Justice League Odyssey #23 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Will Conrad, Artist; Rain Beredo, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: With only three issues to go until the finale, the big showdown against Darkseid is finally here. After last issue’s spotlight for Jessica Cruz, she’s mostly missing this issue as the rest of the heroes battle to survive. Eskaton and Darkseid are at war, with the ancient powerhouse holding off the mad god but eventually falling short. That leads to a strong high-intensity issue as everyone scrambles for their next plan, be it to work with Epoch to reboot the timestream – or something very different. Dex-Starr steals the show for much of the issue, but it’s Cyborg and Jessica Cruz who have the issue’s best scenes as it turns out that Victor’s mind may not be entirely gone. It’s a little surprising how long the original core heroes have been out of focus here, but it’s been for the best given the story, and the end-of-issue betrayal sets the stakes nice and high for the last few issues.
The Batman’s Grave #9 – Warren Ellis, Writer; Bryan Hitch, Artist; Alex Sinclair, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: As we enter the last arc of this stand-alone Batman series, Batman is finally on the trail of the mastermind behind the Scorn Army – but the hunt may be taking its toll on his mental health. When we last left off, Bruce had declared himself the new head of Arkham in the wake of a disaster there, and his banter with Gordon as they try to puzzle through the case and find the right strategy is strong. Then the villain attacks with a massive drone assault, and the issue once again segues into a series of splashy Bryan Hitch action scenes. This series always looks great, but it rarely has a story that feels like it lives up to that promise. The only scenes where this issue really takes off is when Bruce and Alfred are snarking at each other in the last few pages and Alfred cuts to the core of some of Bruce’s biggest issues. It’s always just short of greatness, but rarely gets there.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes