Well, another busy week has kept me from getting stuff done on schedule, but here is the review for last week’s comics.

All-New X-Men #16 – Battle of the Atom chapter 2 – Cyclops’ team reviews the events from chapter 1, including Scott’s near death. Back at the academy, the old and new X-Men deal with the appearance of the future X-Men (Beast, an over-sized Iceman, Deadpool, Kitty Pryde, Xavier’s grandson, Molly from the Runaways, and someone dressed as a female Xorn. The teams start fighting, a battle which it turns out was spurred on by Jean who used it to escape with Scott. After everything settles down, Rachel confronts Xorn about her presence and it turns out that it’s Jean Grey from the future. Jean is being so greedy and putting herself above everyone else. Some hero she is.

Earth 2 #23.1 (Desaad #1) – The story revolves around with Desaad setting things up for Darkseid. They aren’t clear as to which Earth it all takes place on. Most New Gods stuff seems to be taking place on Earth 2 now but it seems more like this is taking place on Earth 1. Desaad is making minions and parademons but there is one artist he still won’t touch… yet. Not sure who it is though. Overall, I’m pretty confused by this one. I didn’t get anything really worth it out of this issue.

Forever Evil #1 – The Justice Leagues have been beaten by the Crime Syndicate (Ummmm…. When did that happen?) so the villains all get let loose. To make matters worse, they find Nightwing, beat him up, and reveal who he is on national TV. Well, that’s going to change a lot of things since that should make Batman’s identity pretty obvious. Luthor is proven to be an even bigger asshole than ever with a story about how he killed a cat. Then he wants Superman to come save everyone from the bad guys. WTF? This comic is just totally messed up.

Green Lantern #23.1 (Relic #1) – It’s the origin of Relic. We start off in the old universe were there were lightwielders too. The colors were pretty much similar. (red:fury, orange:gluttony, yellow:terror, green:resolve, blue:faith, indigo:empathy, violet: passion) It seems that the use of energy from the emotional spectrum (through other devices than rings) was in wide use and that caused the energy to get used up. Relic had found a wall at the end of the universe where the energy came from (The Source from the old New Gods stories?) but it was too late and the universe collapsed because of the energy drain. Somehow Relic was saved and ended up in the bubble in the current universe where he now wants to stop the lanterns from destroying the universe. It’s an interesting take on the whole thing. After seeing that, you can understand where he came from but killing all the ring holders isn’t the best way when he hasn’t even tried talking to people in this universe. This issue definitely gives you a different look at his motives though.

Justice League #23.1 (Darkseid #1) – The origin of Darkseid is pretty interesting. He actually starts off as a normal guy (for his planet at least) named Uxas. He doesn’t trust of pray to the gods of the planet. Instead, the tricks them into fighting each other and then takes them down, drawing their power into himself. One old god gives power to Izaya (the Highfather) who is apparently his brother-in-law. Their battle destroys the planet and Darkseid creates Apocalypse. This is where we meet Kaiyo (the creature from Batman/Superman) who learns to teleport and leads Darkseid across the multiverse. Now, he is back on Apocalypse but seems to have a pile of alternate Superman corpses and possibly a Frankenstein version of Superman too.

Justice League Dark #23.1 (Creeper #1) – This one is really messed up. I was hoping for something more like the old Creeper. In the 16th century, a demon is trapped in the soul sword that Katana uses by a samurai. In modern days, the demon gets released and inhabits the corpse of Jack Ryder and goes off doing evil things (the old Creeper was a hero…) and leaving Jack at the scene where he can be the first one to report on them. I’m not really liking this new twist or the new look at all. This issue makes me want the pre-New 52 universe back more than ever.

Justice League of America #23.1 (Deadshot #1) – This origin story goes all the way back to Deadshot’s childhood. His parents and sister were killed accidentally during a gunfight. Floyd doesn’t know why he wasn’t killed too but wants to get those responsible. He learns how to use the gun he found. After taking out the 2 guys who killed his parents with one bullet, their boss hires him on, not knowing who he is. It shows how he actually keeps track of everyone he kills so no one is ever actually forgotten. He ends up taking out the boss too and in the long run, you see how he’s gotten to be just a stone cold killer. As a tie in to events, Amanda Waller calls and pays him to pull together the Suicide Squad to come help at Belle Reve after the villains broke out. I really enjoyed the story. While I still miss the old version and look of Deadshot, this is one I can deal with if I can’t have the old one back.

Quantum and Woody #3 – Realizing they can’t beat Johnny 1, Johnny 2, and their creature, our intrepid heroes loser pair of brothers escape and run off. The bad guys now know who they are and the power of the bracelets. The two brothers continue to bicker like… well… siblings. There are fights about who the father liked better, how “black’ Quantum in, Woody doing “black face” to imitate Eric to get their gear, and just about every else you can think of. Their lives are a train wreck you just can stop watching. In the end, Woody ends up getting captured by Edison’s Radical Acquisitions. Yeah, this is just getting worse/better by the minute….

Shadowman #10 – This issue we get a flashback through the eyes of Sandria, Master Darque’s sister. We see how she escapes him, hides under the cover of war, and meets up with Marius Boniface. The two fall in love and, during the war and running from Master Darque, Sandria gets pregnant. The child isn’t doing well and with her brother attacking, Sandria merges the child’s energy with Marius to make him the first Shadowman. She doesn’t survive but is happy that at least Marius did. This is a very cool origin to the whole Shadowman mythos. Seeing the start of Master Darque and now the Shadowman legacy in the year the book has been out really pulls things together well.

X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1 – Battle of the Atom chapter 1 – During a mission to check out on a new high level mutant, young Cyclops is just about killed by a Sentinel causing the older one (who was there with his team to help) to blink out of existence for a while. Thankfully Cyclop’s team has a healer around (wonder if we’ll see Elixer around again) who saves him, bringing him back from death and bringing the old Scott back to reality. This drives home the fact that the original team needs to go back to their own time before things really get screwed up. They don’t want to because they know that Xavier will wipe their memories and they know what some of them will become. To really push the issue, a team of X-Men from the future show up to vote for sending them back too.

I wonder where Battle of the Atom storyline is going to go. I agree that the young team needs to go back but what does that mean for their title. If they do, will we get more “original X-Men” stories from back when they were kids? I’d really enjoy that.

What about the villain month/Forever Evil stories? I wasn’t sure what to expect from the villain titles. The origins are a nice twist. I’ve actually got my comic store pulling the 3D covers for the titles I subscribe to. I’m not sure about the mini-series though. That’s going to be going on for a while. There’s going to be a lot of stuff tied up with that. And I still want to know what happened with the Justice Leagues. The Crime Syndicate just showed up at the end of the Trinity War and next thing we know, the villains won. How the heck did they defeat that many heroes? And what’s up with Pandora now that the box is revealed. Too many questions for them to jump this far forward. Lame one DC!!

But, let’s got on with our weekly award ceremony. There were some good books this time around. The top 3 are going to be Green Lantern/Relic, Justice League of America/Deadshot, and Shadowman. Ironically, they are all origin stories but all were done quite well.