Archive for Worlds Finest

Team Rocket


Rocket Girl #1

Here’s a brand new series, funded in part by a Kickstarter campaign, written by Brandon Montclare and illustrated by Amy Reeder. Our main character is Dayoung Johansson, a 15-year-old rocket-pack-wearing cop from the far-future world of 2013 who has travelled to the distant past of 1986 to save the world from a timepocalypse. The problem is that the crime being investigated was apparently committed by Quintum Mechanics, the company that invented time travel and saved New York City from financial ruin. Can Dayoung survive the high-crime world of 1986 armed with just her rocket-suit and a head full of moxie?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautiful art by Amy Reeder, which is a good reason to buy the comic all by itself. The story is very cool, too — the weird time travel, along with the bizarre alternate-future/present Dayoung comes from, are both a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing what other badassery she’s going to get into.


Astro City #5

I don’t know why you — yes, you. You specifically! — are working with the Broken Man. He doesn’t seem at all stable. He collects all these strange storytelling artifacts, and then he gets mad when you watch the stories that unfold. The monster-fighting G-men and their battles against the eldritch horrors all around us? He gets mad at you right when you get to the good bit. The strange tale of Lord Saampa, the Serpent’s Tongue? He gets mad at you right when you get to the good bit. He finally allows you to watch Dame Progress, steampunk crimefighter, as she pursues the terribly nimble Mister Cakewalk in pursuit of a stolen jewel. What does the Broken Man want with you anyway?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellently weird story, great art, fun characters. I’m really not sure I like the Broken Man at all, but his artifacts are a great way to tell a bunch of different stories. It’ll be fun to see how they all connect.


Batman: Li’l Gotham #7

Aquaman is in trouble. Oh, of course he is. And he asks Batman for help. So Batman gets a fancy wetsuit, Damian gets an underwater mecha. And Oracle gets an even bigger underwater mecha. In our second story, it’s the Fourth of July, and the Joker is organizing a party for all of Gotham’s villains. All they have to do is steal all the fireworks they can, and they’ll make the biggest boom ever. Can Batman, Robin, and Nightwing extinguish the party in time?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very cute and quite funny. Babs Gordon driving a giant mech is muy cool.


Worlds’ Finest #16

Huntress is stuck doing a lot of crimefighting solo, because since her run-in with Desaad, Power Girl’s powers have been extremely unreliable. Who’s the mysterious energy-wielding acrobat who keeps setting fires at high-fashion events? What’s wrong with Karen’s powers?

Verdict: Ehh, I dunno. The art is pretty darn nice, but for the most part, this is just very by-the-numbers, uninspiring stuff. The series needs a lot more WOW moments, or a return to the fun character interaction, which has fallen off a lot in recent issues.

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Watson and Holmes #2

Holmes and Watson manage to track down Shon’s kidnapped girlfriend, but they have to deal with the gunman guarding her. After they chase him down and get ready to interrogate him, someone shoots him in the head. Someone wants them off the case. But for now, Watson has to return to the hospital, and Holmes has his own avenues of investigation. After busting a few passwords on a smartphone, they discover that one of the people they’re trying to find is being executed live on the Internet — and the other target is missing. Can the sleuths find him? Or will they go eat lunch first?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent story and art. The mystery is progressing nicely. Holmes doesn’t do quite as much flashy deductive work here, but his low-key electronics investigations end up being as impressive. The whole story has some significant differences from what we expect of Sherlock Holmes stories — while still being recognizably Holmesian. It’s good, fun comics.


Worlds’ Finest #15

Power Girl chases Desaad’s Parademons down a Boom Tube while Darkseid’s torturer starts working on Huntress. PeeGee fights her way through hordes of Parademons while Huntress makes her escape. But the fight against Desaad doesn’t go the way anyone expected.

Verdict: Ehh, not real sure. I’m not real thrilled with depowering Power Girl, unless the status quo is going to be restored pretty quickly. It’s not badly done, really, but it really didn’t feel like anything really exciting was going on.

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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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Blood and Thunder


American Vampire: The Long Road to Hell

A new American Vampire comic! After much too many months since the hiatus began, too. I consider this a good thing, even if it’s just a one-shot.

It’s 1959. The guy on the cover is Travis Kidd, a vampire hunter who likes to wear a set of wooden fangs so he can “bite them back” before he kills vamps. But our main characters are Billy Bob Lee and Jolene Gibbons, a couple of hip kids who make their money going to dances in Nebraska and heisting wallets when no one’s looking. But they run into serious trouble one night when they both get attacked by the undead and turned into vampires. The local vamps want Billy Bob and Jolene to work for them as thieves, but they manage to escape, eventually picking up a little kid, an orphaned hitchhiker named Jasper who claims to be able to sense evil people. They bring him along so they can use him to find people they won’t mind killing, while racing to Las Vegas to find a rumor they’ve heard about a cure for vampirism. Can they manage to survive Travis Kidd? Will they make it to Vegas?

Verdict: Thumbs up. So very nice. Yeah, it’s extra large and it costs seven dollars, but I think this one is worth it. It’s a great story by Scott Snyder with great art by Rafael Albuquerque. It’s got great characters and action and dialogue and mood and suspense and romance and horror. You want to go pick this up, kids. Don’t miss out on the fun.


Freelancers #6

The final issue of the series sees Val, Cass and Katherine Rushmore fighting against almost all the gangs in Los Angeles to try to bring Drachmann, one of their former teachers at the orphanage, to justice. Can they handle overwhelming odds, betrayals, torn clothing, and inadequate weaponry to come out on top?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Mostly action, action, action, but it seems like the right ending for the series, which has worked really hard from the beginning to replicate your average high-octane action movie.


Worlds’ Finest #13

Huntress and Power Girl are on the run from Desaad’s minions, particularly his giant quasi-dog monster. Aaaaand that’s pretty much it.

Verdict: Thumbs down. So very not interesting.

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Tears of a Clown


Hawkeye #10

Most of this issue focuses on a guy named Kazimierz Kasimierczak, a guy who grew up in a war-torn region of Europe, saw his whole family killed during various acts of war, and eventually grew up to be an assassin wearing whiteface clown makeup. And he’s on Hawkeye’s trail.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a good story with good art, good dialogue, and all the great stuff we expect from this series. I wish we knew if this guy had some sort of codename — it’s going to get very tiring if I have to type that name very often…


Worlds’ Finest #12

The new version of Desaad, an inhuman fanged monster, has shown up, and he’s disguised as Michael “Mr. Terrific” Holt. After the authorities try to arrest Huntress and Power Girl for attacking him, they make their escape, but Karen soon finds her business failing because of financial attacks and more destructive terrorist bombings. Can the heroes keep from losing everything?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice ramp-up in the mystery and danger for the heroes. A lot of the publicity about this issue has to deal with getting Power Girl back into her classic “boob window” costume, but it appears almost as an afterthought, which is probably a good way to do it. The new costume was really awful, though, and I hope we don’t see anything like it again.

And let’s take a very quick look at the comics I got for Free Comic Book Day:


World of Archie Digest

Almost 100 pages of Archie comics? Reprints both old and new? Archie takes the prize for the year’s best release for FCBD.


Mouse Guard/Rust

Archaia always puts out great stuff for FCBD — solid stories designed to preview upcoming comics and promote what’s already out there for new readers. Everything here was great fun to read, and the Cow Boy story in the middle even has some fun with the comic’s flip-book format.


Finding Gossamyr/The Stuff of Legend

Loved these a lot. Both are long-running stories, and the FCBD comic was able to both summarize the previous storyarcs and create new mini-stories that were fun to read.


R.I.P.D./True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys/Mass Effect

Ehh. Almost completely forgettable stuff. I’d been considering picking up the Killjoys series, but I’m questioning whether I really care that much about it now.


Marvel Infinity

Beyond forgettable. There were more of this comic than anything else on FCBD. The lead story was depressing and un-fun. The ’70s reprint was depressing and un-fun. The preview from “Endless Wartime” was more entertaining, but it was just a preview. Come on, Marvel — Free Comic Book Day is supposed to bring new readers in, not scare them off.

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Kiss Me Deadly


Worlds’ Finest #11

Huntress works to trace the source of the high-tech weapons and mercenaries that have often been set against them, quickly deducing that they all have their source with Apokalips. Karen Starr, meanwhile, is preparing for a tech convention in Las Vegas. Helena attends as well, as they’re both looking forward to talking to Michael Holt, better known as Mr. Terrific, who has been missing for quite some time. So what has Holt been up to, and what dire secret is he hiding?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Pretty good stuff all around. Nice investigative stuff for Huntress, and it’s very interesting to see the reveal on the last page.


The Hypernaturals #10

Thinkwell remembers an incident from his past, back when he was new to the Hypernaturals team, when he tried to interface directly with the Quantinuum hypercomputer that powers civilization in the future. His mind was overloaded by the vast knowledge he gained, and he encountered vast nonhuman intelligences on the edge of existence. But he’d lost all memory of this until just recently. He brings Shoal into his confidence and asks him to watch him to make sure he’s not being controlled by any of the alien intelligences.

Sublime is still not trusted by most of the team, and he’s very frustrated that Thinkwell believes hyperintelligent aliens are behind the plots against them, rather than the Quantinuum itself. Halfshell finds herself being pressured by the company that owns her armor to make a bid for team leadership, and Thinkwell and Shoal pay another visit to the Quantinuum, only to discover something they can’t remember. And the Hyperbads — who may be the genetically altered and mind-controlled former Hypernaturals are making a serious effort to destroy the galaxy…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really outstanding far-future sci-fi superheroics. Great characterization and a really excellent sense of mounting pressure and suspense. Y’all check it out, ‘kay?


Ame-Comi Girls #2

The unified team of superheroines and supervillainesses take on Brainiac above Earth while Power Girl takes her on below the Earth. And even if they can stop Brainiac, there’s still the matter of how to cure Supergirl from her Black Kryptonite infection. And how to deal with the parents of Batgirl and Robin, who don’t want their daughters fighting crime…

Verdict: Thumbs up. The battle against Brainiac was pretty short, which I considered a really good thing, ’cause I was waaaaaay tired of the Brainiac storyline. And I also liked the aftermath with dealing with the parents — it’ll be interesting to see how they’re going to get out of this very mundane threat…

Today’s Not Particularly Happy Links:

  • Just obits today. First Roger Ebert, one of the nation’s truly great writers.
  • Then Carmine Infantino, creator of an amazing number of comic book characters and the namesake of the world-famous Infantino Building.
  • And George Gladir, co-creator of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

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Monday Morning Mourning

Okay, I’m tired and in no mood to spend a long time summarizing these comics, so yoiks and away!


Worlds’ Finest #10

The missing Michael Holt (better known to us comics folks as Mr. Terrific) has apparently been targeting Karen Starr’s labs for paramilitary sabotage, so Power Girl strikes back, wrecking a number of Holt labs and even starting an earthquake that gets out of hand. Huntress learns that Damian Wayne, her kinda-sorta half-brother, has died and pays a visit to his grave, narrowly avoiding an encounter with Batman.

Verdict: Thumbs up. For the most part, typical superhero shenanigans, but the art’s nice. I do wish they didn’t assume we knew dippity-doo about what Mr. Terrific was doing in the New 52. That comic wouldn’t have been cancelled if readers had been paying attention to it.


The Hypernaturals #9

A lot of fighting happen. Seriously, a LOT of fighting.

Verdict: Ehhh, for the most part, not that bad. The action really is very good. I enjoyed the glimpse we get of the older Hypernaturals team. The big cliffhanger kinda lost some of its impact for me because I really could not remember the character it referenced.


Ame-Comi Girls #1

I really don’t know why this series started over with a new Number-One. But they did anyway. Wonder Woman shows up on the scene, Supergirl is still evil, the villains bail on Brainiac and team up with the heroes, and Power Girl is deep underground trying to shut off the machines that will suck the world’s mental energies down to zero.

Verdict: Bah, I’d hoped this very, very long storyarc was almost over, but now it looks like it’s going to run another half-dozen issues.

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Hyper Heroics


The Hypernaturals #8

While Thinkwell, Shoal, and Clone 21 try to survive in a hazardous side-space environment while two evil Sublimes try to kill each other, Bewilder, Halfshell, and Clone 45 try to fight off a bunch of murderous supervillains invading one of their HQs in pursuit of the fabled Nephilim Fragment. Will anyone manage to survive and stop the hypervillains?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very nice action, storytelling, and characterization. We finally get to see Halfshell do something other than being a furious hothead. Maybe the best bit is the flashback that opens the comic, where we see Thinkwell’s first day as a Hypernatural — I really do wish we could see more of some of the characters introduced there, particularly the fractured crystaline Shard and the awesome fear-inducing Haint.


Worlds’ Finest #9

A bunch of paramilitary mercenaries have invaded the labs on Power Girl’s Starr Island (query: Is Power Girl’s Starr Labs the new S.T.A.R. Labs?) in pursuit of some kind of hidden data. Karen is out of range, leaving an injured Huntress to battle them alone. Can she handle them with a broken arm? We also get a flashback to how Huntress acquired her costume.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Pretty good story — I’m a sucker for an “underdog must take out superior forces solo” story. The flashbacks are fine, too. If I’ve got a quibble, it’s with the continuity in the artwork — at one point, Huntress has a broken arm in a cast and sling, but when you turn the page, the cast and sling are both gone, and she’s using both arms just fine. That may seem like a minor issue — but the change is definitely noticeable  It’s an error that should have been caught.

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The Art of Storytelling


Womanthology: Space #4

This issue’s tales include a fable about imagination, theft, and storytelling by Jody Houser, Sally Thompson, Kathryn Layno, and Robbie Robbins; a mystery on a deep-space exploration ship by Devin Grayson, Lindsay Walker, Ronda Pattison, and Robbie Robbins; and a story about a strange being found floating, alive, in the vacuum of space by Christine Ellis, Elva Wang, and Robbie Robbins, along with a how-to article and some pin-ups.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent stories, fun art, and all-around enjoyable comics. Hope you’ve been picking this anthology series up.


Worlds’ Finest #8

Someone knows that Huntress and Power Girl are on the trail of something important and decides to stop them. That leads to assassins trying to kill Huntress — she manages to stop some and scare off the others, but she takes a serious gunshot wound and has to be rescued by Power Girl. And while Huntress recovers, Power Girl goes on a worldwide hunt for the people who tried to kill her friend.

Verdict: Ehh, thumbs down. There’s plenty of action, but not a lot of any sense that anything important is going on here. It felt like a placeholder issue, and not much more than that.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • I can hardly believe I, of all people, am having to do this, but if you’re tempted to believe any of the BS getting spouted by those Sandy Hook Truthers, read this Snopes article debunking their crap immediately. And if you’re still going to be tempted to believe them, I’m going to come to your house and beat you to death with Olympus Mons.
  • Is Barnes & Noble going to last much longer? Are they in the process of closing their stores down right now? And if so, what does it mean for the future of book publishing in America?
  • The people making the Atomic Robo comics are some of the smartest people working in the industry.
  • I kinda like the idea of a supercomputer that can’t stop swearing.
  • And speaking of swearing, Dame Judi Dench is possibly the most awesome person around.

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You Can’t Take the Hell Out of Hellboy

Hellboy in Hell #1

Here’s something we don’t see often enough anymore — a comic written and drawn by Mike Mignola. Hellboy is dead, and like all good demons, he’s ended up in Hell. While one demon tries to beat him to death (again) with a hammer, a warlock tries to defend him, and a puppet show performs Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” Hellboy tries to make some kind of sense of everything going on around him.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’d be a thumbs-up just for Mignola’s wonderful artwork. But the writing and action and humor are all primo, so there’s another reason to go get it.

House of Fun

Evan Dorkin throws a whole lot of funny strips in here, including Milk and Cheese, The Murder Family, The Eltingville Club, and a huge number of short newspaper-style strips. No, I’m not telling you more than that — it’d spoil all the fun.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Ye gods, like I should have to tell you Evan Dorkin is funny? Go get it, you mooks.

Colder #2

Well, at least it doesn’t have another cover as gross as #1! Okay, that’s damning with faint praise, and this is actually a very nice comic. Declan is walking around and talking like a normal person, which freaks out Reece, the nurse who’s been his guardian for the past few years. And what really freaks her out is when Declan uses a crazy street person to give her a glimpse into what the world looks like for people who are insane — a mad Jenga game of skyscrapers and monsters — and he gives her a look at what his life used to be like in the asylum. Meanwhile, Nimble Jack drives a fairly normal agoraphobic completely ’round the bend so he can feed on her madness.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Incredibly disturbing horror — the vision Beth, the agoraphobic, has of an audience full of cyclops-monsters is just amazingly freaky, and everything else is just a shade off-kilter, leaving you feeling a bit unbalanced by the time it’s all over…

Worlds’ Finest #7

While Huntress and Robin fight off deadly wolves from Apokalips, Power Girl has to deal with a bunch of child soldiers armed with Apokalips technology. Not really a lot more than that going on in this one.

Verdict: Thumbs down. The art by Kevin Maguire and George Perez is still gorgeous, but this feels like a series that isn’t really going anywhere.

Today’s Not-So-Cool Links:

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