Daily Archives: April 17, 2013

What I Bought Today – Detective Comics #900 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

Tis Wednesday, and it finally came in, so let’s look at…

What I Bought Today

Balls to the wall, people. It’s the 80 page spectacular known only as Detective Comics #900.

And first, I just wanna say that I know it’s technically considered Detective Comics #19. Well technically, I don’t give a shit what the New 52 numbering refers to this comic as, it’s Detective Comics #900. This comic is 80 pages long BECAUSE it’s the 900th issue, and I’m not gonna let anybody take that away from this comic. So, what do we get? Five stories all in one book, with a few splash pages in between drawn by various artists. Considering the stories mostly revolve around the same situation, I’m perfectly okay with that. So, let’s cover each one separate as to avoid any getting left out, starting with The 900, drawn by Detective Comics regular Jason Fabok.

Acting as a reboot of the Man-Bat backstory, we learn that the Man-Bat formula was actually stolen by Talia from Kirk Langstrom, who was the original Man-Bat before the relaunch. Now Emperor Penguin has it, and has used it to infect the 900 block of Gotham, even creating a Man-Bat Zsasz, because he wasn’t dangerous enough I guess. Batman tells Alfred he’s not calling in the others, but the truth is he already contacted Batgirl and Nightwing. Batgirl is already busy with her own Man-Bats, understandable, and Nightwing is on his way to Chicago…on his motorcycle…and he hasn’t even left the city limits yet. And this is the one problem I have with this story: Nightwing might be angry with Bruce over what happened in Death of the Family, but he would not abandon Gotham when it was being torn a new one by Man-Bats. That’s the kind of thing that people do when they’re about to turn heel. Anyway, with the Family apparently not able to give help, Batwoman shows up with Kirk and his wife to tell Batman about the serum and how to counter it. Unfortunately, it requires him to over-write the virus with another that will only cause transformations in people with a specific DNA: his. So with no other option, as creating an antidote would take too long and the Man-Bats could spread beyond Gotham, Kirk makes the sacrifice and becomes the Man-Bat to cure everyone. With Zsasz cured, he decides to rat out Emperor Penguin, who apparently is in the middle of calling in a favour from Poison Ivy.

Birth of a Family is the aftermath of The 900, drawn by Andy Clarke. Here, we see Kirk’s wife, Francine Langstrom, recount the events of his work as a scientist, how he wanted to help the blind and deaf children with the serum, how the two were married, and how everything went down the tube from there. The serum was mutating the children into Man-Bats, and before Kirk could fix it, the serum was stolen by the League of Assassins. Flash forward to today, where Francine believes she knows a way to bring Kirk back, but to do it, she has to make the same sacrifice he did and become a Man-Bat herself.

War Council is kind of the odd one out, honestly. Not because it’s bad, ‘cuz it isn’t. Just that it doesn’t have anything to do with what’s going on. It’s also the only one not written by John Layman, and instead is written by James Tynion IV. We check in on Bane and his crew, who had come to Gotham a year ago with the intent to bring it to its knees. It didn’t work out so well, as they were first attacked by Talons on the way in, and then Bane got his ass thrown off a cliff back in Batman: The Dark Knight #7…which I bought back then…for reasons that elude me. However, after that defeat, it seems that our old buddy Sebastian Clark showed up and encouraged him to take on the Court of Owls, which apparently will lead into the next issue of Talon.

Birdwatching, drawn by Henrik Jonsson, is told from the perspective of Mr. Combustible, who was from Detective Comics #6 and 7, which I didn’t read. Not much really happens, except that we learn a little more about Emperor Penguin’s operations during The 900, and we get some major hinting that Penguin’s probably gonna get away with everything that happened last month after the judge at his trial has his family threatened.

And finally, we have Through A Blue Lens, as drawn by Jason Masters. This one also takes place following The 900, where a group of cops are looking over one of their own in a hospital bed and telling them about how, when he was a Man-Bat, he took on Batman, and three of them admit they wished their colleague had taken Batman out, because they’re a bunch of those ungrateful bastards who think Batman is responsible for frakking everything. However, the one in the hospital bed tells the one who believes in Batman that he sides with her and that, when he gets out of the bed, he’ll be more than happy to be her partner out on the streets.

So, awesome issue. Could it have been better? Sure. But as of late, I’m trying to take the approach of being more thankful for what I have than cursing for what I don’t have. I have this, and it’s pretty damned good, and that’s all that matters. Next week, we check in with Calvin Rose as he meets up with Bane, we see what the JLA is up to, and see how far Batman Incorporated is willing to go to get vengeance on Leviathan for the death of Robin. Ja né!

What I Bought Today – Batman and Robin #18, Nightwing #19, Batwoman #19 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

Alright, so it’s Wednesday, and I am officially broke. XD Let’s take a look at…

What I Bought Today

So why am I broke? Because Injustice: Gods Among Us came out yesterday, and today I got four comics, two of which I’d been expecting for a while, and one of those two was a big one. So I’m gonna get the other three out of the way first and then cover Detective Comics #900 separate.  So, let’s kick things off with the comic that gave everyone “the feels” last month, Batman and Robin #18.

OH MY GOD. If there was ever the emotional equivalent to getting punched in the soul, this is it. This is where Bruce starts to LOSE HIS SHIT. He is seeing Damian everywhere he goes, while driving the Batmobile, swinging across the city, going down the poles…and yeah, I did have to take a moment to giggle at the idea of them using the 1960’s Batman poles to get down to the Batcave. Then he finds the letter, which apparently Damian wrote before leaving to help him fight Leviathan. I will now read to you what he wrote, in excruciating detail, so you too will experience “the feels”.

I’m sure you’ll be angry with me for disobeying you again but I don’t care, I will not let you fight Leviathan alone. You need me and I will always be at your side.
Because it will be hard for me to say these words face to face, I want you to know that Mother may have given me life, but you taught me how to live.
Love and respect
your son

Naturally, that’s the breaking point for Bruce, who decides to pretty much break the cave, and…well, we already know what became of that. Speaking of which, I feel bad for missing this, but apparently the next few issues will revolve around the five stages of grief. With Red Robin, it was denial, Red Hood will be anger, Batgirl bargaining, Catwoman depression, and Nightwing acceptance. So I guess that covers why it’s just those five.

Nightwing #19 does a good job of setting up the new scenario for Dick Grayson, having left Gotham to go to Chicago. Why Chicago? I DON’T KNOW. The situation feels a LOT like Blüdhaven, with the mayor being clearly corrupt and crime seeming to work its way down from there to the streets, very much a reversal of Gotham City and, in many ways, worse. So why isn’t it Blüdhaven instead of Chicago? Well, technically it was blown up…actually, I think it was blown up a couple of times, not sure. But considering everything else they changed with the New 52, I’m not really sure why they didn’t do this. Also, Prankster is a psycho. I’ll admit to not knowing much about the character going into this, and this guy caught me off guard with just how crazy he is. Like, Joker would probably really like this guy.

Batwoman #19 didn’t have much in the way of superheroing, it was more of a character study…which is kind of a trend I’ve noticed from last issue. There’s a lot of analysis on the characters, showing us their motivations, what makes them tick, what they’re willing to do in the field, how they relate to each other, all great. Guess what, though? Not a lot of actual superhero work done. And that’s fine for one issue, but this is two in a row we’ve gotten a lack of superhero work. I’m hoping that this is just a slow build to something big, though, and perhaps it is, as we discover that what the D.E.O. REALLY wants from Batwoman is to obtain Batman’s secret identity. Also, her sister’s been found, and is apparently going to be used as leverage to make sure she co-operates, but I get the feeling that Hawkfire might be looking to help her out of her situation.

So, three comics down, one to go. Check out my look at Detective Comics #900 coming up in a few. Ja né!