Schachat's Weekly Breakdowns
Schachat is a
Man Arby Corps..
April 26, 2005
know, looking at the new Superman costume, I can’t
help but wonder why he needs a big leather belt to hold
up his indestructable hotpants…
anyone who thought the DC Universe wasn’t rife enough
with paranoia and distrust after the events of Identity
Crisis and Countdown to Infinite Crisis, there’s
good news: The Omac Project #1
is here. This first issue gives us so much reason to distrust
everything we know, comic fans will probably start stocking
up on canned food and shotgun shells in preparation for
up right where Countdown left off: Blue Beetle
has been murdered by Maxwell Lord, who now rules a shady
organization called Checkmate. Having hijacked Batman’s
OMAC surveillance system and essentially won the day, Max
is surprised to learn that all the files concerning how
to kill every hero in the known universe have been purged.
Batman, on the other hand, is sulking over how his machines
won’t respond to him. And Sasha, Black Knight to Max’s
Black King, ponders how they got to this point and sacrificed
their souls along the way.
I admire the way Greg Rucka’s setting up his story,
I’m also deeply dissatisfied with certain elements
of it. Undoing any good done in Countdown, Rucka
portrays Blue Beetle as an idiot who happened to stumble
onto a plot, couldn’t possibly hack into Max’s
computer, and isn’t important enough for his death
to squeeze an emotional response out of Batman (though it’s
hard to get too peeved about that last bit). But then he
gives us a scene where Wonder Woman says she always believed
in what he was doing.
kids, but I read Countdown, and, despite the fact
that they killed off one of the best comedic heroes in the
DCU, I could appreciate that they at least let him die the
most heroic death of all: fighting the good fight to the
last even when no one believes in you because you know it’s
right and has to be done. The Omac Project pretty
much saps all meaning out of Beetle’s death, tainting
the whole affair.
hoping Bats gets a mohawk.
It’s a decent start to a mystery,
but avoid it like the plague if A) you didn’t read
Countdown B) you liked Blue Beetle C) you’re still
having trouble accepting Maxwell Lord as a villain AGAIN
D) you don’t have the patience for another gradual
story of how you can’t trust anyone in the DCU or
E) all of the above.
managing to find a way to cram a miniseries into the time
between when Spidey was offered membership in the New Avengers
and when he accepted, Spider-Man: Breakout #1
devotes most of its pages to rampaging supervillains rather
than ol’ Webhead. But will this one work out better
than Identity Disc?
Our tale begins at a supermax security prison
where the U-Foes and another gang of villains plot a breakout,
only to have their attempt thwarted when the security guard
they bribed turns them in. Two years later, Electro raids
The Raft and our baddies are on the loose in New York. The
U-Foes and the other gang are both gunning for the guard
who betrayed them, but first they need to take each other
out, just for good measure.
Good thing Spidey’s swinging around
when the battle breaks out, eh?
Tony Bedard squeezes some sympathy out of
the U-Foes and Manuel Garcia gives us some very nice pencils
(with the exception of a few face shots), so I can safely
recommend this title to anyone looking for a good supervillain
POV adventure. But, if you’re looking for Spidey,
this isn’t the book for you. He appears in exactly
three pages and two panels of this comic, so the title’s
a bit misleading. Still mildly recommended.
still marginally safer than tripping on acid, Superman
#215 staggers onto the stands with the end
of Brian Azarello and Jim Lee’s year long run. The
cover boasts “30 pages!” as if that were something
special, and then we’re treated to lots of big panels,
meaningless brawling, and meandering faith questions.
As if we already hadn’t been for the
The good points: our dying priest has been
turned into a cybernetic killing machine just like Equus,
the “vanishing” is solved, over, and done with,
and Superman gets a new Fortress of Solitude.
The bad points: Zod is still just a cackling
madman, Lois and Clark have inexplicably hit a bump in the
relationship, just about everything has returned to the
status quo, and I still can’t for the life of me figure
out why Kal-El would design an android version of his mother
with so much cleavage.
only thing about this run I’ll take on faith is that
it reads better as a single volume than a monthly series
- because there’s no way I want to read this story
again. Minorly intriguing faith argument aside, the recent
Superman hasn’t lived up to any of the hype
and I won’t be surprised to see this run selling for
peanuts on eBay. But don’t waste your money. Even
if you have the peanuts to spare, this just isn’t
worth the time it takes to read it, scratch your head, then
re-read it and sit around in puzzlement for an hour.
Avengers #3 furthers my belief that I’m
becoming a softie. You look at the ingredients going into
the book, and it’s the same assortment off the ol’
Marvel spice rack, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t
really wish Kang hadn't picked that New Coke Iron
prior issues’ fighting and revelations, this issue
chooses to sit us down and discuss what’s going on.
it’s probably the most sitting and discussing you
can get away with in a comic, but that’s tempered
with the revelations that Patriot (the mini-Captain America)
is the grandson of the “original” Captain America
(from Truth – Red, White, and Black), the
late Ant-Man’s daughter has been exposing herself
to Pym particles over the years and will probably be the
new Giant-Girl, and the whole team of youngsters is based
off a plan found in the memory banks of our dear departed
despite a lot of chit-chat and a somehwhat brief and anti-climactic
fight scene, the book still manages to reel you in. Granted,
there will probably be a lot of questions about continuity
(though not as many as with this week’s JLA Classified),
yet it’s still an interesting, well produced little
book that outshines many recent Avengers stories. Recommended.