Green Lantern Corps 2 (December 2011)

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All Tomasi can come up with for villains in the Green Lantern Crops is intergalactic ninjas. They have some mystery leader and teleporting powers, but they’re really just ninjas. It makes the comic feel like it’s from the eighties.

Maybe it also feels like its from the eighties because it all of a sudden reads like any other Green Lantern Corps comic I read back then. Once it’s revealed the team is saving a planet of adorable little creatures, I immediately thought back to the eighties comics.

Of course, being a straightforward DC Universe sci-fi book isn’t a bad thing. Tomasi does fine with all the writing. The action moves at a good pace and none of the characters are poorly written. There are a couple bad lines of dialogue but nothing too bad.

And the Pasarin and Hanna art is good.

Corps is completely unambitious and thoroughly readable.

CREDITS

Willful; writer, Peter J. Tomasi; penciller, Fernando Pasarin; inker, Scott Hanna; colorist, Gabe Eltaeb; letterer, Pat Brosseau; editors, Darren Shan and Brian Cunningham; publisher, DC Comics.

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Ape Nation 3 (May 1991)

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I’m perplexed. There’s only one issue left to Ape Nation and the best Marshall has come up with for a threat to our heroes is a rampaging horde of bad guys. But these are all anonymous bad guys; the two major bad guys are still having their bickering scenes.

And Marshall also makes the terrible choice to have his ape hero narrate the entire issue. Except he acts nonsensically in order to meet up with a surprise guest star and takes the entire issue to do it. The rest of the issue doesn’t even feature the protagonist, it’s the gorilla, alien and human deciding they should be friends.

And Marshall’s voice for the first person narration is just terrible. He’s constantly referring directly to the reader, which makes for lame moments.

The color is still great, but about half the art is weaker than the previous issue’s high.

It’s disappointing.

Birds of Prey 2 (December 2011)

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Swierczynski’s Birds of Prey shows exactly why the comic needs two strong leads. Having Dinah partner up with some lame brained new character devoid of personality just shows all the cracks in the concept. Even having Katana, who Swierczynski writes better than anyone else, show up doesn’t help things. Swierczynski’s set the book up with Dinah deceiving everyone, just so he can have soft cliffhangers with Poison Ivy.

But Saiz’s artwork is so great this issue—there aren’t many stupid looking bad guys this time, just one it seems—I’m finding it difficult not to support the book. Saiz has a nice way of not objectifying the characters. Though the costume designs might force him in that direction. Black Canary looks more and more like Brubaker’s Sharon Carter all the time.

There’s no compelling villain, which the book definitely needs. But Swierczynski’s improving and his writing is getting reassuringly mediocre.

CREDITS

Trouble in Mind; writer, Duane Swiercynski; artist, Jesús Saiz; colorist, Allen Passalaqua; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editor, Janelle Asselin; publisher, DC Comics.

Ape Nation 2 (April 1991)

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The coloring and the art come together this issue. The coloring was nice last issue, but this issue it’s even better. And Wyman and Pallot overcome their bad action panels (it’s like Wyman can’t draw human figures, only ape) and create some great art. The close-ups, for example, are exquisite.

Other than the art, I guess the comic’s not bad. Marshall’s change in characterization between the regular Apes and Ape Nation is still striking. It’s like he forgot his human character was sympathetic—highly sympathetic—in Apes and turns him into a vicious sadist here.

The story mostly deals with the apes teaming up with the aliens, at least on the good guy’s half of the story. In the villains’, it’s just about the bickering between villains. Marshall’s not actually doing very much yet, as far as a big crossover.

I can’t believe he’ll get to a compelling finish.

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