Weekly Comics Review for 9/18/13

Here we go on week 3 of villains week.

Batman and Robin #23.3 (Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins #1) – The Secret Society sends someone with a message to Ra’s al Ghul to get him to join. The guy looks pretty cool but I have no idea who he is. While delivering the message and fighting Ra’s to prove himself, he also narrates the life of the villain from the latter 13th century on. (This is supposedly the earliest record of him.) The offer is turned down though and the messenger is left to die. It’s interesting to see some of Ra’s al Ghul’s history but there’s nothing overly surprising. It’s a decent book but there have been better ones.

Batman Beyond Universe #2 – The first story revolves around the depowered Kal. It appears he survived the fire along with Rita and the kitty. This leads to them deciding to go on the date. Of course he has to turn to the JLB to figure out what to do on it since he’s been so out of the loop. He picks a good date but of course he gets attacked and has to be saved. The clues add up and Superman ends up going to the Phantom Zone to track down who did everything. The Batman Beyond story continues the hunt for the killer of the mayor. While the commissioner tracks down clues, Terry ends up in a trap where he gets beat up by Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl and the original Batman. (Or at least either robots or people dressed as them.)

Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #14 – Project Rising Spirit re-forms H.A.R.D. Corps. On top of Major Palmer and Maniac (the only 2 surviving members of the prior team), three new members are recruited. There are 2 men and 1 woman. The men are former military and a lay minister while the female is an acrobat who joined to get money to help her family. This is actually a more interesting group than before and might make it interesting. The team heads out to PRS to free Bloodshot who has been experimented on by Harada.

Flash #23.3 (Rogues #1) – This story is a great character study one Rogues, particularly Captain Cold. Glider helps Mirror Master escape the Mirror World but it weakens her enough that she doesn’t exist outside her body any more. Captain Cold takes over the Rogues again and frees the Trickster. With the Rogues together again, they head off to their cities but there’s been much devastation there and they want to take down who is to blame. This leads into their Forever Evil mini-series. I’ll definitely be checking that out.

Green Lantern #23.3 (Black Hand #1) – You thought he was dead? Don’t we all wish… The black rings were cool the first time around but after coming back a few times, I’m getting real tired of Black Hand. A black ring somehow is able to pull together his ashes to make his body again. He has amnesia and walks around creating zombies while trying to remember who he is. He can kill people from a distance because they have something dead in them, like a vaccine. (You’re kidding me, right? There are tons of dead cells in and on the human body so he can kill anyone just by looking at them? This is downright stupid. Whoever decided on what should happen in this issue should be killed slowly and painfully.

Harbinger #16 – OK, it turns out Torque wasn’t quite dead. In fact, his psychic projection comes up and then everyone is transported to Torquehalla with projections changing each of their looks as well. The group tried to escape and get back home. Faith realizes that Peter isn’t the real Peter and that something is wrong. Yes, this has all been a dream. *headdesk* Really? REALLY?!? Torque, Faith, Flamingo, and Kris are all asleep in pods under Harada’s control. Peter isn’t there which is why he was “wrong”. This solution to weird stuff has always been lame.

Justice League #23.3 (Dial E #1) – To continue the line of lame villain month issues, we have this flop. Every page is done by a different artist. A bunch of kids get hold of Centipede’s villain dial and change into a different villain on every single page. Centipede gets it back and someone named Rescue Jane saves the day. Unlike a lot of the other titles, there’s no “follow this in   (fill in comic title)  “. Who knows where this will go, why it was under Justice League, or why they even bothered. *sigh*

Justice League Dark #23.2 (Eclipso #1) – Looks like we get a new Eclipso. Instead of Bruce Gordon, this time around it’s Gordon Jacobs. Like Bruce, this guy studies solar energy. After a mishap, he is discredited and tracks down the black diamond to get his reputation back. He then finds Eclipso inside and is convinces to cut himself repeatedly with the diamond to help get his life back. (Who would actually do that???)) After killing his former fiance’s father, he heads off to console her. I’m afraid to even ask any more this week….

Justice League of America #7.3 (Shadow Thief #1) – This story introduces the new Shadow Thief and this time it’s a female. The character actually sees herself as a bit of a hero, not a villain. As a spy, she finds the shadow suit and puts it on in hopes of saving herself from a virus that kills her mother and brother. The suit allows her to step through a dimension that can be accessed by through shadows on Earth. She is trying to save the Earth from aliens and alien tech but the suit has some definite downsides that she is just experiencing. I’m not sure where this will lead her but it should be interesting.

Teen Titans #23.2 (Deathstroke #1) – This is really an interesting issue. We get to see a lot of the more personal side of Deathstroke. We see his time with Deathblow, his wife, Rose, and especially his son. By son, I mean Grant. (There’s no mention of Jericho so we may never see him but since I really like Jericho, I’m happy not to see him ruined by the New 52.) Grant was introduced and killed in New Teen Titans #2 and, in the new 52, the same happens with this issue. He’s treated with a little more respect this time around though and dies as a result of him being a mercenary beside his father. It’s this same attack where Slade loses his one eye. It’s a very interesting and introspective story.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #2 – With Dynamo crashing down at his landing spot, we meet a couple more agents in the area, albeit not costumed ones. (We still only see Lightning on one page.) Once inside Iron Maiden’s mountain, Noman goes to get his body and Dynamo manages to get captured. And the secret that Iron Maiden is actually the sister of the director of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents program is revealed as well. (Kelly and Kitty? They could have done better naming them.) Other than that, not too much happens. The art and story are mediocre. I like old school comics and characters so I want to like this but I’m not sure I will.

Uncanny X-Men #12 – Battle of the Atom chapter 4 – Scott and Jean go to Scott’s team for asylum but the older Scott isn’t sure what to do. The X-Men fight over whether the original team should be sent back. (Hello! If they never go back, there’s no X-Men to be in the present. No one to gather the New X-Men to save and no one to help save the world a gazillion times. This isn’t clicking in for everyone to see?) Emma and Erik want to send them back and Emma even calls to future Jean to get her to come help and then ends up fighting her instead. The X-Men can’t do anything properly, can they?

Well, that’s a dozen books there and there’s barely enough for me to pick from for my Top 3. That being said, I’ll choose Flash, Justice League of America, and Teen Titans. This is the first time in a long time I’ve really wanted to recommend the Teen Titans. These three books have great stories about the characters taking them over this week though so check them out. Most of the others, I wouldn’t even bother wasting time on.

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