Welcome back to Flash Friday! I've been kind of MIA lately as my family has been making it nearly impossible to get any reading or reviewing done. Also, the fools who package the comics for DC have caused me some serious grief lately. Our friendly local comic shop has gotten damaged books the last two weeks in a row. Last week, I did not get a Batman and Robin because they were ruined in shipping and this week, I did not get Red Hood and the Outlaws, Blue Beetle or Justice League because they were ruined in shipping. The box looked like someone had jumped up and down on it. What is up with that?! You'd think they'd put more care into the packaging because comic collecting is all about condition. But, I digress. This week I have reviews for Superboy, Nightwing, Batman, Batman and Robin, and Young Justice. We also received our LAST ISSUE of the Tiny Titans which has my kids excited for Super Family but sad to leave the Tiny Titans behind.
Young Justice #14- This issue sees Aqualad taking Miss Martian and Superboy to Atlantis to visit. While they are there they are sucked into a confrontation with a purist cult set on bringing racial purity to Atlantis. The three heroes must intervene before things get out of hand. I really enjoyed this issue even though it was more of a set up to the real altercation. We slowly learn what is going on behind the scenes and the mystery of the attacks begins to unravel. Watching Miss Martian in this environment was interesting as she had a big episode on the show over the weekend. We learned that she is transracial and is in fact a white martian. It has led to some big support for her across the Internet. She is a character that people can really get behind as an example of someone feeling that they were born wrong and I think it's a great thing for kids to see and learn from. Miss Martian loves the diversity of Altantis but knows very well from her life on Mars what diversity can lead to: prejudice and hatred. That hatred caused her life on Mars to be unbearable and is part of why she left Mars. So I think that this racial war in Atlantis will strike a cord with her. I also think it will be a good learning experience for Superboy. He lives in a relatively safe environment where he learns little about society and how evil can be present in normal life and not just from supervillans. I give this book 4 out of 5 Flashes for being an interesting story of friendship and diversity.
Superboy #7- I had high expectations for this book and NOTHING went the way that I thought it would. I'd hoped that Superboy would kick Rose's butt from here to the moon and back but no such luck. And why didn't he? Because he leans so heavily on his powers that they are a crutch. He made fun of Red Robin for leaning on technology due to his lack of metahuman powers but Superboy is no better. Rose used his lack of strength outside his powers to her advantage and if not for Wonder Girl showing up at the last moment, he would have been disected by N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and used to make their next clone that much better. YUCK! I can't say that I support the choice that Lobdell is making here in setting things up for Superboy and Wonder Girl to get together. They did in the old Young Justice and the last incarnation of the Teen Titans. Yawn. It's so overdone by now. It was cute the first time but now it's old and worn. I'd rather see them make something more interesting happen. It's simple to stick them together. I just wish they'd have gone somewhere different with their characters. As for Rose, I can't say that I much liked her pre-reboot and I don't really dig her now. I'm looking forward to getting more clarity on her character as well as the story of Superboy and the Teen Titans when the new book Ravagers that is set to start after the big Culling event across the Teen Titans and Superboy in May. I have high hopes for that book. Lobdell isn't writing it so it'll be interesting to see how it compares to the Titans and SB. I give this book 3 out of 5 Flashes. It was passable but not awesome.
Batman #7- Bruce has managed to escape the Court for now but he's barely made it. He manages to get back to the Cave and Alfred treats him. It's nice to see Bruce snapping out of the insanity for a moment or two even if he's still not all there. He makes a disturbing revelation about the Talon and how it comes disturbingly close to home for him. A bit of the insanity brought down on his by the court peeks out when he punches Dick in the face to show him that Dick was supposed to be the current Talon. This crosses over directly into the Secret of Haly's Circus arc that Nightwing has been on since the reboot. I love how Dick reacts to the information though, it is just SO Dick Grayson. He truly is the light that keeps Batman from the dark. He was that light as Robin and even now as Nightwing. Love that!! I hope that he and his brothers can band together over the next two issues to help pull Batman and Gotham through the Night of the Owls in one piece. I give this book 4 Flashes out of 5 as it moves us towards the Night of the Owls and brings Nightwing deep into the Court of the Owls story line.
Nightwing #7- Holy Plot Twist, Batman! The geniuses behind Batman and Nightwing bring the titles together as Nightwing's Secret of Haly's Circus story arc dove tails into the Court of Owls story arc in Batman. We finally get to see Dick discover who Saiko is. As "Saiko" explains how he ended up so messed up and how it is ALL DICK'S FAULT, it can be a tad confusing if you haven't read Batman #7. In Batman #7, Bruce explains that Dick had been chosen and marked to become the new Talon before his parents died and he went to live with Bruce. It turns out that after Dick left Haly's, the Court of Owls wanted a replacement for him and chose his friend Raymond but Raymond could not hack it so they left him for dead in the woods. So, as far as Raymond can see, it is Dick's fault that his childhood was ruined and that he was left for dead. The secret of the circus that Dick has been trying to figure out is that Haly's has been providing the Court with Talons for YEARS. The book Dick found is the list of the Talons that had been chosen from Haly's over the years. So, Dick's investigation into the circus and Bruce's into the Court of Owls are one in the same. I found this book to be pretty good but it was weird to see the scene with Bruce at the end of this book after seeing it in Batman. Also, I hope that the demise of Haly's big top means that Dick will be free to return to Gotham to begin the fight against the Talons that the Court has sent out to overtake Bruce, Batman and Gotham. And I have my fingers crossed for more Dick/Damian interaction in the next couple books at least. I give this book 5 out of 5 Flashes for being a beautiful book with a great story line that blends seamlessly into the rest of the Bat family's story arc.
Next week we should have Savage Hawkman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Teen Titans. I hope that we get our books that were missing from this week as well. Have a great weekend everyone!!