Here we have the last Weekly Pull of the year, and still it’s going to seem pretty insubstantial. This is not true.
Like last week, only three books will be featured here, all DC, but not for lack of trying. I bought six issues this week: the three on display here, two number ones that will be given their own First Impressions later on, and one issue for a series that ended a while ago and I found still sitting on the shelf. The latter I won’t be talking about, because old books would fall into the purview of the actual show, and not under my current text article system.
And also because it’s the second issue of Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade. What can I say? I’m on a mission to find really good comics that are fun for the whole family.
First on the list is GREEN LANTERN: THE NEW GUARDIANS #4. Truth be told, I almost passed on this series when it first came out. Or rather, I originally had it in mind to buy it when the New 52 was announced, but found the final version of the first issue’s cover wholly inferior to the early teaser images. So imagine my surprise when, four issues in, I’ve found myself enjoying this book more than any of the other Green Lantern books.
Maybe it has something to do with the prominent colors. GREEN LANTERN, ironically, uses a lot more yellow on account of it being majorly against the Sinestro Corps. And naturally, RED LANTERNS is so bloody red all the time. While I haven’t read GREEN LANTERN CORPS, what I know of the plot leads me to believe it’s using a lot of green, with both the actual corps and the people they’re fighting. New Guardians, meanwhile, makes use of the entire spectrum, which is also part of the charm of the book. This book feels like an epic mash-up of the entire spectrum of lantern corps, in addition to readers finally getting the possibility of an omni-lantern in the form of Kyle Rayner.
Not to mention for the first time in a while, Larfleeze, the sole wielder of the orange light of avarice, actually acts like a force to be reckoned with. For some reason, he’s been portrayed as of late as little more than comic relief, so a book where he can really shine (pun indeed intended) warrants some kudos.
Next we have THE FLASH #4. Perhaps it’s just the month-long wait between issues, but this series has ironically felt a little slow. When the story arcs start ending, I’ll pull out all the issues so far and see how they hold up taken all together, one after another. Regardless, issue four re-energized my enthusiasm for The Flash, and he was barely in this one.
Mostly, this issue takes the time to put the reader into the head of Manuel, progenitor and erstwhile “father” to Mob Rule. His motivations, and the motivations of Mob Rule finally get fleshed out, and it’s a pretty intriguing concept.
Interesting to note, this series has been one of the books that has consistently had alternate covers. And frankly, I find the variant covers with the white backgrounds more compelling than the full-color covers. The ones with full color and the Flash posing dramatically are fine and all, but the variant covers seem to better illustrate the content of the book. In the case of issue four, it’s set up in such a way as to give out details that happen in between issues, which I find to be a nice touch.
Last for the DC picks this week is ALL STAR WESTERN #4. One of the strength of this ongoing might just be the fact that it doesn’t drag its storylines out. At this point in any other book in the New 52, they’re just getting around to explaining what’s going on, and the actual climax will come in the fifth issue or so. All Star Western managed to tell a complete story in three issues, and by way of a simpler subplot managed to transition from there to here and into a new storyline. All the while also including a secondary story. Granted, the book costs more to make up the difference, but that still means that without the secondary stories, this book still would have finished it’s first arc at normal book length.
Jonah Hex just (temporarily) closed the book on a Gotham conspiracy, but the city just won’t let him leave as he’s embroiled in a child kidnapping case. Naturally, it leads to the sewers, much to the dismay of Amadeus Arkham. I’m pretty sure an episode of the Batman animated series that dealt with children kidnapped and forced to work in the sewers of Gotham. Guess this issue proves that there’s a precedence for that sort of thing.
Additionally, readers get the first part of the new side story, this time involving the Barbary Ghost. One of the strengths of this format, with the Hex storyline and the side stories, comes from being able to have Hex run around a nineteenth century city, while still having wild west settings in the backup tales. It certainly couldn’t rightfully be called All Star Western if the western element didn’t show up.
Again, the remainder of this week’s picks were either back issues or new number ones. As such, come around again in the next week or so, as I give my First Impressions of AVENGERS: X-SANCTION and CARNAGE U.S.A.