Badly Recapped: Wonder Twins #4

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MARK RUSSELL – writer

STEPHEN BYRNE – artist

DAVE SHARPE – letterer

 

Synopsis in a Sentence: The Wonder Twins go on dates, with varying degrees of success.

 

The fishes out of water tale of the Wonder Twins continues (with a disturbing lack of Zan taking any form of water) as the Twins almost accidentally set up dates with two strangers at a school science fair. We also get more Polly Math, whose project theorizes the internet is a living consciousness that hasn’t woken up yet. At this point I’m having a little trouble staying awake myself. I hope this Math subplot either dies or plays a large part in the story down the road.

 

And speaking of story, what is the story of this book? I’m fine with just zany hijinks involving Zan and Jayna, but I don’t know if Mark Russell is. Halfway through this comedic and satirical comic we get the backstory of Polly Math finding her mother murdered à la Barry Allen, all because of her father’s past dealings with Lex Luthor. It just feels out of place with the rest of the story and series as a whole.Ap2N.gif

 

Zan and Jayna’s dates are the highlights of the book. Jayna’s date ends up being villain-in-training, “Red Flag”, a total bro whom she finally ditches at the end by transforming into a cheetah and running away. I’d have rather seen her take the form of kangaroo (which she mentioned to Superman she was getting better at earlier) and knock his block off, but at least we got SOME transforming from her, unlike Zan.

 

Speaking of which, Zan’s date went kind of better, simply ending with the girl getting back together with her ex. In a sweet, bordering on saccharine moment, Zan explains that he’s happy to have made a friend because in all likelihood they would’ve broken up in a few weeks anyhow, because teenagers. Zan’s naiveté continues to charm; I wish Russell did more with Jayna’s shyness he established in the first issue though.

 

Overall this issue had its fun moments, its good Russell (satire), its bad Russell (preachiness), and ongoing terrific art from Stephen Byrne. I’m not sure about the underlying arc of the Math family, and I’d like a little more Wonder Twins powers activating. Hopefully both are resolved in the final two issues.

 

6.5/10

 

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Badly Recapped: The Green Lantern #7

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GRANT MORRISON – writer

LIAM SHARP – artist and colorist

TOM ORZECHOWSKI – letters

 

Synopsis in a Sentence: Hal Jordan and his ring’s AI battle, then join forces, with the wizard in the ring to save all three.

 

Full disclosure: I tried reading this book once and threw it down in disgust after two pages. I think I just wasn’t in the mood for a rhyming wizard, weird elf lady, and lyric prose. I let it sit a day, then went back to it, and you know what? It’s a great one-shot Green Lantern tale.

 

In the first part of the book we follow “witch-girl” Pengowirr. Odd name, right? Turns out it’s an anagram for “Power ring”. Oh Grant Morrison, you clever bastard. Anyway, Penny is traveling the wasteland of the interior of Hal’s ring, which is dying. She’s avoiding the minions of the wizard who was banished to the ring by the Guardians, Myrwhydden. Being a new-ish reader of GL, I didn’t recognize the name. I also didn’t like his rhyming shtick at first. That’s my man Etrigan’s gimmick buddy!

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Eventually Penny notices a stranger following her, and it’s none other than Hal Jordan- shrunken and stuck in his own ring. How embarrassing! After traveling with Penny awhile, dodging minions and whatnot, Hal begins to realize where he’s at, who he’s with, and that he’s running out of time before his ring’s energy is fully used up. He convinces Myrwydden to stop wasting the ring’s power with building a fantasy world and henchmen and to send out a last-ditch distress call.

 

Of course, a couple of Lanterns find the ring in time and get it back to OA, where Hal is extracted and gives the classic GL rhyme (a nice touch to counter the wizard’s rhyming) in time to save his ring and its “inhabitants”.

 

Say what you will about Morrison, but he really came up with a great story here. The fantastical prose wasn’t my favorite thing, but it fit the tale. Liam Sharp’s intricate art was on point as usual, but what really shined were the page layouts and muted coloring of the dying interior of the ring.

 

9/10

 

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“The Umbrella Academy” Drinks

A power outage on recording day forced our hand, and we had to release a mini on the entertaining Netflix series, The Umbrella Academy. Fortunately we have a battery-powered blender for just such an emergency….

Shot: Hazel, one of the time-traveling killers out to ensure the apocalypse takes place.

1/2oz each hazelnut liqueur and cream

Cocktail: Margarita No. 5, after the neon drink Number 5 sips while pondering how to stop the apocalypse from taking place.

1.5oz each white tequila, melon liqueur, and lime juice. Blend with 1 cup of ice. Serve in a salt-rimmed Margarita glass.

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Both drinks were actually pretty good this time, but can’t hold a candle to this amazing show. For thoughts on both, as well as the announcement of our awards show nominees, check out podcast 141, here:

https://besottedgeek.podbean.com/e/141-the-umbrella-academy/

The New Mutants #2

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“Sentinels” by Chris Claremont & Bob McLeod

Synopsis: Holy balls there’s a lot going on in this book! Deep breath…

Dani’s still in the Danger Room being chased by big monsters; eventually she falls off a cliff and gets knocked out.

Meanwhile the rest of the kids are chilling at a mall. In fact, they just got out of a movie theater after seeing “E.T.” They meet some local ruffians and kinda befriend them, unbeknownst that they’re under surveillance by shady government operation, Project Wide Awake, who- you guessed it- don’t like mutants. It’s headed by a Henry Peter Gyrich, who I’m not familiar with, but who is talking to Sebastian Shaw, head of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club and himself a mutant, unbeknownst to Gyrich. That dude I know, and he’s bad news.

So back at the mall Stevie is trying to call the mansion, but no one picks up. She gets pulled into a broom closet by Michael Rossi, who she’s heard of before from Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel!). This guy warns her the kids may be in trouble, and sure enough some agents show up to escort them away. Stevie and Rossi interrupt the plans, the New Mutants spring into action, and the bad guys call in Sentinels. Overkill much? Many pages of glorious mutant v giant robot action ensue. The Sentinels are destroyed and the cops arrest the bad guys while our heroes make a discreet exit for home.

When they get back to the mansion, they find Dani in the Danger Room and wake her up. She recounts her ordeal, leaving Stevie to assume that the person who turned the safety controls off had to be Professor Xavier. Who by the way is apparently host to some evil alien queen monster thing.

Whew.

Favorite panel: There’s a lot of good stuff to choose from, but I gotta go with this fantastic 2-page spread of Sunspot fighting a Sentinel in the mall. Pay attention to the comic shop and Spencer Gifts stores on the lower level. Awesome. Also, I think it’s written into Marvel law that every X-Team has to fight Sentinels in a mall at some point.IMG_0113.jpg

Poor attempt at art: #2 Sunspot v Sentinel. Blacked out one of S’s eyes, and the lines are a bit sloppy, but hey, I’ve got over 90 more to work on stuff like that.IMG_0116.jpg

The New Mutants #1

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“Initiation!” by Chris Claremont & Bob McLeod

Synopsis: Basically an introduction to the team. Sam “Cannonball” Guthrie, Roberto “Sunspot” deCosta, Danielle “Psyche” Moonstar, Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair, and Xi’an “Karma” Coy Manh.

Early on Dani pisses off Shan by manifesting her father’s death and other atrocities she faced in front of the whole team. Meanwhile in London Moira MacTaggert and Illyana Rasputin meet with a Ms. Haller who is having trouble with her autistic/mutant son, who -DAH-DAH-DAHHHHH- is ALSO Professor X’s son. (Fans of the tv show “Legion” know him as David Haller.)

Back at the X-Mansion the Prof and teacher Stevie Hunter are putting the kids through the works in the Danger Room, which no one passes. Dani runs away fearing it will trigger her power into showing her friends more horrible shit from their past. She later goes back and tries it alone, almost succeeding, only to falter at the last second. When she comes to, someone has turned off the safety controls and cranked the danger up to 11.

Pretty solid introductory issue. There’s also some shady government-types spying on the kids, so we’ll see what that’s all about coming up I’m sure.

Favorite panel: Seems like cheating, but I’ll just go with the first page- a nice introductory picture of the main players. I don’t get the whole hair-washing thing though.

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Poor attempt at art: Wolfsbane. Couple of reasons. First, animals are easier to draw than people. Also, this was one of the only pictures not blocked by word balloons.IMG_0093.jpg

Alright, that’s it for the trial run of this New Mutants blog. Took a lot longer than I would have guessed, but was pretty fun. See you next time.

 

The New Mutants

Alright kids, trying something new. I’m going to attempt to read the first volume of The New Mutants before we get a live action depiction. I’ll be posting a brief synopsis of each issue, maybe a favorite bit of dialogue and/or panel. And I’m going to try to draw a character or scene or whatever from each book. Hopefully I’ll at least be halfway decent at drawing by the time I get through the 99-plus issues. Shooting for at least 2 posts a week. Stay tuned!

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