Harley Quinn The Animated Series: Legion of Bats #1 – Tee Franklin, Writer; Shae Beagle/Roberto Poggi, Artists; Lee Loughridge, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: Spinning out of the third season of the Harley Quinn animated series, this oddball comic finds Harley in an unusual situation—she’s now a member of the Bat-family. Bruce Wayne is in prison for financial crimes, and Harley is fighting her old allies with the help of Batgirl, Robin, and a particularly pathetic Nightwing. Ivy, meanwhile, has been invited to lead the Legion of Doom courtesy of Lex Luthor. Despite the two of them being on opposite sides, they’ve managed to stay strong as a couple, and the scenes between the two of them are the best of the series. The surprising end of the issue brings in a fairly modern character from Batman comics as a new wrinkle between the two of them, and overall this comic is a strong start. But you really need to be in sync with these versions of the characters to vibe with this comic, and it’s just a little too much in some places.
Catwoman #48 – Tini Howard, Writer; Nico Leon, Artist; Veronica Gandini, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: With Dario kidnapped by his own former ally and the Gotham gang scene in chaos, Selina and Valmont make a mad dash to rescue him. That involves power broking in Italy, as an aging mob don and his ambitious wife might just become the key to the mission. But while this segment of the issue is appealingly pulpy, things take a rather ridiculous turn later in the issue as they hitch a ride with one of the most insane villains in the Gotham library. The shift in tone from dark and noir-inspired to comically over the top doesn’t quite work. Catwoman is a good lead here, using every tool in her disposal to save her friend, but this book’s biggest weak link is its reliance on the character of Valmont. He’s a fairly stock character, often seeming way too much like Ghost-Maker, and the eventual connection between him and Selina seems like the most cliched direction to take this.
DC Vs. Vampires: All-Out War #4 – Matthew Rosenberg/Alex Paknadel, Matthew K. Manning, Writers; Pasquale Qualano, Acky Bright, Artists
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The DC vs. Vampires world is one of the most chaotic alternate realities in the DC multiverse, with friends turning into enemies at the drop of a hat. This issue reveals dark secrets for Mary Marvel, a surprising role for Vic Sage, and a spectacular battle for Midnighter—which is really nothing new. This is one of the most fast-paced issues of this miniseries, with large groups of characters jockeying for survival. It can be a little hard to follow at times due to the fast pace, but the last page has a shocking cliffhanger.
Then there’s the backup, focusing on Black Lightning. Like the past issues, I think the backup is stronger than the main one. With a bit of a Walking Dead vibe, it focuses on a deeply prepared Jefferson as he confronts an old friend and prepares to embark on a likely-doomed mission to find his wife and daughters. After the chaos of the main story, it adds a needed human touch to the whole affair.
Titans United: Bloodpact #2 – Cavan Scott, Writer; Lucas Meyer, Artist; Tony Avina, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: Alternate histories are one of the most popular concepts for DC writers to play with, but they really need a unique hook to build off to work. That doesn’t seem to be the case with this miniseries, which takes place in something similar to the HBO Max Titans series. Tim Drake has woken up in an alternate universe, one ruled by a Church that worships Raven. He runs for his life, encounters a version of the Fearsome Five that seems to be heroic, and soon discovers that there’s a very different Batman in this world—one who doesn’t recognize him. As for who’s running the Church, that’s another big surprise. The issue is, there’s really pretty little to this world so far beyond “spooky church.” The art is good, but the characters and world building are fairly thin so far. Still, there are a few strong moments, particularly when Tim and the Batman of this world are finally reunited.
Duo #6 – Greg Pak, Writer; Koi Pham, Penciller; Scott Hanna, Inker; Chris Sotomayor, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: The final issue of this new Milestone concept ends with an epic battle between immortals, several of which have just arrived at the end of the last issue. David and Kelly, the two scientists sharing one body, have been played between two different mad scientists since the start of the issue. However, it feels like the real battle here—and the only really compelling part of the story—is their internal battle. This couple has been a great depiction of the push and pull of a relationship, albeit one that’s now sharing even closer quarters than the average couple does. So while the villains here don’t make much of an impression, these two certainly do—and we wind up seeing the potential for more interesting future adventures. I’m not sure if these two will be appearing in crossovers or in a sequel, but there’s enough potential there for these two to continue their adventures.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.