Teen Titans #44 – Robbie Thompson, Writer; Javier Fernandez, Artist; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 4/10
Ray: We know Teen Titans is ending in a few months, and it seems like Damian Wayne’s tenure as Robin might be ending with it. This entire run has been a long jump off the slippery slope for the former hero, starting with him opening a secret prison for supervillains and moving into him committing murder. This issue has him fully turn on his former teammates, waging a one-kid war against crime as they try to stop him from killing KG Beast – who he has a personal grudge against. Much of the issue is just the rest of the Titans talking about what to do with him, while the villains he imprisoned are plotting their revenge. Of course, we all know the main event is coming – father and son having it out. This is an all-star collection of villains, including Deathstroke, but it feels less like a big finale and more like an inevitable descent to everything falling apart. What a waste of Damian’s carefully-built characterization.
Metal Men #9 – Dan Didio, Writer; Shane Davis, Artist; Michelle Delecki, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: This series has been one of the more ambitious Metal Men stories told, tackling the question of what makes something truly alive and introducing a mysterious new Nth Metal Man with his own agenda. The issue is, the various elements of the story often feel at odds. That’s the case with this issue, as the awakened Metal Men face off against an equally self-aware Chemo, who has the ability to make his own decisions for the first time – and has chosen evil. Seeing him as a thinking, purely evil being is pretty terrifying, given the amount of destruction he can deal out, and the way he’s defeated is clever. Less compelling is the story involving the Nth Metal Man and oddly, the Phantom Stranger. We finally learn a little about where he came from and what his real agenda is, but it seems like we’ll have to wait for the main origin next issue. It feels like it’s been too long since he did anything of note in this series.
Catwoman #24 – Blake Northcott, Sean Murphy, Writers; Cian Tormey, Artist; FCO Plascencia, Colorist
Ray – 5/10
Ray: The last fill-in issue before Ram V’s run begins, this storyline has brought controversial writer Blake Northcott to the DCU, and pitted Selina against a character with his own thorny history. The return of Snowflame, the bizarre cocaine-themed 80s character, was unexpected, but he’s basically become a stock villain who enslaved a latin-american country and rules over a mini-empire. Selina goes up against a little girl who controls a giant panther-god, then befriends them and wages a war against Snowflame’s compound both for money and to claim her prize. Selina’s character isn’t botched here – she has the same Robin Hood vibe she always does – but the villain she’s up against is so over the top it basically ruins the tone of the issue. Despite the addition of Sean Murphy to the creative team, it doesn’t really feel like this story is going to be remembered as much more than a fill-in.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.