By Maverike 0 Comments
Continuing from the Threshold backups, Larfleeze has his own series and it’s hilarious. Larfleeze and Stargrave are drifting towards their death when Larfleeze decides to regale Stargrave with his origin story. The self-important story contrasts with the more depressing and presumably realistic childhood and life in slavery. The immortal Larfleeze is able to escape slavery, avoid the manhunters, and find the orange light of avarice over the course of billions of years. With the tale finished a dog appears from the creation point trying to eat Larfleeze, but he is able to burst out from the inside only to find a giant and angry Laord of the Hunt appearing from the creation point. The final page teases a revolt of the Orange Lanterns. The outrageous personality of Larfleeze is hilarious and I’m on board.
The art of Jae Lee does an amazing job of capturing the tone of Gotham and as seen when a young Clark rescues Lana’s cat he draws a great Smallville too. After stopping a bully, Clark sees through Bruce’s disguise to ask for a reaction to the deaths of Wayne Enterprise employees. Bruce ignores him, but as Batman he goes to Metropolis to the home of an employee who is being attacked by a possessed Catwoman. The employee, Mangubat, sees Batman as another villain and when Superman arrives he also sees Batman as a threat. As Batman and Superman fight the thing possessing Catwoman leaves her body and she doesn’t know how she got to Metropolis. The thing appears to be connected to Apokolips because a boom takes Batman and Superman to Earth 2. Superman meets a different Batman and after a fight Jonathan Kent appears. The contrast between Batman and Superman was awesome. I look forward to seeing their relationship evolve.
There are some cool things here like the used Batmobile, but I don’t like any of the characters so I’m not really rooting for any of them. The trillionaire aspects of these spoiled characters has been more annoying than fun. Larfleeze looks like a more fun series and Young Avengers has better teen relations to this doesn’t fill any niche for me. At least the art is nice.
The queen of HIVE wants to harness the power of Hector Hammond to power their goal of holistic integration. Agents of HIVE infiltrate STAR labs to capture Hammond and escape through the sewer, but with a misstep a wire shorts out the machine keeping Hammond in his comatose state. While the is happening Clark is researching the motivations of the Senator who questioned Superman a while back. With Hammond out of his coma he invades the minds of all of Metropolis, but Superman is safe because of Orion’s safeguards. Now Hammond is free and doesn’t look too happy with HIVE. Superman might realize why Senator Hume is a Xenophobe, but it would nice to know the highlights of his file. It will be interesting to see if Superman can do anything to stop Hammond even with his mental blocks. The art is awesome; the tech of HIVE really plays up what I like best from Rocafort.
Barry chases Kid Flash around the world while Kid Flash tries to shake him by tossing aside priceless art, kicking up sand, and doing a terrible job of blending in. When they make contact Barry glimpses the future that Kid Flash comes from discovering that their powers don’t work in the same way. Kid Flash pushes too hard and reaches escape velocity, about 33 times the speed of sound, before Barry saves him. Iris wants Daniel to forgive their father. Barry doesn’t forget his date with Patty. Sprint gets murdered by the Reverse Flash. It might have been a good idea for Barry to protect the people in danger before going on his date, but he has his priorities. The art in this series is fantastic. I loved all the different backgrounds as they raced around the world. I didn’t appreciate the bratty tone of Kid Flash in the place of his usual fun characterization.
Arthur attacks one of Scavenger’s subs, but he isn’t aboard. Arthur then goes to visit the Atlantean recovering from the wounds from Scavenger’s operation. While in the medical wing Aquaman learns that that Mera was taken to the Bermuda Triangle and goes to save her. At the same time Arthur leaves, Murk’s group leaves to rescue Orm. Mera is in Xebel with the dead king hot on her heels. Before Mera can learn more of the history of the conflict between Xebel and Atlantis the dead king arrives and freezes them all. Aquaman arrives soon after to confront the first king of Atlantis. While the main players are away, Scavenger arrives with a fleet of subs in the middle of Atlantis. So much stuff is going on in this issue and I love how it is all weaving together into a pretty epic problem for Aquaman. Most of the threads feel like a middle chapter, but they are all told clearly. The reveal that Scavenger has plans much greater than his name suggests is an awesome development and really raised the stakes without feeling unearned.
Madame Xanadu sees a future where she has found love with Boston Brand, but everyone they know has been destroyed by a victorious Doctor Destiny. In the penthouse of Mystery Deadman frees Swamp Thing and takes control of the house’s soul. Frankenstein is subdued by N’aal and some fire bugs before Flash arrives to help him. Xanadu is tired of Destiny threatening her friends so she skips the magic and goes straight to punching him out. With Swampy holding him down, Xanadu cuts the Dreamstone from Destiny’s chest. Scared of the horrible futures she sees, Xanadu decides that she must walk the world alone if she is to keep it safe. It was unfortunate that Destiny didn’t have much more than mind games up his sleeve to protect himself. While Flash had some concerns about how well he fits in with the freaks, he still seemed out of place in this story. As always the mystical art was great.
After over a year with this Shazam backup it finishes with a very satisfying conclusion. Black Adam is holding Billy’s brothers and sisters ransom for Billy’s powers, but instead of giving his power to Adam he gives the power to his family. They knock out Adam and begin to save the people from Mr. Bryer who is possessed by the seven sins. When Billy gives some of his power to Tawny he has spread himself and everyone’s powers begin to fade. Billy challenges Adam to fight without powers because he doesn’t see how Adam could call himself a hero when he would kill a kid. After transforming to him old self, Adam fades to dust because his real body has aged so much. Without Adam the sins are able to run free. Dr. Sivana returns to where Adam found the Rock of Eternity to find Mr. Mind waiting for him. I love the journey that Billy has had from the total prick to a hero that decides he wants to stay living with his new family. There are so many great moments from “Get him?” to the look that Billy and Freddy share when the school was destroyed. His personality isn’t unrecognizable as he tells Darla that Santa isn’t real, but he is a much more lovable prick.
Martian Manhunter was impersonating Catwoman when she was shot and when he learns enough of their plan he attacks with the real Catwoman. Together they take on Signalman, Blockbuster, Copperhead, and the Secret Society’s apparent leader. While this is going on Green Arrow confronts professor Ivo as the rest of the team battles his robots. Stargirl, recruited to take out Cyborg, is able to really mess up the robots with her staff. Green Arrow discovers that the house is powered by Chronos by harvesting his temporal energy. Back at headquarters Waller sees that Dr. Light has gained his power over light. Brett Booth’s art does a good job, but I feel like he was a better fit on the more kinetic Nightwing. The tension is building so well with the mystery of the society’s leader and what Waller hopes to accomplish.