Under the Gun


Batman and Robin #5

The Red Hood and Scarlet have got the drop on Batman and Robin, who are trying to stop them from wantonly slaughtering criminals. They make their escape, and we learn that the Red Hood is actually Jason Todd, the second Robin, back from the dead, with yet another new costume, and the same old rotten attitude. For some reason, he now has red hair with a white streak down the middle. He looks like a younger, angstier Jason Blood. What the heck is up with that? Anyway, there’s a new villain who’s come to town — an assassin named Eduardo Flamingo, who just flew in on a pink plane from South America with a whole bunch of beautiful women — all of whom he’s killed by cutting off and eating their faces. And the guy’s gunning for the Red Hood and Scarlet.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not real thrilled with the odd revamp of Jason Todd’s hair color. (And a tad disappointed that it’s Jason under the hood and not the Joker) But the rest is pretty good. Wow, who woulda thought a guy named Flamingo would be so creepy?


Green Lantern #46

Zamaron, the homeworld of the Star Sapphires, is under attack by the Black Lanterns and the Sinestro Corps. Sinestro and Carol Ferris are sniping at each other when Hal Jordan and members of the Indigo Tribe arrive. They reveal how to defeat the zombies — expose their rings to light from more than one color of power ring, and the Black Lanterns collapse. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop everyone from fighting each other. And even more unfortunately, the Black Lanterns are able to resurrect the crystallized, embracing skeletons that the Star Sapphires revere, prompting the near-total destruction of the Star Sapphires.

Hal, Carol, Sinestro, and Indigo-1, the leader of the Indigo Tribe, retreat to Korugar, Sinestro’s home planet, which has been taken over by the guy who’s trying to take control of the yellow rings, Mongul. Of course, there’s a huge struggle between Sinestro and Mongul. But the Black Lanterns are in hot pursuit, leading to the arrival of the newest zombies — some of the most important people in Hal’s and Sinestro’s lives.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The zombies are a bit less over-the-top, which is a good thing, because it gives our main players a lot of great chances to interact, conflict, and play against each other. The characterizations here are really wonderful, as is Doug Mahnke’s stellar artwork. And I gotta say, the best moment of this issue was the revelation of who the crystallized skeletons on Zamaron originally were…


Marvel Mystery Handbook 70th Anniversary Special

Like all the Marvel Handbooks, this is a collection of biographies and stats for various Marvel characters. The emphasis in this one, obviously, is on many of the characters from Marvel’s Golden Age during World War II. This includes everyone from well-known heroes like Namor, the Human Torch, and Toro to much more obscure ones like Philo Zog, Taxi Taylor, Flexo, the Phantom Reporter, Mister E, and the Black Widow, a Satanic superhero.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of goofy Golden Age fun to be had here, and reading all of it will take days. Even with the sky-high five-dollar price tag, that’s a pretty good bargain.

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