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.

Gotham Victims

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Batman (Volume 3) #26
Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janin

Ok what the hell Deathstroke is NOT a Batman villain. Why is he pictured with the Batman Rogues Gallery all of a sudden and showing up possibly in the next Batman movie – he is a Teen Titans villain who sometimes fights other heroes! But anyways the second part of the War of Jokes and Riddle was decent but I was surprised at how quick a read it was. It was good to see characters like Carmine Falcone and it looks like Batman has now joined the Justice League in his first year as a crime fighter which I don’t even think that was the case before Flashpoint so that is an interesting continuity change. The theme that I took away from this issue is that Tom King seems to be focusing on the innocent victims of the Batman villains and how Batman remembers their names to keep his crusade on crime going. I like that.

Birds Continuity

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #11
Written by Julia Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Rogue Antonio

So the Rebirth Continuity has slowly been restored to the Pre-Flashpoint timeline but in this issue Barbara Gordon describes her time as Oracle leading the Birds of Prey and fighting the Calculator in the past – which seems to mean the Gail Simone run is back in continuity or at least the characters remember it but the Huntress is still suppose to be new to the Birds in this series therefore she wasn’t around for that arc – so who was their third member back then? I guessed in my head the bad guy behind Gus would be the Calculator but I am happy that we are seeing the Birds’ Pre-Flashpoint history returning. The cliffhanger ending has Catwoman being the person who paid Calcultor for intel! Now that makes me happy. To be honest, Catwoman works best as a thief instead of the borderline hero she has been since Ed Brubaker wrote her solo series. I kike that the Bensons are bringing the cat burglar element of Selena’s character into play.

 

Deathstroke Rebirth 1 – 20

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Deathstroke (Volume 4) #1
Written by Priest
Art by Carlo Pagulayan

I only know Deathstroke from his appearance in other comic books (and I have to say he is way overused) and not his solos series, and for a #1 issue this really is not written for new readers. I was so lost, and I know the character.

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Deathstroke (Volume 4) #2
Written by Priest
Art by Larry Hama and Carlo Pagulayan

Okay I have always wondered why Rose Wilson had silver hair, I always assumed it had something to do with whatever the thing is that Deathstroke injects into himself but when he has injected others – like sadly Cassandra Cain for example – their hair does not turn white. (Maybe that is just because Cassandra is so badass she can take it without her hair turning white.) Anyways, I still found this issue hard to follow, but better than the last – at least I know Rose Wilson/the Ravager from her Titans days.

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The War of Jokes and Riddles Begins

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Batman (Volume 3) #25
Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janin

This issue begins a flashback story called the War of Jokes and Riddles. It begins with many violent hard to watch/read murders by both the Joker and the Riddler and ends with a great panel of a naked Batman looking pretty great next to Catwoman in bed as he tells this story. We still don’t know if Catwoman said yes to his marriage proposal last issue but who cares – we got to see Mikel Janin draw a great naked Batman! Yay! Jokes aside (no pun intended), this was a great start to what looks like a very cool past-Batman story which if done right looks like it could be on the level of something like the Long Halloween. Tom King is really good at dissecting these characters and his explanation of why the Joker and the Riddler do what-they-do (as told by the Riddler) is fascinating.

Titans 10 and 11

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Titans (Volume 3) #10
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Brett Booth

Ok Abnett why in the hell are you having the Titans call each other by real names right in front of the Fearsome Five! I can’t stand when writers do this. That being said this was a fun issue as the Titans face off against the Fearsome Five. Bumblebee, of all people, end up saving the day. I am very unclear what her powers are. In the end, she ends up having her memory of Mal Duncan erased which should make some drama in the future. Speaking of Mal, I like his new costume….I think.

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Titans (Volume 3) #11
Written by Dan Abnett, Benjamin Percy, and Priest
Art by Brett Booth

Wow as I suspected the events of the New Teen Titans series are now back in continuity! But they didn’t happen exactly as they did in the original series…I don’t remember Lilith being much in the comic at all and the costumes are different. This is an interesting take on things. In this continuity was Raven not in the New Teen Titans, but it was instead Lilith? I look forward to seeing where this goes.

Teen Titans 7 and 8

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Teen Titans (Volume 6) #7
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Khoi Pham and Phil Hester

Jackson Hyde makes it to Titans Tower and is immediately rejected by Robin until he saves Robin from King Shark. Damian then gives him a suit that he had been creating for himself for underwater missions. I wonder if this will be Jackson’s final Aqualad costume – it is unclear because he never puts it on in this comic. I am hoping Jackson is given the name Aqualad by Garth as a passing of the torch in the upcoming crossover.

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Teen Titans (Volume 6) #8
Written by Priest, Benjamin Percy, and Dan Abnett
Art by Khoi Pham and Phil Hester

This is Part 2 of the Lazarus Contract crossover that began here. I want to dislike this crossover because I know that Deathstroke trying to ressurect Grant Wilson has been done SO MANY TIMES in the past. In fact, I think it was done right before Flashpoint. But the writing and characterization is top notch I can’t really hate it. Tempest and the new Aqualad meet for the first time, Donna and Starfire saying how they should really be the ones in charge – the writers clearly know these characters. Kid Flash actually finds out that Wally has the same name as him in this issue which I figured the would have left for the Flash books to resolve.

 

Titans 1 – 9

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Titans (Volume 3) #1
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Brett Booth

It is so strange when they flashback to the old Teen Titans days and Dick Grayson is shown to be wearing what is essentially the Time Drake Robin costume. I know that is a New 52 thing…but it is just dumb. DC should not be ashamed of their past, they should embrace it. It is strange that Wally skips over essentially everything post-crisis in the opening narraration except for Linda Park. What about Barry’s death and the birth of his kids? Out of all the new Titans costumes, I think I liked Donna Troy’s the best. I think she was do for a refresher. It really speaks to her past as Wonder Girl and her time as Troia. I am not a fan of Tempest or Garth’s (Is he still called Tempest?), I think his Pre-Flashpoint costume was better. It was so great to see this team back together and for their history to be restored. Now I would like to know if they eventually remember the Wolfman/Perez era and the rest of their history. Titans Together! Oh and unlike the other writers, Abnett seems to understand Wally West is Keystone City’s hero. I am glad we are finally getting to see Keystone again.

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Titans (Volume 3) #2
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Brett Booth

Okay I haven’t exactly enjoyed Abnett’s Aquaman run so I was not expecting much from this book other than hints at the big Rebirth mystery, and there are plenty of that. But I am genuinely enjoying this series in it’s second issue. Even though this whole issue was a big fight with the Titans and Abra Kadabra it still had great characterization and pacing. I was surprised. Abra Kadabra seems to know that Doctor Manhattan or whoever the big bad is that broke history. So that means him, Psycho Pyrate, Superman, Wally, and Lois all seem to know. Linda Park seems closer to meeting Wally again already. I like that. I hope they eventually remember their kids. Also, it looks like Abnett is hinting at bringing back the Donna and Roy romance.

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Titans 34-38

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Titans (Volume 2) #34
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino

Despite hating what happened to Lian Harper and the disgusting way Dan Didio has talked about killing her,  and then what happened to Ryan Choi… this was a good issue and that is due to the creative team telling a strong story. I am actuallu interested in what is to come of Osiris and this creepy guy who takes people’s eyes.

 

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Titans (Volume 2) #35
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino and Phillip Tan

Another good issue of this dark series. I hate how Lian and Ryan have died but Eric Wallace sure knows how to write and Fiorentino knows how to draw beautifully. There was a lot of story in this issue. Wallace isn’t writing for the trade and I like that. The ending where Deathstroke has to fight essentially the creatures from the movie “the Descent” was quite creepy. I wonder if Vixen will ever form her new street team of heroes (Which ironically is how she originally joined the League in the 80’s right because Aquaman wanted to remake the team like that). All of the plots in this book are interesting.

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Titans (Volume 2) #36
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino

This issue wasn’t as good as the last. The art seemed weaker and it ended the arc too easily to me. It was exciting to see the Justice League show up at the end to take Deathstroke to task for the murder of Ryan Choi. Other than that it was only okay. I don’t really care much about Tatooed Man’s arc which is what most of this issue was dedicated to. Deathstroke mentions that Roy and Jericho were once on the same team but…was Jericho and Roy ever on the Titans at the same time? I don’t remember if they were. It seems not but I could be wrong.

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Titans (Volume 2) #37
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Travis Moore

This was a return to form as Jericho is resurrected by a device Deathstroke helped Sivana create. Then they offer to bring back the dead relatives of the Titans including Lian Harper! I was screaming yes! But the problem is that it might also give Lian eternal life which is hell I guess but Roy should know that in the DC Universe they will figure out how to fix that. Bring back your toddler who didn’t deserve to die at he hands of Prometheus/Dan Didio! Can’t wait to see how this concludes.

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Titans (Volume 2) #38
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Travis Moore

In the final issue the machine that would have ressurected Lian Harper is destroyed which is too bad but I guess Roy is reformed now and has decided to lead the Titans even though Jericho is now it’s only member. Wallace is a really good writer and I hope he landed somewhere else in DC’s line up after this book. What I like the most is that he included a heartfelt funeral for Ryan Choi which showed he respects the character even though I am sure that editorial forced him to kill Ryan. I am glad Ryan returned in DC Rebirth but I wish it was the same Ryan Choi. I hope in the end it will turn out that everyone’s memories had just been erased and that it is the same Ryan without his memories of being the Atom. Long live the real and original DC Universe!

 

 

Taking Power From Shazam

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Titans (Volume 2) #32
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino and Phillip Tan

 

Now this was an enjoyable issue as we finally as Osiris is officially restored to life by the white light after he takes Freddy Freeman’s powers away which somehow bring Isis back but something bad has happened to her apparently. I am actually excited to see what happens next which is not something I say often about this book. Tatooed Man leaves and Deathstroke gives more hints that this whole team has something to do with Jericho.

Pick A Name And Stick To It

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Titans (Volume 2) #31
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino

 

Okay DC you need to decide whether Freddy Freeman is going by Captain Marvel or Shazam – in story its always Shazam – but in the text and their advertisements it’s like that can’t decide which is really unprofessional and annoying. Pick one! Osiris is way over the edge and this book is in no way fun to read anymore – from Arsenal’s downward spiral (hell at least he isn’t an outright villain just yet) to the disgusting murder of Slipknot I just didn’t care for this issue. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t mind violence in comics all that much.

Leaving Arkham

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Titans (Volume 2) #30
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino

 

It’s a shame this Arkham arc is coming to an end as this has been the best this book has been since the Villains for Hire thing started. Heck any comic set in Arkham is usually a treat but this setting really amped up the fun for this series which I found to just be incredibly depressing before. Osiris leaves and swares off killing for now, which is a good thing, although it was kind of abrupt and the confrontation between Dick and Roy was great cause I am glad to see that Dick still believes in his friend even if Roy has become a drug addicted mess. I wonder where this is going.

Arkham Fights

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Titans (Volume 2) #29
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino

 

This was an okay issue but I don’t feel like a lot happened – just a lot of fighting inside Arkham and Tattooed Man talking about his dead son – who I didn’t even know was dead. But it’s still Arkham and that is always fun. Osiris is completely nuts now.

A Trip To Arkham

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Titans (Volume 2) #28
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino

 

I have to say that this is the best issue of Wallace’s run yet, and that has a lot to do with it is always awesome when a comic is set in Arkham Asylum and the Bat-Villains show up. The idea that the one guard had the key to all the cells is incredibly dumb but whatever. Osiris is a full-on killer now I highly doubt he can be redeemed even if he thinks killing is going to bring his sister back to life. Arsenal is actually quite interesting as a drug addict but it’s still so sad to see him like that. It was just as heartbreaking to see Ray Palmer investigating Ryan Choi’s disappearance. A part of me still has some hope that Ryan may still be alive somehow.

Cracking Up

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Titans (Volume 2) #27
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino

 

The violence wasn’t as bad as past issues – but this book is still filled with disgusting violence that isn’t even balanced off by humor like over in Secret Six. Everything about this book is depressing from Osiris believing he has to kill to bring back Isis’s to Arsenal’s drug addiction and loss over his daughter. But there is an interesting mystery as to what Deathstroke’s plans are – and why is Isis’s statue cracking? So I am torn about whether I like the new direction of the book or not.

Mind Space

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Action Comics #892
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Pete Woods
Co-Feature by Jeff Lemire
Art by Pier Gallo

 

Lex discovers the spot where the black rings dissapated I take it and it is able to mess with minds. This is deep stuff involving quantum physics and the mind as part of the space-time continuum. Not what I expected when I heard this book would star Lex Luthor but I like it! Cornell has proven to me this will be a good run! Deathstroke is overused and now even has a book he stars in so I think his inclusion here was completely unnecessary but what can you do. The Superboy Co-Feature which is really just a preview of the upcoming Superboy book was interesting to say the least. Why is Raven half-naked throughout it?