Saturday, June 21, 2014

On the Shelf: Batman & Green Hornet meet again!

Dynamite Entertainment is cancelling their current Green Hornet series with issue 13, due out next month. Seems writer Mark Waid ran into some unforeseen issues on both this series and Archie/Red Circle's The Fox, but while the latter stayed on schedule thanks to artist Dean Haspiel, Hornet had 1 issue delayed at least a month. After all the bally-hoo, Dynamite may either go back to the drawing board with the Hornet, or will let their license expire.

Meantime, the Hornet & Kato will spend the rest of the summer, and into autumn, renewing acquaintances with Batman in a brand new mini-series, set in the format of DC's Batman '66 series. In fact, it's a sequel to a two-parter from season 2 of Batman.

Authors Kevin Smith & Ralph Garman have taken Colonel Gumm, the villain of that piece (memorably played by Roger C. Carmel), and have turned him into an amalgam of two Marvel Comics villains, the Trapster and Baron Zemo. The latter because of an accident with an experimental adhesive that Gumm himself created while in prison, leaving his face coated in adhesive, and the former because the now-General Gumm uses a glue gun of a higher grade than Trapster to attach our four heroes in a standing position on the roof of a train in the issue 1 cliffhanger.

And if Smith thinks no one is going to pick up on such a blatant rip-off, he's delusional. Let's just hope he stays on deadline. Artist Ty Templeton took an extended leave from the monthly Batman '66 to work on the miniseries, and this stuff looks great.

Rating for Batman '66-Green Hornet: A.

Fans of Super Friends can look forward to issue 6 of Scooby-Doo Team-Up in September, but the question is which iteration of the franchise will we see? Given how DC has given writer Sholly Fisch creative license to hopscotch all over the place (Scooby has seen two distinctly different Robins in 4 issues), we won't know for sure. After all, the last Super Friends series barely lasted a year, if that, a few years ago as part of a beginners' line experiment.

Archie is giving Afterlife With Archie a summer vacation so writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa can work on the second set of 5 issues, which likely will wrap up the series.

I say that because the trade paperback collection of the first miniseries (it's not ongoing after all) is out, and I can, at least, give you a little synopsis of what's happened.

Seems that in this alternate reality, it's public knowledge that Sabrina and her aunts are witches, or at least the gang knows Sabrina is. Jughead comes a'callin' one rainy night with Hot Dog in his arms, the victim of a hit & run driver, who, it turns out, is Reggie. Sabrina tries a forbidden spell to raise Hot Dog from the dead, but accidentally touches off what's described as a zombie apocalypse. Aunts Hilda & Zelda punish their well-meaning niece by shunting her off to limbo, mute & powerless, for "a year of silent rumination" to consider what she's done. That tells me that when the year is over (think October, when the first miniseries debuted), Sabrina will return, her voice & powers restored, to set things right. I know. Too easy, right? Exactly. As I noted before, Sabrina is depicted here as a platinum blonde once more, not the natural blonde look she's had for 18 years in television. I can dig.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I have yet to read any of the SD team ups, but I fear they are too juvenile. They seem too close to the early 70s version of the show (which may have been the target the talent wanted to hit).

I haven't read "Afterlife", but I have to say, how many alt universes are there for the folks in Riverdale? It all seems rather confusing - I remember reading Archie got together with Valerie from Jose & The Pussycats and had a daughter! What the....? Now zombies! I have to question Sabrina being sent to Limbo when a zombie apocalypse is going on - I'd think that's the time she's be needed most.

I didn't know Green Hornet was in comics again. I might check that out.

hobbyfan said...

Dynamite's been publishing Green Hornet books for a while now.

Sabrina's aunts had sent Sabrina to limbo, not realizing the depth of the damage she'd caused, even if it was by accident. She'll be back, I assure you, in the next arc, and it will be resolved.