Hawkman #28 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Fernando Pasarin, Penciller; Oclair Albert, Wade Von Grawbadger, Inkers; Jeromy Cox, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: As we hit the penultimate issue of Robert Venditti’s strong reinvention of the Hawkman mythology, we finally see the Hawks pitted against their arch-nemesis Hath-Set, who killed them in their past life in Egypt. Now living among them as a corrupt businessman with his hands in dark magic, Hath-Set intends to take advantage of the Hawks new mortality and end the cycle once and for all. This comic does a good job of capturing Carter’s genuine anxiety as he grapples with mortality for the first time in eons – although I wish they had given some of the same to Shayera. She’s maybe a bit too stoic about the whole thing. The Hawks chase down Hath-Set to a big showdown on the train that involves zombies and several close calls, but the ending indicates that we’re about to get a very big question answered. Not one of the best issues of the series, but a compelling read.
Justice League Odyssey #25 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Will Conrad, Artist; Rain Beredo, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: It’s been a long, strange journey with two writers and two totally different incarnations of the team to get here, but Justice League Odyssey wraps up this issue with an explosive finale. Jessica Cruz has been at the heart of this comic since the start, and it’s great to see her get her rematch with Darkseid after being “killed” by him earlier in the run. On the other hand, Starfire and especially Azrael have been largely irrelevant in this comic since the first year, and their return doesn’t have much impact. This series got a lot stronger when it focused on the oddball “B-team”, and they steal the show here – especially Dex-Starr, who is both getting better characterization here than in any other book AND is an adorable little murder-machine. The normal-sized issue has a lot of lifting to do, covering the end of this plot and setting up several others, but it largely sticks the landing in a satisfying way.
The Batman’s Grave #11 – Warren Ellis, Writer; Bryan Hitch, Artist; Alex Sinclair, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: The penultimate issue of Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch’s Batman saga finally sends Batman up against the mysterious Scorn one-on-one, as Scorn’s army attacks the GCPD headquarters. Now that we know Scorn is yet another manifestation of the Dark Batman archetype, alongside Prometheus and Wrath, it’s hard to get too invested in him. He’s an angry white boy who wants to avenge his murderer father and has chosen to blame society. Nothing new. But Where this issue is strong is in Batman’s inner voice and his interaction with his two closest allies, Alfred and Gordon. Batman is forced to confront his own personal self-destructive instincts as he goes up against a twisted version of himself, and that works as a character study. Bryan Hitch’s art is brilliant as always, but with only one issue to go, the story doesn’t live up to the craft put into the visuals.