The JSA appear to have been caught off guard by Darkstar Donna Troy . . . but I’m guessing they’ll rally soon and sort this out.
With being on holiday for a couple of weeks and having to catch up with everything, Sunday Reviews have been a bit scarce for a while. Let’s see if we can get back into it, shall we?
It’s five years later and we get to see just what Satan’s made of the place since he brought his demonic horde through. Sadie and her rag-tag crew – including Clark the Anti-Christ – have somehow muddled through before deciding to return to their childhood home where they meet someone we haven’t see for a while.
Nice to have this series back and being as fun and crazy as ever.
BLACK HAMMER/JUSTICE LEAGUE: HAMMER OF JUSTICE #3
The League interrogate Abraham Slam and the others, while Batman and Cyborg work at getting out of the farm. Elsewhere in the Para-Zone, Colonel Weird and John Stewart view the final fate of the Flash . . . with surprising results. And Golden Gail finds a surprising ally when she breaks out of the League’s cage.
Another fine issue of this crossover – worth it for the interrogation scenes alone.
Chastity, fresh from hunting and killing some vampires, heads to an audition for a burlesque show where she finds a bunch of other actresses, all waiting for different auditions. Too late she realises the room’s drugged and the others fall asleep; when the bad guys arrive, they manage to overcome her as well.
I enjoyed Leah Williams’s work on BARBARELLA/DEJAH THORIS so thought I’d give this mini-series a go even though I knew next to nothing about the character of Chastity Jack. This sets things up and introduces her nice and quick, but it’s a bit lightweight. I guess we see where we go from here.
In order to regain their shadows, Hawkman and the Shade have journeyed to the Shadowlands to face the Shadow Thief, but the Shade recognises that something has changed within Hawkman – he’s more vicious than he’s been in a long time.
Venditti writes a good, fast paced issue with enough of a change in Hawkman to make you realise something’s off. A good issue of a solid series.
JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #13
On an abandoned Zamaron space station, a small group try to summon the New Gods to go up against Darkseid but what they get is Blackfire and the corpse of Green Lantern Jessica Cruz, whom Darkseid killed at the end of the previous issue. She doesn’t stay dead for long, though, as Darkseid’s own Omega Force appears to have healed and empowered her which comes in handy when they’re attacked.
I’d be surprised if anyone thought Cruz would stay dead but she’s come back with an intriguing change. Interesting to see where they go from here, but hey – Red Lantern Dex-Starr’s joined the team!
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 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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.