Catwoman #34 – Ram V, Writer; Fernando Blanco, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: This issue was hyped up as the long-awaited return of Batman to Catwoman’s book, but that turns out to be a short part that essentially shows off the bond between the two heroes but has them drift apart before the end. Instead, this issue is mostly dedicated to a long, brutal rematch between Selina and the deranged Father Valley, who nearly killed her last issue. As Detective Hadley races against time to help Selina and protect her loved ones, Valley escalates his war and adds a personal attack against those closest to Selina. I missed the various supporting characters, especially Shoes (who has been oddly absent ever since the massive reveal as to her identity), but this issue is a master class in tension. The fight segment is strong, and it all builds to a devastating, status-quo-changing finale that seems to spell the end for a major player. It’s a fast-paced issue, but one that delivers.
Shazam! #2 – Tim Sheridan, Writer; Clayton Henry, Artist; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: After a rough first issue, this series seems to have found its footing a bit with a second issue that added some of what every Shazam series needs—fun. Billy and Dane have entered the underworld to try to find the Rock of Eternity, but what they find isn’t fire and brimstone—but a surprising Vegas-like den of sin. A series of mishaps at a casino lead to a showdown with a demon gangster, as well as a new potential ally for Billy in the demon’s femme fatale daughter. The action and dialogue is pretty fun, although it still feels barely like a Shazam story and Billy is a bit overly sullen and sarcastic. Dane is a surprising bonus to this series, as the snarky magic-user causes some chaos and makes some bad decisions before debuting his true powers in a nice surprise in the cliffhanger. It’s a fast-paced issue that doesn’t have the downer tone of the debut, but this plot still leaves something to be desired.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.