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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Keeping the Suspense

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The Flash (Volume 5) #19
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Jesus Merino and Carmine Di Giandomenico

Captain Boomerang reveals to Kid Flash that his Dad died while working for the Suicide Squad and afterwards the Flash finally reveals his secret identity as Barry Allen to Kid Flash. He is okay with it until Barry reveals Iris doesn’t know and Kid Flash accuses Barry of being a liar. I don’t really blame him. The final issues of this comic were what really got me excited though as the original Reverse-Flash says he remembers Flashpoint and this is all leading to more Rebirth mysteries being resolved next issue. I can’t wait! This is seriously the coolest thing DC has ever done with its continuity…slowly revealing the repercussions of Rebirth and keeping the suspense going is brilliant!

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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Barry Allen 1 – 18

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The Flash (Volume 5) #1
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico

I liked that this issue acted as a true #1 and introduced new readers to The Flash’s origin and everything and starts to fill out his supporting cast but I am not a huge fan of the art. I mean it is not bad but I am not sure it is right for a Flash comic. Also, I am unsure of what Barry and Iris’s relationship is now. Does she know he is the Flash? Why does Kid Flash not know Barry is the Flash? I guess I will find out. It also looks like the lightning has struck Barry’s friend August and gave him powers of some sort.

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The Flash (Volume 5) #2
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico

In this issue, Barry trains Detective August Heart about his new speed force powers. He suspects he missed having Wally West (The original and real Flash) around and maybe the Speed Force chose August to be his partner. Meanwhile, the Black Hole is a gang of people working for Dr. Carver and causing Havoc for Barry and August. I am confused why young Wally (Can they just change his name?) says he is not a hero. Didn’t he debut as Kid Flash pre-Rebirth? Also, didn’t the lightning strike Barry after he had a bunch of chemicals on him. I didn’t think lightning alone gave him his powers? At the end of this issue, it looks like the lightning struck a whole bunch more people. This is getting interesting but I am still not a huge fan of the art.

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The Life And Times Of Captain Boomerang

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The Flash (Volume 3) #7
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Scott Kolins

Captain Boomerang reflects on his life as he frees the Reverse-Flash from prison. This was by far the best issue of this book to date…probably because it focuses on the Rogues instead of boring old Barry Allen. Boomerang’s entire history is dealt with, even stuff I didn’t know about like his childhood, but meeting his son is curiously left out. Perhaps Johns just didn’t want to deal with it. Seems odd. But anyways, this was definitely a great issue and it makes me look forward to Wally caming back in the next arc.

This Is The Land Of The Living…And You Are Trespassing

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Secret Six (Volume 3) #18
Written by John Ostrander and Gail Simone
Art by J. Caliafore

 

The title of this post is a badass line coming from Amanda Waller to the Black Lanterns. Seriously Amanda Waller is not a woman you ever ever want to fuck with. Deadshot will probably regret shooting her in the chest at the end of this issue. This was good action-packed stuff but I am ready to get back to normal fun Secret Six issues without Black Lanterns and the suicide squad. Not that this little excursion was bad it’s just I want more focus on the six.

Doll, Stop Playing With That Girl

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Secret Six (Volume 3) #17
Written by John Ostrander and Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore

This is part 2 of the Blackest night crossover that began here. I miss Nicola Scott. Caliafore is good but he’s not Scott. I think this is all and good but Blackest Night is interrupting the narrative in this book and I was enjoying it so much. Anyways, there were still great one-liners like Doll, Stop Playing With that Girl haha.

Black Lantern Title

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Suicide Squad #67
Written by John Ostrander and Gail Simone
Art by J. Caliafore

I love that DC is bringing back old series as Black Lantern titles, what an awesome concept. This is the first one I am reviewing. I know very little about Suicide Squad but have heard great things about Ostrander’s run on the title, it doesn’t really matter though as the reader is caught up and the focus on the issue is more on Secret Six, who I know and love. So many great moments in this, pick this up especially if you are a Secret Six Fan.

Manhunter 35 and 36

manhunter35Manhunter #35
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Michael Gaydos and Carlos Magno

Eh I don’t feel like a lot happened here….this arc is taking a little longer then I would like. Manhunter basically fights some dudes and the Crime Doctor finds out about Suicide Squad’s deception. The only thing that stood out about this issue was Cameron saying she was pregnant. Was the art always this bad? I don’t remember hating it this much until this issue.

manhunter36Manhunter #36
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Michael Gaydos

Now this was more like it, I loved the politics and right-wing bashing in this series because comics need more right-wing bashing. And if that offends conservative readers I really don’t care, because I don’t want you reading my blog anyways. Kate’s speech to the press was awesome and shows how much of a hero and brave women she really is taking out such a large corporation. She is right about how sad it is that one white girl goes missing and it is front page news for weeks but hundred of mexican women go missing and no one pays attention. That is just wrong. I look forward to the next arc which will sadly be the last one of this series.

JLA 13 – 26

Justice League of America #13
Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Art by Joe Benitez

When I first read this issue, I was a little turned off. I guess I expected more from the first issue of McDuffie’s run and I certainly expected better art. But now I think this was a pretty good read and did remind me a lot of the TV show. Good start, and at least much better then anything Meltzer did on this title. I think the Injustice League is very cool and I like how they are opposite numbers of the League. Of the villains we have seen so far this is what the breakdown is.

Superman:
Lex Luthor
Parasite

Batman:
The Joker

Poison Ivy

Wonder Woman:
Cheetah

Firestorm:
Killer Frost

Hawkgirl:
Shadow Thief

Green Lantern:
Fatality

The Flash:
Gorilla Grodd

Black Canary, Vixen, Black Lightning, Red Arrow, Geo-Force, and Red Tornado are sadly without any villains yet.

Justice League of America #14
Written by Dwayne McDuffie

Art by Ed Benes

This is another good issue. The Injustice League is shown to have Cheshire and Shaggy Man in it’s ranks as well. Cheshire is a Red Arrow villain arguably (even if he has a kid with her) but Shaggy Man and Dr. Light are just general villains not specific to anyone.

Justice League of America #15
Written by Dwayne McDuffie Art by Ed Benes

The way Batman basically tells Firestorm that he has no choice, he has to join the Justice League was awesome! This concluded the Injustice League arc and it was good, but this arc as a whole would have been a whole lot better if someone else was doing the art.

Justice League of America #16
Written by Dwayne McDuffie and Allan Burnett

Art by Joe Benitez and Allan Jefferson

Eh….this issue was okay. It just served as a preview to two other mini-series’s which is kind of annoying. I would have rather had a story in this series that starts and ends in it.

Justice League of America #17
Written by Dwayne McDuffie and Allan Burnett

Art by Ed Benes
and Joe Benitez

Haha the main story I could care less about. It was lame and had awful art. But the back up written by McDuffie was good because McDuffie comments on the fact that Meltzer’s whole Vixen is using the powers of the Justice League thing makes no sense. I love it! Take that Meltzer!

Justice League of America #18
Written by Dwayne McDuffie and Allan Burnett
Art by Ed Benes and John Boy Meyers

Meh….this was very decompressed and was basically filler. They could have cut this entire issue of the arc. But the back up was good.


Justice League of America #19
Written by Allan Burnett
Art by Ed Benes

Thank god this arc is over because it was not very good. It just served as a sidestory to another mini-series! Whatever happened to this series having its own stories. Hawkgirl being so jealous over Cheshire is just stupid and seems completely forced. Also, I know Geo-Force was transferred to the Outsiders but you would think someone would have mentioned it for people who aren’t reading
the Outsiders. Instead, he just dissappears. That’s bad editing.

Justice League of America #20
Written by Dwayne McDuffie Art by Ethan Van Sciver

This was by far the best issue of McDuffie’s run so far. And you wanna know why, Ethan Van Sciver. Look at how much of a difference Ed Benes’s art makes with McDuffie’s writing. McDuffie is a good writer, but Benes’s art is soo bad that it is killing a good story. Anyways, this was a beautiful issue with a nice story with the Flash and Wonder Woman. I liked it a lot.

Justice League of America #21
Written by Dwayne McDuffie Art by Carlos Pacheo

This is a final crisis tie-in issue that is rather enjoyable. In fact, it was just as good as last issue. This book is sooo much better without Ed Benes. Please DC, get rid of him! Anyways, it made me happy to see that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were going to add Martian Manhunter back in the league before he died but the trinity is acting kind’ve elitist. Libra is a visually stunning character and I can’t wait to learn more about him in Final Crisis.

Justice League of America #22
Written by Dwayne McDuffie Art by Ed Bene

Unfortunately Bene is back this issue….with some ultra terrible art. He draws just one body type…it’s so annoying. Plot-wise, it was only okay. Red Tornado taken over by Amazo does NOT interest me, especially when the League already fought Amazo under Meltzer’s pen. The vixen subplot interests me more but not by much. I really can’t reccomend this issue.

Justice League of America #23
Written by Dwayne McDuffie Art by Ed Benes

While this may have not been a horrible issue if Ed Benes was not doing the art, it was horrible when comined with the art and the rather dull fight with Amazo that lasted the entire issue. Damn. And this series was finally getting good again.

Justice League of America #24
Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Art byAllan Goldman

Yay! Benes is gone again this issue. This made the fight with Amazo so much better but still rather dull. The best moments of this issue were at the end where they go to meet Animal Man. I did not even think of the vegatarian thing. I am intrugued as to where this is going.

Justice League of America #25
Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Art by Ed Benes, Ian Churchill, Doug Mahnke, Darick Robertson, Shane Davis, and Ivan Reis

This anniversary issue was rather good. I am happy to find Red Tornado leaving the team as I never really grew fond of the character. Also, Anansi seems like a great villain for the league to face. I like how he speaks and how he spins the webs of stories. I look forward to the next issue.

Justice League of America #26
Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Art by Ed Benes

Now this alternate reality issue of JLA is one of the best issues of McDuffie’s run. He can write some great stuff when he isn’t editorially mandated to do things. There were so many great moments. The Brown Bomber! LMAO. It was refreshing to see Vixen calling upon Animal Powers again and I have to wonder if Meltzer only had it go away because he was too lazy to look up animals to use (:. But the anansi thing did seem to end rather quickly. I bet McDuffie wanted it to be longer but then was told he had to do the whole Milestone crossover thing. Well at least this is a new arc I can look forward to, even if it is editorially mandated.

Coming Full Circle

Outsiders (Volume 3) #50
Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Matthew Clark and Ron Randall

Well here we come to the final issue of the Outsiders. It looks like Batman has taken complete control of the team now and the series will relaunch as Batman and the Outsiders, which I am very excited for. This issue was great. Much better then anything Winick ever did with this series. It doesn’t feel like a final issue, but it shouldn’t since the relaunch is just around the corner. I don’t know much abotu the Suicide Squad so there appearence here kinda threw me off but I did the research and now they interest me. I can’t wait to see what the new team does. I loved Catwoman’s final line in this issue, totally in-character. I also like the idea that Batman needs a team of heroes pretending to be villains. One thing I didn’t buy was the idea that people recognize Grace as an Amazon just by looking at her. Not realistic but whatever. Great end to a series and can’t wait for the relaunch.