Previews #247 ~ This month's promising-looking stuff:
p65: Detective Comics #854 (Batwoman! Must buy!)
p68: Gotham City Sirens #1 (Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Catwoman - worth a look for sure)
p81: JSA vs Kobra: Engines of Faith #1 (it's the current JSA, so I'll give it a shot)
p153: Body Bags volume one trade paperback
Marvel p10: Miss America Comics anniversary special (very retro obviously, but I'll take a look)
p227: Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose volume seven trade paperback (I'm tempted by the deluxe edition too)
p230: Barack the Barbarian #1 (they say he's a Conan fan, I hope the writers do the idea justice)
p239: Jungle Girl #4 Frank Cho edition (I want it just as an art piece, but I'm waiting to see what the price tag is)
p274: Domino Lady #1 (another retro heroine, but if they handle the 'mature themes' well it could be good)
p127: Zatanna 1:6 scale figure (I don't like the engineering on these DC deluxe figures, but I can't say no to Zatanna)
p129: Black Canary statue (I put in an order for the Wonder Woman and Zatanna ones; these are going to cost me so much)
p132: Blackest Night series 2 (Indigo Lantern, naturally)
p239: Jungle Girl statue (I can't afford it, but it looks good)
p346: Star Trek series 5 (more Original Series goodness - Janice Rand and Christine Chapel)
p359: Marvel Legends two-packs (Iron Man and the gorgeous Maria Hill!)
Justice Society of America #25 ~ The return to Black Adam wraps up here, pretty much, and I regret to say it's one of Justice Society's weaker efforts since its restart. I'm not a fan of Jerry Ordway's art, as I've said before - he strays far more from model on the character faces than anyone else has on JSA thus far, and some panels are just poorly executed: check out Mary in the first panel on page one, looking in the wrong direction and with the wrong expression on her face. I'm not sure who to blame for Mary still being in her ridiculous Darkseid get-up, instead of the much more elegant and fitting black dress (which the covers use), but it's a dumb move whoever did it. Art aside, though, what sabotages this story is its basis - it's all about Black Adam's power, not Black Adam himself. Think back to 52, the power really didn't matter - it was the story of a harsh man finding, all unexpected, a family, being willing to take the chance of accepting them into his life, being changed by that - and then the tragedy of losing them. It's got nothing to do with superpowers, which is how it should be - you can have powers in a story, but you can't base a story on them, because they're not real and no real story can truly emerge from them. That's the error here - the problem faced by the heroes is power-based, and so is the solution, so really nothing of any character consequence happens. It's also a rather abrupt finale to a long-running story, almost as if Johns didn't want Black Adam's story to get away from JSA, the way it has by being told in 52 and its spin-offs (including even the lamentable Countdown), so he arbitrarily wrapped it up so no-one else could use it. Because of how much I've enjoyed Justice Society previously, I really hoped for and expected more from this arc, and it's been a let-down.
Farscape #4 ~ This issue forms the conclusion of the first 'episode', if you like, of this continuation of Farscape, and as I've been with #1-3, I'm impressed at the skill that's translated the successful TV story into the different format of comics. The storytelling style is all comics here - it doesn't function in the same way as Farscape used to on TV - but it feels the same, it captures the essence of the characters and world that had been built. Rygel's plan to wrest control of his empire away from his cousin Bishan - with Scorpius at his side - swings into gear, making for some nice action scenes, although it must be said the space scenes don't quite have the same sense of grandeur in a comic, where huge scope is easy to draw, as they did on TV where that kind of thing was rare. In the middle of it, the mysterious stranger (whom Crichton aptly names Doctor Doom) shows up again, in a fashion that's guaranteed to be twisted and turned later on - his (its?) motives remain a mystery, and what we see here leaves plenty of room for interpretation. Between that, the apparent continuation of the Scarran threat, and the potential remifications of the Peacekeeper disarray alluded to earlier, there's plenty of territory for the crew of Moya to cover. Meanwhile the character subplots - Jothee and Chi, and Aeryn's difficulties with Deke - reach something of a resolution, which feels a bit quicker and tidier than was usually the case on TV, but in the comic format this may be a god move, to leave space for more ideas rather than dwelling too long on the same old ones.
The Invincible Iron Man #12 ~ Pepper Potts gets her first real outing in the Iron Woman suit - and what a day she has. It's really fun superhero stuff, very much in the vein of the light-hearted moments from the Iron Man movie where Tony was learning his trade, and it's almost a shame that it's happening in a book like this, where cynicism blunts that kind of carefree stuff before too long. Still, it's an intriguing idea, and hopefully one writer Fraction intends to pursue long-term. Meanwhile Maria Hill is in Resident Evil hell, stuck with the Controller, a kind of cyber-zombie master, and since the poor woman never seems to catch a break, she's in all sorts of trouble - but the breakout is going to be fun, I'm sure of that. The weakest of the three plotlines, ironically, is Iron Man, who's under the sea and battling Namor in a fight which doesn't really go anywhere much, nor does it achieve anything story-wise beyond reinforcing a couple of points established earlier about Tony's state of mind and what he's up to. Still, this remains a really good comic, so I'll give it a minor off-month without consequence.
Agents of Atlas #3 ~ This issue is a whole lot of setup - in the flashback era, where things are still a bit confusing, and become downright creepy, and in the present, where the showdown on the cover is built up to only to be left for next issue to play out. There's good character material along the way though - the Uranian's mindscans of Norman and Sentry provide interesting glimpses at them, and shore up the promising showdown that'll hopefully eventuate between Atlas and HAMMER. Meanwhile, Namora - aside from providing the issue's synopsis on page one ('sea-nopsis', heh) - is out in the Pacific Ocean clearing up old wrecks, and when Venus drops by to see how she's doing, it leads to a really strong character-based scene between the two of them, full of well-wrought dialogue that reveals the depth of both of their characters, in the course of dealing primarily with Namora's grief at the death of her daughter Namorita. With the way Namora's been only passingly focused on up to now, this is exactly the kind of material I've been hoping for, and it made this issue a really satisfying one.