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Tony's Online Tips
Reviews and commentary by Tony Isabella
"America's Most Beloved Comic-Book Writer & Columnist"

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TONY'S ONLINE TIPS
for Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Action Comics 873

Here we are with Month Four of DC's "New Krypton" storyline, which runs in Superman, Action Comics, and Supergirl. I plan to review this storyline in its entirety, but I'm starting to have second thoughts about that. It's not because the story isn't moving along nicely, but because I think I'm running out of things to say about it. While I ponder this...

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Kudos to writer Geoff Johns for Action Comics #873 [$2.99] and its surprising resolution to the standoff between the Kryptonians and the heroes of Earth. This month's issue is one of those "Faces of Evil" books with Lex Luthor getting the cover spot. Unfortunately, a little of Lex goes a long way, especially when he starts making with the insanely egotistical routine. It's way past time for DC to bring Luthor's story to a permanent end. He's not iconic, he's just boring.

I'd have put Alura, who's become quite the murderous villain, on the cover. She's the scariest Superman foe to emerge in years and all the more deadly because Superman isn't looking at her that way and he should. He should also be the one to take her down, if only to make up for his less-than-super efforts to date.

The issue ends with a surprising murder committed by an even more surprising killer. I'm definitely in the "can't wait to see what happens next" mode...and that earns Action Comics #873 four out of five Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony Tony

Supergirl 37

The mystery of Superwoman continues in Supergirl #37 [$2.99]. However, given she's the cover star of this "Faces of Evil" issue, I think we can make a reasonable judgment as to what kind of person she is. Writer Sterling Gates takes Alura's scenery chewing down a notch and, blessedly, Cat Grant is absent from this issue. This issue gets a solid three Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony

Superman 684

The Parasite is the cover "Face of Evil" on Superman #684 [$2.99] by James Robinson with art by Jesus Merino. There's three major beats to this issue: a well-done focus on the Parasite, the Guardian rallying the Science Police as new field commander, and Superman visiting New Krypton to find things are worse than he imagined. Befitting a Jack Kirby character, the Guardian channels Captain America and makes it work. As for Supes, I'm still waiting and hoping for him to realize that, family or not, Alura needs to be taken down. Big time.

Add an intriguing meeting between Jay Garrick (the original Flash) and the new Nightwing and Flamebird to the mix and you have another fine issue It earns four Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony Tony

******

THE HERD

On Saturday, Sainted Wife Barb and I attended the wedding of Bob Ingersoll's daughter. It was a beautiful ceremony and, at the reception afterwards, we had a great time with Bob, Roger and Jane Price, Tom and Melanie Condosta, and Thom Zahler and his girlfriend Christine. To his credit, Bob delivered a wonderful speech at the reception and even danced with his daughter without injuring her. Well done, sir.

Back in the day, when Bob, Roger, Thom, and I were going to a lot of conventions together, we were known as The Herd. We were legendary in a non-legendary kind of way.

Saturday was the first time in far too long that the founding members of the Herd were all together. (Yes, we actually had other members, but I'm giving them the chance to send me money before I reveal their identities.) Courtesy of Thom Zahler, this occasion was commemorated with this photograph:

The Herd

Bob is the smart one, Roger is the funny one, Thom is the cute one...and I guess that makes me Ringo.

The next time we'll all be together at a public event will be Mid-Ohio-Con on October 3 and 4 in Columbus. For more info on the convention, head over to:

midohiocon.blogspot.com

Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

Tony Isabella

<< 08/17/2009 | 08/18/2009 | 08/19/2009 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Message Board. Also, read Heroes and Villains: Real and Imagined and view my Amazon Wish List.

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THE "TONY" SCALE

Zero Tonys
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.

Tony
ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.

TonyTony
TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?

TonyTonyTony
THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.

TonyTonyTonyTony
FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?

TonyTonyTonyTonyTony
FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.



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