Aquaman’s longstanding battle with Black Manta arrives at yet another redefining moment in their relationship. Manta, who blames Arthur for his father’s death, has recently uncovered an ancient Atlantean scepter, that was once used to sink the great nation. Meanwhile, the Others recruit Mera on their quest to save Aquaman from his own foolish actions. The issue is tremendously fast paced, filled with great action scenes and limited downtime. Aquaman has proven itself as one of the better new titles to launch in the new DC. Though the story has progressed at a fairly slow pace from time to time, it has consistently brought a nice combination of action and character growth. 4/5
A year has come to pass, and so ends Tony Daniel’s run as writer on Detective Comics, and though it may have been a rocky road, his run ends on a fairly strong note. The issue is a fairly self-contained story, though it does draw on events that occurred in issue #9. Much like in that issue, Batman plays a fairly minimal role, taking a back seat to Black Mask, who had been missing for some time. Not only does Daniel solidify Black Mask’s existence in this new Gotham, but he also firmly plants the Mad Hatter and the False Face Society in the new DC as well. Molenaar, Perez, Florea, and Dalhouse did a fantastic job filling in on art duties. Their styles meshed well with each other as well as with the story itself. All in all, this was a strong showing for the new Detective Comics‘ first annual. 4/5
The Flash Annual #1
Writers: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
Artists: Wes Craig, Diogenes Neves, Marcus To, Scott Kolins, Marcio Takara, Oclair Albert, and Hi-Fi
Cover Artists: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
Unlike with the Batman: Detective Comics #1 issue, the Flash Annual is a direct continuation of issue #12. The Rogues of Keystone City have reformed themselves, only this time they’re under the leadership of a very pissed off gal who goes by the name Glider. Manapul and Buccellato take the opportunity to use this oversized issue to explain some unanswered questions, such as what became of Turbine, when will Patty learn Barry’s alive, and with regards to this issue especially, how the Rogues’ ended up receiving their boost in power. Even with all of the jumping back and forth in time, the issue is so well paced and written that there is no confusion. Rather, what we’ve been given is an absolutely fantastic issue. By the end of the issue, the Rogues have united under a new leader, the Flash is out of commission, and the Gorillas have invaded Keystone City. This annual is further proof that this series is truly one of the best titles in the new DC that was actually rebooted. 4.5/5
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