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“Captain America Corps” highlights heroes from different eras; plus more comic-book reviews

by Matthew Price Modified: April 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm •  Published: July 27, 2011

Captain America Corps 1-2
Roger Stern writes this miniseries, which gathers various Captain Americas through time and puts them up against a cosmic-level threat to the future.  Philippe Briones, who drew

“American Son,” is a good choice for art on this mini.   The U.S. Agent, American Dream, Commander A, and an early-day Steve Rogers Captain America join a recent James Barnes Captain America as the only force who can overcome this totalitarian threat to the future.    If you’re a longtime Cap fan, you’ll love how Stern dusts off various incarnations of the character.  And if you’re a new fan from the films, the World War II Cap will be familiar — recent comics fans should be able to clue in to the pre-”Fear Itself” Bucky Cap.

Ghost Rider #1
Rob Williams crafts this tale of a new, female Ghost Rider who replaces Johnny Blaze as “Fear Itself” crosses the Marvel Universe.   Matthew Clark provides the art.  This seems to be an attempt to move Ghost Rider back toward the Marvel Universe as opposed to off in a Marvel Knights or mature readers imprint, and it works OK, but it didn’t set my head on fire.

Amazing Spider-Man #665
As “Spider-Island” looms, Peter Parker’s relationship with longtime pal Betty Brant is explored.  Aunt May comes off a bit out of character, and parts of the story may be cliched, but it’s a rare misstep by Dan Slott, who even on a rare off issue is perfectly readable. Art is byRyan Stegman. As a change of pace, grounding issue before Spider-Island it’s fine, and Slott is still a fantastic Spider-Man writer.  This one was just less appealing to me than most of his run.

Flashpoint: The Canterbury Cricket #1
Rags Morales provides nice art, but I couldn’t really get into Mike Carlin’s story about the Canterbury Cricket.  It’s the origin of a new character in the Flashpoint Universe, set in England.  As resistance fighters Etrigan the Demon, Godiva, Mrs Hyde and Wicked Jinny Greenteeth face off against the Amazons, they are in trouble until the Cricket arrives, and reveals his origin.

Flashpoint: Green Arrow Industries #1
Writer Pornsak Pichetshote joins artists Ig Guara and Marco Castiello to fill us in on the Green Arrow of the world of “Flashpoint,” in which Oliver Queen is a businessman gathering high-powered technology.   This one shot reveals an Oliver Queen who is a complete 180 from the Oliver Queen of the regular DCU.  While there were some interesting contrasts, mainly this made me want to read some old-school Mike Grell Green Arrow.

Batman: Gates of Gotham #3
Kyle Higgins and Scott Snyder continue to explore the current mystery vexing Gotham City, with ties back to the city’s early days.  Maybe not as strong as the first two issues, but still a highly recommended Batman miniseries.   Trevor McCarthy is the artist.   Nicholas Gate is forced to decide where a new bridge expanding Gotham City will lead – to land owned by thuggish Cameron Kane, or to land owned by Gate’s favored Alan Wayne.  Though Kane’s option is structurally ideal, Nicholas is torn.

Defenders: From the Marvel Vault
The story behind this story is probably more interesting than the story itself.  Marvel, clearing out inventory issues, finds an issue completely drawn by Mark Bagley.  It was written by Fabian Nicieza, but the script has long-since been lost.  Since Nicieza is exclusive to DC, Marvel asks previous “Defenders” writer Kurt Busiek to make sense of it.  He does, in such a screwball fashion that it couldn’t be what was originally intended.  But it’s pretty clever.   Worth a look if you’re a Busiek or Bagley fan, or to take a peek behind the curtain on the process of making these things.

Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1
Writer Adam Schlagman and artist Ben Oliver focus on the “Top Gun” aspects of Hal Jordan in this “Flashpoint” tie-in series.

Red Robin #1 (2009)

Writer Chris Yost and artist Ramon Bachs reintroduced Tim Wayne (formerly Drake) as the Red Robin in this 2009 series that had the former Robin searching for the thought-dead Batman.  With Dick Grayson taking over the helm of Batman, Tim is seething over his choice of Damian Wayne, Bruce’s son, to take the role of Robin.   Tim is distraught, and desperate to find Bruce to set things right. 

Edit: I noticed I counted “Red Robin” #1 twice, so I’ve replaced it in the count with another DC from 2009: “Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade” #1. 

- Matt Price
Comics read in 2011: 1,059 Still to go: 952

 


by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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