So, it’s been a while since I did a full review of a comic, and since this is the book that grants the wish of so many within the Poison Ivy League, seeing her operating as a hero again (kinda), I figured I should give it a shot. Before I go too in-depth on my thoughts, though, let’s run down the plot first.
The comic starts with a monologue by Adam Strange, who is apparently trapped within the Zeta Beams, as he watches Animal Man, Stargirl, Alanna Strange, and Equinox recruiting a group of people for a mission. Specifically, they recruit Mera, Swamp Thing, Poison Ivy, and Etrigan to deal with something called a Breaker. More or less, in the aftermath of Convergence, anomalies in space and time have emerged on Earth 0 that are tearing up the fabric of reality (or something like that, anyway), and the JLU are recruiting both heroes and villains to deal with each Breaker as they appear. Where are the rest of the team? Well, apparently, Supergirl, Green Arrow, and Martian Manhunter all left the team without so much as a warning or an explanation. As such, Adam Strange is picking out people based on how they’d perform in each specific mission, although Ivy jokes that, with her and Mera on the same team, that he just has a redhead fetish…No comment. lol Anyway, Equinox is sent as the League representative for the mission with the four individuals selected, and they go to deal with the Breaker. Specifically, a massive red blob of some sort, neither animal nor plant-life but having elements of both, has appeared in the middle of the ocean. Unfortunately, as they arrive, Poison Ivy and Swamp Thing realize that they’ve been cut off from The Green, just as the Breaker begins its assault on the team, leaving Adam Strange to watch as he determines that they’re about to see if he selected wisely.
So, let’s talk for a sec about…well, I suppose the big thing for me: Poison Ivy. First off, not a fan of the fact that she’s introduced in this comic as pushing drugs, although it at least makes more sense than Superman pushing super pills in Injustice. 😛 Otherwise, while it initially bugged me how much she seemed to be complaining throughout the issue, specifically as it pertained to why she was there, I have to admit that, once I put myself in her shoes, it made a bit more sense. If I was drafted for a mission in the middle of nowhere, with no idea of what I was supposed to do or why I was even there, especially given that Swamp Thing was also on the team, I’d probably be less than completely okay with everything going on. Hopefully, this is leading somewhere that’ll resolve that issue.
The other major thing that bugs me is the idea that half of the original team just left without so much as a word. I get that Martian Manhunter is supposed to be this big question mark of a character nowadays, but his connection with his team-mates should’ve at least given him enough of a conscience to come up with an excuse. As for Supergirl and Green Arrow, I seriously find that to be complete horse-crap. In fact, given that there seems to be a lot that went on between issues 10 and 11, and the massive overhaul of the team and its dynamics, it feels like this either should’ve been a completely different team altogether, or a new volume of the book, either way providing an issue 0 to explain what the hell happened in the gap. To be honest, given the nature of what they’re dealing with, it feels more like a Justice League Dark mission… … …What happened to them, anyway?
The last thing I wanna address has to deal with Mera. I have no idea what’s going on in the Aquaman book, but I do not like the idea of Mera basically on a manhunt for her husba-Oh wait, forgot, Dan Didio said no to married heroes, and only Animal Man seemed to slip through the cracks and keep his intact (and thank God he did, btw). I dunno, she just comes off as way too angry and one-track minded about hunting Arthur down. As a side-note, though, I DID love the line from Animal Man talking about how he’s been mistaken for Aquaman on occasion. Now, as a MASSIVE comic geek, I can honestly say that I’ve never once mistaken the two, but I HAVE seen it happen, and I seem to recall even in-universe, other heroes have mistaken how his powers work for how Aquaman’s do (that he talks to animals like how Aquaman can communicate with aquatic life).
With that out of the way, lemme talk about what I DO like. For starters, I like that the members that DID stick around did so and are therefore still relevant. Not one of them have their own books currently, and I don’t think that’s exactly in the cards for any of them at this time. I also love that these are basically B, C, and quite possibly even D-list heroes, and yet they’re having to take on a mission that could have serious repercussions if left unchecked, AND having to be the ones taking charge of the situation. It’s a huge undertaking for them, and it’s one that’s not always going to have an easy solution, but we see them trying their best to do what they can. And dammit, we needed a book about heroes that aren’t at the top of the food chain that can save the world too.
Secondly, I like that the events of Convergence are having consequences. As far as I can tell, at this time, none of the other books are addressing Convergence and what went down there. You just can’t do something like Convergence, which honestly forces me to try and learn what the plural of the word Multiverse is, without having some long-lasting fall-out. Here, we see that, when you take worlds that existed in a seemingly infinitely stretching Multiverse, all kept divided on different vibrational frequencies, some of which didn’t even physically exist anymore, and then pluck parts of them off and put them on the same planet, it kinda sorta BREAKS SPACE. Granted, I wish the fall-out from Convergence included seeing some of these alternate worlds, but dammit, at this point, I’ll take what I can get.
Lastly, I like the idea that this is a team book where, at any given time, seemingly ANYONE could show up for a mission. Heroes, villains, neutrals, doesn’t matter. You wanna see Poison Ivy save the world with Swamp Thing? We’re seeing it here and now. You wanna see Hawk and Dove chilling with Fire and Ice? Based on the preview we got during Convergence, could very well see just that. Anyone could appear for a team-up, and as you know, I’m a huge sucker for stories that have tons of heroes working together.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on the book. Will I continue to pick it up after Poison Ivy leaves? Maybe, if it can make up for the stuff I disliked and continue to do what I DO like. Lemme know what you all think of this book, and hey, if you’re a Poison Ivy fan, be sure to let DC know you wanna see more of her…which, FYI? Apparently we’re getting a mini-series for Poison Ivy next year written by Amy Chu, which I’m gonna NEED to check out when it comes out. Ja né!
So, since it’s been a really long time since I was blogging regularly, there’s been some obvious changes to my comic book pull list. New books came out, old books got cancelled or changed in ways I didn’t like, and so on. So, with that in mind, here’s my entire pull list as it is now. Keep in mind, this is always subject to change, and is going to pretty soon…but I’ll get to that when I talk about it. For now, let’s talk about…
Yeah, what a shocker, huh? Scott Snyder’s Batman has remained solidly good since the beginning of the New 52 to now. Granted, there have been dipping points at times. On reflection, Death of the Family could’ve been a lot better, and Zero Year lost a little bit of steam by the end. However, the title is nonetheless a great one, and Court of Owls remains one of the best stories of the New 52 even to this day. There’s just not much else I can say about it, other than that, in terms of writing consistency, it might just be the best of the New 52’s First Wave books still going today. What other book would I put in contention? Well…
Since day one of this book, it’s been an interesting ride, full of fun and controversy. First, Steph’s existence in the New 52 is retconned and Babs is made Batgirl again, immediately earning my anger. However, Gail Simone nonetheless wrote a great title, to the point where I just couldn’t turn away from how good it was. Then Gail Simone was fired, thus earning the anger of EVERYBODY. Then she was rehired in the wake of the massive fan-rage, though there were some changes made to the overall gameplan of what was in mind for the book’s future, which may or may not have resulted in Batgirl: Wanted. Either way, I opted to skip that arc because I hated it, even while written by Gail, but upon returning to the book when it was over, I found myself enjoying it again just fine. Then Deadline happened, and it immediately felt odd, at first seeming too dire, then seeming like a departure arc. Sure enough, right after I was done reviewing Batgirl #33, it was announced that Gail was leaving the book…and yet, this time, I don’t mind, because she’s giving resolution to Babs’ journey for the past three years, and the next phase of the Batgirl title actually looks like it’ll be fun and interesting. I honestly can’t think of another title that could go through that much shit and still be as good as it is, with the exception of Nightwing, although that book has since been cancelled. But yeah, happy to report that I’m still buying and enjoying Batgirl. And I’m not TOO bummed about the loss of Gail Simone, as this is not the only title of hers on my list…
Yeah, there’s one other Bat related book, but I thought I’d space it out a bit so as not to create the illusion that I only like Bat related books. Granted, this book DOES have a member of Batman Incorporated on it, but it nonetheless isn’t really a Bat book. So, why am I buying this book? For starters, because it’s a shit-ton better than Scott Lobdell’s Teen Titans, and I apologize if you like his work and get offended by my constantly calling him out, but I can’t lie: I REALLY don’t like his work. If you do, that’s fine. The team feels a bit more solid, the colour scheme works a lot better, and the fact that the pre-Flashpoint characters feel a bit more akin to those characters. Really, the only complaints I have is how much more edgy Bunker is, Raven’s costume not being as good as her old one, Wonder Girl’s features being given a bit too much attention for a teenager, and Beast Boy is green again for no reason other than to stop the bitching. And granted, I appreciate him being green again, but I would’ve liked an actual reason for it. Otherwise, though, not much to complain about, and it’s still early in the new book’s life, so they may make up for some of these things as time goes by. And on the subject of team books…
Call them the Justice League Canada or Justice League United. Either way, they’re still awesome. Why? Well, because of what Martian Manhunter says in the most recent issue: They’re a group meant to be a superhero team, PERIOD. No hidden motives or agendas, and all kinds of heroes from all walks of life and possessing different skills or powers, all willing to make the ultimate sacrifice play if necessary to protect the innocent. And what a team it is, with Martian Manhunter, Stargirl, Green Arrow, Adam and Alanna Strange, newcomer Equinox, Animal Man, Supergirl, and possibly Hawkman (who is supposedly dead, but they’re all but writing out in a message in the sky that he’s either not dead or gonna be brought back to life right away). Are they the most powerful team in the DC Universe? No, but I don’t think they’re supposed to be. They just FEEL like heroes that I’d be safe around. That said, one thing I’ve found bizarre is how the colour scheme of the team is simultaneously varied and yet repeated. There’s lots of colour to the team, like red, green, yellow, blue, and white. The thing is, each member has 2-3 of these colours on their person. The only other problems I have are that if you didn’t read Justice League of America, primarily the stuff involving Trinity War and Forever Evil (and I don’t blame you one bit if you didn’t read that stuff), you might be slightly lost as to what’s going on in the first arc of this story, and they’re only now going to do serious build-up and explanation on Equinox…after the first arc has already wrapped up with out her for the most part. Otherwise, still enjoying the book, which is more than I could say for the other Justice League books.
This book…is a bit of a mixed bag at times. Granted, I enjoy it for the most part, but it feels odd at times, and there’s whole issues I’ve skipped. The first arc was a prequel of sorts to most of the New 52, with Superman and Batman in their early days meeting up for a mission they’re ultimate destined to forget, and yet it’s still well written and hints at events that have occurred since and will occur later on from now. Then we got a story about the two fighting Mongul in this weird horizontal framing where you had to read the issues on their side…and again, it was still a fairly enjoyable read, as was the follow-up Annual. From there, it had a crossover with Worlds’ Finest, basically as lead-up to Huntress and Power Girl finally leaving Prime Earth for Earth 2, and Superman and Batman remembering what happened in the first arc…only to forget it all again a few issues later, which I ultimately skipped since I wasn’t buying Worlds’ Finest, but I hear it’s…okay? And as of late, there’s been a few stand-alone issues, crossover issues with other stories, and several issues that have had their dates pushed back. In fact, it wouldn’t shock me if EVERY issue that’s been solicited to this point will be pushed back. So, why do I keep coming back? Well, basically, Greg Pak’s writing. I really like his stuff. Granted, I’m not reading Action Comics right now, but that’s mostly because I REALLY dislike the Superman Doomed storyline. We’ll get back to Pak later, but for now, let’s talk about the last DC book I’m currently reading…
Yeah, another one of those books I never shut up about. lol I’m sorry, I just love this book, and I’m so upset that it’s only 9 issues long…which hasn’t ended its run in over a year. Yeah, another of those books that have suffered set-backs, which is especially distracting considering current events in other Superman related books and Justice League. Nonetheless, this remains a good book, and easily my favourite of the Superman books. Superman actually FEELS like the character, as do his supporting cast. And it’s nice to see a book that Superman stars in that has Wonder Woman cameo and NOT get hung up on their relationship. Yeah, that STILL bugs me. But yeah, the final issue is in October, so won’t be on my pull list for long. But with that, let’s take a look at the Marvel books I’m reading, starting with…
Despite some problems I’ve had with elements of the plot progressing a bit too slowly, I’m finding myself liking this book a lot. But more importantly, I like Miles Morales. As I said in my review of #3, the awkward teen geek angle works for Miles in a way that’s both similar to and unique from Peter Parker (both mainstream and Ultimate) and therefore feels appropriate for someone taking on the identity of Spider-Man. And frankly, while he’s still prone to screwing up and making poor decisions, I’m FAR more forgiving of him than, say, 616 Peter Parker, the man-child who traded a life with his wife and future daughter for life with his constantly dying aunt to the devil. Why? Because unlike Peter, who is an adult who acts like a teenager, Miles actually IS a teenager. Hell, he was actually younger than Peter was when he first became Spidey, AND he’s still learning the ropes, ergo being more sympathetic with more room to grow. Otherwise, while the story is a bit slow developing, I’m still a bit intrigued by what’s going on. While the most obvious resolution to the story seems to be the one that’ll wind up happening, it’s told pretty well, with some pretty awesome moments thrown in (most specifically in #4). Good book, easily the best of the Ultimate Universe.
Oh my God, this is so awesome! And much like Ultimate Spider-Man, the reason why mostly centres around the main character. Kamala, as I’ve gone on record of saying, is both unique in her heritage and incredibly relatable in who she is. We’ve ALL been Kamala at some point in our lives. We all were a huge fan of something, or felt like an outsider, or felt disconnected to our parents, or wished to the stars for something amazing to come along and shake us out of our mundane lives. Also, she writes Avengers/MLP fanfiction. You don’t even need another reason as an online comic book fan to love this girl. And the story can be downright hilarious, in particular the last two issues where she teamed up with Wolverine. Just think about that for a second: A hyperactive fangirl and rookie superhero with odd shapeshifting powers teamed with the veteran, grouchy, and currently in the middle of a story arc that’s going to resolve in his death Wolverine. I nearly died laughing several times during reading the past couple of issues. G. Willow Wilson, just keep doing what you’re doing. You have easily the best new comic of 2014.
Why does Black Widow not have her own movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet? Even ignoring how she stole the show in Iron Man 2, Avengers, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, just READ THIS BOOK. It reads like a really good James Bond movie, only with Natasha instead of 007. The plot’s dragging a tiny bit as of late to have other characters cameo and crossover with Black Widow, but otherwise, it’s doing pretty damned good. Also, the art is GORGEOUS. Can’t really say much else other than, if you love a good superhero and/or spy story, go check it out.
Yeah, I think it’s safe to say I’m becoming a big fan of Greg Pak’s work. I rated Storm #1 five stars on the very simple grounds that, after re-reading it a couple of times with the intent to nitpick, just to see if I could find anything to pick on, I came up with NOTHING wrong with the book. It was PERFECT. Didn’t like #2 as much, but that’s only because it revolved around the Morlocks, and I’m not exactly a big fan of them, and I was a little surprised by the stuff with Wolverine (seriously, how long have those two been a thing???). Otherwise, this is a great book with a lot of potential, and actually managed to sell me on the mohawk (up until now, I was more a fan of the longer, flowing hair). If you love X-Men, and Storm in particular, you owe it to yourself to at least check out #1.
This is another character that had better be getting a solo movie someday. And I don’t care if she’s Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, Binary, Warbird, whatever the frak you wanna call her, the fact remains: Carol Danvers is AWESOME! And now she’s in space with her flerken cat (just read the book if you want the reference, it’s hilarious, lol), hanging with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and kicking all kinds of intergalactic bad guy ass. So yeah, if you wanna read space-based superhero stories, this is the one for you. But yeah, that wraps up my Marvel books, with leads to the final title on my pull list…
This is another must-read. Red Sonja is just awesome in every issue, kicking ass and upholding her own style of justice and honour, all while taking time out to enjoy a pint and get some tender loving care…whenever possible, that is. Let’s just say, a running side-plot in the book as of late is just how irritable she’s been getting without sex. Right there with ya, sister. lol But yeah, Gail Simone’s Red Sonja has been a huge delight, and hopefully it lasts for a long time to come. ^_^
So yeah, that’s my pull list. Feel free to let me know what your own comic book pull lists are, and what you think of the books on mine. Ja né!