Another two-part pull list. Here in part one, we look at the books from DC and IDW, including GREEN LANTERN #15, GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #15, SWORD OF SORCERY #3, and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/DOCTOR WHO: ASSIMILATION 2 #8. In part two, we’ll examine the offerings from Marvel and Valiant.
We’ve got a double dose of GL this week (for whatever reason; DC just decided to release two on the same day), starting with GREEN LANTERN #15. In a desperate bid to stop the real car bomber and clear his name, Simon Baz visits the stolen van’s owner. But was that van really stolen twice? Elsewhere, Agent Fed – the man with a name so fitting of his profession that he really had no choice but to join the FBI – also entertains the idea that Simon is innocent. This issue finally reunites the two after that time Fed almost tortured Baz, and it’s quite a meeting.
You could almost say an…explosive meeting. Can you tell I love puns?!
Remember way back in Green Lantern #0 where the cover showed Simon Baz, complete with a pistol despite not needing one because he has a POWER RING? While it hasn’t happened yet that Baz makes a point of carrying one, we do see the seeds sown for why he would feel so paranoid. So good on Geoff Johns for allowing this to develop at its own pace. I give the guy a lot of flack for his work on Justice League, but when it comes to the GL mythos he is, was, and ever shall be a godsend.
Especially since – in a reveal that set me laughing – he tied one of the major secrets of this current storyline into past DC continuity. I’m talking obscure stuff from the Silver Age. And it was awesome. This is so nerdy you guys, you don’t even know.
Meanwhile, in GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #15, Kyle Rayner has mastered five of the seven emotions, Arkillo rejoined the party specifically to watch Kyle fail, and now they’re off to find Larfleeze. It’s time to master the Orange light of Avarice. The Zamarans – that female offshoot of the Guardians that use Love – are having second thoughts about their unholy alliance with said Guardians. And that oft touched-upon plot thread about Larfleeze wanting to find his long lost family seems to maybe be moving forward. Maybe.
Oh, and someone dies. Not going to say who, but someone dies in this issue. And people say comic books never deviate from the status quo.
I want to talk about art direction for a second. Initially I wondered why it’s always Larfleeze who ends up with entire panels of solid orange color, whereas other lanterns tend to only encompass a part of any given panel. But then I realized: of course Larfleeze is going to make everything orange. He’s one of the only guys in the mythos whose primary tactic is to throw a million orange constructs of previously living beings at his enemies. He’s the epitome of the zerg rush.
Also for some reason, Larfleeze has larger horns and tusks, like a ram mixed with a boar. Last time I checked neither were as pronounced as they are now. And last time we saw him was maybe six months ago in real time. In comic time, he can’t have been gone more than a week. Keep in mind, Larfleeze is canonically millions of years old, and his horns/tusks were never more than an inch long or thereabouts. Apparently Agent Orange’s species takes eons to reach puberty.
Next is SWORD OF SORCERY #3. After a good round of training, Amy accompanies her mother to a meeting with Aunt Mordiel. It’s just a friendly family chat filled with fine wine and death threats. Goes about as well as one can expect. Much of the page count explores the setting of Gemworld (yes I will continue calling it that for simplicity’s sake), including why it’s filled with humans and what the relationship between it and Earth is.
Oh, and the “Ghaggra Clan” is introduced. They’re some generic barbarian group who seem to be mercenaries. I say “seems” because the sum total we get is one page, four panels, depicting a woman named Niyati requesting leave to pursue the killer of her “mate”. It is a request we learn she’s made repeatedly, only to be denied by the chieftain because of lost honor or something. We don’t know who killed said mate, but I’m willing to be it’s someone from House Amethyst based on the laws of drama.
On that note, the backup story – a retelling of Beowolf in the context of a post-apocalyptic DC Earth – finishes up with this issue. Via the magic of exposition, the creator of the Grendel monster explains to a degree the backstory of the current state of the world and how they all fit into it.
My major complaint with this is how explicit the connection to the relative “present” of the DCU is made, both in terms used and art depicting it. This tale never shied away from depicting the remnants of the old world, but the characters always treated such things with the medieval world view. The charm lay in the disconnect. Now we have a woman who apparently knows generally what happened and what it all meant, and explains it as such. And the flashback panels directly show the Justice League fighting Darkseid.
I’m not complaining about the fact that it’s a post-nukes setting masquerading as a medieval one. I’m complaining about the mystique being torn away so readily. Especially since it would appear the adventures of Beowolf and Wiglaf aren’t even over. The end promises to return to it sometime next year, in the meantime exploring some other fantasy character.
Moving on back to science fiction, we have the long awaited end of a crossover series with (*Inhales) STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/DOCTOR WHO: ASSIMILATION 2 #8. You have no idea how much I’ll be glad to stop typing all that.
Oh wait, retrospective. Damnit.
So the Enterprise crew and the Doctor’s crew have made it aboard the Cybermen battle ship, en route to the Borg homeworld. Their mission: plug The Conduit – a Borg drone given emergency powers and made from Commander Riker’s best friend – into the Cybermen network and bring the Borg collective back online before the Cybermen claim the Borg entirely. The hitch: Cybermen are dangerous. Cybermen enhanced with Borg tech are more dangerous. Even more dangerous yet is a Cyber-Controller enhanced with Borg tech and immune to the Cybermen’s gold weakness.
And of course there’s the fact that, even if you help the Borg, they still want to assimilate you and everything else in the cosmos at the end of the day.
Of course they win – were you surprised – but my gripe comes when it’s time to split up again. The previous IDW crossover, Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes, just had the whole thing erased from history as a natural result of a time paradox. This time, when asked what would happen to all the Cybermen’s influence throughout history, The Doctor just said not to worry about it because it would just get undone. To this I call bullcrap. The Cybermen get destroyed and suddenly they were never here at all? How does that make any damn sense? It’s not like anything significant changes about Star Trek continuity, especially given they directly say that both groups will still remember this adventure (though naturally never speak of it again, for obvious legal reasons).
Maybe it’s just how long this went on, or how long it takes to type the name, or the hit-or-miss artwork. But I’m glad to move on from this experience.
Have you ever been with a piece of media you generally liked, but were really glad to see it end? Did DC make a mistake by putting two GL issues out in the same week? Should a book err on the side of subtlety? Leave your comments below. Feedback is always appreciated.