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DC Rebirth Roundup for January 4, 2017

Justice League of America Rebirth: The Atom #1 (Orlando/MacDonald/Rauch) The Atom has had a pretty rough go of it in recent years. The absence of both Atoms during the New 52 (barring a few Ray Palmer appearances) and the bizarre decision to introduce one who was a villain paid very few dividends. Thankfully though, the story covers a lot of ground with both Atoms. While a lot of DC and Marvel books have taken the “white mentor” with a legacy mentee setup recently, Orlando does a great job of setting up what up would be ostensibly years of continuity and gives both Atoms distinctive personality in the process. While Andy MacDonald is only there for this issue, there’s a lot of world-building which while compressed does allow for the generational tone to bloom. If you’re looking for a good intro for the JLA, this is definitely a good start, and a prime one-off comic.  Rating: 5 out of 5 Atoms

Batman #14 (King/Gerads) One of the mysteries hovering over the current Batman run has been the possibility of Catwoman having killed 237 people. In the context of the recent arc, it gave us one of the better stories to deal with Batman and Catwoman’s relationship. While Batman wants to save her from prison, Catwoman is content to serve her life sentence after having one last night of fun. This gives King yet another chance to make more deep cuts into his knowledge of obscure Batman villains by giving us a long night of beating up Condiment King and Gorilla Boss among others, while reminding us how fun being Batman can be, as well as how vulnerable both Bat and Cat can actually be. While Mitch Gerads had been busy with Sheriff of Babylon recently, his style shifts over really well to Batman, and even offers up a different take from even Mikel Janin’s recent arc. The more relaxed take on Batman, and less event-heavy stories continue here, and it’s definitely benefitted King’s take on distinguishing itself. Rating: 4 out of 5 Diamonds

Green Lanterns #14 (Humphries/Pansica/Cliquet/Ferreira/Blond) Green Lanterns has picked up with the Phantom Lantern. While the idea of a power ring that can copy any other isn’t especially far from the Johns run, the idea of a bitter middle-aged Hal Jordan type who’s seen half a dozen Green Lanterns come and go who wants to be like them is too rich, and in the case of the current Green Lantern front-runners being a Lebanese-American Muslim and Latino woman makes for a fount of uncomfortable racism that’s made the conflict far more interesting than just another shade of color with a power ring. Humphries has also done quite a bit to elevate and develop Simon and Jessica far more in 14 issues than since they first appeared. While everyone tends to defer towards John Stewart or Hal Jordan as primary Green Lanterns, this book makes a great case for why that paradigm needs to evolve in 2017. Rating: 4 out of 5 Phantom Rings

Midnighter and Apollo #4 (Orlando/Blanco/Fajardo Jr.) Midnighter and Apollo continues to be amazingly bonkers in the best way possible. While the comic does have Midnighter doing most of the heavy-lifting including going down to Hell to beat up the devil, Orlando does a lot to put Apollo’s half of the relationship to the fore despite having him be a hostage for most of the series. But this is also a superhero comic, so there’s the action component to think about, and as always it delivers in spades. While Midnighter is bereft of his fight computer, he’s still as terrifying as ever, and Fernando Blanco delivers the most vicious issue yet with Midnighter fighting Mawzir to a bloody finish. Anyone looking for a comic with guts, as well as one of the most positive depictions of an LGBTQ couple in comics is not going to be disappointed here. Rating: 5 out of 5 Mawzirs

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