Sunday Reviews

BLACK HAMMER: AGE OF DOOM #10

Lucy and Talky get the gang back together, waking up Abraham Slam, Golden Gail and Barbalien, along the way finding Colonel Weird, all because the red skies that are gathering herald the return of Anti-God. Before their next move, Lucy is whisked away to meet someone they all thought long dead: her father, the original Black Hammer.

Another fine issue the moves the Black Hammer world along nicely – the red skies were a nice touch, too!

HAWKMAN #12

It’s the final battle between Hawkman and the army of Deathbringers he used to command in ages past. And, as you might imagine, it’s sort of brutal as Hawkman wrests control of the Deathbringers who have invaded London away from Idamm while his previous incarnations prevent the destruction of the city.

Bryan Hitch goes out in fine form as this first big arc of the HAWKMAN series comes to an end. It hasn’t been brilliant, but it hasn’t been bad, either.

JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #9

Azrael’s new power to speak of peace calms both the Tamaraneans and the followers of Rapture, making them work together, while Cyborg tries to find the first of the relics Darkseid needs to build Sepulkore and use it to prevent the destruction of the Multiverse. As the team get back together, Jessica Cruz is the only one who seems suspicious of Azrael’s new power, Starfire’s apparent willingness to follow Darkseid, and even Cyborg’s motivations.

We’re still trapped in the Ghost Sector, still trying to find some magical doodad to put together to prevent the end of it all, and slowly moving forward. Dan Abnett’s character interaction is better than the early issues, but it still seems like we’re treading water, here.

OBERON #4

Mother Mayie’s betrayal of Oberon is dealt with, and he prepares Bonnie for attendance at the Immortal Masquerade, a fairy ball that never stops. Elsewhere, Titania receives news that the mysterious Nevermen are returning. She and Oberon strike a deal to swap Bonnie for the end of Oberon’s exile, the exchange to take place at the Masquerade. Unsurprisingly, Oberon is double crossed and ends up face to face with Robin Goodfellow.

Once again, another good issue that looks and reads great. My only concern is the “To be concluded” on the last page and the fact that OBERON hasn’t been solicited beyond next month’s #5. I’m hoping the conclusion will be to the story arc and it’ll just be on a break for a couple of months.

SHADOW ROADS #7

Part of the gang track down The Mizadori in their quest to find the Hunter and who he was working with, but interrogating someone who turns out to be a sentient hotel doesn’t go well. Elsewhere, the others receive portents and messages that will send them to different places.

Honestly, it’s been the best part of three months since the last issue and it’s all a bit disjointed by now. Still, it looks good.

SHAZAM! #5

Billy and Mary are trying to escape the Funlands; Pedro and Eugene are trying to get out of the Gamelands; and Darla and Freddy are on trial in the Wildlands. Back at the Rock of Eternity, Black Adam tries to enter the seven kingdoms but is stopped by Dr Sivana. The big reveal here, though, is that this take’s version of Talky Tawny is finally revealed and he looks great!

I guess it’s the art that is causing the delays on this title, as the Eugene and Pedro pages are illustrated by Scott Kolins while the rest of the issue is by series regular Dale Eaglesham. The styles are different so it’s a little jarring but if it gets this book out sooner, I’m all for it.

Sunday Reviews

No reviews last week as Mrs Earth-Prime and I were away. This week, though . . .

BLACK HAMMER: AGE OF DOOM #8

Lucy Weber starts to unravel the mystery of what’s happened t Spiral City’s heroes . . . again. This time she has the help of Talky-Walky who seems aware of the reality shift, unlike Lucy.

A little bit of a placeholder issue in an otherwise excellent series.

FREEDOM FIGHTERS #3

The Freedom Fighters strike back against the Nazi regime, hijacking their electronic systems and broadcasting God Bless America by Irving Berlin across the country in an attempt to raise the dormant Uncle Sam. Meanwhile the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler II, assigns his son – the imaginatively named Adolf Hitler III – to bring down the Fighters.

Another cracking issue with a ton of action plus hints into the pasts/origins of the heroes without disrupting the story.

JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #6

Darkseid continues his quest to build something called Sepulkore that will stem the tide of darkness released by the collapse of the Source Wall, but something seems to have stopped him with some finality. Elsewhere, the League arrive on Tamaran only to find Starfire’s sister Blackfire waiting and holding her to account for their planet’s devastation.

New writer Dan Abnett picks up the threads of the original story and brings in his own stuff; it’s a little better that previous issues and, having enjoyed his work on AQUAMAN, I’m curious as to where Abnett’s going.

SHAZAM! #3

In the Funlands, Billy and the family are hosted by King Kid who tells them his origin and wants to join the family, though Mary is rightly suspicious. When it’s revealed she’s nearly 18, King Kid flips and captures her – only kids are allowed in the Funlands, apparently – and this triggers the rest of the family into becoming their adult, heroic forms which means they all get either captured or thrown out into the various other Magic Lands.

Another fun issue that moves the story along. I’m guessing, based on his origin, King Kid will be revealed to be an adult after all this time and so defeated by his own rules.

THE TERRIFICS #13

Mr Terrific is rescued from the Dreadfuls by Mrs Terrific of Earth-23 who looks just like his late wife and he, of course, looks just like her late husband. The other Terrifics – joined by Offspring and Tesla Strong – track them down in time to stop the Dreadfuls’ final attack.

I’m still liking this series so much, partly because it seems to be the only one in the DCU that remembers there’s a multiverse out there – we get glimpses of six other Earths in the last few pages alone. Pick up the collections if you haven’t already.

Sunday Reviews

ANIMOSITY: EVOLUTION #10

With the death of Wintermute in the previous issue, responsibility falls to Adam North to do what he can to ensure the animals and humans live together in some way, bringing together others to help him.

As enjoyable as this series has been, the ending here is a little ambiguous – I’ve not heard that this is the final issue but there are no more solicited and the last page has “The End” written but there’s so much more that could happen. I guess we wait and see.

JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1

Holy crap! I’ve mentioned before about how crammed with ideas the main JUSTICE LEAGUE series is and how so much stuff is going on; here it all comes to a head in a straightforward way that genuinely left me feeling like big things are coming. The Source Wall is gone, Perpetua – the “mother of the Monitor [and] Anti-Monitor” has been released, the Justice League lost, and the Multiverse itself is on the move.

Massive ideas are being thrown around here and it’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #5

Darkseid’s plan to recreate Apokolips using the lost worlds is revealed, the followers of the League are rejected and pledge to destroy them in turn.

Despite the grandiose proclamations about the League members being revered as gods on some of the lost worlds, this was fairly by the numbers. The bad guy betrayed the good guys, the good guys fought amongst themselves and then made up, the worshippers – after being rejected – became the new bad guys. It’s not terrible, but it’s not setting my world on fire, either.

THE QUANTUM AGE #6

Jeff Lemire’s BLACK HAMMER take on the Legion of Super-Heroes comes to a close with a battle against the bad guy that’s resolved in a neat twist rather than a straightforward fists flying, powers smashing ending. It’s nicely done and I can’t help but wonder if we’ll get to visit Quantum World at some point in the future.

THE TERRIFICS #12

Doc Dread has assembled a team of bad guys from various different Earths in order to defeat the Terrifics who are currently split up trying to sort out their own problems. There’s a lovely scene between Plastic Man and his son which ends with him stealing the Batmobile and taking his kid for a spin; Phantom Girl gets back to Earth and sends out a signal to alert the rest of the team that Mr Terrific’s in trouble; and Metamorpho returns to his grumpy, composite self again.

Still one of my favourite comics, still enjoyable!

Separated At Birth?

I’ve enjoyed Black Hammer from Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston and was happy to pick up the new spin-off miniseries, Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil.

When I glanced at the variant cover by the ever awesome Mike Mignola, I couldn’t help but think I’d seen it before, and it only took a moment for me to remember where:

The Amazing Screw On Head is a great collection of short stories but the similarity between the two main characters makes me wonder if Mignola was maybe rushed for time and re-used some old art?

Either way, they’re both great covers.