Best and Worst of the Week: Sept. 1
It was a week of reveals, squeals, deals and, in Venom’s case, squirrels. Let’s take a look at recent events in comics. If you can’t read the words, click on the image for a larger view.
Fits Like A Second Skin. Or A Third
Dark Avengers #8
Sometimes you see a panel like this in a comic and it doesn’t hit you until three-or-four pages later. In Dark Avengers #8 Psylocke* is in a deep-sea-diver-style wet suit, accompanying a “Madison Jeffries” on an underwater mission. When she returns to the ship, she peels off the skin-tight suit. Only to reveal another equally-skin-tight costume underneath.
Once I Had A Secret Love, Part One
Dark X-Men #3
As long as we’re all wet, let’s swim over to stoic Prince Namor, allowing psychic Emma Frost access to the inside of his mind. It’s aquatic of course (please, no “water on the brain” jokes). And she floats over to see three locked doors — representing, Frost muses, his strategies for coping with the surface world: Attack, Negotiate and Sue.
Tongue planted firmly in cheek, Frost remarks, “Odd, I never imagined you’d be one for legal action.”
Once I Had A Secret Love, Part Two
Blackest Night Green Lantern #45
Meanwhile, Carol Ferris, in her Star Sapphire persona, goes toe-to-toe with a very führeresque Sinestro. She encases him in a sapphire crystal that revels the little bit of love left in Sinestro’s “little black heart.”
It turns out that the Yellow-Ringed One had a thing for partner, Abin Sur’s kid sister, Arin Sur. And, according to the flashback, it ended very, very badly.
Kudos to penciller Doug Mahnke for inverting Sinestro against the foreground of his recollections. The effect has a wonderful Nosfaratu effect on Sinestro’s character. The page is a show-stopper.
Love’s Got Nothing To Do With It
Batman: The Widening Gyre #1
Continuing the theme of show-stopping pages (and leaving love far, far in the distance) is this page from the new Kevin Smith-penned Batman story. It’s a six-issue series, and the first issue is a grabber.
In the story, Poison Ivy encases Arkham Asylum in weeds (or, as it turns out later, simple weed to a certain extent). when Batman arrives to straighten everybody out, he’s granted with Ivy, naked, swinging from some vines, delivering what may be one of the all-time great run-on come-ons:
Y’know what I’ve always liked about you, Batman? I mean aside from your rock-hard abs, and what I’m sure is — under not as adversarial but no less aggressive nocturnal conditions — a tireless tongue?
You never call me by my slave name.
I had to read that three times before I got it.
And then I read it about four more times.
Creepiest Moment of the Week
Fantastic Four #570
Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s because I have little boys, but I’ve got an incredibly low tolerance for any kind of image depicting little kids suffering.
I mean, I guess that isn’t an incredibly deep statement. I don’t think anyone in their right mind enjoys it. But as a father, it hits ya where ya live, y’know?
The creepiest moment of the week for me was when Mister Fantastic busts in on the Wizard, discovering that Wizard is growing clones of himself to do his battles for him. In the corner crouches a little boy of about six or seven, hooked up to God-knows-what.
And here you thought I was gonna talk about the short-sleeved ‘roided Reed.
Trust me, I’m getting to it. Soon.
Sinister Spider-man #3
Venom takes on a roomful of D-list wannabes, dispatching each in his own inimitable way. During the scuffle, Dr. Everything places a band around Venom’s mouth so he’s unable to bite. At which point, Venom chomps Dementoid with another mouth that grows out of his stomach. Now, earlier, it was revealed that the symbiote that creates Venom could not digest a rabid squirrel (he horked it on the desk of the Daily Bugle Editor earlier), and evidently, whatever dements Dementoid is equally indigestible because after defeating General Wolfram and Hippo, the all-but forgotten Dementoid peeps for help. In the most unlikely of places.
It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye
Blackest Night Titans #1
One of the most difficult parts of writing a column is coming up with a good ending. After all of the clever wordplay and supporting arguments with nuanced facts, it always comes down to this moment, in which the author is forced to bring everything together and, in effect, close the discussion. I always have problems with that
Ravager, on the other hand, does not.
* Thanks to the readers who helped with the identification!