So this is yet another one of those crossover event series where I’m only getting the chapters that happen to appear in comics I’m already reading (in this case, Justice League Dark) and missing the chapters that are in comics I don’t read (the other two Justice League series). I even took home part one, in Justice League #22, but still it sits there, unread. But I’ve been down this road before, and we’ve all read enough comics to put the pieces together, and I’m not going into this completely blind since I’ve read that Pandora #1 which leads into this whole hoohar. Excuse me, Trinity of Sin: Pandora, which is the official title, I guess, though I’m just racking it under Pandora on the shelf, though I suppose if I rack it along the title now suddenly known as Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger and put ‘em both in the Ts, perhaps that’ll goose sales on the both of them, even though they’re selling just fine as is so who am I to upset this delicate funnybook balance and now to end this sentence before I use the word “though” again.
Anyway, I liked seeing the JL:D cast interact with the other, more traditional superheroes, which was fun, and there was a lot of shouting and running about regarding Superman being under the thrall of some bad guy or ‘nother and I’ll just assume everything’s going to work out in the end in one of those other Justice League titles I’m not reading. Also, as one might expect, JL:D sales, usually only about 1/2 to 1/3 of its JL brethren, sold just about equal numbers to his city cousins, so hey, sometimes crossovers work, gang. Not sure how long it’ll work in this case, but I’ll find out when I see my sales on a non-crossover issue of the series.
Speaking of crossovers, Constantine and Captain Shazam or whatever his name is now wander out of the pages of the previous comic and into issue #5 of John’s own series, and like I said on the Twitter last week:
Also, y'all are going to poop your pants when you read the new CONSTANTINE.
— Mike Sterling (@mikesterling) July 24, 2013
This seems to have been the issue where folks still holding out hope this series would be more Hellblazer-ish than not have decided that it’s not what they wanted, given the couple of pull-list drops I’ve experienced. I thought the particular sequence in this issue I won’t spoil here was kind of amazingly crazy and enjoyed the heck out of it, though I suppose I can understand why someone might be put off a bit. Plus, it’s hard to read that sequence and not think of this, the link to which you probably shouldn’t even mouse over if you don’t want to be spoiled.
I do enjoy this direction, both in Constantine and in the new Swamp Thing series, in which they give weird and horrific interpretations of DC’s traditional characters. It’s a bit of nostalgia, I suppose, for the early days of seeing the Justice League in Saga of the Swamp Thing and thinking “whoa, what the heck” while immediately plowing through the pages. I may be all old and jaded and stuff now, but sometimes a little youthful exuberance slips through the cracks.
Another one of those cases where I know what numbers Rocketeer usually sells for us, what numbers The Spirit used to sell for us, and then getting sales on the crossover that exceed both numbers combined. Ah, well, What Can You Do? Reminds me of the story that the comic crossing over Cerebus with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles received orders well in excess of their usual monthly printruns combined. (Should also note the same thing happened to me on that Army of Darkness/Hack Slash crossover that also came out last Wednesday.) People (Or At Least Retailers Doing The Ordering) Like Their Unlikely Intercompany Crossovers, is the lesson learned here.
It helps that Rocketeer/Spirit: Pulp Friction is a good, fun comic. Alas, Paul Smith has left the book after drawing the first issue, but Loston Wallace takes over with #2, though his work looks like it’ll fit right in.
That this series reprinting the original 1940s/1950s Popeye comic books made it this far frankly surprises the heck out of me. (The companion series by Roger Langridge is apparently over and done with, which I didn’t realize…I just figured it was late or on a planned hiatus or what-have-you, but nope, it’s gone, which is a real shame.) I don’t know if Classic Popeye, featuring work by Popeye strip artist Bud Sagendorf, will be around to reprint all, what, 70, 80, whatever, of the original comics, but I certainly will appreciate whatever we can get. And, at the very least, I hope they get at least to 1962 so I can have a print copy of this cover.