Wonder Woman, Justice League and Harley Quinn will have you on tenderhooks, with some of their most exceptional issues to date.
Superwoman finally begins to soar again after a long journey of angst. Scooby takes on one of the biggest franchises in comics and television while Clark and Kara promise big things and deliver a lot of soap opera instead.
Batgirl and the Birds Of Prey continues its all-woman epic and Hal has his turn in Metal.
Thank you to everyone that stopped by every week to read my random thoughts and hopefully this isn’t the last you’ll hear of me at Forces Of Geek!
The baton is passed to new talent as this column ends its run but before I go, here is a glimpse into the DC Universe this week!
The Midnight Hour: Part 2
Artists: Stephen Segovia & Art Thibert
Lena Luthor’s final revenge plot gives birth to the deadly digital life form, Midnight!
With nearly a thousand residents of Metropolis captive in a digital dimension only Lana Lang stands in her way.
Can Lois Lane, Traci 13 & Natasha Irons help save the day or will this be Superwoman’s final battle?
Beautiful art and a story that is finally coming together.
Rumours abound that this, Blue Beetle and Cyborg are all close to cancellation make the fact this book (is?) finally coming together a very sad thing.
The book had an explosive entrance when it began but seemed to suffer after its first story arc. It says a lot that the Midnight arc has firmly tied itself back to the first.
I hope the cast find new homes in Metropolis soon as I’d hate to lose any of them.
WONDER WOMAN #34
Children of The Gods: Part 3
Writer: James Robinson
Artists: Sergio Davila, Scott Hanna, Mick Gray & Ever Ferriera
It is a joyous occasion, while Steve is back to investigations, Diana has been reunited with her brother, Jason.
As the two Themysciran children learn more about one another and the years they spent apart, they get lost in the fairytale.
Life is perfect, but as the sun sets on the story, a twist presents itself and it could mean the end of Olympus. No I won’t spoil it!
Superb. A beautifully written issue.
The story direction and twist was obvious, but it was never about the bitter ending, it was all about the journey. If it wasn’t so ‘fairytale-like’ and loaded with emotion, the journey wouldn’t have been so powerful.
James Robinson has crafted a new chapter in Diana’s history and it feels like a natural progression rather than a gimmick which is how it sounded initially.
I hope this creative team stays around for a long time.
ACTION COMICS #990
The Oz Effect: Conclusion
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Viktor Bogdanovic, Dan Jurgens, Trevor Scott & Scott Hanna
Jor-El whisks Superman away to his sanctuary to have a one to one with Kal.
As Kal investigates and discovers Mr. Mxyzptlk’s prison cell and Doomsday, he realises that this is really his father but they fall out over his manipulations. As father and son quarrel, Clark damages Jor’s staff exposing his father to Kryptonite poisoning.
An unseen force kidnaps Jor El and sends Clark back to Metropolis. The mystery is far from solved. Things have now gotten much, much worse.
The ending to The Oz Effect was not how i felt it would or should have played out.
Mr. Oz was a facade? Jor staves of Kryptonite poisoning with a staff? Mxy and Doomsday were threats to his son and were incarcerated.
But if so, why was Robin trapped there?
A bigger bad is out there and master to Jor-El?
I am not sure what I had hoped for but Mr Oz’s plot felt disappointing in the end. Perhaps it is more a prelude to Doomsday Clock and things ahead but after all the torment, the manipulation, the devastation.
The family reunion finally being realised as real, is overshadowed all the wrong Jor-El did. Supergirl did the same recently with Zor-El and let’s remember Jor also paid his brother a visit in the DEO.
Plain Sight: Part 1
Writers: Jody Houser & Steve Orlando
Artists: Robson Rocha & Daniel Henriques
The DEO and police force are now hunting for the Girl of Steel. Not even Eliza and Jeremiah can reach out to Kara as she struggles with her recent decisions.
Elsewhere, the new Director of the DEO repurposes Dr.Veritas’ work specifically to battle Supergirl. Things couldn’t get much worse for Kara, but the reappearance of Sharon Vance might mean complete destruction.
The issue was a perplexing one. Jeremiah and Eliza, two high ranking members of the DEO have a daughter called Kara…
The DEO knows Supergirl’s name is Kara Zor-El, yet ‘under new management’ they have lost that information?
The writing insinuates that only Dr.Veritas is privy to the secret identity but it didn’t really feel like that was the case in issues past.
Now we have Sharon Vance. I will admit the rest of the issue, with the exception of the Director and Dr.Veritas, felt a little too ‘teenage soap’ for me. The arrival of Strange Visitor may have only been one page but it was a perfect cliffhanger.
SCOOBY-DOO! WHERE ARE YOU? #87
Woods or Wouldn’t / The Black Katz
Writers: Sholly Fisch & Paul Kupperberg
Artists: Walter Carzon, Roberto Barrios & Horacio Ottolini
A wood is about to be cut down. An evil force is terrorising everyone in its (it’s?) path but with the protesters and the developers both victims of the monster, can Mystery Inc solve the mystery before both sides end up killing each other?
In the second story, the black cats overrunning the city are causing a a streak of bad luck wherever they are.
Is the occult the cause of misfortune or could Scooby have found another reason why we’re all fearful of felines?
Two very well written stories that play with the formula that we think we know.
Always been a fan of both writers so to see them write two quite mature stories aimed at children is very welcoming.
I really enjoyed the twists of both and honestly couldn’t choose a favourite. I’m sure you’ll enjoy both!
SCOOBY APOCALYPSE #19
Child’s Play! / Broken!
Writers: Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis
Artists: Dale Eaglesham & Andy Kuhn
Nothing is perfect.
The town that the gang have taken refuge in has a sinister air about it and though it is monster free, something about it is causing the team to be fractious.
While they bicker only Scooby seems to be aware that a threat is rising up against them.
Elsewhere the past is fast catching up to Secret Squirrel.
A past mission may hold the answers but it could also end the career of the world’s greatest secret agent.
The direction of this book has taken a turn since the mega monster was defeated.
I am quite enjoying the new direction but I am under no illusions that this has now become The Walking Dead for kids. The art is pretty cool with Scooby having some stand out scenes, but there could be more. Lots more, please?
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #18
Surgical Strike: Part 1
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Hugo Petrus
The League open their doors to the public as Mari McCabe’s foundation aims to cast the JLA in a positive light as Batman leaves the team behind.
The Dark Knight couldn’t have chosen a worse time to return Gotham as each of the League if (is?) defeated by a mysterious foe that knows all their strengths and weaknesses. Who is this deadly foe and what is his lethal history with all iterations of the League?
The book has finally jettisoned the dead weight. Batman was fine as a recruiter but aside from that he hasn’t had much to do, or offer for that matter. Black Canary would have been a better fit for leader in my opinion but I like that the book is taking chances with giving Mari a bigger role. I’ve always said character is this books greatest strength and bringing in Prometheus ensures that we get a strong spotlight on each Leaguer.
A special note should be made of the art. It is sharp, slick and visually exceptional. The colouring does a lot to enhance the visuals. Brilliant issue.
HARLEY QUINN #31
Writers: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: John Timms
Mayor DePerto will not rest while Harley is still a threat to his campaign. Both sides play to win but no matter what they do, they can’t seem to get the better of one another.
When Spoonsdale is kidnapped, Harley Quinn and Sin are forced into a corner. Harleen finally learns just how far DePerto is willing to go to win and it may be more than she can handle.
I’m in shock.
The violence in the issue isn’t the problem, nor the darkness.
The humour is there too, so that is always a nice counter balance… it’s the ending.
I can’t quite believe it. No wonder Harley is always on the brink of sanity.
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERNS CORPS #32
Bats Out of Hell: Part 3 – None More Black
Writer: Robert Vendetti
Artists: Ethan Van Sciver & Liam Sharp
The power of will may not be enough to win this day…
Green Lantern and Dawnbreaker are in a battle of wits, of might and of manipulation.
A torturous battle in dark and light takes place until one of the titans fall. Bruce and Hal end their long-term rivalry, but as the rest of the league falls to the Batman Who Laugh’s army, could Metal end with the death of our champions?
Hal faces off against some long buried demons in a beautifully illustrated tie in to Metal.
The art is superb, with Van Sciver and Sharp utilizing the power of Dawnbreaker to create some atmospheric scenes with a ‘strobe effect’ of alternating light and dark.
For one minute the bait and switch in the fight had me fooled, but it eventually follows suit with the other issues as Hal succumbs to the darkness.
The art deserves a chance to shine. I wish it was part of the regular narrative.
BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY #16
Manslaughter: Part 2 – Crisis Mode
Writers: Julie Benson & Shawna Benson
Artist: Roge Antonio
Batgirl, the Birds Of Prey and their fellow female champions are in a desperate race to save mankind.
The flu epidemic has spread far and wide with no man safe except for Oliver Queen.
Lois tips Wonder Woman to some leads she was chasing for a story and as the heroines converge on Gotham Coliseum the Daughters Of Gotham reveal themselves as a sleeper organisation intent on saving womankind from the perils of man!
Great concept, there is a touch of the ‘Ninth Circle’ and even the ‘Court Of Owls’ to this new army of villains.
The twist to them makes them oddly akin to Wonder Woman’s sisters. I love the mystery and peril they face, but the artwork is quite uneven.
Sinister in places that add to the atmosphere and then very minimal – especially in facial expressions. The art might not be to my tastes but the story has me gripped.