BATMAN: LOST #1, SLOTS #2, STAR WARS #38 & MORE! [Insta-Reviews]

batgirl and the birds of prey 16 cvrBATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY #16/ Written by JULIE & SHAWNA BENSON/ Art by ROJE ANTONIO/ Colors by MARCELO MAIOLO/ Letters by DERON BENNETT/ Published by DC COMICS

Reviewed by MATT MORRISON

A plague that only infects men continues to ravage Gotham City. Thankfully, the Birds of Prey have plenty of back-up, with every female vigilante in town at their backs along with Wonder Woman, Poison Ivy and Catwoman. With time running out, can even this impressive group of women save the day?

The Benson Sisters do a fantastic job capturing the personalities of all the characters involved in this team-up story and making sure all of them get a moment in the sun. Unfortunately, Roge Antonio’s artwork gets sloppier with every passing issue and there are several pages I’d swear were half-sketched layout sheets rather than fully detailed comic pages. Why they can’t get Yanick Paquette – who drew the excellent cover for this issue – to draw the interiors is beyond me.

 

batman lost 1 cvr

BATMAN: LOST #1 / Written by SCOTT SNYDER, JAMES TYNION IV, & JOSHUA WILLIAMSON/ Art by DOUG MAHNKE, YANICK PAQUETTE, JORGE JIMENEZ, & JAIME MENDOZA/ Colors by WILL QUINTANA, NATHAN FAIRBAIRN, & ALEJANDRO SANCHEZ/ Letters by TOM NAPOLITANO/ Published by DC COMICS

Reviewed by MATT MORRISON

Trapped in the Dark Multiverse, Bruce Wayne must find a way to escape to his own reality. But what is real and what is not may be beyond even The Dark Knight’s deductive powers. Beautifully illustrated by different artists with a script by three different writers, Batman: Lost #1 perfectly replicates the sensation of a fever dream. I’m not sure if that was the exact intention but it’s a glorious trip regardless.

 

THE FLASH #34/ Written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON & MICHAEL MORECI/ Art by POP MHAN/ Colors IVAN PLASCENCIA/ Letters by STEVE WANDS/ Published by DC COMICS

Reviewed by MATT MORRISON

Meena Dhawan, the S.T.A.R. Labs scientist who gained super-speed and briefly dated Barry Allen, is alive and well after being presumed dead in a battle with Godspeed. Barry and Wally West – who was trained in using his powers early on by Meena – are both happy to see her but she has returned with grim news: Barry’s newfound connection to the negative charge of the Speed Force is killing him and only she can save him!

I’m glad to see Meena back in this book, having found her a far more interesting romantic foil for Barry than Iris West. Unfortunately, there’s no prospect of their romance being renewed and the chemistry that once existed between them seems oddly absent. Come to that, most of the dialogue in this issue seems a bit off, perhaps due to Michael Moreci being involved in the writing? At least the artwork by Pop Mhan looks good but that’s cold comfort when this book is usually great.

 

HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #32/ Written by ROBERT VENDITTI/ Art by ETHAN VAN SCIVER & LIAM SHARP/ Colors by JASON WRIGHT/ Letters by DAVE SHARPE/ Published by DC COMICS

Reviewed by MATT MORRISON

Trapped in a cave designed to draw upon his worst nightmares and faced with a Batman armed with a power ring that absorbs light, Hal Jordan will be tested as never before as he does battle with The Dawnbreaker. Robert Venditti writes one hell of a fight scene and you couldn’t ask for better artists than Ethan Van Sciver and Liam Sharp to draw a Green Lantern battle. This issue is filler that does nothing to advance the plot of Dark Nights Metal but it is amusing in spite of that.

 

slots 2 cvrSLOTS #2/ Created by DAN PANOSIAN/ Published by IMAGE COMICS & SKYBOUND

Reviewed by MATT MORRISON

Former boxer Stanely Dance is back in Vegas and no one is happy to see him. Least of all his son. As Stanely lays out his plans for one last bout to the few friends still willing to waste breath on him, Stanley recalls the circumstances that made his best friend into his worst enemy and drove him out of town. This second issue of Slots is heavy on the exposition and low on action but Dan Panosian is as good a storyteller as he is an artist and makes it a riveting read anyway.

 

STAR WARS #38/ Written by KIERON GILLEN/ Art by SALVADOR LARROCA/ Colors by GURU e-FX/ Letters by VC’s CLAYTON COWLES/ Published by MARVEL COMICS

Reviewed by SARAH MORAN

In this issue of Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars series, Kieron Gillen takes over writing duties, bringing Luke, Leia, and Han to the ruins of Jedha. Last we saw the moon, Grand Moff Tarkin had ordered the destruction of the holy city as an early test of the Death Star’s capabilities and the moon hasn’t fared well in the years since. The city’s destruction almost split the moon in two, cracking its mantle and causing its core to begin seeping into space. It still bleeds like an open wound in the sky as Saw Gerrera’s splinter group continue fighting their dead leader’s battles. But with the Empire returning to mine the remaining kyber from Jedha’s husk, and to stop them the Rebellion needs to find a way to work with the partisans.

Though Star Wars #38 serves mostly as exposition, Gillen’s writing teases an intriguing new chapter in Star Wars canon, seamlessly connecting the events of Rogue One with the ongoing rebellion. Along with the iconic trio, Gillen introduces a few new players – something that has me really excited seeing as Gillen is responsible for my favorite of the new Star Wars characters, Doctor Aphra – and brings back Gerrera’s right hand, Two Tubes! Larroca’s artwork remains excellent, with him nailing those famous faces better than most, but either by his hand or through the coloring, some expressions get a little murky. Still, the sweeping deserts and the crumbling facade of Jedha evoke an eerie atmosphere, as if death itself lingers in the air. Star Wars #38 is the first part of  “The Ashes of Jedha” arc and a great starting point for new readers!


Buy these comics at your local comic book store (don’t know where that is? here you go) or digitally via comixology.com!

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