-Is it me, or are the Amazons here as irrational as those in Y: The Last Man? No attempt at diplomacy at all? No warnings? Just... land and start beheading fathers in front of their sons? Aren't these women supposed to be civilized? Good grief.
-Only a couple pages of Reed and Sue, but they're just enough to make you think the two might actually mend things. They've had a major disagreement, but they are mature adults who can handle it.
-Who's watching the kids? Reed and Sue are honeymooning, the active team is in space, Crystal's occupied with a major Inhuman crisis (see Silent War), and Jen is otherwise occupied with S.H.I.E.L.D. So who does that leave? H.E.R.B.I.E.?
-Life support bracelets! Precursors to the PEG units in Fantastic Four: The End?
-Ororo has had experience with cosmic stuff before. Not sure about T'Challa. They're both a little overconfident in dealing with the Silver Surfer though, I think...
-Yeah, right, Jessica, like prison would keep you safe. Interesting idea, though.
-There's a month missing. What happened then? (And how is Jessica not in prison, given what her detective friend knows about her?)
-And it turns out that Raj is... Raj is.... Well...
The Faithful characterize Jessica as "afflicted," and Harker is becoming slightly sympathetic. (He wants the cycle of violence to end, after all.) These people are twisted, and do want Jessica to die (though Harker wants everyone else to die first), but they're at least about survival. Jessica is about survival. Well, that and revenge. She has trouble controlling that. And Justin, who really is the only sane (maybe) character left at this point, doesn't seem too bothered by what Jessica is capable of... And Raj is just plain evil.
-Why does Jan ever have dragonfly wings? I don't understand.
-Bizarre three-way battle. A villain who is sometimes kind of sympathetic versus a twisted villain who is never sympathetic versus a group of heroes who may all be insane... (Should I be rooting for Mole Man here?) Wow.
-There is not much to say about Loners. It turns out that I really don't care about any of these people save Julie Power, if only she weren't all (sort of) grown up and Blonde. She's like Susan Pevensie or something.
-Native American shaman. Vision quest complete with a feather, a campfire, and a hawk. Casino. There are so many ways this set-up could have gone wrong, or maybe it does, but at least Emmett Proudhawk is all mysterious in more ways than one.
-The government is awfully quick to dispatch nuclear weapons at newly-minted superhero types. So if you ever develop superpowers, be sure to build a really good bunker before you do anything else.
-Line that annoys me now because I feel like I see it everywhere: "Way ahead of you." It's not just Dan Slott, but it does occur twice in this issue. Egad, stop it! Seriously. It's right up there with "Go limp..." *sigh*
-For some reason I thought Jen had standards. Where did they go? *double sigh*
-I want to hear Rick Jones' "Hulkbusters" song.
-Mal actually defends people she believes are bad and/or evil [insert expletive noun here]. Good grief. As of last issue I was actually feeling some sympathy for the woman. Not so much anymore. Great bar scene, though.
-Impossible Man can be fun in small doses. Overdoses have side-effects of annoying. Which is probably the point. Actually, he kind of reminds me of Jim Carrey. You know. Guy with an extremely flexible face who is much easier to take in slightly serious roles.
-Very nice prank on Ben's part. Not to be performed on somebody who can't fly, though.
-Well, that was an angsty yet anti-climactic rescue.
-Does Nemesis actually get treated for fleas, or is the bottle just sitting there?
-I like the Villains and Vixens Bar concept. Especially in contrast with "The Bar With No Name" (see She-Hulk #17). Not sure which is better. The bar with loser villains or the bar with losers who want to be villains?
(Warning... Not quite logical something-or-other ahead.)
So I guess the DC Universe really isn't bad. There are some characters I can't seem to get excited about, sure. Green Arrow. The Hawks. Catwoman. Superman is likable enough, though, and so is Robin. Manhunter, too.
I look forward to reading Blue Beetle and The All-New Atom every month and, because I am clueless, I do want to see where Wonder Woman goes. (If I somehow gain a clue and realize that my instincts aren't untrustworthy and the book is actually as bad as so many people say it is right now, then I'll drop it in favor of another Fantastic Four title.) Manhunter, I should probably just read in trades. Yes, I know that's a sacrilege, but I'm not following the subplots, which make up maybe half the book. I need to start at the beginning. Trade sales are good, right? ...
I'm a little scared about the Green Lanterns.
No, seriously, hear me out.
See, the Lanterns are involved in Blue Beetle, and they are also in The Brave and the Bold (which I am actually reading because of Jaime, not Kyle or Batman or whoever. That's not too weird, is it?) And the Lanterns... Well, it turns out that they're kind of fun. That's great and all, but I do not want to become a Green Lantern fan, not because being one is a bad thing (It'snota bad thing!), but because I just don't want to go down that road. Or further down than I've already gone, what with the three or four DC titles (not counting Wildstorm) I'm regularly reading right now. Reading good Lantern-related stories puts me at risk. (They are everywhere, those Lanterns.)
See, I read Fantastic Four stories for a grounded sort of cosmic-level adventure escapism. (And family. And humor. And because I just plain like it, but I digress.) Sue is quite a bit like a Green Lantern; she just doesn't need a magic ring from outer space to wield her force field powers. She doesn't fly nearly as well, but that's the price you pay, I guess. See? I'm reading about Green Lanterns already! They're just in a more familiar universe, wearing blue costumes that are tight but not, you know, that tight. Point is, I'm in a high-risk category, Lantern Fandomwise. And I have got to resist. Seriously.
There might be hope, though. DC has this Countdown Event coming up. If this makes DCU, as a whole, inaccessible to me, I might be in the clear. If Blue Beetle and Atom are too heavily involved in Countdown, I may have to drop them temporarily. Which is unfortunate, but it does kind of beat the alternative, which would no doubt be bad for my pocketbook. Which will already be suffering due to Marvel's next Event, which I am looking forward to because I do not learn. (Or maybe it's just that She-Hulk is involved, and there is the possibility that Hulk will smash Tony.)
But yeah. Standing on DCU Path, and in the unfamiliar darkness ahead a bright green will o' the wisp beckons. I do not want to go down that road.
-The first few pages are a flashback (i.e., no zombies), and reminded me about how bad my memory is. This is not due to the story (which eventually I did remember from March), so much as the narration, which told me where I went wrong on my geography quiz last week.
-Ryan has an incredibly loving and thoughtful father. (Please don't kill him, Gail!) His panels and dialogue overshadow the flirting and zombie fights that make up the rest of the book. Others will disagree, inasmuch as there are zombies, but hey, bring it on. I'm still half sick of zombies after that Ultimate Fantastic Four story.
-Power Pack isn't limited to loser villains? Cool.
-Ad juxtaposition: On a left page, we see a well-adjusted (sort of) and cheerful Marvel Adventures Hulk preparing to put the smash-down on Zzzax. To the right of said page, we see an ad with an angry warbound 616 Hulk preparing to put the smash-down on Earth. Rainbows and fun versus fire and 'splosions. Interesting.
-From the "Mini Marvels" short, we learn that Devil Dinosaur makes a bad babysitter:
-Joss Whedon really is a natural on this book. Characters on the wrong side of the law, trying to do good and stay alive all the same (not necessarily in that order). Dealing with unsavory crime bosses. Robberies gone terribly wrong, ending in explosions and possible death. A resident pilot who likes dinosaurs...
Um. Geez. He's written this before, hasn't he? There are aliens involved this time, though.
-Is there a new mystery here, or has my memory failed me yet again? Something different about the water in Tranquility? Interesting...
-I like Mangacide's (I think that's her name) power. Not sure what it does, exactly, but lines like "Medi-shock horror image mirror!" are certainly welcome, even if (or maybe because) they sound like something out of Nextwave.
-Dr. Hate redeemed? There's something about an evil old skull-headed guy with a black eye and an IV looking contrite...