HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Comics Today's Date:

Hey Kids! Comics!

Formerly Known As The Justice League #6
writers: Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
artists: Kevin Maguire and Joe Rubinstein

And so another '80's revival draws to a close, before it can overstay its welcome. Granted, a sequel miniseries has already been announced, I Can't Believe It's Not Justice League, but it's heartening that the creators are giving themselves a little bit of a breather before rolling right into it.

They deserve a break, because with this first dip back into their glory days, they managed to recapture the magic while dealing with modern spins on continuity. Half of their team of idiots, Blue Beetle, now has a heart problem, and Giffen and DeMatteis addressed it full on without making it melodramatic. Sure, Ted Kord pranced around this story in his odd blue garb, but if you'll notice, he never actually did anything physical. Rather, he dodged every effort on Booster Gold's part to draw him in.

It made for a good twist in their relationship, and this issue's confrontation over Booster's new "lifestyle" actually brought back an ignored part of his backstory: he may be from the future, but he's still really just a dumb jock. Tomorrow will still have its morons.

Not that this league, henceforth to be known as the Super Buddies, is actually dumb. Maxwell Lord's solution to dispose of G'Nort isn't just clever; it rewards continuity-geeks everywhere. And certainly, the writers have made Sue Dibney into a much fuller character, and done a better job of explaining her attraction to Ralph Dibney, than years of back-up stories and even a mini-series of their own had done. Actually, Sue seems to be a much more vibrant character than her husband; when Plastic Man mocks you, you're pretty bottom of the barrel.

Yes, the modern Justice League makes an appearance, for the most part just observing. Younger members marvel that both J'onn J'onnz and Batman actually spent time as members of the goofier incarnation (heck, J'onn was even in Justice League Detroit - far more embarrassing). For whatever reason, proximity to the old crew actually causes Batman to display a sense of humor. Some fans may find this reason enough to buy the book.

It's not without its serious side, either. Though this issue wraps up a confrontation with the loquacious and self-absorbed Manga Khan, played largely for laughs, Giffen and DeMatteis have slipped some higher stakes into the overall mini-series. Though with some comic relief, the Super Buddies' kidnapping by Roulette has led to consequences for Captain Atom.

The only glaring weak spot is, as it was previously, in their treatment of the Marvel Family. I've lost track of how old the Batson kids are supposed to be these days, but Mary is way too innocent in her attitudes. She can be moral and upright, but they play her as strangely naļve. Unless the Batsons are Mormon (and is that likely given their connection to Egyptian and Greek pantheons?), the jokes at Mary Marvel's expense are just that - jokes, and not humor that arises out of a real character. But that's a carry over from the original run - Captain Marvel was an impossible to be true boy scout then, too. At least when Guy Gardner acted that way, he could claim head injury.

Take the trip down memory lane. Or wait for the trade paperback if you haven't already bought into this series. It will definitely be worth the expense.


Hawkman #22
writer: Geoff Johns
artists: Rags Morales and Michael Bair

If you think this issue is particularly intense and hardcore, it looks to only be the beginning of the current creative team attempting to go out with the largest bang they can. What they will leave, besides a job well done, may be the first Hawkman villain to really stick in the minds of fans: The Headhunter.

Borrowing from urban myths and horror film franchises, it turns out that The Headhunter has plagued St. Roch for decades, resurfacing as a boogey man every few years. Citizens just accept, I guess, that his presence is just a tiny drawback to the otherwise lively city. Since St. Roch seems an awful lot like New Orleans, maybe unexplained decapitations are easy to take in stride.

But that's just a strange and colorful piece of the city's background. What really matters is the impact The Headhunter has on the Hawks. Call him more the straw that breaks the camel's back, as Johns' final character arc has been building for some time, both here and in JSA. (And indeed, next issue's story will actually begin in that comic, not the pages of Hawkman)

Surrounded by undead and thankfully empty shells of his former lives, the Winged Warrior stands beaten, bloodied, but not bowed. Things only get worse from there. Over the course of this series, we've seen a deeper exploration into Carter Hall's past lives than ever before, an element always lurking but rarely brought to the fore. In the Golden Age of comics, his Egyptian origins no doubt seemed somewhat elegant, with a rather restrained acknowledgment of the violence of his first days.

Johns, however, has never shied away from the savagery that should have plagued every incarnation. Due to The Headhunter's tauntings (and desire to absorb Hawkman's knowledge), Carter sheds the veneer of civilization he believes himself to have carefully crafted. The result is a Hawkman that seems almost like The Punisher, but with a more hands-on approach.

The shift looks based on a false premise, perhaps, but one that makes sense for Hawkman to embrace. One of the ideas running through this series has been his addictive behavior. Once he seizes upon a thought, he pursues it doggedly, usually with painful results. The most obvious case had been Kendra, though the two have managed to start building a believable friendship.

So now Hawkman believes he is nothing but a savage killer, answerable to a rougher justice than modern day allows. And cripes, do Morales and Bair make that transition a terribly beautiful thing.

That may not be the truth about his past, but all that matters is that he believes it. And though he may have all his memories, something he did not have in any previous lives, this Hawkman has demonstrated time and time again that remembering what has gone before has nothing to do with actually understanding it.

With Black Adam forming a brutal strikeforce meting out Old World Justice, it's not hard to see where the story is headed next. But Johns has always been good at still twisting the most obvious directions around, so look for a surprise or two.


Derek McCaw

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetā„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites