The General Comic Discussion Thread - Part 2

Based on this discussion I decided to create a thread in the DC comics section for favorite Crisis stories.
There isn’t a ton of traffic in those forums but I’m interested in seeing what people say. (I think I know that yours is CoiE)
I will definitely pay a visit :up:
 
Two weeks without me doing comics week.
Last week was just annuals and the week before I just didn’t had time for it.

But this week things are slightly less stressful, so here we are.

Batman #147

My kind of stuff as usual.
Wholesome Batfamily stuff.
Bruce and Tim is always good, but it feels a bit sad how Zdarsky uses Damian here.
I mean I get it, Damian is still too much a soldier, so when Zur started taking over…that was more his type of justice, the Bruce he feels more comfortable with.
Which is a contrast to how we have the relationship be built in Batman and Robin.
There the comic tries to make them more human and Damian a “normal” kid.
So it’s a bit sad to see Damian being tricked and all that.

Other than that, good issue and im very curious how Zdarsky will have Bruce beat Zur.
He kind of wrote him into a corner because pretty much everything was done to make Zur invincible.
So I worry that the way he will take him down, will feel cheap.
We will see.

Kendrick Lims cover is awesome, but the Regular one works fine.

Birds of Prey #9

Not much to say there, it keeps going and is so much fun to read.
The overall writing, pacing an art are just a ton of fun.

Nothing wrong with the regular cover

Shazam #11

The Overall issue is fun, but it’s the Adoption part that really interests me.
There is a lot you can do, a lot of depth you can bring in and tackle serious matters.
Adoption is a topic that deserves to be talked about more and Shazam has the base to tackle such a heavy topic.
What Family means, that its not always just blood…that is a strong message you can send.
Im not expecting too big things here though, but addressing such a topic in any kind of way is never wrong.

Regular Cover here for me again.

3 Great books for me this week.
 
This sums up my frustration with most of the Morrison works that I read. I always feel like his pacing is strange and it always feels like there must be an additional 20 tie ins that would need to be read in order for the story to make sense. His writing is very confusing and usually about 2/3 of the way in he starts throwing story points at you where the details have been left out. I always feel like I must’ve gotten ahold of a faulty printing that left multiple critical pages out.
I’m generally not a Morrison fan.

I actually just read Divided We Fall, which was Waid’s follow-up to Tower of Babel after his fables storyline, (the fables storyline is criminally underrated and also has some elements that are surprisingly dark for Waid.). I definitely enjoyed Divided We Fall, even if I thought Waid failed to stick the landing. The setup was so fascinating, but it seemed that Waid copped out on addressing some interesting questions about the differentiations between the heroes and their secret identities/alter egos. Admittedly I probably had higher expectations just because it was Mark Waid and expectations are always high with him.

As to the “B list Justice League” you mention, I just went in and queued up Joe Kelly’s Obsidian Age on Infinite based on your review!
I’ll also recommend the vastly underrated run that James Robinson did on JLA where his lineup was Dick Grayson’s Batman, Donna Troy, Jesse Quick, Supergirl, Jade, Starman and Congorilla. It’s an absolute blast! And for what many considered a “b-list” team, they face some huge threats such as the Crime Syndicate and Eclipso.
It may be my favorite JLA run outside of Tower of Babel. (It’s definitely a guilty pleasure.)
I jumped into comics with One Year Later and Morrison was the very first long-term Batman writer I read, and subsequently became the first writer I really approach with caution. Conceptually, their Batman run sounds awesome. Reading it is like having a stroke. Morrison's biggest problem, atleast in the works I've read (Arkham Aslylum, All-Star Superman, Green Lantern, Animal Man and probably a few others) is that their stories are divested of an emotional core for the sake of larger than life concepts and as far as I'm concerned, it never works out for the best. The stories leave me pretty cold, and not like Silver Age stories or Kirby's Fourth World stuff, because they get so bogged down by concepts. And if they're aiming for what Kirby did, they still miss because Kirby managed to find the humanity in his parables despite the high concepts screaming off the pages.

I'm going to have to check out Robinson's JLA arc though. I've got that one saved on the App and I look forward to reading it. Dick Grayson leading the Justice League needs to be a permanent thing as far as I'm concerned.



It’s been an uneven few weeks for my pull list. The last week of April saw a decent haul, with the first two weeks of May fairly light.

The Flash #8, Annual 2024: I’m all in on this book. I’ve gushed about Spurrier’s run on this book every month, and I’ve been over the hills with his Hellblazer book. Flash #8 and it’s 2024 annual only go to reinforce my praises. The cosmic sci-fi wonkiness definitely feels like Morrison to a degree, though the plot isn’t written around those concepts. Rather, the concepts are written into the plot. There’s a lot of heart in these issues, and the dynamic between everyone is great. Spurrier is playing a long game here, with the Thawne reveal at the end of issue 6 (I believe) and then here, showing that the villains are literally hiding between the panels manipulating every speedster that could even stand a chance of stopping whatever the end game will be. I’d be surprised if Spurrier doesn’t wrap this up by issue 12, but I suspect that has more to do with me being (very) excited to see not just Wally this time, but the entire Flash Family punk Thawne into another century. Wally’s done it once already in grand fashion. He’s more than capable of doing it again. I’m also waiting for the reveal of Inspector Pilgrim’s identity. It’s either an adult Jai or Wade. Either way, he’s a pretty fun character to have in the book right now.

Batman: Dark Age #2. I wanted every reason to drop this book in order to save money. But damnit, i’m in. I’m in. Russell and Allred have me. This particular issue gets to the core of the story they’re setting out to tell and I think this is gonna be just as good as Superman: Space Age. We follow Bruce Wayne now enlisted into Vietnam, trained in a Black Ops squad led by one Ra’s Al Ghul. It, in a way, establishes what I imagine will be Bruce’s “No Kill” rule in a way that actually makes sense from a strategic point of view rather than one born of pure emotion. I think giving Bruce a background in actual warfare gives a new and interesting cadence to the character, and kind of grounds him in a more believable if not not more realistic way than say, Zdarsky’s “The Knight” that feels more like a locale hopping James Bond adventure. War humbles Bruce, and provides the means, so far, to begin his war on Gotham’s crime. War provides the emotional core of Dark Age and I’m excited to see where this book goes, though I suspect the ending won’t nearly be as hopeful as Superman: Space Age’s. I know there’s an influx of Batman books right now, but this is not one to skip.

Penguin #9. Of the canon Batman books right now, I think Penguin might be my favorite. I lost interest fairly quickly in Zdarsky’s Batman, and Ram V’s Detective is getting a little tiresome for my liking. The thing I like most about King’s Batman that everyone else seems to not like is that this Batman is human. He’s fallible. And for all the good he does, for all his stoicism, it’s all under cut by an emotional stunting of growth. He operates, sometimes, like a child. And despite being a brilliant detective, his villains use that against him. And we see this on grand display in this issue, as Oswald has run circles around Batman the entire time. The interesting thing, which has yet to be seen, if Bruce is actually smarter than that and actually knows. We’re building towards a very intense and bloody finale in 3 issues. I’m here for this book. You should be, too.

Creature From The Black Lagoon Lives! #1. Ram V and Dan Watters team up for a cool sequel to the original Creature From The Black Lagoon film. CFTBL has always been one of my all time favorite movies. It truly gets better and better every time I watch it. So for two of the best writers in the game to team up together to tell a new story in that world? Sign me up. Take my money. That said, the first issue is all set-up as we follow an American reporter in South America trying to track down the man who tried killing her, stumbling into a conspiracy far greater than what she signed up for. There’s an interesting mythology built up around The Creature here, where he’s (it’s?) perceived as a river god of a sort. The cosmic horror here is subtle but there. The first issue does what a first issue should - engage the reader. And it succeeds. But that success needs to carry over to the next several issues to ensure the story hits where it’s supposed to. Watters and V are two of the most interesting voices in comics, and their writing is often very lyrical and methodical. I look forward to see what they can do with this book.

Get Fury #1. I really don’t get much joy from Marvel comics. Every now and then one of their superhero titles catches my attention, but I have a tendency to more often than not drop the book soon after. The only Marvel produced joy that I am committed to is anything Garth Ennis writers, and here he is yet again using Nick Fury and Frank Castle to tell yet another ripping war comic. The set-up is simple. It’s 1971. A Helicopter carrying Nick Fury is shot down deep in enemy territory and taken prisoner. The government can’t send any squads in without mass casualties but it’s likely that they can send one man in to do the job: Kill Nick Fury to prevent him from spilling government secrets to the enemy. And the only man capable of doing that job? Frank Castle. This book takes place after the Vietnam chapter of Ennis’s previous Nick Fury book, “My War Gone By” so you already know that Castle is gonna do what he can to get Fury outta there, and that together, there will be a lot of bodies left behind them.

One thing Garth Ennis succeeds in is painting an ugly portrait of war. Government officials, bureaucrats, any above the line government official is never portrayed as anything other than naive, stupid and/or corrupt. And they get away with it, often enough, because of the power they have. They under estimate Fury’s loyalty, though perhaps they’re also unaware of Fury’s devotion to war. They underestimate Frank Castle. And they always live to regret it. And the violence. God, is it gruesome. A guy gets a third of his face chopped off with a machete. There’s nothing cool about it. It’s awful. But if you’re reading anything Ennis writes in the Marvel MAX universe because it’s “cool”, you’re reading for the wrong reasons. It’s bleak. It’s harrowing. It just…is. It’s a part of the lives of these characters as much as making a cup of coffee is to our lives. Ennis is joined once again by Jacen Burrows, who also illustrated Ennis’ last round of Punisher comics, “Soviet”. He’s also a frequent collaborator with Alan Moore, having drawn both “Neonomicon” and “Providence”, and both full of grisly violence. His work echos that of Goran Parlov and in this book in particular, reminds me of Steve Dillon.

Conan The Barbarian #10, Savage Sword of Conan #2, FCBD Conan: Battle of the Black Stone. Titan has been doing incredible things with the Conan the Barbarian license and those great things continue. The current story arc in CtB sees Conan sent back in time to the time of King Kull of Valusia, teaming up with both Kull and his right hand man, Brule The Spear Slayer, as they seek to destroy supernatural forces tied to the mysterious black stone. The artwork is top notch. The writing is great. Teaming up different Robert E Howard characters? Take my money.

Savage Sword #2 is also another win. Jim Zub writes the lead story here with scratchy, inky black art by Richard Pace. Conan, wounded in battle, befriends a child of the supernatural enemy that slew his men and uncovers an even more disturbing problem when talk of the enemy’s god reveals the boy’s destiny. It’s a pretty heartbreaking tale, expertly told. Patrick Zircher continues his excellent Solomon Kane story. Another great issue, marred by one problem: The price, $6.99, is the same as the first issue, but with 15 less pages. This book is 64. Issue 1 was 80 pages. Not exactly pleased by that, but it’s the least of this book’s worries.

FCBD Conan: Battle of the Black Stone. This was the Free Comic Book Day special that sets up the coming crossover event book later this Autumn. If you’ve ever done a deep dive into the work of Robert E Howard, the black stone is something that shows up in several stories featuring different characters. While it’s never stated that the stone is necessarily the same object that appears in these stories, Jim Zub is going with the idea that it is, and that the destinies of other Howard characters like El Borak, Solomon Kane, James Allison, Dark Agnes, and others, are entwined with that of Conan’s to confront and presumably destroy the stone. As a huge fan of all things Robert E Howard, I’m very excited for this. As Titan hasn’t diluted the brand like Marvel did, opting to do a slow roll out of books instead of Marvel’s tidal wave of them, I can get behind a crossover book no problem. And because this isn’t Marvel, there’s a freedom in the creativity to go a little harder and be a little more gruesome and intense in the storytelling.
 
I did not know they released "Circle of Fire" graphic novel, collecting Green Lantern #129-136 and a bunch of #1 team ups (Green Lantern/Firestorm, Green Lantern/Adam Strange, Green Lantern/Green Lantern, etc)


I picked it up today, excited to read it! I have read one or two from it from the single issues I've managed to collect. (Edited, Circle of Fire isn't a new release, I was just late to the party, I guess lol.)

They're also releasing a "Zero Hour" 30th Anniversary comic! I'm hoping all this Kyle Rayner stuff may be leading to him having something bigger in store for him down the road. (They also just released a Kyle Rayner Compendium a month or two ago.)

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zero-hour-30-anniversary-cover-3.jpg
 
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I can't believe that we're getting put on pause for 3 months when WW is on a role.
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Anyone going to pick up "Absolute Power" by Mark Waid?
 
If someone can make this Event work, its Mark Waid.
But im not looking forward to it at all.
We are again in good places with the Solos and stuff...having this interrupted with yet another Event...sucks.

I will check out the first issues, but im not super hyped.
 
Anyone going to pick up "Absolute Power" by Mark Waid?
That's a hard pass from me and I say that as someone who adores Waid's Flash run. I'm always leery of event books and there's nothing here that particularly grabs my attention, although if this story can finally put to bed this oddly extremely out of character version of Amanda Waller, I'll be glad it exists.

More interested in seeing what new titles launch out of its conclusion for the rest of the year.
 
Again i dont really have a lot of time for Comics currently, so im not back on the Comics Week.
But i had time for Batman 148, which seemingly ends the Failsafe/Zur arc.

It ended in a fine way, but feels rushed.
Especially the Jason Part was rushed and i feel like Zdarsky should have put more time into dealing with what happened with Jason before.
His role in this finale was neat and all, but after what happened and all...i feel this deserved more time.
Especially since i can never get enough Jason/Bruce stuff...that is a relationship that needs to rebuilt a lot.

Other than that i loved the Family team as usual, but again...it was a bit rushed.
I liked how Zur and Failsafe got tricked and it makes sense if you think about it now.
Before i was wondering how Bruce might beat either one, this made imo a ton of sense that i didnt thought about.

Im really curious where Zdarsky takes his Run after the Absolute Power thing and all.
 
That's a hard pass from me and I say that as someone who adores Waid's Flash run. I'm always leery of event books and there's nothing here that particularly grabs my attention, although if this story can finally put to bed this oddly extremely out of character version of Amanda Waller, I'll be glad it exists.

More interested in seeing what new titles launch out of its conclusion for the rest of the year.
On the plus side, that Absolute Power event is only supposed to be 4 issues long, I think, so hopefully DC will get back to their regular stories soon.
 
On the plus side, that Absolute Power event is only supposed to be 4 issues long, I think, so hopefully DC will get back to their regular stories soon.
Fortunately, I'm only reading 7 DC books right now and Wonder Woman is the only ongoing that is getting derailed by this for 3 months. I'm thankful that The Flash is not. Everything else I'm reading are Black Label or mini series. Even so, to slow the momentum of Wonder Woman seems like such a massive mistake for a character who DESPERATELY needs it.

Anyways, COMICS!

Get Fury #2. Not much as far as forward story progression, but we do get a bit more background on the plot: Fury is shot down over Vietnam jungle and taken prisoner. The CIA fearing Fury will break under torture sends in Frank Castle in a very hush-hush covert op mission to kill him. Only we, along with the CIA, find out in this issue that the likelihood of Castle pulling it off is 0% and in fact, the very reason any of this is happening at all, is due to the machinations of Fury himself as part of the fallout of an incident in Garth Ennis' precious Nick Fury book, "My War Gone By". It's a great twist that kept this issue's momentum going. Ennis, as always, rarely disappoints.

Flash #9. Much is revealed here and I'm all for it. Thawne's plans, hinted at earlier in this run, become much clearer in this issue focussed primarily on Barry. We see that there are higher nefarious powers affecting Linda's state of mind. These same powers have been affecting Barry. Everything is between the lines and everything stands revealed. This fallout will no doubt be great. Also the revelation of Inspector Pilgrim was a lot of fun. I'm very excited to see how this major arc concludes and I seriously hope Spurrier sticks around. For anyone on the fence with this book, I hope this issue finally provides the clarity needed to truly enjoy this book as a welcome addition to the mythos. Furthermore, I'm very glad that this book isn't participating in the Absolute Power crossover. It sucks really hard that Wonder Woman is being derailed by this event for 3 months. So much of that momentum will be lost. To do that to the Flash would be some sort of depraved irony.

Batman: Dark Age #3. This book continues to surprise me. I really love Mark Russell's grasp on Bruce. He's much more human and fallible. I prefer this to the paranoid Bat-God of the main title. I love the explanation for Batman's No Kill rule though I'd honestly love to see that challenged as this book progresses. I feel like in a finite book like this, that no kill rule really shines. Let's see where this goes!

Penguin #10 is more great Tom King fun. With 2 more issues left, I'm curious to see how King wraps up one of his grimmest, and in fact most violent, stories. The Penguin's relationship with Batman in this book is pretty interesting as we see Batman use the Penguin to clean up Gotham, while the Penguin uses Batman to consolidate his criminal empire. And Batman knows that. And Penguin knows Batman knows. If King can stick the landing here, I expect a rather bloody conclusion.

Conan The Barbarian #11 continues as one of the best comics on the stands. This arc serves as a prologue of sorts to the Black Stone event coming out soon which will see a massive crossover of many of Robert E. Howard's characters and their encounters with the titular object. I'm not one for crossover events but this book, along with its sister title The Savage Sword of Conan, has not missed once and I've seen very little to doubt that the quality that currently exists can continue.
 
I loathe Amanda Waller and I hate how she is popping up in every book right now. I also hate that Absolute Power will probably shift the balance of power in DC away from the Titans and back to the Justice League.

But I am an enormous Mark Waid fan. So I will likely read Absolute Power when it hits Infinite. But I won’t buy it.
 
I just read Batman:The Last Arkham from Alan Grant’s Shadow of the Bat 1-4.

So very good. It’s a story where, after murders start occurring that fit the MO of Victor Zasz (who is committed in Arkham) Batman and Gordon hatch a plan where Batman supposedly loses his temper and beats a cop to death, thereby getting himself committed to Arkham in order to determine from the inside, how Zasz is committing the murders.

I respect Chip Zdarsky, but I have to say that I miss this type of storytelling. I love having a story with a defined beginning and conclusion that lasts 4 issues. Plus, this is a Batman who is clearly human and has real stakes and takes risks.
 
I loathe Amanda Waller and I hate how she is popping up in every book right now. I also hate that Absolute Power will probably shift the balance of power in DC away from the Titans and back to the Justice League.

But I am an enormous Mark Waid fan. So I will likely read Absolute Power when it hits Infinite. But I won’t buy it.
Imo the problem with Waller is that she is written always the same one dimensional way.
Which is super obvious in her many appearances currently.
Has DC even done anything with the Titans? Feels like not, so it would make sense to bring the Justice League back.

We will see.
 
Imo the problem with Waller is that she is written always the same one dimensional way.
Which is super obvious in her many appearances currently.
Has DC even done anything with the Titans? Feels like not, so it would make sense to bring the Justice League back.

We will see.
The Beast World story was surprisingly good. I liked it as much as most Justice League stories.

The problem with Titans was that they started out with them and the villains they’ve given them to contend with are various versions of Brother Blood and Trigon. I wish they’d have actually had the guts to give them a Justice League situation to contend with.

Or they should’ve had Dick lead the Justice League. He could’ve had a Titan or two on the team like James Robinson’s run on JLA.

Truth be told, I tend to like the way Titans are written as a group much more than the way Justice League is written as a group more often than not.
 
Anyone see that DC is releasing "compact graphic novels" for $9.99? They're releasing Watchmen & Batman: The Court of Owls Complete Saga. Would be a cool line to do. Maybe attract people on the price alone?
 

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