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Green Lantern #39
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by:Philip Tan
Things just keep heating up in the Green Lantern ‘verse. Not only do we have the Green and Yellow Lanterns, but we have the Reds, the Blues, the Sapphires, and now the Orange. The Orange Lantern, or “Avarice”, meaning insatiable greed, has now been born and adding even more fuel to the upcoming event, “Blackest Night”.
This issue is mostly about the birth of the Orange Lantern, but it does reveal more about Hal Jordan’s inner battle between his green ring and his blue ring. Both rings are trying to consume Hal, while not as terrible as his fight with the red ring, the blue and green ring are merely in a symbiotic lock. Both rings are, as far as we know, for lack of better terms I’ll reference Star Wars and say that both rings are deemed “light side”. Both rings are fueled from each other and therefore need each other.
So with that power struggle going on, the Orange Lantern makes his way through space and greedily consumes whatever he can, eventually throwing a monkey wrench into the Green Lantern homeworld, Oa.
Destined to consume everything he can, the Orange Lantern finds himself in the midst of a very appetizing opportunity.
Once again, Geoff Johns shows us why he is a top nerd book writer. He just has a unshakable grip on the GL universe. Philip Tan’s artwork helps bolster this book. Crisp, detailing and down right fuckin’ purty art, this book is a must read.
With this book, the GL book is going full steam into the next Lantern war. If you haven’t been reading GL, now is the time to get in. With very little heavy continuity being used, and more about establishing new concepts, GL is very open doored.
Batman: Battle for the Cowl #2
Written by: Tony Daniel
Art by: Sandu Florea
While not necessarily as high profile as Batman RIP seemed to be, Battle for the Cowl does succeed in being understandable. Cowl #2 keeps it flowing with the mystery of who is the “Batman” swooping around town and bussin’ caps in people.
Mainly, this book is just there to perhaps throw us off. We are given every characters thoughts on who they think this new Batman is, and they are all thinking of the same person: [spoiler] Jason Todd [/spoiler]. Whether or not that will be true, I tend to think that it is a trick. It can’t be that easy. While I’m not totally sure who it might be, I can’t agree with Robin, Damien, and Tim’s thoughts.
We also get a explosive scene that proves that the Black Mask can really get things going in Gotham. In a really gross scene involving Jane Doe and Zsasz, we see just how much the criminals intend to upset society.
Tony Daniel’s writing is pretty straightforward. It is not as head spinning as Grant Morrison, and that is a real compliment.
Florea’s art is very solid. I especially liked Black Mask’s scene on the rooftops as Gotham exploded behind him. And Jane Doe wearing some slob’s face is just creepy. I’m gonna throw this out there, but if Batman RIP had more cut off face wearin’ antics, I would have liked it more.
All in all, a pretty solid second helping of Battle for the Cowl.
Frank Castle: Punisher #69
Written by: Duane Swierczynski
Art by: Michel Lacombe
Funny comic issue number aside, Punisher 69 is nothing to laugh at. Three issues into Swierczynski’s arc about Frank being injected with a toxin that will kill him in just six hours, things are getting out of control for Frank. With just about no weapons left to defend himself with, and the whole city is basically after him, let alone the fact that if he doesn’t find the antidote soon, he will die, Frank is basically in deep shit.
Closing in on a lead, Frank is savagely beaten by a hallucinating meat head. Barely escaping with his life, Frank continues to follow leads in hopes of finding that antidote for the deadly toxin coursing through his body. Throughout the night, it seems like that while he is weak from the toxin, Frank runs into everyone who wants to take him out with a bullet. Running from battle to battle, a weary Frank is just about to break from the stress.
Swierczynski has grabbed the reins from Garth Ennis a few issues back. Filling Ennis’ shoes is a tough task. Ennis is synonomous with the Punisher now. While not as gritty and chock full of dark humor you come to expect from Ennis, Swierczynski does a very nice job. Giving readers a “Crank” esque plot, the Punisher continues to get my money every time it hits shelves.
Lacombe’s artwork is very nice too. It is a little cartoony for the Punisher, but it does very nicely. The Punisher seems to have gotten a much more middle aged face. Receeding hairline and a less meanacing grin are given to Frank. While not the Punisher I think of when I think of a tired and beaten, Vietnam vet who goes around town blowing away gangsters and mobsters with high impact artillery, it is tolerable.
Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk #4
Written by: Damon Lindelof
Art by: Leinil Francis Yu
Wow. I really expected three years to pass before I would be reading this. And honestly, maybe three years should have passed, that way I would feel somewhat interested in this book.
In a book that has VS in it, there isn’t a lot of fighting going on. In fact, in this issue, not even a punch is thrown, let alone by anyone other that Wolverine or Hulk. This issue is centered on the Ultimate She-Hulk identity. While not exactly the most jaw dropping choice of characters to become the She-Hulk, it is the most obvious. For what its worth, I’m not really a She-Hulk fan. I was kinda excited to see her appear last issue, just because she has never been in an Ultimate book yet, it has kinda lost its appeal. Quite frankly, I’m reading this book to see Wolverine and the Hulk fight. The first 2 issues set up a really cool brawl. With Wolverine being ripped in fucking half by the Hulk, I was hooked. But that was 3 years ago. Now, its kinda like waiting for Duke Nukem Forever to drop, it can’t live up to expectations. Unless the two titular characters start brawling next issue, I will cry.
I guess that the She-Hulk and the Hulk’s connection is interesting enough, it’s just not what I’m reading the book for. Fighting a character that I don’t really care about really isn’t enough for me. Plus, this book has really lost some of its charm along the way. Like I said, Wolverine was ripped in half and had each half thrown several miles away from each other. THAT is interesting. And for god’s sake, there is blatant ad placement in this book. I’m gonna spoil it for you all because it made me so mad. Betty Ross sells a copy of the new Star Trek movie to some buyers. God, could Lindelof be up J.J. Abrahms ass any further? We all know it is coming out in theaters, but come on. It just comes off kinda arrogant. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but this issue was just a total letdown. Art and writing and all. Total letdown.
If this series doesn’t get back down to two guys beating the shit out of each other soon, I’m gonna drop this book just like I dropped Lost. And in keeping with the 3 years theme, I dropped Lost during season 3.
Wolverine: Weapon X #1
Written by: Jason Aaron
Art by: Ron Garney
Man, Jason Aaron rocks. Even before he joined the Marvel Bullpen, he rocked. With the gruesomely fantastic “The Other Side” a Vietnam centered meeting of two soldiers on opposing sides, and the brilliant “Scalped”, a Sopranos, mob style book centered in a Indian reservation, Jason Aaron continues to impress. He has brought back characters who were metaphorically hanging onto the edge of a friggin’ cliff. After Jeph Loeb straight up teabagged Wolverine fans with his bear and cat nonsense in Wolverine issues 50-55, Aaron stepped up and fucking hit it out of the park. The Man in the Pit is one of my favorite Wolverine issues ever. And after the cool “Get Mystique” storyline, Aaron continues to rock the Wolverine fans. Now with Weapon X, he is set up to give us clues to Wolverine’s past. And it never looked bloodier and darkly interesting.
While the end of the book doesn’t land our hero knee deep in the shit, it does set up a really cool, global conspiracy. With various locales and people involved, Weapon X is gearing up to be a feral, claw popping blast. Mysterious figures? Check. Small village being massacred? Check. Dude with a fucking grenade in his throat? Check.
Weapon X is a great start to a great new Jason Aaron series.
Next Week’s Pull List
100 Bullets #100
Action Comics #876
Green Lantern Corps #35
Amazing Spider-man #591
Captain America #49
Halo Uprising #4
The Stand: American Nightmares #2
Uncanny X-men #508
X-men Legacy #223
Man with No Name #9
Walking Dead #60
Yep. Another big week. I’m gonna begin to massage my wallet for the pounding it is gonna take on Wednesday.