Comics!

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The latest issue of Astro City offers readers a brief look back at the life of the cosmic hero Starfighter near the end of his career. Touching more on his life outside of the tights than inside (as is the comic’s long-running custom) Astro City #22 offers a beautiful character study of a man who found love on an alien world and a purpose through the use of scrolling mysterious symbols unlocking knowledge and power to allow him to play the hero on Earth and throughout space for decades.

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The current “Blood” storyline continues with Felicity captured by the new Brother Blood, and Green Arrow and Arsenal unable to find her, Oliver agrees to turn himself over to Blood in exchange for her safety. Not trusting the madman, Oliver keeps Arsenal in reserve with a back-up plan should things go wrong by sending his protege to A.R.G.U.S. for some unexpected back-up.

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Now that’s more like it. After being horribly disappointed with Convergence: Batgirl #1 I was feeling less and less sure about DC’s new big event centering on battles between previous versions of characters not found in the current New 52 DCU. Convergence: Speed Force #1 gives us Wally West back in action as the Flash and his kids Jai and Iris.

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Rocket Raccoon #10 interrupts Rocket Raccoon‘s attempt to pay the money owed to all his ex-girlfriend princesses when Rocket is approached by his old frenemy Klep who informs our hero about a chance to find the missing Book of Halfworld… for the right price.

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convergence-batgirl-1-catman-batgirl

DC Comics sure isn’t wasting much time to turn me off of Convergence. Despite being the exact target audience for this particular issue (It has Stephanie Brown as Batgirl! It has Red Robin in his Dr. Midnight pre-New 52 costume! It has Black Bat! And it even has Catman! CATMAN!) I still walked away disappointed.

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For the first time since the launch of the New 52 three-and-half years ago I’m actually excited about a mainstream DC event focused on offering classic versions of heroes from different decades. DC’s major Spring-Summer storyline kicks off her not with a roar but a whimper that despite giving us multiple versions of Braniac feels every bit a New 52 story.

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The latest issue of Guardians Team-Up pairs Gamora and She-Hulk together when Thanos‘ daughter ends up on Earth hunted by an army of Chitauri. While She-Hulk is mistaken by the aliens as their prey Gamora is mistaken for local police for New York’s favorite green-skinned lawyer/super-hero.

I wouldn’t call Guardians Team-Up disappointing exactly but with the wide range of possible team-ups the Marvel Universe offers the comic hasn’t exactly lived up to its premise. Although I had a mixed reaction to Otto Schmidt’s artwork, the pairing of Gamora and She-Hulk is the first issue of the series to really capture the madcap fun such a title can be used for.

I could have done without the flashbacks to Gamora’s childhood with her father which feel a bit unnecessary, and take pages away from the damage the two women can inflict on an entire spaceship of baddies (especially after they start dressing alike). And at $4 a pop the comic still feels a bit overpriced for what its offering. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

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The latest issue of Batman ’66 takes Batman and Batgirl to Japan to take on 60s throwaway Bat-villain Lord Death Man (who got a revamp in Grant Morrison‘s recent Batman Incorporated run after basically being forgotten for the better part of five decades).

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The latest issue of Morning Glories returns to the unique relationship of Vanessa and her mother Ellen who, as far as we know, are the only mother-daughter combination allowed within the walls of Morning Glory Academy. Why this is the case remains a mystery, but what the issue is clear about is the faculty’s insistence on breaking, or at least weakening, the ties between mother and daughter despite going to all the trouble to allow their reunion.

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Most of G.I. JOE: Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra #3 isn’t spent with Snake Eyes, although we do get some of Chameleon feeding the former JOE intelligence to help his search, but instead the story is mainly focused on his target: the former Cobra Commander’s son. We get a long look at Billy’s life off the grid in Thailand with Ronin his only friend and protector.

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