Rest In Peace Damage

allstars7

JSA All-Stars #7
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie Williams II
Co-Feature by Jen Van Meter
Art by Travis Moore

 

The main story focuses on Judomaster – a character who really hasn’t had a lot of focus. She is dealing with the death of Damage during Blackest Night – I liked it although it didn’t seem to be that different from the letter sent from beyond the grave stories told in comics past. It was great to see former Titans at Damage’s funeral – because DC seems to have forgotten that Damage was also a Titans at one point. I loved seeing Argent too! The Liberty Belle and Hourman back-up goes along with its Indiana Jones like themes – pretty good stuff.

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Flash 231 – 246

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The Flash (Volume 2) #231
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Daniel Acuna

And it begins….Wally West returns as the Flash with his two kids as sidekicks. Now I am not an expert on genetics by any means…but I am pretty sure that if Wally and Linda had children, BOTH would have dark hair and both would have aspects of Linda’s Asian descent and Wally’s Caucasian descent in their faces. Instead we have Jai looking completely Asian and Iris looking completely Caucasian and Iris has red hair. Makes no sense, but whatever it’s not that important I guess. I like Acuna’s art despite other people’s complaints and I did like this issue. I wish that in their little retrospective they didn’t ignore Bart who DID work out of Keystone for a bit before moving to L.A.

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The Flash (Volume 2) #232
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Daniel Acuna

So the Flash manages to freeze all of Keystones in order to fight an incoming invasion of….Vagina Monsters?! Haha well that’s what it looks like sorry. Acuna’s art was still good but I don’t know how I feel about the colorist this issue, everything was a little bland. As for the story, the monsters seems kind’ve interesting but I wish this issue focused more on Wally then his kids as they take up about half the issue.

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The Flash (Volume 2) #233
Written by Mark Waid and John Rogers
Art by Freddie E. Williams II and Doug Braithwaite

This was by far the best issue since Wally returned. We get more Flash then his kids and we get an excellent back up starring Jay Garrick. The Justice League also guest stars. I love Wally’s response to Batman telling him how to raise his kids, noting that Batman has gone through four Robins. I am glad Waid hasn’t forgotten Stephanie. I actually think I liked the back up better with the Planet Salvoth, I love how they look like dogs and the art was fantastic with Braithwaite. I miss Acuna’s art but Williams wasn’t too bad this issue.

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The Flash (Volume 2) #234
Written by Mark Waid and John Rogers
Art by Freddie E. Williams II and Doug Braithwaite

The back-up story continues to be good and the main story is really picking up in this series. I find the kids a little annoying still but oh well it was still good. I have to wonder how these kids, if they aged instantly, make pop-culture quips and know how to even talk. Were they put in a virtual environment like Bart Allen was? I don’t know and I suppose it will never be explained. I also question why Wally would go after the vagina monsters (yes I am just going to keep calling them that), when they seem to have left. If they don’t pose a threat anymore, why be so aggressive?

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The Flash (Volume 2) #235
Written by Mark Waid and John Rogers
Art by Freddie E. Williams II and Doug Braithwaite

The back up story connects to the main story here as we learn the Vagina Monsters are actually the Swamp Invaders from Planet Sorvath. In the main story, we get a nice scene where Wally talks to Jai about the fact that he may age till death quickly. (All of this remind me of the movie, Jack, with Robin Williams) and the Justice League acting kinda jerky toward Wally but otherwise the back up story is what has made this  good.

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The Flash (Volume 2) #236
Written by Mark Waid and John Rogers
Art by Freddie E. Williams II and Doug Braithwaite

This concludes the opening arc in a very satisfactory way. While a lot of people were underwhelmed by this, I thought it was really good. I especially loved the back up story’s conclusion, and the final line where he says “I did not know ‘The Flash’. I knew Jay, Barry, Bart, and Wally. Waid and Rogers really get the humanity behind the character of the Flash and they show it here, especially in Linda’s speech to the council. Good stuff.

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The Flash (Volume 2) #237
Written by Keith Chamagne
Art by Koi Turnbull

This fill-in issue was pretty decent. At least the writing was, the art was pretty awful. Look at that security guard guy, why is he so big! Who looks like that! Basically the kids fight Livewire while on a scavenger hunt in Metropolis, while the Flash goes to interviews. I like that Wally has to deal with things like interviews while being a superhero, it makes the character so human and down-to-earth. Chamagne is almost always a good writer, he needs to be given a regular book.

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The Flash (Volume 2) #238
Written by Tom Peyer
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

Tom Peyer begins his run on The Flash by introducing a new villain with one of the best concepts for a villain I have seen in a long time. Spin apparently plays on society’s fears and makes it a reality, like how the news plays on the fears of society. Very interesting stuff and a nice commentary on the state of modern tv news. I liked this a lot and I look forward to Peyer’s run on the series.

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The Flash (Volume 2) #239
Written by Tom Peyer
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

So it looks like Gorilla Grodd is behind the new villain, Spin. This was a good issue and I like Wally’s new job. Pretty cool. Peyer doesn’t write Jai and Iris to be quite as annoying as Waid did, but I still can’t really warm up to them. I wouldn’t be stressed if the people of Keystone turned against the Flash after the whole robbery thing even without Spin’s influence. People are easily manipulated.

 

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The Flash (Volume 2) #240
Written by Tom Peyer
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

Spin turns Keystone City into a living newscast in this issue. This is a really creative plot and I recommend people check it out. Peyer is definitely a good writer. The kids are kidnapped by the Dark Side Club, tying into Final Crisis. And it looks like Iris has aged to an adult. Grodd is one pissed off gorilla.

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The Flash (Volume 2) #241
Written by Tom Peyer
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

While it didn’t seem like it, a lot did happen this issue. Spin reveals his origin, and Grodd and the Dark Side Club are defeated. Iris is not aged (yet Williams draws her face as being exactly the same, because he can’t really draw that many faces.) To top it off, Wally has to save Inertia from the burning Flash Museum. I almost forgot Wally put him there, what a perfect punishment that was.

 

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The Flash (Volume 2) #242
Written by Tom Peyer
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

Wow, did that just happen? Did Iris just age and die? They were so close to saving her? Something tells me there is still hope. Her aging would be so much better if Williams knew how to draw different ages, she basically looks the same the whole issue but is talking as if she is aging more and more. It really distracted from the story. Williams does draw a cute Nzame though. I will give him that. The whole Edwar Martinez thing was really sad, and the murder plague is creepy. Good stuff.

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The Flash (Volume 2) #243
Written by Tom Peyer
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

In this excellent conclusion to Peyer’s story arc, Iris and Jai are finally cured after Wally removes the black aspect of the speed force from them? Ya it’s kind’ve a weird way of saving them, but it works. I was hoping there powers would be gone so they wouldn’t were those hideous costumes anymore but they are still there. Peyer’s arc was really good and I hope he comes and does more stuff for DC in the future.

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The Flash (Volume 2) #244
Written by Alan Burnett
Art by Paco Diaz

I am not sure how I feel about this issue. It makes me sad that this arc is just depowering Wally so that Barry can come back and be the best Flash or some shit like that. Fuck you Didio and you’re let’s revert the DCU to 1984 attitude. Anyways, at least he can hit the speed of sound, which I believe is what Jay can do. The art and writing is good though. I am glad that Williams is gone, I was so sick of his art.

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The Flash (Volume 2) #245
Written by Alan Burnett
Art by Carlo Barberi

Okay If Linda is dead I am going to be really fucking pissed off. I doubt it but if she is that is so ridiculous. I am not one that freaks out every time they kill someone in a comic, but Linda’s death would so unnecessary. I am not sure what Black Lightning was talking about in the end with the spy thing. I did really enjoy the flashbacks to Wally’s time with the Titans though.

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The Flash (Volume 2) #246
Written by Alan Burnett
Art by Carlo Barberi

Okay like I said if she is actually dead I am going to really fucking pissed and she didn’t get any better this issue. In fact, the Spectre even says she is going to die. I am hoping Wally will figure out a cure soon. Death by bee stings, I mean come on! Besides this, Burnett clearly knows his Wally West history as there are lots of flashbacks to his relationship with Linda and his time as the Flash. Good retrospective but I am worried about Linda.

JSA 7 – 19

Justice Society of America #7
Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Dale Eaglesham

I am glad to be reviewing this series again as it is just so full of goodness I want to scream in happiness. This issue deals with the aftermath of Nathan Heywood becoming Citizen Steel. I do think it is kinda rude how the JSA kinda forces the whole super hero thing upon Nathan but all in all this was an uplifting yet sad story of a man who has lost the ability to feel and lost his family. Starman’s moments are of course fantastic as is the teamwork of the JSA.

Justice Society of America #8
Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Fernando Pasarin

I barely even noticed Eaglesham wasn’t the artist the art and story was so good this issue. This issue dealt with the character of Liberty Belle and really got into the psyche of her character…dealing with her parents and her love for Hourman. The whole thing with not throwing away something just because it has a crack in it was perfect. Tremendous issue.

Justice Society of America #9
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham

While this was another fantastic issue, the last page reveal did not really excite me much; considering I am not a fan of Alex Ross or Kingdom Come but I trust Johns will do something good with the Superman of Earth-22. Oh and Johns knows how to utilize each member of a superhero team like no other writer in comics.

Justice Society of America #10
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham

I like that one has to not even read Kingdom Come to understand this as Kingdom Come is recapped throughout the issue. I am digging this even though I wish this series wasn’t so Alex Ross-influenced.

Justice Society of America #11
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham

I am getting exicted for all these new members! In this issue alone we get Superman of Earth-22 (who I like the contrast between his perception of New Earth and the Earth-2 Superman’s perception), Judomaster, and Mr. America. I wonder why Judomaster is so different from her appearances in Birds of Prey though. I am pretty sure she spoke English there.

Justice Society of America #12
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham

Nice! I am always excited for new members and this issue was packed full of ’em. Amazing Man – making the original a hero of the civil rights movement was brilliant and the new one helping out in New Orleans after Katrina was brilliant as well. Lightning – You have to wonder why Black Lightning has these daughters he never mentions. It is unclear in this issue – but aren’t Black Lightning and his wife still divorced. Visually Lightning is cool as hell though. Lance is probably the least exciting of the bunch – I mean his Lance arm is cool but the whole no costume thing kinda kills it. I like that he is Roosevelt’s Great Grandson though. Roosevelt you could say is a found of the JSA. I don’t know how I feel about Lance mentioning there are 300 other metahumans in the military because I don’t really like the idea that metahumans are extremely common. It takes away from their specialty.

Justice Society of America #13
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham

This was another good issue but it was a little more Kingdom Come-Centric then I would have liked and not enough JSA action. I like that Jakeem Thunder is crushing on Lightning. They would make a great couple!

Justice Society of America #14
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham

This is the kind of issue that shows how well Johns writes teams. Not only does all twenty-something members get a word in in this issue, but they are all utilized well in the fight scene.

Justice Society of America #15
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham

The fight with the false Gog continues this issue with great character moments sprinkled in – such as Lightning’s aggression over not being able to drive a car to Citizen Steel’s declaration of his “thing”- the art and writing in this issue was fantastic. The upcoming preview was cool but didn’t get me as excited as the first issue’s one did.

Justice Society of America #16
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Fernando Pasarin

I can’t tell if Gog is bluffing or not, but he does have the creepiest yet warmest smile of any giant gods I know (:
Pasarin is the perfect subsitute for Eaglesham, their work is so similar.
I hope Damage’s face isn’t fixed for good. I like his current costume.

Justice Society of America #17
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Fernando Pasarin

Awww I really like Gog! I like his smile and his kindness. I still get the feeling he can’t be trusted but he is at least fooling me into thinking he could be a good guy. Another fantastic issue. I hope Starman isn’t permanently cured, he is a lot more interesting as a loon.

Justice Society of America #18
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham

I am excited for next issue as we get a look at the Earth-2 Michael Holt in this issue. Hawkman is right…it might be a good idea to let them stay as trees but no I do not think he should be allowed to just kill them. I get the feeling that Gog’s “miracles” are not really blessings at all.

Justice Society of America #19
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham

At first I thought that Johns had gone to the cliche we are going to fight eachother over something completely stupid thing but luckily he saved itself by Alan Scott declaring the JSA doesn’t fight itself. Awesome. I didn’t want Johns going all Winick on us all of a sudden. Anyways, another fine issue but this is Gog thing is dragging out a little long. I am more excited about the Power Girl stuff and look forward to next issue. Oh and it’s great to see Black Adam back.

Flash 9 – 11

The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #9
Written by Mark Guggenheim
Art by Ron Adrian and Art Thibert

New writer Mark Guggenheim begins his run on the Flash this issue and it is a total 180 from this title’s first run. From the get go, Guggenheim shows that his run is going to be good. Now, I have accepted Bart as the Flash for a while now, but for those who haven’t, I think Guggenheim will open their mind to Bart. This issue relected a lot on Bart’s past but at the same time moved the character forward and was a great jumping on point for readers. Bart decided not to join the titans nor the Justice League until he is ready and I think that was a good idea. Great issue.


The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #10
Written by Mark Guggenheim
Art by Ron Adrian and Art Thibert

Well, this was another great issue by Guggenheim, who seems to be redeeming this series to its former greatness. I really enjoyed this. Bart in Police Academy is really fun and cool. I loved his detective work on this issue as well. The last issue was pretty surprising, particularly if you are familiar with the character of Iris Allen. And it is soooo nice to see the Rogues again.

The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #11
Written by Mark Guggenheim
Art by Ron Adrian and Art Thibert

So Inertia is gathering the rogue’s together to destroy the Flash and to build a machine time? It may not seem like the greatest plot but Guggenheim handles it very well and makes it pretty exciting. Especially the last page, which is pretty shocking but not totally surprising. The Flashes have a history of revealing their identities to the public, but I wonder if this time it will stick or if it will go the way of Wally West’s secret identity? Who knows? All I know is that this story looks like it is going to be a roller coaster ride of fun.