Wonder Woman, Liam Sharp and Greg Rucka, I salute you for delivering an emotional storyline and finale. We are really getting spoiled by how fantastic this book is.
Then we have Hong Kong Phooey and Scooby-Doo in a Sholly Fisch written tale that can only be described as genius.
Zod ‘rears’ his evil head in Superman, while the JLA learn that their superpowers aren’t the sum of who they are.
Kyle makes a sacrifice that could change him forever whatever his decision is and Constantine is being plotted against by nearly everyone he knows.
A tangled web indeed, but this is my look into the DC Universe this week.
Wonder Woman #23
‘The Truth’ – The Conclusion
Written by Greg Rucka
Pencils Liam Sharp
Inks Liam Sharp
Cover by Liam Sharp & Laura Martin
Ares, God Of War, of all people reveals the long sought after truth that Diana seeks. Along with it the plot his sons had hatched to manipulate all they came in contact with to create a web of lies.
Veronica Cale must make a sacrifice as must Diana, but in doing so they will both be set free. Diana has never been closer to home but with the future now clear was it truly worth it?
I don’t know what to say, I should feel elated that the truth has come out and a new beginning has arrived for Diana, but I feel sad.
That scene where Hippolyta and Diana are almost reunited broke me. Wonder Woman has been consistently good since Rebirth, with the story and art at an all time high.
To see this resolution, this unexpected twist play out, revealing the fates of Veronica’s daughter and Ares’ children was nothing short of brilliant.
How this will effect Diana in the future is anyone’s guess, but if this quality continues it’s sure to be a memorable journey.
The Hellblazer #10
‘The Smokeless Fire’ part 4
Written by Simon Oliver
Pencils Davide Fabri
Inks Jose Marzan Jr.
Cover by Riley Rossmo
They may have been double crossed by Misabel, but John and Mercury are determined to retrieve the secrets of the journal before they fall into the wrong hands.
Mercury discovers that Marid’s plot is to rebuild Solomon’s Machine, a machine that will merge the world of the Djinn with our own, so she has drama of her own to deal with.
Throw in a nightclub or deadly lycanthropes and the arrival of Papa Midnight and things get even more complicated.
This trip around Europe is not proving a pleasant one for Constantine!
The change in art has galvanised the storyline.
Smokeless Fire has been an awkward storyline so far playing the three storylines of Marid’s plot, Mercury’s awakening and Constantine’s search for the journal along with the art chopping and changing has made it a difficult read. I am glad the flashbacks are gone but to be honest after four chapters, all I want is for this story to stop dancing around and get right to the real meat & potatoes.
Action Comics #980
‘Revenge’ Part 2
Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils Patch Zircher
Inks Patch Zircher
Cover by Clay Mann & Tomeu Morey
After the terrible discovery in the back up Fortress, Superman races to check on Lois and Jon before seeking out Batman. Superman informs him about the escape of several of his deadliest foes now joining forces, but Batman reveals that there is more to this than a mere escape, they are trying to steal something from Belle Reve.
Amanda Waller has a secret Kryptonian weapon hidden inside and both the Revenge Squad and Superman are in race to get to it first. One to recruit it, the other to capture it. Can Superman succeed?
I’m not sure it needed the Batman cameo and it would have been nice to see the Henshaw Cyborg’s/Zor El Cyborg explained but aside from those niggles this was a pretty good follow up to last issue.
It feels a little like it may have been written before the ‘Black Dawn’ Superman storyline was written because the conflict between Lois and Jon felt a little odd after such a traumatic altercation with Manchester Black and the citizens of Hamilton County.
I digress, as we now have the introduction of yet another General Zod, and this time we can only hope they get him right.
The Revenge Squad is shaping up to be deadlier than ever before and because of that the anticipation in me grows for that inevitable conflict!
Blue Beetle #9
‘Life, Death & Absolute Chaos!’
Written by Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils Scott Kolins
Cover by Scott Kolins
The battle with the evil entity that was once Arion reaches a climatic end!
While Ted reaches out to Keven, Omac and Brother Eye on stopping the invasion. Jaime leads the team to the depths of the the caverns beneath El Paso in hopes of reuniting Kent Nelson with the helmet of Fate.
Together they must take on Arion in his terrifying new form and Jaime must make a decision about his future.
This issue had everything and the kitchen sink.
That is a good thing as we enjoy a love letter to Jack Kirby in this title (which becomes clearer with each passing issue)
We now have Jaime about to make an active step towards claiming the mantle of Blue Beetle but now OMAC, Brother Eye, Ted Kord and Dr. Fate are banding together to take out the creature formerly known as Arion. Sounds completely bizarre but couple that with the frenetic art of Kolins and you definitely have something completely bizarre but undeniably genius.
Now that the story is on track to a proper conclusion it is really coming together.
Scooby-Doo Team-Up #26
‘Enter The Dragon, Exit Scooby Doo’
Written by Sholly Fisch
Pencils Scott Jeralds
Cover by Scott Jeralds & Silvana Brys
The Mystery, Inc. gang have gone up against many ghouls, ghosts, goblins and con men but when sinister dragons with superior martial arts skills pose a threat only a mild mannered janitor can help them.
It also helps that he’s the Number One Super-Guy, Hong Kong Phooey! Two hounds for the price of one will surely save the day.
Superb art and an equally fun coupling of two of Hanna Barbera’s most beloved series.
If the modernisation titles aren’t working or you then embrace these Scooby books as a wonderful look back at the classic take.
Fisch does an great job of flipping the old formula on its head and making the stories feel fresh and new.
The spotlight may be on Scooby and the gang but it was a real kick to see Hong Kong Phooey brought to life once more and with some spot artwork to match.
A great family book that us oldies can enjoy too.
Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #21
‘The Prism Of Time’ Conclusion: ‘Gauntle’
Written by Robert Venditti
Pencils V Ken Marion
Inks Dexter Vines
Cover by Ethan Van Sciver & Jason Wright
As Rip & Hal race to foil the future. The combined might of the green and yellow lanterns – minus their power, go to fight Sarko and his crystal creatures using their new military style skills.
Kyle uses Rips ring to scan Sarko’s lineage and discovers the key to stopping him, but it is a sacrifice with ramifications that might be even worse for the Corps than the future Rip wants to stop.
I can’t believe it’s over. After that build up which promised something huge, with ramifications for both Yellow & Green Lanterns while also tying up the lose end of the Gauntlet’s ‘fate’ it just felt like it was resolved way too fast.
I know, a contradiction as I talk a lot about how I hate long drawn out stories, but this had mileage to tap into. Sarko barely put his plans into action and that final revelation felt forced as it was so fast. I think if there were at least another two issues this could have been fleshed out more and in turn once the secret was revealed the impact would have been felt far more.
The question of whether you’d kill Hitler as a child if you had the opportunity was played out and though I could see it coming from a mile off, it was still an enjoyable read.
Justice League Of America #7
Written by Steve Orlando
Pencils Jamal Campbell
Cover by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Marcelo Maiolo
The Ray and Vixen do their best to reach out to the community while Batman works on the Secret Sanctuary.
After the recent events have drawn Ryan and Caitlin closer together their bond is put to the test against a deadly foe.
While Atom & Frost grow closer, Lobo and Black Canary can’t be farther apart. Meanwhile, Amanda Waller plots to wreak revenge on Killer Frost and her team mates.
The formula continues and it is one that works. I mentioned this all in my last review of the title but the characters are this books strength as opposed to the regular League where it is mostly about juggling power sets.
The scenes with Caitlin and Ryan were beautifully written and made their bond seem so natural and the Lobo scenes wit Canary were a mirror of those. I like that the storyline is bringing back elements of Justice League vs Suicide Squad because this team has an equal dark history with Amanda Waller.
Looney Tunes #237
‘Duck Dodgers & The Reboot Of The 24½th Century’, ‘Mars Needs Chickens!’, ‘Blow, Forghorn, Blow’
Written by Derek Fridolfs, Jesse LeonMcCann & Sam Agro
Pencils Dave Alvarez, Walter Carzon & Leo Batic
Inks Ruben Torreiro & Horacio Ottolino
Cover by Derek Fridolfs & Candace Schinzler-Bell
Duck Dodgers has always been the 24½th century’s greatest hero, that is until Eager Young Space Cadet, is just promoted to the rank of Commander!
Outranked and beak out of joint, Duck Dodgers must obey his new superior and they go on a dangerous mission to discover the secrets of…Planet Y!
Meanwhile Foghorn Leghorn must outsmart Marvin and his martians, for the sake of all chicken-kind.
Then Dawg & Foghorn must match their wits with a mischievous little chicken thief!
The stories with three equally entertaining stories. By far the most enjoyable story of the three was Duck Dodgers but Foghorn and Dawg up against a conniving weasel is a close second. My only negative is that these stories are way too short!