Isaac’s Book of the Month
Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #4 (of 5)
Written by Geoff Johns
Penciled by George Perez
DC Comics, 2009
I’ve already talked about the previous issue of Legion of Three Worlds in a Random review a couple of months ago, and everything I said back then holds true now: super-quality art courtesy of George Perez, with a jam-packed story by Geoff Johns. The average reader is not going to get what is going on here, and I’m okay with that. This comic is for me — Yay! (I’m warning you now, SPOILERS ahead.)
Okay, so what makes this issue so great? Bear with me as this list is all about what I’m interested in from a nerdy perspective:
- The reason Starman has been hanging out in the 21st century is finally revealed; I think we’ve been waiting on that for around two years.
- Kid Flash dominates Superboy Prime in their fight. It makes no sense that all the other Legion people combined can barely slow down Superboy Prime while Kid Flash stops him in his tracks, but I don’t care. It’s awesome and hilarious. Concerning his being brought back to life, Kid Flash makes reference to Aladdin saying “Phenomenal cosmic power… itty-bitty living space.” How old is Aladdin by now? Why is Geoff Johns making a reference like that? It’s totally out of place and insane, but I love it.
- I’ve already adopted a running gag based off a panel where Superboy Prime, getting frustrated, says, “When I get my hands on you, you’re toast!” and Kid Flash responds with this goofy look on his face and says, “With jelly.” So now I keep doing my approximation of that face and saying, “with jelly” all the time. Is that a particularly clever riposte to use in every conversation I have? Considering I’m the only one in on the gag, no, but to have a comic moment imprint so much on me so fast alone is reason to be book of the month.
- The original Sun Boy finally shows up and in an excellently clichéd action-hero bit of dialogue says, “Sorry I’m late for the party, but I did bring the fireworks.” It’s dumb, but I enjoyed it.
- Okay, here’s the big one. This is why that SPOILER warning is up at the top there. All through this issue, I was saying, “No way, no way, there’s no way they’re doing this.” Then they DID IT! The smile on my face wasn’t going anywhere while I read this thing, and it’s just zipped back on my face thinking about it. What was Starman doing in the past? Oh nothing much, just getting SUPERBOY back to life!! See, I own issue 0-100 of Superboy’s series, plus various specials, plus issues of Superboy and the Ravers (need to get more of those), PLUS issue 3 of Peter David’s Aquaman series that had an appearance by Superboy — I’m a fan.
I had no choice; this comic had to be my book of the month.
All the while I’m reading this book, I’m cursing Geoff Johns for playing every cheap trick in the book in getting me to love this comic, and I’m cursing myself for willingly falling for it. Every. Single. Time. If I look at this objectively, Johns just brought back a fan favourite character to ensure I’d love this comic, which is exactly the same thing he did at the end of the previous issue. Who will they resurrect by the end of the final issue — Ben Reilly?!?
No seriously, resurrect Ben Reilly.
Miles’ Book of the Month
The Mighty Avengers #24
Written by Dan Slott
Penciled by Rafa Sandoval
Inked by Roger Bonet Martinez
Marvel Comics, 2009
This was a hard month to choose a Book of the Month: Incognito really caught fire with this last issue, Spider-man #591 had some extremely touching and funny moments, Secret Warriors was excellent and continues to gain steam, Captain America was amazing as always, I got caught up on Agents of Atlas and am starting to really dig what’s going on there, Neil Gaiman finished his “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” storyline, and the final definitive collection of Queen and Country came out. And that’s just off the top of my head — there were a lot of good comics this month.
So, I’m making my choice based on the issue that made me the most excited about the issues to come, and The Mighty Avengers wins that contest. This is the fourth issue of Dan Slott’s run, and the first three I wanted to like more than I did. They were confusing, too much was happening, and Khoi Pham’s art was not doing the book any favours.
This issue simplified, reduced the amount of characters, had a ton of great gags and character moments, and got a better team on the art. At the end of this issue, I thought, “Wow. I can’t wait to see what happens next,” and “Wow, Slott got a lot done in that issue.” Whereas after the first three issues, I thought, “Alright, I’ll give this one more, maybe: I don’t know how I feel about this series.” This was the turning point.
In this issue, the Mighty Avengers travel around the world, stopping one catastrophe after the other; Quicksilver tries to prove his loyalty to the team; the team starts to gel; Norman Osborne starts losing it all over the place; and we get a few hints into what the main villain’s plans actually are. It’s a lot, but it’s all handled so beautifully and with efficient storytelling.
The issue made me like characters I wasn’t so big on before, like Hank Pym and Hercules. Pym is out to prove he’s a hero, and he’s doing a great job of it. But what I like the most about him is that he gives Quicksilver a second chance. It’s really nice to see a character at Marvel give another character the benefit of the doubt because that hasn’t happened since someone said the word “skrull.”
And I love Hercules now and forever with the line he says as he’s about to reflect The Vision’s heat vision with a large mirror:
Herc: This is how Archimedes and I torched Roman Warships at the Siege of Syracuse.
Vision: I’m confused. According to my files that is historically inaccurate. That’s a myth — a legend.
Herc: Aye! Like Everything I do, it was both mythic and legendary!
He’s so great.
So, yes, I can now say that I recommend The Mighty Avengers, and this is a good place to start.
Owen’s Book of the Month
Secret Six #8
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Carlos Rodriguez and Bitt
DC Comics, 2009
I’ve been looking for a way to work in a plug for Secret Six, a comic I’ve thought is pretty great for a while now. This month gave me the best excuse ever: Secret Six #8 is the best comic I’ve read all month. Sure the past seven issues were good, but this one FREAKING AWESOME.
To begin with, it’s a double-date issue. I’m a total sucker for “down time” issues of comics, any chance to see what our characters do when they’re not on missions (or whatever) is a huge plus for me. In the case of the Secret Six…well, it turns out that they have a really hard time not killing on their down time. So when Deadshot, his date (the creepy lady from the last storyline that developed a fondness for him), Scandal and her date (the stripper that was hired to look like Scandal’s dead ex-girlfriend) are out on the town operating under a strict “no killing” policy hilarity ensues. What develops takes the form of a sort of perverse farce, with Deadshot repeatedly excusing himself to beat the hell out of (but not kill, as much as he would like to) some thugs who are after him, Scandal’s date trying to figure out what’s going on and the gang moving locations to stay out of trouble.
Gail Simone is at her best, this is without question the funniest comic I read this month, and the art perfectly matches that tone. Simone and Scott are helluva team. If all of this weren’t enough, there’s the bonus of the “what Ragdoll dreams” section, with a Tiny Six segment done in the style of Tiny Titans. And yes, it is every bit as glorious as what you’re picturing in your head right now. If you don’t own this issue then track it down right now.