Calling Dispatch


Astro City #2

Our focal character in this issue is Marella, who has just taken a call center job — but it’s no mere phone bank. This is a job helping run the call center for the Honor Guard, the world’s premier team of superheroes. She and her coworkers take calls and emails from all over the world from people who need the help of the world’s greatest superheroes — and Marella has to work to determine which calls really need the Honor Guard and which can be handled by more mundane authorities. Everyone who works there wants the glory of being the person to supervise an alert for a serious Honor Guard emergency, but they don’t come often. Luckily, there are perks — travel around the world, getting to meet the Honor Guard, and much more. But there are some serious dangers if you ever screw up on the job…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic story and art. A fun glimpse behind the scenes at how a major superteam would operate — monitor duty for the whole planet wouldn’t be handled by just one overworked superhero, but by a team of dispatchers keeping track of potential crises. And I’m still just plain charged up that we’ve got Astro City comics on the shelves again. So yeah, people, go read this great stuff, alright?


Young Avengers #7

The Young Avengers are still roaming around Earth and space, avoiding New York City and any contact with their parents — otherwise, Mother, the interdimensional reality-warping parasite, is able to attack them. They tangle with a bunch of Skrulls (or at least “Skrulls”). Hulkling worries that Wiccan may accidentally be mind-controlling him. We learn that Marvel Boy actually has mind-control saliva. And Prodigy seeks the team out to recruit their help in finding Speed, who vanished mysteriously last issue.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great story and dialogue. Amazing art and design. People, this comic is just plain crazy-fun. And it looks like we get to go alternate-dimension hopping next issue, so come on, let’s go for a ride!


Worlds’ Finest #14

Desaad’s forces are still moving against Huntress and Power Girl, burning up their safehouses and labs and hideouts to force them into a direct confrontation. And eventually, a direct confrontation is just what he gets.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a simple enough plot, but there are lots of things to like about it. We get some nice characterization and dialogue, lots of fine action, and Desaad being a twisted freak. I’m enjoying Paul Levitz’s work on this one just fine.

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