HEROES IN CRISIS / SUPERMAN – LEVIATHAN RISING [Comics Reviews]: DC In The House!

Happy Friday, geek. The weekend is almost upon us, and summer is getting into swing! With that, we’re looking at a pair of DC Comics‘ bombshells, events incorporating our favorite metahumans and costumed heroes. What’s worth your time and money? You can only know by checking in with some of our great, esteemed writers below!




“Minister” Keith Dooley
@Keith_Dooley
HEROES IN CRISIS #9 – DC Comics

Heroes in Crisis has defied the idea of what defines a DC crisis since its first issue. Like Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales’ earlier Identity Crisis, writer Tom King has focused more on character than action with this opus. Unlike any other “Crisis”, however, King has written a story that has unfolded slowly, and in a deliberately meditative way.

In the ninth, and final, issue of Heroes in Crisis, we receive a set-up for future stories, instead of a resolution to the bombshell involving Wally West. King gives us more heroes pouring their hearts out in nine panel pages as well as Wally dealing with the trauma that comes with being a hero and a human. King’s dialogue, Clay Mann’s art, and Tomeu Morey’s colors each succeed in creating moments between heroes that demonstrate why we idolize them, while simultaneously giving them qualities that elicit empathy from us.

Clay Mann brings so much energy to an issue that lacks any superheroic fisticuffs or epic battles. His facial expressions and body language lend a weight to the psychological drama that is contained on every page. Seeing characters such as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy embrace gives us a sense of how our heroes are embodiments of not only what we strive to be, but also of how we have to keep pushing through our own issues and survive.

King and Mann (as well as the other artists that have been involved with Heroes in Crisis) have shown ourselves through our heroes. 4/5 Bibles.

-Keith Justin Dooley




“The Dean” Gene Selassie
@GeneSelassie
SUPERMAN: LEVIATHAN RISING #1 – DC

I’ve come to an impasse with Brian Michael Bendis’ work with the Man of Steel. I’ve found his Action Comics (which plays to his strengths as far as the world-building of Metropolis and the focus on Clark & Lois’ investigative journalism is concerned) to be quite enthralling. On the other hand, his Superman, which focuses on some pretty heavy sci-fi elements, does not play to his strengths at all; I am thankful that this event story kickoff plays with elements from the former more so than the latter.

The party responsible for taking out DC’s resident intelligence organizations meets with Metropolis’ newest crime lord to get advice on dealing with the last son of Krypton. Meanwhile, Clark learns that one of the allies of said party seeks to kidnap him for intel. Kent decides to play along to see how far down the rabbit hole this conspiracy goes.

While the story is engaging, the sheer amount of pages devoted to talking heads was a bit of a turnoff. Artist Yanick Paquette is a pro that was destined to make his mark on the Man of Steel, even when Supes guest starred in that first issue of Swamp Thing eight years ago. He does seem to have to expend a lot of energy making dozens of pages of conversation seem engaging. And he’s mostly successful. What was not a turn-off was the colors: every colorist seemed to have the perfect palette for their chapter of the story.

Greg Rucka’s tale about Lois, who grows worried about Clark’s undercover assignment and decides to contact some of Clark’s costumed contemporaries, is quite intriguing. The dialogue and body language shows that Lois is considered on equal footing with even the world’s most powerful beings. Mike Perkins’ art is a bit dark and muddled at times, but will likely fit the seedy tone of their upcoming Lois Lane series.

Matt Fraction’s Jimmy Olsen story is an odd and playful affair, showing Jimmy waking up in bed next to an interdimensional jewel thief in the middle of Gorilla City…and his clothing torn to shreds by the former Red Lantern cat, Dex-Starr. This was hilarious from beginning to end, making perfect use of artist Steve Lieber’s whimsical style.

Marc Andreyko’s Supergirl story catches us up on the fate of the DEO and of Kara’s adoptive parents. The story being told through flashbacks robs a bit of immediacy from the proceedings, but still carries emotional weight with the rift developing between Eliza and Jeremiah. The art was serviceable enough that it didn’t hinder the narrative.

While this wasn’t the most brazen of opening salvos to an event story, it certainly laid interesting enough groundwork for me to want to continue. 3.5/5 Bibles.

-Gene Selassie

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