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COMIC BOOK REVIEWS: DC COMICS ROUND UP WEEK 09-07-2016

DC COMICS continues having some soft retcons in their Rebirth line up. This time around Cyborg is the center of attention, getting a new creative team and focus. Does it work? Will this be the time for Cyborg to pick up steam with a potential film still looming in the distance? Read on to find out!

 

AQUAMAN #6

STORY: Dan Abnett ART: Andrew Hennessey, Brad Walker COLORS: Gabe Eltaeb

REVIEW: Did someone not inform Dan Abnett this isn’t the same Clark that was introduced when The New 52 first started! This Superman seems very familiar with Arthur, so much so Arthur has no problem airing some of his more insecure issues with Big Blue. The exchange was awkward, and full of weird contradictions that just didn’t make sense for the characters. Superman says he’s not a puppet and he came to talk things out, but then goes on to threaten and demand actions from Arthur on behalf of the U.S. Government? Arthur wants a peaceful resolution but instead of trying to explain it to Superman (who could help him) he HAS to do it on his own and gets really emotionally testy with Clark. A needless confrontation takes place, and it ends with what can only be summed up as Aquaman stating to Mera “I better get this under control or Superman is gonna whoop my butt!”. So yeah, not liking this take on Aquman at all. Oh did I mentioned it is yet another artist change up?

Score: B-

BATMAN #6

STORY: Tom King ART: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado

REVIEW: After the big conclusion to last issue, Tom King shows us the mental and emotional affects the loss of her brother is having on Gotham Girl. Still affected by the Psycho-Pirate, Gotham Girl has developed a sort of “imaginary” version of her brother whom she is still talking to while undergoing some extreme physical changes. In what appears to be a suicide rude, Gotham Girl continues to use her powers to stop crime (mostly silly super C list villains) which slowly is killing her. Batman, knowing all about grief does his best to try to figure out a way to help her and stop her at the same time. Veteran and superstar artists Ivan Reis and Joe Prado pick up where David Finch left off and continue to make BATMAN the premier star book of DC Comics! Every panel is beautifully illustrated and even the mundane seems really wonderful. Bottom line, Batman is a top-notch title with King on board as writer and he’s going to continue working with the best artistic talent DC has to offer! Pick up this book!

Score: A

CYBORG: REBIRTH #1

STORY: John Semper Jr. ART: Paul Pelletier, Sandra Hope, and TonyKordos COLORS: Guy Major

REVIEW: So I read this book fairly recently and already I think I’ve forgotten 90% of it. That’s how boring it was. Yes, you get the standard Rebirth “catch up” storyline along with beginnings of the plot of the bigger series but either way I still kind of don’t care. Victor Stone is a boring character, and this time around new series writer John Semper Jr. does little to give any more life or “character” to Cyborg. The origin story gives us everything from parents first meeting, the death of his mother, and the events that led to him becoming Cyborg from JLA #1 in the new 52 launch for DC COMICS. So far that seems to be the only connection between this series and previous volumes. The large art team does well to keep the book looking ok, but even then nothing is particular standing out as an amazing panel or splash page. It’s all just “fine”.  I don’t really blame this creative team either, many have tried and all have failed to work with Cyborg. Put simply, he needs a total reboot, a completely changing of personality (which he greatly lacks) to stand out and not feel like the Duex Ex Machina of the Justice League (meaning they are in a jam and wow look at that Cyborg somehow can create/orfind using his tech the one thing they really need to turn the tide!). Where this series goes from here, it appears to do with another potential Cyborg, which might prove interesting. I’ll give it another issue but I can see this one dropping fast!

Score: C+

GREEN ARROW #6

STORY: Benjamin Percy ART: Stephen Byrne

REVIEW: After a bunch of Oliver heavy issues, Benjamine Percy take some time to look more into his step sister Emiko! She’s pretty badass and much more interesting of a character the sister from the Arrow TV series. I kind of wish the show could have followed this plot (they are similar, but the book is already doing it better). She’s the daughter of Oliver’s real father and Shado (a female assassin). Emiko was raised by martial arts master Komodo (not a good person btw!) and can really hold her own. New artist Stephen Byrne is totally different from Juan Ferreyra, and it works perfectly! This is a new tale, a new adventure and now is an ok time to bring in a new artist (unlike how some of the other DC series have handled switching up artist). Bryne has a much more cartoony style, but it lends itself perfectly to the story of Emiko and her early days living and training with Oliver. Green Arrow continues to be the stand out new hit series from the Rebirth line up, and the new storyline by Percy “Sins of the Mother” proves it will continue to be an amazing book!

Score: A

HARLEYQUINN #3

STORY: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti ART: Bret Blevins, Chad Hardin, and John Timms

COLORS: Alex Sinclair and Hi-Fi

REVIEW: Ok, I don’t get this series. I think it’s for a very specific Harley Quinn fan base. I’m not it. I don’t get the humor of “Red Tool” losing his arm and now he has the arm of a serial public masturbator (haha?) it’s not in any continuity I know of, as this issue has Harley and Ivy taking a shower together (I guess it’s a hot scene for fans?) the supporting cast of character’s just seem weird for the sake of weird. I dunno, stuff happens I don’t care. I’ll be dropping this series despite the great artwork from Chad Hardin and the covers by Conner.

Score: C

JUSTICE LEAGUE #4

STORY: Bryan Hitch ART: Jesus Merino COLORS:  Alex Sinclair

REVIEW: So the already kind of a mess series loses its one shinning aspect which is Tony Daniels on art duty. No disrespect to Jesus Merino, but he just isn’t Tony Daniels. This story is a mess, with so many supposed interconnecting storylines that just aren’t going anywhere, full of characters acting completely different then how they were depicted in their own series (definitely looking at Superman here), and strange cosmic (maybe?) beings that seem to be responsible for earth’s heroes powers? What? Including Flash’s speed, so what does that make the Speed Force? It’s very confusing, doesn’t seem well plotted, and I just get this feelingDC Comics was like “Woah Bryan Hitch you’re a huge deal, here take our flagship title and just do whatever the heck you want! No questions asked!” and now we got this, the main series of the company that is dull and awkward. Is it too late for a reboot?

Score: C+

NIGHTWING #4

STORY: Tim Seeley ART: Javier Fernandez COLORS: Chris Sotomayer

REVIEW: The “Better than Batman” storyline continues, as we finally get the big confrontation between Nightwing and Raptor vs. the Parliament of Owls. The plot is set up well by Tim Seeley, but I thought the moment with Raptor “losing blood fast from a punctured femoral artery” then suddenly being ok with a quick blood transfusion was kind of silly. What was the point of the dramatic “goodbye” moment just to have literally less than a page later Raptor is perfectly fine and running from the imminent threat of the Owl man/creature. Still Seeley sets up some awesome scenes for artist Javier Fernandez to absolutely kill! Thanks also to the super colors by veteran Chris Sotomayer! There are many talented colorists out there, and almost all of them are working at DC right now. With this storyline mostly wrapped up (a slight cliffhanger at the end involving Raptor) the series is primed for its part in the upcoming “Monster Men” crossover with Batman. Dick Grayson fans should definitely be reading this series, and anyone who wants a fun series to start picking up, go back and grab Rebirth #1 and catch up on this series!

Score: B+

SUPERGIRL #1

STORY: Steve Orlando ART: Brian Ching , Michael Atiyeh

REVIEW: It’s pretty clear DC Comics wants to forgo everything that took place in the Supergirl New 52 series. Steve Orlando didn’t address any of it in the Rebirth issue and now here in the new series there is only a vague one off panel tying into the early issue of that series. Here it seems (from what I’ve been told by fans) the comic is trying to mimic aspects of the show in tone, and sort of reworking the history and persona of the character. We have Supergirl, being forced to take the civilian guise of Kara Danvers with Human parents, all orchestrated by an organization called the D.E.O. (Dept. Extranormal Operations). Thanks to the D.E.O. Supergirl has seemingly regained lost powers (something I’m guessing that happened before Rebirth #1 in the previous Supergirl series). Cameron Chase is the Director of the D.E.O . and has assigned Supergirl her parents as well as the person giving Kara orders. This time around, writer Steve Orlando has Kara doing her own thing taking down some terrorists and thugs, but getting in trouble for acting outside her “orders”. So it’s established there will be a “you don’t control me” “yes we do” dynamic between Supergirl and the D.E.O. That type of story has worked before and can possibly carry this series for a bit, but hopefully it won’t get too annoying with a constantly “you can’t do that!” “yes I can!” argument. I’d also like to see how the series addresses Kara’s cousin, Superman’s apparent Death and Return (the current pre-new 52 Superman! Confusing I know!). The big reveal here is that the Cyborg Superman of this world is Kara’s father and he’s here to take over! Can Supergirl stop him? Stay tuned for next issue! And I will if Brian Ching stays on art duty! He nails this take on Supergirl and captures the fun young innocent version of the character. His facial expressions are top notch, and his action sequences also bring a lot of impact with them! He could be a break out star with this series, so keep reading folks!

Score: B+

SUPERMAN #6

STORY: Patrick Gleason, Peter Tomasi ART: Mick Gray, Patrick Gleason

COLORS: John Kalisz

REVIEW:  Can Patrick Gleason and Peter Tomasi work on like every book? They had to me the best run with GL Corps and, Batman and Son, and now Superman! They just handle characters so well in storylines and the artwork of Gleason is top notch! Please DC Comics keep them on this book for the entire run! Let them have an epic series of stories! Here we get the big conclusion with a huge battle between Superman and The Eradicator (Oh Eradicator, if only you have better “people” skills), and the big lead up to Jon Kent officially being introduced as Superboy! (get ready for World’s Finest readers! Here are the beginnings of it all!). An excellent conclusion despite some silly moments (Bruce handled the use and destruction of his moon base pretty well) to a fantastic storyline. I’d love for them to somehow bring back Eradictor as a hero character again, the more “punisher” like version of Superman would be awesome. Who knows, but hey a guy can dream! Regardless I’m down for whatever storyline they bring next and Superman will continue to be a must read series for me.

Score: A

Anyone going to NYCC? What are you excited to see and learn? Any questions for the DC Comics Creators? SOUND OFF BELOW!

-Jeremy Scully

Follow me on twitter @LRM_JEREMY