Ray: Fighting Gorilla Grodd is a pretty tough midterm for the Academy kids, but Tim Sheridan has managed to create a pretty compelling story out of this field trip from school. That’s because unlike past stories, this one doesn’t try to balance out the massive cast Only a small percentage of the students made the field trip, and even with all of them, the story neatly focuses on Grodd’s nephew Gorilla Gregg. Grodd has created a brainwashed army out of the citizens of West Nyack, and plans to expand his reach to the whole country soon. The question is if Gregg can resist his uncle’s influence and maintain control of his own mind—at least enough to protect Summer, who he’s forming a tight bond with. The plot still feels rushed at points, and Grodd isn’t nearly as menacing as he usually is, but this story has a better emotional core than the first arc. Hopefully it’ll continue to build with character-focused stories.
Ray: Liam Sharp draws some fantastic creepy creatures, and the art is a little brighter this issue—meaning we can actually see them. That’s about the best thing I can say about this series, which is constantly hamstrung by its bizarre take on Batman. The opening few pages are just Batman and Killer Croc being hunted by an enraged newborn monster, as Batman encourages Croc to either breastfeed the creature or breed with it. Needless to say, this is quite a random take on Croc, and much of the dialogue is about the strange nature of the villain’s DNA. With the creature on the loose, Batman, Croc, and a group of civilians try to escape, building to an explosive finish that really has no emotional stakes. The visuals are good, but the story doesn’t match up. I particularly wasn’t a fan of the way Batman seems to casually torment his Russian informant with little regard for his welfare. Ennis just doesn’t quite fit in the DCU.
Ray: The final chapter of Shiloh Norman’s journey continues the pattern of the rest of the series—he’s a really good character, but the story surrounding him isn’t quite as compelling as the more personal stuff. The character of N’vir Free, the erstwhile daughter of Scott and Barda, occasionally has some pathos to her but overall comes across as a ranting maniac of a villain. But when Shiloh gets some unexpected visitors from his past, the series’ emotional core is in full focus and it’s some of the best scenes of the run. Ultimately, there are too many scenes that are just Shiloh and his Mother Box talking about the various cosmic permutations of the story for it to click all the way, but Brandon Easton and Fico Ossio have done a good job of distinguishing Shiloh from the other Mister Miracles and giving him his own narrative and backstory that has a lot of promise for future stories.
Ray: The first issue of this new creator-owned horror series had some interesting things to say about faith and fraud, but the second seems to be descending into simple gross-out horror-comedy. Edgar Wiggins, the would-be exorcist, has accidentally killed his friend and summoned a strange little purple blob that may be a demon or something else entirely. This leads to flashbacks to the young man’s long and weird history with miracles and exorcism, which includes a particularly disgusting “miracle” he observed in Seminary. The caustic tone about Catholicism and evangelism will likely meet with mixed results, but I thought it had its clever points. What was lacking was any real appeal to the grotesque series of violence in the last few pages, which takes the story in a very different direction. Right now, the DC Horror line doesn’t seem to be delivering the same level of quality Hill House did.
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 November 1, 2021 2:36 pm
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