Red Tornado #1 – Worth a look. I have a confession to make – I’ve always liked the Red Tornado. The android air elemental trying his best to be both man and hero who seemed forever cast on the fringes of the DCU was a character I’d always be happy to see appear in Justice League of America or somewhere in the background of whatever big event DC was doing at the time. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s got that sweet ass costume! This new six-issue mini-series from Kevin VanHook, with art by Jose LuisÃ and J.P. Mayer, has a lot going for it mixing in some classic android/human humor and a mystery for our hero to solve. I also like the inclusion of the Tornado’s creator T.O. Morrow and hope we get more of him in the series. I’m not sure about this whole robot family storyline, but I’m glad RT has finally gotten dusted off the shelf again and earned his own title.
The Torch #1 (of 8) – Meh. For a mini-series centered around the newly resurrected Toro (the least interesting member of The Invaders) it’s not too bad. That’s not saying it’s all the good, either. There’s too much man out of time whining in this first issue (“I’m alive, and it sucks!” Boo-hoo! Grow up flame boy!!) before giving us a new twist on the hero’s origins. More of a curiosity than anything else (and overpriced at $4), but the issue does sport some nice art by Patrick Berkenkotter.
Batman #690 – Worth a look. You know that horrible Two-Face version of Batman that appeared on the Battle for the Cowl promo pics, but, thankfully didn’t make an appearance? The one we laughed off thinking it was a joke. Ah, well. Not a bad issue here, but not as strong as the last couple. A large chunk of the story is a battle between Bats and Clayface and Lyle Blanco (a super-marine douchebag who, not to say I hate him, but I just want to die horrifically in the next issue). The main story is kinda meh, but two smaller tales including Two-Face working behind-the-scenes to find the Batcave, and the new Black Mask grabbing more power are both pretty good, and should bear fruit next month.
Irredeemable #6 – Worth a look. A base in the heart of a volcano, okay, that’s pretty cool. It’s also nice too see a little more of the Plutonian and his past in this issue. At $4 it’s not a must-have, but it is worth a look.
Thulsa Doom #1 – Meh Robert E. Howard‘s classic villain Thulsa Doom returns to comics in his own series. Reimaged in the likeness of Djimon Hounsou, this Thulsa Doom is a former slave responsible for the fall of Atlantis, on a quest for power, and one man you don’t want to pick a fight with. Classic touches of the genre are included here including a beautiful sorceress (who finds a way to get naked), strange hellish creatures, and obscure references to power and revenge. Throw in some blood and not-too-subtle references to statutory rape, and you’ve got a comic for the whole family! Not great, and some of the dialogue is pretty lame, but I’ll give it another issue or two to see where writer Arvid Nelson and artist by Lui Antonio plan on taking the character.