Batman: White Knight Presents Harley Quinn #2 – Katana Collins, Sean Murphy, Writers; Matteo Scalera, Artist; Dave Stewart, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The first spin-off in the White Knight verse continues to be an intriguing read, even if it’s definitely missing something from the main series. The story moves fast, with Harley going after Neo-Joker as the prime suspect in the Producer murders. After a brief fight, they compare notes and we find out that Neo-Joker isn’t alone. This reveal won’t make many fans happy, but it sort of makes sense – after all, this series very much portrays Harley and the deceased Jack Napier as true loves. A look into the past of their relationship continues to muddy the waters, making Joker seem more like a genuine victim of mental illness than most versions. There’s a chaotic feel to the story that’s sort of lampshaded by Renee Montoya as Harley’s reluctant handler, and the villain’s reveal on the last page is a great visual. Still, with no iconic villain in this run so far, it doesn’t have the punch of the main two minis.
Legion of Super-Heroes #11 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Ryan Sook, Penciller; Wade Von Grawbadger, Inker; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: This title continues to be scattered all over the place, with plot threads on multiple planets, but most of them are pretty compelling. When we last left off, we learned that Mon-El – who had just quit the Legion – was a father with a family of his own. The reveal that Zod’s son, Lor-Zod, is now the ruler of Krypton and is still alive, is pretty intriguing as well. A giant dragon attack in the middle of that story looks amazing but doesn’t seem to add much to the story. Meanwhile, the main villain Mordru has been teased for a while, but his arrival this issue doesn’t quite have the impact of some of the other plots. Jon Kent, whose arrival caused no shortage of controversy in this book, finally finds out the big secret that everyone is trying to keep from him, and it sets up a nice showdown for next month’s finale of the first year. It’s hard to balance a Legion cast of hundreds in the best of times, but Bendis is giving it a good go.
John Constantine, Hellblazer #12 – Simon Spurrier, Writer; Aaron Campbell, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: While this title is ending with twelve, DC was nice enough to give the creative team almost twice as many pages to wrap it up. It definitely needed it, because even with that extra space it’s a very dense issue. Last issue revealed that Constantine was being stalked by an unexpected enemy in addition to being tormented by an alternate version of himself and that all comes home for the grand finale. I was glad to see the return of the “hipster wizard” Spurrier introduced earlier in this run, even if he’s having a much less pleasant time this time. This story ultimately comes down to Constantine, Noah, and the way anything Constantine touches tends to get corrupted. We’re seeing similar themes in Tom Taylor’s current Black Label Hellblazer series, but this one has much more of an authentic, gritty Vertigo feel. That also makes it less accessible, with the dark art style and heavy narration often making it slightly difficult to follow and less satisfying than the rest of the run.
The Last God #10 – Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Writer; Riccardo Federici, Artist; Arif Prianto, Allen Passalaqua, Sunny Gho, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: As we enter the last act of this epic fantasy, the horrors of the past are fully laid bare. We’ve known that thirty years ago, the future King Tyr made some sort of deal with the devil to gain his power, and atrocities were committed that led to the rise of the Flowering Dead. But as an unexpected return from the past age shows up in the present, we get to see those horrors brought to vivid life. The art by Riccardo Federici is easily a career-best, with some of the most horrific monsters in any comic in recent memory. The pacing and the jumps between the two timelines can still have a few glitches, but overall the narrative is getting smoother as the comic heads towards its epic conclusion. This started out as Game of Thrones meets The Walking Dead, but it’s as much about the hidden sins of leadership than anything. There are a lot of layers here, and I have no doubt it’s going to be a classic when it’s collected.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.