Kingdom Coming Back?


Justice Society of America #10

The Justice Society is rocked by the appearance of a new, older version of Superman. He’s a dead-ringer for Power Girl’s dead cousin from Earth-2, but he is in fact from Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ very popular “Kingdom Come” comic from a decade or so ago, which Starman identifies as Earth-22. The JSA are well and truly freaked out about him and lock him in their board room, fearing he’s some sort of evil duplicate. Supes and Obsidian have a heart-to-heart, then Supes busts out to go rescue a girl trying to commit suicide.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m still not sure that I like the idea of dragging “Kingdom Come” even this close to DC’s continuity, I do like Supes’ characterization a lot. It’s also nice to see Obsidian again, since he hadn’t done more than make single-panel appearances since this series re-launched. Also very awesome: Superman’s flashbacks to his home universe are lushly painted by Alex Ross himself.


Blue Beetle #20

This is a crossover with the Sinestro Corps War storyline going on over in the Green Lantern comics. One of the Sinestro Corps rings decides that Christopher Smith — thuggish biker, mentor to Jaime Reyes, and the former hero named Peacekeeper — should be the next member of the Sinestros, because he’s unknowingly carrying one of the scarabs created by the evil alien empire called the Reach. So Jaime’s stuck trying to fight off someone with all his powers plus the powers of the yellow power rings. Brik, one of the Green Lanterns, shows up to help, but they’re still getting skunked. Is there any way to beat both the scarab and the ring to save the man trapped inside?

The fact is that sales for this comic are way low — like “imminent cancellation” low. But DC knows they’ve got a great character here, and they don’t want to give up on the book — hence, you’ve got Beetle joining the Teen Titans and a crossover with DC’s very popular Sinestro Corps crossover here. Not sure this one is going to do the job — heck, we only get a brief glimpse of Jaime’s family and friends, and his supporting cast are just about the best thing about the comic. Still, “Blue Beetle” is one of DC’s very best comics, and I do hope that you — yes, you — will go pick up a few issues.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Even when it’s not at its best, this comic is very, very good.


Countdown to Mystery #2

In the feature story, the new Dr. Fate battles a demon on the mortal plane and in hell, and in his civilian guise as the homeless Kent Nelson, he gets a job picking up trash at a cheap motel. In the backup story, Darkseid tells Eclipso that it was actually created by the Lord of Apokolips, not by God, and Plastic Man goes off the deep end, attacking his son and teaming up with Woozy Winks to commit crimes.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Thumbs way, way down. The Dr. Fate story is fine, but there are no depths to my loathing of the Plastic Man story. Turning Plas into a supervillain is bad enough — and more than enough to earn the creators my undying hatred from now ’til the heat death of the universe — but revamping Woozy Winks from addled but good-natured doofus to hardened criminal? That’s the thing that really makes me mad. It’s everything that disgusts me about DC’s recent trends of embracing darkness and violence, and just disrespecting their characters and the artists who originally created them. It’s a stupid and self-destructive business strategy, as far as I’m concerned.

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