Ray: Joshua Williamson continues to throw Damian Wayne into the most fun book in the DCU. After last issue’s reunion with the whole Robin gang, Damian chose to return to the League of Lazarus tournament—just in time for the tournament to begin anew once everyone had their first strike. Essentially a game where a whole lot of assassins—and a disturbing number of teenagers—compete to kill each other and get resurrected with the third death being permanent, it’s a great showcase for artist Gleb Melnikov. He gets to draw some of the most spectacular fight scenes in comics, this issue pitting Damian against not one but two opponents—the generic assassin Blue Shrike, and the monstrous Tengu. Damian essentially speedrunning the first two routes of the tournament and being told to sit down and take a break by Mother Soul is a hilarious little twist and perfectly in character.
And that’s where this book really excels—for a bloody martial arts comic, it’s actually got some fantastic character work. An unlikely little siblinghood is forming between some of the younger competitors including Damian, Flatline, Ravager, and Connor Hawke. Flatline in particular is turning out to be a fantastic character, with an origin tied to Lord Death Man that adds some new layers to that creepy villain. Damian, naturally, mistrusts just about everyone and some with good reason, but we see some bonds forming—especially with Flatline. And then there’s Respawn, the Deathstroke-inspired young troll who seems to be completely unafraid of death and works to unnerve the other young players. I’m guessing we’re learning a lot more about him next month as he and Damian continue to face off, but honestly the background stuff here is just as good as the front-and-center combat. It’s the spotlight Damian has needed for a long time.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.
This post was last modified on September 27, 2021 4:40 pm
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