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. Every Tuesday, we’ll be recapping the prior issues of that week’s new Rebirth and Hanna-Barbera comics, as well as sharing our favorite moments. It’s a quick, easy way to ensure you’re up to speed and ready for New Comic Day. We hope you find these recaps helpful, but be aware that they do contain some spoilers!
Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1
By Rob Williams, Phillip Tan, Jonathan Glapion, Scott Hanna, Sandau Florea and Alex Sinclair
The President threatens to shut down Task Force X, aka the Suicide Squad—a group of super-villains under the command of Amanda Waller who are sent in to do the country’s dirty work. Waller is staunch in her defense of the group, however, and the President reluctantly allows the Suicide Squad to continue when Waller promises to recruit the decorated Colonel Rick Flag to lead them. Waller finds Flag buried away in a cell for having refused to carry out illegal orders. She gives him a breakdown of the current Squad and we see Harley Quinn, Boomerang and Deadshot on assignment in Mongolia—working to rescue Ljungberg, a scientist who was kidnapped by an army that forced him to build a meta-bomb that can turn anyone into a superhuman, but can also take away powers for 36 hours. The Suicide Squad is able to save the bomb, but not Ljungberg—instead, killing him just as the army captures him. Cornered, the Suicide Squad detonates the meta-bomb—zapping the army of their newly acquired powers. Colonel Flag drops into the battle just in time to lead the squad against the now-powerless army.
Unforgettable Moment: There are a lot of awesome moments in this book, but the one that sticks out is Captain Boomerang tossing one of his signature weapons to slice off Ljungberg’s hands and save the meta-bomb he was holding on to. Ouch!
By Tom King, David Finch, Sandra Hope, Mat Banning and Jordie Bellaire
After being attacked by Hugo Strange and the Psycho-Pirate, the Gotham twins have found themselves in chaos. The Psycho-Pirate’s emotional manipulation has left Gotham Girl shell-shocked and terrified while Gotham himself has spiraled into a murderous rage that has cost twenty-seven soldiers their lives. Batman means to stop him before the casualties mount any higher, but first he has to figure out just what, or whom, he’s up against. With the help of Duke Thomas, he’s able to track the origin of the murdered soldiers to Task Force X, Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad. From there, the rest of the pieces fall into place: Waller and her task force enlisted the help of Hugo Strange and the Psycho-Pirate to enact a final solution on the problem of Gotham’s violence and villainy. But the plan went south when Hugo Strange went rogue and took the Psycho-Pirate with him, leaving Batman to stop the still emotionally manipulated Hank Clover before he can hurt anyone else. He may already be too late. One of the task force soldiers escaped Gotham’s initial rampage and, enraged and unbalanced after watching his comrades die around him, decided to exact some revenge. The soldier hunted down and murdered Hank and Claire’s parents, just moments before Hank was able to arrive on the scene.
Unforgettable Moment: Fans of ALL-STAR SUPERMAN will recognize a reference to the famous page of Clark talking a troubled teen down from the ledge of a building in Gotham’s attempt at talking down a troubled man in much the same position. Unfortunately for Gotham, things don’t pan out for him the way they did the Man of Steel.
Harley Quinn #1
by Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, Chad Hardin and Alex Sinclair
Harley’s been pretty busy lately. Between her crazy social life and her vigilante antics, she’s barely had time to slow down, much less start over. Which is to say, after a quick crash course in her history and introductions to her friends, her Gang of Harleys, her frenemies, and even her roller derby team, she’s right off to the races yet again. This time, those races just happen to be a zombie outbreak of alien origin. The consumption of tainted alien beef has brought a swarm of the living dead to the streets of New York and right to Harley’s doorstep. Lucky for her, she doesn’t have to face this one alone. Red Tool hops into the fray, but finds himself mobbed and bitten in the arm. Not wanting to risk infection, Harley takes it upon herself to amputate the limb, but unfortunately for both of them (though mostly for Red), doesn’t consider much beyond the initial slice. Now she and Red Tool are left with an even bigger predicament: how are they going to fight off all the zombies, get out of the building, and get Red to a hospital to deal with his injury before he passes out or dies from the shock, blood loss, or infection? Harley’s got a plan. It just might not be a very good one.
Unforgettable Moment: Before she treks back to New York, Harley takes some time out of her busy schedule to have a nice spa day with her favorite “dandelioness,” Poison Ivy. She promises to come back and visit Pam in Gotham in three days, but it’s pretty unlikely that a full on zombie invasion really factored into her timetable on that one.
Green Arrow #4
By Ben Percy and Juan Ferreyra
John Diggle’s intel on the international criminal banking syndicate, the Ninth Circle, has brought him back to Seattle after a yearlong absence and reunited him with his former friend and partner, Oliver Queen. The two agree to put their tumultuous past behind them and work toward a common goal: the complete destruction of the Ninth Circle and their enterprises from the ground up. But to do as much, they’re going to need a little help. They track down Henry Fyff, Green Arrow’s former tech liaison who abandoned ship after Ollie’s bank accounts were drained, and convince him to rejoin their cause. Meanwhile, Dinah has launched her solo offensive into the Ninth Circle’s floating fortress, the Inferno, by sneaking aboard one of their cargo ships. The plan doesn’t quite go as anticipated, and Dinah is intercepted by Emi and taken in as a prisoner. With the Ninth Circle now holding every card, Ollie, Diggle and Henry find themselves with their hands forced. If they want to save Dinah, retrieve Emi, and take out the Ninth Circle, they’re going to have to launch an all out assault directly on the Inferno itself.
Unforgettable Moment: Dinah may have superpowers, but one of her best assets when it comes to crime fighting is thinking fast on her feet. To get some information out of one of the Ninth Circle goons, she convinces him that a regular store bought dog collar is actually a high tech, timed, explosive device. He falls for it, hook line and sinker. Who needs a canary cry?
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1
By Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, Clarie Roe and Allen Passalaqua
There was a time when Barbara Gordon was called Oracle, a role she created for herself after she was brutally paralyzed by the Joker. As Oracle, Babs was able to remain on the front lines of the super hero fight for Gotham City and the world at large, building her technological resources and networks into an intelligence empire. Together with Dinah Lance, she founded the Birds of Prey, a two-woman crime fighting team that coupled Babs’ brains with Dinah’s brawn. Then Babs underwent an experimental surgery to regain her ability to walk, became Batgirl once again and the Birds were no more. Or so she thought. Someone calling himself or herself Oracle has begun feeding information to the criminal underground of the city. Fearing she may be in over her head, Babs calls on Dinah to reform the Birds and take the imposter down—a reunion tempered by the sudden appearance of yet another long lost face in the city’s vigilante scene. Helena Bertinelli, former Matron of Spyral, current Huntress, is back from her life as a super spy and out for vengeance.
Unforgettable Moment: Helena Bertinelli has some skeletons in her closet that she is more ready than ever to clear out. She’s keeping a list of targets, former and current crime bosses, and permanently crossing them off one by one. She’s not interested in playing by the rules of the Bat, which might make working with some of his cohorts a challenge.
By Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez and Chris Sotomayor
Nightwing and his new Parliament-assigned partner, Raptor, have been given their first mission by their Owl overlords: the Kobra Cult has hijacked a Parliament owned ship in the Black Sea, now it’s up to Dick and Raptor to reclaim it. Unfortunately for them, Kobra has been up to a bit more than just piracy. Upon boarding the ship, they find that the cult has been using the refugees aboard as subjects for their experiments, splicing and infecting them with horrifying results. After a close fight, Dick and Raptor regain control of the vessel and set it back on it’s intended course, which unfortunately for Dick’s staunch moral compass, ends up being a Parliament-sponsored labor camp for the refugee passengers. This revelation puts Dick right between a rock and a hard place: rescuing the refugees blows his cover with the Parliament and effectively allows them to do potentially worse things in the future, but allowing the ship to continue on its course sentences the refugees to a lifetime of abuse and horror. Worse yet, his hesitation doesn’t go unnoticed by his new partner. But is Raptor really as loyal to the Parliament of Owls as both they and Dick believe him to be? Or do he and Dick have more in common than they realize?
Unforgettable Moment: You may have heard of “shark repellant spray,” care of the 1960s Adam West Batman movie. Now it’s time to meet its sister product, “shark attractant.” Raptor proves himself to be literally prepared for anything; even the sudden need to weaponize common thresher sharks to take out a horrifying aquatic monster.
Justice League #2
by Bryan Hitch, Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea and Tomeu Morey
The Kindred’s attack on earth continues, even as the global earthquakes begin to subside. It’s a momentary reprieve for the League that’s spoiled by some new knowledge: the earthquakes were caused by a set of alien devices buried deep within the Earth, all of which seem to be gearing up for an even bigger assault—something so strong it could very well shake the planet apart. Worse yet, a fleet of alien ships like the one that recently attacked Gotham have been discovered en route to the planet, and the League still has no real answer as to how or why the Kindred’s hive mind-like chorusing seems to focus on the fact that Earth’s heroes have “stolen” their power. It’s a set of mysteries that can’t be a coincidence but as of yet have no clear connection, leaving the League desperately in need of more help than they have. It’s this desperation that drives Batman to Superman—the Clark Kent from another world who has stepped in to fill the space left by the death of this world’s Superman—to ask for his help. Batman may not trust this stranger wearing his dead friend’s face just yet, but if they’re going to save the Earth, they’re going to need the impossible, and the impossible is just what Superman can do.
Unforgettable Moment: While the rest of the League was tending to the surface world, Aquaman was left to deal with the chaos in Atlantis. Arthur finds himself suddenly and mysteriously in possession of the Zodiac Crystals and facing down what looks like a giant human shaped creature, formed from the possessed bodies of Atlantean citizens.
By Pete J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray and John Kalisz
Superman and Eradicator throw down, and Jon joins the fight to help his dad. Heavily damaged, Eradicator unleashes a massive blast of energy—sending countless Kryptonian souls he housed within him out into Metropolis. The souls converge on a bar where two guys arm wrestle to win a “moon rock.” The rock is actually a piece of Krypton and the souls are drawn to it. Superman draws Eradicator away from the bar on a wild chase over the water of a Metropolis harbor. Some of the remaining souls sacrifice themselves to help Superman—knocking Eradicator deep into the murky water. Knowing that he won’t stay down long, Superman places Lois and Jon in a mini-sub that hangs off one of the docked ships. Looking up into the night sky, he heads towards the moon, where he plans on placing the two in hope of keep them safe from Eradicator.
Unforgettable Moment: This was an easy one. When the souls of Krypton inhabit the bar, Superman is able to connect with them on a strange spiritual level. In one of them, he sees Pa Kent and is transported in his mind to a heart-warming conversation with his dead father.
By Dan Abnett, Phillippe Briones, Gabe Eltaeb and Pat Brosseau
Now behind bars in a Homeland Security facility, Aquaman continues to try and convince officials that Atlantis had no part in the attack on the USS Pontchartrain. From the White House, Mera speaks to Tula (the acting Commander-in-Chief with Aquaman and Mera away). Atlantean soldiers investigate the attack site, where they find an ancient Atlantean sword plunged into the hull of the ship—the Deluge’s attempt to frame the Atlantean government. As they report their findings to Tula, American Special Forces divers also arrive to inspect the horrific site leading to an underwater skirmish—the very thing Aquaman, Mera and Tula wanted desperately to avoid. Meanwhile, Black Manta flies with the mysterious Black Jack, who gives him more details about N.E.M.O., the organization she works for, and their plans. With things getting more desperate, Mera finally gains an audience with the President, arguing that Atlantis did not commit the attack. Unable to get through to him, she decides to take matters into her own hands and physically busts Aquaman out his cell. As the two try to escape, a small army blocks their way.
Unforgettable Moment: When Commander Murk gives Tula the damage report and the amount of lives lost in the attack, he puts aside his hatred of surface dwellers and goes on to say that no one deserved to have that happen to them, no matter who they were. That big brute is deeper than we thought.
Green Lanterns #4
By Sam Humphries, Ed Benes, Robson Rocha, Tom Derenick, Rob Hunter, Mark Irwin, Vincente Cifuentes, Jay Leisten, Tom Palmer, Marc Deering and Blond
Still possessed by rage, Jessica battles Simon. The fight takes the two of them deep into the Hell Tower where Simon’s ring runs low on power. Back in Michigan, Simon’s sister and brother-in-law struggle to figure out what to do with the mysterious Guardian who is now staying in their house as he waits to speak with a Green Lantern. He reveals to Simon’s nephew that the box we saw back in issue #1 contained the Phantom Ring—the most powerful weapon in the galaxy. Simon and Jessica’s fight rages on until she snaps the rage possession—with help from Simon’s Emerald Sight. Jessica summons the Power Battery, but before the two charge up, they air out their frustrations with one another and for once seem to be on the same page. However, as they come out of the Hell Tower, Atrocitus awaits them…
Unforgettable Moment: Maybe it’s just us, but while Simon and Jessica talk in the Hell Tower, at one moment is sure seemed like the two of them might be interested in each other as a whole lot more than Lantern partners. Not sure if that’s more shocking to us or to the two of them!
Scooby Apocalypse #3
By Keith Giffen, J.M. Dematteis, Howard Porter, Dale Eaglesham and HI-FI
Having escaped the Complex alive, tensions continue to rise as the group drives through the Nevada desert in the Mystery Machine, unsure of how far the virus has spread. Fred recovers from the injuries he suffered in the Complex, just as the crew stumbles upon an abandon town. While raiding the gas station for food and supplies, Fred and Shaggy are unaware that a vampire (yes, a good, old-fashioned bloodsucker) stalks them from the shadows.
Unforgettable Moment: If you look carefully at the page where the group is surveying the town and peek just to the right of the water tower, you’ll see the original Mystery Machine parked in the street!
We'll be back in a week with another set of Reader Recaps. Also, don't miss our weekly new comic book unboxing every Tuesday on Periscope for an exclusive preview of the week's new comics!