12.21.05 Reviews

Lucifer #69 (DC/Vertigo): Seems to be all teed up for the final arc, though this may have been the climax with the dust settling over the last few issues if Carey truly emulates the conclusion of Sandman. Pretty ballsy of Mike Carey to replace Yahweh with Elaine Belloc as the new “founder” of the universe with the heaven host and hell kin following her lead as to their place. Nice to see Lucifer again dodging any direct responsibility, yet facilitating resolution in someone else's hands out of a strange sense of honor. Grade B.

Infinite Crisis #3 (DC): Brain starting to hurt. Too many parallel stories running here to track and predict ramifications on. For the most part, this felt like “all middle” to borrow a term from the guys over at Comix Experience. Lots of random sets that just feel shoehorned in, we have Aquaman and Atlantis battling Manta, random Spectre appearance, Diana authorizing Themyscira to retreat from this plane of existence, Batman doing… stuff… with the Earth 2 Superman, Power Girl deciding on *what* to do, the seed being planted for a new Blue Beetle, Wally joining the fray, shenanigans at the Watchtower, and multiple Luthors running around. I don’t know. *Shrug.* I can’t really tell what’s happening or what the intent was so we’ll go with a flat Grade C.

Green Lantern #6 (DC): Though Ethan Van Sciver is still “Liefeld-ing up” the cover art, Simone Bianchi is a most welcome addition to the art stable on the interiors. Her work on Morrison’s recent Shining Knight was one of the only “shiny” spots in the entire Seven Soldiers debacle. Her slightly photorealistic, heavily textured style goes a long way here. The visage of Hector Hammond is especially demonic and I really dug the little things, like the stylish rendering of Hal’s hair. This book is ideally suited for cosmic threats such as gremlins who delve in evolutionary experimentation. Hammond's sarcastic “Oh, Hal Jordan… my hero” was hilarious. Setting up Hangar 44 as a regular Roswell style warehouse of all things extra terrestrial is a nice touch. Favorite line: “German? That’s Krolotean. What? You think Egypt is the only place on that mudball that stole their language from off-world?” Very solid stuff, totally satisfying and even earns a few chuckles. Grade B+.

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #3 (DC): A different kind of fun to be found here, one less focused on Hal or any specifc GL for that matter, and that's ok, it totally works. Enjoyed the voice of the power ring becoming another character, providing information on deceased lanterns, interstellar corps law, and interesting bouts of translating - or not. John's really has Guy's humor down. Great fun with lots of different lanterns running around. I like the idea that there is really limitless potential for stories the way this series has been constructed and I hope the creative team continues to exploit it and entertain us. This issue's search for a new ring bearer from Korugar works as well as any. She’s crafty with the ring. Kyle and Guy play a nice good cop/bad cop routine on her to get her to commit to training. At first I thought the art felt a bit "wonky" and crude, but it really grew on me for the relatively manic and light hearted tales of the corps being offered up here. Grade B.

Iron Man: The Inevitable #1 (Marvel): Another grounded rendition of Iron Man, is Casey taking a cue from Ellis and Granov’s book? I know this isn't Casey's problem and is just an aside, more Marvel Editorial's problem really, but which one is the "main" Iron Man title? Ultimate? Not supposed to be if you buy the Ultimate line as ancillary. Ellis and Granov's? Should be according to the "rules" Marvel has set up. But it *never* comes out and is totally under the radar screen. Casey’s will no doubt ship on time, but it's a mini-series with a finite end. If I was a bettin' man, I'd say Marvel is having a little "bake off" with some good creative teams to see which book garners more interest, both critically and sales-wise and then backs whichever horse... errr, brownie... wins. Irving’s dark pencils and inks are really unique and fun, not what I’d picture for Tony and the suit, but fun nonetheless. Enjoyed the banter with the SHIELD agent, the pop culture filled party, and the undercurrent that everyone knows Tony is Iron Man, yet he runs the ruse anyway. Is that what the "Inevitable" in the title refers to? Don’t know, but definitely want to find out. Grade B.


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