I Am Batman #14 – John Ridley, Writer; Christian Duce, Tom Derenick, Artists; Rex Lokus, Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorists
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: As we head towards a Dark Crisis tie-in next issue, this series starts to spiral out of control for its main characters. The team-up of Jace Fox and Renee Montoya finally concludes its investigation into the murders of Anarky and Danny Chen, and they unmask the culprit—but this muddies the water even more and reveals a shocking corruption at the root of the mystery. At the same time, Tiff Fox makes her vigilante debut as she tries to protect the parolee who was about to fall back into crime—but her debut leads her into conflict with a very different enemy, making her public enemy #1 not just for the criminals, but for the authorities as well. It’s a pretty realistic take on how an untrained young vigilante would actually function. Overall, this issue has been better than the last few because it feels like more time is devoted to exploring the fallout—with the story taking a surprising turn for the surreal right before the end.
Future State: Gotham #18 – Dennis Culver, Writer; Justin Greenwood, Artist; Brad Simpson, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Ray: Future State: Gotham has been an odd book, spinning out of an even that was supposed to lead into an ongoing status quo. Instead, this is the only real remnant of that status quo, and it’s gotten truly bizarre before the end. The main villain of the series? Joe Chill, who is a vengeful ghost that has escaped hell possessing Damian Wayne and looking to put an end to Batman for good. But that’s completely out of step with how the character has been portrayed for decades. This is a chaotic final issue, but it’s also strange because it has a first-time artist whose style looks radically different and strangely turns to color midway through the issue. We have a major death this issue, but no real emotional impact due to the bizarre way the character acted. It’s just an odd duck of a book, and it ends in a particularly weird way that doesn’t quite fit the tone of the series until now.
The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #2 – Kenny Porter, Writer; Juan Ferreyra, Artist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Based around a movie that might never see the light of day due to controversies, this take on the movieverse Flash had a fun first issue. Its second issue dramatically shifts the art style, bringing on horror artist Juan Ferreyra. The first issue pitted Barry against Girder, who was more of a misunderstood and tragic villain. This issue steps up the threat level with Tarpit, a cruel mutated monster who is much more evil and dangerous. At the same time, Barry is struggling to balance his work responsibilities and his efforts to clear his father’s name with his superhero career, and even his powers are starting to slip out of his control. This version of Barry has never really clicked with me, feeling far too much like a Spider-man archetype, but Porter takes what little material there is for the character and creates a compelling, fast-paces story—and Ferreyra draws an absolutely hideous villain in the best way.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.