What a great trio of books this time around. Our family issues continue for another day as all three comics I read last night are focused on ties between fathers and daughters and mothers and daughters (Batgirl and the Birds of Prey), and brothers and sisters (Superwoman).
Written by Phil Jimenez
Pencils by Emanuela Lupacchino
Inks by Ray McCarthy
Last issue had the big reveal that the mastermind behind the chaos in the book’s first issue was none other than Lena Luther, Lex’s sister who blames her brother for not being able to save her from her various ailments. She was involved in the Geoff Johns Justice League Darkseid Wars story, and it (loosely) continues here, as Lena has a Mother Box circling around her. She’s managed to regain the use of her legs and perfect the Bizarro process that Lex conceived (using her DNA spliced with the DNA of the Earth 3 Superwoman), and now she’s ready – as Ultra Woman – to destroy everything Lex has worked for. He’s captured, and Lena has paralyzed him, leaving him helpless to defend Metropolis the way he wants to while wearing the S, as he does now.
The other half of the issue deals with the titular hero, Lana Lang’s Superwoman, dealing not only with the Atomic Skull but also with the loss of Lois Lane and the fears that these powers are killing her. Her boyfriend, John Henry Irons, and his niece Natasha try to get her to slow done and consider what’s happening, but she makes it clear to the readers that they don’t know everything that’s going on.
Jimenez packs so much into every issue of Superwoman, and it all fits perfectly and he’s building to an epic conclusion while tying the entire Super-line into his books. I really hope they manage to pull off a Super-crossover similar to what the Bat-books are doing right now with Action Comics, Superwoman and New Super-Man, with Jimenez serving as a show runner, to make sure every issue is filled to the brim.
This should be a breakout book for DC, with a great story that is completely worth the $2.99 price tag. If you’re a fan of detailed stories within the Superman family, you should be reading this.
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey 3
Written by Julie and Shawna Benson
Art by Claire Roe and Roge Antonio
The search for the new, evil Oracle continues, but before Batgirl, Black Canary and Huntress can find the criminal computer genius, they need to stop the super criminals sent out to kill members of the various crime families in Gotham. One in particular is being safe guarded by Commissioner Jim Gordon – father of Batgirl Barbara Gordon – which sends the women scrambling to rescue him after they’re sent on a wild goose chase to a Mexican restaurant on Taco Tuesday. Taco Tuesday IS in fact sacred ground.
Flashbacks in the book also show Black Canary’s training, as she tries to overcome being abandoned by her mother, showing how she gained her Canary Cry.
Julie and Shawna Benson have been deftly melding the action in Gotham City with an emotional story for everyone on the team, making it really easy to connect with the stars of the book as they continue on their quest. Even the conflict within the team – generally centered around Huntress blood lust – feels natural. More importantly, there’s plenty of humor to keep the tone somewhat light-hearted despite the high stakes. Jim Gordon showing appreciation for Huntress shooting a kill shot at one of the snake assassins was a great moment that combined the humor with the feeling of dread Barbara feels at seeing how her dad was in danger, and she couldn’t express the fear she felt.
Both books featuring Batgirl right now – this and her solo title – are firing on all cylinders, and they’re must reads every month. This issue is no different.