Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Random Dive #3

Last Wednesday, I had a very nice surprise at my local comic store. They were selling bundles of ten random comics for $1.50, and all you could see were the two books on the outside of the bag. It is pretty obvious that there is no way I could pass this up. So I grabbed my new comics and tossed two of these mystery packs in there too. The reason I bring this up is because as soon as I opened them up to see what books fate had dealt me, I thought I should grab a couple that look the most interesting and write some notes about them here. So here we go with the three books that I thought looked the best just from their covers.

The first book I found that piqued my interest was The Spectre #4 by J. M. DeMatteis and Ryan Sook. While the cover is very nice, it was actually the creative team that drew me in. I am a huge fan of both DeMatteis and Sook and having them working on the same book made this a must read for me. Basically, the story is that the Spectre, Superman, and Batman must stop this demigod woman and Zauriel who has been possessed by the literal "Wrath of God." The story gets pretty interesting and metaphysical which was a welcome change to the books that I normally find in the bargain bins. Now the thing that I really think is worth noting about The Spectre is the art. I became a big fan of Ryan Sook's art with his run on X-Factor. When I read those issues though, not once did Sook's art remind me of Mike Mignola and Hellboy. The Spectre on the other hand is very reminiscent of Mignola and his Hellboy work. Don't get me wrong. This is not a negative at all. It works with The Spectre's story. It is just interesting that Sook's art style seems so different to what I know from more recent books.

The second book that grabbed my attention was The Flash #220 by Geoff Johns and Howard Porter. I like the character of the Flash, but I must admit that I have never really read a lot of The Flash. Most of my knowledge of Wally West comes from team books like Justice League of America and not from his own book. From the cover, I got the feeling that this might be one of those "big bang for your buck" books where you get a whole lot of characters and action. Luckily, the book did not disappoint. This was a great primer on Flash's famous Rogues Gallery as Captain Cold introduces all the Rogues and what they are doing post-Identity Crisis. I couldn't have asked for a better crash course through Flash's villains. I will definitely be on the lookout for the rest of the issues in this storyline.

Saving the best for last, we have a cross company team up as the X-Men visit the Malibu Comics universe in The Phoenix Resurrection: Revelations. It apparently took a small army to bring this book to life with Ian Edginton and Dan Abnett on writing duty and Kevin West, John Royle, Randy Green, and Rick Leonardi on art. Now I knew that Marvel acquired Malibu Comics in the 90's and tried to integrate some of their characters into Malibu's "Ultraverse." (Nerd fact: The Ultraverse is still part of Marvel multiverse and is designated Earth-93060). This book has characters crossing over every which way and the Phoenix force going nuts and being used by an alien supercomputer to destroy the Earth. We can't have that, now can we!? So all of these heroes all team up in order to save the world. The thing that kept creeping into my head while I was reading this is that Marvel could take a page out of DC's play book and bring some of these Malibu characters back. DC owns the Impact and Milestone characters and is folding them into the DC Universe. Why couldn't Marvel do the same with Malibu? Honestly, even in this book, there are a couple characters that could be pretty interesting. Marvel's Exiles series jumps around to other universes and would be a great way to mine some characters from the Malibu books. Well who knows? Maybe we will see Night Man or Topaz again. Like they say, all it takes is a creator with a good story and any character can have a comeback.

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