08 June, 2006

Capsule Reviews - Week of June 7

Still in crunch time mode, so only some more Capsule Reviews this week.

Wonder Woman #1 - Put simply, this was the best issue of the week. Great art, good writing, and a kick-ass set-up. By now, everyone and their brother knows that Donna Troy starts the series off in the title role, instead of Diana Prince. I know some people aren’t going to like it when I say this, but I for one hope that stays. I never was that much interested in the classic Wonder Woman, but Donna Troy has always been one of my favorite characters on the Titans - and she’s way overdue for a series of her own. I think she’d make an awesome Wonder Woman, if they’d only give her the chance. Well, it looks like Allan Heinberg is actually going to give her that chance, although I will hedge my words by mentioning that who will ultimately be the titled super heroine is still not clear by issue’s end. Still, it’s a great read, and a wonderful stepping on point for new readers. So, here’s hoping it’ll be Donna Troy’s title from here on out. Very much looking forward to the next issue. RATING: 4.5/5

52 #5 - This issue struck me as the weakest of the issues so far. Only two days in the week are covered, the first and the last, and virtually none of the main six characters see their plot advanced even one iota. Instead, we mostly are given the aftermath of the return of some of Donna Troy’s Space Patrol (tm) members from last issue. Hawkgirl is now 25 feet tall, Bumblebee is now 6 inches, Firestorm and Cyborg are fused together, and Mal has some pieces of Red Tornado (who exploded while in the zeta beam transport) stuck in him. But despite the sluggish pace, there was one major revelation: Mal at one point screams “Its coming! 52! 52!”, revealing that in fact the series title has more meanings than the one everyone has been assuming. The only other significant event about the issue is that we find Starfire, Animal Man, and Adam Strange stuck on a distant planet at issue’s end; they’re alive but marooned, with their only chance of escape a rickety spaceship that Strange is trying to repair - a task made even more difficult by the fact that he’s lost his sight. Anyway, the writing is good and the art is decent, although a little rushed looking in some places. Not the best issue of the series, but by no means is it dreadful. RATING: 3.5/5

Outsiders #37 - OK, what was the point of this issue? In fact, what was the point of the whole Mali storyline? The issue can be summarized as such: Alan Scot confirms the captured speedster is a clone of Jay Garrick and takes possession of it; the President of Mali is overthrown in a rather anti-climactic bloodless coup; Brain and Mallah spend some quality time together; and Nightwing threatens Superman. After spending several issues building up this intervention in Mali, the resolution to that plot seems just thrown randomly together and done for no other purpose than to get it out of the way so they can advance the story to the next villain du jour, namely Brain and Mallah of the Brotherhood of Evil. Its kind of frustrating, because reading the previous few issues you’d have sworn it was going to end with some confrontation between the dictator and the Outsiders. But we don’t get even that, although they do make the mistake of letting the Ruthless Dictator live (you know he's going to show up again someday). Well, all I can say is, at least it provides some background into what’s going on right now in Teen Titans. At least the art is pretty good; if I stick with this title, it’ll probably be because I like Matt Clark’s pencils and not because of the writing. Sorry, guys, but I’m not really digging this series. RATING: 2.5/5

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