THE BOYS #26-29
The latest story arc, "We Gotta Go Now," went on a bit too long for my liking, hence me allowing a few month's worth of issues to build up in hope of reaching the ending, which we finally got with issue #29. As Simon Pegg lookalike Wee Hughie's undercover work within G-Wiz (the newest recruits to the G-Men, the series' ultra-assholish X-Men analog) continues, he gets to know his teammates and genuinely like the ANIMAL HOUSE-esque young supers, eventually hoping to extricate them from a life among the team of government-funded super-assholes. It all builds to a climax I must admit I didn't expect (it made me laugh my ass off), but I'm glad it's done with so we can back on track with the rest of the ongoing narrative. I really want more of the romance between Hughie and Annie (aka Starlight of The Seven; if you don't already know, there's way too much backstory to go into in a capsule review) and I want to see more of the Female and the Frenchman, so c'mon, Garth! Gimme some! But with that said, I'd say the issue that gets special points from me is #27, in which Garth ruminates on the nature of St. Patrick's Day celebrations and the annoyance thereof in the U.S.A., and I found myself in total agreement with each point he made (we had a discussion of my own irritation with St. Paddy's over some pints just before the day hit here in NY recently, and Garth told me to wait until I read #27). And Darick Robertson scores again with the splash page to that issue, a tableau that captures Manhattan on St. Patrick's Day in all of its tawdry, hand up the skirt, shamrock t-shirted, vomit-glazed anti-glory as legions of green-bedecked shitheads wander about like zombies and shout about how great it is to be Irish, seconds before they shit their pants and fall over in an alcohol-poisoned heap. (One of these days I'll have to post about exactly what it was like around Marvel Comics on the day after St. Pat's when they were located on Park Avenue South. It was a wonderland of emerald-tinted puke.)
BUCK ROGERS #0
Well, I liked the cover... This twenty-five cent relaunch of Buck Rogers appears to be an excerpt from a longer first issue, and judging from what's between the covers of this preview this reboot does nothing for the character other than restoring his old school jodphurs. It reads like a generic post-STAR WARS space adventure story and displays little by way of characterization, but that may be due to this just being a taste of the overall piece. I'd like to check out the full first issue when it comes out because I've been a fan of the old school Buck Rogers comics since I was seven, and now I'm fascinated to see how the character and his 25th Century playing field are re-imagined/re-invented for the contemporary audience. I just hope it amounts to something better than the Seventies interpretation with Gil Gerard, in which Buck was re-invented as a disco-era douche with an annoying R2-D2 knockoff "cute" robot whose head looked like a cock.
THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #10
After reading issues 11 and 12 of this series and being intrigued about how Pepper Potts acquired her suit of Armor and exactly what the hell was up with Norman Osborn's current status in the Marvel Universe, I backtracked and picked up this issue that goes a good way toward providing those answers. On the strength of what I've read here I've decided to pick up the collected edition of the first six issues of this stuff, THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN: THE FIVE NIGHTMARES, as my plane reading for my impending trip to the UK. If anyone out there has read that material, please write in with an assessment.
BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #26-28
Along with BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL, it's good to see that DC can still put out good Batman stories when swill like R.I.P. BATMAN and FINAL CRISIS stink up the place. This three-issue tale surprised me by being the first comics appearance of 1960's Batman TV series villain King Tut (memorably played by Victor Buono), and he's re-invented here as another in the long line of dangerous gimmick-themed loonies to infest Gotham City. Tut shows up spouting riddles as he commits assorted acts of robbery, mutilation and murder, a blatant theft of M.O. that does not go down well with the Riddler, who assists Batman in tracking down the mad pharaoh. That's all I'm gonna say other than to point out the excellent use of the Riddler and the marvellous act of making King Tut not only work in the 2000's, but actually making him work as a viable, crazy and genuinely scary bad guy at all. I look forward to seeing more of him, and I hope he continues to be drawn by the masterful Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez as he was here, with gaw-juss inks by the incomparable Kevin Nowlan. This comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and I hope it comes out in a collected edition for posterity's sake.