With so many guest stars and cameos this week it is hard to keep track. There is also a lot of traveling – in time, into dimensions and across the globe.
Blue Beetle bids farewell to his creative team, while Wonder Woman welcomes another.
Scooby-Doo and Power Rangers deserve a special mention for pulling out all the stops in the entertainment stakes.
Here’s a glimpse into some of the best offerings from the DC Universe this week!
WONDER WOMAN #31
Children Of The Gods – Part 1
Written by James Robinson
Illustrated by Carlo Pagulayan, Sean Parsons,
Jason Paz, Scott Hanna
Grail, daughter of Darkseid has arrived on Earth to hunt down lifeforce energy for the Lord of Apokolips himself. Grail discovers the whereabouts of the mighty Hercules, and a bloodthirsty battle ensues with only one of them walking away. Elsewhere, probate lawyer Blake Hooper seeks out Wonder Woman with news of an unexpected windfall.
Stunning art and an engaging storyline shifts the direction of the book once more. This time the story moves away from ‘lite’ and straight into an immersive mystery.
A trademark of James Robinson is the depth of his storytelling, and as the book ties into Darkseid’s current dilemma, I am more than a little excited.
THE HELLBLAZER #14
The Inspiration Game: Poetic Justice – Part 2
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Jesus Merino
Detective Chief Inspector Margaret Ames is hot on the trail of a murderer in Kings Cross, St. Pancras, while John returns to the bar where everything went blank for him.
Casting a spell, he relives the night. He makes a discovery that two Nordic dwarves are somehow involved in the crime and may well be following Ames to complete a ritual.
Can John save Ames before the manipulative dwarves escalate their killing spree?
The bacon grease infused magic spell was inspired and having seen things play out in the third person was very clever.
I think I would have liked the crime to remain a mystery for a few issues more, as it gave the story an interesting twist.
I wish some of the dialogue could have been worked on because John seems to continually fall into comedic stereotype.
SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP #30
Did Someone Say “Team” Up?
Writer: Sholly Fisch
Artist: Dario Brizuela
When the Gnome King seeks out two government agents to help gather ingredients for a potion that will save the world,
they do the only thing they can and call the experts.
What they get are two teams that are experts in the supernatural – Mystery Inc & The Challengers Of The Unknown.
During their quest they cross paths with several other teams including the Sea Devils, Team Carson, Secret Six and one final surprise team.
With so many heroes involved, can they put their rivalry aside to save the day?
I never really liked the Challengers Of The Unknown to be honest. Seeing them being in this issue made me think it was going to be a boring story.
How wrong I was! The story was fun and escalated by the cameos of other teams. The Cave Carson nod to the current book was inspired for the parents reading the book. I loved every second.
NIGHTWING: THE NEW ORDER #2
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Trevor McCarthy
Jake Grayson recalls the day Nightwing detonated a gene bomb that erased super powers while under observation at Holt Industries.
The former Mr.Terrific tells Dick about his son’s power surge and his immunity to the inhibitors they use on meta humans in 2040.
Dick is desperate to keep Jake’s powers hidden, but as the armed forces detect meta activity on the Grayson estate,
things take a turn for the worse and the raid results in a fatality.
The art was really strong this issue, with some very evocative storytelling. The same cannot be said of the script.
In comparison to last issue, the writing went nowhere.
There was a long drawn out scene with Alfred trying to force some drama and one that spelt out what we already knew with Mr. Terrific. With only three pages of story advancement, this was a major disappointment.
LOONEY TUNES #239
What’s (Space) Opera, Doc?
Behind The Slapstick
Written by Ivan Cohen, Frank Strom
Illustrated by Robert Pope & Scott McRae,
Pablo Zamboni, Horatio Ottolino,
David Alvarez & Mike Decarlo
The first sees the crew of the U.S.S Activity on a five year mission to explore space. Unfortunately for the crew, their mission proves to be boring, that is, until they face the wrath of Fudd!
Marvin The Martian’s latest plot to conquer Earth involves a giant plant, the Florus Destructus Weed. Unfortunately, the weed proves to be more than Marvin can handle!
Sylvester, Tweety & Granny have entertained the world for years but there is more to their japes than we know, and we get a glimpse of their real lives.
A mixed bag of stories, Marvin’s was the one closest to to classic Looney Tunes fare, but the Tweety story was quite funny too.
I felt the weakest story was the Star Trek homage and it wasn’t helped by the fact that the artwork was quite constricted in panels.
I also don’t think the kids will appreciate the Space Opera story. I assume that one was specially written for the adults.
JUSTICE LEAGUE/POWER RANGERS #6
Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Stephen Byrne
The Rangers may have their Power Coins back, but Brainiac still has control of the Zords.
With the Justice League’s help and a gigantic Alpha 5, the heroes battle Zedd’s evil forces. Cyborg & Billy hatch a master plan but will it be enough to stop Lord Zedd & Brainiac? It will take the might of two super teams to rescue Zordon and save Angel Grove!
As with Batman/TMNT, this Power Rangers crossover delves into both universes, each given equal focus. For fans of either franchise there is much to enjoy but with Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers long ended the nostalgic elements are in full force.
Stephen Byrne’s art feels incredible natural throughout and there are some nice touches that eagle-eyed fans will flip out over.The last page also promises that this isn’t quite the end.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #15
Written by Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Felipe Wantanabe, Ruy Jose
As the heroes converge on Ignition Point and bring Dr. Aut and Ray Palmer together, The Atom remembers the past.
He thinks back to discovering the microverse, meeting Dr. Aut and the beautiful Preon.
Their quest for knowledge leads them to discover a fracture in reality and only they can repair it. They could be the heroes of all reality but what led to Dr. Aut and Palmer falling out?
Please don’t let this be the end of Ray Palmer!
I have always been a fan of his and it has been such a long road to get here that I can’t shake the feeling something terrible is about to happen.
The fact that this issue delved deeper into Ray’s backstory makes me all the more nervous.
The flashback is interesting and shows motive and drive for both Ray and, by extension, Ryan.
Orlando once more proves that the book’s strength is in characterisation and this is definitely the most perilous storyline to date.
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #29
Fall Of The Gods: Conclusion – The Dead Will Rise
Written by Robert Vendetti
Illustrated by Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona
As the Corps try saving Orion, he awakens and reveals the Golems are heading to the Source Wall, intent on releasing Yuga Khan.
Realising the high stakes, John leads the Corps to intercept the Golems. Hal and Highfather race to meet the Corps with a plan to keep Yuga Khan trapped forever.
It may just be me but I felt the story ended disappointingly.
I really enjoyed the build-up, and I know Yuga Khan is the only being that strikes fear into Darkseid, but I just thought his return would have been a bit more epic.
The turnaround to attack the Source Wall felt forced and the shifted the direction at the last minute.
I also didn’t like the Achilles Heel solution to defeating the Golems. It felt a little too easy after their near invulnerability in previous issues.
BLUE BEETLE #13
Written by Keith Giffen,J.M. DeMatteis
Illustrated by Scott Kolins
Teri seeks Jaime’s help to return to 3001, supercharged with Blue Beetle’s energy. When they arrive the land is in the centre of a battle between the Justice League, the Legion of Doom & Lady Styx.
As Teri helps to fight the Legion, Wonder Woman and the Justice League fight Blue Beetle. Flash and Blue Beetle come face to face with Lady Styx and she reveals a shocking secret that propels Teri and Jaime back to the present. What will they do with their newfound knowledge of the future?
While it was cool to revisit 3001 and see the Justice League in action once more and foreshadowing Lady Styx in Blue Beetle’s future, the issue was more a love letter to those characters than a Blue Beetle story. I hope that next issue drives the character into a new direction because Blue Beetle is a title that hasn’t felt like it was living up to its true potential.
Summer Of Lies – Part 2
Written by Hope Larson
Illustrated by Chris Wildgoose, Jose Marzan Jr.
Dick and Barbara join forces and discover from a terrified Jonathan Crane that the Red Queen is at the centre of the mystery.
A doctor in the hospital, seemingly under a spell, reveals herself as the Red Knight and promptly attacks the heroes.
Barbara realises they may know the identity of the Red Queen and tries to think back to their youth for a clue.
As the duo remember their earliest adventures, the mystery becomes even weirder.
A fun look into the past of teen heroes, Batgirl and Robin, their burgeoning relationship and evolution as detectives.
It will be interesting to see who the Red Queen really is and how she ties into their past.
The one thing I would like to see is a move to more detailed art. The inking was figure based and that left the environment lacking.