Quick Hits: Reviews of Batman Beyond #5 and more…

Batman Beyond 5

Batman Beyond #5: The best issue of this series in some time, Batman Beyond #5 features an old enemy returning to haunt Bruce and Terry. Labor negotiations run strong at Wayne-Powers Corporation until being disrupted by a mysterious figure named Godfrey. Neither Bruce nor Terry suspects who he works for or what he wants, but he’s definitely got Bruce Wayne’s legacy in his sights. This issue does so many things that I like — it gives both Bruce and Terry active roles (while Terry does his Batman thing, Bruce works the corporate side of the matter), it brings back a couple of great characters that were all but forgotten in the Batman Beyond cartoon and it hints at a tantalizing connection to Jack Kirby’s Fourth World stories. Additionally, I think artist Ryan Benjamin is really settling into drawing these characters; they look sharper than ever. Props must also go to colorist David Baron, who does a great job making this book pop.  A-

iZombie #15: A new arc begins! In part one of “Arrivals and Exits,” monstrous Galatea’s evil plan becomes clearer, while our heroine Gwen tries to focus on settling her personal life. Meanwhile, in a backup spy/ghost story entitled “The Dead Presidents,” the spirits of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, James Madison and maybe others break into a Russian compound and begin to learn about the threat Galatea poses to the world. We’re not really given any context of why the ex-Presidents are doing this in the afterlife, but it doesn’t really detract from how fun it all is, and I’m sure that explanation will follow later. iZombie continues to be an engaging read which juggles an impressive amount of characters and plotlines every month, and the awesome artwork of Mike Allred never disappoints. B+

Superboy #7: Not for the first time, I’ll say that I much prefer penciller Marco Rudy to series regular Pier Gallo on this book. Rudy’s held down the last couple issues of Superboy, and his work looks more in keeping with what one would expect from a Jeff Lemire comic than Gallo’s. Rudy’s also joined on this issue by Brazilian artist Daniel Hdr, who creates the awesome inner world of Superboy’s mind. Lemire’s plot, in which Superboy’s force-fed horrifying images of the future by an unknown antagonist, cribs a lot from a certain Alan Moore story — that seems to be going around DC lately — but I think the homage is well-done, and it seems to play into Lemire’s bigger plans for the character. I really enjoyed this issue, especially as it began to reach the conclusion and what was really happening became apparent. A-

Sweet Tooth #21: While the girls explore a potential new home that seems too good to be true, Gus and Jepperd fight off an attacking bear. That may not sound that scary when we’re used to reading comic books that regularly deal with world-ending cataclysms, but it’s a testament to Jeff Lemire’s power as writer and artist that he makes the scenario feel even more tense than whatever’s happening in the latest Flashpoint Itself or whatever. In particular, Lemire’s panel layout and pacing makes this bear fight freaking scary, and when it’s over you’ll probably breathe a huge sigh of relief. While that certainly provides most of the issue’s active tension, things over at the hydroelectric dam are also pretty creepy; I just keep waiting for the other shoe to drop on that one, and perhaps it has, as one of the members of Jepperd’s party suddenly doesn’t feel so well… A

 

tags: batman beyond, izombie, superboy, sweet tooth

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