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.

Random Thoughts On DOOMSDAY CLOCK

DC’s December solicitations came out over the last few days and, with little fanfare, they included the write up for the final issue of DOOMSDAY CLOCK, the Geoff Johns and Gary Frank follow up to WATCHMEN which, by and large, has been greeted favourably.

As we probably all know by now, DOOMSDAY CLOCK launched in November 2017 and was meant to take a year to be released. Early promotional interviews revealed it was set a year into the future of the DCU so that, by the time it finished, the rest of the DCU would be at the same point as DOOMSDAY CLOCK‘s finale.

Scheduling problems mean that it’s now two years since the start of the series and, during that time, so many things have come in to play that I can’t help thinking that once finished, DOOMSDAY CLOCK will have next to no impact on the main DCU.

One of the threads running through the story is the Superman Theory – a conspiracy theory that says the American government is responsible for the creation (and thus controls) the superheroes. As a consequence, the public distrust them and superpowered beings are heading to Khandaq, the last refuge for them.

In recent issues, Superman has been blamed for the deaths of dozens of Russian soldiers and Firestorm appears to have exploded in the same confrontation. American citizens are rioting in multiple cities, demanding the fall of Superman and other heroes.

None of the above is being mentioned in any other DCU series – everyone’s either ignoring the deaths of multiple characters in the horrible HEROES IN CRISIS; running around trying to work out who Leviathan is; fighting with characters from the Dark Multiverse; or are too busy dealing with the ramifications of UNDERWORLD UNLEASHED Year of the Villain where Neron Lex Luthor is offering the bad guys new powers.

And speaking of Luthor, he plays a small but important part in DOOMSDAY CLOCK which gives lie to the original idea that the rest of the DCU would connect to it. Here’s how the character appears in DOOMSDAY CLOCK and current issues of JUSTICE LEAGUE:

As the Justice League storyline of Justice/Doom War is only just getting underway and is due to run well in to next year, there’s no way Lex is suddenly going to transform from the “apex predator” version of himself on the right to the standard Lex we all love to hate on the left.

DOOMSDAY CLOCK looked to be set to return the Justice Society of America to the DCU, a team that’s been missing since the New 52 was instigated in 2011; it was also bringing back the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Both teams have now been reintroduced in other titles – the JSA in JUSTICE LEAGUE and the Legion in their own, forthcoming title, making the reveal and tease of them in DOOMSDAY CLOCK now redundant.

I can’t help but wonder if some of the publishing problems the series has had is down to DC editorial saying to Johns and Frank – “You know those plans you had bring back the Legion and the JSA? Bendis and Snyder want to play with them, so can you alter your story?” – forcing them to re-jig some elements. It would sort of explain why Saturn Girl, teased as an important player in the story, is basically taken off the board in an almost throwaway moment:

There’s no way the DCU is going to reflect the DCU shown in the pages of DOOMSDAY CLOCK; there’s been no hint that any other title is going to tie in to this world – it’s basically being ignored.

Sad to say, as good as DOOMSDAY CLOCK is (and it is good) I can see it being consigned to a self-contained story, perhaps shunted off to one of the unknown Earths from Grant Morrison’s MULTIVERSITY, a way of saying “Wasn’t that a great story? Now, on with the rest of the DCU…”

While Geoff Johns was once the golden boy at DC, in the time he was away dealing with film and TV, Brian Michael Bendis has come in and taken over the Superman line; Scott Snyder is running the Justice League; and REBIRTH has been quietly moved to one side, and the DCU has become a lot darker since.

In an interview before the series began, Johns said:

[DOOMSDAY CLOCK] will have an impact on the entire DC Universe. It will affect everything moving forward and everything that has come before.

I really doubt that’s going to come to pass now.

Sunday Reviews

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?


BABYTEETH #16

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 #1

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.

HAWKMAN #16

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!

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.