The Ideal Panic Room – Locke and Key # 5

The cover to Locke And Key #5
Sam Lesser breaking every rule about being a gentleman.

From Series: Locke and Key

What Happened:

Sam Lesser’s long, murderous journey to the Keyhouse has ended. He’s ready to get some revenge on the Locke family while helping his imprisoned friend, the evil spirit Dodge, escape from the Locke’s Wellhouse. A lot is coming to a head here!

Bode Locke, being a child and pretty dang stupid, decides to visit Dodge in the Wellhouse a final time. After letting Dodge know he knows she has been lying to him about being “an Echo” he firmly lets her know he will no longer come to see her. She attacks and easily captures him. Dangit Bode! Why you got to tell people you’re not going to see them anymore? It just allows them another chance to stick around! Sometimes you just have to cut those toxic people out of your life without ceremony. I’ve got some self help books I’m going to toss your way if you survive being trapped in a Wellhouse with an evil spirit.

Anyway, Kinsey Locke is trying to find her brother Bode when Sam assaults her from the shadows and leaves her bloodied and unconscious. He drags Kinsey to the Keyhouse. There Sam locks the alcoholic mother of the Locke’s Nina and the alcoholism enabling uncle of the Locke’s Duncan in the wine cellar, thus creating a bad social interaction closed loop. They’ll feed off each others inabilities to recognize a bad scene until the computer running this scenario runs out of dang memory and needs a reboot. Sam does not let this happen though. Instead, he threatens to shoot and kill their oldest son Ty Locke unless Nina tells Sam where the “Anywhere Key” is.

She has no idea what he is talking about.

Back at the Wellhouse, Dodge is pretty sure Sam is blowing his job of finding the Anywhere Key. So she tells Bode that if he brings her the key she’ll make Sam leave and not kill anyone. Since Sam has already killed Bode’s father, he is super gungho about making that happen.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Don’t watch the evening news if you need to be cheered up.

The Creators:
Writer: Joe Hill
Penciler, Inker, Cover: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colorist: Jay Fotos
Letterer: Robbie Robbins
Editor: Chris Ryall

Coney Island is a Nightmare – Fantastic Four (Vol 1) #501

The cover to Fantastic Four (Vol 1) #501
Looking for bugs.

From Series: Fantastic Four (Vol 1)

What Happened:

After Doctor Doom (Victor Von Doom) nearly destroying the Fantastic Four things are looking pretty bad. Things are so bad The Thing (Ben Grimm) has started journaling. Journaling! Like a boring person on a European vacation! I’ve never seen things so rough.

Bearing the worst of the attack was Franklin Richards, the son of Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) and The Invisible Woman (Sue Storm). He was trapped in literal Hell by Doom for a couple of days and that will do stuff to a kid’s brain. The child psychologists are understandably out of their depth with this particular client.

In a Hail Mary play, Sue and an invisible Ben take Franklin to Coney Island. I guess they are trying to compare literal Hell to a figurative one and show Franklin it’s not all that different? Who knows. They spoil the kid rotten with rides, prizes, and junk food but it doesn’t fix all his mental issues despite, like I already said, they spoil him rotten with rides, toys and junk food.

Back at the Baxter Building The Human Torch (Johnny Storm) has a kooky plan to snap Reed out of his own funk. Reed blames himself for everything Doom did to the team. (Send his kid to hell, light his wife on fire, beat his best friend to a bloody mess, lock Reed into a library and make fun of him…) Also, since Doom permanently scarred Reed’s face (which his elasticity cannot fix) Reed will always be reminded of Doom’s actions whenever he see’s himself.

So Johnny grabs a laser gun and they jump into a time machine to spy on a young, innocent Doctor Doom.

At Coney Island, Franklin freaks out on a bunch of people trying to get autographs from his mom and uncle. Freaks out big time too! Curse words and everything!

What I Learned From This Issue:

Sue is not a supportive mother when it comes to her children’s artwork.

The Creators:
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciler, Inker: Casey Jones
Colourist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Editors: Tom Brevoort
Assistant Editor: Marc Sumerak & Andy Schmidt

Ollie Goes To Heaven – Green Arrow (Vol 3) #7

The cover to Green Arrow (Vol 3) #7
Using arrows to solve all your problems is getting a little ridiculous, Ollie.

From Series: Green Arrow (Vol 3)

What Happened:

Green Arrow (Ollie Queen) is sort of dead. ONLY SORT OF. When Etrigan killed him after Jason Blood realized the resurrected Ollie was a hollow (a body without a soul) Hal Jordan was able to save him just in time. Hal is one of Ollie’s best friends and used to be The Green Lantern, but these days he’s paying back a penance by fulfilling the role of the spirit of vengeance: The Spectre.

After some very showy flair from Hal, Ollie punches him in the fact mostly because Ollie is confused by EVERYTHING these days. Ollie’s memory stops decades ago because of a complication with his resurrection and now he doesn’t remember Hal dying, or Hal turning evil, or any of the other wacky fun of the 90’s. Thus, punching a demigod like The Spectre in the face is probably not too crazy of an action considering where he’s at right now.

Hal takes Ollie on a tour of the afterlife and does his best to explain how he came back to life. It seems, one of Hal’s last acts as the evil Parallax was to bring Ollie back using a microscopic trace of him left on Superman (Clark Kent)‘s uniform from YEARS AGO.

The decision to leave this revived version of Ollie without some memories was done by a mysterious source who Hal is keeping secret. So NO SPOILERS OK!?

It’s Ollie.

Anyway, Ollie and Hal run into The Flash (Barry Allen), Deadman (Boston Brand), Robin (Jason Todd), and The Phantom Stranger in heaven, all of whom drop mountain sized hints that there are now two Ollie’s in heaven. Hollow Ollie would rather frown at people and want to punch them for being different than he remembers instead of pick up on these clues.

Then they go to a field and find an older version of Ollie (SURPRISE!!!) shooting archery. What. Is. Going. ON.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Superman is pretty gross.

The Creators:
Writers: Kevin Smith
Pencilers: Phil Hester
Inkers: Ande Parks
Colourists: Guy Major
Letterers: Sean Konot
Cover Artists: Matt Wagner
Executive Editor: Mike Carlin
Editors: Michael Wright, Bob Schreck

Who’s Flying This Party Plane? – Phonogam: The Singles Club #4

The cover to Phonogram: The Singles Club #4
Time Magazine’s haircut issue.
From Series: Phonogram: The Singles Club

What Happened:

At the dance club where the rules are:

1. You must dance.
2. No boy singers
3. No Magic

Seth Bingo and Silent Girl have arrived to do their DJ duties. Seth is hyper opinionated about every musical request he receives. He also is capable of holding major hyperbolic grudges against everyone in the room while at the same time being 100 percent willing to spend quality time with them. Silent Girl on the other hand just seems pretty chill. Chiiiiiill.

For instance, when Penny B tries using her charm magic to get Seth to play The Pipettes (In the process breaking rule number 3: No Magic, and the unspoken rule number 4: Seth hates you) Seth screams at her for having poor taste. In the meantime, Silent Girl puts The Pipettes into the music queue because she likes them.

Another example, when David Kohl makes a request Seth yells at him for having bad taste in music. Again, Silent Girl puts the song in the queue. BECAUSE IT’S KIND OF THEIR JOB.

Anyway, their night is pretty uneventful. They are observers of everyone else’s drama. The biggest point of concern for them was when no body was dancing in the club. THIS CANNOT HAPPEN. It was fortunately quickly resolved by the fool proof solution of playing Blondie.

Seth gets caught up in the performance of being a DJ when Silent Girl tells him to be her pea in a pod and mimic her chiiiiillness. Just relax Seth. You guys are here to play music and make people have fun.

At the end of the night, David helps them unload their music and shares a taxi with them after his two friends Emily and Kid With Knife has left him to have sex with strangers.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Jamie McKelvie’s Ctrl+C Ctrl+V game is strong.

The Creators:
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler/Inker/Letterer: Jamie McKelvie
Colorist: Matthew Wilson

A Day in the Life of Rorschach – Watchmen #5

The cover to Watchmen #5
Everyone’s favorite neighborhood joint, the old Double R Crossbones.
From Series: Watchmen

What Happened:

Rorschach (Walter Joseph Kovacs) is busy with his investigation. He’s starting to see a pattern of heroes being removed from the board. The Comedian (Eddie Blake) was killed and Doctor Manhattan (Jonathan Osterman) has fled the planet. It would appear that a villain is at work. So his crazy, hyper paranoid/super self assured brain tells him to start attacking the only old man he knows.

Moloch The Mystic, an ex-villain, assures Rorschach he doesn’t know what is going on. Rorschach believes him and tells him to get a license for his gun because Rorschach is a moral absolutist. Rorschach also just broke into a person’s home and destroyed their property without any proof or reason of their fowl doing because Rorschach is only a moral absolutist towards others.

Rorschach goes about his day of ruining diner menus, being spooked by silhouettes of people kissing, and being wrong about how clear his gloves are. It’s a true baby’s day out.

Back in the world, Russia has the everyone worried that World War III is about to start. Two detectives start their day with a murder suicide of a father who didn’t want his kids to see the upcoming war.

Nite-Owl II (Daniel Dreiberg) and Silk Spectre II (Laurie Juspeczyk) have a nice awkward lunch together. Since Laurie no longer has money or a home provided by the government since Doctor Manhattan left, she moves in to Nite Owl’s home. Nite Owl is super bummed about this not turning into amazing sexy times right off the bat.

An attack on Ozymandias’s (Adrian Alexander Veidt) life worries Rorschach further and he visits Moloch after a note for him is left at their agreed drop off spot. The meeting is unfortunately a trap, as Rorschach finds Moloch dead and his apartment surrounded by the Police because they received an anonymous tip.

He tries to escape and injures many of the police just doing their job because Rorschach is a moral absolutist but Rorschach is captured in the end. They remove his mask to reveal he is the vagrant with the “The End Is Near” sign who has appeared in the book before.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Rorschach only knows the first and last step to cooking and eating an egg.

The Creators:
Writer: Alan Moore
Penciler, Inker, Letterer & Cover Artist: Dave Gibbons
Colourist: John Higgins
Executive Editor: Dick Giordano
Editors: Len Wein & Barbara Kesel

The Joker’s Halloween – Batman: Gotham After Midnight #6

The cover to Batman: Gotham After Midnight #6
Well. Gross. Now I know where pumpkins come from.
From Series: Batman: Gotham After Midnight

What Happened:

Bruce Wayne (Batman) tries to woo Detective Clarkson with brunch and pearls but strikes out big time. Also, he apparently has flashbacks of his mother dying whenever a pear necklace breaks. Also, Clarkson is really rough when handling new jewelry. The whole thing was a disaster. I blame everyone.

Batman throws a dramatic, dynamically hissy fit about not being able to capture Midnight. The mystic artifacts he’s been stealing and the list of his victims do not seem to match together as far a motive usually does. This makes Alfred wonder if maybe they are not supposed to match. Alfred also calls Batman on being upset his date did not go well. Right on Alfred.

Work then calls Batman to action because The Joker has kidnapped a school bus full of kids. Batman is able to break into his safe house and starts roughing him up for the location of the children when Midnight strikes with a surprise attack. Joker and Midnight’s long history (a couple hours) of communication and team work (Joker invited Midnight over to hid in a box) ends abruptly when they can’t decide who is working for who. Or is it who is working with who? Or is it who is working on behalf of who? I’m not sure what the argument is actually, and they probably aren’t either. Some folks just don’t know how to speak without being angry about something!

Batman takes advantage of their fight to get the upper hand. Before the Joker can tell Batman who Midnight really is, he wounds the Joker and flees. Batman is forced to stay behind to save the Joker’s life.

He does get the name of who Joker thinks Midnight is though: Detective Clarkson’s partner Detective Lucas.

Meanwhile, a lost Lucas is found by an angry Killer Croc (Waylon Jones).

What I Learned From This Comic:

Sometimes a Brunch is a lunch.

Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Kelley Jones
Colorist: Michelle Madsen
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Executive Editor: Dan DiDio
Editors: Michael Siglain & Harvey Richards

Astronaut Welcome Party – Y: The Last Man #14

The cover to Y: The Last Man #14
Three parachutes. Because two would have looks like a bikini top.
From Series: Y: The Last Man

What Happened:

Yorick Brown (last man on earth, no big whoop) is kidnapped by the Israelis and Agent 355‘s ONE JOB is to keep him safe. So she’s feeling a little down about her quality of work right now. No stress Agent 355, everyone’s allowed to have an off day.

Anyway, Agent 355 has a plan to get Yorick back (attah girl!). She’s going to trade for the last man on earth with the two new men coming to Earth. Agent 355, Natalya Zamyatin, Allison Mann, and the twins (Heidi/Heather) were preparing a landing site for the astronauts who have been stranded in space since the plague killed every man on earth. Now Agent 355 is going to use the knowledge of the two astronauts who are men to lure Alter Tse’elon and her troops into an ambush and rescue Yorick.

But Alter knows it is an ambush. And Alter also does not plan on making the trade. Plus the way alter sees it, she wants her country of Israel to be the only one with men left on Earth. So, if she can’t get the astronauts as well, she’ll just blow them up with a rocket launcher.

Yorick, though an escape artist, is unable to get free. So he uses his immense powers of annoyance to convince Alter’s second in command, Sadie, to stop her from killing two of the OTHER last men on Earth. Sadie fails, but Yorick manages to knock Alter over while she fires upon the landing space capsule containing the astronauts with a rocket. The capsule is still damaged and lands hard on the earth.

Yorick waits to hear over the radio from Agent 355 if the astronauts survived in a very meta cliffhanger.

What I Learned From This Comic:

When you’re identical triplets in the Israeli army, they will let you all serve in the same combat unit.

The Creators:
Writer/Co-Creator: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist/Co-Creator: Pia Guerra
Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Colorist: Pam Rambo
Letterer: Clem Robins
Separations: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Heidi MacDonald
Assistant Editor: Zachary Rau
Cover Artist: J.G. Jones

The Heroes Ruin a Nice Evening – House of M #6

The cover to House of M #6
Pictures of people in the middle of the Electric Slide never do the dance justice.

From Series: House of M

What Happened:

It’s the big day! Our heroes are all ready to kill someone because some angry people said it was their only option and no one argued against it! Heroism!

The heroes, with their true memories restored, are gearing up to attack Magneto (Erik Lehnsherr) and The Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) during their special… party? They’re doing something fancy. Doctor Doom, Black Panther (T’challa), Namor, and Storm showed up and got announced like it was Cinderella’s ball. I hope they have fun at least because things are about to go real bad for the party.

The plan is for the heroes to distract Magneto and his family while Cloak (Tyrone Johnson), The White Queen, and Layla Miller go searching for Professor Xavier, who they assume has been captured. Only problem is: Magneto thinks Xavier is dead in this reality.

WAIT I LIED THERE IS A SECOND PROBLEM: Xavier’s grave is empty!

After a very very very brief discussion on whether or not they’re about to do the right thing (destroy a worldwide utopia and kill several people in the process) the heroes steal a SHIELD Hellicarrier and poop Magneto’s party. He is really mad.

What I Learned From This Issue:

Doctor Doom knows the power of good press.

The Creators:
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Olivier Coipel
Inker: Tim Townsend
Colourists: Frank D’Armata
Letterers: Chris Eliopoulos< Cover Artist: Esad Ribic
Editors: Tom Brevoort, Stephanie Moore, Molly Lazer, & Andy Schmidt

Zombie Factories On The Moon – JLA #14

The cover to JLA #14
Nobody told Darkseid he’s allowed to retake that Drivers License photo if he isn’t happy with the first attempt.

From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

It’s fifteen years in the future and the time displaced Aquaman (Arthur Curry), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), and The Flash (Wally West) have joined forces with the last remaining heroes on an Earth conquered by Darkseid. The plan is to undo Darkseid’s conquest by returning to the past. There, the JLAer’s can stop Superman (Clark Kent) from destroying Lex Luthor’s Philosopher’s Stone which begins the chain of events ending with Darkseid in charge.

The plan is also to blow up the zombie factory on the moon because zombie factories are never a good thing.

Black Racer, the New God of Death, is observing the whole thing from the shadows because this is NOT GOING TO WORK OUT.

Azteka and Argent (Toni Monetti) lead the assault on the Zombie factory. Argent figures out a new way to use her powers after a conversation with Green Lantern. This helps them a little bit but Argent is still fatally wounded by a blast from one of the factory’s guards. So Azteka turns off a switch on his armor that keeps the whole thing from blowing up in a catastrophic explosion. Why is that a switch? Shouldn’t that at the very least be a lock? Or maybe two switches? What if Azteka bumps a coffee table the wrong way? Boom?

This seems like poor super hero costume design.

Also, seconds ago we saw the heroes watching innocent humans being separated in the factory from their families. This upsets the heroes a lot! So they blow every one in the factory up? Problem solved? I guess. It did technically remove the problem.

Back on Earth, Batman (Bruce Wayne) uses his disguise as the Darkseid’s assistant Desaad to ambush him and the Grandmother Box with the remaining heroes. He tricks Metron like Tom Sawyer to become human for a minute so Batman can knock him out and steal his time traveling chair. Then he sends The Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman back home to fix the timeline. Batman and Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira) die fighting Darkseid. Green Arrow (Connor Hawke) and The Atom (Ray Palmer) die killing Darkseid.

Then Orion, decides to destroy the whole reality because honestly do we need another alternate future? No! Scrap it!

What I Learned From This Comic:

Metron would make for a great little brother.

The Creators:
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Howard Porter
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Separations: Heroic Age
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editors: Dan Raspler and Peter Tomasi

Sam’s Awful Roadtrip – Locke and Key #4

The cover to Locke and Key #4
I refuse to make a photobomb joke in this image caption. The image captions are a place for a higher quality joke than that!

From Series: Locke and Key

What Happened:

Sam Lesser, the student who murdered the Locke’s father, has escaped from jail and is traveling to the Keyhouse to release the mysterious and trapped Dodge. Plus he’ll probably try to kill the rest of the Locke family. It’s how the guy is now.

His awful home life and status as a social outcast in school make Sam an easy mark for Dodge, who is able to contact him through a painting of the Wellhouse when she’s been trapped. It’s Dodge who bargains with Sam, offering him anything he wants, if he could just get the Anywhere Key from Mr. Locke which would allow her to escape. The attempt to get the key goes very poorly and results in Mr. Locke getting killed and the rest of the family traumatized enough to move to the other side of the country.

So Sam is on a horrible road trip to get to the Keyhouse, where the remaining Locke’s now live and where Dodge’s Wellhouse prison resides. He manages to hitch hike with truckers for a while by giving them oral sex for rides. Gross. One trucker offers to help him get more money by giving oral sex to his friends. Gross. Sam kills the trucker and takes his money. Not as gross, but still very very evil.

Sorry, didn’t mean to come off as so judgmental to people who give oral sex to truckers. You’re not gross and what you do is probably terrifically beautiful in its own way. It is more the action of a mentally unstable person like Sam Lesser being bullied into giving oral sex for car rides which is gross.

Sam later kills an entire bus of people after he’s been recognized by a woman with a baby. Sam is a little too far gone to start feeling remorse for him now.

Back at the Keyhouse, the youngest Locke child, Bode, had a dream where his dead father told him a joke. Desperate to know the rest of the joke he asks his oldest brother Ty. Ty is able to work through his grief over his fathers death to try and help. Bode also asks his older sister Kinsey and uncle Duncan, who are busy enabling the widowed Mrs. Locke’s alcoholism.

Bode figures out the meaning of the joke is about an echo. Bode has been talking to an Dodge, who has been referring to herself as an Echo in the Wellhouse recently. Unable to determine if this is a clue or warning, Bode shrugs it off.

What I Learned From this Comic:

Don’t take the bus.

The Creators:
Writer: Joe Hill
Penciler, Inker, Cover: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colorist: Jay Fotos
Letterer: Robbie Robbins
Editor: Chris Ryall