Matina Newsom's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Batman-News Reviews: 58
6.1Avg. Review Rating

6
Batgirl (2016) #40

Oct 24, 2019

Batgirl and Oracle are both women on a mission. Barbara's goal is to stop the chaos, and find out just who set her beloved Burnside aflame, while Oracle is out for revenge. Everything she does in this issue is aimed at drawing Babs in for a confrontation. Through this it's made obvious she's as incomplete as she keeps saying, missing the one thing that really made Oracle work, Barbara Gordon.

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4
Batgirl (2016) #41

Nov 27, 2019

This issue feels a lot messier than the last one. There's a lot of contradictions and decisions that just don't make sense, like Babs staying underwater so long she almost dies. The story also feels like it's missing the mark when it comes to how Babs sees Oracle. Instead of getting to the heart of what it was to her, Babs seems to have accepted this machine is all Oracle was, instead of an extension of herself. This arc could be a fascinating look comparing the two, but so far things aren't really lining up properly. Hopefully next month things take a turn for the better.

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3
Batgirl (2016) #42

Jan 1, 2020

As an arc Oracle Rising never really found its stride or its theme. It floundered from issue to issue trying different themes and ideas, and landed this time on changing Barbara's personality. Additionally, instead of attempting to resolve the relationship between Batgirl and Oracle the story focused on Barbara and Bard's relationship, totally backtracking everything Jason Bard did last issue to do so.

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6
Batgirl (2016) #43

Jan 22, 2020

While I'm still not sold on the relationship between Barbara and Jason, I also cannot help but be enamored by all the sword and sorcery elements going on in this book. It's a really fun idea to play with the romance of fantasy and drop Barbara right in the middle of it as she struggles with her own romantic woes.

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5
Batgirl (2016) #44

Feb 26, 2020

This whole relationship between Babs and Bard feels like it's moving too fast. Even with this and the last issue dedicated to attempting to work things out between them, I'm not totally sold on Barbara falling for Jason just yet. It does work to move them into a place where they may be able to become a couple, by helping bring Batgirl and Bard together despite their differences, and getting Babs to start looking at Jason more for who he is now instead of the past, but I think they have a ways to go before starting a real relationship.

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4
Batgirl (2016) #45

Mar 25, 2020

Despite having an interesting premise, Batgirl tries to do too much without taking the time to really think out it's explanations or slow down to let the story build a little bit. It does give us Barbara Gordon using her position with Congresswoman Alejo to further the plot, and introduces an interesting villain. However, it's got too much going on and too many moments that are legitimately frustrating for me to be excited about where this is all going.

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6
Batgirl (2016) #46

Jun 23, 2020

This issue of Batgirl has a lighter tone while managing to juggle some more serious themes. That lightness really brightens up the book, and makes it an easy read that's enjoyable. While wrapping up one arc it also sets up elements that can be explored in the future, such as Barbara's relationship with Jason Bard, as well as the possibility of her moving away from working with Congresswoman Alejo or changing how she works with her. Even thought the story is moving into a totally different arc, I have hope that we may return to some of these proposed ideas soon.

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2
Batgirl (2016) #47

Jul 21, 2020

If it's not clear, I did not enjoy Batgirl. Having Joker strip Barbara Gordon of her agency and ability to walk, then parade around her, puppet her, and eventually drive her to hurt herself to escape him is the exact opposite of what I feel a proper response to TKJ would be. Even outside of it being a response, its attempts at giving Barbara a chance to take back control over her body from Joker miss the mark, and make the reader so uncomfortable that any meaning is lost. While the art and colors are stunning, this book is in such poor taste, any redeeming qualities about the story are hard to appreciate.

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5
Batgirl (2016) #48

Aug 25, 2020

Batgirl #48 has some odd places, and parts that don't seem to make sense, but generally it's an interesting start to the title's final arc. It fixes the issue of Barbara removing her implant, and introduces Luke Fox to the narrative. At the same time it also brings back the whole Gordon family as protagonists as they deal with family drama, and a new murder that looks like it will involve all of them in some way or another.

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7
Batman (2016): Pennyworth R.I.P. #1

Feb 12, 2020

Pennyworth RIP is a somber tale. It takes a good look at how grief and sorrow affects a whole family and asks the question: Where do we go from here? But it also celebrates Alfred and gives readers a number of new stories with him showing just how important he's always been to the members of the Batfamily. If you're anything like me, it'll leave you with a mixed bag of feelings and a little unsure of where you stand regarding it. For a story like this, featuring such a beloved character I honestly don't think that's a bad thing.

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10
Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime OGN

Feb 15, 2020

Batman Tales: Once Upon a Crime is a fantastic collection of stories based on fairy tales. While easily understood and enjoyed by children, the messages shared in each story are often applicable no matter who or how old you are. With the exception of the last story "which is more somber than the rest" each tale is filled to the brim with laughter and wacky moments indicative of everything you might have loved in Lil' Gotham. No matter what, if you're an old fan or a new one I'd highly suggest picking up this book.

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8
Harley Quinn (2016) #65

Sep 4, 2019

This issue balances the serious and funny aspects of a Harley Quinn story really well. It took Harley through her grief in a relatable, and believable way that still fit the character and tone of the book, while also delivering the contagious insanity we've come to love and expect from this title. I liked reading this issue, and I feel like readers who've been on the fence about the serious/silly nature of the book might enjoy it as much as I did.

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8
Harley Quinn (2016) #66

Oct 2, 2019

This conclusion to the Trials of Harley Quinn arc was a really great wrap up not only to the Trials themselves, but to an arc about Harley growing as a character. It was also wonderful to spend more time with Harley actually facing a problem head on, and being able to work through her mom's passing. It's not the end of her growth, or even the end of her struggling with losing a parent, but I think it's a strong step in helping strengthen who she is, and how she interacts with the world.

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8
Harley Quinn (2016) #67

Nov 6, 2019

This issue is a mix between two stories: Harley's continuing struggle with losing her mother, and a funny (and gorgeous) look at crossover events. Both are enjoyable to read for their own reasons, in art and story. Every time Humphries touches on the human side of Harley, and her struggling through her mother's loss I'm moved and find myself more and more on her side. His humor is just as strong, and delightful in how it pokes fun at the medium of comics itself, but also finds time to praise the things comics do well.

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9.5
Harley Quinn (2016) #68

Dec 4, 2019

Even if you're not a Christmas or Harley fan, this issue is fun, funny, and heartfelt. It's a fantastic Christmas story, and provides a much needed lesson during this season. Really, just go pick it up, you won't regret it.

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8.5
Harley Quinn (2016) #69

Jan 1, 2020

As a one shot I found this issue to be a lot of fun. Russell did a great job crafting a collection of both wacky and loveable new characters, who I wouldn't mind showing back up later. It also has some moments of depth, and gives Harley a chance to be more than an exasperated landlady in need of her taxes done. This issue is a lighthearted read that you'll chuckle at, and enjoy going back to for all the little jokes you missed or details you didn't quite catch the first read through.

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8
Harley Quinn (2016) #70

Feb 5, 2020

Harley Quinn #70 is a fun start to a new arc. It takes Harley to a new place, with new friends, and adventure, but it continues to play with themes Humphries has been working towards for a while now. Harley is still struggling with grief over losing her mom, but we can see her starting to move past it and into other areas where she is changing and growing as a person. In between all that she's got to deal with a new mystery and how that will impact the new relationships she's made. It's safe to say I'm really excited to see where the rest of this arc is going to go from here!

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7
Harley Quinn (2016) #72

May 12, 2020

This issue of Harley Quinn feels a little like the last one, but still manages to be quite a bit of fun. Humphries focuses once again on grief and trauma, and how that impacts a person, and he does it through showing us Harley's often questionable decisions through the issue. He balances this with Booster Gold who adds humor and a level head that Harley needs right now, and works as a great partner as they continue their investigation. All in all, it's an entertaining read that's also full of heart.

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8.5
Harley Quinn (2016) #73

Jun 9, 2020

This issue focuses once again on the emotional journey Harley's taking and moves away from the repetitive action of the last couple books. It's this return to the heart of this series that really makes it work for me. It feels like it's earned the right to lean into the more serious, and it does it well here.

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6.5
Harley Quinn (2016) #74

Jul 7, 2020

Harley's final face off with Granny Goodness is a fun, and heartfelt moment where it's proven that even Granny Goodness herself has gone through loss. While the fight is enjoyable, and has some great surprises, the emotional beats of the story are where it's strongest. First in Harley's determination to save her friends and those Granny Goodness would put in danger. Then as she and Becca both find resolution in the truth and are able to put Alicia to rest at last. If you've been enjoying this arc at all, this is a great way to wrap it up.

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8
Harley Quinn (2016) #75

Aug 18, 2020

Harley Quinn #75 wraps up Sam Humphries run in a way that really celebrates everything that came before it. It finishes Harley's journey by allowing her to come to terms with herself and her future while also being wrapped up in a fun and funny package. It's additional Joker War tie in story only adds to it by giving us another look at Harley and what she's been up to outside this title. As someone who loved this run I can honestly say that while I'm sad to see it go, I think this was an excellent send off for Harley.

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8
Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass OGN

Sep 4, 2019

Breaking Glass tackles some serious issues in a way that is both thoughtful and real to life. It's funny, beautiful to read, and full of heart. There are no easy answers in the book, or clean solutions to problems, but it does provide readers with both a relatable narrative and a spark of hope to push them forward.

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7
Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016) #37

Aug 28, 2019

This was a good introduction to a new arc and a new set of characters.

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5.5
Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016) #38

Sep 25, 2019

There's a lot that goes on in this book, and at the same time not much at all. It makes a little headway into the plot started last week, but spends a lot of it's time on flashbacks that don't give enough answers. The Artemis and Bizarro scenes were nice, and my favorite part. Things simply felt a bit jumbled, like Lobdell has a lot he wants to do, but isn't quite focusing in the right areas yet. This idea of Jason as a teacher has potential, I'm just not seeing it realized yet.

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7
Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016) #39

Oct 23, 2019

After two rocky issues I feel like this arc is starting to fall into a solid groove. There were some strong character moments with the team in this issue, and Jason's teaching style has finally started to come into focus. The continued inclusion of Bizzaro and Artemis has expanded to include Pup Pup and is finally moving forward. Even though some of the humor missed the mark for me, and parts of the story felt like filler, I feel like the issue was still a fun and enjoyable read.

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6
Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016) #40

Nov 27, 2019

The Generation Outlaw arc has had a lot of fun exploring a new group of teens and Jason's strengths as a teacher to them. Last issue's sometimes awkward and off humor seems to have mellowed this time in favor of moments that are both funny, and carry emotional weight for the characters. This issue, like many before it, introduces more mystery than answers and feels like it's setting up pieces for something more. Unfortunately the lack of real stakes or forward momentum leaves me wondering what that something is, and if we'll reach it, or if this arc will end up fizzling out instead.

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4
Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016) #41

Jan 1, 2020

This issue falls into the trouble the arc has had of trying to do too much with little direction. Lobdell rushes through solving problems before readers understand why they're problems, and tries to show off his cast of characters, but ends up leaving things feeling chaotic and unfocused. Instead of trying to find a balance between character work and action, this issue leans too heavily into action and takes shortcuts by introducing new powers, and character motivations that have had little set up or explanation prior.

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4
Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016) #42

Jan 22, 2020

As both an ending and start to arcs, I don't feel like this issue came together very well. The moments between Artemis and Jason are the strongest, while everything around them feels like filler text designed to take up pages instead of further the story.

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6
Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016) #44

Mar 25, 2020

So far this arc of Red Hood is turning out to be interesting. While this issue still felt like much of it was was setting up the story, it had some really nice moments. Jason and Bizzaro getting to spend time together is something I've missed, and I also was happy to see some more of Jason's history. I'm still waiting to see how Essence will really play into all this but, generally, this issue of Red Hood was a fun read and enough to keep you entertained for a little while.

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3
Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016) #45

May 19, 2020

This month Red Hood: Outlaw was a miss for me. I don't mind an issue that's all action when it's done well, but here it only seemed to frustrate me and point out other flaws in the story. The book has too much going on and also doesn't seem to move forward very far at all even with plenty of opportunities to do so. Usually I can find joy in the characters, but I didn't even find that here. There's a point where being loud and bombastic actually gets boring, and this issue of Red Hood felt that way.

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4
Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016) #46

Jun 23, 2020

This issue really just didn't do it for me. While it attempted to move the narrative forward, I think that overall it was too busy and convoluted. The dissemination of key information associated with the plot was messy and at some points just straight up random. I should be excited for the team to dive into a fight with Trigon, but instead I just want to move onto other things.

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4
Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016) #47

Jul 28, 2020

The issue as a whole is in desperate need of some tension. Everything comes far too easy for the Outlaws despite this situation supposedly being one where the fate of the world is at stake. Almost nowhere in the issue do I feel like the characters are in real danger, and the few moments I do are either unearned or quickly resolved. While the story does progress, the events are sometimes lack clarity. There are cool moments and scenes, but without tension to strengthen those scenes the issue generally falls flat.

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6
Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016) #48

Aug 25, 2020

For a book designed to line up with the Joker War event, this was a fun read. Punchline's plan could have used a little work, and the conversation between Joker and Jason really didn't do much for me, but generally I enjoyed reading this. Additionally, Lobdell takes the opportunity to give readers another look at Jason and Bruce's relationship while also lining up some plot elements for later in the series. All in all, if you've been reading the Joker War books, this isn't a bad one to pick up.

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10
Suicide Squad (2019) #1

Dec 18, 2019

First issues are often hit or miss, and this one hits it out of the ballpark. Tom Taylor has put together a fun team of both new and old characters and set the stage for some really interesting conflict in the future. Again, because it bears repeating, the book is stunning. The creative team pulled out all the stops this time, giving us something that's a joy to look at as well as read. It's easy to tell just from this first issue that there's a plan for this story, and after such a well balanced and fun start, I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.

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6
Teen Titans (2016) #33

Aug 22, 2019

Glass has a lot of story threads he's trying to juggle, and I'm afraid it's just a few too many.

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6
Teen Titans (2016) #34

Sep 18, 2019

The elements for a great book are here, things just need to slow down for a little bit and actually develop them.

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4.5
Teen Titans (2016) #35

Oct 16, 2019

Teen Titans did some good things this issue. For all the insanity it took to get them there, the team started to talk about how they're operating, and some grievances were aired.

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7
Teen Titans (2016) #36

Nov 20, 2019

Teen Titans has struggled from a lack of direction and team cohesion for a while now. Thankfully, it seems like things are starting to clear up as various plots progress, and even as the team is fractured, they seem to finally be coming together. Lobo works as the driving force for much of that in this issue, by creating a reason for the remaining titans to rally. With creative art, lots of action, and balance in the story, this issue was enjoyable and set the stage for some really exciting things to come.

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8
Teen Titans (2016) #37

Dec 18, 2019

This is the first time in a while I've honestly stepped away from Teen Titans and been excited for next month's issue. There were a lot of great things happening this issue. Roundhouse continues to develop as a character, the team is working together and supporting each other, and it's reveal is both shocking and interesting.

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5
Teen Titans (2016) #38

Jan 15, 2020

Teen Titans wraps up its arc about The Other in a way that makes me wish the series as a whole had been stronger so that the conclusion of this arc would hit harder. It's not bad, and it sets the story up for a new, fresh adventure for the team. It's also at the point where Teen Titans feels like it has a functional team at last. Now, they're not individuals, but kids who can work together despite their differences. I'm excited to see where the story goes now that the threat of The Other has been done away with and they can move into unknown territory.

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6
Teen Titans (2016) #39

Feb 19, 2020

For the start of a new arc, this was pretty exciting. It can feel a little to busy and chaotic at times with all the exposition and fighting packed into the pages, but I like the direction the story is going in.

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6.5
Teen Titans (2016) #40

Mar 18, 2020

The tone of the book has also found a nice balance between it's lighter and more serious elements, making this both a funny read and one that isn't afraid to dive into what the characters are going through. The pace is moving rapidly, and I for one can't wait to see what happens next.

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6
Teen Titans (2016) #41

May 26, 2020

As a wrap up to the Djinn Wars arc this issue was enjoyable. Djinn's own personal journey was great to see, and her fight against Elias was well done. She really got to take center stage here as both the leader of the action and as the moral compass. Despite the messy ending to the issue itself, the team worked together well, and I enjoyed many of their interactions through the title. If you're looking to finish off this particular arc, or enjoy some surprise drama this issue is for you.

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6
Teen Titans (2016) #42

Jun 24, 2020

This issue works well to re-set the team under Robbie Thompson's hand and after they broke up in the last issue. It introduces the new dynamics between members, as well as show exactly how the events at Mercy Hall have impacted each of them. To push the team into possible closure, Thompson has introduced a mystery directly connected with their past failures, forcing everyone to come together again and really face what they've done.

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4
Teen Titans (2016) #43

Jul 14, 2020

For me, this issue never really comes together as anything more that themes we've seen play out already. The whole Robin is going down a dark path story has grown overly repetitive, and this issue does little to make it any more interesting than what we've seen before. The team has potential, and while I want to enjoy their part of the investigation at this point I'm so tired of the book doing the same thing over and over I just want something new. If you're looking for a good team book, I'd suggest looking elsewhere for now.

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4
Teen Titans (2016) #44

Aug 18, 2020

Honestly, I'm still not sold on this whole Robin goes rouge narrative, and giving me another issue that feels circular and repetitive doesn't do much to convince me I should think otherwise. There are some positive aspects to the story, like the building of a bigger threat to the team, with the re-introduction of villains the team has taken down, but it doesn't do enough to counterbalance an issue that really doesn't push the story forward until the last page or so. With Teen Titans ending soon, I'd like to see the book spend less time going in circles and more on ting up loose ends.

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6
Teen Titans (2016) #45

Sep 15, 2020

Generally, Teen Titans is attempting to wrap up the loose ends of it's story by giving the remaining Titans a chance to resolve their own personal demons. The story is bogged down a few times by attempting to take on too many dangling threads like Red Hood, and in doing so takes the focus of where it should be, which is the team we still have. I like that the title obviously is pushing towards and ending, I just hope it can find a good balance by the end.

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6
Teen Titans (2016) Annual #2

Aug 25, 2020

Thompson does his best to make the story of Damian quitting Robin believable. He gives context for Damian's inner turmoil, and couches a lot of his actions and reasoning in grief over losing Alfred. The Batman here is one who genuinely cares about his son, and does what he can to convince Damian to return home. As a reader, I'm less worried about Damian's future because this feels less like this is his villain origin story and more the story of a hurting and confused 13 year old who needs his family to pull him back. I can only hope that things between him and Batman will be resolved soon.

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9
Year of the Villain: Harley Quinn #1

Dec 11, 2019

As another in a long line of tie ins to DC's Year of the Villain event, I found this book to be the most fun out of them all. Its biting humor and unrepentant jabs at current comics events and societal norms made it something I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It could have done more, but it's solid in its execution for what it is: an awards show styled issue where DC's most vital villains come together to celebrate themselves.

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6
Young Justice (2019) #10

Nov 6, 2019

This issue had a lot packed into it, and some of it was done really well, while other parts felt like they'd worn out their welcome. Jinny's backstory was an interesting and clear look at her character, reasons for leaving home, and just where her mysterious trunk came from. The continued battle on Earth-3 was fun, but too busy, and after three issues of so much fighting it's end was welcome. All in all, boxes were opened, hero identities changed, and after a long journey it seems like the team is home at last, ready to dive straight into their next adventure.

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5.5
Young Justice (2019) #11

Dec 4, 2019

Young Justice is in an odd place right now where it's introducing new characters and transitioning into a new arc. With all that come some bumps and bruises. Things are a little chaotic at the start of the issue, and it continues to have a few problems throughout. Still, Bendis crafts some good scenes with Naomi and the team as they interact and work out what's going on in Oregon and with S.T.A.R. Labs. While not the strongest issue in this series, it had some fun moments and was gorgeous to look at.

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5
Young Justice (2019) #12

Jan 8, 2020

There's a lot going on in Young Justice this month. The issue isn't bad, in fact it's often funny and has some great character moments. It's simply bogged down by too many characters who sound the same and don't have strong reasons for being there.

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5.5
Young Justice (2019) #13

Feb 5, 2020

The time spent focusing on Conner and Warlord this issue was time well spent. Their interactions were a lot of fun, and really highlighted some of the struggles Conner's been going through in this series. Unfortunately, the other half of the issue was less successful and felt bogged down by a lack of forward momentum and too many characters with not enough to do. It does seem like the stage might finally be set for things to move forward, so hopefully we'll see that traction next issue.

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5
Young Justice (2019) #14

Mar 11, 2020

Set by itself this issue of Young Justice is exciting, fun, and pushes the story forward. However, the moment it's put in the context of the rest of the series it starts to fray. There are too many characters with little effort put into making them live and breath,e and the plot feels a bit lost even as it moves forward into providing answers to the questions it's been dangling for months now. Young Justice has the potential to be at the top of my pull list, but at this point I'm ready for this arc about Dr. Glory to be over and the team onto other adventures.

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6
Young Justice (2019) #15

Jun 16, 2020

The highlight of this issue was Conner, and his reaction to everything going on. His personality and relationships got a chance to shine in between everything else going on. While I'm not convinced that the truth behind everything was worth the build up, I do think this issue sets up the future of the title in some interesting ways. With the truth out at last, the book can move forward into other stories and explore both the core cast and the newly extended one in what will hopefully be a series of fun adventures.

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6
Young Justice (2019) #16

Jul 7, 2020

I enjoyed this issue quite a bit. It slows the pace down again to focus in on answers and the characters relationships with one another. Bart's origin story is clarified and we're given clear answers about how he arrived on the current Earth and universe. His relationship with Conner is also highlighted, with the promise that Tim also will be joining them as they continue to search for answers.

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5
Young Justice (2019) #17

Aug 4, 2020

Young Justice #17 isn't a bad issue, but it relies heavily on outside information for context which can make it alienating for some readers. It does feature an interesting outside point of view character and gives her a solid arc. It also takes time to showcase interactions between the core team members and while those moments are nice, they also don't feel earned and do little to advance the story. Generally, the issue feels more like a coda to Action Comics instead of a Young Justice book, leaving me wondering if anything that happened will be relevant going forward.

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6
Young Justice (2019) #18

Sep 1, 2020

This issue makes Stephanie shine. It puts her squarely in the spotlight, and sends the familiar duo of Stephanie and Tim back on an adventure. There are a few details that bring it down a bit, like the need to bring the whole Young Justice team in, and some awkward moments of dialogue, but it's generally good read when it's focusing on Stephanie. If you've been wishing for more Spoiler in your comics, this is one to pick up.

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