GCPD: The Blue Wall #4 – John Ridley, Writer; Stefano Raffaele, Artist; Brad Anderson, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: This has been an intriguing miniseries, following three diverse young officers as they settle into the police force. While Wells washed out and a tragic series of events led Park to be demoted, Ortega battled against racism before shooting a perp in a robbery/murder and seemingly winning the respect of his unit—or so it appeared, before a gut punch of a twist. While these three are the focus, Renee Montoya often feels like the main character. This issue follows her healing relationship with her brother and her battle to stay on the wagon. The story often feels like it’s testing her, but for most of the issue it does feel like a positive corner is being turned. Then the story takes such a dark, absurd turn out of nowhere that it lost me, as one character who seemed to be beginning a dark turn goes from zero to 99 in five seconds, essentially making them irredeemable out of nowhere, and I’m not sure it means anything good for another character’s years of development.
Black Adam #7 – Priest, Writer; Jose Luis/Jonas Trindade, Artists; Matt Herms, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: With Black Adam largely off the table this issue and at near-death, the story here mostly falls on Malik White—whose inheritance of the powers is not going smoothly. As he tries to settle on a superhero codename, deals with a troubled home life, and tries to fend off the intimidation of Sargon, he soon finds himself following in Adam’s footsteps in another way—entering the virtual reality web that allows Theo Adam to revisit the time of ancient Egypt, with the assistance of Mirror Master, who has his own reasons for being there. This allows him to get a look at a time when Adam was actually the hero he styles himself as, and it deepens the link between the two, but this series continues to be a little all over the place. Black Adam really isn’t the focus here, but the impact he had on the world is. While Malik White is a compelling character, I don’t think he quite connects in the same way as a lead the way the Deathstroke cast did yet.
Titans United: Bloodpact #5 – Cavan Scott, Writer; Lucas Meyer, Artist; Tony Avina, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: The most fast-paced issue of the series so far, things finally come to a head as the liberated heroes make their move on Raven’s sanctum and try to free the “Dark Daughter” herself from Brother Blood. The main problem is that many of them have their own agendas—for instance, Superboy lost his father to Starfire, and doesn’t particularly care that she’s now free from the villain’s control. Adding in the fact that Beast Boy is still possessed, and you have the recipe for a pitched battle. One interesting element of this series is that many characters are significantly more ruthless than their main counterparts in this world—even when they’re not possessed. It leads to some dramatic twists, but it can also make it hard to really care about anyone in the series. After all, the odds are that everything is going to be reset and the main universe will be returned by the end of this mini.
Harley Quinn the Animated Series: Legion of Bats #4 – Tee Franklin, Writer; Shae Beagle/Roberto Poggi, Jon Mikel, Artists; Andrew Dalhouse, Colorist
Ray – 5/10
Ray: The Harley Quinn animated series is always odd, but it has a sort of chaotic energy that works for it. This series captures that at its best, but this issue is a strange misfire. Some subplots, like Clayface and King Shark’s ridiculous team-up, are a lot of fun, and Harley and Batgirl working together has its moments. However, the ongoing emotional affair between Ivy and Gardener just seems to rely on people making the worst possible decisions. The dramatic art shift between the first and second half of the issue is genuinely distracting—the first art team is very much in the vein of the show, while the second is sort of realist like a main-line DC comic. Then there’s the appearance of a major Bat-player at the end of the issue—but in a very different form that will likely remind people of her least-favorite incarnation ever. This issue is so busy that it’s hard to guess how things will play out, but it doesn’t leave the best impression.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.