DC Vs. Vampires #11 – Matthew Rosenberg/James Tynion IV, authors; Otto Schmidt, artist; Francesco Mortarino/Pierluigi Casolino, colorists
Beam – 8.5/10
Beam: It’s the penultimate installment of both this mini and the side story this month, and unlike DCeased, it actually feels like this story is being set up to end with its original mini. With that in mind, this penultimate installment does a good job of setting the stakes while leaving most of the big action to the final installment. The heroes have been divided into different teams, with the team of John Henry, Kara, and Jayna getting the most interesting storyline. Kara remains key to the entire mission, so this whole affair is largely a ruse to get her where she needs to be. But at the same time, some other players also have funny moments. Damian and his squad mostly cause chaos, but it’s Lobo who surprisingly steals the show. We learn a lot more about what happens to aliens in this world and how the Captain fits in. This is an incredibly mercenary world, and this issue plays well with that. It’s not just the vampires that pose a threat.
DC Mech #5 – Kenny Porter, writer; Baldemar Rivas, artist; Mike Spicer, artist
Ray – 8/10
Beam: The penultimate installment of Kenny Porter’s anime-inspired giant robot adventure features solid action as the heroes take to the skies once more to attempt to repel Kalibak’s invasion. This series often seems to boil down to heroes sacrificing themselves for one another, and this curse hits that problem again with another dramatic final act, but there’s solid characterization behind it all. This take on Superman, a man who grew up alone in space and has only recently experienced human kindness, is particularly intriguing. The best part of the issue is probably what Luthor is up to, as he introduces a strange experiment that backfires horribly and likely sets the stage for the final showdown in the next issue. At only six issues, it doesn’t feel like it’s had time to fully build its world and characters, but it remains a fun side story for the DCU with lots of great graphics.
Batman Gotham Knights: Gilded City #2 – Evan Narcisse, writer; Abel, artist; John, colorist
Beam – 8.5/10
Beam: This connection to the video game is far more interesting than the actual game, if reviews are any indication. The main part of the story, which sees the Bat-fam investigating a strange rage plague related to Scarecrow gas, is fairly standard but has some intriguing character beats. It does a good job of both evoking the tension between Batman and Nightwing and the way Nightwing is in some ways a better crime fighter than his father. But the 1847 segment is by far the stronger, exploring a Gotham City that’s a haven for former slaves with a mysterious protector of its own. As Vivian Foxworthy tries to earn her freedom and start a new life, we also see the mysterious vigilante become drawn into a strange mystery involving disappearing black men – and an enemy that has plagued Gotham for a long time before there was a Batman. It draws fairly consistently from its roots as a video game affiliation.
The Batman and Scooby-Doo Mysteries #2 – Ivan Cohen, writer; Dario Brizuela, artist; Franco Riesco, colourist
Ray – 8/10
Beam: The writing teams are unwinding with this series, and now it’s time for Ivan Cohen to tell a thicker and crazier story than the adventure of Ra’s Al Ghul in the first issue. Poison Ivy is the villain in this issue, and her main plot involves bombarding the GCPD with poison sumac spray, leaving the entire group with a nasty rash – including Batgirl, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time to get her to help father. With that, Daphne has to take on the Batgirl costume for the matter to help her friend while she and the rest of her crew investigate Ivy’s killing spree. There are some really fun effects in this edition, including an attack from a creature straight out of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, but there’s no real mystery here either, and the edition spends a little too much time focusing on how itchy everyone is . Still, it’s great to see the Mystery Machine crew exploring every weird corner or Gotham!
Batman: The Audio Adventures #3 – Dennis McNicholas, writer; Anthony Marques, penciller; J. Bone, Inker; Dave Stewart, colorist
Ray – 8/10
Beam: I haven’t listened to the podcast this comic is based on, so I can’t comment too much on the audio, but this comic reminds me a lot of Batman ’66, which is played a bit more directly in places. It’s got the same sort of old-school mushy action, with villains using crazy gadgets and colorful traps instead of descending into full insanity. Robin’s antics on the subject while Bruce is busy with the Killer Croc case sums it up nicely. There are some original characters here, like the eccentric childhood gang The Burma Shave Boys, but it’s really Croc who steals the show. Apparently a giant monster talking to an unseen little girl, flashbacks reveal he was originally a harmless child who may have been turned into a monster against his will – and he may be a lot younger than he looks. This comic is a little muddled plot-wise, but some of its many subplots are really well done.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.