The DC Rebirth train keeps on chugging this week. While we’re in for a bit of a wait before something like Doomsday Clock, there’s still plenty to talk about. Now it’s time to see what’s on the Rebirth docket..
Action Comics #980 (Jurgens/Zircher/Carnero/Hi-Fi): Action Comics continues to lurch towards going somewhere post-Superman Reborn, but for the most part it continues to build up slowly to a climax with this Superman Revenge Squad story. Most of the problems with the story continue to stem from not knowing whether last month’s issue even happened, much less that it coasts on nostalgia for comics from twenty years ago to make you care about anything that’s happening. Which is a shame because there’s some good meat in here with subplots like Clark and Lois deciding to uproot Jonathan, but most of this is otherwise rooted in a fairly rote villain plot. Two Oblivion Stones out of Five.
Detective Comics #957 (Tynion/Sebela/Carnero/Story/Friend/Mena): Detective Comics picks back up on what Stephanie Brown aka the Spoiler has been up to after its recent foray into ninja assassin politics. Given her recent split with Batman over the idea of putting kids in costumes and sending them to fight crime, her perspective is very interesting, as well as helping to put a sympathetic face to someone who’d normally be a villain in a different kind of Batman story, and puts her in contact with someone we haven’t seen in quite awhile. Her story may just be the most interesting in this run. Four Wraths out of Five
Batgirl #11 (Larson/Wildgoose/Lam/Lopes): The “Son of Penguin” arc finally comes to a close and it has been a heck of a ride. A long-form examination of the worst extremes of social media and tech industry boy kings turned into literal supervillainy in the form of Ethan Cobblepot, the titular son of the Penguin. While this is a superhero comic which means it must end in fisticuffs, it brings the overall theme of just whether Burnside can continue to be a great place if it purges itself of the people who make it unique to a close for this arc, and it makes for great comics here. Four Blacksuns out of Five.
Batman Beyond #8 (Jurgens/Chang/Maiolo): Batman Beyond is having a better time of finding its footing than it was during that strange period where Tim Drake was the title character. However, it’s still having issues with negotiating its own tone vs what made the animated series so great. Most of the drama continues to revolve around the prototype Batman suit, and the fairly obvious mystery of Ra’s Al Ghul. While those in and of themselves would make for a good episode, they miss what made Batman Beyond such a seminal series in the day, and one hopes there’s some course correction soon, especially when playing with such beloved characters. Three Anubis Masks out of Five.
Blue Beetle #9 (Giffen/Kolins/Fajardo Jr): Blue Beetle is a rather disorienting read. While it’s nice to have someone involved with both Blue Beetles back, it’s a good example of quitting while on top. This comic manages to be both overstuffed with characters and yet so filled with empty calories, it’s rather disappointing, In another context, the status quo of Ted Kord mentoring Jaime Reyes would have worked, but so far it’s largely been chasing its own tail. Three Towers of Fate out of Five.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #21 (Vendetti/Marion/Vines/Ribeiro): The time travel arc of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps concludes, and while it introduces a reveal that was telegraphed a bit too late for it to really have bite, it’s an improvement in general on the prior Green Lantern title. Shrinking the Green Lantern line really did help the two resulting books out quite a bit and while Hal Jordan still isn’t that interesting of a character, it’s nice to have the old band back together. Three Gauntlets out of Five.
Justice League of America #7 (Orlando/Campbell): Now this is more like it. Justice League of America got off to a slow start with the Extremists arc, but these recent issues have helped it strike more of a different note than the parent Justice League book. And focusing on some of the smaller character pairings of the Atom/Killer Frost, Black Canary/Lobo, and Vixen/Ray helped move it away from the Batman-dominated early issues. Something like this really helps to put JLA on the map compared to more of an action-fest, especially with lower-rung characters like these. Four Terrorsmiths out of Five.
Suicide Squad #18 (Williams/Daniel/Florea/Morey): While I can’t say the prospect of a crossover is normally that appealing to me: Suicide Squad milks it for all its worth by taking the inevitable result of putting an alien dictator on the team. To the surprise of no one except Amanda Waller, General Zod manages to break free from his imprisonment and proceeds to go on a rampage. While this was easy to see coming from the moment he joined, it’s a fairly fun romp as these Squad issues have generally been, and one does look forward to seeing where it all goes. Four Kryptonite Bombs out of Five.