Continuing with my short reviews of my weekly reads, I’ll give some quick thoughts on this weeks titles. I picked up the following:
- Flash #16
- Titans #8
- Wonder Woman #16
- Detective #950
- Action #973
- Superwoman #7
- Justice League America Rebirth #1
While I am only giving quick reviews, be aware that some spoilers follow.
Growing up, I liked the Flash, but never really loved him the way I did other heroes. That continues today. While I am enjoying his series more than I really expected to, it’s also one that I could do without. One of my problems with Flash is similar to what I previously wrote about Aquaman: he doesn’t seem to have enough villains in his rogues gallery. This week he again faces off against Captain Cold and the Rogues, who are trying to pull one last big caper. As can be expected, it doesn’t quite go the way they hope when Heat Wave breaks away from their original plan, inadvertently leading Flash to his teammates.
Flash’s power is troublesome in that he is so fast, there is really nothing that should challenge him. As a result, he either needs to do something dumb to put himself at a disadvantage, or– as seen here– he should defeat multiple foes in the space of one or two panels.
At the moment, I am mainly following the title for any threads related to the bigger Rebirth storyline, but there haven’t really been any. Overall, the title is ok and worth reading, but only just. 6/10
Like Flash, I started reading Titans to follow the overall Rebirth storyline, given that Wally West (the original) is seemingly goingt o be a central character in that plot. I hadn’t expected to like it as much as I do. I am enjoying the interaction between characters and there have been a number of moments involving Wally that were surprisingly emotional.
The book still seems to be laying the foundation for what is to come next, but slowly seems to be finding it’s footing. This issue follows Mal and Karen Duncan as they visit Meta Solutions to decide what to do about Karen’s recently manifested powers. While there, Mal recognises Mammoth, who is responsible for Mal’s PTSD and his decision to have Meta Solutions remove his powers. 7.5/10
Wonder Woman is still one of the titles that I am enjoying the most, although of the two stories it is alternating between– this week’s Godwatch and last issue’s The Truth– I find the latter to be more interesting.
In a flashback to Diana’s early days as Wonder Woman, we are given some insight into Veronica Cale’s motivations as she is caught up in the schemes of the twins Phobos and Deimos, who are seeking the location of Themyscira. A solid issue. 8/10
I was initially a little annoyed that this issue was $3.99, before realising it is an over-sized special issue containing 3 separate stories. The first, which is the longest and the best, focuses on Orphan. While it is mainly a character piece with very little action, it serves to give us some insight into her thoughts and motivations as well as pointing toward problems for the bat-family on the horizon. Orphan is a character that I don;t really have might knowledge about, beyond the basics, but this issue helps to remedy that.
The second story, focusing on Azrael and Batwing is again mainly some insight into the characters and some background on the order of St-Dumas, while setting up future conflict. Nothing special here. I am not terribly enamoured of Batwing, but I would like to see more of Azrael and learn about this version of him, having been mainly familiar with his pre-New 52 incarnation.
The final story– also the shortest– is some interaction between Tim Drake’s Red Robin and Batman, which basically recaps some of Batman’s recent actions and has Tim guessing (correctly) at future steps Batman will be taking in preparation for whatever is coming in the greater Rebirth storyline. While brief, this story served mainly to make me miss Tim and the interaction between Batman and Robin (a real Robin, not the improving-but-still-annoying Damian). 8/10
The best comic that I read this week, this issue starts to address the mystery of the second Clark Kent, but it doesn’t provide any answers. Instead, it serves up more questions. Superman, like the originally Wally West, is seemingly at the centre of whatever is happening in Rebirth. This issue also touches briefly on the events occurring in Superwoman and hints at upcoming conflicts with Hank Henshaw.
I am enjoying the return of the real Superman quite a bit and am genuinely interested in the Clark Kent storyline. The Superman books, with their focus on Clark, Lois and their son serves as a counterpoint to the Batman books, which sem to have forgotten that Bruce Wayne exists. 8.5/10
This was likely my last issue. I am not terribly interested in this particular iteration of Lana Lang and I actually found this story arc to be fairly boring, aside from the ghost-Lois Lane, he mystery of whom I would like to see resolved. 5/10
Justice League of America
I picked this up purely by accident. I must have clicked on it in Comixology without realizing it until it was downloading. That said, I enjoyed it.
This first issue focuses on Batman building his own Justice League, although it is a little unclear whether or not the official JL is aware of it. Batman’s motivation in doing so is to create a team of “mortals, not gods” who can inspire others to heroic deeds. What seems a bit odd is that after explaining this mission statement to Black Canary, they go to recruit Lobo. I can only imagine the conversation that followed.
Black Canary: “Ok, so we’re going to be a group of ‘mortals’ that are more relatable to the average person. I’m on board with that. Who is our next recruit?”
Black Canary: “The biker from outer space with godlike strength and endurance, plus a healing factor that makes him basically immortal?”
Black Canary: “Ok, then…”
The new JLA also includes a reformed Killer Frost, the Atom (Ryan Choi), Vixen and the Ray. This version of the Ray is now gay. While there is no problem with that, I am finding it is becoming a bit of a cliché. It used to be that super teams had a checklist comprising strong guy, fast guy, smart guy, martial artist. Now the list seems to be strong person, fast person, smart person, martial artist, black character, gay character, Asian character. Again, there is no real problem with that, but when it is handled poorly, it just feels forced.
Batman himself is a bit of an issue for me. In much the same way as we’ve been introduced to the concept of multiple Jokers, I feel there must be multiple Batmans. In the various books, he is alternately starting to trust his teammates and even accepting the “new” Superman, or creating a new team because “we don’t need gods” (which sounds awfully disdainful and a little Lex Luthor-ish). He’s becoming more open with the bat-family, while seeming to be more mistrustful. And don’t get me started on the Batman who has been revealed to be suicidal and finishes every sentence with “break his damn back.”
I’m not sure how long I’ll stick with this title, but I’ll give it a few issues. 7/10
So that’s all I have picked up this week. I’d love to pick up a few other titles, if only the budget permitted it.
I’d love to hear what others are reading and their thoughts on current storylines.