Comic Book Reviews for January 24, 2018

Legion Returns and Rorschach meets Batman.

It was another big week of comics, as DC released the latest chapter of Doomsday Clock, Marvel launched a new Legion miniseries and paved the way for Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man finale and BOOM! Studios kicked off the promising new series Abbott.

Exit Theatre Mode

Scroll down to check out our reviews for these and various other new releases, and be sure to let us know your favorite books of the week in the comments below.

Action Comics #996
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Written by Dan Jurgens | Drawn by Will Conrad

Will Conrad definitely brings a lot of artistic flair to this issue, and it plays to his strengths as an artist. Although the art managed to hold my interest throughout the book, the lead time travel story is already starting to feel stale. Superman and Booster Gold’s adventure on New Krypton and Lois Lane’s more grounded rescue mission on Earth both come perilously close to failing. That’s because Lois’ story feels tacked on and it’s almost as if the writer has forgotten how to portray Jonathan Kent as a young boy instead of just another teen superhero. One of the few bright spots here is that Booster seems to be oblivious to how much Superman dislikes him, especially when Booster suggests that they would be great partners. This title could use more of that human touch, but it’s far past time that Booster and Superman came home. -Blair

Final Score:

Batgirl #19
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Written by Hope Larson | Drawn by Chris Wildgoose

Gotham enters a big chill! Batgirl #19 makes what feels like a filler arc entertaining with Hope Larson’s inclusion of the continuity from previous storylines to thicken the mystery behind a spontaneous snow storm in Gotham. Chirs Wildgoose ups his game with his winter design for Batgirl’s costume and the setting he creates for Gotham as a winter wonderland. Batgirl #19 doesn’t have the most original plot, but Larson keeps the story entertaining as she does a good job at utilizing her nicely developed world of Burnside. -Kat

Final Score:

Detective Comics #973
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Written by James Tynion IV | Drawn by Jesus Merino

If you’ve ever wanted to see Clayface go full Godzilla, then this is the issue for you. Jesus Merino looks like he had a great time putting Clayface into the giant monster role, and his pages are absolutely terrific. James Tynion also put a lot of effort into adding tragedy to Clayface’s story, as he couldn’t keep pretending to be a hero and he couldn’t go backwards either. Clayface’s emotional bond to Orphan has also been one of the highlights of this book, and that once again came into play here. This conclusion is probably going to tear apart Batman’s team, and it’s almost certainly going to mean exile for at least one of the Gotham Knights. The ending is abrupt, but powerful. This feels like the conclusion of everything that Tynion has been building towards since the beginning of DC Rebirth. We’ll just have to wait and see if what comes next was worth tearing it all down. -Blair

Final Score:

Doomsday Clock #3
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Written by Geoff Johns | Drawn by Gary Frank

“Like many people, I didn’t discover Watchmen until well after the series was completed and available in collected form. One of the appeals with Doomsday Clock is getting the opportunity to experience what it must have been like back in 1986 as the original series slowly played out. Like Watchmen, Doomsday Clock is a very dense, novelistic story that rewards careful reading and rereading. The monthly format is a novelty, but I’m growing more and more convinced that it’s not the ideal way to experience this story. Especially not now that the series is switching to a bimonthly schedule.” -Jesse

Click here to read the entire review!

Final Score:

The Flash #39
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Written by Joshua Williamson | Drawn by Carmine Di Giandomenico

While DC hasn’t hyped it as much as you might expect, this is technically the 700th issue of The Flash. Appropriately, this issue brings artist Carmine Di Giandomenico back into the fold and kicks off a new story arc that brings together a number of plot threads. It would be nice if the cover didn’t blatantly spoil the big reveal, but Di Giandomenico and Joshua Williamson still succeed in building to a major crescendo as they establish the latest threat to Barry and his world. The focus on the Barry/Iris relationship is also welcome. It finally feels like the book is reclaiming the sense of wonder and hopefulness it had early on in DC Rebirth before Barry’s life became dominated by misery. Di Giandomenico’s art is as dynamic and energetic as always, especially with Ivan Plascencia’s rich colors adding depth and energy. There are a few panels where characters and environments don’t blend well together, but otherwise this issue captures the series at its visual best. -Jesse

Final Score:

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #37
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Written by Robert Venditti | Drawn by Rafa Sandoval

I don’t know if it was planned for both Action Comics and this title to deal with New Krypton in the same week, but it’s one of the neater aspects of having a shared universe. In this case, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps have the better take on the concept. Plus, it’s about time that Hal got taken down a few pegs. As for the art, this title seems like it’s incapable of missing a beat. This is one of Rafa Sandoval’s best issues to date, and he gives the villains a real sense of danger and power that they’ve missed in their last few appearances. In short, Sandoval makes them feel like they really could take on the whole Green Lantern Corps. Robert Venditti’s script is also pretty good, although I share John Stewart’s reservations about letting the Guardians back into the fold. John’s argument against it makes for a great opening sequence, and hopefully Venditti isn’t interested in simply rehashing that past. -Blair

Final Score:

Imaginary Fiends #3
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Written by Tim Seeley | Drawn by Stephen Molnar

After only three issues, Imaginary Fiends is already a refreshing return to form for Tim Seeley and an excellent showcase for Stephen Molnar’s art. The story is still moving at a measured pace, but it’s been very entertaining to see “FBI Agent” Melba Li adjust to modern life alongside her tormentor and imaginary frenemy, Polly Peachpit. This issue in particular is about the way that these creatures thrive on the narratives that they create for themselves and the fear they inspire in children. Polly, and the others like her, aren’t all-powerful, and the ending suggests that even Polly is in danger from someone or something that she used to be close to. Seeley has also done a terrific job of setting the tone and mood for this title, which keeps it fairly grounded despite the premise. This feels like an ideal setup for a long term series, and it may even have as many legs as Polly Peachpit herself. -Blair

Final Score:

Nightwing: The New Order #6
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Written by Kyle Higgins | Drawn by Trevor McCarthy

Dick Grayson, the hero known for catching people before they fall, brought lightness into Batman’s world. Nightwing The New Order is an Elseworlds story that presents the darker side of Dick “Gray”son. The series has shown that Dick Grayson had to touch darkness to learn what truly mattered in his life. Kyle Higgins not only makes Dick Grayson an interesting character, but also gives some nice layers to his supporting cast – making this a universe you want to revisit. Trevor McCarthy embraces this world with some great character designs, but, sadly, his pencils feel weaker than his previous work on the series. Nightwing: The New Order #6 has some rushed sections pertaining to Lex Luthor’s plot, but overall sends a meaningful message to longtime Nightwing fans. -Kat

Final Score:

Raven: Daughter of Darkness #1
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Written by Marv Wolfman | Drawn by Pop Mhan

I’m not sure that Raven deserves a four-issue miniseries, much less twelve issues, but Marv Wolfman and Pop Mhan are gonna try to make this work. This version of Raven is pretty radically different from the one that Wolfman co-created, and yet he couldn’t resist dragging out Trigon again. Even if that turns out to simply be an illusion, Trigon is pretty played-out at this point. A good deal of time in this issue is spent attempting to establish Raven as a teenager with her friends, but it feels like a forced attempt to make her seem “young.” There’s more promise with Baron Winters, another one of Wolfman’s creations, who will apparently be playing a big part in this book. Right now, this is a title that could really use some surprises and suspense, as well as a better defined take on nu-Raven. I’d really like to see that happen. -Blair

Final Score:

Suicide Squad #34
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Written by Si Spurrier | Drawn by Fernando Pasarin

This issue wraps up a short arc by guest creative team Si Spurrier and Fernando Pasarin, as the true reason behind walking redshirt Juan’s induction into the team becomes clear. Spurrier’s sarcastic sense of humor proves an apt fit for the series. Spurrier doesn’t worry about making his characters likable or sympathetic. Even Juan himself is a pretty self-absorbed. That approach may have ultimately worked against the story, however. It’s difficult to connect with the character very deeply even as bad things continue to happen to him. Additionally, the payoff to this story isn’t really worth the two issues of setup, as Juan winds up becoming a very complicated solution to a straightforward problem for Amanda Waller. Mostly, this arc works because it gives the series a much-needed visual boost. Fernando Pasarin’s powerful, detailed pencils capture the distinctive personalities of these characters and bring a larger sense of scope to the table. -Jesse

Final Score:

Teen Titans #16
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Written by Marv Wolfman | Drawn by Tom Derenick

These are not your parents’ Teen Titans, and they’re not even Marv Wolfman’s anymore. Wolfman co-created the Teen Titans as we know them, and yet this fill-in issue fully illustrated just how far they’ve shifted away from the characters that he wrote decades ago. They’re barely recognizable at this point, and in some ways, Wolfman proved that you really can’t go home again. This issue has a serviceable spotlight on Starfire, and Tom Derenick’s art is almost always a win. But if Wolfman’s name hadn’t been on the cover and in the credits, there wouldn’t have been any way to recognize the work of a man who made these characters into icons. If anything, Wolfman did too good of a job trying to make his style match the current take on the team. This lacks the heart and emotion of his earlier work, which used to define this book as DC’s answer to the X-Men. Now, it’s just another teen melodrama. -Blair

Final Score:

The Wild Storm #11
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Written by Warren Ellis | Drawn by Jon Davis-Hunt

There are times when it feels like Warren Ellis is too in love with letting his characters talk endlessly about what sexy bastards they are. And there’s some of that here, but there’s also some shades of The Authority and even a flashback sequence that seems reminiscent of Planetary. That’s great, as is the reunion between Zealot and Grifter that draws upon their WildC.A.T.s history in a fun way. Davis-Hunt also nails a long scene in which the Engineer takes on more of her classic appearance with her latest upgrade. The pacing of this story is still unforgivably slow on a monthly basis, but there’s enough here to appreciate the effort to build up a global conflict between Skywatch and IO. Still hate the new take on the Doctor though. That was a completely unnecessary change. -Blair

Final Score:

Wonder Woman #39
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Written by James Robinson | Drawn by Emanuela Lupacchino & Carmen Carnero

Is this Wonder Woman’s swan song? James Robinson and Emanuela Luappacchino create an intense battle between Silver Swan and Diana that showcases Vanessa’s great character development from the series’ previous issue. Jason is then thrown into the mix, creating for a pretty dramatic cliffhanger. Silver Swan’s personal connection makes for a strong villain, but the inclusion of Darkseid and Grail feel forced. This scene slightly ruins an otherwise nicely paced story. Wonder Woman #39 is an action packed issue that puts character work at the center of its narrative. -Kat

Final Score:

SOURCE: IGN.com

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