From Carlo Barberi’s amazing layouts in Green Lanterns, Oliver Queen rising from the ashes, Harley’s mystery guests to Everafter‘s shocking twist, it was a week of big reveals that didn’t hold back. The citizens of Bedrock waved farewell while the Watchtower suddenly became overpopulated and Cain took on Abel for the fate of New York.
More ups and downs than a roller coaster, but here’s my look into the DC Universe this week!
‘Danger In Detroit’ – part 4: Fyrewyre
Written by John Semper Jr.
Art by Allan Jefferson
Inks by Tony Kordos
Cover by Allan Jefferson & Guy Major
Variant by Carlos D’Anda
Black Narcissus is holding the fort in Detroit while Cyborg is away. Cyborg, meanwhile, has secretly made it back and with the help of Exxy and is in contact with Sarah in STAR Labs. Despite their clandestine approach, Cyborg is discovered and attacked by a technological ninja named Fyrewyre. This foe is able to bend space and time making him a formidable foe for Vic alone.
With the aid of Black Narcissus they are able to take on Fyrewyre but just when they think they have the upper hand Anomaly reveals his deadly plan and it might be the end of Victor, STAR Labs and all of Detroit.
Black Narcissus was exactly what the book needed, a fresh face to drive the story in a new direction.
Fyrewyre is a wildcard I can’t figure out almost like the first season of a television show he popped up like a villain of the week.
The inclusion of Sarah to move the narrative along is necessary and I hope now that Cyborg and Sarah are reunited that the Anomaly storyline will finally be heading for that climax it has been skirting around for months.
Everafter: From The Pages Of Fables #10
‘Gone To Seed’ – Part 3: The Unsentimental Education
Written by Dave Justus & Lilah Sturges
Art by Travis Moore
Cover by Tula Lotay
The siege on the school has grown to horrific levels as Kellen, Vad & Garrett rule and torture with their mystical weapons.
As time slows to a crawl the trapped teenagers forge an alliance of faith to get them through.
Bobby Speckland inspires the captives and they grow in number and strength until they are finally strong enough to stand up for themselves. When Kellen, Vad and Garrett stand off against the rebellion they discover a truth about Bobby Speckland that even he never suspected.
Will this secret help them survive or destroy them? That is a question of faith.
Everafter is not your average book. The siege, the escalation and then the rise of the students, it is a turbulent and fascinating journey.
Sometimes reading a book that is nothing to do with superheroes opens your mind to how innovative a medium the comic book can be. The twist at the end of the issue was entirely unexpected but gave the book and its army of students the power of faith and inspiration. The softness of the artwork makes some of the more shocking scenes very hard to stomach.
Green Arrow #24
‘The Rise Of Star City’ – Finale
Written by Benjamin Percy
Artwork by Juan Ferreyra
Cover by Juan Ferreyra
Variant by Mike Grell & Lovern Kindzierski
The Ninth Circle has control of Star City and systemically dismantled Queen Industries and Team Arrow. Oliver Queen has nothing to lose but far from leaving him beaten it has made him a force for good the Circle had never counted on.
John Diggle has joined forces with Malcolm Merlyn.
Henry Fyff (seemingly) killed when the Treetop base was burnt down. Eddie Fyers revealed he had switched alliances.
Only Dinah, Arsenal, Emiko and Victoria Much stand by his side and even that is a tenuous alliance.
Ollie hunts for the inner sanctum of the Ninth Circle and thanks to Much he realises it is underneath Queen Industries itself.
While the remains of Team Arrow take on the Horsemen Ollie battles the Circle and their evil legacy.
What follows leads to Ollie revealing himself to Seattle to be alive and insistent that he will be returning as CEO of Queen Industries.
The only problem is he is wanted for murder!
I was really enjoy the build up to this story and as it grew with each issue and Ollie’s world was deconstructed the stakes were growing bigger and bigger. Then, just like that it’s over. Its not really been that fast, its just that there is so much to take in I wanted to savour it a bit longer. Suddenly the rug has been pulled out from beneath me and Benjamin Percy has shifted the status quo again! This book is the epitome of ‘never a dull moment!’ and I urge you all to read it!
Green Lanterns #24
‘Lost In Space’ – Conclusion
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Carlo Barberi
Inks by Matt Santorelli
Cover by Brad Walker, Drew Hennessy & Jason Wright
Variant by Emanuela Lupacchino
Jessica and Simon had failed, or so it seemed, but the two heroes of sector 2814 don’t fall so easily and with determination and willpower, they defeat their tutors, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner and graduate as fully fledged Lanterns.
The celebrations are cut short as the two reinstated Lanterns are ordered to lead a new mission before they can return to Earth. They must aid a Guardian of Oa with entry to The Vault Of Shadows but this Guardian has a secret agenda, one that will mean the end of either Jessica Cruz or Simon Baz.
The real story, the true core of this Lost In Space storyline is not the journey of Simon & Jessica, but the secret plot of the Guardian. It is a little annoying that this has been the case for the past few issues and the scenes that focused on this plotline were relegated to short 3-4 page vignettes.
Even more annoying is that the story of the Green Lantern boot camp was far more interesting and engaging. I care about this fumbling duo more than I do the Guardian but at least Humphries has tied the plotlines together. Poor Jessica has been through the mill all over the DCU these past few months, I hope she stops being a damsel in distress soon. The one thing I thought was fantastic was Carlo Barberi’s artwork, it really brought the story to life.
Harley Quinn #21
‘Right Back At Ya!’
Written by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti & Paul Dini
Art by Joseph Michael Linsner, John Timms & Brett Blevins
Cover by Amanda Conner & Alex Sinclair
Variant by Frank Cho
Batfan is determined to kill Harley Quinn and they have a war both physical and of words but it is a stand-off neither can win until a third party attacks them both and takes them captive.
As Harley is knocked out by gas Batfan in introduced to her ancestor who is threatened with death if Batfan persists in her plan.
Batfan’s captor reveals himself to be Red Tool, or as she knows him, the original Batfan that travelled back from her time but was lost. Red Tool gives Batfan a new life to live out before her time travel device returns her home in a year, on the understanding that Harley is left alone for his own plan.
Harley wakes up at home unharmed but when the doorbell in her apartment rings, Harleen Quinzel has two very shocking visitors to meet.
In “Harley Loves Joker” Part Five, Joker and his gang need a new hideout as their current living situation grows even more stressful. Harley takes it upon herself to seek out an old friend, Jenna and her hideout, Jake’s Joke Shop. Full to the brim with gadgets and toys perfect for Harley and Joker it is a perfect new home – except for the fact it’s new owner want to demolish it and create a coffee house. Can Harley save the shop before it’s too late?
Well who would have thought that a character such as Red Tool would actually become far more than a pale one dimensional copy of Deadpool, not me that’s for sure.
Palmiotti & Conner have definitely knocked me for six with his backstory, this was not the ‘Back To The Future’ parody I was expecting. I thoroughly enjoyed this unexpectedly multilayered storyline and that Mary Jane moment at the end was another shocker. The only thing I am now left wondering is whether Red Tool is a good guy or a bad one.
Elsewhere, now that we have more chapters of ‘Joker Loves Harley’ it is finally beginning to take shape. I think it would have been better published as a whole, perhaps as a one shot but till then I’ll enjoy the segments for their nostalgia.
Justice League #22
‘A Thousand Little Things’
Written by Shea Fontana
Art by Philippe Briones
Cover by Paul Pelletier, Andrew Hennessey & HiFi
Variant by Nick Bradshaw & Alex Sinclair
Lois & Jon are visiting the Justice League Watchtower so Lois can write a story on the League as a ‘puff piece’ for Perry. Cyborg alerts them to a microscopic lifeform Simon & Jessica have inadvertently brought aboard the satellite and suddenly what was a peaceful day escalates quickly as the lifeform replicates forcing the Watchtower to go under quarantine.
As the team struggle with their prison, Wonder Woman invites the Lanterns to spar with her but they aren’t alone as a swarm of the lifeform appear, taking human form, attacking Diana. When the rest of the League arrive, Batman realises Jessica has a queen parasite within her and the swarm is protecting her quarry and unless Jessica begins to believe in herself they will all die in space…
Poor Jessica Cruz just can’t catch a break can she?
The elements of this are very similar to the storyline over in Trinity, so much so they even reference it. Is that bad timing? I’m not sure.
I really liked some of what Fontana was doing here, the elements of the the bugs, the quarantine, being trapped, there was so much mileage but the resolution felt, forced, rushed and ultimately went nowhere.
Perhaps if it was over a few issues and played with the theme of claustrophobia, of the contagion and being held essentially in a prison unable to return to Earth… it could have gone someone different.
Savage Things #4
‘Savage Things’ Part 4
Written by Justin Jordan
Art by Ibrahim Moustafa
Cover by John Paul Leon
The trap leads Abel to abandon his chase of Cain.
As New York sinks into chaos, Cain uses the opportunity to launch into a killing spree. Abel and Kira waste no time chasing him down and discover a masked man killing civilians.
They may be evenly matched black ops soldiers but now Cain knows Kira is the Achilles heel he needs to win, but when the police arrive, who will they believe?
As fantastic as this series is, this issue was a bit of a disappointment.
One long scene that was already set up last issue that really didn’t go anywhere.
I enjoyed it, but to call this issue a story is being generous. It added a little more to the backstory of Cain & Abel, but other than that (which we’d already seen the like of before) it just felt like padding until the final page’s reveal.
The Flintstones #12
‘Farewell To Bedrock’
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Steve Pugh
Cover by Yanick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn
Variant by Rick Leonardi, Scott Hanna & Steve Buccellato
By order of Mr. Slate and to win the job of site foreman, Fred must win a bowling tournament against the all female league ‘The Spare Ribs’
Of course nothing goes to plan and an unruly ‘armadillo’ ball ruins his chances. Poor Fred vows never to bowl again but Mr. Slate surprises Fred with his reaction, somehow along the way everyone has begun to learn and grow as human beings, could that be the influence of The Great Gazoo?
As he prepares to leave and deliver his final report Bedrock must face a final judgement, along with mankind!
And it’s over!
I must have been the only one not enamoured by this series. I disliked everything about it. It wasn’t funny, it was always trying to be clever (trying) and those character designs… to fans of the show it was almost offensive.
Even as a final issue the story make little to no sense, the last page narrated by The Great Gazoo was the only part that was a saving grace, it was also the moment I could breathe a sigh of relief as it ended.
You’re welcome to disagree, but for me this was not The Flintstones, not by a long shot.
Wonder Woman: Steve Trevor Special #1
Wonder Woman’s Boyfriend, Steve Trevor in ‘The River Of Lost Years’
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Christian Duce
Cover by Paul Renaud
Variant by Yanick Paquette & Nathan Fairbairn
Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman are an unbeatable team, but Steve isn’t just man candy for Diana to rescue. He is Master Chief of ARGUS, and a decorated soldier in his own right.
Steve’s mind wanders back to a time without Diana when he was a member of the ARGUS team, The Oddfellows, and had to rescue hostages from Saturna and her army of Crimson Men.
They, like ARGUS, seek out artifacts and myths but the Crimson Men want to use these secrets for evil. The hostages trust Steve and asked him to keep this mission secret.
Good natured Steve agrees, but is shocked to find they have are protecting the location of a secret valley where you are immortal within it. Saturna and her Crimson Men attack, but Steve vows to protect the people living in the valley, and helps to fight them off. Years later of course Steve is a force for good with Diana at his side. Did Saturna really fall at the hands of Steve and The Oddfellows or will Wonder Woman and Steve live to regret Steve keeping this a secret?
This issue, I’m unsure of… is it just to capitalise on the movie release? If so shouldn’t it really have been a tie in?
Regardless of the marketing of the story, it is a solid issue, it really works at giving Steve the spotlight. It also sets up Saturna for a return in the future, however considering the fact that truth and lies have been the foundation for Wonder Woman’s Rebirth, it is a bit of a shock that that continues to play through this issue. What does this mean for the couple moving forward, as this is inevitably going to resurface at some point?