Justice League #72 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Szymon Kudranski, Emanuela Lupacchino/Wade Von Grawbadger, Artists; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The final arc of Bendis’ Justice League kicks off with what feels much more like a Justice League Dark story, as Szymon Kudranski illustrates the tale of Zatanna, Fate and Xanadu all being haunted by the same terrifying vision of a powerful enemy—but that enemy may be Black Adam, pulling in the main League. It doesn’t take long to reveal that the true source of the threat is Xanadoth, the original Lord of Chaos, who has returned from an extended entombment. But she has a particular host in mind—and doesn’t intend to take no for an answer no matter how much Black Adam resists. This is a large-scale story, but it has some surprisingly nice quiet moments when we see the entire Justice League at a charity fair to boost their public image. The balance between the large-scale action and the small-scale character bits is what makes this run work, but with only two issues left it feels like this arc might need a speedrun.
Wonder Woman #784 – Becky Cloonan/Michael W. Conrad, Vita Ayala, Writers; Marcio Takara, Skylar Partridge, Artists; Tamra Bonvillain, Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorists
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The main story this issue is chaotic, with Diana up against several new enemies looking to greet her on her way back from death, and Dr. Psycho continuing to puppet things from behind the scenes. Neither this mysterious Mirror-Lord who has created twisted glass clones of Diana, or the masked Shining Knight who is being puppeted by Psycho as a weapon, really stand out too much, but provide for some strong fight scenes. However, once the Knight’s mask comes off, this issue takes a very interesting turn that might shake up Diana’s status quo for the foreseeable future. This arc did feel like it was keeping time until Trial of the Amazons begins and sets up Diana’s long-term status quo, but it did enough interesting things that I think it closed things out on a high note.
The backup, setting up the upcoming crossover, also has some fascinating scenes. Vita Ayala has delivered a tense story that fleshed out the Bana-Mighdall side of the story, and this final chapter gives Artemis a huge role in the future of Themyscira—and will possibly set her against her sisters. I’m still not sure what the “trial” part is supposed to reflect, because right now it feels more like we’re setting up Amazons: Civil War. But it’ll be interesting to see just how things escalate once all the Amazon clans are in one place.
Green Lantern #11 – Geoffrey Thorne, Writer; Tom Raney/Marco Santucci, Artists; Maria Laura Sanapo, Finishes, Mike Atiyeh, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: After a lot of buildup, it all comes down to this—the stories are unified, and Oa is the final battlefield as the mad guardian Koyos and his minions lay waste to the planet. Things go from bad to worse for the Lanterns, as both Hal Jordan and Jo Mullein see their rings destroyed and John Stewart—newly ascended to a cosmic living Lantern—makes a last-ditch attempt to make his way back to the present. It’s rare to see Kaiju-level battles in this title, so the visuals are a ton of fun, although Koyos remains a fairly thin villain. Aside from the fun, it seems like the Lanterns dwindle more and more with every issue, to the point that the Justice League and the United take on more of the action this issue. But with the upcoming death of the Justice League, that raises even more questions—does Jo’s epic gambit at the end of the issue herald her becoming the main—or even only—Lantern in the future of the DCU?
Robins #4 – Tim Seeley, Writer; Baldemar Rivas, Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: This twisty series continues to surprise, as last issue revealed that the “Tim Drake” in this series so far wasn’t actually Tim at all, but was the mysterious rogue Robin Jenny Wren. She used his actions to send fractures into the Robins, which continue to play out as the heroes chase down Anarky (still alive here, despite events in I Am Batman). While the Robins are at their breaking point and starting to turn on each other, they’re able to pull together long enough to uncover the truth behind Anarky’s self-professed devotees. While things go south for Bruce, as he continues to isolate himself and chase the truth of his failed protege, Tim battles to escape—and may actually set his family’s doom into motion. It’s an overall strong comic, although it feels rather out of continuity in several ways and the title villain has barely appeared two issues in. Hopefully it finishes strong.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.