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 bonus, we’ve included a few animated recaps, to give you just a little more detail.
We hope you find these recaps helpful, but be aware that they do contain some spoilers!
By Tom King, Mikel Janin and June Chung
Hugo Strange’s monsters may be taken care of, but the lasting effects of his allies are still very much a problem. As the Psycho-Pirate’s manipulations cause Claire’s condition to deteriorate, Bruce resolves to take Amanda Waller up on her offer—tracking and hunting the Pirate down from his new refuge at Bane’s side in Santa Prisca. Going up against Bane is a challenge even on a good day, but going up against him on his home turf? That’s practically suicidal. Luckily, Bruce has a plan. To level the playing field, Bruce enlists the help of a very select (and very dangerous) roster of villains to function as his own makeshift Suicide Squad. From Arkham, he recruits Arnold Wesker aka the Ventriloquist, Ben Turner aka Bronze Tiger, Jane and John Doe aka Punch and Jewlee, and finally—the most dangerous person on his list—Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman.
Unforgettable Moment: Blink and you’ll miss her but it looks like Arkham Asylum has an inmate from the 31st century. In a cell labeled “Doe,” Saturn Girl patiently and silently draws the symbol of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the fog of her window.
Harley Quinn #6
By Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, John Timms, Jill Thompson and Alex Sinclair
It’s time for Harley and her newly formed punk band—the Skull Bags—to take center stage in their latest and greatest undercover mission, but like always, Harley’s methods prove to be unconventional, even for the punk scene. Rather than really even try to whip her band mates (or, well, herself) into musical fitness, Harley decides to really lean into her own tin ear. It’s a brutal show, and not the most popular one at that, but it succeeds in getting her noticed by her marks—the band Purple Satin. After the show, Harley doubles down on her undercover persona and goes out with Purple Satin’s members, working her way to the bottom of what, exactly, is motivating their recent spree of violent crimes. The answer? They’re collecting pieces to display at an underground club of super hero fetishists, dealing in stolen heroic (and villainous) memorabilia. And as if that wasn’t wildly too close to home already, the band’s latest mark was a hand carved necklace—a gift from the Joker for Harley herself back in their Arkham days. Yikes.
Unforgettable Moment: The origin of the carved necklace is told in a bittersweet flashback to Harley’s days as Dr. Quinzel in Arkham Asylum. Here’s hoping that she’s able to come through this ordeal with those ghosts still decidedly exorcised.
Green Arrow #9
By Benjamin Percy and Stephen Byrne
Ollie and Dinah’s search for Diggle lands them in hot water when one of the island’s native residents finds them first. It turns out there’s a lot more at work here than a couple of castaways and renegade wildlife. An encounter with a native islander named Ata pulls Ollie and Dinah into a messy situation—Ata’s wife Ana has been working closely with the Ninth Circle as a means to increase the wealth of their isolated island home without realizing that in doing so, she was signing a deal with the devil. Now, it’s up to Ollie and Dinah to help Ata confront his wife about her entanglements with the Ninth Circle by mounting a full frontal assault against their hidden compound—and, hopefully, if everything goes according to plan, rescue Diggle from Ana’s custody in the process. But, in typical Oliver Queen fashion, things get a little (a lot) out of hand. The attack promptly spirals into the full-blown explosive destruction of Ana’s facility, effectively tanking the island’s one chance at any sort of economic growth with or without the influence of the Ninth Circle. That, and the realization that Ollie’s ex-CFO Broderick had a huge part in the island’s involvement with the Ninth Circle in the first place puts a very speedy end to any alliance Team Arrow may have had with Ana and Ata.
Unforgettable Moment: Despite their near constant bickering, Ollie and Dinah prove that they’re the yin to one another’s yang. In a flawless display of coordinated combat, Dinah’s able to ignite one of Ollie’s arrows mid-flight to take out a huge amount of the Ninth Circle’s attacking forces deep within the combo. Even the most extreme personalities have a way of balancing one another out.
Justice League #7
By Bryan Hitch, Jesus Merino, Andy Owens and Adriano Lucas
The effects of whatever made both Jessica and Barry lose control in public have begun to ripple out to the other members of the Justice League. Superman begins to feel an uncontrollable rage, zeroed in on Batman, while the Dark Knight himself slowly spirals deeper into his own paranoia. Meanwhile, Diana and Arthur are consumed by their resentment for the human world, while Vic and Simon experience their own breakdowns in the middle of one of Vic’s football games. It would seem that the Justice League is coming apart at the seams, and without their wits about them, there doesn’t seem to be any salvation in sight. Luckily, Jessica is no stranger to dealing with fear. As the mysterious entity worms further and further into the League, Jessica’s will spikes just enough to prompt whatever was infecting her to flee her body in a torrent of black sludge. It’s messy and violent, but it manages to free herself and Barry from its grasp—at least for now. Now, whether or not Jessica wants to stick around for round two, or even remain in the League at all, might be a different ordeal all together.
Unforgettable Moment: While Jessica and Barry’s situation is looking close to handled, Aquaman and Wonder Woman are teetering on the edge of causing an international incident. Diana is thoroughly unimpressed by the US military’s show of firepower against an Amazon warrior like herself. “Bullets? Seriously?”
By Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Trevor Scott and Wil Quintana
While reading the story of the Losers on the cave wall, Superman, Jon and Krypto come under fire from the machine gun of Captain Storm. They quickly clear the air and Captain Storm agrees to help them find the strange device. In gratitude, Superman constructs a wooden leg for Captain Storm to help him move around easier. Storm takes his new allies to a remote part of the island where a huge white gorilla sits on a throne of old WWII weaponry and wreckage. The gorilla quickly dispatches a horde of monsters on the group. Fighting their way through, Jon locates the device. Superman notices the gorilla has the same device on its eye as the sea creature they encountered when they first arrived on the island. Superman grabs the contraption just as Jon grabs the other device. As they start to transport out of there, Superman grabs Captain Storm by his wooden leg in order to take him with them, but Captain Storm turns his gun on his leg, shooting it off and telling Superman that the Losers always stick together. Superman, Jon and Krypto are then transported back to the Fortress of Solitude. Elsewhere, a mysterious being examines Captain Storm’s wooden leg and the contraption from the gorilla’s eye, while a strange creature with tentacles watches on.
Unforgettable Moment: Hands down, Captain Storm refusing to go with Superman, Jon and Krypto—instead, choosing to stay and not leave his fallen brothers. Too good.
By Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez and Chris Sotomayor
As Nightwing and his former Spyral allies prepare to make their final move against the Parliament of Owls, they find themselves beaten to the punch. Violently. The cell of Owls they had been in position to take into custody instead has to be removed from their stronghold in body bags, care of a mutated Kobra assassin. Using a back door he installed in the Book of Wisdom program, Raptor’s been using the highest bidders to dole out his own brand of brutal justice to the Owls—something that Dick can’t allow to continue. Unfortunately, his temporary partner has more than just one trick up his sleeve and some harsh lessons he’s looking to teach. So, moments after Dick is able to track him down to confront him about Kobra and the Owls, Raptor springs yet another plan into action: incapacitating Dick and kidnapping Bruce Wayne from a very public event. His point? To prove to Dick that his mentor’s lessons did more harm than good; that Bruce’s only goal was to strip Dick of the spirit and the soul of his family back at Haley’s Circus. And Raptor ought to know...he was there. Now it’s up to Dick to rescue Bruce and get to the bottom of Raptor’s connection to his family. Here’s hoping he doesn’t lose himself in the process.
Unforgettable Moment: Raptor is proving himself to be a man of many talents. Subtlety, however, is not one of them. Attacking Bruce in broad daylight and in public was an incredibly risky gambit, but a well calculated one. Raptor knew he could count on the Batman to do anything to keep his double life a secret—including allowing himself to lose a fight.
By John Semper Jr, Will Conrad and Ivan Nunes
Vic Stone’s life is becoming a nightmare. Literally. After his fight with Kilg%re left him badly damaged, Vic’s been taken back to S.T.A.R labs for repairs. Unfortunately, it seems like those repairs have triggered a subconscious response in his systems and thrust him into a web of dreams and nightmares—everything from an ability to disguise his robotic body with nanites and exist as a human being to failing his Justice League teammates in an invasion from Darkseid. The problem? Vic doesn’t know he’s dreaming, which wouldn’t be a huge problem, except for the fact that someone has figured out a way to puppeteer Vic’s body against his will. Now he’s rampaging through the labs—completely unconscious of the danger he’s posing to his friends, stuck fighting a losing battle against his own mind. And to make things even worse? He still has no idea that the person he rescued from Kilg%re’s trap wasn’t actually his father, but a robotic doppelgänger sent by whoever is orchestrating the attacks. Victor may be home, but help is still very, very far away.
Unforgettable Moment: Vic’s nightmare about the Justice League’s fight with Darkseid might look familiar to you, because it actually happened. Think back to the very beginning of the Justice League in the New 52 and you can see the way this fight actually went down.
By Dan Abnett, Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher and Gabe Eltaeb
The Shaggy Man continues his rampage through Atlantis and towards Amnesty Bay. When he reaches the surface, Aquaman fears it will be seen as another attack by Atlantis. Meanwhile, at the Tower of the Widowhood, Mera continues to butt heads with Mother Cetea—where Mera learns how deep the Widowhood’s reach is. Back in Amnesty Bay, as Shaggy Man rips through the city, Aquaman scrambles to keep people safe despite their mixed feelings towards him. Murk encourages Aquaman to contact the Justice League, but Aquaman refuses out of pride and wanting to prove he can handle the situation on his own. Quick thinking gives Aquaman the edge on the Shaggy Man—he uses his Justice League card to teleport the Shaggy Man beyond our atmosphere, where he’ll float aimlessly in the vastness of space. Murk then comes to the aid of Aquaman, who is in dire health after the battle with the Shaggy Man.
Unforgettable Moment: Can we pick two? Aquaman refusing to call the Justice League to prove that he can handle the situation is risky, but also commendable. However, the final page of Murk crying desperately to the crowd for help, unsure of whether he’ll actually get it from the surface world, is haunting.
Green Lanterns #9
By Sam Humphries, Robson Rocha, Jay Leisten and Blond
Frank Laminski is a failed pilot who’s been seen as second rate for most of his life. The years of going unnoticed and unappreciated (in his mind) have warped Laminski, leading him to develop an unhealthy relationship with the Green Lanterns and believing he deserved to be one. To make certain he was prepared, Laminski trained to get his body and mind in top shape—thinking doing so would lead a Green Lantern ring would take note of him. While on patrol one night, he is beaten up badly, and to his delight, a Green Lantern ring visits him, claiming that he is to receive it. But, Laminski is quickly crushed when the ring recalibrates its error, denying him and flying off to find another host. This plunges Laminski into darkness. One day, he’s visited by a mysterious figure that explains it’s been watching him for sometime and tells him about the Phantom Ring and that it will aid Laminski in finding it. The figure then reveals itself as Volthoom—the First Lantern.
Unforgettable Moment: This story is going in a cool direction. We loved the reintroduction of the mysterious Volthoom!
The Flintstones #4
By Mark Russell, Steve Pugh and Chris Chuckry
The concept of marriage has the residents of Bedrock split: some people embrace it, others think it’s an abomination to their way of life. Fred and Wilma certainly don’t doubt their choice to marry, but nevertheless decide to attend a marriage retreat. On the way, they see their friends Adam and Steve, who are thinking of getting married. Wilma invites them to the retreat. While there, couples partake in all sorts of exercises—usually leading to fights. Across town, a mob of angry people gathers at town hall to express their rage about marriage, while back at the retreat, the couples struggle to get on the same page about marriage and expectations of their partners. Things escalate quickly when the angry mob shows up to protest marriage. The retreat counselor calms everyone down before they get out of control, but when Adam and Steve show up proclaiming they were just married, the counselor objects. Fred puts him in his place, explaining that love and marriage transcend anyone’s gender or sexual preference, telling a story of how Adam and Steve helped keep his tribe alive when they were kids. Fred and Wilma leave the retreat and head back home, where a happy Dino greets them.
Unforgettable Moment: Fred retelling the story of how he met and formed a relationship with Adam and Steve is a pretty unique way to drive home his point about love and marriage.
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!