Happy Monday! It’s time to kick off another week with a fresh batch of reviews for the past week’s comic books. This past week was a packed week of releases for my pull list. So with that this week I’ll be reviewing Batman: Urban Legends #8, Power Rangers #12, and Wonder Woman #780.
Writers: Alyssa Wong (Batwoman: Disinformaion Campaign); Dan Watters (Azrael: Dark Knights of the Soul); Christian Ward (Professor Pyg: Little Pyg. Little Pyg.); Brandon Thomas (The Outsiders: The Fearful)
Artists: Vasco Georgiev (Batwoman: Disinformaion Campaign); Nikola Cizmesija (Azrael: Dark Knights of the Soul); Christian Ward (Professor Pyg: Little Pyg. Little Pyg.); Cian Tormey (The Outsiders: The Fearful)
Inkers: Raul Fernandez (The Outsiders: The Fearful)
Colorists: Rain Beredo (Batwoman: Disinformaion Campaign); Ivan Plascencia (Azrael: Dark Knights of the Soul); Christian Ward (Professor Pyg: Little Pyg. Little Pyg.); Alejandro Sanchez (The Outsiders: The Fearful)
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
The Good: Batman: Urban Legends #8 is a strong example of how to start and end these anthology series’ as strong as possible. The Batwoman and Outsiders strong ties to the current developments around Fear State helped in adding stakes to these stories that felt important to the entire Batman Universe. The Professor Py and Azrael were less successful in having an importance in comparison.
On the good side of things Alyssa Wong and Vasco Georgiev did a great job in using the first part of their Batwoman story to catch us up on where Kate Kane is at. She has been the least used Batman Family members since Infinite Frontier started even with all the Batman comics we have right now. So it was a good choice to show more of Kate’s life to better understand how she would factor into the events of Fear State. Adding in Cassandra Cain’s Batgirl to the story was also a great change of pace since she and Kate don’t normally team-up. Wong and Georgiev tapped into that fact with how Batwoman and Batgirl worked together.
The Outsiders story also delivered a surprise tie-in to the Future State timeline that made how this story factors into the current Fear State event. Future State Black Lightning suddenly showing up in the present day Gotham City changes so much of what is currently going on. This is yet another big moment where things could diverge so Future State really is its own universe. Which adds to how The Outsiders team and Tim Drake’s Red Robin will deal with these unexpected developments during Fear State, along with a surprise villain appearance at the end of this story.
The Bad: When it came to Christian Ward’s Professor Pyg story it just did not hit the tone in direction that was expected. While Ward’s artwork fit the character well it was the dialogue that did not click. Professor Pyg was not his typical insane self. Instead, he was just another typical Batman villain with no distinct personality. It made the entire story boring that we don’t see the crazy version Grant Morrison introduced during his Batman run.
Dan Watters and Nikola Cizmesija Azrael story also just does not hit. I’ve never been an Azrael fan to begin with and this story with him did not win me over. It was just generic action that just further reminds me why I’ve just never invested in the character.
Overall: Batman: Urban Legends #8 starts and ends strong with two stories that build further investment in what is going on with Fear State. A particular major surprise appearance could be a major game changer for the entire future of the DC Universe. This makes this comic something Batman fans should definitely check out if Urban Legends is not on your pull list.
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Artist: Francesco Mortarino
Colorists: Raul Angulo and Jose Enrique Fernandez
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
The Good: With The Eltarian War right around the corner Power Rangers #12 is all about positioning the Omega Rangers at their starting point for the big crossover event. The stop that Ryan Parrott leaves the Omega Rangers of Jason Scott, Zack Taylor, and Trini Kwan is not a good one. Everything that could go wrong just went a whole lot worse for the Omega Rangers.
With the desperate spot the Omega Rangers are in at the end of Power Rangers #12 Parrott was able to build even greater momentum around the big villains of the franchise. Both the Empyreals group and Lord Drakkon are firmly positioned as major threats that make them major threats to deal with on top of Lord Zedd and the Eltarians for the upcoming big event. With the Empyreals, Power Rangers #12 is all about getting across how powerful they are. While with Lord Drakkon, Parrott goes even further with making him the most hatable villain that exists in the Power Rangers franchise.
The success of developing both these sets of villains creates even greater interest to how both the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Omega Rangers will deal with everything they are up against in the upcoming Eltarian War. The bad spot that Jason, Trini, and Zack are left does make you really feel the weight of everything they have had to deal with since becoming Omega Rangers. This makes the big reveal of the new status quo for Yale of Saard, the alien cat-like ally who has been with the Omega Rangers, something that could a bright light in the Omega Rangers needed to have on their side.
The Bad: Nothing
Overall: Power Rangers #12 effectively builds hype around the upcoming The Eltarian War crossover event. Ryan Parrott successfully creates as much investment in where the Omega Rangers, Empyreals, and Lord Drakkon will start The Eltarian War. Francesco Mortarino fantastic artwork further elevated the big moments that take place throughout Power Rangers #12.
Writers: Michael W. Conrad and Becky Cloonan
Artists: Travis Moore and Steve Pugh
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
The Good: After an adventure in the Multiverse and exploring some Asgardian mythology Wonder Woman is finally back in the current DC Universe on Prime Earth. Considering that Dark Nights: Death Metal ended with everyone remembering Wonder Woman’s great sacrifice to save the Multiverse it was great that her return was made a big deal. By going with such a celebratory direction Michael Conrad and Becky Cloonan are able to make Wonder Woman #780 a comic book that enhances the ending of Dark Nights: Death Metal.
In the process, Conrad and Cloonan are able to explore all the changes that have happened to the DC Universe while Wonder Woman was not around in an effective manner. They show how Wonder Woman is a great inspiration to so many. The interaction with the Justice League and Nubia in particular stands out to show how important she is. Though the reaction to Wonder Woman’s return that stood out most was Yara Flor’s. Yara reacted in a way I was not expecting and makes me wonder how the first meeting between Diana and Yara will go.
Travis Moore and Steve Pugh combined for a great looking issue. They actually were able to mirror one another’s art style so you don’t really know there were two artists on this issue until you look at the credits. The artwork, wonderfully colored by Tamra Bonvillain, added to how there is a greater sense of hope with the return of Wonder Woman.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Wonder Woman #780 is the best issue of this series to date in the Infinite Frontier era. Michael Conrad and Becky Cloonan got across how big of a deal Wonder Woman’s return after she disappeared at the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal. How all the superheroes and Wonder Woman related characters reacted to the return build out many story possibilities for Diana not that she is back on Prime Earth.
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