Red Hood and the Outlaws 2 (December 2011)


Now, I know Lobdell explained the whole “Starfire is a nymphomaniac” thing as something subversively feminist or whatever, but why are all the other female characters in Red Hood nymphomaniacs too? Maybe even more so than Starfire, who Lobdell here portrays as a dumber, more insipid version of Paris Hilton.

He also seems to really dislike Jason Todd as a character, mocking the resurrection of the character, but also his famous death. Why Jason Todd dying is still part of DC continuity is perplexing. Why not fix things with the new DC Universe instead of perpetuate the silliness?

As for Roy Harper, Lobdell seems to like him even less. He portrays Roy as a constantly unfunny moron (whereas Jason Todd is a rock star).

Rocafort proves he can draw scenery really well. There’s this magical city out of Immortal Iron Fist and Rocafort nails it.

Shame everything else is mediocre.


Shot Through the Heart — and Who’s to Blame?; writer, Scott Lobdell; artist, Kenneth Rocafort; colorist, Blond; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editors, Katie Kubert and Bobbie Chase; publisher, DC Comics.

The Thing: The Northman Nightmare 2 (September 2011)


Niles is beginning to impress me on Northman. He moves into the famous Thing standard… a lot of suspicious people standing around inspecting one another.

His dialogue’s somewhat better too. There’s one passage where he’s completely obvious at trying to lay the groundwork for a reveal and it’s stunning he’s so brazenly predictable.

But still, I liked this installment. It’s the Vikings in this village trying to figure things out. The resolution to the previous issue’s cliffhanger is so quiet, I had to go back and look to see there was indeed a cliffhanger.

The installment is three scenes. One talking scene, a brief nighttime scene to show time is passing and then another talking scene. Niles paces them out quite well.

And artist Reynolds continues to do well. Even though he occasionally loses track of people.

Northman’s still a stunt, but it’s getting to be a better one.

Legion of Super-Heroes 2 (December 2011)


Legion continues to be fine. Levitz is preaching to his choir though; he’s got cute little jokes between boy and girl Legionnaires I’m sure he was doing back in the eighties. He’s having fun and he clearly likes the characters.

It makes the comic entertaining to read, but not necessarily entertaining overall. Levitz makes some odd narrative choices, like treating Mon-El as a mute. Everyone talks about him, like he’s the comic’s de facto star, which I’d never thought was the case. Levitz exaggerates it.

Maybe for the new readers? He’s making a central figure, one easy to identify.

The more impressive thing this issue has to be Portela. He draws the action scenes here a lot better than last time. He still has problems with the comic’s visual pacing overall though.

Once again, I find myself without a lot to say about Legion.

It is what it is.


Hostile World; writer, Paul Levitz; artist, Francis Portela; colorist, Javier Mena; letterer, Pat Brosseau; editor, Chris Conroy; publisher, DC Comics.

Ape Nation 4 (June 1991)


Marshall doesn’t come up with anything good for the Ape Nation finale. In fact, he comes up with all these lame things and keeps stringing them together until the finish. Like most narratives with an endless supply of events, the problem is a lack of story.

I mean, the comic opens with three separate recaps of previous events. Sure, one’s an editor’s note, but it’s like no one thought anyone was paying attention to Ape Nation. Unfortunately, one can’t help but pay attention because some of Marshall’s details are just so stupid.

Like the apes who speak “the ancient tongue,” but this series is set roughly sixty years after the final Apes movie. Apes wouldn’t have been speaking long enough to have an ancient tongue… Marshall just wanted stand-ins for Native Americans.

It’s a bad finale; worse, it brings the series to a definite low point.

Nice art though.