Thursday, December 29, 2011

80-Page Giants: Secret Origins of Super-Villains 80-Page Giant #1!

For the next stretch, as long as I can find them, every Thursday we'll check out an 80-page comic! Not 64, not 100, 80-page giants only! Today, even though we're in the middle of "The End" week, we'll take a second to check out Secret Origins of Super-Villains 80-Page Giant #1, featuring stories from Ron Marz, Devin Grayson, Greg Rucka, and more; with art by Cully Hamner, Phil Winslade, Jackson Guice, and more. It's a one-shot, so technically, it's the last issue...

This one opens with a Guardian telling the Spectre Hal Jordan the secret origin of Sinestro. (Written by Ron Marz, with art by Scott Kolins and Jon Holdredge.) While this is ostensibly about Sinestro being a bastard from the moment he got his power ring, killing his first foe and leaving the Green Lantern that gave him the ring to die; the Guardian also mentions almost in passing that GL's often get their rings merely by being around another GL dying, and that the Guardians may have left the yellow impurity in the rings as insurance, in case the GL's rose against them.
This issue features the forming of Tartarus, which is spread out through the issue almost like a framing device, although it doesn't tie into any of the other stories. Using a mysterious imprisoned seer, Vandal Savage is forming a team to take down the Titans. So far, he has Gorilla Grodd (good), Lady Vic (redundant, if you also have Cheshire), and Red Panzer and Siren (who?) so I'm not really surprised to have not heard more about this batch. (That and I think that run of Titans isn't remembered fondly.)

Although there are stories featuring Echo, Johnny Sorrow, Enchantadora, and Amazo; the best of the lot is the secret origin of Granny Goodness, "Goodness and Mercy" Written by Walt Simonson, art by Jon Bogdanove and Bill Reinhold. As a young woman, Goodness rose through the ranks with "Mercy," the hound she trained. Her final test? Kill her dog. Goodness refuses, but not out of sentimentality: as she explains to Darkseid, "He will obey me first, but he will obey you foremost." Darkseid then asks Mercy to kill Goodness, who is forced to save herself. Impressed, Darkseid says he has an orphanage that needs's a scary one, and the best of this issue.

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