It's time for the second part of this weekend's Quick Hits-athon. This time around we're switching over to DC and taking a look at 4 final issues as DC moves closer and closer to what will either be their rebirth or their downfall. I've flip-flopped all summer long about what I thought about the whole DC reboot thing(I've gone from furious to okay about it), and I'm currently of the mindset that it's a slap in the face of long-time DC fans. I figure DC will pick up a few new readers in September, but that they might lose a few regular fans, and that most of the new readers won't stick around past that first issue, since that's the collector's piece. But I'm not going to get that into my final thoughts about the reboot since I still have about 10 days to change my mind 50 more times before The End. All I will say before I head to the reviews is this; remember Marvel's whole Heroes Reborn fiasco? Methinks Johns and Didio don't.
What Happened: Superboy manages to slip a magical trinket to the Phantom Stranger, allowing him to free himself from the magic of Tannarak. While the Stranger deals with Tannarak, SB and Krypto take care of Tannarak's goons, the Tooks, and break the computers Tannarak was using to control the Hollow Men, as well as the life support for the SB clones. Tannarak manages to escape, while Psion and the Stranger manage to reunite the citizens of Smallville with their souls/essences/minds. The Stranger heads off to see if he could pick up Tannarak's trail, while SB, Psion, Simon Valentine: Boy Genius(god am I gonna miss typing that...) and Lori Luthor head off, where everybody lives happily ever after... Well, everybody except for Jeff Lemire, who seemed to have LOTS more stories to tell.
Thoughts: Eh. This was what it was. A rushed final issue to a series that was obviously plotted to go a lot further than 11 issues. I actually feel bad for writers like Lemire(and James Robinson... Wait until I review JLA #60 later!) who seem to have all of these storylines that they'll never be able to finish up(the Psion/Simon Valentine: Boy Genius stuff, the reaction of the people from Psion's futuristic home, the ultimate fate of Simon Valentine: Boy Genius, etc). But hey, we've got to try to make Barry Allen hip and new for all the kids, so who cares about anything else?
Score: 6 out of 10.Good-bye, Superboy. And good luck on the other side... It looks like you're gonna need it...
What Happened: After a few shows and a long flight home, Zatanna wants nothing more then to catch some sleep at her family home in Gotham. Unfortunately, the doorbell rings and she opens it to find Uriah from Limbo Town asking to be her apprentice(think Klarion, but evil). Z, wanting her sleep and being a bit wary of Uriah, says no, but by this point Uriah has gotten loose in her house. Not really thinking clearly due to the lack of sleep, Z chases him, but Uriah manages to break into her library and snatches a book on dimensional teleportation. Uriah begins trotting through dimensions, with Z following after him, trying to figure out a way to separate him from the book. Z finally manages to teleport the two of them to the dimension of Gargantuans, which distracts Uriah long enough for Z to get her book back and teleport the little troublemaker back to Limbo Town. With that, Z heads back to her bedroom and finally gets some sleep.
Thoughts: This was a good little one and done issue that gave Adam Beechen the opportunity to bring Uriah back one last time(Uriah first popped up in Robin, back when Beechen was the writer... I don't know why that stuck in my head...). The story made sense in that normally Z would have wiped the floor with a threat like Uriah, but since she was so sleep-deprived, she wasn't really thinking straight. I'll definitely miss reading this series, as it was usually a pretty good read(well, except for the puppet issues...). Oh well, here's hoping Z stays awesome in the upcoming Justice League Dark series.
Score: 8 out of 10.Zatanna lives one strange life...
What Happened: It's time for one final Batman origin story!! Or at least the final origin story of this particular version of Batman. For the record, this issue is told by Robin(Damian Wayne) to some kids at a Wayne Foundation building. And don't worry, Damian isn't giving up names or identities or anything. We follow the first Batman(Bruce Wayne) and Robin(Dick Grayson) from back in the day until the present, where we now have Dick Grayson as Batman, and Damian as Robin. The story culminates with Bats(Dick) teaching Robin(Damian) a lesson about how their most important job ISN'T beating up villains, but is taking care of victims. After Damian gives his little life lesson to the kids, Dick meets up with him and the two head off to do the whole superhero thing.
Thoughts: This was another one and done final issue that I enjoyed reading. It's sad that we're losing the Dick and Damian Batman and Robin team, because it's probably the best thing to come out of Grant Morrison's Batman run. They really play off of each other well, and it's nice to see that deep down Damian does respect Dick, regardless of the things he occasionally says and does. Unless DC fundamentally changes Damian's character, I don't see how Bruce and Damian can ever come close to approaching the Dick/Damian pairing. Anyway, back to this issue. Like I said, I enjoyed it for what it was, a final look at Bruce and Dick and Dick and Damian's relationship. Here's hoping this isn't the final time we see this version of Damian, because if we wind up with a happy-go-lucky Damian to counter Bruce's darker demeanor, I'll be extremely upset.
Score: 8 out of 10.Dick: "You never take me seriously, blah, blah, blah..."
Bruce: "Hello, is somebody there? I don't HEAR anybody!"
That's got to be one of the best Batman reactions I've ever seen...
Justice League of America #60:
What Happened: We kick things off with the final meeting of this version of the Justice League. It seems that they all have personal dealings to attend to, and thus can't really make the whole team thing work anymore. The JLAers sit around the meeting table, discussing adventures that they had(adventures that we'll never see now) and the stuff that they did, before heading their own ways. This series ends with Batman(Dick Grayson) and Donna Troy having a great conversation before turning off the lights and leaving the Watchtower for the last time.
Thoughts: I've always groused about this version of the League. I hated the damned talking monkey... I wanted the OTHER Starman... I'd have preferred Superman to Supergirl... And so on. But man did James Robinson finally deliver in this, his last JLA comic. Reading through this issue, you couldn't help but get the sense that Robinson wasn't exactly overjoyed by the reboot. Honestly, if he was letdown/pissed, how could you blame him? If I spent a whole mess of years writing stories for DC and two guys decided to erase everything I wrote, I know I'd probably be a bit miffed. Maybe that's just me though and I'm looking too deeply into the dialogue here. In the end though, Robinson wrote a really good final story that left me a bit sad to see this version of the League go... Yes, even that damned talking monkey!
Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.This is probably one of the better comic pages I've read in some time... So what do you think, is that James Robinson's voice coming out of Batman's mouth, or is it just me?