Thursday, November 23, 2017 • Afternoon Edition • "We're the god damn Outhousers."

Durnkin Reveewz: Action Comics #973, Supergirl #6, & Detective Comics #950

Written by Zechs on Friday, February 10 2017 and posted in Features

Durnkin Reveewz: Action Comics #973, Supergirl #6, & Detective Comics #950

Da hell? How is it suddenly every single character I enjoy in DC Comics is in a DC Comic this week?



 

* To those who do not know what they're about to read. Well, here's your warning. The following is just Zechs being Zechs. Grammatical errors are bound to happen you down three bottles of This Ain't Your Dad's Root Beer trying to comprehend the garbage you read. So there. You've been warned. Anything now is on your head for not following the warning.

 

Did the cosmic forces align my way this week or something? Did I do something that I'm no aware of? Is someone at DC Comics taking pity of me being the smacked around and hit with the blacklist at this site? I feel like something is up. I mean one I can understand but TWO in the same week? 

As such, I can't help think of a favorite quote of mine. "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." I've eliminated the impossible. Yet, given how improbable this thought is can it be the truth? I'm being completely (almost) serious: three DC Comics that handle two characters I adore: Hank Henshaw and Cassandra Cain showed up this week.

Two of those (Action Comics #973 and Supergirl #6) continues the trend of giving me hope beyond hope that Hank Henshaw becomes the greatest Superman rogue again. Now to be fair both are little subplots in the overarching theme going on in both comics.  In Action Comics #973, you have the fallout of what appears to be going on over in Superwoman plus Lois Lane continues being the Lois Lane that we loved and getting to the bottom of the mysterious fella who claims he's Clark Kent.

The funny thing is as I told a friend Superman and Action Comics have taken turns on the "weak" arc, but still entertaining as heck and the "HOLY SHIT! THIS IS AMAZING!"  kind of arc. Action Comics appears to have taken that thunder and is still running with it. Last arc we had Superman and Lex Luthor coming to ahead with pretty amazing moments for both (along with a surprisingly hilarious FU to the entire plot of Civil War II). 

I also just love this damn Clark Kent subplot. Just when I think it'll go one way it takes another completely different direction. This issue's latest entry only continues the, "DA FUCK!?" moments and the uneasiness with this Clark trying to butter up to Lois who is wise enough to know SOMETHING is so off with this Clark. I mean the idea of who Clark is, seems pretty obvious (you might say it is a PRIME return for someone). But getting to that road has been a helluva trip. Then we get more Superfamily which is a very welcome need. Seriously, it feels like ages since the Super Family did things together (oh dear God! It's been since "Reign of Doomsday" hasn't it?!). The utter balancing writer Dan Jurgens is doing here is amazing and continues the "rebirth" trend of writing that I've been truly loving again since the Convergence: Superman mini.

Which is why Supergirl #6 continues to disappoint me and is probably the rare misfire writer Steve Orlando has had so far after getting my complete attention with his Midnighter ongoing during DC You phase.  Supergirl is a wonderful protagonist. Her supporting cast is great. The elephant in the room is the antagonist: the Cyborg Superman aka the New 52 version of him. Along with the fact this arc just feels longer than six issues. It feels like we're in this long-ass story that's basically gone nowhere. 

I mean things have happened in the comic, it just well: this version of the Cyborg Superman just feels like a burden to Supergirl. I get the why it was done. To make the villain's motivation more. That his motivation is something he seems to be a goal worth attaining. In usual cases, that works. But it's the Cyborg Superman who's only redeeming quality originally was the tragedy of his origin, and then become someone who you loathe to hate. His end goals aren't something you view as something he can view as logical. They're evil. Twisted and holy crap did he just nuke Hal Jordan's hometown?! Who you can't wait to see that cybernetic jaw get knocked off for being so damn evil. 

I'm glad that this angle is somewhat behind us. But, when you call a storyline "Reign of the Cyborg Supermen". I expect a Cyborg Superman free-for-all between the original and the new. We didn't even get that. Just semi-Cyborg Kryptonians that are only a now means to the randomness of Hank Henshaw himself suddenly showing up at the end of this arc to look at the mess this Cyborg Superman created. 

So does this mean Hank will be in this comic and we'll get that Cyborg Superman throw-down? Probably, but it just feels like this comic should have been a shorter arc than six issues. Hopefully, whatever Orlando has coming up next will be a hundred times better. 

Speaking of things that are a hundred times better, Detective Comics #950. A double-sized issue that was only $3.99. A comic that only has one variant and is affordable as heck? Da fuck bizarro world are we in where this happens nowadays?  Maybe I'm too used to the past where we got shoe-horned in like billions of variants and the last time Detective Comics celebrated an anniversary we had to fork over $10 for it. 

My surprise over it withstanding. This is a real fun team comic which completely surprises the hell out of me. I never thought I'd ever enjoy a team comic that had the original Azrael, Jean Paul-Valley, and enjoy his banter with Batwing. That and James Tynion IV continues to write the best Tim Drake has been in years. Like seriously, we've had tiny brief glimpses, but then got hit with the reality of how crappy the New 52 Tim Drake origin was to remind us how much a hole DC pushed the character in.  Yet, somehow. Damn. Reading Tynion's Tim I can only hope they give this man an eventual Red Robin ongoing after this.  But Tim isn't the only character that Tynion surprisingly gets.

The main crux and personal main draw for myself with this particular issue are the reunion of the creative team from Batman & Robin Eternal #13. Not just the artist Marcio Takara, but colorist Dean White also returns for this issue. What all three deliver besides a cliff-notes version of Batman & Robin Eternal (honestly save for a few points besides said issue, is probably for the best) is a full dive into the mind of Cassandra Cain aka Orphan.

This arc is a long-time coming and the build-up to this issue was utter perfection. Throughout the previous arcs on Detective you knew something was up with Cassandra and now we get the payoff. You get the lonely mess that this version of the character is in. There is no Barbara Gordon to fall back on. Stephanie is on the outs given the events of the previous arc. All she has is her bottled up emotions and at the end, it explodes. Whether the right people just know the pain she's going through besides the wrong party (the surprise guest of the issue gets a VERY much needed Rebirth adjustment too).  

If there are any flaws is there are parts were Takara seems rushed, but those moments aren't too cumbersome because White's gorgeous coloring of Takara's work makes you forget. Not only that but the key scenes you just can feel the pain that is within the heart of Cassandra. 

Some also might be turned off by the wordiness Tynion pads through the tale. I for one, don't mind it. I see the thought process on why. The mind of Cassandra's isn't so simple like a regular character. Her mind just doesn't work that way. Now some might be reminded of one Adam Beechen, but where that author failed in too much exposition, Tynion excels letting his artist tell the rest of the story. And much like Batman & Robin Eternal #13,  Takara's Cassandra tells much of the tale via the expressions on her face. You get everything you need to know via his pencils when he's fully on point. 

All and all, this is a good primer issue if you want to know all the characters in this series (sans Stephanie sadly). The balance Tynion does here is exceptional. I'd never thought I see the day I'd care for Clayface. But I'll be damned, Tynion did it. The only fear I have now is, will this arc lose it's footing as the Victim's Syndicate arc did? Or will it achieve the raw emotional bits that the opening arc hit? So far, it looks like we're on the verge of hopefully the former, but the jury is still out.  That said, I can't wait for when this team returns again in April for the critical portions of this arc. Cause we might be in for a character-defining moment here. Not just for Cassandra, but some others as well. 

On one final note. It just hits me that when I arrived midday to my LCS, that this and Action Comics were completely sold out. To know that a Cassandra Cain-centric comic to hit that mark, and Superman to be selling once again. Just makes me smile and hope DC keeps this up (and maybe in the case of the former to give the character her proper due in another ongoing given how much everything was stacked against). But there's my great problem. I hope way too much. Just like I hope this wasn't some version of appeasement or something divine. I highly doubt this lowly speck rates that high in DC's radar. In any regard, I'm just happy for these glorious gifts. I just hope (there's that damn word again) this will be a fun ride and not one I'll regret later on. 





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About the Author - Zechs


Zechs is the lord and master of The Toy Shed, Moment of the Week, and Durnkin Reveewz. He's also the official whuppin boy at the Outhouse. So he'll get stuck seeing stuff that no mere mortal should ever see. If there's any greater quality to Zechs, it's that he's an avid fan of comic book characters and would defend them to the bitter end against the companies that use them wrongly. He's also brutally honest. Zechs walks the lonely path in Chicagoland area.

 


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