Weekly Awards For The Comic Books From October 28, 2008

All right, let’s go ahead and dish out The Revolution’s Weekly Awards.

The nominees for the Che for the best read of the week:

Captain America: Theater of War: Operation Zero Point #1
Incredible Hercules #122
Legion of Super Heroes #47
Nova #18
Superman #681

The Winner: Incredible Hercules #122

Legion of Super Heroes #47
Creative Team
Writer: Jim Shooter
Pencils: Rick Leonardi
Inks: Dan Green

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

I guess I am the only person who has absolutely loved Shooter’s run on this title. And I thought that Shooter did another fine job with Legion of Super Heroes #47. What I like so much about Shooter’s run is his incredible feel for the personalities of the various Legionnaires. This has been the first time since Levitz left the Legion that I felt that the writer actually knew and understood the characters in the Legion. Shooter simply gets it. Shooter understands the spirit of the Legion. Shooter understands the core themes that make the Legion so special.

Of course, it does not really matter since DC is going to unceremoniously junk the Shooter’s Legion in favor for what will probably be a third re-boot of the Legion. I am so sick of this. And I am sure that the Legion will be handed over to Johns so we can get “treated” with an ultra-violent, dark and “adult” Legion.

Nova #18
Creative Team
Writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Pencils: Wellington Alves & Geraldo Borges

Inks: Scott Hanna

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

DnA continue to deliver one of the best Secret Invasion tie-in stories on the market. Instead of relying on the headache inducing format of engaging in the always entertaining “You’re a Skrull! No! You’re a Skrull!” banter and meaningless “surprise” Skrull reveals, DnA take this opportunity to deliver a kick-ass action story fitting of a cosmic war.

I am glad that Wendell Vaughn is back and better than ever. It appears that Quasar’s body died during the Annihilus’ attack, but Wendell managed a Quantum Jump at the last moment to escape. Evidently, only his spirit made the jump.

DnA also brought back the Worldmind. I was glad that Worldmind finally returned since the chemistry between Worldmind and Nova is quite good and their banter is always entertaining.

But, the strength of this issue is that this was a fast paced read where DnA treat the reader to tons of adrenaline pumping action. The reader gets to see Nova, Quasar and Darkhawk kicking plenty of Skrull butt. The action scenes were well choreographed and built in intensity as the issue proceeded to the dramatic climax where our heroes saw the giant Skrull warship outside of getting ready to lay waste to Project PEGASUS since the Skrull ground troops failed to assume control of the facility.

DnA ended Nova #18 with an amazing hook ending. The reader sees the Skrull warship suddenly blow up in a brilliant explosion and then five Nova Corps Centurions arrive on the scene. I was thrilled to see the return of several Nova Corps Centurions. I am glad that after tearing apart the Nova Corps that DnA are setting about rebuilding it. If you are a fan of the Green Lantern Corps then you will probably enjoy Nova. This title offers the same type of exciting universe spanning, Science Fiction stories with an emphasis on action and adventure.

I already reviewed Superman #681. This was a solid issue and I enjoyed it, but it simply did not offer enough excitement in order to win the Che for the best read of the week.

I also already reviewed Captain America: Theater of War: Operation Zero Point #1. I loved this issue and it was a tough choice between this issue and Incredible Hercules #122. However, in the end I had to go with Incredible Hercules #122. I have already praised Incredible Hercules #122 in my review. This title is such a breath of fresh air and is an absolute blast to read. It is tough not to have a smile on your face when you are reading the Incredible Herc.

And now the nominees for the Sequential Methadone Award for the worst read of the week:

Justice League of America #26
Teen Titans #64

The Winner: Justice League of America #26

Teen Titans #64
Creative Team
Writer: Sean McKeever
Pencils: Fernando Dagnino
Inks: Raul Fernandez

Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 4.5 Night Girls out of 10

This was another pedestrian read. Teen Titans is rapidly becoming a dumb read. In this issue the Titans run off to take down Bombshell. Bombshell learns from her father, who is a general, that he enrolled her in the Project Quantum because he believed it would save her from the path that she was headed down. That Bombshell was on a path of self destruction and her father felt that Project Quantum would enable her to become the hero that her father always believed that she could be.

We then get the standard issue brawl between the Titans and Bombshell. During the fight Cassie is transported away by Zeus. The reader then learns that Ares’ son, Lycus, intends on murdering Cassie. Evidently, since Cassie rejected Ares in his offer to become his champion, Ares turned his eyes on his son to fill that role.

However, since Cassie did allow herself to take part of Ares’ powers for a limited time this caused her to lose the powers that Zeus gave her. And unfortunately, even though Cassie has now rejected Ares powers, her powers from Zeus will not return. The stronger Lycus gets the weaker Cassie gets. Zeus tells Cassie that he cannot interfere. Zeus then returns Cassie back to Earth.

We then see Bombshell and the Titans finally stop mindlessly brawling and realize that Bombshell is not a criminal and is a victim of whoever is abusing Project Quantum. Bombshell’s father asks her to go stay with the Titans so they can protect her while he tries and uncovers who is behind the abuse at Project Quantum.

The issue then ends with Lycus and his demonic dog attacking Cassie in her home. Honestly, this issue was just stupid. Why would Ares pick Cassie over his own son to be his champion? Why would Ares’ champion have to kill off Cassie in order to become Ares’ champion? And how useless was Zeus? This is such a goofy plotline. At no point was I even remotely interested in this silly story.

And Bombshell’s plotline also does nothing for me. It is rather shallow and unoriginal. It lacks any interesting hook that pulls me into this plotline. And those are pretty much the only two plotlines that McKeever has cooking on this title at the moment.

The character work continues to be completely non-existent. All of the Titans are rather shallow and one-dimensional. There is an alarming lack of chemistry between the various Titans. And chemistry had been one of the strongest parts of this title back when Johns was writing it.

McKeever’s dialogue is nothing more than your standard issue comic book dialogue. It is a bit generic and seems to read as if McKeever was rushing through this issue and failed to put much effort into crafting the dialogue.

Teen Titans #64 was an incredibly ordinary issue. This title offers nothing special or interesting that would make me recommend it to anyone outside of die-hard Teen Titans fans. Between McKeever’s Teen Titans and Winick’s Titans, it is a really bad time to be a Titans fan.

Justice League of America #26
Creative Team
Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Artist: Ed Benes

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10

This issue was a huge miss with me. If you are a fan of Vixen then you will probably enjoy this issue. Unfortunately, I am not a big fan of Vixen. This two-issue story arc has been a dull read. JLA #26 starts off slowly as it stumbles out of the gate with three pages of boring inner narration from Vixen.

We then get 11 pages where Vixen prevents the Paladin and Gordon from killing each other and then droning on and on about what happened in the last issue in order to convince the JLA of this altered reality that Anansi created to help her take on the Spider-God.

This takes us up to the final seven pages where Vixen confronts Anansi and we get a phenomenally unimpressive and anti-climactic ending to this story. Evidently, all Vixen had to do to get Anansi to return everything back to normal was threaten to destroy the totem. Seriously? That was it? And she could not have thought of that like in the first minute of dealing with this incredibly annoying and talkative Spider-God.

Anansi immediately returns everything to normal. We then learn that Anansi only controls the stories inside of the Totem. Anansi tells Vixen that the outside world has been altered on a fundamental level and that only one human is aware of this change and that he is devious and is attempting to use this change to his advantage. Anansi then tells Vixen that everything over the past two issues has just been a test. That Anansi had to “forge” Vixen like a blacksmith would a sword. That the chatty Spider-God needs more than just a guardian of the totem. Evidently, Anansi needs an agent of change.

Vixen’s powers are fully restored and so is her confidence and Anansi anoints her his “champion.” Anansi then says that the next time they meet they might be friend or foe because that is his nature. But, if Anansi calls on her again that he wants her to stay true to her own.

Dios mio, this was about the lamest ending to an equally pathetic two-issue story arc. The fact that this was all just a test was so anti-climactic. And the fact that Anansi attempts to talk the reader to death was another strike against this issue. McDuffie creates possibly one of the most uninteresting characters in Anansi. And McDuffie has Anansi continually re-hash the exact same dialogue over and over during the course of this two-issue story arc. Anansi’s dialogue read like a lesson in how many different ways McDuffie could write the exact same thing.

If JLA #26’s purpose was to get me to like Vixen’s character more then it failed. Instead, it just made me think that Vixen’s powers are based on a completely goofy and annoying Spider-God. This issue did no actual character work on Vixen at all. Her “struggle” and her “conflict” were paper thin and artificial. This was the most mechanical and generic attempt at character work.

And the inclusion of Buddy Baker into the previous issue made absolutely no sense at all. Why is that? Because Buddy does not appear at all in JLA #26. I have no idea why McDuffie felt compelled to needlessly shoehorn Buddy into this story. All I can hope for is that since Anansi stated he can only control stories inside of the Totem that this means that Morrison’s incredible work on Animal Man has remained unchanged. To think that McDuffie’s running roughshod over Morrison’s work on Animal Man was actual permanent and part of continuity would be depressing.

JLA #26 also did nothing at all for the JLA in general. This issue did not create nor advance any major story arcs actually involving the JLA. Instead, all we got was a two issue story arc that was nothing more than filler designed to burn time until the beginning of the Milestone story arc. Which, by the way, is another editorial mandated story arc designed to use the JLA as a vehicle to shill for characters and stories that will take place on other titles.

It is stunning at how far the JLA has fallen. The Justice League of America is supposed to be DC’s premier super team and one of DC’s flagship titles. Instead, the Justice League of America is probably one of DC’s weakest titles. The Justice League of America simply does not read like a flagship title.

DC needs to stop issuing editorial mandates to use the Justice League of America to shill for other characters and comic books. I think it is time for a change at the writer position and a strong dedication by the editorial staff to use this title to focus on building the JLA into DC’s premier super team. Because, at this point, I would say that the JSA is clearly the premier super team in the DCU.

So congrats to Incredible Hercules #122 for winning The Che Award of the week and “congrats” to Justice League of America #26 for winning the Sequential Methadone Award for the week.

3 Comments

  1. WTF? Not even a mention of Thor #11? I actually thought it was great, but since you’re big fans of the Norse God, I found it strange that there was not even a small review.

    PS: Let’s hope your next president doesn’t crap all over us this time 🙂

    Greets from Buenos Aires

  2. Hercules’s goofy grin and thumb-up sign alone made that issue an instant win. And Nova is kicking all sorts of ass. Cosmic Marvel is on the rise and its about time.

  3. Actually, you’re not the only one to love Shooter’s legion. I loved ’em under Shooter in the 60s and I love ’em now. I’m just really pissed off that DC are messing with them …again!! Anyway, let’s just enjoy the last few issues. Perhaps we can get Jim to do a special run just for the two of us?

    JLA – Couldn’t agree more. This title is getting worse by the issue. What is the matter with DC these days. I’m even thinking of going over to Brave and Bold permanently – I though Waid’s run was quite good and even the later issues haven’t been bad.

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