Aquaman #10 (Abnett/Walker): We finally get the Mera-centric issue we’ve needed for awhile now. I expect, though, that Abnett will be accused of ripping off the plot of Civil War II here—which he’s likely not doing, though the similarity is obvious. There’s a prophecy that Arthur will die, and someone—likely Mera—will end the world in her anger. We’ve seen Mera get wrapped up in righteous fury in the past, so this prophecy is painfully possible. A good start, though we could stand to see Mera in action in future parts of this story. Rating: Three tuna out of five.
Batman #10 (King/Janin): Batman goes on a one-man suicide (no pun) mission into Santa Prisca to get the Psycho Pirate from Bane’s custody so he can cure Gotham Girl. The good of this issue is that, despite Batman getting his ass handed to him, he’s totally in control of the situation. The bad is that King employs a repetitive line in this issue, trying to give Batman a “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya” moment that just doesn’t work very well. If you can get past that, the issue is decent. Rating: Three bats out of five.
Cyborg #4 (Semper/Green): There’s a bit of heartbreak in this issue as Vic learns more about the memories he lost when he became Cyborg. Semper continues his exploration of what memories mean to the human person, and what we become when we no longer have them. However, this issue is a bit heavy on action, so the deeper questions are lost in the virtual reality shootup in Vic’s mind. Worse, we’ve got another new artist on this issue, and it’s just not the same compared to Paul Pelletier’s earlier art. Rating: Two and a half bytes out of five.
Death of Hawkman #2 (Andreyko/Lopestri): Somebody’s trying to manipulate Rann and Thanagar into war. The Death of Hawkman miniseries raises familiar, real-world questions about cops doing their duty and people jumping to conclusions about who’s killing who, and all the while, somebody’s making a power play based on people’s emotions. Unfortunately, the story and the art aren’t all that compelling, and it’s unfortunate where there’s a making of a good sci-fi idea that gets lost in a presentation that’s just OK. Rating: Two hawks out of five.
Green Arrow #10 (Percy/Ferreyra): A high-speed underwater train that carries international power players across continents? It’s an insane enough idea to work. I’ve been down on this book lately, but Green Arrow #10 is tolerable enough to be readable. Although Dinah uses her sonic powers in the close quarters of a glass train car underwater—not a smart move. Rating: Three quivers out of five.
Green Lanterns #10 (Humphries/Pansica): That loser from last issue has his hands on the Phantom Ring, and now a guy who isn’t worthy of the power of a Green Lantern ring has access to the whole spectrum. Jessica and Simon are just barely convinced they’re worthy of what they’ve got, while an unworthy villain has their powers and much more. Like Death of Hawkman, there’s some good concepts in here wrapped up in some corny writing—the Phantom Lantern is just a little too goofball to take seriously. Rating: Three rings out of five.
Harley Quinn #7 (Conner/Palmiotti/Tims): Eh. Doing a little better this month, with Harley’s original-but-boring cast intermingling with a significant player from Gotham, reminding us that Harley is permanently rooted in Batman’s mythos. It’s hard to care about Red Tool and Tony, but there’s some success in having Harley run around in a DC-modeled BDSM nightclub. Hell, I’ll give this book extra credit for including a cross-dresser in a Power Girl outfit. Rating: Two and a half mohawks out of five.
Justice League #8 (Hitch/Edwards): This is a pretty good issue in terms of storytelling and art, and while Justice League isn’t very consequential to the DCU so far, it’s solid reading. Something is hacking the League’s computer systems, turning their own tech against them at a time when the team’s public opinion is low. It doesn’t seem like this story was coordinated with Cyborg, though, because the events of those two titles this week are so astonishingly similar that it’s weird there’s no comment on it. Rating: Three and a half satellites out of five.
Nightwing #8 (Seely/Fernandez): The first Nightwing collection is going to be called “Better Than Batman,” and this issue attempts to show us why. Bruce Wayne’s been kidnapped by a guy obsessed with Dick Grayson, and Nightwing has to come to terms with what Bruce has meant to him as a surrogate father. As a character, Nightwing will never been independent of his Batman roots…but this issue at least shows us that he can grow well beyond them. As a villain, Raptor is a little unoriginal, though—the “villain obsessed with the hero’s past” has been beaten to death in The Flash lately. Rating: Three wings out of five.
Superman #10 (Tomasi/Gleason): All parents inevitably meet that one friend their kid has where they end up questioning the parenting skills of the other family…and they end up getting questioned in return. So it goes when the son of Superman meet the son of Batman—Jon and Damien have their first meetup, and it doesn’t go well for either side. Bruce and Clark have been uneasy friends for awhile, but these kids lack both their parents’ maturity and restraint. It’s a cute issue that continues to look at family life through a superpowered lens. Rating: Three and a half capes out of five.
The winner: Superman came close, but Justice League made for a solid story even if it openly telegraphs who the bad guy is. The loser: Death of Hawkman, which is building up to the death of a major character and really struggling to get me to care.