The Guardians story here? Meh.
But that’s not why I picked this issue up. Not at all. I picked it up for The Defenders preview that was tacked on unceremoniously.
The Defenders teaser? Awesome. I cannot wait for this series to hit. Just in these ten or so pages there was a lot to get excited about. Familiar characters from the Daredevi/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage/Iron Fist worlds. I think this will be one to really keep an eye on.
I picked up this annual because – well look at the cover. A Batgirl/Supergirl team-up is awesome. So I had to get it. Unfortunately the cover is slightly misleading. This annual features two stores, and only the first one features Supergirl. And it’s incomplete, but will continue in Supergirl #9 (which is still a couple of issues away).
Anyway, I really did like the team-up story. And the art was great. Inaki Miranda’s drawings are wonderful here. It makes me wish that he was drawing the main Supergirl series as well. It’s a nice setup story though, of how the two meet up and Supergirl convinces Batgirl to help her free a captive girl who’s been communicating with Kara. I’ll definitely be interested to see where it goes. And I like the mutual respect the two show for each other.
The second story was fine, but nothing great. Barbara is trying to balance friendship with crime fighting. It takes place before Batgirl #1, and it has its moments. But the real reason to read this issue is that first story.
I don’t even know what I just read. Truthfully, I’m a sucker for weird one-shots. And this is that. The concept is what if the Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe comic series was adapted into a movie – and then that movie was adapted into a comic book? Well, this is it. But it’s a total mess. At least it was for me who never read the original series. I’m sure it’s fun and funny if you did. Maybe?
The artwork is… not good. Intentionally so, I believe. It’s meant to look like some kind of like kid daydreaming sketches of such a concept. Complete with handwriting to match. But honestly, I had no idea what was going on. It was just one big mess of fractured scenes and stuff. So yeah. I wasn’t into it.
Deviations was a five-week event for IDW earlier in 2016 where various comics released one-shots that told What If stories outside of the main series. In the Turtles’ issue we have a grim reality. First of all, Shredder has killed Casey Jones. And second, the Turtles have been brainwashed and are now members of The Foot. Their mission: to kill Splinter.
What immediately struck me was just how overly violent this one was. Not that I’m against that. And really, as a fan of the Turtles going back to the early Mirage issues, I have always preferred a darker tone for them anyway. But damn, it’s brutal to see Splinter being so beat up.
The real What If here is simply what would happen if the Turtles weren’t there to protect the city. I won’t ruin anything, but the ending is a surprise but also isn’t. For a one-shot, I thought it was pretty decent. Though I must admit I didn’t love the art. A little too busy for my taste.
Well, as I’ve mentioned I’m a sucker for weird one-shots. And look at that artwork! I really couldn’t pass up checking out this DC Rebirth holiday special. It’s a heft one as well – clocking in at a massive ten stories, along with a wrap-around the stars Harley Quinn and continually segues from one story to the next.
Overall the presentation is nice. The artwork is bright and pretty excellent. Paul Dini’s ongoing story of Harley’s holiday party is a cool way to tie everything together. But like I mentioned about the Gwenpool holiday issue, there’s maybe a bit too much here that feels kind of tossed-off and a bit of a chore to read. I do think this was more successful than that Gwenpool book was, though.
The Superman & Batman story about them trying to find the year’s hot gift for their sons was entertaining, though kind of pointless. Oddly, “The Night We Saved Christmas” was one of my favorites here – even as silly as it was – starring Batman & Detective Chimp. The most touching story by far was The Flash’s one where in the end he and the bad guys stop fighting in the spirit of making sure orphans are not without gifts on Christmas. But a lot of the other stuff here just felt like holiday filler.
Maybe I should stop buying holiday specials? In fact my vote for best holiday special this year was the Batman Annual which didn’t present itself as a holiday special at all.
As I’ve said, I’m a bit of a sucker for weird one-shots. Holiday-themed ones tend to especially tug at the ol’ heartstrings. And so I went ahead and grabbed this Gwenpool special, not really knowing all that much about the Gwenpool character to begin with. I mean I know she was kind of made as a joke but fans liked her enough that she became a permanent fixture at Marvel. But that was about it.
For the most part, I didn’t love this issue. Don’t get me wrong – it was generous with its length and four stories, but I found it overly silly for my own taste. I think I prefer stuff like the Batman Annual that came out recently which had stories that took place in or around the holidays, but still felt like stories that could have been in any issue of Batman. But a lot of this stuff felt pretty throw-away to me – like the Spider-Man story with Galactus and the Gwenpool two-parter with all the holidays being messed up.
Actually I think my favorite story here was the (tacked-on) Deadpool HALLOWEEN-themed one where Deadpool goes to a Halloween party and sees that there’s a Deadpool costume contest. There’s some good gags here like his lamenting that a hit movie means everyone wants to be you for Halloween, or the little girl dressed like Eleven from Stranger Things.
Ultimately there were some funny moments, but a lot of it I had to force myself to continue reading through.