John Constantine has a new lease on life at DC Comics, having made a graceful exit after eight years in the main DC universe. His relaunched Hellblazer series is part of the Sandman Universe imprint, which means that John is back in his own gritty supernatural England, and taking a victory lap around a few of the other Sandman books.
This week, he popped in to Dan Watters and Fernando Blanco’s Lucifer, to pay a house call on the Lord of Hell. Old Scratch has been doing some construction work up in the material plane — long story, but it’s all part of a scheme to avoid the vengeance of several underworld gods that he flimflammed in a previous story arc.
John dropped in just as he was beginning a very ghostly housewarming, got invited along, and made himself quite at home indeed.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. Let’s start get started!
All of the ghosts in Lucifer’s mansion have had their taste for human pleasures returned to them after hundreds of years without being able to taste or feel. John Constantine is exactly the kind of person who can’t say no to a well-hung headless ghost, a Japanese horror movie villain, and having a good shag in the Devil’s own vacation home.
Truly, he is an example for all of us.
Everything in Aquaman is coming to a head, and by that I mean that Black Manta basically has a jaeger piloted by an AI version of his dead dad, and Mera is using her aquakinesis to make a giant water elemental of herself to beat it into a pulp. While she’s pregnant. Mera is awesome.
Tom King’s run on Batman came to an end this week, with its 85th issue, and the moment Kite-Man showed up, I knew it was going to be a good one. I won’t say there haven’t been ups and downs in this series, but all in all, I’m happy I was around for it. Hopefully King’s real cap on his story, the upcoming 12-issue miniseries Batman/Catwoman, will be one of the highs.
Doomsday Clock’s ending didn’t live up to the hype. And it looked even worse in the wake of HBO’s electrifying Watchmen series. But I can say this: Gary Frank’s art was incredible the whole way through.
Legion of Super-Heroes #2
Jonathan Kent, you get parental permission to hang out with a totally awesome inter-galactic Justice League of cool Superman-worshipping teens from the future, and the first thing you do with it is endanger the time stream to go back to the present and grab your extremely intense 11-year-old best friend??? You are GROUNDED.
The new Suicide Squad series comes from Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo, the same team that delivered the surprisingly enjoyable Injustice series. It’s quite good fun, and introduces a whole team’s worth great-looking new characters to the DC universe. The Revolutionaries find themselves in the Squad’s crosshairs, and then once they’ve been subdued, press ganged into the Squad itself, just as Amanda Waller quits under seeming duress. So that’s great for morale!
Family Tree #2
Jeff Lemire and Phil Hester’s latest, Family Tree, is that old Lemire standby of a strange sci-fi situation plus family drama — the story of a broken family coming back together in the face of a plague that transforms its victims into trees.
Gwenpool Strikes Back #5
OK, so, Gwenpool is a long story, but it’s one that comes to a turning point in the final issue of her miniseries. Gwen is a self-aware comic book character, who knows that if she doesn’t find an editorial home, she could fade from existence. Well, not to spoil it too bad from the image, but after a lot of struggle, Gwenpool Strikes Back finds a new home and community — and it’s perfect.
King Thor #4
With King Thor #4, Jason Aaron’s Thor saga comes to a close. But Thor’s story isn’t ending, of course. The issue takes its time to touch on the new status quo of Asgard, including one major new detail. Following the death of Heimdall in the pages of Valkyrie, someone else has taken up his sword and his all-seeing gaze: The Lady Sif.
Oh thank god, X-Force finally explained how Wolverine still has adamantium claws after he was resurrected along with the rest of the X-Men in Hox/Pox. They just keep a vat of adamantium around at all times because he dies so freaking much. The X-Men are great.