Agents of Chaos

Chaos War #5

It’s the final battle against the Chaos King. Hercules is very nearly all-powerful, but is he all-powerful enough to take out the much more all-powerful Chaos King? Can Amadeus Cho get a few million humans transported into the artificial replacement universe, at the cost of billions of other lives? Or will he choke and doom all life to extinction? What great sacrifice will Hercules ultimately make to save everything?

Verdict: Thumbs up, with a number of reservations. I thought the solution to the problem of the Chaos King was a pretty good one. Not so sure I like a completely depowered Herc, though. Wait, was that a spoiler? There was also a resurrection of dead heroes — and I really couldn’t tell who they brought back. Was it just Alpha Flight? Or were there more? All in all, it just barely made the grade.

Zatanna #9

This one is vaguely problematic. Zatanna’s been tied up with marionette string by an evil ventriloquist dummy that has the soul of a murderous old puppeteer inside it. Once Zee gets the puppet confined, she… asks him to tell her his life story. And of course, he insists he’s not really evil. And Zatanna believes him! So its off to the family mansion to figure out a way to unpuppetize him. That’s the entire story in just 12 pages, which is kinda short for a lead feature.

The backup is pretty good — it focuses on “Zatanna, Junior Sorceress” — Zatanna when she was a preteen. She’s just gotten braces and she can’t talk clearly, and she has to figure out some way to stop a gunman when she can’t recite any of her backwards spells.

Verdict: I’m still giving this one a thumbs up. The first story is too short and makes very little sense… but the artwork by Cliff Chiang is, as always, fantastic. Much, much better is the backup — Zatanna as a teenager is just plain hilarious.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Wow, Kevin Church has just completely unexpectedly and somewhat abruptly ended “The Rack,” his long-running comic-shop webcomic. “FIGHT!“, luckily, is still going strong.
  • Scott Kaufman has an interesting discussion of race in comics, with examples from “Maus” and “American Born Chinese.”
  • And speaking of race in comics, David Brothers makes a short analysis of the career of George Herriman, creator of “Krazy Kat.”

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