Archive for Green Lantern

What is Best in Life?

People, I don’t have much of anything I want to blog about today, so I’m just gonna sit here and deliberately stir up trouble.

What I am about to reveal here is the complete, objective truth.

For example:

Who was the best Green Lantern?

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Answer: Kyle Rayner.

No, definitely not Hal Jordan. He’s always been a shallow, generally uninteresting character. “Fearless test pilot” isn’t a personality all by itself, and the people out there who seem to freakin’ worship Hal strike me as some of the weirdest people on earth. Yes, that includes the “Hal’s Emerald Attack Team” fanatics and Geoff Johns. As for the rest of them, Guy Gardner’s generally fun, but he’s mostly a gag character. I like John Stewart, especially in the Justice League cartoons. Simon Baz is too new. But Kyle, the last Green Lantern, uncertain, awkward, crab-masked, completely aware of his own fears, freelance artist with the no-yellow-impurity power ring? Kyle was the best.

Who was the best Flash?

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Answer: Wally West.

Definitely, definitely not Barry Allen. Having a crew cut and a bow tie makes him the *worst* Flash. Wally was funnier, cooler, more interesting in every possible way — and of course, he was far, far, far faster.

Who was the best Robin?

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Answer: Dick Grayson.

Really, I guess the best answer would be “Anyone but Jason Todd.” Because I really like all of the Robins. But Dick was the first Robin, he was Robin for the longest time, and he eventually ended up being the best possible Nightwing, so I’m giving the circus kid the crown.

Who was the best Batgirl?

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Answer: Stephanie Brown.

Not to take anything away from Barbara Gordon or Cassandra Cain, because they were pretty cool, but as grim and gritty as the Bat-verse generally is, it was just plain awesome to get to read a Bat-title every month where the lead character wasn’t an emotionally-crippled basket case. Steph was fun and funny and had the best dialogue.

Who was the best Aquaman?

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Answer: Bearded, hook-handed Aquaman.

Because I don’t care who writes him, the clean-shaven, orange-shirted nonentity from “Super Friends” just sucks on every possible level.

Who was the best Hawkgirl?

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Answer: Kendra Saunders.

Mostly because I liked the idea of a Hawkgirl who, at least initially, didn’t want to be the back half of “Hawkman and” — she didn’t love Hawkman, and she wanted to be her own person. She was even in relationships with people other than Hawkman. Eventually, she fell in love with Hawkman in a way that felt more organic, realistic, and worthwhile, and that was fine with me. She certainly didn’t deserve to get exit-stage-lefted the way she did…

Who was the best Green Arrow?

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Answer: The one with the beard.

I liked Connor Hawke, but he’d never be the equal of his dad. And Ollie without a beard just looks like a dork, so he’s gotta have the ridiculous beard.

Who was the best Hulk?

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Answer: Angry green stupid Hulk.

I liked the Professor Hulk, actually. And the Green Scar was cool. Joe Fixit is always fun. But angry green stupid Hulk is the strongest one there is.

Who was the best Spider-Man?

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Answer: The Peter Parker married to Mary Jane Watson.

Because Spider-Man isn’t Otto Octavius, and he doesn’t make deals with the Devil.

What are the best zombies? Fast or slow?

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Answer: Slow zombies.

To quote Max Brooks: “Ha ha, there are no such things as fast zombies!”

So there we go, friends and neighbors, all the mysteries of life cleared up. Go on about your business, please.

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Because You Can’t Spell “Douche” Without “DC”

So DC has solicits up for their September comics, including their new zero issues. And one of them is the Green Lantern comic pictured above, with the new, so-far unnamed Green Lantern.

And yes, that looks like a new African-American Green Lantern wearing a ski mask and waving a gun around. Oh, Geoff Johns, your casual racism is why everyone must love you so.

A few hours after that image was made public, DC said, whoa, wait a minute, he’s not black, he’s actually Muslim.

So he’s still a marginalized and often despised minority wearing a ski mask and waving a gun around. Also, observant Muslims don’t have tattoos, like this guy sports on his arm. And he still looks black. So no matter what, it’s still insulting and racist!

Some days, I don’t know whether the people running DC are just unusually oblivious racists (and sexists) or if they think trolling their readers and trying to get people to hate them is smart marketing. “Hey, everyone’s talking about us! Success!” Too bad your comics don’t sell so well, guys.

Now how long before DC renames their “Stormwatch” comic to “Stormfront”…?

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Rage and Fire

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #6

This has been an extremely fun comic from the beginning, but I hate to tell ya, it falls all to pieces in this last issue.

When we last left our heroes, they were stuck in the Mojoverse, time-diamonds stuck all over them to allow them to fight the Czar and Big Murder, when Wolverine gets possessed by the Phoenix Force. And this issue starts out with… Spidey, Wolvie, and Spidey’s new girlfriend living quietly in the Old West. Oh, and we eventually find out that Spidey defeated WolverPhoenix by… talking him down. Then mysterious portals steal the bad guys away, and after a while of, again, living quietly in the Old West, the time portals come back and we learn they’re run by the Time Cops, and they steal the heroes away, stuff ‘em back in the present day, make Spidey’s girlfriend forget him, and everything ends on a deeply depressing note, where everyone’s efforts were completely useless and the heroes are left alone and lonely.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Seriously, it’s amazing how a series that was so very awesome for the first five issues just turned into a bucket of missed opportunites, illogical wrapups, and pointless nihilism in the final ish. At least the art was gorgeous.

How to improve this series: Well, the series is over now, but I definitely would’ve started out with Spidey stopping WolverPhoenix in some way other than just talking his ear off. I also would’ve loved to see an ending that didn’t rely on deus ex machina like the Time Cops and maybe didn’t try to be so relentlessly downbeat.

Super Dinosaur #2

Derek Dynamo and Super Dinosaur head out after the evil Max Maximus, unaware that he’s tricked them into pursuing Tricerachops and her master, a masked maniac called the Exile. And because the battle is going to take place in the Arctic, SD has to wear his special cold-weather armor. There’s a great deal of fighting and punching and missile-launching and suchlike.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I hate to say it, but it bored me. I know, what the heck is wrong with me when a comic book about a talking, armored T-rex won’t entertain me?!

How to improve this series: Well, for starters, I’m already feeling weighted down by a bunch of new characters who I’m not real familiar with yet. This series started out with a pretty large supporting cast, for an all-ages comic, and they’re already adding more villains. Jeez, guys, I can’t keep track of the people who are already there!

Green Lantern #66

Hal Jordan is wearing a yellow power ring, and Guy Gardner is wearing a red one, because the rest of the Green Lantern Corps has been taken over by Krona and mind-controlled into a bunch of lunatics. And a bunch of the Guardians have become hosts for the emotional entities. Sinestro is trying to escape from the Book of the Black, but Hal and Guy have been captured already, and Krona plans to turn them into Guardians, too.

Verdict: I must not be in the mood to like anything today, because this was a big thumbs down. I’m just completely tired of Geoff Johns’ endless, senseless, long-running mega-series. Plus, I was absolutely bored the entire time I was reading it. Oh, and I found out they actually blew up Mogo, the awesome sapient planet that’s a member of the Green Lantern Corps, in one of the other Green Lantern series, so I’m not real happy about that either.

How to improve this series: Stop letting Geoff Johns write it. Get away from the unending focus on boring cosmic stuff. Don’t blow up Mogo. I doubt any of that stuff is going to happen, so I may be giving this series up.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Twilight Action

Twilight Guardian #4

The Guardian meets a man who claims to be her father and reveals that he’s actually Steve Ditko — well, maybe not really Steve Ditko, but at least a paranoid comic book creator with an unhealthy obsession with Objectivism. After he finally leaves, she reads one of his comic books — “The Gulch,” a black and white comic that reads like a parody of Ditko’s maniacally Objectivist hero Mr. A. And after that, it’s back to another quiet neighborhood patrol while — Wait a minute! There’s a house on fire! And the only person who can help is the Twilight Guardian! Can she finally come through when the chips are down? Or is the Dusk Devil going to have the last laugh?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Holy cow — action! And it’s pretty blasted good action, too. And that comes on top of what looked like just another weirdly off-kilter issue. In fact, all the weird stuff definitely reminds you that, despite the derring-do and whupassery that closed the series, the Guardian still has a lot of the same problems she had before — she’s still off her meds, she’s still got some severe issues with paranoia and delusion (surely I can’t be blamed for wondering if her long-lost father was ever in her house at all), and she’s still using her “crimefighting patrols” as an excuse for not dealing with the broken parts of her life. Is it a happy ending? Maybe it is… but like every other superhero comic, it’s just a temporary triumph before more difficulties start up…

Avengers Academy #12

Korvac, the cosmic menace with the name like a vacuum cleaner, has defeated the Avengers — now it’s all down to the students at Avengers Academy. But Korvac’s ex-wife, Carina, has used her own powers to turn the kids into adults — she’s put the kids’ minds into aged-up bodies from other dimensions and given them the knowledge so they can use their new powers effectively. That’s not entirely good news — for one thing, these are the best possible bodies from every possible future, so there’s a good chance that they won’t actually end up so fortunate in their own lives. So Veil still has to worry about dying, and Mettle and Hazmat know that they’re almost certainly stuck with their unpleasant powers forever. But can even their expanded powers let them survive Korvac? And even if they do, what other changes are they going to have to deal with?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good action, good personality work. Just about everyone gets socked with some big changes — some good, some bad. And the last page packs an emotional whallop you won’t find in many comics out there today.

Green Lantern #65

Krona has reintroduced Parallax — and the yellow impurity — back into Oa’s Central Power Battery, allowing him to take mental control of most of the Green Lanterns. Only Earth’s Green Lanterns have been immune because they’d been influenced by Parallax in the past and were thus able to recognize him in time to get their rings off. Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner travel to Oa by spaceship and are able to locate Kyle Rayner and John Stewart before the mind-controlled Lanterns blow the ship out of the sky. Since they can’t wear their regular power rings without risking being taken over, Jordan offers them the non-green power rings lost by the other ring bearers when they were absorbed into the Book of the Black.

Verdict: Thumbs down. There’s really not much of anything happening in this one. If you’re just desperate to see Hal wearing a yellow ring, Guy with a red ring, Kyle with a blue ring (which, remember, is only really good for overcharging green rings — nice choice, Kyle), or John dressed as an indigo hippie sniper… Well, that’s still not enough reason to get this one, frankly.

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Vigilante Business

Batman Inc. #4

We get a trio of storylines in this one. First, Batman and El Gaucho are duking it out — as long as one of them dies, three blind orphans won’t have to die. And Batman’s just learned a terrible secret Gaucho has kept from him, so he’s really out for blood. Meanwhile, Batwoman is tracking a crook called Johnny Valentine and runs into someone dressed as the original Golden Age Batwoman. And finally, we get a flashback to the rewritten-for-the-modern-era origin and story of Kathy Kane, the aforementioned Golden Age Batwoman. A wealthy daredevil widow, the idea of fighting crime with Batman and Robin appealed to her adventuresome side and she started a superhero career, as well as a romance with the Dark Knight. How did it all end, and what’s the connection with the Batman’s new case?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yay, a new Batwoman story! The Kathy Kane flashback was better than I was expecting. It gets goofy here and there — Batman and Batwoman making out in the Batmobile, Robin complaining about Ace the Bathound wearing a mask — but in general, it’s a fun, exciting, sexy story. Oh, and Chris Burnham’s artwork is impressive and fun.

Green Lantern #64

While a small squadron of Green Lanterns heads out to arrest Hal Jordan for treason against the Corps, Jordan and the other unsanctioned ringbearers pursuing Krona run into some trouble with the terrifying Book of the Black — its vampiric keeper, Lyssa Drak, shows up and starts trapping all seven of them inside the Book. And the Guardians come under attack by Krona and the enslaved Entities — and once Krona starts bonding the Entities to the Guardians, it isn’t long before they and most of the Green Lanterns are under his control.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wow, it’s been a while since I was able to say that. But this issue actually has some real plot happening and not just the usual aimless meandering. Hope they can keep it up for a while.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Hey, there’s still a need for volunteers for the Lubbock Comic Book Expo. Want to help out? Say “Yes, Scott, I want to help out, your will is my will, I am your lowly slave, here’s my paycheck.” Oh, yes, there will be another Expo meeting TODAY at 7 p.m. It’ll be at Awesome Books, 3009A 34th St. Please come out and help — it’s important that the show get enough volunteers to make sure everything runs smoothly, and it’s a lot more fun to help out with this than you’d expect.
  • Mike Sterling invites us to closely examine the Giant-Size Man-Thing.
  • This man is made of pure 100% turbocharged Awesomeness.
  • “Duke Nukem Forever” is finally going to be released? Um, wait a minute
  • This may be the most head-explodey thing you’ll read today: A Wonder Woman story from the 1950s in which our heroine babysits a tyrannosaur in a baby carriage. And yes, it’s by Robert Kanigher, the maddest writer of the Silver Age.

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Friday Night Fights: The Green Gauntlet!

I’m not much of a fan of St. Paddy’s Day, and I always actually end up avoiding wearing green on March 17. Quite honestly, I’ve got enough natural Irishness in me — why should I have to advertise it any further? I can sing “Danny Boy” with a proper Irish tenor lilt, and you still want me to go out and drink cheap green beer? Suck my shillelagh, laddy-buck.

But SpaceBooger wants to have a special post-St. Patrick’s Day edition of Friday Night Fights, featuring green contestants? Okay, I’m fine with that.

From Green Lantern #106, late October 1998, by Ron Marz, Paul Pelletier, and Terry Austin: time-lost Green Lantern Hal Jordan takes on time-lost Parallax Hal Jordan:

Hope y’all had a happy St. Patrick’s Day, either wearing green and wishing you were Irish, or not wearing green and smirking at all the wannabes. Now bring on the weekend!

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Hell Razors

Secret Six #31

Scandal Savage has a secret “Get Out of Hell Free” card, and she’s finally decided she wants to use it to free her lover Knockout from, well, Hell. But the dang thing’s been stolen from her safe — and the only one of the Secret Six with that kind of safecracking ability is Ragdoll. When Scandal barges into his room demanding the card back, he fights back — until Scandal stabs him in the stomach. Realizing he’s dying, he grabs the card and whisks himself to Hell. The team decides to follow him and drag him back — Black Alice says she’ll never return there, but she shows them one of the secret entrances — inside the world’s worst shopping mall. But there’s nothing good that can happen when you willingly walk into Hell. All that, plus a serial killer has some dire plans in store for Liana, Scandal’s current girlfriend…

Verdict: Thumbs up. As always, deeply twisted, funny, grim, brilliant storytelling here. And amazing stuff going on here — particularly the serial killer, who likes to punish himself by putting hot sauce in his eyes. And the hellishly dull shopping mall. The whole thing is just wonderful, and I’ll be really surprised if the rest of the storyarc isn’t just as outstanding.

Green Lantern #63

The seven representatives of the ring corpsmen go off in search of the energy entities that Krona has kidnapped. They find Krona’s hideout, access the ominous Book of the Black to learn that he was at least partially responsible for the use of green energy as a weapon and that he was directly responsible for the programming error that caused the Manhunters to go rogue ages ago. And the Guardians have decided to act directly against Hal Jordan by ordering an ambush.

Verdict: Thumbs down. It’s all frustratingly dull and slow-moving. It’s all being stretched out to fit future trade paperbacks, and that means it’s turning into a poorly created story.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Not a link — just a short Expo note. The next planning meeting for the upcoming Comic Book Expo is happening this Friday at 7 p.m. at Awesome Books, 3009 34th St. The Expo is happening in less than a month, so if you want to help out, don’t miss this meeting!
  • Project Rooftop is starting their tribute to Dwayne McDuffie with some redesigns of Static.
  • Bully digs up some superhero blueprints.
  • Beautiful photos from Antarctica.
  • When you really want a super plumbing job

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Twilight Rendezvous

Twilight Guardian #2

The Twilight Guardian has gotten an invitation to join a group of “Real Life Superheroes” meeting at a comic book convention. Of course, she worries about the possibility that her arch-nemesis, the Dusk Devil, will take her absence from patrolling as an excuse to wreak havoc, and she wonders about the strange location of the convention — a remote island in the middle of Lake Superior. After collecting a new hoard of comics and partaking in some of the usual convention activities, she gets to meet her fellow hero-wannabes — the Vermillion Claw, Captain Community, the Strong Right Arm of Justice, Wendy City, and Dr. Double-Danger. They trade crimefighting tips, help a stranded motorist, and solve a crime. And once they part ways, the Guardian learns that someone has been following her, and he has a strange offer for her.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I won’t lie to you and tell you it’s an action-packed story, or that it’s not still deeply weird. But I liked seeing the Guardian out of her usual environment. It’s clear that part of what she needs, besides taking her meds regularly, is social interaction and non-superhero activities. Of course, I can’t help wondering why on earth there was a comic convention, complete with large crowds, tons of booths, and a large convention center, on a tiny island that has a normal population of just 220 people…

Avengers Academy #9

Tigra has kicked Striker, Hazmat, and Veil out of Avengers Academy, and now the rest of the faculty have to persuade her to withdraw her expulsion. Meanwhile, Finesse has decided she wants to track down the Taskmaster, who she believes is her real father, and she blackmails Quicksilver into helping her find him. And once they meet, of course they have to fight each other…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun action, fun dialogue (especially the sniping between Tigra and Quicksilver), and fun artwork.

Green Lantern #62

Well, the villain kidnapping the ring entities is revealed to be Krona, who has some crazy plot involving using the entities to rid the universe of emotional imbalances. Various Lantern corps members try to stop him and are generally powerless against him. Flash, Batman, and Superman try to convince Hal to work with them after Krona makes his escape, but he goes off with the other ring bearers instead.

Verdict: Thumbs up, but it’s a close one. The story is fine, but it’s not really very noteworthy.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Blood for the Blood God

I’m at least two weeks behind on all my comics reviewin’, so let’s try to get as many done as we can over the next few days.

American Vampire #10

Everyone remember Hattie Hargrove? Pearl Jones former friend who sold her out for a shot at vampirism and stardom only to get killed by Pearl? Turns out she’s not dead — she’s being held prisoner by another vampire so he can try to figure out how to kill her and the other American vampires. Meanwhile, Pearl and her beau Henry are living in Arrowhead, California, where Pearl is worried that she’s going to vastly outlive her lover. There’s also a chance for them to get out and enjoy themselves at a new jazz club where Henry gets to sit in and play guitar in a set. But of course, those happy times can’t last forever, can they?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of things to like here — the return of Hattie, the intense weirdness of the relationship between Pearl and Henry, from Pearl’s immortality to her tendency to feed on him during lovemaking, the great sequences in the jazz club, all the way up to that awesome last page. For once, Skinner Sweet doesn’t appear at all, and we don’t even miss him much.

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #4

We finally get a proper introduction to a couple of our villains here — the Czar and Big Murder, a couple of hoods with a diamond-studded time-travel bat. Meanwhile, Spidey and Wolvie have been dropped into different parts of each other’s origins — Wolverine has to masquerade as a wrestler hanging out with teenaged great-power-and-no-responsibility Peter Parker, and Spider-Man is stuck covered in meat and throwing down against a young James Howlett, mostly feral and mostly not knowing how to stop killing people. Both of ‘em get ambushed and knocked around by Czar and Big Murder, and they end up getting burned at the stake in medieval times. So who’s the ultimate mastermind in this whole thing?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really nice character work getting done in this one, particularly in the Wolverine-meets-selfish-Petey-Parker section. But the entire thing is great fun.

Batman Inc. #2

After Batman saves Catwoman and Jiro Osamu’s girlfriend from the giant octopus in the downstairs apartment, Jiro’s girlfriend dumps him because he was working for the late Mr. Unknown and thus putting her in danger. Jiro reveals to Batman and Catwoman that Mr. unknown was 56 years old and had spent the last few years as the detective behind the scenes while Jiro did all the physical work. He wants to help Batman go after Lord Death Man, but Bats is angry ’cause Jiro used a gun to attack the villain. Meanwhile, Lord Death Man resurrects in the hospital and goes after Shiny Happy Aquazon of Tokyo’s Super Young Team. Can Batman and Jiro save Aquazon and defeat Lord Death Man?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good story, wonderful art, and a nice beginning for this series.

Detective Comics #872

Dick Grayson is on the trail of William Rhodes, a former Gotham businessman who’s now wanted by the police for his involvement with “Mirror House,” an organization that auctions off illegal memorabilia from Gotham City supervillains. But when Rhodes gets killed in an accident, Dick decides to disguise himself and investigate the Mirror House in person. He finds a building full of wealthy, gas-masked, evil-worshiping psychos. Is there a way for Dick to get out alive, especially when the auctioneer realizes he’s got an uninvited guest?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nicely devious plot with a really nasty twist. The dialogue between Dick and Babs Gordon is also excellent.

Green Lantern #61

Atrocitus is on the trail of the Butcher, the rage entity looking for a new host on Earth. It finds one in the person of James Kim, a father who wants revenge for his murdered daughter, but the Spectre intervenes because he thinks he should hold the monopoly on enraged vengeance. Atrocitus is able to capture the Butcher, but not before it possesses James Kim and executes the criminal. Now the Spectre wants James Kim dead, too. Can one rage-fueled monster talk another rage-fueled monster into not passing judgment?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice spotlight issue for Atrocitus, and it’s also nice to see anyone, even a villain like the Red Lantern, confront the Spectre about the moral bankruptcy of his “holy” quest.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Atomic Batteries to Power

Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science #2

It’s 1930, and Atomic Robo is a relatively young robot, working for his creator, Nikola Tesla. But he runs into crimefighter Jack Tarot and desperately wants to join in his life of adventure. Jack wants nothing to do with him, but his daughter Helen thinks Robo is keen and pressures Jack to let him tag along in the next night’s investigations. During the day, however, Robo has to help Tesla conduct experiments (which means fighting interdimensional vampires), while Jack and Helen pose as reporters so they can interview F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, whose priceless crystal skull has been stolen. And that evening’s investigations lead Jack Tarot and Robo to an apparent monster sighting at a nearby university. Are they prepared for what is awaiting them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent action, comedy, and dialogue. You should be reading this.

Green Lantern/Plastic Man: Weapons of Mass Deception

I’m a complete sucker for anything with Plastic Man in it, so of course, I had to pick this one up. Plas has a lead about some alien thieves who are stealing nuclear material and organizing human criminals for some sort of colossal heist, and he recruits Hal Jordan to help him take care of the problem. This leads to multiple trips from outer space to Earth, as the two heroes take on the duck-like aliens (Why ducks? I have no idea.) and human criminals, and as they continuously butt heads about their wildly differing approaches to crimefighting.

Verdict: Thumbs down. It’s not particularly well-written, and it meanders all over the place. And I’m a bit irritated that comic writers who should know better keep writing my pal Plastic Man as a 95%-of-the-time screwup, or as someone who absolutely no one ever takes seriously. I’d just love for a writer to put together a story that acknowledges that Plas has been fighting crime since the ’40s, has been a member of the Justice League, and is vouched for by Batman and Superman. When both Grant Morrison and Frank Miller both agree that Plastic Man is made of pure stretchy awesomesauce, isn’t it time for the rest of the comics world to quit living in denial about it?

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