Sunday Reviews

AQUAMAN #52

Aquaman and his Amnesty Bay friends deal with the monster that rose up at the end of the previous issue with some success, though that comes with a cost. Elsewhere, Black Manta enjoys the oversized underwater robot/sub that Luthor has given him to find a proto-Atlantean site beneath the waves.

Another so-so issue that looks good but plods along.

BLACK HAMMER: AGE OF DOOM #12

As Anti-God is about to arrive and destroy all of reality, Abraham Slam and the others have to make a desperate choice to save their world, and the result is something altogether new.

This is the final issue of AGE OF DOOM and while I know there’s the promise of a new mini-series soon (SKULLDIGGER) I wonder if we’ll see the original team again?

JUSTICE LEAGUE #32

Split across two timelines, half the Justice League aid the Justice Society in World War II, while the other half help Kamandi and Justice Legion A fight against Brainiac. Alongside that, Lex Luthor and Perpetua scheme for the end of the multiverse only to be surprised by the arrival of the Anti-Monitor.

It’s another roller coaster, don’t stop to pause, reality’s breaking issue. I was more intrigued by the multiple mentions of Hypertime and the connection that Jay Garrick and Barry Allen felt for each other, as well as the future Starman for the League – clearly some of these characters know they’ve met before somehow.

LADY MECHANIKA: SANGRE #3

Lady Mechanika faces off against La Madrina before finding out a little more about her adversary and her own connection to her via La Dama de la Muerte. And, at the end of the issue, Mechanika comes face to face with La Reina Roja . . . the Red Queen.

The call back to the previous miniseries was a welcome surprise and the monsters that Mechnika faces are wonderfully designed. Another splendid issue.

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

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.