Archive for Supergirl

Friday Night Fights: Twin Twouble!

Citizens, gather ’round! If it is Friday (and it is!) and it is also night (ehh, close enough!) and if we are all highly anticipatory of looming comic-book violence (and we are!), then it must be time for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight, our noble organizer Spacebooger has insisted on a theme: doubles. Could be characters with double initials, could be double punches, but I’m going with the obvious choice — doubled characters!

So, from October 2010’s Supergirl #55 by Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle, here’s Supergirl taking on Bizarrogirl!





And remember to head out to Spacebooger’s place and vote for your favorite fight! Not just this week, but every week!

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The Hero Sandwich List of Favorite Comics for 2011

Well, everyone else is doing end-of-year best-of lists, so I reckon I will, too. What’s Newsweek magazine got that I ain’t got, right? I mean, the way magazine readership has been falling, there’s a decent chance that I’ve got more readers now. ZING! Oh, Newsweek, you know I kid ’cause I love.

Anyway, this is not a list of the very best of all comics. I haven’t read all comics. I haven’t even gotten close. This is my list of the comics I read that I enjoyed the most.

Also, I don’t think I could manage to say which of these is the best — so I’d rather just arrange them in alphabetical order.

So here we go: The 16 comics I enjoyed reading the most in 2011.

American Vampire

This series by Scott Snyder is still carrying the torch for serious vampiric horror with great characterization, boundless imagination, and really awesome bloodsuckers.

Atomic Robo

One of the best comics out there — this one packs in action, humor, and mindblowing science into something that is always fun. Fun cameos by the famous and infamous, and an incredibly cool lead character.

Avengers Academy

Thank goodness someone still remembers how to do a good teen comic. You can do teen angst without it turning into a bloodbath. This series combines a great concept with outstanding characterization.

Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth

The most audaciously imaginative comic of the year, thanks to its seven-year-old writer. Loved the drama, loved the action, and laughed out loud at the humor.

Batgirl (pre-Reboot)

Stephanie Brown’s tenure as Batgirl was marked by great writing, excellent action, and a very strong sense of humor. Stephanie is still MIA in the new DC, unfortunately.

Batman comics by Scott Snyder

Whether it was on Detective Comics prior to the Reboot or on Batman afterwards, Snyder wrote some of the most engrossing tales of the Dark Knight.

Batman Inc.

Reading Grant Morrison’s Batman has been a treat for years, and it was fun to watch him create the new Batman megacorp.


J.H. Williams III’s writing has been fine, but his art is simply breathtaking. This was absolutely the most beautiful comic book on the stands in 2011.


Daredevil? I’ve never cared for Daredevil in my life. But this one is a blast. Writing and art are incredible. Humor, action, characterization — and again, fun. You can make a pretty good comic if you make it fun, ya know?

Dungeons & Dragons

Did anyone ever expect a D&D comic to be this good? Excellent dialogue, humor, action, drama, suspense — all while doing a pretty good job spotlighting the RPG it’s based on. Best fantasy comic of the year, right here.

Hellboy: The Fury

Mike Mignola has enjoyed another excellent year of comics, and I could’ve put almost any of his B.P.R.D. comics in here, but this one — Hellboy’s last hurrah — was really something special.

Knight and Squire

Paul Cornell’s miniseries focusing on London’s version of Batman and Robin was fun storytelling, along with a quick course in British pop culture. Excellent characters and adventures, and a wonderfully created setting.

Secret Six

Gail Simone’s awesomely epic series of supervillains occasionally doing the right thing had some of the funniest, saddest, most dramatic, most astounding moments in the comics world. Absolutely grand characters, too. Losing this series was one of DC’s biggest mistakes of the Reboot.

Supergirl (pre-Reboot)

After years of being the DC Universe’s version of the useless mallrat in a belly shirt, several creators finally realized they could make the character awesome by treating her more like a real person instead of an MTV stereotype. Yes, DC, character is everything!

Tiny Titans

The best all-ages comic on the market. Still can’t believe they’re going to let something this awesome go.


One of the weirdest comics to come out this year. There was usually at least one really mind-blowingly weird thing in every single issue. Beautiful art, too, along with great writing and dialogue. It was a joy to read.

And one more little category? How ’bout Publisher of the Year? DC and Marvel are out — they’ve spent the past 12 months pandering to the worst in comics, cancelling great series, and randomly insulting their readers. IDW, Dark Horse, Red 5, Image, all the other independents came close, because they’re doing more of what good comics publishers should be doing — gunning for new readers, pushing the artistic and storytelling envelopes, making excellent comics.

But I think the Publisher of the Year is Archie Comics. What? But I don’t read any Archies! But Archie is doing even more than the other independents to push the creative and social envelope. They’ve gotten lots of publicity with their Archie marries Betty/Veronica comics, but they also had a great crossover with the Tiny Titans. And who would have ever imagined that staid, conservative Archie Comics would end up being the most progressive comics publisher — whitebread Archie Andrews has recently dated Valerie Brown, the African-American bass player from Josie and the Pussycats, and Kevin Keller, Archie’s first openly gay character, has become more popular and more prominent in the comics. Archie Comics is outpacing all the other independent publishers and rocketing past the Big Two in terms of how much they’re moving the comics industry forward.

So there we go — 16 grand, fun comics series. And I think I’d still have to declare 2011 one of the worst years for comics we’ve seen in a long time. Almost half my list is made up of comics that were cancelled, will be cancelled in the next few months, or are in continual danger of being cancelled. DC enjoyed a nice sales surge in the first few months of the Reboot, but the numbers on many of their series are already dropping back to more normal levels. And they spent months alienating and angering long-time fans in one public relations disaster after another. Not that Marvel has fared much better — they’ve been cancelling comics hand over fist. The independents have a better track record for producing good comics — but of course, they’ve also had more trouble getting those comics sold.

2011 has been an awful, terrifying, depressing year for comics fans. I’d like to tell you that I think 2012 is going to be better. But I don’t think I’d get my hopes up very high. No one’s learned any lessons from this year’s catastrophes, and I’m not even sure the Big Two are even capable of doing anything other than shooting themselves in the foot.

Let’s just hope the non-comics portions of 2012 will be better for all of us. Y’all stay safe, buckle up, call a cab if you need to.

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Tiny but Awesome

Tiny Titans #43

I know it’s a deeply cartoony image — but man, I love that cover. Is it really just the addition of shadows? Dunno, but it looks groovy.

Superboy, Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad have decided they want their grownup counterparts’ costumes. Superboy snags a Superman costume from the Fortress of Solitude, but runs afoul of the villains in the Phantom Zone. Robin tries to get a Bat-cowl from the Bat-Cow and gets kicked through a few walls by the Justice League of Cows. And Aqualad realized that he can’t wear Aquaman’s costume because it’s been in the wash and is soaking wet. Does Miss Martian have a solution for all their problems?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very funny issue, with a lot of great gags scattered throughout. And I loved Cyborg’s “rebooting” joke, too.

Supergirl #67

In the final issue of the non-irritating Supergirl’s series (and can you believe the character has improved enough that we’re able to call her “non-irritating” now?), the Girl of Steel squares off against Professor Ivo, his powered armor, and his squad of flying robot monkeys. The lost students of Stanhope College use their own scientific knowledge and quick wits to make their own strikes against Ivo. And Lois Lane meets up with a Stanhope student with some critical pieces of evidence. Can Supergirl save everyone and make time for romance, too?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Loved the art, loved the hectic action, loved the dialogue, was pretty fond of all the characters. The only thing I wasn’t thrilled by was the tacked-on romance at the end. And even that wasn’t enough to make this a bad issue. This is another comic I reckon I’ll miss.

Avengers Academy #18

Titania and the Absorbing Man, possessed by the power and minds of gods, are rampaging through the Infinite Avengers Mansion, subatomic headquarters of the Avengers Academy. Titania knocks Mettle clear out of the mansion, Veil gets knocked out while trying to possess her, and the Absorbing Man throws his hammer through Reptil, though his magical nature keeps him alive. With Striker, Hazmat, and Finesse the only members of the team still functioning, they decide that, if the Avengers are really worried that they’re the kids who might turn out to be supervillains, maybe it’s time they started acting like supervillains. Will they be able to use treachery and deceit to stop the bad guys, or is it already too late for them all?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent story, and outstanding characterization. The action is pretty good, too. I’m amazed the story is taking this long to tell, but I’m still having fun reading it, so it’s all good.

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Hocus Pocus

Zatanna #15

First of all, ain’t that a gorgeous cover? Seems like nearly all the covers in this series have been really nice.

Our story starts calmly enough — Zatanna is settling in for a relaxing evening after a performance — until someone shoots an arrow through her throat! It missed the jugular, thankfully, or this would be a really short comic — but the arrow was poisoned, and it’s not a wound to laugh off anyway. And obviously, someone is in the theater gunning for Zee. In this case, it’s a bunch of well-armed and organized witch-hunters. Even with a healing potion bandaged around her throat, is Zatanna going to be able to avoid a dozen armed mercenaries without the benefit of her magical abilities?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A wonderfully claustrophobic and intense story, with the slow sections devoted to character moments and the rest of the comic dedicated to entirely furious action. Derek Fridolfs’ story was an absolute blast to read, and the art by Jamal Igle and John Dell was really outstanding.

Supergirl #66

Supergirl is disguised as a normal prospective college student as she investigates the disappearances at Stanhope College — and she and another bunch of students are lost in the steam tunnels under campus. Since she’s surrounded by other students, she has to avoid using her powers, or they’ll figure out her secret identity. Lois Lane takes her own investigation into the disappearances directly to the college administration, which just manages to alert the evil Professor Ivo that the good guys are on his trail. And then the robot rats attack. Can Supergirl keep everyone safe and still maintain her secret?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautiful art by ChrisCross and a really fun story from Kelly Sue DeConnick. Equal doses of action and humor, along with some excellent characterization.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Knights of Badassdom” has the most gloriously geeky movie trailer of the year.
  • You like geeky papercraft? Here’s some geeky papercraft for you.
  • The Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s film of “The Shining” had corridors that were literally impossible. Watch these videos to see how they played with set design.

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On the Fast Track

Well, I’m back from my hiatus — and not really feeling real refreshed. In this heat, it’s impossible to get too much relaxing done. But I’m back all the same, and I’ve got two weeks’ worth of comics to start reviewing, so let’s get after it.

Tiny Titans #41

Kid Flash is severely over-excitable, and the only solution has got to be a race, featuring Kid Flash, Inertia, Mas y Menos, Peek-a-Boo, and Jesse Quick. Wrapped among all this is Gizmo working on a pencil sharpener, Wonder Girl getting a mask, and Blue Beetle and his backpack trying to run a lemonade stand (and getting called Cucarachita Azul by Mas y Menos). So who’s going to win the race around the world? Probably someone we wouldn’t expect…

Verdict: Thumbs up. As always, lots of excellent stuff here, including an appearance from Coach Lobo, Beetle getting called the Little Blue Cockroach, the lemon-free lemonade, and a quick Flashpoint joke.

Supergirl #65

I think I missed an issue somewhere, but Supergirl is now calling herself Linda Lane and interning at the Daily Planet. After she and the blue-skinned alien Starman save a tram from robot flying monkeys, Lois asks her to go undercover at Stanhope College’s recruitment weekend. The student who was targeted by the flying monkeys was a Stanhope student, and so were other recently-kidnapped kids. Lois hopes Supergirl can find out what’s going on. Once she makes it to Stanhope, Kara meets up with her temporary roomie and the campus weirdos. What’s the connection that all of them share, and what is stalking all of them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I always dig ChrisCross’ artwork. The story here seems pretty good, too. The dialogue with Starman is very cool. The campus weirdos are definitely irritating, though — let’s hope they’re all secret supervillains so Supergirl can beat them up later…

Batgirl #22

Stephanie Brown has gotten an assignment from Batman Inc. She has to travel to London to meet with another one of the Dark Knight’s operatives — the Squire herself. In the midst of sightseeing across London, the heroines run across a villain called the Orphan who is planning on stealing the Greenwich Mean. What, you mean like Greenwich Mean Time? Seriously? Yes, seriously, it’s apparently an actual object in the DC Universe. And once he gets it, time gets frozen for everyone in the world except for the Orphan, his henchmen, and Batgirl and the Squire. Can they manage to save time itself and still have some fun at the same time?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Man, am I going to miss this wonderful series. Story, dialogue, humor, action, characterization, art — this one has it all. Best to read it while you still can…

Zatanna #14

Zatanna and her cousin, Zachary Zatara, have just finished a show together, and Zatanna is angry about Zach’s shoddy performance and bad attitude. She pursues him into a trendy nightclub, has to deal with the various indignities and irritations therein, and gets to see him get attacked and possessed by a Japanese succubus who uses Zach’s powers against her. Is there a way for Zee to stop the demon before her cousin kills her?

Verdict: Thumbs down. This was a dull story, seemingly written by people who knew they were about to get cancelled. The art was pretty good, but that was about it.

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Awesomesaurus Rex

Super Dinosaur #1

Here’s a new all-ages title from Robert Kirkman, the guy who created “The Walking Dead” and “Invincible.” Our stars include Derek Dynamo, his scientist father Doctor Dynamo, his pet robot Wheels, and of course the title character, Super Dinosaur, a nine-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex wearing a high-tech battlesuit. They charge into action fighting a bunch of dinosaur supervillains, like Terrordactyl, Breakeosaurus, Dreadasaurus, and Tricerachops, most of them working for the evil but self-doubting supervillain Max Maximus. But Dr. Dynamo has a problem — his genius is slipping, and the government is sending an assistant. Derek needs to keep the new assistants from exposing his father and shutting his funding down — and he and Super Dinosaur have to stop the latest dinosaur rampage.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I believe we’re all quite aware of how awesome dinosaurs are, right? Well, this is a pretty fun comic. The design for Super Dinosaur is great, the dinosaur names are wonderfully punny, and the action is really great. If I’ve got any complaint, I’d like Derek to stop using the word “awesome” quite so much — I love the word a lot, but man, that kid needs a broader vocabulary…

Dark Horse Presents #1

Dark Horse Comics’ great anthology series makes its return to print with a full 80 pages of comics. We get a Concrete story by Paul Chadwick, a very short sneak peak of “Xerxes,” Frank Miller’s prequel to “300,” a short all-text story by Harlan Ellison, a “Star Wars” comic, and stories by Howard Chaykin, Neal Adams, Carla Speed McNeil, Richard Corben, and David Chelsea.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Favorite stories were the Concrete story (I haven’t read nearly enough Concrete, but good grief, every story I read is just a bucket of glory), the Harlan Ellison story (with two different endings for you to choose from), and David Chelsea’s “Snow Angel” story. I got absolutely no joy out of the “Xerxes” stuff — honestly, Frank Miller has declined a lot more than he should’ve. So some good stuff and some not-so-good stuff. Worst thing about it? The eight-dollar price tag. That’s steeper than DC’s 80 Page Giants. Granted, the quality of the stories here is a heck of a lot better than in DC’s stuff, but that’s still a mighty chunk of change. If they’re going to try to make this a monthly comic, that’s gonna be way too much money. If it’s going to be quarterly, it’s going to be a lot more doable…

Supergirl #63

Robin, Blue Beetle, and Miss Martian have all been captured by the evil Alex, a superpowered technophile who hates young superheroes. Supergirl, meanwhile, is trapped inside an energy bubble over the Harvard campus. And Lois Lane is meeting with a woman who had a hand in creating Alex. And Kara learns Alex’s true identity, too.

Verdict: Ehh, it wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t much to write home about either. Hopefully, the next issue will turn out better.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • I mentioned the trailer for this a few weeks back, but here’s the epic celebrity-drenched time-traveling three-part video for the Beastie Boys’ “Fight for Your Right Revisited.”
  • There’s a heck of a big gender gap at both Marvel and DC.
  • A comic book about how to use a college library? Meh. A comic book about how to use a college library… during a zombie apocalypse? That’s more like it!
  • Hee Haw comics? (fearful shudder)
  • Steve Jackson Games is running a Munchkin contest for webcomic cartoonists…

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Everyone Teams Up

Supergirl #62

Supergirl and Robin discover that the attacking supervillains are actually some kind of shapeshifting bio-tech robots powered by Kryptonian sunstones. They recruit Blue Beetle and Miss Martian to their team and trace the Flyover app targeting young superheroes to Harvard University, which has just been conveniently evacuated by a mysterious telepath. All four pay an incognito visit to Harvard, but they all end up getting ambushed by the villain, Alex, who appears to possess mind control, weird high-tech skills, and other powers as well, not to mention his bio-tech robots.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice story, nice dialogue between the characters, nice ongoing mystery. It’s fun to see Kara interact with other characters in the DCU, too.

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #5

The main villain is finally revealed to be Mojo, mad mass-media mogul of the Mojoverse, who’s discovered the secrets of time travel so he can film new shows anywhere in history. He’s teamed up with the Czar, a hoodlum who controls a bunch of magic time-traveling diamonds. However, Spider-Man and Wolverine have stolen one of the time-diamonds, which lets them bring the fight to Mojo and the Czar. Doesn’t do ’em a lot of good, because Czar still freezes them in time… until Wolverine manages to free them with… the Phoenix Force? After that, time-displaced versions of the Czar start showing up, then Wolvie carves off the Czar’s arm and steals his time-bat. Then Wolvie and Spidey visit a garden where time-diamonds grow on trees, literally, and they bling themselves out in time-diamonds. And after that, it looks like we’re going to see the end of the world…

Verdict: Thumbs up. This one was really, really fun. Absolutely fantastic dialogue, great action, awesome time-travel storylines, great twists and turns, and that ending really is something else. This has been an incredibly fun comic all the way through — kudos to writer Jason Aaron on that, though Adam Kubert’s art has been fun, too.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Chris Sims pits Pokemon vs. My Little Ponies in the Ultimate Battle for Ultimate Destiny.
  • Hey, the missing Bronx Zoo cobra has his own Twitter feed. I’m surprised he’s such a good typist, what with the no-hands thing…
  • Regardless of your politics, I think this sounds pretty interesting. Tom Tomorrow, creator of the left-leaning “This Modern World” cartoon, is planning on counteracting some of the hard times for cartoonists by setting up an online space for editorial cartoons. He doesn’t have it ready yet, but it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out…

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Viva Gaucho!

Batman Inc. #3

Batman travels to Argentina to team up with the impressively mustachioed Gaucho, one of the members of the old Club of Heroes, and offer him membership in Batman Incorporated. To his surprise, Gaucho turns him down, but they still unite to defeat El Papagayo, his mooks, and his swarm of explosive Blue Scorpions. He’s working for someone who has kidnapped a trio of blind children from the poor side of the tracks, but won’t give up the name of his boss. After Bruce Wayne and Don Santiago Vargas, the Gaucho’s alter ego, stage a disagreement over the deadly femme fatale Scorpiana, the two heroes discover new clues to the kidnapping to lead them to a deserted and boobytrapped warehouse. Once they’re inside, they’re provided with taser-gauntlets and ordered by a voice over loudspeakers that they must fight to the death or the kidnapped children will die.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The Gaucho is just cooler’n heck. Scorpiana’s appearance is also 100% awesome and sexy. And wow, Yanick Paquette’s artwork is just divine.

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – Gods #3

The conclusion of the newest storyarc sees Abe Sapien and his team from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense taking on some of the monsters invading Texas and working to corner and recruit the mysterious Fenix. And things do not end the way Abe would’ve expected.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A shocking ending, a shocking betrayal — and a shocking departure by artist Guy Davis, who’s leaving the B.P.R.D. comics for pastures elsewhere.

Supergirl #61

I’m behind on reviewing this one — my copy got lost in the mail somewhere, and it took a few weeks for a new one to be shipped out to me. Anyway, in this issue, Supergirl has been ambushed by a bunch of Superman’s villains, thanks to a new smart-phone app called “Flyover” that encourages users to snap photos of superheroes and post them — allowing our mastermind villain, the psychic technophile Alex, to dispatch supervillains anywhere someone’s seen a hero. After Kara takes out the villains attacking her, she meets up with Lois Lane, who clues her in on certain shenanigans at Cadmus Labs. And after that, the Flyover app targets Robin in Gotham City, and Kara flies off to help him deal with the sudden attack by Clayface and Mr. Freeze. But what’s really stalking the young heroes of the DCU?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of plot plugged into this one, and it all makes decent sense. Nice mystery being developed, too. Good, distinctive dialogue for all the characters. All that, and Kara’s sporting a shorter haircut — looks pretty good. Hope it sticks around, rather than getting re-lengthened by the next artist. And can we give a shout-out for that great cover by Amy Reeder? — gotta love the use of sound effects there.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • First, another reminder: There’s going to be a planning for the Comic Book Expo this evening at 7 p.m. at Awesome Books, 3009 34th St. If you can help out, please attend.
  • Anyone noticed lately that Rick Perry is a weasel? “Don’t blame me for the rotten condition of the state budget just because I spent a decade screwing up the state budget! Please ignore me and your legislatures and vent your rage on your neighbors! It makes it easier for us to get away with screwing over the state when you fight each other instead of us!” Whatever, weasel.
  • And hey, lookit what I’ve got lying around on my desktop! A nice handy link with info on how to contact your state and national representatives!
  • And here’s some nice advice on how to effectively lobby your politicians so they’ll be more likely to listen to you.
  • Why does Universal Studios hate Guillermo del Toro, H.P. Lovecraft, and the freely given entertainment dollars of hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic Lovecraft fans?
  • And finally, here’s a great article on the resurgence of Dungeons & Dragons with older roleplayers.

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Roll for Damage

Dungeons & Dragons #3

The party of adventurers — Kahl the dwarf paladin, Varis the city-loving elf, Bree the thieving halfling, Tisha the possibly-demonic tiefling, and their leader, Adric Fell — are in a heap of trouble. They’re surrounded by orcs, hunting for a shapeshifting villain, and Adric is in a duel to the death with an orc warrior. Can Adric keep from getting killed? Can the rest of the party discover the shapeshifter? What secret was the shapeshifter hiding, and will everyone be able to survive a trip through a trap-filled cavern?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent action and characterization. The artwork is a blast. The turning point in the duel was a nice surprise, and the reactions of the onlookers was pretty funny. All in all, I’m just really enjoying this comic.

Supergirl #60

We have three different stories in this one — first, we meet a tech-savvy (and possibly telepathic) sociopath who’s created a new telephone app to let people track sightings of superheroes — and to make it easier for supervillains to find the heroes. Second, Lois Lane has found out some dirt about secret Cadmus experiments. And finally, Supergirl gets ambushed by a bunch of heavy hitters from Superman’s rogues gallery. How are these all connected?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice mix of stories, and all of them would be pretty interesting on their own. Good action, dialogue, and characterization, especially considering how many characters, both major and minor, there are in this story.

Tiny Titans #36

Terra takes Kid Devil and Hotspot on a field trip to the center of the earth, where everyone is able to make their heads burst into flames. And Beast Boy tags along, just ’cause he likes Terra. They all meet dragons, dinosaurs, man-eating plants, a cow, and this guy:

Yay! The Tiny Titans version of Etrigan the Demon!

Verdict: Thumbs up. Tiny Titans Etrigan!

Today’s Cool Links:

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Greed is Good

Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special #1

Here’s a late entry in the Christmas comics sweepstakes — the greediest being in the universe learns the true meaning of Christmas. Larfleeze has heard stories about Santa Claus, and when he doesn’t get any presents on Christmas morning, he’s so enraged at Santa’s perfidy that he goes on a rampage, chasing down Santas in a parade and in a department store before someone tells him that the real Santa lives at the North Pole. Still unable to find Santa, he decides to melt the entire North Pole, until Hal Jordan shows up to try to steer him straight on whole “More blessed to give than receive” thing. But does Larfleeze learn anything from the entire Christmas lesson? Maybe, maybe not… And in a backup feature, Art Baltazar and Franco from Tiny Titans send Larfleeze’s minion Glomulus on a tour of the galaxy to find some presents for his boss.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Both stories are completely goofy, and I love that DC was willing to put their patron saint of greed in the spotlight position of a Christmas special. I also loved a few extra activity-book features that made it into this one — a maze, instructions for how to make your own Larfleeze Christmas ornament, and a recipe for Orange Lantern Cookies (“Makes approximately two dozen cookies or one serving.” Oh, Larfleeze, you gluttonous warthog-lookin’ critter!).

Dungeons & Dragons #2

Our party of adventurers — human warrior Adric Fell, dwarven paladin Khal, scheming halfling Bree, elven archer Varis, and suspiciously noble tiefling Tisha — are up to their necks in trouble. While Adric and Fell help rescue a bunch of orphans after their home blows up, Khal, Varis, and Tisha meet up with a shapeshifting necromancer who’s causing all the trouble with the temporarily zombified citizenry. The shapeshifter makes his escape, but the party pursues him to a merchant caravan under siege by a band of orcs. Knowing that they’re outflanked and outnumbered — with a doppelganger hiding in their midst — Adric chooses to challenge the orc leader to single combat. Aldric thinks he’s got a pretty good grasp of orc combat — but he’s wrong, wrong, wrong.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun, action-packed, excellent humor. I am so freakin’ glad this is a good comic, seriously, people.

Supergirl #59

It’s Christmas Eve, and Cat Grant has been kidnapped by the Dollmaker, the estranged son of Winslow Schott, the Toyman. He knows that his father killed Cat’s son years ago, and he wants her to be his new surrogate mother. Of course, she says no, loudly and angrily, and when the Dollmaker decides to kill all the children in Metropolis as revenge, Cat swallows her pride and calls for Supergirl’s aid. It doesn’t take long for Kara and Cat to take out the Dollmaker, and Supergirl gets her own special Christmas gift in the bargain.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A very nice story, with good action, nice character work, and some humor, too — loved the brief appearance of what can only be called the Composite Santa Claus. I also like the way they’ve turned this character around, from the skank floozy to a perfectly acceptable superhero. Now all they have to do is fix the costume

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