Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Things That Made Me Happy...

...in my comics this week.

Much to my surprise this week, I bought five DC comics and actually liked them.

Even BEFORE Dan DiDio was fired.

Matt Fraction's Jimmy Olsen was its delightfully, deepeningly insane self again.  This is not only a great way to write Jimmy Olsen, it's the ONLY way to write Jimmy Olsen. 

If you don't think that's funny, you don't deserve to read comic books.

This week's Aquaman gave us an ailing Mera, squabbling Atlanteans, a new explanation for someone's powers -- all of that's pretty standard BUT we got a baby out of it, so I approve.

"We'll name her... Aqua5G."

I thought the whole "Mera's pregnant/will she miscarry?! Stay tuned, same Aqua-channel!" thing would go on forever as an 'arc'.  But it just... happened. Like things used to happen in normal comic books.  That made me happy.

Meanwhile, in Gotham, things aren't going well because, well, that's how you know it's Gotham.  Bruce is rebuilding Gotham without, apparently, telling anyone what it will look like (which is hilariously unrealistic to me, a Washingtonian); Alfred is still dead again; and Gotham's non-united underworld (Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, and, I hope at some point, Two-Face) are caught up in some ancient plot they once had which is starting to blow up in their faces and it has something to do with this guy:

Not certain; pretty sure he fought the Doom Patrol, though.

This is "The Designer" *snicker*, who apparently got caught flat-flooted by a last-minute invitation to the Villain Cotillion and had to cobble together a costume by breaking into the prop room at the community theater.  

JUST to hammer home the Doom Patrol joke, you understand.

Now, any well-read Batman fan will realize this is just a combination of Alan Grant's "Destroyer" storyline from 1992 and the Mike W. Barr's "Paul Sloane" storyline from 1987. But 20+ years is enough time passing to make a redux acceptable. Is this story so far any good? Probably not, but at least it's good FUN.  And it acknowledges that Catwoman used to be a MAJOR VILLAIN, rather than just Batman's moll. That made me happy. 

By the way, DC: stop "de-clawing' all the DCU's greatest female villains (e.g. Catwoman, Harley Quin, Poison Ivy) to make them into faux-edgy anti-heroes.  It's both tedious and sexist.

Meanwhile, in Justice League, Robert Venditti effortlessly accomplishes the sine qua non for any JLA story (which most JLA stories sorely lack): a credible threat that makes sense based on the existing universe.  The Eradicator backed by lead-immune Daxamites wants to use them to make Earth the new Krypton by eradicating humans. That's simple, clear, sensible (in a supervillain way) and an unquestionably JL-level threat.  

Polite Superman is the best Superman.

Flash not being honest with his teammates about his current power issues is stupid and out of character, but, um, somehow Dan DiDio is to blame, so I'll overlook it for now.

Speaking of Dan DiDio being to blame, this issue of Brian Bendis's Legion of Super-Heroes was... not completely incomprehensible.  That's an improvement. That made me happy.  Sure, the Interlac is still more comprehensible than everything else but Bendis is laying a fairly solid foundation that his successors (may they come soon) can built on top so that we can ignore his work. I'm all for that.  

Perhaps Bendis should be barred from English and confined to Interlac.

Seriously, while Bendis's dialog remains superhumanly annoying, the plot elements seem solid. Origins for each of the three Legion founders, origin of the Legion, an RJ Brande who doesn't look like the Monopoly guy; all this will work going forward. When someone else is writing Legion.  What he's doing will need to be done better later by someone else, but it won't need to be UN-done.  

Except for Rose/Thorn. That's just silly.


Jeff McGinley said...

Wow, your first "things that made me happy" post in about seven years, and its costing me money again. I have no idea how I missed Jimmy Olsen being written by Fraction.

John C said...

I suspect there's one other way to write Jimmy Olsen, which is to fast-forward him to an over-the-hill curmudgeon who walks up to supervillains in the street and starts haranguing them, figuring there's literally nothing they can do to him that hasn't happened a dozen times already. I mean, he's the one guy in the DCU I could imagine kicking Darkseid in the shins while telling him how utterly stupid his plan is and that even his name is goofy.

Speaking of speaking truth to villainy, if you're naming yourself The Designer, you had damned well better be absolutely sure of your outfit before you leave the house. Gold chains and a necktie lead me to deduce that he's not a very good designer.

Scipio said...

Yes, I doubt that Tim Gunn would approve of this self-styled "Designer".