Future State: Gotham #7 – Joshua Williamson, Dennis Culver, Writers; Giannis Milonogiannis, Artist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The first arc of Future State: Gotham wraps up here, and with it Josh Williamson’s time as co-writer. This has been an action-heavy title that saw Jason Todd play both sides against the other. But as he goes up against the brutal Warmonger, this issue finally sees the truth come out and the Bat-family realize they’ve been played—by the same guy trying to convince them he’s their enemy. This is a pretty chaotic issue, with Jason in combat and much of the rest of the city possessed by Warmonger’s rage toxin. However, the best pages of the book are at the end, as Jason grapples with the revelations in this book and makes a new ally, as well as confronting the mystery man wearing Bruce’s face. The reveal of the villain’s identity isn’t a huge shock, but it sets up an intriguing cliffhanger for the next arc. It’ll be interesting to see how this series develops once Culver takes over as solo writer.
The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries #8 – Sholly Fisch, Writer; Dario Brizuela, Artist; Franco Riesco, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Each issue of this comic is a done-in-one caper, but I don’t know if any has captured the vibe of the original animated series quite like this one. The Gotham Waterfront, frequently home to criminal hideouts, has been bought by a mysterious lottery winner who wants everyone out—including the surviving businesses and Batman. As the mystery machine crew digs in and Shaggy and Scooby search for a remaining place to eat, it becomes clear the crews have something to hide—namely the construction of Jokerland, Joker and Harley’s new amusement park/lair. There isn’t much of a mystery here—the Joker Coaster is on the cover—but this is a fun old-school adventure that manages to bring back the classic Harley while also dropping some subtle hints at her future character development. The last-page twist is probably the perfect way to end the caper, as Joker takes one last hit.
Pennyworth #4 – Scott Bryan Wilson, Writer; Juan Gedeon, Artist; John Rauch, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: As we enter the second half of this series spinning out of the HBO Max series, it seems like the other two timelines have mostly gone by the wayside. The current-day elderly Alfred just appears in two brief scenes where he’s beaten and taunted by his unseen captor. The flashbacks to his childhood are only part of one page as Alfred flashes back while trying to escape the base with his life. That means much of this issue is just the spy years, with Alfred pulling off a daring escape from the genetically engineered super-soldiers, only to find himself alone and abandoned in a frozen wilderness. There are some tense and emotional moments as he battles to survive by building an igloo in the ice plains, but overall the story doesn’t advance too much this issue. It’s an interesting character spotlight for comics’ best supporting character, but the story doesn’t quite live up to its potential.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.