Secret Six 32 – 36

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Secret Six (Volume 3) #32
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

The Secret Six travel to hell in a fantastic issue. I forgot how much I missed reading this book with it’s hilarious but dark characters and it’s beautiful artwork. I loved how Bane seemed shock that he might be damned to hell because he considers himself to be good. I loved that Ragdoll doesn’t want to return to earth because he is going “sane.” I loved it all.

 

Secret Six (Volume 3) #33secretsix33
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

In this issue, Catman goes to make sure that his father is in hell where he deserves to be only to find that his mother is in hell too – she eats his father every day as a lioness to torture him. Etrigan tells Catman this is heaven for his mother. I guess his Dad got what he deserved! That is some dark humor there and I love it. We even get to see the personal hells of all of the Secret Six. Some were sad like Bane’s but then Gail Simone – the master 0f writing comedic relief – shows King Shark’s hell as a vegetarian restaurant. Anyways, Lady Blaze tells Scandal her other girlfriend’s soul will soon belong to her in hell. I can’t remember who Scandal’s other girlfriend was.

secretsix34Secret Six (Volume 3) #34
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

Did Jeanette quote Julian of Norwhich in this issue? Scandal sure did lie to her girlfriend in this issue didn’t she? Anyways, this was a heartwarming issue in a dark heartwarming disturbing way only the Secret Six can bring. Bane goes on a date and gets in a fight. Jeanette seems to have decided to turn good? And it was just a lot of fun.

 

 

Secret Six (Volume 3) #35secretsix35
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

In this issue, Bane decides to lead the team in another assault Batman after realizing that he never got to really break the Batman like he wanted to back in the day. They start by drafting the Penguin to join the team. I enjoy the way Simone writes Penguin…it reminds me of Batman Returns a bit. And that is my favorite Batman movie. This was a fantastic issue.

 

Secret Six (Volume 3) #36 secretsix36
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

This is the final issue of a great series that I will miss. Gail Simone is a creative genius. You writes complex characters who are so well-rounded it is like they are real people. She is truly a gem in the comic book world. Also, she has a scene in this where they feed a man to King Shark on a fishing hook. So she is hilarious too. The part where Scandal decides she wants to marry both Knockout and Liana was a tad strange though but hey these are crazy people this book is about. The only problem I had was it is really hard to believe all of those supeheroes would show up to fight the Secret Six like they are Darkseid or something. But they sure got their asses handed to them and this villain team went out in a blaze of glory. What a fitting finale to an amazing series!

 

Justice Society 50-54

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Justice Society of America #50
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Tom Derenick, Howard Chaykin, George Perez, Freddie Williams II, and Scott Koblish

So Martha Kent designed the Superman costume? I am pretty sure that flys in the face of continuity. Also I am pretty sure Alan Scott was in retirement when Hal got the ring right? Does DC not have editors? That being said it is always cool to see how the modern heroes knew about the Justice Society growing up which is what the first part of this anniversary issue focuses on. The secon story has something to do with Per Degaton traveling between universes. The third is the JSA vs. the House on Un-American Activities in the fifties being retold, and then finally the modern day JSA sets up shop in Monument Point just as Jay Garrick is sworn in as mayor. I really liked how Guggenheim threaded all of these stories together and it all lead up to certain events in the modern story. This issue mattered and that is so important in serial storytelling.

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Justice Society of America #51
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Tom Derenick

At one point in this issue it says Jay Garrick is the first superhero to be elected to office. That is not true I know at least Green Arrow became mayor of Star City but maybe the person didn’t know. Anyways Lightning makes it out of the after life okay and alive and there is a touching moment between her and Doctor Fate. Also, Jay Garrick kicks into gear as the Mayor of Monument Point and we get hints that there is a strange history behind the city that I am excited to find out about. Derenick draws the shit out of this book and does a wonderful job. I sometimes feel his facial expressinos always seem menacing though when the story doesn’t call for it.


Justice_Society_of_America_Vol_3_52Justice Society of America #52

Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Tom Derenick

This was another good issue. Mr. Terrific finds out the man who took away his intelligence is a deranged original Mr. Terrific fan kind of like the same guys who complain whenever a hero is replaced meanwhile the JSA and the Challengers of the Unknown go deep underground Monument Point to learn about its ancient mysteries. I enjoyed it.

 

 


Justice_Society_of_America_Vol_3_53Justice Society of America #53

Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Jerry Ordway

Wow Jerry Ordway sure is a breath of fresh air. Why can’t he be the book’s regular artist? He is perfect for the JSA and while I have liked what Derenick has done lately he really only draws menacing facial expressions even on the good guys. This was a fun issue where the JSA accidentally release a God who draws his power from metahumans. I can’t believe this is the penultimate issue of this series though.

 

Justice_Society_of_America_Vol_3_54Justice Society of America #54
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Jerry Ordway

 

Damn…just damn. This was clearly not Guggenheim’s plan to have a rushed ending to this arc and have Alan Scott sacrifice his life so quickly and without much fanfare. The fact of the matter is that the true JSA Villain is Dan fucking Didio who has no respect for the DC Universe and has publicly complained about the JSA “being old” in interviews. He is responsible for the awful New 52 and I am so glad the real JSA will be coming back soon. I wonder how much will remain in continuity but I have to say Guggenheim’s run could have been great but it was cut off too soon.

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.

Titans_Vol_2_38
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!

 

 

Justice League of America 55-60

Justice_League_of_America_Vol_2_55
Justice League of America #55
Written by James Robinson
Art by Brett Booth

This James Robinson Justice League was so fantastic. It really was totally underrated. Robinson is a writer who understands that the DC Universe is so rich with diversity of characters. Anything CAN happen in the DCU and Robinson and really knows how to play with its toys. I also loved how odd this group of Justice Leaguers was at the time. This issue is actually part of a wider crossover but Robinson does what any good writer should do and incorporate the crossover into the ongoing story of the book without a hitch. It was cool to see Dick Grayson Batman’s space suit too.

Justice_League_of_America_Vol_2_56

Justice League of America #56
Written by James Robinson
Art by Brett Booth

Congorilla calls in the Justice League Reserves which I didn’t even realize existed but I am sure glad they do because Zauriel is a great character to put against Eclipso. Robinson is brilliant with his use of DC characters. Even Manitou Dawn got a name drop! He joined the League back when I first started reading comics as a kid and has been barely seen since! I did find it odd that the Shade is aware that two heroes teaming up is called The Brave and the Bold. How would he know that in-universe? What does the media in the DCU say that?  The issue ends with Obsidian showing up as the Big bad.

Justice_League_of_America_Vol_2_57

Justice League of America #57
Written by James Robinson
Art by Brett Booth

Robinson’s use of Theology in this DCU is fascinating to me. Earth as the Conduit for God’s love for the Universe. Theology in the DCU would be an interesting topic for a paper don’t you think? Anyways, The Spectre shows up now (Robinson is brilliant I can’t say that enough) to fight Eclipso and Eclipso absorbs Spectre’s power. His whole plan with this is to kill God. That is the ultimate villainous plot is it not?

Justice_League_of_America_Vol_2_58

Justice League of America #58
Written by James Robinson
Art by Daniel Sampere and Miguel Sepulveda

Jesse Quick makes mention here that she is no faster than Donna or Batman now that she has lost her link to the speed force. Does Jesse Quick think that Batman has super speed powers? Because Donna does have superhuman speed so why is she saying that like Batman and Donna are equal in speed. I hate to sound like a broken record but Robinson’s knowledge of DCU obscurity is great and he uses that to a great advantage in the story. All of the Leaguer’s histories are mentioned in this arc so far and this time we get a look at Donna Troy’s past which is quite interesting. But I sure hope Eclipso did not just kill Donna at the end. I like Sampere’s art here.

Justice_League_of_America_Vol_2_59

Justice League of America #59
Written by James Robinson
Art by Daniel Sampere

The Justice League defeats Eclipso in this issue and all returns to normal, but there is a tease that the League will be breaking up next issue (which is the last issue of this series) after the Atom expresses how impressed he is with this new ver

 

Justice_League_of_America_Vol_2_60

Justice League of America #60
Written by James Robinson
Art by Daniel Sampere

This is the final Justice League issue before the New 52. Sad because James Robinson made this comic good for the first time since I can really remember. Certainly specifically this volume of the comic was pretty awful till he showed up. I look forward to reading more Justice League Comics during the Rebirth of the DCU. The beginning of this issue is a quick summary of an arc he probably had planned for the book where all the robots in the DCU get corrupted. How cool would that have been as a full arc! Robinson has so many obscure Robots name dropped. Instead he fast forwards through that and has the team meeting and talking about why each one wants to bow out of the League. Donna wants to discover who she is again now that her rage is gone, Supergirl wants to do the same after dealing with New Krypton, Jade wants to enjoy her second chance at life outside of the superhero costume, Jesse Quick is pregnant, Congorilla wants to become a hero for Africa, Starman is nursing a broken arm,  Batman thinks he will be too busy with Batman Incorporated,   They look back on an untold story (has to be another arc Robinson had planned, this guy is great!) about a war between Saturn and Thanagar and an untold story in Gemworld. Donna makes a comment at the end she wants the world to forget her which is ironic because I think at the beginning of the New 52 they had forgotten her. This was a very bittersweet ending to Robinson’s run and I love that we get a taste of what he would have done with this group if the book wasn’t ending.

 

 

Gathering Shadow

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Justice League of America #54
Written by James Robinson
Art by Brett Booth

 

This was a fantastic issue as Eclipso gathers shadow-based characters for some kind of plan. It even goes back and looks at the history of Eclipso which even I needed some refreshing on. Once again Robinson really makes the DC Universe seem like a vast wonderland as he pulls characters from its history – both obscure and famous. There were some more shadow villains I could think of – such as Shadow-of-War but hey he picked the ones he did for a reason I am sure. Booth’s art is going to take some getting used to as some parts of this issue seemed too much like Ed Benes (That is not a good thing) and the beginning two pages make no sense in terms of who was in the League at the same time I mean why are Vibe and Red Arrow shown to be in the team together at the same time!

Just Bring On The Eclipso

JLA53

Justice League of America #53
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

I was disappointed with the conclusion to this arc. I mean it was better then anything pre-Robinson but man was it not that great of an ending and Bagley…he must have known he was leaving when he drew this cause this was a weak issue on his part. That last splash page could have used some serious editing. Elasti-Woman is wearing the wrong costume and Damage is there – Damage is dead! Come on DC! I am looking forward to next month’s Rise of Eclipso story though!

This Arc

jla52

Justice League of America #52
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

At this point I can probably say that I like this arc a lot less then the previous epic one as I really don’t care for Dark Supergirl or the Crime Syndicate all that much. It’s not a bad issue at all though and it is certainly much better then anything this book had pre-Robinson.

Leaving Arkham

titans30

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.

The Rebirth of Dark Supergirl

jla51

Justice League of America #51
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

Robinson once again shows how much he understands and loves the DC Universe with the beginning of this issue. Instead of a random assortment of heroes trying to save Washington DC, we actually get an explanation for why each of the persons’ powers can help the situation. That is a rare feat in comics and I like the attention to detail! Meanwhile, the League is dealing with the threat of Omega Man – who is a bastard yet we don’t even know who he is yet and he has brought back Dark Supergirl. I miss Starman but this this is getting just as epic as the last arc! Great stuff!

Earths

jla50

Justice League of America #50
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

I liked this issue as it begins the new Crime Syndicate arc. Normally I would be annoyed to see another Crime Syndicate story but I would like to see them up against the new League. I think it’s ashame that Robinson thought it was necessary to have them destroy the Tangent universe of Earth-9…but we don’t know if it will be completely destroyed yet. One thing that annoyed the crap out of me that put me in a bad mood while reading it is that Alexander Luthor is NOT FROM THE ANTI-MATTER EARTH! He is from the long-dead Pre-Crisis Earth-3, so why does the Crime Syndicate act like they know him and why would he want to have their world destroyed after his death???? I sure hope this isn’t a huge continuity mistake and Robinson will explain it. Otherwise, still loving Robinson’s run and the new League.

Characters

jla49

Justice League of America #49
Written by James Robinson
Art by Pow Rodrix and Robson Rocha

 

This was a brilliant interlude that really takes a look at the characters of Donna Troy and Jade in particular. Robinson shows he knows their past and gets how they tick but also how he is going to move them forward. I love how he brings in old continuity like the Bogeyman but does it in a way that makes sense and natural. Even in the one panel scenes we get of some of the other Leaguers he demonstrates how much he gets those characters. This is awesome writing. The art was okay…Bagley is missed though.

Much Better Than The Lightning Saga

jla48

Justice League of America #48
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

Co-Feature by Robinson
Art by Pow Rodrix

 

This is the conclusion of the JLA/JSA crossover that began here and continued here, here, and here. I can’t say I was disappointed with the end of this per say because it was such an epic story. The perfect type of no-holds-barred story that should make an JLA/JSA crossover (And a hell of a lot better then the freaking Lightning Saga) but it left me a little confused as to how Jade fixed everything and why Obsidian and Jade can’t be near eachother anymore. But anyways, I loved every page and loved the moment where the League comes together and realizes they truly are the Justice League now and nothing can stop them. Jesse Quick officially joins here but Jade does not. I suppose she will  next issue. And the back-up was okay too.

The Greatest Green Lantern Working With The League Again

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Justice Society of America #42
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

This is part 4 of the JLA/JSA crossover that began here and continued here and here. Action-packed it wasn’t filled with as much plot and great moments as the previous parts – I found that to be a little disappointing but Robinson is still whipping up a fun-filled adventure here and I can’t wait to see how it concludes. Kyle would never be so eager to kill Alan Scott- even if the Guardians thought it was for the best.

Order And Chaos

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Justice League of America #47
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

Co-Feature by Robinson
Art by Pow Rodix

 

This is part 3 of the JLA/JSA crossover that began here and continued here. Oh hell ya Kyle Rayner shows up here! It is great to see him in a JLA book again and they even use his old Green Lantern Logo text! That brought joy to my fanboy heart. As for the entire issue, I felt like the plot didn’t move as quick as it could have and we are at a kind of stand still. I wonder why Doctor Fate is the one holding the JSAers hostage and not the starheart? The narraration boxes also got kind of annoying in this issue where they haven’t bothered me the last few. Maybe Robinson is overdoing them a bit. This story is still as epic and fun as a JLA book should be though and I can’t wait for the next chapter. The back-up actually ties into the main story as now that Red Tornado has been remade nearly indestructibel by Cyborg, he is effected by the starheart. (I mean he is an elemental of the Wind – of course he would be effected, I am surprised I didn’t think of that before)

The Epic Continues

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Justice Society of America #41
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

This is part 2 of the JLA/JSA crossover that began here. Part 2 of this epic was just as awesome as the first. Once again Robinson utilizes the DC Universe to the fullest by bringing in obscure characters and such who would have been effected by the starheart. This is a lot of fun and I am having a blast reading it. Bagley’s art is gorgous, it is definitely the best work he has done at DC. I liked how Robinson even had the all-stars appeared because it was beginning to look like the main group never checked up on the all-star group. And the little tidbits such as a meta-ranking scale Mr. Terrific refers to called the “Hoshi scale”. Probably named after Doctor Light. Brilliant. The only thing I thought was strange was the flirtation between Lightning and Mr. America. Isn’t Lightning underage? Weird. It was also great to see Miss Martian and I loved how scary she was in her white Martain form. I can’t wait for the next part!

This Is The Justice League I Have Been Waiting For!

jla46

Justice League of America #46
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

Co-Feature by Robinson
Art by Pow Rodrix

 

Before I get into the actual meat of the issue, I have to start off by saying I love how Robinson has Jade not knowing who Mr. America is…she calls him Patriot Hero Guy. If it was Meltzer or some other bad writer writing this, Jade would know who he was and his real name. Robinson understands that not all the heroes have to know each other and Jade was certainly dead when Mr. America debuted. Love it! And I love Robinson’s use of continuity pulling in obscure characters left and right. When you are playing in a sandbox like the DCU there is no reason NOT to do what Robinson is doing. So many writers do not get that. And wow was this an amazing issue! Action-packed and globe spanning – this reminds me of of Morrison’s JLA in so many ways. This is the League I have been waiting for since this series launched. I couldn’t be more impressed. Not only is it filled to the brim with action but Robinson gives personal moments to each character and really shows their different personalities and utilizes their different powers. Each of the Leaguers had shining moments I can’t really say what was my favorite. What a great start to this JLA/JSA crossover! The Cyborg and Red Tornado back-up was even good and I find the Red Tornado to be a total bore-fest!

Birds of Prey: Wanted

Birds of Prey #2 001 Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #2
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Ed Benes and Adriana Melo

Um pretty much EVERYTHING goes to hell for the Birds of Prey in this issue. Black Canary is blamed for the death of the Iceland guy from last issue and is now a wanted criminal and the Birds ended up fighting the cops. The White Canary is pretty awesome whoever she is and seems to be behind this. I sure hope it is not Cassie (But I don’t think it is anyways). Creote and Savant are murdered. There goes another gay character. Come on Gail, you of all people are not who I would expect to be killing off the few gay characters in the DC Universe. That bothered me. Oracle decides it is time to go to war with whoever is behind all this and Black Canary’s secret identity is revealed to the world! I have a feeling this has something to do with Sin. Could Sin be the White Canary somehow? I don’t know. The only bad thing about this issue was the damn art. Benes couldn’t even finish the issue and he didn’t draw backgrounds for the pages he did run. They are in Gotham and we are supposed to believe their are no backgrounds!