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Reader Recaps: Red Robin, R.I.P.

Reader Recaps: Red Robin, R.I.P.

By Meg Downey and Matt Ross Tuesday, September 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. 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!

 

 

Detective Comics #940

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

Tim Drake has placed himself between Gotham and an army of murderous Colony drones in a last ditch attempt to stop Colonel Kane from executing his suspected League of Shadows hit list. It’s an impossible gambit that has sent the rest of the team into a panic—but try as they might, there’s nothing they, or even Ulysses back at the Colony headquarters, can do to call off the strike. While Tim fights for his life, Kate finally confronts her father directly, informing him that his entire plan was in vain. The Colony is now recognized by the US government as a domestic terrorist threat and will be shut down immediately. Good news for the future, but too late to save Tim who radios out his goodbyes as yet another fleet of drones begins to converge on his position. But as the smoke clears and his family gathers to mourn him, Tim finds himself suddenly somewhere very strange, locked in some sort of cell presided over by a hooded figure. The figure explains that, as far as Tim’s loved ones are concerned, he’s dead and gone, but the reality is far more complicated. Sometimes, people just have to be taken off of the playing field…

Unforgettable Moment: Over the past several years, Tim’s had a bit of a complex about being called “Robin” as opposed to “Red Robin” —an identity he considers to be wholly his, rather than a legacy he’s stepped into. But at the eleventh hour, as he radios his goodbyes, he signs off by saying, “Thank you for everything, Bruce. Robin out.”


The Flash #6

By Josh Williamson, Carmine Di Giandomenico and Ivan Plascencia

In the wake of Godspeed’s most recent attack, Barry has been running himself ragged. There’s the matter of notifying the victims’ next of kin, which is its own special brand of exhausting, mixed into the ongoing hunt for answers about Godspeed himself. Add to that the emotional earthquake of Meena’s disappearance (and likely death) and it’s a cocktail of unpleasantness that isn’t going down easy for anyone involved. To make matters even worse, August’s fixation on his brother’s unsolved murder has grown even more intense and the number one suspect was found dead himself. This new element of the case leads Barry to connect some very unsettling dots—particularly since the suspect appears to have been killed by being dragged at a very high speed. This prompts Barry to confront August and learn some hard truths. Godspeed wasn’t imprisoned after the break up of the Black Hole because Godspeed was never their leader. He was August, all along. August, who is now so tapped into the Speed Force he can do things Barry himself could never imagine—like literally be in two places at once.

Unforgettable Moment: When looking into Meena’s disappearance, Barry realizes that he recognizes the test results from her recovered empty costume. Something similar happened to him, a long, long time ago in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. But that would be impossible… right?


Wonder Woman #5

By Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp and Laura Martin

Etta, aka Commander Candy pays a visit to someone we’ve not yet met—Sasha. The two rendezvous at Sasha’s house in the early hours of the morning to discuss the situation involving Steve Trevor, his men, Cadulo and Wonder Woman. In Bwunda, Cadulo holds Steve and his men captive as he examines a picture of Wonder Woman he recovered from Steve. Cadulo believes Steve will serve as a vessel for Urzkartaga’s return. Outside the encampment, Wonder Woman and Cheetah roam the jungle and speak about Diana’s inability to locate Themyscira and her jumbled history. Etta and Sasha agree to not call in the cavalry to save Steve and his squadron—believing the presence of Wonder Woman will aid in getting the men out. When Etta leaves, a strange floating orb comes in contact with Sasha. Putting her in a trance—the orb reveals that “phase two” of their plan requires that they obtain Wonder Woman. Back in Bwunda, Cadulo readies Steve for the sacrifice. Wonder Woman and Cheetah show up at Cadulo’s hideout where they come across Steve’s men and the girls they set out to save locked in cages. As they make quick work of Cadulo’s wolf-men, Wonder Woman asks where Steve is—unaware that he’s about to be sacrificed to Urzkartaga at the hands of Cadulo.

Unforgettable Moment: Cheetah revealing to Wonder Woman that she is losing the memory of who she once was is a surprisingly touching scene. Seeing her remember how she used to look compared to what she looks like now is pretty gut-wrenching. 


Suicide Squad #2

By Rob Williams, Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair

Amanda Waller is visited by an enigmatic woman named Harcourt from the NSA. Together, they observe all of Task Force X struggling to get out of the icy waters of the Laptev Sea. Ultimately, the group succeeds and manages to break into the underwater Russian fortress they’ve been tasked with infiltrating, where they’re met with gunfire. Harley and Katana make quick work of the attacking soldiers before the group frees a super-powered fangirl of Harley, who calls herself “Hack,” from a holding cell. Hack’s ability allows her to convert the team into digital information and transfer them through the base’s computer system to the Black Vault—where the “cosmic item” they’re trying to get to is held. The item, a floating orb, is within reach when Hack explains that it houses something mysterious, as voices from within can be heard saying “Phantom Zone.” Flag immediately orders the squad to retreat, but Captain Boomerang approaches the orb and is incinerated just before he can touch it. The team is in shock as the strange object begins to tear open. Shock turns to fear as General Zod emerges.

Unforgettable Moment: Hands down, it’s the moment you see the hands tearing through the orb and you read the chilling dialogue of General Zod. One of the baddest of the bad!


Deathstroke #2

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

Even with the Clock King out of the way, the ghosts of Slade’s past continue to haunt him. With Wintergreen successfully rescued, it’s up to the two of them to track down their old brothers in arms to discover who, exactly, sold Billy out and got him captured in the first place. The mystery takes both of them down some increasingly murderous trips down memory lane—trips that all seem to have one unsettling common thread between them: Slade’s children. What, if anything, does the disappearance of Slade’s son Joey some eight years ago have to do with a nearly botched mission around the same time involving a gun toting silver-haired girl? And why now is Billy receiving messages from a man calling himself “Hosun” with pictures of that same silver-haired girl—all grown up, costume clad and being called “The Ravager”? It seems like Slade’s secrets might be causing problems for more than just himself and his former teammates.

Unforgettable Moment: Slade tracks down Isherwood, the former teammate responsible for designing his own suit, only to find that he’s invented a new, more advanced suit for himself. Isherwood’s suit includes a “point defense system which creates a gravitational tidal effect”, or as Slade is happy to point out, a “force field.” Color him unimpressed with any and all techno-babble.


Batgirl #2

By Hope Larson, Rafael Albuquerque and Dave McCaig

Babs’ quest to follow the advice of Fruit Bat and look to her future has taken her and Kai to Singapore to scout out a local MMA gym specializing in female fighters. But, like every part of the trip so far, it can never be that simple. The stress of reconnecting with Kai and whatever potential relationship might be happening there is compounded by Babs’ unanswered questions from her encounter with the costume-clad villain back in Japan and the mysterious tattoo on her arm—the Chinese characters for ‘Teacher.’ Then there’s Kai’s cagey behavior revolving around the nature of his own trip to Asia and whether or not Babs can even begin trust him. It’s a lot to process. Good thing there’s nothing like a good workout to really clear the head. Babs begins a brutal training schedule at the MMA gym that, on top of her training as Batgirl, really ought to prepare her for her first competitive match. Or so she believes. When she steps into the ring against her first real competitor she’s distracted for a split second by a tattoo on the other fighter’s arm—the exact same one she saw on the arm of the villain in Japan. That split second is all it takes, and Babs is knocked out cold.

Unforgettable Moment: It looks like Kai and Babs may be parting ways already—Kai’s next destination is Shanghai, and he invites Babs to travel with him, but she can’t give him a concrete answer. Not with the words of Fruit Bat ringing so clearly in her ears: “You can’t see the future when the past is standing in your way.”


Action Comics #963

By Dan Jurgens, Patrick Zircher and Arif Printo

Clark Kent speaks at a press conference that Lex Luthor organized to explain that he and Superman are two different people. An agitated member of the audience pulls out a gun and fires at Clark—trying to prove he is in fact Superman. He’s quickly taken out by Captain Sawyer of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit (MSCU). Perry White and Lex escort Clark out of the building where Superman is seen flying overhead.  Later, Clark is given a lie detector test which indicates that he’s being truthful in saying that he and Superman are not one and the same—a lie detector test that we later learn was administered by Batman. Clark explains to Perry that he was working on a story involving a company called Geneticron that seems to be involved in some shady dealings. Clark goes to interview the CEO of Geneticron, but is kicked out. Sneaking back in, Clark is attacked by a security guard who throws him from the rooftop. Superman saves him as a crowd watches on—in the crowd is a mysterious bearded man in a baseball cap who, oddly enough, was also in the crowd at the press conference.

Unforgettable Moment: Two sightings of this new mystery man with the beard has us itching to know who it is!


Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #4

By Robert Venditti, Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright

A squadron of Yellow Lanterns returns to Warworld with prisoners from other worlds to power the Fear Engine. Sinestro is furious they’ve brought Guy Gardner back with them and not Hal Jordan. In a rage, Sinestro kills Strafe, who reported that Sinestro’s daughter, Soranik, said she was bringing Hal back to Warworld. Sinestro orders that the child prisoners all be returned to their worlds—he only wants the hardiest of prisoners to feed the engine. Elsewhere, Soranik performs surgery on a heavily injured Hal—trying to save his life. Sinestro explains the Fear Engine to Guy Gardner—revealing that the prisoners power it by being “baptized” via arcane and inhumane ceremonies. Once baptized, the prisoners feel as though they are living their worst fears over and over, allowing that energy to be extracted. It’s a process Guy is about to become very familiar with as he’s next on the baptism list. Across the universe, John Stewart feels guilty and worries about Guy’s safety. Rallying the Green Lantern Corps, the group decides against playing things safe and getting their systems up and running in favor of going to find Guy.

Unforgettable Moment: Tough to choose, but that defiant look on Guy’s face when the Yellow Lanterns throw him down in front of Sinestro is absolutely perfect.


Titans #2

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

The evil magician Abra Kadabra has been freed from his prison and he’s out for revenge on Wally West. And his plan involves magically summoned duplicates of all the Titans younger selves. Kadabra unleashes his newly formed puppets on Keystone City to draw the Titans into a fight. As the Titans each face off against their past selves, Linda Park is very nearly caught in the crossfire before being rescued by Lilith, but not before Kadabra notices her in the crowd. Linda’s presence and awareness of Wally triggers a panic in Kadabra, and an understanding that he may not have been the person to erase Wally from the history books after all. Apparently “he,” whoever he is, must have already messed with the timeline before Kadabra began his own meddling. That’s far from anyone’s immediate concerns, however, while the clones continue their rampage. In the chaos, Garth spots Kadabra acting as puppeteer for their doppelgangers from the sidelines and makes a move. He zeroes in on him with every ounce of his Atlantean fury, but doesn’t quite manage to catch the magician unaware. He lashes out with a bolt of magical energy that hits Garth directly in the chest, electrocuting him in a way that definitely doesn’t bode well. The Titans may be down one member before the new team has even gotten off the ground.

Unforgettable Moment: Duplicate Donna Troy gets her Lasso of Persuasion around the real Roy Harper’s neck, which prompts for some surprising truths to be revealed—namely, that Roy’s in love with her. Whoops. And all of this comes to light while the real Donna is within earshot. Good thing there are bigger problems on their plate at the moment so that undoubtedly awkward conversation will have to wait.


The Hellblazer #1

By Simon Oliver, Moritat and Andre Szymanowicz

In Sarajevo, 1914, a man tries to stop the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, but is stopped by his partner who claims they cannot mingle in man’s affairs. The murder would spawn World War I, which would lay the groundwork for World War II—one of the most violent centuries in human history. Fast-forward to present-day London, where a very hung over John Constantine is woken up by his friend, Chas. In Chas’ greenhouse, we find Alec Holland, the Swamp Thing—who is there to collect on a favor from John. John agreed to help Alec find Abby, but only if Swamp Thing put in a good word on his behalf to the Justice League so John could get back into London—which Swamp Thing begrudgingly did. Now Swamp Thing is in London himself to collect on that favor and find Abby. Constantine takes Alec to see Mercury—who is less-than-thrilled to see John, but agrees to help Swamp Thing. John leaves with Chas and is visibly upset when Chas brings up New York. Finally, in France, we once again look in on the two men, Marid and Adnan, from the day of Ferdinand’s assassination. Now slightly aged, they’re catching up after 100 years of not seeing each other. The two talk about the day in Sarajevo and how they must keep their existence in our world a secret from “the Creator.” Marid believes that not stopping the attack set mankind on a course of violence and death over the years, and in a rage, attacks Adnan.    

Unforgettable Moment: Something about Constantine and Swamp Thing together just gives us that warm and fuzzy feeling. When you see Swamp Thing appear in Chas’ greenhouse, you know an awesome adventure is about to unfold!


Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1

By Keith Griffen, Scott Kolins and Romulo Fajardo Jr.

Ever since a semi-sentient techno-organic scarab of alien origin fused itself to his spine, Jaime Reyes has been moonlighting as the armored superhero Blue Beetle. There’s just one problem: no one bothered to ask Jaime if this was a career path he wanted. That, on top of struggling to get through the everyday trials and tribulations of high school has made Jaime’s life very interesting to say the least. Luckily—or, unluckily, depending on your perspective—he’s not going at this alone. Eccentric billionaire industrialist, scarab researcher and superhero fan Ted Kord has taken Jaime under his wing to provide as much back up and support for Jaime’s reluctant adventuring as he can. It may not be a perfect system, but they’re working things out. Sort of. Unfortunately, they may not have a ton of time to work out the kinks in their operation. After their most recent super heroic run in with a duo of costumed villains, the mysterious Dr. Fate visits Ted in his lab with an ominous message to pass along. The scarab on Jaime’s spine may not be alien after all. In fact, it looks like team Blue Beetle is messing with magic.

Unforgettable Moment: Ted tells Jaime that he’s “as serious as a heart attack, and (he) should know!” Jaime doesn’t press for more information but long time Blue Beetle fans might like this reference to an early 2000s storyline in BIRDS OF PREY where it was revealed that Ted had a heart condition which made him prone to attacks. Maybe go a little easy on your new mentor, Jaime. He really does know what he’s talking about. Sometimes. Kind of.


Wacky Raceland #3

By Ken Pontac, Leonardo Manco and Mariana Sanzone

While racing through the flooded, toxic wasteland of Big Sur, the racers are waylaid by a catastrophic tidal wave that separates Penelope Pitstop and Dick Dastardly from the rest of the pack. The brief reprieve from the cutthroat competition allows Penelope and Dick to open up about what motivates them to compete. Penelope takes the time to reflect on her past, and her childhood in Greece with her mother and abusive father. Prior to the end of the world, Penelope had planned on eloping with the love of her life and escaping her terrible home for good, but her father had picked up on the ruse and saw her fiancé killed. Heartbroken and furious, Penelope murdered her father to ensure he would never lay a hand on her or anyone she loved ever again. Not long after this grim victory, Greece was swept off the map by an apocalyptic tsunami and Penelope was plucked from the wreckage by the Announcer to enter into the races. Luckily, before any other personal details can be shared between the two of them—and, possibly more importantly, before they’re both crushed by a rampaging giant mutant turtle—Dick and Penelope are found and rescued by their fellow racers. Looks like they’ll both live to compete another day.

Unforgettable Moment: Dick confesses his own reason for racing to Penelope—his hope to undo some mistakes he made in the past. Penelope counters this by admitting that she doesn’t actually regret killing her father. She regrets not doing it sooner.
 

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!