New Team Leader / New Art

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Suicide Squad (Volume 5) #20
Written by Rob Williams
Art by Stjepan Sejic

In this beautifully drawn issue by Stjepan Sejic, Harley Quinn is named the new team leader of Task Force X by Amanda Waller. It is about time that this book has had a good consistent artist – it has been the single thing that I think has hurt this series the most. The art turned an okay comic book into a good one.

The Name of the Team

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Suicide Squad (Volume 5) #19
Written by Rob Williams
Art by Neil Edwards

I always though Suicide Squad was just a nickname and they were really Task Force X – but they sure call themselves Sucide Squad a lot here and are even called that by amanda Waller. I don’t know why but that bothered me. As for this issue, it was okay. Nothing really of note happened except a fight with Zod who is a character that I have never thought was all that interesting.

Suicide Squad 14 – 18

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Suicide Squad (Volume 5) #14
Written by Rob Williams
Art by John Romita Jr. and Eddy Barrows

Big shocker…Amanda Waller is not really dead. Actually, no one in this series ever stays dead so why call it Suicide Squad? I can’t say I enjoyed this issue all that much. It was just the Suicide Squad for some reason going after that Rustam guy and I don’t buy at all that they would stick together after being released from jail. This makes me miss how good Gail Simone’s Secret Six was. Remember when Deadshot had actual characterization?

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Suicide Squad (Volume 5) #15
Written by Rob Williams
Art by John Romita Jr. and Eddy Barrows

Okay I have to give it to Rob Williams he did write some funny Harley Quinn dialogue in this issue. At one point she yells a command, “Suicide Squad attack! Make defamatory comments! Use Sarcasm.” That gave me a chuckle. This was a much better written issue. Amanda Waller’s evil is always fun to read in a weird way. That being said, Romita and Barrows have very different art styles and it is jarring to see them both in one issue.

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Keeping the Suspense

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The Flash (Volume 5) #19
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Jesus Merino and Carmine Di Giandomenico

Captain Boomerang reveals to Kid Flash that his Dad died while working for the Suicide Squad and afterwards the Flash finally reveals his secret identity as Barry Allen to Kid Flash. He is okay with it until Barry reveals Iris doesn’t know and Kid Flash accuses Barry of being a liar. I don’t really blame him. The final issues of this comic were what really got me excited though as the original Reverse-Flash says he remembers Flashpoint and this is all leading to more Rebirth mysteries being resolved next issue. I can’t wait! This is seriously the coolest thing DC has ever done with its continuity…slowly revealing the repercussions of Rebirth and keeping the suspense going is brilliant!

Suicide Squad Rebirth 1 – 13

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Suicide Squad (Volume 5) #1
Written by Rob Willaims
Art by Jim Lee and Jason Fabok

Suicide Squad returns post-Rebirth with the exact same line up as the movie. Coincidence? I think not. I can’t say this was Jim Lee’s best work. I usually like his artwork (If not his choices for costumes *cough* Huntress * cough) but this seemed unpolished somehow or rushed. That being said, it was an interesting start as the Suicide Squad is sent to Russia to retrieve a Cosmic object of importance by Amanda Waller and they nearly die while dropping to Russia from space. I question how it is that Harley is living it up in Brooklyn in her own series yet somehow is in jail here? In the back up story, we focus on Deadshot and it looks like his daughter from the movie is being retconned into the main DCU. At least I know he did not have a daughter Pre-Flashpoint. Maybe she existed in the New 52, I don’t know.

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Suicide Squad (Volume 5) #2
Written by Rob Willaims
Art by Jim Lee and Ivan Reis

In this action-packed issue, the Suicide Squad helps a girl named Hack escape from her prison cell and she turns them into digital information to warp to where the cosmic item is – which turns out to be a sphere which acts as a portal to the Phantom Zone. And yes sure enough Zod escapes and it looks like he kills Captain Boomerang. Is he dead again? We shall see I guess. The back-up story focuses on Captain Boomerang as he tells a fake origin to Amanda Waller. It was good fun.

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Barry Allen 1 – 18

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The Flash (Volume 5) #1
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico

I liked that this issue acted as a true #1 and introduced new readers to The Flash’s origin and everything and starts to fill out his supporting cast but I am not a huge fan of the art. I mean it is not bad but I am not sure it is right for a Flash comic. Also, I am unsure of what Barry and Iris’s relationship is now. Does she know he is the Flash? Why does Kid Flash not know Barry is the Flash? I guess I will find out. It also looks like the lightning has struck Barry’s friend August and gave him powers of some sort.

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The Flash (Volume 5) #2
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico

In this issue, Barry trains Detective August Heart about his new speed force powers. He suspects he missed having Wally West (The original and real Flash) around and maybe the Speed Force chose August to be his partner. Meanwhile, the Black Hole is a gang of people working for Dr. Carver and causing Havoc for Barry and August. I am confused why young Wally (Can they just change his name?) says he is not a hero. Didn’t he debut as Kid Flash pre-Rebirth? Also, didn’t the lightning strike Barry after he had a bunch of chemicals on him. I didn’t think lightning alone gave him his powers? At the end of this issue, it looks like the lightning struck a whole bunch more people. This is getting interesting but I am still not a huge fan of the art.

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Red Robin 22-26

red_robin_vol_1_22Red Robin #22
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Freddie Williams II

This was another issue of the Azrael Batman crossover. It was good and for once I wasn’t bothered by Williams’s art for some reason it seemed less cartoony this time around. I don’t quite buy the idea that Tim Drake would not believe in God because he is a member of the Teen Titans he has fought Gods and knows that there is Angel that used to be in the Justice League, etc. I think Nicieza should have said he doesn’t believe in the Christian version of God or something else besides this because it doesn’t work in the DCU.

red_robin_vol_1_23Red Robin #23
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

I wonder if the scene where Lucius Fox means with a Hong Kong businessman named Lau is a homage to the similar scene in The Dark Knight. It sure seems like it. Anyways, this was a decent issue where Red Robin is lead into a trap and an assassin’s tournament. Tim acts like he has heard of this tournament before and I wonder if it was in this book or in his time as Robin.

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Red Robin #24
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

I like how Marcus To draws Tim’s Red Robin costume when he is surrounded completely with his cape, which is surprising because I am not a big fan of the costume in general. The ending of this issue actually made this interesting after all as there is an occult angle to this story line that I was not expecting. Also Tim may be forced to impregnate someone but I am sure he gets out of this next issue? Let’s see!

 

Red Robin #25red_robin_vol_1_25
Written by Fabian Nicieza

Art by Marcus To

Tim and Cassandra Cain fighting together again at last! Despite the misleading cover, Tim and Cassandra – now in her new guise as Black Bat – a rather awesome title for her I think. The only thing better would be what she truly is – Batgirl! Anyways, it was great to see the two of them working together. To me and people my age, they are Batgirl and Robin. That being said, Nicieza only briefly mentions Tim going to Hong Kong to help Cass fight Cricket. Which sounds like an awesome villain. Why can’t we see that story instead of what I assume the next issue will be. I bet he originally wanted to include it but it was cut because of the stupid New 52.

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Red Robin #26
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

In the final issue of this series, Tim sets up a death trap for Captain Boomerang – the man who killed his father, but saves Boomerang at the last second. Batman is disappointed in Red Robin and even though he made the right choice the issue ends on a darker note with a darker Red Robin. I question why they would go in this direction at all? It doesn’t really fit the character although I do think there is room for Tim to kill more than Cassandra Cain whose whole character was about not killing but still…it’s a bit strange.