don’t understand why Prime is so powerful, that a Daxamite with the full force of the Corps at his disposal can’t take him down.

Overall, this volume and the one that precede it are a nice package. Green Lantern might be the best mainstream superhero comic out there… if it weren’t for Invincible, which also came out this week, and which seems to raise the bar with each new issue.

Sleeper Season One Even though I’m not generally a fan of pulps and noir stories, I’ve been totally sucked in to Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ comics series. Incognito is a clever suspense yarn, and this week we also get the Sleeper Season One collecting the first 12 issues of an older series of theirs. The main character is a guy with superpowers – well one rather awkward yet terrifying power – who’s nominally a good guy, but his agency has sent him as a deep-cover agent into a nest of super-villains, working a long-term mission to bring down the organization. The problem is that when you’re undercover for that long, you start to identify with the guys you’re infiltrating, and it becomes difficult to tell which side you’re really on.

I’m only two issues into the volume so far, but it’s quite good, better than Incognito, maybe better than Criminal. It’s got an open-ended set-up, so it certainly seems to have legs, but stories like this also have to have a big payoff. The first two volumes of Criminal did, so I’m hoping this one does, too. It’s certainly got everything else going for it.

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