Archive for Captain Britain

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The Goon #30

Bella, the love of the Goon’s life, is back. The Goon doesn’t want to talk to her, because she broke his heart. Franky doesn’t want her around because she makes the Goon crazy. The pitiful tale of Roscoe the Orphaned Werepup gets even more pitiful when he gets hit by a train. Labrazio takes some more revenge on the Goon’s allies. Buzzard has control of the Zombie Priest, but he runs into a monster called a woky that wants the answer to a question that Buzzard doesn’t know.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The woky is good and scary, and the soap opera that is the Goon’s life is full of more ups and downs. The story concludes in the next issue — expect a lot more fighting and a lot more awful stuff to happen to the Goon and his friends. This is a smack-jam awesome comic book — you should be reading every issue you can get your paws on.

Captain Britain and MI-13 #7

Plotka, the creator of the Mindless Ones, is running amok in Birmingham, creating slaves by offering people their hearts’ desires — and he manages to snag Captain Britain by offering him his long-lost wife, Meggan. Blade and Spitfire call a truce in their vampire-hunter-vs.-vampire-speedster brawl to join the fight against the monsters, but with Plotka creating more and more unstoppable Mindless Ones, does anyone have a chance of surviving?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wild stuff going on here. There are some surprising secrets revealed about the Black Knight’s Ebony Blade, Captain Britain’s fantasy of life with Meggan is well-done, and I’m glad Blade isn’t likely to turn out to be a one-shot hero-killer. I do wish they’d figure out some way to heal up Spitfire’s skeletal arm, though…

Manhunter #36

Manhunter and the rest of the Birds of Prey get out of Mexico, the Suicide Squad shuts down the sadistic Crime Doctor, Cameron Chase is pregnant, Dylan is on the run from the Joker, and Kate goes public with enough evidence to shut down unethical megacorp Vesetech, thanks to their tainted research into almost every piece of medical and drug treatment on the market. But all the publicity isn’t all good for Kate — it gets her screamed at by Amanda Waller, and Mr. Bones has to cut her loose from the DEO. On top of that, Kate doesn’t even know yet that her son has superpowers.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I still think the art is weird, but it’s kinda cool to have a comic where the hero delivers the coup de grace to a villain in the form of a lengthy analysis of legal and evidentiary issues.

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The Children of Gog


Justice Society of America #19

Power Girl is still stuck on Earth-2 and has enlisted the aid of that universe’s Mr. Terrific — just a university professor — in getting back home. David Reid is adjusting very well to becoming the massively powerful Magog, and Gog himself plans to roam the world, changing it into what he thinks is good, even if that means killing everyone who he decides is evil. Half of the JSA wants to stop him — half wants to help him. And of course, that means everyone’s going to fight.

Verdict: A big fat meh. It’s not badly done, but it’s completely pedestrian and dull. And the storyline has been going on for far, far too long.


Captain Britain and MI-13 #6

Something nasty is going on in Birmingham, as demonic forces are granting everyone the illusion of their greatest desires being fulfilled. Captain Britain a bit foolishly charges right in to try to fix everything. Spitfire has somehow survived getting a stake driven through her heart by Blade, and now the two of them are brawling throughout the crisis. Faiza Hussain, Pete Wisdom, and the Black Knight rescue Captain Midlands. Of course, the demonic powers behind all this have more tricks up their sleeves, and a few bargaining chips to try to tip everything to their advantage.

Verdict: I’m going to give it a slim thumbs up. The action is pretty good, the threat is convincingly portrayed, but this comic has been a bit nonstop from its beginning, and I’d like a chance to get to know some of the characters as people, not just as people stuck in big fights.

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Change We Can Disbelieve In

DC Universe Decisions #1

DC gets into election season by tapping conservative Bill Willingham and liberal Judd Winick to write about the impact of politics on the world of superheroes. An unknown villain is mind-controlling campaign workers into turning themselves into suicide bombers to try to assassinate a quartet of presidential candidates. The Justice League mobilizes, with everyone assigned to guard a candidate, either publicly in costume or undercover. Green Arrow breaks an unofficial superhero taboo by endorsing the liberal candidate he’s guarding.

Verdict: Thumbs down. This one already had an uphill battle, due to half of its writing team being an incompetent dope who is never happy unless he’s killing random characters. Yes, I mean Winick. Jeez, I hate that guy. Anyway, the investigation into the would-be assassin is entertaining enough, I suppose. We don’t really get much insight into the political beliefs of our superheroes — everyone knew Green Arrow was a liberal, and it was a pretty good bet that Lois Lane, daughter of a general, would be conservative. Perhaps a bit weirder is that Lois has no clue whatsoever about her husband’s political beliefs, and he absolutely refuses to tell her. Wow, that’s a really awful depiction of married people, don’tcha think? Superman keeps incredibly pointless secrets from his wife, and Lois Lane, big-time investigative reporter, can’t figure out what her husband thinks about the important issues of the day.

Captain Britain and MI:13 #5

Captain Britain is getting adjusted to his new powers, and Faiza Hussain and the Black Knight talk to Faiza’s overprotective parents, finally winning them over to accepting her new powers by showing off the shiny magic sword she pulled from a stone. Spitfire revels in her control over her vampiric nature, and everyone welcomes the team’s newest member, Blade. Hold it, Blade? Yeah, turns out he was brought up in England. Hey, wait a minute, Blade really, really doesn’t like vampires, does he?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A conditional thumbs up, as long as Spitfire gets outta this okay. I love the characterization they’re doing for Faiza Hussain — she’s really turning out to be a very appealing character.

The Spirit #21

A former crime boss named Buzz Viviano is facing regular attempts on his life in prison, and his old gang kidnaps Ellen Dolan, daughter of Commissioner Dolan and girlfriend of the Spirit, to try to get Viviano released. The Spirit has a makeup artist disguise him as Viviano so he can track down the gang and rescue Ellen. Unfortunately, the gang actually wants Viviano dead, so a nice big fight erupts. Ellen gets away, meets up with a cycle gang and enlists their help. The cops release the real Viviano, hoping he’ll lead them to the rest of the gang. The whole thing ends with a fairly epic brawl between the Spirit, the crooks, the bikers, and the cops, with Ellen enthusiastically joining in the mayhem.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The fight at the end is lots of fun, and the rest of the story is pretty good, too.

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Bats in the Belfry


Batman #679

In this issue: Batman’s craaaaaaazy.

He’s running around Gotham City dressed in a garish purple, red, and yellow version of his costume, he’s getting advice from Bat-Mite, who probably isn’t there at all, and he’s able to talk to gargoyles. He pulls out one of his teeth, because the Black Glove hid a tracing device there. Batman’s craaaaaazy.

But he’s able to capture and brutally interrogate Charlie Caligula from the Club of Villains, and Robin manages to elude Pierrot Lunaire and Springheeled Jack. The Knight and Squire are on the way, too. But Commissioner Gordon’s stuck in a deathtrapped Wayne Manor, Alfred has been tied up and beaten, Nightwing is scheduled for a lobotomy in Arkham Asylum, Jezebel Jet has been captured, and the Black Glove claims to be Thomas Wayne, Batman’s father. And the Joker is still waiting in the wings…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Utterly madcap lunacy. Does anyone know where Grant Morrison is going with this? Does Grant himself know? I reserve the right to hate where everything may wind up, but for now, wow, what a ride.


Captain Britain and MI:13 #4

Captain Britain has returned to life, pulled Excalibur from the stone, and has taken the battle to the evil super-magical Skrull. Dr. Faiza Hussain is trying in vain to save the life of the Black Knight. Pete Wisdom, Spitfire, and John the Skrull have been captured by the Skrulls in the other-dimensional Avalon. The Skrulls kill John for mouthing off, but Captain Britain manages to kill the head Skrull, returning magic to Avalon. At this point, all the supernatural evil in Britain is empowered to return to earth, but because Wisdom freed them, they grant him a single wish. Can he manage to use one wish to save everyone?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent action all around. Good character bits for Faiza Hussain and Pete Wisdom. Haven’t really seen very much from Spitfire — hope that changes soon. Looks like the new team will have their hands full taking care of all those evil spirits, too. I’m disappointed that John the Skrull exited the scene so quickly, though.

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Foreign Relations


Urban Myths #1

Part of Top Cow’s “Pilot Season” promotion, this one is set in a world where the culture and magic of Ancient Greece survived to the present day. All the buildings look like Greek temples, the cops are centaurs, fauns throw frisbees in the park, minotaurs drive beat-up junker pickups. Our protagonist is a private eye named Jack Kaklamanis, but everyone calls him Jack Medusa, because his mom was, um, the Medusa. That means Jack has snakes for hair, and he has to wear a metal mask to keep from turning everyone around him to stone. One of his few allies is his blind, widowed dad, who helps maintain his mask.

So Jack has been hired to track down a missing girl. He petrifies a couple of redneck cyclopes, but is making no real progress in the case — until he realizes that the girl’s father died recently, so she may have decided to make an unauthorized trip to Hades to visit him. So Jack has to travel to the Underworld to retrieve her, and he has to hurry, or they’ll both be trapped there forever…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Jack Medusa is a really entertaining and appealing character, and the Greek setting is simultaneously familiar and alien, so it looks like the kind of place where you’ll always find something interesting.


Captain Britain and MI-13 #3

The Skrulls have invaded England and taken control of Avalon, the source of Earth’s magic. Things look hopeless — the normal humans and superheroes in England can’t stand long against the Skrulls, the few heroes and mystical creatures left in Avalon can’t hold out long, no one’s left who’s noble enough to draw Excalibre from the stone, and Pete Wisdom is going to have to turn to the forces of evil to fight the alien hordes. But it turns out that unleashing the evils in Avalon, he’s also empowered Merlin himself to work his magic, which he uses to resurrect a certain recently-deceased superhero.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The whole thing was pretty good (John the Skrull and Faiza Hussain are great fun), but this really earns its marks for the scene with all the British flags being whipped off their flagpoles to form the new body of Cap Britain…

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The Sword in the Stone


Captain Britain and MI:13 #2

The Skrulls have invaded England, established a beachhead in Avalon, source of the world’s magic, and blown up Captain Britain. Pete Wisdom is hearing mysterious voices urging him onwards, Dr. Faiza Hussain has escaped death and somehow developed superpowers, and the Skrulls are slaughtering the Fae and mythological figures right and left. The only hope is for someone to pull Excalibur itself from the stone… but what if no one’s worthy to wield the legendary sword anymore?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice, desperate action, lots of nasty Super-Skrulls, and interesting stuff going on with Dr. Hussain and the Black Knight. Not quite as much characterization as I’d prefer, but this is taking place in a war zone — kinda hard to get into a lot of personality quirks in that kind of setting.


B.P.R.D.: War on Frogs #1

A story about the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense that’s not written by Mike Mignola? In this case, our writer is John Arcudi, who’s written more than his fair share of tales from the Hellboyverse. This one is a flashback in which the late Roger the Homunculus goes on a mission to round up the frog monsters who attacked Hellboy and Abe Sapien in one of the first “Hellboy” comics. Roger tracks them to an underwater lair where they’ve set up a shrine to their late mother and their old way of life. Does Roger have what it takes to fight off two frog monsters at once?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s really nice to see Roger again.


Wonder Woman #21

Back in the real world, Director Steel assigns Tom Tresser to investigate Diana Prince and Etta Candy to find out if they’re secretly Amazons in league with Gorilla Grodd. (“Amazons in League with Gorilla Grodd” would be a killer band name.) This leads to problems when Tresser thinks he’s discovered Grodd in Diana’s apartment only to find the intelligent gorillas who are living in Diana’s apartment. Meanwhile, in where ever the heck Wonder Woman has ended up, she and Beowulf are fighting off a bunch of demon-possessed peasants, and Diana finds herself struggling against her growing bloodlust. They also meet up with the Stalker, who tells them his origin — unwisely bargaining his soul away for immortality. To gain his soul back, he has to kill a powerful demon. Diana and Beowulf agree to assist, and they go to enlist Claw the Unconquered, an old DC fantasy character, in the quest, and Diana discovers that she’s acquired a deformed, demonic hand, just like Claw.

Verdict: Ya know, when I read the summary above, it sounds absolutely rollicking. But it isn’t. It’s actively uninteresting. This should be the type of thing where you blow your mind six or seven times just reading the book, but it’s criminally boring. Thumbs down.

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Rule, Britannia!


Captain Britain and MI: 13 #1

The first issue of this new title hits during Marvel’s “Secret Invasion” crossover event. And for a Secret Invasion, it doesn’t seem to be very secret, what with all the Skrulls and Super-Skrulls running around out in the open, blowing up London, and all that. Anyway, our heroes here include British heroes like Captain Britain, Pete Wisdom, the Black Knight, a speedster named Spitfire, a seemingly-normal physician/superhero fangirl named Faiza, and a guy called John the Skrull, who is a renegade Skrull who looks just like John Lennon.

No one knows why the Skrulls are hitting England so hard — there are a lot more superheroes and resources in America, after all — until someone realizes that the Skrulls are after Avalon, one of the primary sources of magic on Earth. Can the team stop the Skrulls in time? And why is Pete Wisdom hearing voices in his head?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m digging the characters, particularly John the Skrull and Dr. Hussain. Tons of personality there, and frankly, with all the other team members, too.


B.P.R.D.: 1946 #5

The conclusion of the series brings us American and Soviet soldiers fighting rampaging Nazi cyber-gorillas, Nazi cyber-chimps speaking German, an evil Nazi head in a jar, and Nazi vampires on a rocket to America! You cannot possibly read this story without your head exploding with 100% Pure Awesomeness!

Verdict: Thumbs up? Naw, thumbs up like craaaaazy!


Titans #2

There’s still someone trying to track down and kill the Teen Titans — like all the Teen Titans, current and former. Everyone figures it’s Trigon, so Raven goes off to psychically confront her dear old dad, finding him in really awful shape. But he says he’s still powerful enough to do serious damage to the Titans and to Earth. And Raven learns that Trigon has help in his quest to kill the Titans — namely, his other children.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Ye gods, this has gotta be the worst comic I’ve read in months. The dialogue is absolutely moronic, the plotting is determinedly dorky, and the art by Joe Benitez is just astoundingly, vomitously bad. I was willing to give this title a chance after the first issue, but this issue is way, way beyond my ability to tolerate. I’m dropping it, with a song in my heart and bile in my throat.

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