Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Not-so-New 52": Issue #5 Reviews (part one)

So another month and year has passed, and here at Superhero Reviews the sad news of O.M.A.C.'s cancellation has been received.  But optimism still abounds, as we eagerly await the first issue of Conan The Barbarian (from DarkHorse Comics) which will be released in February!....and with my tightening budget, I don't actually have to choose a title to drop....DC Comics did that for me.

This month we finally meet the mysterious Midas in Green Arrow, have an epic monster-battle royale in O.M.A.C., watch rage get smarter & perhaps learn that someone dead really isn't in Red Lanterns, and witness flying submarines in Deathstroke......on to the reviews:


"As the saying goes, "Power Perceived may be Power Achieved"....even when it's not." That quote from the pages of Issue #5 sums up the entirety of this quick-reading, action -packed look back at Deathstroke's life with Christoph, Peabody, & his son, Grant.  Slade Wilson buries Christoph who was murdered last issue to send a message to Deathstroke.  

Peabody arrives and together they figure out how Christoph was found and track the signal from Ravager's knife.  Slade goes to find his son, but quickly realizes he was baited. Enter: Legacy.  A new Legacy (not the one Deathstroke killed in an earlier issue), who is far more powerful and strategic than the last.  Deathstroke and Legacy have it out, but the fight is cut short when Legacy hurls a submarine.....yes, a the world's greatest assassin! The issue ends with Deathstroke trapped under the wreckage of the exploded sub.....

An impressive issue from an art standpoint.  Joe Bennett has done a wonderful job thus far, and I'll be sad to see him leave when Rob Liefeld takes over writing and art with issue #9. Simon Bisley's covers are the real reason I even picked this title up in the first place, so I'll miss him as well.  This is probably the quickest read of any of the Deathstroke issues so far, yet Kyle Higgins does a masterful job delving into Slade Wilson's past, finding a clue to Christoph's death, and a decent villain dialogue when Legacy attacks Deathstroke.  This issue is free-flowing, pieces-fitting-together, read-it-a-second-time-right-away Impressive!!!


As Blood Rose has her wound tended to (from last issue's fight with our Emerald Archer), her associate shows his concern and decides to take matters into his own hands to keep Green Arrow from becoming a threat.  We learn some of the background behind this stranger who reveals himself as Midas. He is basically just "toxic-chemical-waste-man", which means he's probably a better rogue for Swamp Thing then Green Arrow....but I digress.

Meanwhile, Oliver Queen finds himself with a new "partner" at Q-Core, Adrien has been given "veto" powers over all of Ollie's business decisions....and he, Naomi, & Jax ponder how that may effect Green Arrow's relation to Q-Core.  They don't have much time to think about it; however, as Midas arrives to take a hostage to draw out Green Arrow!!  Ollie ducks away (like a coward), but our favorite Archer arrives a short time later.  

Green Arrow gets his @$$ handed to him, but ultimately takes down Midas with the Banshee Arrow (another great trick arrow from the quiver!), but has no time to celebrate, figure out why Midas attacked him, or how he knew the connection between G.A. & Q-Core.....since Blood Rose has arrived! The issue ends with Green Arrow staring down the barrel of a gun, held by Blood Rose. Can the Emerald Archer figure out what's going on, and put the clues together before she pulls the trigger?

I like the Blood Rose character, but don't really care about Midas.  He is in love with her, she's in love with Ollie Queen (I suspect) classic "love triangle". This story arc is making me more and more hyped for writer Anne Nocenti's arrival though! 


The title of this issue; "Occasionally Monsters Accidentally Crossover", basically sums up the Checkmate; unable to stop or capture Brother Eye & it's O.M.A.C. on their own, seek the assistance of another secret Government organization...S.H.A.D.E.  Their leader; Father Time, sends them their best agent to take down Eye's monster: Frankenstein.  

Meanwhile, Kevin Kho just wants a hot dog.....and some normalcy in what has become his topsy turvy life. But that is not to be today, as he is attacked by Frankenstein and barely has time to OMACTIVATE.  A great battle ensues between the two monsters of their respective era's technology....with splash pages, explosions, flying cars, and lots of bricks.

Meanwhile, Brother Eye uses the epic distraction to infiltrate S.H.A.D.E.'s computer systems and download Eye's protocols.  Unable to stop Eye, or track Eye's position in orbit, Father Time & S.H.A.D.E. are left frustrated and confused. Having accomplished it's agenda, Eye BLINKS O.M.A.C. out of his battle with Frank in the nick of time.....taking Frank's arm with him. The issue ends deep beneath Cadmus Industries, where we discover that Lord Mokarri answers to someone higher than Maxwell Lord....and mysterious figure known only as Grand Director.

After getting over my initial depression of the announcement of O.M.A.C.'s impending cancellation, I really enjoyed the issue, a crossover that may not have effected sales that much for either title, but was definitely enjoyable to read and exciting. I am somewhat puzzled by the bad sales though.....excluding O.M.A.C.'s origin, he is basically the same character as the Incredible Hulk, who has had the same basic story arcs used for decades with great success.  I think if O.M.A.C. were given the time and proper exposure, the title could have been successful as well.  That said, appearances in Justice League International (as is currently being rumored), and possibly in Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. from time-to-time may fuel popularity for the character and possibly some mini-series in the distant future.


Peter Milligan & Ed Benes continue their amazing work in issue #5, following the Red Lanterns of Rage.  I find it amazing how entertaining this is, considering that most of it has been spent on Ysmault so far.  It should really take off once they begin "adventures" off their home-base planet.  That said, it has been needful to remain on Ysmault so build the mythos of the Red Lanterns, their origins, and define their mission as a Corps. 

This issue begins with Atrocitus attacking Bleez, believing that she has stolen the body of Krona....yet Bleez points out the possibility that Krona may yet still live. Atrocitus sends Bleez "roughly" on her way back to the Blood Ocean to find Ratchet, Zilius Zox, & Skallox (who were thrown in last issue).  Dex-Starr (our favorite Feline of Rage) makes an appearance...and Atrocitus comes face-to-face with someone or something....but is it Krona? 

Bleez retrieves Ratchet, Zilius Zox, & Skallox as Atrocitus returns to let them know of their mission:

"With Blood & Rage of Crimson Red
Ripped from a Corpse so Freshly Dead...
Together with our Hellish Hate
We'll Burn You...
That is Your Fate!"

and so they begin their hunt for Krona.....
Meanwhile, John Moore the Earthling is called to the Red Lanterns Corps....BA-BUM, BA-BUM!

It is awesome to see an Earthling in the Corps! This is a great issue, from all standpoints!  I love the entire Green Lantern Universe, but the Red Lanterns just call out to me in all their bloody, Ed Benes draws one hot Bleez.  Seriously though, the plot, art, Dex-Starr appearance, and direction this title is going is wonderfully rageful!!  The title hasn't needed any other Corps appearances, it's stood on it's own and is only getting better...

Overall, all of these issues were good....but if I had to pick a favorite so far it would be O.M.A.C., with Red Lanterns a close second. With the cancellation of O.M.A.C., and my having no interest in the new 6 titles they announced....DC Comics has lost $2.99 a month from me.  I'm drawn to Conan The Barbarian or Planet of the Apes to possibly replace O.M.A.C. I'll have Part Two of the #5 Reviews in a couple of weeks. 

No comments:

Post a Comment