DOCTOR STAR & THE KINGDOM OF LOST TOMORROWS #4/ Story by JEFF LEMIRE/ Pencils by MAX FIUMARA/ Colors by DAVE STEWART/ Letters by NATE PIEKOS OF BLAMBOT/ Published by DARK HORSE COMICS
Review by MATT MORRISON
With his estranged son at Death’s Door, Dr. James Robinson – once the space-travelling superhero known as Doctor Star – seeks a way to make his peace with the dying young man he never got to know and couldn’t save.
A powerful conclusion to a thoughtful mini-series that was equal parts tribute to the super-science heroes of the Golden Age of Comics and Silver Age Science-Fiction as well as a deconstruction of how heroes and good people are not necessarily the same thing. Jeff Lemire, Max Fiumara, Dave Stewart and Nate Piekos have created a modern masterpiece and a must read for any fan of illustrated fiction and the superhero genre.
GREEN ARROW #41/ Story by MAIRGHREAD SCOTT/ Pencils by MATTHEW CLARK/ Inks by SEAN PARSONS/Colors by JASON WRIGHT/ Letters by DERON BENNETT/ Published by DC COMICS
Review by MATT MORRISON
When the power-absorbing Parasite requires an escort to a new metahuman prison, Green Arrow is called in by The Justice League. When Parasite manages to break loose and opens up an entire wing of the prison complex, can Green Arrow stand alone against an army of evil metahumans?
There are parts of this issue of Green Arrow that are perfect, such as the introduction in which Oliver Queen muses on the ironies of his life, like how he hates people who twist the rules to their advantage while hating rules himself. There are parts of this issue that had me raising an eyebrow, such as the idea that The Parasite can draw power from another person’s spit. (Logically, I guess this works if his powers require a DNA sample instead of physical contact, but it’s still weird…)
Then there are the parts that had me rolling my eyes, such as nobody respecting Green Arrow and asking why a “real superhero” isn’t doing this job (Uh – so there’s less chance of The Parasite absorbing a metahuman’s powers!) or the inherent lack of logic in moving a power-mimic into a metahuman-only prison in the first place.All of this ignores the obvious intent of the issue, which is to showcase Oliver Queen being ridiculously awesome against overwhelming odds. Which, ultimately, is what should happen in any Green Arrow comic pitting Oliver Queen against a metahuman opponent, let alone several of them.
Thanks to that, and Mairghread Scott’s flawless portrayal of Oliver Queen’s inner voice, the execution is far better than the base concept. The artwork is also amazing, with Matthew Clark, Sean Parsons and Jason Wright offering up a classic comic-book running battle that unfolds with a clearly defined sense of style and a perfect sense of pacing.
THE MAN OF STEEL #2/ Story by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS/ Art by DOC SHANER, JASON FABOK & STEVE RUDE/ Colors by ALEX SINCLAIR/ Letters by JOSH REED/ Published by DC COMICS
Review by MATT MORRISON
Lois Lane has disappeared and Clark Kent won’t say why. Even his friends in The Justice League can’t get him to open up about what has The Man of Steel so troubled and what happened to the woman he loves and their son. Meanwhile, on a distant world, an enemy with a grudge against all things Kryptonian has just learned of Superman’s existence…
If you are a fan of Brian Michael Bendis’ writing style, you will probably enjoy Man of Steel #2. If, like me, you find his dragging out story hooks for several issues before finally getting to a point tiresome, than you will probably spend most of the time spent reading this issue wishing you had waited for the trade-paperback release.
As with the first issue, the best parts of this comic are those that focus on Superman being Superman and fighting Toyman with the help of Green Lantern. Here, with no teasing about a mysterious new villain who apparently destroyed Krypton or a mysterious new reporter digging for information on who Clark Kent really is, we are free to enjoy a surprisingly silly fight that ends with Superman point-blank asking a villain “What is wrong with you?” and Green Lantern offering a sound-proof bubble to silence the ranting villain.
This might be more tolerable if the artwork weren’t equally divided. Doc Shaner’s work on the first half of the book is fantastic and there’s few artist-to-subject-matter pairings better than Shaner being asked to draw giant robots and the vintage Toyman’s antics. Steve Rude’s work on the second half is no less skillful, but I found his style a bit dark and over-inked for this story, even allowing that most of his segment is given over to Perry White lamenting the death of the newspaper.
Is this a bad comic? Not entirely. But it’s hardly the grand event it was promoted as.
SNAGGLEPUSS CHRONICLES #6/ Stories by MARK RUSSELL & BRANDEE STILWELL/ Pencils by MIKE FEEHAN & GUS VASQUEZ/ Inks by SEAN PARSONS & GUS VASQUEZ/Colors by PAUL MOUNTS & ROSS CAMPBELL/ Letters by DAVE SHARPE/ Published by DC COMICS
Review by ROY BUCKINGHAM
The final chapter of this miniseries jumps five years into the future. Snagglepuss’ career has been ruined due to HUAC blacklisting, but his actions and the tragedies he has faced have opened the doors to hope and action. They also lead to an unexpected comeback in the most unlikely form possible.
This finale not only delivers a fictionalized account of what created some of our favorite classic Hanna-Barbara cartoon shows, but reminds us that while there is always hope for the future, history should never repeat itself. Ugliness and bigotry only bring about more of the same and eventually they must die. This is a very powerful story that I wish had lasted longer than it did. Ultimately, it accomplished what it set out to do, and delivered a powerful and emotional ending in doing so.