Labor Day weekend vacation kept me away from home and an internet connection, which is why this post is so late. That and because my computer is being repaired, which is why I’m using a family member’s computer. I’ve also spent the better part of over 10 hours driving back home, so I’m not in the best of moods. Anyway, this week we talk about BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #7, CAPTAIN MARVEL #3, WINTER SOLDIER #9, and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/DOCTOR WHO: ASSIMILATION 2 #4.
There was also a bunch of annuals out, but we’ll get to those another time.
BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #7 continues to juggle four plotlines at once, with mixed success. Of course we have the battle between the future Justice League and the serpent that threatens to destroy the universe. They are aided by the remaining forces of the New Gods, mostly those of Apokolips. The battle doesn’t go well.
What? Are you even surprised at this point? No offense to the creators, but I’m getting bored of this dance we have going.
The issue includes another backstory dump for one of the Justice League members, this time Aquagirl. Thankfully this one only lasted a single installment, 1) because I’m not in the mood for an extended look into a character’s past, and 2) because Aquagirl is easily the least interesting of the entire league. Not that I ever found this group all that interesting to begin with back on the show. At least the pre-Flashpoint league had an interesting group and James Robinson writing them.
After that was the main solo Batman storyline, where we see Dena’s brother in full Joker gear as he presides over a meeting of the Joker throngs. He explains at least part of where he’s going with all this. It involves straight up murder. This is actually interesting, because the Jokerz in the show were mostly – for lack of a better term – jokes on account of the rigid censorship regulations when it came to the show. In other news, Bruce’s liver is failing and he’s dying.
Which makes the fact that the old man is not only active, but fighting actively himself in a suit of power armor when we get back to the future Superman plot. I’m not saying these two stories can’t be published simultaneously (they could and probably do take place at separate times in continuity). I’m saying it’s weird to see a guy dying of liver failure one second, and the next be fighting nanomachine-augmented mobsters and an undead Mafioso.
And how can Luthor’s old building turn into a giant robot? It’s awesome, don’t get me wrong. But a giant robot? Really?
Moving over to Marvel, CAPTAIN MARVEL #3 continues to irk me. Not because it’s bad, but because I can’t have so many series to buy, at this one hasn’t given me a chance to drop it. So previously, Carol Danvers somehow managed to go back in time to WWII, landing on a Japanese-controlled island where the soldiers pilot Kree attack ships. And Captain Marvel teamed up with a group of female soldiers trapped on the island who have had extended battles with the Japanese forces.
This was a pretty good issue, mixing two big battles with scenes of Carol bonding with the female soldiers (no, I don’t know why they’re there either; just role with the equal opportunity resistance fighters). There’s a lot to like about this series, which makes it so hard to stop reading. I’ll give it another issue before I assess whether I intend to continue on. But by all means, read this series. This franchise never got the attention it deserved.
Next is WINTER SOLDIER #9, and the much-anticipated battle between the titular ex-soviet agent and Black Widow, another ex-soviet agent who was re-brainwashed by the rogue sleeper agent, Leo Novokov. With our friend Bucky Barnes distraught over Widow’s capture, Leo managed to place her in a position to assassinate a high-profile political target. Can Bucky stop her, free her from mind control, and capture his elusive and psychotic former student?
Only one of those ends up happening. Things don’t go well.
I guess I’m just tired from recent goings on and the vacation (vacations are want to make one want a vacation from their vacation), because I have trouble saying positive things about this book. Or anything really, probably because this other computer crashed at least once in the process of writing this post. I’m afraid it’ll happen again, and just want this over and done with.
So with that, we move to the series with the annoying long title. STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/DOCTOR WHO: ASSIMILATION 2 #4 has The Doctor and the Enterprise crew discuss the awful/awesome truth: the Cybermen somehow engineered a way to fuse their two universes together, in a plan to team up with the Borg. And anyone familiar with either race can attest that this is a bad thing. Though it would appear not everything is fine in cybernetic heaven. The center cannot hold, apparently.
And like last issue where the fourth Doctor teamed up with the original Enterprise crew in a flashback – or the spiritual predecessor to this miniseries where Brainiac 5 from the Legion of Superheroes met Q – we have another nerdy meeting. This time with the Eleventh Doctor meeting Guinan, TNG’s enigmatic and transpatial bartender. It’s a meeting of minds and vague connections to the timestream that results in everyone knowing about the merger. At least Star Trek/Legion had time travel and Q to explain the merged reality. And also Vandal Savage, but that’s for people who have yet to read that series to discover.
I miss the simpler art style from the flashback, because that wasn’t trying to be a freaking painting. And more of the Enterprise crew get cameos for anyone who wanted to know about TNG and/or what the relationship is between the Doctor and his companions. I know too much about both, so this feels redundant. But I know firsthand how easily a new reader can get if they come into a series knowing nothing. It’s why Batman’s origin story keeps getting retold.
Over and over and over again.
Speaking of Batman, he’s in one of the annuals I’ll be talking about later this week, so stay tuned.
Do you find this Sci Fi crossover as amazing and nerdy as I do? Were you all clamoring for Star Trek/Doctor Who? Do you know or care who Aquagirl is? Do you think Captain Marvel will be the next great female rolemodel in comics? Do you miss that gun-toting communist gorilla from WINTER SOLDIER #5? Leave a comment below.