Great Easter Liveblog Challenge: Apostle Scramble Day

The liveblogging action continues! Feels like I didn't even make a dent in the pile yesterday, so I must push on. How about we start with a few #1s?

Seaguy - Slaves of Mickey Eye #1: We all love Grant Morrison's Seaguy, right? Even if we don't understand it. That seems to be the consensus. This newest chapter is just like the first one, pleasant and cartoony, and yet disturbing as hell. The key is the mention of the word subconscious in the opening pages. The play on the word "sub" puts the world of New Venice in an interior landscape where people and events may just be fragments of Seaguy's traumatized psyche, and the visit to the mental hospital, even if it's just as surreal as the rest, may bear this out. Or just read it for such characters as She-Beard.

Hero Squared - Love and Death #1: Didn't read the first series, but superhero comedy by the Giffen/DeMatteis team made me try this one. There's a good recap, but I still feel like I came into the middle of things, especially when it comes to caring about the characters. Hmm.

Irredeemable #1: Written by Mark Waid (cool) and drawn by Peter Krause (but I imagine, not the one from Sports Night and Six Feet Under). It's the story of a Superman stand-in - the Plutonian - that goes bad after years of overhearing people trash his name. It's the superhero equivalent of a flame war of your favorite BBS. Violent without being particularly gory, it stands out as disturbing instead, and I think I'm going to enjoy it. Having an afterword by Grant Morrison is odd, but it's great reading, so everyone involved is forgiven the indugence.

The Mighty #1: Another Superman stand-in, Alpha-One, who came out in the 40s and today has a whole police force built around him. And it's really more about the characters around him. Alpha-One doesn't even get a line (kinda creepy). So is he corrupt just like the Plutonian? Could be. Zeitgeist is making all these series come out at the same time, eh?

Rawbone #1: Of all the early Vertigo writers, I was never really a fan of Jamie Delano's. I'm not saying his brand of horror was ineffective (on both Hellblazer and Animal Man), but it's not something that I personally enjoyed. His pirate story uses his trademark purple prose, creating a heightened reality not unlike some kind of perverse Shakespearean tragedy. It gets just a little too obscene at the end there, so I'm not sure I'll be back for a second issue. Sometimes too much is like not enough.

Timestorm 2009-2099 #1: I never read the 2099 titles, but coming to this reality "fresh" doesn't make it work any less. A Handbook page for Spider-Man 2099 clears up a few things, but isn't really necessary. I like the Thor-worshipping stuff, and I'm usually a sucker for time travel/alternate reality stories. Is this, in fact, the other side of the Avengers/Invaders coin?

Warlord #1: Oh, not a mini-series this time? I kinda liked Warlord back in the day, but never bought it regularly. Mike Grell here makes it a little more interesting for me by first following modern day adventurers trying to reach Warlord's fantasy world, though we're soon there ourselves and back with Travis Morgan. Hey, does Tara mind that he sleeps with Shakira?
The intrusion from our world should provide enough juice for early issues. And while I don't mind DC plugging Power Girl in almost every single comic, I don't want it to eat at the main story. 16 actual pages? Booooo!

Ignition City #1: Warren Ellis spins out another high concept comic, this one my favorite of recent memory. It's the 50s, and the old pulp SF yarns were all true. It's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets Dan Dare, basically. I'm gonna call it Rocketpunk.

All-New Savage She-Hulk #1: "Phallo-Fascists"? Really? Oh Mr. Van Lente, I only got this comic because your name was on it. And you can feel Van Lente's hand on this. A tamagochi turned into a taunt-spouting, bracelet version of Skeets; Zabu roasted over an open fire; the title is "W.M.D. Woman of Mass Destruction". And how do I feel about Jen being replaced by the genetically engineered offspring of Thundra and the Hulk? Oh, I don't think Jen's gone too far.

Exiles #1: Here's another series I've never read, but it's got Jeff Parker's name on the cover. There's an extended bit of exposition, which would be grueling if it wasn't so visually inventive.
But it's still a bit awkward. On the one hand, the selected characters aren't really different enough (yet) from their Earth-616 versions to really spark my interest. On the other, this is a comic that has Forge driving a city made of Sentinels. On the fence.

The Phantom - Ghost Who Walks #1: I'd picked up an issue of Moonstone's first Phantom series midstream, and while I liked what I saw, it was hard getting into it like that. A new #1 is just what I needed. We're still very much in the world of today, political and relevant, and the Phantom cuts a mysterious figure. I'll be following it for the long run, and hope to pick up The Phantom: Generations as well.

Oracle: The Cure #1: About being on the fence... I really like Barbara Gordon as Oracle. I also like her as Batgirl a lot (the recent Batman Confidential story a case in point). So how am I to feel about her likely return to her former costume (unless I'm misreading the title)? Not sure until it happens. As it is, I'm liking this battle of wits and computers between Barbara and the Calculator. But then, I remember liking The Hacker Files.

Marvel Zombies 4 #1: The zombie virus is loose on our world, and it's up to the Midnight Sons to eradicate it. Not as outrageously funny as the previous chapter, but still has a nice, underbelly of the Marvel Universe, feel to it.

Daredevil Noir #1: I thought Daredevil was ALREADY Noir? Aside from the mention of prohibition, this kind of confrontation with the Kingpin could happen in the real DD book.
X-Men Noir #4: Now THIS is world transformed. And the mystery's solution? Sheer genius to use Claremont's most famous story. And that's all I'm going to say about that. Read it.

Spider-Man Noir #4: The ending is just a touch too uplifting for Film Noir, but still a likable mini.

Trinity #41: The Krona stuff is a bore (Busiek resolving his old JLA storylines is Trinity's big weakness), but on Earth, the reappearance of the Trinity, even as gods, has history aligning. Some heroes are back, and dead heroes have a way of getting themselves killed!
Trinity #42: History is set aright, finally, but the Trinity's still living large and god-like. I guess we're gearing up for the last 10 issues. Neat bit with the Joker-as-Gotham, by the way.

Trinity #43: It's all about Tarot screwing with Morgaine's head in the first half, and getting touch with a trio of gods in the second. You know, despite the length, this could still have been the real Final Crisis, though it looks like it ends something like Zero Hour. Can we get Tomorrow Woman back?

Trinity #44: Apparently we can. And I was only joking. I don't know what can be done with Tomorrow Woman beyond her Morrison JLA story. The whole point of her was that story. I'm just glad it wasn't Triumph!

Trinity #45: The Crime Syndicate may just be the only ones who can stop the Trinity, and then we're off into Krona land, the power into which everyone's been tapping. Slap him down already.

Wonder Woman #30: Diana throws her tiara! She takes down the Secret Society with extreme prejudice! She's the Jack Bauer of superheroes! Well, maybe that last one seemed a touch unnecessary. Wonder Woman at her most badass, people. I hope Etta's ok. And I quite like how Genocide's origin mirrors Diana's, as does the leader of the Manazons'. And now: Phobia.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold #3: A riff on Marvel Zombies on page 1. Batman becomes president of the USA on page 5. The Warlords of Okaara declare war on the U.S. on page 6. The Ultra-Humanite has a lair in Nova Scotia on page 12. It's that kind of a comic.

Agents of Atlas #3: Namora's Sea-nopsis? Oh, Jeff Parker! We're still moving from 1958 to the present and both stories are pretty great. And I'm guessing both will feature (a) Captain America.

Captain Britain and MI13 #12: Paul Cornell continues to be a genius. He's even going to m
ake me like Blade.

Haunted Tank #5: Great art, a blackly humorous take on the invasion of Baghdad, and the Civil War through the somewhat naive eyes of General Stewart. But it doesn't quite come together in the end. We get the origin of the ghostly curse, easy hindsight into Iraq and a few more tank battles, but how it all connects into a thematically meaningful whole... I'd have to read the entire series again.

Immortal Iron Fist #24: I can't believe last issue's cliffhanger will only be resolved NEXT issue!!! What gives? On the other hand, if Iron Fist is preventing itself from lateness by doing guest-artist stories about older Iron Fists like this, I gotta say it's brilliant. Li Park, the peaceful Iron Fist who didn't want to throw a punch, is a compelling story and one that could actually fuel stories about K'un-L'un in the future.

Secret Six #7: It's the final battle for the free pass out of Hell, and it's a doozy. I love Bane-o-vision! Most ironic line:
Secret Six #8: Deadshot and Scandal go on a double-date (but not as each other's dates) and it's the most hilarious issue yet! Especially the no-killing pact. And Rag Doll's dream. And Insignificus. And all the dialogue. And the superhero drag bar. And the Power Girls playing a set. Comic of the Week... hrm, of whatever week it came out.

Booster Golf #19: The Egyptian arc is finally over. Went on a bit long. Ooh, a Rip Hunter blackboard!
Ok, so, references to Battle for the Cowl and whatever that Titans/Vigilante crossover is called. "He is coming back" could refer to anyone - Batman, Superman, some poor soul turned into a Black Lantern... Barry Allen? The Immortals, I'm not sure about. Is Rise of the Olympian on Rip's radar? As for the equation, that has to be Anti-Life, as mentioned in Oracle.

Savage Dragon #145: A Chris Sims recommendation and like him, I haven't read Savage Dragon in, oh 120some issues? Wow, time flies. A lot has changed, but Larsen makes this an easy issue to jump onto. Kind of back to the basics, really. And what is that ending about?!

Ok, let's do a couple more Invincible Super-Blog recommendations...
Uncanny X-Men #507: Yes, Fraction and all that. I should be liking this. I still don't get it.

Ghost Rider #33: I was lured to try this series again by Sims and the promise of nuns with nun-chucks, and though this comes on the heels of a major change, it's really quite good. I'm a sucker for what I call Bubble Worlds, and the Ghost Ride legacy is sufficiently built up that way with throwaways.
The hellish big rig isn't too bad either! And the Ghost Riders of Tomorrow?! This just got crazy enough for me to pay attention!

Mighty Avengers #23: Tony Stark vs. Hank Pym... HILARIOUS! Actually, all the super-smart people are funny. There's so much weird stuff going on here, it reminds me of Morrison's JLA (and that's a compliment). A reveal that saddens me, but not that much.

New Avengers - The Reunion #2: So this has turned into a spy thriller, and I'm not at all disappointed. Hawkeye and Mockingbird work well in the genre. Plus, just how Mockingbird was abducted by the Skrulls, so there's that.

Franklin Richards - April Fools #1: The usual collection of fun stories and charming art from Chris Eliopoulos. It's not quite Tiny Titans or Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, but still cute.

Marvel Adventures Avengers #34: What happens when a time travel story is allowed to go completely nuts? How about Nick Fury and the Howling Commandos, Abe Lincoln and Toulouse Lautrec all appearing? How about the time stream filled with cats? How about... Jousting ancient Egyptians on segways?
Yeah, that stuff. I'm real happy Tigra joined the team too. Next issue: Hawkeye and Batroc? I'm there!

Dr. Doom and the Masters of Evil #3: It starts with a Dr. Doom song to the tune of Shaft and goes on from there. I'm not totally with the (seemingly) continuity heavy plot about Infinity Crystals or whatever, but the Masters are a fun lot and Tobin's comedy works, so.

Justice League of America #31: Sigh. Ok, the first part of the book is Black Canary slapping down GL and GA for something they're GOING to do in an as-yet-unreleased mini-series. The hell, people?!? The big point though is that Canary gets called on the JLA not having done much in the last 30 issues, and that's true. Most storylines have been "internal", haven't they? Dealing with a fellow's resurrection, or screwy powers, or helping out another hero team, or getting attacked by super-villains. How have they saved the world exactly? Meltzer's failure has become the entire series, and McDuffy at least seems to realize that. So this issue is just a big shake-up in the wake of Final Crisis, New Krypton, etc. (all of which can't possibly have happened between issues and still sync up). Who's staying, who's leaving? Well, everybody that matters is leaving, so rather than become the next Justice League Detroit, Canary dissolves the team. I've personally been down this road a number of time and every time DC decides to create a lot of upheaval in its main solo books, the JLA suffers. So what's it going to be like now? Detroit? JLI/JLA/JLE (and I'm thinking about the later years here)? Extreme Justice? I can't wait to find out. End sarcasm.

Done for the night!



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