Sword of Azrael #4 – Dan Watters, Writer; Nikola Cizmesija, Artist; Marissa Louise, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: As we pass the halfway point of this miniseries, the intensity definitely steps up. Last issue saw Azrael enter one of the Church of St. Dumas’ secret sanctum and unleash the Angel’s Satan, a horrific giant with a twisted purpose. Most of this issue, after a grim flashback, focuses on the high-octane battle between the two, with the giant’s sheer power being intimidating but Azrael’s greater maneuverability winning the day in a dramatic action sequence. Victorious, he’s forced to push beyond his limits to escape—and finds out that his programming might have some serious weak points. This brings him to his breaking point, as he seeks out help from an old friend—only to discover that they have been replaced by someone with distinctly more sinister intentions. I didn’t expect this character to appear, since they’re not a Watters creation, but it makes too much sense for them not to play a role.
Batman: Knightwatch #3 – J. Torres, Writer; Erich Owen, Artist; Carrie Strachan, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: This all-ages Bat-comic spins out of the idea that Batman has created a new social network for citizens of Gotham to give the Bat-family tips on crimes, letting them stay one step ahead of villains. Both stories are fine, but definitely geared towards younger readers. The first one has Batman and an impulsive Robin on the trail of Man-Bat, as Kirk Langstrom’s monstrous alter-ego runs rampant. It has a fairly simple message about some “monsters” needing help rather than to be apprehended, but it largely reverts Damian back to very early characterization to do it. The second story, focusing on Firefly, has a little more tension as Batman, Nightwing, and Batgirl chase down a series of mysterious fires in Gotham and discover Firefly’s secret motivation. A slight step up over the last two installments.
Blood Syndicate: Season One #6 – Geoffrey Thorne, Writer; ChrisCross/Juan Castro, Artists; Wil Quintana, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: This series has been the trickiest of the new wave of Milestone titles, for the simple reason that Blood Syndicate doesn’t have an anchor of a lead character like the other three do. It has a whole host of heroes, some more famous than others, and the creative team has struggled to establish them all in only six issues. What it does have is a villain who is a bigger personality than any of them in Holocaust, and he dominates this series for good and bad. He’s larger than life, and I wish he had the characterization to match. The battle scenes this issue are great, but the only time I really felt any real connection to the story was in some brief, touching flashback segments. The ending does set up a very intriguing new status quo, with the Blood Syndicate stepping into a major new role, but we’ll have to see how it’s followed up on if this series gets a second volume down the line.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.