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Reader Recaps: Superman Visits a New Frontier

Reader Recaps: Superman Visits a New Frontier

By Meg Downey and Matt Ross Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

SPOILER ALERT: The following feature contains spoilers from the previous issues of this week's new comics.

With Rebirth now in full swing and so many exciting new titles to try, we can’t blame anyone for needing a reminder of what happened in the last issue. Or maybe you’re looking to add a new book to your list and need to get caught up on earlier chapters? Either way, we’re here to help. Every Tuesday, we’ll be recapping the prior issues of that week’s new Rebirth and Hanna-Barbera comics, as well as sharing our favorite moments. It’s a quick, easy way to ensure you’re up to speed and ready for New Comic Day. We hope you find these recaps helpful, but be aware that they do contain some spoilers!



Superman #8

By Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Doug Mahnke, Jamie Mendoza and Wil Quintana

Jon, Superman and Krypto hang out in the Fortress of Solitude, where Jon works on building a little flying saucer for his science class. Turning it on, the saucer flies around the fortress and hovers above the Crystal Font, assimilating some the crystals and turning the saucer into something that looks remarkably like a Motherbox. Krypto grabs it out of the air and when Jon tries to take it from him, the three are transported to a mysterious island. Looking around, they glimpse an old WWII-era ship washed ashore with huge claw marks cut into it. After surviving an attack from a bizarre sea creature, they venture farther into the island where they discover both a tank with dead soldiers in it and a downed Japanese plane. Superman deduces that Jon’s device somehow transported them to a long-lost Pacific island where a WWII battle had taken place. The family takes to sky to find the device and are attacked by massive pterodactyls. But when they return to the ground, the creatures fly away out of fear—something has spooked them. Exploring further, the three come across the skeleton of a dead soldier and four graves for other soldiers nearby. Entering a heavily armed cave, there is writing sprawled on the wall explaining the story of The Losers.       

Unforgettable Moment: Honestly, the less you know about this comic going in, the better. That way you can gradually realize that you’ve seen this island before—in Darwyn Cooke’s THE NEW FRONTIER. It’s the island where the Losers made their last stand. When you get to that last page, you can’t help but get goosebumps!

Batman #8

By Steve Orlando, Tom King, Riley Rossmo and Ivan Plascencia

(Night of the Monster Men – Part 4) With both Nightwing and Gotham Girl infected and transformed into Strange’s monsters, the team suddenly has a lot more on their plate. You know, as if a rage-causing fungus in their evacuation caves and a constantly mutating kaiju tearing through downtown weren’t already enough. Thankfully, they manage to secure two very big wins: first, Bruce is able to take down the giant, multi-headed monster using conductive accelerant and good old-fashioned electricity. Second, Duke and Alfred are able to synthesize what may or may not be a cure for Dick and Claire. The hard part, obviously, is getting close enough to them to administer it. Bruce is never without a plan, however, and calls upon Clayface to execute an experimental maneuver—encasing Batman in his clay like a suit of armor. It’s risky, and maybe a little crazy, but it’s all they’ve got. The gambit works on Claire, allowing them to inject the antidote and cure her, but Nightwing’s flying monster form proves just a bit more difficult. Meanwhile, back at the caves, Spoiler and Orphan may have finally cured their evacuees’ rage infections by burning the fungus out of the cave, but in doing so, may have inadvertently woken up yet another threat.

Unforgettable Moment: If there were ever any doubts about Basil’s position on the Batfamily’s team, consider them well and truly assuaged. We’ve known Clayface has a few tricks up his sleeve since day one, but becoming a living suit of armor for Bruce is a whole new level.

Nightwing #7

By Steve Orlando, Tim Seeley, Roge Antonio and Chris Sotomayor

(Night of the Monster Men – Part 5) It’s a near miss, but Batwoman is able to inject Nightwing’s monster form with the antidote and cure him, just moments before the newest giant monster—the one woken up by Cass and Steph—encroaches upon the city limits. The situation is getting progressively more dire, but luckily, the team is not without their fair share of intel. They’ve managed to not only track down the most likely hideout for Strange within Gotham, but pin down his motives as well. His original victims weren’t picked at random, they were a message, meticulously constructed by their psychological diagnoses to create what Strange believes to be the psych profile of Batman. All of this has been Strange’s way to get Batman’s attention. Now, while Bruce sets off to track Strange down, it’s up to the team to operate a series of mechanical “watchtowers” to fend off the rest of the constantly mutating monsters in the city. Here goes nothing.

Unforgettable Moment: Hugo Strange’s obsession with Batman runs deep—distressingly deep. As Bruce closes in on his location, we see Hugo is nothing if not prepared for him. And by prepared, we mean literally in the midst of pulling on his very own version of the Batsuit.

Harley Quinn #5

By Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Corner, John Timms and Alex Sinclair

When New York is faced with a rash of armed robberies conducted by a team of men dressed as knights on horseback, the police have no real choice but to send in someone just as...eccentric. Costumed gimmicks aside, the police have been able to confirm that the band of thieves is actually a punk rock band called Purple Satin, and to make matters even worse, one of the members is a senator’s son, so a direct approach is out of the question. The cops need someone fearless (and crazy) enough to go undercover and get the evidence they need to make the sting. So, naturally, this looks like a job for Harley Quinn. Now it’s up to her to rally the troops and conduct this operation her way: by creating a rival punk band, of course. Luckily, Harley’s got no shortage of friends to drag into this scheme with her, including the recently limb-transplanted Red Tool. It’s time to (punk) rock’n’roll. What could possibly go wrong?

Unforgettable Moment: What the police don’t tell Harley is that Purple Satin’s last theft included an artifact from Arkham Asylum—or, more specifically, an artifact from The Joker himself, and addressed to Harley—a crudely carved heart shaped necklace with “J (heart) H” drawn into it. Uh oh.

Trinity #1

By Francis Manapul,

The door bell rings at the Smith household. Jon to the door and uses his x-ray vision to see who’s outside—it’s Wonder Woman and Batman. Superman returns from some faraway place, using a secret entrance from under the barn to change into regular clothes. As he steps out, he’s confused when he sees Bruce and Diana getting blasted back by Jon’s heat vision. Jon profusely apologizes—explaining that he was trying to use his x-ray vision when he accidentally discharged his heat vision. Lois tells Clark that she invited Bruce and Diana over to give them a chance to get to know the world’s “new” Superman. The group talks over dinner, where Bruce and Diana both express concern over seeing their Superman killed and then the resurgence of this alternate Superman who had been living there in secrecy all this time. As the evening winds down, we see that something strange is happening in the barn—unbeknownst to the three. As Clark talks to Bruce and Diana talk outside after dinner, he hears something strange coming from the barn. Opening the door, the three are shocked when they see a strange image of a younger Clark and his father, Jonathan Kent, from years past. Things get stranger when the young Clark yells to his father that he thought he heard something coming from the barn…

Unforgettable Moment: Can we say the whole book!? It’s so good!

Justice League #6

By Bryan Hitch, Matthew Clark, Tom Derenick, Sean Parsons, Trevor Scott and Adriano Lucas

Something is well and truly terrifying the Justice League. Thankfully, Jessica Cruz is no stranger to overcoming fear. With an explosion of green energy, the Green Lantern is able to clear the League’s heads and save the day...kind of. As the League disperses back to their respective homes and bases, something doesn’t seem quite right. Namely, none of them are even really sure what it was they were fighting, or how they defeated it. But now is certainly not the time to question a win, especially when Jessica and Barry have a date. A real date. The kind that happens without masks and the looming thread of global destruction. The two of them meet up at a restaurant for dinner, but before they can even make their orders things start go to very, very wrong. Suddenly overwhelmed by paranoia, Jessica causes a scene in the restaurant, and is met with an inexplicably aggressive Barry who seems more interested in making Jessica’s panic worse than he is helping her. Meanwhile, back on Kent Farm, Clark seems to be experiencing a similar unprovoked spike in aggression, only his is aimed at one very specific target. It looks like whatever mysterious fear-controlling enemy the League faced off against earlier isn’t as vanquished as they thought.

Unforgettable Moment: While the rest of the League falls back into their civilian lives after the fight, Bruce returns to the Cave and makes an effort to call Dick Grayson. Dick doesn’t answer the phone, however, and Bruce doesn’t seem too eager to explain himself or his motivation for calling to Alfred. Hmm…What’s on your mind, Bruce?

Green Arrow #8

By Benjamin Percy and Otto Schmidt

After the explosion at the Ninth Circle’s floating fortress, the Inferno, Oliver Queen found himself in a familiar, but incredibly unwelcome position: stranded on a tropical island with nothing but his instincts and his wits to keep him alive. His one saving grace this time around is that he didn’t wash up there alone. Dinah Lance has found herself in a similar condition and the two heroes are reunited in paradise. Or, well, what would be paradise if they didn’t have a laundry list of horrible things to worry about, like clearing Ollie’s name, tracking down Broderick, finding Emi and Diggle, and getting back to Seattle. They’ve got their work cut out for them, maybe even more than they realize. It turns out Diggle might be closer at hand than either of them realized, but unfortunately for him, Ollie wasn’t the first person he ran into. No, Diggle’s close encounter came in the form of a mechanical (?!) bear. It turns out the island isn’t as deserted as any of them thought and the robot-bear’s owner is less than excited to have visitors.

Unforgettable Moment: Witness the triumphant return of Ollie Queen’s world famous Stupendous Chili. It’s been compared to “paint remover” and is known to be so intense, so mouth-scorching that only Ollie himself and Batman (of course) are able to withstand it. If you’re interested in actually making Ollie’s chili, dig up a copy of GREEN ARROW SECRET FILES & ORIGINS #1, which included a real life, totally safe and edible* version of his recipe for you to try at home.

*Results may vary. Consume at your own risk.

Cyborg #2

By John Semper Jr, Paul Pelletier, Tony Kordos, Tom Palmer and Guy Major

Kilg%re gives Vic no time to regroup after his rather violent introduction, and as a mechanical alien with the ability to control machines, that’s pretty bad news. It only takes seconds for Kilg%re to turn the entire neighborhood into a battleground, placing civilians in danger and Vic at a serious disadvantage. But that’s not the worst of it—Kilg%re’s battle is as much ideological as it is physical. He wants Vic to see the true nature of his existence—to accept the fact that he is fully machine rather than man. It’s an existential crisis that’s the last thing Vic needs to be weighing on his shoulders right now, especially after Kilg%re manages to kidnap Vic’s father in the middle of the fight. Fortunately, the monstrous alien underestimates the lengths Vic is willing to go to save his family and, despite huge physical injury, he’s able to both save his father and destroy Kilg%re hopefully once and for all. However, that doesn’t do much for whom—or what—ever sent Kilg%re in the first place. Worse yet, Vic has no idea that the person he saved from the trap isn’t actually his father, but a mechanical decoy.

Unforgettable Moment: Whom or whatever sent Kilg%re to Vic apparently wasn’t looking for an all out win. According to Kilg%re, he was sent to deliver a message—his leader believes Vic is “more machine than man” and he’s “spent years gathering the remains of the most powerful machines ever created” to prove his point. Yikes.

Aquaman #8

By Dan Abnett, Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher and Gabe Elteb

Mera heads to the Tower of the Widowhood—the most sacred order of Atlantis, where she is to learn of tradition if she’s to marry Aquaman. After receiving strange seismic readings, Murk, the Drift and Aquaman head out to the Atlantis border and come face-to-face with the strange creature that was released by N.E.M.O. It quickly attacks—sending Aquaman flying. The Drift fires on the monster, which is able to heal itself at a quick rate. Back at the Tower of Widowhood, Mera clashes with Reverend Mother Cetea, who is the head of the order. Mera is torn. She hears the Atlantis distress horns blow in the distance and wants to go. Cetea says she can leave, but once she leaves the tower, she can’t marry Aquaman. Meanwhile, the creature makes its way into Atlantis, where the battle continues. Tula calls in the strike force team, who blast the monster with a plasmit cannon, but the creature absorbs the attack, shedding its strange hide and revealing it to be…the Shaggy Man. Aquaman and the Atlanteans learn that the Shaggy Man’s target is actually not Atlantis, but rather Amnesty Bay—the surface home of Aquaman.   

Unforgettable Moment: Geeked out a little bit when we saw the Shaggy Man make an appearance!

Green Lanterns #8

By Sam Humphries, Ed Benes and Blond

It’s Halloween night and two Dominators are hiding out as they hatch a scheme to find Rami, take the Phantom Ring and conquer Earth. Elsewhere, Simon and Jessica accompany Farid as he trick-or-treats. They’re also looking for Rami. The Dominators see them and decide they’ll follow the two—believing Simon and Jessica will lead them to the wayward guardian. Rami hides in a clock tower in the center of town. He reflects on the past—recalling the day he was banished as a Guardian for forging the Phantom Ring. Simon and Jessica find him and he runs away to a nearby forest, fearing the Dominators have followed them to take the ring. Simon and Jessica argue with Rami, trying to convince him they can help. Suddenly, an explosion sends Rami flying. The Dominators have attacked. Simon and Jessica make quick work of them, convincing Rami that they are worthy of helping him protect the ring. Elsewhere, a van heads towards Dearborn, Michigan. The man driving is armed with a machine gun as he talks to himself, proclaiming that he deserves a Power Ring and that the Phantom Ring should be his…

Unforgettable Moment: That cliffhanger ending has us wondering…who is the guy in the van and how does he know about the Phantom Ring?

Wacky Raceland #4

By Ken Pontac, Leonardo Manco and Mariana Sanzone

After finishing out their latest race, the Announcer decides to give the racers a little rest and relaxation time in the ruins of Las Vegas—a city that, in the loosest possible sense, “survived” the apocalypse by becoming a haven for organized mutant gangs and makeshift casinos. But it looks like their brief vacation may be even shorter than planned when one of the gang leaders, a mutant calling himself Neon Caesar, recognizes one of the racers from their lives before the end of the world. The Red Baron has never been the nicest guy, on or off the track, and it seems like that’s not a big change from who he used to be. Prior to the apocalypse, Red made some very powerful enemies by cheating his way into big money at cards, and now his past is coming back to haunt him. Neon Caesar stages an attack on Red and the rest of the racers, sentencing to death by gladiatorial combat as payment for Red’s old debts. Luckily for the racers, Neon Caesar didn’t count on their sentient racecars to pick up on their drivers’ distress and stage an explosive rescue.

Unforgettable Moment: The gangs of post apocalyptic Las Vegas are all pretty heavily themed and it’s easy to see where their inspiration comes from. There are the Pharaohs, the C.C. Clowns, the Comb-Overs and the Caesars. They may sound gimmicky on paper but the reality of each of them is anything but a tourist attraction.

We'll be back in a week with another set of Reader Recaps. Also, don't miss our weekly new comic book unboxing every Tuesday on Periscope for an exclusive preview of the week's new comics!