For those of you who came to this issue looking for the next chapter of Geoff Johns’s story, you’re not going to find it here even though that’s his name on the cover. Johns and the art team took a month off, while John Ostrander with Manuel Garcia and Sandra Hope took over for a fill in issue. Unfortunately, none of their names made it to the cover of the book, as Johns and company were incorrectly billed on the cover instead. It’s a shame, because Ostrander did a great job with this issue, which focused completely around The Others. He presented a solid team that works well together, and not only that, he introduced a new character that is fascinating. This issue could very well springboard into a spin-off ongoing series, and as long as Ostrander is writing it, it would be great. 4/5
And just like that, Greg Hurwitz got me invested for at least one more issue. The thing that has plagued Hurwitz’s run is that his arcs are too long. Not only that, but as long as his arcs are, the pacing of the story is just as slow. This Mad Hatter arc will end up being six issues long, but would have been much better off being four issues, five max. His plots are interesting, smart, and he does have the occasional “whoa, whoa, whoa” moments that really make this book a strong read, however, all that is overshadowed by it feeling like a story with no end in sight. Szymon Kudranski and Hi-Fi do a great job with this issue. They make a fantastic team, and those last couple pages really stand out as remarkably well illustrated. 4/5
In a continuing DC trend of cover trickery, this issue’s cover could have very well been for a completely different book. Crazy red eyed Red Robin never makes an appearance, the rest of the Teen Titans don’t become unconscious, and at no point in time is Red Robin “reborn.” Unfortunately, unless you’re a fan of Raven, the rest of the issue isn’t particularly all that great. While she isn’t a part of the team yet, this issue focuses almost completely on Raven, her past, her father, and the reason she is here. And as well done as that portion is, there are still characters that are already a part of the team that are more deserving of an issue to be focused on them, such as Bunker or Kid Flash. While this issue is a vast improvement to the last, it remains nowhere near as good as the series was in the beginning. 3/5
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