Harley Quinn gets ready to move on.

It was another big week for the comic book industry. DC delivered a two-pronged farewell to the current Harley Quinn creative team and capped off the first half of Mister Miracle. Marvel wrapped a new Darth Vader storyline, kicked off the massive Avengers: No Surrender crossover and debuted Old Man Hawkeye. And Archie Comics gave us a crucial new installment of their flagship Archie series.

Scroll down to check out our reviews for these and various other new releases, and be sure to let us know your favorite books of the week in the comments below.

Action Comics #995


Written by Dan Jurgens | Drawn by Brett Booth

In many ways, Action Comics #995 feels like a throwback to the way that comics were two decades ago. Dan Jurgens’ approach to writing Superman and Booster Gold doesn’t seem to have evolved too much in the last twenty years, although Superman is uncharacteristically angry with Booster. Even within the context of what happened in the previous issue, it feels excessive and it makes their later reconciliation seem forced. As for the art, Brett Booth has come a long way since the ‘90s, and his pages looks terrific when paired with Norm Rapmund’s inks. That gives the book its classic flavor, and their collaboration turns out to be one of the best aspects of the entire issue. The action is always clear, and they evoke some emotion out of Booster’s family reunion. It’s not a superhuman achievement, but it has just enough going for it. There’s also a great cliffhanger heading into the next issue which has rekindled my interest. -Blair

Final Score:

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18


Written by Julie & Shauna Benson | Drawn by Marcio Takara

Batgirl and Black Canary enter Huntress’ world of espionage in a one-note issue that feels too much like a filler to fully enjoy. The mission falls flat, and doesn’t embrace the fun dynamic I’m use to reading with the Benson’s run on Birds of Prey. Marcio Takara’s art isn’t sleek enough for the super spy thriller the issue is going for. If you are a Grayson fan you may enjoy this, but for Batgirl and the Birds of Prey this one-shot doesn’t offer too much in story or art. -Kat

Final Score:

Detective Comics #972


Written by James Tynion IV | Drawn by Miguel Mendonca

One of the big reasons that James Tynion IV’s run on this title is so good is that he has really strong takes on the new team of Gotham City heroes. And that’s why it’s so disconcerting to see the characters seemingly acting well outside of the personas that Tynion has established. The idea appears to be that Tim Drake was greatly affected by his future self, but he was never this shrill or annoying before that happened. At least Clayface has a viable explanation for his wildly shifting personality. Thanks to some terrific pages by Miguel Mendonca, Clayface actually comes off as legitimately dangerous. In fact, Mendonca’s artwork is easily the best thing about this title right now. What it lacks in heart it makes up for with the stunning visuals. -Blair

Final Score:

The Flash #38


Written by Joshua Williamson | Drawn by Scott Kolins

As much as DC Rebirth has benefited the Flash family in general, lately it’s felt as though this series has become too mired in very un-Rebirth-like darkness and despair. That’s why it’s so satisfying to see writer Joshua Williamson tackle the problem head-on and force Barry to confront the personal and professional mistakes he’s made. That dovetails nicely with the big showdown between Barry and Captain Cold, a villain who seems destined for some pretty big things in 2018. Even more promising is Williamson’s handling of Godspeed. As much as that character came across as another generic speedster villain early on in the series, he’s acquiring new layers now. And top top everything off, it’s always a treat seeing Scott Kolins return to the Flash franchise. This isn’t necessarily Kolins’ strongest Flash work. His figure work is fairly loose, particularly late in this issue. But even so, there’s nothing like the dynamic, animated quality Kolins brings to Flash’s adventures.  -Jesse

Final Score:

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #36


Written by Robert Venditti | Drawn by Jack Herbert & Jose Luis

The artwork is almost never the problem with this book. Jack Herbert’s pages are about as strong as anyone could ask for, and he continues the tradition of great artists on this title since the beginning of DC Rebirth. Herbert’s figure work is sharp, and even his Guardians of the Universe are visually distinctive. The issue here is with the somewhat lackluster story and its punch-less conclusion. “Twilight of the Guardians” doesn’t exactly live up to its title, and the reception of the new status quo may depend upon how you feel about the Guardians as a concept. The script attempts to give the surviving Guardians some added dimensions while largely shuffling off the four human Green Lanterns with their dude-bro banter. I appreciate the callback to the ‘90s era of DC’s cosmic books that occurs in the final pages, but this story just wasn’t very compelling. Only the art kept it interesting. -Blair

Final Score:

Harley Quinn #34


Written by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti | Drawn by John Timms w/ Chad Hardin

“Writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti have crafted one of the lengthiest continual runs on a DC series in the past decade. They’ve penned 64 issues of Harley Quinn between this volume and its New 52 predecessor, and that’s not even counting the various specials and offshoot miniseries that have cropped up along the way. That fact that their run is finally coming to a close is a big deal. That said, where once Harley Quinn was a rare bright spot in DC’s troubled New 52 lineup, the series has often struggled to stand out in the far more competitive Rebirth era. This series rarely seems to live up to its potential anymore, and this farewell issue is no exception.” -Jesse

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Final Score:

Harley Quinn: Be Careful What You Wish For #1


Written by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti | Drawn by Various

This week’s regular issue of Harley Quinn was the last one by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti, but this one-shot is a more fitting coda for their run with the character. This is just pure Harley insanity with great art by Conner, Chad Hardin, Otto Schmidt and Ben Caldwell. More importantly, it’s really funny to see Harley Quinn granted a seemingly infinite number of wishes that all blow up in her face. The brief return of Harley’s classic costume and an all-too mellow Joker are the high points, but the entire issue encapsulates the best aspects of Conner and Palmiotti’s take on Harley’s personality and adventures. Even though the issue wasn’t designed to be their farewell, it ends on just the right note that gives Harley a fairly hopeful outlook and an unexpected new friend. The last multi-arc Harley story got a little too morose before Conner and Palmiotti left. This is the perfect antidote for that Harley. -Blair

Final Score:

Justice League of America #22


Written by Steve Orlando | Drawn by Neil Edwards

“Deadly Fable” is, in many ways, the story this series has been building to from the beginning, as the Batman-less JLA are confronted by the Queen of Fables and come to terms with their place in the DCU. Sadly, this book’s pattern of struggling in the villain department shows no signs of easing up. The Queen of Fables is as bland as she is seemingly all-powerful. That robs what should be a big moment in this issue of any sense of significance. The extremely hokey civilian dialogue, as innocent bystanders marvel at the power of the Queen and her ability to take down the JLA, really doesn’t help. As ever, it really falls on the team’s core dynamic to pick up the slack. Caitlin’s struggle to embrace her cured status and her role in ushering in this new enemy gives the story some amount of weight. Artist Neil Edwards is a welcome presence in this issue. This series has tended to struggle in the visual department whenever Ivan Reis isn’t on board, but Edwards gives the conflict the scope and detail it needs. -Jesse

Final Score:

Mister Miracle #6


Written by Tom King | Drawn by Mitch Gerads

Mister Miracle #6 is an unapologetic action issue as Big Barda and Mister Miracle battle their way towards Orion’s thrown room. Tom King brilliantly grounds the issue with a seemingly mundane conversation between Big Barda and Mister Miracle about home renovation. One of King’s biggest accomplishments with his run on Mister Miracle is the relatability he brings to these all-powerful beings, and this is something fully brought to the forefront in this issue. King and Gerads’ collaboration mixes adventure with powerful character building in a wonderfully balanced finale. Mister Miracle #6 concludes the series’ first arc with big reveals and a better understanding of what “Darkseid is” really means in an issue that continues to make Mister Miracle a strangely relatable psychological thrill ride. -Kat

Final Score:

Suicide Squad #33


Written by Simon Spurrier | Drawn by Fernando Pasarin

This series really is a seesaw of quality, one whose fortunes really depend on the artist in question. Suicide Squad fared poorly in the previous story arc for that reason, but having Fernando Pasarin at the helm helps get this new story off to a strong start. Pasarin’s powerful, detailed lines are just what this book has been needing. Guest writer Si Spurrier also brings a different sensibility to the page. As usual, Spurrier’s sardonic sense of humor is on full display. Interestingly, he frames his story from the point of view of a character named Juan, a low-level metahuman who finds himself unwillingly cast as one of the expendable “redshirts” of Task Force X. It’s always fun seeing familiar super-teams explored from an altered, outside perspective. On the other hand, it’s debatable whether this issue really has much to say about the relationship between the haves and have-nots of the DCU. At some point it begins to feel like an excuse to torture poor Juan for entertainment value. This short arc will ultimately come down to how Juan’s story finishes playing out in issue #34. -Jesse

Final Score:

Superwoman #18


Written by K. Perkins | Drawn by Max Raynor

This issue marks the finale of Superwoman in an unsatisfying conclusion that makes the whole series feel null and void. The series has been about Lana figuring out what type of hero she wanted to be, and by the end Lana discovers this through a conversation with a lackluster villain. Lana’s views on heroism are honorable, but in execution they come off as sappy. Max Raynor’s pencils and Hi-Fi’s colors are the strongest aspect of the issue. It’s bright and fun, while also expressing some good emotions throughout the story. Superwoman #18 closes the chapter on Lana’s time as Superwoman on a cliché note, which is ironic because this series started out with so many surprises. -Kat

Final Score:

Titans #19


Written by Dan Abnett | Drawn by Paul Pelletier

In the last arc Troia wanted to destroy the Titans, but in the end those events made the team even stronger. If one of their own can’t break up the team, who can? Sadly, this issue doesn’t give the series’ overall story any time to breathe as the Justice League barge in to disband the team. Titans #19 introduces some good emotions, especially between Roy and Donna, but doesn’t add anything new to the franchise. Paul Pelletier’s pencils are the strongest aspect of the issue. He does an effective job at balancing the emotions from the Titans’ confrontation with the Justice League. He also develops some nice action sequences as Dan Abnett gives us a peek at Roy going solo after the team’s split. Titans #19 has solid character moments, but falters from bad timing. -Kat

Final Score:

Wildstorm: Michael Cray #4


Written by Bryan Hill w/ Warren Ellis | Drawn by N. Steven Harris

It feels like this comic has fallen into the trap of simply sending Michael Cray after broken or crazy versions of DC’s greatest heroes within the new Wildstorm universe. For the alternate Green Arrow and the Flash, this was a nice surprise that made Cray feel vulnerable and outmatched. But the next issue will once again retread that ground and it’s already becoming tiresome. Spending so much time on the evil incarnations of DC’s icons has taken the focus away from Michael himself, although he does get a few moments of characterization. Michael’s attempt to befriend the deranged Barry Allen instead of directly fighting him was an inspired choice, and it would go a long way if Cray routinely showed that much personality. For now, he’s almost a guest star in his own book. -Blair

Final Score:

Wonder Woman #38


Written by James Robinson | Drawn by Emanuela Lupacchino

In this installment of Wonder Woman James Robinson shines the spotlight on Vanessa Kapatelis in a captivating journey on how a friend could become an enemy. Robinson does a good job at balancing the origin of Silver Swan while also developing Diana’s relationship with her brother, Jason. Diana is pushing Jason to find his inner hero as her abandonment of Vanessa makes her turn to the dark side. On artwork, Emanuela Lupacchino’s use of strong facial expressions and Romulo Fajardo Jr.’s bright color palette explores these emotions perfectly. Wonder Woman #38 is a nice start to a complicated villain story. -Kat

Final Score:


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