Before I get into today’s reviews, I got a few local comics-related links I wanna throw at you.
- First, if you haven’t visited Star Comics’ website in a while, you may have missed that they’re doing some podcasting now — specifically, the new “Nerd Alert!” podcasts.
- Second, self-proclaimed Nerd Bully Todd Gray has started his own local comics blog, Fanboy Fun, with tons of reviews and occasional cemetery spookiness.
- Third, if any of y’all are on Facebook, you can find the Hero Sandwich Facebook page right over here.
- And finally, a non-local comics link: Cole’s Comics is a blog focusing on the artwork of Jack Cole, creator of Plastic Man and one of the greatest cartoonists of the Golden Age (or come to think of it, any age). Go check it out.
And now: Reviews!
The Atom and Hawkman #46
As part of the “Blackest Night” crossover, DC is temporarily reanimating old cancelled comics. This issue focuses on Ray Palmer, the Atom, in his new role as a member of the Indigo Tribe, powered by compassion. He battles the zombified Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Jean Loring, and is appointed to guard Indigo-1 while she summons the rest of the Indigo Tribe so they can start teleporting all of the various Lantern Corps to Earth. We also learn something about the powers of the Indigo power rings — they can capable of channeling any of the other power rings’ abilities if a user of one of them is nearby. Indigo-1 pukes blood like a Red Lantern when she gets mad, and Ray calls up the power of Larfleeze’s Orange Lantern ring while demanding that he wants his friends back. But when Jean shrinks herself into Indigo-1′s ring to attack her, will Ray be able to stop her in time?
Verdict: Thumbs up. Very well-written and beautifully illustrated. Loved the new details about how the Indigo rings work, loved the flashbacks to Ray’s previous life, loved the way Ray’s Indigo Tribe costume ends up calling back to his sword-and-sorcery adventures among the tiny aliens in the Amazon rain forest. And I loved the ending, too.
The Phantom Stranger #42
And another revived “Blackest Night” crossover issue. The Phantom Stranger and Blue Devil try to stop the Godzilla-sized Black Lantern Spectre, to more or less no effect, but he takes off when he senses where Hal Jordan is. The Stranger and the Devil turn their attention to the opened grave of Boston Brand — a.k.a. Deadman. They soon track him to his old Himalayan stomping grounds at Nanda Parbat, where he’s trying to stop a bunch of Black Lantern zombies by possessing them with his ghostly form. Unfortunately, possessing zombies tends to mess up Brand’s mind, and the Stranger has to break him out of his spell. That still leaves the problem of Brand’s long-dead skeletal body, which is being operated by one of the black rings. The key to saving Nanda Parbat is to get Deadman’s body and spirit re-united long enough to slip through the city’s mystic shield — but Deadman has previously been unable to possess his old body. Can he do it now?
Verdict: Thumbs up. Not the best of these crossovers, as there’s a bit too much jumping around from one place to another. But it moves the larger story forward, and the Phantom Stranger always has been one of my favorite of DC’s mysterious mystic characters.