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David Hines [userpic]

New comics!

August 17th, 2005 (06:02 pm)

Manhunter #13 didn't do anything for me, which is surprising considering I've really been enjoying the series so far. One problem I'm having is that I haven't read much of the Manhunter stuff -- I did have one of Mark Shaw's series as a kid, and Shaw fought Dumas in that issue. Much was made of Dumas being able to change the shape of his face at will, and impersonating Shaw to get him into trouble. Now, in the current series, we learn that Dumas *is* Shaw, and that the Dumas personality was manufactured by the government in order to keep Shaw busy and to have an alternate personality that would be more willing to use Shaw's talents for nefarious deeds. (Apparently, then, Dumas's scenes apart from Shaw and his fights with him were all dream sequences.)

The problem with reading comic books is that sometimes you're not sure who to blame for a really stupid idea. Because I've read so little Manhunter that I'm not sure whether Andreyko had a really stupid idea or just had to incorporate this one from existing continuity. Based on what I've been able to look up, it's Andreyko's really stupid idea: Shaw impersonated Dumas at one point, but now the line is that there was never any Dumas and it was always Shaw all along.

Either way, it annoys me, because I like Kate Spencer as a character, and this storyline is really falling flat for me. Dunno what the serious Manhunter fans will make of it.

Snake-Eyes Declassified #1 was a waste. It's a rehash of G.I. Joe #26 and #27, with a little info from a later issue thrown in, but doesn't teach you anything new beyond what you already know. Snake-Eyes's sister, who is built up as meaning a huge amount to him, isn't developed at all, and that's a shame. The issue just reads like an extended "for those who came in late" rehash, without much new. And the dialogue is pretty awful, with a very few exceptions. I got this out of nostalgia for my childhood, and hope that it could at least not suck. Foiled, alas.

Batgirl #67 is a nice character issue; we get some healing of the rift between Cass and Barbara Gordon, and the Birds have a good little guest appearance. Not sure where this story falls in Birds continuity -- before Babs's recent hospitalization, or after it? -- but it's good anyway. Cass's backstory gets even *crazier,* but I mean that in a good way. Cass's characterization is excellent; at one point, when Cass doesn't want to hear (or believe) what Babs has to say, she faces *away* from her while they're talking. Very nicely staged. And Babs gets to show a keen insight into Cass when she points out that if Cass can't read, she'll never take over for Batman. Which is about the single best motivation to learn to read Cass could possibly be given.

I also liked a little touch: the designated code signal for Cass to identify herself when getting in touch with Babs is 12-9-12-19-9-19. That's alphanumeric for "LIL SIS."

Also, the last panel of Cass and Babs is going to be fic-fodder. I know these things.

Birds of Prey #85 gets my pick for best book this week. I just really enjoy what Simone's doing with the scripts and the characters, and she hit my buttons this week by showing the DCU superhero community acting like an honest-to-ghod community when one of their own -- namely, Babs -- is in trouble. They're concerned, and they're deeply invested... and they're absolutely competent professionals.

Plus, JIM. Thank you, Simone. The most-missed character in the DCU had a small role, and he actually got a scene with his own daughter that was touching and sweet. I've always maintained that Jim knows far more than he lets himself know, and maintains plausible deniability in order to simplify things all around. That may have to change: after all, we saw him in his daughter's recovery room at the JSA headquarters, after Dr. Mid-Nite, Superman, and Cyborg sat in on her surgery, and Black Canary and Huntress come in to check on her. I think Jim's plausible deniability just flew right the hell out the window.

And the last panel... I don't know what kind of changes this means... but at this point I trust Simone to do it well.

Comments

Posted by: Smitty (smittywing)
Posted at: August 18th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC)
Thinking

You figured out the alphanumerics. Dude. I am so impressed that someone else does these tragically geeky things, too. I totally didn't get this one (I was reading the book at 1am, it's my own fault) but this makes me happy. Thank you. :)

This may be the second time Simone has saved me from having to write fanfic by making the book better than my ideas. I just hope she doesn't drag it out as long as this Brainiac thing.

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