Friday, November 11, 2011

Issue #137: Comic Books For The Weeks Of Wednesday, October 26 & November 2, 2011:

Comic books for the week of Wednesday, October 26, 2011:

All-Star Western #2 (DC)
Legion: Secret Origins #1 (of 6) (DC)
Superman #2 (DC)

Comic books for the week of Wednesday, November 2, 2011:

Action Comics #2 (DC)
Invincible #84 (Skybound/Image)

All-Star Western #2 (DC) *  *  *  *

Jonah Hex and Dr. Arkham learn the secret behind the secret evil taking over Gotham City and face off against their forces in typical Jonah Hex style.We learn more about their plot and how they plan to carry it out, but Jonah might have a different opinion about that. Moritat's art is excellent, conveying the dark tone of the story in vivid detail. I don't know who Dr. Arkham is more scared of, Hex or the evil forces they're fighting, but at least he knows to stay close to Jonah.Do't miss the second story at the back of the issue, starring the classic DC western hero El Diablo, who is drawn into a fight against a foe that is popular in movies and TV these days, but no sparkles are involved, if you know what I mean.

Legion: Secret Origin #1 (of 6) (DC) *  *  *  *

I have to agree with the hosts of the Legion Of Substitute Podcasters hosts. As much as I've enjoyed the new Legion title, this may have been a better choice to use as the first issue of that series. While I love the Legion, there are a lot of characters, which may intimidate some comic book readers. But speaking for myself, that doesn't stop me from picking up a new title if I come in during the middle of it. One of my favorite comic book series is Planetary. My first issue was #19. But it was such an interesting story, and so different from the average superhero title, that I picked it up and gradually bought the back issues. Maybe Legion: Secret Origin will still draw in new readers.

It doesn't so much change the classic Legion origin, as it does add some behind the scene details. UP forces investigate an attack on a planet, and and find a strange device. Brainiac 5 is called in to investigate. Meanwhile we are introduced to a few members of a mysterious agency of the United Planets, who are drawn to that case, as well as three teenagers who save R. J. Brande, one of the richest men in the Galaxy, from assassins. And there's more to Brande than meets the eye, or at least than we've seen in past Legion series. The Legion takes its first steps as a few gifted teens join the founding trio.

What I like most about this first issue is that it doesn't try to change anything that is familiar about the Legion's founding to longtime readers like myself, as it does add new details and background to the origin, which make a classic story seem fresh and new. And, with DC's new 52 relaunch, it's appropriate to have a new origin story to hopefully introduce the Legion to new readers.

Superman #2 (DC) *  *  *  *

I'm continuing to enjoy this new Superman, even if he doesn't wear the red underwear on the outside anymore (not that I'm interested in what he wears under his uniform). Superman and General Lane consult about the threat the Man of Steel faced in the first issue. Clark and Lois have a conversation about the changes in their relationship with her new job, and it does a great job of filling in the background of what their relationship has been in the past. I did like this fight better than the first issue. Whoever is behind these attacks has found a way to challenge Superman in a unique way in this issue. What I like most about it is that  Superman is able to think fast on his feet to get a handle on his mysterious opponent. And is that a familiar place the Man of Steel's in at the end of the issue?

Action Comics #3 (DC) *  *  *  *

The issue begins with a flashback to Krypton, drawn by Gene Ha. It takes place in Kandor, as Lara and the infant Kal-El visit family. Clark Kent gets a visit by the police about his campaign against Metropolis corruption and a possible connection with Superman.Clark joins Lois and Jimmy at a diner to discuss the fallout of Glenmorgan's confrontation with Superman, then compete for the same story. Then a military experiment goes awry. This was another solid issue of the new Action Comics. Writer Grant Morrison is crafting a great story about Superman's early years. Morrison has brought some of the Man of Steel's Golden Age origins into modern day and updated them to craft a refreshing story. We get a sense of Clark's isolation as he is in the process of getting his feet under him as he begins his career as a superhero. We haven't yet learned the nature of the alien threat approaching Earth, but long time Superman readers might have a good guess as to who it is. Reading Superman is fun again.

Invincible #84 (Skybound/Image) *  *  *  *

The cover is very simple, but its simplicity catches the eye. It really sums up the issue. Invincible makes some decisions that promise to change the course of his superhero career. He's not turning evil, but thinks he's found a different way of saving lives as a superhero. Not everyone is happy with his decision. This is what I like about Robert Kirkman's writing. The Invincible co-creator is not afraid to do anything with his main characters, which make his comic books a great read.

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