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2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
Editor:  Ernest Lilley
Associate Editor: Sharon Archer

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Daniel's Comic Book Column# 11, September 2002
by Daniel P. Dern

YOUNG JUSTICE #49

QUICKIE REVIEWS OF (SOME OF THE) COMICS I'VE BEEN READING

As is probably clear, although I've been doing short-list recommendations that could be done on a budget of ten bucks a month, I'm spending more than that -- and, were money and space no constraints -- I'd spend lots more, on new issues and reprints/collections and other book-type comic objects.

Thanks to the quarterly sale at New England Comics, a local chain, I also recently indulged in some titles I have been curious about, but not curious enough to pony up full price for -- at 50% off for "rack" (recent) issues (excluding the current week's), I was prepared to indulge myself. (I was actually very restrained, and spent only about twelve bucks there. I also troll for reprint collections and other trade editions, but at 20% off -- they used to do 30% -- for these, it's less of an interesting deal.)

So instead of yacking at length about one or two things, I'm going to go through the stack of recent purchases and tell you a little bit about them -- some mix of the issue in particular and the title in general -- which may or may not inspire you to join me. Done more or less in order they came off the most recent weeks' pile.

First, tho, a preview/plug:

Supergirl #75 by Peter David, available Oct 23.  Look familiar? Here's a preview, although me, I'm just going to wait and be surprised, hopefully happily.

OK, now the reviews...

ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #153 (October 2002) (DC, $2.25) "Foul Play"  Geoff Johns, Brent Anderson, Ray Snyder
A leading roster like the above -- granted, I'm mostly familiar
with author Geoff Johns -- pretty much guarantees a good read.
A done-in-one plot, centered around a baseball game. Good art.
Recommended

GREEN LANTERN #153 (October 2002), $2.25, DC
"You Can Never, Never, Never Go Home Again" Judd Winick, writer
Kyle Raynor, the current Green Lantern, attends his 10th high school reunion, accompanied by his green-skinned (and superpowered) girlfriend, who meets his mother for the first time. Good enough (not sure if surprisingly so).

Alan Moore's GLORY #1 (December 2001) Avatar, $3.50
Alan Moore, writer; Maramt Mychaels, pencils; Robert Jones, inks Glory and the Gate of Tears: Chapter 1, "The Seventh Dagger" Kinda old issue -- #s 2 and 3 are out. Like nearly everything Moore does, interesting and bears re-reading. Glory is a demigoddess, visiting our mortal realm. Her mortal aspect gets in trouble.
Lovely, lovely art. Recommended

TOM STRONG #16 (April 2002) America's Best Comics, $2.95
"Showdown on Laundry Street" Another of Alan Moore's interesting series which I haven't caught every issue of. Here, an interstellar cowboy hits Earth in the prelude to what's gonna be a big showdown/fight. Recommended.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #43 (recently), Marvel, $2.25 JMS,
writer; John Romita Jr., pics; Scott Hanna, inks "Cold Arms" The plot and characters keep movin' -- enter Doc Octopus, who gets involved in more than a handshake with a new villain. Recommended, of course.

TOP 10, #11 (May 2002) America's Best Comics, $2.95
"His First Day on the New Job..." Yet another great series by Alan Moore, with lovely art that bears re-looking at. I like these when I read them, but at $2.95, it's just seemed to pricey to add to my regular list. The premise: Super-hero cops, to deal with super-hero sized villains and other problems. Moore's trademark combination of sophisticated characters and interaction, what seems like lots of lots of little comic history refs scattered throughout in the art (OK, these also apply to a lot of Grant Morrison's stuff). Get the trade paperback collection.

DOOM PATROL #12DOOM PATROL #12 (Nov 2002), DC $2.50
"Armed and Dangerous" (cover title) "South of Heaven" (inside title) I run ambivalent on keeping thi stitle -- John Arcudi's done a great job on plot and dialog, and Tn Eng Huat's art is great, and they've done a great job on Cliff "Robotman" Steel as an experienced super-hero. I think if I had to really scrimp, I'd let this one go -- but I know
once I did, there would be issues I'd regret missing.

YOUNG JUSTICE #49YOUNG JUSTICE #49 (November 2002), DC, $2.75
"Fighting MAAD" Part 3 of 4: A.W.O.L. Peter David writes some of the best titles about teenagers. (See his Supergirl in the DC ONE MILLION event from a few years back.) (His work on THE HULK wasn't shabby, neither, ditto what he's been doing in Supergirl.) Young Justice, the newish group of sidekicks, protoges and other not-quite-ready-for-the-Justice-Leaguers continues to be a wild, funny, moving, tender romp. This one is all of them.

THE NEW X-MEN #131 (October 2002), Marvel, $2.25
Grant Morrison begins picks up the pace again. You can tell the sub-plot hints will start coming together with big-time intensity any time now; while not up to his work on Justice League, or the X-Men arcs he just wrapped up, there's lots of interesting stuff here, along with the continued amazing cover art. Get it or chance missing something.

SUPERMAN 186 (November 202) DC, $2.25 
Geoff Johns, story; Pascual Ferry, pencils; Cam Smith, inks Ending Battle, Part 1 (of 8): Morning Twilight. Somebody has it in for Clark Kent's friends from Smallville. Some months back -- just before, I think, the "Our World at War" story arc -- Lex Luthor was shown satellite photos of the crash of then-baby Kal-El's space pod from Krypton, at the edge of the Kent family farm. Recommended, as long as you're willing to spring for all the pieces, across the several Superman titles. Coincidence? Only time will tell.

GREEN ARROW #16 (November 2002) DC, $2.50
The Archer's Quest, Pt 1 of 6: "Photograph"
Kevin Smiths' "Quiver" arc that brought Oliver Queen back from the dead has ended, and we're on to a new writer and a new plot. Start now, stay tuned. This one's largely setting up things to come, so it feels a bit slow, but there could be interesting surprises ahead.

THE AVENGERS #57 (October 2002), Marvel, $2.25
Geoff Johns, writer; Kieron Dwyer & Rick Remender, artists
World Trust Part 1: "New Alliances" New author (you'll recognize him from hot DC titles) takes over for Kurt Busiek, and starts with the classic "let's redo the roster" simultaneously with "big trouble's comin'" ... Get on board now, because Geoff Johns at the helm bodes well (for the readers, not the heroes).

FANTASTIC FOUR #60 (September 2002), Marvel, Nine cents
Yes, that's right, nine pennies -- as promised, Marvel goes the Batman Ten-Cent Adventure one better, price wise. Mark Waid, Mike Wieringo and Karl Kesel do a great job of a "done in one" that recaps the FF's origin without a standard flashback AND gives new insights (or spin, if
you're cynical) on why the FF does things they way they do -- no secret identifies, big HQ in mid-NYC, etc. At that price, you can't lose.

The Comic-A-Week List

More next month! (No one-comic-a-week list this month, too hard to pick.)

Daniel P. Dern is a free-lance technology writer. He was previously Executive Editor of Byte.com, and still has a supply of Byte.com pocket protectors* to prove it, and no, these are not, repeat not, Motie watchmakers who ate Tree-of-Life root, even if this is SFRevu.

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