writer: Brian Michael Bendis
artist: Michael Gaydos
months of teasing, Jessica finally has her date with The Astonishing
Ant-Man. Okay, so it's really just Scott Lang; the cybernetic
helmet never makes an appearance. As he does so well, Bendis
manages to make the man behind the Ant more interesting in
a few pages than he has been in the years since his first
donned a costume. Heck, Bendis even makes Carol Danvers more
interesting this issue, and she's not even actually in it.
going on the date, Jessica also makes peace with Luke Cage
in a sly cross-over with the events of Daredevil. The
conversation illuminates a lot of issues, and also slaps down
critics of Bendis' earlier use of the Hero For Hire, but in
a reasonable (if profanity-laden) way.
actual super-action occurs in a couple of panels near the
end. Scott and Jessica's date gets interrupted by Spider-Man
and The Human Torch chasing Doctor Octopus Classic down the
street. It's a golden moment for two reasons: it acknowledges
the casual destruction of such events, and remembers that
The Torch and Spider-Man are pretty much best friends. For
whatever editorial reason, that seems to get forgotten an
writer: John Arcudi
artist: Seth Fisher
as Tan Eng Huat started to look tired on this book, the quirky
Fisher steps in for a guest rotation. It's a welcome breath
of fresh air, and looking at these layouts, it's no wonder
DC has signed him to an exclusive contract.
the story were as fresh.
incarnation of Doom Patrol has stumbled over the same thing,
a slavish need to rehash the past and add some new layer of
mystery to it all. The original Doom Patrol sacrificed themselves
to save a town from The Brotherhood of Evil (not Mutants).
It was noble. It was shocking. And it was final. Except that
this dead team keeps getting revisited.
picking over the wreckage of the Vertigo version for the past
few issues, Arcudi goes back to the originals. So Cliff gets
a renewed rush of anger towards The Chief, who in retroactive
continuity caused the accident that destroyed Steele's human
body. And there's some humor in seeing the new Negative Man
trapped in the body of the original one, but not enough. The
concept might be quirky, but Arcudi really doesn't do anything
with it beyond taking a potshot at Monsieur Mallah, the revolutionary
ape. At least Grant Morrison took it a step further and gave
the monkey a homoerotic crush on The Brain. There's really
no topping that.
writer: Judd Winick
artists: Mike McKone and Jon Holdredge
move that smacks of neo-post-irony, Winick titles this story
arc "So Lame." Is that to cut us off at our knees? Because
he's right, and knows it.
get pulled out of their journeys by Mojo, the spineless grotesque
blob whose resemblance to a Hutt must be purely coincidental.
Granted, it's an interesting twist that there is no alternate
version of him; every member of the team has been whisked
away to the Mojoverse at one time or another, but it's always
been the same Mojoverse. That sort of explains away
Mojo stories always go the same way, always revolving around
the mystery of Longshot, the three-fingered mutant refugee
from an '80's hairband. The concept was lame from its inception,
only made popular by artwork from Art Adams. McKone is good,
and Winick's grasp of character helps carry us through the
creaky plot, but the twist that will make this arc sparkle
has yet to come.
writer: Brad Meltzer
artists: Phil Hester and Ande Parks
again and drug-free, Green Arrow and Speedy have thrown themselves
full throttle into a mystery. Okay, so now Roy calls himself
Arsenal; Speedy was really a name just asking for trouble
on so many levels.
Kevin Smith seemed intent on taking readers on a tour of the
entire DC Universe, Meltzer appears content with something
even more crucial to the book: a tour of Green Arrow's past.
After last issue's cliffhanger, the re-villainization of The
Shade loomed, but Meltzer surprised with a pretty good reason
for his involvement: somebody has to clean up when a hero
dies. Paying attention to little details like that could prove
unfortunately, there's a last panel pattern forming, but because
Meltzer has at least been intriguing, I'll let it slide.
writer: Geoff Johns
artists: Rags Morales, Rollins & Bair
a Times Past, it's only right for Johns to revive a classic
team. For some reason in the sixties, DC decided that Hawkman
and The Atom were a perfect pair, and this issue proves that,
well, at least they're good friends. However, we've already
seen enough of Carter having to defend his current angst over
Kendra, though it's interesting that Ray Palmer is far less
judgmental than Oliver Queen was.
action in the book, Kendra gets the name of a man involved
in her parents' death. The rough and tumble Warwhip must have
been fun for Morales to draw; he's certainly the most, er,
phallic character to appear in a DC book this month. Also
note that former Hawkman writer Tony Isabella has moved
to St. Roche and joined the police force.
is fun, and at least half of it moves the plot along. But
it looks like next issue will once again be divided between
action and Carter defending his strange relationship to Kendra.
writer: Garth Ennis
artist: Darick Robertson
to being in the hands of Ennis, Wolverine in any other book
is a reasonable man of peace. Somehow, the Logan appearing
in these pages strikes me as the most realistic portrayal
of the character. And he's funny.
danger lurks beneath the streets of New York City. In the
wake of Frank Castle's destruction of the ruling mob families,
small fry scrabble for power. And someone has been scrabbling
for the small fry, making them even smaller by cutting off
their legs with a chainsaw.
comic book fashion, Wolverine and The Punisher come at this
crime from different trails, each assuming the other one is
responsible. Their knock-down drag-out fight sets a new high
for hilariously over the top violence. If you've ever wondered
what would happen if Wolverine took a shotgun to the face,
look no further. Oh, why is this funny?