This week is all about secrets.
From Mr. Oz divulging his identity, scientists unlocking Wonder Woman’s biology, the Justice League solving the mysteries of the Microverse, the Titans discovering a traitor in their midst. It is also all about lies and there are many of them in equal measure.
Two major titles do a major disservice to their characters and readers, but over all it has been a great week for surprises.
If I throw reveals your way you’d never enjoy the books so get ready to gasp as the shocks keep coming!
This is my look into the DC Universe this week!
ACTION COMICS #987
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Viktor Bogdanovic
A longtime foe of Superman’s is murdered at the hands of Mr. Oz in a most brutal and cold-hearted way.
The mysterious figure with ties to Kal-El decides to finally make his move against humanity intent on showing Superman that Earth is not, nor ever has been worthy of his family.
Suddenly the entire globe suffers horrific crimes and disasters simultaneously and when Superman fails to save the day Mr. Oz reveals himself to Superman once more but this time he reveals a shocking secret that Clark may never recover from.
By now, some of the ‘news’ sites have already spoilt the identity of Mr.Oz so I won’t repeat it here.
Suffice to say with the identity confirmed many of his acts prove to be perplexing.
Is he, like Zor El, a supremacist? or even worse?
I am looking forward to seeing how this will effect Superman, after all this has been seeded since Rebirth #1 and leads directly into The Doomsday Clock.
The cynic in you might say it’s more trade paperback fodder to cash into the murky world of crossovers and events, but as this has been a longform story that has taken place in the background I’m willing to see it play out. The art this issue was definitely out of character for Bogdanovic, opting for a doe eyed Clark. In fact the scene where the child is killed just didn’t have the visual impact it should have.
The story itself jumped headfirst into what appears to be the plotting of a madman, but Jurgens plays it clever through dialogue, we still don’t know what kind of a man Mr. Oz truly is yet.
WONDER WOMAN #30
Writer: Shea Fontana
Artist: David Messina
The plot is uncovered.
Wonder Woman’s blood can be harvested, modified and her gifts from the gods passed on to humans.
Steve and Etta are on a rescue mission to save Diana and destroy the illegal research while a squad of soldiers is intent on keeping her prisoner.
Are Diana’s powers meant to be shared? Or is there a high price to pay for theft?
For such a bombshell, with this storyline now complete, it sadly falls flat.
I feel for the team as they had to follow a long and in depth worldbuilding run by Rucka, Sharp and Scott. To be frank they really tried to push the envelope, but it tried to do too much too fast. The bomb scene with the child was one that will haunt me for a long time to come, but the transference of power is a BIG deal.
If Cadmus or Lexcorp had been the perpetrators it could potentially have upturned the DCU. Instead, as it rushed through so much so fast, it all crumbles in the last ten pages into forgettable fodder.
The status quo is balanced and it is as if nothing ever happened. I wanted so much to see where Wonder Woman would go after her clash with Veronica Cale so I hope it will continue to improve.
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artists: Norm Rapmund & Brett Booth
The traitor within the Titans ranks is revealed but in doing so they also discover a way to turn the tables on H.I.V.E.
As the team launch an offensive, they each face a challenge that puts their lives at risk.
The heroes loyalties are tested to their very limits and to save one life, a Titan pays the ultimate price.
I know I should feel sad. The excerpts of the goodbye letter suggests I should be feeling sad thoughts.
In actual fact I feel indifferent. I know the stakes are high and the revelation of who the traitor was were meant to elevate this issue, I just felt this was a precursor to the real story.
The Titans seeking revenge for one of their own and taking out one of their deadliest foes – that is the story I want to read. Save for those shock moments there wasn’t much else here apart from some great visuals.
Next issue? I’m definitely keen for that one.
TEEN TITANS #12
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Mirka Andolfo
The Riddler is empowered with the assistance of a dark twisted Batman as the events of METAL warps Gotham beyond recognition.
Damian is on a rescue mission after receiving a distress call from Nightwing, but instead finds Green Arrow as they battle warped magic intent on deceiving them.
Where Ollie is, Dinah can’t be far behind and Black Canary shows up with an unlikely group of Harley Quinn, Killer Croc and Batgirl.
The Riddler has created a magical maze and they are trapped in its centre.
Throw in a snow storm, a frost giant and a terrified Nightwing and the insanity is dialed up to eleven!
Beautifully illustrated and visually engaging. I cannot fault the art.
That sounds like a swipe at the writing and I promise it definitely is not. It is brilliantly written and the pages with Damian and Ollie were superb, my problem is in favour of a tie in the main cast are nowhere to be found.
This issue was a great chapter in the METAL storyline, sadly, and I’ll be clear about this; it was not an issue of Teen Titans.
How can it be viewed as such? Two characters from the Teen Titans appear, but Harley Quinn and Killer Croc have more page time than them.
If you’re enjoying METAL, this really is an unmissable issue, if not wait for this to be over so you can enjoy the team in action again.
Writer: K. Perkins
Artists: Art Thibert & Stephen Segovia
Superwoman and Supergirl try their hardest to help Amos Aimes.
His persona of Red Son is slowly taking over his human side and it will take all their skills and cunning to save Lana’s old school friend.
Things don’t go to plan however as not one, but two Maxima’s arrive to battle it out for the right to the title of Queen.
Can they save Amos and defeat the doppelganger before they lose everything?
Like Teen Titans this issue felt like it was a story for another book.
I am fully aware K. Perkins wrote Supergirl during her time in Crucible. My problem is I don’t give a crap – not in the Superwoman book.
Lana’s story was about Amos Aimes. It was about saving her old friend and lover and helping him overcome his Kryptonite infused alter ego.
Instead we got a tie in to Supergirl pre-Rebirth with post-Rebirth.
In Supergirl this would have been so much fun and great to see the continuity revisited.
The two Maxima’s were particularly fun to read. You’d be forgiven for thinking you picked up the wrong book as Lana appears on less than half the pages in her own story.
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artists: Daniel Henriques & Robson Rocha
The fight with Emerald Empress explodes out of The Blade and onto the streets as civilians watch the carnage unfold.
Meanwhile in the other DEO site, Lar-On defeats Magog, while Selena, for self preservation magically teleports away.
Zor-El is revealed to the world by Indigo and instantly the trust in National City is split over Supergirl’s decision to protect him.
As Zor wakes from his coma, is he on Supergirl’s side or the Fatal Five?
Elsewhere, revelations of the DEO Director mean Supergirl may have been duped all this time.
The dialogue from members of the public is excruciating. It seems every page this issue had to cement the fact the public is split in their faith of Supergirl by saying it out loud.
Aside from that quibble this issue was fantastic.
The showdown between Lar-On, Supergirl and the ramshackle Fatal Five was an absolute page turner. So much was going on you had to flip back and forth to keep up!
Apart from the civilian dialogue everything was on point.
The reuniting of siblings was ice cold, I honestly thought they were looser than that. I love the reveal of the new villain and I look forward to seeing how this will develop.
Kudos to Orlando, this story certainly didn’t disappoint! I wonder if this will carry over to the TV series? That would be awesome!
SCOOBY DOO WHERE ARE YOU #85
Writers: Derek Fridolfs, John Rozum & Robbie Busch
Artists: Walter Carzon, Horacio Ottolini,
Robert Pope, Scott McRae & Leo Batic
The Mystery Inc. gang are looking forward to watching a golf tournament but their enjoyment us spoilt by the arrival of Ghoulie Gator. The giant alligator is intent on disrupting a golf tournament and hurting anyone that gets in his way. In the second story Velma tries her best to teach Shaggy & Scooby about the legend of the Plat-Eye.
The final installment reveals the opening night of a spectacular theatre event that is terrorised by a hideous zombie.
Does Mystery Inc ever get a vacation?
I know my reviews for Scooby Doo are rather similar each issue.
Unfortunately that doesn’t look like it will change, but that is a good thing.
This title is consistent all around. It is a great family book, it is true to the source material with no gimmicks (like Apocalypse) is genuinely a pleasure to read and has art that the animators of the original show would be proud of.
This issue I’m torn. Ghoulie Gator is fun and so is the zombie.
Since Gator Ghoul is an iconic Scooby villain and a little too similar to Ghoulie Gater I’ll pick the theatre zombie as my favourite this issue as it pushed the scare factor a little more.
SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #17
Writers: J.M DeMatteis & Keith Giffen
Artists: Dale Eaglesham & Rick Leonardi
It might not be the time or place, but as the team hide from the monsters in the treetops, they reflect at times past that led them here.
When some of the branches give way and they fall prey to the monsters who should come to the rescue but Scrappy and Scooby Doo!
Elsewhere, Freddy along with his new friends, race to meet the rest of the team.
This is a great adventure story and the ingredients are all there.
I like that Scooby, Scrappy and Mystery Inc’s storylines have all merged into one narrative, the thing I’m puzzled about is the timing of the flashback. /The content is another matter and I’m sure many a fan will either be up in arms about it or assume it happened years ago.
The story just needs to move forward now as there doesn’t seem to be a solution in sight for the Apocalypse.
I would very much like Uncle and nephew to rebuild bridges, because these monsters have hogged the spotlight for seventeen issues now.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #14
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artists: Ivan Reis & Joe Prado
Vixen seeks the aid of Gregorio for his expertise in magic to discover more about The Might Beyond The Mirror and makes a startling discovery.
Meanwhile in the Microverse, Batman & the team battle to save Dr. Aut from the army of assailants. Ryan meanwhile seeks out the entity Moz-Ga and leads the team to safety after it reveals it knows Professor Palmer’s location.
There are no celebrations however, as the team discovers that they may have doomed to universe by reuniting teacher & student.
Perfection. You might disagree but Justice League Of America finally seems to have found its footing with this storyline.
For once Batman doesn’t have all the answers and the rest of the team can shine. I really enjoyed seeing the heroes band together and save the day. Ryan’s time in the spotlight this issue helped me get to know him better the reveal at the end may have been predictable but it took nothing away from the rest of this great issue.
The art, the composition, the inking, it was all fantastic with particular focus on Ryan’s journey. If I were to ask for one thing it would be more of the detective work with Vixen, but other than that this is a book that has most definitely earned its place on your pull list.
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #28
Writer: Robert Vendetti
Artists: Rafa Sandoval & Jordi Tarragona
Omega Beams are racing to kill the New God, Lightray.
Soaring through space they hope to avoid the metal golem sent to destroy them.
Hal Jordan created a jet plane and is in hot pursuit, with Omega Beams on his tail but his skills as a Lantern aren’t enough.
Luckily Hal was an ace pilot on Earth, once upon a time, and with the aid of a ghost of the past, Jordan might just save the day.
A touching ‘story within a story’ from Vendetti.
The bigger picture is the race to save the New Gods and though the build up to that has been gathering momentum the real story was for Hal Jordan himself.
His time in the aircraft was an unexpectedly emotional one and it took me by surprise. I can’t go into much detail as it will truly spoil the issue and it really does deserve your full attention.
Suffice to say it is perhaps the strongest issue dramatic wise in ‘Hal Jordan’ for a long time since Rebirth. I do enjoy the action but it is nice to see Vendetti & Sandoval stretch their dramatic muscles.