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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The Man From Monster Valley Surprise

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #8
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Felipe Watanabe

I enjoyed how this JLA team is really in the spotlight and are becoming almost celebrities. I am forever interested in how the news media treats superheroes in the DC Universe and I am glad that Steve Orlando has brought this to the more “grounded” Justice League team. The dynamics between team members and how they don’t always agree with each other’s actions or Batman’s leadership is why this is the better of the two Justice League books being published right now. The villain that is introduced in this issue is as fascinating as the cover says. I encourage you to read it, I won’t spoil the end like I usually do but let’s just say I did not see that coming. Monster Valley is not really explained well in this issue though, where did this place even come from?

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.

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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Justice League of America 4 – 7

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #4
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Ivan Reis

Lord Havok and the Extremists are defeated and Kravia is free to build a new country on their own terms. Orlando is subtly making a point about America’s interventionism but I am not sure it quite works here since the League (who stand in for America) don’t screw everything up the way the US does. Or maybe we just haven’t seen it happen yet? I was sad that this had actually nothing to do with Liberty Belle but some Captain America stand-in from Angor. It was cool to see Blue Jay again. I like how they make a good point that there is no way Lobo is meant to inspire anyone…Batman is up to something else he isn’t telling the League.

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #5
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Andy MacDonald

Steve Orlando sure knows his obscure DC History, the reporters at the Justice League press conference are reporters from all over the DC Universe and its history. I love it! Like I always say, more writers should be like Orlando and play with the toys they have been given them. Sure enough an obscure Wonder Woman villain is even the villain in this comic as the League fights Nikos Aegeus who has taken over a bankrupted city. It is cool to see a good use of the Ray’s power. Orlando is good at that, the last issue he actually used Vixen’s powers well.

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Barry Allen 20 – 23

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The Flash (Volume 5) #20
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Neil Googe

Meena is back and is now an agent of Black Hole for some reason in this okay but forgettable issue focusing on Iris investigating grave robberies being perpetrated by Back Hole. Not much else to say about it.

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The Flash (Volume 5) #21
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Howard Porter

Ok this is Part 2 of the Button crossover with Batman that began here. Flash is investigating what happened to the Reverse Flash in the Batcave. Barry decides to use the Cosmic Treadmill to follow the energy signature on the button to its source. Which honestly seems like a dumb move by the Flash considering what happened the last time he used it. Batman joins him (it is never really explained how Batman is just running behind the Flash on it) and they see elements of the timeline from before New 52 and Barry even says it is not an alternate universe but part of the stolen years! The real DCU IS BACK BABY! We see Martian Manhunter as forminmg the league and Identity Crisis and Barry’s death during the Crisis. I was smiling with joy as I read these pages.

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