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Justice League #26 Review

Writer: James Tynion

Pencils/Inks: Javier Fernandez

Colors: HI-FI

Published By: DC Comics

Justice League 26 walks us down 3 narrative paths that are all working separately to ultimately solve the same problem, each in its own way. The problem our heroes are dealing with seems to get bigger and more complex with every passing issue, from dealing with the people of the world embracing Lex Luthor’s message to accept doom in their hearts, handling the fallout from the destruction of the Source Wall, to the raise of Perpetua and much worse her makers who are said to be Cosmic Gods of the Omniverse who will judge all the Multiverses and deem which are worthy or not  at the banks of final judgement, so you know another epic Crisis for our heroes to face, no big thing.

In this issue we shift the creative team of Writer Scott Snyder and Artist Jorge Jimenez from the previous story arc and put this story into the capable hands and minds of Writer James Tynion the Fourth and Artist Javier Fernandez. This shakeup of the creative team is nothing new to this current run of the Justice League as we’ve had a back and forth collaboration between Snyder and Tynion all throughout the series and I think because of that were always given a fresh take on the current mission that is noticeably different but also familiar and they mesh together well as they push the story forward.
The first of the three paths we follow in this book shows us Martian Manhunter floating above the world as he takes in all the information he has gained on a mysterious person being called the Cloaked Man, a person who would come and make peoples cruelest desires a reality. Martian Manhunter uses his skills as a detective to piece together clues that have been scattered across the world and as he reflects on what he’s learned he believes he knows who this person is and where to find them. I found this portion of the story to be the most interesting and I love how it was written through a narrative driven perspective that really made it feel like an old time mystery with the weight and scale of a modern day epic.

The second path we walk down brings us to the center of the Multiverse in the Hall of Heroes were our Justice League has gathered several other Justice Leagues and teams from the farthest corners of the Multiverse to unite to discuss the problem they’re all dealing with the effects of the Source Wall falling and the void that is eating away at every edge of the Universe in creation. This section of the story tries to gather as many heroes and cameos into the panels as possible and honestly it made this part of the story the most fun as it was packed with so many deep cuts from a Flash who looks like Jay Garret to Batman Beyond, Kingdom Come Superman and my favorite Captain Carrot of the Zoo Crew. Storyline wise this path also felt the heaviest as we see just how big of a problem our heroes are dealing with given the fact that they have sought the counsel and help of essentially every hero in the Multiverse and if that isn’t serious, I don’t know what is.

The final plot we deal with follows Kendra Saunders and Mera as we see how the Justice League is preparing on earth for the Crisis to come and the war our heroes will have to face to save our Universe and the greater Omniverse. This final section of the issue was my least favorite because to me it seemed like it was mostly Kendra and Mera bickering and brooding back and forth argued about what they each feel is the league’s best course of action. I did however enjoy the panels of this story that showed several members of this new bigger Justice League Unlimited and how each are playing their part to help, research and train their hardest to be as ready as possible for whatever they will all have to face,

Batman Who Laughs #7 Review

Writer: Scott Snyder 

Artist: Jock 

Colorist: David Baron 

Letterer: Sal Cipriano 

Through the fire and through the flames the fate of Gotham is coming down to an epic final battle with Batman vs. Batman, the one Who Laughs, the sick and dark twisted perversion.This Batman is from Earth 22 of the Dark Multiverse. He actually crossed that thin red line and snapped the Joker’s neck, releasing the poisonous toxin that made him his worst enemy. See Dark Nights: The Batman Who Laughs #1 by James Tynion. BMWL entered our universe in The Metal event by Scott Snyder, James Tynion and Greg Capullo, just to name a few. See Dark Nights: Metal #1 – 6).

The crippling endgame that is the “Last Laugh” is all but forgotten. The drones that are rigged for contamination must be stopped by James Gordon and his son, rocking some pretty awesome super suits, but that will not stop the Grim Knight. Pay close attention to this fight, it is very crucial to the very last game changing page. 

With absolutely no healthy blood cells left, issue six ends with BMWL stabbing Batman through the heart with the serum. The blood flows together in a classic game of red light, green light; Bruce has seconds to fight off this poison or let this suicidal gambit take full fruition. Only one way to shot gun through this issue is to pay very close attention. This issue was an epic ending to one of my favorite Batman stories of all time. Must read for any Batman fan. 

A very important lesson can be taken away from this story “knowing is half the battle” not only can you learn from your failures, but the failures of your evil doppelganger from a Dark Multiverse. 

Detective Comics #1001 Review

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi

Pencils: Brad Walker

Inks: Andrew Hennessy

Colors: Nathan Fairbairn

In the wake of the phenomena that is Detective Comics #1000 we had a series of great stories but only one had a major reveal that will send shockwaves throughout the rest of the comic run. Enter the Arkham Knight! A villain some may be familiar with via the 2015 smash hit video game. We surely are in for a treat with MEDIEVAL!

This dark and mysterious issue was a steady flow of buildup and terror while continuing the trend of a great detective story. In what feels like one of the ten plagues of Egypt that is hitting Gotham city, darkness and disease blankets Gotham in biblical proportions really setting the tone for the threats to come. Batman will need to pull back curtains and shed light to this nightmare.

One thing I really enjoyed about this issue is that it gives you just enough to build the story but keeps the wheels spinning of the guessing machine. You have to solve the mystery along with Bruce – hopefully this trend keeps up. We also see an almost forgotten “Bat” character that I think fans will truly enjoy.

Green Lantern #10 Review

Writer: Grant Morrison 

Artist: Liam Sharp 

Colorist: Steve Oliff 

Letterer: Tom Orzechowski 

Quest for The Cosmic Grail. He is Risen, the Mad Lantern is here, The Qwa-Man. Where we left off in the last issue, Hal discovered that the devil wizard he was fighting was none other than Abin Sur. That name is of importance because if not for Abin Sur, Hal Jordan would not be a lantern, in his death it gave birth to Hal Jordan’s journey. This isn’t the same Abin Sur, this Green Lantern is from earth 20. The flood gates are open, the Qwa-Man is a Multiversal threat. 

In classic Hal Jordan fashion, he beats the breaks off his former predecessor from a parallel earth just in time to help him stop the Mad Lantern. Where there is one there is many – The Magic Lantern, The Flashlight and the Batman Green Lantern. Yes, there is a Batman Green Lantern to also help put an end to The Qwa-man. Many more lanterns join the ranks to assist our heroes and when all is said and done they will go somewhere DC fans have not been in a long time, it’s a wild ride so hold the hell on! 

As someone who is a big Multiversity (Grant Morrison) fan, I was in absolute awe of this issue. There were so many familiar faces that I haven’t seen in years; it was truly an amazing spectacle. Make sure you take your time and focus on the art. There is about several splash pages that really make you go on a cosmic mind trip. Morrison and Sharp continue with another undefeated issue. A must read for all Multiverse and Green Lantern fans!

Aquaman #48 Review

Writer: Kelly DeConnick

Art: Viktor Bogdanovic

Inker: Daniel Henriques

Colors: Sunny Gho

We pick up right after Aquaman fought and defeated Namma the Salt God, with the help of the Old Gods he remembered his powers and ability to speak to ocean life. The Father Ocean brings him his lost trident, slowly but surely the King of Atlantis rebuilding the pieces of his former life. The Old Gods are performing a ritual to bring the rest of Arthur back.

No more dragons, no more Old Gods. Andy must enter the Mother Shark himself and become one with the Sunken Forest, which is an inception-like dream state where he must purge himself of Andy and bring back Arthur. Aquaman must fight through the memories and flashbacks to become complete. He remembers his mother’s love and her selfless sacrifice to keep him alive. He recalls his friends from the Justice league and then finally asks the Mother Shark about the mystery red-haired woman he keeps seeing. Love is pain and pain is love; Arthur may not like the answer he gets in this last page monster reveal.

This issue was easily one of my favorites of any Aquaman comic book run. The focus of life, death and rebirth. The magic of life that clings to the King, the true warrior spirit we see within Arthur, as he endures unbelievable pain and torment is truly poetic. To have everything he has ever loved and holds dear taken from him and still he fights.

Action Comics #1012 Review

Writer: Brian Bendis

Artist: Szymon Kudranski

Colorist: Brad Anderson

Letterer: Josh Reed

The best team of detectives are on the hunt for Leviathan, yet so many questions still need to be asked – Who is he? What does he want? And what will tomorrow bring? Leviathan has been plaguing Clark and Lois for the last six issues, cutting the legs off of every major government organization.

Reenter the Invisible Mafia, The Red Cloud is back! (The villain who went toe to toe with the Man of Steel in Action Comics #1005 and #1006.) The Invisible Mafia is going through with a genius level unorthodox behind-the-scenes approach. I mean they can’t even say key words out loud for fear that Big Blue may hear (ex: Kryptonite, Fortress of Solitude, Bermuda Triangle.) The fallout of all this will be huge. Make sure to stay on top of Action Comics and Event Leviathan.

This issue gave us a beautiful moment between Clark and Lois. They reminisce about their very first moments together and share how they felt about one another. Dedicated Supes fans will truly enjoy this. This story is one of my favorites because it is very much a tandem book with Clark and Lois solving the mystery together.

Justice League #27 Review

Writer:James Tynion IV

Pencils:Javier Fernandez & Bruno Redondo

Colors:Hi-Fi

Confronted, captured, and forced to relive his worst memories, Martian Manhunter struggles to see what’s truly at play here. That is until a trusted friend and former spy makes a dramatic entrance to rescue her leader and stop a mad scientist from building an army of Apex Predators.

Meanwhile as the Martian and the Thanagarian fight to stop the rise of the machines we see the Justice League team up with the World Forger to find one of his brothers in hopes that together they will be enough to battle Prepetua and redeem our Multiverse, before the arrival of the Judges of The Source. If that isn’t enough to entice you I don’t know what it. Well I guess there’s also the surprise offer made from the most unlikely of people, but what does this mean and will it lead us to Justice or Doom?

Justice League 27 is just like the previous issue being handled by the more than capable writing of James Tynion the fourth. If you didn’t know that going into this read than I wouldn’t blame you, especially since a lot of what is discussed in this story links in several elements from Scott Snyder’s last big epic story Dark Nights Metal. It even brings back a character who appeared in Metal but we really weren’t told why he was in Metal and I think his appearance here is that very reason. Which shows us just how much long term planning must be going on behind the scenes with James and Scott, something I truly appreciate as a reader.

Dark Nights Metal isn’t the only post Crisis event that’s mentioned in this story as we also get a very quick and pretty cool recap of several Crisis events from DC Comic’s long and rich history told to us by some of the players who were integral to those stories just as they are likely to play a big role in this grand tale to come. My favorite part about this moment is seeing the reaction of the Justice League who don’t all fully remember these events due to the tempering of the timeline that has been messed with from these Crisis’s, Barry’s Flashpoint and Dr Manhattan’s meddling of time and even if they are just small details in this story, I was very glad to see them here.

My only issue with this book is the inconsistency of the artwork which is being handled by two artists and I’m not sure if that is the reason we see so much change throughout the pages on how the characters are drawn, and how little focus and detail is here. I can say that sadly this took away from my overall view of this book which is unfortunate because I know both artists are great and are capable of delivering so much more. I would like to point out that there were several pieces of art that I did really enjoy and I thought that there was still plenty of good panels here especially the action scenes that felt like they had more time to be worked on and it showed.

Ultimately I really enjoyed the brief story we were giving here as it had plenty of big and small moments that all pieced together what is becoming another all time great in the making and I for one cannot wait to see what this creative team has planned for us and to see what this offer could mean going forward for the Justice League.

Aquaman #47 Review

Writer: Kelly DeConnick

Pencils: Robson Rocha

Inks: Daniel Henriques

Colors: Sunny Gho

In the journey that is “UNSPOKEN WATER” Arthur has found himself with no name, no memory, and the title that is king has been long since forgotten. In this game of lost and found ,he keeps playing, the glimpses of a red haired woman keep haunting him. Arthur must keep fighting if he’s ever going to be whole again. One by one, Arthur’s Atlantean abilities slowly return to replenish the spirit of the great king but it can’t be that easy – can it? Namma, the salt God, is here to make sure that it isn’t!

In this pulse pounding action packed issue, Aquaman will have to fight back – no more rituals, no more magic, no more ocean Gods! A fully berserk Namma in dragon form is at his back, and ready to finish it. To save his new friends he must do the unthinkable and call out into the abyss, in hopes that whatever returns the call is an ally of the ocean.

I really enjoyed this whole story arc and issue from the ocean God mythology. The whole mystery that surrounded the island’s inhabitants, to Arthur having to fight tooth and nail for his identity to find any clues to who he once was. Very much a story of perseverance, about a man with no name and no past who contains the spirit of a true hero no matter what. This issue definitely has my favorite ending that will leave a lot fans really happy and excited for what is to come.

The Batman Who Laughs #5 Review

Writer: Scott Snyder

Art: Jock

Colors: David Baron

Letters: Sal Cipriano

Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Batman is at war, war with his most terrifying villain ever, himself! The Batman Who Laughs! The Nightmare Batman, a dark and twisted shadow of Bruce Wayne is ripping through the city leaving everyone in his path devastated. Gotham is just as much a part of Batman as the cape and the cowl – without it what would Batman be? The BMWL tends to find out exactly that!

The Batman Who Laughs has a crippling endgame for Gotham that is The Last Laugh. With Bruce doing everything in his power to stop him, but how do you stop someone who is you? A Nightmare version of you who knows each and every thought and memory. Batman has always used darkness and fear to break the criminals in his gallery and this story is that 10 fold, Batman will go down his darkest and most brutally twisted path EVER! It will blow your head off.

In a wild gambit the BMWL will track down an old villain, in hopes to help him bring about the end of Gotham. In an amazing call back to the New York Times Best Selling New 52 Batman run, this will have everyone running and screaming. This is easily the darkest take on Batman and his mythos – you are in for the bloodiest and most brutal ride of your lives!

The Flash #71 Year One Explored & Explained

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@KellyOneShot518 a CBL contributor

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