Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday Is Black & Bitter For All I Care #61

Blackest Night #8
Green Lantern #52 (2010)
Justice League Rise and Fall Special #1
Ultimate Comics New Ultimates #1

In case you're wondering, I'm aware I suck for moving ...nurgh... to 999 Backburner Court. I'm working on a ton of stuff, but things will get better with time.

Blackest Night #8 (DC, 2010, $3.99)
Okay, so, many dozens of comics later, we still lack any real resolution to this story. Sinestro becomes a White Lantern, fights Nekron for a few pages, then gets his new status revoked in a conveniently non-lethal fashion. The Black Lantern Justice League, which I’ve been waiting something like six months to pay off in spectacular fashion, amounts to a minor plot complication over two pages. Goddamnit, all those shitty repetitive tie-in books with one or two zombie heroes/villains each, and we couldn’t find a place for one nice throwdown or outright massacre involving an entire team of bloodthirsty, undead Leaguers? You do realize the Black Lantern Detroit League (Vibe, Steel & Dr. Light) got three issues to fuck shit up, right? But no, we’ve got to get to the second double page spread of the issue, in which everyone fights everyone without much of anything happening. That’s followed by another half-spread of the Skittles Lanterns Corps all blasting Nekron at the same time, yet again to no appreciable effect. Next, two pages of Hal Jordan and Barry Allen arguing optimism over nihilism with Black Hand, because I guess some lame ass moral had to be squeezed into this mess somewhere. Next, Jordan picks up where Sinestro left off and deputizes all of the Pseudo-Black Lanterns into White Lanterns, in another friggin’ spread. I swear, this is getting pornographic in only the most sexlessly geeky manner.

Somwhere along the way, Deadman, who has been drifting in the background for many issues without contributing anything, provides the dues ex machna to defeating Nekron. This comes directly out of his pasty white ass, without either foreshadowing or a lick of sense. At this point, the story kicks into hardcore set-up mode for the next several epic mini-series to come, forgetting along the way to actually finish this one. There’s a quadruple spread of fan servicing but otherwise arbitrary resurrections, which makes me realize that most of the character deaths I dismissed as impermanent earlier in the series were as real a deal as comics get. I haven’t decided if that recognition makes me want to reconsider the weightiness of this featherlight story, or if I’m just annoyed at another mass killing of C-listers to lay claim to a body count. Regardless, most of the rest of the book goes to character moments in order to pay off the resurrections emotionally, neglecting how this turn effectively killed the engine on this ride in the middle of the freeway, expecting to glide onto the shoulder in neutral. There’s like, three pages of “dude, somehow we managed to not get hit by another car, and someday, I’ll totally tell you why we did that shit.” Or don’t. I don’t care all that much, come to think of it. The art was nice, there were some memorable moments, and several characters I like who got killed off are back in the toybox. We as a collective readership tossed through these pages, played with ourselves, and can now flush our cleansing tissues down the toilet. It wasn’t bad as masturbation goes, but let’s not make a big deal of it. Once you start marking epic autoerotic “dates” on the calendar, you’ve pretty much given up on a life worth living.

Green Lantern #52 (DC, 2010, $2.99)
Okay, the entire back story of Blackest Night is that it’s a new take on discredited creation theories from the days of the general acceptance of a flat Earth. I’m not going to take allusions to Biblical events in this story literally, because the Bible itself isn’t meant to be read that way, but it still comes across as silly and unimaginative. Devoting most of the story pages to this drivel and a bunch of spreads that could really use stronger inks equals filler, I figure. Another thing that bugs me is why do omnipotent beings always get so much done in the far distant past, then sit out every comic event in history until this one, which rarely amounts to anything. Millennium set up a perfectly reasonable excuse for Blackest Night, that the next generation of Guardians were set to be born on Earth, but the New Guardians that showed up in 1987 couldn’t be trusted to guard against a low level villain team. So hey, this could have been the real first new Guardian. Then the White Guardian could have gotten killed, but shoved Nekron up his asshole as his first and last glorious act, safeguarding the universe until some other writer decided to pull Nekron out of the divine shitter. Everyone could have weeped, dead heroes could still come back, maybe throw in a warning to start recycling or stop global warming, and GTFO. There. I just wrote you a better story. Gimme $5.

The always superior John Stewart does manage to command a strike force in ending the threat of an entire planet of Black Lanterns, to which I say “boo-yah,” since it once again reasserts how much better at this shit Stewart is than anyone else. I do wish they’d lay off the military-related ring constructs though, as Stewart used to be known for architecture more than firepower.

Justice League Rise and Fall Special #1 (DC, 2010, $3.99)
I ordered this crap when I thought it was going to be about Ollie getting a mad-on over the crippling of his junkie loser ex-sidekick. I didn’t know I was signing on for killing little girls, which I’m really not down for in a fucking super-hero comic, especially when she was the best thing about the ex-sidekick.

I used to like Ollie Queen, but he’s grown too shrill and oblivious to actual human suffering in the face of using it to excuse his attitude and actions. Now there’s this special devoted to explaining all the dumb crap that happened in other books related to Justice League: Cry For Justice that had everybody scratching their heads. It’s pretty shoddy, with three disparate pencil artists, none really hitting the mark, and a script that’s only serviceable when compared to how dreadful everything that preceeded it was. I also love the high horse Barry “Fled a Murder Rap by Going to the Far Future, Then Dying” Allen and Hal “Parallax slaughtered hundreds” Jordan got up on about the execution of a shitheel like Prometheus. Man, is the DC Universe a cesspool of hypocrisy and poor planning, or what?

Ultimate Comics New Ultimates #1 (Marvel, 2010, $3.99)
A sixpage foldout cover by Frank Cho! Of, like, Orcs, and some Lockjaw looking mother fuckers. Noe of which are exactly hyper detailed, plus there’s no gorillas or titties. Ivan Reis really shit in your salad this month, huh Cho?

The only thing more redundant than the title of this title is the book itself. Nobody wants to read Jeph Loeb on the Ultimate Avengers, especially when Mark Millar’s already doing that series with an artist who can produce. This whole issue is recap of the universally panned Ultimatum, plus Ultimate Defenders, and clearly uninspired art. Since going post apocalyptic is usually the death knell of a sub-line, how many more months do you figure Ultimate Comics has? Also, how many times do you figure Loeb can play the sympathy card regarding the tragic death of his son, because both of his Ultimate books reference it, and this time I really felt ill from the air of exploitation.

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