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Reader Recaps: Batman's Newest Nightmare

Reader Recaps: Batman's Newest Nightmare

By Meg Downey and Matt Ross Tuesday, October 4th, 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!

 

 

Batman #7

By Tom King, Steve Orlando, Riley Rossmo and Ivan Plascencia

(Night of the Monster Men – Part 1) Gotham City is in the path of a hurricane set to make landfall overnight, but that might just be the very least of their problems. As the Bat family rallies together to help evacuate the city for the storm, they’re surprised by an attack from a horrifying creature careening through the streets on a path of destruction. Bruce sends the rest of the team to work on the evacuation efforts while he throws himself into combating the monster. With the help of some heavy firepower, he’s able to bring it down and gather tissue samples for analysis. The results end up more disturbing than the monster itself—the base of its cellular structure pinged a DNA record from the county morgue, or, more specifically, the DNA record of the man who killed himself in Gordon’s office several weeks ago. Robert Castro was one of several recent suicides, all of whom took their own lives shortly after declaring, “the monster men are coming.” Whatever is happening to the corpses, Bruce is certain it has something to do with the madman Hugo Strange who has been carefully manipulating events behind the scenes for the past few weeks. But before he can get any answers, he’s going to have to survive the night, and that might be easier said than done.

Unforgettable Moment: To take down the first monster, Bruce has to literally crash a jet into it—not once, but twice. Whatever chemicals those monsters are made from is making them close to indestructible, which is bad news for the Bat family and probably worse news still for the citizens of Gotham. Crazy super villain schemes are one thing, but Godzilla-style city-destroying kaiju? That’s a whole different animal.


Nightwing #5

By Steve Orlando, Tim Seeley, Roge Antonio and Chris Sotomayor

(Night of the Monster Men – Part 2) While Bruce and Kate confront another (bigger, even more horrifying) monster on the street, Dick dives deeper into the mystery of the creatures’ origin and connection to Hugo Strange. With the help of Alfred and Duke back at the cave, Dick is put on the trail of a chemical accelerant used to mutilate and transform the cells of the corpses Strange managed to infect. This, in turn, leads him to the Tolliver Memorial Morgue where he finds more evidence of monstrous corpse mutation, and worse yet, comes to the realization that Strange’s treatment of this particular victim happened while he was incarcerated at Blackgate Prison. Just moments after connecting those dots, alarms are triggered at Blackgate. The monster, it would seem, was eager to go “home.” There’s no way Dick can get to Blackgate Island quickly—not with the storm raging on outside, and the miles to travel—but it just so happens the team has a super-powered ace up their sleeve. Someone who can fly faster than any one of them could move on the ground. Gotham Girl springs into action, heading straight for Blackgate. Hopefully she can take out the monsters before her own powers kill her.

Unforgettable Moment: Desperate times call for desperate measures. In a Hail Mary attempt to get the last remaining civilians out of the city, Bruce allows Duke to activate a pet project he’s been working on—an emergency broadcast system that covers the whole of Gotham in holographic projections of Batman himself, beaming down from every street light. It looks like after the whole Zero Year and Endgame debacles, Bruce didn’t want to take any more chances with citywide panic. Probably a good call.


Justice League #5

By Bryan Hitch, Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea and Tomeu Morey

The Kindred’s song is nearing its end, which could mean the end of Earth itself. Luckily, Arthur has been listening to a song of his own—the Zodiac Crystals have been resonating instructions for a way to disable the Kindred’s song before they can bring about a crisis of astronomical proportions. As Arthur sprints around the globe to follow the crystals’ direction, his teammates have been putting out their own fires. Vic manages to hack into the mechanical Purge forces, effectively eliminating one massive threat, while Clark struggles against the earthquake device at the planet’s core. Meanwhile, Barry, Diana and the Lanterns deal with the giant Kindred constructs directly, attempting to retake their stolen powers and break their massive forms down before the people inside can be hurt. It’s a victory, but one that may come a price. The Earth does not break, and the Kindred’s giant forms crumble, but before they do, they warn of the coming of something called “the forever crisis.” Whatever the Kindred’s song was trying to awaken, it succeeded. The immediate danger might be gone, but it’s far from over.

Unforgettable Moment: The rookie Green Lanterns get their moment to shine when Batman comes up with a way to distract the Kindred’s giant constructs. Simon and Jessica use their rings to transport the Cyborg-controlled Purge creatures from outer space to Earth, using them as ammo to distract the massive humanoids from their ritual.


Harley Quinn #4

By Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Joseph Michael Linsner and Alex Sinclair

Finally free of the looming threat of a zombie outbreak, Harley sets her sights on a more jet set lifestyle. After getting a tip about a call center scam running out of Mumbai, she and Bolly Quinn head to India to dig up some dirt...but what they find is a giant robot. Apparently this particularly call center scam is a little more intense about their security than one might think. Luckily, Harley and Bolly are nothing if not completely prepared for any manner of high-octane absurdity. After the fight, they manage to track the heads of the scam operation to their base in Moscow. With a little violence, a considerable amount of bloodshed, and a can-do attitude, Harley is able to put a stop to the operation once and for all. No more fraudulent call centers, no more underpaid and abused employees, and a pilfered bottle of bacon-flavored Vodka for their troubles—all in a day’s work.

Unforgettable Moment: Harley’s approach may not always be the gentlest, but her heart’s in the right place. When she learns the scam call center is genuinely providing income to thousands of people, she opts out of her original plan (blowing up the whole building and calling it a day) and decides to try plan “B.” Unfortunately, plan “B” ended up being fighting a giant killer robot through the call center anyway, but, hey, she tried, right?


Superman #7

By Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Jorge Jimenez and Alejandro Sanchez

After a night of helping out his Justice League teammates, Superman heads home, where Lois and Jon tell him that they’ll be going to the last night of the Hamilton County Fair later. To their surprise, Clark says he’ll put aside his duties for the night and go with them. While at the fair, Jon bumps into Kathy. She invites Jon to come to the blue ribbon cow contest later that night to see if her family’s prize cow takes the ribbon. Lois meets Candice—a worker at the Hamiliton Horn newspaper—and inquires about any openings they might have. While walking around, Clark notices some unsavory characters in the crowd and with his super-hearing and x-ray vision, learns that they plan on robbing the admission booth when the fireworks show starts. Keeping his eye on the men, Superman makes a promise to Jon that they’ll all go on the fair’s big roller coaster together. Kathy’s family wins the blue ribbon ceremony and everyone drinks a cup of celebratory milk. As the fireworks are about to go off, Superman fakes a stomachache—claiming he’s lactose intolerant from the milk and leaves so he can find the thugs. On his way, Superman passes a booth selling medieval clothing and weapons. Lois and Jon are disappointed as they wait for Clark on the roller coaster, feeling he’s broken his promise. But just before the coaster starts moving, Superman gets in the seat next to them, as some fair employees are overheard talking about how would-be robbers were stopped by a superhero wearing a medieval costume. The family enjoys the ride just as fireworks pop in the night’s sky.

Unforgettable Moment: This isn’t your normal family. So when you see them living in the moment of the fair and the brief normalcy it gives them, it’s a pretty awesome sight.


Cyborg #1

By John Semper Jr., Paul Pelletier, Tony Kordos, Guy Major and Rob Leigh

After his encounter with Malware lead him to some unsettling revelations about his own creation, Vic Stone has been feeling a little...off. After all, just how is he supposed to parse the nature of his own soul when his soul is supposedly residing in bits of computer code? He’s lived so long under the assumption that his partially electronic body was just a function of saving his life, but now, after running into an old recording of his father’s, it looks like he really honestly might be more machine than man—a program designed to believe that it was once Victor Stone. It’s a heavy existential crisis, even for a member of the Justice League. Thankfully, Vic isn’t without support from his friends, but how much can they really understand what he’s going through? And to make things even worse, an unknown cybernetic entity has been monitoring Vic from afar. They sent Malware in to infiltrate S.T.A.R Labs, and now they’ve got another robotic monster on the attack. It’s name is Kilg%re and it’s out to eradicate what may (or may not) be left of Vic’s humanity by any means necessary.

Unforgettable Moment: Sometimes there’s nothing like a little jazz to help sooth a troubled soul. Vic’s friend Sarah brings him to a hole-in-the-wall jazz club to listen to one of the performers there—it’s less the genre, Sarah insists, but the fact that the music is all improvised. Spontaneity in art is an important quality, especially for someone like Vic who has the entire internet streaming directly into his brain at any given moment.


Green Lanterns #7

By Sam Humphries, Ronan Cliquet and Blond

Jessica battles her anxiety as she stays with Simon at his sister’s house. Feeling overwhelmed by the chaotic family scene in the kitchen, Jessica decides to bail, but is stopped by Simon—who convinces her to stay after he explains that his mom will be visiting soon to see his nephew for Halloween and he’s terrified to be in charge of baking the traditional cookies. Jessica agrees to stay and help. Simon fails to get the recipe right and in a rage, flies out of the house. Jessica chases him down and Simon confesses to her that even though his mom was very strict with him when he was growing up, she is his hero and he’s ashamed of his behavior over the years and feels like he let her down. Jessica convinces Simon to go back and bake the cookies, and the two finish baking just in time. Simon greets his mom in his Green Lantern suit—which she was unaware of up to this point. The two sit and converse—sharing their feelings on his life and decisions. Simon explains about the Green Lanterns and how they give him a purpose to do good for the world. The conversation is interrupted when Farid screams. Racing to the room, Simon and Jessica learn from Farid that Rami took off from the house—saying that the Dominators are coming. 

Unforgettable Moment: That splash page at the end has us eager to see what’s to come with the Dominators!


Aquaman #7

By Dan Abnett, Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher and Gabe Eltaeb

Various members of different branches of the Atlantean government cognate outside Aquaman’s room—who is in deep thought after the recent events. When he finally allows them access, Aquaman becomes enraged when Koah, Elder of Law, insists Mera perform a series of rituals in order to be considered a true Atlantean. Meanwhile, Murk reports to Aquaman that Atlantis is being set up for the recent attack on the American vessel—pointing out that an Atlantean soldier’s helmet was left at the site, but was altered to house a breathing apparatus. Elsewhere, N.E.M.O. conducts a closed-door meeting in Italy, where Black Manta demonstrates his new role as Fisher King—by killing any members that oppose him. Aquaman questions Corum Rath—leader of the terrorist group The Deluge and current prisoner of Atlantis—about his role in the attack. Rath denies any involvement, but the two come to a strange agreement that although they have different philosophies, both want to keep Atlantis safe. To Aquaman’s delight, Mera agrees to participate in the traditional Atlantean trials. Finally, we learn N.E.M.O. are the ones behind the sabotage of Atlantis and as they discuss their next action, Black Manta instructs Black Jack to enact project “Vortex.” Black Jack pushes back, claiming that it’s highly dangerous and unpredictable, but Black Manta feels the chaos it will unleash on Atlantis is perfect timing to disrupt Aquaman—who is trying to figure out who is behind all the recent attacks. Black Jack gives the order for Vortex—unleashing a huge, lumbering sea monster that heads towards Atlantis.

Unforgettable Moment: Seeing that huge monster come up from the depths and head toward Atlantis is too cool… How will Aquaman will stop it!?


Green Arrow #7

By Benjamin Percy and Stephen Byrne

Emi’s quest for Oyabun ends when the Yakuza boss confronts her almost immediately upon her winning an arena match against one of his men. Apparently, he’s been keeping an eye on her. According to Oyabun, Emi’s family owes him a debt, one that has been passed down generation by generation—this is why Shado has been serving him, and why Oyabun expects similar service from Emi herself. Service he expects immediately, unless Emi gets to have her say in it. She makes a bet: a one on one match in the arena against Oyabun, betting her life against her mother’s freedom. It’s a reckless gambit to begin with, made even more deadly when Oyabun reveals himself to be a literal, in the flesh, fire-breathing dragon. The fight escalates even further when Shado herself shows up at the arena to see her daughter going head-to-head with her master. Thankfully, with Shado’s help, the two women are able to defeat Oyabun and escape. Now, finally free of their respective metaphorical shackles, Emi and Shado are able to race towards their own destinies in any way they choose. For Emi, that means tracking down Ollie yet again, wherever he ended up after the Inferno’s explosion.

Unforgettable Moment: In a face-off with the Clock King to rescue Ollie from a death trap, Emi shows up at his hideout wearing an explosive vest tied to her heartbeat. Either Clock King frees Ollie or the whole place goes up in flames, taking all of them with it. Clock King says he knows a bluff when he sees one—and he’s certain that what Emi is doing is no bluff at all. Best not to mess with Emiko Queen.


The Flintstones #3

By Mark Russell, Steve Pugh and Chris Chuckry

Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm take a field trip to the Bedrock Science and Technology Museum, where scientists launch a chimp into space. The launch was detected by a race of advanced aliens, who come down to Bedrock to briefly study its inhabitants before quickly leaving. Fred’s wartime buddies continue to struggle with PTSD and the inability to find jobs. Later, a group of younger aliens return and turn Bedrock into a chaotic spring break scene, causing all sorts of destruction and mayhem. But things turn really ugly when they start zapping Bedrock inhabitants into space dust. Fred rallies his war buddies to combat the aliens—at the same time Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm get in touch with the scientist from the space launch. The scientist helps them use a giant satellite to get the attention of the aliens’ parents, who return to collect and discipline their children. Upon their exit, they leave behind an alien named The Great Gazoo to act as a liaison between the alien race and Bedrock to ensure that something like this never happens again.  

Unforgettable Moment: Look there are WAY too many David Bowie fans at DC to not pick the little ode to the Great White Duke on page two!


Future Quest #4

By Jeff Parker, Doc Shaner, Ron Randall and Hi-Fi

The race to clean up the fallout from the last wave of interdimensional vortexes is on and things for Dr. Quest and his team are getting even more complicated by the minute. First, there’s the matter of the amnesiac alien girl and her costumed monkey companion—she’s awake, but desperately confused and her monkey is less than pleased. Thankfully, the little critter is able to help jog her memory so that she at least can recall their names: Jan and Blip. Then, there’s the matter of the dinosaurs now prowling the forests care of the vortexes. It’s one of these dinosaurs—an Allosaurus, specifically—that attacks Todd Messick and separates him from his parents. Luckily for him, another vortex visitor, a caveman Todd calls “Ug” was able to save him just in time for Dr. Quest and his team to swoop in and take the Allosaurus down. Meanwhile, Dr. Zin is taking a decidedly less altruistic approach with his own visitor from the vortex and interrogating him mercilessly. Jan can remember her name now, let’s hope she can remember her brother before it’s too late.

Unforgettable Moment: This issue opens with another glimpse into the past and the world beyond the vortex—a masked hero from a primitive world who calls himself Mightor!
 

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!