Hey comic faithful, you may have noticed a lack of a post last week. Long story short my store’s comic shipment got lost in the mail and was delayed a full week. Better late than never, not even the incompetence of the mail can keep me down for long! Lucky me, I get to do a super packed week with both sets of releases. Buckle in for a long one kiddos, kidettes, and any other mutilation of the word kid that strikes your fancy.
Detective Comics #987
The finale to the “On the Outside” arc delivers both in terms of plot and themes. Last issue, Karma attempted to kidnap a school bus and make Batman choose between them and his family. Thanks to Black Lightning’s help that didn’t work out. So this time, Karma takes over the Wayne Enterprises building for his endgame, and takes a hostage to force Batman to act. Batman recognizes his guilt in the situation and resolves it to be “what they both deserve.” It’s a pretty satisfying moment. A lot of the issue gets spent on setting up a new book, Batman and the Outsiders. The Outsiders being a team made up of Black Lighting, Katana, Signal, and Orphan. So this arc has been doing some work bringing them together, which is fine. Impressively, the multitasking of the story did very little to detract from it. It felt pretty natural, although Katana’s arrival feels a little weird. Regardless, the story manages to stand up with the other recent arcs and I have a lot of respect for the varying creative teams on the book.
Brief side note: this comic cover illustrates why covers are the fucking worst. They want to entice you to buy the book and are hugely misleading. On this cover, Braniac hovers with the text “What are the Brainiac Files?”. There’s literally one line where Katana says “I got info on Karma’s technology from the Brainiac Files” and then there’s a note that says to read No Justice. It’s goddamn stupid and I hate it.
Justice League #6
I’m loving the pace of this book being bi-weekly. Things come to a head in the Totality, with Luthor and the Joker in Superman’s and Martian Manhunter’s bodies, respectively. Two of the seven weird evil forces have been unlocked and all hope seems lost for the League. It’s pretty rad, seeing the cosmic level threat manifesting at an individual level for each hero. Jon Stewart struggles with guilt, Bruce Wayne struggles with the possibility he can fail, Flash struggles with his loss of power in the face of the Still Force. This issue really helped a lot of the weirdness sort of come together for me even though it didn’t really do anything to deserve that. It just clicked. No clue why. I’m still a big fan of Snyder, it feels like he’s really nailing the characters. This is the best Joker I’ve seen in a while, and he’s not the kind of villain you usually associate with big cosmic storylines. It does feel a little bit like the “big players” are taking the forefront. I don’t think Wonder Woman or Aquaman spoke more than a line or two, and Cheetah and Black Manta had a short, weird conversation. It makes sense though if each arc of the story shifts the focus around slightly. I definitely want to see more of all the characters, especially Hawkgirl (shoutout to Roz!), so hopefully that comes about soon.
Raven: Daughter of Darkness #7
We’re now in the second half of this not-so-mini-series! It starts out on a high note with some mystic character I’ve never heard of getting fucking sliced in half. Love it.
The issue slows down notably after that. Raven has trouble with her studies at school, her sister with the anime eyes is near death, and Baron Winters attempts to recruit her against mysterious Shadow Riders that have existed since the dawn of time to hunt down magic users. It’s a pretty decent setup and it seems like there might be a kickass magic team forming. This issue is basically just establishing where the plot is going, so it does feel a little empty. It’s essentially a first issue though, so I’ll cut it a bit of slack until the next one comes out.
Old Man Logan #46
Hooooooeee look at that cover. Looks like the good Old Man Logan covers from way earlier in the run. I love this style for him. The interior art is not quite as good, looks like another creative team change up. We’re starting off another arc where Logan teams up with the Canadian team Alpha Flight, an obligatory event since he’s Canadian. There’s some sort of scary plant thing that has covered and killed most of a small town. Looks like the creepy Upside Down tendril stuff from Stranger Things. Logan also finds out that he’s definitely dying, and is given advice by Shaman – to find his way back to his dimension or whatever so his spirit finds peace. So they’re definitely killing him off just in time for proper Logan to be back, which is fine. This story at least seems fun, it’s a mystery and it’s featuring a team I don’t see super often. All in all I’ll take it, spend a couple issues on this and then a few wrapping things up. Solicits made it seem like issue 50 comes out on Halloween and he dies there, which doesn’t make much sense since that’s 4 issues in 2 months but what the fuck do I know. They may up the pace of the book to bi-weekly to hit a nice round number. I’ll enjoy a last little adventure before the serious stuff picks up.
Thor four! It rhymes! Anyway.
Unsurprisingly the wedding between the former Queen and current King of Hel doesn’t go super well and is crashed by Sindr and a whole pile of fire demons. Thor is in the process of recruiting the Valkyries when the issue starts, and as you can probably guess from the cover he succeeds. This whole war in Hel and Valhalla puts the nature of life and death even more in a weird place since some dead people come back to life as if it’s nothing. So death and comics is still fucking wacky. The War of the Realms continues though, and I’m really enjoying Thor having hammers other than Mjolnir. The whole comic uses a painted art style which lends a really cool look to the action sequences. He seems to be improvising a lot. Also really love Thori, the dog (helhound) that he adopted and now murders everything. There’s a brief appearance from a non-Norse character – it’s Thanos, who arrived at the end of last issue. Apparently he and Hel had been dating, which is… a lot to process. Just in general. But if anyone has read Infinity Wars Prime they know some shit about Thanos’s current events so I’m not gonna worry about it. The teaser for next issue indicates it’ll be another future King Thor story which are one of my favorite things so I can’t wait.
By Night #3
This book is so charming. I laughed out loud several times reading this issue, which did not feature the main characters. Having disappeared into the weird portal last issue, their friend/lookout had to go and get Heather’s dad to try and save them. However, the portal device is apparently powered by the moon, so queue an entire awkward issue of them getting to know each other and generally quarrelling/problem solving around the property while waiting for night time. It’s just the best fuckin banter between an old grouchy dude and a young stressed out kid whose friends vanished into another dimension. I absolutely cherished every minute of it even though it didn’t do much plot wise, and gave me no information on the crazy alternate dimension. For a six issue mini-series, spending an entire issue being silly is pretty bold. But there’s some cool character interaction and we learn a few small things. Mostly though it’s super fucking fun and that’s good enough for me.
This series gets better every single issue. Last time ended with a huge reveal – Hum’s wife who he’s on a quest to save isn’t held by the Urken. She is Urken. She means to do real good in the world, but has occasional Berserker fits due to her race. This issue opens up with Hum using his Bard power to tell the story of the Urken and the Quench (the apocalypse) in long rhyming form. It’s pretty fun. The series dances perfectly between using fantasy tropes and poking fun at them, which I love. We also get to see some new stuff in the art department. During the opening Bardic narration, everything is in black and white, scratchy art style. There are also a few moments later that have a much darker and more sinister pallette. Having the contrast makes the general bright busy art that much more interesting. There’s a lot of action, but it’s hardly noticeable as it’s played out in the background of dialogue for comedic effect. I love the chemistry between Hum and Serka, they’re a lot of fun and feel like the base of a great DnD party. I can’t wait to see more of them as the series goes on. Additionally, the quest has a new objective and a few more complications that I’m excited to see play out.
Holy fucking shit the premise of this one is wacky. The main character Charlie has a crowdfunded assassination campaign taken out on her and hires a bodyguard through an app. It’s great fun, taking full advantage of this bannaners concept She hires a no-nonsense bodyguard named Vita and they go over how the day went and why an extremely well-funded hit has been taken out on Charlie. I’m sure that mystery is going to drive the story for a bit, and I’m definitely eager to find out…. The two play off each other well; Charlie is sarcastic and rude and drinks a lot while Vita is very zen but completely blunt. Charlie works something like 12 jobs using various apps modeled off real world ones like Uber. It’s a really strange world so I really want to see what the fuck is going on, so I guess this is going on the pull list.
Gideon Falls #6
“Book One” of Gideon Falls ends with this issue, which feels weird. The whole issue is very trippy and most of it doesn’t make sense yet. Norton and Angie are seeking out the place where he was found as a child, looking for answers about where he came from and how it’s tied to the Barn. Father Wilfred chases the suspect from the previous issue into the Barn, after he shoots Clara (the sheriff). That’s when everything gets weird. The art does all sorts of weird stuff. Stretch effects, repeating patterns, weird copies of objects layered over each other. On top of that there’s just weird stuff going on; a few panels with objects floating in space, Christ shows up, strange machines. I really can’t even fucking describe what the hell happens in this issue, let alone make sense of it. Which certainly works with the feeling of tension and confusion and fear that the book is cultivating. Clara getting shot is definitely the climax of this arc, and this issue definitely deals with that in a confusing fucking way. The book is on hiatus for a month, so in October “Book Two” will start and maybe I’ll get some answers.
That’s it for the week, and due to the doubled amount of books I won’t be doing an after-credit. As always, thanks for reading y’all. We’d love to see more of you engaged in the Discord, etc. Til next time.