Batman and Robin: Futures End (DC)
from November 2014
I love reading these Futures End issues. I love that so many writers ignored, and possibly at editorial suggestion, the Futures End event itself and just had a look at whatever was most probably five years down the line in whatever was happening in the titles at the time. Ray Fawkes was riffing, here, on Damian's death, and Batman's penchant for going gunshy on his new partners because of things like that. This time he's pulling it on Duke Thomas, who in this Futures End timeline actually did become Robin, as so many fans long anticipated (Snyder has instead opted to give him his own identity: the Signal). The art is by Dustin Nguyen, with inks by frequent collaborator Derek Fridolfs. It's funny to see Nguyen presented as a traditional artist again, after getting so used to his Descender water colors look.
What's funny is that it makes his work look like Jorge Corona's.
Yeah, Corono drew Duke, too, as a kind of Robin, in the pages of We Are Robin. Seems appropriate, anyway.
Here's what Nguyen looks like in Descender, by the way:
The story, by the way, involves Batman's showdown with a revived Heretic, most likely a clone, the villain who killed Damian in the pages of Morrison's Batman Incorporated. I'm sure I've read it before, but it's another of the excellent Futures End specials.
Green Arrow #1 (DC)
Wal-Mart reprint from July 2017
This is a reprint of the Rebirth debut issue from the ongoing series, and does an excellent job of spotlighting Benjamin Percy's vision for the series, integrating a lot of different elements of Green Arrow's publishing history, including his social views, relationship with Black Canary, and penchant for having a sidekick, except this one...It becomes a wonderful development for the character, having Ollie take on a half-sister, whose mother turns out to be his enemy Shado. Makes me think I really should've made this series a priority read at some point. Will have to check back in...
Justice League #36 (DC)
from January 2015
This is the first chapter in the "Amazo Virus," where Geoff Johns started amping the series back up to its "monthly event book" (my designation) status as it geared toward "Darkseid War." The art of Jason Fabok was an immediate sensation, and certainly helped drive eyeballs back to the title.
Justice League United #2, 5 (DC)
from August, December 2014
I never did get around to sampling this series at the time, but I'm glad I finally have. Jeff Lemire (writer of Descender, by the way!) launched it, and these issues make it clear that United helped launch the New 52 version of Adam Strange, which was fun to read, especially for someone who's just finished rereading 52.
Batman and the Justice League: Outbreak #1 (DC)
Wal-Mart reprint from July 2017
This is what's really fascinating about these 3-packs, that the comic in front is always the newest, and often features a custom Wal-Mart cover and even, with some of them, custom titles. Batman and the Justice League is actually the Rebirth Justice League from Bryan Hitch, and this is actually #10 from the series. It's kind of funny, too, or maybe calculated, that the issue is related to the above Justice League, as it also features Amazo.