Team Defiance

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Deathstroke (Volume 4) #21
Written by Priest

Art by Diogenes Neves

This is issue marks the new era of this title where Deathstroke will be leading a new superhero team called Defiance consisting of Deathstroke, the Ravager, Jericho, Power Girl and Kid Flash sponsored by the US government. I like how they all have new uniforms too and I think Deathstroke’s black and white get up is a welcome change. As for the surprise appearance of Terra at the end of this I have no idea how she is even alive? Isn’t she suppose to be very dead? How pissed is Barry Allen going to be that Kid Flash is now on a team with Deathstroke? Anyways, I am excited about this bold new era for this series.

Is This Filler or an Important Issue?

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Justice League (Volume 3) #24
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Ian Churchill

I don’t care what anyone says, it never truly feels like the Justice League without the Martian Manhunter. It annoys that crap out of me that he isn’t on the team. I am sure sick of these filler issues too. This is suppose to be DC’s premiere Superhero team – Bryan Hitch should be taken off the book if he can’t do things in time (and if he keeps having the characters throw their real names around haphazardly too!) That being said, Ian Churchill’s art is beautiful in this comic. And damn is Mera badass in this. She nearly takes down the entire Justice League. I mean her aqua-telekinesis is stronger than I ever thought and that is why Batman asks her to join the Justice League on their next mission. So is Mera replacing Aquaman on the team? Why would a new member join on an issue that the regular writer is taking a break?

Batman Hates Tentacles

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Trinity (Volume 2) #10
Written by Frances Manapul
Art by Manapul

This was the least interesting issue of this series (at least among those written by Frances Manapul) because not much really happend but Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman plus the Flash and Cyborg are fighting these viruses. The ending held some promise as it seems there is more to the virus’s story than we initially though as they are searching for their mother and suddenly Wonder Woman gets infected. I loved it when Batman said he hates tentacles though. That was a funny moment.

 

Rucka Will Be Missed

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Wonder Woman (Volume 5) #25
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Nicola Sharp and Bilquis Evely

I am sad to write this is the final issue of Greg Rucka’s triumphant Rebirth run on Wonder Woman. Rucka’s run was my favorite run on the character ever before Rebirth and he impressed me even more this time around. I wish he was staying on this book. I have one complaint – why the hell would Diana call Superman Kal-El? She isn’t Kryptonian and it seems out of character. That being said, as usual this issue was amazing and showed how fascinating Rucka makes the character of Wonder Woman. He Rucka shows her strength, her beauty, her love, her dedication to justice, her vulnerability, and even her sexuality (tastefully) in one issue. Steve and Diana are back together and he even had a house built for her, Veronica Cale refuses to help Cheetah, and a lot is left over for the next creative team to build upon. My biggest fear is that they won’t. Rucka’s last run ended with a great supporting cast just like this one ended and it wasn’t followed up on. DC dropped the ball. I sincerely hope that mistake is not made again.

Cyborg 12 and 13

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Cyborg (Volume 2) #12
Written by John Semper Jr.
Art by Will Conrad

Will Conrad’s art is downright beautiful in this issue and it fits the series well…but can’t we have him on a higher profile book? In this issue, Exxy does a rap about Cyborg and it is very cute. In fact, I love the idea of Cyborg has the hero of Detroit. Semper Jr is doing a good job of building Cyborg’s hero dynasty with a city and a great supporting cast. This was a good issue. I wonder how Cyborg’s six month time jump works in the context of him being in he Justice League. I mean he wasn’t missing for six months on the team?

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Cyborg (Volume 2) #13
Written by John Semper Jr.
Art by Allan Jefferson

This was another good issue of this series as Cyborg teams up with Black Narcissus to take down a new villain called Fyrewyre and eventually gets captured by Anomaly. There was a few times in this issue where the characters basically talked to themselves. I don’t see why those could not have been thought balloons. It would have made way more sense.

Green Lanterns 21 – 25

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Green Lanterns #21
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Robson Rocha

Robson Rocha really hit it out of the park with the art in this issue. Wow! Ever panel was breathtakingly beautiful in this issue where Dr. Polaris nearly pulls the Justice League watchtower out of space and on top of a city but is stopped by the two starring Green Lanterns. Doctor Polaris is turned into such a tragic character in these pages. Good issue.

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Green Lanterns #22
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Ronan Cliquet

Yay the first GL to show up in this issue besides our star Jessica Cruz is none other than Kyle Rayner! This is apparently the first time Jessica has met Kyle – I am frankly surprised that she has never heard of him. Hasn’t she done her research on the past Green Lanterns of Earth? He even says he used to have her job. In fact, Kyle and Jessica have a lot more in common than that. Both of them got their rings spontaneously and were not trained at first. Anyways, it was great to read about Jessica’s introduction to the Green Lantern Corps headquarters too and I look forward to seeing Guy train Jessica and Kyle train Simon! So glad Hal Jordan is not involved…that guy sucks. PS Ronan Cliquet is a great artist.

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Another Jessica Cruz Starring Filler Issue

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Justice League (Volume 3) #23
Written by Tom DeFalco
Art by Tom Derenick

This was another fill-in on the main Justice League book….that’s crazy! Come on let’s get a new consistent creative team on this book, it is one of DC’s weakest offerings and all these fill-ins don’t help. That being said, this was an enjoyable issue as Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern Jessica Cruz try to stop an evil counter-terrorist who really is just a terrorist. I am not sure what message – if any – DeFalco was trying to get across about the war on terror besides you should not hurt innocents in fighting terrorists but it worked, and we got a much more confident Jessica Cruz (and she wasn’t all that confident either – just compared to before) but how come all these filler issues are focused on her?

Justice League 19 – 22

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Justice League (Volume 3) #19
Written by Bryan Hitch
Art by Fernando Pasarin

Molly the Keeper (whatever a Keeper is, they seem like monitors?) but she warns she only wanted to destroy the League because someone way worse is coming to destroy them. I am assuming this has something to do with Dr. Manhattan and Rebirth but maybe it is a different threat? I also have no clue who Alexis, Vincent, or Jane are.

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Justice League (Volume 3) #20
Written by Bryan Hitch
Art by Hitch

This was spectacularly depressing issue of Justice League where the Flash keeps reliving the death of Jessica Cruz like Groundhogs day and eventually figures out the guy who caused it’s family was accidentally killed by the machine he created when it mixed with the Speed Force and he blames the Justice League. This is the second time this book has had a villain who blames the League for deaths of loved ones but I am willing to see where this goes before I judge the story because it was enjoyable.

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Trinity 8 and 9

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Trinity (Volume 2) #8
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Emanuela Lapacchino

This issue focused on Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman discussing the realization that someone is tampering with reality and they decide to keep it among themselves for now until they know more information. What was odd to me is that Batman doesn’t mention that Barry and Wally know someone is messing with reality already so they really aren’t keeping it just among themselves. It was a good Rebirth tie-in issue none-the-less.

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Trinity (Volume 2) #9
Written by Frances Manapul
Art by Manapul

Frances Manapul returns for this new story arc focusing on an invasion of the Justice League sattelite from a viris alien. As usual, it is breathakingly beautiful and well-written. Reading this, I can’t help but think Manapul should be given the writing and art duties on the regular Justice League book because he knows these characters and his art makes them come alive. He manages to balance action and character moments perfectly, which is something I am not sure the main Justice League book does well right now. Either way, I am glad he is writing these characters somewhere.

The Million Dollar Debut of H8-Bit

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Cyborg (Volume 2) #11
Written by John Semper Jr.
Art by Will Conrad and Tom Derenick

This issue marks the debut of a new brilliant – I mean Paul Dini level at creating villains – brilliant. How cool is the idea of a villain who lives in an 8-bit video game called H8-Bit? That is as comic bookey as you can get and I love it. I do have to say that Cyborg turns the whole thing into a lesson for him instead of being sad that he essentially lost a friend – that is totally selfish and self-involved! But anyways, good issue.

At Least He Used the Code Names

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Justice League (Volume 3) #18
Written by Bryan Hitch
Art by Fernando Pasarin

Okay so I did not see that ending coming and I can’t say I at all understand what is going on here. This girl wants to protect the timeline just like Tempus did by getting rid of superheroes? But Tempus did not want to kill them. But honestly just like every issue of this series not much happens accept a few panels of them fighting different people. It is still way too decompressed and it’s a shame because I don’t think Hitch is a bad writer. At least he didn’t have them call each other by their first names in this issue. That would have made it worse.

Polaris Origins

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Green Lanterns #20
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Eduardo Pansica

We learn more about Doctor Polaris’s past which is something even I don’t know much about. It seems he was discredited in the scientific community but for real reasons or fraudulent ones? It is unclear. What is clear is he now has schizophrenia and can’t stop himself from putting on his Polaris suit when he really just wants to save his brother’s life. Meanwhile, John Stewart decides to bring in Rami, Jessica, and Simon to be trained after it is reported Rami is with them. It was a decent issue with great art. I am still rather enjoying this series.

Cyborg Rebirth 1 – 10

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Cyborg (Volume 2) #1
Written by John Semper Jr.
Art by Paul Pelletier

I am not excited to read this series mainly because I hate that Cyborg has replaced Martian Manhunter’s role in the Justice League. I do not dislike Cyborg, but he belongs with the Titans. So here we dive into the first issue and Cyborg is now apparently the defender of Detroit. Fine that is not the worst change in the world. But I have to say I liked this debut, Semper Jr. managed to catch us up on everything about Cyborg and tell a very human story about a machine-man who is afraid he has lost his soul. I am impressed.

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Cyborg (Volume 2) #2
Written by John Semper Jr.
Art by Paul Pelletier

Cyborg fights Kilg%re who explains to him his history and that he is just one of the machines being gathered by a mysterious villain who wants Cyborg to join them. In the end, Kilg%re puts him through a test on whether he is human or machine and it involved saving his father’s life. Semper is a good writer as I already feel I care about the Stone Family on issue 2. I am confused as to why Cyborg is working with T.O. Morrow. Is he good now? I did not see the final page coming at all.

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Green Lanterns 1 – 19

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Green Lanterns #1
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Robson Rocha

As happy as I am to have a new Green Lantern book that is not starring boring old Hal Jordan, I can’t say I was excited to read this. Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz have not interested me one bit in the Justice League book. Simon just seems like a jerk and Jessica is so unsure of herself it becomes not sweet, but annoying. I was hoping under a different write I would feel differently. This issue did not win me over, but maybe future issues will because the art was good and I am interested in the Red Lantern sub-plot. Oh and Dex-Starr!

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Green Lanterns #2
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Robson Rocha

Now this was more like it! By focusing on Jessica learning about her ring with her sister, Humphries made me actually understand her character better and what she is going through. Hopefully we will get a similar focus on Simon. This series just got good.

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Threats Against Space and Time

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Justice League (Volume 3) #17
Written by Bryan Hitch
Art by Feranando Pasarin

The latest issue of Superman made it seem like the New 52 Superman and our Superman were really the same being split in two but this issue has Tempus saying that our Superman is an anomyly. I wonder how this fits together. I just realized that the latest issue of Superman seems to be playing on the Superman-Red (New 52) and Superman-Blue motif. That’s cool! Anyways, on to this actual comic book I am reviewing. I love how intricately connected all these books are. The editors are doing a stand up job (except for the Aquaman book and its crazy Atlantis destroys half of Boston but it is not mentioned in any other comic crap) as Wonder Woman and Superman’s going ons in their respective solo books are referenced here. And this issue is representative of what this series should have been from the start – epic Justice League stories where the threat could destroy all of space and time. I like how the villain is utilizing magic, Green Lantern energy, and the Speed Force to move the Earth somewhere else because a dark force is going to come after the heroes and he wants to separate them from the rest of the univer. Could this coming threat have something to do with Rebirth? Is it Doc Manhattan or something specific to this book? We shall see.

Nightwing 1 – 16

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Nightwing (Volume 4) #1
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Javier Fernandez

How great is it to see Nightwing in that costume again? It’s been what ten years since he wore that beautiful – frankly iconic – Nightwing costume. DC….what were you thinking? He should have been returned to that immediately after he stopped being Batman. Speaking of that, Dick refers to his time as Batman. Does that mean Final Crisis happened in the New 52 universe or is this a result of Rebirth restoring the timeline? Interesting. This was a great start to this series but not exactly a good jumping on point for new readers for a first issue. We aren’t really told what is going on with this Parliament of Owls other than they are forcing Dick to work with them or they think they are and he is playing them. I don’t know much about the Court of Owls because they are a new 52 creation. Anyways, it is still weird to see Barbara Gordon in a Batgirl costume and not Oracle and looking so young. Is she still suppose to be the same age as Dick?  So far…this is good. Seeley seems to really understand Dick Grayson as a character and the art is perfect for a Nightwing book.

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Nightwing (Volume 4) #2
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Javier Fernandez

This was a fantastic comic. I like how Seeley writes Nightwing’s narraration. It isn’t all action, there is depth to this story. I don’t like how the Raptor knows their have been different Robins. That is dumb. The general public in the DCU should not know that. Also, how is Barbara flying to Tokyo and back? Does Bruce bankroll her?

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Aquaman Rebirth 1-18

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Aquaman (Volume 8) #1
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Brad Walker

This is the first issue of Aquaman post-Rebirth. Aquaman of course only recently came back to life Pre-Flashpoint so I wonder how much of Aquaman’s history has now been restored. Black Manta attacks Aquaman and his new embassy in this comic, and there is no mention that Black Manta once killed Aquaman’s baby son, so maybe that is no longer in continuity? Or perhaps the memory of it has been erased by Dr. Manhattan since Mera and Aquaman think they were never married. Anyways, continuity matters aside, this was a great first issue with great art and a great introduction to the politics between Atlantis and the Surface World.

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Aquaman (Volume 8) #2
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Scot Eaton

In this issue, Aquaman manages to use his words rather than his fists to defeat Black Manta as he convinces the villain that killing him will ultimately be disappointing for him. It shows that this character is about both brains and brawns. He is a monarch and a diplomat after all.

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