GREEN LANTERN: Wrath of the First Lantern is an overlapping volume with Geoff Johns’ final work on GL, The End. Here we learn how the Green Lantern Corps, the Red Lantern Corps and the New Guardians battled along with Hal and Sinestro against Volthoom, the emotion-manipulating First Lantern. Unfortunately Volthoom is a completely stock villain who feeds on human emotion and suffering and has no personality to compensate, so this was a big, heavy waste of time.
BLACK WIDOW: The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan Edmonson and Phil Noto (cover by Noto, all rights to current holder) has Natasha atoning for her past spy crimes by taking on new missions as a mercenary to raise money for charity. I’m not entirely sure why she needs so much atonement (Bucky did plenty of nasty as the Winter Soldier and he’s made his peace with it) but that said, this was readable, but less fun than Velvet.
BATMAN, THE DARK KNIGHT: Mad by Gregg Hurwitz and Ethan Van Sciver shows the same flaws as Hurwitz’ earlier Cycle of Violence, only worse, turning one of Batman’s villains into a mass murderer with no regard for personality or goals. In this case the Mad Hatter gets to kill one woman with an iron and gouge out the eyes of people who displease him, all part of his plan to work out some gender issues dating back to high school. It’s one thing to make Bat-villains even more homicidal, it’s quite another to make them generically homicidal (this has nothing to do with the Hatter’s usual MO). Oh, and we have Bruce falling so madly in love with the woman of the issue that he’s ready to give up his career and live with her (I can’t see why)—only no, the Mad Hatter kills her! The gloves are coming off now! As classic an example of “fridging” a supporting character as you can ask for, and it’s not as if Batman is a character in need of angst to motivate him.