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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 Thursday, August 20, 2009

Action Comics 874

I'm up to Month Five of DC's "New Krypton" story, which is currently running in Superman, Action Comics, Supergirl, and Superman: New Krypton. Because many issues have key plot developments, I'm activating the time-honored...

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In Action Comics #874 [$2.99] by James Robinson with art by Pablo Raimondi and Walden Wong, Superman's first visit to Kandor since Alura removed the city from Earth and turned it into its own planet doesn't go well. Zod is out of the Phantom Zone and commanding the Kryptonian army. That and Alura's pathological hate of all things Earth does not bode well. Superman is invited to immigrate to the new homeworld, but only if he renounces his adopted planet.

The cherry on the sundae? The Phantom Zone is being wiped out of existence, leaving Mon-El the grim choice of dying with it or dying of lead poisoning on Earth. It's a bad day to be a super-hero in the DCU.

This month's comics all have an "Origin and Omens" back-up feature. The Guardian appears in Action Comics, Supergirl in her own title, and Mon-El in Superman. I like the "origin" parts of these stories very much. Not so much the "omens" parts, which strike me as cheap teasing. The DCU keeps getting darker as its editorial master plans keep getting more complicated and less successful. How about we get a year where the DC powers-that-be stop thinking far ahead and just concentrate on telling really good stories?

Action Comics #874 earns three Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony

Supergirl 38

"Who is Superwoman?" continues in Supergirl #38 [$2.99] by Sterling Gates, Jamal Igle, and Keith Champagne. Gates does a terrific job writing Supergirl. His script has neat moments with Agent Liberty, Major Lucy Lane, and Superwoman. Unfortunately, it also has two pages of the hideous Cat Grant with her over-the-top soap opera villainess crap. I'm still giving this issue three out of Tonys, but, from here on in, the presence of this dumb version of Cat Grant will automatically lower any issue's rating by a full point. Fix her or lose her, DC.

Tony Tony Tony

Superman 685

In Superman #685 [$2.99] by James Robinson and Javier Pina, the Man of Steel makes his decision. It's a reasonable one - pretend to renounce Earth and infiltrate New Krypton - but not a great one. Mostly because, though Clark is acting like less of a wuss, he's still thinking "save Alura" when he should be thinking "end her threat and stick her in prison for the rest of her life." Family or not, evil is evil.

My occasional negative comments aside, I'm really glad that Robinson is writing comics again. This issue earns an impressive four Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony Tony

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

Tony Isabella

<< 08/19/2009 | 08/20/2009 | 08/21/2009 >>

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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