The Bad Guys Bounce Back


Batman and Robin #4

We briefly meet a villain called the Lightning Bug, just before he gets cornered and killed by Gotham’s newest vigilantes, the Red Hood and Scarlet. Scarlet used to be the innocent kidnap victim disfigured by Professor Pyg’s doll mask, but she’s now joined the Red Hood to treat criminals a whole heck of a lot more lethally than they’ve usually been treated in the past. We get scenes of Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne investigating stuff at yet another GCPD charity event and meeting a mysterious masked guy named Oberon Sexton, the Gravedigger; we see Sasha worrying about whether the doll mask will ever come off; and the Penguin attends a meeting of criminal kingpins, as a masked villain named Santo warns that an assassin named, believe it or not, the Flamingo is coming to get rid of Batman for them. Of course, the Red Hood and Scarlet show up to kill some more crooks — when Batman and Robin arrive to stop them, the next stage of the confrontation is set up.

Verdict: Thumbs up, but it’s not as good as it could’ve been. Everything seems a bit muddy and unclear, including a odd couple of pages of Batman and Robin on a stakeout. I am enjoying the characterization of Sasha and the clues being dropped about the identity of the Red Hood. I’m not sure that Grant Morrison will go with the seemingly obvious choice for Red Hood’s secret identity, but if it’s not the original Red Hood, I suspect a lot of people will be disappointed…


JSA vs. Kobra #4

Finally, some other characters besides Mr. Terrific, Power Girl, Flash, and Green Lantern get some time in the spotlight! Kobra is continuing their seemingly random worldwide attacks, but Mr. Terrific thinks he has them figured out. He gets Jakeem Thunder and the Thunderbolt to teach him everything they can about magic, and they track Kobra to the Rock of Eternity, where he chips a stone off the statue of Hatred from the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man. A JSA squad attacks, but Kobra is able to use the powerful magical energy of the Rock of Eternity strike against the Thunderbolt, and he’s able to escape. Still, it’s not a total loss — the JSA have captured his most trusted confidant.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s finally starting to get a bit better. There’s still a ton of emphasis on Mr. Terrific, but it’s great that the much-neglected Jakeem gets a few moments to shine, and Stargirl gets to take on the roll of Team Badass, which we don’t get to see her do very often. Still, the plot is far from perfect — I’m hoping it all comes together in the last two issues.


Sir Edward Grey, Witchfinder: In the Service of Angels #3

Sir Edward is able to scare off the demon, but at the cost of one of the Captain’s assistants. Miss Wolf, the medium, has learned the location of the monster’s bones from her spirit guide — a quick diving expedition in the Thames locates the bones, but to use them to dispel the beast, they’ll have to track it down first. Miss Wolf leads Grey and the others to a storefront church, where they find a whole congregation of corpses — the monster disguised itself as an angel and fed off of their blood. The church’s minister is able to recount the monster’s origin, but while their attending to him in the back room, they accidentally leave the case with the bones in the main sanctuary… and of course, that’s when the monster picks its moment to attack.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nicely chilling and creepy, with outstanding suspense and beautifully crafted artwork.

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