Digg’n Thru DC You Week 4: Major Score! Checkmate Back In business? Christmas Lantern?? Social Conscience!!

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DC You - Tom King, Tim Seeley & Mikel Janín DC You - Brenden Fletcher & Babs Tarr

Week Four. Sadly, there is no more L At least, not this month 😉 The fun has just begun. We’re in it for the long haul, dear readers!! Eleven more round out the score. There are six solo features and five ensemble pieces. Social consciousness, rollicking adventure, cloak-and-dagger, high-stake reporting, crime fighting through occult means, space-faring stories, and on and on and on. I will end this weekly installment by spotlighting the middle, end, and beginning. It’ll make more sense as you read on. DC You is a wellspring of excitement, a laser beam of refined focus, a clarion to fandom!!

 

ReDo

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GRAYSON #9

“Nemesis” (24 pages) by Tim Seeley & Tom King, Mikel Janín, Jeromy Cox, Carlos M. Mangual

Little Bird is trying to get a hold of Big Bird. Sadly, there’s no response. What’s even more wrenching is that Dick makes a heartfelt plea to Bruce to return to the nest. He pretty much blows his cover by blurting out Bruce’s name. AAAHHH.

The next three pages are a replay of issue number one with Dick taking down an enemy agent while in holo-disguise. There’s a twist here. The ‘victim’ is an operative codenamed Nemesis. Also, after Dick has knocked him unconscious, an unseen assailant clubs the spy to death. News of this reaches Matron, the new head of Spyral. She’s conferring with another super-secret org. They are demanding answers. This is the fifth incident and the M.O. is identical. The ultimatum is delivered: get to the bottom of it or face elimination.

Agents 1 and 37 break into the Prado Museum. They are about to be uninvited to a swanky soirée. There’s some pandering (to use Tim Seeley’s phrasing) regarding Dick’s disguise.

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Two pages are used to show how each of the other four spies were taken out. The other commonality is each organization’s attempt at one-upping Spyral. Matron looks at the footage disheartened and wonders if it’s Dick’s doing. She asks for a sit rep on Agent 37.

Mr. Grayson is the life of the party. He disobeys orders by directly dealing with the target. He dazzles the belle of the ball with his confidence, smooth dance moves, and coyness. He keeps the man of mystery thing going by throwing questions to the Duchess’ questions. She was really swept off her feet! [literally and figuratively] For a suave and debonair guy, he is sorely lacking in stealth. The Duchess immediately notices the big bauble from her necklace has been snatched.

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Matron refuses to acknowledge Dick’s complicity in the killings. A voice tells her that someone is most likely setting him up. If it isn’t her, it has to be someone from within. To her horror, she realizes it’s Agent 1. She needs to communicate with Dick ASAP and is able to get through. Like a good soldier, Dick follows her orders and K.O.’s his so-called partner. The ‘stick guy’ appears. He is ready to ice Agent 1 as the museum guards are closing in. He in turn is taken out by a blunt weapon that matches Dick’s escrima stick. Say it ain’t so!! Like the caption at the end inquires: “Do you know Dick?

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Checkmate? There’s mention of ‘The King’. Is he Faraday? Grifter stands out among the shadows.

Question? Nemesis has tech that is akin to the gas used to conceal Vic Sage’s visage as well as that of Renee Montoya’s.

Ah, shaddap you face! Helena is none too kind at critiquing the former Spyral by labelling it as “sciocco” which is Italian for crazy, foolish, stupid.

Straight-(p)laced: More homoeroticism!! Love it!! Tiger (Agent 1) is so casual about ordering Dick to take off his clothes. Dick fills into those briefs quite nicely. On top of that, he had to use the double-entendre: “Am I straight?” Excellent question! Are you? Being in Spyral, nothing is what it seems. *sigh*

Kryptonite: What Dick Grayson is to hetero women everywhere. Plus, the jewel around the Duchess’ neck.

¿Habla español? Get out that handy dandy app or old-fashioned dictionary/tour guidebook to translate. I don’t need that given my Portuguese-speaking acumen ;-P

Stay tuned: The lyrics predominately above Dick and the Duchess are from “Gypsy Love Song” composed by Victor Herbert and Henry Bache Smith from the Broadway musical The Fortune Teller.

WWWOOOWWW!! Mssrs. King, Seeely & Janin do not disappoint. This tag-team trio triumph!! The plot was moving at such breakneck speed, I could barely keep my head on its shoulders! This is espionage with the ideal use of levity, suspense, derision, and excitement! Dick’s good-natured qualities remain despite his immersion in the undercover world replete with double-crosses. He even apologizes sincerely to Tiger for sucker-punching him. Plus, Helena doesn’t doubt his inherent altruistic alignment. She genuinely worries for his safety. Dick is the epitome of amusement. Even when outed by the Crime Syndicate and attached to a doomsday device, he accepted a fresh lease on life and has embraced his role wholeheartedly. One can balance serious work with jocularity and silliness. Mikel Janín, you know how to cater to the audience. Dick is the latest sex symbol!! Every muscle and sinew in his body should be shared by our ogling eyes @_* Skin aside, the real appeal is in that tux!! Clothes really do make the man! The two-page spread of the ballroom blitz had me applauding and whistling. I hope the one framing Dick isn’t a clone ;-P [9.8/10]

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GOTHAM by MIDNIGHT #6

“Return on Investment” (20 pages) by Ray Fawkes, Juan Ferreyra, Saida Temofonte

The Midnight Shift of the GCPD never rest in sheltering the citizens from eerie occurrences. Unfortunately, tensions are rising and there is risk of fracture. If you can’t trust each other, then all is lost. The unit is being assailed from all ends – within and without. Sister Justine’s death has rocked everyone to their core. Internal Affairs is breathing down Lt. Weaver’s neck. Jim Corrigan is confronted about hosting the Spectre. Lisa Drake has to come to terms with her true nature as an emissary of death. Dr. Tarr distances himself from the group. He was hit hardest by Justine’s noble sacrifice.

The Shift are called to the Powers Corporation. There is a restless spirit (duh!) causing destruction and death within the multi-billion dollar company. Lt. Weaver finds Tarr’s mad scientist routine off-putting. He doesn’t buy into the aloofness nor the eccentricity. The good doctor is left to his own devices investigating a flower with origins unknown. Corrigan and Drake begin their investigation. The grim ghoul has come for CEO Jenner. It is the ghost of George Wooley, a devout employee abused by Jenner’s greed and ambition whose murder was concealed via misappropriation of meds. Jenner’s legit confession puts George at ease and with that, he vanishes. Jenner is relieved that he evades arrest. His smugness irritates Corrigan enough that he will be placed in custody after all where he can fear the return of the man he murdered.

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Lisa asks Jim to make a pact with her. They need to watch each other’s backs and more importantly not speak of their extraordinary abilities. Kate Spencer (Manhunter!) pays a visit to her friend Sam Weaver. She warns him that it isn’t just A.I. after the Shift. Someone has it in pretty badly for the unit. The stakes have just become higher. Dr. Tarr remains in the background oblivious to the conversation. His pet plant has regenerated and is blossoming at an alarming rate.

Pathetic fallacy: Must it always pour during/at/for a funeral?

Who you gonna call? This ain’t Ghostbusters, bub!

Exposed: Corrigan outs Lisa. She is a bain sidhe (banshee) with faerie blood to boot. “Ghostly lady, raises a crooked finger to point, screams, twenty-four hours later you’re dead?

High and not-so-mighty: Tarr is a true scientist. He despises God for allowing Justine to die.

Mr. Fawkes, you are the master of the macabre!! This is the most-under-the-radar hit book in DC’s coffers! Get on it, people!! I purchased the obligatory first issue but couldn’t stop there. The characters are all compelling in their own right! I thought the inclusion of the Spectre would be enough to sell me. Fortunately, the new faces have piqued my interest. What makes this more grounded despite its fantastical approach is that the GCPD created this branch to deal with the unconventional aspects of crime. They are legitimate enough to be under the microscope and have someone threatened by their existence. The five remaining members work together but there is no real unity among them. Too many diverse personalities. Juan Ferreyra is a welcome addition to the title. He gave me the willies with the enlargement of George’s ghost. He is gigantic! He fits right in given his expertise with horror on various Dark Horse books as well as CONSTANTINE before the DC You initiative. I didn’t realize he did the DIVERGENCE sneak peek. Silly me! Guts, gore, and glory! [9/10]

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TEEN TITANS {5th Series} #9

“Rogue Targets, pt. 1” (20 pages) by Will Pfeiffer, Kenneth Rocafort, Dan Brown, John J. Hill

Red Robin and Chimera are hiding out in Chi-Town. They are harboring the fugitive Superboy who just flew off after being stuck indoors for a few days. Chimera thinks it’s too risky to set him free while Red Robin assures her that he can’t be caged. The media are putting their own sensational spin. Beast Boy, Bunker and Raven are casually through the streets but they are recognized. There goes laying low. Manchester Black is confident that the rogue Titans will turn up. One of them will eventually provide the exposure. Raven senses danger and alerts her teammates. Beast Boy morphs and Bunker creates his cubes to save a young woman who has fallen on the L train tracks. Their efforts are upstaged by a timely rescue from Superboy. The public go wild at his appearance. The cop’s dutiful action causes Kon to release heat vision. That is enough for S.T.A.R. Labs to track his energy signature. Black dispatches Wonder Girl’s team. The situation is escalating. Kon grabs his friends and flies them back to the tower. Red Robin begins to chew him out for his rash behaviour when Raven informs them that the others have arrived. On the other side of the door, Cassie confers her squad before entering. Despite the recent schism, the others are still her friends. She plays it tough and busts through the door demanding Superboy’s surrender.

Sum:Two shape-shifters, a telekinetic, an empath and a masked avenger? Not to mention a dangerously, imbalanced, super-powered teenager?” – Manchester knows his Titans!

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Will Pfeifer does not facilitate the adolescents’ lives. As long as they keep adventuring, they know no peace. I haven’t been following the series since reading the first issue but I suppose a tear in the team isn’t that unusual since Manchester Black has questionable motives. How he ‘brainwashed’ WG and her group is beyond me. Chimera is new to me as is her inclusion in RR’s merry band. Mr. Pfeifer’s integration of social media exacerbates with the presence of super-heroes in a world of commonfolk. Ken Rocafort puts Chimera to good use with her morphing abilities, disturbing as they may be. Raven’s empathy creates sympathy since she cannot handle the overwhelming emotions directed at her. The double-page spread of Superboy in flight shows vulnerability for a youth who badly needs acceptance and understanding. The last page featuring Cassandra shows determination and a woman on the warpath. [7/10]

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DEATHSTROKE {2nd Series} #7

“Godkiller” (20 pages) by Tony S. Daniel & James Bonny, Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea, Tomeu Morey, Rob Leigh

 

Slade Wilson has just accepted the most unusual yet lucrative contract of his career – hired by Hephæstus to off an Olympian deity. He is in the midst of mastering the God-Killer sword as obstacles continue to be thrown his way. Victor Ruiz assures Heph of the right candidate once Slade slashes his way through a Titan. Heph is mildly pleased. He finds Slade’s moves predictable and realizes that Slade wasn’t trying hard enough since there was no real threat.

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Slade takes a brief hiatus to visit his daughter Rose. He wants her to pass on a note to her brother Jericho. He has left the massive sac of gold coins for her. Rose wants nothing to do with her messed-up father and burns the note. Heph and Slade arrive on Paradise Island. His target is the Titan Lapetus, exiled in Tartarus. Heph is an intermediary. Someone else wants the supreme being snuffed. The sword acts as a homing device and allows Heph to communicate with him. Slade cuts through some protectors. He is not pleased with the sword dictating his actions. The quarry is found. Lapetus is a statue! Even Heph is caught off-guard by this. The blacksmith points out the trickery of the gods and demands Slade depart. Slade refuses since the blade senses Lapetus within the marble encasement. He lunges forward and shatters it into pieces. There’s a violent chain reaction as chunks attack him. Heph is incommunicado. Slade realizes it was a set-up. His impulsiveness has unleashed a force that threatens Themyscira. If you think logically, its greatest warrior shouldn’t be too far away. Sure enough, Wonder Woman is enraged at Slade’s stupidity and offers him surrender or death!

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Tony Daniel is a crowd pleaser!! I gush over his illustrations and have noticed his progression since writing and drawing BATMAN vol. 1. Mr. Daniel always goes the extra mile broadening his reach to the point that the characters bypass the panels and almost come off the page. He is never satisfied with using minor players. Only the biggest and the best feature in his stories. He combines the most mismatched personages with the greatest of ease. He shares the writing with James Bonny. That is one name I had not yet come across. I am unsure of his contributions but he is in for a hell of a ride! Voicing all my bias, I’m gaga over Wondy’s last page appearance. I look forward to her smacking down Deathstroke!! She has to win. He is on her turf after all and she is also the God of War. [9/10]

 

ReFresh

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SUPERMAN {3rd Series} #41

“Before Truth” (22 pages) by Gene Luen Yang, John Romita Jr., Klaus Johnson, Dean White, Rob Leigh

You sure know how to tease us and keep our tails wagging, Mr. Yang!! The first page serves as nothing more than a teaser of the ‘real truth’ behind the biggest exposé of the century! See what I did there? Going back to the recent past shortly after Clark shared his secret with Jimmy, Mr. Kent gets an anonymous text about an arms deal going down in a high-security science lab. The most sophisticated and advance weaponry is being created by a 3D printer. Clark grabs his best friend and away they investigate!! They are barely in the facility when they are spotted. Superman saves the day but causes enough damage using his solar flare.

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Lois is a relentless bloodhound, always on the scent of the latest scoop. She informs the BFFs that the dealer is Kansas’ latest senator. The article is published, making it a major coup for the Daily Planet. The story doesn’t end there. The unidentified informant shoots Clark another message. He is told to sic the law on a young woman who wants to speak to the mild-manner reporter. Clark is backed into a corner especially when the ‘fan’ produces images of his changes into Superman and vice-versa.

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Clark is visibly upset. He questions Jimmy about any carelessness. I adore Jimmy’s loyalty because there is no question whatsoever he would betray that trust. Nothing ever always goes as planned. The lady in dreadlocks has already arrived and Lois is chatting her up. Clark sticks to his guns and the men in black come for her. Lois is none too pleased. It goes without saying that the agents are anything but. Clark dons a makeshift modern ninja/gangsta outfit (what Jimmy had stashed away for covert missions). He rescues Condesa but not unscathed. The two lawless men shoot at the quartet. The car crashes into a wooden fence leaving us to wonder the severity of Clark’s injuries.

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Verify your source:Anonymous tip.” “Seriously? Those almost never work out.” – Shared consensus between Jimmy and Lois.

Modern menace: I have to hand it to Mr. Yang. What an ingenious way to have Superman test his mettle. 3D printers are the new now and literally anything is possible in what can be created. I scoffed at this a bit but upon re-reading it, I wish I had come up with that!

Pitiful disguise: It’s a seventy-five-year running joke that people can’t see Superman’s visage behind Clark’s spectacle. Lois digs at Jimmy and Clark for not recognizing the Senator sans fake moustache.

Teetotaler: Clark appreciates his micro-brew beer…root beer, that is 😉 Salud!

Wink wink, nudge nudge: Creepiest use of the wink emoji ever!! Clark’s secretive source is pushing the boundaries by coming off as friendly yet forceful.

Some privacy, please! Lois is up in everyone’s face. She thrusts herself into Clark and Jimmy’s by-line, unintentionally met Condesa first, and almost busted Clark’s covert op by magically appearing in the alley. Close calls. So close that the ‘truth’ will set her free.

As already mentioned, Mr. Yang poked fun at all of us. Next issue will have the reveal gain momentum especially since there was reference to it in ACTION #42. Mr. Yang seems to have journalistic trappings. He locks it in with the portrayal of the cast and the hunt for making the facts known to the general public. Mr. Romita Jr. sticks to conventional panels but every single one is replete with information and action. The solar flare sequence sticks out. Its raw power leaves me in awe. Clark is fast and furious in taking down the faux FBI. Supes’ costume has navy blue dominating over the baby blue hue. Symbolic? Clark’s glasses may be fake but the glow from his phone screen really illuminate his eyes [literally and figuratively!] I never thought I’d care enough about Metropolis’ saviour but I’m left anticipating more. [8/10]

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AQUAMAN {5th Series} #41

Terra Incognita” (20 pages) by Cullen Bunn, Trevor McCarthy, Guy Major, Tom Napolitano

The narrative alternates between past and present. Hence, I will tackle them separately.

Arthur finds himself in St. Louis. Not the ideal meeting place since water is scare. The famous Gateway Arch serves a dimensional portal. From it emerge aquatic invaders. He readies for battle. Arthur is holding his own against the numerous opponents. Their leader acknowledges him as the unseated monarch and mocks him for his lack of brutality. Oops! He underestimated the former ruler! Arthur impales him. That action releases mystical energy and restores the touristy city. Arthur doesn’t get to catch his breath since Atlantean authorities are there to arrest him by the queen’s command. He uses his trident and teleports to the Amazon. No wonder Arthur is a hunted man. He is safeguarding survivors from the other-dimensional domain. Despite the threat they pose, he cannot in good conscience turn his back on people in need. [Story ends here]

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Flipping a few pages into the past, Aquaman and his royal guard investigate an abandoned structure that is oozing toxic ink. Arthur brushes up against it and is injured. Time for a hasty retreat. Vulko is brought in to inform the contingent of the situation. He states that it is an ancient genetic disease from another realm that threatens Atlantis’ existence. Of course. Back to a more blissful time. Mera and Arthur are truly happy together. Mr. Bunn, shame on you for teasing us!! Art wants Mera to preside as queen in his absence. She astutely inquires the nature of the semi-proposal.

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Versatility: Arthur’s trident can change into a dagger and acts as a teleportation device. Nifty!

Ozymandias II: I equate Arthur to this fictional king, “a traveller from an antique land”. He can’t go home again.

Start at the beginning: Arthur hits or refers to three A’s: Atlantis, Amnesty Bay, the Amazon.

Like a woman scorned: Arthur realizes the extent of Mera’s anger – “No wonder she’s so pissed.

Mr. Bunn adds another title to his already prolific résumé. This is now his third DC book! My first read of this tale had me ‘lost’. I felt like I was navigating through uncharted territory not really understanding why Arthur has become a stranger in a strange land. Luckily, I’m way too thorough. The second read made me realize the connection between the two halves of the story. Love doesn’t conquer all in this scenario. Duty above all for king queen and country. I have been collecting AQUAMAN since the New 52 but was going to drop it after this. I simply can’t. Arthur is near and dear to me. He’s worthy of the fans’ adoration. At any rate, it’s rather intriguing that another Atlantis exists or existed. Trevor McCarthy is one of many artists privileged enough to give the Sea King a change in wardrobe. The breastplate and arm-guards indicate warrior status while he keeps the ‘clashing’ orange and green for all to recognize the identity. The Atlantean ships resemble mantas: massive and menacing. So much for allegiance. It must be incredibly difficult to illustrate goings-on underwater but Mr. McCarthy distinguishes the players from the background. Arthur is an island!! [8/10]

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FLASH {4th Series} #41

“Yellow” (21 pages) by Robert Venditti & Van Jensen, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Andrew Dalhouse, Pat Brosseau

 

The title of the story evokes memories of Coldplay’s breakout hit. It obviously isn’t alluding to that but to the latest incarnation of Professor Zoom!! He is the ultimate stealth stalker! A brief glimpse into the near future shows Zoom observing his quarry and wanting to strike but realizing that he has to wait it out. Flash is on the losing end of a fight with what looks like an upgraded version of The Turtle(?).

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These back-and-forth trips in time make my head spin!! Barry is adjusting to his living situation with his roomie Hartley. Personally speaking, roommates are hell and they never work out. Off to work. Barry visits his dad in Iron Heights. He has breaking news for his father: the name responsible for his mother’s murder is Thawne. Henry Allen snaps at his son. He regains his composure and begs Barry to drop the matter. Barry has to accept that his dad took the fall for the crime. Double Down has an altercation with Henry. DD tells Henry that Zoom is coming and hasn’t neglected father and son as targets. Police protection will only get Henry so far. Henry then approaches Black Mold, Girder, and Mogul. They are at his beck and call. Barry tells his adopted dad Darryl Frye of the exciting lead. Darryl cautions him. News of the latest ‘super’ breaks through the police scanner. Barry bolts into action. Flash makes quick work [pun intended!] of the perp with Zoom observing. Henry is coerced(?) into organizing a breakout with the trio in his cell. They manage to escape. Henry is enraged and determined to protect Barry at all costs. As he utters this, a split image of Flash and Zoom is above him with lightning crackling. My father, my enemy???

Sex appeal: That shower scene with Barry. MMMHHH. My, how times have changed! I’m not complaining 😉

Schizo: I have a sneaky suspicion that Henry Allen is the new Zoom but he doesn’t know it, or isn’t willing to let out his dark side!! While the writing’s on the wall and the indicators could be a red yellow and black herring, the wheels are turning in my mind. His freak-out on Barry, the way Double Down addresses him, how Henry resorts to the metas for help, the disturbing image of Zoom above his head, etc. This would definitely upset Flash’s world and create a disturbing dynamic worthy of Greek and Shakespearean tragedies, as well as Marvel’s more grounded storytelling.

Schizo II: Is Barry housing his antithesis without even realizing it?? He shoots a glare at Hartley’s rat which goes beyond a simple fear.

Zoom suit riot: The breakout was a bit of a head-turner. I’m curious as to this villain’s abilities. He mimics Mirror Master’s abilities to travel through or stay within reflective pieces.

DC TV: The current direction is lining up with the CW series. One, there is the mention of ‘The Man in Yellow’. Two, Henry Allen has risen up the ranks.

I’m just going to address the elephant in the room. There have been some posts online speculating that Zoom has inappropriately assaulted Flash, if you catch my drift. I don’t know if I’d go that far but this really recent mystery man has more than an unnatural obsession with the Scarlet Speedster. I dare draw a parallel to the Joker-Batman equation. There’s a thin line between love and hate. Mssrs. Venditti & Jensen finally hit their stride with this arc. I wasn’t a fan of the ‘future Flash’ saga. They are revving the excitement full speed ahead! [pun intended!] The Rogues are formidable enough but when a psycho is pulling together a revenge squad, it’ll be a miracle for Fleetfoot to come out alive. These gentlemen are progressive enough to tantalize fans with some skin and hinting a quasi-homoerotic encounter. That meets my seal of approval! Mssrs. Booth & Rapmund have also stuck around and continue to combine their skills. Henry is a complex individual ranging from doomed to frothing-at-the-mouth to devious. Flash isn’t so saintly either. His recklessness in taking down the armored opponent makes me question his sanity. Zoom’s ebon energy is the real marker in his character off-sided by the amber tint in his costume. That is just to show when he’s coming at you but for you not to mistake his misalignment. Fast and furious!! [8.5/10]

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BATGIRL {3rd Series} #41

“Interference” (20 pages) by Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher, Babs Tarr & Joel Gomez, Serge LaPointe, Steve Wands

Happy Happy! Joy Joy! The sleeper hit that took audiences by storm carries on!! What an honour to have a phrase coined after this character due to the creative team who continue to stay on to provide a blend of excitement, adventure, and humour, with sprinkles of human drama.

Our story is already in progress. Batgirl enters a ‘haunted house’. She busts a cult of hooded worshipers wanting to resurrect Mother Electric. These individuals have their laptops fired up for the ritual. Batgirl dubs them the Children of Hooq and proceeds to rough them up. She’s about to punch out the leader when Batman busts in!! Her astonished look is priceless. This isn’t her father’s Batman. Hey wait, that’s her dad in there!! Dramatic irony!! The armored law enforcer has no trouble. He then turns on his daughter (unbeknownst to him) informing her of her imminent arrest. A stupid move from one of the cronies allows her to escape. Babs is super-psyched at the encounter. She’s blathering to an exhausted Frankie when serendipitously daddy dearest Jim Gordon walks in bringing coffee. Babs is surprised a second time. She is processing her dad’s rejuvenation. A leisurely stroll through the park gets real when Jim drops the biggest bomb. Babs is ready to share her secret when he ruins the moment by stating his mission of taking down all vigilantes. The Children of Hooq’s efforts were not in vain. An electrified female shape steps out of the ‘chamber’. Babs tells her bestie of the latest development. A blackout interrupts their convo. Batgirl recognizes the woman in question as Leslie Willis a.k.a. Livewire. The amnesiac has her memory restored in less than a kilowatt once she spots BG. Frankie attempts a foolish but noble save. Batman barges in once again. He is more competent, by far! He uses a disrupter on LW making her vanish. He then sets his sights on the dolled domino with the disruptor aimed at her!!!

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Spit it out!! How dare you tease us, creative team?!? Just verify that Frankie goes by Oracle. This seems to be a recurring theme in this week’s books. That’s three fake-outs too many!

Go back to your old self:You look…healthy. But please put the moustache back on.” Babs is ironically displeased with Jim’s makeover.

Ride a pony: Babs’ fave ride was the carousel with Brian the Unicorn.

Double dramatic irony:…You’re my little girl. I can’t keep secrets from you. I just couldn’t bear you discovering I led a double life.” This reminds me of the 60’s TV show where only Alfred knew BG’s secret ID.

Crossed wires: How neat is it that the Superman and Batman universes continue to overlap? Maggie Sawyer is the new commish and now Livewire makes her DC You debut!! She had previously tangled with Steph Brown in the cape and cowl.

What more can be said about this pool of talent?? They focus so much attention on all the little things and do every single thing right. They wear their hearts on their sleeves for the spunky, chirpy Barbara Gordon and her close-knit cluster. Jim and Babs’ brief moment together is what stands out in this story. They’ve weathered every possible storm together. The undying love and heartfelt concern Jim has for Barbara makes me wish he were my dad. I was hoping that Babs would come clean but it is not meant to be. Another tease!! AAARRRGGGHHH!!! My heart warmed up when with Batgirl’s flashback of Batman (Bruce) giving her the run-down on Livewire. Frankie is relishing her role as super-best-partner-forever. She is so inspired that she takes a crack at butt-kicking. Ms. Tarr is joined by Joel Gomez and Serge LaPointe. I can differentiate the breakdowns and line work. They do justice to all the characters in and out of costume. Batman is bombastic, as he should be. He is no-nonsense and by-the-book. Bring it on, Babs!! [9.5/10]

 

ReTake

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JUSTICE LEAGUE 3001 #1

“Catch a Falling Starro!” (20 pages) by Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis, Howard Porter, Hi-Fi Design, Rob Leigh

The series picks up exactly one year after the previous issue. Hence, the change in name. C’mon! Twelve whole months have passed. Ariel Masters is a sham. Her intentions regarding the League as well as her name are misleading. She reveals herself as Lois Lane!! WWWHHHAAATTT?!? Lois has a major mad-on for the heroes and wants them six feet under but by suffering first. She especially detests the Man of Steel for some unspoken transgression.

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The League are none too pleased at the massacre on Wodin 12 due to Starro’s mass-mind manipulation. Starro gets off scot-free due to legal documentation that allows him to enslave the surviving inhabitants. Guy is so enraged that s/he flies to the Office of Fathomless Bureaucracy on Moonshadow 6 to verify. Starro knows he is untouchable and takes his leave of the League. Superman and Batman are far from best buds. Bats tries putting Supes in his place. The only super things about him are his arrogance and ego. Guy flies off the handle after patiently waiting for an hour.

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Tora and Bea have their own heart-to-heart. They discuss their opposing natures, the absurdity of the Super Buddies franchise, the distrust of Cadmus, and the restoration of Takron-Galtos a.k.a. the former Earth. On top of that, Fire snaps Ice out of her funk by bragging about Etrigan’s sexual prowess.

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Guy coerces a clerk into changing the official records. Hey! I thought the good guys [no pun intended] never played dirty. Said clerk informs Ariel Masters (uh-hum, Lois) of the dirty deed. She sees this as the perfect opportunity.

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A war between Starro and the League should work out nicely in her favour. Lois contacts Sinestro. She wants him to gather the Injustice League and strike. She is annoyed since she interrupted his canoodling and he’s distracted by it.

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Guy informs Batman and Flash of his revocation on Starro’s claim. That tidbit is televised to the general populace already under the starfish’s thrall. Cue cliffhanger.

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Epilogue: a rocketship carrying Supergirl (yes, the actual Kara Zor-El) is on course with Wodin 12. Her arrival will occur in sixty minutes. Those of you confused, raise your hand!

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Don’t hate! Appreciate!We’ll strike when Clark and his Super-Friends are battered and weak…” – Lois Lane posing as Ariel Masters

Guy/Girl/Whatever: Superman appreciates Guy’s female features and backs it up by stating that s/he uses feminine products. Batman refuses to acknowledge Guy as ‘her’ whereas Flash accepts it.

Bea and Tora deliver the best lines. I guffawed at their dialogue. Standing ovation!!

  • Ironic twist:How can you be so cold?” “Said the Ice goddess to the Fire demon.” – Tora and Bea
  • Not so Frozen:Your time in Hell is over now, Bea. Let it go.” – Tora
  • Flash-in-the-pan: Please. He’s died and been resurrected three or four times! We don’t know whose head is on those shoulders!” – Bea referring to Barry Allen
  • She copied my style :0Look, we went through hell…(no pun intended)” – Tora

The lesser of two evils:Conquering is against the law – but enslavement is perfectly legal.” “That’s an extremely subtle difference.” Faceless Bureaucrat to Lois

Where’s Starro? Forget that!! How many of you spotted Ambush Bug in the crowd of zombies?

Mssrs. Giffen & DeMatteis have a more serious approach with this title but still throw in plenty of jabs. There is more of a balance unlike their earlier days on JUSTICE LEAGUE (INTERNATIONAL). Whether it’s bickering, back-biting, blustering, or bantering, the interactions are engaging and refreshing. Atypical super-heroics at their best! Howard Porter has refined his style. I picked up JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 #1 in late 2013. To be brutally honest, I wouldn’t have recognized his work had it not been for the credits. Partnered with Hi-Fi, he comes into a League of his own [natch!] Superman is oafish, Batman is intense, Wonder Woman is hardened, Flash is enthusiastic, and Green Lantern is gung-ho. Tora looks every bit as regal as the Snow Queen. Tora is feisty in her words and attitude. I had a field day with Lois Lane’s name-dropping. She maintains her youthful spunk and embodies the “hell that no fury” adage. I will admit wholeheartedly that I felt some trepidation reading this renumbering. I’m not big on futuristic tales or settings but that was secondary since I focused on characters first. More out-of-continuity mayhem coming my way!! [8.5/10]

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GREEN LANTERN: LOST ARMY #1

“Green Lantern: the Lost Army” (20 pages) by Cullen Bunn, Jesus Saiz, Dave Sharpe

The GLC are experiencing the fight of their lives. The odds are overwhelming. Plus, they have no central battery from which to recharge. Aside from that, there’s no backup anywhere and the other Corps members are AWOL. John thinks back to his stint in Desert Storm(?). He realizes aggression is a more effective tool than willpower. He creates constructs of soldiers. That is the saving grace for his colleagues. John detected three other power rings. I

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t is imperative he and his crew find them. Krona relates his origin to the others. As a scientist, he is fascinated by any newfound entities in the universe. John converses with his mates telepathically. Krona is not to be trusted. He is either playing dumb or he is actually amnesiac. The three Lanterns whose rings were detected are found encased in red crystals. Red is the colour of rage. Krona offers his expertise in tracking the power source whereas the GLs cannot. He localizes an unknown sector of space. More Cleaners are on their way. Red and green energy blast through them. Guy Gardner has mysteriously been transported to their location. Although he is happy to be reunited, he is wanting answers to his involuntary involvement.

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The emerald gladiators locate the focal point of the remnant rage – a giant pyramid emanating waves of scarlet energy.

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Hailing frequencies closed: The telepathic link established via the rings. I don’t think this was done before. Neato, mosquito!

Yule love this! Guy Gardner, the Christmas Lantern. Best description ever!!

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Cullen Bunn makes it four-on-four adding this book to his repertoire. This man is Mr. Versatility! It makes sense to have him on the other side of the fence since he has a great grasp on Sinestro. John Stewart is a natural leader and a decorated hero in his own right. Being the head of the misplaced Lanterns has them in good hands. Guy Gardner can’t be gone for too long. It’s eyebrow-raising that he is able to maintain the red ring and regain the green one as well. He is the epitome of equilibrium if he can harness two conflicting emotions. Jesus Saiz does all the grunt work. He paints a most realistic picture of John and his troops in an unidentifiable arid landscape. The Cleaners are orange geometric shapes, varying in shape and size just like snowflakes. Whether they are manifestations of Larfleeze or the universe’s antibodies, their size and structure pose enough of a threat. The designation for this title is apropos. These Lanterns are lost in space finding their way home and desperately trying to regroup with the other 7,194 officers. It’s gonna be a long and arduous journey. [8.5/10]

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WE ARE…ROBIN #1

“We Are…Robin!” pt. 1 (22 pages) by: Lee Bermejo, Jorge Corona [main]; Khary Randolph [epilogue], Rob Haynes, Trish Mulvihill [main];

Emilio Lopez [epilogue], Jared K. Fletcher

 

For my rambunctious review, click here.

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