This week was great. A new issue of Infinite Crisis, a free comic promoting Civil War and the return of one of my favorite characters. Of course, my bank account isn't too happy with it all, but who cares? Grab your Yoo-hoo and let's get going!
Detective Comics (DC): When I was younger, I dutifully collected both the Batman and Superman books (back when there were four of each). But, over the years, I drifted away from the titles, mainly because I was tired of all the gimmicky storylines. I'm referring to Superman's "new" costume and powers, Batman: Fugitive and so on. Then something happened last year: I realized how much I like the two characters when they're done right. I still didn't add the books back to my pull list, but, when DC launched their One Year Later initiative, I decided to check them out. During the one-year gap, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman disappeared from the public eye, and the current storyline running through the Batman books details his and Robin's return to Gotham City. A mysterious person is murdering villains in a horrific fashion, and Commissioner Gordon calls Batman in to investigate. All the signs point to Harvey Dent being the killer, yet Dent has been cured of his Two-Face persona, leaving Batman befuddled.
American Virgin (DC/Vertigo): Only under the Vertigo banner could such a book be printed. American Virgin tells the story of Adam Chamberlain, a 20-year-old youth minister who is the figurehead of an abstinence movement. Every day he faces temptation, but he is adamant in remaining faithful to his fiancée, who is overseas in the Peace Corps. However, when she is killed in a terrorist attack, Adam suddenly finds himself questioning his belief and convictions. This was only the first issue, and it's hard to determine where exactly this book is going, but, if this issue is any indication, writer Steven Seagle and artist Becky Cloonan (who drew the wonderful Demo) are off to a good start. Adam is a believable character, and, while the potential to depict him as a stereotype is great, the creative team doesn't, and instead portrays him as a multi-layered human being.
Silver Surfer(Marvel): This mini-series is part of Marvel's Annihilation event. I meant to review the Annihilation Prologue, but didn't. The event focuses on Marvel's cosmic characters, such as Nova, the Super Skrull, Ronan and the Silver Surfer. In the Prologue, villian Annihulus returns from the Negative Zone with a massive army in tow, cutting a path of destruction across the universe. The first issue of the Surfer's mini focuses on his reaction to the event and features the death of another former herald of Galactus. I still haven't decided if I want to pick up the whole Annihilation event, and this issue failed to persuade me in one way or the other.
Teen Titans (DC): The first One Year Later issue of this series, finds the team with several new members, among them Deathstroke's daughter The Ravager. In addition, founding member Wonder Girl has departed the team, largely due to grief over the death of boyfriend Connor Kent, AKA Superboy, and Robin spends a good deal of the issue trying to convince her to return. Also of interest is that Marvin and Wendy, from the old Superfriends cartoon, are now in mainstream continuity, as caretakers of the Titans Tower. This book has been floundering for a while, but this issue was great, and I really hope this means the book is returning to greatness.
Moon Knight (Marvel): This guy was one of my favorite characters as a kid. There was something about him--I'm guessing his über-cool look--that hooked me. He's been subjected to several revivals since, most of which have fallen flat. Despite all this, he's remained a fan favorite, and many A-list writers, such as Brian Michael Bendis, wanted to take a crack at him, yet the job went to novelist Charlie Huston and artist David Finch. Huston does some interesting stuff with the character, namely justifying his existence in the Marvel Universe: give the evil mutants to the X-Men, the cosmic threats to the Fantastic Four and leave the street level crimes to Moon Knight. We see Moon Knight dispatch a gang of thugs quickly and brutally, and then we learn it's all in his mind. The reality of the situation is Moon Knight is older and not in the shape he used to be, and the issue concludes with Moon Knight beseeching his patron, Koshnu, for his powers back. I loved this issue and am stoked to see one of my favorite characters return to the spotlight.
Don't tell Shaun Corley what he can't do!