UXM mostly managed to annoy me by being vague about whether I was supposed to take it seriously or not. I decided not. The rest was just a mish-mash of quasi-origin stories, some of which were well written with bad art, like Piotr's, and some of which were stupidly written with okay art, like Sean's. And the rest were fine.
So, right, Flash: Rebirth #3. I've never liked Barry Allen, but - wait, did I talk about this already? I can't remember. The point is, despite never liking Barry Allen, I'm enjoying what this title is doing to the speedsters of the DCU. Issue #2's reveal of Barry as the new Black Flash was pretty awesome. After that, I expected this week to be slightly anti-climactic. Which it was and it wasn't. First off, I wish my local shop had the variant cover, which I'm posting here. Because the main cover sucked. I don't know, it just reminded me of something from 1988, and I like my art to evolve. See how awesome that variant cover is? Yeah, word.
Anyway, there were four things I liked about this issue that made it a page turner. First was the description, by Wally, of Linda being his lightning rod so he didn't get lost in the Speed Force (and then saying that Iris ought to be Barry's). I like the idea of the speedster's emotional connection to someone being able to anchor them. It's good stuff. Second: Barry's thoughts about Wally ("the suit fits him") and Bart ("proof I'm past my time"). More good stuff. Third was the description of the Speed Force itself, which I've written about before, and which I found very... I don't know. Resonent. I'd reproduce it, but I'm afraid DC might sue me. Anyway, the idea that you become a part of everything but have to give yourself up in the process is an interesting and scary one. And that's what exists in and for all speedsters.
And the last thing I liked, which is a huge spoiler I guess so stop reading this sentence right now if you don't want to be spoile, okay? Good. Max!
Sorry, I like Max Mercury, so it was nice to have confirmation of his existence, and the hope that he may be integral to solving this whole Barry Issue (personally, whatever, Barry can be the Black Flash and I don't care).
Also, the appearance of the Reverse Flash (meh) just reminded me again why I hate the Kid Flash uniform. Way too similar. If Bart can't be Impulse again (why not?) why can't he be someone else? In my fanon he's taken the name Inertia and is more adult without losing his Bartness (the way he did in FMA). Then again, in my fanon he's dating Cissie King-Jones, and DC seems to have abandoned her. Also I make no claims that my fanon may be realistic at all. But there we have it.
And then the other reason I went into the shop today was for Red Robin #1. I have to say, I'm liking the whole Batman aspect of the DCU now that Bruce Wayne isn't Batman anymore. Everything seems fresh and new, and I can start from scratch with some titles (and, hi, Paul Dini is writing two of them and one features Harley Quinn, so... I'm there).
I had no idea what to expect with this. I have a vague idea of what happened during the Jason Todd run, and I know there was supposed to be some new reveal of a shocking Red Robin, so I figured I'd pick up the issue and see if it engaged me.
It did. Tim Drake as the darker Robin seems like such a fantastic turnaround, without being completely based in nonsense. It also answers my I-didn't-realize-I-was-thinking-this question of "where the hell is Tim Drake?" I'd assumed he'd pop up somewhere, eventually, but not like this. Though a friend has just informed this was "obvious," as someone who has not been following the Batman titles at all, I can say that it was a nice surprise and now I will be following them. So there.
And here again there were two distinct parts of the book I liked. One was the flashback to his argument with Dick and his treatment and the hands of Snottian (erm, Damian), and the other was Tim's inner monologue about why this costume and this name. The Red Robin crosses lines, and Tim's ready to cross them to find Bruce.
And the last panel reveal of Ra's al Ghul worked for me. It sets up a good dichotomy with Damien living as Robin and Tim living with Ra's watching him with a potential for an alliance and daddy issues (yeah, Tim shouting that he's "Tim Wayne" at Damian was awesome) and all sorts of interesting storytelling.
Or possibly not. I'm optimistic.
That's a pleasant change.