EARTH 2 - Captain Steel heads to Rio to investigate one of the fire pits left over from the Apokolips invasion while Commander Khan neatly explains his origin without sounding too much like an exposition box. Steel meets Jim Lockhart (who may be Red Arrow) and heads into the Pit. Elsewhere Hawkgirl is still investigating the death of Green Lantern's lover and when she's attacked gets a little help from the new Batman of Earth 2. At the end of the issue, Steel reappears looking worse for wear, warning everyone about the Red Lantern.
Another absolutely cracking issue. Amongst Khan's explanatory briefing is the mention of the Red Files - projects which were supposed to result in deterrents for future conflicts, all of which have red "as part of their code name." Can't help thinking the Red Lantern Steel worries about is part of that, rather than the angry Red Lantern Corps in the main DCU. One minor quibble - Hawkgirl's been named as Kendra but in one caption she's called Shiera. A slip-up or not?
GREEN LANTERN #21 - after a brief glimpse of the near future showing the Corps in trouble against their new enemy Relic, we're back to the present where Carol Ferris pretty much dumps Hal again while he heads off to be promoted by the new Templar Guardians to leader of the Corps. Larfleeze attacks Oa in its weakened state as the first new, inexperienced and very young Lantern recruits arrive.
Robert Venditti was always going to have big boots to fill now that Geoff Johns has walked away from the Lantern books and he does an okay job of introducing a few new characters, getting Hal's attitude down and promising a worthwhile enemy. However, ditching Carol in the first few pages with the logic of her saying "The only way I can go on loving you is if I'm not with you." is just crappy. After all these years, can Hal and Carol not just come to terms with everything and be happy? And it's taken all of fifteen seconds for the Templar Guardians to start sounding just like the old Guardians - these guys still have emotions so why don't we see that?
THE MOVEMENT #2 - the gang take their captured police officers to their prison before trying to decide what to do with them, leading to a council of war with our main characters arguing about the best way forward. As much as Virtue tries to keep the team together, Katharsis is intent on finding the serial killer, thinking the cops know something about him. With her flying off to shakedown the city's top man, Virtue and the rest head to see the Weather Witch.
It's not bad; there's a lot going on, Simone's dialogue is as good as ever and Freddie Williams' art is nice but I'm still waiting for that little extra something.
TRINITY OF SIN: THE PHANTOM STRANGER #9 - informed by Philip Stark that the Stranger's family is in Hell, the Stranger enlists the aid of Justice League Dark to get himself down there. Once there, Stark (now calling himself the Sin Eater) and Etrigan accompany him to them where he finds them in a zombie-like undead state, not caring about anything. He strikes a bargain to have them released and him imprisoned in their place one which doesn't end as the Sin Eater might have expected.
J.M. DeMatteis is the sole writer now and it shows with this being a good, solid issue dealing with internal demons and hell along with sacrificing things for the greater good. My only gripe is the atrocious rhyming of Etrigan. He's been shown in Demon Knights not to have to say every sentence as a couplet so why here?
STORMWATCH #21 - Lobo and Stormwatch meet up (sort of) before the bad guys attack. During the fight, the bad guys, the Kollective, telepathically speak to Jenny Soul and explain what they do: they find threats to the universe, examine the timelines and snuff out those that cause damage earlier than they happen. They've determined Lobo is one such threat and have manipulated Stormwatch - or Jenny, at least - into helping the Kollective get Lobo to a place where they can deal with him. Though Jenny helps them, that turns out to be a big fat lie and they're only in it for themselves.
Oh, Jim Starlin. What are you playing at? Timelines have been wiped out, new ones put in place, new characters created and it's all just a big mess at the moment. Are you going to sort it out? Will any semblance of the earlier Stormwatch be restored? I guess we wait and see.
SWAMP THING #21 - Capucine asks Swamp Thing for sanctuary from those who hunt her, leading Swampy to explore his past (literally) to find out what she's asking about. While he gets some answers, he also has a brush against the mysterious Seeder who, inadvertently or not, lets Swampy know where he is: Scotland. Before he can help Capucine, he's off to sort out Seeder.
Another good issue - both plots are given room to breathe and intertwine and the interaction between Swampy and Capucine is done well. I'm liking this.
And what made me smile:
Those bloody liberals...