Welcome to Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column not affected by tryptophan. That stuff in turkey that makes you sleep. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Anyway, let’s get to some comics!
From Marvel this week, the Spider-Clones of the Multiverse band together to take on the Inheritors in Scarlet Spiders #1, a Spider-Verse tie-in; the Axis Effect has inverted heroes to villains and vice versa. Now, Tony Stark has put down roots in sunny San Francisco and he’s going to make everybody better by giving them all Extremis. Unless, of course, a certain red-clad, horn-headed, blind lawyer can stop him, in Superior Iron Man #2; and the New Warriors’ series comes to a shocking end, in New Warriors #12.
From DC this week, Earth-2 welcomes John Constantine to its end, in Earth 2: World’s End #8; Geoff Johns and John Romita, Jr. continue their run on Superman, with the Man of Steel and Ulysses teaming up to face every super-bad out there … except for one that Superman refuses to fight, in Superman #36; Flash is trapped in the Speed Force and Central City is left without a hero. Or is it? Find out in The Flash #36.
From Dynamite, Starbuck and Athena face a terrifying enemy under Carillion, Apollo, Boomer and Jolly face Baltar’s Cylonic Giants, and the Aethership Galactica heads to Gemini to stop an invasion! But will it be their greatest battle – or their last, in Steampunk Battlestar Galactica 1880 #4
From Dark Horse Comics, the Sunnydale homecoming becomes less than fun as Buffy, Spike, and Willow realize that Andrew is in over his head with the Vampyr book and a terrible plan, and the demon they’re up against has a grudge against Slayers and a penchant for eating souls, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 #9
And from Image, while a storm rages throughout Tokyo, secrets are uncovered beneath the city streets, in Wayward #4
The ghost of an evil sorcerer is loose in New York. He’s out for world domination and he’s creating warriors for his army of the damned. A possessed Casey Jones is among them. Who ya gonna call? Well, you’re half right.
Issue two of this nerd-tastic team-up that children of the ’80s have been waiting for is slower-paced than than the first, but still just as good. Seeing Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening’s work has me missing Ghostbusters yet again. The action wasn’t really here with this one, but now the fun is in watching the Ghostbusters and the turtles interact. There were some great moments, one of which stems from Egon and Donatello sparring back and forth about the existence of ghosts. Donatello is a non-believer, while Egon scoffs at Donnie’s insistence that there are aliens. All of that is fun and it really only exists to give the reader the difference in mentality between dimensions. Erik Burnham and Luis Antonio Delgado’s art is gorgeous as always and I haven’t seen the TMNT rendered as beautifully as they are here. It really made me sad and lamenting the end of the Ghostbusters series. But I said that already, didn’t I? See how miserable I am? *snif, snif*
I could totally get behind this creative team working on the TMNT as a regular thing, some time in the future.
Our villain, Chi-You, a ghostly Chinese sorcerer hell-bent on world domination, is kind of one dimensional and furthers an expected plot, but the writers are handling it with so much fun and amusement, it’s interesting in spite of itself. And that’s really the only negative thing I have to say.
If you’ve ever wondered what a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters team-up would be like, you won’t find a better answer than this. And kudos to writers Burnham and Tom Waltz, who keep every character’s personality alive and their own. Each character has a distinct personality and it never gets lost in the shuffle. This is going to be a really fun romp. If you’re not reading this, you’re seriously missing out.
Meet the detectives of the Gotham City Police Department’s 13th precinct. They investigate the things that go “bump” a little louder in the night.
I was honestly surprised by how good this book was. Aside from the Bat-titles, I largely remain unimpressed by anything coming out of DC these days. But this was so radical, I had to give it a shot. Plus, all of the Bat-titles are batting 1000. They’re just really good. Gotham by Midnight felt like a Hellblazer story without John Constantine. That said, there is a Constantine series currently at DC, and it’s being written splendidly by Ray Fawkes. Who, by the way, is also the writer for this brilliant piece of work I’m reviewing right now.
Without giving too much away, Gotham by Midnight is about the detectives at GCPD’s 13th precinct, led by Jim Corrigan, and their mission to investigate the supernatural. In this first issue, the detectives investigate two girls who may be possessed, and speak no known language. It has a Gotham Central vibe to it, and readers may stay away for fear that it sounds too gimmicky. But the first issue is a pretty solid police procedural with a small twist about halfway through.
Now, if you’re like me, the only reason you’re even going to pick up this book is because of Ben Templesmith’s art. Templesmith puts down some solid creepy artwork that cements itself in your mind’s eye long after you’ve put the book down after that final eerie page, and he and Fawkes go together on this like bacon and eggs. Peanut butter and jelly. Pancakes and syrup. Phineas and Ferb.
This was another great book this week. Fawkes and Templesmith introduce us to a different, scarier Gotham. I’m game.
And this concludes Four-Color Bullet this week. After a brief hiatus and a schedule change, your favorite comic book review column will be back on Thursdays, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.
It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See ya next week. Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. Bring on Christmahanukkwanzaaka!
Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for SCIFI.radio!