Thursday, May 27, 2010

The List #29

Thunderbolts #144
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Kev Walker
This issue is the first with Luke Cage taking over Norman Osborn's old job of running the Thunderbolts, as assigned by Captain America. Which I'm all for considering I like Luke Cage, especially because I LOVE his wife, Jessica Jones, who I'm hoping will make a guest appearance.

Cage starts by going to the courtyard of the The Raft I think it is. Some maximum security penitentiary for super villains anyway. He first informs Ghost, who won't communicate without his helmet on, of his being approved for the Thunderbolts. Then Cage goes to pick up the most important member of the team:

My girl Moonstone!
She's so right! Or at least it's not a Thunderbolts that I'll read without her. Seriously, I stopped the issue she left for the Dark Avengers. Oh......and Cage also picks up Songbird. Who I can't stand and she just made things worse by giving herself what looks like a haircut done by a lightning bolt. Whatever, all I'm saying is she could have spared us this grotesque sight by just letting Osborn take her out. See? He was right about a couple things.

Songbird proceeds to object about Moonstone's coming aboard. Cage responds by looking up data reading off qualities like tends to create drama, manipulative, eager for attention, etc. Songbird agrees with this assessment. Then he tells her it's actually HER old profile. Ohhh Cage, I like you more already.

Unfortunately, Juggernaut's on the team thanks to Xavier begging Luke to make use of him. Oh and Crossbones, who I guess shot Captain America, is also on. Can this be like Suicide Squad where members die all the time? Because it'd be nice to replace them with Venom and Bullseye. And the last person on the team is:

Who's a non-speaking, empathic teleporter. I have to say I'm kind of interested.
And that's the team:
The team meets Cage who goes on to tell them he has faith in them, and that he's been down the road on the wrong side of the law before. Which, had it not been Cage, it would've been cheesy, but it's LUKE CAGE! He then gets interrupted by Baron Zemo who shows up because he believes himself to be the one true Thunderbolts leader and plans to recruit them.

Conclusion: Parker's got solid writing, I loved him on Exiles, but the artist Walker doesn't seem to use his space effectively since there was a lot of open flat gray background with characters seeming to be on the edge of the panels. But in the end I say buy this issue.

Gotham City Sirens #12
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Peter Nyugen
You may have noticed GCS' absence from my blog for the past few months. That would be because I really had nothing to say about the mediocrity of the last few issues. But this issue starts up on a different kind of story.

The focus now is on Catwoman and what's going on with her sister, Maggie, who used to be nun (and I believe tortured by Black Mask in horrific way, which is a story I want to read). The change of focus is good because Catwoman's series actually went a lot further than Harley's and Ivy's
never even had a series.

Basically, Selina is searching for her sister while her sister's going nuts on a nun who helps her because she owns a cat. She also believes her sister to be possessed by a cat demon. Maggie raids the now-killed nun's closet and finds herself some Angel-in-a-jar. Who's a sexy naked guy. Where do they sell those? Anyway, he gives her his abilities to fight the "demon".

And in the end of the issue, she ends up fighting Selina and Harley, and is all "In Jesus' name I pray". Meanwhile, Ivy's working things out at work with a fired worker who tried to kill her. And she's psycho as ever which I always enjoy.

Conclusion: You've read one "Religious nut" story, you've read them all. Unfortunately, religious nut villains seem to come in one style, and thus far I'm not impressed. Well, besides the naked Angel-in-a-jar. It's not a horrible issue, I just wish Maggie's hatred of Selina was more justified. Which means I wish the GCS were villains again because they're a lot more fun that way.

Dazzler #1
Writer: Jim McCann
Artists #1: Kalman Andrasofszky and Ramon Perez
Artist #2: Francesca Ciregia
The issue opens with Dazzler looking for her sister Lois London (it's a week to go looking for your sister), and ends up getting knocked out. She wakes up in a place she can't break out of unless she puts on her old disco costume, and goes out.

It turns out Lois is paying Arcade to pit Dazzler against robots of all her old enemies. The Grapplers, who apparently had Songbird on the team, Rogue, Enchantress, Dr. Doom.....Emma Frost. Also, Galactus who she's never even fought, but has worked for. It doesn't matter, she takes them all down like a pro, posing like she's on America's Next Top Model in the process.

Lois even manages to get the real Klaw, an old enemy of Dazzler's, to take on Daz. It's a struggle, but thanks to Arcade ditching, Dazzler comes out on top in the end. Which leaves her to take on Lois. Who looks like Lady Gaga gone tacky goth. Even the lightning bolt eye makeup, Lois? Really?

Anyway, they fight it out with Lois blaming all her hardships on Daz. To continue the referencing ANTM, I would just like to quote Tyra Banks during her freakout at Tiffany during Cycle 4 by saying, "TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FO' YO'SELF!" Instead of saying this, Dazzler knocks her out and brings her to the med lab in Utopia; resolving to help Lois.

Which pisses of Cyclops. But Daz counters this by saying she's not the only one with a mass-murdering sibling! (Cyclops' brother Vulcan, who's thankfully dead) And actually, considering Betsy's in the room, isn't Jamie Braddock also a mass-murdering nutso? Every family's got one I guess. She also brings up that there are tons of villains on Utopia including Emma and Magneto. Cyclops counters by saying....that Emma's never killed an X-Man. Even though I'm a fan of her, uh, the only reason why Emma never killed an X-Man was because someone stopped her. So that's a pretty weak comeback. Cyclops finishes by saying Emma won't help rehabilitate Lois after the resurrected Hellions deal, but it doesn't matter as Psylocke steps in to do that.

After they both leave, Dazzler is left to call her mom, who she resents, and tell her about what's happened to Lois. The conversation flashes between what Daz is really saying and raging she wants to say. She holds back, and it turns out her mom's tried to get her act together. It ends on a sweet note as Dazzler feels more resolved about her feelings towards her mother which is good.

Conclusion: While this is more for diehard Dazzler fans, McCann does Dazzler well as only a massive fan can. This issue is as over-the-top and campy as gay X-Men icon, Daz, deserves. I would definitely say consider picking this one up.


2 Rombos said...

Well, Dazzler actually worked for Galactus in one or two of the earlier issues of her series, he needed her to retireve Terrax from a black hole (yeah, I know). And around the same time she battled Klaw at the Project Pegasus, killing him by accident, so the story of her old enemies is pretty acurate, McCann did his research, nobody can deny it.

I liked the one shot, the story was as campy as Dazz is (I mean, even Arcade, the campiest of the X-Villiains appears), I'd love to see a mini exploring the aftermath of this.

Mr. Hellfire said...

Yeah, I knew she worked for him I just forgot to add that in since I felt like I was already going on and on. And oh yeah, no doubt McCann's researched and probably in the best way possible because he loves the character.

And I'd like to something more done with Dazzler in general because she's a unique character who's had dreams of a career outside of the X-Men. And with the Lady Gaga over-the-top factor going on now there could totally be a series about her getting her career back. I'm thinking every cover looks like a flashy tabloid cover? I think if given a real chance, she could gain a wider fan base.

captainfur said...

Totally agree with you, but I think that, in order to start something different with Dazzler, we need to do a "The story thus far" kind of issue, it serves as a starting point as well as a recap for new and old fans alike.

That idea for the covers of a possible new Dazzler series is pretty neat, and, hey, they recorded that crazy song to promote Warren Ellis Nextwave's release, so it isn't that out of reach to do something like that to promote a Dazzler mini (which McCaan already said had plans for).

Can you imagine? A 1st issue AND a single releasing at once? Geez... that could be awosome... or awful, I haven't decided yet.
(BTW, I'm the same dude as above,it's one of those work account/personal account things)

Mr. Hellfire said...

Yeah, they could probably do a Dazzler saga like they do whenever they introduce a new project like New Mutants or Ultimatum.

And DEFINITELY, giving Dazzler a song is long overdue. And they could make the trade paperbacks have an index like they did on the one-shot, as tracks on a CD. They could also make her covers like cover art on a CD case. I feel like there's endless possibilities with her.

captainfur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
captainfur said...

We should probably pitch the story ourself before somebody else steals it.

But, my first question is... what would a Dazzler song sound like? The queer in my wants something similar the lastest Lady Gaga, but, I'd take a Roisin Murphy or Alice Russell doppelganger any day.

Mr. Hellfire said...

Hahah, I'll leave that to you, I couldn't pitch a Dazzler story to save my life. The only point in her history that I'm well-read up on is during the Aussie years with Claremont with her Blanche Devereaux haircut, and I've been told that paints a bad picture of her.

I'm thinking Lady Gaga too in the way that it would be dance, something where the computer effects get a lot of work so that she can then make a matching lightshow (Which makes me wonder if Dazzler's a synesthete). Past that though I have no idea.

FSaker said...

Personally, I think Lady Gaga is too "freakish" and too modern compared to Dazzler, even in her old days. If anything, I imagine current Dazzler would follow the musical style of Madonna in her "Hung Up" era... Alison was always a disco girl, after all.