Better Back-Up

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #23
Written by Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Paul Dini
Art by John Timms and Brett Blevins

Harley and Goat Boy takes Harley’s parents on a dinner cruise when the cruise is invaded by Clock King and Sportsmaster. Outside of the stuff with spoonsdale, I actually found this issue a tad boring and tedious. It seems like Conner and Palmiotti are being too wordy in each panel. Let the story breathe a bit. The backup Paul Dini was more fun with Harley overspending on her new headquarters for the Joker.

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.

Harley Quinn 17-22

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #17
Written by Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Paul Dini
Art by John Timms and Brett Blevins

The main story has the detective guy asking Harley and her gang to look into why homeless people are missing in New York and the dialogue was very funny. It seems that this series is a hit or a miss for me and this issue was a hit. The back up story by Paul Dini and art by Brett Blevins doing his best Bruce Timm – it reminded me so much of the old Batman: the Animated Series from when I was a kid it brought a smile to my face.

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #18
Written by Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Paul Dini
Art by John Timms, Joseph Michael Lisner, and Brett Blevins

The main story of the cannibals eating all of the Homeless is so sad but somehow they manage to write it all off as a dark comedy while not being offensive. That takes balls. The back up was filled with more Batman: The Animated Series style Harley and Joker goodness. This is a fun book to read again.

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Green Arrow 21 – 25

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Green Arrow (Volume 7) #21
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Juan Ferreyra

Juan Ferreyra’s art is beautiful. I Can’t get enough of it. Every panel is filled with detail. Broderick is gathering a bunch of baddies, including Brick who I remember from the Winick Green Arrow run, to destroy Seattle and it is strongly hinted Seattle will be renamed Star City in this issue. That is just weird. Why not just have Green Arrow move from Seattle to his usual fictionopolis of Star City instead of removing any Seattle story from being told in the DCU in the future? But I will see how I feel about it when it happens.

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Green Arrow (Volume 7) #22
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Juan Ferreyra

Mayor Domini is obviously a stand in for Donald Trump and I loved it. Seattle is getting destroyed by these Four Horsemen in very disturbing ways. Crash at the Airport, the road lights are all shot out, buildings are collapsing, and they even manage to go after the Green Arrow treehouse. Damn I liked that thing!

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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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New Super-Man 1 – 11

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New Super-Man #1
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Art by Viktor Bogdanovic

Going into this new series I did not know what to expect. I thought maybe DC was doing this to sell a series in China but I don’t think they would let a comic book be sold there that has “conspiracy theories” the Chinese government. I did end up finding this first issue to be a lot of fun. Yang is building almost a paralell world to Superman’s world in China with his own Lex Luthor and Lois Lane. But why Shanghai, why not make up a fictional Chinese city? The character of Kenan Kong…the new Super-Man is very interesting in that he is not a reluctant hero. He seems excited about gaining powers which is so different from how these things are usually done in comics.

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New Super-Man #2
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Art by Viktor Bogdanovic

Young Kenan Kong is now the Super-Man of China and meets the Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman of China. This Dr. Omen is putting together a Justice League for China. I quite enjoyed Dr. Omen’s no nonsense characterization and Kenan Kong is also a lot of fun. He is so excitied to be the new Super-Man he announces his secret identity on live tv.

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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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The End of Zorcrom

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #16
Written by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by John Timms and Johseph Michael Linsner

Harley teams up with Power Girl and Terra to take on Zorcrom and they finally defeat him. While talking amongst themselves what to do with him, he walks into the street, gets hit by a truck, and dies. It was amusing. Dark comedy all around in this book. I still find the art tedious and some of the jokes fall flat but it was an enjoyable conclusion. I look forward to Paul Dini in the next issue.

 

 

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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Serious as a Fart in a Space Suit

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #15
Written by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Khari Evans, John Timms, and Joseph Michael Lisner

This issue marks the first time I have seen Power Girl post-Rebirth. Power Girl’s relationship with Atlee seems to have survived Flashpoint intact. How much of Power Girl’s history is the same I wonder? She certainly does not remember her time with the JSA but does she know she is from Earth 2? I am interested to find out. This was a fun issue mostly because of the dialogue between Harley and Zorcrom who is a character I kinda hope mellows out and sticks around as a “Vegeta” type anti-hero. His opinions about enslaving humans are just too funny. Speaking of funny, my favorite Harley line in this comic is “Serious as a Fart in a Space Suit.”

Harley Quinn 1 – 14

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #1
Written by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Chad Hardin

I knew that Harley Quinn seemed to be way more popular since I stopped reading comics just by looking at dccomics.com once in a while the last few years. At first I hated that they sexified her costume and everything but after reading this comic I can see why she has become so big. This is hilarious stuff! Connor and Palmiotti write Harley as if you can hear her accent and funny quips in your ears. The way the zombie outbreak gets started is so morbid but funny. And all of these side characters are intriguing – the gang of Harleys, Red Tool, etc…

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #2
Written by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Bret Blevins and  Chad Hardin

I did not enjoy this issue as much as the last but this is still a fun book. In this issue, it is mostly just Harley fighting the zombies in various ways and some of the jokes felt flat to me. But I loved the part in the bathroom.

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5 Years Later and I am back baby! So here is Gotham City Sirens 22-26

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Gotham City Sirens #22
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

It has been five years since I read the last issue of this book and I don’t remember what happened but I think this was a Batman crossover issue and therefore it doesn’t much matter. It sure as hell was a good one though. Calloway really played with Catwoman’s history here with her sister which shows he understands the character. Always interesting to hear Selena quote Jesus of all people. I missed the DCU! It is good to be back in Gotham.

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Gotham City Sirens #23
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

Look how old this comic is ! The Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern movie! Ew! Anyways, Harley tries to break Joker out of Arkham again and Batman sends Catwoman to stop it. I love that the Joker knows that there is more than one Batman running around Gotham and mentions it here. They really never had Joker and Harley together in the mainstream comics all that much. It is refreshing (and psychotic) to see it in this issue.

 

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Gotham City Sirens #24
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

This was an action-packed finale to this arc that ends with both Harley and Ivy locked up in Arkham but not before the Joker goes on a murdering spree. It is fun to see the Bat and the Cat fighting together again. This was a great issue. Violent. I had forgotten how violent these comics can be. But I don’t mind violence as long as there is still hope and optimism in the end. DC Rebirth restored that for me. Let’s hope the Didio doesn’t screw this up!

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Gotham City Sirens #25
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

Hats off to Guinaldo for choosing to make the borders between panels in this issue be actualy plant vines as it mainly stars Poison Ivy who breaks out of Arkham with Harley Quinn (I love that she goes between wanting to actually kill Harley and calling Harley her best friend throughout the issue) and with the help of the Penguin the duo traps Catwoman in Robinson Park. This is the perfect way to end a villain book, even sympathetic villains like these ladies. I look forward to the final issue.

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Gotham City Sirens #26
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

This is the final issue of the Gotham City Sirens as it ends before the New 52 disgusting no-good horrible reboot. So glad it is turning out to not have been a reboot at all.  I have to say it had some great character moments but I was a bit confused if Batman was really behind the entire Sirens “team” or if Catwoman was lying. It also ended abruptly. I wonder if the other titles do this before Flashpoint or if this was unique. The last panel was just blank. Sad.

Expectations

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Gotham City Sirens #21
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

 

This was another great issue of Sirens. Two in a row after a so-so opening arc for Calloway on this book! Harley succumbs to her love for the Joker after all. I loved it and I wasn’t expecting that but I should have! The story of the Guards’ kid was very sad and showed just how twisted the Joker really is. I didn’t expect Catwoman and Ivy to part ways in this either. Love the art as well!

Breaking In To Arkham

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Gotham City Sirens #20
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo and Ramon Bachs

 

After a so-so opening arc on this book, Calloway blew me away with this issue! Perhaps the best issue of this series so far – it details how Harley Quinn breaks into Arkham Asylum by using psychological manipulation on the guards and staff and inmates. She of course was once a therapist there and knows all their secrets. It really shows a cold and calculating side of Harley we rarely get to see and Calloway nails it. Hats off to Guinaldo and Bachs as well whose art really helps to tell the story beautifully. I really enjoyed this.

Next Arc

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Gotham City Sirens #19
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

 

Calloway manages to conclude the current arc and start the next arc in one issue as Talia’s plan is thwarted (Not without blowing up the Sirens headquarters) and Harley decides to go after the Joker all in this issue. It wasn’t a bad issue but I hope that the next arc (Calloway’s second on this book) is more intriguing then his first. I have high hopes.