Bah and Cripes! Its Friday, January 28, 2011, I'm sore as all get out, and this is The Side. I work a lot. This week had me amazing my way into the upper level of a hundred year old house. It was tricky getting up and once there I had to be careful as it seemed the last person to do so misstepped his way right through the dining room ceiling. Not much was found up there, but one thing I came across was a letter from a lawfirm discussing a bill to whoever had lived there and mentioning "tough economic times". I figured the letter must be pretty recent and them I found a date on it. "June 6, 1995." Man, if they only knew.

Fortunately, I'm working steadily which lead me to be crawling under a house for the better part of a day yesterday, which is why I very sore today. I hate crawling under houses. Its not so much claustrophobia as it is know what tends to be under houses. I know there were mice and probably rats under there at some point. I dread the thought of disturbing a snake under one. There's no where to go. Crawling past the vents and pipes is very slow going. So while I was re-pinning insulation and heard something right next to me and quickly turned to see two glowing green eyes staring back at me I was understandably not pleased. Home owner had a wiener dog. Wiener dog found my access hole. Wiener dog decided to see what was going on under the house.

Wiender dog is damned lucky I didn't brain him the flashlight when he barked at me.


Let's start this party with ACTION COMICS #897. I'm officially sick of David Finch doing the voers on this series. Pete Woods is an outstanding artist. He has absolutely shined on this series. Finch can stay on his series BATMAN: THE DOUCHE KNIGHT and everyone will be happy. That gripe aside, this issue was outstanding. Lex has a meeting with The Joker in Arkham Asylum continueing on his quest. This Joker presents himself much like "Gravedigger Joker", clever, manipulative, and capable of appearing rational. The level of manipulation here is absolutely amazing. There's a game inside a game inside a game. Luthor has to play Joker's game to get what he wants. Joker knows there's a bigger game afoot. Everyone is playing their part, but the only one not in on things is Lex. Robo-Lois has gone from scene stealing sidekick to pivotal player in this entire affair. This entire run by Cornell has been amazing. If the payoff at the end of this arc is lives up to how good the rest of story has been this going to be one of handlings of Lex Luthor that all others will be compared by.

Over in TEEN TITANS #91 J.T. Krul and Nicola Scott are really putting together a great run. Krul isn't falling into the familiar "writing Teen Titans" crap stories. There is no villain from from the past. Raven isn't in danger nor the center of the story. This is a new villain and the Titans are in this fight up to their necks. Robin and Ravager have a great scene. Krul continues to make Kid Flash cool stuff. He manages to give the character's past a definite nod without lingering too long. Solid storytelling with a lot of great action balanced by good character work. I'm really looking forward to the crossover with RED ROBIN coming up.

Scott Snyder and Jock continue to shine over on DETECTIVE COMICS #873. This book is feeling a lot like the Detective Comics I grew up with. Detective was the first series I ever collected on a regular basis. The stories were very noir even with using the superhero genre. This is much the same but more updated. What really stuck out for me was the story taking a sudden seemingly fantastic turn turn and then there being a completely logical explanation for it. The only slip up was Barbara Gordon saying that they gave Dick a coagulant to stop the threat of a stroke. That would increase the threat, she should have said blood thinner. I forgive this only because the nightmare scene that immediately preceded it was just too gloriously creepy.

Taking it on over to ZATANNA #9. Paul Dini and Cliff Chiang continue their tale of a puppet gone bad, or has he. It seems the puppet has a different story, and claims he's the victim in all this. Not a terribly convincing story considering at the end of last issue he had Zatanna tied to a bed and had a large knife in his little wooden hand. Still, Zatanna is determined to find out the truth. This issue is split between this story and one from Zatanna's younger years by Adam Beechen and Jamal Igle which was really cute. It was like Sabrina the Teenage Witch if she was training to fight crime one day. This story resonates quite a bit with me as young Zee gets her braces and I remember well getting used to mine and being turned into a walking drool machine when trying to speak as I got used to them. I'm also not quite a sure Speak and Spells worked quite that way, but I'm willing to just go with it.

Holy Hadrons! ATOMICA #4 was a really weird turn for the series. Up until now things have been light-hearted, fun adventures. This issue's story, "The Return of Dr. Astray" had things take a sinister turn. The Doctor in question is Dr. Ted Astray whom we are are told is an old colleague of Dr. Colluns. We get a glimpse of the horrible lab accident in which he died in a flashback. Now he's back thanks to an interdimensional wormhole thingie and he attacks Doctor Colluns and Atomica. the nasty twist comes when Astray reveals that he's working for some interdimensional big bad and whatever it is has some connection to Rose. Fortunately instead of angsting over what this connection could possibly be, Rose serves up a buffet of her "Atomic Power Punches" and sends the undead Doctor packing. Very odd twist to the series, but I guess it could lead to answers about our mysterious heroine.


While not a huge Billy Joel fan, he has done some great stuff, and this song is really good.

That's it for today. Everyone have a good weekend. Stay out of trouble. Wear your seatbelts. All the stuff. See y'all Sunday.

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