Aquaman/Green Arrow: Deep Target #4 – Brandon Thomas, Writer; Ronan Cliquet, Artist; Ulises Arreola, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The concept of this series, essentially switching the powers and identities of Green Arrow and Aquaman, is pretty fascinating. But I’m not sure it’s being used to its full potential. Most of this issue is just an extended action segment as Arthur and Ollie go on the run from enemy forces at a base on the moon. There’s some fast-paced action, close-quarters shootouts, and a daring rocket escape. But it feels like the plot advances very little for much of the issue—until we get to the last third and the book hits a new gear. Some dialogue between the two heroes is particularly strong, with both discussing what their powers and abilities mean to them. Once they crash-land on Earth, they have to make a quick escape from some deep-sea creatures drawn stunningly by Cliquet. The cliffhanger ending, meanwhile, is completely bonkers in the best way. It’s not the smoothest, but it definitely has me intrigued.
Wonder Girl #7 – Joelle Jones, Writer; Leila Del Duca, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: I don’t think anyone was expecting this series to end so quickly, but it’ll continue in a miniseries set during Trial of the Amazons. This final issue finds Yara and the Esquecidas facing off against the forces of Olympus. The reveal of the true villain of the series—and in many ways, Yara’s nemesis going back to her first days—is genuinely surprising, and the battle scenes are strong. But surprisingly, it’s Cassie Sandsmark who plays a major heroic role here, bridging the gap between the Amazons and the Gods and setting the stage for the next phase of Yara’s heroic journey. The bond between the two of them has been a highlight of this series. I will say that after feeling like she was a little out of focus during much of this comic, Yara gets the emotional moments she needs this issue to really set her up as a lead, particularly in what may be a dream segment with a departed figure. It’s a strong issue, but I wish it wasn’t the last.
Teen Titans Academy #11 – Tim Sheridan, Writer; Rafa Sandoval/Jordi Tarragona, Brent Peeples, Artists; Alex Sinclair, Jeremiah Skipper, Matt Herms, Colorists
Ray – 6/10
Ray: I have a few rules in comics, and one is that if a comic boasts something is “Revealed” on the cover, it should probably be revealed in the issue. So yeah, we still don’t know who Red X is, but we do get a lot more hints this issue in terms of who is putting him up to his infiltration of Titans Tower and just what he’s capable of. And on that latter front, he’s apparently willing to take down the entire academy to protect Dane—who the older Titans may be planning to kill to neutralize his dark magic. While I’m skeptical that’s what’s actually going on, it definitely sets the stakes high for this issue—only for them to essentially be shut down by the arrival of the Shazam family, spinning out of the miniseries that Billy spun out into from this title. The resolution there essentially neatly takes both Billy and Dane off the table for the foreseeable future, but it doesn’t really answer many questions about this book’s core concept—besides, of course, the explosion that ends this issue.
Static: Season One #5 – Vita Ayala, Writer; Nikolas Draper-Ivey, Artist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Static and his friends head into their most intense battle yet this issue, as the brilliant Nikolas Draper-Ivey takes over on art. The issue opens with a brutal battle against Hotstreak that serves as a major crucible for Virgil as he discovers the potential of his powers, but the issue’s best moments come as the heroes are forced to answer some tough questions about the best way to fight back. There’s a great argument between two Black teenagers in this issue that’s one of the best discussions of intersectionality I’ve seen in a while. Vita Ayala is working with some very interesting themes here, although the things surrounding the plot are often more interesting than the plot itself. My only hesitation is the cliffhanger, which is a massive, shocking betrayal with only one issue to fully explore it after this, and it feels like there’s more to say here. Bring on season two—hopefully after not too long.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.