Aaron Lopresti, Andy Kubert, Ann Nocenti, Black Hand, Brett Booth, Brian Azzarello, Cafu, Dan Didio, Dan Jurgens, Deathstroke, Desaad, Doomsday, Eclipso, First Born, Francis Manapul, Greg Pak, H'el, Marv Wolfman, Matt Kindt, Paul Levitz, Phillip Tan, Rags Morales, Relic, Reverse Flash, Scott Lobdell, Secret Society, Solomon Grundy, The Court of Owls, The Joker, The Joker's Daughter, Trigon, Yildiray Cinar
BATMAN #23.1: THE JOKER by ANDY KUBERT and TBA
The Joker is DC Royalty, and this was his time to shine. Instead he gets a beautifully drawn but terrible story about him turning a monkey to crime. And there’s bonus Bad Childhood stuff, for the one character that should NEVER have an official origin. Sigh.
(Mini Rant: Christopher Nolan turned the Joker into nightmare fuel. Why aren’t they using that version instead of this Golden Age retread material? Sounds like a corporate legal decision so they don’t have to possibly pay Nolan. Blargle!)
BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #23.4: THE JOKER’S DAUGHTER by ANN NOCENTI and GEORGES JEANTY
A terrible story that combines lazy writing with lazier writing. A crazy woman improbably finds the Joker’s face in a sewer and uses it to bully a bunch of chauvinistic cave-dwelling men. Seriously, that’s what happened.
SUPERMAN #23.3: H’EL by SCOTT LOBDELL, DAN JURGENS, and NORM RAPMUND
Everything that’s wrong with new characters. The plot is nearly inscrutable, (it involves time travel!) and H’el looks stupid. He looks like he took his hoodie off and wrapped it around his waist. Good to see Dan Jurgens though.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #23.3: SECRET SOCIETY OF VILLAINS by GEOFF JOHNS, MANUEL GARCIA, and ROB HUNTER
I read it a couple times and I’m still not sure what happened. I hate this parallel dimension stuff. Something with Owlman and evil pale Alfred.
GREEN LANTERN #23.1: RELIC by ROBERT VENDITTI, RAGS MORALES, and CAM SMITH
The most generic villain ever created. Badly designed, with Batman like earflaps. A waste of Rags Morales. A scientist realizes that the Lanterns drain the energy of creatiom, but can’t get anyone to listen in time and life ends. He gets rebooted in a new universe, with billons of years of experience, omnipotent powers and everything else lousy a new character could have.
GREEN LANTERN #23.3: BLACK HAND by CHARLES SOULE and ALBERTO PONTICELLI
This was a meh comic, but the problem is that the Black Hand was such a strong character a couple years ago that this feels like a step down. It was rushed and pointless redo.
THE FLASH #23.2: REVERSE-FLASH by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO
He has an accident… and is fused with his car and the Speed Force. Or something. Anyway, he’s super fast and throws shrapnel from his car body. Seriously?
WONDER WOMAN #23.2: FIRST BORN by BRIAN AZZARELLO and ALEX CAL
A child fathered by Zeus is raised by lions. Lions. He ends up trying to lead a rebellion against the Gods despite a feline predilection for sleeping 20 hours a day and burying his poop. He has a costume with no armor, but tusks on the most useless points of his body.
EARTH 2 #15.1: DESAAD by PAUL LEVITZ and YILDIRAY CINAR
Apparently there’s something worse than being Darkseid’s toady. Its being a vaguely defined sadistic villain with no personality in a really lousy book.
TEEN TITANS #23.1: TRIGON by MARV WOLFMAN and CAFU
I always thought Trigon had one of the cooler designs in comics, but in this comic he’s an alien that eats a giant space heart full of evil and – I can’t. I can’t.
TEEN TITANS #23.2: DEATHSTROKE by COREY MAYS, DOOMA WENDSCHUH and ROBSON ROCHA
How you do screw up Deathstroke? Ever since the reboot no one can figure out how to make a cycloptic tactical genius covered in armor and weapons with enhanced strength and reflexes and a boatload of family drama interesting. Just ask Marv Wolfman then.
BATMAN/SUPERMAN #3.1: DOOMSDAY by GREG PAK and BRETT BOOTH
I got a little lost on this one. Was Doomsday reaching through time to a menace a little girl with General Zod? Could this comic look any more 90’s? A story with absolutely no impact.
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #23.2: ECLIPSO by DAN DIDIO and PHILIP TAN
Eclipso generally sucks. He looks like the Jester in really bad Ren Fair and he keeps getting imprisoned in a gem that he breaks out of, which I suppose is a cautionary tale against getting garish jewelry.
EARTH 2 #15.2: SOLOMON GRUNDY by MATT KINDT and AARON LOPRESTI
Instead of being merely a zombie, Grundy is now an Agent of Rot. This is a comic that hates subtlety. Hates it. Like it runs subtlety over with its car and then backs up over it repeatedly. The character on the cover does not appear in the comic, and I don’t know why he has metal leg armor. Why is he holding a skull? Does the new Grundy do a scene from Hamlet?
I recuse myself
BATMAN AND ROBIN #23.2: THE COURT OF OWLS by JAMES TYNION IV and JORGE LUCAS
Wasn’t there just a Court of Owls event? How exactly do you top that?