What’s happening in comics

Tyler McGinty

Power Man and Iron Fist #1
Writer: Fred Van Lente Penciller: Wellinton Alves Inker: Nelson Periera
Fred Van Lente, half of the writing duo that brought us “The Incredible Hercules”, lends his talent to the re-launch of the classic ’70s title “Power Man and Iron Fist”. Iron Fist is still the same Danny Rand, but Power Man is no longer Danny’s old friend and colleague Luke Cage. Instead, Victor Alvarez, a nigh-invincible youngster who Danny has taken as his apprentice, takes the Power Man moniker. Van Lente’s writing is solid as usual, and his light-hearted, comedic approach to writing is a definite change from Duane Swiercynski’s work on Iron Fist. Alves’ art is solid: not the best artist attached to Iron Fist (who would be David Aja, in my opinion), but he isn’t the worst (I’m looking at you “Immortal Weapons” backup feature). So far this series looks fun and has a solid team, which is all it takes to make an Iron Fist fan happy. 4/5

Batman and Robin #20
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi Penciller: Patrick Gleason Inker: Mick Gray
When the creative team for “Green Lantern Corps” changed a couple months ago, I was incredibly disappointed. However, two things took that disappointment away: the new team is actually good, and the old team got back together for “Batman and Robin.”
While Grant Morrison’s work focusing more on Batman as an icon and a corporation, Tomasi starts his run while focusing on family: Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, and Damien Wayne sitting in the living room, watching The Mark of Zorro. Tomasi’s work so far is a refreshing change of pace from the preceding 3-issue Paul Cornell arc, which fell a little flat, and Gleason’s art is strangely nostalgic even though he’s drawing Dick Grayson instead of Guy Gardner. 5/5

The Flash #9
Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Francis Manapul
The “road to flashpoint” could be a long and bumpy one, but with Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul at the wheel, I’ve got high hopes for it.
“The Flash” #9 sees the return of Manapul to the title, and it is a welcome one for me. His art is what attracted me to The Flash’s new series when it began, and although the last arc had a good artist, it just wasn’t the same. Manapul is especially good at portraying motion in his art, which is incredibly vital when you draw a superhero that has the power of super speed.
Johns seems to enjoy writing stories that deal not only with The Flash battling super-villains, but also battling every day problems in his day-to-day life as Barry Allen, crime lab technician. In fact, this issue sees The Flash out of costume for most of the issue as he investigates the murder of a hero.
This issue seems to echo the first issue, in which Barry is called to investigate the murder of a costumed super-villain. I can’t help but wonder if the feeling of déjÖ vu this causes is intentional because of the Flashpoint event DC is gearing up for, where all of time and space is in peril. 4/5

Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #7
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi Penciller: Fernando Pasarin Inkers: Cam Smith, Oclair Albert & Pasarin
This issue was a bit of a let down. The current arc may have ended, but since it’s also leading in to the next big Green Lantern crossover, “War of the Green Lanterns,” it feels like nothing was really resolved. I know that this is a problem when writing in a serialized format: some issues are just going to fall flat. Tomasi isn’t a bad writer, but I feel like I should have a conclusion that I’m just not getting. If all you expect is to see good art and Guy Gardner kicking gratuitous amounts of butt, then this issue will not disappoint.
I really hope that “War of the Green Lanterns” brings a conclusion to the story, but not the series itself. It seems like after the event is over, the title will lose its purpose. It would be a real shame to see a series that was all about Guy Gardner once again fade into nothingness. 3/5