COMIC BOOK REVIEWS: DC ROUND UP WEEK 09-28-2016

– by Jeremy Scully

COMIC BOOK REVIEWS: DC ROUND UP WEEK 09-28-2016

This week begins New York Comic Con! And your faithful comic book reviewer will be attending and looking to get as many scoops, interviews and photos possible! How does DC Comics look going into this week’s releases and Comic Con line up? Let’s take a look!

 

ACTION COMICS #964

STORY: Dan Jurgens ART: Patrick Zircher, Tomeu Morey

Review: So this is supposed to bring things back to the “status quo” for Superman. Ummm…I guess? Essentially Pre-Flash Point Supes brings current mystery “normal” Clark Kent the fortress of solitude. There Superman begins to inspect Clark to see just how the heck this is all possible. The final conclusion seems to be that indeed this is legit Clark Kent and The Superman of New 52 was impersonating as Clark to protect him from a dangerous organization. Now of course none of this can be true unless DC and Dan Jurgens wants everyone to forget Grant Morrisons early run in Action Comics (which established the early history of Clark becoming Superman). I’m sure this is another “this Clark is from a different dimension/reality” storyline brewing, because if it isn’t then this series just jumped the shark a few issues in.

Score: B

BATGIRL #3

STORY: Hope Larson ART: Rafael Albuquerque COLORS: Dave McCaig

REVIEW: So Barbara gets her batt butt handed to her by a trained MMA fighter. It’s because she was “caught off guard” due to the fighters tat, (which Barbara recognizes from a previous fight with a masked assailant). Look, I get what Hope Larson is trying to go for here with Bab’s trying to discover herself on this journey and become a better vigilante, but this character has taken some crazy hits before and walked away fine. This time it’s like a truck ran her over, then a sledgehammer came down on her. It’s just a bit ridiculous is all. Still, the series gives a nice light hearted vibe and while not my favorite for Babs (see Batgirl and the Birds of Prey) I’m still digging it and will keep reading!

Score: B

BATMAN BEYOND: REBIRTH #1

STORY: Dan Jurgens ART: Ryan Sook, Tony Avina, Travis Lanham

REVIEW: So this wasn’t really the best hashed out Rebirth. For a “jumping” on point it does little to fill readers into what’s been happening in the Batman Beyond world during the recent series. Instead we the back story of how Terry McGuinnes became Batman, which almost anyone reading this book would problably know since let’s face it, how many people are lining up to suddenly NOW get into Batman Beyond having never watched one episode of the animated series? If you watched any episode you’re already more caught up then what Jurgens does here. Instead we have a returning Batman who was mysterious take away by a villain (again could have happened in previous series, I have no idea) The Jokers Gang (yes he has a gang, no explanation, which is fine if you watched the show, but then why bother giving only SOME of the origin if Jurgens is relying on the fact readers have at least watched one episode?) seem to be making some big moves and Batman has to stop them. It’s simple enough, but bogged down by pointless exposition which could have been used much better. Will this be a sleeper hit? I doubt it, but if you’ve got the Batman Beyond itch, then this will scratch it.

Score: B-

 BLUE BEETLE #1

STORY: Keith Giffen Art: Scott Kolins, Romulo Fajardo Jr, Josh reed

REVIEW: This book is boring. Second series to get dropped (See Cyborg for #1). There’s nothing about this Ted Kord that makes me like him, and there is even less about Jamie Reyes that makes me like him. Over all, it’s just a dull series that will probably fail just like the previous Blue Beetle series did.

Score: C+

DEATHSTROKE #3

STORY: Christopher Priest ART: Joe Bennett, Belardino Brabo, Mark Morales, Jeromy Cox, and Willie Shubert

REVIEW:  So Slade comes off a little creepy here when you realize he watches his grown daughter sleeping in bed with her boyfriend. So yeah, this is the Deathstroke and Ravager team up issue. We get to see Slade being hard on Ravager, and a little bit of her unique ability to seemingly see a few seconds into her future (which helps a lot to avoid bad situations). Priest doesn’t hold back the punches, and Bennett delivers some strong action sequences letting Deathstroke continue to look super impressive. I still have no idea what the end game is to this story, or who or what may or may not be manipulating/attacking Slade but hey each issue is fun so I’ll stick it out!

Score: B+

 DETECTIVE COMICS #941

STORY: James Tynion IV, Steve Orlando ART: Andy MacDonald

REVIEW: More Monster Men! The Bat team continues to fight to take down the creatures attacking Gotham, and while most of this issue feels like “filler” there is an interesting development of something attacking the refugees in the caves, and something bad happens to Nightwing and Gotham Girl.

Score: B+

 FLASH #7

STORY: Joshua Williamson ART: Carmine Di Giandomenico, Ivan Plascencia, and Steve Wands

REVIEW: Godspeed could have been such a great character, instead he just sort of falls into the “I’m angry I have powers, I’ll get revenge! You’ll see I do this better than you!” storyline that’s been happening. Honestly, I’d have liked Godspeed to kidnap Flash, replace him, and become a much more violent hard core Flash to get his point across. Let him kill off a few C level Rogues, and the world think Flash has gone intense! Instead this is a bit cookie cutter story wise and character wise. I guess I just expected something darker from Joshua Williamson.

Score: B-

 FROSTBITE #1

STORY: Joshua Williamson ART: Jason Shawn Alexander, LUIS NCT, and Steve Wands

REVIEW: You know those stories where it’s a dystopian future, and humanity has created an ice age because of ignoring global warming, and there are caste systems, and people struggling just to get by? Well if you read anything like that, you’ve read Frostbite. It’s not saying anything new, and it’s a story of getting from point A to point B carrying precious cargo, that everyone wants and will be trying to kill the characters for. If you like those “how can they possibly make it!??” stories, then keep on reading, if you’re a little burnt out from it then maybe this isn’t for you. I will say the art by Jason Alexander is pretty tight, and fits Williamson’s storytelling. I’ll probably follow this for another issue or two and see where it goes.

Score: B

 HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #5

STORY: Robert Venditti ART: Ethan Van Sciver, Jason Wright

REVIEW: Hal gets caught up to speed by Soranik as he recovers from his injuries. Guy gets tortured by Sinestro, and Jon decides the GLs will go after their missing comrade without any Intel! Luckily the GLs run into an armada of space aliens looking to attack the Sinestro Corps. So there will be one big battle coming soon as everyone appears to be ready to converge on War World and strike at the Yellow Lanterns.  The other big development is how Hal himself seems to be transforming into a contruct, a being made of pure willpower. Last but not least, Ethan Van Sciver delivers the art this issue and wow! He’s just so damn good at drawing GLs!

Score: B+

 HELLBLAZER #2

STORY: Simon Oliver ART: Moritat, Andrew Szymanowicz

REVIEW: Not much happens here other than some setup. Swamp Thing wants to save Abigail Arcane who’s under the control of the ROT (a bad place) so he will be heading there with Mercury, while John Constantine sort of talks with a bunch of different people, gets stalked by two “seemingly” human beings (obviously they aren’t from the story) all for something I have no idea about. I guess John doesn’t either. So, yeah, not a lot happens here other than the set up for next issue and the rest of the story.

Score: B-

 SUICIDE SQUAD #3

STORY: Rob Williams ART: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair

REVIEW: UGH! Why do I keep reading this series? I know, it’s the team up and Jim Lee on art. Still, it was cool watching Boomerang get wasted by Zod. How the team will defeat Zod, is beyond me. Technically speaking every one of them should be dead already. Like I know Croc is strong but from an insane Zod, he shouldn’t be taking ANY punches. This isn’t Superman holding back and realizing his own strength. This is, Zod who wants to kill these insects. Somehow Rick Flagg can “subdue” and hold Zod back. Really? Rick Flack, normal every human in good shape is able to move and hold back the Ultra intense powered up Kryptonian Zod. Ok.

Score: C+ (Only because of Jim Lee)

 TEEN TITANS: REBIRTH #1

STORY: Ben Percy ART: Jonboy Meyers, Jim Charalampidis

REVIEW: This series picks up after the recent Teen Titans series (which I stopped reading a long time ago, so a bit lost here), and also after the death of Tim Drake in Detective Comics. My guess, based on Raven’s appearance here is that this will also take place after her solo series. So, I’m assuming at the end of the previous Teen Titans series, all the character scattered across the states. Now, someone is picking them off one by one, kidnapping them for some purpose! Who’s kidnapping them? What will the new Teen Titans team look like? You’ll have to read to find out! Trust me, Ben Percy is a strong writer, and Jonboy is astounding with the art (also check out his short stint on Spawn!) Jim Charalampidis’s colors complement Jonboy’s lines perfectly and I really hope this team stays on for a while.

Score: A

 TITANS #3

STORY: Dan Abnett ART: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Andrew Dalhouse, and Carlos M. Mangual

REVIEW: I know Dan Abnett wants us to care about Kadabra, as if he’s some super dangerous villain and a real nemesis to the Titans. I just don’t! He’s silly looking and sounding, and I’m already annoyed that the Dr. Manhattan tie in has seemingly been moved away for Kadabra to be the reason the Titans have forgotten everything and Wally’s disappearance from the New 52. That said, the story is fine and Brett Booth knockins it out of the park on the art so this series remains on my to read list for now.

Score: B

 WONDER WOMAN #7

STORY: Greg Rucka ART: Liam Sharp, Laura Martin,and Jodi Wynne

REVIEW: The not so epic conclusion to “modern” storyline for Wonder Woman. I’m not really sure why the storyline is called “The Lies”, as it really just centers around one lie said by the evil god Urzkartaga. Diana has to save Trevor from Cadulo who wants Urzy to possess him (not sure what Cadulo gets out of this) and in turn kill Steve Trevor and unleash chaos on the earth (ya know, typical hopes and dreams). Thankfully Wonder Woman and Cheetah show up and figure out a way to save the day but with a very unforeseen consequence! Ruck and Sharp are a dynamic team, and thanks to Laura Martin and Jodi Wynne even silly stories like this one really come off as great. I just hope the next follow storyline has a bit more of Wonder Woman being well…Wonderful!

Score: B+

So that’s everything folks, a bit of a lackluster week for DC to be honest. A few storylines wrapped up leaving the door open for what comes next, while others muddled onward. Still, I’ll read any one of these issues over some of the junk Marvel is dishing out these days! What books are you holding on too and what books have you given up on? Anyone attending NYCC? Sound off in the comments below!

-Jeremy Scully

Follow me on Twitter @LRM_JEREM

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