Hey all, it's yet another installment of Quick Hits, this time a jam-packed, all-DC edition. We have 5 reviews to get through, and one of them is my undisputed FAVORITE DC comic. There are very few comics that bring a smile to my face the moment I see them, but REBELS is one of those comic books. And luckily for me, I get to do my monthly REBELS review now! I figure my best move would be to start off with REBELS, which should put me in a good mood before I move on to the other comics I've decided to read today. The only problem with that strategy is that after that first review, the only direction left to go is down...
Summary: Starro's two lieutenants continue their sneak attack from last issue with Smite taking out Vril Dox's most powerful LEGION member(not named Lobo), Tribulus, while Storm-Daughter captures Dox. LEGION tries to respond, but by the time Capt. Comet and Starfire respond, Dox and his two assailants are gone, and Tribulus is laid out in the street in a pool of blood. The rest of LEGION gather around Tribulus and Adam Strange decides that their best move was to immediately take the battle to Starro and rescue Dox. Lobo doesn't care to take orders from Strange and leaves on his own, wanting to find Storm-Daughter, who he mistook for a fellow Czarnians. Strange is initially infuriated by Lobo's actions, but Wildstar reminds Strange that she can also track individuals across the universe and offers to follow Lobo. Strange orders a Rannian officer to scour the city to make sure Starro didn't leave any of his starfish behind, and tasks Lyrl Dox(who demands to be referred to as Brainiac 3)with fixing Tribulus up before taking flight. Dox is presented to Starro himself by Smite and Storm-Daughter, and immediately deducts that Starro had conquered the Psion's homeworld. Starro threatens to put one of his mind-sapping starfish on Dox's face, but Dox buys time by telling Starro that the full wraith of LEGION would come down on him and he'd be summarily defeated. Starro decides to show Dox why he wasn't concerned, revealing that the Psion's had been cloning Czarnians before he conquered them, meaning he'd have an army of Lobos under his command. Dox is initially horrified at the prospect of Starro leading an army of Lobo clones, before he deduces that if Starro could control the Lobo clones he'd have already set them loose. With that last insult, Starro affixes a starfish on Dox's face(!), rendering him a mindless slave to Starro. From there we discover that Starro did indeed leave several starfish on Rann, and that they had already begun taking over many Rannian soldiers. This issue ends with Lobo arriving on the Psion homeworld and calling out Storm-Daughter. Storm-Daughter douses herself with some Czarnian pheromones and heads out to seduce Lobo again, but is surprised to see Lobo wearing a nose clip, thus negating the pheromones. Storm-Daughter moves to sap Lobo of his power, and Lobo responds by driving his hook through her skull!
Thoughts: And this issue once again affirmed what I've been saying. REBELS is the BEST comic coming out of DC. Batgirl is right up there, but if forced to choose between the two books, REBELS wins out every time. Where do I even begin? Starro trying(and thus far failing)to control the Lobo clones with his starfish, the massive battle in the opening pages, Starro beginning a quiet invasion of Rann with Adam Strange off-world to rescue Dox, Lyrl demanding to be called Brainiac 3(which got a rather hardy laugh out of me!), Dox getting his mind taken away(!!), and of course Lobo taking out one of Starro's top lieutenants with one mighty blow. Next issue should be INSANE, especially when Lobo realizes that the Psions had been cloning him, thus creating Czarnians. You KNOW how Lobo is going to react when he sees the clones... He doesn't proudly call himself the last Czarnian for nothing! Besides that, we have Vril Dox, possibly the smartest character in ALL of the DCU(yep, even smarter than Lex Luthor)having his mind stripped away by Starro. With Dox's mind shut down, there's nobody left to control Tribulus(who was under Dox's constant mental control). That fact could lead to two possibilities... One, Tribulus wakes up and goes on one hell of a rampage, tearing through Rann, or two, Lyrl... I mean Brainiac 3, finds a way to take control of Tribulus like his father had done and uses Tribulus to escape from his father's watchful eye. Whew! I could keep going, but I still have other comics to cover, so let me end this REBELS review now!
Score: 9 out of 10.Wow, I sure as hell didn't see that one coming!
Batman and Robin #20:
Summary: We kick things off with Bruce, Dick, Tim, Damian and Alfred sitting down at Wayne Manor to watch the Mark of Zorro... Um, okay... I guess... From there Dick heads to some opera performance and is nearly hit by a man with some weird wings affixed to his back plummeting to his death. Dick(as Batman)and Damian(as Robin, naturally)head to the morgue with Commissioner Gordon to look at the body. Damian gets roughed up by Gordon(what in the BLUE HELL is going on here?!?), before Dick and Damian see that the dead man had burned off his fingerprints as well as his footprints. Since the man's face was pretty battered from falling eighty stories, Dick takes some pictures of his head with the hope being that the computers at the Batcave could digitally reconstruct his face, thus identifying the dead man. From there Dick and Damian head to the spot where the man jumped(fell?) from and find a suicide note. Damian figures that would close the case, but Dick says it's never that easy and on cue, Man-Bat suddenly attacks the duo, ranting about saving his children from the light. Dick and Damian manage to put the crazed Man-Bat down and out, and hundreds of... oh hell... glowing white bats fall from the sky laying all around the Dynamic Duo and the fallen Man-Bat.
Thoughts: Okay, if those glowing bats are what I think they are then I'm going to be PISSED! And I mean pissed in all caps! When it's in all caps you KNOW I'm serious! I DO NOT want my Bat-books crossing over with the utter garbage that is Brightest Day. Please let those glowing white bats be ANYTHING other than what they seem to be. But of course Peter Tomasi is writing this(as well as co-writing the abomination that is Brightest Day), meaning that my fears are probably true. Damn it... Anyway, before the white bat nonsense, this comic was moving along rather well. Sure, the opening scene made ZERO sense(what the HELL was that supposed to show us? That Bruce is warm and fuzzy now? We know!), but I was enjoying the mystery of that guy's death. I'd have scored this comic way higher, but that potential Brightest Day link really drove down my enjoyment of this one.
Score: 6 out of 10.Damian may have been trained by the League of Assassins, Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne, but how could he hope to defeat the terrible skill of Commissioner Gordon?!
Gotham City Sirens #19:
Summary: After learning of the way Talia manipulated her last issue, Zatanna decides to take Talia down. The two do some quick sparring before Talia decides it's time to leave and fires two missiles at the Siren's headquarters, where Catwoman had been captured and tied up. Zatanna manages to save Catwoman with a force field, but that distraction gives Talia the chance to escape. Later on, Catwoman is prowling the night and Zatanna heads over to offer an apology. Catwoman doesn't even want to hear it, but Zatanna explains that she'll go away the moment Catwoman at least listens to her. Zatanna explains that while she was in Catwoman's head she saw Catwoman's anger and resentment at the way Bruce would often treat her, and offers to have Catwoman forget all about her romantic feelings for Bruce. Catwoman nearly says yes but in the end declines and heads to the Siren's new headquarters, an abandoned arboretum. Catwoman is naturally bummed and Harley Quinn offers to listen to her problems. Catwoman tells Harley about all of the times Batman would be with her, and yet be a million miles away mentally. These words cause Harley to realize that Joker was the same distant way with her, and she storms away. Catwoman and Poison Ivy track Harley to an abandoned amusement park and tell her to calm down before she does something rash. Instead of calming down, Harley tosses some Joker-bombs at her two Siren teammates and declares that she was going off to kill Joker for all of the crap he put her through.
Thoughts: Hey, I really enjoyed this comic! The battle between Talia and Zatanna was over WAY too quickly, especially since last issue built to it, and Harley's decision to kill Joker was kind of out of the blue, but everything else here really worked for me. I guess I can understand Harley's impetuous actions, since that's kind of her nature, but you'd think this would be the start of a new storyline as opposed to the continuation of a storyline that seemed to have concluded this issue(the Zatanna/Talia/Catwoman)stuff. Besides those little quibbles, everything else here was good. Oh, and Talia came right out and said that Bruce was Damian's father, so there! :P
Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.And this was basically all Talia did in this one...
Summary: I'm going to cover this comic in broad strokes... VERY broad strokes! After saving a few people(including himself) from a Sensei created deathtrap, Batman(Dick Grayson) manages to hunt down the Sensei, with some help from I-Ching and Luki Lo. Unfortunately for Bats, Sensei has manages to find and put on the Mask of the Beholder and is throwing around god-like powers. Luckily for Bats, Luki Lo is the chosen one(or something like that, just go with it...)and can call the Mask to himself telekinetically. This angers the Sensei, who moves in to kill Luki Lo, but accidentally splits the Mask in two with his sword, ending its threat. Bats moves to apprehend Sensei, but he gets away. From there Peacock(Luki Lo's sister)gives Bats half of the Mask and keeps the other half herself, hoping that would keep the Mask from putting itself together. We end this one with the Riddler giving a woman holding Two-Face's coin(who is hidden in the shadows) some information on the Jade Compass Society, in return for some gold and the promise of information on the Riddler's past.
Thoughts: Gah! Well I WILL say this much, this issue was better than the last issue, which I couldn't even will myself into finishing. That's pretty much the only compliment I can give this comic though... There was just SO many little things going on that I either didn't remember from the last few issues, or never bothered to figure out. If I never read the names I-Ching, Sensei, Peacock and Luki Lo again, it'll be too soon...
Score: 3 out of 10.Good GOD did Riddler get ugly!
Green Lantern Corps #57:
Summary: We start things off with Firestorm coming across the battle on Qward, thus reminding me of Brightest Day and automatically putting me in a bad mood... The Thunderers, under the leadership of John Stewart try to take Sinestro down with a heavy artillery assault, but they fail miserably because none of them are named Hal Jordan, and we ALL know only Hal “I Never Went Crazy!” Jordan can come close to defeating Sinestro The Great... See, I TOLD you thinking about Brightest Day would put me in a bad mood! The Weaponer and his White Lantern powered weapon also falls to the HORRIBLE might of Sinestro The Great. Sinestro The Great calls his Sinestro Corps over to mop up the Thunderers(why? he was doing a pretty good job of that himself!), which leads to the Green Lantern Honor Guard siding with the Thunderers and trying to fend off the Sinestro Corps... Oh, and the GLC members can't use their rings against the Sinestro Corps members(and vice-verca) because of their truce, so the GLC members use guns instead.... Which DOESN'T break the truce somehow... *sigh* Firestorm finally arrives and asks Kyle Rayner(or as Chairman Johns calls him, That Bastard) why the GLC members weren't using their rings, and Kyle tells him about the truce. Since Firestorm isn't a member of the GLC, he happily tears into the Sinestro Corps members WITH his powers. Sinestro The Great finally tires of decimating everything in his path and offers to leave Qward and stop beating up the Weaponer if the Weaponer agreed to join the Sinestro Corps. Realizing that he wasn't Hal “I Never Went Crazy!” Jordan and as such could never hope to defeat Sinestro The Great, the Weaponer joins the Sinestro Corps, going from a decent new villain to yet another faceless lackey. From there Sinestro and his Corps leave and the GLC Honor Guard decide to head to Earth to deal with Krona.
Thoughts: If I could sum this issue up in a single word it would be “disappointing”. I just don't see the upswing for making the Weaponer a member of the Sinestro Corps. It just doesn't make sense to me. Now he's simply another random face in the crowd as opposed to the threat he had been built into. Firestorm basically added NOTHING to this issue, as he wandered over, blasted a few random Sinestro Corps members and then left to find Deathstorm, making this the second most useless guest appearance I've read this month(only behind Catman's unnecessary appearance in Red Robin). As for Sinestro, what more needs to be said? He defeated an entire planet, beat a man who humbled the Green Lantern Honor Guard, including a Guardian of the Universe, and strutted away, no worse for wear... I think when I want my fill of DC's space faring stories I'll stick with the FAR superior(and written by the same writer, Tony Bedard)REBELS.
Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.Pfft, an army against Sinestro? I'll take Sinestro's chances!