Monday, March 31, 2014

Review: Worlds' Finest #21

Worlds' Finest #21 came out last week and its story First Contact has certainly sprinted to its finish! I hardly remember part 3!

Okay, that is me being facetious. In a horrible move for DC, the finale of First Contact in this book has been released before the third part over in Batman/Superman. As a result, we get this chapter out of order. How did they characters get here? Are there crucial plot elements that I won't be privy to? Should I have read this? Should I have waited until part 3? Should I have held off reviewing?

Well, I am not a patient comic reader and it isn't my fault that this came out in the improper order. So I read it and I am reviewing it.

I will say I had pretty high hopes for this story arc. I never quite understood why Helena and Karen would keep their existence secret from their Prime Earth relatives. So it made sense for this to happen. Unfortunately, and maybe the third chapter would have changed things for me, the ending of this arc here is sort of a let down.

As is typical of Worlds' Finest these days, there are a couple of nice moments. But overall the whole things just fails to click. I keep hoping for some momentum in this book but it just seems to plod along. And the ending of this interaction between Superman/Batman and Power Girl/Huntress ends on something of a flat note. And that is a shame. Because there should be strong relationships between all these characters.

Lastly, I hate to keep harping on this, but RB Silva's art has simply unraveled. The art here just isn't eye-catching. In fact, I find it borderline ugly. These characters deserve better.

We jump right into the story ... at an interesting point.

Kaizen has opened up a true portal to presumably Earth 2 and it is ablaze. Everyone is hearing voices from the other side. Superman hears echoes in his own mind. Kaizen hears voices telling him to send Karen through the portal. If he succeeds he will be given great power. And Batman knows a portal goes both ways. Whatever is tearing apart Earth 2 can invade.

I don't read Earth 2. But is it really in ruins as this shows? Is it even darker than the main DCnU?

Just who is telling Kaizen to return Power Girl?

In some ways it doesn't matter. If there has been one constant in this book it is Karen's fervent desire to get home. If that portal get her there, she is going through on her own.

Things are a little too odd here for me.

One, I don't know if I like hearing PG say she wants to return so she can kill Darkseid. I know he is evil incarnate and killed Lois and (as far as Karen knows) Superman. But I am still uneasy with hearing heroes say they are going to kill.

But more importantly, how the heck can a flying kick by Huntress stop a streaking Kryptonian from flying. As far as I can tell, Power Girl is at full strength here. Shouldn't Helena just bounce off? I may be wrong about Karen's power levels.

After recovering, Karen decides that she isn't going to let a suddenly powered-up Kaizen take her anywhere against her will ... even if it is home.

As a former fan of pro wrestling, I actually loved this action sequence. Power Girl suplexes Kaizen through the portal! That is a show of strength.

This made me smile.

With Kaizen gone, it seems like this mission is wrapped up. Superman still seems to be under the influence of Kaizen's nanites and isn't at his peak. But his xray scan of Karen is clean.

He does say that she has some organ structures that don't look Kryptonian. Hmmm ... is the Earth 2 Kryptonian physiology different? Is she not Kryptonian? (Please don't make her a descendant of Arion!)

I do like how she is creeped out a little by Kal's scan. I know I complained about Silva's art before. But I think this panel is pretty slick. Kara's body language is perfect, trying to cover her body from his prying eyes with the perfect expression of disgust.

The portal is still open. And Karen is still hellbent of getting home. Regardless of the danger, she is heading back. And Helena, in a show of loyalty, says she will always go with Karen wherever she is heading.

But 'It's been fun boys' as their last dialogue seems just off. Wouldn't they have something of a little more weight to tell these doppelgangers? Wouldn't Helena want to say something to her 'dad'? Wouldn't Karen hug this Kal?

It doesn't help that this is clearly drawn with the focus clearly on the heroes posteriors, with just enough brokeback to look awkward.

This is something of a bad double whammy.

The action isn't quite over though. Before the Worlds' Finest can get through the portal, something comes back through.

It is Kaizen again, now mutated into a muscle-bound Apokoliptian-looking behemoth. And lingering inside the portal is the true villain of the piece ... the Earth 2 evil Superman. Despite Kaizen and a bunch of parademons swarming through, the evil Superman decides to hang back on the Earth 2 side of the portal.

Suddenly, we have a real fight on our hands.

That is why Karen is the key to this thing. This Superman wants his beloved Supergirl back.

How crazy is it in the DCnU that an evil Superman wants a close relationship with Supergirl but the heroic Supergirl is dealing with a loner? Things are really seen through a mirror darkly.

With a new threat, the two pairs of heroes team up again.

Here is a nice moment where Bruce and Helena team up to take out a parademon. I like that they seem like they are in synch despite not knowing each other.

The fist-bump seems a little over the top.

Personally, this was the most depressing moment of the book for me. The evil Superman calls Kara his 'little secret weapon', a term of endearment harkening back to the Silver Age.

It again shows that the Earth 2 Superman and Supergirl had a more classic relationship with each other, nurturing and loving. But nothing like that can last in the new 52. Here the 'little secret weapon' line can only be said by an evil Superman.

I long for a time where the super-cousins like each other, respect each other, and occasionally work together.

This whole thing is sad.

With things possibly spinning way out of control, Helena blows up the portal controls shutting it down and once again sealing the heroes on Prime Earth while keeping the evil Kal on Earth 2.

Throughout the book, Helena is concerned that this portal might lead to any 'other Earth' but Karen confirms, it was their home. This is some good expressive work by Silva here. Karen looks forlorn. Helena looks surprised and sick.

There is no way to reverse engineer the portal. They are once again trapped.

And then, with nary a word, the two pairs of Worlds' Finest go their separate ways. Ugh. I was really hoping that some sort of close relationship would blossom out of this meeting. Why wouldn't Bruce want to know Helena? Why wouldn't Karen want to be friends with Clark??

I just don't know if there is going to be any part of this arc that will be built upon in the future.

So, overall, this seems like it could have been something special but ends up falling short.

There just can't be healthy role model/protege relationships in the New 52.

Overall grade: C+

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review: Adventures Of Superman #11

Adventures of Superman #11 came out this week and, for the first time, I was underwhelmed.

Maybe it is because I thought this story could be told in half the pages and without a forced super-villain angel.

Maybe it is because the super-villain angle seems like an overly complicated antiquated super-villain plot.

Maybe it is because last issue of this title was sooooo fantastic that whatever came next was going to pale in comparison.

Writer Jim Krueger and artist Neil Edwards (of the recent Forever Evil A.R.G.U.S. book) spin a fine tale showcasing Superman's forgiving nature and the weight that grief can put on a soul.

But ... it just doesn't click.

We start out somewhere in deep space where a Green Lantern is drowning his sorrows. Despite his sullen and perhaps inebriated state, he is able to hold off a ruffian trying to grab his ring.

A mysterious stranger decides to talk to him, especially how the Green Lantern keeps his power battery visible, out in the open, and sheathed in some interesting dense metal.

So the 'mysterious cloaked stranger' bit is a bit played out. You would think that a Green Lantern would want to know who he was talking to.

I did like the fact that this Lantern's battery doesn't look like a standard Earth lantern. You would expect that different planets might have different looking lighting devices.

The stranger seems to know just what strings to pull with this distraught GL.

He name drops Superman, a Kryptonian who survived.

That information seems to set the GL into further emotional pain. He takes off for Earth.

I do like that the stranger smiles about how he has pointed this GL at Superman like a weapon.

The GL arrives on Earth and makes enough of a spectacle for himself, endangering people just through property damage, that Superman arrives.

It turns out that this Green Lantern has been depressed, laden down with torment. And he wants Superman to kill him.

Of course Superman talks about how he believes in the sanctity of life. He won't murder this man.

But why would he ask this?

It turns out this alien was the Green Lantern given the task of protecting Krypton. And since he couldn't save Krypton, he wants Superman to kill him. That justice demands it.

So this is where me being an avid reader for 3 plus decades also doesn't work with a story like this.

For one, and it is even side-mentioned here, Tomar Re has been listed as the Green Lantern for Krypton's sector. So who the heck is this guy?

Second, it seems like I have read something similar with John Stewart. Way back in Cosmic Odyssey, John Stewart fails in saving Xanthu and deals with grief. That plot point for Stewart has carried forward even as recently as Blackest Night. I suppose this is the curse of reading comics so long. Is it fair to compare this story to one done almost 3 decades ago?

Now here is where things get a little nutty.

This Lantern is actually on the planet when Krypton explodes! Sure, this is old school Green Lantern rules so this GL can't effect anything with yellow. And we get to see that the predominant energy in the planetary explosion is yellow. So I guess that explains why he couldn't save the planet.

But seriously ... how about scooping up a couple of hundred Kryptonians in a bubble and taking off?

Are you telling me that he was on the planet as it is exploding and he couldn't save anyone??

When Superman refuses to kill the Lantern, the GL decides to push the issue. He begins peppering the crowd with green energy, trying to kill them, hoping to goad Superman into action. Wouldn't the Guardians know this guy was going rogue and stop the ring?

And then, weirdly, the Lantern strikes Superman with his power battery. The dense metal breaks away showing that this isn't his battery, but instead a chunk of Krypton (now Kryptonite) that the Lantern is carrying around like an albatross.

This is a pretty big chunk of Kryptonite and Superman is almost immediately incapacitated.

But really ... a Lantern would use his battery, or his sign of shame, as a weapon?? Seems off.

And then the 'mysterious cloaked stranger' shows up. And ... shocking I know ... he turns out to be a bad guy.

He stabs the Lantern in the neck with a yellow shiv and reveals he is .... Brainiac.

So this might be the biggest issue I have with the story. And part of it is I am still reeling from the crazy Brainiac plot from an earlier Adventures of Superman where Braniac rebuilds a Krypton in hopes of keeping Superman busy until he loses his powers. What a crazy scheme that was!

So why go through this whole thing, luring the GL here, hoping he'll bash Superman with the lantern to expose the Kryptonite, and hope it all turns out evilly? What if the GL didn't expose the K? What if Superman talked him down? Isn't this too complicated for the surgical Brainiac?

Wouldn't Brainiac just kill the GL in that bar and grab the Kryptonite??

Brainiac basically starts to kill Superman by draining his brain. And he comes close!

But after forgiving the Green Lantern, the GL rallies, scooping up the Kryptonite, breaking Brainiac's tendrils, and whisking him into space.

Boy, that was a long way to go to have Superman forgive this guy and for the Green Lantern to move on.

The issue ends with a bang when the Green Lantern shoves his hand into the chest of Brainiac. And when the GL dies from his neck wound, the ring bursts from Brainiac to find it's new wielder.

So, again, this is a fine story. There isn't anything too egregious. The underlying theme of dealing with grief constructively is a good one. I like Superman forgiving the Lantern. But some of the plot turns are a bit of a leap. And this seems like the story could have been told without Brainiac at all. This GL could have heard about Superman and gone on his own.

Overall grade: C

Friday, March 28, 2014

Review: Red Lanterns #29

They say that road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

I am starting to wonder if the Red Daughter storyline for Supergirl is a road to good intentions paved with Hell. I have said before that the overall tone of Supergirl since the inception of the New 52 has been pretty grim, a mix of anger and grief with the character being portrayed as petulant, angsty, gullible, and stupid. While there have been glimpses of hope, for the most part the characterization of Kara has been about as far away from classic Supergirl as you can get. And becoming a Red Lantern seems to be about as rock bottom as she can get.

When it was announced, I blasted this as one more effort by DC to shove a dark Supergirl down the throat of their fans, despite ample evidence it doesn't work. Then the writers Tony Bedard and Charles Soule hit the publicity trail and kept saying that this was a redemption story, a transformative story, a way for Supergirl to turn the corner. I have read enough flotsam in interviews to read those statements with a grain of salt.

But so far, and we are only a handful of issues in, I have to say that I am pretty pleased. There has been enough going on these books, enough subtle nods that Supergirl has some growing to do ... and seems this close to being ready to do it ... to make me think that Bedard and Soule meant it when they said they wanted Supergirl to be heroic again.

Enough preamble.

Red Lanterns #29 came out this week, written by Charles Soule with grungy beautiful art by Allesandro Vitti. In this issue, we finally get another interaction between Superman and Supergirl, this time around her acceptance of the ring. And Soule does a good job of showing how Superman has finally had it with Kara, calling her out on her decisions and telling her she needs to live with them.

In some ways, that interaction with Superman is refreshing. He has bent over backwards, almost foolishly so, to acquiesce to Supergirl's wishes, since she arrived, for personal space. There is a big part of me that says that makes no sense for either character. But that's that. At least here he shows her some tough love. It is tough ... but it is love too.

In other ways, this interaction is frustrating. Recently, in Krypton Returns and Batman/Superman and even Supergirl there has been a bit of warming between the two characters. So this also felt like a step back.

Lastly, I love Vitto's art. It is thick-lined and 'messy clean' which is just perfect for this title. I'll point out some great stuff throughout the review.

The issue starts with the now semi-rational Supergirl seeing what she can do with her new array of powers. Skallox decides to fire a salvo of 'neutron star tipped' missiles at her to see what she can do.

It looks like Supergirl has been practicing with the ring because she sets up shields, slings some red energy blasts, and for the most part handles herself quite well.

Of course, one sneaks through blasting her. While it doesn't harm her, it does bring out the rage, making her destroy the missile bank in anger.

I have to say, Vitti draws a great Kara, strong and thick, powerful. But I absolutely love the pointy sleeves, one of my favorite parts of the older costumes. And this is a nice panel tho show Vitti's style, powerful thick lines with flecks here and there. Beautiful.

As I said before, I don't think Supergirl is ready to fully embrace chaos and rage in her heart, even if she says so.

Here Guy shows up to stop Zilius and Skallox from giving Kara an alcholic drink, grabbing it from her. When Kara yells she can do what she wants, she shatters the glass in his hand, harming him.

Look at her response. She immediately feels remorse, apologizing, and wishing to help. My guess is 'true' Red Lantern would probably say 'serves you right' or something similar. It shows just how internally conflicted Kara is.

It is a nice touch, a nice moment, and in stark contrast of the Kara which ripped apart the missile launcher and eagerly grabbed the booze. I think this is the real Kara peeking through the layered on angst. I think it shows that her heart is in the right place and just needs to be shown the way.

Guy knows that Kara being with the team is a disaster waiting to happen. Eventually Superman is going to come looking for her. This isn't the right team to be leading a teenage girl. Their first act was to give her a stiff drink. And she hasn't exactly been able to keep things under control.

Knowing all this, Guy leads the team to Earth, sends Kara on a fake mission, and heads to Superman, hoping to rid him of this distraction.

I like how Guy is the voice of reason on all levels. He knows that Supergirl is too young to drink. He knows that his team really can't handle her. He is basically a good guy here, no pun intended.

Guy flies down and actually assists Superman in rescuing people from a tidal wave in Indonesia.

Now I have lamented the semi-reboot nature of the New 52. It is clear that all the recent Green Lantern major arcs, the Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night, is in continuity. Meanwhile, lots of other stuff was wiped away. So to see Superman not recognize Guy threw me for a loop. It really took me out of the moment.

That said, despite hearing that Hal disparaged and warned Superman about the Reds, Kal is willing to judge Guy on his actions. I love this scene were Superman says outright that if people do the right thing, he is okay with them.

And, again, Vitti shines showing this thick muscle-bound lantern-jawed Superman. He just looks like the strongest guy on the planet.

All the niceties melt away when Kara shows up in her Red Lantern garb.

Family comes first and Superman roughly grabs Guy accusing him of doing this to Supergirl. I love that sneer on Superman, showing just how ticked off he is by this turn of events.

Of course, Guy explains that the ring finds the bearer.

But then the ugly truth about the ring is leaked. The ring replaces your heart. And you can't simply take it off.

Kara didn't know that fun fact. Look at the initial shock, a bit of dismay on her face. It shows that maybe she didn't think things through. It shows that maybe she wouldn't be happy being like this for the rest of her life. I think the first panel again shows the real Kara. Maybe she thought she would join this 'gang' for a little bit, working through things.

Of course, when she finds out the truth, she lashes out with rage, attacking everyone around her including Superman.

Nice transition by Vitti here, going to a very thick line and more darkness and shadows when the anger surges.

And then we see just how lost Supergirl is.

She isn't happy that she has to remain like this forever. She isn't happy that no one told her. And she claims that no one understands just what she is going through.

Nice art here, with Supergirl being small with the other Lanterns looming big. But more importantly, look at the sadness on her face as she says no one understands her. She isn't sneering. She isn't angry. She is crest-fallen. For a while I have said that grief is the main emotion for this Supergirl and she simply doesn't know how to process it. Wonderful art.

But this is the thing that bothers me ... immensely.

She could have talked to people! Helped them understand!! She could have talked to Superman!!!!

This is where we need a Gates/Igle Supergirl #34 moment, that realization she can't strike it out alone. What we get is a turn as a Red Lantern.

And here is my favorite scene. I think that Superman here is a proxy for many Supergirl fans. I would love to hear Soule talk more about this.

When Kara talks about how great the Lanterns are for being independent and kick-ass, about how maybe she deserves to be a Red Lantern, Superman chides her.

He has done everything she has asked of him. He has left her alone. He has let her wail about Krypton. And she has watched her not deal with it in any constructive and healthy way. He complains about how by clinging to anger she has simply become anger. And he turns her back on her, hoping she feels satisfied with who she becomes.

I have said all of those things to myself as I have read this Supergirl's stories. Why hasn't she reached out? Tried to move on? Embraced her family to help her?

I even thought about turning my back on the character with this Red Lantern arc. Me!

This is Superman metatextually talking for me to this character we both love.

And then he really lays it out in a stern but loving way. She has thrown any help he has offered in his face. She doesn't want a role model now. He can't help her if she doesn't want it.

But she is family. Guy better do what's right.


That is a great great page with a great Superman. It actually humanizes him a bit. He has done what he can with Kara. He will still be watching. But it is up to Supergirl to find herself now.

And with that Superman leaves saying that Supergirl is family. He will be watching. He loves Supergirl and will be there for her, presumably when she is ready.

Once more, I love the art here with Superman almost faded out by the bright light behind him. He is the moral high ground here, dazzling. The massive cape makes him an even bigger figure. Fantastic.

The book ends with a nice cliffhanger, teasing the upcoming battle with Atrocitus.

I will say it again. I wish this Red Lantern story never happened. I would prefer Supergirl asking for help, accepting a coffee from Kal like in the last Supergirl #34.

But if we need to raze this Supergirl persona like a phoenix to have her emerge new and heroic, so far so good. This issue shows a Supergirl who isn't pure rage, who seems to be lost and lashing out but who wants to help. She doesn't want to be this thing forever. She needs to move on. And we have a Superman showing some tough love for his cousin. He affirms he will be there ... but when she is ready to accept his love. Wonderful.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll get the young, bright, fierce, passionate Supergirl I want. I just have to get through this.

I have had my complaints about Charles Soule's work in Superman/Wonder Woman. But here (and in She-Hulk) he seems more in his wheelhouse.

And, as sprinkled throughout this review, Allesandro Vitti is superb throughout this issue.

Overall grade: B+

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Psi Sighting 3: Doom Patrol/Suicide Squad Special #1

I just finished my look back at times 'Supergirl met Supergirl', a long box review from all the ages of Supergirl.

At the same time, because of her reappearance in Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S., I also have been looking back at Supergirl villain Psi. Her biggest appearance was in the first three issues of Daring New Adventures of Supergirl (reviewed here: She did make a couple of appearances after that first battle though, most notably in the comic I am reviewing today -the Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad Special #1 from way back in 1988.

This is a crazy issue, co-written by  Suicide Squad scribe John Ostrander and Doom Patrol writer Paul Kupperberg with art by then relative-newcomer Erik Larsen. Hawk (of Hawk and Dove) is captured by contras in Nicaragua. The Suicide Squad is called in to rescue him or eliminate him if necessary! And it is Ronald Reagan who sends them!

An anti-Amanda Waller subset of the government would like to beat her group to the punch. One of them is owed a favor by Valentina 'Negative Woman' Vostock. That agent calls in his marker and the Doom Patrol are suddenly on their way to try and rescue Hawk as well.

This is a 45 page slugfest as the teams fight each other, fight contras, and end up fighting the Red Rockets. There is also the usual inter-team squabbling. But this review is supposed to be look at Psi so I will be concentrating on her moments.

The first thing to realize is this isn't the 'classic' Suicide Squad. Ostrander and Kupperberg send in Rick Flagg and the farm team. No Deadshot. No Captain Boomerang. No Bronze Tiger. No Nightshade.

Instead we get The Thinker, The Weasel, Mr. 104, and Psi. I suppose the addition of Mr.104 is a nice twist. He is an old Doom Patrol villain and that adds some fuel to the fire. And the Weasel here seems more like a lycanthrope than a frustrated professor in a suit (which I thought he was).

Anyways, Psi is able to use her powers to scout the area psionically and detects the Doom Patrol is in Nicaragua as well. And she is able to use her powers to mask the Squad's presence. Psi was always a troubled soul in Supergirl. Here we learn that she joined the Squad in hopes of them restoring her memories.

Too bad Nightshade wasn't there. I really like that character!

The Doom Patrol is on the island and it is the main team (at the time): Robotman, Celsius, Tempest, and the Negative Woman. So at least we have some 'big names' in the book.

The two teams work their way closer and closer to the prison; it was inevitable that the two would face off. It is a classic movie moment ... the two teams stealthily working their way through the streets (as stealtily as you can with a Weasel and guys dressed like the Squad is) only to turn the corner and run smack into each other.

Before either team can talk, Mr. 104 leaps to attack the Patrol. And, as is typical in these comics, the two teams of 'heroes' end up brawling. So much for a quiet mission that doesn't cause attention.

Remember Psi was strong enough to take on Supergirl. She also was conflicted in her desire to harm people.

I thought this was a great shot of her blasting Negative Woman, hoping to convince Val to step down rather than get hurt. Psi must be holding back here because she briefly defeated Supergirl with a move like this. Negative Woman shouldn't be able to shrug off that amount of power.

As I said above, the Rocket Red Squadron shows up, hoping to take Hawk back to the USSR and interrogate him. The old rubric 'politics make strange bedfellows' holds true. The Squad and the Patrol have a common enemy and so team up.

In the earlier battle, The Thinker ends up being killed and Rick Flagg throws on his helmet. Like Mento, a suddenly boosted brain makes him addled. He veers to evil and out of control.

As for poor Psi, she never did have great control over her powers or her empathy. With all these super-personalities around her, her mind is overwhelmed.

And that psychic pain means she can't concentrate to use her powers. As she flees the scene, she is blasted from behind by a nameless Rocket Red.

She took on Supergirl. She was immensely powerful. But in the end, she wasn't invulnerable. An energy blast is enough to take her out.

And it kills her!!

Even though they were fighting just a few pages before, Negative Woman goes to Psi to comfort her.

At least in those death throes, Psi suddenly remembers her past. She remembers her name, her parents, her life. Kupperberg gives her decent death scene.

And nice last panel with Val mourning her. But why that Rocket Red is just standing there and not fighting more doesn't make much sense.

Alas, Psi ... we barely knew ye.

And element of the USSR is concerned about this international incident so sends another Russion agent - the Cossack - to get to Hawk. In the meantime, Flagg, mad with Thinker power, ends up killing the Weasel. That act snaps him back to sanity and he removes the helmet. Hawk is freed by the Cossack but ends up in the hands of the Squad. And both teams scurry their separate ways, heading back to the states.

This book is a wild read. It is nearly all fighting with just a smidge of political intrigue mixed in. Everyone fights everybody. The city is left in rubble and three members of the Suicide Squad end up dead! Otherwise, this is a throwaway mission which didn't impact either books long term plans.

I like seeing early works of artists whose style have morphed over time. I am a Doom Patrol fan so I have much of Larsen's work on the title. You can see some of his 'Savage Dragon' sensibilities on the pages here and there.

But the main reason to review this was to showcase Psi and her tragic death. She was never a true villain. She was powerful, but susceptible to people hoping to exploit her. And that trust in others led her to her death.

This isn't an important issue for Supergirl fans ... or really any fans. Even Psi fans. But if you want nonstop action and the occasional death, and you see it in the quarter bin, you should pick it up.

Overall grade: C-

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

June 2014 Solicits

DC's June solicits have been released and it is going to be a busy month with a number of Supergirl sightings and one nice semi-surprise. If you want to review all the solicits, head to Newsarama here:

On to the solicits which grabbed me.

Written by TONY BEDARD

“Red Daughter of Krypton” rages though this issue! Supergirl’s Red Lantern powers – and allies – are about to be tested as a Worldkiller1 arrives from Kara’s past to destroy her!
Retailers: This cover was originally scheduled to appear on SUPERGIRL #31.

So we see the same cover solicited for #31 and #32 which means the cover for #31 will be a surprise.

As I said before, the reveal that Kara isn't World Killer #1 is a great addition to her history, removing one of the potential stains on her past. It also diminishes Zor-El's sins.

Plus, I like a bruiser as an addition to Kara's Rogues gallery. Maybe this will be her equivalent of Mongul.

Still a Red Lantern.


Guy Gardner has a difficult decision to make: deciding if the newest Red Lantern, Supergirl, is fit for battle…especially when that battle is against Atrocitus himself! The war between the two factions of Red Lanterns is on, and there will be blood!

And it looks like she will be battling another big bad in Atrocitus in her team book Red Lanterns. "There will be blood!" Let's hope Supergirl maintains some control during this stage of her life.

I can't wait to see Califiore draw Kara. I love the commission I have from him.

Still a Red Lantern.

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art and cover by MIKE McKONE

It’s all out battle issue as Hawkman has a showdown with Lobo as the League is teleported to Rann to face the shape-changing alien called Byth! This looks like a job for Supergirl!

And she is battling another big bad in her other team book JLU! We don't see her on the cover so hard to know if she is in Red Lantern mode in this book. Regardless she'll be a bull-headed loner. I was hopeful for this book at first ... maybe not so much now.

As an old-school (Kubert) Hawkman fan and as someone who loved Tim Truman's Hawkworld, I am thrilled to see Byth back again.

Written by GREG PAK
Art and cover by AARON KUDER

“SUPERMAN: DOOMED” continues with “ENEMY OF THE STATE” as Superman struggles against the Doomsday virus – but is he losing the fight? How much longer can he stay in control? And how far will he be pushed when he’s faced with a world against him and a shocking betrayal at the end of this issue?

I have a bad feeling about this 'Doomed' storyline. I just don't know if I trust something driven by Lobdell and Soule to do Superman justice. Having Pak also on board is a very good thing. Pak I trust.

And I love this cover, giving a trapped feel to Superman. And it is a 'Doomsday Virus'? Hmmm...

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and wraparound cover by JOHN ROMITA, JR. and KLAUS JANSON

“THE MAN OF TOMORROW” chapter 1! A NEW ERA for SUPERMAN begins as Geoff Johns takes the reigns – and he’s joined by the legendary super-talent of John Romita, Jr. in his first-ever work for DC Comics as they introduce Ulysses, the Man of Tomorrow, into the Man of Steel’s life. This strange visitor shares many of Kal-El’s experiences, including having been rocketed from a world with no future. Prepare yourself for a run full of new heroes, new villains and new mysteries! Plus, Perry White offers Clark a chance to return to The Daily Planet!

Okay. So here is the big announcement for the month as Geoff Johns returns to Superman with a big name artist. This should be big news. I loved Johns' work on the Superman books in the past. And we see Clark being offered a chance to return to the Daily Planet meaning Johns might try to return to more classic Clark than what Lobdell was doing.

That said, I have found much of Johns' recent work (on JL and Forever Evil, and his opinions on villainy and the brutal nature of the violence in his books) to be a bit coarse. I mean, in June solicits he talks about a treacherous Doom Patrol, more darkening of the DCU. Will he bring this new sensibility of evil being relative and villains more interesting and cooler than heroes to this book? I hope not.

Written by GREG PAK
Art and cover by JAE LEE

Retailers: This issue will ship with four covers. Please see the order form for more information. This story was previously scheduled to appear in BATMAN/SUPERMAN #11.
A new arc begins following the events of “FIRST CONTACT.” The worlds of Batman and Superman come to an explosive clash as something terrible happens to the World’s Finest team, and a Dark Knight who is not quite himself must team up with Lois Lane to find a missing Man of Steel. Meanwhile, Selina Kyle encounters a person of amazing strength who has no idea who he is.

Deja vu!

This is the solicit we saw for Batman/Superman #11.

I liked it then and I like it now. In particular, on re-viewing, I love this cover showcasing the differences in the main characters.

Art and cover by TONY S. DANIEL

“SUPERMAN: DOOMED” continues with “ENEMY OF THE STATE”! As things get more dire on Earth for him, the Man of Steel may have to go into exile in space, but the self-proclaimed protectors of Sector 2814, the Red Lanterns, don’t want him there either! Don’t miss this deadly face-off between Kal and Kara!

The issue of 'Doomed' by Charles Soule includes a 'deadly face-off between Kal and Kara!' Just what I need to see. And Superman seems rather spiky, reminiscent of Grant Morrison's Super-Doom. Sad.

I was going to drop this title but Doomed will keep me around for a bit. And I have been loving Tony Daniel's art so I will be looking forward to his drawing Kara (even if it is as a Red Lantern).

Written by PAUL LEVITZ

Get ready for action as Power Girl and Huntress begin their journey back to Earth 2! Plus, Desaad returns!

Kitson as a cover artist is a brilliant stroke. I love his style and would love for him to be doing the interiors over RB Silva's devolving style.

But it sounds like the Worlds' Finest duo might be heading back home. Interesting. Maybe when they relocate we'll get a new creative team for a 'bold new direction'.

Written by BRYAN Q. MILLER

A rain of yellow “stars” falls on Gotham City even as Superman and the Green Lantern John Stewart face a threat from Oa’s past that has reappeared on the moon. Batman, Nightwing, Green Arrow and the Wonder Woman from the DEO are doing their best, but they need help. When Clark returns to Earth, will John’s luck run out?

I have been thrilled to see more and more of a DCU showing up in Smallville. We have a Justice League that is growing, a group of Titans, a Bat-family. This arc has Green Lanterns showing up.

So why not Yellow Lanterns!

Digging this book so much right now. Especially love Diana.

Cover by JOCK

The Joker’s in town...and he wants to meet Superman! Find out what happens next in this one-of-a-kind story from Chronicle writer Max Landis and legendary artist Jock (GREEN ARROW: YEAR ONE)! Plus, don’t miss Clark Kent’s babysitting adventures as he looks after none other than Sugar and Spike!

Ugh ... Max Landis.

More interested in the Sugar and Spike story.

Art and cover by ART BALTAZAR

The Eisner Award-winning series is back for an all-new six-issue miniseries! Superboy and Supergirl return to the treehouse to discover…IT’S MISSING! Or is it just…really small? Who could have done such a thing?! Find out as all your favorite Tiny Titans search for answers!

Talked about this before. So thrilled to have this book back even if it is for a six month mini-series. 

A small treehouse ... Superboy and Supergirl investigating ... can anyone say Brainiac shrink ray??


Supergirl’s world has been shattered! Kara searches the stars for a new home, only to encounter one of Superman’s deadliest enemies in his
New 52 debut: Cyborg Superman! Collects SUPERGIRL #21-26, ACTION COMICS #23.1: CYBORG SUPERMAN and SUPERMAN #25!

DC has done a good job including some nice extras in these trades so hopefully that will continue. This trade finishes up the pre-Tony Bedard stories which include some rough appearances.

One thing that irks me is that the Cyborg Superman issue is here. It clearly was a Supergirl book. Couldn't she have merited the Villains Month issue instead of it being one of many Superman books?

Based on their designs from their monthly comic books comes the latest action figures joining the DC Collectibles lineup.
$24.95 US
On Sale September 2014 

And we get a release date for the Supergirl New 52 action figure. September 2014.

I think this figure looks pretty slick (outside of the K-knife).

I better start saving my pennies.