DC has an extra week of #15 releases on the first week of January (January 2), since they only had two issues out on Christmas week, which were:
Justice League #15 and Aquaman #15 (Throne of Atlantis)
Geoff Johns finally gives us a bit more characterization in the Justice League, stepping up from the previous issues that seem a bit filler. We get a glimpse of Cyborg’s current relationship with his father Clark and Diana on a date in secret identity mode and later saving people together mode (with Lois looking on wistfully maybe?) and a bit of a team-up between Batman, Aquaman and Mera in Gotham as the initial opening salvo of the Atlantis invasion begins. The story continues in Aquaman and sadly yes, you probably have to be reading both books to follow this little storyline but at least it looks like it’s going to be worth it and will help define a new status quo for the League in the run-up to 2013’s Trinity War. No Flash or Green Lantern appearances this month though (they’re pretty busy!).
The Shazam backup story in Justice League continues this month and leaves us looking forward to the next issue as Black Adam finally catches up with Billy!
Here are some of the DC and Image books I read last week (the week before Christmas):
Saga #8 (Image)
If you ask anyone who follows the comics scene what’s currently the best ongoing series then you’re going to get a lot of “Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga”! Brian K Vaughn’s newest series, brought to life by the excellent Fiona Staples artwork has me excited to read it whenever it’s out. Part space opera, part Romeo and Juliet, part sci-fi vs fantasy, part “How I Met Your Mother”, the series has a little bit of something for everyone. In this issue, BKV fleshes out Marko’s parents a bit more, Marko and his mom fight a giant creature with weird balls, trying to find their ghost babysitter, and the cliffhanger brings back someone from Marko’s past. Looking forward to the next issue!
Nightwing #15 and Red Hood and the Outlaws #15 (Death of the Family tie-ins)
It’s still a bit ridiculous how Joker has the time to be in all the Bat-books to harass the Batman family, but that’s comics for you ain’t it? The interesting bit about the Nightwing book is that Joker busted Raya out of prison so that Dick has to take her down, implying strongly that he does know who Nightwing is (and hence the rest of the family) despite Batman’s denials. Looks like we’re getting a showdown at Haley’s circus next month, we’ll see how this affects Dick’s plans to rehabilitate Amusement Mile. To be honest the Nightwing book has been a bit boring to me, making it not always high on the read pile. Hopefully after the DotF tie-in we get some change in the status quo to make the book more exciting.
For the RHATO issue the highlights are basically Jason being able to take down the GCPD while wearing only a towel and Joker revealing his role in Jason’s “upbringing” so to speak. I haven’t been that big a fan of RHATO since Ken Rocafort left this book to work on Superman, but I am looking forward to what Scott Lobdell does when he crosses over Arsenal/Starfire with the Teen Titans
Green Lantern #15 and Green Lantern New Guardians #15 (Rise of the Third Army tie-in)
Green Lantern finally shows us proof of Baz’s innocence in the terror attack, and with a federal agent at the scene hopefully it gets him cleared. But more importantly, someone from the Green Lantern Corps finally gets in touch with Baz! In New Guardians, Kyle takes on Larfreeze to add the color orange to his arsenal! Seriously, I’m not too excited about this whole Kyle learning to be a rainbow lantern thing, I hope they wrap it up soon.
At least they finally encountered the third army, and with the GLC being aware of the Guardian’s madness hopefully things start moving along in this Green Lantern crossover next month.
Wonder Woman #15 - the most significant thing about this issue is that it’s the first appearance of Orion of the New Gods in the New 52! (That and I’ve finally caught up with reading Wonder Woman) The issue also implies that the New Gods have been aware of Earth for a while now and that Orion is a regular visitor, with his own contacts and all (but one of them is a hobo). Of course, when Diana and Orion meet for the first time they slug it out for a bit (seems to be the standard for two superheroes meeting each other for the first time). The series has been great so far, and mostly stand alone from the rest of the new 52 too. I like the scenes were Hela has to deal with being mortal now lol.
Supergirl #15 (He’l on Earth) - ugh this crossover has been so boring/mediocre and I feel like Kara is being really stupid in following this He’l person around. But then again, we’re 15 issues in and she still doesn’t understand Earth, still doesn’t understand who Superman is and basically still hasn’t been able to accept the destruction of Krypton. So it’s really a problem of the Supergirl book being unable to settle into a status quo yet. Maybe after this whole crossover concludes we’ll finally get that.
There were also a ton of other DC books I didn’t read this week: Blue Beetle (I think this is ending?), Batwoman (art here is still great-looking, seems I should catch up on this), Catwoman (should I even care about this?), Legion of Super Heroes (this book is entertaining, but with so many characters, it’s hard to get invested in). I grew up as a Marvel fan, but DC seriously needs to work harder on making their books more interesting.