Moving away from the super-hero team-ups (which I’ve very much enjoyed), the latest issue of Scooby-Doo! Team-Up sends the Mystery, Inc. gang back in time to Bedrock where they meet Fred Flinstone and his family.
Even for a Scooby-Doo comic this one’s a bit goofy, especially when the team jumps into action to solve the mystery of the Phantom of the Operrock who ruins a night out for Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty. It’s hard not to see the latest issue as a slight disappointment given how terrific it has been up until this point. Thankfully it’s still entertaining and does upon up new avenues for some very unexpected team-ups in the future.
Although not as strong as the rest of the series, Scooby-Doo! Team-Up #7 does have fun with having the Scooby Gang comment on the ridiculousness of caveman advancements. Other than a single scene not much is done with Dino meaning Scooby is left out of getting his own prehistoric pal. For fans.
Trapped in the wreckage underneath the latest alien spacecraft to crash land in the area, Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #4 offers a few stolen moments between Usagi and Tomoe filling in some of the lonely future for the rabbit ronin should his path follow the template of events this version of events suggests.
Once again the mini-series delivers its share of action pitting Usagi and Tomoe against an entire spaceship of the octopus-like alien invaders. Thankfully the pair are able to hold their own until help arrives. However, on a larger scale their may be no help coming that can save the land from the alien technology (as I continue to wonder just how far Stan Sakai may take his War of the Worlds story arc).
In the middle of what appears to be a hopeless situation the issue offers a rather bleak picture of what’s to come. However, those with faith in Miyamoto Usagi know that the rabbit ronin has a knack for always finding a way. Worth a look.
[Dark Horse, $3.99]
In an issue overloaded with eggcelent puns, Batman and Robin are forced to match wits with a more highly-evolved Egghead who has used his Eggcelerator to enhance his brain to resemble that of someone from the 40th Century (whom he just assumes are really, really smart).
Gifted with telekinesis and a sixth sense of danger, Egghead uses his new-found superiority to defeat not only the Dynamic Duo, whom he devolves into cave men, but also steal scores from other Gotham City criminals as well and in short order takes over the city.
Although more supernatural than the old television show ever got, Batman ’66 #16 certainly feels like a comic of that time period. Eventually the Cro-Magnon Duo find a way to outsmart the super-villain, who has grown weary with how easy his life has become, and restore his brain, their likenesses, and Gotham, back to the status quo. Worth a look.
As the race towards sisterly civil war moves closer, Rose Red and Bellflower step-up in an attempt to kill the out-of-control Bigby who neither realizes is being controlled by the unseen hand of a powerful sorceress. Although the pair make for a formidable team, they are unsuccessful in Fabletown’s second attempt to stop the half-crazed monster.
The Camelot reborn storyline continues (even with a sword stuck in a stone) and it seems less and less likely that Rose Red and Snow White‘s battle of wills won’t end in bloodshed. As foreshadowing of just that, the issue opens with three pages involving a secret meeting between Snow and Cinderella whose unique skills will apparently be put to the test against one of the hardest assignments she’s ever accepted. As for Bigby, with the series winding to a close (and the magic used to effect Bellflower’s dagger) one would suppose that someone might come to the conclusion of other forces being at work. Worth a look.
As the rest of the scattered X-Men discover they aren’t in Kansas anymore, Jean Grey enlists the help of Miles Morales in hopes of finding the rest of her time-and-space displaced team. Angel and X-23 manage to make it back to the home of their X-Men only to find more questions as the Beast sits down for dinner with Victor von Damme, and Iceman deals with a pissed-off Mole Man and his entire underground army.
Getting Angel and X-23 back adds some nice levity to the situation while the rest of the team mainly freaks out with their new reality. For someone unfamiliar with Marvel’s Ultimate Universe (which I’ve mostly avoided other than the early Ultimate Spider-Man arcs) I felt as out-of-place as the X-Men, but given the fact that is exactly the issue’s hook it certainly doesn’t hurt the story (although those more familiar with the universe will obviously get more out of the cameos of the various alternate versions of Marvel Comics characters). Worth a look.
Following up the events of the series’ first arc involving the rescue of a bizarre alien baby of immeasurable abilities, Justice League United Annual #1 bring the Legion of Super-Heroes back in time to destroy the fast-evolving child (already a teenager) before it grows into the monster of the 31st Century responsible for the destruction of countless worlds and billions of lives.
Opening with a battle between a distraught Mon-El and half the team including the Martian Manhunter, Equinox, and Adam Strange the comic is filled with quite a bit of action in a thinly-veiled tale about young Ultra growing into a Galactus-type monster capable of universal destruction.
The B-story involves Green Arrow, Animal Man, Supergirl, and Stargirl tracking down the villainous Bith and discovering that their dead teammate Hawkman isn’t so dead (although he’s apparently now working for the other side). For an annual the issue works well kicking off the next arc of the series which (even for someone who isn’t a bit Legion fan) should get interesting with the number of characters making appearances before all is said and done. Worth a look.
“The Fall of G.I. JOE” continues as the fate of the military organization is discussed in Washington various forces, each working with limited information and at cross-purposes, head into Galibi. As the small force of Flint, Roadblock, Mainframe, and Helix search for the terrorist base of Grigor Rashidov, Tomax learns of the defection of Siren‘s militant son to the group. Complicating matters even further leads Tomax to hire non-Cobra agents, which turns out be Duke, to retrieve the boy through byzantine means providing only the vaguest information about the situation. However, given the fast-approaching JOE hit-squad to the camp had Tomax left the situation alone it would have solved all of his problems.
Choosing his mission, and the life of a boy who he believes is a hostage not a whackjob Cobra believer, over that of his former comrades, Duke warns Rashidov of the arrival of an American hit squad. The ramifications of his actions muddy the waters of the new series even further and might very likely lead to more trouble between the JOEs and their former commander. For fans.
With the heroes unwilling to surrender, Aku continues to send his army of robot duplicates to pound the Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Ben Tennyson, and Dexter into submission while ordering Mandark to make good on the League of Extraordinary Villains‘ threat by destroying one of the heroes’ worlds should they fail to surrender.
Given Aku’s apparent disdain for his contributions to the cause, and believing his world has been targeted (which will make it impossible to rule if destroyed), Mojo Jojo switches sides and attempts to help the heroes stop Aku’s plans.
Mojo Jojo’s hero turn puts the character back into the action after being largely marginalized over the past few issues. It also earns the respect of Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttecup in an undeniably adorable panel. Realizing at the last minute his world hasn’t been targeted it will be interesting to see Mojo’s choices in the mini-series finale and what the revelation means to Mandark. Worth a look.
You know what they say about the best laid plans. Despite the effort the team spent in recovering the Vampyr tome from Dracula and locking it up safe in Xander and Spike‘s new apartment, the roomies discover the book has been taken by Andrew back to the giant gaping hole which was once Sunnydale (the site of a Burning Man-style celebration on Halloween) in order to fix a mistake.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #8 works by obscuring the true motives of Andrew for multiple pages while allowing the Scoobies to fear the worst. Andrew’s guilt to bring back Jonathan makes sense, but it’s that final panel which suggests an unexpected return of a fan favorite that will likely get fans in a frenzy and have huge ramification for everyone involved.
The B-story involving a de-powered Old One with a very personal grudge against Slayers hunting Buffy isn’t as interesting, but I’m willing to see where it leads (especially as long as the main story continues to deliver). Worth a look.
[Dark Horse, $3.50]
“The Quest of the Broken Blade” continues as we learn Samurai Jack has gone into hiding after his magical sword was shattered. Attempting to lay low as bearded hermit in one of the largest cities, Jack is discovered by a bounty-hunter named Robo-Merc forcing him to flee once more. The sequence also alerts the audience how the world has grown even darker since its hero went into hiding.
Distressed to learn his prey has alluded him once more, Aku is mollified after he learns the assassin can track the samurai down through the trace of of blood he was able to collect. It seems Samurai Jack’s time has run out.
While Robo-Merc is a fun new Aku minion, the most interesting piece from the latest issue of Samuari Jack is the reveal of how the samurai’s sword was initially forged and how those same elements (three monks, three gods, and three hammers) gather once more to reforge the blade before all is lost. Worth a look.