It’s an extra-sized edition today, taking a look at four DC Comics Rebirth books released last Wednesday – Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, The Flash and Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman 6
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Nicola Scott
After all the criticism I’ve levied against writer Greg Rucka’s new Wonder Woman book, this is legitimately the most fun issue of his run so far, as we continue the “Year One” story running through the even-numbered issues. After rescuing Steve Trevor in the previous issues, Diana and Steve return to the United States via a rigged army jet turned invisible by the Amazons – which apparently dissolved once they finished their trip.
We also get an origin for Diana’s powers – while in a US Military brig as the brass decides what to do with this woman separated by a language barrier, Diana is visited by Greek gods and given her powers. We also get the first meeting between Diana and Barbara Ann Minerva, better known to Wonder Woman fans as The Cheetah. Minerva will get her own origin tale in what would be the next “Year One” issue in Wonder Woman 8, as she also has been an important part of the other story running through the odd-numbered issues.
I’m starting to wonder when DC Comics and Rucka will either rename the book Wonder Woman and The Cheetah, or at the very least release a miniseries about the pair.
Rucka is also lucky to have Nicola Scott’s art on the book. Her art here expresses so much emotion and adds a lot to the writing that would be lost on a lesser artist.
The Flash 6
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico
Flash has had a lot to deal with since Rebirth started, with the new speedsters created by the new villain Godspeed, not to mention all the deaths Godspeed has been causing – including his new girlfriend. And it all gets ramped up even further here when we find out Godspeed’s identity.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting that, although I feel like I should have when they eliminated all the other viable candidates to be the big bad here. Williamson did a good job there of obfuscating where he was going with this.
But more so than a new speedster villain – of which Flash already has a good amount – the interesting thing in this issue comes in one page, as Barry Allen recalls how he died during Crisis on Infinite Earths as he reflected on the death of his girlfriend. “But that’s not possible,” he says to himself. This week so far is giving us a bunch of little pieces to advance whatever story Rebirth is leading to. It really does just add to the frustration of knowing that we have to wait so long to see the story pay off.
God speed will continue to beat up on Barry Allen next issue, unfortunately, as the comics continue to unnecessarily stretch out these story arcs.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 4
Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Ethan Van Sciver
Speaking of unnecessarily stretching out stories, we turn to the Green Lantern franchise, as we have three fronts to explore here – Hal Jordan is missing after being captured by members of the Sinestro Corps; other members of the Yellow Lanterns bring a captured Guy Gardner to Sinestro, who seems desperate to monologue about the Fear Machine; and John Stewart does some handwringing over whether the recently-returned Green Lanterns should go after the missing Gardner.
With all of that going on, I find it amazing that almost NOTHING HAPPENS here. We find out where Jordan is, but we don’t know why Sinestro’s daughter seems to have taken him. Stewart and the GLC – who have NO IDEA where they are – decide to go find Guy, which makes me wonder why they let Guy go off on his own to begin with. It’s Guy Gardner, we KNOW he’s going to get himself in trouble.
Most importantly, of course, we get an argument between Sinestro and a naked Guy Gardner, because Sinestro drained the power from Guy’s ring and, apparently, the costume causes Guy’s underwear to ride up.
The scenes between Sinestro and Gardner were funny, but the issue left me feeling empty for the most part, which is way too common a phenomenon. I really feel like we could have wrapped this up already. And the title of the book is Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, and we’ve yet to see Jordan reunite with his former teammates. I’m guessing it won’t happen before the end of issue 6.
Green Lanterns 6
Written by Sam Humphries
Pencils by Will Conrad and Jack Herbert
Inks by Will Conrad
Yeah, I’m done with Green Lanterns.
I’m not sure if writer Sam Humphries just isn’t up to the task of taking two characters last written by Geoff Johns and keeping them interesting or if Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz just aren’t all that interesting. It really could go either way, but Green Lanterns is no longer holding my interest.
The Red Lanterns are finally off-planet. The rookies didn’t so much as beat them as hold them off until Atrocitus and his crew could do what they wanted to all along and plant the seeds of a new Rage avatar. So, the battle against the Red Lanterns will continue. But at least, Jessica Cruz has finally learned to make a construct. And Simon Baz seems less angry.
The hook, at the end of the issue to keep readers like me coming back, is the introduction of the “Phantom Ring,” which apparently anyone can use – a person doesn’t need to be chosen because of their ability to experience will/rage/fear/hope/compassion/avarice/love. But I don’t think I’m going to be sucked it any more. I just don’t care about Cruz and Baz. Hell, I barely care about Jordan, Stewart and Gardner in space. And I kind of wish Kyle Rayner was back.
Green Lanterns joins Red Hood and the Outlaws as the books in my drop pile.