Green Arrow #19 Review

Green Arrow #19 Review

Needles and Arrows

Benjamin Percy (W), Eleonora Carlini, Mirka Andolfo (A), Arif Prianto, H-Fi (C)

Cover by Otto Schmidt

Publisher: DC Comics

Price: $2.99

          You know, the world is a really controversial place right now. It seems like very little can be discussed without it turning into a ravenous argument. We all really need to chill out. That’s why, today, we are going to be talking about the least controversial comic book in the world, Green Arrow by Benjamin Percy.

I’m being facetious of course. Look, I’ve always kind of worn my liberal leanings on my sleeve. Green Arrow has historically been a very left-aligned character, and Benjamin Percy has had no qualms about stepping right into the middle of things. This comic, ironically like another archer-led book right now, Occupy Avengers, is dealing with the Dakota Access Pipeline/Standing Rock Reservation dispute. I do get the other side of this argument, but I just don’t think a few more theoretical jobs is worth further encroaching on Native American territory and wrecking our environment even more. This comic definitely seems to agree with me there. That being said, if you want to duck out now to avoid political discussion, feel free to do so.

I like my comic books dealing with controversial issues. I think art should help us discuss and come to terms with the difficult things in life, even when the art centers around people in tights and capes. However, I do understand that comic books are meant to be a form of escapism for many people, so they don’t want to hear about these topics in their preferred medium of escape. I can totally get that.

The previous issue established the premise of this story. Roy Harper aka Arsenal has returned to Washington state to join up with a tribe of Native Americans to protest an oil pipeline being driven right through their homeland. The law enforcement pulled out of the area and were replaced with militaristic vigilantes who want to see the pipeline go through. Arsenal comes to the aid of the protestors much to the leader’s chagrin, the leader being Bird, a man with a past linked to Roy Harper’s childhood. We get a lot of scenes of Roy’s history with Ollie mixed in with the story of the present. At the end of the comic, Green Arrow comes to their aid as well. Roy is not pleased about that.

In the new issue, an open conflict has exploded between the protestors and the vigilantes, a group known as the Wild Dogs. Arsenal and Green Arrow are helping the protestors, and Bird gets wounded by buckshot. When things seem to be turning grim, Black Canary comes to the scene and bails out the feuding archers.

The story cuts to a brief flashback of Ollie and Roy fighting Count Vertigo for the first time. Even then, Ollie is giving Roy hell over every little thing. He is particularly frustrated with Roy’s trick arrow inventions that keep winding up in his quiver.

In the present, the protestors and our heroes are licking their wounds after the day’s showdown. Bird is angry over what is happening, and he is not happy about accepting the help of GA, Arsenal, and Black Canary. However, he still acquiesces to let them aid the fight against the Wild Dogs.

Black Canary talks to Roy and convinces him to go easier on Ollie. Meanwhile, Ollie is watching press coverage of the protest situation, and he figures out that his company is bankrolling the Wild Dogs.

Roy gets some alone time with Bird, and we figure out what their family feud is over. Bird blames Roy for killing their father, and it seems that he may indeed have been responsible due to a drinking binge.

We get another flashback to the times of Green Arrow and Speedy. Ollie returns to his penthouse after an extended vacation in Las Vegas. He sees the place is filled with teens and twenty-somethings having a party. He goes into his bedroom to see Roy passed out with a girl. He throws out everyone except Roy and proceeds to chew him out, calling him a “A loser, a burden, a mistake.” Roy leaves of his own choice after that.

Back in the present, Ollie tells Dinah about his company’s involvement with the Wild Dogs. The two meet up with Arsenal and decide to fight this thing together.

We next get scenes of the pipeline being built interspersed with scenes of Roy taking heroin in the past. Then Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Arsenal reach the construction site with the intent of bringing it to a halt. The comic ends with this scene.

I’m glad we are finally getting an explanation as to what the history between Ollie and Roy is in the new status quo of the New 52/Rebirth. I always thought they had one of the most interesting relationships between any hero and sidekick. They’ve retconned it a bit so that Green Arrow and Speedy always had a struggling partnership, but I think that’s fitting given how it ended.

The bad blood between the two is really compelling. Ollie was just as much of a screw-up as Roy was, and you really feel for both of them. They’re both trying to do better now, and Black Canary plays a good mediator between them.

I dig the conflict quite a bit with the Wild Dogs. Again, I’m a bleeding-heart, so this stuff appeals to me. However, the villains are evil enough so that there is at least a genuine cause for the heroes to get involved.

I love the art in this too. Carlini and Andolfo make a beautiful and stylized comic with great action scenes, and the color makes it all pop even more.

The attempted parallels between the past and the present seems a little off. It’s contextualizing the strife between Ollie and Roy, but it also seems to be trying to compare the two situations in a different manner by pairing the scenes of Roy’s drug use with the construction of the pipeline. Maybe they are both destroying the environment’s that they’re in? If that’s the intent, then it’s a little trite.

Beyond that, the flashbacks do a good job of not railroading the story too much. That is mostly because they are relevant to what is happening in the present in terms of Ollie and Roy, so it doesn’t feel like a waste of time or space.

On the whole, this was a damn good comic book. The character conflicts are compelling, the action is fun, and it’s just a generally good time. If you can get into a politically-charged super hero story like I can, then this is definitely for you.

Final Score: 8/10

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Justice League of America #1 Review

Justice League of America #1 Review

Take Two

Steven Orlando (W), Ivan Reis (P), Oclair Albert, Julio Ferreira (I),

Marcelo Maiolo (C)

Cover by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Marcelo Maiolo

Publisher: DC Comics

Price: $2.99

          I have discovered that some of the Rebirth issues of comic books are light on story and heavy on exposition and characterization. Justice League of America: Rebirth certainly reinforced that expectation from me. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, Green Arrow, and, most recently, Batwoman all had really fantastic Rebirth issues that used those tools to really hype me up for the series to follow.

While JLA: Rebirth wasn’t a bad comic, it didn’t really give me anything that I wasn’t expecting or didn’t already figure out. Of course Lobo was going to antagonize everyone else on the team. Of course everyone was going to be really suspicious of Killer Frost. I would expect Ryan Choi and the new Ray to be really uncomfortable in this lineup.

I’m not excusing that first lackluster issue here, but, I’ve been so excited for this series and wouldn’t shut up about it. As a result, I’m bringing it back to court to try to defend itself one last time. As such, we’re going to revisit this book with Justice League of America: #1

Really quick, can we briefly discuss how confusing the naming conventions for the Rebirth titles are? You have the Rebirth: #1, and then you have the actual #1. That’s confusing by design. Are you trying to sell the same comic twice to perplexed customers? And I’ve talked to the people who run my local comic shop (formerly Randyland, now Archaic, anyone living in the Douglasville, Georgia area should go check it out), and they have been confused by this numbering. I’ve been fine with it, but that’s because I’m obsessive-compulsive about my comics, hence the existence of this site. It just seems a bit dumb.

Anyway, on with the show.

The comic opens with Batman further explaining to Vixen why he has established this new Justice League. She’s suspicious of it due to Batman’s history with fighting his own Justice Leagues. However, the Dark Knight is stalwart about the necessity of this team.

We cut to the Ray and Black Canary trying to put out a fire in the City of Vanity and save everyone within the burning building. Then the comic goes to the Pacific Ocean, and Lobo is fighting off an attack by some sort of lava creatures. Back at the Sanctuary in Rhode Island, Atom and Frost (now dropping the “Killer”) are trying to establish this League’s crisis alert system called “Troubalert” (that name…is pretty bad).

In Saratoga, a church is just being let out. Suddenly, a bright green portal opens up outside the church, and the Extremists step through. Lord Havok explains why he is here: he wants to save our world. His world had fallen, and he does not want the same to happen to Earth. The police attempt to pacify the extradimensional team.

Frost manages to get the Troubalert working, and the situation in Saratoga is shown on the screen. Frost and Atom get ready to mobilize. Batman is notified of the situation and tells the team to get ready to teleport on-site with their JLA tokens.

Saratoga is burning as Lord Havok espouses his totalitarian ideas, blaming the fall of his world, Angor, on people being too free. Meanwhile, the Extremists have massacred the responding police officers. After he proclaims himself the new ruler, the Justice League of America arrives on scene.

Vixen and Batman move on Havok, but he knocks them back with ease. The Detective tells Ray to evacuate the civilians, which he is able to do instantaneously. Then the full League takes the fight to the Extremists. Things don’t look too great in the start, with the Atom and the Ray panicking under the pressure.

The Atom attempts to shrink into Havok’s armor, but some sort of security measure electrocutes him. Havok grabs him and threatens to kill him as an example. Batman offers himself as a sacrifice instead, and the comic ends.

Now this, this is what I was waiting for. This wacky and wild team coming together to fight off a massive and imposing threat. We get to see how the team is gonna work and…well, it needs some work. They don’t cooperate well, and the new heroes are very unsure of themselves. Plus, well, Lobo can’t stop insulting everyone because he’s the Main Man.

I forgot to mention it in my review of the Rebirth issue, but Reis’ artwork is phenomenal. He is easily one of the best artists currently working at DC, and I’m so glad they put him on this book. He brings these legendary figures to life in a way that few others can. His command of shape and shadow is frankly astonishing.

I actually kind of dug the way Batman behaved in this comic. He’s working from a weird point of both anger and optimism. He knows the way the main Justice League has gone about things isn’t going to work. He knows they need to get closer to the people they’re trying to protect. Also, as shown in his interaction with Lord Havok, Batman is tired of despots and madmen trying to dominate the people. A line of his really stuck with me, “You hurt my people—and they’re all my people. You want to know who I am? Time to find out.” I really liked that line, and I’ve written multiple long-winded articles about how and why Batman in his modern form often does not work. So you know that he must really be good in this to have caught my attention.

Lobo is Lobo, and that will always appeal to me, especially when he talks about not being able to stand to “see a dolphin cry” while fighting ocean-based lava creatures. Canary and Frost are good too, but Vixen is the one who really stood out for me. The way in which she takes charge, even with Batman’s imposing ego present, is really cool. I like her as the leader of this squad, and I hope she gets to bloom in more issues.

There is the inevitable question of “Where is the other Justice League team in all this?” A New York state city is burning after extradimensional beings invade. Heck, the Titans work out of Manhattan, you’d think they’d see this too. I feel like a meeting between the two Leagues is inevitable, especially since this one was formed in spite of the other team. It’s sort of like the Marvel Initiative-era Mighty Avengers versus the New Avengers dichotomy.

That being said, Cyborg, the Flash, Simon Baz, and Jessica Cruz are not what I would think of as out-of-touch godlike figures. They are often very human, so it is a little weird that Batman is so wary of their personalities. That being said, the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and, well, Batman himself are also on that team, and I guess their massive egos do balance out the well-meaning humility of the other four.

I’m sold on this comic now. I was excited for it, and it’s delivering. It’s a weird and wild team that’s fighting weird and wild threats. The characters are good, the pacing works, and the art is fantastic. I definitely recommend it.

Final Score: 9/10

My Review of Justice League of America: Rebirth #1

Aquaman #17 Review

Aquaman #17 Review

This Means War-Head

Dan Abnett (W), Scot Eaton (P), Wayne Faucher (I), Gabe Eltaeb (C)

Cover by Andrew Hennessy and Gabe Eltaeb

Publisher: DC Comics

Price: $2.99

          Things have been pretty complicated lately in the life of Arthur Curry, king of the underwater realm of Atlantis. In what honestly was the best Aquaman story I have ever read, Atlantis has been on the brink of all-out war with the United States. This was spurred onwards by the shadow organization known as N.E.M.O, who committed a number of false flag operations against the United States, disguising themselves as Atlantean military.

Leading N.E.M.O was none other than Black Manta, who killed the previous Fisher King of N.E.M.O. and assumed the mantle. Aquaman was narrowly able to track down the organization and present proof to the United States government that it was not Atlantis instigating conflict with America. This was not without casualties, as a number of the Atlantean royal council were killed by N.E.M.O as well as the U.S military.

In the aftermath, Arthur’s aquatelepathy has been misbehaving. This has been caused by a mysterious entity known as Warhead, a telepathic cyborg war machine who has been manipulating students and faculty at Beckman University to perform missions for him.

This issue opens up with a woman being forced to open fire upon Aquaman. He disarms her, and his telepathy begins to misfire once more. A drone begins shooting at him, and Warhead appears, gunning down the king of Atlantis.

We are taken two hours beforehand, when Aquaman arrived at the U.N headquarters located in Manhattan. He meets up with a security detail which insists on protecting him. His telepathy begins misbehaving. Inside, a mass of Aquaman fans have formed. They have fallen in love with the king for his exploits in halting war between Atlantis and the U.S.

Mera, Murk, and others of Aquaman’s retinue watch on from television in Amnesty Bay as Arthur begins his U.N address. As he starts, we see Warhead activating his own telepathy, and Aquaman sees a bleeding soldier in the crowd. The soldier disappears, and Arthur continues his address.

Afterwards, he sees the soldier outside and leaves the security detail behind. The detail begins to panic. Arthur finds the soldier outside Beckman college, and he sees a war zone all around him. It all disappears, and a man with a gun begins firing upon Aquaman while apologizing. He disarms the man, and the man points Arthur in the direction of the campus lab.

He’s attacked once more upon entering the lab area, and he disarms this assailant as well. This man tells Aquaman the name of Warhead, informs him of his telepathic abilities, and tells Arthur that his aquatelepathy makes him “receptive to contact but resistant to control” by Warhead.

From here, the woman from the beginning of the comic arrives, and we are in the “present.” The security detail surrounds Beckman, as Aquaman attacks Warhead. He pleads with the machine-man to stop through telepathy while attempting to apprehend him.

Warhead grabs Aquaman’s head, and Aquaman finds himself in a hellish war zone. An explosion flings him across the landscape, and he becomes convinced that what he is seeing is real as the comic concludes.

Dan Abnett is, hands down, one of the best writers working right now. His work on Aquaman and Titans is incredible, and he has few peers at either of the big two companies.

This story is interesting, and it seems to be leading in a very intriguing direction in regards to Warhead’s intent and origins. I’m genuinely not sure where this is going, and I am excited to find out.

I’m not sure what the point of the time skip was other than to accommodate the fact that Aquaman was at Beckman at the end of the last comic. It wasn’t confusing, but it didn’t really serve that grand a purpose either.

There is a bit of a lull in and around the section where Aquaman gives his address. The segments back in Amnesty Bay don’t really add anything, but they’re not particularly funny either. We’re also not made privy to much of Aquaman’s address, and I’m actually a little disappointed by that. I’m sure it would have been very interesting given the insane political atmosphere that surrounds Atlantis in DC Comics.

This story also has the unfortunate role of taking place after “Deluge.” That really was the best Aquaman story I’ve ever read, no hyperbole, surpassing even Geoff Johns’ impressive tenure with the king of Atlantis. It had political intrigue, Aquaman’s greatest villain Black Manta, and palpable tension that carried through from one issue to the next. It even served to provide interesting commentary about the War on Terror via the subplot with the Atlantean terror cell known as the Deluge. It also solidly characterized Arthur Curry and gave him a defined personality. This is something that even Geoff Johns struggled with back during his stint on Aquaman.

All this being said, this puts “Warhead” in the unfortunate position of not having grabbed me like “Deluge” did. It may yet get to that level of brilliance, but it hasn’t arrived yet. This by no means makes this a bad comic, but it does give “Warhead” the same uphill battle that Charles Soule faced when taking over Daredevil after Mark Waid left the title. You’re left wondering, “Can this be as good?” The difference of course is that this still has the same brilliant writer, and, like Charles Soule has since done on Daredevil, I’m sure Mr. Abnett will wow me yet again.

The art is quite good on this book. Eaton, Faucher, and Eltaeb have given life to a striking and action-packed story. I dig the design of Warhead. He’s reminiscent of 90’s comics without dipping into the ridiculous hypermasculine excess of the 1990’s in comic books. The name, Warhead, is pretty reminiscent too, though I will say I’m not a fan of the moniker.

As I said, Dan Abnett is rocking this comic book as well as the comics world at large. This a great book, and I have full faith in him maintaining the high quality I have come to expect of him.

Final Score: 8/10

Justice League of America: Rebirth #1

Justice League of America: Rebirth #1

And That’s How They Became the Batty Bunch

Steven Orlando (W), Ivan Reis (P), Joe Prado, Oclair Albert (I), Marcelo Maiolo (C)

Cover by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Marcelo Maiolo

Publisher: DC Comics

Price: $2.99

          Apologies again for the lateness of this review. I definitely did not intend to have this ready a full week after the comic was released.

As you likely know, I’ve been really looking forward to this release, despite the fact that I’ve not been remotely following the Justice League vs Suicide Squad story. I like wacky line-ups in super hero teams, and this team has a lot of characters that I like, particularly Lobo, Black Canary, and Killer Frost. I’m particularly interested in seeing Killer Frost trying to become a hero. The way she was recreated as a “heat vampire” in the New 52 is an interesting twist on the character, and I saw a lot of potential for redemption in this iteration of Kaitlin Snow.

The story begins with Batman showing Killer Frost around their headquarters, located in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island. Batman tells Snow that he is putting together a team for some imposing threat, and he wants to give her a chance to start fresh. She accepts the invitation.

Next, Killer Frost is fighting Black Canary in Seattle. After a short fight, Batman appears and tells her that Killer Frost is with him. The Dark Knight tells Canary that he needs a human element to this new team as well as someone who will call him out on bad decisions. Dinah Lance qualifies for both.

Next we see Mammoth City, New Jersey, where Lobo has just gotten thrown out of a biker bar. Black Canary approaches him about the team. It’s apparent quickly that Lobo and Canary won’t get along.

At Ivy University, Ryan Choi arrives in Ray Palmer’s lab using his Bio-Belt. Lobo and Batman are waiting for him. The Caped Crusader was waiting for Ray Palmer and tries to leave. Lobo convinces him to stay and accept Ryan onto the team.

At City of Vanity in Oregon, the Ray is out in the city. Ryan arrives through his phone. The Atom invites the Ray onto the new team, and he accepts.

In Manhattan, Vixen stops a crime being committed by someone called Roxy Rocket from robbing a museum. Afterwards, a police officer shows Mari a bizarre weapon, but she leaves when she senses Batman nearby. He extends an invitation to her as well, and, after some convincing, she joins the team.

Back at the headquarters, the team is having its first meeting, and Lobo, of course, is antagonizing everyone. Batman stands up for Killer Frost after Lobo starts harassing her for her past. Batman restates his intent to form a team of humans, and the comic ends with the new Justice League of America in action.

This comic was…serviceable. It wasn’t particularly exciting, but it set up the team well enough. It’s a peculiar lineup, but this book brings them together in a believable manner.

Batman shows a bit of humility in this issue, and that’s something that you rarely see from the Dark Knight. I enjoyed that. The Atom and the Ray seem like they are going to have good chemistry. Canary and Lobo seem like they are going to fight a lot. Then again, Lobo will probably pick a fight with everyone.

“Human” seems like a very odd word with which to describe Lobo. I can see it being used to describe Black Canary, the Atom, Vixen, and Killer Frost in this situation. Even the Ray I can see, but Lobo? The Main Man what smacks down with Superman regularly? Maybe, in this case, Batman means a bit of a bastitch.

That being said, this comic doesn’t do anything all that exciting. It tells enough story to fill out the pages, but I feel like this could have frontloaded a different story if it were shortened a little. Maybe this could have been a mega-sized first issue at four or five-dollars.

It wasn’t a bad book. It was alright and enjoyable enough, and I definitely look forward to seeing where this comic goes. However, this first issue wasn’t one of the best openings to a book. I have confidence that the series will be good, but I’m not reviewing the series. I’m reviewing the first issue, and the first issue is just serviceable.

Final Score: 6/10

Green Arrow #15 Review

Green Arrow #15 Review

Christmas Colors and it’s January

Benjamin Percy (W), Juan Ferrara (A and C)

Cover by Juan Ferrara

Publisher: DC Comics

Price: $2.99

          I’ve been going back on forth on this book. It’s brilliant at times, but it misses the mark a fair bit as well (ironically). I absolutely love Green Arrow, as I’ve gone over before. However, he has had shaky books since Dan Jurgens left the book towards the beginning of the New 52. Jurgens’ work was phenomenal, and I really wish he had stuck with the comic book. Jeff Lemire did do some cool things with the Emerald Archer, and he actually made Count Vertigo a genuinely interesting and threatening rogue. However, the Outsider War story was a very contrived and underwhelming. The Richard Dragon story arc was cool too, but its ending left a lot to be desired. I won’t go into Kreisberg and Solowski’s bit on the book. I will say that they had me excited when they brought Hal Jordan in for an issue. The Green and the Green were united once again.

Benjamin Percy is probably the best writer to take on the Emerald Archer since Jurgens, but even he has had some fairly weak issues. Rebirth seems to have invigorated him, and he has given more personality and energy to the book since the beginning of this initiative. I’ve decided to subscribe to this book once more after the thoroughly fantastic “Murder on the Empire Express” story arc. This was done at the expense of Nightwing. I’m sorry Dick Grayson, but Ollie Queen is just a little closer to my heart. Not to mention that no matter how genuinely good a Percy Green Arrow comic is, it’s always memorable. See also his story from before Rebirth where put together a story that used lycanthropy as an AIDS metaphor.

Green Arrow is currently in the middle of its “Emerald Outlaw” story, and Seattle has completely turned on Ollie Queen. His company has been taken by a fascist elite. The police are out to get him. Malcom Merlin, the Dark Archer, has returned to Seattle and has been framing Green Arrow for a number of murders and attacks.

This issue begins with Ollie visiting a reporter who was badly wounded by the Dark Archer. He feels guilty for the people who have been hurt because of him, but he resolves to keep going.

We cut to a police precinct lockup, and the inmates suddenly get gassed and corralled by the “Vice Squad.” They are led by Sergeant Notting, a vicious police officer who was stopped from beating a small-time dealer to death by Green Arrow. Chief Westberg and a few other officers attempt to intervene.

We return to Ollie questioning if he’s doing the right thing. Black Canary visits, reassures him, and they presumably have a romantic rendezvous. Before things get too steamy, we return to Notting and the Vice Squad gunning down a number of inmates in front of Westberg and the other officers. We next see Arrow and Canary being informed by Diggle about the situation at the lockup.

Westberg finally intervenes and takes out one of Notting’s men before they can kill anymore. A firefight ensues, and Notting’s people retreat. As they get into their armored vehicle, arrows start falling on the Vice Squad from an unknown archer. Westberg’s police chase after Notting, and Black Canary lands on the hood of Vice’s armored car and lets out her Canary Cry. The car still almost hits Westberg, and Green Arrow tackles him out of the way.

Despite all of this, Vice Squad manages to get the upper hand, but, before Notting can kill Ollie, an arrow goes through his arm. More fall, and Vice Squad retreats. The source is revealed to be Emiko, now calling herself the Red Arrow. The comic ends with this dramatic reveal.

This was definitely one of this series’ better issues. It provides a great climax to the story of Notting and his jack-booted police officers. It doesn’t bring an end to this story, but it progresses it in an exciting way.

The tender moment between Ollie and Dinah was pretty sweet, and the conflict between Westberg, a more by-the-books police chief, and Notting, a borderline Gestapo, is enthralling. It also keeps the book from falling into the trap of making police officers into the straw man of this story, this being a tale clearly charged by the police shootings that popped up in abundance last year.

All of this being said, this story is clearly not ending anytime soon. That’s a little disappointing, as I am definitely a proponent of shorter or even one-issue stories popping up in comics more often. Black Panther’s Wakandan democratic revolution story manages to except itself by justifying its great length with brilliant writing and gradually rising stakes.

The return of Emiko as the new Red Arrow was a pretty cool reveal. A part of me wanted it to be Roy Harper, but, given his role on the Titans and his relationship with Green Arrow in the New 52, it wouldn’t have really made sense to have been Arsenal.

I cannot overstate how fantastic Ferrara’s artwork is in this comic. This book is absolutely gorgeous. The colors are composed on something of a gradient, giving them depth and individuality. The visual style of the penciling adds to the noir-esque atmosphere of this tale. It helps the comic look like its constantly in motion. I love the way this comic looks, and I hope Ferrara sticks around for a long time.

This was a very solid book. The quality of this series has been pretty mercurial, but it often manages to be better than it is bad, if that makes sense. It is often very politically charged, and it errs on the side of my bleeding-heart sensibilities. That being said, it could…agitate people with other sentiments. However, this particular tale plays it a lot more subtly than previous issues, and, well, I don’t personally know anyone who would advocate wholesale execution of incarcerated individuals. I’m sure they exist, but I’m not worried about their political fee-fees.

I recommend this book. It’s action-packed, character-driven, and thoughtfully put together. I like it a lot, and I’m sure you will too.

Final Score: 8/10

Titans #6 Review

Titans #6 Review

Jason Takes… wait, Red Hood’s not in this book.

Dan Abnett (W), Lee Weeks (A), John Kalisz (C)

Cover by Lee Weeks and Brad Anderson

Publisher: DC Comics

Price: $2.99

          I haven’t really covered Titans other than my review of their Rebirth issue and my endorsement of them on my Best 5 Comics of 2016 list. This is a great book, and I highly recommend the story thus far. As such, I felt I should cover an issue again this week, and it’s a good thing too. Why? Well, we’ll cover that momentarily.

So, a refresher on Dan Abnett’s Titans. Of all of the Rebirth titles, this one most takes place in the shadow of DC Universe: Rebirth, though it does also follow up on Dan Abnett’s Titans: Hunt as well. Wally West, this being red-headed Wally West who was formerly the Flash, has reappeared, brought back by his mentor and close friend, the other Flash, Barry Allen. He has reunited with his former team, the Titans. He informed them that they lost ten years of their lives somehow, and this is the reason for a lot of the differences in the New 52 DC Universe (i.e. younger heroes, darker characters, and less camaraderie between said heroes). The Titans reformed after this, the lineup consisting of Wally himself, Nightwing, Donna Troy, Arsenal, Tempest, Omen, and maybe Bumblebee.

Soon after reforming the team, they accidentally awoke the Magician, who, as it turns out, is the one who cast Wally West out of our dimension and into the Speed Force in the first place. After a tough struggle, the team was able to defeat the villain. Omen, in search of who removed the notorious ten years of their lives, entered the mine of the Magician and got one word: “Manhattan.”

In this issue, we figure out that the Titans took this to mean that they should go to Manhattan and make that their new headquarters to investigate why this word was on the Magician’s mind. The story opens up with Wally, Arsenal, and Donna taking on a powerful, mega-sized, metahuman. The fight is fairly brief, with Arsenal delivering the knockout blow. Wally chastises Roy on his recklessness and the fact that they destroyed a couple of cars when the metahuman fell.

Then, Superman appears. He tells them that he was checking up on the threat they just neutralized, and he clearly recognizes Wally West. He then leaves, but Wally wants to know how he recognizes him. He runs after Superman, and Superman takes it to mean that Wally wants to race again.

Meanwhile, Nightwing, Omen, and Tempest are trying to accomplish the necessary paperwork to obtain a base in Manhattan. This is actually their storyline in this issue, and it’s a lot more entertaining than it sounds. After some conversation with Ms. Cendali, their real estate agent (I guess, I’m not fluent on this subject), they reveal their invisible jet, then make it properly visible for her.

Wally finally catches up with Superman in Iowa, and he asks how Clark recognizes him. Superman explains how he’s not really from this world either. The two catch up a bit, and Superman encourages the Flash to keep trying to get Linda Park back. He also divulges that he has a son because he trusts Wally that much. They then decide to race back to Manhattan.

We next see Donna and Arsenal on a date in a small diner. There’s not too much to say about this scene, but it is pretty damn cute. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

We get a brief scene at a company called Meta Solutions. Bumblebee and her partner, Mal Duncan, go into the headquarters. We see that the owner of Meta Solutions is none other than the notorious Teen Titans rogue, Psimon.

Superman and the Flash return to Manhattan and rejoin the other Titans. Here, we finally get to see what their new HQ looks like, and it is the classic Titans Tower. The comic ends with Superman endorsing the new Titans.

I’m glad I reviewed this issue, because I loved it, and I think it may be the best one of the series so far. After the admittedly overlong Magician story arc, this issue takes a moment to catch its breath and establish how this new Titans team is going to function. It sets a nice tone for the book going forward.

Each of the plots in this story work perfectly. Superman and the Flash’s reunion is heart-warming and uplifting. The paperwork plot is really funny. The date between Roy and Donna is pretty funny too as well as being really cute. Plus, the foreshadowing with Psimon and Bumblebee shows some cool stories yet to come.

The reunion with Wally and Clark gives us some idea of how the Rebirth idea works. Wally’s return implied that this is essentially the same Earth as pre-Flashpoint Earth; it’s just missing ten years. However, this Superman comes from a different Earth altogether. The fact that Wally doesn’t recognize this Clark specifically shows that this isn’t the same Earth at all, or maybe this Clark actually comes from yet another Earth. It’s still a bit of a confusing mess, but this part of the comic at least narrows down the possibilities.

Lee Weeks’ art is great. I love the detail and shapes, and Kalisz’s coloring pairs with it nicely. I did like Brett Booth on the comic a lot, but, if he is being replaced with Weeks, I won’t complain.

This comic is a lot of fun to read and is overflowing with personality. It’s upbeat, funny, and the characters are completely lovable. I highly recommend it. It’s easily one of my favorite DC titles being published right now.

Final Score: 10/10