Well, it’s June, so it’s finally time for me to take a more in-depth look at DC Comics’ Rebirth initiative. However, the reason this is only starting now in the middle of June is because…well, there’s a lot to talk about, both good and bad, and I can’t really imagine me going over ALL of my thoughts on DC Rebirth in one article. As such, I’m gonna be talking about several specific books in their own articles, what I liked and disliked about them, and then give overall thoughts on where I think the book might be headed. And obviously, considering I’m going over the events of these books, there will be SPOILERS, so if you aren’t caught up on them and don’t want to be spoiled, turn back now. So, with that said, let’s talk about Detective Comics.
Now, first and foremost, when I heard about this book initially, I was PUMPED. Not only was it going back to the old numbering, meaning we’d be hitting #1000 relatively quickly, but just look at the cover. It’s a TEAM book, featuring some of my favourite Bat Family characters: Batman, Batwoman, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain… … …erm, Clayface…Yeah, I’mma get to Clayface, but suffice to say, he’s one of the elements of the book that’s both good and bad. Regardless, though, this was gonna be great… … …Then some shit happened that made me a lot less excited. But I’ll get to that later. First, let’s talk about Tim Drake, AKA Red Robin.
So one of the first things the book did was re-establish everything great about Tim Drake. He’s the brains of the Robins, the one most on par with Bruce when it comes to detective skills, and is the one who builds a lot of the tech they use in their new base of operations. Bruce also gives him a new costume that’s more closely associated with the other Robins (remember, in the New 52, Tim was never Robin, and was always Red Robin), and makes it clear to him that he ALWAYS considered him a Robin, whether Tim did or not. Even Tim’s relationship with Stephanie Brown is re-established, much to my joy. And it goes a long way in explaining why these things were re-established here when you consider that, apparently, James Tynion IV is a big fan of the character and his original solo-series. So, for fans of Tim Drake, like myself, this was a great thing to do… … …Then Tim died.
Well, okay, anyone who has read the book where Tim Drake makes his final stand knows that Tim didn’t actually die. Before he could be killed, he was basically removed from the area by Mr. Oz, a character who has been cropping up in Superman’s stories for a while now, and was made Oz’s prisoner, effectively taking Tim off the board because he was an important link to a lot of different people in the DC Universe. What Oz’s motivations for doing this are is still a mystery, and I’ll get more into that when I talk about the Superman books, but that’s the situation as is. And frankly, while that DOES annoy me, that we finally got Tim back as he should be only to lose him, the fact is, this DOES play into a bigger story that even goes outside of this one book. Oz’s plans are one of the big mysteries of DC Rebirth, and Tim is now a part of that, as we see him trying to escape, make contact with Batman, taunt Oz over the loss of other prisoners, etc. He’s not just being benched permanently, it’s part of a storyline that’s actually going somewhere. But, I wouldn’t be lying if I said that fallout from his apparent death has led to things that DO legit bother me.
Now let’s talk about Clayface. First, let me explain that I actually do like his motivations for joining Batman. For those that don’t recall, it was established in the New 52 that Karlo’s abilities had evolved to the point where he could not only assume the forms of other people, his DNA would also change to whoever he made physical contact with. However, this came at a price: He could assume the form and DNA of anyone…except Basil Karlo. So, when we first encounter him in this book, he’s basically hit rock bottom, just sitting alone at a theater showing one of his old movies and not caring for crime or if he gets sent back to Arkham or not. It’s a position that I think a lot of us can understand and would probably find ourselves in if we were in his shoes. Thus, when Batman offers him a chance to become Basil Karlo if he joins Batman’s team to help Gotham, he accepts. And as a result of that, we see him start to change. He’s regaining his humanity and is legitimately wanting to help people again as opposed to feeling forced to. It’s a well-written redemption storyline that, hopefully, won’t be undone.
Unfortunately, there’s a problem with Clayface being the one to receive this redemption arc, one that I was not privy to because, while I know a lot about No Man’s Land, I have not read it in its entirety. However, since his introduction as a member of this team, a friend of mine let me in on the fact that it was made pretty clear (if not outright stated) that Clayface raped Poison Ivy during the events of No Man’s Land. This was part of the story that led to Ivy being put in charge of Robinson Park and looking after orphaned children. And I know, I KNOW, someone’s gonna point out that this might not be in continuity anymore. And granted, that’s a legit argument. However, here’s my counter-argument: DC, while getting better at it as of late, has never made it fully clear what all is and is not canon from the pre-Flashpoint stories. So, until it’s made clear one way or the other, we don’t really know whether the events of No Man’s Land are or are not still a part of these characters’ histories. Furthermore, even if No Man’s Land and the rape are no longer canon due to it being among the ten years of history taken from the DC Universe, it still doesn’t completely erase what happened, especially since events in recent comics suggest those ten years are going to be reintegrated into main storylines. And you just can’t have it both ways by saying that all of the previous history is canon again, but that the rape never happened. Other than situations where characters couldn’t have been physically present due to not being introduced in the new continuity until much later, re-establishing the past history means it ALL happened. Now, if this was an alternate universe with its own history and incarnations of the characters, then I would say “Okay, I can overlook that”. But this ISN’T. Rebirth has made it clear that this is the same universe that existed pre-Flashpoint, just with ten years worth of history removed and elements of the WildStorm and Vertigo Universes blended in. And I’m not even saying it’s IMPOSSIBLE to do a story wherein Clayface redeems himself for those actions, it’s just that, be it because Tynion isn’t aware or forgot about that story, or either he himself or higher-ups at DC don’t care, there does not exist a story wherein Clayface at least attempts to rectify what he did to Ivy. Now, if they do so later, fine, but for now, it’s an issue that will always stick out to me. And if you think I’m wrong to feel that way, lemme ask longtime DC fans something: What was your initial reaction to seeing Doctor Light appear in the New 52 as a good guy who joined the JLA? My guess is probably revulsion, because you remembered that image of Doctor Light raping Sue Dibny, and then later being made into a serial rapist who was killed by other bad guys because even they couldn’t stomach him. You can’t simply pretend that didn’t happen when these are all still supposed to be the same characters. This is what the publisher did with the character, and you can’t simply brush it off because it’s inconvenient.
…*sighs* And, speaking of which, that leads me to probably my biggest disappointment with the book: Stephanie Brown. I have made it no secret that Steph is one of my all-time favourite superheroes, held the #1 spot for me for many years, and was the star of my favourite Batgirl title. Now, initially, I didn’t really have a problem with Stephanie in this book. It wasn’t until she left the team that I had a problem, and that wasn’t even really with her leaving the team. The thing is, Stephanie Brown finding fault and taking issue with Batman’s methods? That’s totally in character for her. They DO have differing philosophies and methodology as it pertains to helping people and dealing with crime. It’s not even that she leaves over Bruce’s tendency to inadvertently get others caught in the crossfire of his fight with villains, since it works as motivation for him to be more careful and do more to help those caught in his path. The problem is just how fucking hypocritical she acts, talking about how Gotham doesn’t need heroes when she goes out and specifically does superhero acts, all the while sabotaging Batman and saying how he shouldn’t be out in the open taking the credit. THAT is NOT in character for her. And she talks about how Batman should stick to the shadows and not let the general public in on his existence, when guess what? THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HE USED TO DO!!! He DID stick to the shadows! He DIDN’T let people know he really existed! He was an urban legend, and the confirmed existence of him was known only to a select few. He only came out into the light when things in Gotham got SO bad that he HAD to, that his presence would’ve actually been a positive to Gotham. Then there’re hints that, in future issues, she’s gonna be teaming with Anarky. Now, Steph teaming with anti-heroes like Catwoman or the like, that makes sense. ANARKY IS A STRAIGHT-UP VILLAIN WHO KILLS PEOPLE. Her working with him makes no sense for her character. And the most insulting part of all of this is that the event that triggers it all is Tim’s supposed death, meaning it’s entirely possible none of this would’ve happened if not for the fact that her boyfriend bit the dust. Give me a fucking break!
In terms of the other characters, I like that the book makes use of people like Batwing, Azrael, and Bluebird, heroes who don’t have their own books and are able to get some stories told about them here. I also like that the book was able to tell a story that directly led into Batwoman getting her own solo title again, which is always a good thing. Batwoman is a popular and important enough character to deserve her own book, and I’m glad they’ve done so. I also like that it’s made clear that she and Bruce are equals on this team, as they should be. Not sure why they completely shaved her head at the beginning, but whatever, minor nitpick, and at least it’s growing back out again as of late.
One problem I have with the book that’s actually a bit smaller than the ones I’ve mentioned thus far is the fact that Kate’s dad was made a villain. I mean, I GUESS when you look at the story as a whole and how it unfolded, it kinda makes sense. Still, I kinda find it problematic if, for no other reason, it pushes Kate to be more like Bruce, since she now no longer has a father to go to. And frankly, the story of him going after a super-secret organization that Batman doesn’t believe exists, but then it turns out they do and that they’re a far bigger threat just makes Batman look like an idiot, especially since this isn’t even the first evil group he thought never existed and then was proven wrong about.
So, now for where I think/hope this book is going. Well, first off, it’s pretty clear that Tim being alive will come out at some point, especially with Superman apparently having to deal with Mr. Oz more directly in upcoming events. What they’ll do with him at that point is anyone’s guess, but I’d imagine him being confirmed alive will probably be what leads to Steph and Bruce resolving their issues. I honestly hope they DO actually work what happened in No Man’s Land into a story, with Clayface feeling the need to make right what he did in some way, shape, or form. CAN he be redeemed is a question everyone needs to ask themselves, but personally, I’d at least be fine with them giving it a legitimate attempt. At least acknowledge that he feels guilt over what happened. And hopefully, Kate and her father can resolve their issues as well, and WITHOUT him dying in some way. Honestly, what I think would be a good move after Tim is brought back into the fold is for Bruce to maybe take a step back and let the team do their own thing. Let us see how the group can function without Batman taking direct control of it.
One thing I’m legitimately worried about is that, with the recent reveal that the Outsiders are still canon, the team in this book will be disbanded and replaced with the Outsiders. I’m not against the Outsiders getting back together, and I would be in favour of them getting their own book or integrating this team into their ranks. However, I hope this team is not completely broken down for the sake of bringing them back. I feel like that would be a disservice to these characters.
Most importantly, though, I want Detective Comics to remain a team book. Detective Comics basically just being another Batman book in the New 52 seemed like a waste, whereas now we have actual stories we can tell with it. And, to be honest, despite everything bad I’ve said that’s happened in this book…it’s still a lot better than another Bat book I could name, which I’ll be getting to eventually. For now, lemme know what your own thoughts on Detective Comics in DC Rebirth are, and join me next time for something a bit more…wonderful. Ja né!
Not gonna lie, kinda bummed these guys aren’t the new Birds of Prey, but whatever, should still be a good book, as should this. Here’s the preview for Batgirl #50.
- It’s the explosive conclusion of the epic that changed Barbara Gordon forever! The enemy lurking at the edges of Batgirl’s life has been revealed, as have the gang of heroes assembled to help her! From this point on, Batgirl doesn’t walk alone! It’s an extra-sized celebration of the greatest hero Burnside has ever known, from Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr!
Hoo boy, this could get very, VERY bad if even one little slip-up occurs. Anyway, here are the preview pages for Batgirl #49.
- To unravel the secret of Batgirl’s bizarre new nemesis, her friends must travel to strange and uncharted territory: the inside of Barbara Gordon’s spectacular mind!
… … …
…Please dear God, don’t be another universal reboot. It feels like we’ve just cleaned up a lot of the most damning and damaging parts of the last one by re-establishing the Multiverse, leaving the doors open for writers to do any story involving the characters of those past worlds that they want, and reintroducing characters like Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain. On top of that, we’ve actually got a fairly decent writer on Earth 2: Society, and we’ve had neat stuff like the Court of Owls and the new Power Ring around that I’d hate to see tossed aside…Although, with all of that said, there’s still a LOT of crap in the current universe that needs to be cleaned up, like the overall attitude of the Amazons, the fauxmance between Diana and Clark, and certain books being a little less fun than they could be. Thus, I’m hoping that, instead of being a complete reboot, DC Rebirth is instead a SOFT reboot, in that it doesn’t necessarily say that everything we’ve read for the past four years didn’t matter, but that we’re moving on to a place where we can improve upon everything and fix what went wrong. With that said, here’s a list of things I’d like to have kept around, as well as some stuff I’d like changed up/fixed/improved. First off, let’s talk about something I want to see stick around…
OMG, I love this team… … …erm, the creative team, that is. lol Geoff Johns has finally figured out how Wonder Woman should work as a character, and between his stories as of late and Jason Fabok’s glorious artwork, Justice League has been AMAZING. Also, Fabok, for the love of God, keep making the covers for the book look like movie posters. They’ve been so freaking awesome, I almost wanna have them blown up to cover each of the walls of my room.
Seriously, it’s time to pull the trigger on this. I mean, assuming it hasn’t happened already. I’ve heard that Wally MIGHT have gotten speed powers recently, but nothing solid yet. With that said, though, whether he becomes Kid Flash or not, one thing that DOES need to happen? Let Wally be WALLY. Let him be FUN. I don’t care what colour his skin is or anything else, I just want Wally to be fun again. That never needed to change.
Okay, DC, you had your fun with Superman and Wonder Woman being a couple, but I think it’s time to move on to what fans really want: Lois and Clark together. And hey, you can still do the Superman/Wonder Woman book and just have it be about the two teaming up to kick 31 flavours of ass, just let us have DC’s OTP back. They don’t even HAVE to be married, either, just have them be in a relationship again.
Words cannot express how much Amy Chu’s Poison Ivy book NEEDS to be an ongoing. However, one thing that might be a good idea is for Ivy to look at some of her past decisions and make re-evaluations. Perhaps she could feel grief over some of her more unethical activities in the past and wanting to go forward in a more positive attitude, possibly even moving beyond the antagonistic relationship she has with many heroes and instead joining them. Really look at Ivy as a character and her history and have her decide what the best course of action for the future is.
I’ve heard part of this rebranding will take greater strides to advertise the characters with their own shows. In that case, there is no excuse for not having a Vixen solo book. Or, if nothing else, having her be part of a high-profile team, like the Justice League or perhaps a team-up book for her, Flash, and Green Arrow, would be a great idea.
So, word is that Scott Snyder is leaving the main Batman book and instead going over to Detective Comics… … …Well, that should improve things over on THAT book, at least. lol However, if I can make a suggestion to whoever takes over for Batman? MAKE JOKER FUN AGAIN. I’m not saying you can’t do big, epic, horrifying stories with him, but you also gotta remember that this is the same guy who once tried to show the world he could pull off the greatest boner… …erm, not what it sounds like. lol Just saying, with someone as off-the-walls crazy as Joker, you can do both and still have it make sense.
I’ve been hearing that Dan Abnett, the new writer for Earth 2: Society, is actually doing a fairly decent job of cleaning up the mess Daniel H. Wilson left of that world, but that it still seems like a lot to cram into a single book. My personal recommendation? More or less make Earth 2 its own pseudo-imprint, with its own line of books. Have one dedicated to a new Justice Society forming, one dedicated to Huntress and Batman cleaning up the streets of Gotham, one dedicated to Fury and the new Amazons, and so on. Just make sure that the people writing have been briefed on Earth 2 history, both old and new, and know who the heck they’re writing about. In fact, while we’re on the subject…
Y’know what my favourite part of Convergence was? The fact that a lot of the stories felt like they were written by people who legitimately got the characters and understood how they’d respond to the situation presented. I am sick of stories written by people who don’t get the characters. Why would you ever assign someone a book in that case? That needs to stop, PRONTO.
Okay, I’m not gonna say that Dick Grayson as a secret agent doesn’t have potential, because we’ve seen that it does. However, I think it’s time he went back to what he did best, and that’s being a hero. Seriously, be it as Robin, Nightwing, Batman, whatever you wanna call him, Dick Grayson is clearly meant to be a superhero, one who bridges trust and friendship among various members of the superhero community.
Admittedly, this is one I’m actually a little on the fence about, and here’s why: While I prefer John Stewart overall as a character to Hal Jordan, Hal DOES have great lines and chemistry with Batman. So…I dunno, maybe you could have them both serving on the Justice League and rotating in and out for different stories? Or, I suppose another answer is to have a new secondary team for the JLA created and put him on that. Speaking of, I’ve heard that Justice League of America will be sticking around even after the storyline involving Rao finally wraps up. Perhaps there’s a place for him over there? Speaking of heroes that need to return to the League, though…
Honest to God, I have no idea what is even going on with Martian Manhunter anymore, but I think it’s time he came back to the Justice League…Not much else to say, really. It just doesn’t feel the same without him.
She’s been on the sidelines long enough, guys. It’s time to bring Batwoman back into the fold. I don’t really care how it’s done, be it in her own book or as a supporting character for another book, but it’s time Kate started getting her hands dirty. Oh, and for God’s sake, can we PLEASE have her be married finally? I think the point’s been made clearly enough that stopping the marriage was a terrible idea. Besides, with Maggie as the current GCPD Commissioner, that would put her in a VERY interesting situation that can be played around with.
I’m not saying it has to be a permanent change, just something quick and fun. Mainly because, as I’ve brought up before, we’ve seen that Scott Snyder can write stories for both Superman and Batman really well, so it’d be neat to see if he can go three for three with DC’s Trinity.
It recently hit me that the group Babs has been putting together in her book of herself, Frankie, Spoiler, Bluebird, and Black Canary could work great as a new Birds of Prey team. With that said, I might also wanna include Cassandra Cain as Black Bat since…well, I’m not really sure what else to do with her once Batman and Robin Eternal is over. Also, BRING BACK STARLING. Her heel turn and disappearance left a LOT of fans upset and confused, and there’s been zero follow up on that.
Apparently, there’s a storyline coming up where Superman FINALLY notices that Supergirl’s been kinda MIA as of late. As such, I hope that means we can finally get a new solo book for her, especially since she DOES, in fact, have a pretty successful TV series running right now. I know, some people aren’t as big of fans of it as others, but there is no denying success.
I get that, because of the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, that DC might feel the need to continue pushing the crap outta the comic. However, I hope they remember that there’s another team of villains and anti-heroes that a lot of fans love and don’t toss it aside like they did at the start of the New 52.
…Nope, I’m not gonna stop saying it until it happens. For an entire generation of fans, Tim Drake was Robin. He had his own solo book. He made Robin cool for the 90’s without doing too many of the stereotypical 90’s comics things. And he’s always been the detective of the Robins. As such, I would love to see him get a book. If nothing else, I kinda hope that Scott Snyder makes him a supporting character in Detective Comics. But, speaking of Tim and books he’s a part of…
Yeah, I’m sorry, but as much fun as I was having with the new Teen Titans books for the first few issues, the fun kinda dried up pretty quick. Is it too much to ask to have a FUN Titans team? One that, while knowing when to be serious, can also be an enjoyable and even funny read at times? Something a little closer to the tone of the animated series?…The good one, that is, not that piece of shit Teen Titans GO!. You don’t even need to change the cast (although, if Wally DOES become Kid Flash again, maybe adding him would be a good idea).
And that’s all I got for now. Have an idea I didn’t post? Leave it in the comments, and we’ll see what happens in June. Ja né!
Okay, this isn’t a complaint, more-so just something that’s kinda bugging me: Why doesn’t Babs just TELL her dad the truth now? Not only is there little to nothing he can say about it, given the situation, but it would benefit both of them, as she’d have someone on the inside at GCPD and Powers, and HE’D have someone in the Bat Family who firmly recognizes him as an ally. I just don’t get why she can’t be honest with him, and the only reason I can think of is because Bruce is coming back and the status quo will be returning to normal, and having that revelation now would off-set that. Yay, status quo. -_-
*sighs* Whatever, tangent over. Here’s the preview for Batgirl #47.
- Batgirl’s about to lose the greatest weapon in her arsenal…her mind is failing her! Is her ragtag group of allies enough to pick up the slack?
Spider-Gwen Announced – THANK YOU, MARVEL! :’D + News On Upcoming Wonder Woman Books + The Difference Between Marvel & DC
No, your eyes do NOT deceive you, Marvel has in fact listened to the fans and decided to give the Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman her own book. Apparently, it’ll be launching in February, under the name Spider-Gwen. Now, the name of the book is a little weird, but I’m guessing it’s because they already have a Spider-Woman book coming out, and unless they name it ‘Gwen Stacy: The Insert-Cool-Sounding-Adjective-Here Spider-Woman’, it’s gonna confuse people (actually, I think that would be the most awesomely hilarious name for a book EVER). So, I don’t mind the name.
What’s hilarious about this is that this news broke at the same time as myself and a group of my friends on Twitter were ranting about a cover advertised for an upcoming Wonder Woman book, as drawn by David Finch, where she looks…well, look.
…Yeah, pretty dumb, huh? And really shows why the Finchs are probably people that shouldn’t be doing Wonder Woman, because they don’t get the character. Although, on the flip side, check out the cover for the upcoming Wonder Woman ’77 book, drawn by Nicola Scott.
Pretty frakking epic. Really shows the difference between DC and Marvel. DC has these AMAZING digital first books that people love, and they take ZERO advantage of them, instead pushing the bleak as all heck New 52 books. Marvel sees that something sells well, they go “Hey, we’ve got a new product that sells great! So, let’s roll with it!” And maybe it won’t do as well as they hope, but the point is they’re giving it a try. They’re giving Silk a shot too. So we’ll have, on the Marvel side of things, female led books like Storm, Captain Marvel, Silk, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel, Adjectiveless X-Men, Squirrel Girl (…no, seriously, it’s happening, lol), and so many more. In DC’s main line, their female led books are Supergirl (has been kind of a confusing mess lately), Batgirl (new team doing the book does awesome work in my opinion, but I’ve noticed that reaction to the new book is pretty divisive online), Gotham Academy (looks cool, but not my cup of tea), Harley Quinn (ruined Poison Ivy in the New 52, has an upcoming drug-scented book), Batwoman (was forced out of getting married and turned into a vampire anti-hero), and Wonder Woman (see above image, and the God awful relationship with Superman). Meanwhile, they have a HUGE roster of women they could push in their books! Aside from the ones I mentioned already, they have Raven, Wonder Girl, Troia, Stargirl, Spoiler, Bluebird, Poison Ivy, Mera, Aquawoman, Jesse Quick, Jade, Huntress, Power Girl, Fury, Equinox, the list goes on and on! And yeah, some of them are in books currently, but they’re hardly marketed by DC. They don’t know how to market their products, unless said product is involved with Batman, and they don’t know how to get people pumped for new stuff.
But anyway, I just wanna thank Marvel Comics, Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, and everyone else involved in Spider-Gwen for bringing this to us. Lemme know your own thoughts on this upcoming book, and we’ll see how awesome this gets when it hits in February. Ja né!
So, this October marks a HUGE turning point in a lot of the Bat related books, as a few new ones are getting started, and pre-existing ones are getting big changes in relation to what’s going on in Batman Eternal. What’s interesting about the new books is that some of them don’t even necessarily star Batman, or even involve him directly, rather simply taking place in Gotham City and starring different characters. Now, because they take place in Gotham, I would assume he’ll make appearances, but otherwise, they aren’t about him. It honestly reminds me of an often brought up theory that DC doesn’t know how to market products that don’t involve Batman anymore. And before anyone brings up that it could be in relation to the upcoming Gotham TV series, let me remind everyone that Green Arrow has had a TV show for a couple of years, but has advertising for his comics improved much? Granted, they’ve done more with him, but the actual marketing for his books don’t seem to have changed at all. Flash is getting a new TV show, but I don’t see much in the way of marketing improvements for his series, despite the fact that Wally West is coming back as Kid Flash. Last year was Superman’s 75th Anniversary, and yes, he got a new book that I’ve come to love, but compare what they did for him to what they’ve done for Batman’s 75th. You start to see the problem, yes? And sure, a lot of people love Batman, but what about people that are sick of Batman and want to see the other heroes get some attention? They’re pretty much outta luck.
But anyway, enough about me ranting about that, let’s instead focus on these changes, in no particular order, and what my thoughts on each of them are before giving a final overall opinion. Keep in mind, these are my thoughts going into these changes, and I could end up flip-flopping on some of them when they actually occur. Let’s start off with…
Barbara Gordon loses everything she owns in a fire, and so, as part of her attempts to start her life over following the end of Gail Simone’s run, she decides to do the same with Batgirl, creating a whole new costume. The book promises to be a bit more lighthearted and fun, with Babs going to grad school, and will feature quite a few LGBT characters in addition to fan favourite, Alysia. Again, I wish this was Stephanie Brown in this role, in fact the costume immediately makes me think of Steph’s (just picture her in blonde hair and you’ll see immediately), but I am NOT gonna say no to a book that promotes itself as being fun and lighthearted while also starring one of my favourite characters, so I’m going into this with a good attitude.
Something happens at Arkham Asylum that causes them to have to move a bunch of their inmates to a new location. As such, Wayne Manor becomes a new home for Gotham’s criminally insane, because that’s the most logical place to put them, right? Now, based on Batman #34, which takes place at the same time as the new Arkham Manor book, Batman is still operating out of the Batcave. But is it THE Batcave, or simply A Batcave? Sure, all the usual stuff is there, but they could’ve been moved. After all, having your base of operations underneath some of your worst enemies, with an access route in place to it, isn’t exactly a very tactically sound idea, and we know Batman isn’t stupid. He either moved to a new cave, or has found a way to block off the cave from the inmates. Either way, while I don’t think I’ll be buying this book, I will say I’m interested to see where this is going. Also, I’m curious as to Bruce’s stance on all of this. Is he against the idea, or could it actually have been his to begin with?
Apparently, another book that will look at the youth of Gotham City is the new book Gotham Academy. Don’t really know much about it beyond that, other than the art looks fantastic. Can’t say as I’m familiar at all with the cast, which is unfortunate as they could’ve easily had Stephanie and/or Harper Row be part of it just to give them more exposure, but whatever. Not terribly interested myself, but looks promising for people wanting to know more about Gotham and the people living there, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if some of the characters cross over into Batgirl.
Okay, this is where the whole “DC not knowing how to market anything unrelated to Batman and Gotham” thing can actually seem kinda devious. Why? Because the star of Gotham By Midnight is Jim Corrigan, AKA The Spectre. Granted, in the book Gotham Central, which I believe is getting a reprint soon (which proves Dan DiDio a blatant liar about the book’s popularity…AGAIN), there was a corrupt cop named Jim Corrigan on the squad, but he was VERY different from the previous version of the character. However, in the pages of Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger, the two versions were more or less merged into one, making The Spectre a Gotham based hero of sorts. Anyway, this is slated to be a more horror-style book, with Corrigan being part of a division of the GCPD that investigates supernatural cases. Haven’t decided if I’ll be getting it yet or not, but fans of The Spectre should be pleased nonetheless.
As revealed in Batman #28, and will be made official this October, Catwoman will at some point become the kingpin of crime in Gotham City and take direct control of all organized crime in the city. This is an especially welcome change to many who have read her solo book, like my colleague FHIZ of Gotham Spoilers, who have voiced their EXTREME displeasure of the title for the past 2-3 years. And frankly, having read some of what goes on in that book, I can’t say as I blame them. It also makes her relationship with Batman all the more complex. Yes, she’s running a major source of his biggest griefs, but she’s also shown that if Gotham is in big enough danger, she will help him in her own unique way. Again, not sure if I’ll be getting her book, but it’s at least a change I can get behind.
This is a change I’m NOT so fond of. As far as I can tell, Batwoman becoming a vampire is a change they’re actually rolling with, and will see her teaming with a group called The Unknowns, which are made up of Ragman, Etrigan the Demon, Red Alice, and Clayface. So in other words, she’s a brooding anti-hero at best, and a straight-up villain at worst. Wonderful, DC, just fucking wonderful. PASS.
While the major change here isn’t occurring in October, we will nonetheless see the next chapter of the Batman and Robin story, Robin Rises, which concludes in December. Long story short, Damian’s body is on Apokolips, as it has accidentally absorbed energy from something called the Chaos Shard, which we saw back in Batman/Superman’s first arc, and as they were unable to regain the crystal itself, they took Damian’s body instead. This crystal has the power to bring the dead back to life, though quite possibly at a cost. As such, Batman has declared that he’s going to Apokolips to get Robin, and he’s bringing him back, ALIVE. Peter J Tomasi has gone on record as saying that this story WILL resolve with Batman having a Robin again, though whether that Robin is Damian or not remains to be seen. It could be that the quest to bring Damian back could instead result in someone else taking up the mantle. Frankly, I’m hoping it’s either Damian back from the grave to reclaim his role at his father’s side, or that he becomes Redbird again and Carrie, Stephanie, or Tim take up the role of Robin. Either way, I think we all know that Batman NEEDS a Robin, so I’m just glad for that much. Will I buy the book again? Not right away. I’m waiting until Robin is active again to start buying. But once that’s done, most likely.
Don’t know, don’t care. NEXT!
So we already knew that Harper Row would be becoming the heroine Bluebird, but it seems that another character possibly coming to Batman’s side is someone named Lark. Who are they? Heck if I know. Maybe it’s Harper’s brother, Cullen, deciding to join his sister in her fight against crime. If so, I demand a book for them. No, seriously, make it happen. I wanna see a book about Bluebird and Lark fighting C and D list criminals. Maybe even add Steph, Calvin Rose, and the recently returned Misfit to the mix for funsies. Heck, they could form a whole new Birds of Prey group with Black Canary and/or Batgirl.
Anyway, that’s most of the changes to the Bat Family books (because I don’t wanna spoil EVERYTHING). How do I feel about them overall? Honestly, I think that, in the end, change can be a positive thing, as long as it’s handled well. Even the stuff I’m not exactly on-board with, like Batwoman And The Unknowns, can be done well if given the right amount of thought and direction. So, overall, I think this is a good thing. Ultimately, though, it feels like Batman Eternal’s actual story is taking a backseat to setting up this new status quo and showing how we get to this point, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In the end, I remain hopeful that these changes will lead to a better, more fleshed out Gotham.
So, those are my thoughts. Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments section below, and we’ll see what happens in October. Ja né!