Ray: Mark Waid continues to prove right out of the gate why he’s a legend of DC even without writing for them for more than a decade. He makes a risky move in this series by choosing a new villain to serve as his centerpiece, and the Devil Nezha is also a tricky choice because much of his influence is he’s mostly off-screen. However, he sets the tone for the series so well that it overcomes any narrative challenges that could create. As the issue opens, Superman and Batman are battling to free Billy—who has had his mouth erased to keep him from saying Shazam—from the clutches of hell. Naturally, not everything is what it seems to be. At the same time, the Doom Patrol is off on their own mission, and Waid perfectly gets the unique dynamic of this twisted superhero team bonded by their own trauma. It’s impressive just how many settings and characters Waid and Mora manage to pack into every issue.
My favorite subplot, though, has got to be the time-displaced Supergirl and Robin as they seek information and allies in the far past. The dynamic between these two early sidekicks is a lot of fun as they bicker and banter their way through a misunderstanding-filled battle with magical warriors. The introduction of this new group of warriors adds a whole new dynamic to the fight, but back in the present the story takes a much darker turn. In some ways, Nezha’s attack reminds me a lot of what’s going on in DC vs. Vampires, as heroes can be turned against their allies while remaining the same on the surface. The last act is one creepy twist, villain attack, and traitorous ally after another as it becomes clear just how deep Nezha’s fingers go. In some ways, it even feels like Batman and Superman get a little lost in the whole story, not having as much time as some other players, but it’s never anything but incredibly entertaining.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.
This post was last modified on May 16, 2022 4:41 pm
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