Life in the Gutter by Mandy Stegall

Yep, I’m still alive. Trust me, it was never my intention to stay away this long.  I’ll spare you the list of reasons, though.  It’s long and boring and involves pain killers, doctor visits, and fear of broken bones in my leg.

Gearing up for C2E2 in the next month or so, I’m going to attempt to be better at updating.  I don’t have the specifics down quite yet, but I AM going to be in Chicago for the blessed event, and I’m looking forward to hopefully meeting many of you.

Without further ado, let’s get on to the main event: the comics.

Justice League: Cry for Justice

I’m really torn on my feelings about this series.  First off, let me say that I think there were too many people involved.  I don’t think Congorilla and Mikaal really contributed to the story enough to justify their presence, and I felt like they were just…there.  I can’t say that I saw their presence as anything more than the blue guy making friends with the man trapped in the gorilla’s body.

That being said, I think the pages used on them could have been used to build up the actual story here more than it was.  Prometheus’s plan was huge, and it should have been treated that way.  Even when he was being held by the rogue Justice Leaguers, he was still manipulative and cunning.  I just would have liked to see him messing with our good guys a little more.  You know, pulling their strings and all.

The pulling of strings would have made the ultimate climax even more dramatic.  I’ve read some reviews where the critics bash James Robinson for his decision to totally obliterate Green Arrow’s family.  I don’t agree with those critics.  What Robinson did took some major league cajones.  Seriously.  Roy Harper dismembered and lying in a coma, was unable to do anything to save his little girl from dying when Prometheus destroys Star City.  Hell, he’s not even aware that it’s happened yet.  That guilt then falls on Oliver, who makes it his charge to make sure Prometheus pays for what he did to his family.  But in doing so, he has completely ostracized himself from everyone.

Dan DiDio wasn’t kidding when he said—repeatedly—that we needed to keep an eye on Green Arrow this year.  Holy crap, this whole storyline is really going to turn his whole family upside down. 

I’m pretty sure this is how Black Canary ends up back with the Birds of Prey.  Just a hunch.

Nemesis: The Imposters

I’m starting to love Ivan Brandon as the writer of Nemesis in the same way that I love Greg Rucka as the writer of Batwoman.  Yeah, that’s how much I was digging this first issue.

And I’m very unapologetically going to spoil the bleeding guy in the car right here:  IT’S THE JOKER!!!  Dude, that fact alone will have me reading this until the very end.

We, in typical Brandon style, are kind of left guessing what exactly is going on here, but if it turns out anything like Escape did (which I thought was brilliant), it’s going to be a fun ride.

JSA All-Stars

This rant isn’t so much about this new issue as it is the one before it.  Specifically, it’s about one character and the way she was drawn.  And no, I’m not about to complain.  In fact, I’m going to praise Mr. Williams.

Freddie, thank you a million times over for drawing Power Girl without the boob window last issue.  Yes, I know it returned in full force in issue #4, but now that it’s been done once it can happen again.  Explain it any way you want.  Maybe all her others were at the dry cleaners.  Maybe someone played a joke on her and sewed them all up.  Maybe Magog was trying to tell her something.  I don’t care.  That stupid boob window has always annoyed me about Power Girl.  Not seeing it anymore (or maybe only occasionally) might actually make me want to read her as a character more often.

Adventure Comics (Legionnaires Galore!!)

I don’t think I’ve ever kept it a secret that I don’t really know that much about the Legion.  In fact, the first time I really ever showed interest in them was last year when I found out Geoff Johns was writing the Legion episode for Smallville

So let me go on record right now…I love the Legion.

Even more, I love that some of them have been hiding out in the present and working on Top Secret missions, all independent of each other.  And you know, I don’t really care that they’re not the top tier of Legion members.  These missions have given the members involved a purpose, and now I’m excited to see where it goes and how their missions are related.

Everything here is really starting to build up to the War of the Supermen.  Let me just say that I am very appreciative of the way this whole storyline has been built up in all the titles.  Sure, it feels like it’s been going on forever, but I’m also very confident that we’re going to get a pay off that’s worthwhile in the end.

And if you read this column regularly, you know I couldn’t go without saying this…

SMALLVILLE SEASON 10, BABY!!!

According to all the reports, the only regulars who aren’t signed on for next season are Allison Mack (Chloe) and Callum Blue (Zod).  I honestly don’t expect Zod to be back next season, but I think the jury’s out on Chloe right now.  Of course, her impending death always crops up toward the end of a season, but some interviews that Allison Mack has given this season suggest that she might be ready to move on to other projects.  And now that Erica Durance (Lois) is at the forefront of the show, Chloe’s departure could open the door for one thing many fans want to see: Lois in all 22 episodes. 

And hey, why does Geoff Johns get to have all the writing fun when it comes to the show?  I, for one, wouldn’t be against an episode written by Gail Simone that introduces Deadshot to the Smallville universe.