Red Hood #52 – Shawn Martinbrough, Writer; Tony Akins, Moritat, Pencillers; Stefano Gaudiano, Inker; Paul Mounts, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The guest creative team brings this title’s run to an end—for now—with a compelling issue that finds Jason settling back into his old digs and being greeted with a gang war. A corrupt rapper named Tommy Maxx is making a play for control of his sector of Gotham, and he’s brought in Killer Croc for backup. Tied in with this, Jason has reunited with a pair of sisters he was close with before he was adopted by Bruce. The sisters are feuding over a tragedy that happened to their aging father during Joker War, and one of them has taken a dangerous approach to getting justice. This issue has some strong character interactions and a great, gritty action vibe that’s been missing from the title. Unfortunately, it’s also rather rushed and lacks the room to breath that made the last issue such a pleasant surprise. Still, this is the best take on Red Hood and his MO as a vigilante we’ve had in a while.
Batman: White Knight Presents Harley Quinn #3 – Katana Collins, Sean Murphy, Writers; Matteo Scalera, Artist; Dave Stewart, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: While not quite up to the level of Sean Murphy’s original series, this continues to be an intriguing spotlight for Harley Quinn. Partnering with FBI agent Hector Quimby on a case relating to Golden Age Hollywood, Harley’s confronted with a kind of obsession that calls back to her own darkest moments. I appreciated the inclusion of Simon Trent, aka the Grey Ghost, as the latest target of the retro costumed killer targeting aged stars. The reveal of Hector’s parentage casts him in a darker light and leads to a tense confrontation with his mother at her mansion later in the issue, but we’ve only started to look at the larger conspiracy here. While the flapper-themed serial killer poses the big threat, this issue reveals that she may just be a pawn in a far bigger plan. We’re at the halfway point of this series, I believe, and the best thing it has going for it is it’s era-hopping sense of mystery.
The Last God #11 – Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Writer; Riccardo Federici, Artist; Allen Passalaqua, Arif Prianto, Sunny Gho, Colorists
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Incoming Superman writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson is entering the last stage of his creator-owned epic, and for the first time it looks like we’re sticking to one timeline. The flashbacks are done, and this issue takes place entirely in the present day as we deal with the fallout of Tyr’s sins. The reveal that Eyvindr is actually Tyr’s illegitimate son wasn’t completely unexpected, but was executed well. The various players have secrets revealed, betrayals are made, and characters seek redemption or choose corruption. But we all know what we’re really here for—the monsters. This has been one of the most visually spectacular series DC has put out in a while, and the “final boss” monsters that emerge at the end of the issue have been worth the wait. Riccardo Federici has come a long way since he filled in for Stepan Sejic on Aquaman, and this should be one hell of a finale next month.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.