The Brave and the Bold #12
It’s the final chapter of this progressively more and more epic storyline. Megistus has stolen Green Lantern’s power battery, leaving Hal without any way to recharge his power ring, and he’s taken it to the sun, turning it from yellow to green, depriving both Superman and Ultraman, his evil duplicate from Earth-3, of their powers. Megistus has stolen a variety of magical items and used them to attract a red cloud of radiation across the universe that has the same effect on all biological life that Red Kryptonite has on Superman — uncontrollable and painful mutation.
The Challengers of the Unknown borrow Wonder Woman’s invisible plane to fly all of them up to the sun to do battle with the mad alchemist. Once they get close enough to the sun, GL is able to leech away enough energy to power up his ring and let enough solar energy through to give the Kryptonians their powers again. While Megistus knocks Superman and Ultraman around, the Challengers try to shut down the artifacts, and GL tries to free Metamorpho and Firestorm from captivity. Supergirl and Power Girl join the fight, while on Earth, Flash, Wonder Woman, and the Teen Titans work to save people from the red cloud. But stopping Megistus and neutralizing the red cloud is going to require some sacrifice before it’s too late…
Verdict: Thumbs up. A nicely energetic and dramatic ending for this storyline. If I’ve got a complaint, it’s that we didn’t end up seeing all of the guest stars this series has spotlighted in the previous 12 issues. I know it would’ve made for a really large and unwieldy story, but I think it would’ve been fairly cool to see Batman, the Legion, Lobo, the Metal Men, and the Silent Knight in here somewhere…
Captain America #37
The Red Skull continues his plans to destroy America from the inside, as one of his stooge politicians announces a third-party bid for the presidency. Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes, the new Captain America, recovers from his recent injuries and gets into a fight with Clint “Hawkeye” Barton. After some weird dreams about Bucky and Cap fighting in World War II, Bucky meets up with Cap’s old friend the Falcon, who promises to give Bucky a chance to find his feet as a superhero. And finally, Carol Danvers Sharon Carter runs into someone who may be the resurrected Steve Rogers — but is the old Captain America now a pawn of the Red Skull?
Verdict: Thumbs up. The Skull’s conspiracy continues to expand in devious ways, building up a nice, nasty challenge to the fledgling Cap. Oh, and Bucky’s dream, where he and the original Cap yell things like “Look out for the Internet!” and “Let Bob Hope text her for you tonight at the USO show!”, is pretty gleefully wacky.
Powers Annual 2008
Much of this issue is actually written by “Powers” illustrator Michael Avon Oeming. We get another look into Walker Christian’s prehistoric past, when he served as the chieftain of a tribe of cave-dwelling early humans. He gets to fight a boar, a bear, and an early metahuman, and he gets himself some sweet, sweet lovin’ from a bikini-wearing cavegal.
Verdict: Thumbs down. Nothing against Oeming’s writing, but so help me, we’ve seen Walker-as-a-caveman before, and even with the thong-wearing cavegirl, this story wasn’t interesting enough to warrant going way back there again.
(Correction made — thanks to Jeff in comments for the tip.)