Future State: Gotham #10 – Dennis Culver, Writer; Giannis Milonogiannis, Artist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: This book seems to have found its groove as a non-stop action thriller set in the future, and the villain quality has gone up as well. Not only are Jason Todd and Jace Fox dealing with a hulking new Joker, but Hush pulling the villain’s strings. Tobias Whale is Hush’s latest target as he tries to take control of Gotham’s crime scene, and the high-stakes airborne action scene that kicks off this issue is top-notch. A subplot involving Talia and Nightwing hunting for Damian doesn’t advance much this issue, but it has promise. The issue largely hinges on this new Joker, who’s a physical threat in a way the previous version never was. While he’s not much of a character yet, this issue does do a good job of establishing that his skills go well beyond simply smashing things. With so many players, the book can feel jumbled at times, but the kinetic black-and-white art is a strong point.
The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries #11 – Ivan Cohen, Writer; Randy Elliott, Artist; Carrie Strachan, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: There are only two issues left of this charming all-ages detective adventure, and this issue starts to bring things back full circle as Batman and the Mystery Machine gang team up to open a museum exhibit about detectives. But a series of thefts and ghost appearances set off a mystery—and bring in another detective, in the form of Jack Ryder, aka the Creeper. The eccentric vigilante doesn’t seem to be much of a sleuth, mostly serving as a spanner in the works, but he adds some fun physical comedy to the issue. The reveal of the villain’s identity doesn’t have much context, but he does have one of the more intriguing motivations of a rogue in this series, and the ending offers a positive change to the usual tone of unmaskings. It’s a fun issue, if not one of the series’ best, and I’m wondering what the characters have in store for us with one more case next issue.
Pennyworth #7 – Scott Bryan Wilson, Writer; Juan Gedeon, Artist; John Rauch, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: There is still a lot of story left in the final issue of this tie-in miniseries, which has pitted Alfred against a treacherous fellow super-spy and an army of genetically engineered super-soldiers. This conclusion takes a little while to get going, as he spends the first half of the issue in custody being interrogated while his few allies are threatened. But once he gets loose and encounters his old enemies, the story takes an interesting twist that highlights Alfred’s ethics, his bravery, and his long memory. With some very dark villains, including the Bat-rogue KG Beast, and some surprisingly ambiguous figures, this issue delivers a satisfying close but still leaves a few too many unanswered questions. It made me somewhat interested in the TV series, but more than that it just emphasized what a strong character Alfred Pennyworth is—stronger than the story surrounding him in this story.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.