Wonder Woman #31
Simone continues to serve up one of the best WW stories these eyes have ever seen, but I'm starting to think this arc was misnamed...because Genocide is a far bigger threat/presence than Achilles/the Olympian is so far. Anyway, we start with a look at Alkyone (from Gail's first arc) making a deal with and bowing before Ares. Yep, it looks like the whole thing is a long con run by the God of War again...yes this is repetitive in modern WW comics, but again it makes sense. We see Wondy visiting Etta (who's in a coma) and Nemesis in the hospital, and Wondy wrestles with her guilt and doubt. I thought the hospital scenes were the strongest in this issue, as Gail has found a way to show Diana in her most human moments better and more realistically than pretty much anybody I've seen...her tears feel real, her inner monologue sounds real, and the reactions she gets (even to the point of T.O. Morrow offering her Kleenex) feel real. From there, we get exposition of Ares' plan told to Diana by Athena through Etta's nurse (the Olympians are destined to destroy the Amazons and a good chunk of the world through a war fought because the world won't embrace peace; and Genocide can control Wondy's lasso because her body is ostensibly actually that of a dead Diana from some time in the future). From there it's on to fight scenes, as Diana trounces Achilles pretty quick, blows up a nuke in space, and promises to end the threat of Genocide.
The art takes a dip here as Bernard Chang fills in for Lopresti, but it's still serviceable. The reveals in this issue are logical and tie our story threads together nicely, and the character moments are top-notch stuff. The whole Manazons/Olympian thing now looks like it was WAY overplayed by Didio (shocking, I know...), but other than that, the arc itself is still really, really good. I liked it.
I figured the end of an era deserved a review, as Johns says farewell to the team he's guided in some form for nearly a decade now. And in my opinion, it's one of if not the strongest issue of this volume. Which ain't saying much, because the current volume has NEVER measured up to the level of quality the last volume consistently hit, but this was pretty good.
Basically, we get a "quieter moments" issue (or as quiet as a surprise birthday party for Courtney Whitmore can get), with nice moments for a good portion of the cast, with Atom-Smasher, Starman, Jakeem, and particularly Geoff's "baby", Stargirl herself getting real shining spots (personally I thought the Wildcat & Son moment was a bit over the top, but it wasn't awful).
Eaglesham returns to knock out the art, and Geoff says a fitting good-bye to the book he's made "his" for DC. I liked it.
More of the usual greatness here, as a wet-behind-the-ears Nova Centurion cohort ventures out to protect a Kree planet from Shi'ar annexation. We view the battle from one of Earth's new rookies, a female Centurion Robbie is kinda sweet on, as he and Qubit and he other tactical Novas look on from HQ. The battle goes well until the Imperial Guard show up, and Gladiator and Co. absolutely clean house. At battle's end, Gladiator leaves, taking new Nova-Prime (and Shi'ar) Tarcel prisoner, and in his absence Strontia kills the remaining Centurions. Across the galaxy, new Quasar (of a sort) Rich Rider and his holo-buddy Wendell Vaughn take the battle to Ego. Upon entering his brain, they meet up with Worldmind, who promptly smacks Rich down again.
The action is fast and furious, and while you can see the Nova cohort's end coming a mile away, it is no less moving to see Robbie's reaction when it happens. DnA barrel Rich's story and the ongoing War of Kings along seamlessly, and the art from Divito is beautiful as always. I loved it.
Sherlock Holmes #1
Leah Moore and John Reppion hit the ground running here, crafting the first part of what looks to be a classic Holmes mystery. An explosion, a royal visit, and letters threatening further danger pull Holmes & Watson into at least one mystery, and the final few pages take a swift turn which may open another. Using most all of the classic Holmes-ian tricks and devices, this book was a wonderful read for an old fan like myself, and looks to be the start of an interesting comic arc as well. The writing was clever and sharp, and Aaron Campbell's art is perfect for capturing the Victorian feel and grim bearings of the plot, and I'm very much looking forward to his rendition of where Holmes ends up in issue 2. I loved it.