Superman Goes Dark

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Action Comics #981
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Jack Herbert

This Jack Herbert seems like the perfect Superman artist. He draws the hero in such a beautiful way. I thought that Jurgens was showing us that the trio of the Eradicator, Cyborg Superman, and Zod are a force to be reckoned with in this issue but the final issue shows that something else has happened to Superman! And it is something I wonder will last for a while or will be fixed in one issue? I hope it gets explored well because I don’t remember this ever happening to Superman before this. This was a good issue of Action Comics.

Supergirl Rebirth 1 – 9

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Supergirl (Volume 7) #1
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Brian Ching

I went into this issue expecting to at the least find it boring if not hate it. I love Linda Danvers – she is Supergirl to me and ever since Kara Zor-El replaced her I have been pissed – and mostly pissed because no one ever seemed to mention there was a Supergirl before her. I want her to be acknowledged! And now we have Kara living with people who are Danvers. Can we at least ackowledge her somewhere Steve Orlando?! Anyways, I did not hate this issue. It was actually a good set up of taking what has worked with the Supergirl tv series and applying it to the comic book universe but still keeping it different enough to be its own thing. I sure hope Martian Manhunter shows up soon! That being said, I find the art distracting.

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Supergirl (Volume 7) #2
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Brian Ching

Cat Grant is written as interesting as she is on the tv show in this issue when Kara goes to interview at the new Catco Worldwide Media. I appreciate that they followed continuity and explained that Cat left the daily planet to find this new company. The stuff about Supergirl’s Dad being maybe still alive as a robot annoys me as it has been done before. We don’t need more Kryptonian angst in DC Comics. Can we also get a new artist on this book? Sometimes Ching doesn’t even draw faces!

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Action Comics Rebirth 957 – 975

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Action Comics #957
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Patrick Zircher

Ok here we go this is Action Comics Rebirth…the real Superman that I grew up with returning to Action Comics in his own series again! Written by the great Dan Jurgens no less. In this issue, the Pre-Flashpoint Superman comes out of hiding after Lex Luthor tries to replace the New 52 Superman as Metropolis’s protector after the New 52 Superman’s death. And if that itself isn’t mystery enough…someone who looks just like Clark Kent is now working at the Daily Plaent! This was a good start. I do wish Jurgens was the artist though. And I don’t really care about seeing Doomsday again.

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Action Comics #958
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Patrick Zircher

This issue has Doomsday brawling with Superman most of the issue while Lex Luthor helped. It was not exciting…and Doomsday is almost never exciting. But the mystery of Mr. Oz and the strange Clark Kent are enough to keep me interested.

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Secret Six 32 – 36

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

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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!

 

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.

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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.

 

 

 


 

 

Titans 34-38

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Titans (Volume 2) #34
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino

Despite hating what happened to Lian Harper and the disgusting way Dan Didio has talked about killing her,  and then what happened to Ryan Choi… this was a good issue and that is due to the creative team telling a strong story. I am actuallu interested in what is to come of Osiris and this creepy guy who takes people’s eyes.

 

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Titans (Volume 2) #35
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino and Phillip Tan

Another good issue of this dark series. I hate how Lian and Ryan have died but Eric Wallace sure knows how to write and Fiorentino knows how to draw beautifully. There was a lot of story in this issue. Wallace isn’t writing for the trade and I like that. The ending where Deathstroke has to fight essentially the creatures from the movie “the Descent” was quite creepy. I wonder if Vixen will ever form her new street team of heroes (Which ironically is how she originally joined the League in the 80’s right because Aquaman wanted to remake the team like that). All of the plots in this book are interesting.

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Titans (Volume 2) #36
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino

This issue wasn’t as good as the last. The art seemed weaker and it ended the arc too easily to me. It was exciting to see the Justice League show up at the end to take Deathstroke to task for the murder of Ryan Choi. Other than that it was only okay. I don’t really care much about Tatooed Man’s arc which is what most of this issue was dedicated to. Deathstroke mentions that Roy and Jericho were once on the same team but…was Jericho and Roy ever on the Titans at the same time? I don’t remember if they were. It seems not but I could be wrong.

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Titans (Volume 2) #37
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Travis Moore

This was a return to form as Jericho is resurrected by a device Deathstroke helped Sivana create. Then they offer to bring back the dead relatives of the Titans including Lian Harper! I was screaming yes! But the problem is that it might also give Lian eternal life which is hell I guess but Roy should know that in the DC Universe they will figure out how to fix that. Bring back your toddler who didn’t deserve to die at he hands of Prometheus/Dan Didio! Can’t wait to see how this concludes.

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Titans (Volume 2) #38
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Travis Moore

In the final issue the machine that would have ressurected Lian Harper is destroyed which is too bad but I guess Roy is reformed now and has decided to lead the Titans even though Jericho is now it’s only member. Wallace is a really good writer and I hope he landed somewhere else in DC’s line up after this book. What I like the most is that he included a heartfelt funeral for Ryan Choi which showed he respects the character even though I am sure that editorial forced him to kill Ryan. I am glad Ryan returned in DC Rebirth but I wish it was the same Ryan Choi. I hope in the end it will turn out that everyone’s memories had just been erased and that it is the same Ryan without his memories of being the Atom. Long live the real and original DC Universe!