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review 2017-08-13 20:15
Better
Suicide Squad (2016-) #23 - Rob Williams,Eddy Barrows,Eber Ferreira,Adriano Lucas,Agustin Padilla,Gus Vazquez

Less directly said about the Croc/Enchantress relationship, and more focus on getting things done. In this case, Waller orders the team to go after Killer Frost and Batman - and they start with Frost.   Still, they all know this will get Batman's attention.   There's more about Killer Frost and Diablo, too, especially since Waller forces Diablo to go after Frost when he claims to be, and genuinely seems to be, sick.   

 

Katana, and how loyal she is, why she isn't chipped, and what she wants to do for the team versus what she will do if pushed are all in here as well, and that's more exciting character development, even as a bigger storyline unfolds - a storyline that ties directly into the last storyline, and will have some big implications in the larger DC world. 

 

Looking forward to the next issue. 

 

 

 

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review 2017-08-13 19:59
Harley proves that she's not a terrible leader
Suicide Squad (2016-) #22 - Rob Williams,Eddy Barrows,Eber Ferreira,Adriano Lucas,Agustin Padilla

In fact, she might have convoluted, terrible plans on how to get her team out of convoluted, terrible things happening to them, but she had a plan.   A plan that, shockingly, worked, even if it ended up pitting a couple of her team members against each other for a while.   That seems very Harley: practical for the time. 

 

And the only reason this isn't five stars is that this takes the Killer Croc/June Moon relationship to a new, really weird place.  Like I'm okay with them dating, and even having sex, but having Croc and Enchantress verbalize why they care for each other skeeves me out, mostly because Enchantress gets really fucking weird.   In that two/threesome I vote that only June Moon gets to actually talk about the relationship.   Period.   

 

I think it was meant to be played funny, but I got disturbed, rolled my eyes by the third time because hitting me over the head, and then I got embarrassed for that relationship and where this comic is going with it. 

 

On the other hand, I love what Williams says about the relationship in other ways: the fact that Enchantress was willing to kill a teammate over Croc tells me much more than the fact that she burbles about how great him being a carnivore, cannibalistic, and psychopathically violent are. 

 

I'm excited about where this series is going as far as the metahuman threat, so there's that, too.   This is a hit and miss series for me: mostly hits, but there were some times when it needed to find it's legs a bit.   It's hitting another strong point and I'm glad about that fact!

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review 2017-08-13 17:56
Lovely extended AU
Spider-Gwen (2015-) #22 - Jason Latour,Robbi Rodriguez

Nice takes on Wolverine and Shadowcat and their history together, and how that influences what everyone does here. 

 

Also, love seeing The Lizard, how he's connected to Spider-Gwen and the decision that's made with Venom here - and I can't wait to see how that evolves. 

 

Especially since there's another tragedy with Captain Stacey about to unfold, although hopefully not a fatal tragedy.

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review 2017-08-13 17:26
Why does this series suck so much?
Royals (2017-) #5 - Al Ewing,Jonboy Meyers,Kris Anka

Sighs.  I keep hoping it'll tie into Black Bolt.  I keep hoping it'll get more epic.  I keep hoping it'll drop that future storyline I have zero interest.   Instead, it keeps plodding along, doing nothing with the fact that Medusa's hair is falling out and she's dying - which I would be interested in reading about, so of course ignore that plot.  

 

I'm interested in seeing them hold Maximus responsible for what happened to Black Bolt, or for Maximus to be the sneaky, snarky bastard he's supposed to be and that doesn't happen even though it would also get me way more into this story. 

 

And the whole Crystal talking down Ronan and making him feel bad to stop him?    Yeah, that was the most anticlimactic, upsetting bullshit in this whole damn run so far.   And it made it awkward to read about their marriage: like they say they loved each other, but this made them have the least chemistry ever, like maybe we would get a repeat of the lack-of-chemisty in Medusa and The Human Torch.  

 

Blaaaargh.   

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review 2017-08-13 16:08
Love, love, love so much!
ROM vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #1 - John Barber,Christos Gage,Alex Milne

Barber nails it with this.   When Rom stumbles upon a Cybertronian ship fleeing an attack, he's only slightly convinced by the Galactic Council's explanation that the Cybertonian's are awful, warlike mechanicals.   Still, they're about to flee when he senses a lifeforms and decides that them getting away is less important than saving what turns out to be a Cybertornian infant.   

 

Stardrive is raises amongst the Solstar Order, who believes that Cybertronians are prone to war and destructiveness.   She's taught that she's evil by birth - unlike the other children she's raised with - and that she must control herself very carefully to be better.   Even Rom, her savior on the day she was born, doesn't seem to argue this systematic racism.   He shows her more respect, believes in her more, and shows sympathy when, as a child, she witnesses violence.   He never really voices that he believes she's evil or warlike, but he does allow others to voice this.   (The only other choices he had were drastic, and namely to take her out of that society, a society that they assure her is better than hers and that will make her better.   Seeing as she knows very little about her own people, though, she can only make her choice based on what a prejudiced society says about what she will be if left to her own devices.)

 

The connection she has with Rom, the way she tries so hard to be a Space Knight and worthy of the name, is touching but the little ways she's chipped away at by the other Space Knights is cringe-worthy.   And quite frankly an important discussion to have in this political clime.   It's worse for Stardrive: she is a minority of one for the longest time, and has no power to fight off those who disparage her. 

 

I have some hope, because she learns more about Cybertonians by the end, although only a little.   And the characters that come in?    Well, some of them might absolutely ruin her, but I'm hoping the Autobots get her and not the Decepticons.   I doubt she'd go with the latter, though, because they've been spiteful to her already, so more hope. 

 

This is far more complex than I gave it credit for originally.   I don't know much about Rom, and I haven't been completely thrilled with the Transformers crossovers/events coming from IDW lately.   This, however, was far better than I expected when I picked up this first issue.   In fact, I'd go as far to say that I think recent issues - the last Transformers annual, the Dinobot trilogy and this - showing a growth in Barber's writing.   (Some authors take this as an insult, and they shouldn't.   Barber wasn't a slouch or a bad writer before, but practice, experience, confidence, and other variables all go into people getting better at their jobs - and this is true of writers as well.)   And not only that, I think there was a tipping point at the annual and ever since, Barber's blown me away, particularly with things tangential to Optimus Prime.   (I think he's doing an amazing job with OP, but I'm most interested in Thundercracker in that series.  Just my luck that Optimus Prime is an integral character, whom everyone loves, and he's not a character who speaks to me!   So I've come to think of that series as just personal issues and nothing more.)

 

However, I found this work to be some of the most thoughtful, thought-provoking, complex writing to date.   Like, damn, I think there's four issues of this and I'm already crying inside at the loss of this series.   I'm even looking forward to OP more.  (Although i stand by my previous statement about Thundercracker: I want that series instead of OP.   I would read a Barber-written Thundercracker series.  I would read that daily.   Thundercracker is hilarious and the best, especially when Barber's writing him.)

 

Here's to issue two!

 

 

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