Batman: Reptilian #2 – Garth Ennis, Writer; Liam Sharp, Artist
Ray – 5/10
Ray: Liam Sharp remains one of the best artists working in the industry, and his brilliantly detailed art can bring any story to life—as long as you give him what to work with. Unfortunately, the script to this issue often leads to muddled, overly dark art that only hints at the horrible carnage unleashed—and honestly, it’s probably best we don’t see some of these details. The concept of some sort of carnivorous predator ravaging Gotham villains is intriguing, but two issues in we still don’t know much. That’s not really the big problem here, though. The problem is that this isn’t a Batman story. I don’t know who this overly violent, crass vigilante is, but it’s not Batman. He cripples people after a jury finds them innocent. He delays medical help for his villains so he can interrogate them. He blackmails reformed henchmen into endangering himself. Some creators just don’t mesh with the DCU, and Ennis may be one of them.
Teen Titans Academy #5 – Tim Sheridan, Writer; Steve Lieber, Artist; Dave Stewart, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: This is a weird series, because the further it gets away from its original concept, the better it is. Steve Lieber continues on art for a second issue focusing on the trio of Gotham delinquents investigating Red X, and their flashback this issue is surprisingly effective. All residents of a shady Gotham orphanage—one taking advantage of the constant murders that create orphans—they uncover a conspiracy involving missing kids that leads one of them to go undercover—and undergo a unique transformation. These three characters are likable and their team-up with Nightwing is exciting, but things slip once they get back to the academy. Red X reveals his identity—but we don’t see it, dragging out the mystery further. The ending drives home how fast this book is going while we actually know very little about the characters in it. It’s a great concept that isn’t living up to its potential right now.
Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom #3 – Brandon Easton, Writer; Fico Ossio, Artist; Rico Renzi, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: This is a comic with a lot of interesting things on its mind, but its biggest plot is its least compelling. The mysterious daughter (supposedly) of Scott Free and Big Barda is out for revenge, and she’s so overpowered that much of this issue is her just batting Shiloh around and him desperately trying to survive. We get some hints of her motivation this issue, but she’s just not that compelling a character so far. What is more interesting is the backstory and supporting cast. While Shiloh’s agent isn’t exactly a likable character, I enjoyed watching him scramble through the puzzle box that is the Mister Miracle legacy. Particularly intriguing is the arrival of a major player from the JLI era who may know something about what’s caused this villain to come calling. The ending, though, is so out of nowhere and dark that I struggle to figure out where this series is going to go in the back half.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.