Hey look, another double feature! Last week I had a family event that ate up all my time, so you get to read another excessively long write-up. Lucky you! The fun thing about having two offset bi-weekly books means I’ll always have either Detective Comics or Justice League to talk about, and if I push to a double feature you get both!
Detective Comics #989
I know I enjoyed the last issue, but to be honest I opened this one and saw that it was Part Two and had to fucking read my own review to remember #988. The issue feels really short and kind of bare to be honest. It does have good detective stuff – Batman talking to Alfred and Gordon (separately) to discuss what he knows, a bit of insight on the Fireflies, and then the big reveal of the mastermind behind the plot. Which brings me to an aside I’ve gone on before.
Comic covers are so fucking frustrating. They act like Two-Face being involved is a cool reveal that Batman figured out, but it’s ON THE FUCKING COVER so it doesn’t have any impact at all. The real mystery seems to be Two-Face’s motive, but it still took a lot of the flavor out of an already slightly bland issue. I’m not giving up on the arc just yet, but this issue was on the weaker side for sure.
Doomsday Clock #7
Over halfway through! If it weren’t for the delays this series would be nearly over by now. Things are definitely heating up as Doctor Manhattan enters the picture and our many separate parties collide. This issue reminds me most of Watchmen, with Manhattan being weird and cryptic and everyone else advancing different plans. It’s really weird because this world feels so much like Watchmen and then there’s a panel with Superman in it. I don’t know why he feels so much more out of place than Batman or Joker. I’m liking this more with every issue. I’m also confident the whole will be more than the sum of its parts, which is why I don’t have too much to say for each issue. There are so many things in play and pieces coming together. I hope this ends up being worthy of Watchmen.
Justice League #9
Now for something just as weird but completely different. This one takes a bit of a meandering path, showing the new homes the team are building for themselves within the Hall of Justice. Meanwhile, Superman puts the moon back together piece by piece and is attacked by sunlight-eating Coronavores while having a nice conversation with Batman. It’s pretty odd, but they fit a lot of exposition in without weighing the book down. In seeing Wonder Woman and Aquaman talk about everyone’s domains within the hall, we also see how they view their teammates and what traits shine through most for everyone. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a slice of life issue, but despite Superman being in a battle it’s somewhat peaceful. It’s a simple little one-off in between the ridiculous stuff with the Totality that happened before and whatever is coming up with The Batman Who Laughs crossover. There seems to be an event building, but we’ll see.
Raven: Daughter of Darkness #8
The theme for DC this time around is confusion. Raven and the weird magic team she’s now a part of (Night Force, not Justice League Dark or any of the other magic teams already floating around) have to battle Shadow Riders that are out to murder anyone with arcane powers. This issue is sort of a team building book, bringing in a bunch of characters that might, or might not already exist in DC canon. They’re definitely not high-tier characters, and it makes for a kinda cool team since the big magic players (Wonder Woman, Zatanna, etc) aren’t present. The Shadow Riders also have a sort of Wild Hunt energy about them which I really dig. I’m sure there are plenty of different incarnations of scary spectral beings on horseback, but the Shadow Riders appear and kill “arcanes” so it just reminds me of that sort of myth. There’s still a bunch of mystery to uncover across the last four issues.
Cosmic Ghost Rider #4
Nearly done with this insane series, unfortunately. Cosmic Ghost Rider Frank Castle is confronted by the time traveling Thanos that he raised – who is now the Punisher of his world. He shows Frank the utopia he has created, which is of course pretty fucky. Playing with time travel in this world is pretty fun since it doesn’t have to deal with the overarching consequences. Two Thanos’s in the same room, weird universe displaced Frank, it’s all fine. It gets a little bit weird going into some philosophy stuff; how much of who Frank is was set in stone, how much of his destiny can he control, etc. It feels a little out of place and isn’t anything particularly new or clever, and doesn’t detract much from the insanity of big ol’ Thanos in a Punisher costume talking to himself as a baby. Apparently Cosmic Ghost Rider is going to be on the new Guardians of the Galaxy book launching in 2019 which should be fun. Hoping for lots of weird shit from that as well, but we’ll see.
Old Man Logan #48
Another book nearing the end. Logan has to have one last conflict before Dead Man Logan starts up, and he finds it. Maestro, the super smart Hulk he dealt with back during the “Days of Anger” arc in #20ish, has taken over a town and calls himself The King. Logan shows up to fight him for some reason. I guess unfinished business, but Maestro is only loosely connected to the Hulk Gang from the original Old Man Logan so I’m not 100% sure why they have such uncooked beef between them. Wolverine debuted as a Hulk villain, then Hulk was the villain for Old Man Logan back in the day. Seems fitting to end this run on a Hulk fighting story. I still have no fucking idea what the contents of Dead Man Logan will be, but I’ll have the next damn year to find out.
I’m not doing this fucking event, I just picked up this one because it has video game Spider-Man show up and I want to play that game so I figured this might be a cool read. It’s fun and silly, a team up between Superior Spider-Man and Sony’s Marvel’s Insomniac’s Spider-Man. Otto (Superior) is trying to convince Earth-1048 (the video game. Earth Prime in Marvel is 616) Spidey to come fight some sort of spider eating vampires? I clearly fucking missed something by not reading any of the lead up to this. I didn’t enjoy Spiderverse so this one is a hard pass for me, but I will say I enjoyed this issue. Game Spidey was funny, and had a lot of personality. Pretty on-brand for most Spider-Men,but not enough to farm my money over the next week..
Dark Soul: The Age of Fire #4
This one feels like it had a long break too, but what the fuck do I know. This apparently also only had four issues? We see the continued fall of Arkon, who seems to be chief among the Black Knights. Lordran has begun to crumble. New Londo is not yet in ruins and Izalith hasn’t been lost, but both are burning and infested with darkness and evil. Gwyn has apparently fallen already, and Seath is up to bad stuff because he’s like that. So despite being called the Age of Fire, it’s definitely more the age of smokey embers. It’s pretty cool seeing some characters that were important in the games as well as some that are just specific to the story. A lot of the previous Dark Souls books have felt too disconnected from the games by focusing exclusively on original characters. However, if it only included main characters from the lore we would probably just be seeing stories we already know, so the balance is nice. I’m also really curious how all of the Dark Souls comics fit into the grand timeline, not that it makes much fucking sense in continuity. Still, it has everything I wanted from this book. Beautiful art, a bit of action, and an excuse to spend more time in the world of Dark Souls. Now that there are series for both Dark Souls and Bloodborne running on and off, I wonder if they’ll collide in any way or if Demon’s Souls will make an appearance. Either way, it seems Titan has finally gotten these books right and I hope to see more going forward.
That’s all folks! Despite being a double week it ended up not being too much, but it happens! Check in next time for whatever happens next I don’t fucking know. I should keep track, but that would spoil the surprise. Til then.
Comic Wolf’s Post Credit
As promised, a brief discussion of the Tea Dragon Society card game! I picked the game up expecting very little. It’s only $20 and is small and light, so I figured if nothing else it would have cute art. It ended up being a pleasant surprise. The game is pretty simple. Each turn you can draw or buy. The cards you draw may be worth money to use to buy, but some of your cards force you to discard and lose money or resources. You have to balance using both actions to buy from two different pools. One deck is items, which give you some help. The other deck is Memories, and that’s the core mechanic.
The game is divided into seasons, spring to winter. Each has a memory deck with increasingly expensive cards. Memory cards are mostly how you earn points, and when all but one is bought up for a season the game moves on to the next.
It’s not complex, but doesn’t feel completely bereft of strategy. Once you get a bit into the flow it moves quickly, which is good so nobody gets bored or antsy. The game is published by Renegade and feels a bit like a stripped down version of their Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game which I also like. If you’re looking for something small, portable, and fun with some of the cutest art ever I definitely recommend this one for your gaming group!