Monday, April 30, 2012

Green Lantern #8

Don't run from the Indigo Lanterns! They just want to hug!

Sinestro spends the first six pages of Issue #8 trying to escape the clutches of the Indigo Tribe. He fails.

Hal Jordan has a bit of a chat with Black Hand to help the new reader learn some things. The Indigo Tribe bases its powers on compassion. What they feel is empathy for whoever they are interacting and thus they are capable of channeling all of the other emotions and have access to the other spectrum's powers. So when Black Hand is speaking with Hal, he feels willpower. Um. He feels willpowery. Willpowerful? How about we just go with stubborn. Maybe strong-minded? Confident! That'll work.

Hal thought that the Indigo Tribe couldn't access Willpower. That was probably a convenient plot device during the Blackest Night Story that never really made any sense and so is being done away with now. Or maybe it was just a trick so that Hal Jordan could shove his ring into Black Hand's face and recharge his ring on the Indigo energy.

So Hal doesn't need a battery, just an Indigo Lantern sidekick.

Oh, forget I suggested the sidekick thing! Apparently the power stolen from Black Hand is a "simulated energy" and doesn't all for a force field, or flight, or reliable constructs. But it does create a nice domino mask and uniform! Hal uses it to make an unreliable motorcycle as his getaway vehicle.

As Hal is zooming around the gigantic Indigo Tribe fortress, he comes across an enormous statue.

Everything is bigger in the Indigo Tribe!

Abin Sur was the creator of the Indigo Tribe. It began when he saved his biggest enemy, Indigo-1, and turned her from her evil ways. It looks like he did a lot of rehabilitation work. And now his Tribe have turned Sinestro into one of them as well. Nok.

Nok indeed.

Green Lantern Issue #8 Rating: No change. This was a fairly insubstantial issue but I still like where the comic is headed. Green Lantern has so much convoluted history that it was probably the comic that most needed a reboot. But all the reboot did here was turn back the numbering on the cover. Oh well. Hopefully Green Lantern fans are really enjoying it as it really seems to be a continuation of all the big stories that were happening to the Green Lanterns over the last few years. I might become a fan. Slowly.

Green Lantern #7

The secret probably won't make any sense to me anyway.

The Indigo Tribe have a meeting about Sinestro. I did a little reading on the Indigo Tribe and it sounds like their Corps is composed of people who had done evil things in the past. This might be why the vision showed Sinestro as a member of the Indigo Tribe and why the indigo tribe is currently having this meeting.

I think 'nek' means Green, 'rot' means Yellow, 'lek' means Ring, and 'rok' means Lantern. I'll need a bit more than this to seriously come up with a translation of this gibberish though. Sorry, 'language'.

Sinestro tells Jordan that Jordan must come with him now. And even though Jordan finally has the very thing he wants most in all of the universe (the recharged Power Ring! What? Did you think I meant Carol Ferris? Bwa ha ha!), he refuses to go with Sinestro. Hal Jordan is bluffing. He knows Sinestro will force his hand somehow. But Hal's also just trying to negotiate. He wants the ring but he doesn't want to have to answer to Sinestro or the Guardians or anybody else.

I think he meant that literally. You know, working for Ferris Aircraft. Not, you know, working for her as her sex slave man servant. Although that might be what she meant.

In order to get Hal Jordan to follow him, Sinestro takes Carol Ferris hostage. I can practically see Hal and Sinestro winking at each other as this whole ruse goes down. It's like some married guy's single buddies have come around to go out drinking and they have to figure out some trick to get the husband away for the night. It's all very sexist in some way. Possibly the way Carol is naked and wearing a sheet.

Hal and Sinestro have a minor tussle (really minor since Hal's ring can't hurt Sinestro) and Sinestro reveals to Hal the second reason he's come to Earth seeking Hal's help.

Great! I hate plots that are driven by glimpses of the future. Laziest way to get a story started ever.

Before they can continue this discussion, the Indigo Tribe appear seeking Sinestro. Indigo-1, the leader of the Indigo Tribe who has a penchant for yelling, "Nok!", tells Hal to mind his own business and that Sinestro has just been drafted into the Indigo Tribe. They begin the process of teleporting away and just before they do, Hal flies into their teleport bubble with them. Carol, watching this all unfold from the balcony, runs back inside and slips on her Star Sapphire Ring.

Another Power Ring that spares the fabric when creating a suit for a female wearer.

Meanwhile on Oa, the Guardians decide to interrogate Lyssa Drak who was apparently left there by Sinestro. The Guardians need the Book of the Black to find the first Lantern. Do they mean the first Lantern battery? Or the first creature to wear the Green Ring? And since they know the first lantern is in the Chamber of Shadows, do they actually need the Book of the Black to find the Chamber of Shadows? Or maybe they don't even know who the first Lantern is but they know he/she is in the Chamber of Shadows and they need the Book of the Black to identify the first Lantern! One of those. It also turns out their is a Book of Rage and a Book of Parallax. I'm sure there must be a bunch of other books as well. Geoff Johns loves his artifacts.

Hal Jordan wakes up in a cell with a dead ring. Again. Black Hand approaches him and tells him that Sinestro will be saved as he was. Abin Sur is also mentioned again. I have no idea who Black Hand is or why he's important. He was part of the Blackest Night and he was a bad guy and he was some link or something to Necro the Black Lantern Leader (?) but then he was taken by the Indigo Tribe and made into one of their own. But maybe it's different in the reboot! Right? The New 52 and all that?! Right!

Anyway, that's the end. No secret of the Indigo Tribe was ever revealed. It probably has something to do with Abin Sur since they keep mentioning him.

Green Lantern Issue #7 Rating: No change. I doubt the comic will change much in its reliance on past Green Lantern history since Geoff Johns has been writing it for nearly a decade (I think). So he's going to continue to include lots and lots of things from past story lines of the old DCU because he's a writer and that's what writers do! They build on their material and then they feel like geniuses when they can incorporate some obscure thing that was barely mentioned 55 issues ago into some critically important part of a new cosmic threat that will end all existence. Yay.

Green Lantern #6

Hal Jordan is Sinestro's bitch.

The most important thing to remember from the end of last issue is Hal declared the only thing he really wants is a working Green Lantern Ring. And maybe that The Guardians are about to start a third iteration of the Green Lantern Corps. And maybe that Hal is trying to really make it work with Carol Ferris although he definitely has ulterior motives there that will probably lead to him getting a new Green Lantern Battery. This issue begins with Hal and Carol on a date and flirting and joking about how much sex they've been having.

This is Mike Choi's version of Hal Jordan. Wrong.

Hal and Carol are on a date visiting an aeronautical museum. I linked to the only one I've ever driven past since I don't know what fictional museums exist in the fictional town of Coast City. The Evergreen Museum houses the Spruce Goose. But you can see it through the huge glass windows from the highway as you drive past, so I've never paid to go inside and marvel at how big it is. I don't think. Maybe I have!

While Carol goes to the washroom to do some something ladylike, Hal walks around and stumbles upon four men about to kill some guy who testified against them. Hal doesn't have his powerless Green Lantern Ring but he still plays the hero and beats the crap out of all four of them at once. They must have learned how to fight from Justice League International! Ha ha! JLI sucks!

After Hal and Carol leave with Hal declaring he doesn't need to be a super hero, the story turns to Sinestro and the old DCU. Excuse me a moment. I need to fucking rant.

Fuck you, Geoff Johns! How much fucking pull do you have over there at DC? Have you made Green Lantern so great that you're allowed to just continue writing the same series you were writing before the reboot? Why even renumber these fucking Green Lantern books? I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON! Oh, sure, you try to explain it with every bit of conversation between Sinestro and Starstorm. It's the worst conversation I've ever heard.

Sinestro: STARSTORM! My once great enemy and nemesis who has the power to destroy my creations and whose world has limited contact with the rest of the universe so you have no idea why I'm currently a Green Lantern! Well that story is too long to explain even if the new readers reading this comic don't know it either. Fuck them! Just know that I am a Green Lantern now and you are my once mortal nemesis whom I defeated! Ha ha ha!
Starstorm: What do you want from me? When you last encountered me I begged you to let me live on intergalactic television and everyone called me a coward and now I'm nothing and it's all because of you!
Sinestro: Ha ha! But remember how you used to be able to track me when you were wearing your Starstorm helmet? I need you to wear your Starstorm helmet now so that you can track Lyssa Drak. She is someone I gave a Yellow Lantern Ring to, if you remember correctly, and I never should have given her the ring for some reason which I should probably explain later. But for now, we must find her so I can take the ring back!
Starstorm: What the fuck is a Star Storm anyway? Why did I take that name?
Sinestro: And why did I choose the name Sinestro when I'm an alien who probably doesn't have the word sinister in his language.
Lyssa Drak: Oh ho but you two are so similar in other ways as well! You both lost the faith of the people of the planet you protected! And I will eat your stories!
Sinestro: Oh no it is Lyssa Drak the one I mentioned earlier! Not only did she get a Yellow Lantern Ring that she did not deserve but she also claimed the Book of the Black by betraying me to Krona, the Green Lantern who believed the universe should be guided by emotions! What a doody head!

And then Sinestro rips a page out of the Book of the Black, whatever the fuck that is, Geoff Johns. And we get this past and future events page:

Is the Chamber of Shadows something new? Or something old? The Guardians mentioned, last issue, that the First Green Lantern' was kept there. And is that Sinestro as a member of the Indigo tribe? What were the Indigo known for? Hope? I'm so bad at this Green Lantern Lore!

In Sinestro's vision, the ring says, "Green Lantern 2814 deceased." Sector 2814 is the sector Earth is in. But the Green Lanterns in other books have been identified by Sector and then another number (usually 1 or 2 since there are supposed to be only 2 Green Lanterns per sector, although Earth currently has 4. At least). So which Green Lantern does it mean? I'm guessing Hal Jordan since this is basically his book. Although the vision show Sinestro dead. Unless that's Abin Sur! Why do those two have to look so much alike!

Back to the rant for one second: the major problem with this comic is I don't know what's new and what I'm not supposed to know yet or what is continuing from the the old DCU. And since the editors want to keep up the illusion of a complete reboot, there are no editorial notes referring the reader to the different comic books where the events they're talking about took place. It's apparent Johns was able to just continue Green Lantern as it was. So why renumber it? Just to fit it in with the whole reboot thing? I'm sure fans of Green Lantern are completely fine with what's going on. I, however, was away from comics during the whole Blackest Night and Brightest Day crap, so it's a little bit harder to follow this stuff. Anyway, I'll keep trying!

Sinestro defeats Lyssa by smashing Starstorm's helmet. Sinestro takes the book and heads off to find Hal Jordan for some reason. Maybe that's what he learned from his vision: Sinestro needs Hal Jordan's help to stop the Guardians and their new Third Corps idea.

And then Hal Jordan's ring comes to life and sticks to his finger just as Hal's about to stick it to Carol Ferris!

Oh, stop pretending you don't want to go, Hal. It's the only thing you wanted, remember?!

Green Lantern Issue #6 Rating: No change. For the most part, I think I like where this story is going aside from the problems this title has incorporating its story into the reboot. That problem probably isn't really a problem for older and continuing Green Lantern fans though. So that's actually fine with me. I just don't appreciate the need to maintain some sort of illusion to go along with the rest of the books that the renumbering means anything here. Because it obviously doesn't. And one other thing: Is the universe ever going to be protected in this title? Or is every story going to be about the self-serving needs of Sinestro and Hal Jordan? Even the Guardians beginning another Corps is going to end up with the Green Lanterns fighting for their survival simply because they want to keep being Green Lanterns. What if the Guardians are correct about the universe needing a new army? Maybe they actually know better and the Green Lanterns should lay down their rings and move on? But no! They're going to fight the Guardians tooth and nail because that's what happens when you make an army out of the most stubborn people in the universe!

Demon Knights #8

The Companions triumphant, they make their way to the Royal Court of Alba Sarum to be rewarded as heroes!

The art in this comic book is far better than the majority of the other 51.

While riding in the cart to Alba Sarum, Madame Xanadu tells the rest of her companions how she came to be in a relationship with Jason Blood and Etrigan. We've seen that she tells each that she only pretends to love the other to keep the other one in control. So which one does she truly love? Probably Jason Blood. But it would be super awesome if she really loved Etrigan instead.

Xanadu begins her tale of when she apprenticed for Merlin and went by the name 'Nimue'. I looked that up and it is one of the names given to The Lady of the Lake. Madame Xanadu is the younger sister of the Lady of the Lake and Morgaine le Fey is the middle sister. These are things I didn't know! I couldn't help singing the previous sentence in my head as I typed it. It sounds the refrain from a Sesame Street bit.

My knowledge of the Arthurian Legend has always been on the level of Trivial Pursuit questions. I know the basics of the myth and some knowledge proceeding from their but I've never been interested enough to read the various books and texts extending the myth. Until now, I guess?

This is more evidence that The Queen is Morgaine le Fey.

If The Queen is indeed Morgaine le Fey, does she know Madame Xanadu is her sister? It seems like she should but stupider things have happened in comic books! And she's now Xanadu instead of Nimue! She chose the name Xanadu because Merlin saw that in the future she would have the name Xanadu. I was named after Jeffrey Hunter who played Jesus Christ in King of Kings. But more importantly, he played Captain Pike in the pilot episode of Star Trek. This has given me a lot of my individual strength and my confidence in taking chances. Because I knew I wasn't a Red Shirt.

The Companions realize Camelot is cyclical.

While Xanadu was apprenticing for Merlin, Jason was acting as his scribe and secretary. They met and fell in love. But before either had the nerve to voice any feelings, Camelot was attacked by a space ship. None of the invaders are shown but with the ties to Stormwatch, I'm guessing it was Demon Knights Daemonites. During the attack, Xanadu's sisters arrive to take Arthur's body to the Island of the Dead. They insist Xanadu must come back with them as well. She doesn't argue and goes with them. What happens next is how this comic series started. Excalibur is thrown into the water and Xanadu dives from her sisters' boat to try and save it. But the sword disappears.

While Xanadu heads home, Merlin shoves Etrigan into Jason Blood's body. Xanadu believed Jason was killed in the attack. She and Jason continue to live their immortal lives apart until Jason stumbles into her at a local barbecue.

Technically, names are words of magic.

Jason Blood lets Etrigan loose to save Xanadu and it, amazingly, works. A few dozen people are killed in the escape but none of them are Xanadu, so it is a success. Jason and Xanadu find a nice quaint hotel room, probably at a local Green Gryphon franchise, and fuck their brains out. When Xanadu awakens in the morning, she's greeted by Etrigan who is into kinkier things.

Alan Grant set up the reason for The Demon's need to rhyme when he was writing The Demon.

Xanadu impressed Etrigan with her magic and she persuaded him to let her remain by their side as she tried to find a magical way to release the two from their bond. Etrigan proved to be a fairly normal male, yellow skin, fire breath, demon wings, and horns withstanding.

Hey! Eyes up here, princess!

Xanadu refuses. But Jason asks her to marry him and she accepts his offer. The night they are to get married, Etrigan finds out somehow and murders the priest and burns down his church. Jason and Xanadu realize they cannot be together without many innocents dying. So Xanadu hatches the plot to pretend to love Etrigan (based on his ENORMOUS display of power). And that's the story of their strange love or how the Magic Whore Xanadu Learned to Stop Worrying and Fuck the Demon.

When Jason awakens, he has to let Etrigan out for his morning walk and Exoristos asks Etrigan how he ended up with Xanadu.

And that's the story I intend to believe!

The issue ends on a small two page epilogue where Merlin is speaking with a mysterious somebody in a tower in Alba Sarum. He says the people of the city are already declaring it a new Camelot simply because Merlin is there. He wishes they wouldn't since Camelots have a way of being constantly destroyed. And then the stranger does this:

See? Daemonites!

Demon Knights Issue #8 Rating: +1 Ranking. What can I say? I enjoy a well told one part story where Etrigan gets laid!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Demon Knights #7

At this point, Etrigan will grab her foot, say the incantation, and take HER prisoner in Hell!

While the village is being overrun by The Queen's army, Jason Blood plots some plan in Hell that involves Father Theod, the priest from the village that Etrigan sent to hell out of pure wickedness.

Can Blood bring demons, devils, or lost souls back with him to Earth?

Outside the village, Savage leads his forces...away from the village!

The self-serving nature of these companions might be their greatest strength.

With Vandal attacking The Queen's supply train, the parts of the horde turn to attack Vandal to protect their wages contained on the wagons. The wagons begin to burn destroying the armies' supply of food. In essence, the whole siege is going tits up once Vandal and the men who served under him in the past decide to fill their own pockets with the Queen's riches.

Madame Xanadu's plot is revealed. She needed Jason Blood to gather the tears of an innocent from Hell. The power in this contradiction is enough for her to regain her powers and her young form and her supple boobies and her smooth legs and her tight and warm embrace.

Mmmm, previously old lady flesh.

Vandal's men are cut down by the horde's archers but he's still, inadvertently, caused many of the Queen's troops to turn from the battle to protect the supply wagons. Because of this hitch, The Queen and Mordru show themselves on the battlefield to rally the men. The Queen goes after The Shining Knight whom she feels she must bind and sacrifice personally in her quest to rule Camelot. Mordru goes after Xanadu since they're the big magic-users and there always has to be a big confrontation between the magic-users, right?

Salt beats Serpent?!

Vandal changes sides again. I guess he isn't really changing sides as being on the side of Vandal Savage surviving at any cost.

Since Vandal's plan failed, he returns to his companions since the failure of his plan at least gave the companions some advantage. So he can spin it to them even though they know better. But the Queen is unlikely to ever trust the rat bastard again.

Each companion soon finds himself overwhelmed. The Shining Knight is cut down with a dagger to his breast. Mordru plays Mindrip on Xanadu. Etrigan is stabbed while distracted by his concern for Xanadu. Al Jabr is overwhelmed by multiple foes. Savage is knocked unconscious by a large hammer. And the leader of the village cries.

The Shining Knight has not been killed (come on! None of them have been!) but is paralyzed by some poison in The Queen's blade. The only warrior left standing is Exoristos the Amazon. But she continues to defend the village and its innocents. She cannot help her companions. But then, she doesn't need to because The Horsewoman's cavalry arrives to save the burnt ruins and corpses of Spring Village!

Get brunch?

Yeah, she actually finishes with retreat. Did I need to say that? I didn't need to say that, did I? Anyway, like I said earlier, here's what the great companions saved:

That's the leader of the Alba Sarum army speaking. I guess it all depends on your point of view.

Demon Knights Issue #7 Rating: No change. Still a very good comic! A very good comic that deserves to be exactly where it is in the Rankings. Right around #9.

Demon Knights #6

This sounds so derogatory. As if Amazons were merely dogs that had to be controlled.

Vandal Savage has abandoned the Demon Knights to join the evil side because they have a bigger army and better weapons and a greater chance of success. But I wonder: has Vandal ever been on the winning side of a battle? Doesn't he realize the good guys always win? And while most of the Demon Knights aren't exactly good by any definition of the word ever, the villagers, at the very least, are innocent people just trying to defend their home. Perhaps if Vandal had Ambush Bug's power and realized he were in a work of fiction, he'd understand that he was joining up with the side that was about to get its ass kicked pretty egregiously. So egregiously that both definitions of the word can be applied! Sort of.

If Exoristos blocks a creature with Trample, destroy it. It cannot be regenerated.

The Wallcrusher which was going to be the big evil army game-changer and bring down the villages defenses is killed immediately by Exoristos as she vaults over the wall to confront it. After it's felled, she challenges Vandal Savage to a one on one fight. I'm almost certain that Vandal is going to pass on that offer.

Yes, she is wounded. This is why you don't shoot arrows into your teammates when you have a slight disagreement. P.S. though bubble!

Exoristos took down The Queen's biggest weapon single handedly and with a gut wound from The Horsewoman. Just think how powerful she'd be if her companion hadn't wounded her before the battle? With great power comes great touchiness and a penchant for lashing out at people and abusing that power for the slightest offense.

The horrible thing that Madame Xanadu has to do probably involves manipulating them while she watches through her crystal ball. Or perhaps murder.

The Shining Knight might be the only Demon Knight that isn't an asshole.

She's still an asshole. Just read Justice League Dark for proof!

The lead infantry in the Queen's army seem to be a bunch of velociraptor dragon things. Al-jabr's arrow contraptions and Exoristos take down quite a few of them but there are too many. Eventually Exoristos is struck down and Etrigan flies out to save her. But he doesn't do it out of the goodness of his heart, of course! He's a demon! He does it because he believes Xanadu stands a better chance of surviving it Exoristos survives to defend behind the wall.

Meanwhile, The Horsewoman has telepathically called all of the wild horses in the area to join her on a charge past the mechanical dragons in the mountains so that she can reach the Alba Sarum to bring Alba Sarum's army to help break the Queen's siege. While attempting the mission, her horse Breaker is killed and falls out from beneath her.

The Horsewoman is paralyzed from the waist down and uses her magic ropes and saddle to remain on horseback. And she speaks with horses like Aquaman speaks with fish! Or maybe dolphins.

The Horsewoman makes it through the mechanical dragons. The armies of Alba Sarum will heed the call for help. But all they may find is a burned out village because just as the news that The Horsewoman broke the line (given to the Shining Knight by her Pegasus), the village gate crashes to the ground and the Queen's forces invade.

Xanadu has also put a plan in action that involves Jason Blood and Etrigan and the way that they replace each other when their incantation is invoked. Xanadu realizes that they appear with the clothes they were wearing, so they must be able to take things with them between Earth and Hell. She tells Blood the plan through Etrigan since they maintain communication at all times. I imagine the plan involves taking The Queen or Vandal or Mordru into Hell as a hostage but we'll have to wait an issue or two to find out.

Demon Knights Issue #6 Rating: No change. I'm enjoying the comic. But comics don't need to go up in the rankings every time I enjoy reading one! It's just right for the high ranking it already has.

Deathstroke #8

This looks like one of those crappy one issue stories where Deathstork Deathstroke murders thousands of soldiers all by himself and puts down a rogue nation single-handedly.

Slade begins this issue with a flashback to show how big an asshole his father was. I thought his father was also some kind of a warrior type but he's just a lousy conman that owes everyone money.

Slade needs to find himself a sling blade.

Slade wakes back in his hideout, bandaged and recovering from the gunshots, fight with his son, and submarine being thrown at him. At least I think it's Slade. It could be a wax dummy of Slade.

He looks so lifeless! I don't think his healing factor has kicked in yet!

Back to Slade's flashback, we see that Slade's father gave him up to pay for a ten thousand dollar debt. Fuck, who would want to take a kid as payment? What a pain in the ass!

Back to the flashnow, Slade makes a deal to kill another crook. Maybe it's a crook. I don't think Slade is too particular. Slade kills him by blowing up the bomb that the crook threatens to blow up if Slade doesn't leave him alone. Slade walks away unharmed. But there's a slight catch.

Everyone else in the apartment building was killed as well. Who knows where the kid was hanging out to survive the blast.

After the job, Slade goes to visit his sick father in Gary, Indiana. Slade posts news articles of his successful jobs on the walls of the room where his father is stuck in bed. Slade, just like Grant, is just another insecure little jerk of a person who never received his daddy's love. And the need to be loved by his father is what drove his ambition. I'm so glad I didn't give a shit whether my dad loved me or not! Fuck all that drive and ambition! It just gets in the way of doing whatever the fuck makes you happy. And I own my own business now through dumb luck and always following the path that was best for me instead of remaining at shit jobs because of debt or children or a desperate need for material things.

I really hate this being the reason that Slade does what he does. Boooo!

Deathstroke Issue #8 Rating: No change. I didn't expect anything but filler from this issue and that's what I got! I believe Rob Liefeld is taking over next month (Yay! Mediocrity!) so Higgins wasn't going to start up a whole new story line for Rob to ignore. This story was supposed to be meaningful and maybe profound but I find the excuse for Slade being a great assassin dreary and depressing. He's trying to prove himself to a bastard that beat him and insulted him and once used him to pay off a debt? Bah! Forget that loser, Slade. Stop wasting so much of your life on him. He didn't give a shit about you. Eh. Oh well. What can you do?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Deathstroke #7

Surprise! Legacy Four is Ravager!

Immediately after Deathstroke's big battle with the super powered Legacy, he's off to confront Grant at April's parents' mansion. He goes before he has the proper time to heal because he doesn't want Grant to disappear. And why does he need time to heal anyway? Grant is just a big loser who never wanted to be the best anyway! He's just a mediocre ungrateful son! So after six pages of Deathstroke being picked up by Alex, his weapons guy, and being driven to Grant's location, Deathstroke finally gets to meet the new Ravager.

And Grant's greatest weakness is his need to be loved by daddy!

Deathstroke was right about Grant. He's kind of stupid and never going to be the best. Because Grant did not learn his father's lesson very well. Deathstroke's lesson about weakness was this: "To be aware of your weaknesses and how they can be perceived by enemies." This whole story line has been about Slade not wanting to be perceived weak. But he isn't weak at all. And he's going to use the perception that Grant has, that Slade is weak, against Grant. He'll fight sluggishly and show his tremors and act old and out of sorts. But it will all be an act to get the advantage against Grant. Because Grant has never been capable of being the best and has never learned Slade's lessons. Grant is a gigantic failure.

Keep talkin', Chatty Cathy.

I thought that maybe the story would treat Grant as a child wronged by his uncaring father. But I think Grant really is a disappointment. I was on Grant's side for awhile last issue. But I think Deathstroke would have loved his son more if he hadn't wanted to continue the warrior cause. But since Grant seemed to want it but wasn't as good as it as Slade thought he could be, Slade treated him poorly and tried to get him to quit. Slade probably thought that since Grant wasn't quitting, he really wanted to learn. And so Slade kept trying, over and over, until Grant made a mistake and seemingly died in an explosion (caused by Midnighter, right?!). And Grant's uterus is all bent out of shape because daddy didn't show him any love. At least not the kind of love and acceptance Grant was looking for.

Keep telling yourself that. It's probably easier to believe Slade can't love than to realize the truth: Slade just doesn't love you!

Grant believes Slade can't love although Grant's real doubts are that Slade doesn't love Grant. But Slade will probably reverse the battle here and get the upper hand. Which is when he'll tell Grant how much he's always loved Grant and he didn't coddle him because coddling him would have gotten him killed. But Slade knows that the way he treated Grant didn't work either. He drove him away from him and that got Grant killed (or seemingly killed! Sheesh!). And Deathstork Deathstroke will apologize right before he kills Grant. Maybe!

And then Kyle Higgins, thankfully, changes up the script from the Hollywood cliche shit I've been guessing would happen! Grant has the upper hand right up until Grant's Legacy suit locks up from a remote control command given by April's parents! Slade collapses near his son as the parents approach.

Is this one of those Sophie's choice situations?

If Deathstroke chooses to kill Grant then I'll never have to read another issue of this comic book with Legacy attacking Slade (although I probably won't have to anyway once Rob Liefeld will be taking over soon and he'll forget all about the Legacy story). But I don't think Slade will do that. That would mean the parents had control of this situation and Slade won't give up the power. He'll probably kill the parents and rescue Grant. What does he care if more Legacies attack him? He'll kill every one that come at him until nobody dares put on the Legacy uniform. Grant will probably run off into the woods wiping away his tears, unable to face his father afterward.

It's easy to be right about certain situations when the writer actually has a handle on the character. Bravo, Kyle Higgins.

The mother shoots Slade three times before he can jab his sword into her face. Slade then collapses backwards onto the ground near Grant. Grant struggles to his feet, picks up his sword, acts like he's about to kill his defenseless father, and then just walks away. End of the issue.

Deathstroke Issue #7 Rating: +1 Ranking. Except for the long, drawn out beginning sequence, this was a good issue. I'm glad I was wrong about the direction the issue would go. A lesser writer would have gone with the usual Hollywood tripe. I usually guess the Hollywood tripe because many of the New 52 DC writers have proven that that's all they know. I'm not thrilled that Grant is still alive. But that's the comic book format for you. Better to keep a nemesis alive than to cover over that well of future plot-lines.

Deathstroke #6

Simon Bisley is not supposed to make touching covers. The End.

When last we left Deathstroke, he had just been pummeled by a Nuclear Submarine. That's why this issue begins with a flashback to Ravager throwing a teeny, tiny dagger at rich and/or important people. I guess I didn't need to add that second conjunction in that last sentence. I'm writing this in America where the only people who are rich are important, amirite?!

Look at the size of his dagger! His father's blade is so much bigger!

Deathstroke is somewhere off in a tree or on a roof with his stopwatch keeping tabs on how well his son kills 50 or 60 people before reaching the rich old intended target inside the mansion. And he's the typical dickwad coach father. Yeah. If you're a father and you're a coach and you're reading this right now, realize your son thinks you're an asshole. Seriously. Have you never watched The Bad News Bears? The original not the one with Billy Bob Thorton. In fact, anybody born after Star Wars came out should watch the original Bad News Bears. That's the fucking world you missed out on, you poor helmet wearing can't go anywhere unsupervised cartoons always have a fucking message wretches.

You know what one of my favorite past-times as a kid in the 70s was? My cousin Jason and I would walk around the field at the high school near my house and we'd collect beer bottle caps. We'd also take the beer bottles we found and kick them through the redwood trees lining the perimeter of the field. We'd take turns kicking our bottle trying to break the other person's bottle. Sometimes we'd get lucky and find porn. This was more fun than Atari Combat. And maybe some of our cartoons at the time had messages for the children. But these were always tacked on at the end and weren't part of the plot. Kids today have Danger Rangers where the whole storyline revolves around making sure some asshole kid has his helmet on tight.

This is how you sound, Coach Dads.

Later, while relaxing at home, Grant (Ravager) pouts until his mom tells him to buck up and that his father treats him like shit because he loves him and wants him to be the best. Later, Slade accuses Grant of not wanting to be the best. But what if Grant does want to be the best but just isn't physically capable? I guess then Slade hates him forever. Or at least despises him until he dies and then Slade weeps and moans and wishes he'd treated his son better.

I guess a fictional character should have a fictional hero.

Deathstroke explains to Grant that he's reading about Achilles' death as a reminder to be aware of your weaknesses and to always hide those weaknesses before they become a liability. Grant probably thinks he's getting a lesson in how to be the best. But I'm pretty sure Deathstroke is calling Grant a liability and one of Deathstroke's weaknesses! What a bastard.

The next scene has Ravager tied to a chair getting his ass beat.

That looks like Midnighter! Now that would be a good fight: Deathstroke vs Midnighter!

Deathstroke doesn't make it to Ravager in the next 57 seconds but he does get close enough to witness the explosion! Now it's crying time! Boo hoo. This must be he event that made Deathstroke stop training sidekicks and to also change his mask to a half-skull, half-orange instead of the full orange thing.

After the how Ravager "died" flashback, the comic book finally returns to the present where Deathstroke is coming back to consciousness floating in the debris filled bay. Legacy Three is there to throw him around and kick him a bit and gloat. He also whines a bit about how easy the great Deathstroke was to defeat. That probably means Legacy Three is about to die.

And then this happens:

They actually were calling themselves The Harm Armory, hunh? They must have tweeted it after their first and only successful mission.

Once Slade knows this isn't about Ravager and that this Legacy guy knows nothing about his son, he's now free to kill him. Legacy Three just made a noob/newb/n00b mistake. He also brags that his suit is made of Nth Metal. Does everybody suddenly have access to that shit?

Slade escapes onto the nuclear sub and throws together a little machine off the cuff. He wires it into the nuclear system and Legacy Three believes Deathstroke is about to set off the reactor. But he doesn't. Slade just generates an electro-magnetic pulse which shuts down all of Legacy's systems, immobilizing him. And then he begins the slow and torturous process of finding out everything Legacy Three knows about April's parents.

Meanwhile, back at April's parents house:

And then the final page is the big reveal of Grant with his Ravager sword saying, "...isn't a son supposed to best his father?"

Once I started writing about the New 52 comics, I would read the occasional online review of comics I'd already read just to see what people think. I would especially do it with the really bad comics and see if it wasn't just me. It's actually surprising how much bullshit comic book fans will put up with and still believe a book is doing a pretty good job. Anyway, most of them refused to deal out spoilers. But what that really meant was they would spoil the entire comic book plot except for the stupid last page twist surprise! So they would talk about 18-19 pages of the plot but then refuse to reveal that Grant was behind it. Or that Two Face had become One Face. Or that Superman punched out Green Lantern. Or that Batgirl suddenly had the gun turned on her because The Mirror had thrown someone out a window. Or that Green Lantern had been disintegrated in the Yellow Lantern Battery. Or any other number of stupid last page surprise cliffhanger bullshit endings that generally don't need to be there.

Deathstroke Issue #6 Rating: No change. Nothing bad about the comic but nothing special either. I sure wish Deathstroke was whimsical in his violence. I'd be more entertained if the wholesale slaughter were a bit tongue-in-cheek. Probably just me though. Hardcore comic nerds would probably snort at me and say, "I suppose you'd rather see Judge Dredd in pink riding unicorns?" Yes. Yes I would.