Schachat's Occasional Breakdown
Schachat carries on in his father's bowshafts...
early pages of Connor Hawke: Dragon’s
Blood #1 scared the bejesus out of me. Starting
out with the usual “I am forever living in my father’s
shadow”, following it up with “I had that dream
again, <insert name of new friend here>...”,
and then capping the whole prologue with “You want
me to join an archery contest?”.
Felt like being
beaten over the head with the Big Book of Tired Plot Points.
But then Chuck
Dixon did two great things. First, he gave the archery tournament
an interesting mythological back-story. Then, rather than
zip Connor along to the archery tournament and have him
exchange glances with the broadly drawn stereotypes we might
expect there, he does us right and shows them in action.
A bowhunter who
can bring down a rhino with one shot. A wild monk scampering
through the jungles. The American celebrity showoff. And,
of course, Lady Shado clinging to the top of a speeding
Yakuza automobile by the arrows she hammered into it.
creative team would have this crew just stand about menacingly.
These guys know that a hero needs a challenge, and they
roll out the heavy competition right away. Now we know Connor
has to do more than just sit around and whine the whole
time. Now we have a Connor story worth getting into.
52 #29 reaffirms its greatness and what defines
the DC Universe with this issue focused on the Justice Society
of America. A year ago, they’d been celebrating Thanksgiving
with the Justice League. Now, they barely have enough members
on the roster to convince the world they’re still
means long lines at the JSA facilities...
first Flash, the first Green Lantern and Wildcat meet for
the formerly bustling event, the Thanksgiving Day parade
goes by their window, complete with Lex Luthor’s Infinity
Inc. The oldtimers can’t help but scoff at the names
Luthor’s lackeys have taken from fallen heroes, showing
no regard for history or morality, but the fit really hits
the shan when the newest newbie is presented: everyone,
And, yes, she
took the costume of the recently deceased Jenny Lynn Hayden,
too. Green Lantern barely manages to hold in his anger,
but his son Obsidian won’t stand for the mockery they’ve
made of his dead sister.
the mad scientists on Oolong Island celebrate their Thanksgiving
with a chainsaw-carved roast pterosaur. Doc Magnus doesn’t
have much appetite for his comrades' antics, but Chung Tzu
is even less pleased when he finds that Magnus hasn’t
come up with anything to flesh out Intergang’s arsenal.
Of course, taking him off his medication should warp his
mind enough to get the old creative juices flowing...
What you have
to appreciate most about this issue is the way it exemplifies
the style that makes DC unique. No other comic continuum
has such a sense of legacy. Sure, DC continuity is about
as shaky as Andy Dick going through de-tox, but the history
builds and builds. Old heroes come back, new ones learn
about those that came before.
has enjoyed more freedom with their crossovers, having a
single generation in a single universe taking most of their
attention, DC’s sprawling history has allowed for
a deeper, richer style of storytelling. Maybe that’s
why Marvel has such a hard time passing on mantles, while
DC can do it with ease.
case, this is an issue DC fans will feel in the gut. Don’t
need to tell you to pick up Runaways #22?
Honestly, every Marvel marketer, comic critic, internet
dweeb, and comic shop regular has been jabbering about this
book since the first issue of the first volume. Which got
cancelled. Not the point.
grandfather was a runaway toaster.
This issue is
the beginning of the end, in many ways. Brian K. Vaughan
finally passes on the pen to Joss Whedon, but not before
he shakes up the rat cage a bit more.
Fast” story arc opens with our most lovably dysfunctional
teenage supergroup tangling with a gang of werewolf cowboys.
thoroughly displeased with that development, too.
But Chase Stein
returns to the group after his meeting with the Gibborim
wherein he learned he can bring Gert back to life by sacrificing
an innocent soul. Not just giving away their life, but completely
eradicating them from ever having been.
As usual, the
character interaction is what makes this book so special.
Nico and Victor, the most... conflicted members of the crew,
see some romantic sparks fly. Which would be great if Vic
wasn’t a robot.
Molly also gets
a great scene with Xavin where she questions his/her shapeshifting
habits. She understands Karolina likes girls, but she can’t
figure out why Xavin doesn’t remain a girl all the
time. He/She explains it quite simply: That’s just
not who he/she is. Xavin is a shapeshifter by nature, and
that’s just something they’ll have to understand
To start with
a child understanding homosexuality is brilliant. Kids can
understand if they’re relatives like the same gender,
and we really should show that more in fiction. But explaining
Xavin’s gender-swapping like that... If only Marvel
had been doing this with Skrulls all along, we might remember
them for more than their chins.
worry if you missed the last arc or two of Runaways.
This arc gives you a nice place to jump on and enough teenage
conflict to fill up a few series set at Xavier’s.
Vaughan fans, enjoy the climax. Whedon fans, brush up for
your new favorite comic.