This has been one of the slower weeks in comics for a while. I gave DC the icon, based on the quality of:
BLACKEST NIGHT: SUPERMAN #1: Ok, I'll admit, I didn't expect much out of the tie-ins. This turned out to be a fairly good horror story. The problem? It seems so out of character for Earth-2 Superman to suddenly haunt the crap out of Metropolis (notice the Jason Voorhees parallel at the start of the issue). Of course, maybe that's the point of the Black Lantern. Anyway, the horror motif was there and Smallville seems like the perfect setting for such a story. Black Lantern Factoid of the Week: Superman apparently embodies five different parts of the emotional spectrum at once. The fun's just getting started here, with Earth-2 Superman and Earth-2 Lois Lane rising from their graves. This one's a good popcorn issue. Thumbs up!
BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM #3: Whereas the first two issues looked at perennial B-list loser Firefly, this issue actually takes a look at a much more interesting B-lister: Victor Zsasz. Clever use of various "Zsasz-o-vision" panels give us a look into the twisted mind of Zsasz, as Black Mask gives him a new lease on his criminal life. This is, by far, one of the more interesting takes on Zsasz that I've seen in a long time. Elsewhere, Hush is still parading around as Bruce Wayne, giving away the family fortune, including funding the rebuilding of the chemical plant that created the Joker. Dick and Damien look to stop this with a fresh round of intimidation, via the Outsiders. Somehow, I doubt that'll work. A good issue for some fresh characterization. Thumbs up!
DARK REIGN: THE HOOD #3: Probably the most chilling issue of the week. Still trying to resist Dormammu's influence, Hood still parades around in an old Crimson Cowl outfit, as his gang starts to get wise to him. Madame Masque is suspicious of Satanna setting up shop in the basement. But the most nail-biting moment comes when the vengeful White Fang meets up with Parker Robbins' wife and child. Issue ends with White Fang cryptically hinting to Hood that the wife and child aren't well. Odds are that they're dead, which would be the most tragic direction this story could go, but we won't know for sure until next issue. Jeff Parker gets an A+ for building up suspense and this series has been great. Thumbs WAY up! And I suddenly hate Brian Bendis THAT MUCH MORE for spoiling the Hood's final fate in a throwaway New Avengers issue three months ago.
DARK REIGN: MR. NEGATIVE #3: Speaking of good characterizations of the Hood, this wasn't one of them. Hood comes across as one-dimensional, but that's probably for the sake of the series' focus: Mr. Negative. Negative and Hood fight one-on-one, with Negative looking to get the upper hand with his corrupting touch. But for the first time ever, the corrupting touch fails, as Hood is empowered by the dread Dormammu. Only intervention from Norman Osborn (via phone call) saves Negative, as they've brokered a deal at the last second. This issue is pretty paint-by-the-numbers, but is interesting for the complex origin of Mr. Negative. The idea of the ultimate yin-yang villain has become a lot more appealing after this mini-series. Of course, if you didn't jump on board, you shouldn't feel like you missed THAT much. You can savor this in trade (at a discount). Thumbs in the middle.
Yeah, slow week. Next week picks up, though...I think.
It is now being reported (volunteertv.com)that Andre Norton has passed away. While she was never one of my absolute favorites, her books were always ones that I enjoyed and often found to be quite thought provoking.