Readers' Favorite

January 26, 2022

New from DC Comics

by MK French

DC Comics has a couple of new stories out this month that I really enjoyed. One is the second book in a trilogy and the other is one new to me. If you are a fan of graphic novels and comics, then you will want to pick up these two.

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House of El Book Two: The Enemy Delusion by Claudia Gray and illustrated by Eric Zawadzki

The Enemy Delusion
January 2022; DC Comics; 978-1401296087
ebook, print (208 pages); fantasy

Soldier Sera and scientist Zahn were born and bred for their positions on Krypton, but have discovered their planet's potential fate. Sera's fighting skills impress General Zod but alienates her fellow soldiers. Zahn has trouble maintaining friendships and studies, especially when he knows about the secret experiments Jor-El and Lara are doing. Jor-El also tries to inform the tribunal about Krypton's future, but he's ignored.

We all know what will ultimately happen to the planet, adding another layer of tension to the already tense storyline. Both Sera and Zahn are genetic misfits in a society where genes determine everything about a person's caste, and the populace, in general, are so convinced of their own superiority that they refuse to look past what they think they know. Sera moved on beyond being a simple soldier following rules, and her comrades don't like that about her. Zahn is seen as obsessive when he keeps worrying about the future of Krypton, and his friends think it's because he's "slumming" with Sera. He's also working with the Midnight group, seen as terrorists, but now it's moving beyond theoretical change to potential damage to upper caste areas, and its members are more than just disillusioned lower caste people.

This is the second book and relies on knowing the events in the first one (read my review) to understand why Sera's so disgruntled with Lara and Jor-El. It definitely carries the feel of the bridging book in a trilogy, because it's really good at ramping up tension as it progresses. Sera and Zahn grow closer despite the differences in their castes, and they both realize that some people around them carry more secrets than they knew. We're aware of the true dangers that their elders dismiss, and realize that the ticking clock is going faster than they know. It continues the story of the Book of El, and I can't wait to see how the next book goes, and if the two survive despite the odds.

Buy The Enemy Delusion at Amazon

Mister Miracle: The Great Escape by Varian Johnson and illustrated by Daniel Isles

The Great Escape
January 2022; DC Comics; 978-1779501257
ebook, print (208 pages); superhero

On the planet Apokalips, ruled by Darkseid, Scott Free is a student at Goodness Academy. No one has ever escaped the planet, but he's got a plan to go to Earth with his found family. The only thing stopping him is his crush on Big Barda, the one tasked with ensuring he never escapes.

I'm only vaguely aware of the general comic canon for Apokalips, where Darkseid rules and Granny Goodness ran the coliseum and Big Barda also served Darkseid. Together, they all worked to find the Anti Life Equation, which would erase free will from all sentient creatures that it was applied to. This comic spins some of the characters younger, in that Granny Goodness' need for order now applies to an academy of students. Academy is still a generous term for it, as the students are essentially tortured, and graduates join the Apokalips army while those who fail out go to the Pit. Either way, it's a death sentence, so Scott desperately wants out. Big Barda is now in charge of the elites and working for Granny Goodness, and their positions put them at odds with each other constantly.

I never felt bad for Big Barda before, but now I feel sorry for the past trauma she carries as well as the uncomfortable position she's put in. Everyone at the Academy is full of trauma, and at first, Scott is only thinking of his own needs, lying to his friends and everyone else. But the lies eventually come to an end, and he loses more and more as the book progresses. I was rooting for Scott even as he smarted off to everyone, lied, and twisted the truth around.  He's more of an anti-hero, and ultimately does have his heart in the right place. I practically cheered at the end and laughed at how it all went down. It's a fun comic, and I enjoyed it a lot.

Buy The Great Escape at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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