New Comics – 10 January 2018

Bit of a mixed bag this week. Heartbreak and betrayal in Detective Comics, slow-paced Rose shows a hint of speeding up, and the current writers of Wonder Woman have not improved any.

Detective Comics #978

Poor Clayface! He has worked so hard to become a good person, but as Anarky and the First Victim bring their plan to fruition it looks as if there may not be much hope for him. As he and Batman battle in Arkham Asylum, Batman strives to reach through the madness to find the man within the monster. But instead he faces a terrifying reality: all that training and inside knowledge now gives Clayface the advantage.

Meanwhile Jake Kane gives Batwoman a weapon that will kill Clayface but it’s a double-edged gift. If she uses it she will save lives, but not only does that mean killing a friend, she knows Batman won’t forgive her for using a lethal weapon. There is one other hope, however: Cassandra/Orphan has forged a sweet friendship with Clayface and when she steps between him and her friends it seems he might actually stop. It’s a beautiful moment: the girl who so rarely speaks eloquent for once as she reaches out and finds their connection. But the moment doesn’t last and it seems that Anarky is going to get what he wants after all.

Rose #7

Rose begins with a glimpse into evil queen Drucilla’s history: she was a princess who rejected an arranged marriage that would have made her queen in a distant land because she believed she deserved to rule her homeland. Rose and Thorne are still trying to reunite with the rebels; and encounter with a dove Rose once healed with her magic seems to point the way. Meanwhile the rebels learn the Drucilla has captured Ila, the old woman who led them in the recent battle, and Ila is thrown into a dungeon where Drucilla’s brother waits in chains.

Wonder Woman #38: Swan’s Song part one

Wonder Woman #38: Swan's Song part 1

So it seems Diana’s brother is here to stay. The character no one wanted and really hope he’s in this new story to get killed off because he’s awful as well as pointless.

Other than those wasted pages, the plot here sets up a new antagonist for Diana in the form of a girl she once saved: Vanessa Kapatelis. Wonder Woman saved her life, but she lost the use of her legs, until an experimental procedure based on Cyborg’s nanotech repaired the damage. When her mother dies in an accident, Vanessa resents that Diana, who she has come to depend on as a friend, isn’t there. This is the only explanation we get for Vanessa’s sudden turn to evil and it’s not one that makes a lot of sense. The next thing we know Vanessa is slaughtering a family Diana saved for no apparent reason.

Well…maybe next issue will explain it. Maybe she’ll kill Jason? I can hope…