|Flash really can't do the whole bad cop thing|
One hundred and eighty!
Beetle's confronted by Kyle Rayner and a couple of his Rainbow Corps which, predictably enough, turns into one big fight but at least there's a reason for it: the scarab tech identifies Green Lanterns as enemies of the Reach. When the mysterious bad guy who's been haunting these pages turns up and tries to take Kyle down, though, Beetle has a chance to prove he's not a bad guy and helps save the day before the Rainbows have to head off to various places. Meanwhile, we find out a little more about Brenda's situation.
This title's either up or down, good or bad. Thankfully, this was one of the better issues which provided a decent enough story as well as a bit of fun to boot. Plus there's the revelation that the bounty hunter was set on Kyle by the Guardians themselves.
Atom splits himself into multiple versions around the world, trying to work out what's going to happen to precipitate the end of the world and how he's involved. The boy he saved in earlier issues has grown to be a worshipper, turning Atom into a religion where he's worshipped under the name of Chrono Mota. When confronted by a vast energy source, Atom and all his myriad versions explode, causing the destruction he had foreseen while at the same time throwing Atom back into the time stream to meet with his other future selves. The energy source follows him and is revealed to be Chrono Mota, the ultimate version of Atom from thousands of years in the future.
On the whole, not bad, though there were very heavy shades of The Kingdom from a few years back - the boy saved, growing to a man, worshipping a superhero - that seemed less subtle homage and more outright copying.
Despite the rest of the Corps sticking up for Stewart when the Alpha Lanterns come to arrest him, Stewart himself admits to killing Kirrt, especially when the Alpha's show the moment of death recorded by the Lanterns' own rings. Gardner appeals directly to the Guardians who refuse to get involved, leaving everything to the Alphas. Once he's gone, they reflect that he's going to have to be "marginalised sooner rather than later" which doesn't bode well at all. At the trial, Stewart makes a point of asking why only Kirrt's death was recorded and not the hours of torture they all suffered, asking where's the context for his actions. Unfortunately, it's all for naught as Stewart is found guilty and sentenced to death.
The Guardians continue building up to the destruction of the Green Lantern Corps, rubbing their little blue hands in glee every time something goes their way and I have to wonder how many of them are going to be around at the end of it all. A splendid issue.
David Graves, once the League's fervent supporter, is dying of cancer and plans to do something about it. Meanwhile, the Key breaks into Arkham Asylum bringing some of the League down on him while Weapons Master gets caught by other members. Both of them want the same thing, though: to be hidden from another bad guy who wanted information about the League, a bad guy called Graves. While all this has been going on, Graves has kidnapped Steve Trevor and tortured him, threatening the lives of his family until he agrees to tell him how to get into the JLA satellite.
Amidst the darkness, there are a couple of nice character moments, particularly Hal Jordan and Flash trying to do the whole good cop/bad cop thing, as well as a subtle reminder that Batman knows about the world of Flashpoint and the potential altered timeline. Pretty good on the whole.
Shazam! - written by Geoff Johns with art by Gary Frank.
With his adopted family apparently having forgiven him for being a dick, Billy Batson heads off to school where we get a chance to see some of the others in action. At the end of the day, they're targeted by the Bryer brothers, a bunch of spoilt rich kids who get a sound beating from Billy. Trouble is, their dad's just as much of a bully. Elsewhere, Dr Sivana finds the tomb of Black Adam and ends up with a fetching battle scar and the ability to see magic.
While others may not be enjoying this new take on Captain Marvel/Shazam, I for one am and can't wait to see whether Sivana and Adam will remain two separate characters or if Sivana will now be Adam's alter ego.
The Ninjettes come together as a team, or at least begin to, and start to plan how they're going to get on to the Circuit, the assassins network. There's a flashback to the oft-mentioned Kennebunkport disaster which gives an insight into the dealings of the Buwick family before plans are put into motion.
To be honest, what little charm this book had at the start is beginning to wear very thin. It's all over the place; the characters are almost completely interchangeable with nothing to distinguish them and I'm seriously having trouble telling the three Ninjettes apart both in terms of personality and looks.
Not sure this will be on my pull list for much longer.
While Michael gets hypnotised to relive his abduction encounter (by a doctor who is definitely feeding him suggestions!) Professor Kidd joins the Governor's staff, along the way talking to the Pioneer couple who appear in a urinal not to mention seeing a woman who looks like she's stepped out of a 1950's sci-fi serial. The Governor's skeptical but is looking for help while sub-plots, conspiracies, believers and non-believers alike start to gather.
This is shaping up nicely. There's no hard and fast claims made right now and it's difficult to ascertain whether or not aliens in the classic Close Encounters sense are involved or something else masquerading as aliens or something else entirely that the characters perceive as aliens. Well worth a read.
While the Shadow and Margo Lane head to Hong Kong in relative luxury, agent Finnegan ends up freezing his butt off in the cargo hold of an old air transport. He, however, doesn't have to deal with half a dozen or so Nazi agents who have been tipped off to the Shadow's location by the Japanese Major Kondo, the villain of the piece. A gunfight aboard a plane is never a good idea and it's not long before engines are in trouble and pilots are dead but thankfully the Shadow manages to deal with the bad guys and get the plane to Hong Kong.
Another good, solid issue which, while not exceptional, is nicely done.
And what made me smile:
Sure, Jaime . . . parts of the armour morph . . . uh-huh, that'll be it.