Sunday Reviews

Bit of a bumper week this week as my comic shop didn’t have FREEDOM FIGHTERS or JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK last week.

BARBARELLA/DEJAH THORIS #3

The two time-tossed heroines fight to get back to the labof Barbarella’s now-deceased alien professor friend only to find him somehow manifesting from beyond the grave, telling them both that they have to let Mars die.

I’ve not read anything by Leah Williams before but I’m really enjoying this series; both Dejah Thoris and Barbarella (about whom I know nothing beyond the 1960s film) are written as smart, sassy, fun characters who approach things differently but always for the right reasons. I’ll be keeping an eye out for other stuff by her.

BLACK HAMMER ’45 #3

The Black Hammer Squadron continue their race to Vienna to save the scientist and his family from both the Russians and the Nazis and they manage to arrive to set up the final conflict in the next and last issue.

Once again, Lemire’s BLACK HAMMER universe’s take on the Blackhawks works a treat from a story perspective but, as I mentioned last time, Matt Kindt’s art doesn’t really work for me.

FREEDOM FIGHTERS #5

The returned Uncle Sam takes on the Nazis, while giving a history lesson to the America bystanders of who he is and what he stands for. Despite his initial success, he’s still weak and, when the Nazis release a War Wheel, it looks like his return is to be cut short. Cue the Freedom Fighters to the rescue. Elsewhere, the Fuhrer is about to unleash the one man who stopped Uncle Sam last time: Overman.

The necessary pause and info dump of Sam’s history is handled really well, allowing the story to move at the same time as filling in the blanks about why he’s been missing since World War II. The introduction of Overman, who has been mentioned but not seen in previous issues, is done as a nice reveal at the end. Still really enjoying this series.

GREEN LANTERN #7

In the magical kingdom of Emerald Sands, a mysterious Pengowirr finds a memory-lost Hal Jordan and tries to help him save the land that is dying around them, all the while without waking Myrwhydden, the wizard who built this land. As the story progresses, Jordan not only remembers himself but realises who Pengowirr is as well and manages to get back to Oa just in time.

This issue seems almost written to allow artist Liam Sharp to shine as it’s gorgeous – not just the art, but the design and layouts as well, the multiple iterations of panels using the stylised GL logo as borders, the whole thing looks lovely. (Except maybe for the final page where Jordan’s suffering from the same reptile neck that Lara Croft had.)

JUSTICE LEAGUE #23

Superman’s still trapped but is determined to break free; the rest of the League are held prisoner in the Apokolips prison with Lois Lane as their warden; and the World Forger is trying to convince Batman that only saving the good people of our universe, and allowing the bad to perish, is a necessary evil when the fate of the multiverse is at stake. The League manage to escape with the help of the Legion of Doom, just as Batman makes a choice that dooms Superman to death.

Another bombastic issue where everyone yells “the multiverse is dying!” as they have been for what seems like forever. We’re meant to think Batman’s doomed Superman when I will bet on him playing the World Forger and having a plan to subvert what we’ve seen. It looks nice (though why is Jimmy Olsen much, much older in this future but Lois isn’t?) and unless I’ve missed something, why does this Utopian future still have prisons full of bad guys?

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #10

We get a flashback where we see Dr Fate convincing the other Lords of Order of the rightness of his plan which is tied in to the whole “the multiverse is dying!” bigger story, before we take a look at Myrra which is under attack from the Lords. While they plan to evacuate, Zatanna and Wonder Woman speak with Circe who reveals the plan of Zatanna’s father. With the heroes headed back home, Circe is later revealed to be working with the Otherkind, though for her own ends. The issue finishes with a “give up magic or die” offer given to the inhabitants of Myrra.

Once again, still my favourite Justice League book, tying into the bigger picture loosely, but mostly taking it’s own path and looking damn gorgeous while doing it.

Sunday Reviews

ANIMOSITY #20

Jesse and Sandor are taken to a house where some animals want to speak to them; entering, they find the place is full of snakes. Instead of finding the trap they expected, though, they discover the snakes are trying to work out how The Wake – the event that allowed all animals to speak – happened and, through their experiments, they have come to a startling conclusion: magic!

Another solid issue; just when you think it’s starting to get a bit WALKING DEAD in that there’s a situation that’s overcome and they head off only to end up in another situation, Marguerite Bennett throws something new in.

AQUAMAN #47

It’s the final battle against Namma and Aquaman has a multitude of ancient ocean gods on his side. With them, he is able to defeat her and is rewarded with some mystical tattoos and a new trident.

The first story arc of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run on the title comes to an end with the promise of an epilogue of sorts next issue where – we assume – Aquaman will regain his memories. I’ve said all along I’m not a fan of “waking up with no memories” type stories as they’ve been done to death; still, the art looks great.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #22

Mr Mxyzptlk has gone crazy and is re-writing reality before the Legion of Doom – complete with a weaponised Bat-Mite to fight Mxy – turn up to try and save the day. While that’s all going on, we get the origin story to pass all origin stories – that of the first Multiverse. Perpetua narrates the tale of how she created the first Multiverse, along with the Monitor, Anti-Monitor and World Forger. Refusing to pass on once her work was done, the Monitor, and his brothers, organise a rebellion against her which ends with the creation of the Source Wall and her imprisonment beyond it, at the same time sowing the seeds for the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Sucker as I am for some continuity wrangling, I really enjoyed this issue and the glimpse it gave us of the Monitor and Anti-Monitor before the first Crisis.