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week of July 14th trade reviews

In order of where they sit in the pile:

Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns
DC Comics

I’m really enjoying the build up to Blackest Night and this latest chapter does a great job of filling us in on some of the various other ring holders out there besides the green. The guardians of Oa seem to be going a bit crazy, one in particular. Sinestro doesn’t look long for this universe as many beings want him dead, and the Guardians have created a new green lantern, the Alpha Lanterns, a hybrid of Green Lantern and Manhunters.

I’ve always loved Green Lantern but I have to say that over the years with all the big stories they’ve done, it seems like this is the logical place for them to be heading. All that came before feels like it was just prelude to this. The stakes feel higher and the situations more personal and real.
Geoff Johns is doing a great job with this and I’m on board for the whole ride.

Superman: Tales From The Phantom Zone
DC Comics

This is a reprint book of older stories obviously including the Phantom Zone. The original concept was intersting and it seems like it was a device the writers could fall back on every so often for a change of pace.
The original story of Monel going into the zone, Jimmy Olsen going in and maybe learning Superman’s secret ID, Lana Lang going crazy and locking up Lois in the Zone.
While not for everyone, if you like the classic you’ll enjoy this collection.

Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter

Darwyn Cooke’s take on the novels by Richard Stark, arguably some of the best hard boiled stories ever told. The main character is simply, Parker. He’s a crook who lives by his own code and is beholden to no one. In this first book of four planned by IDW Parker is left for dead after a job. He’s still kicking and he’s pissed. He want his damn money back and he wants satisfaction. He heads to New York, steals what he needs to get new clothes and starts to hunt down the people who crossed him.

Cooke is a huge fan of these books and it shows, in fact this was the first time Stark (Donald Westlake) let someone doing an adaptation use the name Parker. The art is stylized and works great for the book with limited use of color.
Seak this book out.

Madame Xanadu – Disenchanted
DC Comics

Matt Wagner has worked hi own magic on a character that has been kicking around the DC universe for quite a while. He fill in the back story going back to the time of Merlin and show the intertwined relationship between Xanadu and the Phantom Stranger. In particular I enjoyed the section in the far east and in Paris during the Bastille storming.
Beautifully drawn by Amy Reeder Hadley this book has cameos by a number of DC characters and is a wonderful beginning for the series. I look forward to more.