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!
The Flash #4
By Josh Williamson, Neil Googe, and Ivan Plascencia
A lead from Iris has put Barry and his team of newly powered speedsters on the trail of the terrorist organization the Black Hole, the most likely culprits for the rash of Speed Force storms that have been tearing through Central City. The Black Hole’s leader, a disgraced former S.T.A.R. Labs scientist named Dr. Joseph Carver, fights back against Barry, Meena and August by transforming himself into a creature constructed by the Speed Force made manifest. Luckily for Barry and his friends, both Carver’s body and his technology are unstable and they’re able to make quick work of him and the Black Hole’s labs—maybe too quick. Despite the victory, Barry is left with a lingering sense of uncertainty—it couldn’t have been this easy. Nevertheless, even with the Black Hole and Carver out of the picture, Barry’s work is still far from over. S.T.A.R. Labs is still overflowing with new speedsters in need of training and August’s brother’s murder is still left unsolved. Lucky for the Flash, he’s got plenty of back up this time around. Hopefully they’re all as trustworthy as he wants them to be…
Unforgettable Moment: Wally’s hard work with his own speed is finally paying off—he’s almost able to construct himself a uniform out of the Speed Force, just like Barry. It’s a good thing the Flash is feeling warm to the idea of being a teacher and working with teams because it looks like he may have another sidekick running alongside him soon.
Detective Comics #938
By James Tynion IV, Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, and Brad Anderson
Lines have been drawn and sides have been chosen in the fight between Batman and Batwoman’s team of up-and-coming heroes and Colonel Kane’s Colony, a group of highly trained military operatives looking to eliminate threats to Gotham and the world at large with lethal precision. While fighting their way out of the Colony’s base, the team learns of their bigger plans—the Colony’s belief in the legendary League of Shadows has driven them to target groups of innocent people all across Gotham. Despite the team gathering this intel, destroying a huge amount of the Colony’s tech, and mounting a successful escape, the threat is far from neutralized. It turns out this direct offensive approach may have forced the Colony’s hand. Under Kane’s orders, their teenaged technological genius, Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong, lets loose a fleet of weaponized drones set to scour the city and eliminate threats, even without the refined list of targets from the supercomputers that Tim and Steph destroyed. According to the Colony, the margin of error falls within “acceptable loss.” It’s doubtful Batman and his associates will feel the same.
Unforgettable Moment: Ulysses’s online handle “th3_g3n3r4l” is a reference to his original, early 90s incarnation as a murderous, military history obsessed pre-teen who called himself The General. He became one of Robin’s earliest recurring original rogues. This modern version of Ulysses has grown a couple feet and lost the costume uniforms and the stars-and-stripes styled buzz cut, but looks to already be shaping into someone Tim’s going to have a hard time getting away from.
Action Comics #961
By Dan Jurgens, Stephen Segovia and Art Thibert
With Superman, Wonder Woman and Doomsday no longer battling in the city, Lex is on cleanup duty as he works to make sure citizens are safe from the battle zone destruction. Upstate, Superman and Wonder Woman slug it out with Doomsday. Utilizing a brief pause in the brawl, Superman tells Lois and Jon to go with Wonder Woman and find safety—leaving him to battle Doomsday on his own. Wonder Woman takes the two to the Justice League’s headquarters in space and activates the monitor to watch the fight. Finally, the mysterious, hooded figure finally gets off the sidelines and into the game—deploying a team of masked men with heavy firepower who attack and immobilize Doomsday.
Unforgettable Moment: Jon using his heat vision on Doomsday to save his dad is too awesome!
By Hope Larson, Rafael Albuquerque and Dave McCaig
Barbara Gordon is on a mission to find herself and it’s taken her not just out of Burnside, but out of North America entirely. Her first destination is Japan, where she plans on tracking down the vigilante known as Fruit Bat, a Japanese crime fighter from the 40s who still lives today at age 104. Luckily for her, tracking down Fruit Bat is pretty easy—it’s getting her to actually talk that takes a little more legwork. The meeting is interrupted by an attack on Babs’ childhood friend turned traveling companion, Kai, by a costumed criminal. She springs into action as Batgirl, but is somehow beaten to the scene by Fruit Bat herself, back in costume and fighting with a grace that seems impossible for her 104-year-old body to manage. Together, they take down the villain just moments before Fruit Bat collapses from exhaustion. As she struggles to stay conscious, she tells Babs to find someone known as Teacher, who can train her to let go of the past and see clearly into the future. Could this mysterious teacher show Babs how to hone her photographic memory in a way that would allow her to anticipate her opponent's moves before they make them? It’s time for Babs to get back on the road. Next stop: Singapore.
Unforgettable Moment: Before the big meeting with Fruit Bat, Babs and Kai take a little time to just be tourists. Unfortunately for Kai, Babs’ idea of touristy fun involves some pretty adventurous eating. When your night job is putting on a costume and risking your life, eating suspicious looking foods doesn’t even begin to register as scary.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #2
By Robert Venditti, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona and Tomeu Morey
The ravaged Green Lantern Corps set up base on Mogo as they regroup and figure out their game plan. At the same time, Hal continues to fight Yellow Lanterns as he searches for answers to the whereabouts of the missing Green Lantern Corps. Sinestro and his daughter, Soranik, converse about their relationship, her biggest fear and the Sinestro Corps’ dominance of the galaxy. Their conversation is interrupted by a report that Hal Jordan has reclaimed his mantle as a Green Lantern and is currently engaged in battle with Sinestro Corps members—infuriating Sinestro and making Soranik elated. The Yellow Lanterns follow Sinestro’s orders and retreat from Hal before he can continue to fight and interrogate them. Back on Mogo, John Stewart sends Guy Gardner on a twenty-four hour, solo recon mission to gather as much intel as possible about where they’re at in the galaxy. Hal follows the Yellow Lanterns to a nearby planet where he quickly finds himself surrounded by Sinestro Corps members who are holding the planet’s inhabitants hostage.
Unforgettable Moment: Sinestro’s reaction to the video message of Hal’s return is priceless. Sinestro may be big and bad, but there’s always going to be one guy who will oppose him…and that’s Hal Jordan.
Wonder Woman #3
By Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp and Laura Martin
Still unsure of who or what has altered her reality, Wonder Woman asks for Cheetah’s help in locating Themyscira. However, Cheetah is reluctant—blaming Wonder Woman for causing her transformation at the hands of Urzkartaga. It appears that Cheetah was once an Amazon before Urzkartaga’s curse altered and corrupted her. Fighting off another pack of the wolf-men together, Cheetah agrees to help Wonder Woman find Themyscira if she agrees to help Cheetah find and kill Urzkartaga and free her from his curse—to which Wonder Woman agrees. Meanwhile, on their mission to save the kidnapped girls from Colonel Cadulo, Steve and his men come upon a mysterious (and seemingly magical) jungle that appears out of nowhere. Hesitant, the men enter. Inside they find Cadulo, who explains that Urzkartaga has drawn them there to serve him. It seems Wonder Woman, Cheetah, Steve and his men are all converging on the same place.
Unforgettable Moment: Wonder Woman agreeing to help Cheetah kill Urzkartaga shows how far she’s willing to go to get back to Themyscira and help save her old friend.
Deathstroke: Rebirth #1
By Priest, Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz and Jeromy Cox
Jazaki aka “The Red Lion,” a questionable man, has hired Deathstroke to eliminate terrorists in his land. Things get sticky when Jazaki orders Deathstroke to kill a man whom Jazaki himself has vowed to protect. While traveling by boat with two soldiers to his target, Slade reflects back on a hunting trip he took with his sons. Not the most patient or good-natured of dads, he teaches his boys tough love and no remorse by killing a bear and its cubs right in front of them. Back in the present, Deathstroke approaches his target, The Clock King—who is already sick and dying. Before Slade can kill him, the Clock King tells him that if he lets him live, he’ll give him details on a loved one of Deathstroke’s being held nearby—convincing Slade it’s not a trick by muttering the word “Kenilworth.” Deathstroke and the two men in the boat brew up a plan to gain access to where this mysterious person is being held—claiming that Jazaki has killed their sons and they’ve come to pledge their allegiance to the extremist group Al Lajna and have “killed” Deathstroke to prove their worth. Once inside, Deathstroke springs into action—eliminating the soldiers in the camp. Busting down a door, Deathstroke finds his old compatriot Wintergreen sitting on a cot, watching what looks like homes videos of Slade and his sons.
Unforgettable Moment: Although stricken by illness, seeing the Clock King in his costume and surrounded by all the giant clock mechanisms in his hideout was pretty cool!
By Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund and Andrew Dalhouse
The return of Wally West and of the team’s memories has left them with more questions than answers. They turn to the psychic Lilith Clay to tap into Wally’s brain and search for any scraps of information that may lead them closer to the truth about who or what tampered with their lives. Lilith’s efforts uncover Wally’s link to Linda Park, the woman he remembers as his wife from the world that was stolen from him. Linda couldn’t remember Wally when he first appeared to her from the Speed Force, but the encounter sparked her curiosity as a reporter. Meanwhile, Wally and Lilith delve deeper into his memories. Maybe too deep, it turns out, as Lilith accidentally touches upon something buried far beneath their subconscious that awakens a new threat: the greatest magician of all time, Abra Kadabra, the man who made Wally West disappear.
Unforgettable Moment: As the team roots through Wally’s memories, Garth and Donna attempt to come up with a better name for the forgotten enemy they’ve been working to learn more about. Garth offers up “Keekblu”—the name of an unpleasant dolphin Garth met once. “A” for effort there, Garth, you certainly tried.
The Hellblazer: Rebirth #1
By Simon Oliver, Moritat and Andre Szymanowicz
Years ago, Constantine was banished from London and sent to New York by a demon called Laughing Boy. Having had enough of the Big Apple, the trench coat-clad magician heads back to London and learns that Laughing Boy set a curse on the city that Constantine activated the moment he returned. As the deadly curse spreads from person-to-person, Constantine scrambles to find a cure. As Swamp Thing, Wonder Woman and Shazam attempt to stop the curse and debate Constantine’s merit and character, the Hellblazer lands on a plan to take out Laughing Boy. Stalling the demon with conversation, Constantine waits for his psychic friend Mercury to arrive. Once there, she speaks the demons real name, Nybbas, which causes the curse to be lifted. And yet, if Mercury hadn’t shown, would Constantine have been willing to sacrifice the people of London just so he could return home?
Unforgettable Moment: Swamp Thing telling Wonder Woman and Shazam that although he’s greatly flawed and often would seem to have questionable intentions, deep down, he trusts Constantine.
Wacky Raceland #2
By Ken Pontac, Leonardo Manco and Mariana Sanzone
The origin story of Dick Dastardly is revealed! Before the apocalypse, Dick had been a successful musician with a wife and a child and without much care for the disasters befalling the world at large. He was, according to himself, in the business of celebrating life rather than dwelling on death. This all changed, however, during a fateful night at a San Francisco opera house, just hours before he was set to perform. The town was beset upon by yet another in a string of apocalyptic events—swarms of flesh-eating nanites devouring every living thing in their path. The attack happened while Dick was examining a vintage violin in a hermetically sealed vault, saving him from the nanite swarm, but the same could not be said for his wife and child. Both of them were killed and devoured while Dick looked helplessly on through the glass door of the vault, too scared for his own life to risk opening the door and letting them in. Not moments after the dust (and the skeletons) settled, Dick awoke to find himself floating in the clutches of the Announcer and informed about the races. If he wins, he’ll go to Utopia, and the Announcer will bring his wife and child back to life… But at what cost?
Unforgettable Moment: During this round of racing, the nanite swarms of San Francisco rear their ugly heads yet again, leaving Dick with some unpleasant reminders of the past and some hard decisions to make. He could let his fellow racers be consumed, but how could he win the tournament without anyone to compete against? In a rare moment that almost sort of borders on heroism from an otherwise overwhelmingly selfish man, Dick activates the Mean Machine’s EMP blast, frying the nanites and saving his fellow racers as he jets over the finish line.
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!