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!

Darkseid Joins The Justice League

If you’ve been reading the title for a while, you probably have your favourite Justice League line-up.

Maybe it’s the gang from the New 52’s flagship title; or Gardner Fox’s classic but terribly dated Happy Harbour crew; or the Giffen and DeMatteis bwah-ha-ha bunch; or the timeless satellite line-up (possibly my favourite); or even dear old Justice League Detroit.

There have been enough members of the League over the decades that it’s hard to surprise long-time readers with new members but, as you can tell from the post’s title, the newest member is perhaps the very definition of surprising.

Darkseid is joining the Justice League – specifically a team called Justice League Odyssey – and he even gets a new look:

I don’t know whether to be impressed or stunned at the audacity of this idea, particularly when the rest of the article contains this:

writer Josh Williamson and artist Stjepan Sejic will create Justice League Odyssey, in which Cyborg, Starfire, Azrael, Jessica Cruz, and Darkseid (yes, Darkseid) explore the universe in one of Brainiac’s old head ships with flames painted on the side.

I’ve read a few of Williamson’s books – I think I was one of only three people to enjoy his Voodoo run – and I love both Nailbiter and Birthright so I’m willing to give this a go even though I’m on the fence about Darkseid joining the League . . . even if he is in “one of Brainiac’s old head ships with flames painted on the side.”

Dark Nights Metal Chant

Everyone enjoying the craziness that is Dark Nights Metal? Snyder did promise us a fun, over the top ride and he seems to be delivering with, among other things, issue #2’s reveal of Darkseid as a baby:

(And is Darkseid making the devil’s horns sign beloved of the late, great Ronnie James Dio or am I just seeing what I want to?)

It’s jumping around and barking mad – and I’m really enjoying it. I may get around to annotating it further down the line, although it’s a little too embedded in the Batman books for me to get every single reference, but I did want to do my public duty and offer up one thing.

On page 20, the Court of Owls and the Strigydae trap Batman in order to raise the big bad guy, Barbatos, complete with a summoning ritual:

The font that’s used has been in DC’s comics for several years – among other places, it’s turned up in Blue Beetle as the language of the scarab; it was used in Pandora: Trinity of Sin when Pandora (remember her?) cast a spell; and even as far back as Final Crisis: Requiem when it was used as the Martian language.

Here, though, it’s the same phrase repeated three times, then the first three words repeated twice:

BEARS BIRDS BATS? CHANTING
IN ANCIENT TONGUES!

That’s all it says, folks. I’ll admit the question mark after BATS is a guess, but it’s not the same as the exclamation mark at the end of TONGUES.

You can thank me later.