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.

 

Super Sons 3 – 5

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Super Sons #3
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Jorge Jimenez

In this issue, Robin and Jon (I am not ready to call him Superboy yet, I miss Connor Kent) team up against Kid Amazo who is actually ultra powerful himelf. The thing that makes this issue good is the Robin and Jon’s constant bickering and insults back and forth. I love it. There is talk about Jon joining the Teen Titans even though he is not old enough. What if DC Just turned this book into the new Young Justice book and have a young justice team led by Damian and kept the Titans separate? I would like that.

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Super Sons #4
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Jorge Jimenez

Robin and Jon team up with Lex Luthor to defeat Kid Amazo in this issue. It was a lot of fun. I like that Damian seems to think it was a good team up even though he won’t admit it, whereas Jon hated it. Damian does actually care about Jon, he is just a hard ass.

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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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Justice and Revenge

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #9
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Felipe Watanabe

The man from Monster Valley’s plan is not as crazy after all he just kind of jumps around like an animal and can’t even kill one of his family members after the Justice League intervene. At first I was dissapointed by that but I liked how the League (led by Batman) taught him justice is better than revenge. They are the Justice League after all. It was a decent issue although I wish there were more moments of discussion between team members because Orlando seems to excel at that.

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.

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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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.

The Return of Liberty Belle?

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #3
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Diogenes Neves

Okay this was a huge improvement from the last issue, I am not sure if it was the scripting or the art but hats off to the creative team. In this issue, Havok united the coutnries around Kravia in his fight against the Justice League who each take on a member of the Extremists. The Ray even manages to convince one of them to change sides it looks like. The interesting thing is that the Extremists are shown to actually believe they are doing the right thing just like many villains in the real world. I think Orlando has the ability to make some great statements on world politics and I imagine that is why he chose to open this series with this arc. The final page confused me…why is Batman carrying a shield that looks like it belonged to Liberty Belle? Is this a DC Rebith – JSA crossover? I sure hope, but I could be totally wrong.

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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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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