Elena Carrillo's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Batman-News Reviews: 240
7.8Avg. Review Rating

7.5
Adventures Of Superman (2013) #14

Jun 25, 2014

While we've seen these two face-off in other settings under other creative teams, this particular take on Joker and Superman's introduction may challenge some assumptions about Superman and (for better or worse) attempt to knock the Joker off his popularity pedestal. The filler story about Sugar & Spike is kind of throwaway, but your mileage may vary.

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7.0
Arkham Manor #1

Oct 23, 2014

If the current continuity is all you can muster energy for, if you're feeling a bit of Bat-fatigue, if you absolutely insist on house-style art–this may not be the time for you to pick up this book. If you're looking for a new adventure and love all the potential Arkham has to offer, gamble on a copy and let's see if it turns out to be a big winner!

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8.0
Arkham Manor #2

Nov 27, 2014

This is the race which Arkham Manor should have come charging for last go-round, but better a wee late to the start than to not get out of the gate at all. Bruce is overconfident and blindsided by a problem more complex than he expected. Is he stalking Zsaz? Is Zsaz stalking him? And is there something even creepier going on (is that even possible given how creepy Zsaz is)? Also, keep your eye on that Border fella. I know I am.

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8.5
Arkham Manor #3

Dec 26, 2014

Is it too early to be sad to see Arkham Manor go? Despite its finite premise, Duggan is writing a tale that's got many hairy legs and lots of traction. I'm still crossing my fingers that this book spawns an Arkham Asylum title where we can really explore the problems of running a psychiatric hospital for super-villains, but in the meantime, there's this and it's good.

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7.5
Arkham Manor #4

Jan 30, 2015

There were a lot of things I felt nitpicky about with regard to this issue, but even so, when all is read and said, I enjoyed this very much. I'm anxious to get to the killer in the walls (we'll definitely get a reveal next issue, I'm guessing), but it was also fun to see Jack Shaw team-up with Mister Freeze against Clownface. And getting Batman back in costume is great too. So even though this might go down as one of Batman's more inexplicable (and convoluted ) spin-off adventures, the style and storytelling have definitely made a mark.

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8.0
Arkham Manor #5

Feb 26, 2015

It's too bad that just as all the elements of Arkham Manor are pulling together into something coherent and interesting with really compelling potential, that we will soon have to say goodbye to this mini-series. With the addition of the Endgame tie-in, we get a bonus and that's a small consolation. In spite of (or perhaps because of) its quirkiness, this book has been a real treat: one of those rare bridges between other books (Eternal and Endgame) that actually works for the most part. If you've been skipping it month-to-month, you might want to pick it up in the trade eventually; but I'll let know its overall value once it's finally done!

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8.0
Arkham Manor #6

Mar 26, 2015

Arkham Manor finishes stronger than it started both in terms of the writing and the art–so much that it's a shame to see it go. We get one last dance with this slightly bizarre concept when Arkham Manor: Endgame hits the stands, but otherwise it's time to say farewell to Gerry Duggan and Shawn Crystal's stint with the Dark Knight Detective (and his alter ego Jack Shaw). Without having read the Endgame tie-in, it's hard to judge whether the overall story is a success. It certainly leaves more questions than answers and a number of major things (like the ownership of the Manor itself) are still unresolved.

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6.5
Arkham Manor: Endgame #1

Apr 1, 2015

This book could have gone in so many directions to try to tie-up or spackle over questions or holes throughout Arkham Manor, Batman Eternal, and Batman: Endgame. Instead it took a path of telling a fairly generic escape from Arkham story that probably more satisfying than if it had attempted anything more ambitious. While not a must-buy, it can boast of strong artwork, plenty of action, and a storyline that, while pretty standard fare, is nonetheless entertaining. I even bumped it an extra half point just because I enjoyed it in spite of itself.

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6.5
Batgirl (2011) Annual #3

Jul 30, 2015

This mostly feels like a bit of fluff, but action and cameo aficionados will most certainly enjoy it. Gauge your own interest by how much you love these characters because the story is just a fragment and has no real conclusion. Is it essential to tying in the objectives of these characters in their regular series? I'm not really sure. My sense is that anything critical that happens here will be later referenced, flashbacked, or explicated elsewhere. But if you like detective work (some of it a little lame), and enjoy the step-by-step reveals alongside a lot of fancy footwork (mostly kicks to the body and face), then you'll dig this annual regardless of its weight on any of the regular series it references.

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3.0
Batgirl (2011) #32

Jun 22, 2014

This new arc finds Batgirl really struggling to find her footing (both in the comic book and as a comic book, alas). When most of this score comes from the fabulous cover, a nice splash page reveal ending (sausage bodies notwithstanding), and artwork that is "generally more consistent", I'd have to say this isn't a must-buy book except for by completionists and die-hard Batgirl fans.

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6.0
Batgirl (2011) #33

Jul 10, 2014

Though the art still lacks consistency and the plot feels a bit old hat at the moment, this book doesn't lack suspense and feels like a real Batgirl story after a long while of waffling in and out of genres. This may be just the arc to get Batgirl up and in the ring again!

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6.5
Batgirl (2011) #34

Aug 13, 2014

Simone manages to wrap this up and doesn't limp off stage left without some grand pyrotechnic storytelling. Does it satisfy? Problems with the art and the fact that there's a definite sense of a rush to close up aside, the Knightfall saga comes to a sufficient conclusion (for now) and sets up the big changes pending for Batgirl No. 35. The buzz about Batgirl's life "blowing up", however, shouldn't be taken literally–not for this exeunt, at least.

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7.0
Batgirl (2011) #35

Oct 8, 2014

This is a rocky transition for a fresh start, but it's definitely fresh. For anyone who loves the character (whether they were reading the previous books or not), you'll want to give this a try and see if it's to your tastes. Tarr's art is lively and detailed, her environments have real character, and Babs looks good in her new togs (an extra half-point for the art alone). I'm less enamored with the writing thus far, but optimistic that the stories can (and will) get better. Could definitely do with less girl talk and hip references, but I'm hopeful that the characters will mature and the writers will explore a balance between a book aimed at new teenaged readers and the faithful audience of long-reading adults.

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7.0
Batgirl (2011) #36

Nov 12, 2014

I can't make up my mind whether this book is up my alley, but that's partly because it doesn't feel very firmly entrenched yet for any specific audience. It's definitely not going for the former (Gail Simone's) Batgirl crowd. It's also not catering to stodgy old-timers like me. The important thing is that it's still entertaining to read, despite some weak plotting, and this issue might be setting up a cool new Batgirl villain. Sorry if the score feels waffly, but while I liked this book better than the last one, I still don't feel like I'm on terra firma yet.

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6.5
Batgirl (2011) #37

Dec 11, 2014

I feel a lot like Dinah at the end of this issue in the scene where Batgirl is asking her to take a promotional photo with her phone. The look on Dinah's face is priceless and sums up my frustration with this series: it's got everything going for it, but it's just not coming together for me. I don't hate this by any means and it was an entertaining read, but I do feel like Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher's writing is uneven and there's too much happening that seems irrelevant to the main action and not amounting to much as supporting underpinnings either. This story arc is not over, however: we still don't know who's behind this stalking nightmare, so there's still a chance that the story will redeem itself.

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7.5
Batgirl (2011) #38

Jan 15, 2015

Grow up, Babs Gordon. And do it quick. After reading this issue, I have a much better appreciation for Stewart and Fletcher as writers: they've delivered solid book full of very clear (though occasionally wordy) storytelling. Maybe with all the exposition and set up out of the way, they can relax and get this series kicking some serious Bat-butt. If you've been hesitant about whether to get on board with this, this might be a good issue to give it a try.

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6.5
Batgirl (2011) #39

Feb 19, 2015

The problems with this book are manifold, but it still manages to entertain, the artwork continues to be lively and sometimes even surprising, and there is still hope of Batgirl growing into the person that her readers deserve. She's not there yet and I know a lot of you have dropped this book, but for those intrepid few hanging on and hanging in, I haven't given up yet and I think the book still deserves consideration–even if only as a conversation-starter about the interesting issues of diversity this book is trying to undertake.

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6.0
Batgirl (2011) #40

Mar 19, 2015

After six issues with the new creative team, the tone of this book has been well-established. The art is excellent but the narrative consistently suffers from weak storytelling. Babs shows strength here unlike she's exhibited since the change, so that's a really positive thing, but the book lumbers under the weight of trying to do too much in the hands of writers who are either unclear of their own vision or so absorbed with their vision that they're forgetting to just write solid stories with any respect for the history of the character. This issue is a perfect example of a great idea coupled with mediocre execution (beautiful artwork notwithstanding). This is, unfortunately, what I've come to expect from this series.

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6.5
Batgirl (2011) #41

Jun 24, 2015

This book continues its highwire balancing act by streamlining its story, though, strangely, the art seems to suffer for it. There's a brief flashback of Batman, which is nice, but no mention of the events of Endgame, which is strange. If Babs doesn't know that Batman is "dead", this is going to be a strange way for her to find out. And if she does know, this book missed a big opportunity to close the Joker chapter of her life. While we wait to see if Endgame will have any impact on this title whatsoever, the introduction of Livewire and the complication of Bat-Chappie should be entertaining enough and the cliff-hanger ending will have you wanting to pick up issue no. 42. A mildly entertaining read, once again, for undiscerning readers.

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5.0
Batgirl (2011) #42

Jul 30, 2015

The showdown between Livewire, Batgirl, and Bat-Chappie is entertaining, but feels like pretty standard fare. The action lacks genuine dramatic tension and the resolution depends on a deus ex machina bit of unexplained technology cooked up over night. If you're enjoying the regular series, here's some more of it. Otherwise, this book adds almost nothing to the ongoing narrative.

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6.0
Batgirl (2011) #43

Aug 26, 2015

Weddings, Tigers, and Tech–oh my! Batgirl has her hands full as she tries to solve the case of a series of weaponized man-eating beasts unleashed on Gotham's tech gurus. Stewart and Fletcher manage an organic connection between Alysia, Jo, and the tigers, but everything else feels like a muddy sprawl. The resurrection of Velvet Tiger is a welcome bit of fun, however, and the book ends on a cliffhanger that might actually raise the stakes for our Burnside Bat.

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4.5
Batgirl (2011) #44

Sep 23, 2015

Batgirl foils Velvet Tiger and rescues Jo with the help of her friends. It's what you expected and not much more. Bengal's art is serviceable, but the action choreography is often muddled with complex minutiae. Velvet proves to be about as formidable as a woman in a tight tiger miniskirt would be and the writers try to convince us that the fisticuffs were epic by having actual battle-trained characters say things like "you look like you've been in a war zone." This issue definitely marks a low point in the series since it switched over to the new team.

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3.0
Batgirl (2011) #45

Oct 28, 2015

This gooey treacle of trotted out wedding day tropes makes for storytelling with a freshness factor of -10. While the book gets points merely for featuring characters like Dick Grayson and Black Canary, there's really no excuse for how sappy and uneventful this issue is. I don't mind the occasional issue focused on character development, but it's got to be done well. This issue brings nothing new to the table and reads like fodder for a daytime soap opera. Babs Tarr's work isn't even up to par with strangely flat environments and overblown character reactions/expressions. All-in-all a disappointing mess.

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4.5
Batgirl (2011) #46

Dec 17, 2015

I'm scoring this based on the consistency of what the team is doing because un-objectively, I want to give it a 2 at best. The writing continues to be predictable, patronizing and uneven, the art is mostly solid with the occasional lapse over into Toonland, and the overall impression continues to be that even though Batgirl is technically still part of the main continuity in the Bat-titles, it's going to maintain it's own tone and approach"other books and Babs' past be damned. While I can see how this book might appeal to casual fans and happenstantial rack grazers, it's just not something I can recommend to long-time Batfans. I feel like the best we can hope from it is that it generates interest in the larger world of comics for new readers"and in other Bat-related titles specially.

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2.5
Batgirl (2011) #47

Jan 21, 2016

Even wonderful artist newcomer to this title Eleonara Carlini can't surface this lead-lined Titanic sinker. Cameron and Fletcher wring out a plot so needlessly convoluted that it's exhausing just trying to figure out what we should care about with the 20 pages we're given. The truth is: not much. Batgirl continues to be well-nigh unrecognizable in her own book, surrounded by a diverse supporting cast with all the charm of printed paper towels. The addition of Spoiler and Bluebird here might make you long for the old Birds of Prey, but it'll be a bitter nostalgia by comparison.

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2.0
Batgirl (2011) #48

Feb 5, 2016

The reveal of the dreaded Fugue is campy to the point of dismissability, but maybe with Batgirl paralyzed by his mind tricks we'll see some greater stakes for Barbara Gordon in the next issue. The creative team continues to throw a lot of variables into this equation but the math makes about as much sense as your average common core curriculum: you'll get the answer eventually but the road you take lacks any conventional logic. Some people learn better that way, perhaps. Those are the people who might enjoy this book.

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6.0
Batgirl (2011) #49

Mar 3, 2016

Fugue is still a silly villain, but at least he seems to be presenting a challenge more fitting for Batgirl than we've seen in a while. Though the heavy-tech storyline may be problematic for one's suspension of disbelief, it's not belabored or made so intricate as to be completely off-putting. Babs' AI alter gets to do some high-flying kicks for the sake of action, and while there's nothing too deep about Babs' mental layers, it's nevertheless interesting to take a tour of her career as Batgirl in an alternate universe sort of vein.

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5.0
Batgirl (2011) #50

Apr 6, 2016

Batgirl finally comes face to face with Fugue (while her team takes down an 11th hour cadre of recycled villains that are even less interesting the second time around). While the story continues to suffer from expositional convolutions and leaps of logic too vast for even Batgirl's magical motorcycle to bridge, this is mostly just goofy cartoon fun and can be enjoyed at that level. Maybe I'm getting soft as I know we'll have a creative shift in the summer. Maybe I'm tired of fighting how absurd this book is in context of the rest of the Batman canon. Or maybe this particular issue just manages to be marginally entertaining because it doesn't seem to take itself seriously (and how can it, really?). How's that for a perfect middle-of-the-road offering?

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7.0
Batgirl (2011) #51

Apr 28, 2016

Yes, it's probably true that I gave this book a .5 boost just for not making me want to spoon my own eyeballs out of my head for reading it, but let's celebrate our victories where we can, shall we? The most important thing is that there's an interesting story building here, the characters finally feel like superheroes who take their charge seriously, and even though Babs isn't quite herself yet, she almost definitely feels on the right track back to the cowl.

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7.0
Batgirl (2011) #52

May 26, 2016

While I was disappointed with some of Eleonora Carlini's artwork on this book, the good parts of it really stand out strong. Batgirl has effectively divested herself of all her previous contacts and wrapped up the Gladius Commander plotline. This issue feels a bit rushed in the art, but not in the story-telling, and doesn't dwell on the silliness that's come before. Fletcher has done a great job of making sure this title ended with some dignity. After what we've seen from the Burnside run, that's about the best we could have hoped for. Extra points for just not being a dull dud of a book or showing Batgirl taking selfies.

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7.5
Batgirl (2016) #1

Jul 27, 2016

While my numeric score may seem a bit hedgey, make no doubt about it: I am thrilled with this new beginning for the former Burnside Bat. The weakest thing about this issue is that it's mostly ramp-up, but that's hardly a bad thing if you've been waiting a long time to rekindle your love for Barbara Gordon. She's looking and sounding great under the auspices of Hope Larson and Rafael Albuquerque and the book overall feels like it's headed in a solid direction. We're likely going to see some character growth in terms of Babs' fighting skills as she trots around Asia trying to solve a mystery surrounding an old childhood friend. Couldn't be happier to be along for the ride!

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7.0
Batgirl (2016) #2

Aug 25, 2016

What this book may lack in flash at the moment, it makes up for with excellent character development and a Barbara Gordon who really is starting to look like her old self now that she's as far away from Burnside as one could hope. The mystery of the killer schoolgirl clan is simmering on Hope Larson's burner as she navigates our Batgirl deeper into what is starting to look like a fringe fight club. This issue is rather low key, but here's to hoping it's building toward some explosive revelations and big Bat-action!

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8.0
Batgirl (2016) #3

Sep 29, 2016

I shouldn't be so impressed that Batgirl strikes me as an actual mature crime-fighter in Hope Larson's takeover of this series, but I can't help it. I'm enjoying Batgirl again in a way I haven't for too long. I never thought I would find myself intrigued by a story like this with Babs so far from "home" and largely on her own, but it's just the break we've needed from what had become a weirdly overpopulated series full of deranged cartoon villains and too many BFFs for our Bat-hero. Larson and Albuquerque have made this book a true stand out"for all the right reasons.

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8.5
Batgirl (2016) #4

Oct 26, 2016

Some silliness involving Batgirl's identity notwithstanding, this is best of Hope Larson's "Beyond Burnside" opening arc yet. As the story unravels, we get to see how this mystery is perfectly suited for the specific talents of Barbara Gordon: her tech savvy, her eidetic memory, her big heart, and all her fighting skill have come into play along this journey. Now she's about to take on an unexpected antagonist: not merely a deadly martial artist, but perhaps an undead one?

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7.0
Batgirl (2016) #5

Nov 23, 2016

This conclusion of the "Beyond Burnside" Rebirth falls a mite short of my own expectations, even though it's a solid read and I appreciate that all the loose ends were tied off. I was really hoping to end with some whiz-bang revelations and an epic climactic battle of strength and will. We got both, but in smaller doses that I think we could have. Still, I'm calling it overall a success and looking forward to the Gordon girl's next adventure!

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9.0
Batgirl (2016) #6

Dec 28, 2016

Hope Larson demonstrates that she can write a tight complex one-shot using lots of go-to comic tropes without completely rehashing tired scenarios. Batgirl here is funny, quick on her feet, and whip-smart. She also gets to display some fun gadgets. Even though Poison Ivy inadvertently causes part of the crisis, Batgirl is level-headed about what's "just" under the circumstances. Okay, there's some story silliness here due to the very nature of costumes superheroes, but if you can't tolerate a little dual-persona illogic you shouldn't be reading comics books to begin with.

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8.5
Batgirl (2016) #7

Jan 25, 2017

This isn't exactly elegant, but it's getting the job done without apologies. I love that Larson has gone in with a surgical knife and is cutting away anything that won't contribute to a healthy Batgirl title going forward. She's also making her own mark by introducing Ethan Cobblepot to the world (can't wait to see what he's all about), and she's brought Dick back into Babs' life in a way that better than just peripheral "ex" nonsense. Wildgoose keeps the energy high in the art and this book has a solid combination of action and character building with a real emphasis on pushing the story forward. This is a very exciting time for Batgirl and I'm very optimistic about this new team!

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6.5
Batgirl (2016) #8

Feb 22, 2017

Hope Larson throws us a curve by dipping back into the former team's aesthetic just a little too much this issue. Yes, Batgirl is back in Burnside, but I was really hoping for more clean-cutting from that previous world. While I appreciate that we can't just ret-con Frankie and Alysia and Babs' clean energy project out of existence, I really hoped Larson would steer clear of the foolish giggling girlfriend scenarios and drama that so plagued this series previously. I haven't given up hope though. The Ethan Cobblepot storyline still holds some intrigue if we can lose the bogus romance, and Magpie was a great adversary in this even if they locked her up perhaps too easily. The trail has jumped the rails a little, but it's not off the track, so hold on and cross your fingers, folks!

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6.0
Batgirl (2016) #9

Mar 22, 2017

We continue to slip back into old bad habits in this title and that's disappointing. There's good stuff here: the story presses forward, the art is delightful and engaging, the hope of a battle with the Penguin looms, the cover is lovely. but Babs Gordon is right back to being a walking social disaster. I really hope Larson has a plan for Alysia and Jo because I right now I dislike both of them for taking up space in this comic. And if we're supposed to be charmed by Ethan Cobblepot and relate to Babs' moony conflict, all I can say is ick.

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6.5
Batgirl (2016) #10

Apr 26, 2017

Haters are going to hate this book. I'm waffling somewhere in the middle. There's some over-the-top silliness, but it's so over-the-top I can only assume it's deliberate. And part of me gives props to Larson for just going with it. Lightning fast costume change? Why not? Reconstructed autopilot car crash? It's like Babs has the Force! Ethan goes CEO to Stylin' Birdbrain without cause or warning? All the better to color things up. Put yourself in the mindset of a pre-teen and this is a pretty hip ride. For the adults, at least we get to see some fun cameos and Penguin's frothy appearance just might keep it classy.

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8.0
Batgirl (2016) #11

May 24, 2017

This book still has work to do, but I think Hope Larson is doing it and doing it well. While this storyline took a stumble with the crowbarred romance, most everything else about it works out pretty well"the sillier bits are acknowledged as silly, the over-the-top roommate drama seems to be put to rest, and Babs saves the day without needing the help of twelve other supporting characters"which is something we honestly haven't really seen her do up until Larson took over the pages and started reminding us that Batgirl is the star of the book! For that alone, I boosted this rating half a star.

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4.5
Batgirl (2016) Annual #1

Mar 30, 2017

This one's a big fail for me on a number of fronts: the baited marketing, the lackluster stories, and maybe especially Barbara Gordon, genius Batgirl, recast as bumbling dwidiot. DC seems to keep wanting to tell us that Batgirl isn't as smart as we expect her to be, but I can't for the life of me figure out why. Save your shekels. This one may entertain the Burnside fans and people who like Babs Gordon's life to be rife with personal drama, but it's a snoozer for a superhero comic and really only has some occasionally nice high-energy art going for it in my opinion.

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7.5
Batgirl (2016) #1

Jul 27, 2016

While my numeric score may seem a bit hedgey, make no doubt about it: I am thrilled with this new beginning for the former Burnside Bat. The weakest thing about this issue is that it's mostly ramp-up, but that's hardly a bad thing if you've been waiting a long time to rekindle your love for Barbara Gordon. She's looking and sounding great under the auspices of Hope Larson and Rafael Albuquerque and the book overall feels like it's headed in a solid direction. We're likely going to see some character growth in terms of Babs' fighting skills as she trots around Asia trying to solve a mystery surrounding an old childhood friend. Couldn't be happier to be along for the ride!

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7.0
Batgirl (2016) #2

Aug 25, 2016

What this book may lack in flash at the moment, it makes up for with excellent character development and a Barbara Gordon who really is starting to look like her old self now that she's as far away from Burnside as one could hope. The mystery of the killer schoolgirl clan is simmering on Hope Larson's burner as she navigates our Batgirl deeper into what is starting to look like a fringe fight club. This issue is rather low key, but here's to hoping it's building toward some explosive revelations and big Bat-action!

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8.0
Batgirl (2016) #3

Sep 29, 2016

I shouldn't be so impressed that Batgirl strikes me as an actual mature crime-fighter in Hope Larson's takeover of this series, but I can't help it. I'm enjoying Batgirl again in a way I haven't for too long. I never thought I would find myself intrigued by a story like this with Babs so far from "home" and largely on her own, but it's just the break we've needed from what had become a weirdly overpopulated series full of deranged cartoon villains and too many BFFs for our Bat-hero. Larson and Albuquerque have made this book a true stand out"for all the right reasons.

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8.5
Batgirl (2016) #4

Oct 26, 2016

Some silliness involving Batgirl's identity notwithstanding, this is best of Hope Larson's "Beyond Burnside" opening arc yet. As the story unravels, we get to see how this mystery is perfectly suited for the specific talents of Barbara Gordon: her tech savvy, her eidetic memory, her big heart, and all her fighting skill have come into play along this journey. Now she's about to take on an unexpected antagonist: not merely a deadly martial artist, but perhaps an undead one?

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Batgirl (2016) #5

Nov 23, 2016

This conclusion of the "Beyond Burnside" Rebirth falls a mite short of my own expectations, even though it's a solid read and I appreciate that all the loose ends were tied off. I was really hoping to end with some whiz-bang revelations and an epic climactic battle of strength and will. We got both, but in smaller doses that I think we could have. Still, I'm calling it overall a success and looking forward to the Gordon girl's next adventure!

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9.0
Batgirl (2016) #6

Dec 28, 2016

Hope Larson demonstrates that she can write a tight complex one-shot using lots of go-to comic tropes without completely rehashing tired scenarios. Batgirl here is funny, quick on her feet, and whip-smart. She also gets to display some fun gadgets. Even though Poison Ivy inadvertently causes part of the crisis, Batgirl is level-headed about what's "just" under the circumstances. Okay, there's some story silliness here due to the very nature of costumes superheroes, but if you can't tolerate a little dual-persona illogic you shouldn't be reading comics books to begin with.

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8.5
Batgirl (2016) #7

Jan 25, 2017

This isn't exactly elegant, but it's getting the job done without apologies. I love that Larson has gone in with a surgical knife and is cutting away anything that won't contribute to a healthy Batgirl title going forward. She's also making her own mark by introducing Ethan Cobblepot to the world (can't wait to see what he's all about), and she's brought Dick back into Babs' life in a way that better than just peripheral "ex" nonsense. Wildgoose keeps the energy high in the art and this book has a solid combination of action and character building with a real emphasis on pushing the story forward. This is a very exciting time for Batgirl and I'm very optimistic about this new team!

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
Batgirl (2016) #8

Feb 22, 2017

Hope Larson throws us a curve by dipping back into the former team's aesthetic just a little too much this issue. Yes, Batgirl is back in Burnside, but I was really hoping for more clean-cutting from that previous world. While I appreciate that we can't just ret-con Frankie and Alysia and Babs' clean energy project out of existence, I really hoped Larson would steer clear of the foolish giggling girlfriend scenarios and drama that so plagued this series previously. I haven't given up hope though. The Ethan Cobblepot storyline still holds some intrigue if we can lose the bogus romance, and Magpie was a great adversary in this even if they locked her up perhaps too easily. The trail has jumped the rails a little, but it's not off the track, so hold on and cross your fingers, folks!

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6.0
Batgirl (2016) #9

Mar 22, 2017

We continue to slip back into old bad habits in this title and that's disappointing. There's good stuff here: the story presses forward, the art is delightful and engaging, the hope of a battle with the Penguin looms, the cover is lovely. but Babs Gordon is right back to being a walking social disaster. I really hope Larson has a plan for Alysia and Jo because I right now I dislike both of them for taking up space in this comic. And if we're supposed to be charmed by Ethan Cobblepot and relate to Babs' moony conflict, all I can say is ick.

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6.5
Batgirl (2016) #10

Apr 26, 2017

Haters are going to hate this book. I'm waffling somewhere in the middle. There's some over-the-top silliness, but it's so over-the-top I can only assume it's deliberate. And part of me gives props to Larson for just going with it. Lightning fast costume change? Why not? Reconstructed autopilot car crash? It's like Babs has the Force! Ethan goes CEO to Stylin' Birdbrain without cause or warning? All the better to color things up. Put yourself in the mindset of a pre-teen and this is a pretty hip ride. For the adults, at least we get to see some fun cameos and Penguin's frothy appearance just might keep it classy.

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8.0
Batgirl (2016) #11

May 24, 2017

This book still has work to do, but I think Hope Larson is doing it and doing it well. While this storyline took a stumble with the crowbarred romance, most everything else about it works out pretty well"the sillier bits are acknowledged as silly, the over-the-top roommate drama seems to be put to rest, and Babs saves the day without needing the help of twelve other supporting characters"which is something we honestly haven't really seen her do up until Larson took over the pages and started reminding us that Batgirl is the star of the book! For that alone, I boosted this rating half a star.

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5.0
Batgirl: Endgame #1

Mar 19, 2015

A quick read that contributes nothing unique or necessary to either the current Batgirl title or Endgame, if you've already purchased this, chances are you found it mildly entertaining as I did or you're seething at the waste of it all. With the possible reactions at such antipodes, I couldn't help but give this a perfect middle-of-the-road score.

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6.0
Batgirl: Futures End #1

Sep 11, 2014

A strange and interesting take on the potential outcome of Batgirl's world for the Futures End month, but ultimately I think it's forgettable and will be happily forgotten five years from now. There may be some intriguing possible clues about the fates of Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, Tiffany Fox, Jim Gordon, and even possibly Dick Grayson, but none of it feels like it will stick or is worth fretting over.

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9.0
Batman/The Shadow #2

May 24, 2017

Steve Orlando's script has exactly the right balance of classic serial melodrama and gritty cinematic edge. He and Scott Snyder are weaving a story that feels completely timeless, but always timely: the cosmic battle of good vs. evil heavily draped with questions of justice and revenge. Already the story feels destined to sit on the shelves among other giants of Batman lore. While the Stag is an intriguing enemy (as I'm sure the Joker will prove as well), it's the conflicted dynamic between the Shadow and Batman"two creatures duty-bound"that makes this book outstanding!

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9.5
Batman: Europa #1

Nov 18, 2015

It's got its quibbling flaws, but who cares: Batman Europa is exquisitely rendered and the characters shine. I've missed Batman and Joker for years now, so this is like an early Christmas gift that's going to keep giving into the new year. It's a shame this book is only running four issues. If they're all this good, I might cry when it concludes in February 2016. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to our dying duo's travels to Prague in December!

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7.5
Batman: Europa #2

Dec 16, 2015

The sophomore issue of this limited series is no less visually stunning than the first, but the story feels a bit thinner than the paper it's printed on at this point. The richness of the history between Batman and the Joker might yet save it, but I'm personally feeling the need to adjust my expectations. Doesn't make it a bad read, but it does have the strange quality of offering astonishing art and yet not a lot of story despite an inflated page count.

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7.0
Batman: Europa #3

Dec 31, 2015

I love Batman and the Joker enough to overlook a lot of problems with this mini-series, but this issue did try my patience a bit. I think it might work better in trade but even then, the redundant story structure continues to lack freshness or spontaneity and the stakes don't feel any greater now that Bats & Jokes have met their foe. Unfortunately this just isn't a very strong story despite some occasionally beautiful artwork and the whole of picturesque Paris as a backdrop.

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5.0
Batman: Europa #4

Feb 4, 2016

At the end of the day I'm of a mind that you can go to the beach and play volleyball or you can go to the beach and sit under an umbrella and watch the waves. Both can be equally satisfying depending on your mood. Batman Europa is an European vacation fully under the umbrella. We've been taken on a beautiful exotic journey that has demanded no particular effort or engagement on our part.

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8.0
Batwoman #1

Feb 16, 2017

 

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8.5
Batwoman (2017) #1

Mar 15, 2017

This opening salvo gives me high hopes for the Batwoman series. Bennett and Tynion seem to be approaching this with a sensibility that's keeping Kate's older fanbase in mind, while deftly reintroducing her to a new audience. If you like an exotic global flavor to accompany your costumes and capes, this book is showing lots of potential for high stakes international intrigue!

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8.0
Batwoman (2017) #2

Apr 20, 2017

Feels like we're still in ramp-up mode with Batwoman, but what a ramp! Bennett and Tynion are building some very interesting dynamics between Kate, her old flame Safiyah, and her presumed mark"the Many Arms/Hands/Feet whatever they are.

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7.0
Batwoman (2017) #3

May 17, 2017

Bennett and Tynion still play it safe in this issue as Kate's investigation of the mysterious island and its inscrutable inhabitants inches forward. We get the promise of some major threats on the horizon, but for now Kate still feels like she's reacting rather than acting. The next issue might change that, though, and in the meantime, Epting's art makes this well worth the price of admission; it is, truly, the heart of this comic at the moment.

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8.0
Convergence: Harley Quinn #1

Apr 9, 2015

I enjoyed this a lot despite the fact that I wasn't a fan of the art. Harley, Catwoman, and Ivy in their old costumes certainly brings back memories and even though Gotham City Sirens was a bit hit-and-miss, it was a series with untapped potential. Seeing these villainesses pull it together (despite the fact that their friendship ended badly) is a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to seeing how silly this can get once Harley confronts her rabbity foe!

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9.0
Convergence: Nightwing / Oracle #1

Apr 9, 2015

If Grayson isn't the direction you wanted for former Robin Dick Grayson, and if Batgirl's recent redesign has put you off New 52 Barbara Gordon, this is the book of your dreams: Nightwing and Oracle side-by-side again: childhood pals fallen in love through their mutual association with Batman and their desire to join his crusade. This book has it all: super dynamic action, Nightwing's great quips, Oracle's steel-trap mind, a little romance, a lot of danger, and a great cliffhanger. A must-read among the Convergence titles out this month!

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8.0
Convergence: Swamp Thing #1

May 21, 2015

Despite a lot of quibbling with the details, I really enjoyed this story. You can skip the first issue and go straight to issue no. 2 if you're just in it for the Batman stuff (which is where its worth lies anyway), and Wein does manage to keep the Convergence bout fresh by giving our monstrous challengers some philosophical meat to chew on. As with some of the other Convergence titles, the ramifications of the outcome of this battle are rather unclear and it doesn't seem like it will have any lingering effects in the status quo going forward, but issue no. 2 is a fun pitched battle full of gruesome monsters and a very cool Bat-vampire. The Convergence storylines are full of defeats, but as far as comic book entertainment is concerned, this one can be counted a win.

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9.5
Convergence: The Question #1

Apr 8, 2015

If you never read a pre-New 52 comic and you're worried about understanding the characters in these lost dimensions, have no fear! Rucka not only quickly and easily established the "Dome Order" in this book, but sets up the characters in a way that makes them instantly awesome and wholly relatable. The Convergence formula of world vs. world is used to a unique advantage in that it's not Telos' invader who is coming to challenge our protagonists for supremacy, but Harvey Dent who's looking to make trouble in the hopes of putting an end to his disordered life. Buy this and revel in it!

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8.5
Convergence: Wonder Woman #1

May 24, 2015

Larry Hama gives us a comic book two-parter that finds the fun in comics again. Despite the darkness of this tale and what feels like actual stakes with actual consequences, this is just a great afternoon read with a satisfyingly complete story that you can treat as part of the Convergence or just another Elseworld. I especially enjoyed the depiction of the vampire Joker and the full-circle plotting that provides Wonder Woman with a complete physical and emotional journey. It goes to show once again that we don't need a 12-part saga with 7 crossovers to tell an impactful tale about our favorite heroes and their mighty feats.

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8.0
DC Bombshells #3

Oct 15, 2015

DC Bombshells continues to be alternate-universe-kicking fun with this conclusion of the enlistment of some of our principal heroes. We've yet to see how our Russian sisters will be joining forces and Zatanna is still trapped in a Nazi pesthouse, but I have a feeling once Batwoman gets deployed overseas we're going to see a lot more mixing it up. Still lots of characters to introduce in an already crowded cast, but so far Bennett is juggling it all beautifully even if the art continues to feel a tad schizophrenic in terms of tone.

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9.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #1

Aug 12, 2015

DC Comics Bombshells releases digitally on Saturdays and the monthly collected edition gives you 40 pages for your four bucks. It's got an all-star female lineup that puts Marvel's concessionary female Thor to shame. And it's set in an alternate WWII past with fun attention to 1940s aesthetics including the architecture, costumes, hairstyles, and other culturally recognizable nods. While the opening issue is mostly introductions and scene-setting, it's clearly and aptly laying in the groundwork for exciting adventures ahead. The two Marguerites (Bennett and Sauvage) make comics fun again (with a high appeal to a young female audience) without sacrificing any character integrity. I am very much looking forward to seeing where this book takes us!

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7.5
DC Comics: Bombshells #2

Sep 2, 2015

Some of the artistic choices made in this issue are a bit on the rough side, but the story remains compelling as ever. We're still in start-up mode, but that doesn't mean this book is light on action or character development. Bringing the Nazis right into the mix also adds a dark undercurrent that's so well done it's downright uncomfortable–but that's what you've signed up for with DC Comics Bombshells, and who doesn't want to see our favorite superhero women kick the Gestapo in the teeth?

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #4

Nov 11, 2015

The Bombshell women are headed into combat and it seems like only a matter of time before they get into fisticuffs with one another. In the meantime, however, they are still trying to figure out their roles within the armies to which they have pledged. Add the unpredictable element of Harley Quinn leaping into the fray with agendas of her own and you have an entertaining mix of nice throwback bubblegum adventure with a little slice of the darkness of global warfare lurking beneath the glitzy costumes. Bennett does a marvelous job of explaining Wonder Woman's costume and makes the first literal connection to the painted airplane bombshells so familiar from World War II. This is a great series, even though it occasionally feels all over the European map at the moment.

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7.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #6

Dec 9, 2015

It's nice to see that characters like Mera and Big Barda aren't just one-and-done in this world. There are a lot of undercurrents at play in the story, which is chock-full of possibility, but everything feels a little bogged down in the art department at the moment. While I applaud DC's use of predominantly female artists to work on this series, it really needs a regular team to help pull all of its various pieces together in a way that makes more aesthetic sense. Reading this almost feels like trying to watch a TV show where they change up the actors every week. This book is the poster child for a recent social media argument about the disproportionate attention on writers of comic books. The art matters on so many levels even if many of them are subliminal to most readers.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #7

Jan 6, 2016

The "Allies" arc comes out of the gate at full force with a storyline grounded in Gotham and away from the bigger concerns of the warfront, but still tied into the main action of the book overall. If you ever wanted to see what some of your favorite Bat-characters might look like in the Bombshells setting (not all of them have been done up all glossy in Ant Lucia's promotional art), this is a fine, fun adventure to pick up–even if you're not reading the rest of the series. Some of the art is a little rough in places, but Bennett does well juggling a large cast and keeping the story active and engaging.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #9

Feb 11, 2016

The mix of characters who are heavily featured in this book work really well together. Even though Wonder Woman is off fighting her own battle against the Baroness, the scene provides information and action relevant to the rise of the Tenebrae, linking what might seem like disparate events. Bennett has also seamlessly created an organic tie between Supergirl, Stargirl, and Mera that will now doubt strengthen their friendship going forward, even as secrets about each of them are slowly being revealed. This book may not have the epic gravitas of Injustice when it began its run, but it's full of great old-fashioned comic book action with an endless splash of classic characters.

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6.5
DC Comics: Bombshells #10

Mar 18, 2016

DC Bombshells continues to be an uneven mix of fun character moments, sometimes great action, and occasionally puzzling design and plot choices. For sheer superhero entertainment with a deliberate focus on the female lineup, it can't be beat, but the story feels less well-interconnected than its epic premise seems to promise and it lacks a balance of power as the mystical dynamics have completely overshadowed the more human elements of the actual world war. I'm still hoping we'll circle back to that as there are characters we haven't seen for a while, but in the meantime, it's always great to watch Wonder Woman kicking butt and taking names!

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #11

Apr 14, 2016

There was so much good in this issue, but it feel like it got seriously undercut by the strange treatment of Batwoman and the loss of her "support" team in Catwoman and Huntress. Still, the action is top notch as the other Bombshells combine forces to start a defense against the Tenebrae's attack on England, including a fun mix of shadow creatures and deep-sea monstrosities. There are still many plot threads dangling off the hem of the cape on this comic, but gradually we're seeing stuff cohese and it's nice to get a sense of some of the character's subplots gradually working their way out. On concept alone, this remains one of the stronger Elseworld-style books I've come across in a long time, and the consistency of the artwork (matching artists and having contiguous work throughout combined issues) has shown much improvement over the recent issues.

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8.5
DC Comics: Bombshells #12

May 12, 2016

Bombshells has been on a roll and this London finale was a great conclusion to a 6-part arc that finally brought all of our Bombshells girls together (well, maybe not all, but nearly all). Even Batwoman returns for a small role in this mostly battle-focused issue where all the girls' superpowers are highlighted and both Mera and Stargirl demonstrate courage above and beyond!

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7.5
DC Comics: Bombshells #13

May 27, 2016

After last issue of Bombshells was so emotionally heavy and had such a big impact on the lineup, it was nice to take a break from that theatre of the war and come back to Gotham for a spell. The "Batgirls" are an interesting team-up (even if they are sans Babs Gordon), and this issue has some great villain moments with the Penguin and Hugo Strange. It also introduces young Lois Lane, you is as intrepid as ever, and reminds us that Maggie Sawyer is still back home waiting for her Kate Kane to return as well. As always this book delivers solid adventure for the price of admission even if it is of the more predictable variety.

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8.0
DC Comics: Bombshells #14

Jun 3, 2016

I gave this book an extra point for doing something different for this issue, even if it wasn't 100% successful. I love when books change things up just to get out of the potential rut of telling stories that become predictable in terms of their arc or style. When you have an issue like this that tells a variety of stories tied together thematically which can almost be enjoyed as pure standalone, I actually think it strengthens the value of the book (as opposed to those year-long arcs). Bombshells does the right thing by building on the broader narrative but also remembering to keep the arcs small enough that readers can come and go without the burden of lengthy commitments.

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7.5
DC Comics: Bombshells #15

Jul 14, 2016

The first trade is already out, but we'll put the new one on the docket as soon as we're caught up and looking at new material again!Recommended If"You still enjoy a comic with a lot of moving parts, an all-star cast, and a great mix of adventure and fun character relationship dynamics.Learning about real history through a superhero alternate history turns you on.You just can't get enough estrogen from the regular lineup.Overall

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8.0
DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1

Dec 15, 2016

Get yourself a cup of spiced cider, eggnog, cocoa, an Irish whiskey, or any other favorite warm drink of choice, and curl up in a big chair with this one. A motley assortment of characters and art styles pack this book with spirit-filled stories that skirt the line between sentimental and fuzzy warm. Book leans heavily on favorite characters like Superman and Batman, but also includes some interesting other guests like Detective Chimp, John Constantine, and Krypto the superdog. The holiday is covered from Christmas Eve through the Epiphany and from a variety of cultural and religious perspectives. Something that will be fun to read this year and again in future years too, I'd wager.

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7.5
Deathstroke (2014) #4

Jan 28, 2015

If my score seems low it's because in spite of really digging the Gotham stuff, it was a long journey to get there full of scenes of somewhat flat conversations and airports and heavy explanations. Especially compared to the pacing of the previous three issues, this one felt weighted down by a lot of information and set-up, but it ends on a high note and I expect it will be back to big brawling fun next go-round!

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8.0
Deathstroke (2014) #5

Feb 26, 2015

This is the kind of comic I remember reading as a kid: lots of fighting, some cheeky quips, and then the hero is off to the next encounter with nary a consequence to be found. The formula obviously works (it has for over 75 years) and this book will nicely while away part of your evening. It's not going to challenge your thinking and it doesn't innovate in the realm of comic book storytelling, but it's altogether solid and entertaining (and violent for those of you who like it that way). Will it get you to keep reading Deathstroke if you're not already a regular reader? It's doubtful. But for Batman fans, this is a fine treat!

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4.5
Flash (2011) #51

May 4, 2016

For not being a regular reader of The Flash, this was not a great introduction. You don't need the lead-in issue (No. 50) to make total sense of this, but this storyline will definitely continue into Issue No. 52 as this one ends with the Riddler in control of Central City and Flash at his mercy. That makes it sounds pretty thrilling, but Jensen's mostly served up a pretty vanilla premise, the stakes of which feel a little ho-hum. Maybe if you're a fan of the Flash you care about anonymous Central City citizens being threatened with assault drones, but I was mostly distracted by how silly the Rogues look in the modern world and how ill-used much of the panel layouts were.

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4.0
Flash (2011) #52

May 26, 2016

I know I was pretty harsh in this review, but it's really hard to know what they were thinking in terms of the story and writing for this one. There were stakes, but they weren't exploited to any effective potential. There was action, but it was pretty unremarkable and predictable. And there was the Riddler in one of his dumber incarnations in the DCU. Ironically, if this had been a Saturday morning cartoon, I'd've been gentler with is assuming it's for a young audience and reading into it more broad characterizations and forgiving it its myriad sillinesses. But if Batman: the Animated Series taught us anything, it taught us that even children's series can be sophisticated, and this is Flash's signature title. It's just too bad it ended on this dud of a tale. Go read Rebirth if you haven't already. You'll feel better.

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8.0
Gotham By Midnight Annual #1

Jul 30, 2015

We briefly see Doctor Tarr in this book, but the rest of the shift (and all of their Internal Affairs worries) are set aside as we focus on Jim Corrigan and Lisa Drake hunting down the specter known as The Gentleman Ghost. Of course Corrigan's own Spectre makes an appearance as well, though the majority of this tale is heavier on the sleuthing. An interesting story that doesn't add much to the regular series, but provides an opportunity to spend time with some of the coolest characters working in Gotham, this annual is an entertaining digression and worth an evening's read.

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8.5
Gotham By Midnight #1

Nov 28, 2014

The team of Fawkes and Templesmith give us something savory and exciting: a shadowy Gotham world populated with quirky after-hours caretakers. Despite this being a maiden voyage, it manages to push through a lot of introductions and exposition while getting a compelling story to roll. I'm betting that exciting things are up ahead for this series, so you'll definitely want to get on board while the engine is warming–before this peels off and leaves you in its eldritch wake.

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8.0
Gotham By Midnight #2

Dec 27, 2014

A little shaky at the start, but the issue picks up speed and is starting to dovetail nicely. Fawkes' mystery deepens with events having a personal connection to the Midnight Team. We also get a greater sense of both the magnitude of what they are fighting and also of Jim Corrigan's struggle to find any means available to problem-solve without invoking the Spectre (if he is able). Templesmith wreaks havoc on the page (perhaps a little too zealously in the opening scene), but the beauty of his colors and the vibrancy of his characters make this book visually delightful even in the midst of its grotesqueries.

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8.0
Gotham By Midnight #3

Jan 30, 2015

Three issues in a lot of crazy stuff has happened, but we're clearly still just ramping up. I look forward to this book every month and I hope others enjoy it too; it's not your standard fare and maybe has limited appeal for traditional Batfans, but it's full of cool characters and the creepy plot doesn't shy from preying on some of our primal fears: demons, disease, and scary-as-all-get-out children. If you're looking for something on the edge, give this a try; it's not too late to get on board for this opening arc.

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9.5
Gotham By Midnight #4

Feb 26, 2015

I'm going to miss Ben Templesmith on this book, but it's nevertheless going to continue to be a rollicking good read. It offers a unique perspective on Gotham City and has a cast of characters who are interesting, nuanced, and even fun despite the horror-factor that they are perpetually dealing with! I'm excited to finally meet the Spectre in this incarnation and will be eagerly awaiting the next installment!

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9.0
Gotham By Midnight #5

Mar 26, 2015

Ben Templesmith closes out his art duties on Gotham by Midnight (sadly) with this issue, but he makes sure it's a doozy of a visual spectacle. The Spectre makes his first major move and Ray Fawkes writes him beautifully: full of brimstone fury without sounding like a street-corner preacher. If you're looking for some spice to add to your pull list, this book has the best of all worlds: dynamic art that wonderfully unsettling (as the genre should), a great writer who understands how to temper magic with horror, and a powerful underlying story populated with interesting souls.

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7.5
Gotham By Midnight #6

Jun 24, 2015

Don't let what seems like a low score scare you: this is a great book. I mostly docked points for the not-terribly-creative corporation plot, though it's executed brilliantly by Ferreyra and makes for a fine, fun read. This is definitely a transitional issue full of transitional information (great for newcomers, mostly), though all of the characters are behaving a little bit "off"–presumably on account of recent events (the death of one of their partners). Nevertheless, with the introduction of Kate Spencer and the ongoing threat of the consuming evil that underlies Gotham, I can't wait to see what comes next (and am especially excited to see Ferreyra's work on the Spectre himself).

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9.0
Gotham By Midnight #7

Jul 24, 2015

Maybe one of the best things about Gotham By Midnight is that it's big on Gotham atmosphere without feeling the need to pander (look everybody: a book in which Harley Quinn hasn't made an appearance!). Even though I love the brief flashback cameo from Gordon (who wouldn't?), hopefully this disconnect will last because this is definitely a crew that deserves to stand on its own feet. The Midnight Shift continues to contribute its own interesting layer to the Gotham mythos and if you're skipping out on this book due to its lack of bat-action, you're cheating yourself of some very fine comic book entertainment.

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8.5
Gotham By Midnight #8

Aug 26, 2015

Sergeant Rook has his hooks in the Midnight Shift, but once again his allegiances are fluid as sand: one minute he's calling down the fire and the next he's hedging caution. I feel like there's something more going on with him, but we're going to have to wait this part out patiently as Fawkes is playing a long game with that particular part of the plot. Meanwhile, IA is ramping up the investigation regardless of Rook's misgivings, and the team itself? Well, they're still not very cohesive since Sister Justine's death, but their dedication to one another and the job is without question. This book delivers action, pathos, and some pretty gross-out horror. If you're not reading it because you think it's not your thing, your "thing" needs serious expanding because this book is truly terrific.

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10
Gotham By Midnight #9

Sep 23, 2015

It's been almost exactly a year to the day since I've given a comic book a 10/10 review. This book deserves every bit of it. And not just because I'm emotional about the cancellation announcement, but because, emotionally, this book just gets me where I live: Corrigan is shaping up to be a truly tragic figure with a harrowing burden, and although not all the truths have been revealed at this point, the action can only escalate toward a finale of cataclysmic and tragic proportions.

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8.5
Gotham By Midnight #11

Dec 2, 2015

Gotham by Midnight is my favorite title right now (and will be for at least one more month–then I'll cry in my beer). I have all faith Fawkes and Ferreyra can end it well, even under the pressure. And yeah, I'm still hoping for the possibility of an 11th-inning save on this storyline, this world, and these amazing characters. It could happen in a freshly launched Spectre book. C'mon DC, be cool.

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9.5
Gotham By Midnight #12

Dec 23, 2015

Gotham by Midnight was a lovely divergence from the typical superhero fare, melding crime drama and horror in a perfect symbiosis with one of DC oldest and most powerful entities–along with an amazing new cast of delightful (and tragic) characters. Is this bittersweet finale a bit tidy and quick? It kind of had to be, unfortunately. But at least we got an ending of sorts and I think it's a good one. The aftermath is all for our imaginations; it's the little bit we get to carry away in our hearts and into the world.

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #0

Jun 26, 2014

This one's hard to rate because it is a redux, but if you're coming to the material for the first time, it's a 10/10. The additional content is a solid value even if the presentation is a bit hard on the eyes, but unless you really want all this behind-the-scenes stuff you don't need to buy it again. Would have also liked to have seen more sketch work to maybe fill in some of the more glaring gaps and balance those walls of text.

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7.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #6

Jun 22, 2014

Not a perfect leaping-in point and doesn't add anything especially surprising or new to the series, but it's still a whizz-dinger of a conclusion for the current story and ends on a promise of more excitement to come!

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9.5
Harley Quinn (2013) #7

Jun 22, 2014

This might have been a perfect score if I hadn't thought the Speedo bums were a bit weird (even for a Harley Quinn comic). If you haven't been reading this series, pick up this book! If you don't like it, then you know the whole deal is not for you because everything about the art, the characters, and the tone seem to be exactly perfect for what Conner, Palmiotti, and Hardin are serving up: sheer silliness with a substantial side of savagery.

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8.5
Harley Quinn (2013) #8

Jul 31, 2014

Conner and Palmiotti are in fine form with this mad melange: you get pawn shop mayhem, derby destruction, rooftop poo-flinging lunacy, and all-out assassin obliteration. I'm always amazed (and delighted) at how much random insanity the creative team manages to pack into a single issue and the brutal black humor is something for which I confess a fondness. I just don't recommend you read this while eating.

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7.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #9

Aug 14, 2014

I really love this book! And yet rating it gets harder as it goes on because I find myself holding it up to the standard set by its best issues. This is a good solid issue with a lot of funny material and some of that genuine heart that makes Harley so appealing as a character. But it does wobble a bit in the art department and while it the story is fun, it feels comparatively inconsequential. Hopefully we'll see Ed again and in retrospect this issue may then have more weight. For now, enjoy it just for the kicks!

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6.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #10

Aug 28, 2014

Hey, they can't all be gems, right? It pains me to not love a book that I look so forward to reading, but I have to admit this has been my least favorite issue so far. It feels like an uncharacteristic misstep for the otherwise brilliant team of Conner and Palmiotti, and I had to score it accordingly. While still serving up some yuks and a relatively satisfying derby brawl, there were some real detractions. The mix of charm-free art and too many story bricks that are clearly meant to build a bridge but ultimately take you nowhere just had me feeling frustrated with this outing.

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #11

Oct 23, 2014

Perhaps it's a testament to the enjoyment this comic brings that it always feels like it ends too soon. Power Girl is firmly in Harley's capricious clutches, but now we have to wait a whole month to find out how they're going to work together (or not–I'm thinking not). With a cliffhanger to get us off in that direction, we know the next issue is sure to open with a bang. Be sure to look for Amanda Conner's variant cover!

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8.5
Harley Quinn (2013) #12

Nov 19, 2014

Sometimes you I enjoy Harley Quinn in spite of myself. From the moment Harley and Power Girl stepped through the portal across time and space, every fibre of my being was bracing for a disappointing disaster, but Conner and Palmiotti pulled me in, hooked me with the Pizza Horta, had me cracking up at the 45 apathetic children of Manos, and rooting for this bizarre interstellar duo to trounce the galactic ringmaster with a dose of his own power. And at the end of the ride, Clock King and Sportsmaster are still waiting for their comeuppance, so it's all in good fun and I'm looking forward to doing it again in December!

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #13

Dec 26, 2014

Sometimes I want some substance from my comics–or a story that at least is marginally grounded in reality insofar as comic books are concerned. With Harley Quinn I've come to expect not a whole lot of either and that's okay. While some may have found the conclusion to this three-part arc to have been too quick and too facile, I just laughed the way I might at the end of some Saturday morning cartoon in which devastating things should have happened but somehow didn't and we'll see the characters all up to their wacky hi-jinx all over again after the commercial break–that's the spirit in which to read this comic. That said, all of this frivolity does need the occasional gravity to hold it down (just as dark stories need their occasional levity), and I hope we see some consequential action in the next few issues (nothing dire, just a little more heart to accompany the hilarity).

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #14

Jan 29, 2015

Light on story, this book doesn't further any major plot points, but is nonetheless a series of highly varied and fun vignettes that carry Harley from her waking moments to the end of a very long day. And it does this with style and substance–both fun and heart–as we can expect from the team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti at their best. With gorgeous clean art from Chad Hardin and sumptuous colors from Alex Sinclair, this book is visually satiating as well. Next month's solicits promise us all this is about to boil over and potentially have a real impact, though, so we'll have to wait and see.

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8.5
Harley Quinn (2013) #15

Mar 5, 2015

Despite being mostly set up for a new arc, this book delivers a lot of action between new character introductions and quite a bit of talking. The art absolutely delivers a great script and just as we've come to expect, this is an issue full of word and sight gags. Pick up this book for a change of pace from dark Gotham stories: if you like fun in your reading, you shouldn't be disappointed.

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #16

Apr 1, 2015

Another chapter of setting the stage toward Harley's imminent gang, all branded with her iconic red and black diamonds, and ready to maim and kill in the service of world harmony. This issue is a lot talkier than the usual Harley Quinn fare, but there's never a dull moment and plenty of plot progression to keep you engaged. It's going to be a long break before we pick up where this leaves off, but at least we get a couple of Harley Quinn Convergence issues to tide us over, remind us where the character came from, and, who knows: maybe help us appreciate where she is now?

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #17

Jun 11, 2015

The Gang of Harleys starts carrying out their mission and and things appear to be suspiciously under control for the most part. Naturally, this means it's all about to go south. Artist Chad Hardin delivers some spectacular work (everything from a great exploding van to a great exploding men's room). If you're looking for something in between Gotham Academy and Detective Comics that's mostly just goofy entertainment without it being too filthy for your grandma nor watered down for the tween crowd, Harley Quinn is still a safe bet.

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #18

Jul 16, 2015

I confess to feeling tentative about this whole Gang of Harleys thing, but so far Conner and Palmiotti have made this work: the Gang is functioning without being an annoying distraction, Harley herself is still the focus of the book, and Captain Strong as a foe is fun and interesting: perfect for the boardwalk environment, and goofy enough without straight-up being a giant robot gorilla. Ending on another cliff-hanger, this story isn't over yet and I'm looking forward to seeing a possible team-up between Harley and Ivy as they race to rescue Harley's foundering gang.

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #19

Aug 27, 2015

This issue has a great balance of action, sight gags, and character moments that have become the trademarks of this great series. Conner and Palmiotti have a clear direction for Harley, which makes even her most picaresque jaunts all part of a larger narrative. While this book feels like a bit of bridge (ending one plot point and starting another), it's purely entertaining. With a bonus added gross-out factor of 7/10, you might not want to read this while eating.

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #20

Sep 16, 2015

Harley Quinn (mostly) on a solo mission, so fixed on the prize that everyone else is pretty much disposable is a scenario straight out of Nostalgia City. If you yearned for Gotham City Sirens after reading Harley's Road Trip special, this book will fulfill some fantasies of Harley returning to her psychotic brain-bashing roots. Pull up a splash guard and enjoy this one!

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8.5
Harley Quinn (2013) #21

Oct 15, 2015

Harley Quinn continues her West Coast terrorism in the conclusion to a tale that combines all the best parts of stories about hitmen, mobsters, and the rich & famous. I'll be glad to see Harley return to Jersey, but this has been a fun bit of off-roading that once again proves you don't need 6-12 issues for a fun and full story arc. Palmiotti and Conner just continue to do it right.

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #22

Nov 19, 2015

Harley begins a new arc with plenty of objects in motion. As usual, all the stops have been pulled as Harley's myriad life complications clash: multiple abductions, prison boyfriend woes, and the terrible need for pancakes in the morning. Harley's got it all under control, though, with her usual murderous glee. How is it that she and the Joker aren't still a perfect pair?

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9.5
Harley Quinn (2013) #23

Dec 16, 2015

Harley's leaping from one boiler to another when all the current men in her life find themselves in hot water. This is the bloodiest, most violent issue of Harley Quinn yet, but it's only mildly gratuitous: much of the gore serves the story well and even though I'm no fan of Mason Macabre, I found myself fearing for his life. You also won't want to miss being in on the cliffhanger turn of events. Even knowing what's coming, I didn't exactly see it happening quite like this!

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #24

Jan 21, 2016

This is a fun issue of Harley Quinn but the timing feels unfortunate. With Harley on the verge of returning to Arkham since she last saw the Joker more than two years ago, this feels like a digression following the appetizer that may be tasty, but gets in the way of the main course. Yes, it's salad. Very tasty and nicely accoutered, but salad nonetheless. Enjoy a small portion, but come back next month for the steak and potatoes that are sure to follow!

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10
Harley Quinn (2013) #25

Feb 18, 2016

Harley says her farewells to the Joker and there's nothing equivocal about it. If you've been rooting for Harley to stake her independence, this is the flag planted firmly in the ground. If you've been hoping she'll go back to that horrorshow of being a battered sidekick, you'll want to see why that's just not going to happen. The best part about it is that no matter what side you're on, writers Conner and Palmiotti will likely have you nodding with approval for how this all shakes down.

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #26

Mar 24, 2016

Harley's got another spin-off series coming to a comic store near you (and don't forget her Little Black Book is also concurrently running), but nothing beats the original real deal. This book is just as much fun as a one-off guilty pleasure as it is a long-stretch journey full of fun turns and fabulous fancies. Some weeks I shake my head and wonder at some of the books on my pull list, but this is never one of them!

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10
Harley Quinn (2013) #27

Apr 27, 2016

This book hits all the right notes, including ones you didn't even know you wanted to hear. And if things weren't crazy enough in this issue, it ends with a cliff-hanger you'll want to return to. Can Red Tool out-crazy the Mistress of Madness? I for one am looking forward to finding out!

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #28

May 20, 2016

Harley and the Red Tool work out their differences–sort of–and come to an understanding with the new Chief of Police as well. Is this match made in hell headed for something more serious? Or will Harley for once in her life learn to slow down? As far as a potential team-up partner Red Tool has his charms, but does he really have what it takes to keep up with the likes of the crazy Quinn girl? Guess we'll just have to keep reading to find out. Not that I'm complaining!

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5.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #30

Jul 27, 2016

Harley Quinn has had an amazing run with Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti holding the reigns from the crazy sled, so the flatness of this final issue is disappointing perhaps on multiple levels. Newcomer artist Elsa Charretier infuses the book with a good helping of wackiness, but there just isn't much of a story here and the action is just so-so. The good news is I'm sure this book will be great again when it comes back in August and frankly, for a 30 issue run to have only one "meh" issue is nothing whatsoever to sneeze at!

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7.0
Harley Quinn (2013) Annual #1

Oct 30, 2014

Bordering on a level of insanity that might feel excessive even for a Harley Quinn book, the story nevertheless has a strong throughline and is satisfyingly complete. On the downside, it's pricey and that stinks (pun thoroughly intended). Is it a must-buy? I think, if you're just a fringe fan, you can probably skip it, but if you're buying the regular series, you'll want to have a complete set. And if you decide not to pick this up, remember that we still have one more Harley special before the year is out (a holiday book coming in December).

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #0

Jun 26, 2014

This one's hard to rate because it is a redux, but if you're coming to the material for the first time, it's a 10/10. The additional content is a solid value even if the presentation is a bit hard on the eyes, but unless you really want all this behind-the-scenes stuff you don't need to buy it again. Would have also liked to have seen more sketch work to maybe fill in some of the more glaring gaps and balance those walls of text.

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7.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #6

Jun 22, 2014

Not a perfect leaping-in point and doesn't add anything especially surprising or new to the series, but it's still a whizz-dinger of a conclusion for the current story and ends on a promise of more excitement to come!

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9.5
Harley Quinn (2013) #7

Jun 22, 2014

This might have been a perfect score if I hadn't thought the Speedo bums were a bit weird (even for a Harley Quinn comic). If you haven't been reading this series, pick up this book! If you don't like it, then you know the whole deal is not for you because everything about the art, the characters, and the tone seem to be exactly perfect for what Conner, Palmiotti, and Hardin are serving up: sheer silliness with a substantial side of savagery.

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8.5
Harley Quinn (2013) #8

Jul 31, 2014

Conner and Palmiotti are in fine form with this mad melange: you get pawn shop mayhem, derby destruction, rooftop poo-flinging lunacy, and all-out assassin obliteration. I'm always amazed (and delighted) at how much random insanity the creative team manages to pack into a single issue and the brutal black humor is something for which I confess a fondness. I just don't recommend you read this while eating.

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7.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #9

Aug 14, 2014

I really love this book! And yet rating it gets harder as it goes on because I find myself holding it up to the standard set by its best issues. This is a good solid issue with a lot of funny material and some of that genuine heart that makes Harley so appealing as a character. But it does wobble a bit in the art department and while it the story is fun, it feels comparatively inconsequential. Hopefully we'll see Ed again and in retrospect this issue may then have more weight. For now, enjoy it just for the kicks!

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6.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #10

Aug 28, 2014

Hey, they can't all be gems, right? It pains me to not love a book that I look so forward to reading, but I have to admit this has been my least favorite issue so far. It feels like an uncharacteristic misstep for the otherwise brilliant team of Conner and Palmiotti, and I had to score it accordingly. While still serving up some yuks and a relatively satisfying derby brawl, there were some real detractions. The mix of charm-free art and too many story bricks that are clearly meant to build a bridge but ultimately take you nowhere just had me feeling frustrated with this outing.

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #11

Oct 23, 2014

Perhaps it's a testament to the enjoyment this comic brings that it always feels like it ends too soon. Power Girl is firmly in Harley's capricious clutches, but now we have to wait a whole month to find out how they're going to work together (or not–I'm thinking not). With a cliffhanger to get us off in that direction, we know the next issue is sure to open with a bang. Be sure to look for Amanda Conner's variant cover!

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Harley Quinn (2013) #12

Nov 19, 2014

Sometimes you I enjoy Harley Quinn in spite of myself. From the moment Harley and Power Girl stepped through the portal across time and space, every fibre of my being was bracing for a disappointing disaster, but Conner and Palmiotti pulled me in, hooked me with the Pizza Horta, had me cracking up at the 45 apathetic children of Manos, and rooting for this bizarre interstellar duo to trounce the galactic ringmaster with a dose of his own power. And at the end of the ride, Clock King and Sportsmaster are still waiting for their comeuppance, so it's all in good fun and I'm looking forward to doing it again in December!

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #13

Dec 26, 2014

Sometimes I want some substance from my comics–or a story that at least is marginally grounded in reality insofar as comic books are concerned. With Harley Quinn I've come to expect not a whole lot of either and that's okay. While some may have found the conclusion to this three-part arc to have been too quick and too facile, I just laughed the way I might at the end of some Saturday morning cartoon in which devastating things should have happened but somehow didn't and we'll see the characters all up to their wacky hi-jinx all over again after the commercial break–that's the spirit in which to read this comic. That said, all of this frivolity does need the occasional gravity to hold it down (just as dark stories need their occasional levity), and I hope we see some consequential action in the next few issues (nothing dire, just a little more heart to accompany the hilarity).

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #14

Jan 29, 2015

Light on story, this book doesn't further any major plot points, but is nonetheless a series of highly varied and fun vignettes that carry Harley from her waking moments to the end of a very long day. And it does this with style and substance–both fun and heart–as we can expect from the team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti at their best. With gorgeous clean art from Chad Hardin and sumptuous colors from Alex Sinclair, this book is visually satiating as well. Next month's solicits promise us all this is about to boil over and potentially have a real impact, though, so we'll have to wait and see.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Harley Quinn (2013) #15

Mar 5, 2015

Despite being mostly set up for a new arc, this book delivers a lot of action between new character introductions and quite a bit of talking. The art absolutely delivers a great script and just as we've come to expect, this is an issue full of word and sight gags. Pick up this book for a change of pace from dark Gotham stories: if you like fun in your reading, you shouldn't be disappointed.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #16

Apr 1, 2015

Another chapter of setting the stage toward Harley's imminent gang, all branded with her iconic red and black diamonds, and ready to maim and kill in the service of world harmony. This issue is a lot talkier than the usual Harley Quinn fare, but there's never a dull moment and plenty of plot progression to keep you engaged. It's going to be a long break before we pick up where this leaves off, but at least we get a couple of Harley Quinn Convergence issues to tide us over, remind us where the character came from, and, who knows: maybe help us appreciate where she is now?

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #17

Jun 11, 2015

The Gang of Harleys starts carrying out their mission and and things appear to be suspiciously under control for the most part. Naturally, this means it's all about to go south. Artist Chad Hardin delivers some spectacular work (everything from a great exploding van to a great exploding men's room). If you're looking for something in between Gotham Academy and Detective Comics that's mostly just goofy entertainment without it being too filthy for your grandma nor watered down for the tween crowd, Harley Quinn is still a safe bet.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #18

Jul 16, 2015

I confess to feeling tentative about this whole Gang of Harleys thing, but so far Conner and Palmiotti have made this work: the Gang is functioning without being an annoying distraction, Harley herself is still the focus of the book, and Captain Strong as a foe is fun and interesting: perfect for the boardwalk environment, and goofy enough without straight-up being a giant robot gorilla. Ending on another cliff-hanger, this story isn't over yet and I'm looking forward to seeing a possible team-up between Harley and Ivy as they race to rescue Harley's foundering gang.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #19

Aug 27, 2015

This issue has a great balance of action, sight gags, and character moments that have become the trademarks of this great series. Conner and Palmiotti have a clear direction for Harley, which makes even her most picaresque jaunts all part of a larger narrative. While this book feels like a bit of bridge (ending one plot point and starting another), it's purely entertaining. With a bonus added gross-out factor of 7/10, you might not want to read this while eating.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #20

Sep 16, 2015

Harley Quinn (mostly) on a solo mission, so fixed on the prize that everyone else is pretty much disposable is a scenario straight out of Nostalgia City. If you yearned for Gotham City Sirens after reading Harley's Road Trip special, this book will fulfill some fantasies of Harley returning to her psychotic brain-bashing roots. Pull up a splash guard and enjoy this one!

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Harley Quinn (2013) #21

Oct 15, 2015

Harley Quinn continues her West Coast terrorism in the conclusion to a tale that combines all the best parts of stories about hitmen, mobsters, and the rich & famous. I'll be glad to see Harley return to Jersey, but this has been a fun bit of off-roading that once again proves you don't need 6-12 issues for a fun and full story arc. Palmiotti and Conner just continue to do it right.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #22

Nov 19, 2015

Harley begins a new arc with plenty of objects in motion. As usual, all the stops have been pulled as Harley's myriad life complications clash: multiple abductions, prison boyfriend woes, and the terrible need for pancakes in the morning. Harley's got it all under control, though, with her usual murderous glee. How is it that she and the Joker aren't still a perfect pair?

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Harley Quinn (2013) #23

Dec 16, 2015

Harley's leaping from one boiler to another when all the current men in her life find themselves in hot water. This is the bloodiest, most violent issue of Harley Quinn yet, but it's only mildly gratuitous: much of the gore serves the story well and even though I'm no fan of Mason Macabre, I found myself fearing for his life. You also won't want to miss being in on the cliffhanger turn of events. Even knowing what's coming, I didn't exactly see it happening quite like this!

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #24

Jan 21, 2016

This is a fun issue of Harley Quinn but the timing feels unfortunate. With Harley on the verge of returning to Arkham since she last saw the Joker more than two years ago, this feels like a digression following the appetizer that may be tasty, but gets in the way of the main course. Yes, it's salad. Very tasty and nicely accoutered, but salad nonetheless. Enjoy a small portion, but come back next month for the steak and potatoes that are sure to follow!

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Harley Quinn (2013) #25

Feb 18, 2016

Harley says her farewells to the Joker and there's nothing equivocal about it. If you've been rooting for Harley to stake her independence, this is the flag planted firmly in the ground. If you've been hoping she'll go back to that horrorshow of being a battered sidekick, you'll want to see why that's just not going to happen. The best part about it is that no matter what side you're on, writers Conner and Palmiotti will likely have you nodding with approval for how this all shakes down.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #26

Mar 24, 2016

Harley's got another spin-off series coming to a comic store near you (and don't forget her Little Black Book is also concurrently running), but nothing beats the original real deal. This book is just as much fun as a one-off guilty pleasure as it is a long-stretch journey full of fun turns and fabulous fancies. Some weeks I shake my head and wonder at some of the books on my pull list, but this is never one of them!

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Harley Quinn (2013) #27

Apr 27, 2016

This book hits all the right notes, including ones you didn't even know you wanted to hear. And if things weren't crazy enough in this issue, it ends with a cliff-hanger you'll want to return to. Can Red Tool out-crazy the Mistress of Madness? I for one am looking forward to finding out!

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #28

May 20, 2016

Harley and the Red Tool work out their differences–sort of–and come to an understanding with the new Chief of Police as well. Is this match made in hell headed for something more serious? Or will Harley for once in her life learn to slow down? As far as a potential team-up partner Red Tool has his charms, but does he really have what it takes to keep up with the likes of the crazy Quinn girl? Guess we'll just have to keep reading to find out. Not that I'm complaining!

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5.0
Harley Quinn (2013) #30

Jul 27, 2016

Harley Quinn has had an amazing run with Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti holding the reigns from the crazy sled, so the flatness of this final issue is disappointing perhaps on multiple levels. Newcomer artist Elsa Charretier infuses the book with a good helping of wackiness, but there just isn't much of a story here and the action is just so-so. The good news is I'm sure this book will be great again when it comes back in August and frankly, for a 30 issue run to have only one "meh" issue is nothing whatsoever to sneeze at!

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #1

Aug 3, 2016

There's no rest for the wicked! Harley Quinn may have closed out its series with issue No. 30 last week, but it's back with a new No. 1 and the writing team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti effectively invite new readers while giving us a taste of the cracky sort of adventure endemic to this series. Harley and the Red Tool team up to battle zombies with one very big, very unexpected turn of events. Though I have a feeling everything's going to somehow work out okay in the end, it's edge-of-the-seat fun to think about how they're going to resolve this one. Red Tool may have started off as a blatant Deadpool parody, but he has since proven to be a hilarious foil for Harley's newfound independence from the Joker. I hope he'll be around for a long time to come.

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #2

Aug 17, 2016

The re-read value on this book is in appreciating the depth and craziness of the artwork from Bret Blevins, Chad Hardin, and John Timms on this one. There's a lot going on in the big splashy action sequences (which constitute the majority of this book), and so many details worth lingering on. Harley Quinn is always a fantastic example of how to make the most of conventional comic book storytelling: the marriage of wit and whimsy in both the writing and the images elevate this book beyond mere eye-candy or fan service, and Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti always seem to find the balance between cheesy treacle and gross-out goodness–without devolving into totally brainless boobery. Long-term consistent quality like this is a rare and marvelous thing.

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #3

Sep 7, 2016

 

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7.5
Harley Quinn (2016) #4

Sep 21, 2016

Do you like your Harley stories straight-up crazy? Because "108 Million Ways to Die" qualifies. In her attempt to "do good" and render her life meaningful, Harley takes her nutsy sense of justice to Mumbai (and then Moscow) to mete out punishment to thieves who have hurt her patients and countless others. It's a bit of lunacy tinged with schadenfreude: so all-in-all, I'd say pretty typical amusing Harley fare.

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7.5
Harley Quinn (2016) #5

Oct 6, 2016

I've always praised this series for keeping it tastefully tasteless in the best way. This is the first issue that seems to cross the line a wee bit: heavy sexual innuendo and poopy humor (of the human kind, not the animal kind) was just too much for me personally this time around. But it's just a handful of panels in a book that otherwise delivers the usual great combo of violence and hilarity from Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti"all the while setting up some new intrigue that's sure to take Harley into new and interesting situations.

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #6

Oct 19, 2016

While I feel like this arc was off to a rocky start, the plot is thickening in interesting ways and even though this issue was short on good guy vs. bad guy throw-downs, I actually enjoyed the interaction between Harley and the punk scene (dog poop notwithstanding). It was also fun to see some interaction between Eggy, Red Tool, and Big T as her bandmates bonding over basketball. For some reason I'm thinking our mysterious Big Bad might not be who we're all assuming it is, so we'll just have to see how it all plays out.

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9.5
Harley Quinn (2016) #7

Nov 3, 2016

I felt tentative about how this particular plot would play out, but Conner and Palmiotti do. not. disappoint. While I feel like a little bit of the humor throughout the arc went over the line, the story itself has been one of Harley's best adventures. Props to the whole team with a special shoutout to artist John Timms who tackled some crazy crowd stuff from punk mobs to cosplay clans, and to colorist Alex Sinclair (with an assist from Hi-Fi) for so much attention to all those tiny details (tattoos! costumes! dense panels and backgrounds!). This is a book made by people who clearly love Harley and the quality of the work shows it!

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7.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #8

Nov 23, 2016

I definitely like these somewhat quieter moments between the big arcs, but I'm not a fan of Harley and Ivy, so my enjoyment of this particular adventure was tempered by that bias. Even so, there's the usual funny (and occasionally perverse) humor to buoy the story along, and the subplot of Harley's past with the Joker coming back to haunt her continues to develop. Just seeing Dr. Quinn and Mistah J sparring across a table is entertaining enough for me, and it was good to have this transition so that Harley can grow her mohawk out! Sy Borgman and Zena Bendamova feel a bit played out to me at this point, but I'm glad they're still in the stable of Harley's supporting cast: Conner and Palmiotti always have such interesting ways of tying things together in Harley's world, so no doubt these two won't be disappearing completely any time soon–and they may yet serve in interesting, fresh ways.

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9.5
Harley Quinn (2016) #9

Dec 8, 2016

This is again one of those transition stories as Harley returns to Coney Island and tries to pick up where she left off before her vacation with Ivy. I love these slice-of-life/every day adventures in comics, so this is just my cup of tea for a cold winter day. Add in some outstanding (and fun) dream sequences, and the promise of a visit from the Joker, and I'm all in! It's only a little bit of a shame we'll be interrupted by a holiday special before we see what happens next–but then the holidays are always fun with Harley too!

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #10

Dec 21, 2016

The imaginative inner world of Harley feels unlimited in this Holiday Hallucination from Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. This one leans heavy on the grotesque, though, so if you're looking for cute smiley reindeer and presents wrapped up in colored bows, you might want a different comic. But if wholesale slaughter and other abominations are your style, this might bring you some ghoulish Christmas cheer. At the end of the day Harley's fantasy world is generally harmless, but between Santa's bikini beach and a rather dark elf massacre, this is definitely not one to stuff in the kiddie stockings!

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #11

Jan 5, 2017

This book offers a potpourri of visual and intellectual delights (and yes, comedy is an intellectual delight). It's also the start of an arc the trajectory of which I have no concrete sense. It's not easy to stymie me narratively"most stories project where they're going so obviously, but given that Harley closed out her "relationship" with the Laughing Man some time ago, I'm really curious to see where this intends to go! But then I am one of those people who wistfully wishes to see Harley and the Joker back in their Punch and Judy affair. I seriously doubt we'll get that here (especially if Red Tool keeps Harley from her rendezvous), but I'm sure whatever this creative team comes up with, it's going to be a smash!

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6.5
Harley Quinn (2016) #12

Jan 18, 2017

On a technical level, I give this book a 8.5/10. The art is mostly fabulous as usual and we get a full arc of Harley discovering she's been scooped by Red Tool to smash in the Joker's face, intervening on said smashing, and taking over in her own vicious way. Does that make for a good comic book, though? And is it in keeping with the Harley Quinn character as she's been written so far? To the second question, I think the answer is yes: Harley has been rather goody-goody on occasion, but she has also proved vindictive and downright mean. But to the first question, I have to say no and I give it a 4/10. I'm not interested in a comic that revels in this kind of mean-spiritedness. The Joker is indefensible; he's horrific and deserves judgment. But seeing Harley dole it out does not endear me to her character–it kind of makes me hate her.

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8.5
Harley Quinn (2016) #13

Feb 1, 2017

I gave the last issue a frumpy score because I was irritated at the perceived message of it. This issue isn't coy at all in what it's trying to say and frankly, that makes it more palatable even if i disagree with it on a moral/spiritual level. Harley takes out her wrath on this joker (small "j" intended) in a way that isn't played for comedy (and shouldn't be). And though it's hard to look her in the eye afterwards, I can appreciate that this team wants to remind us that Harley just isn't hero material when it comes down to it. I don't love the message here, but this is a book that Harley fans should read and think about on a less than superficial level.

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7.5
Harley Quinn (2016) #14

Feb 16, 2017

 

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7.5
Harley Quinn (2016) #15

Mar 2, 2017

I mentioned last time that this isn't quite my cup of tea, but Conner and Palmiotti always keep you on your toes and I can appreciate that big time"there's no getting complacent here. I love, too, that this is such a "throw something at the wall and see if it sticks" sort of book. More comics need to take risks are this one does. So long as the characterizations are consistent, you can practically get away with anything in this medium and this whole team understands that. Looking forward to seeing what Harley Sinn does when she finds her mark, and to getting rid of this pasty Zorcrom creep!

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8.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #16

Mar 16, 2017

Atlee and Power Girl combine forces to defeat Zorcrom! Our shopped-in vampires from England turn out to be something else entirely, and the future Biggest Batfan is coming to a past near you! Oh, and Harley Quinn is in this issue somewhere too. But for being somewhat overstuffed and over-extended in the character department, this book manages to remain coherent, which is no small feat. Lot of new crazy ideas are spinning out of this one, even as we barely get a handhold on the current crazy ones.

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #17

Apr 5, 2017

This books manages to pack in a lot value into its limited pages: between the further adventures of Harley Quinn on Coney Island and the bonus story of her early wacky adventures with the Joker (in true BtAS-style), old Harley meets new and they certainly make a great duo. A book to bring home and read with great relish!

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #18

Apr 20, 2017

Conner and Palmiotti have a lot of balls–in the air. They are juggling fast and furious between two concurrently running throughlines and a major setup for an upcoming arc. Add into the mix Palmiotti and Dini's more animated adventure about the earlier antics of Harley and her Mistah J. and this is quite the buffet. Sup with leisure; there's much to delight the palette here.

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10
Harley Quinn (2016) #19

May 3, 2017

Maybe it's a weird combo: salty and gruesome on the one hand, pure rainbow confection on the other. But it works. And you want it. Trust me. This is the comic you were looking for when you picked up that other thing that didn't turn out quite as good as you hoped. Conner and Palmiotti ace this one, and Dini just frosts the top.

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9.0
Harley Quinn (2016) #20

May 18, 2017

Come for the carnage stay for the cuddles. Harley's got big trouble on her horizon as a convergence of family, past problems, and future follies threaten to undermine what little might be left of her sanity. Meanwhile, the Palmiotti/Dini "Joker Loves Harley" feature of this week's issue is the whole reason a cult of Joker & Harley even exists in the world today. Even with both of these stories only being half the pages of a full book, the buck/bang ratio on Harley Quinn seems incapable of disappointing.

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6.0
Harley Quinn and Her Gang Of Harleys #3

Jun 10, 2016

It's hard to judge this book at this point because frankly it feels like a slow burn in spite of the density of action in this issue. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but whereas Harley's regular title seems to accomplish a lot of movement forward, this title feels like it might be spinning its wheels just a bit.

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7.5
Harley Quinn and Her Gang Of Harleys #4

Aug 3, 2016

Last month I called this book a "slow burn". This month it starts to ramp up as Harley's Gang closes in on the location where Harley Sinn is keeping the Mistress of Mayhem captive. There's no bottom to the wacky imagination of Conner and Palmiotti as they throw everything (and then some) at Harley's cohorts in an attempt to keep them from their rescue. A fun cameo from Captain Strong, great input from Big Tony, and an amusing Joker shark that looks vaguely like Jabberjaw are some of the highlights of this whirligig of lunacy!

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7.0
Harley Quinn and Her Gang Of Harleys #5

Aug 31, 2016

This issue has some great action sequences and a compelling villain backstory. Do the two work well together? It's hard to know what we're supposed to feel about Harley Sinn who is mostly a monster of her own making even if there are tragedies that have soured her disposition (to the extreme). I can't help feeling I would have preferred more of an emphasis on the mindless battle between Harley's gang and the super-bots, but as a chapter of this 6-issue mini, it works well enough, and gives us lots of grist for the final showdown soon to come in the last issue.

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7.5
Harley Quinn and Her Gang Of Harleys #6

Sep 29, 2016

Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys calls it a wrap, finally defeating Sinn and her Island of horrors with an assist from offshore and more. Palmiotti and Tieri seem to have tried out a lot of ideas with this limited run, some of which were successful and some of them maybe less so, but the finale will certainly have people talking when Sinn is taken under the tutelage of one the baddest of the bad (and worst of the worst!). This series makes for a solid one-off read, but this particular issue will likely set serious implications in motion for Harley's future happiness: stay tuned to her regular series title as I'm sure there is more to come!

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9.5
Harley Quinn And Power Girl #1

Jun 17, 2015

The unusual mix of Power Girl and Harley Quinn doesn't get old in this mini-series opener that lands our two heroines on a fallen planet in the midst of multiple levels of crisis. There's never a dull moment and artist Stephane Roux makes every page worth a second look. If you want to be entertained and Secret Six wasn't fun enough"and Gotham Academy is geared too young for your tastes"then give this adventure story a try!

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8.5
Harley Quinn And Power Girl #2

Jul 23, 2015

The jokes continue fast and furious, so be sure to give this a second read in case you missed some of those backwards references and tongue-in-cheek digs. The writers keep a fair balance of inside-gags and goofs that everyone can appreciate, so it never feels like you're at a party where you don't fit in. Perhaps that's the magical appeal of the Harley Quinn series overall: it never takes itself too seriously, and it welcomes its audience in with open arms. Other titles might do well to adopt less "fixed" ideas about who "should" read their books; universality, after all, is what has made the flagship heroes endure over the last 75 years. While this is just a 6-issue mini-series, it's nice to know that this team of creative artists are enduring in their own right. And for those of you who really only like Harley in small doses, this is the perfect adventure arc.

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9.0
Harley Quinn And Power Girl #3

Aug 19, 2015

This book gets funnier the more you read and reflect on it, and the art team is top-notch. For sheer old-fashioned comic entertainment, this really can't be beat. Okay, so it's full of sophomoric sex gags and giant phalluses, but it's not over-gross and it always keeps things light and lively. Harley and Power Girl might yet make a good team if they can work together better, but I doubt Peej will ever be comfortable doing things the "Harley Way".

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7.5
Harley Quinn And Power Girl #4

Sep 24, 2015

Although issue no. 4 feels like a bit of a stepping stone between beats, this addition to the team-up mini is nonetheless entertaining as all-get-out. Most importantly, it brings Harley and Peej face-to-face with their real nemesis: Oreth Odeox. The coming and going of Vartox's ex-loves feels a little random, but might be setting up for more payoff as we head toward the finale of this super-silly-side-series.

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8.5
Harley Quinn And Power Girl #5

Nov 4, 2015

While the Harvester of Sorrows turns out to be no match for Harley's (literally) mind-boggling (and mind-exploding) mental machinations, and while it's a little bit unclear how exactly Harley's "infected" brain caused a chain-reaction that could bring down such a monolith, what's important is that this is funny and fun and both Roux and Flaviano bring their A-game to make all of the characters as large as the life with which they are infused through the writing. Always ridiculous, and always entertaining, the finale next month should be quite the doozy!

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8.0
Harley Quinn And Power Girl #6

Jan 6, 2016

The conclusion of Harley Quinn & Power Girl feels like a long denouement, but still serves up a good heaping spoonful of the usual off-kilter antics that you would expect from our titular heroines. If you've been along for the ride, you'll want to see how Harley and Peej finally close this chapter on their lives, escape a wedding to Vartox, and return to their own dimension. Solid, predictable plotting full of unpredictable gags along the way. If you missed this book in the floppies, I absolutely recommend it in trade as a (mostly) stand-alone story. Especially if you love either of these characters, space opera silliness, or just well-written pulpy adventure fun!

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7.0
Harley Quinn Holiday Special #1

Dec 11, 2014

Three stories is just not enough in this holiday special that feels like it could have spent a little more time celebrating the season. It is otherwise touching and touched in the head (as a Harley Quinn comic should be). Feels pricey, but to be honest, I love it for Amanda Conner's covers alone (colors by Paul Mounts [presents] and Alex Sinclair [New Year's]). Darwyn Cooke's detailing in "K!llin' T!me" is the standout of the artwork, but all three stories have their own particular charms. As with previous Harley Specials, I'm hoping this is the first of many holiday books to come!

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6.5
Harley Quinn Invades Comic Con International: San Diego #1

Jul 16, 2014

A pastiche of art styles, thin plot, and nudging good humor about the comics industry make this a book mostly aimed for serious fans rather than the casual reader. Still, there's plenty to be amused about in this light romp through Comic Con from the perspective of one very screwy clown chick. I love that this is a specialty issue with plenty of extra content for your additional dollar, but I really feel like there were missed opportunities. I wish it had more of an actual plot and featured more of the actual convention. If we are to take Harley's closing line seriously, however, maybe we'll have an opportunity to see more next year.

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9.0
Harley Quinn Valentine's Day Special #1

Feb 12, 2015

Like most of the Harley Quinn specials to date, this is a fun diversion that takes Harley through multiple adventures within the context of a single goal, but I would say this one rises above the rest with a lot of humor, a lot of heart, a lot of Harley hammer action, and even some mushy smooching. But don't let the smooching scare you. Now can we get a bona fide Harley/Batman team up?

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10
Harley Quinn: Futures End #1

Sep 24, 2014

I admit, I approached this one with trepidation given my strong opinions about Harley Quinn as a character and past personal objections as to the way her relationship with the Joker has been handled, but Connor and Palmiotti restore outrageous comedy to this outrageous couple with the purest of slapstick sensibilities. If anyone can honestly say they find offense here, they haven't got a sense of humor.

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8.0
Harley Quinn: Road Trip Special #1

Sep 9, 2015

I enjoyed this and, as with many of Harley Quinn's adventures, it's not only worth a second read, but often better the second time around. While I felt like the story fell a bit flat for me, I appreciate that it was complete and well-scripted, and the art was not only complementary to the tale, but a nicely coordinated match between a variety of artists. Not much of a villain for an obstacle, but plenty of adventures, and great if you like something a bit girly that's more on the mature side (you'll find no trout lips or selfies here!). I gave this an extra .5 just for keeping the fourth wall intact throughout all but the media res framework of the series. I believe that's a Conner/Palmiotti first for a Harley special!

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9.0
Harley's Little Black Book #1

Dec 3, 2015

I just enjoyed the heck out of this. It was exactly what I needed for an afternoon bon bon. The double-sized issue definitely delivers double the fun and you only have to come back for more if you want another different adventure with the Mistress of Mayhem. Harley still isn't much of a superhero–and even when she's trying to fly straight she can't seem to help but go crooked, but she's always entertaining anyway.

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9.5
Harley's Little Black Book #2

Feb 12, 2016

When you want something fun and full of puns with a side of exploding heads, Harley Quinn is always going to be your girl! Her Little Black Book is shaping up to be a great bi-monthly romp with a big emphasis on its stellar guest stars, but also a nice bit of tethering continuity that links this series as well as creates ties to Harley's solo book. You don't need to read everything to enjoy this, though, and that's perhaps the real beauty of the fine tightrope walk that Conner and Palmiotti traverse. If you're skipping this book because you're sick of so much Harley Exposure, you're only cheating yourself.

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8.5
Harley's Little Black Book #3

Apr 21, 2016

Another fabulous read from Conner and Palmiotti's Little Black Book! This issue feels siller and has fewer stakes than their of the last two books, but I thoroughly enjoyed the change of pace. The London Legion subplot doesn't quite work in this instance, but the charming old-fashioned ghosts and Zatanna more than make up for it. New Harley artist Joseph Michael Linsner (who has mostly done cover work and his own independent series up until now) is a strong addition to the Harley artists stable despite some irregularities. And ultimately this is another fun one-shot for those of you who like Harley in small doses or just want something fun-and-done for a lazy afternoon.

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9.0
Harley's Little Black Book #4

Aug 25, 2016

Harley's Little Black Book has yet to disappoint. These free-wheeling fantasies of Harley intersecting with everyone else in the DCU (and in this particular case, an alternate universe of the DCU) make the most of Harley's interactions with key cameo characters. And if a one Harley isn't enough for you, this one's got two! A far-fetched premise nonetheless leads to a rather satisfying sequence of lots of bad people getting their comeuppance. Not quite as gory as your usual Harley fare, but still gratifying, particularly for the combined efforts of Tucci, Linsner, and Flaviano (with captivating color from Mounts), pick this one up if you hate Hitler. That should be everybody, right?

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9.5
Harley's Little Black Book #5

Dec 28, 2016

Harley's Little Black Book pays homage to "The Greatest" in this retelling of Superman vs. Muhammad Ali that recasts Harley as Ali. Forced to fight in order to defend the planet from an imminent alien invasion by the Scrubb, Harley and the Big Blue Boy Scout put on the boxing gloves for an intergalactically televised arena match. Sounds insane? Of course it is! What else would you expect from team Harley at this point? With Neal Adams reprising his role on art, this book is nostalgia, nuts, and numbingly good fodder with which to ring in a newer (and hopefully kinder) year!

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8.0
Harley's Little Black Book #6

Mar 29, 2017

Harley's Little Black Book takes a turn I'm only half able to follow in this outing with guest star Lobo and rockstar artist Simon Bisley. The story is about what you would expect and visually this is a feast for fans of Bisley or other artists of the acid genre. There's something here to offend everyone and the violence is not for the weak-hearted, but if you can slip into the unhinged fantasy of it all, it's at least entertaining and certainly worth multiple reads just to get the full impact of its graphic nature. This book isn't for me, but I think fans of these things might love it and it certainly gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

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4.0
Infinity Man And The Forever People #4

Oct 23, 2014

If you buy this for Bat-Cow prepare to find it sadly lacking. This is a goofy, fun, old-style comic book like you would expect to find on the stands in Kirby's era, which means it probably has an appeal for connoisseurs of that sort of thing. If you're just a Bat-fan wandering into this strange territory, feel free to skip it unless you absolutely want the cover for a pin-up.

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8.5
Injustice 2 #1

May 3, 2017

It's great to have this book back in Tom Taylor's hands, and nice to have it mine as well. It feels good–right in spite of some very questionable events sandwiched between the pages. I trust Taylor to take us on an interesting journey with this and though I have heard some grumbling and mumbling out there in the land of internet arm-chairing, I have no strong complaints. Yes, I'm concerned about what we see here. Yes, I wish Dr. Fate would leave Canary and Arrow alone. But I also think Waller and company is not the way to go and I feel ratified by the endpage carnage there. So call is cautious optimism, but I think this could be going places very very interesting.

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9.0
Injustice 2 #2

May 17, 2017

Lex Luthor speaks from beyond the grave, Lucius Fox speaks in person, Batman gets the bad end of a fight with himself, and Green Arrow and Black Canary make plans for the future even as the present crumbles all around them. It wouldn't be Injustice without all this varied and sundry drama and Tom Taylor delivers it with a cherry on top! As always, a great alternative to that Justice League comic you always wanted".

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7.5
Injustice: Ground Zero #1

Dec 8, 2016

Injustice: Ground Zero doesn't come out of the gate with guns a blazing, but it's still a great read with a nice balance of solid storytelling and pleasing artwork. As a whole package it's worthy of the Injustice name. Where it sags a little is in the heaviness of the narrative exposition, and some questionable strategy on the part of Harley Quinn. Maybe we shouldn't bother questioning it because it is Harley, but I found myself at that threshold anyway, which tells me something maybe doesn't quite add up. Still a satisfying book and I'm looking forward to where this off-shoot story is going!

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7.5
Injustice: Ground Zero #2

Dec 21, 2016

Buccellato and Sebela are keeping Injustice: Ground Zero fresh despite borrowing on a world that's seen five years worth of war and misery. Part of why it works is that we're getting the worm's eye view of the battle. While Harley still has half a little green pill and goes up against Sinestro in her own way, this battle takes place in the streets of Gotham–mostly on the ground looking up. We're getting to see the insurgency from the viewpoint of more of the ordinary folks who are fighting the day-to-day. I really love this slightly more everyman approach. Though I am very excited to see what our alternate universe heroes will do now that they have been dragged into this world, I feel equally invested in seeing the regular people taking back their cities. I hope that's a theme that will carry through in this bold new series!

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6.5
Injustice: Ground Zero #3

Jan 5, 2017

Buccellato and Sebela are doing some interesting things narratively with Ground Zero, but this issue falls short on the art and in some of the way the action doesn't track or seems a bit illogical. I hope this is a fluke because this could really be a super fun book about a major trifecta of war chiefs between Superman, Batman, and the Joker.

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7.5
Injustice: Ground Zero #4

Jan 18, 2017

Narratively this feels rather heavy, but the story continues to be interesting and somehow watching these characters beat up on each and quip while they're doing it never gets old. There are a lot of moving pieces right now and I'm not sure if they are all being handled smoothly in the storytelling, but the art continues to be top notch. Four issues in it's not entirely clear what Harley's plan is, but I'm hoping we see stuff start to impact the larger Injustice world soon.

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6.5
Injustice: Ground Zero #5

Feb 1, 2017

Despite all my kvetching, the story is making progress and I'm really looking forward to Harley and Batman having a confrontation over her antics (it must be imminent)! Other things in this world are not feeling very well shored-up however. The cross-over characters have been allotted very little time and both the Resistance holdouts and the Regime standbys seem a little out of character. Injustice is always a fun read, but this one was just a little frustrating and feels on the slippery side of the silly slope.

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7.0
Injustice: Ground Zero #6

Feb 16, 2017

I get the feeling sometimes that having a writer tell someone else's story means stuff gets lost in the collaboration. For the most part Christopher Sebala and Brian Buccellatto seem to make it work, but it also feels like it's resulted in an uneven work where the characterizations are just slightly off and the action is sometimes a bit wooden/formulaic/and dull. Fortunately this book is none of those things even though it has a few glitches of its own. Hands down, art and story-wise Injustice is still a pleaser, even when it feels like it could use one of its own little green pills.

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7.0
Injustice: Ground Zero #7

Mar 2, 2017

Christopher Sebala and Brian Buccellatto are having fun with this, but it occasionally feels borderline incoherent in terms of tone. If you just let go of all expectations, you can sail along with Harley and let the good times roll. But if you're trying to make sense of the plan (or hoping the plan isn't so facile that its success seems a forgone conclusion) you might find yourself frustrated by many questions: why is the Hall of Justice unguarded? Where is all this kryptonite that no one seems to be using against Bad Superman? Whatever happened to Damian in the Batcave? Did Green Arrow really just shoot Black Adam out of the sky like a sparrow? Like I said: there's plenty to roll with here and the inevitable team up of Batman and Batman is hopefully worth the wait, but there are a whole of the threads just sort of dangling at the moment.

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7.5
Injustice: Ground Zero #8

Mar 15, 2017

Christopher Sebela balances the burgeoning turf war between Batman and Superman with Harley and Joker's love-hate train and a whole of magic tricks from that other realm we haven't seen since Year Three of the original series. This issue has a stronger coherence than the last one and we seem to be finally building toward the kind of cataclysm Injustice is known for, even if the stakes feel rather low at this juncture. Maybe a good knock-down, drag-out fight between Bats and Supes will perk this up. Or maybe we've just seen it all too many times at this point. Derliz Santacruz's art (with inks by Andy Owen) is the highlight of the issue: his Harley is beautiful and believable, and his Joker looks like he stepped right out of the video game.

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7.0
Injustice: Ground Zero #9

Apr 6, 2017

Christopher Sebela is starting to countdown toward some final calamity with this Ground Zero outing. The Harley side of the narrative is feeling a bit thinned out and over-soaked, but visually it's fun to flip through. As for the ongoing feud between Bats and Supes, well, Injustice has proven to be a past master of delayed gratification. Superman continues to boil over with so much anger I'm frankly surprised he hasn't just combusted by this point, and Batman continues to play a game of skin-of-the-teeth escapes. Not sure it's all going to gel, but it's still fun for an idle read.

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6.5
Injustice: Ground Zero #10

Apr 19, 2017

Christopher Sebela's Injustice may be unraveling narratively, but it's still a kick in the pants to read. Those of you reading ahead digitally already know whether it's been worth the journey, and I know people are already leaving this in the dust for Injustice 2, but I'm still interested to see how this plays out even if it's not blowing my mind or making me feel the emotional investment I had with the original series.

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6.0
Injustice: Ground Zero #11

May 11, 2017

Sebela is running out of time and pages to get everything in at this point. With scarcely a moment to mourn some major death in the last installment, Superman is mindlessly tearing up the world and Harley's out to do her part to stop it. There's a lot of narrative in this book, and a lot of nonsense, but the art is great and there are a few genuinely fun moments. If you've been reading this far, you might as well finish it off.

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7.0
Injustice: Ground Zero #12

May 24, 2017

Injustice: Ground Zero has a lot of great and interesting ideas, but the finale execution feels consistently uneven: overwritten and plodding in some aspects of its narrative, and too abrupt in others. It succeeds on the strength of the world that the creators are working in, reliably effective art, and a finale that feels satisfying even if the whole of the journey didn't.

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9.0
Injustice: Year Five #1

Jan 8, 2016

Injustice feels reborn as Year Five kicks off with plenty of action and intrigue as prelude to what might be the final showdown before Batman's ultimate defeat. With the reinvigorated energy that this series is displaying now, I'm going to be seriously sorry if we are heading to a conclusion. When Injustice is grounded like this, it feels like it could (and should) go on forever!

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9.5
Injustice: Year Five #3

Feb 3, 2016

There's betrayal on the horizon as Bane's hostage situation starts to boil over. Will Catwoman be the catalyst that destroys Batman's Resistance? And what's going on between Superman and Wonder Woman? Their cross-purposes may be coming to a head. This is an exciting time in Injustice and the team of Buccellato, Redondo, Albarran, and Lokus bring to it a wonderfully fast-paced, action-packed adventure that's returned to the dark roots we saw in Injustice's early "Years".

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9.5
Injustice: Year Five #4

Feb 18, 2016

Is it really so bad to admit something this brutal and rather mean-spirited can be so entertaining? Injustice has, from the beginning, shown us moments of horror, shock, terror, and awe. Tom Taylor set the tone for this comic in Year One, and Buccellato echoes the high drama we've come to expect. There's a lot in motion right now with this title and still plenty of time to develop all these pieces toward an explosive finale. If the book keeps up at this pace, it should be quite the holocaust.

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8.0
Injustice: Year Five #5

Mar 3, 2016

Superman and Batman are back to the sort of skirmishing we saw early on in the series, though the players have been brought down a notch now that the A-game has been mostly decimated. There are still plenty of interesting characters on the board, however, and Buccellato makes good (though brief) use of the Rogues here. With Bizarro now on the scene and Lex strapped to make little green pills, it should be interesting to see yet another tip in the balance of power.

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9.5
Injustice: Year Five #6

Mar 16, 2016

Solomon Grundy's cameo is made wonderfully purposeful by not only being an impetus for Superman and Bizarro to clash, but connecting back to the story of Lex Luthor and Superman's suspicion that Luthor's not been entirely honest with him. And he just makes for a great brawling bit of fun as Superman tries to subdue two extraordinarily strong opponents with whom he can't rationalize. Injustice continues to do a great job of being a video tie-in without having a plotline so superficial it wears out its welcome before you get to the end of the game.

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9.0
Injustice: Year Five #7

Apr 7, 2016

Despite some disappointingly off-model artwork, Buccellato brings back some true emotional depth to the conflict of Injustice by reacquainting us with Batman's estranged son, his relationship with other Bat-related heroes and villains, and his newfound purpose in Superman's regime. Damian's got a secret angel on his shoulder, though we don't know if there's a plot hatching with regard to this interloper, and it will be very interesting to see how this plays out when (hopefully) Damian comes face-to-face with his father!

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10
Injustice: Year Five #8

Apr 20, 2016

The team of Buccellato, Redondo, Albarran, and Lokus knock it out of the park this round bringing the long-simmering Joker Underground story to the fore (and an abrupt and shocking confrontation with Superman himself). This is a heavily Batfamily-related issue (even more so than the last one), that gives Batwoman a chance to shine while setting up the momentum for what should be a cataclysmic finale. We've got a ways to go but after the events of this issue, I have a feeling things are about to go from simmer to white hot heat.

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9.5
Injustice: Year Five #9

May 4, 2016

Even though Cyborg has me seriously questioning the values of some of these "so-called" superheroes, Buccellato delivers another smashing issue (yes, smashing!). Mostly centered on the fated-to-be-tragic friendship between Trickster and one very confused Bizarro, Injustice brings humor and horror together that proves this books is far from being tapped out in terms of storylines, thrills, and pure pathos.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Five #10

May 19, 2016

Brian Buccellato and Mike S. Miller pull together a book that combines some really hot epic fight action and is the very satisfying culmination of some subplots that have been building for a long time. While there are some appearances by Cyborg, Flash, Wonder Woman, and Yellow Lantern Hal, this is all about Lex and Superman still locked in mortal combat even when they are ostensibly on the same side of the war.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Five #11

Jun 2, 2016

While this book might have had a bit more flash and action in the Harley vs. Shazam fight, I can well appreciate that it sacrificed pages to, you know, actual story. It's rare that a book has me wanting more costume characters pounding on one another, but the art is so good it's a shame we couldn't have had just one more page of Harley and Shazam trying to break each others' faces. I wouldn't give up the scene with Alfred and Superman for anything, though, and the dead Rogues deserved a memorial. Buccellato continues to make Injustice not only entertaining as all-get-out, but relevant as well!

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Injustice: Year Five #12

Jun 15, 2016

Major character death is nothing new to Injustice, but some hurt worse than others and this one was painful as all-get-out. This world just got a lot bleaker for the loss of one of its wisest and most steadying characters, the death of whom may launch heroes on both sides of the regime into a grief-fueled holocaust. This is Buccellato at his best with art by Santucci that is both striking in its composition and powerful in its emotion.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Five #13

Jul 6, 2016

Finding ways to extend this war through the "Years" has meant going to some extremes throughout this series, and also recycling ideas from the regular DC canon on occasion. But Buccellato is keeping this fresh even after all this time and even while borrowing "outs" from other storylines. For some of you it might be clichd or retread, but I think the combination of the great dramatic writing, the nuances of the Injustice relationships, and the solid art make this book a win almost every time. Besides, there is nothing new under the sun (as the saying goes–thank you Ecclesiastes 1:9), so it's all about the shiny new packaging–and the whole Injustice teams continues to package this puppy with a really great shine.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Five #14

Jul 20, 2016

Injustice is going places (and not just to Central City!). With the Flash now a focal point and his relationship with Batman (and Batman's policies) stronger than ever, it looks like the Superman Regime is in for a startling surprise. It appears that Barry Allen has possibly agreed to help Batman attempt to "reset" the past so that they can get the world back to the way it's supposed to be. The Flash has been torn apart by what the Regime has done to his friends for a long time, but his confidence isn't 100%. Has his experience with Iris tipped the scales far enough? Has Superman's own threat to kill the Flash finally toppled the scale? And what are the odds that the Flash can actually make a difference? Is Injustice about to have it's own Flashpoint?

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Five #15

Aug 4, 2016

This book has been on point again and again: the consistency of the art, the tightness of the writing, and the dramatic turns in each new issue continue to make Injustice, hands down, the best digital offering DC has on the line–and well worth the cost of a physical floppy. Even with the added storytelling of all these extra issues in Year Five, it's going to be hard to see this one end come October. Enjoy it while it lasts!

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Injustice: Year Five #16

Aug 17, 2016

Superman's Regime may be fractured, but they still stand together (albeit on wobbly legs). Those legs may take a hit soon, however, as the slippery inseams of the Man of Steel's dastardly dealings look like they may be coming to light thanks to Batman's plan to expose him (with an able assist from the former Oracle herself, Batgirl!). We already know Hal Jordan and the Flash are leaning over the fence; will the revelations to come finally push them to the other side? Meanwhile, former ally Katar Hol comes back with a vengeance, but even Batman's not interested in aligning himself with this bird who's unfortunately flying much too low over the cuckoo's nest.

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8.0
Injustice: Year Five #17

Sep 7, 2016

 

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9.0
Injustice: Year Five #19

Oct 6, 2016

Brian Buccellato has pulled off Year Five with flying colors. He's managed to make the interdimensional intrusion work in a universe already packed full of wacky improbabilities. Now Batman's got his "morally intact" Justice League (and more than he probably bargained for). One more issue to see what he does with it and then brace yourselves for the next piece of the Injustice puzzle!

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Five #20

Oct 20, 2016

If you were hoping to see the conclusion of this tale"as in anticipating closure here in Year Five, you probably haven't been paying attention to the fact that the whole point of this series was to lead up to the chaos we encounter at the start of the video game on which this was based. So no: there is no final resolution here, just a springboard for the next thing. It takes away nothing from the Shakespearean scope of this epic, however: Buccellato's work toward this summit has been an achievement, and the score of artists who have contributed along the way deserve all praise. Why wouldn't anybody want to tune in for the next part of this outstanding adventure?

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Injustice: Year Five Annual #1

Dec 1, 2016

It's great to have just a little more Buccellato on Injustice before the reigns go back to Tom Taylor. These three stories aren't mind-bending or soul-crushing and their implication for the future of Injustice don't seem to be that critical, but they are lots of fun and excellently well-rendered. One of the three tales feels less conclusive on some levels than the others, but that doesn't totally diminish the reading enjoyment as a whole. I had almost forgotten how much I have missed Injustice and this was just what I needed to reconnect to this amazing alternate world.

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9.0
Injustice: Year Five #1

Jan 8, 2016

Injustice feels reborn as Year Five kicks off with plenty of action and intrigue as prelude to what might be the final showdown before Batman's ultimate defeat. With the reinvigorated energy that this series is displaying now, I'm going to be seriously sorry if we are heading to a conclusion. When Injustice is grounded like this, it feels like it could (and should) go on forever!

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9.5
Injustice: Year Five #3

Feb 3, 2016

There's betrayal on the horizon as Bane's hostage situation starts to boil over. Will Catwoman be the catalyst that destroys Batman's Resistance? And what's going on between Superman and Wonder Woman? Their cross-purposes may be coming to a head. This is an exciting time in Injustice and the team of Buccellato, Redondo, Albarran, and Lokus bring to it a wonderfully fast-paced, action-packed adventure that's returned to the dark roots we saw in Injustice's early "Years".

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9.5
Injustice: Year Five #4

Feb 18, 2016

Is it really so bad to admit something this brutal and rather mean-spirited can be so entertaining? Injustice has, from the beginning, shown us moments of horror, shock, terror, and awe. Tom Taylor set the tone for this comic in Year One, and Buccellato echoes the high drama we've come to expect. There's a lot in motion right now with this title and still plenty of time to develop all these pieces toward an explosive finale. If the book keeps up at this pace, it should be quite the holocaust.

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8.0
Injustice: Year Five #5

Mar 3, 2016

Superman and Batman are back to the sort of skirmishing we saw early on in the series, though the players have been brought down a notch now that the A-game has been mostly decimated. There are still plenty of interesting characters on the board, however, and Buccellato makes good (though brief) use of the Rogues here. With Bizarro now on the scene and Lex strapped to make little green pills, it should be interesting to see yet another tip in the balance of power.

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9.5
Injustice: Year Five #6

Mar 16, 2016

Solomon Grundy's cameo is made wonderfully purposeful by not only being an impetus for Superman and Bizarro to clash, but connecting back to the story of Lex Luthor and Superman's suspicion that Luthor's not been entirely honest with him. And he just makes for a great brawling bit of fun as Superman tries to subdue two extraordinarily strong opponents with whom he can't rationalize. Injustice continues to do a great job of being a video tie-in without having a plotline so superficial it wears out its welcome before you get to the end of the game.

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9.0
Injustice: Year Five #7

Apr 7, 2016

Despite some disappointingly off-model artwork, Buccellato brings back some true emotional depth to the conflict of Injustice by reacquainting us with Batman's estranged son, his relationship with other Bat-related heroes and villains, and his newfound purpose in Superman's regime. Damian's got a secret angel on his shoulder, though we don't know if there's a plot hatching with regard to this interloper, and it will be very interesting to see how this plays out when (hopefully) Damian comes face-to-face with his father!

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10
Injustice: Year Five #8

Apr 20, 2016

The team of Buccellato, Redondo, Albarran, and Lokus knock it out of the park this round bringing the long-simmering Joker Underground story to the fore (and an abrupt and shocking confrontation with Superman himself). This is a heavily Batfamily-related issue (even more so than the last one), that gives Batwoman a chance to shine while setting up the momentum for what should be a cataclysmic finale. We've got a ways to go but after the events of this issue, I have a feeling things are about to go from simmer to white hot heat.

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9.5
Injustice: Year Five #9

May 4, 2016

Even though Cyborg has me seriously questioning the values of some of these "so-called" superheroes, Buccellato delivers another smashing issue (yes, smashing!). Mostly centered on the fated-to-be-tragic friendship between Trickster and one very confused Bizarro, Injustice brings humor and horror together that proves this books is far from being tapped out in terms of storylines, thrills, and pure pathos.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Five #10

May 19, 2016

Brian Buccellato and Mike S. Miller pull together a book that combines some really hot epic fight action and is the very satisfying culmination of some subplots that have been building for a long time. While there are some appearances by Cyborg, Flash, Wonder Woman, and Yellow Lantern Hal, this is all about Lex and Superman still locked in mortal combat even when they are ostensibly on the same side of the war.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Five #11

Jun 2, 2016

While this book might have had a bit more flash and action in the Harley vs. Shazam fight, I can well appreciate that it sacrificed pages to, you know, actual story. It's rare that a book has me wanting more costume characters pounding on one another, but the art is so good it's a shame we couldn't have had just one more page of Harley and Shazam trying to break each others' faces. I wouldn't give up the scene with Alfred and Superman for anything, though, and the dead Rogues deserved a memorial. Buccellato continues to make Injustice not only entertaining as all-get-out, but relevant as well!

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Injustice: Year Five #12

Jun 15, 2016

Major character death is nothing new to Injustice, but some hurt worse than others and this one was painful as all-get-out. This world just got a lot bleaker for the loss of one of its wisest and most steadying characters, the death of whom may launch heroes on both sides of the regime into a grief-fueled holocaust. This is Buccellato at his best with art by Santucci that is both striking in its composition and powerful in its emotion.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Five #13

Jul 6, 2016

Finding ways to extend this war through the "Years" has meant going to some extremes throughout this series, and also recycling ideas from the regular DC canon on occasion. But Buccellato is keeping this fresh even after all this time and even while borrowing "outs" from other storylines. For some of you it might be clichd or retread, but I think the combination of the great dramatic writing, the nuances of the Injustice relationships, and the solid art make this book a win almost every time. Besides, there is nothing new under the sun (as the saying goes–thank you Ecclesiastes 1:9), so it's all about the shiny new packaging–and the whole Injustice teams continues to package this puppy with a really great shine.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Five #14

Jul 20, 2016

Injustice is going places (and not just to Central City!). With the Flash now a focal point and his relationship with Batman (and Batman's policies) stronger than ever, it looks like the Superman Regime is in for a startling surprise. It appears that Barry Allen has possibly agreed to help Batman attempt to "reset" the past so that they can get the world back to the way it's supposed to be. The Flash has been torn apart by what the Regime has done to his friends for a long time, but his confidence isn't 100%. Has his experience with Iris tipped the scales far enough? Has Superman's own threat to kill the Flash finally toppled the scale? And what are the odds that the Flash can actually make a difference? Is Injustice about to have it's own Flashpoint?

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Five #15

Aug 4, 2016

This book has been on point again and again: the consistency of the art, the tightness of the writing, and the dramatic turns in each new issue continue to make Injustice, hands down, the best digital offering DC has on the line–and well worth the cost of a physical floppy. Even with the added storytelling of all these extra issues in Year Five, it's going to be hard to see this one end come October. Enjoy it while it lasts!

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Injustice: Year Five #16

Aug 17, 2016

Superman's Regime may be fractured, but they still stand together (albeit on wobbly legs). Those legs may take a hit soon, however, as the slippery inseams of the Man of Steel's dastardly dealings look like they may be coming to light thanks to Batman's plan to expose him (with an able assist from the former Oracle herself, Batgirl!). We already know Hal Jordan and the Flash are leaning over the fence; will the revelations to come finally push them to the other side? Meanwhile, former ally Katar Hol comes back with a vengeance, but even Batman's not interested in aligning himself with this bird who's unfortunately flying much too low over the cuckoo's nest.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Injustice: Year Five #17

Sep 7, 2016

 

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Five #19

Oct 6, 2016

Brian Buccellato has pulled off Year Five with flying colors. He's managed to make the interdimensional intrusion work in a universe already packed full of wacky improbabilities. Now Batman's got his "morally intact" Justice League (and more than he probably bargained for). One more issue to see what he does with it and then brace yourselves for the next piece of the Injustice puzzle!

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Five #20

Oct 20, 2016

If you were hoping to see the conclusion of this tale"as in anticipating closure here in Year Five, you probably haven't been paying attention to the fact that the whole point of this series was to lead up to the chaos we encounter at the start of the video game on which this was based. So no: there is no final resolution here, just a springboard for the next thing. It takes away nothing from the Shakespearean scope of this epic, however: Buccellato's work toward this summit has been an achievement, and the score of artists who have contributed along the way deserve all praise. Why wouldn't anybody want to tune in for the next part of this outstanding adventure?

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Injustice: Year Four #1

May 15, 2015

Buccellato brings Year Four out of the closet locked and loaded–he sets up the impending interference of the gods, sets the stage for where the characters have been since the conclusion of Year Three, and gives us juicy stakes with a confrontation between Montoya and Damian that's sure to get the attention of both Superman and Batman. If Year Three shook your confidence in the Injustice world a little, let this new beginning restore your faith.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Injustice: Year Four #2

May 27, 2015

I'm enjoying this book again after feeling like closing out Year Three was too much work. We're back to the essential relationships between Superman and Batman, the battle for justice on earth (even if through the interference of the gods), and behind-the-scenes plotting from mastermind Lex Luthor whose allegiance still feels like a wild card at this point. If you were feeling the fade-out before the start of this year, get back on board now. It feels like Buccellato's got some surprises in store for us!

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Injustice: Year Four #3

Jun 11, 2015

It's like falling in love all over again. Buccellato has risen to the occasion and focused Injustice back on the things that made it great: solid, well-written characters, rising stakes, and genuine surprises. I'm also super-pleased at how the book feels more stable in terms of its artwork with the Digital Firsts no longer splitting art teams (let's hope that continues!). The reintroduction of Batgirl freshens up Batman's supporting crew and the arrival of Wonder Woman's army challenging Superman (without her authority) throws all kinds of interesting possibilities on the table. Let the games begin!

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Injustice: Year Four #4

Jun 24, 2015

Injustice is always going to be a good read, even when it has weak links. This time around, the art seems to suffer a bit, but the story soars. I feel fully reinvigorated for this series and hopefully, if some of you dropped off in the last six months, you'll be willing to get back on board. The action is really ramping up for Year Four and I feel strongly that Buccellato will be able to keep this momentum going given all the intrigues he's set up in these first four issues.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Injustice: Year Four #5

Jul 8, 2015

Last issue, I made a point of saying that Injustice is always going to be a good read, even when it has weak links. This issue is no exception: a roller coaster of action with just a few hitches in the ride. I love that Buccellato is exploring the relationships of the principal characters more without sacrificing any of the momentum that he's begun to build. It looks like all-out war is on the horizon for the next issue, perhaps with Team Supes and Team Bats having to combine their forces to keep the immortals from taking the planet from them by force. You'll definitely want to pick up the next issue to see what midpoint turn this story might take. There's still plenty of issues left for lots of exciting things to happen. What do you think Injustice has in store?

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Injustice: Year Four #6

Jul 22, 2015

There is plenty to please the eye in this ongoing battle between Superman's demigods and the actual gods themselves. We don't get a lot of forward motion on the story, but Buccellato is definitely setting up for the big climax (we're halfway there). In the meantime, there's lots of action, lots of face-pounding, and Wonder Woman and Superman continue to occupy center-stage. Expect that all to change soon, however. At this point either you're probably reading Injustice already or you've missed the boat altogether. If you're one of those rare birds who flew the coop in Year Three, however, you might want to come back home to roost now: this story has still got plenty of bang for your buck, and the creative team behind it is definitely on solid ground!

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Injustice: Year Four #7

Aug 5, 2015

Maybe it's fair to say that Injustice has devolved a little into tag-team Wrestlemania, with Team Bats and Team Supes trading off fisticuffs at every encounter. Maybe we've lost some of the nuance and plotting finesse that made this series so compelling at the outset. And let's face it: there's hardly anyone left to die that would have the impact of killing off someone like Guy Gardner or Dick Grayson. All that said, this is a fun book (more fun, still, than some of DC's flagship titles–for me anyway). So yeah, I'm going to continue to give it the thumbs up.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Injustice: Year Four #8

Aug 19, 2015

Last issue I was conceding that Injustice had maybe lost it's plotting mojo, but this issue brings the storytelling back to the foreground and crams in a bevy of character interactions that are definitely buzzworthy, even if some might find them perplexing. We also get up close and personal with Ares and Buccellato does a nice job encapsulating the causes of war throughout humankind down through the centuries. Come for the philosophy and also the great artwork: Redondo and Derenick don't disappoint!

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Injustice: Year Four #9

Sep 2, 2015

Year Four had been doing a great job of matching its artists in each print issue, but this one misses the match and the difference drags it down. The building storyline in this book gets a full 9/10, though, and overall this is an awesome addition to the Injustice saga. Despite my quibbles, this book has me excited again after a long drought.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Injustice: Year Four #10

Sep 16, 2015

I'm feeling a little frustrated with this title because even though it still has flashes of great art, fun character moments, and awesome action, it feels a little like it's lacking heart. Year Three also suffered from this, so I hope it's not a problem with Buccellato and that this Year will end with some serious emotional impact. Despite my frustration, I continue to have all faith, however, so I'm definitely still invested in the book.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Injustice: Year Four #11

Oct 8, 2015

I'm hanging in with this and it's still a mighty entertaining read, but I feel this push toward the finale is lacking a certain amount of consequential umph at this point. The battle between Superman and Darkseid is well rendered and full of exciting choreography, but do we really wonder who will win? And I want to be excited about the cliffhanger ending, but to be honest it feels a bit clich. With Year Four wrapping up in the next issue, I'll confess I don't have high hopes that it's going to blow us away.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
Injustice: Year Four #12

Oct 21, 2015

Year Four has had some breakout moments, but its conclusion is a bit of a clunker. In a Year that focuses on the gods (old and new), it shouldn't be surprising to have a deus ex machina ending, but that doesn't make it any less unsatisfying. Coupled with explanations that include the perennial "I can't tell you the answer because–suspense", and a finale that's mostly talk before a cliffhanger involving a side plot we barely know anything about makes for the weakest Year-end in the Injustice run. While disappointing, however, I'll add what I've said before many times: a bad day's read of Injustice is still better than many other books on their best days.

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9.5
Injustice: Year Four Annual #1

Jan 3, 2016

The wonderful cover by Bruno Redondo is a bit misleading, but Year Five is going to have a stellar storyline based on this set-up and you won't be disappointed. If the gods and monsters of the last year and a half jaded you a little on what this book has to offer, I can't encourage you more to pick up this Annual and see if you might not be tempted to dip a toe back into the proverbial Injustice pool.

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8.0
Injustice: Year Four #1

May 15, 2015

Buccellato brings Year Four out of the closet locked and loaded–he sets up the impending interference of the gods, sets the stage for where the characters have been since the conclusion of Year Three, and gives us juicy stakes with a confrontation between Montoya and Damian that's sure to get the attention of both Superman and Batman. If Year Three shook your confidence in the Injustice world a little, let this new beginning restore your faith.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Injustice: Year Four #2

May 27, 2015

I'm enjoying this book again after feeling like closing out Year Three was too much work. We're back to the essential relationships between Superman and Batman, the battle for justice on earth (even if through the interference of the gods), and behind-the-scenes plotting from mastermind Lex Luthor whose allegiance still feels like a wild card at this point. If you were feeling the fade-out before the start of this year, get back on board now. It feels like Buccellato's got some surprises in store for us!

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Injustice: Year Four #3

Jun 11, 2015

It's like falling in love all over again. Buccellato has risen to the occasion and focused Injustice back on the things that made it great: solid, well-written characters, rising stakes, and genuine surprises. I'm also super-pleased at how the book feels more stable in terms of its artwork with the Digital Firsts no longer splitting art teams (let's hope that continues!). The reintroduction of Batgirl freshens up Batman's supporting crew and the arrival of Wonder Woman's army challenging Superman (without her authority) throws all kinds of interesting possibilities on the table. Let the games begin!

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Injustice: Year Four #4

Jun 24, 2015

Injustice is always going to be a good read, even when it has weak links. This time around, the art seems to suffer a bit, but the story soars. I feel fully reinvigorated for this series and hopefully, if some of you dropped off in the last six months, you'll be willing to get back on board. The action is really ramping up for Year Four and I feel strongly that Buccellato will be able to keep this momentum going given all the intrigues he's set up in these first four issues.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Injustice: Year Four #5

Jul 8, 2015

Last issue, I made a point of saying that Injustice is always going to be a good read, even when it has weak links. This issue is no exception: a roller coaster of action with just a few hitches in the ride. I love that Buccellato is exploring the relationships of the principal characters more without sacrificing any of the momentum that he's begun to build. It looks like all-out war is on the horizon for the next issue, perhaps with Team Supes and Team Bats having to combine their forces to keep the immortals from taking the planet from them by force. You'll definitely want to pick up the next issue to see what midpoint turn this story might take. There's still plenty of issues left for lots of exciting things to happen. What do you think Injustice has in store?

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Injustice: Year Four #6

Jul 22, 2015

There is plenty to please the eye in this ongoing battle between Superman's demigods and the actual gods themselves. We don't get a lot of forward motion on the story, but Buccellato is definitely setting up for the big climax (we're halfway there). In the meantime, there's lots of action, lots of face-pounding, and Wonder Woman and Superman continue to occupy center-stage. Expect that all to change soon, however. At this point either you're probably reading Injustice already or you've missed the boat altogether. If you're one of those rare birds who flew the coop in Year Three, however, you might want to come back home to roost now: this story has still got plenty of bang for your buck, and the creative team behind it is definitely on solid ground!

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Injustice: Year Four #7

Aug 5, 2015

Maybe it's fair to say that Injustice has devolved a little into tag-team Wrestlemania, with Team Bats and Team Supes trading off fisticuffs at every encounter. Maybe we've lost some of the nuance and plotting finesse that made this series so compelling at the outset. And let's face it: there's hardly anyone left to die that would have the impact of killing off someone like Guy Gardner or Dick Grayson. All that said, this is a fun book (more fun, still, than some of DC's flagship titles–for me anyway). So yeah, I'm going to continue to give it the thumbs up.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Injustice: Year Four #8

Aug 19, 2015

Last issue I was conceding that Injustice had maybe lost it's plotting mojo, but this issue brings the storytelling back to the foreground and crams in a bevy of character interactions that are definitely buzzworthy, even if some might find them perplexing. We also get up close and personal with Ares and Buccellato does a nice job encapsulating the causes of war throughout humankind down through the centuries. Come for the philosophy and also the great artwork: Redondo and Derenick don't disappoint!

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Injustice: Year Four #9

Sep 2, 2015

Year Four had been doing a great job of matching its artists in each print issue, but this one misses the match and the difference drags it down. The building storyline in this book gets a full 9/10, though, and overall this is an awesome addition to the Injustice saga. Despite my quibbles, this book has me excited again after a long drought.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Injustice: Year Four #10

Sep 16, 2015

I'm feeling a little frustrated with this title because even though it still has flashes of great art, fun character moments, and awesome action, it feels a little like it's lacking heart. Year Three also suffered from this, so I hope it's not a problem with Buccellato and that this Year will end with some serious emotional impact. Despite my frustration, I continue to have all faith, however, so I'm definitely still invested in the book.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Injustice: Year Four #11

Oct 8, 2015

I'm hanging in with this and it's still a mighty entertaining read, but I feel this push toward the finale is lacking a certain amount of consequential umph at this point. The battle between Superman and Darkseid is well rendered and full of exciting choreography, but do we really wonder who will win? And I want to be excited about the cliffhanger ending, but to be honest it feels a bit clich. With Year Four wrapping up in the next issue, I'll confess I don't have high hopes that it's going to blow us away.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
Injustice: Year Four #12

Oct 21, 2015

Year Four has had some breakout moments, but its conclusion is a bit of a clunker. In a Year that focuses on the gods (old and new), it shouldn't be surprising to have a deus ex machina ending, but that doesn't make it any less unsatisfying. Coupled with explanations that include the perennial "I can't tell you the answer because–suspense", and a finale that's mostly talk before a cliffhanger involving a side plot we barely know anything about makes for the weakest Year-end in the Injustice run. While disappointing, however, I'll add what I've said before many times: a bad day's read of Injustice is still better than many other books on their best days.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Injustice: Year Three #1

Oct 8, 2014

Year Two closed hard and seemed like a tough arc to follow, but the creative crew is playing it smart by radically switching gears in terms of point of view. By picking up with Constantine in the aftermath of the failed uprising, we get plenty of breathing room and an opportunity to kick off new objectives without bogging down in what's just happened. Also, this is a dang funny comic–much needed levity despite the ever-darkening circumstances.

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8.5
Injustice: Year Three #2

Oct 23, 2014

Year Three is wasting no time obliterating characters in horrific fashion. Two of our Resistance heroes take a final bow (one of whom we were only just seeing for the first time!). But this is Injustice, so death is pervasive and almost no one is safe. The good news is that Batman (with a little help from John Constantine) is front and center as the head of the Resistance again; he's had a long road to recovery, but he's looking ready to take the fight to the next level.

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7.0
Injustice: Year Three #3

Nov 5, 2014

Always engaging, Injustice never shies from pairing up interesting character interactions and never fails to organically motivate the relationships in those pairings. But while things are working swimmingly for Batman and John Constantine, I'm feeling a little less sanguine about the Spectre popping by chez Superman to give his endorsements. Is it cruel to downgrade a book because I don't like the direction of the story at the moment? Perhaps, but that's based on what I'm perceiving as an illogical turn rather than pure subjectivity in the plot.

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7.0
Injustice: Year Three #4

Nov 19, 2014

Injustice is flirting dangerously close to falling to the dark side given its treatment of both the Spectre and now Ragman–two characters that at the very least could have made for an interesting balance of power (or even cancelled one another out). But the book is headed in a different direction and for the first time ever the path ahead is uneasily murky. Is Year Three just going to be one setback after another for the Resistance? Issue no. 5 better bring us some hope, because right now the series is kind of depressing in a not-so-great way.

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8.5
Injustice: Year Three #5

Dec 3, 2014

With a couple of major turning points occurring in this book, issue no. 5 might be low on action sequences, but it's high on drama! This is the book that's giving this arc the launch forward it's been gearing up for. If you're like me and have feeling a bit tentative about Year Three, this is definitely the sign that this title continues to live up to expectations.

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8.0
Injustice: Year Three #6

Dec 24, 2014

This book marks the midway point of Year Three for Injustice and Tom Taylor ratchets up the volume a notch as the Resistance makes its first successful strike since (briefly) taking the Hall of Justice in Year Two. I have a feeling from here on out this is going to be quite the ride to the bitter end–who's with me?

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9.0
Injustice: Year Three #7

Jan 14, 2015

Maybe this feels like a bit of stalling from the main action of Year Three story-wise, but I find it a welcome digression because it's thoughtful about the themes around which the Injustice series has been been built: the implications of superheroes in the "real" world, the lines they are faced with crossing (or not) by their actions, and their relationship both with one another as well as the world-at-large. It's poignant stuff, and marvelous sunset off into which Tom Taylor rides.

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8.0
Injustice: Year Three #8

Jan 28, 2015

Buccellato brings strong energy to his first collected issue of Injustice in this tale that resurrects Wonder Woman and restores Superman to the Blue and Red. Some in-fighting in Superman's camp makes for high drama, and the vulnerability of the Resistance telegraphs a big battle to come. Those of you who are reading the Digital Firsts already know all the secrets that lie in wait–and that every issue of Injustice is well worth the price of admission.

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7.5
Injustice: Year Three #9

Feb 12, 2015

This is mostly big and noisy and a lot of fun, but between all the magic and double-crossing the plot feels like it's starting to unravel. Nine issues into a 12-issue Year you would hope we might be seeing more payoff at this point, but things are just starting to heat up with more questions than answers and some threads already proving to go nowhere of major narrative consequence. With all the cards seemingly revealed at this point, I'm anxiously hoping for some big surprises here on out.

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7.5
Injustice: Year Three #10

Feb 19, 2015

Injustice feels like it's lost a bit of its edge lately, but it could just be finding its feet with the departure of Tom Taylor and the shifting sands of the art team. Buccellato has done a good job of trying to maintain the balance between the humor and the seriousness of the circumstances and where the magic has, at times, threatened to overwhelm the humanity of the story, he nevertheless brings the action back to the fundamental fight between the oppositional ideals of the DCU's two most powerful heroes.

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7.5
Injustice: Year Three #11

Mar 11, 2015

There were a lot of moments in this issue that were solid, dramatic, and exciting, but the story feels like it's in a mad rush toward an ambiguous conclusion. The pacing throughout Year Three has been uneven and this issue exemplifies that: in the middle of what should be a pitched battle to the death we have protracted conversations, redundant arguments, and a lot of random fighting with (for the most part) no particular resolution. For the first time ever, Injustice feels like it's a comic book based on a video game. I'm really hoping the final issue gives us all something to buzz about again.

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6.5
Injustice: Year Three #12

Mar 19, 2015

Year Three has had some stand-out moments, but overall didn't deliver the shock and awe of Injustice's first two years. This finale not only sports a fairly lacklustre deus ex machina resolution to the problem of Trigon and Mxyzptlk, but criminally under-uses (or flat out ignores) key characters such as Zatanna and Raven. Worse still, the final resolution to John Constantine's role in the insurgency hinges on a made-for-Injustice character we know virtually nothing about, never got to spend real time with, and whose disappearance now will have no impact on Batman's crew. In fact, none of Year Three has any lasting impact (with the exception of a few deaths). The balance of power is unchanged and the key characters are unchanged. In a book that has thrived on altering the status quo with nearly every issue in the past, this is, in a word, disappointing.

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6.5
Injustice: Year Three Annual #1

Apr 29, 2015

Year Three's annual is about what you might expect after a somewhat lackluster finale to Year Three. Injustice is still a great title and well worth the read, but there's nothing "must-buy" about this pair of filler tales and the second one I found pretty shocking for all the wrong reasons…which made it especially disappointing for what was a really promising premise. The next year of Injustice kicks off digitally next week, so I hope you are collectively clicking your heels and wishing good things for the coming Year Four.

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8.5
Injustice: Year Three #1

Oct 8, 2014

Year Two closed hard and seemed like a tough arc to follow, but the creative crew is playing it smart by radically switching gears in terms of point of view. By picking up with Constantine in the aftermath of the failed uprising, we get plenty of breathing room and an opportunity to kick off new objectives without bogging down in what's just happened. Also, this is a dang funny comic–much needed levity despite the ever-darkening circumstances.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Injustice: Year Three #2

Oct 23, 2014

Year Three is wasting no time obliterating characters in horrific fashion. Two of our Resistance heroes take a final bow (one of whom we were only just seeing for the first time!). But this is Injustice, so death is pervasive and almost no one is safe. The good news is that Batman (with a little help from John Constantine) is front and center as the head of the Resistance again; he's had a long road to recovery, but he's looking ready to take the fight to the next level.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Injustice: Year Three #3

Nov 5, 2014

Always engaging, Injustice never shies from pairing up interesting character interactions and never fails to organically motivate the relationships in those pairings. But while things are working swimmingly for Batman and John Constantine, I'm feeling a little less sanguine about the Spectre popping by chez Superman to give his endorsements. Is it cruel to downgrade a book because I don't like the direction of the story at the moment? Perhaps, but that's based on what I'm perceiving as an illogical turn rather than pure subjectivity in the plot.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Injustice: Year Three #4

Nov 19, 2014

Injustice is flirting dangerously close to falling to the dark side given its treatment of both the Spectre and now Ragman–two characters that at the very least could have made for an interesting balance of power (or even cancelled one another out). But the book is headed in a different direction and for the first time ever the path ahead is uneasily murky. Is Year Three just going to be one setback after another for the Resistance? Issue no. 5 better bring us some hope, because right now the series is kind of depressing in a not-so-great way.

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8.5
Injustice: Year Three #5

Dec 3, 2014

With a couple of major turning points occurring in this book, issue no. 5 might be low on action sequences, but it's high on drama! This is the book that's giving this arc the launch forward it's been gearing up for. If you're like me and have feeling a bit tentative about Year Three, this is definitely the sign that this title continues to live up to expectations.

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8.0
Injustice: Year Three #6

Dec 24, 2014

This book marks the midway point of Year Three for Injustice and Tom Taylor ratchets up the volume a notch as the Resistance makes its first successful strike since (briefly) taking the Hall of Justice in Year Two. I have a feeling from here on out this is going to be quite the ride to the bitter end–who's with me?

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Injustice: Year Three #7

Jan 14, 2015

Maybe this feels like a bit of stalling from the main action of Year Three story-wise, but I find it a welcome digression because it's thoughtful about the themes around which the Injustice series has been been built: the implications of superheroes in the "real" world, the lines they are faced with crossing (or not) by their actions, and their relationship both with one another as well as the world-at-large. It's poignant stuff, and marvelous sunset off into which Tom Taylor rides.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Injustice: Year Three #8

Jan 28, 2015

Buccellato brings strong energy to his first collected issue of Injustice in this tale that resurrects Wonder Woman and restores Superman to the Blue and Red. Some in-fighting in Superman's camp makes for high drama, and the vulnerability of the Resistance telegraphs a big battle to come. Those of you who are reading the Digital Firsts already know all the secrets that lie in wait–and that every issue of Injustice is well worth the price of admission.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Injustice: Year Three #9

Feb 12, 2015

This is mostly big and noisy and a lot of fun, but between all the magic and double-crossing the plot feels like it's starting to unravel. Nine issues into a 12-issue Year you would hope we might be seeing more payoff at this point, but things are just starting to heat up with more questions than answers and some threads already proving to go nowhere of major narrative consequence. With all the cards seemingly revealed at this point, I'm anxiously hoping for some big surprises here on out.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Injustice: Year Three #10

Feb 19, 2015

Injustice feels like it's lost a bit of its edge lately, but it could just be finding its feet with the departure of Tom Taylor and the shifting sands of the art team. Buccellato has done a good job of trying to maintain the balance between the humor and the seriousness of the circumstances and where the magic has, at times, threatened to overwhelm the humanity of the story, he nevertheless brings the action back to the fundamental fight between the oppositional ideals of the DCU's two most powerful heroes.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.5
Injustice: Year Three #11

Mar 11, 2015

There were a lot of moments in this issue that were solid, dramatic, and exciting, but the story feels like it's in a mad rush toward an ambiguous conclusion. The pacing throughout Year Three has been uneven and this issue exemplifies that: in the middle of what should be a pitched battle to the death we have protracted conversations, redundant arguments, and a lot of random fighting with (for the most part) no particular resolution. For the first time ever, Injustice feels like it's a comic book based on a video game. I'm really hoping the final issue gives us all something to buzz about again.

View Issue       View Full Review
6.5
Injustice: Year Three #12

Mar 19, 2015

Year Three has had some stand-out moments, but overall didn't deliver the shock and awe of Injustice's first two years. This finale not only sports a fairly lacklustre deus ex machina resolution to the problem of Trigon and Mxyzptlk, but criminally under-uses (or flat out ignores) key characters such as Zatanna and Raven. Worse still, the final resolution to John Constantine's role in the insurgency hinges on a made-for-Injustice character we know virtually nothing about, never got to spend real time with, and whose disappearance now will have no impact on Batman's crew. In fact, none of Year Three has any lasting impact (with the exception of a few deaths). The balance of power is unchanged and the key characters are unchanged. In a book that has thrived on altering the status quo with nearly every issue in the past, this is, in a word, disappointing.

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8.5
Injustice: Year Two Annual #1

Oct 2, 2014

You might feel like you have already mentally moved on into Year Three, but you won't want to miss these twin tales untold. While the "Closing Time" Resistance story is more about closure and tying off some loose ends you may not have realized were dangling, "The Ur-Forge: an Untold Injustice Tale" does deepen our understanding of the tenuous and excruciating relationship between Hal Jordan and Thaal Sinestro.

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8.0
Injustice: Year Two #5

Jun 21, 2014

The ongoing set-up of the first four issues starts to pay off now that open warfare has begun in earnest. Strap yourselves in: it might be a good time to jump on the wagon if you haven't been reading so far. The next issue promises an escalation, so start now to maximize the impact of the siege-to-come.

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9.5
Injustice: Year Two #6

Jun 25, 2014

With this series, every time you think things can't get any more complicated and awful, they do. Even the most delicate alliance between the likes of greedy Sinestro and rogue Superman spells the worst kind of trouble for the Green Lantern forces and Earth. Meanwhile civil disobedience ramps up in Gotham with an unlikely alliance forming up around outstanding leadership.

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9.0
Injustice: Year Two #7

Jul 9, 2014

This installment may divide your attention a little, but it packs an emotional wallop right out of the gate, gives you a nice cool down, then serves up some big action for its finale. Tom Taylor once again brilliantly combines comedy, pathos, and thrills while continuing to build on ever-growing tension just as the art team of Redondo, Miller, Derenick, Lokus, and Abbott deliver another bright, well-rendered issue that's going to look equally awesome in the context of a future epic trade collection.

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7.5
Injustice: Year Two #8

Jul 23, 2014

Anytime you jump a significant time period between comics you're going to lose momentum and create a weird time pocket in which to wonder what the heck has everyone's been doing all these months. It's good to see Batman getting on his feet (if only just barely), but it's time for the showdown and it's been time for a while now. The tag for the next issue reads: "Absolute. Freaking. Carnage." Bring it on, Injustice crew! We're more than primed.

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9.5
Injustice: Year Two #9

Aug 13, 2014

Last month we were told there would be carnage and this issue delivers! This story not only satisfies that promise, but at long last we see Batman's Resistance start trying to take back the planet, leading a full-out assault on the Hall of Justice. Reading this book is a highly emotional experience and the tension has been incredible. Brace yourselves, though, because the pedal is about to hit the metal: lives will be lost, sacrifices made, and friendships destroyed forever as we careen toward the finale of Year Two.

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10
Injustice: Year Two #10

Aug 27, 2014

Beautiful cruelty. That's the best phrase I can think of to describe how painful and exquisite this issue is. One part epic tragedy and one part epic heroism, this issue's events will resonate well into the upcoming Year Three. Ultimately heroism has the most meaning"the most power"when the odds are at their lowest and when the sacrifice is at its highest. We probably haven't seen the bottom yet, but this feels devastatingly close.

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9.5
Injustice: Year Two #11

Sep 10, 2014

Put a stake in my heart and call it a day: the creative team for Injustice manages to escalate this intergalactic war by bringing it right back down to Earth with grim consequences. This book has the perverse ability to make you seethe with bloodlust for peace to be restored on Earth, which is a crazy-wonderful cognitive dissonance to experience. Year Two is almost done and I'm going to stop asking whether things can get any worse since I think we already all know the answer.

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10
Injustice: Year Two #12

Sep 24, 2014

Year Two concludes with more death and tragedy and evil"all to be expected from this title at this juncture. But it also offers a little something more. You won't want to miss this staggering finale. And for those of you who still aren't reading: no shame"it's never too late to start picking this up! This is comic storytelling at its finest and trust me, you'll want to say one day: I read that one!

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7.5
Justice League / Power Rangers #1

Jan 11, 2017

Taylor and Byrne are a great team on this all-ages romp. While the story feels a bit simple at the moment, that's not a bad thing: good guys vs. bad guys is the heart of comics and always has been. Batman feels maybe a smidge out of character here, but it's just the introduction, so there's plenty of time to see how the relationships between these two heavy-hitter teams works out!

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8.0
Justice League / Power Rangers #2

Feb 8, 2017

The plot thickens as Lord Zedd finds an ally in a classic enemy of the Justice League. Also, the Power Rangers and the Justice Leaguers put aside their snap judgments and realize they are all on the same side–glad we got that out of the way! Tom Taylor keeps this romp light-hearted and Stephen Bryne's visuals emphasize big and bright action–and even bigger and brighter colors in the tradition of both superhero teams' original Saturday morning incarnations. If you like bold action and a traditional us vs. them narrative, you'll love this all-ages pleaser. Okay, so there's no real big surprises here, but Taylor may yet have something up his plotting sleeve.

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7.0
Justice League / Power Rangers #3

Mar 9, 2017

This feels formulaic, but in a winning way. If you just want a nice clean adventure, this fits the bill and then some. The context of the team-up works, everyone is getting along in a way that makes sense, and the Justice Leaguers are just fun to watch as they zip around battling great krakens all over the world. If you want Zord action, there's very little of it here, and the end of the issue sort of slips into some heavy scientific folderol, but the story is moving along and I'm expecting big things from the Lord Zedd/Braniac team-up on the other side come issue No. 4!

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8.0
Legends of the Dark Knight 100 Page Super Spectacular #3

Jun 22, 2014

Is it super-spectacular? Very few books are going to live up to that hyperbole, but Legends is always the perfect book for rainy-day Batfans who don't want to get involved in long story arcs. Despite a few weaknesses, it's cover-to-cover fun: no bad aftertaste and plenty of warm fuzzies in terms of both cameos and a variety of art that will linger fondly for a while. It manages a good balance between the gritty and the campy, and for sheer entertainment, you can't ask for much more. I'm always hard-pressed to part with my shekels, but I'm glad I bought this.

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7.0
Legends of the Dark Knight 100 Page Super Spectacular #4

Sep 11, 2014

I always feel like these collections do provide plenty of content for your ten bucks, and any time spent with Batman is a good time. These aren't the strongest tales, but we're getting to the end of the Legends series, so I guess this is what's left. Still, they're entertaining and if you missed the digital editions this is a good way to catch up. Fun, rainy day afternoon filler.

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8.0
Legends of the Dark Knight 100 Page Super Spectacular #5

Jan 8, 2015

Last go-round I called Legends of the Dark Knight fun, rainy-day filler. Well it's fun, snowy-day filler too. So while those temps are dropping and the odds of you bunking down in the evenings increase, you might want to have something like this handy to enjoy at your leisure. No frills, no commitments, just three good Batman stories with which to bide your time in good company.

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8.0
Robin: Son of Batman #6

Dec 2, 2015

This is a smartly written and carefully paced book. Since it's something I don't typically read and a character for whom I don't have much enthusiasm, I was more than somewhat pleasantly surprised to find myself engaged and even moved by the action and dialogue. I don't hate Damian, but I do struggle with his cockiness (he's unworthy of the Bat, I often think). Here we get to see another side of him. He's still got a long way to go, but it's a very nice start. He's in wonderful hands with Gleason for the time being.

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7.5
Secret Origins #3

Jun 26, 2014

For Batfans, if you split the difference between the two scores for the two Bat-related origins, this comes up a straight 7 for Batwoman and Red Robin. Add the Green Lantern story and Bermejo's irresistible cover and that's worth another additional half point. It's a solid effort and overall a pleasant experience, even if it's not likely something you'll be reaching for a second read-through.

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8.5
Secret Origins #4

Jul 23, 2014

Harley needed a new origin story in spite of the fact that she's been made over and over since the New 52 began, so her inclusion here was necessary. And rather than restomp old ground, Tomasi gives us something fresh in his take on Damian Wayne. Both stories are fun and all-in-all I think this is a great book (the Green Arrow story being a bonus alongside two strong Bat-related origins). Add to that Bermejo's awesome cover and you'll want to pick up this book!

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6.0
Secret Origins #5

Aug 28, 2014

I feel like the solid work of the Cyborg and Mera stories help boost this one for me, particularly because I like Jeff Parker's work with Mera and Aquaman. It also does have a nice Bermejo cover. The larger, splashier images from Herbert and Cifuentes in the Red Hood origin are definitely worth a gander. But if you're not a fan of any of these characters or don't have some other reason for investing in them, I think it's probably skippable.

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6.5
Secret Origins #10

Feb 26, 2015

These Secret Origins stories are coming to an end and it's probably just as well. Sometimes the writers have managed fresh new ways of telling old stories, or, in the case of this month's Batgirl origin, tell a whole new story that actually ties-in or supports the current action of the regular series. Overall it's felt a little more miss than hit to me over the course of the series, but this issue was pretty solid even though I wish a different artist had been chosen for the Batgirl tale.

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8.0
Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #1

Aug 21, 2014

Classic superhero Wonder Woman fights classic Batman villains including Mr. Freeze, Man-Bat and Joker, and teams up with Oracle, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn to bring order back to Gotham while Batman is temporarily sidelined. Sound like a fun ride you want to hop on? It's pretty much exactly that"so if you have some lingering bucks after buying all of your other great books this week, consider picking up Sensation Comics as palette-cleanser. It's a fun first issue and no knowledge of any known continuity is required!

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9.5
Starfire #7

Dec 9, 2015

Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti have applied the formula that's catapulted Harley Quinn into stardom to a book about a childlike statuesque orange alien girl in Key West and the magical result is a comic book that's got their signature humor and heart without all the squicky things that push Harley to the edge. With Koriand'r we also have a bona fide hero who is treated as neither a spoiled child, a tawdry sexbomb, nor a token feminist. Why can't all comics be this even-handed? Come and see what the book is like to see the return of Dick Grayson. You might stick around long after just to enjoy more of Kori.

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9.5
Starfire #8

Jan 13, 2016

I've never been inclined toward any of the gene strong-points of this series (strong female alien superhero, romance, slapstick humor), but Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti work magic with all of the characters they bring to life and Emanuela Lupacchino is a fantastic match to the aesthetic of this kind of storytelling. Starfire demonstrates her strength in this issue by holding the focus of the storyline even up against the magnet that is Dick Grayson. This is what a crossover/cameo should look like: an opportunity for fans of one or the other book to get invested in something they aren't reading, but should be.

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5.0
Supergirl (2016) #9

May 10, 2017

But for the appearance of Batgirl, I would not have picked up this book. The audience for this seems to be pre-teen girls and the storytelling seems to lack gravitas of any sort. There's nothing wrong with a fun book that isn't grappling with deep dark truths or pushing at the edges stakes-wise, but if it's going to be on the fluffier end of the spectrum, I expect more visually to help bolster the simple plot. Here, the artwork actually seems to underscore the triviality of the danger, and the fact that the heroes turn their back on a villain to go chasing into the Phantom Zone after one another just makes me sigh. They may follow each other, but at this point I don't feel especially compelled to follow them.

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6.5
Superman Unchained #7

Jul 2, 2014

With so many double-page splashes, you can read this in less than five minutes. And as I mentioned above, if that's enough for you, give this an extra point (heck, give it two; it's worth an 8.5 for big stupid fun). But for me, the almost total emphasis on eye candy makes this all sugar and no protein–and therefore a lot of empty calories. Will keep an eye out for issue No 8 to see if the book comes down off all this adrenaline and returns to form–we're not done with Batman yet in this arc!

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