Written by Mark Waid. Pencils by George Pérez, inks by Bob Wiacek, Scott Koblish & Pérez. Published in December of 2008. Softcover, 144 pages, full color. Cover price $17.99.
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Grade 8 Up–Way back when, there was a comic-book series called The Brave and the Bold wherein superheroes would team up to battle villainy. Comics star Waid relaunches the series with The Lords of Luck, taking readers on a planet-hopping romp through the DC universe. The story begins when Green Lantern and Batman join forces to investigate a murder. The plot quickly becomes interstellar when Adam Strange, Blue Beetle, Supergirl, and others are enlisted for help. The convoluted plot (aliens attempting to control fate itself) is secondary to the real point of the story, which is an opportunity to play with the heroes and history of DC comics. Longtime readers will likely get the most from this book, which is so packed with references to the DC archives that it even comes with an appendix describing the many references to past stories. Epic in scale, but lighthearted in spirit, this is a book for lovers of heroic adventure comics. Legendary artist Pérez has a distinct, straightforward style and does a commendable job of depicting the scores of characters who populate the pages.–Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Library, Ontario, Canada
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The Hernandez brothers’ long-running alt-comic Love and Rockets here changes formats from comic book to annual trade paperback. For the first new-look volume, Jaime returns to his roots. The early episodes of his Locas series contained skewed superhero elements, and now supporting character Penny Century has finally gained long-desired superpowers, at the cost of her sanity, and a dysfunctional gang of superheroines must stop her intergalactic rampage. This departure from the realism of Jaime’s recent work retains his humanistic characterization, wry humor, and sensuously slick artwork. Meanwhile, Gilbert presents a cluster of more experimental stories that include a wanderer’s trek through a desolate countryside, a gay man seeking escape in a snowy refuge, a kangaroo that hits the jackpot in Vegas, a Martin-and-Lewis-like comedy duo that gets snatched into outer space, and, in a story written by third brother Mario, shenanigans in a Mexican village. All display Gilbert’s daringly bold graphic sensibility. The volume’s impressive diversity augurs well for the new format, even if the annual wait between installments may feel frustrating to longtime fans. --Gordon Flagg
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