The last several weeks I have been spending a lot of my free time catching up on various comics, such as a majority of the DC Rebirth stuff, and a few select titles elsewhere that have piqued my interest over time. Well, now that I’m caught up, I can finally keep up with the latest releases, and give some insight into what the hell is going on in the crazy world of comic books. Beware, for there will be plenty of spoilers throughout my reviews on these titles.
It was a pretty good week for DC, with two major story-lines to continue, and a fun new crossover event starting. It was also a great work for unique books, as well, with Doom Patrol, and Aliens: Dead Orbit hitting stands.
This week’s Flash saw the second chapter in the major arc, The Button, for DC Comics, with the Flash and Batman teaming up to discover the reasoning behind Thawne’s sudden death, and the disappearance of the mysterious button that was lodged into the Batcave upon Wally’s sudden appearance in the cave. We all know that the button is of course, the Comedians from the Watchmen.
This book did a lot of great things, furthering the bond between Flash and Batman and their respect for one another, while also pushing Flashpoint back to the forefront, and its ramifications. Flash and Batman jump onto the cosmic treadmill in an attempt to go back in time and see what Thawne saw before his death, however, things don’t go as planned, and they end up in a cave. A familiar cave… just before coming face to face with Thomas Wayne: The Batman. A cliffhanger ending for an interesting story so far. I’m so curious to see where this goes, and they’ve done a much better job than I ever expected of putting this together.
I just finished catching up with Wonder Woman this week, and unlike many of the other titles in Rebirth, Diana has had a pretty long and concise story, recounting her origin once again, but revealing that many of the stories we’ve had over the years, with her trips back to Themyscira in particular, were all lies. Illusions in her head. This week, we return to the false-Themyscira one last time, before the dark tree appears, and during a battle between Cheetah and Wonder Woman, the blood and snake venom from Diana’s gauntlets cause the tree to open, sucking her and Veronica Cale in.
The surprise isn’t truthfully much of one, if you’ve been keeping up. Much of this story has led to the reveal, in my opinion, that before leaving for Man’s World, when Diana is bit by the snake at the tree, an omen for the Amazons, she was infected by Ares, who has oft been represented by a snake throughout this arc, and who caused Diana’s illusions in an attempt to discover the location of Themyscira. This story has been such a slow and fantastic build, and seeing it starting to come to a head has been fantastic. I’m really waiting for the big reveal here, and will be sad to see Greg Rucka go, when he leaves at issue 25.
Arguably my most excited title for this week. A crossover between the World’s Greatest Detective, and The Shadow? That’s a recipe for success in my eyes. Throw in some Batman lore with Henri Ducard, and have it all written by Scott Snyder, the best writer on DC’s payroll right now, and damn… that’s a great book. And this does not disappoint.
Setting up The Shadow as the villain, in a sense, as Batman attempts to unravel the mysteries behind the pulp noir character, and it creates some fantastic classic Batman vibes. The ending, revealing that Henri Ducard was The Shadow all along, and the man who taught Batman his detective skills was incredible, and definitely an amazing start to a short-but-sweet crossover.
Since seeing the advertisement that Gerard Way would be writing a Doom Patrol book, I knew we should expect something weird and satisfying. I was not expecting to get as much of both as we have. This book is top-level strange, but with some of the most likable renditions of these classic characters. Gerard Way’s knowledge of the lore behind Doom Patrol and his twist on it has been interesting, but he’s shown it to be the best path at getting the team back together and keeping the characters love for each other the main focus.
This week brought Crazy Jane back into the fold of the Doom Patrol, after she’s become a cult leader, attempting to secretly destroy an invading personality in her mind using an altered Gene Bomb that will destroy the dominant personality (the invader). If you’re looking for something quick to catch up on, with fun art, and some crazy-as-hell story, then this is definitely the first place you should look.
The other book I was most looking forward to. Yesterday was Alien Day, and in celebration, Dark Horse Comics released the first issue of Aliens: Dead Orbit. A standalone story written and illustrated by one of my favorite comic artists of all time, James Stokoe. This is absolutely my recommended title of the week as the art is positively unmatched, with so much tension and subtle character building. Not much of the story has been revealed yet, as story takes second fiddle to desolate terror in this book, and that is absolutely a good thing.