DETECTIVE COMICS #979, INJUSTICE 2 #55, THE SILENCER #4 & MORE! [Mini-Reviews]

Batgirl 22 Cover
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BATGIRL #22/ Story by HOPE LARSON/ Pencils by MINKYU JUNG/ Inks by JOSE MARZAN JR/Colors by MAT LOPES/ Letters by DERON BENNETT/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

A random encounter with a domestic abuser and a high tech weapon sends Batgirl into a battle of the minds unlike anything she’s experienced before! I can’t say much about this story without giving away a neat twist which is, strangely enough, foreshadowed by the cover.  Unfortunately, the artwork is nowhere near the quality of the story. Minkyu Jung has serious problems with forced poses and consistent proportions. The inks are erratic throughout. And for some reason colorist Mat Lopes has Batgirl’s cowl being a different color than the rest of her costume. It’s worth muddling through for the sake of the story but just barely.

 

Detective Comics 979 Cover
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DETECTIVE COMICS #979/ Story by JAMES TYNION IV/ Art by PHILIPPE BRIONES/ Colors by JOHN KALISZ/ Letters by SAL CIPRIANO/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by SARAH MORAN

Tim Drake simply can’t catch a break. Seriously. First he’s killed, then kidnapped, followed up by meeting his future-self who turns out be a psychotic and unhinged Batman. And while trying to prevent that grim future from coming to pass, Tim is transformed into an evil OMAC Batman! Jeez, Tynion, can you lay off poor Tim for just an issue or two!?

Detective Comics #979 presents this devastating twist as the next big crisis the Bat-Family will face. Whether they’ll all be able to put aside their recent issues and work together remains to be seen, but an evil Tim Drake who has both Brother Eye and an entire fleet of OMACs at his command is sure to be one tough opponent. Still, Tynion’s proven he has a real knack for team dynamics, and if one person can craft a satisfying tale for how a fractured Bat-Family can overcome their biggest obstacle yet, it’ll be him.

Being a bi-monthly book with a grueling schedule, Detective Comics will frequently change art teams. For this issue, it’s Briones on the linework and his style suits the story at hand. Briones conveys the high stakes drama of Tim’s fractured psyche well, making the final reveal of Tim’s OMAC form all the more harrowing. He does some interesting things with the panel layouts, too, which really help to sell Tim’s inner turmoil. Kalisz’s colors are spot on, as usual, and he brings a mood of an impending doom to scenes within Tim’s mind. He also gives the OMACS an eerie glow that makes them beautiful without under-cutting their brutality.

Tynion’s run on Detective Comics is soon coming to a close, with this arc sure to play on until his grand finale. Suffice it say, if you’ve been enjoying the adventures of Rebirth’s Bat-Family, this an issue that’s not to be missed.

 

Injustice 2 55 Cover
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INJUSTICE 2 #55/ Story by TOM TAYLOR/ Pencils by DANIEL SAMPERE/ Inks by JUAN ALBARRAN/ Colors by REX LOKUS/ Letters by WES ABBOTT/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

The Red Lanterns have come to the prison planet of Harring in search of Sinestro. Can Hal Jordan save his worst enemy and the Green Lanterns who don’t want his help without a ring?

After three issues of this arc focusing on Hal Jordan: Convict, I can add Green Lantern to the series of monthly titles I wish Tom Taylor was writing. Taylor has a tremendous grasp of the various Lanterns and establishes their personality and history in record time for the benefit of those who might be reading this series after playing the games.

The artwork is fantastic too. Daniel Sampere and Juan Albarran are one of my favorite penciler/inker pairings and every page of this issue is a prime example of why this is so. Throw in some great color art by Rex Lokus and Wes Abbott’s perfect placement of the word balloons and you have one fantastic book!

 

The Silencer 4 Cover
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THE SILENCER #4/ Script by DAN ABNETT/ Art by VICTOR BOGDANOVIC/ Colors by MIKE SPICER/ Letters by TOM NAPOLITANO/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

As Honor Guest regroups and reloads for her fight with Leviathan, she thinks back on her last mission before she left the organization five years earlier and of an encounter with Deathstroke the Terminator, not knowing that Slade Wilson has been sent against her again.

Victor Boganovic is on the art duties this month, but he proves a more than able substitute for John Romita Jr. Indeed, I must confess a slight preference for Bogdanovic’s style, which is less heavy on line-work but no less detail driven. The action scripted by Dan Abnett flows freely from panel to panel. For my money, this is till the strongest of the New Age of Heroes titles.If you like action movies, you’ll love The Silencer!

 

The Terrifics 3 Cover
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THE TERRIFICS #3/ Script by JEFF LEMIRE/ Pencils by JOE BENNETT/ Inks by SANDRA HOPE, JAIME MENDOZA & ART THIBERT / Colors by MARCELO MAIOLO/ Letters by TOM NAPOLITANO/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Plastic Man and the so-called Phantom Girl have returned from The Dark Multiverse, but their problems are far from over. Mr. Terrific worries about the mysterious message he discovered. Metamorpho worries about his relationship with Sapphire Stagg. Phantom Girl just wants to go home. And Plastic Man… well, he’s not bothered by anything. Apparently.

Lemire’s script does a fair job of replicating the feel of the old Fantastic Four comics this series is meant to emulate. Unfortunately, he’s starting to cross the line from tribute to parody. While Michael Holt is a science-based superhero, he’s not Reed Richards and his dismissive treatment of Phantom Girl seems out of character. The fighting between Sapphire and Metamorhpo, while a fair depiction of their usual relationship, seems to have been teleported unaged from The 1960s… for good and for ill.

A larger problem is the artwork. While Joe Bennett’s pencils are decent enough, the general look is all over the place thanks to three different inkers. The pencils are totally obscured by inks that almost look like smudges at some points. The colors are also heavily muted, giving the entire book a sterile, flat look that doesn’t match the manic scenes Bennett draws. I’m willing to give this book another arc to wow me like the first issue did, but this series is up on the chopping block.

 

Titans Annual 2 Cover
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TITANS ANNUAL #2/ Script by DAN ABNETT/ Pencils by TOM GRUMMETT & TOM DERENICK/ Inks by CAM SMITH, MICK GRAY & TREVOR SCOTT/ Colors by ADRIANO LUCAS/ Letters by TRAVIS LANHAM/ Published by DC COMICS

Review by MATT MORRISON

With The Justice League incapacitated, it will fall to four Titans to save the world from The Brotherhood of Evil as The Brain makes a power play to becoming a living god!

I am sad to see this series go, ad muddled at times as it was by an overly-large supporting cast and too many subplots. It’s supposed to be returning following the No Justice event, but it scarcely seems like it will be the same book.

This book, thankfully, is awesome and a fitting capstone to the original series. Dan Abnett’s writing is as strong as ever and while I might wish to have seen Tempest and Omen here along with the rest of the original Teen Titans (Seriously, Lilith Clay is one of DC’s most underrated heroines.), I can’t fault any story that makes Roy Harper out to be as awesome as he should be. The artwork is also amazing, sporting a fine level of detail and consistent aesthetic despite being handled by two artists and three inkers. Hopefully the new Titans series will prove as enjoyable as this one was.

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