I am not a Brad Meltzer-hater. I liked some of the things he did with his JLA, although not all of it. I liked Identity Crisis for the first few issues, although I didn't like the last issue's ridiculous ending and the "solution" to the mystery. I liked his Green Arrow run a lot.
And I like to try to stay positive on this blog, and talk about comics I like. Even my CBR reviews, even the ones with only a star or two, tend to focus on why things didn't work rather than just mocking the failures.
But the award for WORST COMIC OF THE WEEK goes to Brad Meltzer and Adam Kubert's DC Universe: Last Will and Testament.
The comic isn't even worth a review, so instead I will just list TEN RELENTLESSLY STUPID THINGS about the issue:
1. Geo-Force holds his hand over the flame on page one, and shows that not only doesn't it hurt him, but even "the scorch mark wipes away." Thing is, he's wearing gloves. So what's the point? His gloves are scorch proof? And that's supposed to symbolize how he's becoming insensitive? Stupid.
2. It's not even labelled as a Final Crisis book, even though the conceit of the issue is that the heroes are preparing for their final battle, supposedly from Final Crisis. If not, what's the point of this comic? Yet it doesn't even make sense as an FC tie-in, because Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are all still around, and in FC, they've been taken out of the action. Why does this comic exist, again? To show some theoretical time when the heroes might face some big challenge and feel sad about it? Stupid.
3. Girls are romantic saps. The final actions of Wonder Girl and Starfire: pining for Terry Long and Dick Grayson, respectively. Oh, if only them big strong mens was around to give you a hug. Life is so hard for a lady on her own. Stupid.
4. Joe Kubert inks a handful of pages, and they look awesome (well, the Starfire page looks odd, but the others: fantastic). John Dell inks the rest. Putting Joe Kubert's inks in the same book as John Dell's accomplishes one thing: it makes John Dell look like a hack, and makes the comic look like a mess. Stupid.
5. Rocky, of the Challengers of the Unknown, is all-of-a-sudden, a priest. Why? Just 'cause Meltzer needed someone to be a priest for this story. Stupid.
6. Explicit use of Judeo-Christian rituals and customs in DC superhero comics in general is ridiculous. These characters meet angels and devils all the time. What does faith matter in a universe in which some of these beliefs can be proven as fact? If you want to play with religion in the DCU, it should bear no resemblance to any of our religions. Meltzer doesn't seem to understand that, with his confessing characters and his lack of imagination about how religion might exist in the DCU. Stupid.
7. Captain Cold leaves a note for the cops that reads, and I quote: "From your friendly $@#&'n Captain Cold." That's right, he goes to the trouble of leaving a note, and instead of actually swearing in his note, which is clearly his intent, he writes all of the comics code censored version of a swear. I would see it as a joke on Cold's part, but he doesn't strike me as a guy who would bother to mock the conventions of the comic book medium. Stupid.
8. Pa Kent is depicted as some 1950s parody of a hayseed, with a straw of wheat in his mouth as he dispenses corn-pone wisdom. It's a silly, cliche moment, from a completely different version of Superman than we've seen for the past 30 years. Stupid.
9. Geo-Force slices his own throat as a way to "defeat" Deathstroke. Stupid.
10. He does defeat Deathstroke, even as he's dying from the blood squirting out of his neck. And then Geo-Force survives. (And, since nobody seems upset that he killed Deathstroke, apparently Deathstroke survives as well.) So all his dramatic self-mutilation and whining and crying didn't even accomplish anything, but yet Black Lightning somehow thinks he's a "hero." Stupid.
This was one awful, awful comic book, folks.