The Brave And The Bold Vol. 1: The Lords Of Luck
Mark Waid, George Perez, Bob Wiecek
$29.99/$24.99 US (Hardcover)
**** 1/2 (out of five)
It’s the kind of pairing comic book fans dream of.
No, it’s not Batman and Green Lantern, as in the first issue of the hot new team-up series, The Brave And The Bold. Nor is it Supergirl and Lobo or the Dark Knight and the entire Legion of Super-Heroes.
While all of those characters working together is certainly one the things that makes this book great, the match made in heaven is truly that of writer Mark Waid (Kingdom Come) and artist George Perez (Crisis On Infinite Earths).
Waid is the ultimate DC devotee with an encyclopedic knowledge of decades worth of characters and continuity, while Perez has an unparalleled gift for maximizing the number of heroes, villains, aliens, spacecraft or whatever else his writer wants him to squeeze into a comic panel or page — with exquisite detail.
Together these two titans of comic creation have brought forth a book staggering in its scope, taking readers from Las Vegas to an alien galaxy trillions of kilometres away, from 2007 to the 31st century and twisting in so many obscure-yet-excellent characters that you’ll get lost trying to count them all.
This book promises to be bold and it delivers in spades.
Justice Society Of America Vol. 1: The Next Age
Geoff Johns, Dale Eaglesham, Art Thibert, Ruy Jose
$23.99/$19.99 US (Hardcover)
**** (out of five)
Nothing freshens up a classic franchise like a little new blood.
The Justice Society Of America, a team with its roots in the Second World War and featuring several key DC Comics’ heroes from that era (don’t ask why they’re not old and wrinkled, it’s a long story), are facing an unprecedented crisis: Someone wants them, and every one of their blood relatives, dead.
OK, so maybe that idea isn’t exactly new, but the problem is that this time the bad guys are actually succeeding and several descendents of classic costumed crusaders are wiped out before the JSA can even act.
Fortunately, the Golden Age trio of The Flash, Green Lantern and Wildcat has been busy gathering allies and retooling this family unit at the heart of the DC Universe, featuring classic heroes like: Hawkman, Power Girl, Sandman, Stargirl and Hourman, along with all-new members Liberty Belle, Damage, Starman and Cyclone.
The question is: Can even this great assemblage of heroism stop the bloodshed before the mysterious mastermind behind it all can wipe out the JSA’s legacy forever?
Writer Geoff Johns once again displays his genius for creating compelling new characters and, aided impressively by outstanding Canadian artist Dale Eaglesham, has launched this new era of the JSA in stirring fashion.
Robert Kirkman, E.J. Su
$14.99 US (Paperback)
Once upon a time in the backwoods of Kentucky, there was a young comic book writer who released three new series.
Two of them would go on to become critically acclaimed and commercially successful and lead the writer from obscurity to fame (such as it is in the comic book world), while the third would be euthanized after just six issues.
The writer in question is Robert Kirkman, the successful titles are The Walking Dead and Invincible and the now-deceased series is Tech Jacket.
When the three series are put side by side, it’s easy to say that this series is the one that deserved the axe. It’s not that this Iron-Man-meets-The-Last-Starfighter premise of a boy who becomes bonded with a suit of armour and is blasted into space to aid an alien race isn’t good, but it just doesn’t grab you the way Kirkman’s two surviving series do.
It’s neither as gripping as The Walking Dead or as witty as Invincible.
All that being said, the writer states in both his intro and in the included sketchbook that he’d like to return to this character one day and it would certainly be interesting to see what a more mature and self-assured Kirkman could do with this premise now.
Only time will tell.
Welcome To Tranquility Book 1
Gail Simone, Neil Googe
$23.99/$19.99 US (Paperback)
They fought the good fight (or the bad fight in some cases), but now their time is done.
So where do super-powered beings go when their days of battling evil are done?
Why, Tranquility, of course.
Somewhere in America is a small town called Tranquility where the battle between good and evil is put in the past and “special” people can settle down and raise a family.
It’s as serene as it’s name promises until the gentlemanly detective, Mr. Articulate is run through with his own swordcane — in a diner full of people.
Stranger still, nobody saw the crime committed, not even a news crew in town to film a feature.
Now it’s up to the town’s sheriff, Thomasina Lindo, to solve the crime — even if it means turning over rocks on some very unpleasant business for some Tranquility residents.
Writer Gail Simone brings one of her passion projects to print and the result is an entertaining whodunit full of vibrant characters that sets the stage nicely for the rest of this series to unfold.
jonathan p. kuehlein/metro toronto