Fun with Freaks!

Well, I never read any of “Flashpoint,” so you won’t get a review of that here. And I’m not a big fan of Geoff Johns anymore — I don’t like Brian Michael Bendis at Marvel, so why should I want his new clone working at DC? — so I didn’t pick up the new “Justice League” either. But don’t worry — there were plenty of other comics released this week…

The Goon #35

A new issue of “The Goon!” And it’s written by Evan Dorkin! The Goon and Franky stumble onto a creepy circus called Brigadoon’s Dreamland Carnival — and the entire thing is run by sideshow freaks! The freaks accept both Franky and the Goon — because heck, why wouldn’t they? But while looking around the carnival, our heroes discover that the entire thing is geared around torturing and murdering innocent normals. That’s too rotten for even Franky to stomach, but can even the Goon survive the Midgets of All Nations, the Ossified Man, or the monstrous Ten-in-One?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very good, very funny, and fantastic action. Evan Dorkin and Eric Powell should team up much more often, ’cause this was the most fun I’ve had reading a comic in ages.

Secret Avengers #16

So they said, “Hey, Scott, Warren Ellis is gonna be writing the ‘Secret Avengers’ comic.” And I said, “Yeah, sign me up for that.”

Our team includes Steve Rogers, Hank McCoy, the Black Widow, and Moon Knight. They’ve been sent on a mission deep underground, in one of the secret cities of the late and unlamented Secret Empire, because they’ve detected Von Doom Radiation — one of the radioactive emissions of time travel. They soon learn that a group called the Shadow Council has taken over the city and built a time machine large and powerful enough to annihilate the city above it — and any other city on the planet. Can four people stop an army and eliminate this threat to the planet?

Verdict: Ehh, kinda on the fence about this one. The action is good, the scale of the threat is impressive, and the dialogue seemed fine. But I just didn’t find myself as charged up about it as I expected. Maybe I got my hopes up too high?

Rocketeer Adventures #4

The anthology tribute to Dave Stevens‘ grand retro-pulp action hero wraps up with a trio of tales. First, Dave Gibbons and Scott Hampton take us beachside as the Rocketeer tries to save a champion surfer’s rare heirloom surfboard. Next, Joe Pruett and Tony Harris bring us a story of Cliff Secord’s trip under the sea as he takes on a Japanese submarine. And finally, John Arcudi and Brendan McCarthy introduce us to the Aeronaut, a Nazi rocketeer with a superior version of Cliff’s suit.

Verdict: Thumbs up. All the stories were a bucket of fun, with wonderful art and tons of outstanding pulp-hero action. My lone complaint about this issue — as it’s been with every issue of this series — is that we don’t get any of Dave Stevens’ classic stories to enjoy.

The Amazing Spider-Man #668

With tons of New Yorkers discovering their own spider-powers, Spider-Man is at a distinct disadvantage — his fellow superheroes can’t tell the difference between his imitators and the real deal! So the Wall-Crawler gets benched, but he still figures out a way to help — pretending to be just an ordinary New Yorker who’s discovered new spider-powers, he makes a video calling for other empowered New Yorkers to come help fight the bad guys. And of course they do — in droves. Swarms, even. Mayor J. Jonah Jameson deputizes everyone, and Peter Parker and his girlfriend Carlie Cooper get put in charge of weaponizing Spidey’s old high-tech costumes and later realize that the Jackal is probably behind all of this. How much trouble are they going to get into inside one of Miles Warren’s old hideouts? Probably a lot…

Verdict: Thumbs up. The story behind this seems to be developing pretty well. We get some great action, fun dialogue, and a lot of crazy superheroics. This one has been a lot more fun than I was expecting.

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