DC This Week Roundup – Travels and Trials

Comic Books DC This Week
I Am Batman #9 cover, via DC Comics.

I Am Batman #9 – John Ridley, Writer; Christian Duce, Stephen Segovia, Artists; Rex Lokus, Colorist

Ray – 8/10

Ray: This is the slowest-paced issue of the book yet, but fortunately Ridley’s writing is good enough to carry it through. With the mysterious art-obsessed serial killer claiming more victims, the new Batman is getting increasingly unstable due to his frustration. The Police Commissioner, exposed as a racist at the same time of his murder, has brought a lot of heat down on the Mayor, and Tanya Fox is quickly finding herself at the center of it. The various members of the Fox family all have intriguing subplots, but this issue is mostly about Jace building his own team. The characters of Vol and Hadiyah have been in the background of this series for a while, but they seem to be developing into a strong network for Jace. It’s not until the end of the issue that the villain emerges again and picks a new target, but overall this installment keeps the momentum of the storyline going.

Future State: Gotham #13 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Future State: Gotham #13 – Dennis Culver, Writer; Geoffo, Artist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: So, I don’t know what I was expecting out of this issue, but it certainly wasn’t this. The first year of the title was mostly an action-packed post-apocalyptic thriller with a lot of chaos, but it was fairly grounded. This issue is anything but, pulling in surprising supernatural elements from around the DCU. The story also moves extremely fast, opening with a plan to break Bruce Wayne loose from the Magistrate’s captivity. Surprisingly, it actually works and Bruce rejoins Talia while Dick temporarily takes over as Batman in Gotham and targets Hush’s network. The strangest part of the issue, though, comes from Bruce and Talia’s investigation into Damian’s whereabouts. It reveals ties to a surprising Justice Leaguer, as well as ties to the current Robin title. The cliffhanger brings in yet another major player, and links up with one of the DCU’s more infamous AUs. Despite all this, though, it kind of works. It’s exactly the kind of chaotic thrill ride I want from this book.

Naomi: Season Two #3 cover, via DC Comics.

Naomi: Season Two #3 – Brian Michael Bendis/David Walker, Writers; Jamal Campbell, Artist

Ray – 8/10

Ray: The biggest complaint about this book is that its plot is very slow-moving, and this issue bears that out—aside from a brief action scene involving Cyborg and Naomi trying to escape a hostile portal, this issue is almost all dialogue. The good news is, it doesn’t need to be great at action to really work. This issue emphasizes that its best strength is in its dialogue. Particularly in its focus on Naomi and her adoptive parents, it does a great job of showing the human side of what it’s like to become a superhero. The scenes where Naomi returns to high school and tries to ignore her destiny briefly are also really funny. Some of the dialogue feels very Bendis-y at times, particularly Naomi’s father’s, but it’s a book that feels like it’s interested in exploring its main character in an organic way. The problem is, with only six issues and big gaps between installments, is there enough room to explore it in the way it deserves?

JL Vs. TLOS #3 cover, via DC Comics.

Justice League Vs. The Legion of Super-Heroes #3 – Brian Michael Bendis, Writer; Scott Godlewski, Artist; Ryan Cody, Colorist

Ray – 7.5/10

Ray: Both of this week’s Bendis books sum up his writing style—interesting concepts, a whole lot of dialogue. In fact, it feels like the first half of this issue is all dialogue as Gold Lantern contacts the JL and Legion from the past to warn them, and the Darkness winds up throwing everyone for a loop. That’s where this issue gets interesting, as the two teams are split into unusual pairings as they each find themselves in another place and time. Expect some major surprise characters from different DC futures, as well as two characters fighting dinosaurs. Where this issue excels in unique visuals from Scott Godlewski, particularly the reveal of one more timeline/world in a double-page spread right at the end. Where it struggles is finding the right pacing to tell that story in a compelling way. The delays on this series also make it feel like it stands on its own in a DCU that’s quickly moving on to some crazy new developments.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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