Review: DC’s Spring Breakout

“DC’s Spring Breakout”
Writers:   Joey, Esposito, Thomas Krajewski, Meghan Fitzmartin, James Reid, Cameron Chittock, Morgan Hampton, Patrick R. Young, and Mike W. Barr
Artists: Vasco Georgiev, Kenya Danino, Nico Bascunan, Wes St. Clair, Gavin Guidry, Paul Pelletier, Marco Santucci, and Scott Kolins
Color Artists: Vasco Georgiev, Emilio Lopez, Ivan Plascencia, Nico Bascunan, Eren Angiolini, Rico Renzi, John Kalisz, and Arif Priant0
Letterers: Jame, Carlos M. Mangual, Tom Napolitano, Nico Bascunan, Josh Reed, Becca Carey, and Josh Reed
Review by Carl Bryan

DC’s Spring Breakout is the publisher’s announcement to all readers that it’s time for all things Spring… a vacation, the beach, theater in the park, and a baseball game! Join some DC heroes (and villains) for a foray into some Spring themes – some of which are a bit out of the norm!

There’s a feeling when you’re in that stadium… it’s the people. We WANT to connect to one another, to feel like we’re part of something bigger, even just for a few hours.”
– Superman, on Baseball.

Field Trip

The title story provides the kind of “spring break” that you’d expect from DC, particularly in terms of Harley breaking King Shark out of Amanda Waller’s clutches. However, this is no ordinary break as a mistaken spell by Zatanna sends the duo to the swamp, outer space, the fifth dimension, and back again. Thank goodness Superman’s the chaperone they pick up along the way!

Cold Feet

This is a poignant tale that’s devoted not only to Bruce Wayne’s love and appreciation for his Mom, but also that another adult steps into his life at such an impressionable time, to show Bruce you can open that love up to other people.

This is probably the most heartwarming (pun intended based on the title) story as Batman does have a soft spot for the circumstances that have taken Mr. Freeze to where he is now. Fries’ love for Nora is never-ending, and we get to look back into Bruce’s past to see just why.  This is one of the gems of the book!

Relay For Your Life

This is a bit of a disjointed story. The Titans are trying to relax, but Dick’s Type A personality is even planning out the whole team’s vacation time. Mix in a supervillain competition on the beach with some other out-of-the-norm experiences and you have an odd filler story, that was supposed to send a message of letting some steam off on vacation, but then loses its grip on the premise.

The Day The Robot Danced

Metal Men and Doc Magnus on the beach! I mean, if Magnus is the foremost authority on robotic engineering, why on earth is he at the beach with a bunch of robots? Mistaken plans, misguided emotions, and a comedy of errors lead us down a path where you’ll need a vacation to look at the bigger picture. All work and no play can lead even the Metal Men’s leader to a mistake or two!

Soul Survivor

This Spring Breakout tale feels a little misplaced. Perhaps I’ve become too accustomed to a lot of light-heartiness in these DC specials, but this is a traditional Katanna story that may miss its mark in this book, even though it provides a much stronger kickoff to a love story gone awry. Maybe this one was better suited for a tragedy or Valentine’s collection, but to be included in a spring break manual feels a bit off-kilter to this reviewer!

Buried Alive

If you think that Die Hard‘s a Christmas movie, then you will think that “Buried Alive” is a Spring Break dream! This story has shades of Edgar Allan Poe and Kill Bill, setting up Lex Luthor buried alive. Peeking into the villain’s mind means there’s no break from the hatred he feels towards the House of El and Superman. Good luck in finding the theme in this one, as it’s dark and odd… well done if you were trying to scare the reader though, creative team.  However, I’m extremely puzzled if you were actually trying to find a softer side to Luthor!

ShapeShift in the Park

Forsooth, it’s Shakespeare in the Park… DC style. What a great idea! The Martian Manhunter and Clayface entertain the crowd with an array of famous superhero and supervillain confrontations; from Doomsday and Superman to Black Manta and Aquaman, the crowd’s treated to quite an array of acting and stunts. It’s just too bad that one villain’s ego gets in the way, as there’s plenty of room on stage for everyone!

Opening Day

What Spring Break homage would be complete without a visit to the baseball park? We get every ballpark heartstring pulled in this tale devoted to the game; complete with a hot dog, a best friend (Jimmy Olsen), and great seats high above the stadium.

While the backdrop relaxes the reader, this, for me, is the best story in the book! Superman’s take on why so many love baseball is priceless, and his account needs to be framed and sold in every sporting goods store in America. Kudos to the creative teams for being baseball fans.. or at least acting like them! This was great!

Conclusion

I’m really beginning to enjoy these little respites from the standard DC plotlines, as they give readers a soft mix of character, but without overpowering darkness. However, the Katana story felt a bit misplaced for a book called DC’s Spring Breakout. “Cold Feet” and “Opening Day” were my favorites from this mix.

Pick this comic up just for those two, however, the rest are a treat as well!

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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