- Batman #6 maintains the phenomenon that the five previous issues have generated. Batman is in the inner sanctum (could one call it the ‘Nest’?) of the Court of Owls and picking up from the shocking last panel of issue #5, things are, needless to say, very
grim. However, in classic Batman style there is a pin prick of hope as he rallies. When reading toward the crux of this issue, and perhaps the turning point of this arc, I couldn’t help but hear Morgan Freeman from The Dark Knight movie saying, “Now that’s more like it, Mr. Wayne.” A jaw dropping issue. What I also think lent a great deal to the awe it generated was the dreamlike quality. I mentioned in my review of the fifth issue that Batman has been in the underground labyrinth so long he has begun to lose touch with reality. That continues over, but the reader never leaves his perspective, so as events unfold what is real and what is skewed through his sleep deprivation and drug induced mania is indiscernible. That said, though the owls are revealed in this issue, its still pretty murky as to what they truly are like. Its skillfully done by writer, Scott Snyder, giving the audience disclosure that in fact raises more questions than it answers. I am champing at the bit to read the next installment, but take heart that in May every book that is tied to Batman in any way will be a “Night of the Owls” crossover. Even All-Star Westerns!!!
- Catwoman #6 started off in a daze, like it was just going through the motions, and perhaps it was, but like the somnambulant Batman in the above review, rallied at the end into some very pointed storytelling. Though it begins with Selina reaping (yet again) the fruits of her fuck-ups, and portraying her no holds barred style, the interpretation of these events at the end are quite poignant. Batman voices the concerns of the reader as to how stupid can she really be to act in the manner she does with the low level of regard that she does, and her answers to his questions are QUITE telling. From this issue on, all the cards are 0n the table as to who Selina is and what we can expect.
- DC Universe Presents #6 features the start of a brand new arc featuring The Challengers of the Unknown. Admittedly, I am not an expert on this group (Give me time . . .). From what I do know, writers Dan Didio and Jerry Ordway take the story in a very different direction from the original. The changes, like those instituted in this arc’s predecessor Deadman’s plot, make the concept fresh, albeit bizarre. Also linking it to Deadman is the formal introduction of Nanda Parbat, the Shangri-la based lost city of the Himalayas dedicated to the worship of Rama Kushna. As an introductory issue, it was very slow paced, with only a few enticing scenes. I’m going to ride it out to see what all is going on and how the differences play out, but think that this is hardly the proper way to set the hook in a reader that is not as versed in the story as I am, which admittedly isn’t very much.
- Green Lantern Corps #6 was lackluster. In and of itself, it was just ok. Following up the material from previous months, and considering what writer Peter Tomasi is capable of, it was a fail. I will carry over my objections from last months review that the idea of the rogue group of Green Lanterns using Earth guns to combat the Keepers is moronic. It does nothing but degrade the ambiance and integrity of the book. If Tomasi wants to play with guns, he should do it Batman & Robin where that sort of thing belongs. This wrapped up the “Keepers” arc so hopefully we can bury this turd in the yard, move on to something better, and forget that this ever happened.
- Legion of Super-Heroes #6 starts us fresh on a new arc after last months interim issue. Series artist, Francis Portella makes his return (Welcome back.), and consequently the issue looks stunning. Paul Levitz takes two teams to China of the 31st century, spotlighting Chemical Kid’s tutelage under Element Lad and Dragonwing’s homecoming. Also dealt with in the background is the aftermath of the Dominators’ failed invasion and what comes next. Paul Levitz has been hailed as a comic genius and one of the hallmarks is his ability to juggle plotlines in a way that is captivating and natural rather than cluttered. In a lot of ways, when reading this new run, its hard to tell that he ever left the book in the first place. Such is the grace of his talent.
- Nightwing #6 is coming down to the wire . . . and not just a trapeze wire. This issue features the return of Haly’s Circus to Gotham, and of all nights on the anniversary of John and Mary Grayson’s tragic deaths and Dick Grayson’s inception into the destiny he has grown into, prompting this title. Tensions are running high, and the villainous “Saiko” has his plan set in motion like a well placed set of dominoes. This is the end game, and the explosive ending of this issue is rife with anticipation for the next issue.
- Red Hood and the Outlaws #6 is a prequel issue this month. The very first issue of the series has Jason Todd and Starfire breaking Roy Harper
out of a Quraci prison, rounding out the gang, but this issue answers the question of how Jason and Starfire first hooked up. Not to give anything away, but I used “hooked up” on purpose for the multiple meanings it can evoke. Focus on that however you want. Jason has up until now been quite aloof and often less than complimentary toward Princess Koriand’r’s bubbly personality, so this issue is very interesting, and very important I’m sure to future stories. There is actually quite a wellspring of emotion buried in their history. Knowing Scott Lobdell, this well will be pumped in future storytelling. Again, make what you want of the word “pump.”
- Supergirl #6 gave some good exposition of the past and defined the present pretty good, but overall my skirts weren’t blown up. I will give the Mikes credit for really establishing Kara’s past and how that has molded her into the young woman she is now, but their current story is kind of so-so in how they have presented it. I have hope that they can establish something good at the end of this tunnel. This is worth giving a look, but my thumbs up lacks enthusiasm.
- Wonder Woman #6 was thoroughly entertaining this week. Its really hard to know whether to call this the end of an arc, because one of the initial conflicts wrapped this week, but was prolonged by a newer development from last issue’s plot. Either way, this story is very complex and heavily steeped in Greek mythology, as any good Wonder Woman series should be firmly rooted. I won’t say this series is my favorite, but it is establishing a status quo that is very appropriate. Also, new series artist Tony Akins’ designs are phenomenal. Issue #5 introduced Poseidon as a phosine behemoth, and this one introduces Lord Hades in a very interesting visage. With all these elements, it is beginning to pick up some steam.
- Birds of Prey #6 was slightly better, but not by much. The premise of a hidden mastermind wielding an army of sleeper agents is sound and rife with possibilities, but the characters are mismanaged I think. Again, they really aren’t “Birds” of Prey as there are only two bird themed characters (Black Canary and Starling), and of those two one is completely laughable as a character (Starling). The stories might level out, but again I’m waiting out the arc’s endpoint.
- Blue Beetle #6 is growing on me. The villainous alien horde, the Reach, have seemed infallible with the deployment of their parasitic scarabs, but this issue pokes a hole through that premise and shows the strength of the human spirit against the scarabs, but especially this issue showed how incredible the character of Jaime Reyes is. Jaime isn’t a tough guy, he’s not a popular kid, he’s not even super smart. He’s just a regular kid, so his trials and tribulations are that much more resonant with the demographic reading this title. It didn’t start out the best, but I truly think that this series is going places.
- My Greatest Adventure #5 continues in the same trend that the past several have. Matt Kindt’s “Robotman” was a trippy take on the character, much in the style of Grant Morrison’s run on The Doom Patrol in the 90’s. Like a lot of Morrison’s less inhibited work, this one still have me pondering what I think about it. I think I like it, but can’t be certain. Scott Kolins does a very expert job illustrating it, and in several aspects affects a Kirby-esque style. Aaron Lopresti’s “Garbage Man” storyline continues to be my favorite of the three. This is surprising as the premise sounds laughable, but that is just a testament to Lopresti’s skills as a storyteller. The series is very compelling and has me itching for the last chapter, which seems to promise resolution to the story that was started last year in the six part anthology book Weird Worlds. Also hailing from the pages of Weird Worlds is “Tanga.” This segment is entertaining. I’ll say that much. The variety of the three stories is what makes the series so interesting.
- Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #10 finishes out the “Pirate Princess of Mars” story arc and was decent. This book was slightly weak as its premise detracts from the grandeur of the main series. Dejah Thoris being exposed to Black Martians before the events of the concurrent Warlord of Mars storyline, which takes place many years later after the advent of John Carter to Mars, cheapens this storyline, despite the interesting events it might depict. Its fun when you can take it by itself, but I guess I am a purist. As both this series and the main series are penned by Arvid Nelson, I suppose I can give him some latitude, but this still irks me a little bit. I am interested in the little blurb that appears at the end of the issue about his next arc, entitled “The Boora Witch.” I greatly anticipate this story and pray that it is less strewn with anachronisms.
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to any of these images and give credit to those whose work they are.
Batman #6: Drawned by Greg Capullo, Colored by FCO, Inked by Jonathan Glapion
Green Lantern Corps #6: Drawned by Fernando Pasarin, Colored by Gabe Eltaeb, Inked by Scott Hanna
Wonder Woman #6: Drawned by Patrick GleasonTony Akins, Colored by Matthew Wilson, Inked by Dan Green & Tony Akins
Red Hood and the Outlaws #6: Drawn by Kenneth Rocafort, Colored by Blond