Better Late Than Never Reviews: 4/9/10 (The "Wow, I Haven't Done One Of These In A While" Edition)

Quick, though rarely timely, reactions to recently read, though probably not recently published, comics. Potential SPOILERS ahead. As the thespian Robert "Vanilla Ice" Van Winkle said in his 1991 opus Cool As Ice, "let's gee oh."

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #15 - The main story, featuring Batman competing with the Wally West version of the Flash to see who can solve a case first, is good fun, but once again, it's the opening segment that sells the book: Batman teams up with Super Hip and Brother Power the Geek to fight the Mad Mod in 60s London. If you need to stop reading this post right now to run out and buy that, I'll understand. Writer Sholly Fisch is doing the Lord's work.

Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #14 - And now Mike Norton's drawing the covers, too, so the whole book looks fantastic start to finish. And Art Balthazar and Franco are doing some very interesting things with the return of Black Adam, bringing at least one other familiar character in a very unexpected way. Seriously, people, if you're ignoring this book because it's a Johnny DC title, or because it's not in regular continuity so it "doesn't count," get your heads out of your bums. It's the best Captain Marvel book in years. Buy it so that I may continue to do so as well.

The Green Hornet #1 (the Kevin Smith one... not to be confused with the 4 or 5 other Green Hornet books that shipped around the same time) - I appreciated the callbacks to the old GH TV show, but the idea of the Green Hornet as a generational legacy, the promise of a female Kato... seems like Kevin Smith read the same Hornet issues Ron Fortier wrote for Now Comics in the 80s and 90s that I did. Add in some very out-of-place dialogue and an awkward end point for the issue, and I'm left thinking I'm better off just re-reading those Now issues if I need a Green Hornet fix. Too bad, since I was looking forward to this. Maybe the Matt Wagner-penned series is better?

First Wave #1 - A bit early to see where this is headed, but Brian Azzarello is putting enough of his seemingly disparate cast(s) of characters on the board early enough that it already feels like it's going somewhere. And if you know something about the characters' earlier publishing histories, some interesting questions are posed. Since when is the Spirit's friend Chief Dolan a dirty cop? Why isn't Johnny with the rest of Doc Savage's crew? Since when did Doc start his adventuring career before his father's death? I had my doubts, but my curiosity is officially piqued.

Agents of C.O.L.T. Vol. 1 - This book from indie publisher PKD Media features the adventures of a S.H.I.E.L.D. / G.I. Joe type of special missions force that deals with all manner of alien and/or supernatural incursion, and it's basically a weekday afternoon cartoon put to paper (or monitor, should you decide to read it online). You'll know whether or not it's for you based on that last sentence, but I will say that I think Andrew Charipar's artwork is well suited for this sort of thing (admittedly, I'm a bit of a fan of his stuff, anyway), and writer/publisher Shawn Pryor is definitely writing this out of love and it shows, so if you like things that are fun, it's worth checking out.

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