Sunday Reviews

BABYTEETH #15

The title returns with the characters still in Hell, wondering whether or not they can trust Lucifer . . . when God turns up along with an army to smite the hell out of Lucifer and his demons. Struggling to get away, drastic measures are called for and a couple of the band fall, making a sacrifice so that others may live. And then there’s those last couple of pages . . .

Glad to see this book back following a hiatus, and still going strong.

BIRTHRIGHT #38

Mikey and the troops launch an all out attack against Masteems – because, you know, that’s the best way of convincing someone to join your team. Meanwhile Brennan tries his best to get Kallista to help and that doesn’t go well at all.

Still a good series, this. Where else are you going to see minotaur’s with machine guns?

GREEN LANTERN #10

Different Lanterns from different universes are called in to save the multiverse from the Anti-Man but while that goes well, there’s still the hole that’s punched through to the anti-matter universe to contend with.

Sucker as I am for a multiversal story, this was sort of fun, though there’s the usual Morrison trick of having characters glibly mention concepts that sound cool but which don’t matter much. But then they’re off on a quest for the Cosmic Grail amid the forbidden, uncharted worlds mentioned in Morrison’s MULTIVERSITY so I can forgive him that.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #29

Jarro – the little bit of Starro that could – takes on the Legion of Doom all on his lonesome before the League join him and it’s all revealed to be a dream Jarro has cooked up. He’s convinced the only way to save the League is to become the bad guy and take them off to his homeworld to keep them safe. Batman, in a tender moment, convinces him otherwise, and the little guy ends up being his usual chirpy self again.

Not a bad one and done prologue to the forthcoming Justice/Doom War event.

Sunday Reviews

Away last weekend so no reviews; back now, though.

FREEDOM FIGHTERS #7

The Fighters hold out with a sympathetic family but they’re betrayed by the father who calls for the Plasstic Men. Phantom Lady manages to kill a number of the rubbery Gestapo types, allowing the Fighters to escape but, unknown to them, one of the Plasstic Men has disguised himself as Doll Woman and is now embedded in the team.

Another solid issue, thankfully unencumbered by the ongoing Year of the Villain event that’s being shoe-horned into almost every other DC title at the moment.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #13

Kent Nelson tells of the origin of Dr Fate and Nabu and how, after everything Nabu made him do over the years, he’ll never become Dr Fate again, nor will Khalid Nassour. Zatanna confronts John Constantine about his part in her father’s grand plan and doesn’t much like the answers. And as the Year of the Villain event rolls on, Lex Luthor turns up to ask Circe to set up an Injustice League Dark.

Another good issue although I missed the pencils of Alvaro Martinez Bueno; I only hope he’s taking a rest and will be back soon.

THE TERRIFICS #18

As some of the team gather up the mini-Plastic Men that represent Eel’s sins before forcing him to reintegrate, Mr Terrific manages to get in to the Noosphere and strike a deal, a result that Ms Terrific isn’t happy with, ending in her breaking off any chance of a romantic hook-up between them. At the end, Lex Luthor manages to send one of his probes to Earth-29 where he recruits Bizarro to destry the Terrifics.

Not a bad issue, though the ethical dilemma of what Mr Terrific has done doesn’t get enough room to breathe here, making Ms Terrific’s unhappiness seem a little out of place.

A WALK THROUGH HELL #12

Garth Ennis’s horror story comes to an end with a final issue that is as horrible, nihilistic and inevitable as you’d imagine. There’s commentary about the world today, and America in particular, but over and above that, there’s a grim indictment of humanity as a whole. We’re all screwed, Ennis’s characters say, and it’s all our fault. I mentioned last month that I was expecting “something dark and nihilistic” and I wasn’t wrong.

This has been an excellent series and ends in the only way possible, as much as you might not like it.

WARLORD OF MARS ATTACKS #2

The Moonheads from Mars continue their attack on Earth while Dr Norman and his compatriots head to an abandoned mine where Norma reveals all – he’s the great grandson of Edgar Rice Burroughs and everything Burroughs wrote about John Carter of Mars was true. He explains a theory about the quantum state of Mars, how when viewed from one vantage point it’s a lifeless planet, but when viewed from another – as John Carter had – the place was full of civilisations. Norman had created the Insight Lander that landed on Mars in the previous issue to show the world the wonders of Barsoom . . . but found the Moonheads instead. And, finally, he reveals the body of John Carter in the mine as well, just waiting for the right time to wake up . . . which happens to be at the end of the issue, saving Norman and the others from the Moonheads.

It’s silly and fun and rattles along at a good pace. Still happy I took a punt on this.

Sunday Reviews

BLACK HAMMER/JUSTICE LEAGUE: HAMMER OF JUSTICE #1

The heroes from BLACK HAMMER are introduced before being approached by a mysterious figure; in Metropolis, the Justice League are fighting off an attack by Starro before they, too, are approached by the same figure. This mystery man manages to transport the heroes from one place to another, swapping them from one world to each other’s, with the BLACK HAMMER heroes appearing in Metropolis and the League on the Black Hammer Farm. Elsewhere, Colonel Weird is found by the Green Lantern Corps.

By necessity, there’s a bit of recapping and introduction here, more for the BLACK HAMMER characters than the League, which is understandable. It’s done well and with little preamble, though, getting into the story nice and quick. While there are no surprises with this initial swap scenario, I have hopes for more from the rest of the series.

HAWKMAN #14

Hawkman is in Kenya, hoping to find some peace and quiet in a mystical cave at the top of a mountain but his relaxation is disturbed by the arrival of one of his oldest foes, the Shadow Thief. They fight, with the Shadow Thief revealing he has new powers and abilities, and at the end of the battle, the Thief literally walks away dragging Hawkman’s shadow with him.

This is part of the Year of the Villain event happening in DC stories where, much like UNDERWORLD UNLEASHED, villains are granted new powers in order to take on their old foes. I’m confused as to why Hawkman takes so long to recognise Shadow Thief, but on the whole this isn’t a bad issue.

JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #11

As the Odyssey League feel constrained to work with Darkseid to build Sepulkore, Cyborg tries to understand what Darkseid’s doing and realises that he actually can – he shouldn’t be able to, but he can process the almost unimaginable amounts of data, much to his surprise. Darkseid isn’t surprised, though, and goads Cyborg, telling him he’s always been a machine posing as a human and that he should embrace it. The rest of the League arrive and take down Darkseid, only to find Cyborg might have taken the old god up on his offer.

Not a bad issue; this title’s come on leaps and bounds since Dan Abnett took over.

OBERON #5

Oberon and Puck battle and Bonnie is revealed to be the Lovet, the natural magician that Oberon thought she was. The Nevermen strike and Titania plots and, at the last, Oberon shows what an absolute bastard he is and just how far he’ll go to get what he wants.

It looks like this is the end of this series which is a shame – there are multiple story threads that could continue, but unless there’s a volume two coming next, this looks to be the last issue.

Sunday Reviews

It was mostly independents last week – this week it’s just two DC titles.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #12

The Lords of Order force the magical beings who want to survive to give up their powers but before they can get around to everyone, the new Lords of Chaos – led by a transformed Wonder Woman and Zatanna – arrive and wreak havoc. There’s an epic struggle between Nabu’s Dr Fate and various magicians led by Khalid Nassour – the short lived last host of Nabu – that sends most of the Lords of Order fleeing. When the smoke clears, Wonder Woman pledges to protect the magical realms and people.

Another cracking issue, split between the current action and a flashback to Wonder Woman explaining to Batman why the Justice League Dark had to be set up in the first place. And next issue, we get a “new Fate revealed” as well!

THE TERRIFICS #17

Trapped by the AI in the Stagg Industries building, the Terrifics struggle with the ethics of having to contain or destroy a sentient being that threatens to destroy everything. Mother Nature herself makes her presence known in the craziest way possible, and Plastic Man suffers from a truly split personality.

It’s mad, full on action and crazy superheroics at its best. So happy that Gene Luen Yang has continued the tone set by Jeff Lemire.