What started off as mild interest in a superhero long relegated to the C-List by DC, has evolved into genuine interest and excitement. Aquaman isn’t the joke he was five years ago, and that is a testament to the tremendous job that Johns has done with this story. He has built up this hero and created a whole world around him. His right hand, Mera, is a remarkably fascinating character with a power set that rivals the top of DC’s food chain. The Others, Aquaman’s ragtag special ops team, is one of the better newly developed groups DC has had in ages. This book, though still relatively slowly paced, continues to develop a world that is completely separate from the rest of the DC Universe, and that works extremely well in its favor. Ivan Reis, along with the rest of the art team, has done an amazing job with the art throughout the series. Their art has created a magical world that enhances Johns’s story. 4.5/5
While the series itself has had its ups and downs, this standalone issue was the closest to perfect this series has seen. Though this is the Batgirl annual, the character herself feels more like a supporting character to Catwoman’s lead. The story, simply put, is that Catwoman is hired to break a Talon out of prison, deliver her to the bad guys, who would then use the Talon to kill hundreds of innocent people. Somewhere along the way, Catwoman and the Talon form a bit of a bond, which naturally makes things problematic. This version of Catwoman is the closest depiction of the character she was pre-Flashpoint. While Winick did a solid job with Catwoman, there was always something just a tad off about her. This issue not only avoids that, but presents her in such a fashion that she becomes the hero of this book. Simone does a remarkable job here, toeing the line of hero and villain. She has Batgirl making some shady decisions for the better good, while having Mary, the Talon, and Catwoman fight for the good. The story does a fantastic job of looking beyond the labels of good and bad, and instead personifies the ideals that make Catwoman the fascinating character she is. 4.5/5
When it comes to an annual, readers are often treated to a nice standalone issue that may or may not relate to the ongoing story. While being unrelated to the ongoing story worked out extremely well for Batgirl, Snyder chose to go the opposite route, incorporating this ongoing story into this Annual. While the issue takes place in the dystopian world Swamp Thing previously found himself in, the actual story is of the first time Alec Holland met Abby Arcane. It shows how the two of them had a romantic connection from the very first moment they met, how the Rot has been trying to kill Alec for years, and how the Green has protected him. The story, while standalone, does an admirable job of developing the relationship between Alec and Abby, further bolstering his desire to fix this world he was now in. Instead of being on the defense and reacting to what the Rot does, this issue marks the moment where Swamp Thing goes on the offense. As has become the standard with this series, the story was rather grim and dark with hints of light, and was beautifully illustrated by Cloonan, Kerschl, and Aviña. 4.5/5
Be sure to check out previous editions of Crisis of Infinite Reviews by clicking here!