With his mission accomplished Dick is ready to come home, unfortunately “Mr. Malone” will not reply to him, to tell him if he can or not. Transversely someone is killing spies that are on mission Spyral was on. Helena/Matron, the new head of Spyral, finds a connection between the murders. They all took place where Dick was on a mission, and had time alone. Dick, who happens to be on a mission, is given a heads up by Matron. He sets up his partner and we see someone about to attack his partner before being KO’ed with a night stick. Did Dick KO the killer, or did the killer get another spy? Overall I was happy to have this title back. I like that they opened up acknowledging that Bruce is “dead” and how that impacts Dick. And I like the ground work they are establishing for another arc.
Invisible Republic #4
In the aftermath of the riot our reporter finds an old acquaintance before passing out from injuries sustained. He comes to in the hospital and demands the best medical care, because he can pay for it. His friend comes in when the doctor steps out, and she has his bag. She realizes what he is working on and wants in. She convinces him he needs her help. They visit a contact of hers who is a native to the moon. They are doing research on the history to better understand the events in the journal. From the journal we learn our hero spent time homeless until she tried to steal some honey and a bomb went off, injuring her. The honey makers take her in and she starts learning the honey trade from them. When they offer to make her an apprentice she panics and decides to leave. They catch her trying to sneak off in the middle of the night and she explains why she cannot be an apprentice. They tell her they know people high enough up that it won’t matter. The issue ends with her helping sell honey at market. Overall each issue just does better and better setting up a third world moon that intrigues on how things got the way they are. The history of the moon learned on this issue is tantalizing.
A radacalist group called the Black Dawn is beheading soldiers in the Tektite. The Howling Commandos ask Frank if he would like to go in. The Punisher goes and starts to work his way through the bad guys there looking for information on where the Black Dawn is located. He inner monologues about death and war as he tortures, shoots, and blows up terrorists. The issue ends with him about to enter the target building. Overall this was a fantastic issue. At one point, while Castle is torturing a man, I realized this was very reminiscent of Man on Fire. Frank just burns a path through bad guys to get what he wants.
Black Widow #19
Natasha flashes back to her KGB days, her Natalia days, to her first mission. She must help convince a family to get out of Communist Cuba and bring them back to Russia before the “westerners” can get them out. She partners up with an old friend from the Red Room that appears to be blending in too well. Natalia does her job very well making the family feel uncomfortable about staying in Cuba, and nervous about trusting the Americans. But how will she react when her orders are amended to also taking out her friend that is not living up to expectations. Overall I love these flash back stories showing us Natasha before she was the widow, and what the Red Room was like. I am sad to see this series go.
Teen Titans #9
The Titans are back, and the team on the run with Superboy is hiding out in Chi-town. Beast Boy, Raven, and Bunker are out on the town, trying to be incognito. It doesn’t work. A crowd starts surrounding them which leads to a girl being pushed on to the tracks of the train. BB and Bunker try and get to her, but aren’t going to make it in time. Superboy swoops in last second and saves her which causes more problems. The S.T.A.R. labs hero team mobilizes to capture Superboy. Will Superboy go quietly? Overall, just as with Grayson, I am happy this title is back. I liked seeing them take it to a new city. I hope they hang around in Chicago after this is sorted out.
X-men ’92 #1
The X-men from the ’92 cartoon show have won the war and everything is peaceful. They learn of a facility called Clear Mountain that is rehabilitating mutants. Professor X sends the team to check it out. When they arrive they are greeted by Cassandra Nova. The facility looks to be everything it professes to be. However, Cassandra Nova is not. She is actually a cloned body of Xavier inhabited by the Shadow King. Cassandra convinces the team to try out the “Mind Field” and traps them. Overall I was let down by this book. The X-men cartoon is what started me on this comics path. I was hoping for those same feelings, and this issue just didn’t elicit them. I was not happy to see Cassandra as she was long after the show. I was happier to see she was actually Shadow King. But it was just a slow read and slow paced story.
Having been captured by his female nemesis he faces Kannon. His scent triggers a memory in his female counterpart. The story becomes how she became. Being sacrificed by monks and made to face a crucible where the monsters just want to know her name. Since she cannot remember her name she just kills them. Until she finally crawl out of the pit and decides to just lie, and tells them her name is Rokurokubi. She comes back to and asks Ninjak his name before attacking. Overall this was a very fascinating issue. I loved learning about Ninjak’s female nemesis. And the mythos behind her origins was awesome. A great use of art to distinguish between memories within memories.
Matt makes an offer to the Kingpin. He wants safety and security for his friends; which means Matt and the Daredevil can’t be in their lives. Matt’s proposal to Wilson Fisk is intriguing, but who is really making a deal with the devil? Meanwhile the Owl continues his plan to kidnap his wife and bring his family back together. Matt tries to intervene, but is only one man. The question is what has the Kingpin put in plan while Matt was off being the hero? Overall it was very interesting seeing what Matt would propose to keep his friends safe. And Kingpin’s art collection was well placed. As for the rest of the story it was about par with the series so far.
I am going to run my first contest from my posts. Really all I want is some validation these are being read; I’m vain like that. So the first person to comment with constructive criticism will receive a complete set of Batman Returns movie cards.