Subway Shorts – Team-ups and Mishaps

Catwoman joins the fun in Batgirl and the Birds of Prey while the new Superboy meets the Teen Titans for the first time in Super Sons. We also get the payoff to the big story running in Archie, as we learn Betty Cooper’s fate.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey 12
Written by Julie and Shawna Benson 
Art by Roge Antonio and Allen Passalaqua

On a mission to save the wife and children of hacker supervillain The Calculator, Batgirl and her team learn that the kidnapping and hostage situation was caused by a deal the Calculator brokered with Catwoman. Barbara using Bruce’s new-found relationship with Selena (a nice nod to continuity within the Bat-books), though, doesn’t exactly endear the team to Catwoman.

Quoting Batman Returns is always a good way to go.

As this is the second part of a storyline, this is little more than a bridge issue, setting the players on the board for what has to come next, but the Benson sisters do such a great job with the dialogue that it doesn’t feel like just a bridge issue. The end of the issue reveals that not only is Catwoman involved in this case, but so is Poison Ivy, which hopefully harkens back to the issue of Batgirl‘s solo title from earlier this year.

Super Sons 6
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez

While Damian Wayne has been learning how to be a partner to Superboy Jon Kent, he also has another team he spends time with, and he introduces them to Superboy here. Though, as he’s been quick to mention almost every issue, Superboy is not yet a teen, so he can’t join.

(As of this writing, by the way, the Giants are 37-61, last in the National League West.)

Not a lot to the first issue of the team-up, other than seeing that Robin does not like jaywalkers and the rest of the Teen Titans find Damian about as annoying as I do. But at least the Super-family is there to land some truth bombs.

Never argue with Superman. He’s usually right.

Archie 22
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Pete Woods 

Ugh.

For as much as I’ve enjoyed Waid’s Archie issues, this one was just 20-something pages of splash page filler before the big reveal of Betty Cooper’s fate. Riverdale’s perkiest blonde is in the hospital after Archie and Reggie decided to drag race for Archie’s car and Betty tried to stop them.

The pacing on the comic feels completely off now, as the last issue spent the entire issue showing how the people of Riverdale learned that Betty was in the hospital. Here, the whole comic is memories of Betty, from her parents to Veronica and Archie and even Mr. Weatherbee. And it all leads to the reveal in the final panel.

The cover of the issue is an empty hospital bed with the words “Everything changes.” The solicitation text tells us “The end has come for one of Riverdale’s most beloved residents.” Is Betty dead?

Nope.

I don’t know if something changed between the time the solicitation copy was released and the production/release of the issue, but this felt really cheap and nothing more than a ploy to make this issue seem even more important.

I’ve come to expect better from Waid here.