What comics Need More Dazzler this week? Brightest Day and Siege: Loki do readers a solid, whereas Hulked Out Heroes reads exponentially better if you've been tippling.
Brightest Day 0
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Peter Tomasi
Now this is more like it – after the grand mal choma-war that was Blackest Night, it's enjoyable to see the Green Lantern universe come down to Earth (or in J'onn J'onnz case, down to Mars). 12 heroes and villains of the DC Universe are back from the dead, but for many heroes, resurrection isn't all that its cracked up to be, particularly for villains such as Captain Boomerang. What good is coming back from the dead if you're going to rot in a cell for the rest of your days? When life is hell, what's death? In any case, Barry Allen coming off as a sanctimonious prick and Boomerang quoting The Shawshank Redemption made the issue.
After the kaleidoscopic zombie space opera, Johns is giving the reborn heroes a chance to get back into the swing of things. This is a welcome change of pace from most superhero resurrection tales – here, there's no immediate induction ceremony in which your old teammates pass you the formaldehyde-scented spandex they peeled off of your once-dead corpse and the keys to the airplane hanger where they parked your invisible jet. This is the start of something good.
Siege: Loki 1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Art: Jamie McKelvie
Loki's been afflicted by an existential malaise as of late. He's been the Asgardian deity of trickery since time immemorial and is having second thoughts about his celestial employment. How can one cause true anarchy if one is predestined to make anarchy? Loki's propensity to chaos is the status quo, and the only way to shatter the status quo is to destroy Asgard. Loki's scheme involves manipulating Osborn ("The easy part."), selling cannibal-demon valkyries to Mephisto, and Mephisto's real estate to Hela. All of this should appeal to fans of Mike Carey's Lucifer, what with ghosts re-dying and Norse Hel intersecting with Judeo-Christian Hell.
McKelvie's clean line work and a droll Mephisto are the high points of the Phonogram team's take on the Norse God of Mischief. Although this comic is primarily window dressing to Siege and Gillen's run on Thor, it's an enjoyable character study of Loki and goes far and above the call of duty for what should be an essentially who-cares tie-in. And lo, it's a $3 Siege title! Well worth your money! The only problem with this comic was it made me wholly depressed that Phonogram is on permanent hiatus.
Hulked Out Heroes 1
Writer: Jeff Parker
Art: Humberto Ramos
Just as mood, deadlines, and the tides affect a critic's outlook, so does beer consumption. I purchased Hulked Out Heroes shortly after belting out Hall and Oates' "Rich Girl" at a karaoke parlor post-happy hour (yes, there are magical clusters of real estate on this planet in which karaoke bars abut comic book stores). I absolutely loved it. In a nutshell, Deadpool is bombarded with gamma radiation, time-travels back to 1717 where he (as "HulkPool") joins the crew of The Thing's pirate ship (remember Fantastic Four 5?), and - after many a space-time detour - finally ends up at the "death" of Bucky in 1945 (where he refers to Steve Rogers as "Captain Jamiroquai," perhaps the first time a Deadpool comic has made me guffaw in public since Gail Simone's run).
So yeah, does Hulked Out Heroes read as well stone sober? Not exactly - it's a disposable alternate dimension tale and HulkPool's jokes fall flat 75% of the time. Is it one of those comics you can appreciate the sheer gonzo audacity of with a heightened ABV? Oh yes, and I think Deadpool would want it that way.
Dazzler Jam Of The Week: The Skatt Brothers - "Life At The Outpost"