DC This Week Roundup – Split Decision

Comic Books DC This Week
Harley Quinn #19 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Harley Quinn #20 – Stephanie Phillips, Writer; Georges Duarte, Simone Buonfantino, Artists; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist

Ray – 8/10

Ray: The third part of this monthly event has two artists on board, and that’s part of the reason it doesn’t work quite as well as it could. The plot this issue pulls a lot from is some of the most iconic space-based horror movies, including Alien and Event Horizon, as Harley and her team come face to face with the alien intelligence that is Element X. A remnant of the Death Metal event that Luke tried—and failed—to contain, it’s now assimilating one member of the Squad after another. While the context of the story is scary and there are some effects, the cartoony art rarely lets the monster be truly scary. So what we have is the ad-hoc Suicide Squad turning on each other while the monster lurks non-menacingly in the background. Harley’s dialogue is still great, but the whole story feels a little too bright for the world-defining stakes. Luke’s subplot might be the most intriguing thing here, as he’s revealed to be anything but the ultra-ethical Fox son in some ways.

Duo #4 cover, via DC Comics.

Duo #4 – Greg Pak, Writer; Koi Pham, Penciller; Scott Hanna, Inker; Chris Sotomayor, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: This techno-thriller has taken the basic concept of characters like Firestorm—two characters in one superpowered body—and infused it with a little more pathos and a lot more suspense. David and Kelly, who have been fighting more and more as they swap off control of David’s body, find themselves caught between two sinister tech barons. One, Dr. Cheng, likely tried to kill them and controls an army of superhumans. The other, Dr. Tinker, is employing an army of menacing robots and is much more ambiguous. As David and Kelly’s lack of cohesion makes them sloppy, they wind up in a tight situation as Dr. Tinker’s true intentions are revealed. The scene where the two of them are briefly reunited physically in the mindspace packs some real passion and emotion, and those very human moments lift a story that’s otherwise a little heavy on generic robot battles at times.

Catwoman #46 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Catwoman #46 – Tini Howard, Writer; Sami Basri, Penciller; Vicente Cifuentes, Inker; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: This chapter is largely devoted to one of the most popular chapters of Catwoman’s recent history—her relationship with Yakuza heiress Eiko Hasigawa. Eiko is probably Selina’s most popular love interest besides the Bat, but the two have always been headed in different directions. Even though they haven’t been a couple since Valentine’s run, they care enough about each other to conspire to foil Black Mask—via a faked betrayal that will throw Sionis off the trail. Even though it’s all faked, there are some real emotions in this issue, and Eiko continues to be the second-most interesting character in the series. The ending is great, although this series relies way too heavily on Valmont, who mostly seems like a generic combination of Gambit and Ghost-Maker who we know won’t really be going anywhere long-term. It’s a fun issue that hints at what this series could be if it hit on all cylinders.

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

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

Liked it? Take a second to support GeekDad and GeekMom on Patreon!