This week was better than last, though there still wasn’t that much to pick up for me. I only grabbed 5 titles this week, but that is fine as it gives me time to read some books and focus on other things. It was a pretty good week though, with no individual title being especially weak.
Timeless part 4. The Justice League continue their battle with the Timeles in an effort to save the earth from being moved to the end of time, but are the Timeless the greatest threat? By Hitch and Parasin
H 2.0 part 2 Aquaman and the Aquamarines are trapped in a military research lab, being stalked by the bloodthirsty Dead Water. By Abnett and Briones
I Am Bane, finale. Batman and Bane square off in a brutal battle that will not only detmine the fate of Gotham Girl, but Gotham city itself. By King and Finch
Nightwing Must Die part 3. Nightwing and Robin team up to rescue Shawn Tsang from the demented Professor Pyg, but who is really pulling the strings? By Seeley, Fernandez + Jung
Black Dawn part 1 Having combined with their New 52 counterparts, Lois and Clark are whole once again, but questions still remain. What has changed in the world around them to accomodate their new status, and who is working to keep Jon from reaching his true potential? By Tomasi and Gleason
This was a pretty good week overall. I would say that the weakest title that I picked up has to be Batman. There are times that I feel as though King is writing his own version of Batman, as a separate individual from the Batman in DC’s other books. This Batman, as I have commented before, strikes me as being somewhat unbalanced mentally. The argument could be made that this is always the case, which is fair enough, but King’s version seems less well than others. I often find myself thinking of Miller’s Dark Knight when reading Batman, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on your tastes, but which doesn’t seem to mesh fully with his Detective and Justice League counterparts. I won’t go so far as to say this is bad, but this is my least favourite interpretation of Batman at the moment.
Justice League continues to be fairly good but with art that ranges from very good on some pages to weak on others. The story if focused primarily on Batman and Superman with the other members playing a supporting role. There are some interesting ideas here, as the story addresses the fact that the DC universe has repeatedly been altered due to the actions of the various heroes on Earth. The Timeless are taking action to protect the universe from these constant reboots, which cause reality to continually remake itself. It’s hard to totally disagree with their motivation. Hopefully DC will settle down and enjoy a good, long run with this emerging universe.
Nightwing was a fun issue, surprising me yet again with an issue that doesn’t see me actively wanting something horrible to happen to Damian Wayne. I won’t go so far as to say that I like him, but I am at least at the point where I am not wishing him ill… save perhaps for debilitating laryngitis. Shawn Tsang is still not my first choice for Dick’s girlfriend ( that would be Babs, followed by Kori), but I understand why she was introduced. Neither Barbara nor Kori could be in a relationship with Dick while appearing in their own books as it would require constant planning between two different creative teams and would likely limit their creativity. It’s a shame, though. Dick belongs with Barbara.
Aquaman continues to offer up something of an Alien vibe, as the titular hero, Mera and the Aquamarines try to survive the attacks of Dead Water while trapped in an underwater military base. I am enjoying this story so far and can appreciate the almost horror movie-like atmosphere that it is striving for, though I find that Dead Water itself (himself?) doesn’t have the greatest character design. If you ahd told me a couple of years ago that I’d be reading Aquaman on a regular basis, I wouldn’t have believed it, but he’s a character with a lot of untapped potential.
Superman rounds out this week’s reads and it was probably my favourite as well, although it had some flaws. This issue finds Lois and Clark, fresh from their reality-warping merger with their New 52 counterparts. The issue shows the changes in some subtle and not-too-subtle ways, ranging from people on the street having a “look! Up in the sky!” moment as a smiling Superman flies by, to letting us know that the former aliases of the Kents are now long-gone. Everyone is now aware that this is Clark and Lois Kent from Metropolis, though why anyone thinks they are living on a farm several hours away from Metropolis is anyone’s guess at this point.
I am extremely happy to see a fully-restored Superman. He’s not “that strange older Superman who took over when the ‘real’ Superman died,” and he is not looked upon with suspicion. He is recognised as a hero once more, and not just a hero, but the hero. His latest costume update looks good, too. Gone are the overly-busy design elements, replaced by the simple, traditional tights. No high collar, no sleeves extending past the wrist, and despite the appearance to the contrary in early images, the boots do not appear to be metal. The belt has been improved and a touch of traditional yellow has been added. This is the best he has looked in a very long time. I would have loved to see the briefs return, but I know that I am in the minority on that one.
If I have any complaint with this issue, though, it’s the revelation from Batman that Jon is not developing the way he should be. It’s Batman’s belief that Jon should be much further along in developing his powers, but I really don’t understand this (or like it).
Somehow, despite the fact that Superman gains his incredible powers from his Kryptonian heritage, Batman feels that Jon’s half-human DNA should mean that he “should be more powerful than you are on your best day, Clark.”
So, if we could combine the DNA of a shark and a goldfish, it would produce a creature more powerful than the shark. If you fill a glass half half way with whisky and the rest of the way with water, it will be more powerful than a full glass of pure whisky.
I really don’t see the logic in that, other than the typical comic book mentality that the offspring of superheroes must always be more powerful than their parents. I don’t buy that and frankly, I find it irritating that we always have to build up characters by saying they are more powerful than Superman. They did the same thing with Supergirl. Now it’s Jon. Next will be Krypto.
Anyhow, aside from that, I liked this issue and I can always focus on the fact that Batman started his sentence with “I believe…” Obviously, in this instance, Batman was wrong.
So, we are now on the verge of receiving some answers to what exactly is going on with the overall Rebirth storyline. Batman and Flash will be investigating the Comedian’s smiley face button which had been found in the Batcave last year. I am excited to see what comes of this, but also concerned. I kow that no matter what the authors do, there will be a negative reaction, simply because people don’t want to see the main DC universe interact in any way with the Watchmen. For myself, I won’t judge until I read it.
Are you looking forward to seeing how the Watchmen will interact with the DCU, or do you think it’s all a horrible mistake? I’d love to hear your opinions!