Better Back-Up

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #23
Written by Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Paul Dini
Art by John Timms and Brett Blevins

Harley and Goat Boy takes Harley’s parents on a dinner cruise when the cruise is invaded by Clock King and Sportsmaster. Outside of the stuff with spoonsdale, I actually found this issue a tad boring and tedious. It seems like Conner and Palmiotti are being too wordy in each panel. Let the story breathe a bit. The backup Paul Dini was more fun with Harley overspending on her new headquarters for the Joker.

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Gotham Victims

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Batman (Volume 3) #26
Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janin

Ok what the hell Deathstroke is NOT a Batman villain. Why is he pictured with the Batman Rogues Gallery all of a sudden and showing up possibly in the next Batman movie – he is a Teen Titans villain who sometimes fights other heroes! But anyways the second part of the War of Jokes and Riddle was decent but I was surprised at how quick a read it was. It was good to see characters like Carmine Falcone and it looks like Batman has now joined the Justice League in his first year as a crime fighter which I don’t even think that was the case before Flashpoint so that is an interesting continuity change. The theme that I took away from this issue is that Tom King seems to be focusing on the innocent victims of the Batman villains and how Batman remembers their names to keep his crusade on crime going. I like that.

Harley Quinn 17-22

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #17
Written by Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Paul Dini
Art by John Timms and Brett Blevins

The main story has the detective guy asking Harley and her gang to look into why homeless people are missing in New York and the dialogue was very funny. It seems that this series is a hit or a miss for me and this issue was a hit. The back up story by Paul Dini and art by Brett Blevins doing his best Bruce Timm – it reminded me so much of the old Batman: the Animated Series from when I was a kid it brought a smile to my face.

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #18
Written by Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Paul Dini
Art by John Timms, Joseph Michael Lisner, and Brett Blevins

The main story of the cannibals eating all of the Homeless is so sad but somehow they manage to write it all off as a dark comedy while not being offensive. That takes balls. The back up was filled with more Batman: The Animated Series style Harley and Joker goodness. This is a fun book to read again.

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The War of Jokes and Riddles Begins

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Batman (Volume 3) #25
Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janin

This issue begins a flashback story called the War of Jokes and Riddles. It begins with many violent hard to watch/read murders by both the Joker and the Riddler and ends with a great panel of a naked Batman looking pretty great next to Catwoman in bed as he tells this story. We still don’t know if Catwoman said yes to his marriage proposal last issue but who cares – we got to see Mikel Janin draw a great naked Batman! Yay! Jokes aside (no pun intended), this was a great start to what looks like a very cool past-Batman story which if done right looks like it could be on the level of something like the Long Halloween. Tom King is really good at dissecting these characters and his explanation of why the Joker and the Riddler do what-they-do (as told by the Riddler) is fascinating.

The Trip to Qurac

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Red Hood and the Outlaws (Volume 2) #9
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Dexter Soy

The Outlaws travel to Qurac in this issue beautifully drawn by Dexter Soy. Put this artist on every book DC. He is perfect. While in Qurac, Jason naturally reminisces about his death at the hands of the Joker as the Outlaws try to get the Bow of Ra back from the person they believe has it. This issue seems almost ripped from the headlines in terms of what is going on with Syria except that instead of poison gas, we have this magical bow. It has to be a coincidence. I really can’t say one bad thing about this comic starring Jason Todd, who knew I would ever write a sentence like that.

Green Lanterns 1 – 19

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Green Lanterns #1
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Robson Rocha

As happy as I am to have a new Green Lantern book that is not starring boring old Hal Jordan, I can’t say I was excited to read this. Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz have not interested me one bit in the Justice League book. Simon just seems like a jerk and Jessica is so unsure of herself it becomes not sweet, but annoying. I was hoping under a different write I would feel differently. This issue did not win me over, but maybe future issues will because the art was good and I am interested in the Red Lantern sub-plot. Oh and Dex-Starr!

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Green Lanterns #2
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Robson Rocha

Now this was more like it! By focusing on Jessica learning about her ring with her sister, Humphries made me actually understand her character better and what she is going through. Hopefully we will get a similar focus on Simon. This series just got good.

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Pandora Pits and Creative Teams

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Trinity (Volume 2) #7
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Clay Mann and Miguel Mendoca

Ra’s Al Ghul, Lex Luthor, and Circe are all called to “the Pandora Pits.” and fight a creature that comes from the Pits that is a fusion of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman; a representation of their greatest fears. In the end, they beat the creature and realize the power of the Pandora Pits is here. How this relates to the Pandora killed in DC Rebirth is unknown to me but this was an intersting start to this tory arc. Is Manapul now off this book or is Bunn just a guest writer? Is it always going to have rotating creative teams like Superman/Batman had? I really enjoyed Manapul’s work on this series before. I hope he is back.