Pull Box: The Last Two Weeks…

I love the crossover between the “Invisible Mafia” angle that’s been happening in Action Comics for months, and with Leviathan. But, I’m not sure bringing Luthor, who has become a multiversal threat himself, in the pages of Justice League, was the best idea at this point. It seemed to be playing a little fast and loose with some excellent character development that almost cheapens his growth.

With that beautiful final issue, Up In The Sky has concluded, and Superman’s journey across the Universe to save the life of one small child has ended. He defeated death itself to rescue one insignificant girl, which resulted in, inadvertently, saving the entire planet. What a great book that was. I appreciated comics this year, and the unique places they took some of the most memorable heroes in history, and reshaped, and gave them trials they had never truly encountered. It made for some amazing story-telling.

After all this time, the truth comes full circle. The big reveal of just how Thomas Wayne came to be on Earth-0: a sick punishment by Reverse-Flash for trying to kill him. Not only that, but his connection to Selina Kyle on his world, as well as how long he’s been watching Bruce, and even his true intentions. To get him to stop being Batman. His last wish as Bruce and Barry catapulted away from the Flashpoint universe. One issue remains in the City of Bane, and it’s sure to be good.

That wasn’t the ending I was expecting to happen, but once again, one of Luthor’s “gifts” has completely reshaped the landscape of a villain, as Mr. Freeze, is now Mrs. Freeze. Victor is trapped in suspended animation, just as his wife has been for years. Nora is on the loose, having outsmarted both Batman and her Husband, to escape with her life, and her prize. Pretty amazing, to be honest.

That was a beautiful, somber issue that really put the relationship between Lois and her father, Colonel Sam Lane, into perspective. He was so close to trusting his daughter, and her instincts, and it was all ripped away from him. From her. Leviathan has certainly left their mark on the world in the aftermath of everything. But it still isn’t over. Even after all the reveals, the organization still remains. What’s their next move?

The mystery of how King Cold defeated The Flash is the heart of this story, but this newfound lack of control for the Speed Force is interesting. What happened to the Speed Force that has caused it to go out of control? Barry’s journey with the various forces has been the key to everything this year, and I have a feeling that will play a large role in the near future.

With only one issue left before the series is over, Freedom Fighters put all their cards on the table. Uncle Sam is fully powered up, as the revolution to take back America is on, and the team is laying waste to the Ratzi camp. This series started off very slow, but it’s kicked into high gear the last several issues. A fitting end.

That was intense! The World Forger has sacrificed his life to send Hawkgirl, Shayne, John Stewart, and The Monitor back to Earth as the Justice League has formed their own Totality of Justice from the various pieces they were able to secure from across time. Now, they’re ready to fight fire with fire. I’m hoping that this leads to something crazy, because those shock moments are alawys the absolute best.

Zatanna has proven herself as an exceptional badass after she physically cut her own mouth back into place to speak her spells. The Justice League Dark has not done a particularly great job during their tenure, as things just keep going from bad to worse, but things just keep getting exponentially worse. I’m not sure how they plan on getting out of this one, but I’m definitely hooked.

It’s a little frustrating that a lot of the progress that was made in getting this team together has now been undone. Back to Gemworld we go, with Conner Kent. Sadly, Gemworld was the most boring part of this amazing series, so far. I’m just hoping that Naomi becomes a permanent addition to the Young Justice roster, because she’s a fascinating character with a ton of potential.

That wasn’t quite what I expected for the third issue of the main X-Men book, post Dawn of X. A group of old lady geniuses, hack into Krakoa, disable a group of highly trained mutants, including Cyclops and Sebastian Shaw, and escape with samples of Krakoa. A Krakoa which seems to be getting hacked and invaded in every issue of every book. Not exactly the best story-telling, if I’m being honest. The island was setup as this haven, but it has certainly not worked out that way.

Jane Foster certainly made quick work of the Grim Reaper after realizing he was already dead. A bit of an oversight on the part of Mephisto, if you ask me. The fact that Valkyrie has made an enemy of the Devil himself isn’t exactly the best idea, but it should make for some interesting story-telling for the next several issues, that’s for sure.

I’m not entirely up to par on the history of the X-Men, but I’m guessing the return of Shinobi Shaw doesn’t bode entirely well for the Red Queen, Kate Pryde, or the White Queen, for that matter. Marauders is certainly an interesting book that just keeps getting more interesting by the issue. It’s probably the most consistently great Dawn of X book. Which is crazy.

The penultimate issue of King Thor gives hope to the future of the Universe, just to have it snuffed out. The Goddesses of Thunder manage to find a few remaining Gods in the Universe, and bring them to help their Grandfather, taking down Gorr, but also forcing him to reveal his true form: The Necroverse. His final form, and last test for the All-Father as the Universe dies around him, is to destroy the Universe itself after being consumed by Gorr, the God Butcher. One issue remains, and I’m sad to see Jason Aaron go.

The story with Captain Britian and Morgan Le Fay here is alright, but the real meat and potatoes here is what Apocalypse is up to. He’s taking his position of power, and truly taken a stand for mutantdom, and it’s interesting to see his quick evolution as a leader. But, the other mutants are right not to trust him, given his past, and his infatuation with “mutant magic.”

Admittedly, I’m still a bit confused by what the Blackstars plan truly is, but it seems that Belzebeth is the one in charge, usurping Mu’s power to take over the group herself, with a brainwashed Hal Jordan, aka Parallax, at her side. But, in the end, Jordan will always be a hero, starting a war with the heroes of Earth to protect the planet, and stop the Blackstars, the only way that he can see.

Batman Universe is sadly over, and it was one of the most fun comic books of the year. Letting go of Batman’s brooding nature and just having him be a little more of an arrogant goofball who knows how awesome he is, really puts his character into perspective. It opens the door for so many fun interactions, and I hope we get to see more of that Batman, soon.

A bit of an anticlimactic ending for Come Back To Me, but overall this was an extremely unique Wonder Woman story that took her places she doesn’t often go. Diana of Themyscira is so inspiring she can even save the soul of alien princess’ it seems, and her plan to defeat the suddenly-villains, Light Lords, who came a bit out of nowhere at the end of all this. That would have been more effective had they been introduced earlier in the series, I think.

That was one of the most interesting twists on what could have happened for any of the Crisis. Ted Kord was always never given enough credit, but making him into the Black King of Checkmate and taking control of O.M.A.C. and becoming the ringleader of the Infinite Crisis… I certainly never saw that one coming, but it was amazing.

This Terrifics story is starting to drag a bit, unfortunately. Bizarro is a fun villain, but certainly more of a one-off appearance type of guy. An entire arc based on a team of Bizarro Terrifics was fun in theory, but it’s worn thin, and I’d like to see the Terrifics take on someone other than… themselves.

After everything that happened in the first issue was immediately undone, and the quest the New Mutants undertook was finished, in the second issue, the story really officially began. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this pacing, but in a sense it’s working to their advantage to keep the story moving quickly. They aren’t dwelling on points, at least, which is keeping the story brisk, for a change.

X-Force has very much been leading the charge in story progression for the Dawn of X, with the death of Xavier and attacks on Krakoa and Mutantkind. With that said, this was a fantastic follow-up to an explosive first issue that kept things moving forward while still keeping us guessing as to where it could go, next. The capture of Domino and exploitation of her was horrific, and really helped create a clear-cut enemy for the Mutants, moving forward.

That was a short but absolutely excellent series that really put forward how powerful Susan Storm really is. The Invisible Woman isn’t just tricks, she’s a powerhouse that deals with being so damn powerful every day. Her abilities are so much more than is ever really on display, and it was cool to see her really stretch her legs and do something for herself.

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