Doing something different this week. Instead of putting the DC pulls in one post, and the independents squished in with the Marvel fare, the independent books will be spread between the two parts. Here in part one, we have the DC and Boom titles, while part two has the Marvel and IDW books.
First on the list is GREEN LANTERN #8, and the second part of the Indigo Tribe centered story arc. Sinestro and Hal Jordan have fallen into the clutches of the Indigo Tribe, who apparently live in a supermassive prison spanning roughly half the surface of an unknown planet. Turns out this isn’t just an aesthetic choice on the tribe’s part, as it would appear this prison factors heavily in their origin story. I say appears because we won’t know how this lantern corps came to be until next issue. But if my assumptions are correct, it promises to be an interesting one.
And it’s about time too. They’ve been hinting at what these guys are all about since Blackest Night, where the Indigo Tribe first appeared. And up until now, there’s not been a lot to go on, all things considered. All we’ve been really told about them, other than what they’re capable of doing with the Indigo light of compassion, is that Abin Sur (the Green Lantern that was Earth’s protector before Hal) somehow figured prominently in their history. His name is even in their oath, which is otherwise entirely incomprehensible.
Oh, and remember Black Hand? The main bad guy from Blackest Night? He’s back, and basically brainwashed by the Indigo Tribe. Yeah, the tribe is big on brainwashing. Not to spoil things, and not to give context, but Hal sticks his ring in Black Hand’s face in order to recharge his ring using their simulation of willpower energy. And it works! To my knowledge this is the second time Hal’s done this exact thing, the first time being with a Manhunter. Hal is not above using, shall we say, unconventional ways of getting power?
Next is DEMON KNIGHTS #8, which focuses more on the backstory of Madame Xanadu, Jason Blood, and Etrigan the demon. Specifically, how the three got into their bizarre, immortal, quasi-beastiality love triangle. Thing. And it’s told in a way I find very good from a narrative and intrigue standpoint. Basically, we’re given two versions of their origin, from two narrators, which run parallel but take a significantly different stance on how things went down.
If you have a mystery, and you want to keep that mystery over a long period, how do you go about doing it? On the one hand, you could just never explain it, which has definite disadvantages so far as a narrative is concerned, because then people get bored. You could also just explain it, either all at once or over time, which is often the preferred method with the fewest headaches. And then there’s giving answers, but being very ambiguous as to what they mean. This is what issue eight does, and it’s very well written. In this case, we’ve been given answers, but two semi-contradictory ones, and little insight into which is the true one. I’m reasonably positive this disparity will become a plot point somewhere down the line, and that makes the mystery all the more compelling.
Also there’s some stuff about there being more than one Camalot, and Merlin is stabbed at the end. Not much of a spoiler since the next issue’s cover conveys the same point. Just thought you’d like to know.
Next up is RESURRECTION MAN #8, once again rocking a mostly self-contained story. If I haven’t said this before, I love this series run because it’s able to create issues that, while clawing their way through an overarching plot thread, can still function by themselves. In this issue, Mitch Shelley meets two paranormal individuals, both with magic and resources beyond those of mortals, and with conflicting methods. And both are out to find our protagonist. All this while Shelley attempts to find any information about his past as a government bastard.
Once again, I have a problem with the cover. Namely, that it’s basically meaningless, and a little deceptive. Although it doesn’t outright lie or stretch the truth for dramatic effect. It’s just kind of generic. Mitch doesn’t encounter the law, just a private detective and a chubby necromancer. And he doesn’t really do a lot of running in this issue, now that I think of it. It is a good looking cover, though.
And this issue apparently crosses over with the Suicide Squad ongoing. We’ll have to read that series’ ninth issue to get the rest of that story, and I’m just not really in the mood to buy a single issue of that. If I haven’t brought it up, I don’t much care for the Suicide Squad ongoing, especially since the pre-Flashpoint list of ongoings already had a series about villains called Secret Six, and from what little I’ve read it was very, very good. And if there’s one thing that upsets me about the relaunch, it’s that otherwise great series were canceled or retooled, and replaced with significantly less solid books.
THE SHADE #7 does not fall into that category of underwhelming series. Wrapping up the La Sangre/Inquisitor story arc, this issue reveals the plans and plots of the zealot Spanish villain. Mostly it involves a pact with the devil and a bunch of hypocracy, and proves that not even the alleged “Christian” evildoer really knows what the Bible actually says. So for once, I’m not mad at the book but rather the antagonist, which is how it should be.
Also this issue leads into another trip to the Shade’s past, this time involving a demon in Paris and the Shade’s deceased wife. A lot of this book, now that I think of it, deals with our antihero’s family, including a rather touching scene between him and La Sangre near the end of the issue. It’s good stuff.
Further research actually revealed these last three issues to be a collaboration between Robinson and one of the creators (I think the artist) who lives in Barcelona. As such, this story arc was that guy’s attempt to share his home with comic readers, in addition to just showing off world culture. And I can respect that.
Last on the list (for this part at least) is ADVENTURE TIME #3 from Boom! It gives me the chance to ramble about things that sound insane out of context. Finn and Jake aren’t dead, obviously. Instead they join forces with Princess Bubblegum, Lumpy Space Princess, Desert Princess, Ice King, and Marceline the vampire to put an end to the Lich and his plans to throw the planet into the sun via a magical bag of holding.
In retrospect, a lot of that still sounds insane even in context, but that’s why I love Adventure Time.
Other things that occurred out of context: Jake transforming into a jet flying through space. An army of elemental Finn and Jake clones, made out of snow and sand. And a coordinated rap battle against an undead lord. In space. God I love this series.
Like the previous issue, this one includes two side stories. One with Lumpy Space Princess raising breakfast microbes after callously eating their bacon habitat (it happens), and a short one page story with Sir Slicer. I’ll admit I don’t watch nearly as much of the show, but I’m not too familiar with the Sir Slicer character. Which is just as well, since there’s little to the story overall. I’m finding the short interludes at the end to be the weakest of the stories in this book. Like the publishers want to fill one last page, so they commission whoever is available to put a filler page at the end. Not sure I like that, though I’ll need to see more of them to judge it fairly.
That does it for the DC (and Boom!) books for this week. In part two, we’ll look at Marvel’s offerings, as well as the end of IDW’s generally underwhelming event, INFESTATION 2.