We begin with the ending.
Endings on several levels, as stories come to a close, time loops are closed, dimensions are saved, and some lives reach their final destination. You can read through and discover which means which, but that’s part of the adventure.
As some things end, others begin anew and again that too has levels to it you would need to read to believe. Both angles left me emotionally shattered! What will you be like?
This is my look into the DC Universe this week!
JUSTICE LEAGUE #29
Writer: Bryan Hitch
Penciller: Fernado Pasarin
Inkers: Oclair Albert and Andy Owens
The Aquaman of the future abducts several members of the League.
Superman, Flash and Cyborg are all incapacitated in surprise attacks while the future children of the League plot to kill Wonder Woman.
Batman, meanwhile, is tracking the future Arthur after his tech from the Batcave is stolen, but comes face to face with a very angry Lois Lane.
Elsewhere, future Arthur tracks down Mera and his daughter and reveals to them a portal allowing Sovereign to invade our time.
The story is gathering pace and becoming more enjoyable by the minute.
The characterisations are all just as they should be. I especially enjoyed the scenes between Lois & Batman and Arthur & Mera; extremely well written and in keeping with the storyline. I would have liked to get to know the children a little better before they embarked on their mission as I feel we’ve only scratched the surface of their potential.
I mentioned this in the column before, but the writing has been a little uneven in previous stories so to see it climax in this way is great, a tangible pay off with a memorable storyline. The art is fantastic, a little busy at times, but thoroughly entertaining and packing a definite punch.
SUPER SONS #8
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Jorge Jimenez
Picking up immediately after last issue, Jon and Damian are pulled from our Earth into another dimension.
There they discover they are on the living planet, Ygarddis and meet two heroines named Hard Line & Big Shot.
It seems Kraklow in this dimension uses his magic clay for good and that the girls are friends with him, a far cry from the maniac from our Earth.
The girls help the boys escape detection and to a secret camp to recuperate.
Ygarddis somehow takes control of the heroes from Big Shot’s planet and has turned them into an army.
The target for their attack? Anyone in a cape!
The action is literally flipped on its head as the boys are sucked into another dimension and meet two superhero girls. We meet a darker version of Mogo The Sentient Planet named Ygarddis.
Does this mean there is a species of planets out there? That could be interesting.
I think I need to get to know Hard Line & Big Shot a bit more before I can decide whether I like them. Things have been too fast to really make a good judgement about these superhero girls and their ally Kraklow, who is very different from the one we just met. Jimenez’ art is fantastic with an exuberant feel that fits the title well. Some of the panels look great but the digital backgrounds were a little overpowering.
Writer: Tim Seeley
Penciller: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Andrew Hennessy
METAL continues as the evil Batman gives Mr. Freeze one of the mysterious playing cards.
Flashforward to now and we rejoin Green Arrow, Robin, Harley, Killer Croc and Nightwing racing through a snow storm battling monstrous frost giants.
Elsewhere, The Teen Titans are battling monsters of their own. A group of warped teenagers resembling Robin and the Joker in one are raising hell in the city.
Meanwhile, fighting through the storm, Dick and the others stumble upon a cache of armour and weapons that just might give them the edge against Freeze.
Dark versions of The Teen Titans and Suicide Squad are released from a secret location and they have murder on their minds.
Maximum Carnage stretched me to the limit many years ago. It put me off of reading Spider-Man for a long while. It didn’t help that the animated series then followed suit.
METAL, unfortunately, feels like it is doing the same but this time for the DC Universe. It may well be the greatest story ever told in comics, I doubt it, but it might. The problem I have is so far it has completely overtaken the comics it is tied into.
The story doesn’t even do the courtesy of leading the story with the books main cast, Teen Titans last week and now, Nightwing. The story continues directly after Teen Titans but to be honest, very little happens beyond the heroes arming themselves with special weaponry and armour. The artwork has some nice moments to shine, especially when Mr. Freeze reveals himself with his new abilities.
Still, after the great story in Nightwing’s last few issues, this feels quite disappointing.
INJUSTICE 2 #10
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciller: Daniel Sampere
Inker: Juan Albarran
Batman and Wildcat decide to go after Damian and Alfred while the others in Batgirl’s team plan to save the children.
Plastic Man and Plas Jr. masquerade as Ra’s Al Ghul to meet the captives and with the help of Harley they try to escape.
Unfortunately, Orca and Killer Croc have other ideas.
The evil Batman joins them and tries to detonate Harley’s Suicide Squad failsafe. However when it doesn’t go off, another hero reveals himself.
Wildcat buys them time to escape with his fighting prowess, but when he falls, one of the children reveals a secret super power that will change things forever.
That scene with Harley up close and personal with Batman was brilliant, a very gutsy move and very much in keeping with the ‘Injustice Universe’.
The scenes with Ted fighting for the children were brutal, heroic and devastating, I had to stop to take a breath seeing how they played out. It only proves how high the stakes are in this book and how far they can take things. If you want to read a book that is familiar, yet pushes the envelope, sometimes to the brink… this is for you.
The artwork feels slightly restricted to the digital format, perhaps only noticeable if you are looking with scrutiny but the line work is clean, bold and eye catching.
Those Wildcat scenes though might leave you a little crushed.
HARLEY QUINN #28
Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner
Penciler: John Timms
Inker: Tom Derenick
The corrupt mayor and his manipulative assistant are licking their wounds after their plot to kill Harley and her friends failed.
Meanwhile, Harley visits the fight club to rustle up support for her master plan; to take down a criminal gang!
As the press arrive to question Spoonsdale about the raid, Harley, to everyone’s shock announced her plan to run for Mayor.
DePerto isn’t taking the news well and calls on a criminal ally… Jonathan Crane, aka The Scarecrow!
The writing is brilliant, full of one liners and character.
The dialogue masks the fact there isn’t much in the way of story this issue, but that really doesn’t matter because the book is bursting at the seams with tongue in cheek humour.
The plot is moved forward with Mayor DePerto’s plan to eliminate his rival and all her friends. I am not sure how he is linked to Scarecrow but I am certainly excited to see how this is going to go down especially now Harley’s candidacy is public.
GREEN LANTERNS #31
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Ronan Cliquet
Baz, armed with four Green Lantern rings, wasted no time in fighting Volthoom.
Another Lantern falls in the process, but Volthoom finally falls into a trap and Jessica forces him to listen to reason and he finally see things differently.
He begs for the Green Lanterns’ help to return home but before they can help, the Guardians of Oa arrive and confiscate all the rings.
Jessica’s ring refuses to obey the Guardians as it is from the future and she reveals to them that one day there will be hundreds of Lanterns, not seven.
Volthoom swears to one day seek revenge against the Guardian Rami. The fallen Lantern also activated Jessica’s ring and because of the mercy they showed him he sends them back to our time.
Back in the present Simon is gifted a ring once more from an unlikely source but their mission in the past has meant they have a new mission and have set two new ‘old’ friends on a mission of their own.
The adventures in time come to a close in spectacular and unexpected fashion with Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz finally getting the respect they deserve.
How everything plays out is actually very clever and not how I thought it would all turn out. There are generally two types of time travel adventures; ones where whatever they do, nothing changes when it’s over; and one where they inadvertently cause their own future.
Neither is true here, and that is a great twist.
It also means Jessica and Simon are in possession of the original rings forever linked to Volthoom.
They also altered history for two characters that were destined to fall and made them integral to the future of the Corps.
GREEN ARROW #31
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Otto Schmidt
The ace up the Ninth Circle’s sleeve is finally revealed… a satellite base with all their resources on board.
As Ollie takes on the super powered guardian within, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash & Green Lantern all race to aid their friend.
Meanwhile, Black Canary and Emiko rescue Wendy from the villainous Auctioneer.
Ollie doesn’t do things by halves and his methods mean the entire League is needed to take down the Ninth Circle. In the aftermath, the pantheon of heroes make Ollie an offer many heroes would die for. Will he say yes or no?
If you told me thirty one issues later that this is where we’d be, you could have knocked me down with a feather.
Ollie has been been self destructive, pig headed, aggressive, arrogant and a constant rule breaker.
And now? Well nothing has changed, except that he has shown the world that he is as true a hero, deep down, as Superman.
It has been a long road and the Ninth Circle have ensured it was a rocky one, but if you stuck with it I’m sure you’ll agree this was a more than fitting finale.
Green Arrow is finally recognised as a hero amongst his peers and I couldn’t be happier! The frenetic art suited the epic fight scenes and that rescue! The scene in The Watchtower may have played out just as I thought they would, but it is definitely nice that Ollie is being treated like he should be!
CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE #12
Writers: Jon Rivera & Gerard Way
Artist: Michael Avon Oeming
Is this the end of Whisperer?
To save this alternate earth, Chloe gives her ‘mother’ one final gift and with it Mazra saves all of Muldroog.
The threat to the multiverse is finally over. EBX is dead but there are still loose ends to tie up.
The alternate Cave reveals he has been creating a series of upgrades for the cybernetic eye, so his twin has full control of it, as well as new skills.
He also reveals that he has created a newer even more powerful Mighty Mole.
The visitors prepare to return home, say some emotional goodbyes and of course sneakily steal the new Mole for new adventures.
Cave Carson is creatively one of the best books DC is putting out right now.
The art has been consistently superb and bizarre in equal measure and so has the writing. For many a reader it might be too much, but for some that want something off the wall and a little different, this was a dream come true. It has been a long road and this could have been the final issue for many a title ,but this book is ‘the little engine that could’.
Get the back issues, you won’t regret it! I am a little nervous to see where this might go now that their story is over, but I definitely want more. DC don’t let these guys go!!
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Fernando Blanco
On a secret mission from Batman, Kate is now stranded in the Sahara desert.
Batwoman has been hunting down the Many Arms Of Death; ‘The Knife’ in Coryana, ‘The Rifle’ in Tehran, ‘The Chain’ in Tokyo, ‘The Torch’ in Mississippi and now ‘The Needle’ in Mali.
A squadron of monsters attack Batwoman before the arrival of a sandstorm. A voice from the past rocks Kate’s resolve and she discovers something manipulated her mind to see monsters, instead of human soldiers.
As Kate realises that the attack on her senses is by an all too familiar villain, her discovery may have come too late.
I’ll be honest, the Lost Year stuff, bores me to tears. Coryana couldn’t be any more dull if it tried and I just want to see Batwoman in action.
It was a fifty-fifty trade off this issue as we have an even split but as the plot is central and the flashbacks a part of the hallucination narrative I can happily enjoy it.
It was great to see things back on track with the secret mission back in focus, because that was genuinely the stronger story.
That cover was a huge spoiler but it looked fantastic as do all the covers for this book so far. The interior art is a little ink heavy but it was really nice. The figure work was very strong though the backgrounds were quite sparse.
This title is still finding it’s feet but each issue is getting stronger, I hope to see Kate tackling more familiar stories soon.