The Geekly DC Review #8

Batman rules and Aquaman stumbles in this week's reviews from DC Comics!

Cover design by Courtney Pugh

Review by J.T. Johnson

In this edition of ‘The Geekly DC Review’, a surprise event occurs in “Batman” and Benjamin Percy concludes his run on “Nightwing”. Meanwhile, the ‘Sink Atlantis’ storyline comes to a close while the Batman Who Laughs returns in “Justice League” and the Teen Titans continue to dish out their own brand of justice!

“BATMAN” #55
‘Beasts of Burden’ Part 1
WRITER: Tom King
ARTIST: Tony S. Daniel

ISSUE OF THE WEEK!

This issue begins writer Tom King’s next storyline and it shows us Nightwing out and about with Batman on patrol. It harkens back to the old days when Dick Grayson was Robin and making with the puns while Batman punched people, grunted and referred to Robin as “chum”.  King even has a clever little retcon for why Bruce Wayne called his ward chum for so long.

Meanwhile, a mysterious one-armed man has arrived in Gotham. He appears to leave notes around town alluding to the War of Jokes and Riddles and he has bought an extremely specific rifle. What he does with that rifle sets in motion King’s new story.

This was a great start to King’s next arc and the entire issue was very well paced. The art by the always dependable Tony S. Daniel was a treat to look at too. It was a little weird having Nightwing in this issue considering that Benjamin Percy was wrapping up his run this week on Nightwing’s own title. Still, due to the events of this book, both “Batman” #56 and “Nightwing” #50 should be very interesting.

“AQUAMAN” #40
‘Sink Atlantis’ Part 4
WRITER: Dan Abnett
PENCILS: Joe Bennett

I must admit that the ‘Sink Atlantis’ storyline will not be remembered in the long history of crossovers and events. Still, the story has been entertaining enough but the final chapter in this issue came to a pretty underwhelming and predictable close. There was a final battle and the character you had never really heard of up to this point ended up making a rather meaningless sacrifice.

At least the artist, Joe Bennett, gave us plenty of great panels to look at and the action was very well drawn out. The next story for “Aquaman” promises to be much bigger and this crossover ultimately ends up being filler for both of this and “Suicide Squad”. Despite that, at least there was a decent conversation at the end between Queen Mera and Amanda Waller, setting up what may be one of the more unlikely alliances in the DC Universe.

“NIGHTWING” #49
‘Harm’s Way’ Part Two
WRITER: Benjamin Percy
ARTIST: Amancay Nahuelpan

Writer Benjamin Percy’s pretty annoying Dark Web storyline comes to an unsurprisingly dull close. It has been said that Percy wasn’t originally supposed to end his run on this issue, but to be honest, I don’t care that the story was cut short. The writing has been extremely subpar, though this issue does have some good action and great artwork by Amancay Nahuelpan.

The next issue will take place after “Batman” #55 and will deal with the event that happens in that issue. The person Nightwing was looking for in this issue says that Nightwing will soon play an important role in the lives of heroes and villains everywhere. That may end up being true, but I certainly hope the story is told better than it was in during this rather lackluster run from Benjamin Percy.

“JUSTICE LEAGUE” #8 (3 Stars)
‘Legion of Doom’ Part Two
WRITER: James Tynion IV
ARTIST: Mikel Janin

In the last issue of “Justice League”, Scott Snyder revealed that Lex Luthor has been keeping the Batman Who Laughs from “Dark Nights: Metal” trapped in his lair. In this issue, as they did with issue #5, the title picks back up with a story focused on the Legion of Doom and writer James Tynion IV steps in to tell the story for Snyder.

This story wasn’t bad as the Batman Who Laughs reveals to Lex that the Legion can still win in the battle over trying to obtain the power of the Totality. The big problem with this issue is that it ultimately felt like a filler issue while the book gets ready for the ‘Drowned Earth’ crossover with Aquaman that is coming at the end of October.

The book was filled with some decent action focused around Black Manta and Cheetah. The artwork for the book by Mikel Janin was also a highlight. Even so, the story took a hit this month due to the impending interruption of the upcoming crossover event.

“TEEN TITANS” #22
‘Bring It On’
WRITER: Adam Glass
ARTIST: Bernard Chang

“Teen Titans” continues to thrill with its well paced actions and a story that shows us a slightly darker take on the legendary team. In this issue, the team deals with the fallout and the supposed death of Roundhouse. Kid Flash, in particular, is taking the loss pretty hard because he was the one who brought Roundhouse into the team.

Beyond this, though, Red Arrow has decided that the team needs to prepare more in order to avoid another loss. She proves this by expertly taking out each member in a training exercise. The thing is that she is just a human with arrows and while the other members are physically more powerful than her, they are undisciplined.

While the other members are training, Robin is trying desperately to get information about the Other. He does question the path he is taking the team, but he gets reassurances from his older “brother”, Red Hood. Something tells me that Jason Todd maybe isn’t the greatest role model at the moment but we tend to look for support from like-minded individuals and it was good to see that writer Adam Glass showed us the parallels between Damian Wayne and Jason.

The issue was a great one-shot story that shows where the new team is thanks to a solid script from Glass. The artwork by Bernard Chang is also a highlight and it definitely raises the book up to another level as well. All in all, this is still one of my favorite books at the moment and this issue ultimately left me wanting more!

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