Armor Wars


The Brave and the Bold #25

DC’s strategy for re-introducing Milestone’s old characters back into continuity seems to involve giving them guest-star appearances in “The Brave and the Bold” — so be it, as y’all are well aware by now, I’m a sucker for the characters from the ’90s classic Milestone Media. In this issue, we’ve got Milestone’s Hardware — basically, he’s Iron Man with a rotten attitude — teaming up very reluctantly with Jaime “Blue Beetle” Reyes to take down an advanced high-tech SYSTEMatic — a powered armor drone working for an international criminal conspiriacy called SYSTEM. Unfortunately, Hardware really prefers to work alone, so even though he’s getting clobbered by the SYSTEMatic, he’s refusing all assistance from Blue Beetle. After Hardware gets his power drained by the SYSTEMatic, Beetle is able to give him a jump-start with his own armor. But will the villain still be too tough for both of them working together? And who’s behind the new redesign of the SYSTEMatics?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good characterization for both characters. I’ve got quibbles about the SYSTEMatic’s power levels and the guy pulling the strings back at SYSTEM, but as long as this issue includes both a Milestone character AND the Blue Beetle, there’s not much doubt that I’d love it.


JSA vs. Kobra #2

The international religious/terrorist organization is back and stronger than ever, as the JSA learns when it becomes clear that the bad guys have successfully infiltrated both Checkmate and S.T.A.R. Labs. And again, Kobra uses misdirection perfectly — while the Justice Society fights off a horde of cultists, a single Kobra operative manages to sneak into a big corporate office and get information about a project that could help Kobra destroy the world.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A bit odd that we see so few members of the JSA — it’s primarily just Mr. Terrific, Power Girl, and Green Lantern — but I do like the idea of a Kobra organization that’s both perfectly competent and screamingly scary.


Sir Edward Grey, Witchfinder: In the Service of Angels #1

Meet Sir Edward Grey, dashing nobleman, detective, and occult investigator. Called in to investigate a series of mysterious murders, he interrogates a man who participated in an expedition with all the victims. The found the shattered skeleton of some sort of animal-human hybrid, and ever since then, they’ve been getting killed off in surprising ways. When a monster attacks and kills the final victim, Grey attempts in vain to apprehend a creature that can be solid one moment and mist the next. Can Grey follow the clues to track his adversary, or is it already too late?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Mike Mignola doesn’t often leave the pulp horror genre, so this foray into Victorian detective mystery/ghost story is notable and interesting for that alone. Sir Edward makes an excellent stoic hero, and the murders and setting here are excellently eerie.

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