Firebirds; Plastic Man; Gotham Central; Firestorm
by Jay Faerber & Andres Ponce
The Firebirds of the title are Rebecca, a long-time super-heroine, and her daughter Emily, who Rebecca sent off to boarding school so as to protect her from her enemies. But after Rebecca suffers a near-fatal defeat and Emily starts to develop super powers of her own, Rebecca has to become both a real mother and a trainer to her daughter. It's a great concept for a series, but alas all it really remains is a concept, a premise on which to hang not not an emotional examination of a mother-daughter relationship, but some standard issue super-heorics. It's not a bad comic, and the art by Ponce (and colorist Nestor Pereyra) is pretty good, but the disappointment lies in the opportunities lost in not mining better the emotional and family dynamics inherent in the premise.
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)
Plastic Man #12
by Scott Morse
It's an unscheduled fill-in by Morse, which immediately gives this book a strike againts it by those looking ofrward to more Kyle Baker goodness. The art here is lovely, some of the best of Morse's career in fact, but the story--Plas facing off against a villain who shoots glue from his fingers--is so slight as to be non-existant. It's a visual feast, but a textual diet.
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)
Gotham Central #25
by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark & Stefano Gaudiano
In the aftermath of "War Games," Commissioner Akins has decided to sever the police department's unofficial ties to Batman, including permanently dismantling the Bat Signal. This issue considers the ramifications and reactions to this decision by the various cast members, and ends with a parking garage confrontation between Akins and Batman (though thankfully not the sort of violent confrontation idicated by teh misleading cover). Despite being one of the weaker issues of Gotham Central, it's still at least ten times better than any of the official installments of "War Games," and Rucka deals with this editorially mandataed shift in the series' premise well. Lark continues to show why he is one of the best artists for moody crime drama; it will be quite a shame to see him leave for an exclusive Marvel contract, where his talents are sure to be wasted.
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)
by Dan Jolley, Liam Sharp & Andy Lanning
In this first part of a crossover with Bloodhound (a title I don't read and have no desire to), Jason and his father are kidnapped and tortured by some bad-ass who believe that they know something about the super-hero who has interfered with his drug shipments. Jason transforms into Firestorm by merging with the bad-ass, but then the bad-ass takes control and goes on a nuclear rampage. At some point they run into a character I take to be Bloodhound, although no introduction is given as to who he is or why we should care. As a cross-over then it fails miserably; I have no reason to follow to the second part of the story, as I just don't care. Sharp's art isn't great and the murky coloring does not make it any easier to follow; however, I do like the nifty redesign for the bad-ass-controlled Firestorm.
Rating: 2 (of 5)