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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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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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.

Kryptonian Mythology

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Action Comics #886
Written by Greg Rucka and Eric Trauttman
Art by Pere Perez
Co-Feature by Rucka and James Robinson
Art by Cafu

 

I don’t have much to say about the main story – it was well executed and as a fan of mythology myself I love how Rucka and Trauttman are creating Kryptonian Mythology. I am not sure why Flamebird seems to have turned against Thara though, is she working with Jax-Ur? Maybe I missed something there. It was good stuff though. The Captain Atom co-feature was even more impressing. I have enjoyed every moment of this feature and in this issue once again Robinson shows how well he utilizes the DC Universe incorporating Skartaris, Shadowpact, and the many magical realms into the plotline. I loved it.

The Return of Shadowpact

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Action Comics #885
Written by Greg Rucka and Eric Trautmann
Art by Pere Perez
Co-Feature by Rucka and James Robinson
Art by Cafu

You can tell we are approaching a war here as shit goes to hell in the handbasket when the army tries to retrieve Flamebird and Nightwing and are defended by Guardian and Mon-El. Sam Lane is such a dick I can’t wait to see him get his ass handed to him. The Co-Feature was just awesome as we see the return of Shadowpact! I didn’t realize how much I missed those guys! Good old Detective Chimp.  This was a great issue!

Superbat Concludes

Superman/Batman #56
Written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson
Art by Rags Morales

The Superbat arc concludes rather predictably. I wouldn’t say that this was a great read. Everything goes back to normal and Batman realizes how much of a dick he was while he had Superman’s powers. It is not really compelling. I guess I expected more from the conclusion of this. In the end, while this may excite some people, I think this arc was rather bland. That’s all I can really say about it. The art was great though. And it was nice to see the Shadowpact again.

Oh My Rao

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Superman #683
Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes and Jorge Correa Jr.

This is Part Nine of the New Krypton Storyline that began in the New Krypton Special, continued here, then in the Guardian Special, then here, here, here, here, and here. It’s great to see the other heroes from the DCU finally reacting to New Krypton. But Geez, some of them SHOULD NOT be there. Why the hell is Mr. Terrific there? As if the guy doesn’t appear enough, he is now in comics logically he shoudn’t be in. Come on! Oh how I loathe that character some times. Robinson’s dialogue is still awkward sometimes. Why does Superman say things like Oh my Rao or whatever, he grew up on EARTH. Alura has went from being a bitch to down right evil and Supergirl can’t seem who to choose – her mother or her cousin. The surprise ending got me really excited! One has to wonder why they didn’t just come in the first place.

Shadowpact 15 – 25

Shadowpact #15
Written by Bill Willingham

Art by Tom Derenick

Whoa did a volcanoe just erupt in Chicago? My home town?! Oh no you didn’t Doctor Gotham. I hope the Shadowpact kicks your ass! Decent issue of Shadowpact. Zauriel is officially on the team now.

Shadowpact #16
Written by Bill Willingham

Art by Tom Derenick

The Justice League guest stars in this issue – and not only does Willingham not do his research on Chicago – it’s the Magnificent Mile dumbass, not Miracle Mile! – but he also does not even read any other DCU comics because Zatanna and Supergirl are not currently members of the Justice League. Willingham is a lazy writer when it comes to the DCU and sometimes I think he should just stick to Fables. Anyways, this was okay.
Shadowpact #17
Written by Matthew Sturges Art by Doug Braithwaite

I forgot what happened – I think Willingham got sick – but Matthew Sturges begins his run with this issue. And I enjoyed it. The art was fantastic, I loved the painted style. There was some gruesome scenes in this – a girl driving a nail through her eye and a man exploding out of Doctor Gotham’s head. Pretty gross but awesome.

Shadowpact #18
Written by Matthew Sturges

Art by Tom Derenick

Okay this was another disturbing issue where a woman is literally melted alive. The art is good, you can see the pain upon herself. Too bad it something that I don’t really want to see her. Story is good though. I am not complaining.

Shadowpact #19
Written by Matthew Sturges Art by Phil Winslade

Yay! Part of Chicago is in the Nightshade Dimension. That should be fun. As for the main plot, Protege’s defeat seemed kinda easy. But it was still good. I like Winslade’s art a lot.

Shadowpact #20
Written by Matthew Sturges

Art by Kieren Dwyer

Oh it is good to see Rex the Wonder Dog, a series can never have enough talking animals. Anyways, looks like it wasn’t Chicago after all but in fact the city Nightmaster gained his sword. Decent issue with some funny dialogue.

Shadowpact #21
Written by Matthew Sturges

Art by Tom Derenick

Haha Detective Chimps is cruising Furry websites looking for some answer. That is just freaking hilarious! This was a really good issue as I liked learning about the unbound. They are really interesting. It looks like the Shadowpact may have accidentally let them into our universe now.

Shadowpact #22
Written by Matthew Sturges

Art by Phil Winslade

The Shadowpact defeats the unbound and Nightmaster decides to leave the team and stay behind. It makes sense, and really shows how good-hearted he is. Nice conclusion to this arc.

Shadowpact #23
Written by Matthew Sturges

Art by Phil Winslade

I like how in Hell Court, you sware on a book of dirty jokes. Hahaha. But Blue Devil reverts to being a human in this issue and I hope that isn’t permanent. He is a great character and it would be a shame to see him go. But maybe he could be retired for a while?

Shadowpact #24
Written by Matthew Sturges

Art by Phil Winslade

They finally face the sun king in the penultimate issue. This sun king thing has run on for too long and I am glad they are concluding even though it is only because the series is ending. It was cool to see Blue Devil’s original costume but I still hope he reverts back to being a demon.

Shadowpact #25
Written by Matthew Sturges

Art by Phil Winslade

This is the Final Issue of this series and it was good and actually solved all of the dangling plot threads. Blue Devil is a demon again and the Sun King has been defeated. I will miss my monthly does of Detective Chimp and I think this series had a lot of potential if only more people were reading it. I look forward to seeing the Shadowpact around the DCU.

Superman Batman 40 – 48

Superman/Batman #40
Written by Alan Burnett
Art by Dustin Nguyen

Uh oh Batman is getting horny! This arc seems to be playing up the whole New Gods as actual Gods thing that Morrison has introduced. I like it a lot and Bekka definitely has an effect on Batman’s desire here. Nguyen was the artist on JLA when I first got into comics so I get a feeling of comfort from it. It’s not amazing art, but I like it. Check out the rack on Bekka though hehe, I don’t blame Batman for desiring her. If I was straight, I might do the same.

Superman/Batman #41
Written by Alan Burnett
Art by Dustin Nguyen

Superman’s little dream sequence in this issue was hilarious. I loved all the cameos and the appearance of the guy from the cover of Action Comics #1. I think, if I am not mistaken, that we ever see the inside of the Source Wall.

Superman/Batman #42
Written by Alan Burnett
Art by Dustin Nguyen

The conclusion to this was a little anti-climactic but still good. Overall, I liked this arc a lot. And I so rarely enjoy arcs with the New Gods.

Superman/Batman #40
Written by Andy Lanning & Andy Lanning
Art by Mike McKone

Um ya this was kinda boring and pointless. I don’t know, Dr. Light using a light projection of the old Teen Titans to fight Superman and Batman is kind of well lame and not interesting. I can not really tell you why that is, it is just how I feel I guess. The mystery man at the end of the issue could be either Luthor or Libra, not sure which one it is.

Superman/Batman #44
Written by Michael Green

Art by Shane Davis

Michael Green begins his Superman/Batman run with this issue….hopefully he sticks around longer then every other writer since Loeb left the title. Shane Davis’s art is awesome and I think it fits perfectly with this book. And Green’s writing makes for great superhero storytelling. He actually utilizes Superman’s super-speed power that I don’t think a lot of current writers really utilize to its potential. I like the “freak of the week” reference to Smallville. I think this is the first time in comic continuity they have acknowledged that kryptonite can effect humans in strange ways. The beginning with the shooting of the movie about Superman and Batman was hilarious, especially with how wrong they got Batman’s origin. Also, the idea of hunting down all the kryptonite in the world is very intriguing.


Superman/Batman #45
Written by Michael Green
Art by Shane Davis

Another superb issue by this new creative team. The only thing I had a problem with was the reasoning for Aquaman attacking Superman was a little faulty. Why doesn’t he want him taking Kryptonite from the ocean? Oh and has everyone forgotten he goes by Joseph now, not Arthur?

Superman/Batman #46
Written by Michael Green

Art by Shane Davis

This was a pretty fun issue in which Silver Kryptonite apparently causes Superman to act like a child. It was pretty good. And it wasn’t stupid or done for laughs either. Very well-written.

Superman/Batman #47 Written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson
Art by Shane Davis

Whoa this was a pretty kick ass issue. It makes pe
rfect sense for the government to have a kryptonite storage place and kryptonite weapons in case Superman goes rogue, I am surprised no one though of it before.

Superman/Batman #48
Written by Michael Green
and Mike Johnson
Art by Shane Davis

Well, Smallville is nearly destroyed this issue. Luckily it will be rebuilt and Amanda Waller is a real bitch here. I’d argue that Green is turning out to be the best writer this title has ever had.

The Chimp In A Hospital Gown

Shadowpact #14
Written by Bill Willingham
Art and Cover by Tom Derenick

Hey note to Bill Willingham-Saying Chicago is worse than a hell is a low blow, a real low blow…anyways this was another great issue of Shadowpact. Blue Devil goes on a leave of absense and admits to the world that he made his deal with the devil out of selfishness so that no one will want to become like him and start making deals with the devil. It is interesting that in a world like this, there could ever be atheists. But Mr. Terrific is one…oh well. Anyways, I am happy to see Zauriel on the team now and I hope he stays on a more permanent basis. Having a Devil and an Angel on the same team would be a lot of fun. Detective Chimp at the hospital made me smile. How cute did he look in that hospital gown? Too cute. And you know that the way those doctors were acting is exactly how they would act in real life…taking pictures with the monkey and everything.

Murder

Shadowpact #13
Written by Bill Willingham
Art and cover by Scott Hampton

In typical Willingham style, this issue is a side story focusing on the adversaries of Shadowpact. We see Doctor Gotham murder Strega in order to bring the Sun King to our world, Kid Karnevil kill a dozen trademen, and Zauriel being ordered by the higher angels to murder Blue Devil. When it comes down to it, this issue had a lot of murder. It’s strange to see Zauriel accept his order, but I suppose if it truly comes from God he has to although I have a feeling he will rebel and hopefully join Shadowpact. He would make a great addition to the team. I like Coast City being shown, especially considering it hasn’t been seen in Green Lantern for a while now. Did Hal bring that city back only to abandon it? I guess Zauriel has been Coast City’s protector as of late.

Shadowpact 9 – 12

Shadowpact #9
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Tom Derenick

This was an action-packed issue of fun. I like this series a lot if I haven’t said that a million times already and this issue is no exception. Will Nightmaster survive? Probably but I really don’t care either way. I find him kinda boring. Shadowpact meeting Etrigan is so obvious that I am surprised I never thought of that before. And it is funny to see Blue Devil start rhyming. Oh and I love the Shadowpact’s new laws of superheroics. So simple and brilliant.

Shadowpact #10
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Tom Derenick

Another great issue. It was interesting to learn about how promotions work in hell and I look forward to seeing Blue Devil, Nightshade, and the subsitute Shadowpact they have set up travel into Hell. That should be cool. While this issue was mostly talking, it was still awesome.


Shadowpact #11
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Tom Derenick


Willingham is an imaginative man and the final defeat of Etrigan proves that. I like these subsitute Shadowpact heroes, I hope they stay in the series in one form or another. I actually was scared that Warlock’s Daughter was going to die at one point. Thank God she didn’t (And God actually plays a role in this when Ragman asks him for help.)

Shadowpact #12
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Tom Derenick

Wow! This was a cool issue! Willingham recounts the origin of the Nightmaster and now…I actually like him! In one issue he has turned me into a fan of the character. That is amazing. I loved everything about his origin. The origin of the Oblivion Bar and all of it. It was really cool and magical. I highly recommend this issue.


Checkmate 9 and 10

Checkmate (Volume 2) #9
Written by Greg Rucka
Art and Cover by Jesus Saiz

This series is brutal and can be incredibly confusing, but it sure is good. Especially this issue, which unexpectedly guest starred the Shadowpact (Who I love). I love how the Checkmate is really no-holds-barred and they do things the JLA or any superhero team wouldn’t be caught dead doing. I am not sure why Sarge Steel and Sasha are so pissed at eachother this issue, but they are at odds through the whole thing. The introduction of the Thinker to the cast is a great move by Rucka, I like the character already even though I am barely familiar with him.

Checkmate (Volume 2) #10
Written by Greg Rucka
Art and Cover by Jesus Saiz

The pulled it off! They got a mole into Kobra! I was worried through the whole issue. This was certainly suspenseful and hats off to Rucka for creating that suspense. I really liked this issue. Maybe it was the magic I don’t know, but it was really cool. Both Shadowpact and Checkmate kicked ass this issue and there was a lot of tension and surprise. The only thing I am worried about is did Sasha say that the Thinker could not be the White King’s bishop? That would suck if he got kicked out just as I was starting to like him. Anyways, great issue. Highly reccomended.

Shadowpact 3 – 7

Shadowpact #3
Written by Bill Willingham

Art by Cory Walker

This was a fun conclusion to this storyline. It establishes that what was only a few days for the Shadowpact, was a whole year outside of the blood barrier. Way cool. I doubt that this will be the last time we see the Pentacle, they are just too cool of villains for the shadowpact to stay in limbo. Oh and I didn’t realize how powerful Nightshade really is until this issue.

Shadowpact #4
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Steve Scott

This was a stand alone day in the life story of Blue Devil, although the rest of the Shadowpact was mentioned, they don’t make an appearence. I always hate when comic issues do that, the stars of the title should all be in the issue. But besides that little nitpick, this was a fun story. Mr. Green and Mr. Grey were funny villains and I hope Willingham brings them back sometime.

Shadowpact #5
Written by Bill Willingham Art by Steve Scott

This was another fun issue, picking up where issue 3 left off. It was fun to see what happens to each member’s belongings since they have been missing for a year and though dead. Makes me wonder what would happen if I dissapeared and came back. The final scene with Ragman is great and I look forward to learning more about this new villain with an awesome name, Dr. Gotham.

Shadowpact #6
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Cory Walker

Just in the first few issues of this series alone, Willingham has managed to create some fun villains for the shadowpact. And in this issue the wild huntsman and Blue Moon are added to that list. The scenes with the oblivian bar were fun as well. I think it is safe to say that the Phantom Stranger is the official narrarator of this series and I think he works great in this role. This is the most fun book that DC is putting out.

Shadowpact #7
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Tom Derenick

I actually do not have that much to say about this issue except it was a lot of fun, just like this book always is. I wonder of Derenick actually read last issue, because Nightmaster was not wearing those clothes before. The congregation’s light attack was pretty cool. Oh and I hope Rex the Wonder Dog becomes a permanent member of the team.

Fun + Creepy = Cool

Shadowpact #2
Written by Bill Willingham
Art and cover by Willingham

In the second issue of shadowpact, we are treated to more of this fun/creepy story. We now get to know this anti-shadowpact team better and boy are they a cool villain team. I do hope that this story is not the last we will see of them. It is rare for cool new villains to be created now and days but Willingham hits it out of the park with these guys. Each of them are creepy, yet there is something about them that makes you like them. I guess because they play by the rules so to speak. They work together very well. Karnevil is a sick little guy and I am worried for Detective Chimp. Please don’t kill my favorite Chimp (I am just kidding I know they would never kill this series most popular character.) I wonder if the devil guy is really Blue Devil’s brother. I think it would be interesting if he was and how that would affect Blue Devil, knowing that his deal with Neron affected his family as well. Speaking of that, are we supposed to know the God Strega is trying to wake up? I did not recognize him but Willingham made it seem like we as an audience knew him. This series continues to impress.