Subway Shorts – Heroes and Fat Cats

Oliver travels to Metropolis to confront Lex Luthor in Green Arrow and General Zod’s end game is revealed as his revenge squad battles Team Superman in Action Comics. Plus, more reviews!

To be fair, this is a bit of a cheat, since I read most of these on the beach today instead of the subway.

Literally, no one bothers to explain to this kid what’s happening.

Action Comics 984
Written by Dan Jurgens 
Art by Patch Zircher and Hi-Fi 

General Zod’s revenge squad has been battling its way into the Fortress of Solitude for one reason: to get the Phantom Zone Projector so Zod could get something precious out – Cyborg Superman mistakenly thought it was his army, but it was his wife, Ursa, and his son. The final battle in the story arc ended in a stalemate, guaranteeing a future confrontation between the Kents and the Zods.

I wonder if Zod’s son remembers briefly being raised by Lois and Clark? How do continuity resets work in the Phantom Zone?

During the battle, Jon suited up in some Kryptonian Battle Armor to help with the fight against Zod. He had a little bit of help from a disembodied voice, who told him that he had some knowledge of the suit. While Jon wondered who it was that helped him, we got the reveal that the mysterious Mr. Oz was giving Jon tips, adding a bit of a wrinkle to the mystery of who he is.

Jurgens’ Action Comics continues to entertain me, and I am really looking forward to a battle between the two families in the future.

Green Arrow 28
Written by Benjamin Percy 
Art by Juan E. Ferreyra 

Oliver’s continued quest to take down the Ninth Circle brings him to Metropolis to confront who Ollie believes to be the fattest cat of them all – Lex Luthor.

But Lex – who’s been pretty much a hero since the start of Rebirth – convinces Oliver he has nothing to do with the group that’s tormenting him, and even manages to join forces with Green Arrow and Superman to save the day.

I’ve been enjoying Ferreyra’s art on Green Arrow through this run, so it was great to see him get a shot at the Man of Steel. Percy was up to the task, too, as this was one of the best issues of his GA run – and that’s saying something, because it’s been solid on the whole. In two weeks, Oliver heads to Gotham City. That should be a lot of fun, too.

Let’s take some more comics on in capsule style, since I’ve been behind on my reviews this week.

Black Hammer 11
Written by Jeff Lemire 
Art by Dean Ormston and Dave Stewart 

Every issue of Lemire’s Black Hammer has moved forward the story of a group of heroes stuck in a small town, unable to escape and really unaware of the trap they’ve been placed in, but this was the first time I’ve felt like an issue was mostly filler. We get to see Barbalien’s reaction to being shot down by the priest with whom he believes he shares a connection and Golden Gail’s reaction to being trapped in the body of a second grader.

Gail decides it’s time to end it all, but Barbalien swoops in and saves her just in time, because he needs Gail’s friendship more than ever. It was a sweet moment, but it was clear it was coming from the start of the issue. Lemire’s storytelling is always top-notch, but this time out, it felt a little phoned in. Everyone is allowed an off-issue, though.

The Flash 27
Written by Joshua Williamson 
Art by Howard Porter, Paul Pelletier, Andrew Hennessy and Hi-Fi

Flash finishes his battle with the Reverse Flash, who comes off in the RUNNING SCARED arc as less of a homicidal threat and more of an obsessed fan who just wants Barry Allen to appreciate him. Or date him. I can’t tell sometimes. Really, this issue is the same old, same old – only with art that seems… of less quality – with Eobard Thawne taken out, by Iris this time, while Barry is infected with Thawne’s dark speed force.

You know how everyone has loved the latest season of the Flash TV show because of how dark and brooding the series got? Oh right, that’s not what happened… Barry Allen is, as Thawne said, a beacon of light for the heroes, so giving him the “dark” speed force and having Iris not want anything to do with him just feels wrong.

Justice League 26
Written by Bryan Hitch 
Art by Fernando Pasarin, Oclair Albert and Brad Anderson 

I gave up on Hitch’s Justice League a while ago because I just couldn’t bring myself to care about his pacing. Or really even the stories that he was telling. But I’m a sucker for stories of the future children of the heroes, so I picked up the first issue of LEGACY.

Turns out, I still don’t care. I’ll come back when Hitch’s run writing the book is over.