DC Comics has issued their newest “New Talent Showcase.” Since it’s a series of different short stories, I’m going to change my normal review format a bit. As with any collection, it varied a bit, but overall impressed me.
“The Road to Hell and All That,” was written by Adam Smith and drawn by Siya Oum. It features the often rocky relationship between John Constantine and Zatanna. Trying to do something nice for Zee, John learns a dark secret that I’m sure will eventually come out and wreak havoc. I liked the art and writing both. 3.5 out 5 overall.
“Blood and Glory” was written by Vita Ayala, art by Khary Randolph, and colors by John Rauch. Wonder Woman fights monsters in downtown Chicago, and gets unwanted help from the Flash. It’s an odd story, with Wonder Woman and Flash at odds. Also, confusingly for the DCNU, Flash is Wally. I didn’t really like this one or the art. 2 out of 5.
“Dead Beacons” was written by Michael Moreci, with art by Barnaby Bagenda and colors by Romulo Fajado, Jr. Something ugly happens on a space station. Elsewhere, White Lantern Kyle Rayner and Star Sapphire Carol Ferris fight an alien attack which has apparently interrupted their anniversary plans. I don’t care a lot for these characters, but it was a decent story and art. 3 out of 5.
“Weapons of War” was written by Erica Shultz and drawn by Sonny Liew. In this story, Hawkgirl Shayera Thal is some kind of cop in Chicago who secretly gathers up dangerous tech a bit like Torchwood or Warehouse 13. This one just didn’t grab me. I didn’t like this version of Hawkgirl, her costume was kind of ugly, and Shayera was drawn very waif-like. 1.5 out of 5.
“Killing Time” was written by Christopher Sebela, drawn by David Messina, and colored by Moreno Dinisio. Deadman tries to prevent someone’s death in Gotham, using a lot of his body-hopping possession to do it. He then goes to a ghostly bar and ends up talking with the goddess Rama that he serves. It was an odd story, but it worked. I’ll give it a 4 out of 5 over all.
“Digging Up Demons” was written by Hena Khan, penciled by Emanuela Lupacchino, inked by Ray McCarthy and colored by Tomei Morey. That’s a lot of people for a short story. This takes the DCNU version of Wonder Girl back to her roots with archeology thefts, her superpowered boyfriend Diesel, and her mother Helena. I don’t care for this version of Wonder Girl, but everything was done well. 4 out of 5, especially for the art.
“The Amazonian Job” was written by Emma Beeby, drawn by Minkyu, and colored by Trish Mulvihill. The gods are stirring up trouble again, and this time it requires a different approach. Catwoman finds herself hired by… Wonder Woman? I have to admit, I love that concept and the art was well done. I’ll actually go 5 out of 5 for this.
“The Man in Black” was written by Michael McMillian and drawn by Juan Ferreyra. It was an odd story. Part of it is set when Kal-El crashed to Earth, and part of it in modern Metropolis as Superman fights a Jokerized Lois. I didn’t really like it, and some of the panels had Superman looking like he was the one Jokerized. 2 out of 5.
“Good Morning Gotham” rounds out the collection, written by Joelle Jones, art by Sam Lofti and colored by veteran Pete Pantazis. Some kind of weird threat endangers Gotham, and inspires Harley to get some of the Arkhamites to work together and try to save the city. I enjoy a bit of Harley’s silliness as much as the next guy, but this one just didn’t grab me on any level. 2 out of 5.
And that’s the lot. It was a mixed bag, and of course, my reactions are subjective. I’d really like to see “Amazonian Job” followed up on. I’m glad I got it, overall, and think some of it had a lot of potential. It’s not a bad way to see some up and coming talent, and I wish them all good luck.