Mind Capsules – New Avengers #17 and Detective Comics #943

New Avengers #17

Writer – Al Ewing
Artist – Paco Medina
Inker – Juan Vlasco
Colours – Jesus Aburtov, Dono Sanchez Almara
Letters – VC’s Clayton Cowles

Robert da Costa, as proven by this point, is always at the very minimum, two steps ahead of everyone else. Usually it is a few more, just to be safe and everything. That includes having the one-up on the Maker which was proven a couple of issues back. So now the Maker has decided to kidnap the President of the United States and it is almost like he has just forgotten that Bobby has had him bugged for months so why would he not know about this plan too? Al Ewing continues to make Sunspot one of the most intriguing and interesting people in the entirety of the Marvel U and it has become a lot of fun to guess just what it is that he is going to do next. The fact that he has also blocked this endeavor by the Maker is really no surprise, but it does not make it any less entertaining. While this is all going on, the New Avengers make short work of the Maker’s forces and now have to contend with John Garrett and his army of mind-controlled Dum Dum Duggans which is not going to be an easy battle. But like any good team, they have a plan, a last-ditch type of plan, but a plan nonetheless and hopefully, it will work. There is a big reveal in this book amongst all the action and misdirection and it involves Duggan, the Avengers and Nick Fury. It hearkens back to a moment in Duggan’s past and it is a good one that half undoes what has been revealed previously, but in no way is a bad thing. There is also another revelation as stated by The Maker, specifically about Nadia Pym – the new Wasp that has recently been seen in the All-New, All-Different Avengers title. Is she working for him? Is he controlling her? With very little information, it is hard to say just what, but it should make things very interesting for those that it will affect. Paco Medina’s pencils stun once again, especially in that fight scene between Sunspot and the Maker. It has been a long time since we have seen Bobby in action and it was good to see that he is still able to throw down when needed. Overall, this is the finale to the story-arc that we deserved – one full of drama, mystery and action and it continues to prove why Ewing is one of the best Avengers writers of all time.

4 out of 5

Detective Comics #943

Writer – James Tynion IV
Artist – Alvaro Martinez
Inker – Raul Fernandez
Colours – Brad Anderson
Letters – Marilyn Patrizio

The Victim Syndicate begins this issue courtesy of James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez among others and it does so with Batwoman at the scene of a trio of murders at none other than Wayne Enterprises. It seems as if some strange gang of Meta’s are protesting the presence of Batman in the city and they are not the only ones. After the Night of the Monster Men, Gotham is a city that no longer loves its costumed vigilante, much less anyone wearing the symbol of the bat or having anything to do with him. That includes any sympathizers including the GCPD who occasionally utilize Batman’s services. The monsters really did a number on the morale of the people as they realized that there was absolutely nothing they could do and instead of having faith in Batman, especially after he and his defeated the creatures, it did the exact opposite. If Batman were to have never existed, would the monster still have come? Tynion IV paints a new portrait of Gotham in lieu of the previous storyline and he does it well. It also finds Batman and his confidence somewhat shaken. He is no longer the same man now that Tim has died on his watch. Batwoman can see it and she tells him as such. She knows that he needs help and that he needs to talk to somebody or he is going to bring this weakness into a fight and get somebody else hurt or worse. Batman is not the only person hurting right now either as Stephanie Brown, a.k.a. Spoiler feels just as bad. She too cannot get her head in the game and unlike Bruce, she is taking solace in the company of her friends in the hopes that she can somehow push past it. Martinez provides some very solid artwork with some very unique designs for this new cadre of villains who are quite disturbing to look at. If there is one thing that Gotham consistently serves up, it would have to be some of the scariest bad guys in all of the DC Universe. What makes this book a little more interesting is the fact that Tynion IV now has a vacancy on the roster with Tim gone and it looks like he is about to fill it with Batwing, a hero we have not seen in quite some time. He too will make the dynamic of the book a little different and it will be a lot of fun to see where this all goes. This was a strong start to The Victim Syndicate, the latest in a string of great stories being featured within the latest title reboot and surely not the last.

4 out of 5

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