September Stack: DCU

I’m desperately late with my September stack article. I’ve been dealing with a serious bout of writer’s block recently, and it struck even deep enough to keep me from reviewing my September DCU books like I usually do. I figure, better late than never though so just a few short weeks before my October stack ships I will bring you September!

Cyborg #3, JLA #4, Justice League #44, and Aquaman #44 were all bumped to next month’s shipment; Catwoman and Deathstroke weren’t added to my pulls on time since I had picked up last month’s issues in shops.

SPOILER ALERT— I am going to assume you’ve read your stack for the month and discuss spoilers.

Again, as always, in order from best to worst:

We Are Robin #4: This issue we ride along with “R-Iko”/ Riko Sheridan. The art mimics the old school 70’s dot coloring which works really well for this issue. R-Iko gets an assist from her idol, Batgirl, and the two have a moment. It was a great issue and it let us in on the world of one of our protagonists. We also get a two page spread in the back that gives us the details on our five (nee 6 including the deceased Troy) Robins, who we will assume are going to be the main characters going forward (Duke Thomas, R-Iko, Dax, Robina, and Dre-B-Robbin).

Grayson #12: This is a really nice character piece that puts Grayson back in Gotham. There is a page with his interaction with each member of the Bat family that feature’s dialogue from the past history of Dick and each character. He meets up with the de-Batmanned Bruce, with Jason, Tim, Damian, and of course Barbara, and then they pull a heist to disable the Spyral tech that scrambles faces. This sets up the reveal of Grayson versus Agent Zero for next issue.

Batman #44: A nice one of story that flashes back into the earlier days of Batman (Bruce’s) crime fighting days. The Jock art here is really nice, and this was a really good self contained story.

Dr. Fate #4: Same great art, and the continued trials of Khallid. Here we find out he intends to anglicize his name as “Kent”, which has the obvious connection to Kent Nelson, the previous Dr. Fate. We then get some good learning as Kent goes on a spirit quest to learn more about his powers. This issue is hurt a bit because the pacing on this book is starting to feel stilted– four issues in and not a lot of action yet. If I were reading this along with 5 and 6 which, presumably, will have the climax and conclusion of this flood storyline in a trade it wouldn’t feel so slow, but at issue four I usually expect a little more. That said, I am in on this book for a lot of reasons.

New Suicide Squad #12: I’m still a little lost on why the squad is where they are and what is going on. The best part of this issue lies in two series of panels with Harley and a group of presumably orphan children. First she entertains them and seems to win their love. Then she kills some guys in front of them and generally horrifies them. The look on her face of confusion is pretty priceless. That said, I am ready for this particular mission to be done and a big old reset to be hit. I won’t lie, I prefer the Squad to solve, or at least explode any given op in fewer issues than this one has taken– particularly since I am not sure who the sides are or what the stakes are.

Midnighter #4: This month feels like its Batman family infested– lots of Batgirl, and lots of Grayson. Might just be the books I read, but we get Grayson guesting here in Midnighter and they team up to take down a club that sells the chance to kill “Vampires”. The vampires are really homeless people who have been infected or bitten or whatever for the express purpose of selling the chance to kill them. Good fight sequences, and some good banter. Not a lot of character development for our hero, but a solid issue.

Robin Son of Batman #4: Robin and Nowhere are in Alexandria (I believe?) hunting for something in a lot pyramid of some sort. Deathstroke shows up, as we knew he would, thinking that Nowhere was her father. Then, Damian buys him off to go away. Yep, Damian just gives him 5 million dollars to not kill them and leave. Strangest solution to a super-hero/super-villain interaction I have ever seen. There is a really nice two page spread with a fight that features Rabin vs. Deathstroke in a series of 8 images of their fight silouette style in the center across both pages. Its one of the best panels from the entire stack and really works.

Secret Six #6: Conclusion to the initial storyline, the gang in fights and takes down Mockingbird/Riddler. A pretty good issue overall, but this story-line needed to be done, and the stuff with Mr. Big/ Ralph Dibney and Sue leaving him for Riddler just isn’t working for me. I like the crew that’s been assembled and I am looking forward to Simone moving these characters forward and giving them some purpose.

Martian Manhunter #4: We see our three Martian Manhunter fragments exploring their abilities. Mr. Biscuits and our FBI agent Manhunter take on the Martian Maneater (a really big ugly Martian thing) while this Arabic agent Martian Manhunter fights some white martians. Her part features what I am assuming is a mental image of the normal J’onn we know asking her things like, “What if you blew them up?” Then she says, “yah, cool” and it happens. I see where this fragments of J’onn’s personality thing is going, but I am not really sure how interesting it is in the end.

Doomed #4: This issue features our friendly neighborhood monster fighting then talking with Wonder Girl. This series has been announced as being cancelled, so now the book is doomed in more ways that one. It was an interesting if strange concept that if we were being honest, probably was never going to last but I am committed through the end of the run. Maybe our guy Reiser can see some use in a team book of some kind and get another chance after he’s more established as a character. More likely, December’s issue 6 will be the last we ever see of Doomed.

Batman Beyond #4: How this book wasn’t announced to be cancelled I am not sure. More fighting Brother Eye in a hopeless future. I feel like I am hate reading this thing almost now. I probably need to just drop it from my future month’s orders.

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