The Man From Monster Valley Surprise

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #8
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Felipe Watanabe

I enjoyed how this JLA team is really in the spotlight and are becoming almost celebrities. I am forever interested in how the news media treats superheroes in the DC Universe and I am glad that Steve Orlando has brought this to the more “grounded” Justice League team. The dynamics between team members and how they don’t always agree with each other’s actions or Batman’s leadership is why this is the better of the two Justice League books being published right now. The villain that is introduced in this issue is as fascinating as the cover says. I encourage you to read it, I won’t spoil the end like I usually do but let’s just say I did not see that coming. Monster Valley is not really explained well in this issue though, where did this place even come from?

Justice League of America 4 – 7

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #4
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Ivan Reis

Lord Havok and the Extremists are defeated and Kravia is free to build a new country on their own terms. Orlando is subtly making a point about America’s interventionism but I am not sure it quite works here since the League (who stand in for America) don’t screw everything up the way the US does. Or maybe we just haven’t seen it happen yet? I was sad that this had actually nothing to do with Liberty Belle but some Captain America stand-in from Angor. It was cool to see Blue Jay again. I like how they make a good point that there is no way Lobo is meant to inspire anyone…Batman is up to something else he isn’t telling the League.

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #5
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Andy MacDonald

Steve Orlando sure knows his obscure DC History, the reporters at the Justice League press conference are reporters from all over the DC Universe and its history. I love it! Like I always say, more writers should be like Orlando and play with the toys they have been given them. Sure enough an obscure Wonder Woman villain is even the villain in this comic as the League fights Nikos Aegeus who has taken over a bankrupted city. It is cool to see a good use of the Ray’s power. Orlando is good at that, the last issue he actually used Vixen’s powers well.

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The Return of Liberty Belle?

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #3
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Diogenes Neves

Okay this was a huge improvement from the last issue, I am not sure if it was the scripting or the art but hats off to the creative team. In this issue, Havok united the coutnries around Kravia in his fight against the Justice League who each take on a member of the Extremists. The Ray even manages to convince one of them to change sides it looks like. The interesting thing is that the Extremists are shown to actually believe they are doing the right thing just like many villains in the real world. I think Orlando has the ability to make some great statements on world politics and I imagine that is why he chose to open this series with this arc. The final page confused me…why is Batman carrying a shield that looks like it belonged to Liberty Belle? Is this a DC Rebith – JSA crossover? I sure hope, but I could be totally wrong.

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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Looking For More

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Justice League of America (Volume 5) #2
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Filipe Watanabe

This new Justice League of America continues their fight with Lord Havok and the Extremists in this issue as they take over an entire country called Kavia. In the end, it looks like they can’t fight further without creating an international catastrophe but they resolve to do so anyways. It was decent but nothing that got me too excited. I guess I want something more from a team with such an interesting group of characters. I will say that a lot happens in this issue. It sure is action-packed and not decompressed. But I can’t say I thought it was that great or that bad. It was just ok and I wanted more than ok.

 

American Heros

Justice League of America (Volume 5) #1
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Ivan Reis

While the main Justice League series is ok at best, the first issue of this new “America” centered team just hit it out of the park for me. The return of the City of Vanity from the Aztek comcis. Yes! The return of the Secret Sanctuary. Yes! The return of Ryan Choi! Hell yes. Not to mention this team doesn’t call each other by their secret identities in the field at all. I can’t say that I like Ryan’s new Legends of the DCU inspired costume but beggers cannot be choosers I guess. He gets a lot of “screen time” in this issue which is fantastic  because I missed him and I hated that they had him kille Pre-Flashpoint. Was he then somehow brought back to life by Dr. Manahattan? It will be interesting to see how this whole Rebirth stuff turns out. This was a great start to what looks to be an incredible Justice League book in both writing and art. The only thing that confuses me is if Batman wanted to build a team of “human” down to earth heroes why did he pick Lobo to be on the team? Also, Lobo kills people right so what are Batman’s motivations for having him around. Also is Batman on both Justice Leagues now?

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!