Ray: The Lanterns are still in chaos as writer Geoffrey Thorne reinvents the Corps from the ground up. But they’re not just in disarray—they’re not even on the same timeline. John Stewart is countless years in the past, on a team-up with the New Gods as he discovers that his powers may be about to evolve in unpredictable ways. It’s an interesting wrinkle that will help to make John stand out from the many other Lanterns, but I’m not sure how it’ll be executed. Meanwhile on Oa, things are even more chaotic as a depowered Simon Baz faces down a rebellion by the many ring-less Lanterns. As Jo Mullein continues to take control of the Corps as the only one with a working ring, she and a partner from Colu begin to investigate the role of the Guardians in all this—and discover the identity of a traitor. It’s a fast-paced, tense story that’s torn in many different directions so far, but it’s definitely holding my interest.
Ray: This book has gotten a lot better since it embraced the ridiculous. With two different Squad teams being formed, it’s turned into a recruitment race to pick up the most powerful villains, and Rick Flagg’s anti-Squad is winning. The newest recruit on Waller’s squad, Major Force, doesn’t really make a good impression since he’s most associated with the notorious Women in Refrigerators moment, and I suspect Thompson knows no one’s going to like him—he spends most of his time here threatening Ambush Bug. But there are a lot of interesting little moments, including a reveal about Talon and some intriguing interactions between Nocturna and Match. The main plot, involving a heist on the destroyed Oa, ups the stakes and delivers some very entertaining action scenes. It’s not a patch on the inventive Tom Taylor run, but it’s more intriguing than any of the Squad runs from the years before.
Ray: What do you get when you combine a bunch of bikers and a ravenous shark’s head? Nothing too good. This title continues to double down on the tone of the first issue, embracing its splatterpunk roots. I was intrigued when we saw the return of June Branch, the survivor of the original Joe Hill miniseries. Now working as a preschool teacher, she’s stalked by mysterious FBI agents (or are they?) who think she knows more about the murders that summer than she lets on. Her subplot is intriguing, but the con-artist couple who pissed off the bikers last issue aren’t compelling leads. There’s a lot of carnage, decapitation, and threats of torture as the story unfolds, but it just feels like we’re moving from one scene of gore to another at times. The larger mythology about these Norse artifacts has potential, but without anyone to really invest in, it’s not a particularly compelling story so far.
Ray: A new arc begins, but it largely feels tied into the Checkmate storyline that’s still ongoing. With the Deathstrokes who tried to assassinate the son of Sam Lane captured, much of this issue is just the League interrogating them and then moving on to other targets like the Royal Flush Gang. They also banter and bicker—a lot. This is really Bendis’ style at its most obvious, with the characters not really feeling much like themselves. The Phil Hester art is good, but the plot doesn’t advance too much and the cliffhanger comes out of nowhere.
The Justice League Dark backup is stronger, wrapping things up before the story concludes for now in next week’s JLD annual. The Sumit Kumar art is great as usual, with Merlin’s master plan being revealed amid a lot of special effects. The cliffhanger is strong, but the best part of this story is the bond between the different Leaguers. Constantine in particular feels like he’s grown a lot during this arc, making him a little more worthy of being a partner to Zatanna. This has been a great run, even with the odd pacing due to the backup structurer.
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 15, 2021 3:40 pm
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