Team Defiance

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Deathstroke (Volume 4) #21
Written by Priest

Art by Diogenes Neves

This is issue marks the new era of this title where Deathstroke will be leading a new superhero team called Defiance consisting of Deathstroke, the Ravager, Jericho, Power Girl and Kid Flash sponsored by the US government. I like how they all have new uniforms too and I think Deathstroke’s black and white get up is a welcome change. As for the surprise appearance of Terra at the end of this I have no idea how she is even alive? Isn’t she suppose to be very dead? How pissed is Barry Allen going to be that Kid Flash is now on a team with Deathstroke? Anyways, I am excited about this bold new era for this series.

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Deathstroke Rebirth 1 – 20

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Deathstroke (Volume 4) #1
Written by Priest
Art by Carlo Pagulayan

I only know Deathstroke from his appearance in other comic books (and I have to say he is way overused) and not his solos series, and for a #1 issue this really is not written for new readers. I was so lost, and I know the character.

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Deathstroke (Volume 4) #2
Written by Priest
Art by Larry Hama and Carlo Pagulayan

Okay I have always wondered why Rose Wilson had silver hair, I always assumed it had something to do with whatever the thing is that Deathstroke injects into himself but when he has injected others – like sadly Cassandra Cain for example – their hair does not turn white. (Maybe that is just because Cassandra is so badass she can take it without her hair turning white.) Anyways, I still found this issue hard to follow, but better than the last – at least I know Rose Wilson/the Ravager from her Titans days.

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Teen Titans 7 and 8

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Teen Titans (Volume 6) #7
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Khoi Pham and Phil Hester

Jackson Hyde makes it to Titans Tower and is immediately rejected by Robin until he saves Robin from King Shark. Damian then gives him a suit that he had been creating for himself for underwater missions. I wonder if this will be Jackson’s final Aqualad costume – it is unclear because he never puts it on in this comic. I am hoping Jackson is given the name Aqualad by Garth as a passing of the torch in the upcoming crossover.

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Teen Titans (Volume 6) #8
Written by Priest, Benjamin Percy, and Dan Abnett
Art by Khoi Pham and Phil Hester

This is Part 2 of the Lazarus Contract crossover that began here. I want to dislike this crossover because I know that Deathstroke trying to ressurect Grant Wilson has been done SO MANY TIMES in the past. In fact, I think it was done right before Flashpoint. But the writing and characterization is top notch I can’t really hate it. Tempest and the new Aqualad meet for the first time, Donna and Starfire saying how they should really be the ones in charge – the writers clearly know these characters. Kid Flash actually finds out that Wally has the same name as him in this issue which I figured the would have left for the Flash books to resolve.

 

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!

 

Action Comics 900-904

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Action Comics #900
Written by Paul Cornell, David Lindeloff, Paul Dini, Geoff Johns, David S. Goyer, Richard Donner, Derek  Hoffman
Art by Pete Woods, Jesus Marino, Ryan Sook, RB Silva, Gary Frank, Miguel Sepulveda, Matt Camp, and Brian Stelfreeze

This is the 900th issues of Action Comics and we get a special 96-page issue to celebrate. Some great things here. I loved that they actually mention Superboy’s tactile telekenisis power which has been ignored since the days of Young Justice it seems sometimes. Anyways, Lex Luthor is now a God and shows Superman some of the most emotional moments in the Man of Steel’s history, and then Lex finds out that Clark Kent is Superman finally! I love that Cornell has Superman confirming that the Kents made him who he is today. That is something that has been lost since Johns took over the Superman franchise and overemphasized Superman’s kryptonian heritage. The issue also shows how fundamentally wrong Lex is about Superman’s nature believing that he isn’t capable of human emotion which is the exact opposite because in many ways Superman is more “human” than Lex is. With all this look back at the death of Superman, would it have killed them to have the Matrix Supergirl/Linda Danvers involved instead of or in additon to Kara? That angers me but whatever. Anyways, Lex Luthor projects universal happiness well literally universally and we see even Death of the endless feel it. That was a genius moment from Cornell. Lex then learns that he can keep his new Godlike power and never kill Superman or do anything negative or he must give it up. Lex being the villain that he is chooses the second option and loses his memory of Clark Kent being Superman and the ending leads to what I don’t think looks that great called Reign of the Doomsdays. The rest of the book are smaller stories celebrating the 900th issue. Paul Dini, Geoff Johns, and David Goyer’s stories stood out. I loved Brian Stelfreeze’s final page art too.

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Action Comics #901
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort and Jesus Merino

This continues the Reign of the Doomdays arc which is stupid but Cornell shows he is a good writer even when given a stupid story. The Doomslayer is a clever creation too.  I wish there was just Jesus Merino on this issue though. It looks like The Eradicator may be dead.

 

 

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Action Comics #902
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Kenneth Rocafort and Alex Gimenez

Wow! I was pleasantly surprised by this issue. Superman, Supergirl, Superboy, and Steel all work together and act like a real heroes. This is something that should happen on a regular basis and DC Comics but Paul Cornell really knocked it out of the park and had Superman not even want to have Doomsday die. I love that these are real heroes and I’m glad that they’re written that way.

 

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Action Comics #903
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Alex Gimenez

This was a great issue with plenty of guest stars including the Justice League and the Teen Titans plus more I really enjoyed it and I was surprised by that. Paul Cornell is a good writer he knows how to create good suspense.

 

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Action Comics #904
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Alex Gimenez and Ronan Cliquet

I’m very glad that DC is returning this book to its original numbering. This is the final issue before it relaunched under the new 52 Banner. It was a fantastic finale that it really showed Paul Cornell understands the character . I literally cheered out loud when Lois said Jonathan and Martha made Superman not Krypton. That was fantastic and it is the truth.

Teen Titans 94 – 100

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #94
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Nicola Scott

Damn I love Nicola Scott’s art. This story is very refreshing. We haven’t seen much of the Hindu Gods in the DC Universe and it is fun to explore the Ramayana here. J.T. is really good at the characterization of each Titan and Nicola Scott’s art shows their moods and relationships to each other. This is great!

 

Teen Titans (Volume 3) #95Teen_Titans_Vol_3_95
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Nicola Scott

Nicola Scott really draws Superboy with some beefcake. I can’t say that I mind. The demons in this issue were creepy especially the one impersonating Ravager. This was another great issue of Teen Titans.

 

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #96
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Jose Luis

I missed Nicola Scott in this issue but Jose Luis did a good job as a subsitute. Solstice angering Raven is interesting and I wonder why. Looking forward to seeing the team beat Rankor.

 

 

 

Teen Titans (Volume 3) #97Teen_Titans_Vol_3_97
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Nicola Scott

Rankor is defeated mainly by Solstic who officially joins the Teen Titans at the end of this issue. Great to have Nicola Scott back for this fun adventure. I am sad there are only 3 more issues left of the Teen Titans before the New 52.

 

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #98
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Eduardo Pansica

Kid Flash’s virtual reality session showed in this issue that J.T. Krul had studies the history of these characters. Great use of continuity throughout this issue where Superboy-Prime has gathered together a team of villains with personal connections to the Titans. I don’t understand why Indigo is a member though. Although she was sometimes evil, she did end up dying a hero. I really liked her relationship with Shift back in those days. I wonder if they will explain what she is doing back.The ending was great to see the old Superboy costumes appear brought me back to the Young Justice days. Pansica’s art was great I almost thought it was Nicola Scott doing the drawing. Someone in the letter columns mentions that they think Cassandra Cain should be the new Nightwing! That is a cool idea.

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #99
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Jose Luis

The ending of this book almost seems like something that could fit in this month’s Rebirth. “Legacies last for ever.” The final splash page of Titans past was so exciting! I wonder who this new Inertia is. Indigo is not acting like herself at all. I wish that was being explained. I actually forgot Supergirl was a Titan in the past. She has been thrown in with so many teams since her debut. It is always good to see Miss Martian and Argent.

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #100
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Nicola Scott

Nicola Scott draws Argent with a completely different costume than Jose Luis did in the previous issue. Come on editors should catch that stuff. Otherwise this was a superb final issue for this volume of the Teen Titans. I loved every page of it. J.T. Krul should come back to these characters again someday. I am so glad that Rebirth will be restoring the Titans history but it remains to be seen if this part will be restored. It needs to be.

 

 

Teen Titans 92 and 93

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #92
Written by J.T. Krul
Art by Georges Jeanty

This is the conclusion of the crossover with Red Robin that began here. It was decent I am just so sick of the Calculator as a villain. DC needs to give him a rest. The biggest thing to come out of this issue was Red Robin returning to the Titans with Robin leaving. I did not see that coming actually I figured they would keep Damian on for longer but I have no problem with that. I wonder how this will affect Cassie’s leadership though.

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #93
Written by J.T. Krul
Art by Nicola Scott

Now this is more like it! The Titans travel to India to search for Solstice’s missing parents. Solstice is interesting as Krul seems to be setting her up as anti-Raven – a magical character that is bright instead of dark. He also sets up Kid Flash crushing on her – much as his predecessor Wally had a crush on Raven back in the day. I didn’t mind Tim taking over leadership as long as it was something that Cassie wanted. Great stuff. When Krul took over the book was returning to greatness, now I think it has officially returned.