“The Lords of Luck: Part 2”
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: George Perez
Publisher: DC Comics
Mark Waid deserves some type of award. Last month he successfully brought The Brave and the Bold, easily one of the best team-up books ever, back to center stage and within the pages of one issue, the classic title was welcomed back triumphantly. Using the two characters who have been at odds with each other the most over the past ten or so years, Hal Jordan and Batman, Mark Waid created a story open to all ages, a story that perfectly captured the personality of each respective character and a story that was down right intriguing. Last issue had almost everything: gambling, mystery, women, Green Lantern, Batman and Vegas. There’s almost no better way to grab a hold of readers old, young, new, and veteran.
One of the things I absolutely loved about the first issue was the way that Mark Waid captured the personalities of Hal Jordan and Bruce Wayne. Bruce put on his usual billionaire playboy visage while Hal was quite simply himself, arrogant. Through Waid’s writing the two had complemented each other so well that I didn’t know how teaming Green Lantern with Supergirl could come even close. Let’s face it, as much as I love Kara Zor-EL and as much as I really do love the most current incarnation of the Last Daughter of Krypton, her ongoing series hasn’t really struck the right chord. Just like its title character, Supergirl is still struggling to find its identity amongst the DCU. Fifteen issues in, that’s walking a fine line.
Rather than keep the story grounded on Earth, Waid takes Green Lantern and Supergirl to an alien world of gambling, a world where aliens from all over the universe flock to wager on EVERYTHING. By everything, I mean Waid even plays with the classic “It’s a bird, it’s a plane…” line and adds a bit of a gaming element to it. Yet I still wonder, how is a team-up between the two most unlikely (and two of my favorite) characters going to work? The answer is simple: they stay true to their personalities.
Waid does just that and has created one of the most memorable interactions between two characters. On one side, we have the very sexy and hot seventeen year old Supergirl; she’s misunderstood and boy crazy. On the other side, we have the infamous and notorious Hal Jordan, recently resurrected, greatest Green Lantern ever, and hotshot-womanizing pilot. Mark Waid makes this so evidently clear in the first few pages of this story, and I think may have written one of, if not, the best characterizations of Supergirl since she returned a couple years back. The interaction is flawless and hilarious. Supergirl is attracted to Hal, but Hal is also attracted to Supergirl. Hal Jordan has been around the block, so he knows the law. Throughout the duration of this issue Hal is constantly saying to himself “Seventeen, she’s only seventeen.” Hilariously brilliant. Hal’s no perv, but he’s a ladies man, and when you’ve got a scantily clad blond haired babe from Krypton, thoughts are going to run wild.
The events that transpire in this issue are great. The way the plot and the investigation into this wild gambling circuit takes place is really clever and well thought out. Waid even plants the seeds for next issue’s team-up between Batman and Blue Beetle. But Waid does something so subtle that I didn’t pick it up until I read the issue a second time. Supergirl studies Hal. She studies how he handles himself in certain situations, and she tries to use that to her advantage. This leads to a great parallel in the storytelling between Hal and Supergirl. Sure, they may want to jump each other’s bones, but Supergirl looks up to Hal and ultimately follows his example when it comes to getting out of a bit of a bind in this issue.
Not only is Mark Waid’s characterization of Hal Jordan spot on, but his portrayal of Supergirl is hands down the best thus far, even better than in her own series. Waid has expertly found a way to make these characters mesh together and find a common ground in order to make this team-up work. One of the best aspects of Waid’s writing with this title is the way he has been able to tell a multi-issue storyline and already change the make up of the character pairs. So far it has been very successful transitioning from GL/Batman to GL/Supergirl and by planting the seeds for next issue, the transition will be just as smooth for Batman/Blue Beetle.
And of course, the great George Perez provides the artwork for this issue. While I do love Perez’s work and the issue itself is beautiful, I have one problem. Supergirl looks great on the cover, but Hal… what’s up with his head? If he wasn’t my all-time favorite character I wouldn’t point it out, but his body is just angled completely off for his head to be able to turn like that. That, however odd it might be, is pretty much my only complaint about this great issue.
My hope is that no one besides Mark Waid writes this title. He understands where to go, he makes up great pairings of heroes and he keeps the story open for all ages. Brave and the Bold has returned to DC and looks as though it will reclaim its place as one of the greatest and classic team-up books ever.
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