DC Comics Reviews Week of 3/25/2020
Your intrepid reviewer has been working from home in the post-apocalypse, and the future of weekly comics is highly uncertain as we write this, but we wanted to make sure you got this week’s DC comic reviews. DC didn’t have any #1 books out this week, just a lot of ongoing favorites, so in this post we’re going to break down the week’s DC Superhero family releases – Action Comics, Supergirl, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Justice League Dark, Amethyst, and Legion of Super-Heroes. Suicide Squad #4, one of the best books of the week, received its own spotlight review.
Stay safe at home, check out our DC Comics reviews, and read some good comics!
DC Comics Reviews: Superman: Action Comics #1021 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; John Romita Jr., Penciller; Klaus Janson, Inker; Brad Anderson, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
This has been the most explosive arc of the title since Bendis jumped on, with Leviathan and the Legion of Doom descending on Metropolis and Superman teaming up with Young Justice to fight back. John Romita Jr’s art continues to be strong – except Grodd looking like a bear this issue – but this issue mostly belongs to Robinson Goode, aka the Red Cloud.
Her alliance with Luthor’s Legion has always been tentative, despite him giving her the upgraded powers, and this issue sets the tone for her to potentially face-turn. Or does it? Her true loyalty has always been to Leone, not any of the “republic serial villains”? The best part of this issue? The dialogue, especially when Superman is interacting with Conner Kent and figuring out where they stand as family. The weakest part? Any time Leviathan opens his mouth and monologues. Overall, I’m excited to see where this title goes as it catches up with Superman’s identity reveal.
DC Comics Reviews: Supergirl #40 – Jody Houser, Writer; Rachel Stott, Artist; Cris Peter, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
It was announced last month that Supergirl would be ending its run in two months (if those last issues ever come out, given current events).
That means the last act will mostly be taken up by her possessed by the Batman Who Laughs, but Jody Houser has still managed to weave a compelling story out of this tie-in plot. That’s mostly because she’s writing a pretty great Wonder Woman, who has been called to Smallville to fight off the possessed Supergirl’s attempt to infect the town.
Diana does a solid job of getting to the core of Kara’s vulnerability that has let the villain get into her head – unlike Superman, she never quite feels at home on Earth and always worried Earth sees her as a threat. Karas’s inner monologue is strong, and this issue has done the best job yet of getting inside how the Infected minds’ work. The only issue is – it doesn’t quite end, instead spinning off into an already-concluded miniseries. It’s only through Houser’s skilled writing that it overcomes that issue.
The Flash #752 – Joshua Williamson, Writer; Howard Porter, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Howard Porter returns to this title for an issue that’s one of Josh Williamson’s finest hours. When we last left off, Godspeed had turned on Paradox, but it was all for nothing, as the new villain seemingly killed Barry and sent him to the afterlife – where he was met with his mother. This issue opens with gorgeous visuals as Barry is introduced to his personal heaven, Flash City, where he’s reunited with all his partners and everyone he ever saved. But it doesn’t take long to figure out that it’s all a lie, and soon Barry is sent off on a brutal tour through Paradox’s dimension. His body pushed to the limit, he’s forced to learn from the villain’s survival techniques and eventually seek out his greatest enemy for an unlikely team-up. If this is Josh Williamson’s final act on this title, it’s a worthy one. Williamson has upped the stakes and delivered an excellent issue before what looks like a major final showdown.
Wonder Woman #754 – Steve Orlando, Writer; Gelb Melnikov, Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Steve Orlando’s been building towards a major battle against the Four Horsemen in his Wonder Woman run, but the rest of his run has been jumping all over the place – including to deep space. Last issue saw the young Princess Maxima, the gay ruler of Almerac, showing up in Diana’s kitchen seeking her help. So Wonder Woman #754 sends Diana off to her home planet to help bring a bit of modernity to that world.
This is essentially a story about Wonder Woman fighting to bring gay marriage to aliens, which is oddly fitting. Watching Maxima in action is great – this character was an entertaining supporting cast member from a Supergirl run years back – but the villain is a weak spot. An evil would-be king exploiting Almerac’s bigotry to steal the throne, he feels like a stock character right out of a Disney movie. But he doesn’t serve much purpose besides to be a punching bag for the badass ladies in this book. Overall, entertaining, and hopefully Orlando’s remaining issues (whenever they come out) will bring a strong finish to the Four Horsemen story.
Justice League Dark #21 – James Tynion IV, Ram V, Writers; Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Penciller; Raul Fernandez, Inker; June Chung, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ram V, taking over on script for James Tynion IV, hasn’t missed a beat in this often-disturbing supernatural hero book. With the world under assault from a fungal infection creating mushroom zombies, the heroes trace the root of the threat back to Swamp Thing’s domain, sending Zatanna and Constantine off on a high-stakes mission.
The tone here is more unambiguously Vertigo than the series has been so far, from the horror-themed visuals to the muted color palette. A subplot involving a mutating Animal Man trying to help the other heroes survive the invasion delivers some great visuals, but it doesn’t pack the suspense of the other segment. Alvaro Martinez Bueno, staying on from the previous creative team, is a master of action and horror, and the series excels in both big moments and small. What Tynion and now Ram V are building with Zatanna and Constantine is particularly interesting, and there are a few major developments for both of them this issue. Great as always.
Legion of Super-Heroes #5 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Ryan Sook, Scott Godlewski, Wade Von Grawbadger, Artists; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
This title is packed with interesting ideas, but I’m not sure the execution does them any favor. It’s essentially a series about teenagers caught in the middle of a very complex intergalactic political scene, and the flashbacks to the Legion’s founding make it clear that it’s all built on a fragile foundation.
The issue starts with a tense standoff between the Science Police and the Legion, defused by Brainiac 5 in the story’s best scene. But this is the most Bendis-y of Bendis’ many books, with extended sequences of multiple characters arguing over the best approach taking up much of the issue. While Jon Kent spent much of last issue learning the origins of the core three last issue, now it’s Brainiac 5’s turn to have his origin story. Other than that, not much happen, but it’s a well-written limbo. Maybe the most intriguing thing is the non-subtle Doomsday Clock reference dropped in this issue. Is a follow-up coming in another Bendis book?
Amethyst #2 – Amy Reeder, Writer/Artist
Ray – 9.5/10
Amy Reeder’s addition to the Wonder Comics line has delivered in just about every way, thanks to a great art style that fully captures the scope of Gemworld and a cast of compelling characters. Grounded in Amy Winston’s story as a girl caught between two worlds, Amethyst #2 kicks off with an affecting segment focusing on a young Amy being introduced to Gemworld by Citrine and Granch as she mourns the parents she never got to know.
But in the present day, things are much faster-paced. Amy is rejected by allies, sent on the run, and finds unlikely allies in the warrior Phoss, her giant worm Stan, and a ship full of magical roughnecks. This issue is a journey, veering wildly in tone several times in only twenty pages until a massive reveal in the last act that sets the emotional stakes high for the next issue. Building on decades of mythology for the character and her world, this is shaping up like it could be the definitive Amethyst story if it holds this level of quality.
That’s it for the DC Comics reviews this week. Let’s hope we will still have comics next week. If not, we’ll work out something to bring you, perhaps a best of list.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received these comics for review.
Find all our DC Comics reviews at DC This Week.