Green Lantern #55: I don't know why there's such love for Lobo. He's a tertiary character who has a strange cult following, one that's trying desperately to make a movie of his adventures. I liked Lobo better when writers didn't use him as the Logan of DC. So in reading Green Lantern #55, I couldn't help but see Wolverine in Lobo's place. They're basically interchangeable characters. Now, while Lobo at first appears to be a nod to the fans, it looks like Geoff Johns has more planned for him. He has a few clever lines, but exits the story just as quickly for reasons we're given, but not fully given (a common theme in Johns' writing as of late). The reason to pick this comic up is Doug Mahnke's art. I've enjoyed the comic more on a visual level than a story level. Lobo and Sinestro fight, and believe me, friends, when I tell you that it's the highlight of the issue -- and it's only two pages. Plus, Lobo says what I think a lot of DC fans are thinking right now "Ya can't swing a dead cat without hittin' someone wearin' a power ring anymore." My thoughts exactly.
Batman Beyond #1: I loved this comic. There's something for every Batman fan in this issue. Buy it -- I think the series might be a sleeper hit.
Turf #2 (Image -- Ross & Edwards): The premise behind Turf seems like it was dreamed up by a five year old. Vampires, Alien Robots, and snooping reporters. It was taxing just reading three pages of this comic. I like a comic with substance, but excessive narration and dialogue bogs down the flow of the story. It took me three days to get through Turf, and even then I pretty much skimmed the hell out of the last few pages. This is an example of interesting premise, poor execution. After the first issue, I thought I'd give Turf one more chance, so I did. But I won't be buying issue #3.
7 Psychopaths #2 (BOOM! -- Vehlmann & Phillips): See above note about excessive dialogue and narration, and you have 7 Psychopaths. I love the characters, but I can't stand Fabian Vehlmann's need to put as many word bubbles as possible on the page. And they're not quick bubbles either -- they're loaded! The first page has nine panels, and fourteen bubbles. Even the pages with the fewest amount of panels (three) has an excessive amount of bubbles (ten). I'm sure Vhelmann has a lot he wants to say (as the story is pretty in depth), but he needs to cut out the excess and leave only the necessary information. So while I think the series has potential, I need an editor over at BOOM to do more than make a few "recommendations" for improvement. I need you to take a red pen and start slashing. Murder the baby, and I think you'll have a much more interesting story.
Zombies vs. Cheerleaders #1 (Moonstone -- Frank & Glendenning, Hickman and Washington): This was a recommendation from the comic shop guy. It's exactly what it sounds like. Zombies start attacking people at a football game, and the cheerleaders need to save them. This is the part of the review where you hear crickets chirping, and a muffled cough in the background. I can't say I was expecting more, but really I was. With such a silly premise, I expected a lot of clever dialogue and funny situations. But we don't get that. We get a lazy attempt those things, but nothing really of substance. Gimme an N, O, B, U, Y! What does that spell? "No Buy!" Whoo!!
Bannen's Book of the Week:
Batman Beyond #1: While this isn't my first foray into Batman Beyond, it's definitely most most in depth reading. For those of you unfamiliar with the premise, Batman Beyond tells the story of Terry McGinnis, a reformed high school student whose father was murdered by a gang of people known as Jokerz. By happenstance, Terry ends up at Wayne Manor, discovers Bruce Wayne was Batman, and convinces him to let Terry take up the mantle of the Bat. Enough backstory -- the thing that makes this work is Terry McGinnis. Terry is the kind of Batman that most people would be: reckless, emotion driven, and careless to a fault. He's athletic, but not trained the same way Bruce is. He relies heavily on the Batman costume, a futuristic and upgraded version of the traditional gray suit. McGinnis is nowhere near as dark as Bruce, and he doesn't do much to help keep the aura of the Batman alive, but his take on the role of hero is the thing that sells the issue. We're also given a few hints as to what will occur in the series. Not wanting to ruin it, I will just tell you that Adam Beechen doesn't reach too far back into Batman's rogues gallery to find his villain. I was pleasantly surprised by the ending -- I had the villain figured out (or so I thought), as I think most Batman fans would as well. But the last page moved the series beyond its animation framework and into the realm of comic books. If the rest of the series is as good as the first issue, I hope DC makes this a continual project. With Adam Beechen at the helm of course.