It’s all about the kids this week. Super Sons, Justice League, Cave Carson, Injustice 2, Nightwing, even Batwoman. They all revolve around the children superheroes and children of superheroes. Purposeful or not the theme carried through some of the most enjoyable books
While Wonder Woman discovered she is not mother material, Batwoman and Green Lanterns finally made me a genuinely interested reader of their exploits… finally.
Green Arrow and Trinity continue their stellar run so they should be on your pull list!
This is is my look into the DC Universe this week!
Writers: Marguerite Bennett & James Tynion IV
Artist: Renato Arlem
Tim Drake is the Batman now… he and his regime control ‘Free Gotham’ and only aged Jason Todd and Kate Kane stand in his way.
Kate, as Batwoman stealthily infiltrates Free Gotham to seek out Commissioner Montoya. Kate’s arrival is not as stealthy as she’s hoped and Tim’s armed forces attack.
Can Kate bring down the corrupt Batman and preserve Bruce Wayne’s legacy?
The weird flash forward in issue one now comes into play.
Honestly, I think it would have been kick ass to just start from here. Batwoman and Kate Kane don’t need the Star Wars prequel treatment.
That one page with her meeting Batman and the internal monologue were enough to get us straight into the action.
I loved the interaction with with Jason Todd and Renee Montoya. Kate is often overshadowed by Batgirl as the female in the bat-family but this arc shows there is room for two strong females and I can’t wait to see her meet Tim Drake.
I was not a fan of the over all art to be honest, it seemed very heavy and the colour palette could have been a bit more vibrant but it did add to the atmosphere of the story.
CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE #11
Writers: Jon Rivera & Gerard Way
Artist: Michael Avon Oeming
Cave, Chloe and their team are forced to join forces with Doc Magnus, Cave Jr. and ‘other’ Cave as Whisper sends mutant giants rampaging through the city destroying everything in their path. All would be lost but for a Metal Man’s arrival that shocks everyone to the core… Mazra!
The monsters escalate their attack and the team must make a sacrifice if they are to survive.
I know the book is all about Cave but I have to be honest, I really enjoy Wild Dog’s scenes in the series.
There needs to be a cull of some of the side characters now as the book is struggling to give everyone equal time for their stories to be fleshed out.
I still find the book enjoyable but this issue felt like there was too much going on and people like Cave Jr. were left in the background.
It is a rare misstep but after such an amazing run so far I’m happy to let it play out as it is part of a bigger arc.
GREEN ARROW #29
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
As Emi & Dinah track down Wendy Poole’s trail of evidence they discover she is still alive!
If they can find and rescue her, Ollie will be exonerated for his crimes.
Elsewhere, Ollie is on the trail of a Burned agent of The Circle in Gotham.
The trail leads him deep under Gotham City and onto the trail of a human trafficking ring.
Of course nothing goes on in Gotham without the Batman noticing and the duo are forced to team up. Batman offers a clue in Green Arrow’s quest that might mean the assistance of a certain emerald ring slinger…
I am so impressed with this book, how Dinah and Emi prove they don’t need Ollie to get the job done.
Meanwhile we are getting Green Arrow finally making his mark within the superhero community.
My favourite team up so far has been The Flash but this is a close second. It was nice to see both Bruce and Ollie acknowledge they are similar in many ways and enjoy a rare team up. The team ups issue to issue are tenuously linked but extremely enjoyable. I like seeing Ollie outside of his comfort zone.
GREEN LANTERNS #29
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Eduardo Pansica & Julio Ferreira
After the loss of the Kryptonian, the other Green Lanterns agree to learn how to wield their rings with better control.
Simon meanwhile discovers shards of his ring have become embedded in his skin. Baz no longer has a ring but retains some of his power and summons his ‘Lantern Vision’ to seek out Volthoom and discover his plans.
Rallying the troops after learning the truth this new Green Lantern Corps agree to help save the universe.
I thought it was impossible. Somehow with this arc Humphries has got me liking this duo. It is purely story to be honest as I still see no chemistry between Jessica and Simon but having them work together for a common goal has suddenly given them focus.
I’m still curious to see how Simon’s lack of a ring will change things but it is also great to see the first lanterns being explored.
The art looks great, the First Lanterns look especially well rendered.
INJUSTICE 2 #8
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Bruno Redondo & Juan Albarran
Ra’s reveals to Batman that he has Alfred prisoner to force his hand.
Batman doesn’t budge but reveals to his team of rebels he knows the location of the villain’s stronghold but that they need a stronger team.
While the superhero parents reel in shock from the kidnappings, Batman seeks out one of the most powerful heroes of the planet, Eel O’Brien aka Plastic Man!
With Plas and his son in tow Batman takes them to meet the rest of the team, but Blue Beetle wants in and he is out for blood.
Batman has always been a bit of an ass. It is usually a neck and neck competition between Oliver Queen and Bruce Wayne but in this instance Bruce is the winner.
I have little sympathy for him right now regarding Alfred. His internalizing of intelligence allowed for much of Ra’s’ plan to reach fruition, though it is still ghoulish to see Alfred a living zombie.
Plas & ‘Baby Plas’ being part of the story was absolutely unexpected – ok I know I’m referencing a classic cartoon and Baby Plas is clearly an adult but it was cool to see the family duo revived. Despite their comedy appearance, Redondo makes them believable and people often forget, despite their goofyness, they are just as powerful as Superman.
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Javier Fernandez
Spyral has been corrupted, with Tiger and his team hunting down Nightwing and Huntress.
Despite their formidable skills Dick and Helena aren’t a match for Tiger’s squad and it takes a rescue from St. Hadrian’s ‘Skullgirls’ to save the day.
Helena’s former students had gone into ‘freelance peacekeeping’ after her departure, while Grayson leaving Spyral left them vulnerable to attack.
Their past is coming back to haunt them so the pair decide to face it head on and fight Spyral together.
A revelation revealed only to Nightwing changes thing for the former secret agent as a life now hangs in the balance.
I was one of the people that really enjoyed Grayson.
His days in Spyral delivered some inspired storytelling and brought Dick Grayson back into the limelight. I enjoy Nightwing just as much but bringing the concepts together for a showdown is fantastic.
The art fares a bit better this issue but perhaps could have benefited from a little more detail. The final scene was a jaw dropper as Tiger was one of my favourite characters I can’t wait to see how Nightwing and Huntress resolve this.
SUPER SONS #7
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Jorge Jimenez
The teens regroup after their failure in battle with a severely aged Damian, a major casualty of the magical villains.
Reluctantly they agree to have Superboy join their mission to pursue the mysterious magician Kraklow and his clay golems, Atom Master, Time Commander & Chun-Yull, The Faceless Hunter.
The fight is a visceral one but with Superboy’s aid, the heroes win the day and Damian is restored to his young self, while Kraklows’ minions revert to their clay forms. Much to Robin’s chagrin, the Titans are glad of Jon’s help and invite him to team up again in the future.
As the Teen Titans leave with a defeated Kraklow, Jon and Damian bicker a portal open with some ominous metal arms reaching out to attack them!
Entirely predictable. You would think that was a bad thing but Super Sons is consistently brilliant.
The books success is down to the expertise of Tomasi’s writing and Jimenez on the art. Kraklow’s plot was entertaining enough, he’s just interesting enough to reappear in the future.
If we’re honest this was a story about acceptance and less about a wizard with illusions of grandeur. I’m not sure I want him to be a Teen Titan yet but I’m glad he has that option. I liked seeing the chemistry between the kids and the action sequences.
This book has an endearing quality to it and I hope that it continues in this quality, though Damian needs to mellow out just a little!
Writer: Rob Williams
Artists: V. Ken Marion & Ray McCarthy
It is time to forge a new Trinity of heroes.
A mystic trinity consisting of John Constantine, Zatanna & Deadman are summoned to a mysterious location only to be greeted by Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
They reveal that three foes have attacked them and that they captured one before he could evade them. The Red Hood has become possessed by some evil force and the heroes need magic to save him.
Red Hood magically sucks in Deadman & Zatanna leaving only Constantine behind and the information that the Pandora Pits are behind their current woes.
Under duress from Superman, Constantine follows his team mates into Red Hood’s magic vortex. Bizarro and Artemis appear, now the pawns of Circe and Ra’s Al Ghul attacking the heroes.
It is a race against time for the mystic trinity and if they fail, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman will die!
No time wasted here!
I had earlier complained about the Unholy Trinity arc not being followed up and then once they decided to pick things up, they really put their foot on the gas!
The mystic trinity is not something I had thought about but it makes perfect sense to have these three put together. The artwork, its layouts, inking and colouring are like an explosion of energy. I’ve never really seen Circe as a threat but that is fast changing and so far Williams seems to want to escalate the threat and the stories significance – I applaud his ingenuity.
WONDER WOMAN #28
Writer: Shea Fontana
Artist: David Messina
Diana struggles with the mortality of those around her, as her old friend Etta is discharged from hospital.
The Amazon tries her best to care for her friend but normal life is not something they are used to. Luckily for uncomfortable heroes, an assassin fires a sniper rifle into Etta’s apartment and action calls. Wonder Woman springs into action and with Etta’s help they are able to bind the mystery foe with the lasso and get the answers they need. Someone wants Diana’s body, dead or alive.
A crow, a messenger from Apollo, warns Diana that more assassins are on the way but as the two women flee more bounty hunters arrive and they won’t stop till they get their prize.
Not much substance to the issue aside from two long dramatic scenes that play out over a high page count.
The drama serves to accentuate the bond between Etta and Diana but the assassination attempt fell a little flat.
The balance was off between action and drama and thus the paper thin fight didnt feel strong enough until the moment Etta saves Diana’s life.
I wish we could have kept the art consistent, it’s a personal bug bear when the creative team switched up mid story arc.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #27
Writer: Bryan Hitch
Artist: Fernando Pasarin
They are skeptical at first but the Justice League experience a plethora of emotions as they realise these visitors from the future really are their children.
Hunter has no love for Wonder Woman revealing that he was fostered by the Kents after his mother abandoned him for being a boy. Simon Baz discovers he will kill Sinestro and lead the Yellow Lanterns one day, Mera discovers her daughter will become the Queen of Oceania, Cyborg discovers his child is half an evolved Mother Box and Jessica is stunned to find she has triplets with Barry!
As they all try to acclimatise to the changes thrust upon them Bruce is busy elsewhere analysing data.
Curry time travels back hunting for the children and beats Batman to a pulp.
Will he complete Sovereigns orders and kill the junior Leaguers?
Now that the who’s who is settled this issue and more of the story has played out, we finally have all the pieces of the puzzle in place.
It was a little schmaltzy at the start but as we met Hunter we saw there was more to the characters than just who their parents were.
Of course it is fun to explore and to see how things move forwards but I am not sure I like the future being preset. The timeline specifics may all change now that the Justice League have knowledge of their own future and of course Curry arriving from the future with a mission from Sovereign but Hitch has outdone himself this time.