Saturday, December 20, 2014

March 2015 Solicits

The DC March solicits were released this last week and struck the death knell for 13 books. This will be longer than the usual solicits post, so settle in.

Between the move to the West Coast, the Convergence months 'off' from main continuity, and general lackluster sales on some titles, apparently it was time for DC to clean house. But 13 books! That's 25% of the New 52!

Here are the books getting axed!

 Aquaman and the Others
Arkham Manor
Batwoman 
Green Lantern Corps
Green Lantern: New Guardians
 

Infinity Man and the Forever People
Klarion

Red Lanterns
Secret Origins
Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie

Swamp Thing
Trinity of Sin
Worlds’ Finest


Just a few thoughts about this list before I review the super-titles.


I am sad to see Batwoman go. For me, the book was absolutely beautifully rendered by JH Williams early in the title. The stories were confusing and underwhelming, but the art made up for it and so I collected. Williams left under some controversy. Marc Andreyko and Jeremy Haun came on board and made the book a more straightforward Bat-book. Frankly, I enjoyed those issues more than the Williams one because story and art were very good. Lately, the horror/vampire theme has been less than fantastic so I am not surprised to see them go.

I had high hopes for Worlds' Finest when it was announced. A book about Power Girl and Huntress, with art by George Perez and Kevin Maguire, seemed like a no-brainer. But the book languished a bit under Paul Levitz. And so it is sad that DC couldn't make a book that seems built for sales work.


I was looking forward to Landry Walker's run on Red Lanterns. And it is already over!

Lastly, at this time last year, I thought for sure that Supergirl was careening towards cancellation. Nelson's issues were pretty terrible. Krypton Returns portrayed her horribly. We had just heard about Red Daughter and I thought it would sully Supergirl even more. It is amazing to me how much more optimistic I am about this book just a year later. Congratulations to Charles Soule, Tony Bedard, K. Perkins, and Mike Johnson for bringing us the 'true' Supergirl.

I assume post-Convergence, we will see an large number of new books announced. 

On to the solicits. Here is the link at Newsarama:
http://www.newsarama.com/23007-dc-comics-full-march-2015-solicitations-including-batman.html





SUPERGIRL #40
Written by K. PERKINS and MIKE JOHNSON
Art and cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
MOVIE POSTER Variant cover by MARCO D’ALFONSO

It’s time for final exams at the Crucible Academy – and they may just spell the death of Supergirl!


So much to talk about even with this brief solicit. 
One, is this the end of the Crucible arc? Or just final exams?
Two, I love this new costume and keep wondering if it is the new default look for Kara.
Three, how great to see Michael, the 'boyfriend' from Tony Bedard's run on the cover! As I have said, I like that Perkins and Johnson have picked up the ball from Bedard and not simply erase/ignore what came before!  


JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #10
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by NEIL EDWARDS and JAY LEISTEN
Cover by ANDREW ROBINSON
MOVIE POSTER Variant cover by MARCO D’ALFONSO

“The Infinitus Saga” reaches its stunning conclusion! The combined might of the JLU, the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Rannian War Fleet and the Thanagarians learn the true meaning of sacrifice as events unfold that will change the DC Universe forever!


At last we have the finale of the Infinitus saga.

But I like that this JLU seems to be going the Cosmic route. Rann/Thanagar/Infinite Man/Ultra. That is all intergalactic stuff!

I would love to hear about Lemire's love for Ultra. What is the history behind this love?


ACTION COMICS #40
Written by GREG PAK
Art and cover by AARON KUDER
MOVIE POSTER Variant cover by JOE QUINONES

Bizarro make Superman sane! Happy to see each other! No fighting ever!


With the horror story in the rear view mirror, Pak and Kuder head back to some classic Superman stuff. Glad to see Bizarro returning and love Jae Lee's look!




Superman #40

Written by John Romita Jr

Art by John Romita Jr and Klaus Janson

Movie poster variant by Dave Johnson

The spotlight shines on John Romita,Jr. as he goes solo to  tell the story of the testing of Superman’s new power against the Justice League! But the appearance of an unexpected enemy could end the Man of Steel’s life!


I am worried about this issue.




BATMAN/SUPERMAN #20
Written by GREG PAK
Art and cover by ARDIAN SYAF and SANDRA HOPE
MOVIE POSTER Variant cover by TONY HARRIS

The devastating truth behind the terrorists from Kandor has been uncovered! Now, Superman and Batman must piece together who set this plan in motion and stop them before more innocent lives are destroyed!


At least we hear that the assasins are Kandorians, something sussed out by blog friend Thomas Hayes weeks ago! I am glad that Greg Pak is picking up and finishing the subplot of the awakened Kandorians that Scott Lobdell started. 






BATMAN/SUPERMAN ANNUAL #2
Written by GREG PAK
Art and cover by ARDIAN SYAF and JONATHAN GLAPION

Superman and Batman have defeated the menace that was targeting the Man of Steel for months, but not before he set something deadly in motion – their greatest foes have been given the means to kill Clark Kent. And for Clark, time is running out.


And again, part of the Kandorian subplot. 




SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #17
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by ED BENES
MOVIE POSTER Variant cover by GENE HA

It’s a bloody showdown as Circe and Magog attack the power couple! And the outcome will bring about a major change in Kal and Diana’s relationship.



Hmmm ... a major change?
Maybe they stop being romantic?

If there is a proposal I just might quit comics.





SMALLVILLE SEASON 11: CONTINUITY #4
Written by BRYAN Q. MILLER
Art by IG GUARA, MARCELO DI CHIARA, JULIO FERREIRA and RUY JOSE
Cover by CAT STAGGS

Superman has defeated the Monitors, but what can he possibly do to
keep the Universe safe from them in the future? The people of Earth pick up their lives as best they can, and our heroes make some hard decisions about their own futures. As Season Eleven ends, new lives begin.


I am behind the times I know. The book has ended digitally. And I will be reading the ending 4 months after the fact. SO I am trying to savor this whole experience. Love that Supergirl on the cover!

So sad to see this book end. 



SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP #9
Written by SHOLLY FISCH
Art and cover by DARIO BRIZUELA

Superman needs help from Scooby and the gang – so they speed to Metropolis and the horribly haunted Daily Planet offices. But then Superman is turned into a super-powered monster! Even with help from Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Krypto the Superdog, how can these meddling kids stop the transformed Man-Monster of Steel before he wrecks the city?


I don't know where this book is in the production line, but please please please have "Rupergirl" make an appearance!

Whether she shows up or not, I am in.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: Supergirl #37



Supergirl #37, the second issue by new writing tandem of K. Perkins and Mike Johnson, was released this week and was a blast. Supergirl #36 was a great launchpoint for this new direction for Supergirl, finally establishing her as a hero on Earth and then sending her into deep space. That inaugural issue was a great issue, building on Tony Bedard's redemption of the character and showing us a strong, independent Kara still trying to find her way but moving forward confidently.

This issue takes place entirely off Earth as Perkins and Johnson uses the issue to showcase Crucible Academy, showing us the classes, having us meet the teachers, and giving us more information on the new supporting cast members. What impresses me the most about this issue is that it shows us these things without necessarily telling us this. We don't get bogged down in exposition.

And, more importantly, the pacing of the issue is impressive. We have action sequences. We have several plots introduced and moved forward. And ... amid all that ... we have those small quiet character moments that deepen characters.

Now I love Supergirl accepting Earth. Last issue we saw her working as a barista and telling Superman she was going to continue to defend the planet. We needed this issue to lay down the foundation of Crucible. But I hope Kara doesn't stay off-world too much.


I haven't even mentioned the art yet!

Emanuela Lupacchino is really shining on this book right now. Her Supergirl really hits the right notes, mixing youth, enthusiasm, and strength. The characters' expressions are wonderful, feeding the tone of the scene. And the action sequences show a powerful Supergirl.

And I had to include a look at this Darwyn Cooke cover. I want this as a poster! Just a great reminder of Supergirl's long history! Streaky!!


 So we start out with Kara starting out at the school, designed to teach the future champions of worlds. She is pegged as a champion of Earth, a nice way to show that Supergirl has accepted Earth as her homeworld (even if she still feels a little uncomfortable with that designation). Once again, it shows her growth, not only internally but externally. The galaxy considers her a Earth hero. (Far cry from the Supergirl how rode a space motorcycle out into space under Nelson.)

And we also meet the classmates in her study group. It is a nice little group shot, reminding me of Bevery Hills 90210 or Saved by the Bell. More importantly for this moment, we get to hear Kara's early perceptions of the group. Maxima is smart and cold and a quick fighter. (She could be a foil for Supergirl or maybe a reminder of who she was.) Tsavo is an overly emotion fighter. And Comet is the popular guy, something of a preener.

The descriptions of the characters fit nicely into classic stereotypes of students and would be fine as such. But happily, we learn they are a bit more complex ...


And, as I have said almost too many times but still think it is worth repeating, I love that Perkins and Johnson are building on what has come before rather than simply wiping the slate clean. So last month we saw Kara thinking about Siobhan.

And here we see her talking about Michael! This makes me very happy. I like continuity although I am not a slave to it. But the 2014 character progression of Supergirl was wonderful. I am glad this new direction is acknowledging and building on it!


 And then we get a crash course on Crucible.

We see a snippet of 'Tactical' class, which sounds more like History as the teacher, Korstus, teaches about planetary diplomacy and takeovers. But there is a sense of 'history being written by the victors'. Korstus' lesson about a peaceful alliance between two worlds is disputed by Maxima who says her mother witnessed a bloody conquering.

There is something unsettling about Korstus.


 One thing I have loved about Supergirl in all her incarnations is that she is highly intelligent, always a student, and definitely something of a science geek. Whether it was the Otto Binder Linda Lee tinkering with a chemistry set in Midvale Orphanage or Paul Kupperberg's grad student, or Sterling Gates' Kara rebuilding a robot as a kid or joining the Science Guild or even this Supergirl showing some science when fighting Simon Tycho,  Supergirl has been a learner.

So I loved a page here of her being invested in her classes, especially this panel. I love the look of wonder on Kara's face as she throws herself into her studies!


I also enjoyed the scenes of Kara sparring or teaming up with her study group members in more Danger Room style 'missions'. In one we see her 'fighting herself' like in the cover (they turn out to be psychic projections by Comet).

In another we see her rise to be a leader when Tsavo can't pull it together to defuse a bomb under pressure.

This is probably my favorite scene in the issue for a couple of reasons. Just a year ago, Kara was a complete loner who probably would have watched this thing blow up in Tsavo's face. So I like how she rushes to help him.

But more importantly, I think it showcases the growth in Kara. She is learning to be a leader and to trust herself when to intervene.  I always like the idea that Supergirl will be the leader of the next generation of heroes just as Superman is with the current.



 The inner workings of Crucible turns out to be more than just a school. I wondered if it was something more like the battle training by the Warlords of Okaara (in the old DCU). Here it feels even a bit shadier.

Professors Amata and Korstus don't like each other much. Amata seems to have a higher ideal for the school, thinking it a place to make leaders ... not warriors. But Korstus' words make it feel more like a place where he can raise an army.

And the 'High Council' has the feel of the Science Council of the Donner Superman movies. The heads of the school talk about Crucible needing to be a peace-keeping institution, especially with the Green Lanterns busy. And Korstus thinks cloning warriors is the best way to accomplish that.

This whole thing sounds wrong. And it doesn't get better when Korstus says Kon-El is the focus of his cloning plan.

I think Korstus has his own agenda.

I do love this visual though, the giant holograms of the Board surrounding some cosmic tree. What is the tree?  Yggdrasil??


But we don't get to learn more of  Korstus' plans.

Instead we get backstory for Kara's study group which show they are much more than stereotypes.

Maxima planet is dying from underpopulation. Maxima's family doesn't care for her potential as a leader. They want her to breed!

I can only imagine the incredible pressure there is on her to be something of a planetary Eve. I also wonder about how constricting that role might be. Maybe Maxima wants to be something more. That is a very interesting wrinkle to this character and a decent homage to her prior incarnation's desire to mate with Superman.


 And Tsavo's backstory is deeper than him being the animalistic brawler of the group.

His planet Ngo is being torn apart by a civil war. It must be difficult for him to be away.

Outside of the revelations about Maxima and Tsavo, I also liked that Kara was being a good friend, visiting these two and simply talking to them. That also is about as far from a 'disaffected loner' that you can get. She even can empathize with Tsavo and his fear of losing everything.

Just great character moments for all three.

And again, you get the sense of Supergirl being a leader here.


This heart-to-heart is interrupted by Amata who says that the Civil War on Ngo has reached a crisis and Crucible is going to send forces to try to bring about some peace. And that includes Supergirl and her study group!

This felt maybe a little bit forced ... maybe. Would you send Freshmen into war? Maybe Tsavo was felt to be needed given his understanding of the planet? But is Crucible a school? What about graduates? Did they get a call? I think I need to learn more. But it felt off that Crucible would send the potential future leaders of worlds into the fray. I would think they would send the fully-trained alumni.

On the planet we learn that Tsavo is a prince! And the royal family is being attacked by rebels led by Tsavo's older brother! Talk about a dysfunctional family! Nice cliffhanger!

So overall, this issue continues the solid work that started last issue. We get action. We start to peel away the layers of Crucible. (There is more to this place than simple classes.) We learn more about the new supporting cast and their complex personal back stories. And we really get to see Kara shine in all her roles - student, friend, hero.

And it is all so beautifully rendered by Emanuela Lupacchino, inker Ray McCarthy, with colors by Hi-Fi.

This is a great way to wrap up 2014, showing just how far Supergirl has come over this year.

Overall grade: A

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas Mike Maihack Style


We are one week away from Christmas and I feel like I got an early present when Mike Maihack posted his latest Batgirl/Supergirl comic on his site:
http://mikemaihack.tumblr.com/post/105441491322/i-feel-like-every-batgirl-supergirl-comic-ive

I have loved Maihack's take on the characters - the overly serious Batgirl who is probably hiding a warm heart and the overly bubbly Supergirl who is looking to have fun while battling crime.

So this one really warmed the heart. To see Supergirl in her 'winter costume', singing carols in a sort of 'trick-or-treat' modality, hoping to get sweets is great. I mean look at Kara's face in that middle row ... pure joy.

So much joy that she even melts the heart of the big bad Batman, seen only as an imposing shard of black.

That is the power of Supergirl and the power of happiness. Even an Ebenezer like the Dark Knight can't help but melt. And Babs 'seriously' is a perfect retort. She probably hasn't seen *that* Batman before.

As always, thanks to Mike Maihack for providing these sweet treats for us fans. They are the candy cane of comics!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sales Review: November 2015



Comic sales for November 2014 were released earlier this week and the numbers are somewhat interesting to review. As always, my go-to site for sales is ICv2. Here is the link:http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/30454.html

For me, it was interesting to see Spiderman and the Spider-verse comics dominating the top of the sales chart. Outside of the Spider-Gwen origin issue, I haven't bought any of those books. I can't remember the last time I bought a Spiderman comic monthly. I think the Jenkins/Ramos Spectacular book a dozen years ago?

And given the possible Marvel reboot I am hearing about as well as the released DC purging of titles (reviewed later this week), these sales are interesting.

On to the focused sales review.


Supergirl #36 was released last month, the first issue of the 'bold new direction' by K. Perkins and Mike Johnson. DC certainly did a great job of pushing the new team with interviews of the creators on all the usual sites.

More importantly for me, the book built on what Charles Soule and Tony Bedard had done to the character. It wasn't so much bold and new, although heading to Crucible is a wrinkle. The heroic Kara, embracing Earth is the norm now. And this issue cemented that, even having Kara talking sternly to Clark about his duties.


I don't know if I should be surprised but this issue sold more than the last. Supergirl #35 sold 26,371. Supergirl #36 sold 28,373. Is that because stores anticipated more sales because of the new team? Did more people tell their stores they were going to pick up the title? Was a Lego variant responsible for the uptick in sales? Who knows?

But the fact that sales are up is always a very good thing.


I usually use this space to discuss a book which isn't selling well in hopes of spreading the word. But DC seems to be cancelling all their lower titles ... especially the ones I collect!

So instead I thought I would trumpet a book selling moderately well that should be higher on the charts.

I have loved the Justice League United book, its approach to stories with a mix of modern angst and Silver Age themes. Supergirl, while a bit 'bull-headed' is clearly the muscle of the book. And now we have a Legion worth reading!


This book is selling very well for the current market, selling over 34K.

But this is a Justice League book. DC is probably expecting huge sales. I worry that this book isn't meeting expectations.

Tell everyone to read this book!

Anyways, congrats to K. Perkins, Mike Johnson, and Emanuela Lupacchino for their work on the book and the increased sales!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

JLA In Crisis Secret Files


It is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that we are rapidly approaching the 30th anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths. If that fact says one thing to me, louder than anything, it says that I am getting old.

Now I am of two minds about the Crisis. I actually like the Crisis and it's simplification of the DCU. Most of that comes from the immediate aftermath within DC Comics, a sort of explosion of creativity and new books. Of course, Supergirl was killed in the Crisis, something I have never quite understood.

But there is one thing that I do find interesting. Despite everything that happened in the Crisis, it is clear that the lasting image of that story is Superman holding Supergirl's body after she sacrifices herself to save him.

Yes, the cover to Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 is a beautiful cover and a great image. But that image doesn't have multiple earths. It doesn't have the Anti-Monitor of the Monitor. It doesn't have the true 'hero' of the story, the Earth-2 Superman. And didn't the Flash also die.

I wonder why that image resonates so much. One of my theories is that Supergirl's death had more impact that DC thought it would. Instead of her being a footnote, a secondary character, she meant something to people. Another is that it stands as the end of an era. Someone bright and optimistic is killed. The grim and gritty era of comics starts shortly thereafter. Maybe Supergirl's death meant something more, something about comics.

Of course, it just might be that it is a masterful cover by George Perez, homaged many times.

Okay, so you might be asking why am I talking about this now. Well, I recently stumbled across the JLA in Crisis Secret Files from 1998. It is an issue with an original Flash story. But more importantly, it has 2 page spreads recapping all the major company-wide crossover that have occurred in the DCU up to that point. That includes the Crisis. And there is Superman holding Supergirl in that classic pose on the cover (drawn by Robert Campanella).


Open the cover and the first page is a reprint of the Crisis #7 cover but now with the JLA in Crisis logo.!

Again, amazing the power of that image, such that in an issue looking at ALL the crossovers, this was the image the chose as their opening page.


Here is the Crisis on Infinite Earths double page spread, drawn by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. Garcia-Lopez is a legend. I love this splash as it covers the story nicely showing the last battle, the Flash's destiny, and the united villains.

But again, there, in the center, is Superman holding Kara.

Incredible.


The pages come with text explaining what happened. I include the Crisis text for completeness.


I thought I would include some other crossover splashes that include Supergirl.

Here is the Zero Hour picture, drawn by Paul Ryan. There is the Matrix Supergirl on the left, next to the Darkstar Donna Troy!


And I found this interesting. Here is the Genesis pages drawn by Ron Wagner.

There is Supergirl on the fold, being blasted by a parademon. No Superman. No Batman. No Wonder Woman. But there is Supergirl!

I have covered a lot of Crisis over my 6 years doing this blog. I'll be covering it more in the upcoming year.

Monday, December 15, 2014

March 2015 Variant Covers - Movie Posters


Once again, DC Comics has announced their next variant cover theme, this time for March 2015. The concept is brilliant - adapting classic movie posters as comic covers. The covers have been posted in the usual places and here is the post by Comic Book Resources: CBR Poster Variants

Thankfully, once again Supergirl has a variant, a small sign of DC's faith in the title.

But I have to say this cover, a Supergirl #40 variant of the Wizard of Oz, falls a little flat for me. It is beautifully painted by Marco D'Alphonso. And the idea of Supergirl 'not being in Kansas anymore' because she is at Crucible (I assume, the futuristic city in the past) is a nice play on her current plot.

But H'El, Cyborg Superman, and Silver Banshee in the place of the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man? Why put Supergirl's villains in the place of  Dorothy's friends? Why not have Maxima? Or Superboy? Wouldn't cat-man Tsavo be a perfect Lion?

And if you are going the villain route, doesn't the Cyborg, an actual character who is mostly metal, make sense in the Tin Man spot?

I'll still probably pick it up to support the title ...


Here is the cover and movie poster beside each other.


Supergirl is also featured on the Justice League United #10 variant based on the Mars Attacks! movie poster.

This one works more for me. Maybe it is the tiny Kara. Maybe it is the beehive hairdo on Stargirl. Or the Martian Manhunter in the place of the Martian from the movie. Or maybe it is the inclusion of the rest of the team in the slots of the other characters. This cover, also by Marco D'Alphonso, just works.


Here they are side by side.

I had to include the cover to Batgirl #10 by Cliff Chiang.

Chiang, for fun, did his own version of this game a while back and did Batgirl in the Purple Rain poster. Here he updates it to the 'Batgirl from Burnside'. Beautiful.

If you haven't seen them, you should find Chiang's works, especially his Teen Titans as The Breakfast Club.


Here is the  cover/poster combo.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Review: Justice League United #7


Justice League United #7 came out this week, the middle chapter of The Infinitus Saga. This arc is re-re-introducing the Legion into the New 52 DCU and so far I have little to complain about. This is a great League. And this is a Legion I wouldn't mind reading on a monthly basis (hint hint to DC).

Writer Jeff Lemire has done a great job since the inception of the JLU title to give it both modern storytelling sensibilities while infusing it with a more classic feel. It is one of the things I like the most about the book. Whether it is banter between Green Arrow and Animal Man or the inclusion of Silver Age characters like Byth and Ultra, Lemire has walked that fine line with great results. In this arc, we get a team crossover that has the feel of the old JLA-JSA crossovers, with the teams joining together to defeat a common enemy, meeting and mingling. And, frankly, after the last Legion series which ended roughly and abruptly, it is great to see Lemire bring back a familiar LSH.

Neil Edwards continues on art here and is bringing his A-game. I don't think he has a choice. With around a score of heroes and a handful of villains, he has to! There is action sequences and some character moments that are great.

Does anything say 'classic team-up' like the head-shot roll call! This reminds me not only of the JLA-JSA crossovers but even some Legion books were we saw this on the opening page.

And there is my second favorite character, Wildfire, blasting into action!

One thing of the many things that confused me about the last Legion was the placement of the Legion Lost on the main DC world while the Legion itself was hinted to be on Earth 2. I am glad the Lemire seems to settle that question, putting the team on Prime Earth.


The book starts with a brawl. The JLU and Legion are fighting Byth, his Cadre, and the energy Wraiths flying out of the rift that Ultra has opened in the vicinity of Thanagar.

What is the rift? What are these wraiths? Why did Ultra do it? How will Infinitus manifest in Ultra? I can't answer any of those questions.

I have always been a fan of Dawnstar. Nice to see her in action again and Edwards' take on her is great.

Byth grabs Ultra and takes off in his ship, trying to get Ultra into the rift. And before they are overwhelmed by Wraiths, Sardath and Brainiac 5 teleport the heroes back to Earth.

Wraiths? Dire wraiths like in Rom?

As I have said, Lemire brings some nice light moments in the book. Usually it is some friendly ribbing between Buddy and Ollie.

But I laughed at this moment. With 20 heroes stuffed in the League's headquarters, the place is crammed. And Phantom Girl tells Animal Man he should be happy that Duplicate Girl isn't there.

Again, things have been dark in the DCU over the last couple of years. So some fun moments are welcomed.


Now I am used to seeing Byth simply as a sleazy shapeshifter. But in this book he has stood up to Supergirl in battle. That says he is something more and we see that again here.

J'Onn tries to telepathically find Ultra and calm him. But there, on the telepathic landscape, is Byth. And Byth is able to fight off J'Onn, kicking the Manhunter out of Ultra's mind.

I liked this panel with Ultra literally being pulled in opposite directions.

So what is Byth?

I will stick by my guess that he somehow gets stuck in a timeloop, destined to relive this arc over and over.

This is my second favorite moment of the book.

One thing I haven't liked in this storyline is the Legion coming back in time to kill Ultra, trying to undo a galactic cataclysm. A little too bloodthirsty for me.

Here Courtney states the obvious. No one in the League thinks killing Ultra is the way to go. Settled! Lemire has said from the beginning that Courtney represents brightness and optimism. I am not surprised that she is the one who lays it on the line here.

Hurray for heroism!!!



This ends up becoming a multi-front battle. The team has to fight these energy wraiths pouring out of the rift. But they also need to stop Byth from getting Ultra to the rift where he will ascend to Infinitus.

Again, we have a funny GA/Animal Man fun here. But I liked the bestowing of the flight rings to the League. Welcome to the Legion!


Now you might be wondering what could be better than that Courtney moment.

Well you know Supergirl is my favorite character. And you know Wildfire is my second favorite character. So seeing them fly into battle together? That's like chocolate and peanut butter!

This is my favorite moment, a sort of comic dream come true for me!

Lemire has called Supergirl 'bull-headed' in the past. He does like her as the 'punch first, ask questions later' muscle of the team. When Mon-El says the team needs to be on the defensive, she ignores him and flies into the fray, hoping to stop Byth directly. And Wildfire, always a bit of a hothead, likes her style. In this instance, I agree with Supergirl. Stopping Byth from getting Ultra to the rift has to be the primary goal.

Can you name the last time Mon-El, Wildfire, and Supergirl streaked into battle together???


That's right! As part of the assault team going to the Anti-Monitor's fortress in Crisis on Infinite Earths #7!


The two teams try to mesh as much as possible as they fight the wraiths. Some gel easier than others.

'Space wolf pack'? I hope this Sabretooth form isn't one we keep seeing in Buddy.

But this sort of stuff is fun! A rare commodity these days.


Byth is streaking to the rift in a ship piloted by the brainwashed Hawkman. Ultra is closer to becoming Infinitus. (Is it possession? Evolution?)

Despite her physicality, it is nice to hear Supergirl say part of this mission is keeping Ultra safe. The heroes can't just blow the ship out of the sky.

While they can't, someone else can. A Thanagarian in hawk-armor blasts the ship from the sky with some sort of rifle.

Nice cliffhanger in a mostly action issue. The overall plot wasn't moved forward too much in this issue. Instead we have a lot of battles and a lot of small moments. But this feels like the right pace for this story. We know enough to feel like this can be wrapped up satisfactorily in 2 more issues.

While the action scenes are fine, it is the character moments that I like in this issue most of all. The humor. The team's interacting. The courage of Courtney to state the obvious. All great.

I would love for Lemire to write a new Legion book!

Overall grade: B+