Stephanie Brown 20-24

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #20
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Ramon Bachs

Reviewing this series always made me a little queazy because I wish it was the real Batgirl Cassandra Cain and not Stephanie Brown who really should be the Spoiler but here we go…this issue was decent. The art was good and fit the title well. I am a tad but confused by the ending although it could be because I did not go back and re-read the last issue. I hated the annoying talk between Oracle and Steph confirming once again that Stephanie is Batgirl now. Gross.

batgirl_vol_3_21Batgirl (Volume 3) #21
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Dustin Nguyen

Batgirl fights Harmony in this issue, another operative of the Order of the Scythe. It was rather uninteresting. The side story of Wendy Harris deciding to go to Nanda Parbat was interesting though. I wonder if this ever gets resolved or if Wendy is just MIA after this. I have to note that the cover of this issue has the wrong artist on it. Come on DC.

 

 

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Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Pere Perez

In this issue Stephanie travels to London on Batman Inc orders and fights a a villain with the Squire. The whole thing was okay I guess as Stephanie realizes unlike the squire, she really is not a sidekick. Whatever. I miss Cassandra Cain as Batgirl and this issue would have been so much more fun to read if she teamed up with the Squire. Anyways, this issue ends with a cliffhanger said to be continued in Batman Inc #9…which never came out. DC clearly had no idea they were going to do the New 52 till the last second and it was horrible decision.

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #23
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Pere Perez

Stephanie goes into the middle of a riot at Blackgate in order to find out who is behind the Order of the Scythe if I understood this issue correctly. She is helped out by Miss Martian, Bombshell, Supergirl, and Stargirl because she is not Cassandra Cain the real Batgirl and therefore could not pull this off herself. The cliffhanger was something I did not expect – the mystery is revealed to be Steph’s Dad, the Cluemaster!

 

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #24
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Pere Perez

This is the final issue of this Stephanie Brown Batgirl series. I can’t say I am sorry to see it go because this is the series that broke my heart and gave the mantle of Batgirl to someone other than DC’s greatest character, Cassandra Cain (who doesn’t even make it on this cover!). Cassandra actually does appear in costume as Batgirl in a one panel where she is shown as part of Stephanie Black Mercy effected hallucination where all the Batgirls are working with the Blackhawks. It is such a shame we never go to see her team up with the Black Bat since they used to be best friends. Anyways, this was a decent issue.

Supergirl 63-67

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Supergirl (Volume 5) #63
Written by James Peatty
Art by Bernard Chang

Why would Supergirl even know who Dubbilex is at the end of this? He hasn’t been around much since she made her debut. Anyways this was an only mediocre issue really saved by the beauty of Chang’s art.

 

 

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Supergirl (Volume 5) #64
Written by James Peatty
Art by Bernard Chang

Meh this was an okay issue too. This version of Supergirl just never grabbed me. It is always great to see Miss Martian in a comic though. Supergirl defeats the Dubbilex clone named Alex and that is about it.

 

 

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Supergirl (Volume 5) #65
Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick
Art by Chriscross

Now this was more like it. Deconnick knows how to put a lot of story in one issue which is sadly something a lot of comic writers lack these days. Supergirl goes undercover in Stanhope College after five students go missing. Can we assume this is not the Stanhope University that Linda Danvers attended. Jesus can this Supergirl ever acknowledge Linda Danvers! Anyways despite my misgiving with using the Stanhope name this was actually really good if only Chriscross’s art wasn’t so awkward sometimes. Kelly Sue Deconnick is a good writer and writes amazing dialogue! Why doesn’t she do more for DC. Loved having Starman show up too.

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Supergirl (Volume 5) #66
Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick
Art by Chriscross

This is another great issue where I wish Deconnick was always the regular writer of this book. She packs so much into a single issue it is incredible and great characterization! Supergirl and the other students wandering the tunnels under Stanhope, Lois investigating the President of the college, multiple battles, Professor Ivo watching everything…..I loved it! I can’t say I have ever felt that way about this series.

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Supergirl (Volume 5) #67
Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick
Art by Chriscross

This is the final issue of Supergirl before the New 52 reboot.  I have to say while I didn’t like Chriscross’s art two issues ago it is growing on me and this is reminding me of his Outsiders run back in the day. This was a very great issue once again showing Deconnick’s strengths as a writer and it even ended with an adorable budding romance between Supergirl and Henry Flyte which I am sure doesn’t continute past this issue because the stupid New 52. Oh well. I never really liked this version of Supergirl. She is no Linda Danvers…but at least this series ended on a high note.

 

 

 


 

 

Action Comics 900-904

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Action Comics #900
Written by Paul Cornell, David Lindeloff, Paul Dini, Geoff Johns, David S. Goyer, Richard Donner, Derek  Hoffman
Art by Pete Woods, Jesus Marino, Ryan Sook, RB Silva, Gary Frank, Miguel Sepulveda, Matt Camp, and Brian Stelfreeze

This is the 900th issues of Action Comics and we get a special 96-page issue to celebrate. Some great things here. I loved that they actually mention Superboy’s tactile telekenisis power which has been ignored since the days of Young Justice it seems sometimes. Anyways, Lex Luthor is now a God and shows Superman some of the most emotional moments in the Man of Steel’s history, and then Lex finds out that Clark Kent is Superman finally! I love that Cornell has Superman confirming that the Kents made him who he is today. That is something that has been lost since Johns took over the Superman franchise and overemphasized Superman’s kryptonian heritage. The issue also shows how fundamentally wrong Lex is about Superman’s nature believing that he isn’t capable of human emotion which is the exact opposite because in many ways Superman is more “human” than Lex is. With all this look back at the death of Superman, would it have killed them to have the Matrix Supergirl/Linda Danvers involved instead of or in additon to Kara? That angers me but whatever. Anyways, Lex Luthor projects universal happiness well literally universally and we see even Death of the endless feel it. That was a genius moment from Cornell. Lex then learns that he can keep his new Godlike power and never kill Superman or do anything negative or he must give it up. Lex being the villain that he is chooses the second option and loses his memory of Clark Kent being Superman and the ending leads to what I don’t think looks that great called Reign of the Doomsdays. The rest of the book are smaller stories celebrating the 900th issue. Paul Dini, Geoff Johns, and David Goyer’s stories stood out. I loved Brian Stelfreeze’s final page art too.

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Action Comics #901
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort and Jesus Merino

This continues the Reign of the Doomdays arc which is stupid but Cornell shows he is a good writer even when given a stupid story. The Doomslayer is a clever creation too.  I wish there was just Jesus Merino on this issue though. It looks like The Eradicator may be dead.

 

 

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Action Comics #902
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort and Alex Gimenez

Wow! I was pleasantly surprised by this issue. Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, and Steel all work together and act like a real heroes. This is something that should happen on a regular basis and DC Comics but Paul Cornell really knocked it out of the park and had Superman not even want to have Doomsday die. I love that these are real heroes and I’m glad that they’re written that way.

 

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Action Comics #903
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Alex Gimenez

This was a great issue with plenty of guest stars including the Justice League and the Teen Titans plus more I really enjoyed it and I was surprised by that. Paul Cornell is a good writer he knows how to create good suspense.

 

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Action Comics #904
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Alex Gimenez and Ronan Cliquet

I’m very glad that DC is returning this book to its original numbering. This is the final issue before it relaunched under the new 52 Banner. It was a fantastic finale that it really showed Paul Cornell understands the character . I literally cheered out loud when Lois said Jonathan and Martha made Superman not Krypton. That was fantastic and it is the truth.

Teen Titans 94 – 100

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #94
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Nicola Scott

Damn I love Nicola Scott’s art. This story is very refreshing. We haven’t seen much of the Hindu Gods in the DC Universe and it is fun to explore the Ramayana here. J.T. is really good at the characterization of each Titan and Nicola Scott’s art shows their moods and relationships to each other. This is great!

 

Teen Titans (Volume 3) #95Teen_Titans_Vol_3_95
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Nicola Scott

Nicola Scott really draws Superboy with some beefcake. I can’t say that I mind. The demons in this issue were creepy especially the one impersonating Ravager. This was another great issue of Teen Titans.

 

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #96
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Jose Luis

I missed Nicola Scott in this issue but Jose Luis did a good job as a subsitute. Solstice angering Raven is interesting and I wonder why. Looking forward to seeing the team beat Rankor.

 

 

 

Teen Titans (Volume 3) #97Teen_Titans_Vol_3_97
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Nicola Scott

Rankor is defeated mainly by Solstic who officially joins the Teen Titans at the end of this issue. Great to have Nicola Scott back for this fun adventure. I am sad there are only 3 more issues left of the Teen Titans before the New 52.

 

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #98
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Eduardo Pansica

Kid Flash’s virtual reality session showed in this issue that J.T. Krul had studies the history of these characters. Great use of continuity throughout this issue where Superboy-Prime has gathered together a team of villains with personal connections to the Titans. I don’t understand why Indigo is a member though. Although she was sometimes evil, she did end up dying a hero. I really liked her relationship with Shift back in those days. I wonder if they will explain what she is doing back.The ending was great to see the old Superboy costumes appear brought me back to the Young Justice days. Pansica’s art was great I almost thought it was Nicola Scott doing the drawing. Someone in the letter columns mentions that they think Cassandra Cain should be the new Nightwing! That is a cool idea.

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #99
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Jose Luis

The ending of this book almost seems like something that could fit in this month’s Rebirth. “Legacies last for ever.” The final splash page of Titans past was so exciting! I wonder who this new Inertia is. Indigo is not acting like herself at all. I wish that was being explained. I actually forgot Supergirl was a Titan in the past. She has been thrown in with so many teams since her debut. It is always good to see Miss Martian and Argent.

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #100
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Nicola Scott

Nicola Scott draws Argent with a completely different costume than Jose Luis did in the previous issue. Come on editors should catch that stuff. Otherwise this was a superb final issue for this volume of the Teen Titans. I loved every page of it. J.T. Krul should come back to these characters again someday. I am so glad that Rebirth will be restoring the Titans history but it remains to be seen if this part will be restored. It needs to be.

 

 

The Rebirth of Dark Supergirl

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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!

Lost At Sea

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #87
Written by Felecia D. Henderson
Art by Jose Luis
Co-Feature by Rex Ogle
Art by Ted Naifeh

 

Felecia D. Henderson ends her run on the book as the team defeats the Wyld and is left significantly smaller in the wake of Aquagirl and Bombshell being lost at sea (I liked them both and I am sad to see them gone from the team), Static left powerless and returning to Dakota, and Miss Martian in recovery. I was worried that Dc was going to kill them off so I am glad to see them all being given better reasons to leave the team then death. Miss Martian and Aquagirl both play a role in Brightest Day so we know they will be okay. As much flack as Henderson gets for her run, she vastly improved during her year on this book and you got to give her credit for that. I look forward to see what her Static ongoing will be like. The coven of three back-up ended with a team actually forming, but the three of them secretly very angry with each other or being liars. At least that wasn’t what I was expecting. I hope to see more about this coven in the future.

Thought Bubbles

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #86
Written by Felecia D. Henderson
Art by Jose Luis
Co-Feature by Rex Ogle
Art by Ted Naifeh

More awkward dialogue from Henderson here but she has certainly improved a lot. It is nice to see the use of though bubbles in a comic too. I have no idea what is going on with Dr. Barnes but I am intriqued and I am hoping that Bombshell and Aquagirl will be okay.  The back-up was still good as the trio ends up in hell. I liked the mention of Kid Devil…it seems like the Titans have forgotten they recently lost a dear friend and member of the team but Zachary Zatara certainly hasn’t. Although I wonder what he meant about Eddie’s soul.

Protecting Secrets

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Red Robin #15
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

 

Tim shows his genius in this fantastic issue where he pulls off a huge stunt to convince Vicki Vale he is not Red Robin and throw her off the Bat-family’s trail. It was great to see Miss Martian helping out and Tim continue to reach out to his connections. This really is the book for the Batfamily as everyone seems to be appearing here (Except for Cass of course, Vicki didn’t seem to know her identity because Cass is too awesome for that!) I like how Tam Fox is being trusted to keep the BatFamily secrets as well. This book rocks!

Titans In Trouble

tt85 Teen Titans (Volume 3) #85
Written by Felicia D. Henderson
Art by Jose Luis
Co-Feature by Rex Ogle
Art by Ted Niafeh

 

Everything is going to hell for the Teen Titans as they fight this Wyld guy (who I still don’t even get is) and his crazy evil planet. The dialogue is corny as usual but I didn’t hate the issue like I do sometimes. Hendeson seems to be getting better as she goes along. I am actually worried for some of these characters here.  The back-up continues to be rather good – although I don’t really like how Zatara is drawn as if he is Asian. Loved all the magic stuff.

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!

Hey, Pretty Art!

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #84
Written by Felecia D. Henderson
Art by Jose Luis
Co-Feature by Rex Ogle
Art by Ted Naifeh

 

Henderson’s writing isn’t half bad when teamed with a good artist like Luis. I actually enjoyed this issue – and that is saying a lot considering how bad the last few issues have been. The best moments had to be with Aquagirl and Bombshell waiting it out in the ocean – and wow does Luis draws a beautiful oceanscape. I love how he draws Wonder Girl too. Wonder Girl is right to be annoyed with Superboy acting like she is his girlfriend in the field because it undermines her authority as leader. So far not bad for this arc, although it is a little too late for Henderson as the writer of this book. At least she started off her last arc on the book well. In the Coven back-up, all the dreams of Zachary Zatara, Black Alice, and Traci 13 are coming true and Traci and Zatara are trying to put things back to how they really were – but Black Alice doesn’t want to. So far this co-feature has been really good and I look forward to see where it leads.

The Most Wonderful Anniversary Issue Diana Could Get

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Wonder Woman #600
Written by Gail Simone, Amanda Connor, Louise Simonson, Geoff Johns, and J. Michael Straczynski
Art by George Perez, Connor, Eduardo Pansica, Scott Kollins, and Don Kramer

Wonder Woman reverts to classica numbering…well the numbering of all three of her series put together. Six Hundred issues! Now this was a damn anniversary issue! Beautiful pin-ups and wonderful stories that not only celebrated the character’s rich history but brought her forward. Gail Simone’s story of Wonder Woman leading a band of female heroes was breathtakingly drawn by Perez and ended with a sulute to the Perez era of the character. It was great to see all those female heroes working together – and Grace was there! We haven’t seen her in a while. But of course my favorite story has to be Amanda Connor’s short Wonder Woman team up with Power Girl that featured the Batgirl Cassandra Cain!!!!!! It takes place in the past but it was so great to see Cassie in her suit and all her glory again I almost cried! Sure she didn’t exactly talk like Cassie – but I am not complaining at least we got to see her. What a treat! Not to mention it was a great little story where Wonder Woman explains how Power Girl can bond with her cat. Simonson’s and Johns’s stories were good spotlights of how powerful and amazing the character is but the real meat of the issue is Straczysnki’s prologue to his new run. Shockingly, something has changed the timeline of Wonder Woman’s life and now she is an orphan raised in the city by amazons after Paradise Island was destroyed. The new costume isn’t going to last and let’s face it – it’s not the great but Kramer does the best he can with it. I know this isn’t a permanent retcon and that Diana will make her way back to the original timeline so I am interested in where this radical new direction is going. I also wonder how this will effect the rest of the DCU.  This was the perfect anniversary issue for Diana!

The Coven Betters The Titans

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #83
Written by Felicia D. Henderson
Art by Jose Luis
Co-Feature by Rex Ogle
Art by Ted Naifeh

 

With all the poor dialogue and abrupt changing of scenes, one thing can be said about Henderson is that she utilizes all the Titans effectively and their powers. I appreciate that. Otherwise, yes this is awful dialogue. The sad thing is the plot is not bad, she should be a plotter just maybe not a writer. Superboy and Aquagirl is interesting….I can’t see Cassie and Connor officially breaking up. Blue Beetle is gone with this issue I guess. Anyways, I guess we are just killing time till Krul begins his run on this book. Luckily, the new back-up was just awesome! I was excited for this new team of teen magic heroes – but I didn’t expect it to be this good! I can’t wait to see Black Alice, Traci 13, and Zatara team up! Speaking of Traci 13, up until this issue I always found the character to be boring. Nice job Ogle!

Corny Titans

tt82Teen Titans (Volume 3) #82
Written by Felecia D. Henderson
Art by Jose Luis
Co-Feature by Sean McKeever
Art by Yildiray Cinar

Wow…this is just getting awful. Henderson’s dialogue is painful to read. I give her credit for this though, the team is getting pretty big and she manages to have all the characters have a moment or tow in this issue where they stand out. No one was unused and I always like that. But that doesn’t make up for how bad the dialogue and corny it is. Plus why is Wonder Girl mad at Superboy? They were doing fine last I checked and I don’t know if this was an art problem or what not but I have no idea what happened when Holocaust’s lair blew up. Why were Superboy and Kid Flash acting like the rest of the Titans were dead but completely emotionless about it? Did they know they weren’t dead? How did they survive the blast anyways? It is good to have Superboy and Kid Flash back but this book really needs to improve quickly. In the much better back-up, It breaks my heart to see Kid Devil again, even if it is just Rose’s hallucination. I hate that he is dead and they can’t continue their relationship…it was such a needless death too and he wasn’t even used in Blackest Night. This marked the end of the Ravager back-up and once again McKeever shows how much he understands this character. I will miss him on this book.

Retirement

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #81
Written by Felecia D. Henderson
Art by Joe Bennett
Co-Feature by Sean McKeever
Art by Yildiray Cinar

 

Yeah…not sure what to say about this issue. This is the big return of Superboy and Kid Flash to the Teen Titans. I am not sure how I understand what the hell Cyborg was talking about with retirement…is he returning to the team? I don’t really get it. Why is Miss Martian shooting stuff out of her head too? Was she always able to do that? We will see where this goes I guess. The Ravager back-up was very suspenseful…I wonder if Rose will be able save the innocent? I sure hope so.

Missing In Dakota

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #80
Written by Felecia D. Henderson
Art by Joe Bennet and Eduardo Pansica
Co-Feature by Sean McKeever
Art by Yildiray Cinar

 

What is with DC’s editors lately? This issue contained another panel of misplace word balloons! It really took me out of the story and got me confused. That is no good. Not to mention the facial expressions don’t seem to match what people are saying half the time which has been a problem with this book for a while. Henderson’s dialogue is kinda awkward but I can’t say that I did not enjoy the story and she had me convinced that Holocaust had become a hero of Dakota. I wonder why the Titans aren’t looking for Kid Eternity…I mean he is the one who is really missing but they are freaking out that Static went out for a bit in this issue. I wonder if the Kid Eternity thing will ever be addressed. Hmm. The Ravager back-up once again shows how much McKeever gets the character of Rose Wilson so that was good.