Ollie and Barry

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Green Arrow (Volume 7) #26
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Stephen Byrne

This exciting Green Arrow travels across the country arc begins here in the Washington forests where Green Arrow runs into the Flash investigating some weird stuff going on with the Speed Force. I am not sure what Barry and Ollie’s history has been in the new 52 (or really Pre-Flashpoint because Barry was dead for most of my life – which he should still be IMO) but they sure don’t get along in this comic as soon as they run into each other Barry is talking down to Ollie like a total douche-bag. Speaking of this relationship, was Green Arrow no longer in the Justice League ever in the new 52? Ollie makes it seem like that is the case. And he sure doesn’t remember the erased time that Dr. Manhattan took away from him, which probably included his time with the Justice league. As for the art, this series continues to get superb artists and Stephen Byrne was very impressive. He is great at drawing facial expressions.

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.

Birds Continuity

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #11
Written by Julia Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Rogue Antonio

So the Rebirth Continuity has slowly been restored to the Pre-Flashpoint timeline but in this issue Barbara Gordon describes her time as Oracle leading the Birds of Prey and fighting the Calculator in the past – which seems to mean the Gail Simone run is back in continuity or at least the characters remember it but the Huntress is still suppose to be new to the Birds in this series therefore she wasn’t around for that arc – so who was their third member back then? I guessed in my head the bad guy behind Gus would be the Calculator but I am happy that we are seeing the Birds’ Pre-Flashpoint history returning. The cliffhanger ending has Catwoman being the person who paid Calcultor for intel! Now that makes me happy. To be honest, Catwoman works best as a thief instead of the borderline hero she has been since Ed Brubaker wrote her solo series. I kike that the Bensons are bringing the cat burglar element of Selena’s character into play.

 

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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Green Arrow 21 – 25

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Green Arrow (Volume 7) #21
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Juan Ferreyra

Juan Ferreyra’s art is beautiful. I Can’t get enough of it. Every panel is filled with detail. Broderick is gathering a bunch of baddies, including Brick who I remember from the Winick Green Arrow run, to destroy Seattle and it is strongly hinted Seattle will be renamed Star City in this issue. That is just weird. Why not just have Green Arrow move from Seattle to his usual fictionopolis of Star City instead of removing any Seattle story from being told in the DCU in the future? But I will see how I feel about it when it happens.

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Green Arrow (Volume 7) #22
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Juan Ferreyra

Mayor Domini is obviously a stand in for Donald Trump and I loved it. Seattle is getting destroyed by these Four Horsemen in very disturbing ways. Crash at the Airport, the road lights are all shot out, buildings are collapsing, and they even manage to go after the Green Arrow treehouse. Damn I liked that thing!

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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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Will We Get Bart Allen Back?

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The Flash (Volume 5) #24
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico

Reverse Flash seems to remember the Pre-New 52 history of the Flash and that makes me happy because he referes to having raced all of Flash’s Proteges – which I assume would mean there is more than just Wally West – he is referring to Bart Allen too! Bart has been painfully missing since Flashpoint. I know that the version that appeared in the new 52 was nothing like the real Bart – I hope this means we get him back some day. Reverse Flash even asks Kid Flash if he is impulsive – which I assume is referring to Bart’s original code name of Impulse. This was a great issue – I even liked the moments between Barry and Hal – two characters I think should be dead. The artist on this book also seems to much improved from before. There were some great moments – including the Flash running down a Green Lantern construct slide. The final moments in the 25th Century lead me to even more proof maybe Bart will be back sooner than later and Iris’s futuristic origin will be restored.

 

Birds 9 and 10

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #9
Written by Julia Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Rogue Antonio

Wow it looks like Blackbird has taught Black Canary to use her powers in ways I don’t remember her ever having including manipulating the sound waves so she can hover off the ground and directly destroy certain objects. It’s all a ruse though as she plans to steal Canary’s powers. Blackbird could become one of the most powerful metahumans ever if she keeps this up. It looks like Black Canary’s pre-New 52 upbringing is still not back in continuity…I can’t wait till the idea that she was raised by a JSAer returns.

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #10
Written by Julia Benson and Shawna Benson
Art by Rogue Antonio

The Birds of Prey team up with Nightwing and Green Arrow to defeat Blackbird who is a formidable foe for them. I do think how she was defeated in this issue was way too easy – why doesn’t the Huntress do that hypno thing with all the villains? I mean I guess she said she could only use it once right but still. Meanwhile, it looks like Gus the new Oracle’s secret is about to be revealed soon.

 

Action Comics 977 – 980

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Action Comics #977
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Ian Churchill

I expected that Superman would now remember his New 52 life and his Pre-New 52 life after events of the last issue where the New 52 Superman and our Superman were combined but that isn’t exactly what happens here as Superman explores his history through the Kryptonian recording we only got a story similar to the Pre-New 52 history with a combination of the Geoff Johns and John Byrne origin stories. Also, Perry White knows about Jon Kent and Lois and Clark got married again in this universe and everyone remembers it. Interesting.

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Action Comics #978
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Carlo Barberi

More of Superman’s history is told in this issue as see Death of Superman, Superman’s marriage and proposal, and pretty much his entire history up to 2011 and the New 52 is back! I can’t be happier about that. If you were a fan of the New 52 Superman – and I do not know why you would be – you would not be happy as that history is completely written over where now Superman disappeared for the new 52 era as he focused on raising his son out of the public eye and only returned to the Daily Planet and a public life as Superman recently. The New 52 era is at least not remembered by Superman or completely erased. This all ties into DC Rebirth as Mr. Oz threatens Superman again in the fortress of solitude. I loved this issue.

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Manchester Black Is Wrong

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Superman (Volume 4) #24
Written by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by Gleason and Doug Mahnke

Once more we see the old DC Continuity leaking in as this is not Superman and Manchester Black’s first meeting…thank God we have the real DCU back. I can’t say I was blown away by this issue…I don’t particularly care about Jon Kent yet except to say that I like that Superman cares about him and it focuses on Manchester Black turning Jon Kent against his father through mind control or something. Mahnke’s pencils seemed rush at the end here. I do like that Machester Black represents how some foolish people see the character of Superman as old fashioned. We will see where this does.

 

Titans 10 and 11

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Titans (Volume 3) #10
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Brett Booth

Ok Abnett why in the hell are you having the Titans call each other by real names right in front of the Fearsome Five! I can’t stand when writers do this. That being said this was a fun issue as the Titans face off against the Fearsome Five. Bumblebee, of all people, end up saving the day. I am very unclear what her powers are. In the end, she ends up having her memory of Mal Duncan erased which should make some drama in the future. Speaking of Mal, I like his new costume….I think.

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Titans (Volume 3) #11
Written by Dan Abnett, Benjamin Percy, and Priest
Art by Brett Booth

Wow as I suspected the events of the New Teen Titans series are now back in continuity! But they didn’t happen exactly as they did in the original series…I don’t remember Lilith being much in the comic at all and the costumes are different. This is an interesting take on things. In this continuity was Raven not in the New Teen Titans, but it was instead Lilith? I look forward to seeing where this goes.

Superman 20-23

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Superman (Volume 4) #20
Written by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by Gleason

This issue features Superman and Lois back in Hamilton recovering after the revelations of the last arc. Apparently Lois has now officially Lois Lane Kent which is cool. Strangely, Batman and Robin show up to say that something is weird about their son Jon and it has to do with the dairy farmer next door. I have no idea where this is going.

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Superman (Volume 4) #21
Written by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Art by Gleason

Superman, Jon Kent (Not ready to call him Superboy yet – that is Connor Kent to me) and Robin search for the missing Batman in Hamilton and fight a monster. Most of the fight was forgettable except the end where we reveal Kathy Cobb has powers. I suspected she was innocent in all this but I was wrong.

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Barry Allen 20 – 23

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The Flash (Volume 5) #20
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Neil Googe

Meena is back and is now an agent of Black Hole for some reason in this okay but forgettable issue focusing on Iris investigating grave robberies being perpetrated by Back Hole. Not much else to say about it.

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The Flash (Volume 5) #21
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Howard Porter

Ok this is Part 2 of the Button crossover with Batman that began here. Flash is investigating what happened to the Reverse Flash in the Batcave. Barry decides to use the Cosmic Treadmill to follow the energy signature on the button to its source. Which honestly seems like a dumb move by the Flash considering what happened the last time he used it. Batman joins him (it is never really explained how Batman is just running behind the Flash on it) and they see elements of the timeline from before New 52 and Barry even says it is not an alternate universe but part of the stolen years! The real DCU IS BACK BABY! We see Martian Manhunter as forminmg the league and Identity Crisis and Barry’s death during the Crisis. I was smiling with joy as I read these pages.

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Batman 21 – 23

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Batman (Volume 3) #21
Written by Tom King
Art by Jason Fabok

This is it! The storyline that finally follows up on DC Rebirth’s button. How does Rebirth connect to Watchmen? Will we get the real DC Universe back for good? In this issue, the Button causes Bruce to see a vision of the Flashpoint Thomas Wayne Batman. I never read Flashpoint…it lead to the New 52 awfulness so I saw no point in reading it…but maybe just maybe I will think about it now. Afterwards, Reverse Flash invades the Batcave destroys the note by Thomas Wayne and beats the ever living crap out of Batman. I have to say I cannot remember another Flash/Batman crossover since I have been reading comics but it is cool they are doing this now. Reverse Flash eventually gets the button and is transported somewhere and when he returns he dies claiming he saw God. I wonder if what he really saw was Doctor Manhattan?

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Batman (Volume 3) #22
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Jason Fabok

This is Part 3 of the crossover with the Flash as Bruce and Barry end up in the Flashpoint universe being kept alive by the unknown threat. It was bitersweet to see Bruce united with his father just before the Flashpoint timeline is erased. I did not expect Thomas to tell Bruce to not be Batman anymore and live a happy life with Damian. It reminded me a lot of Alfred’s speech in Dark Knight Rises. I wonder how this will effect Bruce. It has to emotionally. They mention that whoever manipulated the timeline also sent Bruce and Barry to the fFashpoint universe for a reason. I wonder if Doctor Manhattan or whever the big bad is wants Bruce to give up being Batman.

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Titans 1 – 9

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Titans (Volume 3) #1
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Brett Booth

It is so strange when they flashback to the old Teen Titans days and Dick Grayson is shown to be wearing what is essentially the Time Drake Robin costume. I know that is a New 52 thing…but it is just dumb. DC should not be ashamed of their past, they should embrace it. It is strange that Wally skips over essentially everything post-crisis in the opening narraration except for Linda Park. What about Barry’s death and the birth of his kids? Out of all the new Titans costumes, I think I liked Donna Troy’s the best. I think she was do for a refresher. It really speaks to her past as Wonder Girl and her time as Troia. I am not a fan of Tempest or Garth’s (Is he still called Tempest?), I think his Pre-Flashpoint costume was better. It was so great to see this team back together and for their history to be restored. Now I would like to know if they eventually remember the Wolfman/Perez era and the rest of their history. Titans Together! Oh and unlike the other writers, Abnett seems to understand Wally West is Keystone City’s hero. I am glad we are finally getting to see Keystone again.

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Titans (Volume 3) #2
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Brett Booth

Okay I haven’t exactly enjoyed Abnett’s Aquaman run so I was not expecting much from this book other than hints at the big Rebirth mystery, and there are plenty of that. But I am genuinely enjoying this series in it’s second issue. Even though this whole issue was a big fight with the Titans and Abra Kadabra it still had great characterization and pacing. I was surprised. Abra Kadabra seems to know that Doctor Manhattan or whoever the big bad is that broke history. So that means him, Psycho Pyrate, Superman, Wally, and Lois all seem to know. Linda Park seems closer to meeting Wally again already. I like that. I hope they eventually remember their kids. Also, it looks like Abnett is hinting at bringing back the Donna and Roy romance.

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The Memories of All Restored

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Action Comics #976
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Doug Mahnke

This is part 4 of the Superman crossover that began here , and continued here, and here. This made me so happy! The real DC Universe…the one that was destroyed six years ago and broke my heart…is back! As Mr. Oz said in this comic, the memories of all has been restored. Superman now remembers his life before and after Flashpoint. What is next? Will everyone else remember their entire histories? Will Cassandra Cain remember she is Batgirl again? Is the “him” Mxyzptlk refers to Dr. Manhattan? Speaking of Mxyzptlk…I could see David Lynch directing a Superman  movie with him as the villain. This was a fantastic Mxyzptlk story. Thank you Dan Jurgens!

Threats Against Space and Time

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Justice League (Volume 3) #17
Written by Bryan Hitch
Art by Feranando Pasarin

The latest issue of Superman made it seem like the New 52 Superman and our Superman were really the same being split in two but this issue has Tempus saying that our Superman is an anomyly. I wonder how this fits together. I just realized that the latest issue of Superman seems to be playing on the Superman-Red (New 52) and Superman-Blue motif. That’s cool! Anyways, on to this actual comic book I am reviewing. I love how intricately connected all these books are. The editors are doing a stand up job (except for the Aquaman book and its crazy Atlantis destroys half of Boston but it is not mentioned in any other comic crap) as Wonder Woman and Superman’s going ons in their respective solo books are referenced here. And this issue is representative of what this series should have been from the start – epic Justice League stories where the threat could destroy all of space and time. I like how the villain is utilizing magic, Green Lantern energy, and the Speed Force to move the Earth somewhere else because a dark force is going to come after the heroes and he wants to separate them from the rest of the univer. Could this coming threat have something to do with Rebirth? Is it Doc Manhattan or something specific to this book? We shall see.