DC This Week

DC This Week Roundup – Heroes of the Sky and Sea

Black Manta #3 variant cover, via DC Comics,

Black Manta #3 – Chuck Brown, Writer; Matthew Dow Smith, Artist; Marissa Louise, Colorist

Ray – 8/10

Ray: From the start, the new villain Devil Ray has had a lot of similarities to Black Manta. A black militant looking to take Atlantis for his people, he’s escalated his tactics even beyond the original—who is trying to hunt him down. Flashbacks reveal a little more about the mysterious woman and her giant steed, as well as the history of ancient Atlantis and its ties to Queen Nubia of Themyscira. This issue is very much a transition one, with Black Manta and his henchwoman Gallous in search of the new villain, while Devil Ray gets ready to make his move on Atlantis. The presence of Gentleman Ghost as Manta’s unwilling assistant adds a magical twist to the story, but this issue doesn’t quite have the punch of the second one. While it maybe tries to do too many things in twenty pages, it’s doing a great job of getting us to sympathize with and care about one of Aquaman’s most notorious foes.

Titans United #3 cover, via DC Comics.

Titans United #3 – Cavan Scott, Writer; Jose Luis, Penciller; Jonas Trinidade, Inker; Rex Lokus, Colorist

Ray – 7/10

Ray: The Titans are fractured, and their villains are taking full advantage in this third issue. Not only has Superboy potentially lost his powers, but he’s been captured by Blackfire. Unlike the TV version (who also has a very different design), this version has no moral scruples and sets out torturing her half-Kryptonian captive to fully understand his biology. Back on Earth, Lady Vic and her genetically altered henchmen—who have Beast Boy’s abilities—put up a fight for the Titans, leaving most of them stuck in a fight scene for much of the issue. The only one who gets the chance to stand out is Jason Todd, who pulls off a highly dangerous chase by hitching his entirely human body to a moving plane. One thing this series gets very right is the way it essentially portrays Jason as Dick’s chaotic little brother rather than a villain. But overall, it’s mostly a few good dialogue bits and action scenes amid a fairly generic plot.

Related Post
Static: Year One #4 cover, via DC Comics.

Static: Season One #4 – Vita Ayala, Writer; ChrisCross/Nikolas Draper-Ivey, Artists

Ray – 8/10

Ray: We’ve had three issues to get to know Virgil Hawkins, and now it’s time for Static to shine. With Hotstreak cutting a deal with the government and becoming their enforcer, he’s led the feds right to the Hawkins’ front door. Virgil’s parents—and the neighborhood—send them packing in a hurry, but the government is rounding up bang babies and Virgil knows he can’t run forever. So he gets proactive, using the tech Metcalf left him to design his first costume and gear. The big fight doesn’t begin until the last act, but I liked that Darius, Richie, and Freida are all involved here, knowing Virgil’s secret ID and backing him up in the field. I also think Sharon’s been aged up a little, being a paramedic now instead of a college girl who fights with Virgil constantly. The little character beats in this book are what help it stand out from other teen superhero books right now.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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This post was last modified on November 8, 2021 6:49 pm

Ray Goldfield

Ray Goldfield is a comics superfan going back almost thirty years. When he's not reading way too many comics a week, he is working on his own writing. The first installment in his young adult fantasy-adventure, "Alex Actonn, Son of Two Seas", is available in Amazon now.

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