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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E19 – Review

By: Monica Owusu-Breen (story)

The Story: In which the penny drops for Skye.

The Review: And here you thought that breaking up S.H.I.E.L.D. would take us away from the baddie-of-the-week procedural format that’s stifled the series since day one. Look, the team was always going to get back to tracking down superpowered threats eventually, but you would’ve thought we’d get a break on that while Hydra remains the outstanding threat. Unfortunately, the Fridge’s breach means the team has to worry about the newly freed criminals on top of everything else.

I should mention this excursion to take down Marcus Daniels* seems to be a momentary distraction. Thank goodness, because the purely formulaic qualities of the plotline remind you why S.H.I.E.L.D. suffered so much in the early episodes: Daniels’ total lack of development and the by-the-numbers tactic to defeat him. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tired of seeing energy absorbers defeated by overloading, and the fact that the team uses the same exact same strategy that apparently brought him down before (only bigger!) makes the plot even more yawn-worthy.
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Ghost #3 – Review

By: Kelly Sue DeConnick & Chris Sebela (story), Geraldo Borges (pencils), Andy Owens (inks), Dan Jackson (colors)

The Story: Well, if a demon possession doesn’t ruin your childhood memories, nothing will.

The Review: While a new series that starts with a B- is not doomed by any means, it’s definitely not a good sign of things to come. Presumably, the first issue calls for the creative team to put their best feet forward, with the idea that they might have to take a few steps back later on. When the first issue fails to inspire, as Ghost #1 did, it places a burden on the creators to rev up their game the next time around instead of slowing down to a coast. Unfortunately, #2
didn’t do that, either.

That leaves this issue in a bad spot, having to meet the near-impossible task of making up for the deficiencies of its predecessors. To cut to the chase, it fails. Nearly every weakness that’s sprouted in the last two issues simply takes deeper root here, starting with our protagonist. In terms of likability or any kind of relatable quality, Elisa is simply untouchable, and not just because she’s literally untouchable, though this is a problem as well.
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Batman and Robin #30 – Review

By: Peter J. Tomasi (story), Patrick Gleason (art), Mick Gray (inks), John Kalisz (colors)

The Story: It’s Ra’s al Ghul’s first time on Paradise Island, and he’s not about to waste it on tourist traps.

The Review: On the whole, Tomasi has done a good job making sure this team-up thing hasn’t been just a promotional gimmick. The first arc gave each member of the Bat-family a different role in talking Bruce down from his crazed grief, and the second arc was basically a Two-Face storyline that had little to do with teaming Bruce up with anybody. With this third arc now looking to Bruce’s Justice League buddies for partners, Tomasi veers dangerously close to using them as pure eye candy.

That’s the way Aquaman sort of turned out last issue since Tomasi didn’t really allow the two to interact or connect in any special way, and Wonder Woman doesn’t fare much better. She happens to be a little more present in this issue than Aquaman was, maybe, but she’s no less simply a muscle-woman for Bruce, her role limited to handling the physical threats beyond his mortal frame. I know I joked about the two of them reviving their pre-relaunch romance, but at the very least, I hoped for a deeper connection than a three-panel sunrise chat about pretty much nothing.
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Wonder Woman #30 – Review

By: Brian Azzarello (story), Goran Sudžuka (art), Matthew Wilson (colors)

The Story: Diana makes a call to motherhood.

The Review: Here’s a little experiment you should try. First, go back and grab your copy of #29 and read it to the very end. Done? Okay, now go pick up this issue and start reading. The challenge is to see how far you get before you ask yourself, “What the frick just happened?” For whatever reason, Azzarello has found it best to completely skip past what should have been the climactic resolution of his last arc so as to start the next.

It’s true that substantially, things haven’t changed much on Wonder Woman between this issue and the last. The First Born remains a threat—an even bigger one than before, in fact—and all of our principal characters are still alive and relatively well. But come on. How can Azzarello leave us on Hera confronting her long-lost son in all her restored, divine glory and then excise the actual confrontation altogether? How can he write Hermes, Dionysus, Artemis, and Diana in dire straits one moment and then another moment write them lounging around Paradise Island, talking shop?
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Justice League #29 – Review

By: Geoff Johns (story), Doug Mahnke (pencils), Keith Champagne & Christian Alamy (inks), Rod Reis (colors)

The Story: I, Cyborg. You, Grid.

The Review: Ever since Cyborg showed up on Wil Magnus’ doorstep last issue, I’ve been pretty excited at the prospect of a Cyborg-Metal Men team-up. It’s one of those no-brainer pairings that probably would’ve eventually happened in The Brave and The Bold, had DC kept that eminently useful series around. If Avengers A.I. has taught us anything, it’s that there’s a lot of potential in seeing how different kinds of robots—or androids, or cyborgs, or what have you—relate to each other.

Johns capitalizes on that potential almost immediately with the Metal Men’s various reactions to Vic, whom they see as a distant relative, curious and horrifying by turns. That, perhaps, is what makes the Metal Men unique: they are of the old school of comic book A.I., with a purely robotic perspective on existence. In one of the issue’s more amusing moments, Mercury sees Vic not as an upgrade, but as a chimera gone wrong: “Oh, God, is this the future? Are we all going to be merged with human beings and turned into monsters? No offense, buddy.”
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Batman Eternal #2 – Review

By: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, John Layman, Tim Seely (story), Jason Fabok (art), Brad Anderson (colors)

The Story: Who knew it would only take a scarred mafia man to freak out Batman?

The Review: I’ve never reviewed a weekly series before, but I must say, I’m really liking the pace of it. My biggest gripe about monthlies is how insubstantial they seem when spread against a month (or more) of waiting until the next installment. In the cost-benefit calculation, monthly comics are kind of a raw deal, falling short of the satisfaction you get from a TV show or movie. With a weekly comic, even if a single issue doesn’t have much to it, you know you have more coming in just six days.

This allows Snyder-Tynion time to play out an event in much greater depth than they normally would be able to. Had Batman Eternal been a typical monthly, the first five pages of this issue would probably have been reduced to a single page of reactions from all the relevant Gothamites. You might not have lost the point of the sequence, but the impact of what happened to Gordon would’ve been diminished. Seeing in detail how each character takes in the event—Vicki Vale’s reluctance to publish the story and “destroy a good man’s life”; the Bat-family’s varying degrees of shock (it even elicits a “Damn…” from Jason Todd); Mayor Hady’s bewilderment of the situation, despite his corruption—gives you a better sense of Gordon’s position as one of Gotham’s most important pillars.
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Sinestro #1 – Review

By: Cullen Bunn (story), Dale Eaglesham (art), Jason Wright (colors)

The Story: Just when you need a fear-mongering dictator, he decides to give it all up. Figures.

The Review: As Hal Jordan’s primary arch-nemesis, Sinestro has always been a formidable villain, but in recent years, under Geoff Johns’ revitalizing pen, he’s now become one of the all-time greats of DCU antagonists. In some ways, he blends elements of two of his peers; he has rationality and arrogance to rival Lex Luthor, but like Joker, he has loftier aims than merely destroying his rival. But Sinestro is more than their amalgamation; he’s nobler and more capable of genuine sympathy than either.

Weird as it is to say that Sinestro has a heart, it’s the only way to explain how he can be driven to weariness, even something like depression. These are foreign emotions for most other villains; they require a degree of self-reflection that would take a villain too close to questioning his purpose, and God forbid we should have that. But for all the violence and callousness of his methods, Sinestro’s purpose has never been outright evil. He can appreciate the costs of his actions, which is why here, we see him weighing his real, personal losses against his scant, vague achievements.
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Arrow S02E19 – Review

By: Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns, Andrew Kreisberg, Keto Shimizu (story)

The Story: Isabel may have had a point when she said Ollie would drag his company into ruin.

The Review: Not unlike the most recent episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow had some fairly momentous developments last time around, but left almost no time for anyone to really process them. That task is left up to this episode, the entirety of which is less about taking action and more about responding to actions already taken. It’s a quieter episode than we’re used to, but perhaps a necessary one to allow the characters to inspect the damage that’s been dealt to each of them.

For Thea, this means a thorough examination of herself, to see how much of her identity has been eroded by the dual whammies of Roy leaving and discovering her true parentage. When you consider that around this time last year, Thea had nothing going for her character other than a cliché of a teen romance with Roy, it’s quite remarkable to see her running one of the strongest character arcs of the season. Her entire outburst to Ollie as to how devastating Slade’s revelation has been to her is genuine and effective throughout, starting from her correction that he isn’t her brother, but her half-brother.
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E18 – Review

Story By: Brent Fletcher

The Story: They may not be able to track superpowers anymore, but they can still watch YouTube.

The Review: Now that the old S.H.I.E.L.D. paradigm is in shambles, we have a few episodes before us in which Coulson and his team struggle to adjust. Finding new purpose is easy: destroy Hydra, or get in their way as much as possible. Figuring out the logistics of doing so is going to be a lot harder. Without continued resources from S.H.I.E.L.D., taking down a global cult—that’s what Hydra basically is, right?—is going to be a rough task. After Coulson runs into breakdowns and defects in every corner of the Bus, he comes to Skye pleading for good news.

“We have internet.”

“Yay!” he says, with some genuine enthusiasm. “And boy, have I lowered my expectations.”
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All-New Ghost Rider #2 – Review

By: Felipe Smith (story), Tradd Moore (art), Val Staples (colors)

The Story: Potential side-effects include: dizziness, shortness of breath, destruction of all you hold dear.

The Review: This just confirms how little I know about Ghost Rider, but it didn’t occur to me until just now that radical as the changes Smith made to the character’s age, race, and background are, equally as radical is the change to his ride. Giving Robbie Reyes a car instead of a cycle flies into the face of decades of continuity, which is comic book speak for tradition, so why do it? If nothing else, a car seems like it’d slow a person down and impede his movement—more so than a cycle, anyway.

At the same time, the bigger size and heft of a car makes it more of a threat by itself, which is not such a bad trade-off for the loss in speed and agility. Johnny Blaze or Danny Ketch barreling towards you on their cycles might not seem so threatening at first if you happen to be in a bigger vehicle, but even soldiers in armed cars have reason to fear the sight of a sleek, black racer heading straight their way. And the way Robbie maneuvers his around, flipping, jumping, rocketing in impossible directions at crazy angles, you certainly don’t notice any loss in speed and agility.
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Daredevil #1.5 – Review

By: Too many to list—check out the review.

The Story: Daredevil narrowly avoids having a mid-life crisis.

The Review: It’s good thing to be fifty years old and still popular enough for people to notice. If you can get an actual commemorative issue out of it, even better! There may have been other peaks for Daredevil in earlier years, but right now he’s in one of that rare, enviable position of being both critically acclaimed and commercially successful. There’s greater joy to celebrating his longevity at a time when it looks like his greatest years are still to come.

That feeling of confidence is in no small part due to Mark Waid’s fabulous work with Daredevil for the last few years, which is why it’s so fitting that he kick off this showcase issue with “The King in Red,” a look at the life of Matt Murdock literally at age fifty. These future glimpses are tricky things because you’re projecting how certain beloved characters will end up, which is always a volatile thing to do—anyone seen the series finale of How I Met Your Mother lately?* Fortunately, with comics, readers know better than to take these future stories as anything more than potential.
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Superman/Wonder Woman #7 – Review

By: Charles Soule (story), Barry Kitson (art), Paulo Siqueira & Eddy Barrows (pencils), Eber Ferreira (inks), Hi-Fi (colors)

The Story: Clark and Diana go clubbing like it’s Doomsday.

The Review: Kudos to any writer who wants to give you more bang for your buck, but doing so can run the risk of trying to do too much in too little space, which ends up short-changing you instead. Here, Soule has to deal with the fallout his heroes released last issue, start setting things up for the upcoming Superman crossover, and somehow work in all the usual character/plot/world development. Not an impossible task, but it requires a lot more finesse than what Soule ultimately delivers here.

As you can see by the cover, not even Superman can get caught in the center of a nuclear explosion and emerge unscathed. This might have been a good opportunity to gauge how far Clark’s recuperative abilities go, but with his second round with Doomsday coming up, Soule has to get him back in fighting (and dancing) shape by the end of the issue. It’s hard to take our couple’s peril seriously when it only takes the Fortress of Solitude’s medical tech and a Purple Ray crystal to patch them up in no time.
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Iron Fist #1 – Review

By: Kaare Kyle Andrews (story & art)

The Story: Nothing like a ninja attack to ruin a perfectly good one night stand.

The Review: Iron Fist is another one of those characters, like Ghost Rider, that I don’t really know, except by playing him on Marvel vs. Capcom 3. But I am all about diversifying my comic book input, and Iron Fist fits the bill, being both a Marvel character* and a non-traditional superhero, seemingly. I’m not ready to wade into the morass of the Avengers, X-Men, and Spider-Man franchises, but a solo, B-class character seems much easier to handle.

It helps that Andrews finds a tagline for our hero and sticks with it throughout the issue: “When offered life[,] he chose death.” Provocative, if nothing else, and a clever way to make Iron Fist stand out in a crowded universe. The details are even more intriguing, because more than simply rejecting life, Danny Rand “traded away the fruit of immortality for vengeance.” Clearly, there’s a lot of myth and tragedy wrapped up in his origins, but here, Andrews gives us only a taste—a potent one.
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Batman Eternal #1 – Review

By: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, John Layman, Tim Seely (story), Jason Fabok (art), Brad Anderson (colors)

The Story: As if the Gotham underground doesn’t experience enough delays.

The Review: In a comic book world that already seems overpopulated with people following the bat standard, did we really need another ongoing Bat-series, and a weekly one at that? I’ve made this complaint before (and again before that), but surely there’s got to be a limit to how many titles one franchise can creatively support at one time before they all start blurring together. Batman Eternal can’t get by on just being a decent title; it has to set itself apart from a family of eerily similar siblings.

This issue alone doesn’t do it, even if Snyder-Tynion* start things off by coming at the story from an appreciably different angle. It’s not exactly common for people to talk about Gotham and emphasize its light and brightness, after all. As a metaphor, this talk about light suggests that hope springs eternal in the darkest corner of the DCU, but that idea runs counter to the apocalyptic Gotham that greets us on the issue’s opening page. Gotham’s light may be a more sinister thing in this world, an electric lamp that lures good people like GCPD cop Jason Bard to perish in the city’s dispassionate maw.
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E17 – Review

By: Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen (story)

The Story: The team discovers who has a Hand in the destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Review: At the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with S.H.I.E.LD. in ruins, I wondered what this would mean for Coulson and Co. My theory was since Hydra hadn’t been eradicated along with S.H.I.E.L.D—”Cut off one head,” and all that—Coulson’s team would be left to clean up the mess the Avenger left behind. They’ve done it before, but there’s much more glory to their janitorial role this time around. The show’s needed a big, overarching threat, and Hydra goes right up that alley.

For that matter, the fallout of Winter Soldier addresses a lot of what the show’s needed, most crucially in enlivening several of the core characters. Never will you complain about May being relentlessly cold again, as she emotionally lets herself go to an almost alarming degree, allowing Ming Na to marshal all those acting chops she usually has to keep under wraps within May’s frosty exterior. But this level of passion is necessary to keep her from looking totally callous once the extent of her deception comes to light. Winter Soldier showed firsthand the destructive nature of secrets, or “compartmentalization,” even when the purpose is good, and May suffers that lesson quite bitterly.
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Astro City #11 – Review

By: Kurt Busiek (story), Brent Eric Anderson (art), Alex Sinclair & Wendy Broome (colors)

The Story: Unfortunately, there’s no spell for good organization.

The Review: There’s a kind of segregation that happens in the superhero world, namely between the heroes and the civilians. In one sphere, the heroes fling punches and energy blasts, crashing off and through buildings, flying overhead and grappling with their foes. In another sphere, the civilians dutifully run about, panicking or trying to stave the damage, according to their natures. The two groups interact infrequently and usually in the most cursory manner.

Astro City isn’t so different in this regard, but it does the rare exceptions. Raitha McCann, personal assistant to the Silver Adept, functions much like a Pepper Potts or Alfred Pennyworth, and if she existed in any other comic book universe, we’d most likely only see her a couple times an issue max, delivering exposition, wit, or emotional support as needed. But since this is Astro City, it’s Raitha who takes central focus. We’re only invested in Adept’s life insofar as it impacts Raitha’s.
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The Royals: Masters of War #3 – Review

By: Bob Williams (story), Simon Coleby (art), JD Mettler (colors)

The Story: Who needs military strategy when you’ve got a sea colossus?

The Review: I wasn’t lying when I said I liked the concept behind The Royals, but at the time I was really thinking of the metaphysical and social implications when the people holding themselves as superior to their fellow man are actually superior to them. At the very least, I thought Williams would address how this situation came to pass, but none of the characters seem even remotely curious about it. To them, this is how things have always been; any need for questioning is long past.

Instead, their attention is entirely fixed on the conflict before them, which reduces the Royals to nothing more than superheroes by another name. Applying them to WWII makes for a somewhat entertaining story, of course, but there’s little reflection on the broader impacts of their existence. In terms of “What if…” scenarios, it’s more Rome, Sweet Rome than Superman: Red Son. The former is an interesting way to pass the time, but the latter will give you something to think about long afterward.
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Pretty Deadly #5 – Review

By: Kelly Sue DeConnick (story), Emma Rios (art), Jordie Bellaire (colors)

The Story: Just because Death gets a tired of all the yard work, suddenly the world’s about to end.

The Review: I was a bit concerned last issue at how this series seemed to be barreling towards a close mere issues after it had only just started. Not that I love Pretty Deadly so much that I hate to see it go, but it’s different from everything else on the market, and that’s a highly attractive quality that should be fostered, not cut off. So it is with some regret that I discover this is indeed the final issue of the series—for now. DeConnick promises on the last page that Deathface Ginny will return in a second volume.

But do I care, now that DeConnick has deconstructed so much of what’s made Pretty Deadly interesting? And as I asked before, will the stakes ever be higher than the fate of the very world and the life-death cycle? I tend to doubt it. The really sad part is despite the supposedly epic scope of this story, its highly metaphorical nature transforms the battle between Death and the Reaper of Vengeance into a shootout, albeit a fairly intense one, amidst fire and ruin, with plenty of major casualties.
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Green Arrow #30 – Review

By: Jeff Lemire (story), Andrea Sorrentino (art), Marcelo Maiolo (colors)

The Story: Komodo learns that dads should never get in between a mother-daughter relationship.

The Review: As cool a concept as the Outsiders may have seemed at first, they also seemed slightly antiquated and a little at odds with the criminal demands of the modern world, especially one populated with superpowers. I mean, characters like Green Arrow, Katana, or Hawkman* are in the same boat, or would be if they didn’t modify their martial artistry with trick arrows, magic swords, and Nth metal. The Outsiders haven’t kept up with the times quite as well.

Ollie made that pretty clear last month when he took out nearly an entire clan by himself with a single umbrella arrow. Even fighting amongst themselves, without the pressure of defending against gunfire—can you imagine the slaughter if there was such a thing as a Gun Clan?—we haven’t seen much to recommend them as truly formidable threats. If there’s a title that can stand to skew its balance towards action, it’s this one. The inter-clan battle in this issue is far too brief for its size, making it hard to appreciate the power and skill of the warriors involved.
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Swamp Thing #30 – Review

By: Charles Soule (story), Jesus Saiz (art), Javier Pina (finishes), Matthew Wilson (colors)

The Story: Time is running out for Alec, which means it’s the perfect time for a date.

The Review: For a long time, Alec was really the solo driver of this book, his isolation broken only by a troubled romance with Abigail Arcane and a brief partnership with Buddy Baker. But ever since Soule took over the series, he’s slowly added more permanent fixtures in the characters of Capucine, Lady Weeds, the Wolf, and Brother Jonah, all fully realized with motivations entirely separate from Alec. This isn’t just Alec’s show anymore; what we have here is an ensemble.

It’s pretty easy to tell whether a group of characters is a true ensemble or whether they’re just filler orbiting the star. Just remove the biggest name from the picture and see how the rest get on. True, Alec is only incapacitated for a few pages, but that’s enough for you to see how functional and entertaining his supporting players are without him.
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She-Hulk #3 – Review

By: Charles Soule (story), Javier Pulido (art), Muntsa Vicente (colors)

The Story: A rich client is a good thing—usually.

The Review: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said in a review that I didn’t care what was going on in a story because I didn’t care about the characters involved. I’m quite sure I’ve said this even when it’s the first issue that the characters ever appeared in. Some might say it’s a little unreasonable to expect instant charm from every character, and they’d be right. But it’s hard not to set the bar that high when writers like Soule make it look so easy.

From the first line he utters in this issue,* Kristoff Vernard, adopted son of Dr. Doom, passes the first test of being interesting, if not exactly likable: “Urgh. I am not accustomed to making a request more than once.” And soon enough, he passes the likability test as well, once he explains, in eloquent though lofty terms, why he needs to leave Latveria for America: “Here…in this strange country, I can be anything. I must take the risk. I would take any risk for freedom.” For Americans, the patriotic appeal is almost irresistible. Kristoff’s pursuit of freedom will do it for everyone else.
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Loki: Agent of Asgard #3 – Review

By: Al Ewing (story), Lee Garbett (art), Nolan Woodard (colors)

The Story: What if the Norse gods had the power of automatic weapons fire?

The Review: Anytime you have a story that features a villain, former or otherwise, you’ll notice a lot of time is spent exploring his villainy, certainly more time than a hero’s story is spent exploring his heroism. You don’t need a reason to admire someone who does good, but evil requires more justification for your interest, I think. Hence the endless slew of childhood traumas that plague nearly all of our Big Two supervillains. Loki may be unique in that the only reason for his evil is he’s written that way.

Loki’s mission to do good in exchange for having his past infamy wiped from humanity’s collective consciousness is merely the starting point of Agent of Asgard‘s metafiction. Elwing takes it a lot further in this issue by making Loki’s inner conflict manifest, creating a relatively unique situation in which Loki is his own antagonist—and the greatest. If there’s one clear difference between the new, hipster-ish Loki and the original, goblin-esque Loki, it’s that Old Loki* sees much more of the big picture than his younger counterpart.
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Action Comics #30 – Review

By: Greg Pak (story), Aaron Kuder, Jed Dougherty, Karl Kerschl (art), Wil Quintana (colors)

The Story: Clark is haunted by the ghosts of not-home-for-Christmas past.

The Review: I’ve made my opinion about Doomsday very clear, and nothing that’s been done with the character since the relaunch has given me reason to change my mind. And as far as Death of Superman goes, its prominence in comic book history is far out of proportion to its actual quality. So, yeah, I’m not looking forward to a new Doomsday story, no matter how much the writers insist, almost desperately, this is not DoS,
redux.

That insistence comes through clearly in this issue’s opening pages, when Pak claims (via Tower Control), “This may not be the same old Doomsday after all…” What? Just because he killed two innocent civilians indirectly instead of with his own bare hands? Had Pak left it at just that, you definitely wouldn’t have much reason to put too much stock in the upcoming Doomed. The last page reveal of a mutated, probably evolved Doomsday is more promising, but solely eye-candy at this point.
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Aquaman and the Others #1 – Review

By: Dan Jurgens (story), Lan Medina (pencils), Allen Martinez (inks), Matt Milla (colors)

The Story: If the Justice League’s not available, we can always call those Other heroes.

The Review: Never in my geekiest daydreams would I have imagined a day when there’d not only be an Aquaman series that was actually popular, but two Aquaman books. That’s truly an abundance of riches, especially when you consider icons like the Flash haven’t gotten their second title yet (some, like Martian Manhunter, haven’t even gotten one). But are audiences ready for that much Aquaman? Can his current popularity handle that kind of exploitation?

I suppose the better question is: can the Others? The very existence of this issue shows that Geoff Johns was onto something when he created Aquaman’s personal justice league, but I’ve always felt that it would take a very clear vision of the Others’ purpose to bring them back. It probably would’ve helped if we’d known how they came together to begin with. They’re all permanently attached, but it’s never been clear what forms that attachment besides the Atlantean relic each of them holds, and this issue does nothing to change that.
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Arrow S02E18 – Review

By: Marc Guggenheim & Drew Z. Greenberg (story)

The Story: Have you seen this girl? If so, call the Arrow on his encrypted phone line.

The Review: When Slade swore revenge against Ollie, you assumed he was seeking retribution equal to the suffering he believed Ollie caused him—an eye for an eye, appropriately enough. By that calculation, and factoring in Shado’s death, you expected this meant the death of all of Ollie’s loved ones. But we’ve seen since that Slade’s vengeance is nothing so simple. He’s had ample opportunity to kill everyone in Ollie’s orbit since he came to Starling City, yet he’s held back every time.

Of course, Slade has changed objectives since the island. In “Three Ghosts”, he promised anew, “I am going to tear everything [Ollie] cares about away from him. Destroy those who choose to follow him. Corrupt those he loves.” Ollie dies only after “he has lost everyone and everything he values[.]” It’s a psychological breakdown Slade wants for Ollie, not unlike the one he’s experienced since the dual trauma of being injected with the Mirakuru and losing Shado.*
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