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 week, 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. Plus, as a new bonus, we’ve included a few animated recaps, to give even more detail.
We hope you find these recaps helpful, but be aware that they do contain some spoilers!
Suicide Squad #4
By Rob Williams, Gary Frank and Brad Anderson
Amanda Waller and Harcourt watch via a spy satellite as the squad battles both Zod and the Russian meta-humans who decided to crash the party. Hack works on downloading all the files from the facility into her brain. Enchantress transforms back into June Moone, but just before Zod kills her, Croc clamps down on his arm—saving her life. Zod launches Croc across the room and he crashes into the Russian meta-humans, helping Harley and Deadshot escape them. Flag buys Hack more time by attacking Zod with Katana’s sword. Hack finishes downloading every piece of data in the facilities system, including what the Russians learned about the Phantom Zone sphere, into her brain. Using that knowledge, Hack manipulates the sphere and Flag kicks Zod into it. The team and sphere is then transported by Hack (via the internet) back to Belle Reve where Waller and Harcourt talk about combining forces to learn more about the sphere.
Unforgettable Moment: Croc biting the arm of Zod to save June shows that there might be some humanity hidden in that crusty hide.
Detective Comics #942
By Steve Orlando, James Tynion IV, Andy MacDonald and John Rauch
(Night of the Monster Men - Part 6) As Bruce rushes to face off against Hugo Strange, the rest of the family readies themselves in the Wayne Watchtowers—a series of weaponized skyscrapers (!!!)—to take on the massive combined form of the monsters as it storms through the city. Even with the added firepower, the fight looks hopeless and every minute the monster is left standing represents catastrophic damage to Gotham. It’s not until Dick Grayson comes to a sudden realization that the tides of the fight start to turn in the team’s favor. If Hugo’s obsession revolves around what he believes to be Batman’s psychosis, then childhood is at the heart of it. Realizing this, Dick takes a risk and throws himself into the monster’s maw only to emerge seconds later in a gory explosion. The heart—the core—of the monster was literally a child, or a child-like construct, buried deep within the monster’s guts. With it removed, the monster all but disintegrated. Meanwhile, Bruce closes in on Hugo himself, who has prepared for this encounter by donning his own version of the Batsuit. Hugo is certain that he, being of superior mind and body, is the real protector that Gotham deserves. Bruce—and Clayface—are of a different opinion. By smothering the building and cutting off the air to the room, Basil is able to bring Hugo down without Batman laying a hand on him.
Unforgettable Moment: Hugo’s entire hypothesis of the Batman revolved around a man who was running from his inner demons, but as Bruce handily proves, the core of Batman is not a man who is afraid of his monsters, but a man who embraces them.
The Flash #8
By Josh Williamson, Carmine Di Giandomenico and Ivan Plascencia
Energized by the extra speed given up by the former speedster residents of Central City, Barry and Wally are ready to take on Godspeed and put a stop to his insane revenge plot once and for all—even if that means saving the life of the man who murdered Barry’s mother. While racing towards Iron Heights, where Godspeed plans to murder the Reverse-Flash, Barry and Wally launch into a concentrated ambush attack. It’s effective, if only in the nick of time, and ensures that August’s only place in Iron Heights will be as a prisoner himself. It’s a bittersweet victory leaning slightly more towards “bitter” when August confesses from his cell that the Black Hole—who, until now, Barry had believed to be all but handled—are still very much a threat, and one they’ve both been readily underestimating. But it’s something Barry won’t have to face alone. Not with Wally training at his side.
Unforgettable Moment: As Barry and Wally finally set out to training together, Barry swears that, just for a moment, he’s able to hear Meena’s voice, whispering in his ear. But that wouldn’t be possible…right?
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #6
By Robert Venditti, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona and Tomeu Morey
The Green Lantern Corps and their newly acquired fleet race to Warworld to rescue Guy. Hal gets there first—unleashing a powerful one-man attack. Sinestro watches as Hal cuts through his Yellow Lanterns. In the bowels of the planet, Lyssa commands Administer Lash to increase the Fear Engine to maximum at the request of Sinestro, citing that Hal has arrived. Administer Lash increases the rate of Guy’s “baptism.” Hal continues to cut through the Yellow Lantern ranks as Sinestro harnesses the raw power of Parallax, spiking the Yellow Lantern power levels by intense amounts. Before Hal can take out another group, the fight is interrupted by Sinestro who claims he’ll take care of Hal.
Unforgettable Moment: So many good moments in this book that it’s hard to decide! The buildup is fantastic and the pay off comes when you see that Hal and Sinestro will finally face off!
By Priest, Joe Bennett, Mark Morales and Jeromy Cox
Someone has put a price on Rose Wilson’s head and it’s up to her and Slade to figure out why—or, more importantly, who. The trail has put them on the path to Gotham City, where Slade plans on “enlisting” (read: forcing) the help of the Batman to track down whoever is out for his daughter’s life. It’s a risky plan, especially considering the Batman’s tough stance on super villains, and the fact that Slade is, well, a super villain. Still, Deathstroke the Terminator is never without an ace up his sleeve. Upon arriving in Gotham, Slade and Rose orchestrate a scheme to distract Batman and kidnap Robin to blackmail the Caped Crusader into providing help, something that is definitely easier said than done. Thankfully, going up against the Batman is something Slade is fairly well practiced in.
Unforgettable Moment: So how, exactly, does one engineer a plot to take down a super hero famous for his ability to plan for literally any contingency? Well, if you’re Slade Wilson, it involves knowing every possible detail of the neighborhood you’re setting your plan up in, right down to the mailman and who is subscribed to what newspapers. Oh, and drugging the water in the sprinkler systems. You know, all the normal stuff.
Teen Titans: Rebirth #1
By Ben Percy, Jonboy Meyers and Jim Charalampidis
The Teen Titans—or, well, the former Teen Titans—are in disarray. Tim Drake is gone, assumed dead, and former teammates are scattered to the wind, some of them coping with their grief in ways that would probably be considered a little less than healthy. But it looks like the young heroes are about to have more on their plate to worry about than just mourning and navigating their respective super heroic conundrums. Someone, or something, is hopscotching across the globe and kidnapping them, one by one. Gar Logan is first, abducted from a party, followed by Raven, then Starfire, and finally Kid Flash; each of them caught off guard and knocked out by attacks designed to exploit their respective weaknesses. Fortunately for them, the mystery of their kidnapper isn’t all that difficult to solve when they wake up and find themselves bound in a high tech lair. Unfortunately for them, that solution means coming to terms with the fact that they were all easily bested by someone well younger than them. Damian Wayne, aka Robin, pint sized super heroic terror extraordinaire, has got a plan for the lot of them and he’s not interested in taking “no” for an answer.
Unforgettable Moment: Tim Drake’s death is affecting more than just his teammates. Starfire narrates that Dick Grayson isn’t coping so well with it. She invited him to travel with her on her working vacation to the Caribbean, but the former boy wonder declined. He’s got too much on his plate back in Gotham to rekindle any old romances.
Wonder Woman #7
By Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp and Laura Martin
Wonder Woman and Cheetah free the girls being held captive by the warlord, Cadulo. Steve’s men get them to safety, while Wonder Woman and Cheetah look for Steve. Elsewhere, Cadulo begins a ritual where he offers himself to Urzkartaga, whose monstrous frame plunges his hand into Cadulo’s chest. Before the process can begin Wonder Woman interrupts…by bursting through Urzkartaga’s chest and freeing Steve. Cadulo orders his wolf-men to attack, but Cheetah is one step ahead and takes them out before setting her sights on Cadulo, who she nearly kills before Wonder Woman stops her. Steve gets the remaining girls to safety as Wonder Woman squares off against Urzkartaga. Trapped in his clutches, Wonder Woman throws her lasso to Cheetah and the girls—explaining that they were never his worshipers, but rather, his wardens. Cheetah and the girls use the lasso to form a circle around Urzkartaga—allowing its magic to destroy him and return him to his plant form. With Urzkartaga vanquished, Cheetah’s curse is lifted and she returns to her human form as Barbara Ann.
Unforgettable Moment: Seeing Barbara once again in her human form was touching, unexpected and undeniably awesome. With the curse lifted, the healing can now begin for Diana’s onetime friend.
Action Comics #965
By Dan Jurgens, Stephen Segovia, Art Thibert and Arif Prianto
Lois decides to go to the Daily Planet, successfully fooling everyone there into believing she is this Earth’s Lois Lane. While there, she discovers things at the Daily Planet are pretty much the same as the ones she’s used to—Jimmy’s still enthusiastic, Steve Lombard is still a jerk. Lois has been haunted by a dream she had in which the Lois Lane of this Earth left her a note saying if something should happen to her, she needs Lois to finish the book she’s writing on Superman for her. She ended the note with a series of strange numbers, which Lois believes is a password. Always the curious reporter, Lois is at the Planet to try and gain access to the computer belonging to this Earth’s Lois and try out that password. While there, Perry White and Lex question her on her absence, and Lois wonders if Lex has something to do with the other Lois’ disappearance. Unable to gain access to the computer due to Clark accidentally spilling his coffee on it, Lois instead heads to the other Lois’ apartment—where things are strangely similar. Entering, she is startled to find Superwoman there…who tells her she knows she’s not the real Lois Lane.
Unforgettable Moment: It’s great to see Superwoman starting to have an impact on the other Superman books. That splash page of her standing in Lois’ apartment is so cool!
By Hope Larson, Rafael Albuquerque and Dave McCaig
While recovering from her knockout fight, Babs makes the unsettling connection between her opponent’s “student” tattoo and the tattoo of the costumed villain who attacked her and Kai back in Japan, leading her to the revelation that it wasn’t Batgirl who the masked schoolgirl was after at all. It was Kai. And it looks like he’s about to be cornered all over again. Babs’ races back to Kai’s hotel to find her MMA opponent, now dressed in a stylized Moth costume, already on the scene. Luckily, the odds of the fight are a little more in her favor now that she’s in it as Batgirl rather than Barbara. After Batgirl fights Moth off, Babs confronts Kai about whatever he’s hiding that’s making him such a target, but predictably, Kai dodges the question. Fed up with Kai’s caginess, Babs decides this is where they ought to part ways on their respective trips. Babs’ next stop on her hunt for the mysterious “teacher” is Seoul, South Korea—but it looks like she’s about to find a little more than she bargained for. It would seem that Moth has followed her and is looking for a rematch—and what’s more, Babs’ assumptions about Kai being a target were absolutely correct, and now without Batgirl around, he’s very much alone.
Unforgettable Moment: Babs finds ways to inspire people, even in defeat. Two of the girls in the audience for her catastrophic knock out fight in the MMA ring still think she’s just the coolest thing they’ve probably ever seen. Looks like May Hao’s female MMA gym might be getting some new recruits soon, which is great considering that Babs can’t exactly stick around.
Batman Beyond: Rebirth #1
By Dan Jurgens, Ryan Sook, Jeremy Lawson and Tony Aviña
Neo-Gotham has seen better days. After an extended absence at the hands of Spellbinder, Terry McGinnis has retaken the mantle of the Bat to find that his city is teetering on the edge of a gang war. The Jokerz, a veritable cult of thugs who worship the ways of the original, long dead Joker have been making increasingly violent and directed plays. They’re no longer aiming to cause general chaos, but attacking clear objectives for things like money and resources. Neo-Gotham’s police commissioner Barbara Gordon has even heard that the Jokerz have begun calling a section of the city “Jokerz Town.” Whatever it is they’re up to, it’s big. The stakes get even higher when the Jokerz stage a coordinated kidnapping of Terry’s on-again-off-again girlfriend, social worker Dana Tran. The leader of the Jokerz, a face-painted madman calling himself Terminal, has someone who would like to see her—the real mastermind behind the Jokerz coordinated attacks: the man Terminal plans to bring back from the dead, the original Joker.
Unforgettable Moment: Terry had a lot on his plate to begin with, even before this whole Jokerz situation cropped up. Until very recently, Terry was assumed to be dead thanks to a move by Spellbinder, which effectively knocked him off the playing field for quite some time. Turns out coming back from the dead isn’t a great move for anyone’s social life.
By Simon Oliver, Moritat and Andre Szymanowicz
Swamp Thing and Mercury peacefully sit in the Red as they chat about her past, Constantine, his character and his motives, just before leaving to travel to the Rot and look for Abby. Constantine has Chas drive him downtown and drop him off at the Tate Club. Before leaving, Constantine gives Chas a large sum of money to put down on a horse for him. In the Tate Club, Constantine meets with Clarice Sackville—a woman literally born by the black arts. She tries to convince Constantine to join her in some mysterious endeavor. After Constantine declines, Clarice goes into another room where the enigmatic Marid awaits. It’s revealed that he wants to find Swamp Thing badly—and Constantine is one way to get to him. Constantine is followed by two of Clarice’s goons. Trying to give them the slip, he goes down into the bowels of the subway and heads toward a secret winding staircase. As he starts down it, the stairs disappear and he’s sent plummeting into a black hole.
Unforgettable Moment: There’s a great panel where Constantine evades his followers by going down a secret door in a bar bathroom. Holding up his lighter to light the darkened stairwell, Constantine looks very much the rogue as he puts the pieces together that Clarice is involved in something big and highly dangerous.
Blue Beetle #1
By Keith Giffen, Scott Kolins and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Jaime’s already complicated life is spinning more and more out of control. The techno-organic scarab fused to his spine is stirring up strange nightmares involving Dr. Fate—a super hero Jaime has, to his recollection, never met—and a giant monstrous Blue Beetle entity…probably not a great sign. And to make things even worse, his overzealous, self-appointed mentor Ted Kord has been gathering tips about a potential mystery for Jaime and him to solve. A local metahuman street gang called the Posse has been inexplicably losing members and Ted’s decided it’s the duty of “Team Blue Beetle” to investigate in ways local law enforcement can’t—even if that means sending Jaime straight into a fight with a very angry, very large metahuman punk who appears to be losing control of his powers. During the fight, the metahuman boy lets slip that someone took his mother and sister, someone who is looking to possibly make “an example” out of the Blue Beetle. The good news is Jaime’s able to subdue the meta before things get too out of hand. The bad news is the meta’s friends show up just in time to make sure Jaime doesn’t get so lucky twice.
Unforgettable Moment: More and more of Ted Kord’s own tenure as Blue Beetle is being brought back into the light! He lets Jaime in on a little anecdote about an encounter he had in the past with Nightshade—a super-villain who shared the same type of powers as the meta Jaime’s currently going up against. Ah, memories.
By Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund and Andrew Dalhouse
Abra Kadabra fights the fight a little too close for comfort when Wally and Garth close in on the perch where he’s been controlling the Titan doppelgangers. Not one to miss an opportunity for a grand exit, Kadabra absconds with his puppets, leaving the team in a bit of a lurch. The upshot is that downtown Keystone City is no longer a battleground and the Titans now know who they’re actually up against. The downside is that even with a name and a face to put to it, they’re still at a loss for Kadabra’s true motives, especially after the magician claimed to be the one who erased Wally from existence. Kadabra’s always been a glutton for attention, but something on such a huge scale seems impossible, even for him. Meanwhile, back at Kadabra’s lair, he confers with his cloned Titans to learn about Wally’s connection to Linda Park and sees a new opening for possible attack. So, as the real Wally does his best to dance around the truth of Kadabra’s attack with Linda, the master magician makes his move, teleporting in and whisking her away even before the speedster can react.
Unforgettable Moment: While Kadabra regroups with his clones, he pulls out his pocket watch to check the time and finds—you guessed it—a single drop of blood, sitting just beside the 11 on the watch face. The doomsday clock continues to count down…
Future Quest #5
By Jeff Parker, Doc Shaner, Craig Rousseau, Jeremy Lawson and Hi-Fi
Team Quest has found themselves on the run from not only the agents of F.E.A.R, but the terrifying remnants of the latest vortex storm. Giant dinosaurs and prehistoric beasts now stalk the forests of their island, left over like their new caveman and alien friends, but considerably less civilized than either. Their hike leads them to a cave that both Todd and Ugh seem to recognize. It’s covered with ancient cave paintings depicting a man wielding some sort of magical club that transforms him into a hero. Or at least, that’s the going theory from Todd’s archeologist parents. They don’t have much more time to try and decipher the drawings before Jezebel Jade and her F.E.A.R henchmen manage to corner them. The fight is chaos, made even worse by the added layer of danger created by the dinosaurs in the area that seem to miraculously join the fray. While the adults throw themselves into battle, Jonny and his friends frantically search the cave’s artifacts for any trace of the magical weapon shown in the cave paintings. Ty’s the one to find it, but nothing could have prepared him for what would happen when he reached out to grab it...
Unforgettable Moment: Stick around for a back up story revealing an all new origin for the classic Hanna-Barbera team, The Impossibles, as they learn the ropes in going from TV personalities to superheroes. That is, if F.E.A.R doesn’t get their hands on them first.
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!