Red Hood: Outlaw #49 – Scott Lobdell, Writer; Paolo Pantalena, Artist; Arif Prianto, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Ray: This series will continue past October, but this is the penultimate issue of the single story that’s run through the many versions of this title since 2011. As a celebration, Scott Lobdell is doing a time-travel story that brings back multiple versions of the Outlaws from through time—including the one featuring the now-deceased Roy Harper. This brings a few genuinely emotional moments, as Jason Todd is confronted with all he’s lost over the run, but too much of the issue is devoted to a strange subplot involving Bizarro winding up as king of Trigon’s realm (after killing the villain way too easily). That leaves Bizarro forced to stay behind to guard the realm and protect the world. It’s not the first time Bizarro was abruptly written out. Overall, this is an overstuffed issue that doesn’t quite hit the emotional highs the writer is looking for, especially the odd subplot involving Jason’s rarely-mentioned love interest.
WW1984: Museum Madness #1 – Anna Abropta, Louise Simonson, Steve Pugh, Writers; Bret Blevins, Marguerite Sauvage, Artists; Steve Buccellato, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The movie might be indefinitely delayed, but this tie-in to Wonder Woman 1984 delivers a satisfying story co-written by a legend of comics—Louise Simonson. Packaged with a Steve Pugh/Marguerite Sauvage story that was originally printed in the digital-first books and focuses on Diana trying to get her lasso of truth back from some teenage thieves, the main story takes place at a museum filled with ancient artifacts and gemstones—one that’s about to get a new researcher in Barbara Minerva. But the most immediate threat is a group of thieves looking to raid the museum—and take as many hostages as they need. Diana, who works as a curator and is currently mentoring a trio of teenagers in an after-school detention program, has to frequently switch identities and juggle a lot of balls as she tries to protect innocent lives and end the threat. A few details indicate this is the movie Wonder Woman, but overall this is a fun evergreen story ideal for fans of any version.
John Constantine: Hellblazer #10 – Simon Spurrier, Writer; Matias Bergara, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: As this Sandman Universe title winds down its last arc, this issue is one of the most intense and creepy of the run. What starts like a fairly normal day for John takes a disturbing turn when he encounters his future self and goes on a bizarre journey of the soul. This elderly Constantine has given up on just about every shred of morality as a result of the future war he took part in, and he’s determined to see his present self take his first step down that journey. As Constantine and Constantine walk a dark path that leads them to the Dreaming, John’s friends—such as they are—encounter their own terrible trials set upon them by their friend’s doppelganger. This is a twisty issue that suffers a bit from the overly dense text, making it challenging to read at points, but it gets the most compelling part of John Constantine’s story. His greatest enemy, as always, is himself.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.