DC Comics reviews 3/30/21 – The Other History of the DC Universe #3

The Other History of the DC Universe #3

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It’s hard to imagine writer John Ridley knew exactly what would be going on in the country when issue 3 would reach comic book shelves.

Still, it’s uncanny that this issue would feature Katana, arguably the most prominent Asian characters in the DC Universe, just as a new wave of anti-Asian violence is plaguing the United States.

One of my favorite aspects of the series is how Ridley deconstructs the character and allows them to tell their own origin giving them control of their narrative.

This is especially well done with Katana as she reflects on her journey of becoming a vigilante hero and her “mystic” blade.

Ridley tackles some weighty issues like feminism in Japan, Asian stereotypes and animosity towards people of Asian descent while exploring DC’s history in the 90s.

Part of what makes The Other History… so superb is how Ridley refuses to coddle readers and instead paints a vivid and raw picture of how the less “iconic” characters have been regarded.

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It makes for very effective storytelling and Ridley’s research into the damning history of America against Asians is on wide display. Ridley also includes a maddening incident about the lack of justice for Vincent Chin. Adding actual historical events into this series makes The Other History feel far more significant than a standard comic.

And due the close ties with The Outsiders and the Teen Titans, Ridley also calls out a controversial moment in the Titans’ history that feels even more evil in a modern context. This unflinching, less popular view of the DC Universe has made The Other History such a tantalizing and captivating read.

Giuseppe Camuncoli provided the layouts while Andrea Cucchi handled the finishes. The artwork is such an invaluable component of the title as Camuncoli has to use striking imagery instead of the traditional comic book panels to tell the story. The images here are some of the most powerful so far in the series.

Jose Villarrubia’s gorgeous colors are an invaluable component to this presentation as Villarrubia has a keen sense on which images need a full palette of colors and those that are more effective with muted and minimal colors.

Between the first issue and this one, Ridley is definitely sparking interest in The Outsiders.

I can’t shower enough praise on this title as it’s both a love letter to the history of DC Comics and a critical assessment of how its minority characters have been regarded over the decades.

This was another immensely powerful issue and I really can’t wait for the next chapter.

Rating: 10 out of 10

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