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Reader Recaps: Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner Ring in the New Year!

Reader Recaps: Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner Ring in the New...

By Meg Downey and Matt Ross Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

SPOILER ALERT: The following feature contains spoilers from the previous issues of this week's new comics.

With Rebirth now in full swing and so many exciting new titles to try, we can’t blame anyone for needing a reminder of what happened in the last issue. Or maybe you’re looking to add a new book to your list and need to get caught up on earlier chapters? Either way, we’re here to help.

Be aware that these recaps do contain some spoilers!

 

 

All Star Batman #4

By Scott Snyder, John Romita Jr, Declan Shalvey, Dean White and Jordie Bellaire

After being nearly blinded by an acid attack from Two Face, Batman and Duke just narrowly make it through an all out assault by a group of Talons, care of the Court of Owls. It’s not easy, but Bruce and Duke are able to escape the Talons and catch back up to Two-Face just in time for the three of them to be cornered yet again by the KGBeast. The Beast delivers them to an audience with his employers Black Mask, Great White Shark and Penguin only to be thrown for another loop. Harvey apparently planned a contingency for just this sort of situation, and implanted a tracker to ensure that his enemies could always find and kill him in the event of Batman not being successful—but what he didn’t count on was the Two-Face side of his personality turning that plan on it’s head. So, rather than broadcast his tracking location specifically to the crime lords of Gotham, it’s broadcast it to...well, everyone. A mob of hundreds of heavily armed civilians is here, and they’re not going to make the rest of Batman’s mission easy.

Unforgettable Moment: Bruce and Duke may have some pretty differing tastes when it comes to music, but at the very least they know when to put their differences aside when the going gets tough. Or, when they need to weaponize Duke’s mp3 collection against impending doom. That works too. Sometimes loud music is just what you need to get out of a very sticky, very dangerous situation.


Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #10

By Robert Venditti, Ed Benes and Jason Wright

Brainiac 2.0 observes its new captives. Tensions are rising as John and Soranik clash in heated debate over their captivity. Away from the trapped Lanterns, Ganthet and Sayd talk to Kyle Rayner and explain to him that his White Lantern abilities are the only thing that can bring Hal Jordan back from the plane of near death where he’s currently residing. Hal and Abin Sur wander the mysterious vastness of the Emerald Space—talking about life, death and Hal’s work as a Green Lantern. While there, they encounter the other Green Lanterns who have lost their lives. As Abin Sur explains that it’s not yet Hal’s time to be there, Kyle is successful in pulling Hal from the Emerald Zone, reuniting him with Ganthet, Sayd and himself. Back on his ship, Brainiac 2.0 offers up the newly bottled city to the “Great Collector”—Larfleeze.   

Unforgettable Moment: A lot of good things going on in this issue. Love Hal reuniting with dead Lanterns in the Emerald Zone, Kyle’s White Lantern power pulling him back to us and the appearance of our old friend, Larfleeze!


The Flash #12

By Josh Williamson, Davide Gianfelice, Ivan Plascencia and Chris Sotomayor

Trapped deep within the Shadowlands and all but consumed by the sentient shadows around them, things are looking pretty bleak for Barry, Wally and Shade. What’s worse, their mission is more complicated than just finding an escape—both Iris and Shade’s girlfriend, Hope, have become corrupted by the Shadowland’s power, and leaving them behind is not an option. Luckily, with some quick (and scientific) thinking, Barry’s able to formulate a plan to not only push back the darkness around them, but create a rift for all five of them to escape with their lives. After all, light is the natural enemy of shadow, and summoning lightning from the Speed Force is part of being a Flash. Now, safely returned to Central City, both Wally and Barry are finally allowed some time to reevaluate just what’s important in their lives as both a super heroic duo and as independent civilians. For Wally, that means understanding that the Flash has some secrets still to keep—and that’s okay. For Barry, that means swallowing down some anxiety and taking a risk by asking a certain someone out on a date.

Unforgettable Moment: Wally may be frustrated at how cagey the Flash is about his secret identity, but that’s not going to stop him from at least trying to have fun with it. He’s decided to start guessing random civilian names in hopes of eliciting a reaction from the Scarlet Speedster. So far it’s gotten him nowhere, but that’s not going to stop him from trying.


Detective Comics #946

By James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreria and Adriano Lucas

The time has come for Batman and his team to face the Victim Syndicate head on—and the fight is anything but pretty. Especially since Spoiler’s encounter with the First Victim has left her feeling a little…well, “shaken” is one way to put it. Still, even with Steph nearly out of the equation, the help of both newcomers Batwing and Azrael is enough to corner the Syndicate nearly into submission. The First Victim, however, is anything but impressed and continues their demands that Batman not only see, but admit to the carnage the Dark Knight has wrought upon the city and the innocent lives within it. Bruce is all but ready to completely subdue the First Victim when help comes from an unexpected quarter. It looks like Stephanie is ready to join the fight in earnest, but whose side is she actually on?

Unforgettable Moment: One of the most challenging things for Steph, even before her talk with the First Victim, was the loss of Tim Drake. This is made even worse by the fact that Tim apparently programmed an AI version of himself into the Belfry’s systems. Now Steph can have conversations with him whenever she likes, but not without the glaring reminder that this Tim is anything but authentic.


Action Comics #969

By Dan Jurgens, Patrick Zircher and Arif Prianto

As Superman searches Earth for Lex. Zade and L’Call work him over, deactivating his armor. Lex maintains his innocence, proclaiming it’s absurd to kill someone for a crime he didn’t commit—even if it’s something they’re predicted to do in the future. This prompts L’Call to recall his past, where we discover he walked away from his job of slaying suspected future killers. As L’Call meditates and thinks about his deceased wife and daughter, Zade interrupts him and reveals that in the not-so-distant future, Lex will rise to power on Apokolips and become a massive threat. Back in the present, Lex continues his protest to Zade and L’Call—calling out that they have some doubts of their own regarding their ability to accurately predict who will become threats. Meanwhile, Superman returns to the Geneticron building hidden in the thick jungle. While there, he discovers a portal to L’Call’s world, which he enters in hope of finding Lex. 

Unforgettable Moment: Lex challenging the ethics of his actions and making L’Call think was a pretty interesting twist on what we’d usually see.


Wonder Woman #11

By Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp and Laura Martin

Etta updates Sasha on Wonder Woman’s current situation. After, as Sasha goes to place the Urzkartaga remains into safe containment, her mind is taken over and given instruction to take Urzkartaga to a different location. Etta follows her. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman and Steve dine with Diana’s mother in Themyscira. Steve excuses himself and explores the land—looking for an Amazon that appears to never have existed. Wonder Woman finds Steve and he explains that he doesn’t think this is the same Themyscira they originally met at. Diana’s wrist is strangely sore. Back in the States, Etta follows Sasha to a park where Sasha leaves Urzkartaga’s remains on a park bench to be picked up by Veronica Cale. As Etta confronts Veronica, Sasha attacks Etta and Etta shoots her in the face—revealing her to be some sort of cyborg. Veronica then unleashes her attack dogs on Etta. Back on Themyscira, Steve removes Wonder Woman’s wrist guard and the snakebite wound she suffered as a child is exposed and bleeding. In a flash of light, a massive tree sprouts up and then shatters like shards of glass in front of Diana and Steve. Wonder Woman collapses from the harsh reality that what she perceived to be her home and reality was probably never her home at all.

Unforgettable Moment: The panel revealing Sasha’s face to be a cyborg is so well drawn and has awesome detail!


Titans #5

By Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund and Andrew Dalhouse

It’s time for Wally to put his speed to the ultimate test. He has less than 10 seconds to cover the globe and save his team—and Linda—from Kadabra’s deathtraps. He knows he can do it if he pushes himself...but he also knows that there are consequences to that type of speed. There are some things that are just worth the risk. Wally races around the planet, narrowly making it to each of Kadabra’s deathtraps despite the best efforts of Kadabra himself, but just as he pulls Linda out of the final trap in the knick of time, the Speed Force itself begins to catch up with him. Before he can manage to take Linda’s hand and attempt to ground himself, a crack of lightning materializes and strikes him. When the smoke clears, Wally is gone, Linda is alive but alone, and Kadabra’s wish of finally ridding the world of Wally West for good looks like it may have been realized.

Unforgettable Moment: Wally may have managed to save Linda from Kadabra’s deathtrap, but his immediate disappearance means that she’s now left alone with him. Somehow, that feels like she’s been pulled out of the frying pan and in the fire...or has she?


The Hellblazer #4

By Simon Oliver, Moritat, Carrie Strachan and Tony Avina

White Boy and his thugs keep John and Chas tied up, exchanging plenty of “pleasantries” between them. White Boy wants to know how John picks his horses to win races. John tells him he needs certain items to perform magic and pick the winners. White Boy gathers the items, but the whole show is interrupted when Marid arrives at the house and orders his men to take Constantine alive, but kill the others. Elsewhere, Swamp Thing battles the Rot’s creatures so Mercury can travel through the portal and look for Abby. Shockingly, Alec Holland succumbs to the Rot in order to gain its power and help Mercury escape—even though it will poison him. Meanwhile, John puts on a bogus magic show and suddenly the lights go out and a mysterious Genie enters—killing all the men. John and Chas escape, while Mercury comforts Swamp Thing, who is recovering from his time in the Rot. They’re soon joined by none other than Mr. Constantine. It appears a team up is in order.

Unforgettable Moment: Uhh…John and Swamp Thing back together, obviously!


Deathstroke #8

By Priest, Larry Hama, Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, Sean Parsons and Jeromy Cox

Slade’s encounter with Superman comes to a head aboard a nuclear vessel where Deathstroke has been sent to kill a drug-running terrorist. This, of course, puts the Man of Steel in a bit of a complicated situation. Stopping Deathstroke allows an evil man to run free, but allowing Slade to commit murder, well...isn’t that against everything Superman stands for? It’s a series of complexities that Slade is more than happy to take advantage of as he manipulates his way through a fight in which he is severely outgunned. In the end, Slade is able to kill his mark, but Clark, with the help of Slade’s semi-estranged son, Joey AKA Jericho, is able to bring him in. It’s anything but a perfect or a clean ending…but it’s something. And all parties involved will have to live with the consequences.

Unforgettable Moment: While Slade and Clark try and solve their differences with violence, Rose is still deep in the web of lies surrounding the price tag on her head. It looks like there’s more to it than even just a betrayal from her father. No piece of this puzzle is who they say they are, including Rachael, Joey’s fiancée, or Rose’s own boyfriend, Richard.


Teen Titans #2

By Benjamin Percy, Diogenes Neves, Ruy Jose, Sean Parsons and Jim Charalampidis

Damian’s ragtag band of forced recruits is made to hit the ground running when Damian’s grandfather, Ra’s al Ghul, sends a team of trained teenaged assassins after them. They’re called the Demon’s Fist and they’re not looking to take prisoners. They’ve been hand picked to counter each of the Teen Titans’ abilities directly. What’s worse, prior to their attack, Damian found himself backed into an uncomfortable conversation with his mother, Talia, where she attempted to make the case for his return to the League and the al Ghul legacy. He’s an afterthought to Bruce, after all, nothing more. Luckily, even during the Demon’s Fist attack, the new team is able to band together to confront their enemies...but not before their leader drops a bombshell: the Demon’s Fist was intended to be Damian’s team to lead. Now, with trust already shaken, the team has to regroup and deal with the fallout of the fight, as well as some uncomfortable truths.  

Unforgettable Moment: Being the son of Batman isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to personal milestones. Damian may not be the most normal kid around, but he still feels a little slighted when his own dad is too busy with his job to remember his birthday. Yikes, Bruce, not exactly father of the year this time around.


Batgirl #5

By Hope Larson, Rafael Albuquerque and Dave McCaig

Teacher has consumed her own super intelligence formula and she intends to give Batgirl the fight of her life. With the formula’s help, Teacher is able to tap into parts of her brain that allow her to see Babs’ moves before she even makes them, which only serves to make an already difficult fight even harder. A devastating blow from Teacher knocks Babs nearly unconscious, but also gives her a split second to search within her own photographic memory. She realizes that if she can shut down sections of her own brain, Teacher won’t be able to read her. After all, how can someone read your movements when you don’t even know what they’re going to be yourself? It’s a risky gambit, but the only one she’s got. Her self-induced amnesia pays off and Babs is able to outmaneuver Teacher and finally bring her in, which leaves only the painful process of reactivating her memory. Thankfully, it’s nothing that Babs can’t handle…and just in time to catch a call from Frankie. It sounds like it might be time to end the vacation and head back to Gotham.

Unforgettable Moment: After Teacher’s defeat, Babs makes the decision to continue to provide help for her “students” by contacting one of her new friends: Fruit Bat of Japan. Fruit Bat will see to it that the rest of Teacher’s students actually get the help they need...with none of the chemical shortcuts.


Batman Beyond #2

By Dan Jurgens, Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo

With his decision to go undercover into the Jokerz gang made, now all Terry has to do is figure out a way to get himself in and establish a new identity, something that’ll make Terminal and this thugs trust him right away. What could be better than staging a hit on the Batmobile? Terry has his friends pilot the Batmobile near the Jokerz hideout while he, in full Jokerz disguise, proceeds to put on a show by “blowing it up” with a special rocket launcher—theatrics that not only keep the Batmobile safe, but immediately place Terry in Terminal’s good graces. Now, all Terry has to do is keep up his cover identity for long enough to rescue Dana and stop Terminal’s insane scheme to resurrect the original Joker. Should be easy, right?

Unforgettable Moment: Terminal explains the “death” of the original Joker in an explosive encounter with Bruce Wayne that resulted in a cataclysmic explosion. Of course, only bits and pieces of the Joker were ever found and the Joker was proclaimed dead on that basis alone. But apparently, like so many things with the Joker, it was all a well-crafted lie.


Blue Beetle #3

By Keith Griffen, Scott Kolins and Romulo Fajardo Jr.

When Jaime wakes up to find himself fully armored and trapped by a horde of mysterious, violent alien-like creatures deep within one of the tunnels that have been cropping up around his hometown, he finds himself a little freaked out. It feels like he might be losing what control he had over the scarab attached to his spine and it’s not like he was ever comfortable with it even when it wasn’t making him sleepwalk and “sleepfight” all over El Paso. Jaime goes to Ted for help, but is given even less hopeful news when Ted elaborates back on the warning given to him by Dr. Fate several days ago. Fate told Ted that Jaime was a danger to millions of people and that neither of them really knew what they were dealing with in the scarab. Needless to say, it’s not exactly what Jaime wanted to hear. Desperate, he agrees to submit himself for a full battery of tests conducted by Kord Industries and some new allies—metahuman investigators Sugar and Spike. Here’s hoping it’s not too late.

Unforgettable Moment: It seems like Jaime’s days as the only scarab-user on the planet are numbered as a new mysterious figure arrives...at the airport? A strange man wearing a green suit of armor not totally unlike Jaime’s scarab suit is shown disembarking from a flight. Only, no one around him seems to notice that he’s not entirely human…


Future Quest #7

By Jeff Parker, Doc Shaner, Ron Randall, Steve Lieber and Veronica Gandini

The fallout of the attack in the jungle left Team Quest short a member and struggling to regroup with Inter Nation and Falcon 7’s support. Inter Nation has been doing their best to recruit scientists to work on the vortex problem in Dr. Quest’s absence, and have even gone as far as bringing in the massive robot, Gargantuan, to help deal with the crisis across the globe. Meanwhile, back in Dr. Zin’s labs, Dr. Quest is forced to help the evil genius with his own research on Jace, the brother of the young girl Team Quest rescued from the vortex some time ago. It seems like Dr. Zin’s managed to gather a troubling amount of intel about the vortex’s origin—something called Omnikron, an interdimensional being that absorbs everything it touches. Revelations about their origin aside, the vortexes themselves have yet to slow down, and it looks like yet another visitor has come through. Dr. Zin’s team has uncovered his space ship, but Team Quest has found the man himself...and he might look pretty familiar to Hanna Barbera fans.

Unforgettable Moment: Ty’s new powers as Mightor need a little “refining,” as it were. Thankfully for him, Ray Randall is more than ready to step in as his teacher. Together, Birdman and Mightor take to the canyons outside to hone Ty’s new abilities, but super powered or not, he’s still got quite a bit to learn.

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Preview Monday: Action Comics #970!