Secret Six 32 – 36

secretsix32
Secret Six (Volume 3) #32
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

The Secret Six travel to hell in a fantastic issue. I forgot how much I missed reading this book with it’s hilarious but dark characters and it’s beautiful artwork. I loved how Bane seemed shock that he might be damned to hell because he considers himself to be good. I loved that Ragdoll doesn’t want to return to earth because he is going “sane.” I loved it all.

 

Secret Six (Volume 3) #33secretsix33
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

In this issue, Catman goes to make sure that his father is in hell where he deserves to be only to find that his mother is in hell too – she eats his father every day as a lioness to torture him. Etrigan tells Catman this is heaven for his mother. I guess his Dad got what he deserved! That is some dark humor there and I love it. We even get to see the personal hells of all of the Secret Six. Some were sad like Bane’s but then Gail Simone – the master 0f writing comedic relief – shows King Shark’s hell as a vegetarian restaurant. Anyways, Lady Blaze tells Scandal her other girlfriend’s soul will soon belong to her in hell. I can’t remember who Scandal’s other girlfriend was.

secretsix34Secret Six (Volume 3) #34
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

Did Jeanette quote Julian of Norwhich in this issue? Scandal sure did lie to her girlfriend in this issue didn’t she? Anyways, this was a heartwarming issue in a dark heartwarming disturbing way only the Secret Six can bring. Bane goes on a date and gets in a fight. Jeanette seems to have decided to turn good? And it was just a lot of fun.

 

 

Secret Six (Volume 3) #35secretsix35
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

In this issue, Bane decides to lead the team in another assault Batman after realizing that he never got to really break the Batman like he wanted to back in the day. They start by drafting the Penguin to join the team. I enjoy the way Simone writes Penguin…it reminds me of Batman Returns a bit. And that is my favorite Batman movie. This was a fantastic issue.

 

Secret Six (Volume 3) #36 secretsix36
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

This is the final issue of a great series that I will miss. Gail Simone is a creative genius. You writes complex characters who are so well-rounded it is like they are real people. She is truly a gem in the comic book world. Also, she has a scene in this where they feed a man to King Shark on a fishing hook. So she is hilarious too. The part where Scandal decides she wants to marry both Knockout and Liana was a tad strange though but hey these are crazy people this book is about. The only problem I had was it is really hard to believe all of those supeheroes would show up to fight the Secret Six like they are Darkseid or something. But they sure got their asses handed to them and this villain team went out in a blaze of glory. What a fitting finale to an amazing series!

 

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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.

 

 

Batgirl (Volume 3) #22batgirl_vol_3_22
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.

batgirl_vol_3_23

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!

 

batgirl_vol_3_24

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.

JSA All-Stars 17 and 18

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JSA All-Stars #17
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie Williams III

This book and the main JSA book really could have benefited from having those boxes explaining each character that shows up like they have in Legion books. It is very helpful and would bring in new readers. That being said, story-wise I enjoyed this issue as a man named “The Prince”shows up claiming he comes from an alternate timeline where he is a member of the Justice Society and no one believes him but the last panel makes it look like he is telling the truth. I can’t say I enjoyed the art of Williams III here which is still too cartoony for my tastes and for this title.

jsa_all-stars_vol_1_18JSA All-Stars #18
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie Williams III

This is the final issue of JSA All-Stars in which the Prince is revealed to be extremely powerful and almost destroys the world before being defeated by Roxy. Who luckily survives! But other than that it wasn’t really that great of an ending and I imagine it was rushed due to a surprise that the series was ending. I have to say that Sturges created some great characters in this run and I hope to see them elsewhere in the DCU.

Justice Society 50-54

Justice_Society_of_America_Vol_3_50
Justice Society of America #50
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Tom Derenick, Howard Chaykin, George Perez, Freddie Williams II, and Scott Koblish

So Martha Kent designed the Superman costume? I am pretty sure that flys in the face of continuity. Also I am pretty sure Alan Scott was in retirement when Hal got the ring right? Does DC not have editors? That being said it is always cool to see how the modern heroes knew about the Justice Society growing up which is what the first part of this anniversary issue focuses on. The secon story has something to do with Per Degaton traveling between universes. The third is the JSA vs. the House on Un-American Activities in the fifties being retold, and then finally the modern day JSA sets up shop in Monument Point just as Jay Garrick is sworn in as mayor. I really liked how Guggenheim threaded all of these stories together and it all lead up to certain events in the modern story. This issue mattered and that is so important in serial storytelling.

Justice_Society_of_America_Vol_3_051
Justice Society of America #51
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Tom Derenick

At one point in this issue it says Jay Garrick is the first superhero to be elected to office. That is not true I know at least Green Arrow became mayor of Star City but maybe the person didn’t know. Anyways Lightning makes it out of the after life okay and alive and there is a touching moment between her and Doctor Fate. Also, Jay Garrick kicks into gear as the Mayor of Monument Point and we get hints that there is a strange history behind the city that I am excited to find out about. Derenick draws the shit out of this book and does a wonderful job. I sometimes feel his facial expressinos always seem menacing though when the story doesn’t call for it.


Justice_Society_of_America_Vol_3_52Justice Society of America #52

Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Tom Derenick

This was another good issue. Mr. Terrific finds out the man who took away his intelligence is a deranged original Mr. Terrific fan kind of like the same guys who complain whenever a hero is replaced meanwhile the JSA and the Challengers of the Unknown go deep underground Monument Point to learn about its ancient mysteries. I enjoyed it.

 

 


Justice_Society_of_America_Vol_3_53Justice Society of America #53

Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Jerry Ordway

Wow Jerry Ordway sure is a breath of fresh air. Why can’t he be the book’s regular artist? He is perfect for the JSA and while I have liked what Derenick has done lately he really only draws menacing facial expressions even on the good guys. This was a fun issue where the JSA accidentally release a God who draws his power from metahumans. I can’t believe this is the penultimate issue of this series though.

 

Justice_Society_of_America_Vol_3_54Justice Society of America #54
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Jerry Ordway

 

Damn…just damn. This was clearly not Guggenheim’s plan to have a rushed ending to this arc and have Alan Scott sacrifice his life so quickly and without much fanfare. The fact of the matter is that the true JSA Villain is Dan fucking Didio who has no respect for the DC Universe and has publicly complained about the JSA “being old” in interviews. He is responsible for the awful New 52 and I am so glad the real JSA will be coming back soon. I wonder how much will remain in continuity but I have to say Guggenheim’s run could have been great but it was cut off too soon.

Settling In Monument Point

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Justice Society of America #49
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Scott Kolins

 

I was a tad dissapointed with the conclusion of this Supertown arc. We new that Jay Garrick was going to the mayor of Monument Point from the beginning/ There real only surprise here was Alan Scott’s new costume (Which I like by the way) and the return of some of the other JSA members. We still don’t know anything about the new characters like Red Beetle but she acts like an old friend when she addresses the JSA. I guess I just want to know who is a part of the team now and who is not.

Roxy Forever

allstars16

JSA All-Stars #16
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

 

Um I loved this issue! Roxy has quickly become my favorite thing to come out of this book – well tied with Anna Fortune and I was worried about what would happen to her with this book ending. Well sure enough we flash forward to the 852rd century and she is still around helping Hourman Matthew Tyler out. Awesome! There were a lot of great moments here. The art still bugs me sometimes though.

A Hell Ya Moment

jsa48

Justice Society of America #48
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Scott Kolins

 

And just when things couldn’t have got any worse for the JSA and Monument Point – the calvary arrives in the form of the All-Stars and other heroes! I suppose this is how the All-Stars will reintegrate with the main book (their own book is getting canceled) and it was a great moment – a definite hell ya moment and I can’t wait to see them kick Doctor Chaos’s ass!