Subway Shorts – Fathers, Brothers and Selves

DC Comics’ Trinity deals with family issues this week, as Diana meets her twin brother in Wonder Woman; Superman and Jor-El face off over the fate of the Kent family in Action Comics; and Tim Drake and Tim Drake continue to battle themselves in Detective Comics.

Wonder Woman 34
Written by James Robinson 
Art by Sergio Fernandez Davila, Scott Hanna and Romulo Fajardo Jr. 

Diana finally gets the chance to spend some time with her long-lost brother, who was secreted away from Themyscira after her was born and sent to live in man’s world. Her brother, Jason, was raised by a crewman of the Argo (the captain of the Argo, of course, is Jason’s namesake) and is serving as a fisherman, keeping a low profile but helping others when he can.

The siblings spend the issue with Diana getting to know her brother and how’s spent his time growing up since leaving the rest of the Amazons. Jason seems sincerely appreciative of the opportunity to get to know his sister, who he’s seen on television saving the world for years now. But as soon as night falls, everything changes. Jason reveals his true intentions, his hatred and jealousy for his sister, along with his partner – Grail, the daughter of Darkseid, who is killing old gods in order to restore her father back to his former glory.

Writer James Robinson continues to do amazing work picking up the threads from the Geoff Johns arc, The Darkseid War, in Justice League right before Rebirth launched. The fight between Jason and Grail and Wonder Woman should be fun.

This issue is another one of those composite milestones, like we saw the week before with the Superman book. DC Comics counted up all the issues of all of Wonder Woman’s previous series and came up with issue number 700 with this latest edition, which is amazing considering it came out in the same month as milestone legacy issues of Superman AND Batman as well. Tony S. Daniel’s 700 variant cover can be seen to the right.

Much like the issue of Superman, this “special anniversary issue” doesn’t offer anything really special other than the next chapter of a story that doesn’t see it’s conclusion. Great cover, though. They should probably turn it into a poster.

Action Comics 991
Written by Dan Jurgens 
Art by Viktor Bogdanovic, Scott Hanna, Jay Leisten and John Trevor Scott

I don’t know if I can count the amount of times I’ve seen one of Superman’s parents’ die or be taken away from him since in my lifetime. It’s been a lot, though. It’s a trope that Superman writers come back to frequently when they’re in need of some added pathos for their story. It happens again here, as Kal-El finally comes to terms with the idea that Mr. Oz actually IS his Kryptonian father.

Jor-El has been corrupted, though, by some Kryptonite lodged in his head, which has been held at bay by the staff he carried with him, which is also affecting his judgment. When Superman finally breaks the staff, ending the protection from the green rock, Jor-El finally realizes what he’d been doing. Too bad he’s now dying.

Superman’s father doesn’t die here, though he may as well have, as he gets taken back to the prison by his original savior and jailer, assumed to be Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen. Maybe we’ll find out more when DOOMSDAY CLOCK hits at the end of the month.

As far as serving as a go-home issue before the Geoff Johns-penned miniseries starting on Nov. 29, it certainly has me looking forward to it. Whether or not the plot point of Jor-El is played up in DOOMSDAY CLOCK, those of us who read THE OZ EFFECT should have be a little extra excited once it’s released.

Detective Comics 934
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

All the loose ends from future Tim Drake’s visit to Gotham’s present start to get wrapped up here, as Bat-Tim continues his mission to kill Batwoman, to prevent our Tim from ever becoming Batman. In addition to his brain and his years of training, Bat-Tim has something else on his side: Brother Eye. And he’s using Batman’s prototype orbital satellite to take over the Bat-family’s locales. But some things aren’t on Bat-Tim’s side: Hypertime and the multiverse, apparently, which are trying to correct themselves by sending Bat-Tim back to his proper place.

The mention of Hypertime here is interesting, as it’s gotten a few mentions since Rebirth started, especially in relation to the Doctor Manhattan stuff. Hypertime is a concept introduced during the late 1990s, when DC Comics had abandoned the Multiverse to give them a bigger sandbox in which to play. The Flash and Superboy, most notably, had arcs involving Hypertime and traversing various alternate realities, though the idea fell out of favor in the early-2000s and was largely ignored since.

Also of note is Bat-Tim’s insistence that Damian must die for “what he does to that poor Kent boy,” and really, anyone who wants Damian dead can’t be that bad, right?