Hellblazer Rebirth 1 – 10

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The Hellblazer (Volume 2) #1
Written by Simon Oliver
Art by Moritat

I have to admit this is really my first experience with the character of John Constantine if you can believe it. He was walled off from the DCU  for most of the time I read comics before Rebirth and I never got around to picking up his series. I like him already in this debut Rebirth issue he makes a deal with Swamp Thing and we learn a little bit about why that happened and there are various other interesting subplots. I am excited to see what happens next.

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The Hellblazer (Volume 2) #2
Written by Simon Oliver
Art by Moritat

After an easy to understand first issue, this issue seemed like it needed cliff notes for a Constantine newbie like myself. I guess I get the general plot, he is chased through London by these evil twins but other than that all the name dropping was lost on me. Thank God we have wikipedia.

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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.

Green Lanterns 21 – 25

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Green Lanterns #21
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Robson Rocha

Robson Rocha really hit it out of the park with the art in this issue. Wow! Ever panel was breathtakingly beautiful in this issue where Dr. Polaris nearly pulls the Justice League watchtower out of space and on top of a city but is stopped by the two starring Green Lanterns. Doctor Polaris is turned into such a tragic character in these pages. Good issue.

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Green Lanterns #22
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Ronan Cliquet

Yay the first GL to show up in this issue besides our star Jessica Cruz is none other than Kyle Rayner! This is apparently the first time Jessica has met Kyle – I am frankly surprised that she has never heard of him. Hasn’t she done her research on the past Green Lanterns of Earth? He even says he used to have her job. In fact, Kyle and Jessica have a lot more in common than that. Both of them got their rings spontaneously and were not trained at first. Anyways, it was great to read about Jessica’s introduction to the Green Lantern Corps headquarters too and I look forward to seeing Guy train Jessica and Kyle train Simon! So glad Hal Jordan is not involved…that guy sucks. PS Ronan Cliquet is a great artist.

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Bond-ish Batman

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All-Star Batman #11
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

This was a high stakes issue that took Batman from fighting alligators to teaming up with Penguin, Black Mask, and Great White to nearly bleeding out in a casino submarine. Snyder does know how to write a good James Bondish Batman story. I have no idea who the big bad of this issue is or what he has to do with Alfred’s past but I enjoyed this comic and look forward to seeing where this story goes. I can’t say that I really like the way Alfred was betrayed in the entire issue though. I don’t buy that Alfred wore a punk rock hair cut in his teen years but maybe that was just a poor artistic choice.

Another Jessica Cruz Starring Filler Issue

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Justice League (Volume 3) #23
Written by Tom DeFalco
Art by Tom Derenick

This was another fill-in on the main Justice League book….that’s crazy! Come on let’s get a new consistent creative team on this book, it is one of DC’s weakest offerings and all these fill-ins don’t help. That being said, this was an enjoyable issue as Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern Jessica Cruz try to stop an evil counter-terrorist who really is just a terrorist. I am not sure what message – if any – DeFalco was trying to get across about the war on terror besides you should not hurt innocents in fighting terrorists but it worked, and we got a much more confident Jessica Cruz (and she wasn’t all that confident either – just compared to before) but how come all these filler issues are focused on her?

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.

Two Corps United, But For How Long?

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Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #22
Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Ethan Van Sciver

First of all, it is so amazing and gets me all nostolgic to see Kyle Rayner back in his old Green Lantern duds. Too bad he did not make the cover of this book. Can’t we just change it’s title to Kyle Rayner and the Green Lantern Corps and make Hal the Spectre already? This was a good issue and it does give me hope to see the Sinestro and Green Lantern Corps working so well together. I love Arkillo and Guy Gardner’s new bromance especially. The final page cliffhanger is a great twist though.