The Man From Monster Valley Surprise

jla8

Justice League of America (Volume 5) #8
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Felipe Watanabe

I enjoyed how this JLA team is really in the spotlight and are becoming almost celebrities. I am forever interested in how the news media treats superheroes in the DC Universe and I am glad that Steve Orlando has brought this to the more “grounded” Justice League team. The dynamics between team members and how they don’t always agree with each other’s actions or Batman’s leadership is why this is the better of the two Justice League books being published right now. The villain that is introduced in this issue is as fascinating as the cover says. I encourage you to read it, I won’t spoil the end like I usually do but let’s just say I did not see that coming. Monster Valley is not really explained well in this issue though, where did this place even come from?

Birds 9 and 10

birds9

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #9
Written by Julia Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Rogue Antonio

Wow it looks like Blackbird has taught Black Canary to use her powers in ways I don’t remember her ever having including manipulating the sound waves so she can hover off the ground and directly destroy certain objects. It’s all a ruse though as she plans to steal Canary’s powers. Blackbird could become one of the most powerful metahumans ever if she keeps this up. It looks like Black Canary’s pre-New 52 upbringing is still not back in continuity…I can’t wait till the idea that she was raised by a JSAer returns.

birds10

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #10
Written by Julia Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Rogue Antonio

The Birds of Prey team up with Nightwing and Green Arrow to defeat Blackbird who is a formidable foe for them. I do think how she was defeated in this issue was way too easy – why doesn’t the Huntress do that hypno thing with all the villains? I mean I guess she said she could only use it once right but still. Meanwhile, it looks like Gus the new Oracle’s secret is about to be revealed soon.

 

Justice League of America 4 – 7

jla4

Justice League of America (Volume 5) #4
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Ivan Reis

Lord Havok and the Extremists are defeated and Kravia is free to build a new country on their own terms. Orlando is subtly making a point about America’s interventionism but I am not sure it quite works here since the League (who stand in for America) don’t screw everything up the way the US does. Or maybe we just haven’t seen it happen yet? I was sad that this had actually nothing to do with Liberty Belle but some Captain America stand-in from Angor. It was cool to see Blue Jay again. I like how they make a good point that there is no way Lobo is meant to inspire anyone…Batman is up to something else he isn’t telling the League.

jla5

Justice League of America (Volume 5) #5
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Andy MacDonald

Steve Orlando sure knows his obscure DC History, the reporters at the Justice League press conference are reporters from all over the DC Universe and its history. I love it! Like I always say, more writers should be like Orlando and play with the toys they have been given them. Sure enough an obscure Wonder Woman villain is even the villain in this comic as the League fights Nikos Aegeus who has taken over a bankrupted city. It is cool to see a good use of the Ray’s power. Orlando is good at that, the last issue he actually used Vixen’s powers well.

Continue reading

An Arsenal of His Own

GreenArrow20
Green Arrow (Volume 7) #20
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Eleonora Carlini

The hateful banter between Ollie and Roy is very amusing…I love that Ollie tells Roy he should call himself Middle School Bro because of his backwards cap. Benjamin Percy is a good writer. Bryan Hitch and Brad Meltzer should learn from Percy about how heroes use code names while in battle no matter how close they are. This issue concludes the Return of Roy Harper arc and it is split between the story of how Green Arrow and Speedy stopped being partners and the current arc that has to do with the pipeline protests on the Indian Reservation. It was perfect. I wonder how much these flashback’s dovetails with Roy’s new 52 history or if they are changes for Rebirth.

The Return of Liberty Belle?

JLA3

Justice League of America (Volume 5) #3
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Diogenes Neves

Okay this was a huge improvement from the last issue, I am not sure if it was the scripting or the art but hats off to the creative team. In this issue, Havok united the coutnries around Kravia in his fight against the Justice League who each take on a member of the Extremists. The Ray even manages to convince one of them to change sides it looks like. The interesting thing is that the Extremists are shown to actually believe they are doing the right thing just like many villains in the real world. I think Orlando has the ability to make some great statements on world politics and I imagine that is why he chose to open this series with this arc. The final page confused me…why is Batman carrying a shield that looks like it belonged to Liberty Belle? Is this a DC Rebith – JSA crossover? I sure hope, but I could be totally wrong.

Green Arrow Rebirth 1 – 19

Green_Arrow_Vol_6_1

Green Arrow (Volume 7) #1
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Otto Schmidt

Out of all the new Rebirth series, this series seems to be the one most tied to its “Rebirth” one-shot because this comic starts off right where that left off and Benjamin Percy doesn’t really take time to explain what is going on which I think that is a mistake. But it is the only mistake really made here. We have Green Arrow and Black Canary back together and great art, the books seems to have regained its social conscience. In today’s political climate, it is important that Green Arrow be political. I think this was a good start and I was genuinely surprised by the cliffhanger ending, but I think I would be more surprised if I knew anything about his sister since I did not read New 52.

Green_Arrow_Vol_6_2Green Arrow (Volume 7) #2
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Otto Schmidt

So everyone thinks that Oliver Queen is dead and he has apparently been framed by his company and his own sister seemed to be in on his murder. Black Canary is searching for clues and it all has to do with Ninth Circle group. Meanwhile, Ollie awakes from his coma and goes to his bunker. Honestly this was a little decompressed, not much happened to further the plot at all since last issue.

Continue reading

Birds Undercover

bop8

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #8
Written by Julia Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Rogue Antonio

Nightwing guest stars in this issue as the Birds team up with him to fight Gemini who tells them about a metahuman doctor named Black Bird. Once again, I have to point out how great the editors are at keeping continuity in he DCU these days. Nightwing’s relationship developing in his solo series is mentioned here as are his past relationships with Babs and Helena, both of whom he also had a thing for Pre-Flashpoint. This series continues to be in the top 5 Rebirth books for me. This Blackbird seems like an interesting foe for the Birds of Prey (I love how the Bensons have consistently had Bird motif villains so far in this book.) as she is able to steal metahuman powers. Meanwhile, Black Canary goes undercover working for Roulette reminding me of one of my favorite Justice League Unlimited Episodes.