Subway Shorts – Fear & Loathing in the DC Universe

Wielders of power rings make guest appearances this week, as Superman battles Sinestro and Green Arrow enlists the aid of Green Lantern Hal Jordan. And things get a little weird in the debut issue of Dastardly & Muttley.

Dastardly & Muttley 1
Written by Garth Ennis 
Art by Mauricet and John Kalisz

With the successful first wave of Hanna Barbera reboot comics pretty much cobbled down to Scooby Apocalypse, the first of the new wave of books hits with a bang. And I still can’t believe that Garth Ennis – the writer of Preacher and The Boys – is the man attached to this book, about two US Air Force pilots who go through the irradiated air space over the country of Unliklistan and end up in an infirmary.

Our introduction to the main characters – Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Atcherly and his navigator Captain Dudley “Mutt” Muller – show them as regular people. As we go through the first issue, though, we get to see their transformations into the classic characters that used to regularly appear on Saturday mornings. And then we get the last page reveal.

There’s really no reason for this book to be as good as it is. But Ennis’ writing – which I almost always enjoy – holds up here. The story of the first issue is engaging and enjoyable. I’m not really sure where the story is supposed to go from here, as I only ever remember Dastardly and Muttley from Wacky Races and… well… they did that book already. But I am genuinely interested in finding out what comes next.

Superman 30
Written by Keith Champagne 
Art by Ed Benes, Philip Tan, Sunny Gho and Dinei Ribeiro

The conclusion to Superman’s battle with Sinestro kicks off with the Man of Steel being possessed by the Fear Entity Parallax, which Sinestro is trying to recapture to regain his power. The entity leaves Superman, but Sinestro is determined to capture Parallax and Superman is determined to keep it away from the former “Greatest Green Lantern.”

The issue sets up a confrontation later between Sinestro and the Green Lanterns in a later issue of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, which I don’t think I care enough to start picking up again. The issue is also part of a series of fill-ins for Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s run, which is planning on a bigger story next month.

While I generally have enjoyed Keith Champagne’s books here, the story isn’t as satisfying as the rest of the Rebirth run has (although I really enjoyed the horror elements of the previous issue). Overall, an enjoyable story but eminently skippable.

Green Arrow 30
Written by Benjamin Percy 
Art by Otto Schmidt 

Oliver Queens trek across the country in the hopes of taking down the Ninth Circle brings him to Area 51 this issue. The man has been making some serious miles, going from Star City (the former Seattle) to Washington DC to Gotham and Metropolis and now to Nevada. But the issue takes him even farther, as his old pal Hal Jordan appears to take Oliver into space.

The issue plays off the history between the two characters – most of which has been erased through several reboots and reimaginings – but writer Benjamin Percy hints at their history here, just enough so you know they were friends but had a falling out. The pair fall quickly back into sync, though, and make a good team as they try to take out a Queen Industries satellite that’s been used to aid the Ninth Circle. The Green Team banter is a lot of fun, which has been a standard set throughout writer Benjamin Percy’s run.

Unlike the previous issues with Green Arrow visiting other cities, this one wasn’t done in one issue, as we end the book on a cliffhanger this time around. But I wasn’t left unfulfilled. Percy manages to give the story enough meat that I didn’t feel like it should have all been taken care of in one book. Percy’s run continues to be one of the better twice-a-month Rebirth books.