121 Wonder Girl: Adventures Of A Teen Titan

Fun.  If I could use one word to describe this book, it would be fun.  It's a collection of a lot of Wonder Girl "firsts."  We get the first appearance of Wonder Girl, who was actually Wonder Woman as a girl.  We get the first appearance of the Teen Titan Wonder Girl in Brave & The Bold.  We get the first origin story of that Wonder Girl as well as the first peek at her new costume.  We get the first real Wonder Girl / Wonder Woman team up from an old issue of Adventure Comics.  We get the first appearance of the Cassie Sandsmark and the first appearance of the Cassie Wonder Girl.  We get the first Donna Troy solo comic from DC's Girlfrenzy fifth week even.  And we get the first solo comic of the Cassie Wonder Girl.  It's really a fun, fun, fun collection of stories.  My one complaint about this entire book is that Cassie is featured so prominently on the cover rather than Donna Troy.  I'd much rather it be Donna or at least give Donna equal billing.

It really was a fun read.  If you like WG, you'll love this collection.

Wonder Girl: Adventures Of A Teen Titan
Writer: Robert Kanigher, Bob Haney, Marv Wolfman, Jack C Harris, J.T. Krul, John Byrne
Artist: John Byrne, Phil Jimenez, Ross Andru, Bruno Premiani, Gil Kane, Jack Abel, Adriana Melo, Mike Esposito, Nick Cardy, John Stokes, Mariah Benes
DC Comics

120 She-Hulk Vol 1: Deconstructed

I get what they're trying to do here.  She-Hulk was in a coma after the last big Marvel event (was it Civil War II?) and now she's awake and starting all over.  She's given up her practice and is working for someone instead.  She's broken.  She's not the strong, fun loving Jennifer Walters we used to know.  She's unsure of everything and that's not a good thing.  She tries to prevent herself from becoming She-Hulk because she realizes she has no control over herself when she transforms.  She's basically classic Hulk.  I don't like it.  It's like looking at an old friend who is just a shadow of their former self.  Self-doubting, broken, shattered.  I really want to see her break out of this sooner rather than later.

I find it funny that this volume is She-Hulk Vol 1 instead of Hulk Vol 1 because this is a collection of a series called Hulk.  They ditched the "She" in the title.  Another mistake, I feel, but one they seem to agree with me on based on re-titling the book.

I'm not sure if I'm really interested in reading any more of this version of She-Hulk.  It's kind of depressing and not in an interesting way, either.

She-Hulk Vol 1: Deconstructed
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Nico Leon, Dalibor Talajic
Marvel Comics

119 Green Arrow Vol 8: The Night Birds

For some reason, this book was on back order from my comic distributor for a long time.  But I finally got it.  It's a little jarring reading it out of order, but I quickly got my bearings.  

I love everything Benjamin Percy has been doing with Green Arrow.  DC did good giving him this book.  He gets the character, he turns in solid stories and he digs a little bit into DC lore to do it.  It was kind of cool for him to revive Tarantula for this story.  She hasn't been seen, as far as I know, in the New 52 before this.  I've always had a soft spot for her, even though I don't think DC did good by her.  I hope she'll be back again after this volume.

This story is all about death cults, death drones and a rescued wolf.  It's kind of cool and I recommend it to everyone!

Green Arrow Vol 8: The Night Birds
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Patrick Zircher, Fabrizio Fiorentino, Federico Dallocchio
DC Comics

118 Batman: Shadow Of The Bat Vol 2

The second volume of Shadow of the Bat is mostly about the Azrael Batman.  Bruce Wayne was recovering from his battle with Bane and Jean Paul Valley had taken over as Gotham's protector.  I didn't read a lot of Batman back in this era, so it's really nice getting a chance to read these stories now.  Alan Grant always seemed to turn in solid Bat work and this is no exception.  Even the Bloodlines story here wasn't too bad.  And that's saying a lot.

And although Bruce Wayne was not Batman at this time, he still manages to get out of bed to take an adventure despite it not being the greatest idea for someone recovering from a broken back.

This book is good solid fun.

Batman: Shadow Of The Bat Vol 2
Writer: Alan Grant
Artist: Bret Blevins, Vince Giarrano, Norm Breyfogle, Steve George, Steve Mitchell, Mike Manley, Dick Giordano, Joe Staton, Trevor Von Eeden
DC Comics

117 Supergirl Vol 3: Ghosts Of Krypton

I love Supergirl.  Well, I love Supergirl when she's done right.  This volume, not my favorite.  I wasn't reading the series regularly when these stories were published.  I'm not sure why, but I'm kind of happy I wasn't reading it.  I really didn't enjoy this book.  An awful lot of it is spent on a story where Supergirl tries to find a cure to save a dying boy she "accidentally" promised would be okay.  I do love that Resurrection Man was featured prominently in the story, but even that wasn't enough to save it for me.  Kara spends an awful lot of time brooding about Krypton, too.

I loved the stuff Kelley Puckett did with Batgirl, but not so much with Supergirl.  It just didn't work for me.

Supergirl Vol 3: Ghosts Of Krypton
Writer: Kelley Puckett, Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza, Geoff Johns, James Peaty, Will Pfeifer
Artist: Renato Guedes, Jose Wilson Magalhaes, Drew Johnson, Ray Snyder, Lee Ferguson, Rick Leonardi, Dan Green, Ron Randall, Brad Walker, Jon Sibal, Jesse Delperdang, Rodney Ramos
DC Comics

116 Uncanny X-Men: Superior Vol 4: IVX

Alright, I'm going to say it.  The last six months or so of the X-Men books have been completely squandered.  Due to the IvX thing no one asked for nor wanted, the regular X-Books were kind of put on a creative hiatus while still being published.  Like the other X-Books I've read, this volume is nothing but stand alone stories that don't interfere with the IvX series.  These stories aren't bad.  I think Cullen Bunn had a great run with the X-Men, but it feels like a waste of time to me.  I'd rather the creative teams be left to do what they do best instead of putting out these inconsequential stories.  But that's just me.

I'm just glad after this, the whole IVX crap will be done.

Uncanny X-Men: Superior Vol 4: IVX
Writer: Cullen Bunn, Anthony Piper
Artist: Edgar Salazar, Ed Tadeo, Ken Lashley, Anthony Piper
Marvel Comics

115 Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! Vol 3: Careless Whisker(s)

I've been a huge fan of this book.  It's light, it's airy, it's funny, it's cute, it's entertaining as shit.  And this ends the run of this book.  Normally, I'd be really upset that a series like this is ending, but I feel like it's run it's proper course.  It's ending on a high note.

This volume picks up where the last one left off with Patsy having to defeat the Black Cat.  After that, there's plenty of room left to tie up any loose ends to make this run complete.  What I love is this book took on a completely different style, yet never cut it's roots and ties to Patsy's last appearances in the She-Hulk book.  This was a natural evolution to the character, but making it even lighter than her previous appearances.

I'll miss this book, but I also can't wait to see where life brings Patsy Walker next.

Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! Vol 3: Careless Whisker(s)
Writer: Kate Leth
Artist: Brittney L Williams
Marvel Comics

114 Justice League Vol 3: Timeless

I'm continuing to enjoy Bryan Hitch's Justice League book.  As I've stated before, his Justice League stories are very cinematic looking to me.  The artwork is gorgeous.  The action is HUGE.  If this was a big budget movie, the budget would have been enough to feed a third world nation for a year.  It's big, it's bombastic.  But after reading this, it feels like there's something missing.  I'm not quite sure what, though.  I'm starting to feel this book is 85% looks, 15% depth.  And I'm dazzled by the looks, so whatever depth I'm missing is lost on me.  Does that make any sense?

This book starts off with a done in one tale, which I loved.  The League is trapped together and spend the entire issue talking to each other.  This tale felt like it had the depth I feel I'm missing from the bigger stories.  I loved it.

The rest of the book is the classic separate the team, do their parts, get back together.  I like that format.  It reminds me of the old JLA/JSA team ups where a member from each team would go off and accomplish what it is they needed to do to defeat the bad guy.

What I like about this story is we have a bad guy (or is he) and a good guy (or is she), but they're both kind of rotten.  An old comic book story device, but used effectively here.

Justice League Vol 3: Timeless
Writer: Bryan Hitch
Artist: Fernando Pasarin, Bryan Hitch, Matt Ryan, Daniel Henriques
DC Comics


113 Extraordinary X-Men Vol 4: IvX

The latest era of X-Men is coming to an end.  I'm not disappointed.  The whole Terrigan Mists era of X-Men feels like it was more a placeholder than anything else.  Like, "we just came off of the Bendis run but we don't know what to do with the X-Men.  Let's push our Inhumans hard, poison the air and let the X-Men figure things out while we try to find a direction for the book."  That's what the last year or two have felt like to me.  But it's ending.

This book has a lot going for it.  Lemire!  It's an Inhumans vs. X-Men tie in, but it has almost nothing to do with that series, which is fine by me.  What we have here are four stand alone character driven stories, focusing on a different X-Man.  Forge, Storm, Old Man Logan and Magik.  Jeff Lemire makes it work in the context of the big, awful crossover.  There's really nothing he can't do.

Also included in this book is X-Men Prime, the latest version of "let's start things all over again."  Kitty Pryde is back and she's in charge of the team.  I hope this leads to a strong direction for the X-Men.  It's something they've been lacking for a while now.

Extraordinary X-Men Vol 4: IvX
Writer: Jeff Lemire, Mark Guggenheim, Greg Pak, Cullen Bunn
Artist: Eric Koda, Victor Ibanez, Andrea Sorrentino, Tom Palmer, Ken Lashley, Ibraim Roberson, Leonard Kirk, Guillermo Ortego
Marvel Comics

112 Nightwing Vol. 2: Back To Blüdhaven

Volume one of this series felt more like the last volume of Grayson than it did the first volume of Nightwing.  And this story feels more like it should be the first volume of Nightwing.  I don't know if what took place in the first volume was originally plotted out to be a story for the Grayson series or not, but it doesn't really matter.  DC has decided to bring Nightwing back to Blüdhaven, but first the very first time.  Remember, the New 52 wiped out that part of his life.  Superman puts an idea in Dick Grayson's head that he should check out Blüdhaven.  The Superman that did that knew that his Dick Grayson lived there once.  So Superman is giving Nightwing a push to get him where he needs to be.

This is a fun story, though a little too much by the numbers.  If you can't figure out the true identity of the villain right off, you haven't read comics.  It's a little cliche (and by a little, I mean a lot) but it's still a good story.  Dick moves to Blüdhaven, finds a volunteer job at a community center that happens to be rehabilitating a bunch of his former adversaries.  Classic comic book misunderstandings take place, hero and villains team up and take out the true bad guys.  But it's still a fun story.  I hope these characters become part of the permanent supporting cast.  This could prove to be really cool.

I especially like that the main story is bookended by two done in one stories.  I wish comics would do this more often.  It breaks things up nicely.

Nightwing Vol. 2: Back To Blüdhaven
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Marcus To, Marcio Takara, Minkyu Jung
DC Comics 


111 Batman By Brian Azzarello And Eduardo Risso

This book is a mixed bag for me.  I loved it, but there's a but here.  I love it, but only if I consider it an alternate earth Batman.  Which kind of makes sense considering there's a Flashpoint mini-series in here.  

I love what these guys do with Batman, only it's not quite the regular Batman.  It's a darker Batman.  It's a rougher Batman.  It's a grittier Batman.  The whole tone is different, yet not.  I don't know if this makes sense.

This book has a bunch of things.  A Flashpoint mini-series.  A six issue run on Batman.  The Wednesday Comics story. A black & white story.  It's all good stuff.  I promise.  

My biggest complaint of this book, if I had a true one, was the Wednesday Comics story.  This is not the right way to reprint that.  If you don't know Wednesday Comics, it was a series DC did a few years back.  It's printed on actual newspaper sized paper.  It does not translate well being shrunk down to comic book size, which is sad.  My old man eyes has enough trouble as it is.

Batman By Brian Azzarello And Eduardo Risso
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Eduardo Risso
DC Comics

110 DC Bombshells Vol. 4: Queens

I love the Bombshells.  I love their look.  I love their backstory.  I love the concept.  But I think I'm done with the book.  There's something about it that just doesn't rub me right.  I don't know if it's the digital first format that limits the storytelling.  I don't know if it's the size of the cast that limits the storytelling.  I don't know if it's trying to tell an overarcing story that limits the storytelling.  There's just something not right to me and I can't place my finger on it.  I think what I'd like to see is a bunch of smaller stories focusing on one or two Bombshells at a time.  It feels to me like there's too big of a canvas that these stories are taking place on and the focus is off.  It's too bad because I thought this series started off strong.  

DC Bombshells Vol 4: Queens
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Laura Braga, Mirka Andolfo, Marguerite Sauvage, Richard Ortiz, Pasquale Qualano, Sandy Jarrell, Matias Bergara
DC Comics

109 Superboy And The Legion Of Super-Heroes Vol. 1

I've been waiting for this volume for a long, long time.  I have the full run of the Legion of Super-Heroes Archives.  I loved that series so much.  I just love the Legion so much.  This book picks right up where the Archive series ended.  I was particularly upset when the Archives stopped because of what was going to be printed in the next volume.  That volume is this volume!  And what I was waiting for was the tabloid that had the wedding of Lightning Lad & Saturn Girl.  About a year ago, I finally tracked it down, so it's in my collection now, but now I have it on really nice paper!  

This is the era when I first started reading the Legion.  My first issue was #238, which was a classic Legion reprint.  The cover is reprinted here, but not the story.  The rest of the book is wonderful and awful all at the same time.  I'm reliving a lot of this for the first time since the 70s.  And it's not as awesome as I remember it being.  Some of it is a little hard to read.  But it's still awesome to me.  This is when Paul Levitz jumped on the book to start his 700 year run on it.  If anything, this just makes me want volume 2 all the more.  We are finally into "my" Legion.  It just gets better from here.  Slowly. 

Superboy And The Legion Of Super-Heroes Vol. 1
Writer: Jack C. Harris, Gerry Conway, Paul Levitz, Paul Kupperberg, Jim Starlin
Artist: Juan Ortiz, Bob Smith, Mike Grel, Ric Estrada, Jack Abel, Vince Colletta, George Tuska, Joe Rubinstein, James Sherman, Bob McLeod, Mike Nasser, Rick Bryant, Walt Simonson, Jim Starlin, Howard Chaykin, Bob Wiacek
DC Comics