This Week in Mainstream Comics

5/23/12

Batman Incorporated 1/Captain America & Hawkeye 631/The Fury of Firestorm 9

Batman Incorporated 1

Batman Incorporated  returns with a new number one, and another new group taking over Gotham. It really seems like a lot of those pop up. I’m not an ardent supporter of the Morrison Batman, but this issue is pretty straight-forward and lacks Grant’s big ideas – i.e. crazy shit that leaves roughly half the readers confused.  Robin the Boy Wonder has a bounty on his head, and while being led into a trap the mysterious Leviathan stakes to take over more and more of the city from its residing crime-lords. It’s told well, but very much feels like a rehash. I did enjoy Damian here, and especially the ‘Bat-Cow’ line.

Several other Batman make an appearance, but without any background or having read the earlier issues I’m not sure who’s who. It’s a minor issue in the book though, and relegated to a few panels.

Damian looked great too, very-much like the young boy he’s supposed to be. Chris Burnham is excellent at channeling Frank Quitely, and on first glance that’s who I would have thought drew the book. He’s given some really fun stuff to draw, from a battle in a slaughterhouse with goat-headed men to ninja manbats at a fancy-dress dinner, and all sorts of violence in general. Burnham really elevates a standard plot into a pretty good fun issue.

 

 

 

 

Captain America & Hawkeye 631

If it has a dinosaur on it, I’ll buy it. And if Captain America’s a dinosaur, well that’s cool. He’s been a werewolf too. This Captain America title is basically a team-up book, with this story-arc featuring Hawkeye (Iron Man takes over his spot in two issues). This is the second stealth-team-up book I’ve read this month, after Avenging Spider-Man, and it’s an interesting way to get them out there. As a long-time Captain America reader, it’s also a little confusing, because I remember when Cap was considered outdated and lame by a large portion of the audience. Funny how a popular run (and people actually READING his stories instead of just commenting on them) can change opinions, so much so that Steve is now anchoring two books, while appearing in Avengers team books as well.

Marvel has once again been kind enough to give a recap page, and once again it’s incredibly useful. In short, this issue is about a symbiote-dinosaur-dire wraith mash-up trying to take over Captain America to take back the world. It’s got a nice little battle with Dino-Cap and Hawkeye, but I’m not sure why the arrow-guy is using a gun for half the issue. I’m also really, really not a fan of his (lack-of) a costume. He looks so generic, and Hawkeye is anything but. That said, he does make a few quips and is still written like the character should be.

Captain America and Hawkeye 631 is a fun but feel really inconsequential. It does end with a giant snake monster, and a villain/hero dinosaur named Stegron, but overall it’s not going to be something remembered by anyone but it’s die-hard fans.

The Fury of Firestorm 9

I desperately need a recap page for this book. From what I remember from interviews months and months ago, Firestorm is now part of a stable, made up of multiple Firestorms. That’s important, because some of them have gone rogue or are evil copies, or something. All I can say for certain is that they’re attacking Paris while several other atomic/nuclear heroes battle them. Then the Justice League International shows up, and the picture doesn’t get any clearer.

It may be that I’m spoiled by 80’s super-hero goodness, but it was the little things this book got wrong. The JLI is introduced in a full-page splash, but there’s no introduction for the reader. Not even little boxes with their names next to the character. Batman was here, but as a non-JLI reader I am GUESSING it was Dick? Or does Bruce pal around with them at all? I just don’t know what’s going on. Firehawk and Firestorm later fuse to create a villain, Ronnie Raymond is sleeping in a truck somewhere, and in general the entire Firestorm Corps thing could have used one little box of extra information.

It’s so frustrating, because the cover to this book is terrific, and is why I decided to give the comic a chance. I’m not typically a Van Sciver fan, but this is great! The interiors look terrific as well, penciled by Yildiray Cinar, but the story is just not enjoyable with as head-scratching as it was for me.

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