Welcome and thanks for joining me for another edition of “Four-Color Bullet!”
Woof!!! It’s a hot one, isn’t it???!! Summer is officially here, everybody! What better excuse is there to pick up a stack of comic books, a cold beverage of your choice, and enjoy your air conditioning! If you’re out of school, I hope you’re enjoying your time off, and if you’re a working stiff, I hope you are enjoying a few less cars on your commute!
Let’s take a look at a few of the comics that have come out recently:
“I shouldn’t BE here, Barbara. This is what was holding me back…”
This is the final issue of what is being referred to as Book One. Mr. Millar says in the interview at the end of the book that he has notes for Book Two, ideas for a big wrap up in Book Five, so it’s great that we have more of this universe coming in the future! There’s even talk of producing this for television, which I think would be fantastic!
I think the storyline wraps up quite nicely. I had an idea of how Estelle and Bonnie would resolve their differences, and it was great to see that I wasn’t completely wrong yet still pleasantly surprised. The final battle, and its affect on the “real” Bonnie and the “real” world, was presented nicely without being too obvious in the cause and effect. One small distraction for me was that even though Bonnie found Harry, I think she deserved to be allowed a bit more frustration in his circumstances on the Other Side. Since these characters still seem to maintain their earthbound human emotions and expressions, I would think that Bonnie would have had more mixed feelings. Then again, perhaps the prophecy played a part in those emotions staying in check.
All in all, a great series that I think you would enjoy.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #22
Wonder Woman: “Never quit until the battle is beyond over.”
JUSTICE LEAGUE #23
Batman: “She’s hiding something. Makes me suspicious.”
Wonder Woman: “And you’re usually so open and trusting.”
I’m putting these two together primarily because they’re two stand-alone stories, giving us a break from the seeming glut of multi-chapter story lines, and also because they both give focus to Green Lantern Jessica Cruz, formerly Power Ring of Earth-Three’s Crime Syndicate. (The Earth-Three connection really tickles me, bringing back cool memories of reading reprints of Justice League of America annual crossovers of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, when the multiple Earth concept was still fresh and new.)
Issue #22’s story, “A Thousand Little Things,” has the Watchtower in quarantine due to an infestation of nearly microscopic alien bugs unknownly brought inside by Jessica and fellow Green Lantern Simon Baz. Both Lanterns get down on themselves for causing the problem, questioning their value and presence in the JL. Also trapped in the Watchtower are Superman, Lois and Jonathan Kent, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg. There are nice interactions with all of the characters, too. Cyborg and Jonathan have some nice interplay, and I got a laugh out of Simon’s attempt at light interplay with Batman. All ends well, and our novice GLs gain a little more confidence in themselves and their place within the group.
Issue #23, “Fear Itself,” introduces yet another “freedom loving patriot” dedicated to eradicating terrorists no matter the collateral damage, human or otherwise.
(SOMEBODY’S been reading the latest newsfeeds, hhmmm?)
The Justice Leaguers are in Northeastern Nomalia searching for a group with an WMD. Green Lantern Jessica Cruz goes up against the group’s leader, the Black Shield (think the Punisher and Vigilante (gun toting Adrian Chase Vigilante, NOT cowboy motif Greg Saunders Vigilante without the personality and twice the arrogance.) His rhetoric gets under her skin and she misjudges his powers, getting herself knocked into a building and scaring a young child and her mother. The interchange and almost being the cause of their deaths affects her in a powerful way. She takes her feelings of doubt and gains strength from them, as well as encouragement from Wonder Woman and Batman. Tracking Black Shield down to Bialya City, she captures the Black Shield, as well as the multiple bombs planted around the city.
Both issues show growth in Jessica, belief in herself, and support from her team. These were both cool to read.
DIVIDED STATES OF HYSTERIA #1
Howard Chaykin is back and bringing his usual bag of tricks: intrigue, politics, sex, and some really twisted characters. I loved American Flagg and Time², and I’m looking forward to where this bad boy goes. I had the chance to meet Howard when he came to do an artist signing of the Time² graphic novel at my old store, and he was every bit an awesome East Coast straight forward guy. He autographed a copy of Time² for me, but I can’t copy it here. If you’ve read any of Howard’s work, you’ll know what I mean.
There’s some big goings on in the United States, and in true Chaykin style, he’s not giving anything away in the first issue – more questions than answers, and for me, a desire to read the next issues to see where he’s going. If you’re a grown-up, I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s certainly not a book for the kids. Let ‘em get their own books!
Okay, that’s it for now. I’ll keep an eye out for you on Wednesdays, and let me know what books you’re into. I love adding cool books to my pull list. Until next time…