All-Star Batman #9
Having pieced together the mastermind behind the super-virus slowly causing the end of the world, Batman rushes to the Washington monument for the final showdown.
Snyder ends this arc the same way he started it, with Jock, who always brings a good time. The issue starts with a race through Washington DC, Batman on a motorcycle, evading the Blackhawks’ helicopters on the way to the Washington monument before the fight with the only villain in Batman’s rogues’ gallery capable of actually ending the world.
Snyder wraps the arc up nicely, with a lot of call backs to the themes and tropes that each previous issue of the arc helped Batman explore. Being that Jock is back, this issue seems to reference the first issue of the arc the most, giving the whole arc a type of symmetry. While this arc has jumped around from issue to issue, feeling more than a little anthological, this ending does unify the three previous issues together into one satisfying plot.
Waking up to discover that Batman is missing, Superman, Superboy, and Robin explore Hamilton to find him, but they’re interrupted when a giant squid attacks the town.
Tomasi jumps right back into the weirdness this series has provided since the reboot, but is unfortunately maybe a little too distracted by its own giant squid. There’s a big mystery going on in Hamilton regarding the dairy farmers, but instead of focusing on that – and on finding Batman – the issue spends its entire middle on a mostly uneventful fight with a giant squid that pretty much pops out of nowhere.
Jon and Damian get some great moments throughout the issue, but I wish the end it came in the middle, and then we could’ve spent the last third of the issue further exploring the main plot.
Green Arrow #21
Ferreyra’s back ^_^
Oliver Queen visits his father’s grave and discovers yet more of the dead man’s secrets. Meanwhile, a cabal of villains works to cripple Seattle, crashing planes, starting infections, knocking down buildings, and snapping the social safety net.
This issue spells disaster for Seattle, and sets up the darkest scenario for Green Arrow of the reboot so far. By the issue’s end, Seattle has suffered a number of 9/11 scale terrorist attacks while Ollie was literally underground, and has had no way to prepare nor defend itself for whatever is coming next. This doesn’t feel like a job for Green Arrow; heck, this feels almost too big, or at least too serious, a job for Superman, even.
If this were any other comic, I’d accuse it of going over the edge, but because this is Percy’s Green Arrow, I believe that as grimdark as this issue gets, we’re in for one heck of a fun ride back to the light. And hopefully Ferreyra sticks around a bit longer, too.
The Wild Storm #3
Cash and his covert action team teleport into Spica’s hiding spot right before she’s ambushed by an IO strike team.
This is the least plot-dense issue of Wild Storm so far, focusing mainly on a shootout between Cash and IO, but early on, drops a lot of weird hints about this series’ connection to the rest of the DCU. Davis-Hunt brings the same level of gore to the shootout here that he does to Clean Room on a regular basis. Like every other issue of Ellis’ work, it opens up a lot more questions than it answers.
Brigid finds one person from the excavation site she trusts, and takes her to see a historian to find out more about Mellion’s Ring – specifically, the folklore.
Ellis puts Brigid and her new partner Emma on a car-ride together, giving the latter a chance to introduce herself, while Brigid reveals more about her personality and how she operates. The two have great chemistry; Brigid warms up around her, and Emma isn’t as naive as she initially appears, and is able to keep up her end of the banter.
The mystery of Mellion’s ring continues to get deeper too, growing from just an impossible death to include King Arthur’s Merlin, a torture chamber, and spriggins. There’s been no interference from the Injection itself yet, but with all of this folklore in the area, it can’t be too far away.
Ms. Marvel #17
Kamala takes a page out of Squirrel Girl’s book and figures out a way to defeat the Doc.X virus with kindness; all she’s gotta do is make the internet nice for twelve hours. Of all the superhero stories I’ve ever read, this might be the most unrealistic, but it’s also the most optimistic. I wish those two things didn’t overlap as much as they seem to…
Still, despite the schmaltz, there is a lot to appreciate about this issue’s message. That everybody feels vulnerable sometimes, and that we should meet those vulnerabilities with empathy and kindness, because when we feel hurt, that’s what we wish others would do for us. The issue finds a new way to visualize friendship and fraternity as sources of strength, and I can only hope it isn’t too much wishful thinking to believe that optimism might win in real life too.
I mean, like…it’s gonna take a while, and there will, unfortunately, always be jerks – but maybe we could all just try to be nicer irl, too.
Moon Knight #13
Having rescued Crawley, Moon Knight heads back to the asylum on his mission to kill Khonshu. And in flashback, the path that first brought Marc to Khonshu is further revealed.
The ambiguously literal journey through Marc Spector’s mind nears its end, and at this point Marc and Khonshu are outright hostile towards one another. Marc is out for vengeance while Khonshu is using all his powers to trap him in the darker places of his own psyche. Marc stubbornly powers through every mental obstacle in his way, only to end up in the institution he may very well actually belong in after all is said and done.
This isn’t the most interesting issue of Moon Knight, Marc is doubtless in his goals, and his resoluteness is enough to clear up everything we need to know going into the end. This issue is the long walk to what’s sure to be a spectacular finish.
Zdarksy ends this arc (and the series, except for an upcoming annual) with the same gentleness he’s written into it throughout. Following Edmund’s death in the last issue, this one follows Peter and Gregory through the grieving process, giving each the time, space, and friends needed to begin to heal, get back on their feet, and face the world again. The book isn’t a treatise or anything on grieving, but it does have some good advice and insight on the process and why people tend to feel right after a loss. And there’s still just the right amount of levity to keep it from becoming sappy. The saddest part of this issue might be that we’ve only got one more left.
At least there’s Spider-Man to look forward to.
Batman #21, and Sex Criminals #18 were on my pulllist, but were not in stock at my LCS. I will likely review them with my pull next week. I think I’m also waiting for Green Valley #7, so maybe that’ll be there, too.