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.

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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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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Outsiders 38-40

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #38
Written by Keith Giffen and Dan Didio
Art by Giffen

Keith Giffen joins Didio in this issue of the Outsiders and it vastly improves the dialogue…I would assume…I did not go back and re-read the previous issues but I do remember horrible dialogue. What is clear about Didio is he and I both have a common interest in the history of this team. If Didio loves these obscure characters and brings them back for his run, why can’t he understand the love for characters like Cassandra Cain, Linda Danvers, Kyle Rayner, and Wally West?! But I digress, this was actually a cool issue as we see the return of a lot of former Outsiders as they battle it out in Markovia. Hell, even Technocrat shows up. I loved it. I hate to say that, but Didio and Giffren did a good job here.

outsiders_vol_4_39Outsiders (Volume 4) #39
Written by Keith Giffen and Dan Didio
Art by Giffen

The big villain manupulating things behind the scenes is revealed to be Veritas whose motivations are not explained and Geo-Force becomes one with the land of Markovia erecting huge walls of earth around the country’s borders for some reason. It was not as good as the last issue and left me very confused. It looks like Batman will be showing up for the final issue though.

 

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Batman and the Outsiders (Volume 2) #40
Written by Dan Didio and Phillip Tan
Art by Tan

This is the final issue of this series and truly a finale to the Outsiders’s long history in the DC Universe which is beautifully recapped in the pages of this comic. One day I want to go through this again and see if every Outsider appears in the flashbacks because it sure seems like they covered it all! I am actually very proud of Didio for this. I know I can’t stand the decisions he has made as head of DC but he sure does love the Outsiders. So why in the hell did he restart the continuity of the DC Universe with the new 52 if he loves the Outsiders so much! Geo-Force is left here a broken person and it is sad we will probably never see this resolved. I actually even liked Tan’s art in this. We even get to see him draw Cassandra Cain in a flashback! Didio included Cassandra in a book he wrote! Or…I bet it was Tan.

 

 

Batman Incorporated 5-8

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Batman Incorporated #5
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Yanick Paquette

In this issue we are introduced to “The Hood” who I immediately mistook for being Azrael at first and Batwing who is the Batman of Africa. I did not realize it but Bruce and Kate aka Batman and Batwoman had never met before this issue. At least since Kate has become Batwoman. How did I not notice that? Paquette draws a great Batwoman. Anyways, like usual Morrison’s story doesn’t make sense until the very end when the clues will come together. We still don’t know what Doctor Dedalus’s plan is or what exactly Leviathan is but there a ton of interesting clues in this issue. Can’t wait to see where this goes!

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Batman Incorporated #6
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham

Wow Grant Morrison is amazing! Of course the Outsiders would be part of Batman Incorporated! Anyways I loved this issue up until Bruce Wayne tells a group that includes pretty much everyone he cares about that they are his closest associates except Cassandra Cain is not there! But then a few pages later my dreams came true! Cassandra Cain was back with a new identity! She is now the Black Bat – the Batman of Hong Kong! Seriously this is the best thing Grant Morrison has ever wrote. I love the character so much and to see her back in action is incredible. I definitely prefer the Black Bat costume over her present Orphan costume. I sincerely hope Rebirth ends up having Cassandra remember her time as Batgirl and as Black Bat and retaking up the mantle of the bat where she belongs. The best thing about this is it redeems Bryan Q. Miller having Cassandra leave Gotham because Morrison is writing Batman here as trusting Cassandra enough to be her own Batwoman of Hong Kong. She is not a sidekick. She is an equal to him. And that is how it should be. Best issue of this series hands down.

Batman Incorporated #7
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham

This issue focused on Man-of-Bats and his sidekick Little Raven and I expected it to be dull as shit but I was pleasantly blown away. First of all, Burnham’s art is gorgeous. Second of all, Morrison wrote a really inspiring story about a hero standing up for his community on a low budget. It was really good.

 

 


Batman_Incorporated_Vol_1_8Batman Incorporated #8

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Scott Clark

This issue is one of those brilliant Duh comic books that you think wow that’s genius but why hasn’t somebody already of that. There is no reason why this couldn’t be a whole series of virtual Barbara Gordon fighting. We didn’t need to stop her from being Oracle to see her in action. This issue even makes more sense today with virtual reality. I say make Cassandra Cain a bat again and put Barbara back as Oracle and if you need to have her in action use this virtual reality. Anyways, we learn Jezebel Jet is behind Leviathan which I didn’t see coming at all.

Eradicated By Doomsday

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #37
Written by Dan Didio and Phillip Tan
Art by Tan

 

This is the second part of the Reign of Doomsday storyline that began in the Steel One-Shot. It was okay. Didio’s dialogue is of course horrible and everything, but Tan’s art has improved tremendously even if I did not know what was going on with the fight half the time. It looks like Eradicator is dead but I doubt it. At least we get to see Halo back in action.

Superman Batman 79 and 80

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Superman/Batman #79
Written by Chris Roberson
Art by Jesus Merino

 

Roberson introduce (or re-introduces for some) to the DC Universe of the 853rd Century and I am one of the few who have never read DC One Million and therefore I am fascinated by this Justice Legion with its many worlds and I can’t wait to see more next issue. Epoch Lord of Time doesn’t seem like a new character but I could be wrong but he was a great way to frame the story and allow for the past and the future to collide.

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Superman/Batman #80
Written by Chris Roberson
Art by Jesus Merino

Epoch is stopped by the Bronze Age World’s Finest and travels through time being defeated by each era’s Batman and Superman – Brilliant! I am looking forward to seeing more of Roberson’s run on the main Super-book after reading this awesomeness.

Outsiders 34 and 35

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #34
Written by Dan Didio and Keith Giffen
Art by Giffen

I like the idea of The Olympian getting involved with the Outsiders – but I don’t know how I feel about him actually calling his men Manazons. That is just dumb. I think we know why that Wonder Woman arc was called Rise of the Olympian despite its focus being on Genocide – Didio. He loves this character I guess. It is great to see Giffen joining the book as artist and co-plotter as it will probably gain some quality.

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #35
Written by Dan Didio and Phillip Tan
Art by Tan

Ahh and Tan comes back for one more issue! He is not such a bad artist but he never draws backgrounds and I never know what the hell is going on when he draws this comic. Not to mention the dialogue is pathetically bad once again. Ugh at least Giffen is coming back next issue. Oh and since when does Black Lightning contain Black Lantern energy??

Selina, It’s Me

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #17
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen
Co-Feature by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Szymon Kudranski

 

The main story continues the House of Hush story arc….which I assumed would feature the fall of Hush before Bruce’s return but I guess not as Bruce reveals himself to Selina as Batman in a great scene at the beginning of this issue. The “Selina, it’s me” moment was just awesome for fans of their relationship and Dini writes their relationship very well. The Bed Bug is another great Gotham villain creation by Dini. How does he keep doing this?! The revelations about The Wayne, Kane, and Elliot families also continue to be interesting. The Ragman backup starts off really well as the art really suits the mood and darkness of Gotham City – especially the underbelly a character like Ragman should explore. I love the theme of Gentrification. Gotham really reminds me of Chicago sometimes. It must be why they set the movies here.

Bringing In History

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #33
Written by Dan Didio and Phillip Tan
Art by Tan

The art is still awful…I have no idea what has happened to Halo and why she is a coma – and I see no reason for Geo-Force acting the way he is still, but I got to at least hand it to Didio for his use of continuity – even pulling from the nineties Outsiders series. I like that Didio at least respects the history of the team. But this is still awful storytelling.

Streets of Gotham 15 and 16

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #15
Written by Ivan Brandon
Art by Ramon Bachs

 

This is kinda weird…replacing the back up as the main feature in the middle of an arc. I don’t know why Dini is having trouble getting his scripts in on time but whatever this was good. It was violent and disturbing as a Two-Face story should be and ends with Two-Face getting stabbed brutally by his lackeys and thrown in a river. I doubt he’s actually dead but it sure seems that way.

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #16
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

Co-Feature by Ivan Brandon
Art by Ramon Bachs

The main story continues “House of Hush” and it is really good. It focuses once again on fleshing out a back story dealing with the Waynes and we get more moments from Bruce and Tommy’s childhood. I have said before and I will say it again that Dini has given Hush more depth then Loeb ever did or could. Zatanna showing up was weird….does Dini have to put her in everything he writes? He writes her well don’t get me wrong though. The Two-Face back up has Harvery being found and taken care of by a priest and has a pretty shocking ending I don’t want to ruin here. Good stuff.

Outsiders 30 and 31

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #30
Written by Dan Didio
Art by Phillip Tan

 

Metamorpho, Owlman, and Black Lightning must turn to Simon Stagg for help after being deemed enemies of Earth because of Markovia’s alliance with New Krypton. It is an interesting thing this alliance with New Krypton and I love having the Eradicator around but Didio still has yet to explain why Geo-Force is acting like a nutjob and this Freight Train character is about as generic as they come. Wasn’t a bad issue which is saying something because it has been all pretty bad since Didio took over the book.

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #31
Written by Dan Didio
Art by Phillip Tan

Okay Halo is back in this issue! Thanks Didio! But she never even went missing, she just wasn’t mentioned. If you are going to make her return a big deal – how about maybe writing people actually wondering where the hell she is? Anyways the Ray shows up and so does a weird succubus lady. This book is way random but at least it has become interesting.

Manhunter Should Still Be Here

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #14
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen
Co-Feature by Ivan Brandon
Art by Ramon Bachs

 

The main story begins the sequel to Dini’s excellent Heart of Hush storyline that ended with Hush being made to look like Bruce Wayne. Now Hush feels trapped as the imposter Wayne and someone wants Wayne dead. It is all set up though and not much happens here but it is cool to see Dini is using Jane Doe. The new Two-Face back-up starts out okay although I just don’t see Two-Face as a starring role character…I don’t understand why they took Manhunter out of this book.

Still No Good

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #29
Written by Dan Didio
Art by Don Kramer and Phillip Tan

 

How is this guy running DC Comics or at least partially-running DC Comics I mean come on this is his book and it is one of the worst books on the stands. For one thing – the two artists on the books style are so different it is jarring to go from page-to-page. For another thing, we still have no explanation for where Halo is or why Geo-Force has gone insane, instead the whole issue focuses on Looker who isn’t acting anything like when she last appeared during the Dixon run. Yes, Looker has always been kind’ve vane but this was over the top. Not a good issue at all. Didio I am still waiting for you to surprise me and produce a good comic.

Waste Of Panels

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #28
Written by Dan Didio
Art by Phillip Tan

 

As I expected, this book is not getting any better. What the hell is Didio doing?! Still no explanation for Geo-Force’s actions…is he being manipulated? Is Katana? And still no mention of Halo! Where the hell is she? The entire issue was a rather boring fight between Black Lightning and Geo-Force with Didio’s lame narration. What a waste of panels.

Red Robin 9 and 10

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Red Robin #9
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marcus To

 

The end of this issue is the beginning of Batgirl #8. They weren’t the same scene at all though! What the hell is wrong with the editors at DC Comics. If you are going to do a crossover shouldn’t this all be coordinated? Anyways Tim returning to Gotham is really awesome, loved about every panel of this issue. To draws Gotham fantastically.

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Red Robin #10
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marcus To

 

Former lovers Tim and Steph continue their team-up in their new personas in this issue and I am still annoyed that Tim has not asked what happened to Cassandra! Whatever the art was good and the mystery with Ra’s, Hush, and Vicki Vale is really interesting. I am still loving Tam Fox as a character. Good stuff.