How many Batman books is too many Batman books? Depending on who you ask there ain’t no such thing! We try to stay up on what’s going on at DC, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of DC Comics. Today, we’re discussing Green Arrow 7, Green Lanterns 7 and Superman 7. Also, we discussed Batman 7 and Nightwing 5 today, so check that out. And we’ll be talking about Trinity 1 on Monday, so come back for that! As always, this article containers SPOILERS.
Green Arrow 7
Michael: After spending the majority of the previous arc as a (phony) traitor to Oliver, Benjamin Percy decided to give Emiko Queen some hero time. Green Arrow 7 is the second part of the “Sins of the Mother” arc where we see double the Emiko hero time in the past and in the present. I still think that the more substantive of these two stories is the one in the past where Emiko betrays and rescues Ollie (again/for the first time since its one year ago.)
Emiko has sold out Ollie to the Clock King because he’s the supplier to her drug watch thingy. When Oliver arrives to Clock King’s shop, Clock King attacks and monologues him about how “people are a lot like clocks.” Like, I get it…that’s his gimmick. But that kind of simplifying simile technique feels a little overdone and Bond villainy. Then again it’s extremely possible that Bond villain is what Percy and artist Stephen Byrne were going for as Clock King hovers over Ollie as he’s strapped to a clock death trap. Still, the whole thing isn’t played in a very tongue-in-cheek manner that you’d see from that kind of send-up so I’m a bit torn here.
The present day story involves Emiko fighting a Japanese gangster who can turn into a dragon – which, why wouldn’t he just always be a dragon then? If nothing else, Stephen Byrne’s made-for-animation character renderings were a highlight here. Byrne actually made me feel sympathy for Emiko’s mother Shado, who typically is an uncaring robo-assassin.
Green Lanterns 7
Michael: I was excited for Green Lanterns and its buddy cop premise as soon as it was announced as part of the Rebirth line-up. I don’t think that it think that the book has lived up to my expectations until Green Lanterns 7 however. Sam Humphries has moved past the rough working relationship of Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz in the first arc into greener pastures of self-respect shown here.
Simon Baz has kind of been an unpleasant asshole at times in this series, so it’s great to see him stop trying to act so cool while he’s at home with his family. In fact his fear of disappointing his mother combined with Jessica’s characteristic anxiety gives them a level playing field. Ronan Cliquet is also a welcome change of pace for this series. His clean lines and clear colors might be a little better suited for a GL book than past artists and he makes the goofy baking joy of Jessica and Baz palpable.Humphries’ characterization of Jessica and Baz gets nothing but high marks from me this time around. Green Lanterns 7 is Baz-centric but Jessica is equally developed as a character as she initially tries to run away then helps Baz. Jessica begs her ring to call Darkseid as a more desirable alternative to hanging with the Baz family. While Hell Towers and ragey Red Lanterns are more typical of a Green Lantern story, I couldn’t help but be charmed by a comic whose primary conflict was making sure the cookies were perfect for mom.
Patrick: I was trying to describe this story to some friends at a bar last night, and I swear, I couldn’t get through a single sentence about it without using the words “cute” or “adorable.” I like to think I’ve got pretty well-developed critical skills, an eye for artistic detail and a decent vocabulary, but all the analytical centers of by brain are overwhelmed by the massively heartwarming quality of Pete Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s Superman 7.
After zipping around the globe helping his friends, Superman decides it’s time to lay down some roots in his adopted hometown of Hamilton County. The first four pages are such a whirlwind delight of Superman heroics – checking in with Batman (who gruffly asserts that he didn’t need or want the help), Wonder Woman, Flash, and Aquaman (who all say thanks). Except for Batman’s adorable grumpiness, there’s no real conflict in these pages, just superpowered optimism, always characterized by Superman’s billowing red cape. Cue artist Jorge Jimenez:
So when Clark promises Lois and Jon that he’ll put Supermaning on hold to attend the county fair with them, it’s crucial that he offer the cape a symbol of that concession. What follows is largely a charming story about a family ingratiating themselves to a community they’ve been ignoring for too long. Clark meets Jon’s friends and teachers and even fishes for a job at the local paper (awwwwwwwww!). There’s an on-going story about some kids conspiring to rob the ticket booth, which is a hilariously small-time crime, but still catches Clark’s attention. To his credit, he’s pretty good about keeping his word on not suiting up until he notices one of the criminals is packing heat. Crucially, Tomasi and Gleason don’t actually let us see the inevitable heroics. We get confirmation when Lois does, hearing an account of the scuffle over the carnival employees’ walkie-talkies as the “Smiths” get on the roller coaster. Again, it’s a moment I can only describe as “adorable.” Also again, cue Jimenez:
That’s worth the price of admission, right there.
The conversation doesn’t stop there, because you certainly read something that we didn’t. What do you wanna talk about from this week?