Red Sonja #3
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Walter Geovani
I was never really a fan of Red Sonja; hell, until a couple of years ago I had never heard of the character. Every time I would walk into my comic shop I would see an issue or two in the indie section and I just sort of passed by them. I just don’t have a huge interest in the sword and sorcery genre. However, when I heard that fan favorite Gail Simone would be writing it, I HAD to pick it up. And so far it has been a rather interesting series. Gail is so witty with the way she writes her characters, and the lampshading she uses when it comes to Sonja and her outfit are fantastic. This issue was more or less an origin story. Sonja is in the forest suffering from a plague and she flashes back to her village and the time it was raided and how she got revenge. I really want to see the plot move forward but with the way it ended I don’t know what she is going to do. And it is quite a shocking ending.
10 bikini armors out of 10
Batman Beyond Universe #2
Written by Kyle Higgins and Christos Gage
Art by Thony Silas and Iban Coello
This is both a continuation of the animated series and the previous comic book title (which I have only read some of). However, it is extremely entertaining. The book is split into two sections. One is a solo Batman Beyond story and the other is Justice League Unlimited Beyond. What is great is the fact that they expanded in the JLU in the comic series. It also contains man more POC characters than in the cartoon. There is a black female Flash an Asian Green Lantern. There is also a mixed race Warhawk and Aquagirl. The Justice League part was really funny, it dealt with Superman trying to get dating advice, but then really oddly switched to him having to deal with the phantom zone. Honestly, I could read a whole series on just the personal life of the JLU they are hilarious characters and have great chemistry. The Batman Beyond part was interesting. Since it is written by Kyle Higgins (Gates of Gotham, Nightwing) Of course he had to have Dick Grayson be featured heavily. I don’t mind it, it is just jarring to see Dick helping Terry rather than Bruce. The ending was definitely a WTF moment, but it will be interesting to see the way this story unfolds.
8.5 giant robots out of 10
Action Comics #23.3 Lex Luthor #1
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Raymond Bermudez
This book was amazing. It had one of my all time favorite DC villains done right! It’s nice to see when different writers get a character right in their own way. Lex Luthor #1 shows us how freaking evil Lex is without him having to be over the top or maniacally laughing. He is the subtle type of evil. He does not do evil things just to be evil, or because he had a tragic childhood. He’s evil because it’s what suits him. He will do anything to get what he needs to get done. Or he will kill a whole bunch of people just to prove a point. This issue deals with Lex Luthor getting out of jail. It takes place a few days or weeks (hard to tell, it’s a little ambiguous) before Forever Evil #1. He finds it odd that Superman is not waiting for him when he gets out. This irks him more than anything. It shows that Luthor’s ego is so large that he believes the only thing Superman is ever thinking of is him. However, we see that Superman has not shown up. Lex Luthor then elaborates a plan to draw Superman out. A plan that could lead to a good number of peoples deaths. Lex however does not care about killing these people. He takes no joy in it, and he doesn’t really feel bad about it either.
10 bald heads out of 10
Batman and Robin #23.3 Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Assassins #1
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Jorge Lucas
This book was okay. I mean, it wasn’t just flat out terrible, I guess I just expected a little more from it. I love Ra’s Al Ghul but honestly, he isn’t really evil. I mean, his actions could be considered that, but here he really doesn’t do anything until the very end. A man comes to recruit him for the Secret Society of Supervillains. Ra’s obviously says no because he normally tries to take out the bad guys just in a different way than Batman. During this recruitment the man tells him about all the legends he has heard about him. How he has lived for centuries taking down societies that needed it and so on. However it all just seemed kind of bland. The artwork was decent enough but I really just felt like this was Tynion kind of doing the same thing he did with Court of Owls last week.
5 blades out 10.
Batman #23.3 Penguin #1
Written by Frank Tieri
Art by Christian Duce Fernandez
So, I am not the hugest fan of the Penguin. I like some of his stories but over all he wasn’t “one of the crazies” that are in Arkham so he never seemed too interesting. However, this issue made me a huge fan of the Penguin. Why? Because it made me loathe him, but in a good way. Penguin has made himself the top dog in Gotham using his new casino at the Iceberg Lounge. A few people come by and try to cheat him out of thousands of dollars, the Penguin doesn’t like this, so he takes care of it personally. The mayor ( a former friend of Mr. Cobblepot) says he will do anything to track down the Penguin and shut him down. However, Oswald has plans of his own for his old friend. What he does in this issue is despicable, terrible, sadistic and morally inept. And isn’t that what villains are supposed to do? They should make you feel terrible for liking them and wow, did I feel like a horrible person for rooting for the Penguin this whole issue.
10 umbrella guns out of 10
Batman: Detective Comics #23.3 Scarecrow #1
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Szymon Kudranski
What can I really say about this issue. It was just bland. While it does have more of a story than most of the other issues, it was just a boring story. It was all over the place and featured more than just Scarecrow. It might as well have been called “Arkham Reunion # 1.” Because a lot of the Arkham crew shows up in various parts of the city in this issue. I am actually not sure what he is even doing. He is just traipsing around town talking to various villains. Not really about joining the Society (all except for Poison Ivy). But it just felt like a set up issue for something bigger. Which would be fine if it were also a better story. This is really unfortunate because there is a lot of potential to show what the Scarecrow can do. He is a menacing villain and his fear toxin is what makes him so awesome. But he barely uses it and when he does we don’t even get to see what it does. We maybe here the victim say one line about how scary it is. This just makes it come off as funny, not scary.
4 potato sacks out of 10
Swamp Thing #23.1 Arcane #1
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Jesus Saiz
This one falls between really good and just okay. I was reading Swamp Thing for a while, but after Scott Snyder left the book I kind of lost interest. However, the concept of the “Rot” always fascinated me so I thought I would pick up this issue. I really enjoyed learning about the History of Anton Arcane and his niece Abigail, I just don’t know why it just didn’t strike me as compelling as the others. Anton is a despicable person and does terrible things, but unlike Lext Luthor or The Penguin, I just can’t get behind him. He is in no way sympathetic, but that isn’t why I didn’t think this issue was on par with those other issues. He just seemed very bland and generic. I do love the fact that he is in his own personal hell, where nothing rots. I just wish there had been more to the issue that could have pulled me in.
8 eyeballs out 10
Flash # 23.3 The Rogues #1
Written by Brian Buccellato
Art by Patrick Zircher
I absolutely loved this book. This book is one of the reasons people should love the Flash’s rogues gallery. The Rogues are comprised of six members in the New 52: Mirror Master, Captain Cold, Glider, Weather Wizard, Heat Wave and Trickster. However, this issue mostly deals with the first five. It is really a story about family, almost. Captain Cold and Glider are siblings and Glider is dating Mirror Master. She wants to help him by using her powers, however in the process it could kill her. Her brother gets upset that Glider could get herself killed and that she has taken over as the Rogues leader. He is constantly reminded how it is his fault Mirror Master is trapped and that Glider maybe able to use her projection powers but she is still in critical health back at the hospital. The issue ends when them getting a coin from the Secret Society and learning that Flash is dead. With that knowledge they quickly get back to the Gem Cities to take it over, but they find a nasty surprise waiting for them This issue showcases the morality of the Rogues, how they know when a job is too big, and how they are not willing to kill innocent people just to get money. They might be thieves but they have honor. I think that it what makes them so compelling and makes them standout amongst the other villains of the DC universe. Just because they have silly names doesn’t mean they are silly one dimensional characters. The issue was good, but I thought the pacing could have been better, and some of the dialogue felt a little wonky here and there. I do still wish Francis Manipul would continue art duties for this books since he didn’t even write this one with Brian, but that is a minor gripe.
10 Mirrors out of 10