Thursday, March 10, 2005

#104. Leopold's Concentration Won't End, Green Lantern: Rebirth, Nightwing, I Can't Believe It's JLA Classified, The Ultimates

I lost power for over 24 hours (which would make a really interesting post, if that was what I did with the Monk), starting from the second paragraph of the eighth chapter, and it's exactly that story I'm talking about. Consequently, while it was only getting colder in the apartment, I was sweating over whether or not those valuable pace-setters had been lost. I was happy to find out they hadn't, even though I'd decided at that point that I could have lost them and it wouldn't be that big a problem after all. Being an electronically-shackled writer (for the most part), I couldn't write anything while the power was out, so I wrote both the eighth and the ninth chapters yesterday (after the three-chapter marathon of Monday, I suppose I was already ready for it), and combined them into an 8+9 medley/monster, which worked out in terms of the story, since at this point the lines separating our two protagonists, Leopold and Oswald, are blurring.

Today I continued to break the mold by skipping over Oswald's turn and continuing on with Leopold's. He does have his name in the title, after all.

I mentioned I'd picked up some comics the other day and that I was going to say something about them. Well here we go. The first of them was Green Lantern: Reborn #3, where it turns out Geoff Johns reveals how Hal Jordan went insane more than a decade ago. He was taken over by Parallax, not figuratively, not in the Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader/"certain point of view" (can't wait to see Ep. III in May!) way, but literally. The creature Parallax, the embodiment of the yellow impurity and Fear itself, was another of the baddies the Guardians foolishly employed the Central Power Battery as a prison for. The other one they blundered with in this capacity was Sinestro, and Sinestro released Parallax into Hal.

So the lore of the Lantern becomes just a little more complex. It suggests a whitewash of continuity as concerning Hal Jordan since "Emerald Twilight" on the surface, but underneath Johns has provided the greatest twist yet for Jordan, and he's certainly had his share, as well as the entire Corps.

Moving right along, there's also Nightwing #103, part 3 of 6 in the Year One saga, where Dick Grayson's journey to manhood continues, which here involves a return to the circus and the debut, and origin, of the original Nightwing costume. Is it wrong to say Dick's personal journey is the most fascinating thing in comics, bar none? Chuck Dixon, returning to the title and the character he helped define nine years ago, is crafting, along with Scott Beatty, yet another milestone, one that seeks to flesh out rather than redefine things we already know. The path between his childhood and his adolescence, where Batman and Bruce Wayne take the place of his murdered family, is not something he easily understands, because there's nothing but trauma for him to sort out. He's the textbook case of growing pains. He just does it in tights.

Then we come to JLA: Classified #4, the third of three DC titles. It's the first chapter of "I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League," a sequel to last year'rs Formerly Known as the Justice League, which reunites the creative team of Giffen, DeMatteis, Maguire, and Rubenstein as well as their version of the Justice League from the late 80's, which means Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, and the like. Booster and Beetle, I'm very well familiar with. I followed them from Jurgen's Justice League to Captain Atom's Extreme Justice. They're favorite characters of mine. But I've never read the Bwa Ha Ha version. I wasn't able to get a hold of last year's story because my comic shops either didn't carry them or they sold out quickly, and I haven't tracked them down. But here was my chance to do so. I was not disappointed. This is unforced wit in its purest form. I couldn't help but laugh out loud at Richard Hertz's insistence to be called Dick. Mr. Hertz is involved in the ostensible plot of the story, which rings familiar to the Top Cow book Common Grounds (also a contest I failed in, but I'm now attempting to make progress without). Anyway, a highly enjoyable read. It's a shame that it's also a very good possibly that this will be the only issue I see.

The last title was The Ultimates 2 #3, a Marvel book. Up until the ending, I thought this lived up to every bit the hype I've heard of this title. A realistic approach, which is what the Ultimate reality is all about. The team the book is named for become guest-stars, which is another strange part about the issue. Hank Pym is the only member to take an active role in events. Maybe that's the point of the whole excercise. I'd love to find out, but I probably won't. But I might look up the first series, and wait for this one to end, to see where things go.

That'll be all for now.

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