Saturday, April 18, 2009

Easter comics DC edition - Supergirl Cosmic Adventures/Supes New Krypton/Booster Gold

(Fuck, I'm so behind. This post was written Monday I think....)

Due to busyness at work and Good Friday being a bank holiday I didn’t get my comics until Saturday and didn’t get a chance to read them until Sunday, after my sister had left for the weekend. Turned out there as a lot of spoilers to avoid on the internet so it’s a good thing I was too busy entertaining to be online. Onwards..

Booster Gold #19
As mentioned in an earlier post this has a very suggestive cover. Check out the eyes. It reminds me of the Buffy episode with 2 Xanders when Anya suggests keeping them both around for a threesome. Booster Gold: Now with 100% more innuendo.
I enjoyed the juxtaposition of younger Booster with older Booster. I also liked Rip Hunter’s blackboard with comments re current DC events (Vigilante, Oracle, Batman and Robin). Those are fun.

I am not enjoying Michelle’s breakdown. She hasn’t been brought back to life from the dead, she was plucked out from the time stream just before she died. She didn’t die. Why is she going a bit insane? I appreciate it could be a headfuck but I thought she’d got the hang of time travel by this point?

Genuine question: Have I missed something to explain her freakouts? Did she, in her own personal timeline, actually die? Also, to show my ignoramity, how long has she had magnetism powers for and where did they come from?

This issue had another Power Girl #1 preview. I really hope these previews get the series lots of readers. Now if they’d done a similar push for Manhunter, or even something like a smaller scale version of the Flash: Rebirth splashes then maybe Manhunter would have had more readers. Having said that, the back ups have probably been in the bag quite a while which would explain why they let the series die a death.

Superman: World of New Krypton #2
Of 15? FIFTEEN? Where was I when the observance skills were handed out? I thought this was a 12 issue run.
Kal is looking rather fetching in this series, it’s the new black and grey suit. Nice, very nice. The Guardians of Oa discuss the new planet, thereby sowing the seeds for Hal and Kal’s face off, and reminding me that they don’t all look the same. Until I bought the GL Corps book the other week I was convinced the little blue dudes were identikit, like multiple triplets or something.

Kal meets his army squad people, (or Red Sharp tactical Response Unit if you want to be accurate) including his second in command, Asha Del-Nar. I like her. We’d better get to know her as there’s something incredibly…resonant? captivating? there. Anyway, upon Kal meeting his squad they are performing an initiation ceremony on Non, involving some kind of porcupine/lion cross. Non looks quite frankly terrified. I’d always thought of Non as evil, this issue leads me to believe he’s not, just mentally retarded (apologies if that’s the wrong term). Kal calms the cat animal down and bollocks his squad.

We next see Kal with Alura, who’s looking far more serene, albeit with a weird head ornament. Lovely white dress and black/gold cloak though. She is definitely not mad or vicious this issue, thankfully. Kara also arrives, sporting a new way of wearing her cape. Instead of tucking it in around the neckline of her top, she’s brought each edge in to meet in the centre of her collarbones. It looks good. Kara also seems less stressed this issue and is reveling in the family being together again.

Next there is an issue with escaped crazed animals which Kal solves bloodlessly, and then a hostage situation involving the Labour Guild and privileged folks, which looks like it could be solved with the very bloody deaths of 30 people.

It strikes me that this issue was very good at bringing new readers in and building up the personalities of the main characters. Kal’s method of resolving the bullying of Non and the crazed animals shows his fair and compassionate side. Zod’s handling of the new Kryptonian weapon and his reaction to the animal incident and the hostage situation shows his malevolence. I’ve already said how Non’s depiction surprised me. This pleases me, and as someone who has loved Superman all her life but has only started reading the books recently I think it has been done really well.

There wasn’t much of Kara or Alura in this issue, but we did see a bit of their positions on the new planet. Alura’s portrayal changes issue to issue, dependent on who’s book you are reading. But, maybe this will get resolved later on. Or maybe she’s that insane/depressed and always shifting into different personality types.

It struck me whilst writing this that the Super titles feature a hell of a lot of women at the moment, and not just on the sidelines. Each woman is central to each book. Supergirl – Kara, Alura, Cat Grant and Lana. Superman – Ma Kent, Lois. Action Comics – Thara Ak-Var and Ursa. Superman: World of New Krypton, Alura, Kara and now Asha. That’s pretty well rounded. I like.

Supergirl; Cosmic Adventures in the 8th grade # 5
Penultimate issue. Booo. Want more please DC.
Belinda Zee is on this week’s cover, looking pretty snappy, and titled Evil in a skirt! Great byline. She takes on a Bizzarro type of role in this issue, complete with a #1 pendent round her neck and everything.
We first see Kara talking to her mum via the communicator, that’s nice to see. I’d forgotten about that. Then the plot starts going mad…

Past Kara turns up after having spent time in the future. She has a new legion belt and cape buckling action. Lena remembers she knows Supergirl’s identity (See DC, mindwipes never equal kittens and joy), except…Streaky returns a bit later and gets turned into a kitten, but I’m racing ahead.

Lena gets her memories back. Belinda Zee is given a #1 medallion by the head teacher. Comet turns up. Past Kara introduces herself as Supragirl. Supergirl loses her powers, due to 2 of them being in the same place, same time. Belinda Zee is turning the schoolkids into Bizzarro minions.

She jokes about Supergirl lording it round the sky on a flying horse..and sees Supergirl (not) lording it round the sky on a flying horse..Streaky turns up and gets turned into savage giant sabre tooth cat, Lena starts subjugating the entire student body to do her will, Supragirl flies off on giant Streaky, Lena turns up in battle armour, along with the subjugated students (where did all the armour come from??), Streaky gets turned into the cutest kitten, Lena rescues Lex from prison and zaps Superman into collapsing, Mr Mxy climbs out of the headteachers mouth, Belinda steal the communicator and talks to Kara’s mum (heartbreaking), Supergirl goes after battle armour Lena, Supragirl goes after Superman (bound in kryptonite and hanging from Lex’s ship) and Belinda Zee disappears in a flash of blue light while we see Mr Mxy cackling with 3 other imp type creatures.

And I haven’t even included all the references to silver age adventures, that I discovered through the Supergirl Comic Box Commentary post.

Whew. This issue was nuts. It was great. Dense but easy to follow.

I've still got a few trades to review - Hawkman and a couple of Batman ones, plus last week's purchases and some manga that I've been meaning to comment on. All this and a stag weekend and a wedding (not mine) to prepare for. Help.


Bookwormwithanattitude said...

Hey there, Saranga, Nev here! Shel had magnetism powers in the original Booster Gold Series because some scientists that worked for Booster made a Goldstar suit that had magnetism powers so they could hire Booster a female sidekick.

Then Booster got really sick and in trouble, so Booster's assistant, Trixie (much to her chagrin) had to wear it to rescue Booster. They went to the future to cure Booster of that disease, but Booster was a wanted man in that time period. Michelle saw Booster was back and came to rescue Trixie and Booster. Booster bought her back to the present with him.

Shel asked to take a vacation and Micheal gave her some money. But she also nicked the Goldstar costume, wanting to play superhero and have some fun. Unfortunately, she got zapped by some aliens or something, my memories fuzzy. Micheal came to rescue her, but the dimension was about to collapse, so Michelle insisted on saving it, because she knew the, um, not-self-destruct code. Booster reluctantly agreed. Unfortunately, a falling thing struck her and she exploded along with the dimension.

As for her freakout, search me. As far as I can tell, it's completely random. I don't know how Shel could NOT have known she was dead, as her brother is older and more experienced and she's obviously missed a huge chunk of his life. And the implication is Rip yoinked her just before she died so....WTF. It's as random and hack-ish as hell.

Saranga said...

Hello there!
Ok, magentism powers sorted out now. Thanks for the info :)
And Trixie? Was she blonde by any chance? I love names like Trixie and Fifi :D

Bookwormwithanattitude said...

I think she was blonde, but I read the Booster Showcase, which was b&w, so I'm not positive.

She was also pretty cool, she kicked some ass with her Goldstar powers and complained about her skin tight outfit when she had to wear it ("If it weren't for my regular aerobic workouts, I'd look like a real porker! I'm going to have to wear this mask!") and liked cats, and was kind of shy while still standing up for herself and being assertive. Also she saved a little girl once.

Anonymous said...

Non was introduced (I think) in the original Chris Reeve Superman movie as General Zod's hulking but non-speaking and apparently mentally-challenged flunky. He didn't get a lot of characterization, but in retrospect my impression is that Non wasn't particularly evil himself. He just did whatever Zod told him to, in most cases not really possessing the mental capacity to understand that Zod and his methods were evil.

I'm not sure how much, if at all, Non appeared in the actual Superman comics until recently. I know Ursa was a guest villain in one of the Superman titles not long after the Chris Reeve movie came out, and various mutually contradictory versions of General Zod have been popping up all over the Superman titles for about the last three or four years. However, as far as I am aware, Non wasn't with either of the other evil Kryptonian characters during any of these appearances.

All three of the Kryptonian villains spotlighted in the movie(s) did appear together in the famous issue of John Byrne's 1980's Man of Steel miniseries in which Superman wound up killing them to protect Earth from what he regarded as their virtually inevitable future escape from the Phantom Zone. (He must have been reading his own comics while visiting Earth-Prime or something.) Afterward Supes felt so guilty about this that he took a vow never to kill again no matter what. Of course, the Silver Age Superman had a vow against killing no matter what the circumstances from the very beginning, without having to reluctantly execute anyone and then repent of it first. So many fans at the time felt that there was no need for Byrne to provide this rather counterproductive justification for Supes' anti-killing policy in the course of rebooting the character from scratch.

Anyway, Non was reintroduced in some Superman storyline within the last few months. In this story, which I think was written by Geoff Johns, Non was provided with an origin for what I believe was the first time. It seems that Non was originally a brilliant scientist friend of Superman's father Jor-El who shared Jor-El's belief that Krypton was about to blow up and tried to help him convince the pigheaded Science Council to do something about it. The Science Council viewed Jor-El's theory as the Kryptonian equivalent of shouting bomb threats in a crowded theater and forbade him to publicize it. They also kidnapped Non, who was found stumbling around in a swamp or something a few days later, speechless and obviously lobotomized.

Apparently Zod somehow won Non's confidence while the two of them and Ursa (among others) were imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, and has been using him as a lackey for tasks requiring brute force ever since. Since Zod is currently a) pretending to be a good guy and b) enjoying a position of authority second only to Alura's on New Krypton, he doesn't have much call for superstrong but virtually mindless minions at the moment, especially since Non started out as the kind of guy who would never go along with tactics like threatening the lives of innocent hostages if he understood what was going on. So apparently Zod dumped his former henchman in the New Krypton military because he no longer had any particular other use for him.


Saranga said...

Hi Margaret
Wow, comprehensive explanation! Thanks for providing that. :)

Anonymous said...

Found this while on a search engine so maybe I can answer a couple questions. First Trixie was a redhead which is likely why the colorist got Michelles' hair color confused early on in this series. As for Michelles' status yes Rip did rescue her from moment before her death.

While it wasn't anything like ten years ago it had to be around 4/5 years, Booster was 20 a year or so younger than Nightwing is though he has jumped ahead of time a little himself. While Batman somehow managed to figure out he was older in the pictures (he's Batman) Cyborg has recently commented that Booster doesn't look much older than Donna Troy (then at least 19) so there's a slight believability that she wouldn't ask too many questions especially with the jumping around her brother does.

As for the freak out, according to Jurgens it's a combo of things.

1.) She actually witnessed her death (that Rip erased) on the view-screen. That would freak me out some.

2.) Rip/Booster/Skeets have been going on and on about the rules which she had learned to accept only to learn that they were violated. Why? Because apparently she was a favor to Booster from her brothers' friend (her POV.)

3.) She's been lied to while they plotted her life to be a TM. Again from her POV.

4.) Michael has been keeping more secrets from her. The Carter family frowns on this big time. Their mothers' last words to Michael were to disown him for gambling not caring that it was to save her life, Michelle might see herself as another gambling chip.


Saranga said...

Hi E.Marie, thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Re the secrets thing, I wasn't aware of that so thanks for the info.
Re your points 1 to 3, I can see how that could freak her out, but I'm not buying it. That may be a fault in the execution of the story or it may be my stubborness, but something didn't seem to fit.
Maybe I should go back and re-read the issues, especially as I'm thinking of dropping Booster now because it hasn't been so great the last couple of issues.