Subway Shorts – Old and New

Cassandra Cain has her final showdown with her mother, Lady Shiva, in Detective Comics. And Supergirl has some surprising appearances before getting sucked into the Phantom Zone.

Supergirl 9
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Brian Ching and Michael Atiyeh

Supergirl - Symbol

Yeah, that right there is Magog, the big bad from the mid-1990s Elseworlds miniseries KINGDOM COME, by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, taking a shot at Supergirl. Magog appeared at a tech conference where a new energy source using Kryptonian technology was being unveiled, and the shot he took set the machine off. The Kryptonian tech was using energy from the Phantom Zone, so of course, Magog’s attack gets people at the conference sucked into that prison – namely Supergirl; Ben, her cohort at CatCo; and Batgirl, who was on hand to attend the conference.

As the kick-off to a new story, the first issue of ESCAPE FROM THE PHANTOM ZONE provided a lot of different threads that could be pulled at later. While the battle with the Phantom King will take up Supergirl’s attention, I’m curious to see what Magog’s status is in the Rebirth era and how it ties in to Supergirl’s future, as his reasoning for attacking her here sounded a lot like Reverse Flash going after Barry Allen.

Another interesting nugget I saw in the issue was a quick name drop. Katarina Bissel, the CEO of the tech company unveiling the new equipment, mentioned that she had previously worked for Contessa Erica Alexandra Del Portenza, a name Super-readers haven’t seen in a long while. During the late-1990s, the Contessa was married to Lex Luthor and actually bore him a daughter, Lena, who went on to become a vessel for Brainiac 13, who… you know what?

Princess Bride

The Contessa gave birth to a Luthor in the 1990s and then Lex had her drugged and hidden away before finally having her killed while on his quest to become President.

It’s a nice little Easter egg for someone who’s been reading for the last 20-plus years.

Detective Comics 956
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Marcio Takara and Marcelo Maiolo

The finale of the LEAGUE OF SHADOWS arc gave me exactly what I was hoping for:

Detective - Elbow

A fantastic fight between the always-deadly Lady Shiva and her estranged daughter, Cassandra Cain (the former Batgirl, former Orphan and current Shadow… maybe?), which spanned most of the issue.

Until, of course

Detective - Shot

Ra’s al Ghul comes out of the shadows and “puts down his rabid dog,” to end the threat of Shiva’s League of Shadows.

James Tynion IV continues to build to something big, and the end to this latest arc continues the momentum. With most of the attention focused on Tom King’s Batman book, Detective is one of the best Rebirth books DC Comics publishes. With the tease at the end of Batman needing to have a lesson in magic, heralding the arrival of Zatanna, the book should continue on its fun pace.