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.

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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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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.