Friday, July 19, 2019

Review: Jimmy Olsen #1


These are great times to be a Superman Family fan. Superman has seen something of a renaissance under Brian Michael Bendis. A Supergirl book is on the rack. It has all but been confirmed that a Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes book is happening. Lois Lane has a solo book. And now, another title hits the stands.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #1, the first part of a 12 part maxi-series, came out this week and was a funny, fast paced, entertaining romp through the Superman universe. If the Superman books are standard super-heroics and Lois Lane is a gritty, topical look at the more noir aspects of Metropolis, Olsen is a weird, Vertigo-lite, Silver Age crazy book. Writer Matt Fraction seems to have embraced the wackiness of Olsen's classic title, showing us the strange events that seem to gravitate to Mr. Action. Throw in a number of new characters who could be a supporting cast and you have a heady brew. I loved it.

And the decision to have Steve Lieber on art is something of an inspired choice. This is going to be a crazy book, no doubt. But you can lean a little too hard into the weirdness. Pick an artist that is too stylized or too cartoony and it becomes a caricature. Pick someone too photo-realistic and it is jarring. Lieber walks that fine line. This is solid, realistic art which makes the craziness seem that much more insane. These events are happening in a grounded world.

I don't know if I was ready for the sort of 4-page mini-burst rapid fire story telling of this issue. But if that is going to be the feel of the series, I'll be okay. You can't settle in. Things happen, happen fast, and then we are off to the next thing. This is a sprint of a book, perfect for Jimmy.

On to the details!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Luma Lynai Sighting: Green Lantern #9



I have been enjoying the new The Green Lantern comic for all its Grant Morrison zaniness. Now I am a Morrison apologist and almost nothing he does is going to fall flat for me. But the scope of this book so far has been insane. And for once, I actually sort of like Hal.

One thing that has always impressed me with Morrison is his knowledge of continuity lore and his willingness to include comic history in his stories.


So I was both thrilled and not surprised to see Luma Lynai appear in The Green Lantern #9.

And I love the way artist Liam Sharp draws her. Just spectacular.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Leviathan Theory - Clues In Event Leviathan #2



My Leviathan Theory basically is that Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle, is Leviathan.

The seed was all the Watchmen overtones I saw in the initial clues. That led me into thinking the Leviathan group is basically the Charlton Heroes of Earth-4 now united by Ted to be the Leviathan organization. Between Monarch-looking enforcers and a high ranking female Leviathan operative, I can easily see Captain Atom and Nightshade in the mix.

Moreover, I have this sense that this Ted has seen it all ... or remembers it all. He remembers being killed by Max Lord, at the time the head of Checkmate. He remembers the betrayals and the Crises. He is spurred to action.

And in last week's Event Leviathan #2, several clues were dropped which help bolster my opinion.



I already covered all the clues from the solicited cover here. Looks like my thoughts on the cover being an homage of Justice League #1 was on the money. On Twitter, artist Alex Maleev said it was not coincidence the cover looked that way.

Now, let's take a look into the issue and start a deeper dive. And get ready for a long read. Because conspiracy theories can be rambling.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Review: Superman #13


Superman #13 came out last week and was an interesting issue, basically a flashback to the days before Krypton exploded. We have seen Jor-El pleading to the Science Council in just about every incarnation of the Superman origin. This time we see him pleading to another group, the Circle. And finally, it is revealed he was part of that group.

When Brian Michael Bendis came on board and talked up Man of Steel, he said that he was going to tell a story about Krypton's destruction, answering a question that hadn't been asked before. And this issue feels like a sort of pre-quel to Man of Steel in many ways. We have seen that Rogol Zaar initiated the destruction of Krypton. Now we know that Jor-El was involved with the Circle and might be complicit in some of that group's more unsavory interactions with cultures. I haven't really enjoyed this demolition of Jor-El from brilliant scientist to sociopathic madman now to historical murderer. So much for the House Of El being a noble house on Krypton, differentiating itself from others. Now they are just as much in the mud.

At least Superman calls his father out for these actions. I guess here nurture overcame nature.

The art is predominantly by Brendan Peterson, covering the flashback portion of the issue. The art is stylish with almost a Cully Hamner feel. Ivan Reis does the present time portion with his usual classic look.

Alas poor Jor-El. I thought I knew you well. On to the book.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Review: Supergirl #32


Supergirl #32 came out last week, another chapter in the House of El storyline, trying to tie up the Rogol Zaar storyline started in Man of Steel before the Event Leviathan mega-arc takes over the focus of the super-books.

As such, and no big surprise given some of the turns in the Supergirl title, things happen rather quickly here. In some places, too quickly.

I also think there was something of a missed opportunity here. Superboy joined Supergirl on this mission. And yet, he is only in the beginning and the ending of the book, sort of disappearing in the middle without much explanation. It's a shame because their interaction in the few pages they share is well done, the sort of banter cousins would have.

But once again we have an uneven presentation of Supergirl who floats between overpowering rage and unflinching morality depending on the whim of the script. Since this is an even issue, she is measured in her actions. Were this an odd issue, she would be the Queen of the Axe coming within millimeters of decapitating someone. (I kid. But it seems that random.) Marc Andreyko has yet to show me he has an understanding or even a foundation for the character.

The art is done by Kevin Maguire and is his usual top notch stuff. Really love his take on Jon.

On to the book.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Review: Event Leviathan #2


Event Leviathan #2 came out this week and was another interesting chapter in this ongoing, all-reaching mystery. I feel like this series is going to have a pace like a snowball rolling down a mountain. We are still just building momentum. But as this moves on, my guess is things will go faster and crazier.

The first issue ended with Damien Wayne wondering if the Red Hood was Leviathan. After all, some of the aspects of these attacks sound like something that Jason Todd would do. This issue is Batman questioning Red Hood, trying to see if this allegation by Damien holds any weight.

Now admittedly, I am not a Jason Todd fan. I don't read the Red Hood. But my interactions with him in passing make me think that he isn't a team player. He isn't a leader. And he doesn't seem like one to be as organized as the Leviathan attacks have been. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

But the bulk of this issue is this quasi-interrogation. But there are clues sprinkled throughout, most of them in a scene between Plastic Man and Leviathan himself. Some of these definitely add to my theory, all of which will be laid out in a separate post.

Alex Maleev continues to stun me with his art and colors here. From the varied dappled nighttime scenes to the cool, in control 'green' of the Question, to the bright reds when action unfolds, this whole thing works.

I am totally on board here.

On to the story.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Leviathan Theory - A Clue In Harley Quinn?


You all know my Leviathan Theory.

I have spoke of Anchoring Bias, the idea that once you have an idea, you cannot move from it.

Now I am manifesting Confirmation Bias, the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or theories.

I believe that Leviathan is Ted Kord.

Now I am seeing confirmation of that idea just about everywhere. Even in comics outside of Event Leviathan and Action Comics.

But a Levithan Theory clue in Harley Quinn #63 ?