Best Shots Rapid-Fire Reviews: BLACK HAMMER #2, BATGIRL & BIRDS OF PREY #1, More

"Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen #2" cover
Credit: Titan Comics
Dark Horse August 2016 cover
Dark Horse August 2016 cover
Credit: Dark Horse Comics

Black Hammer #2 (Published by Dark Horse Comics; Review by Justin Partridge; ‘Rama Rating: 10 out of 10): The second installment of Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer both builds and improves upon the solid base of the first issue. While the debut was all about establishing each character, issue two focuses on the heartbreaking plight of Golden Gail, whose origin is fully laid out here. This issue also begins to give up a bit more secrets about the oddly idyllic prison that our heroes are stuck in as Talky-Walky launches his latest probe into the ether. Orstom and Dave Stewart are given a bit more to do this time around as they split their time between the mundane and the fantastic with flashbacks to Golden Gail’s heroism in Spiral City. The secrets of Black Hammer haven’t even begun to revel themselves, but what it does reveal is enough to grab your attention and hold it tightly.

Credit: DC Comics

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 (Published by DC Comics; Review by Jake Baumgart; ‘Rama Rating: 10 out of 10): Balance. It’s what it takes to have either the perfect superhero team or superhero comic book. Lucky for fans of the most recent interpretation of Black Canary and Batgirl, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 has balance in spades. Writing team Julie and Shawna Benson give each of their Birds enough time on the page to detail their unique personalities and demonstrate that each member is valuable to the group. Another standout in the book is artist Claire Roe. Roe’s style, especially for the Birds, is expressive and cartoony with a real sense of modernity. Whether it be the smudged eye makeup of Black Canary or Batgirl biting her bottom lip, Roe has an amazing handle on these crime fighters. The character’s personalities actually emerge from her art without the requirement of any of the words on the page. Without pandering, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 is the perfect book for DC’s "Rebirth" initiative — it stays true to the characters and their relationships while simplifying and updating the title for new readers.

Credit: Titan Comics

Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen #2 (Published by Titan Comics; Review by Justin Partridge; ‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10): Titan Comic’s latest Doctor Who event continues to barrel merrily along. Writers George Mann and Cavan Scott continue to keep Doctors Nine through Eleven trucking along through their own separate struggles against the Cybermen, but as they fight, the overarching story with the Twelfth Doctor reveals just how big the problem has become, making the story feel both epic and self-contained. Artists Ivan Rodriguez and Walter Geovanni, along with colorist Nicola Righi, also sell this dichotomy with gorgeous vast renderings of Cyberships and future landscapes while also delivering tight reaction shots and highlighted blocking. Though a proper multi-Doctor team up would be the ideal for a story as big as this, Supremacy of the Cybermen #2 makes the most of its interconnected, yet wholly different feeling adventures.

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