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I bought comics! It's weirdly exhilarating to get them on the same day as the Americans. I feel much more in touch with the zeitgeist. (Though apparently this is shortly to become the normal state of affairs anyway.)

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #9


I was hoping the action would kick up a gear, and this felt instead like stalling. (I just used a CAR METAPHOR.) The book's frustrations are deepening the longer it goes on. I mean, sitting once a fortnight through a recitation of Tora's issues, which have not developed or progressed at all from the start of the book, just makes me feel like a shitty psychiatrist. Fix them, drop them, or have them motivate her to do something, but don't just remind me every week that they're still in there. Worse than that: Jaime Reyes is the most awesome new DCU character in the last five years, and he has now spent eight issues essentially sitting around a table picking his fingernails. You put the kid in the book, use him, please.

Worst of all, we *still* know nothing about Max's masterplan, which leaves the whole thing feeling superficial. All we know is that Max Is Very Bad, but we're not quite sure why, and that He Must Be Stopped, although honestly he's not been *doing* much of anything but running around muhahahaing. I mean... why was he even at the embassy in this issue? From the art, the answer appears to be that he wanted to swipe Bea's iPad. Which, actually, I sympathise. I totally want an iPad. I would totally kill Ted Kord for an iPad. (Ted looks in from 2005 all "...a what?" Sorry Ted.) Digression!

So. Of course, Max did "do" something on the final page, although we knew this character was in the offing. And that is an interesting development, because it demonstrates again that Max has his own agenda: the White Lantern Entity told him to stop Magog from starting a war, and showed Max a vision of himself killing Magog. So... Max is either defying the Entity (for which he would presumably have a good reason - he doesn't *want* his life back? He wants to keep his mad Black Lantern skillz? Something?), or playing a long Xanatos Gambit to achieve the goal it gave him. Maybe he just assumes Captain Atom is stronger than Magog and will kill him, job done. But if that's the case, it implies odd things about how he's parsing that vision of himself killing Magog, and clearly demonstrates that he hasn't read Kingdom Come, and I've got to believe that Max is more genre-savvy than that.

The art was also a bit hard to follow (in the Booster/Max confrontation, Booster... what... pops Max's forcefield? Is that right?), and I am not wild about the Roid Rage Max physique.

The good:

* Gavril. I will put up with a lot in a comic for a hilarious adorable Russian guy. They're doing a decent job of making Gavril's English eccentric without having him sound stupid, and even if his characterization isn't wildly novel, at least they've given him a set of attitudes and beliefs that are appearing consistently from issue to issue. The exchange with Skeets about their being "equal in the eyes of the people" was particularly enjoyable. Plus I am glad that, in Ted's absence, there is someone else who likes cracking stuff open with screwdrivers. If Gavril and Bea set up home together and adopt Skeets, I will not be sad.

* Tora being defensive of Bea when Nate tries to whammy the mind control out of her. Good character note.

* That one random early panel where Nate is literally just standing with his nose against the wall. Had he been being naughty?


BOOSTER GOLD #36


The catharsis is just coming off this title in waves now. Not content with having Booster deliver a smackdown to Cyborg about how the JLI were never really just a bunch of schlemiels, GiffDeMatz - who you know hated Countdown to IC - are righting more of the wrongs done to their JLI dudes by getting poor Ted Kord laid fourteen times. I mean, it doesn't end that well for Ted, but as retroactive last cigarettes go, this is a pretty damn good one.

I love the idea that, after a long, confusing day of sound and fury in Generation Lost, Booster pops home to Rip's house, scarfs a sandwich, and pops back in time to hang out with Ted. I mean, I share Rip and Skeets's view on its consequences for Booster's mental health, but ... yeah. I also know where he's coming from. Besides, Booster's rollcall of all the dead-but-got-better people he knows hinted neatly at how impossible it would be to grieve, deal, and move on if you inhabited a world that had magic reversible comics death.* And that's before you throw in the time machine. Booster stands less chance of getting over Ted than I do of stopping rolling my eyes over this "Estrogina" business.

Estrogina notwithstanding, this book has me grinning from ear to ear. I'm charmed that *everyone* realises this Booster is from a different age. I'm charmed by Skeets essentially observing that Booster contracted chronic profound fashion blindness from Ted. I'm charmed by Booster's own recognition that he's matured, Skeets's acknowledgement that Booster is coming into his own, and Ted's observation that neither he nor Booster were ever really the dumb fucks people assume. I'm charmed by Barda smacking Booster's head through a wall. I'm charmed that they're making the effort to tie this in with Gen Lost for continuity's sake, while completely ignoring that they should be doing the same thing with Time Masters. I'm charmed beyond belief that Skeets is getting to save the day, and - better still - to monologue while he does it.

* (My inner crazed fangirl notes, "Giffen knows how Gen Lost ends and this is all designed to PREPARE US FOR TED'S GLORIOUS RETURN!" Um.)

April 2011

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