Well, the New 52 is just about at its end, with DC Rebirth coming up next week and the last of the New 52 books ending over the course of the next few months. And while the New 52 has become something of a punchline for many fans, let’s not forget the good times that came with it. Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that there WERE good books, as well as the bad. So, with that in mind, I’ve decided that, before I seriously rag on the New 52 one last time, I should really take a look at some of my favourite comics from this era. Now, keep in mind, these are JUST the ones that I read. I’m well aware of the fact that there were other good comics that came out during the past five years under the DC banner that won’t be on this list. As such, if your favourites aren’t on the list, by all means, feel free to place your own in the comments. Also, keep in mind that there are books that, while good, just weren’t the overall greats of this list. So, books like Justice League, while having arcs I liked, also had a bunch of arcs I DIDN’T like, so they just missed the cut…though I DO have a bonus round for them. lol And, of course, books that are not a part of the main line, like Sensation Comics feat. Wonder Woman don’t count. Why we couldn’t have more books like it and Legends of Wonder Woman in the main line, I dunno, but for now, let’s start with one that’s probably kinda obvious to anyone who’s read my blog for a while…
Yeah, not shocking anyone with this pick, I’m sure. Most definitely my favourite of the books starring the New 52 Superman, and it’s one of the reasons I’m actually sad to learn that he’s dying. Yes, he is arguably the most inherently flawed of the mainstream Supermen, but when you have a good writer with a good story writing him, those flaws are used in good ways. We see how this Superman is still an inspirational figure in spite of these flaws by never giving up and continuously trying to do the best he can for the world. So yeah, while I’m obviously overjoyed to see the pre-Flashpoint Superman return to active duty, along with his wife and son, there will always be a little part of me that gets nostalgic for the Superman who didn’t always get it right, but nonetheless kept trying his best, for truth and justice.
I actually feel bad because I initially was unwilling to give this book a try. Why? Because they’d seemingly undone Babs’ past as Oracle as a means to make her Batgirl again, thus taking the position away from Stephanie Brown, who was nowhere to be seen for a long time. But while all that is true, I can’t deny that this book has had some great moments. Granted, I HATED the Batgirl Wanted arc, and Black Canary’s characterization in the beginning of the Stewart/Fletcher era rubbed me the wrong way, but the rest of it has been highly enjoyable. Some of my favourite moments are probably Alysia’s wedding, the end of the Simone era when Babs called in damned near EVERY superheroine on Earth, ALL of her annuals, the tie-in to Future’s End, that time she and Strix took on vampires, it’s just been a hell of a ride, and I hope that the next volume is just as fun.
For those that never read this book, I’ll keep the recap brief: Shortly after the collapse of the government sanctioned JLA, which was secretly meant as a fail-safe against the Justice League, three of its members, Stargirl, Martian Manhunter, and Green Arrow, found themselves teaming with Supergirl, Adam and Alanna Strange, Animal Man, and newcomer Equinox, to form a new Justice League: the Justice League United, set up in Canada, and meant to protect the world from extraterrestrial and paranormal threats. Of course, right off the bat, I was excited, since…well, do you know how long I waited for my country to get their own Justice League? Was awesome. But beyond that, getting to see some of the character interactions without the dread present in the JLA book that came before it was great too (Green Arrow and Animal Man playing off each other made for some decent comedy), and there was a lot of more traditional superheroing. In the later stages of the book’s existence, the team began rotating members in and out in order to deal with different situations, regardless of which side of the law they were on. Anyone from Batgirl to Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing to Vandal Savage, and so on could be brought in depending on what the situation called for. Unfortunately, this didn’t last long before the book’s cancellation, but the JLU has since appeared during the Truth story-arc in the Superman books, giving me hope that they’ll one day return to action.
I should probably note that, when I say Convergence is a favourite of mine, I’m not talking about the main series. This is primarily because…well, I didn’t read it, and from what I’ve read, there’s not really much of anything that good, other than the restoration of the Multiverse. Oh, there’s some stuff involving the New 52 version of Earth 2, but unfortunately, that’s been a SERIOUSLY mixed bag. You wanna know more about that, go check out the blog Helena Wayne Huntress for more details. But no, what I’m referring to as one of my favourites of the New 52 is all the tie-in stuff. Granted, that could be seen as cheating for one simple reason: IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NEW 52. The Convergence tie-ins are about giving resolution to stories that happened before the New 52, letting the heroes of ages past get one last hurrah, and even setting up for maybe a few of them to return later on. And they’re all awesome! Nightwing and Oracle get married and kick ass (not necessarily in that order, lol), Lian is brought back to life, Stephanie Brown suits up as Batgirl again, Lois and Clark have a child, the JSA return, it’s all amazing! Hell, even Scott freaking Lobdell turns in a good Blue Beetle book! I didn’t even think it was possible for him to put out anything of quality, but I guess mathematically speaking, it had to happen EVENTUALLY.
…Yyyeeeaaaahh, suppose this isn’t much of a surprise to anyone. lol While I wasn’t a fan of the story where Jim Gordon was Batman, and I found Joker to be WAY over the top in terms of unstoppable villainy is concerned, it’s really hard to not consider this book one the best of the past five years. Snyder and Capullo have simply been on fire for this era, and it’s sad to know that, at least for a while, that team of theirs is over. Although as hard as it is for me and other readers, I gotta imagine it’s even harder for them. But yeah, you guys should all know all of my favourite moments from this book, and if you don’t, I made a list of them just before the Superheavy story-arc. Point is, if you’re a Batman fan and you’ve been avoiding this book for the New 52 branding, don’t. It’s at least worth your time to check out.
So those are my favourite books of the New 52 in terms of overall quality. And now, the bonus round for all the arcs of books that I liked.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Huntress and Power Girl fighting a giant Irradiated Man in a Japanese harbour! All it needed was for Godzilla and Dragonzord to show up to make it the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen! XD
…Not to self: Review Darkseid War once the entire storyline is finished. It is easily my favourite story of the New 52 Justice League. Also, I thought Origin worked as an introduction to this new timeline, and the Amazo Virus was pretty awesome, too, and marked the point in which Geoff Johns finally found his groove with writing Wonder Woman’s character.
Cross World was great, and presented one of my all-time favourite images of Wonder Woman, and the stuff with Mongol and Toymaster is admittedly dumb fun that resolved in an awesome team-up involving Supergirl, Batgirl, Steel, Red Hood, and Krypto.
Y’know, DC, right after the engagement, I was totally gonna stick with this book. Then you called it off, the creative team left as a result, and then you did the stupid vampire thing. Just saying, you had a great thing gift-wrapped for you. I sincerely hope, though, that since Rebirth is apparently nixing the whole heroes-can’t-be-married thing, with the old Superman who is married to Lois Lane being back and Aquaman and Mera being engaged, that Batwoman finally is allowed to get married in Detective Comics.
Ultimately proved to be hit and miss, but I liked it for the most part. Could’ve done without Casey being damned near torn apart, but watching her make her badass comeback with a cybernetic arm-cannon was awesome. I mean, yeah, it’s another case of extreme violence against women in a comic, but it’s hard not to watch her in the hospital bed right after losing her arm and eye and not grin ear-to-ear when she’s still being like “Aw, fuck it, just put a giant arm-cannon on me, and I’ll fuck these guys up! And Calvin, you better make sure you haven’t completely screwed things up by the time I show up, or your ass is grass!” XD
I unfortunately can’t really justify putting Nightwing on the top 5, but that’s less to do with the quality of the stories told in it and more to do with the constantly changing status quo that was really only a thing strictly because of stuff happening in the other Bat Family books before ending due to events in Forever Evil. Oh, and as a side-note, SO glad to see that Nightwing is in blue again, but not sure where this is going with him as a member of the Court (or Parliament, I guess) of Owls.
I can’t say enough how much I adored the team-up with Power Girl. Was just great.
I feel like I MIGHT’VE put this on the list if I’d read through the entire thing and it didn’t delve into the cheesecake quite as much as it did, soooo…Eh, call it sixth, I guess. lol
Again, DC, you had me right up until Evil Superman working for Darkseid, and Thomas Wayne as Batman. Then you completely lost me. And THEN you pissed me off with World’s End and the first arc of Earth 2: Society. Seriously, like I said before, go read Helena Wayne Huntress’ blog for more details, but suffice to say, it’s been a MESS, one that I hope gets cleaned up soon. I DO recommend the Tower of Fate arc, though.
Problematic for me personally at times, but still enjoying it, and glad it’s here. 🙂
And that’s all my favourite stuff of the New 52. Like I said before, if you’ve got a book that you really liked from this era that wasn’t on here, by all means, leave your own list in the comments, and be sure to check back in the future when I go over the worst of this era. Ja né!
So, with the solicitations for DC in March out for all to see, a few cancellations have been made official, one of which I already talked about, one I knew about and didn’t mention on here, and one I just found out about and is making me rather sad. So, let’s go through all three and what my thoughts are on them.
Not TOO depressed about this one. Why? Well, for starters, I never read it, but I have seen bits and pieces, and I can say that while Animal Man isn’t my own personal cup of tea, I can see how a LOT of people would love the crap outta it. The other reason is that the writer, Jeff Lemire, is gonna be writing adding Animal Man to the roster of one of the Justice Leagues, likely either Justice League Dark or Justice League of Canada. Either one works, honestly. My only concern the ending of the Animal Man book, the status of the Baker family by the end of it, and if they will be appearing in the League book he’ll be in.
THANK FRAKKING GOODNESS, this book is getting cancelled! If I may be allowed to adapt a quote of Roger Ebert‘s, when he was talking about the movie North, I hated Batman: The Dark Knight. Hated, hated, hated, HATED that book. HATED it. Hated every single stupid, intelligence-insulting moment of it. And it’s gonna survive until #29, not counting the #0 issue or the Villains Month issues. The ONLY reason this book made it this far, and I know this, because I WAS one of the people who bought it for a while, is the title (because The Dark Knight was still hot), and the fact that Batman was the main protagonist. If you put anyone else in these scenarios and storylines, wouldn’t have ever made it past the first arc. And the fact that writers are very generously trying to make something out of the random, idiotic stuff that happened in it, I don’t know why they bother trying, but kudos to them. In fact, memo to me, come March or April, do something that carefully analyses the idiocy of this book.
Sadly, this book, not okay with it being cancelled. Going into Talon, I was initially concerned that this was gonna be a waste of time, and on the very first issue, I knew this was gonna be awesome, and it has been. Calvin Rose has been awesome, Casey Washington has been quite possibly one of the best new characters of the New 52, the story has been a great follow-up to the Court of Owls/Night of the Owls arcs of the main Batman series by Scott Snyder, and my only hope is that these characters continue to hang around. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they become regulars in the upcoming Batman Eternal weekly series. I’d LOVE it if Casey became the next Oracle type of character.
So, guess that’s one book I’ll be forced to drop. However, I’ve decided to stick with Talon until the last issue. Regardless of what happens, how it ends, and who stays or goes, I’ve stuck with it since the beginning, so I feel the need to stay with it until the end. I owe it to these characters, and I owe it to James Tynion and Scott Snyder. Still, I guess that helps me with my decision regarding what to drop for the new books in the new year, which you can still vote on, btw.
So, what are your thoughts on all of this? Comment below, and we’ll see how these books conclude in March. Ja né!
- Nature Calls; Animal Man Answers. An Introduction to Animal Man (comicbookheretic.wordpress.com)
- Lemire’s Animal Man series to end in March 2014 (comicsrefueled.wordpress.com)
- Seeley & Lucas Conclude “Talon” in March (comicbookresources.com)
- Batman: The Dark Knight cancelled (digitalspy.co.uk)
- “Animal Man” and “Talon” to End in March (outrightgeekery.wordpress.com)
- DC readies weekly series, ‘Futures End’ for spring (thenewstribune.com)
- The New 52 and Why It Has Failed (ericmikols.com)
- DC Cancelled Stormwatch in April (goodkindofgeek.com)
- Rumor: DC Is Working On Low-Budget Superhero Movies (capesonfilm.com)
- ‘Talon’ added to list of titles ending in March (comicsrefueled.wordpress.com)
So, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m planning to pick up the new Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk books when they come out. In addition, I’m honestly kind of enticed into at least checking out an arc of Iron Man‘s coming up soon where Malekith, the main villain from Thor: The Dark World, plans to find the Mandarin’s rings to gain even more power. However, since money’s gonna be a little on the tight side for reasons I don’t wanna get into, that means dropping some titles to make room for the new ones. So, let’s go through the books I regularly buy these days to get a better idea as to which stays and which goes.
Hell no, I ain’t dropping this book! This is the best frigging book DC puts out every month! Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have been putting out one of the best runs of Batman in years, and I’ve been loving the crap outta this book since day one that I’ve been buying it, and I honestly don’t see that changing any time soon. Batman STAYS.
Again, the best Superman book of the New 52, though largely because it still feels like the pre-Flashpoint Superman. Y’know, the far better one. lol Not planning to drop this one, but depending on how long it winds up lasting, I may not have a choice. For now, however, Superman Unchained STAYS.
Nightwing has been great, especially since the move to Chicago (although I still don’t understand why there and not a New 52 Blüdhaven, but whatever). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Nightwing has kinda been reminding me of Spider-man before Marvel ruined Spider-man. Now, depending on the ending and fall-out of Forever Evil, I MIGHT be dropping this book, or it might even be getting cancelled. We’ll just have to see what happens.
As great as Supergirl’s been, I’m thinking I might have to drop it, on account of a change coming up where Supergirl is going to be joining the Red Lanterns. Mind you, that all depends on whether or not this decision turns out to be permanent. If so, dropping. If not, we’ll see. Either way, though, I think I’m gonna skip the next arc involving Lobo, just because it doesn’t look terribly interesting and it’ll free up some cash.
Yep, I am coming back to Gail Simone‘s Batgirl, as was always my intent once Batgirl: Wanted was over. I won’t be picking up the next issue, since it’s a tie-in to an event I’m not gonna be following, but after that, apparently Batgirl’s gonna be teaming up with Strix, so that should prove interesting. So yeah, gonna say with some confidence that Batgirl STAYS.
Batman/Superman has been a lot of fun, albeit pretty different, and I do plan to get the trade for issues 1-4 when it comes out, perhaps for my birthday, but I don’t really plan to follow the crossover with Worlds’ Finest, so I guess whether I continue to pick it up after that will depend on what comes afterwards. Still, I give props where props is due to Greg Pak for making this a fun series, which is what a team-up book for Superman and Batman should be. Now if you could talk DC into bringing back the old Superman/Batman logo for it, that’d be great. I don’t care which hero gets top billing, just bring back the logo. lol
James Tynion’s Talon’s been AMAZING, but it’s also changing writers and gonna be going in a new direction, so I gotta wait to see how that goes before making a decision. If it remains as great as it’s been, and we get to see Calvin Rose and Casey Washington continue to be awesome, definitely gonna continue to pick Talon up.
Brian Wood’s X-Men continues to be fun and engaging, which is good since it’s the only mainstream all-women team right now with Fearless Defenders being cancelled and Birds of Prey having Condor, AKA That Guy No One Cares About. And I know, the Birds have had a dude on the team before in the form of Hawk, but that was only ‘cuz Dove was on the team and it’s always best to keep Hawk and Dove together. Sadly, it had a little bit of a shake-up with its roster due to Remender deciding to kill off Rogue in Uncanny Avengers and Kitty deciding to go hang out with Cyclops of all people, but the current line-up works too, so I’m probably gonna keep with it.
The Movement…Yeah, I’m sadly done with this one. Not Gail Simone’s best work, as I feel the overall storytelling and character arcs are kinda messed up, but the characters themselves are alright, and I hope that the book improves and gets new readers. Maybe I’ll pick it back up someday if that happens.
On the other hand, Gail Simone’s Red Sonja is definitely sticking around on my pull list. This is Gail at her best, when the people above her basically just let her do whatever she wants, and it’s FANTASTIC. XD So yeah, Red Sonja STAYS.
And finally, Batman and Robin, or rather, Batman and Whoever these days. Look, I’m gonna be honest, I like Peter Tomasi‘s writing a lot, but at this point, if we don’t get a new Robin soon, this book is going to suffer a LOT. Why? Three words: Lack of direction. It feels like Tomasi is having to stall for the moment that either Damian comes back or someone takes his place. Batman and Two-Face has been alright, but if this continues for much longer, I may need to seriously consider dropping this book.
So, of the books I just listed, four are staying for certain and one is getting dropped. That leaves Nightwing, Batman/Superman, Supergirl, X-Men, Batman and _____, and Talon. Which of these books do you think deserve to stick around, and which do you think should be banished from What I Bought Today? Lemme know in the comments, and/or vote below which of the six you think is the best, and we’ll see what happens in the new year. Ja né!
- Bullet Reviews #137 (comicbooked.com)
- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK: Jae Lee Returns to “Batman/Superman” for “First Contact” (comicbookresources.com)
- Time For A Little (More) Gail Simone Appreciation (venusfrommars.wordpress.com)
- Lobo, Fear, and the God of Death: Marguerite Bennett on Comics and Writing (hopeburnsbright.wordpress.com)
- Batgirl #26 Review (comicsrefueled.wordpress.com)
- Bedard Returns To The Lantern Corps With “Supergirl” (comicbookresources.com)
- Revealed: DC Comics Was to Have Featured Rape and Torture of Batgirl (breitbart.com)
- Batman/Superman #6 (comicvine.com)
- Willow Writes the New Ms. Marvel, a Teenage Muslim Shape-Shifter (comicbookresources.com)
- DC Comics Jumps Forrward 5 Years With Weekly “The New 52: Futures End” (comicbookresources.com)
- Malekith Seeks the “Rings of the Mandarin” in Gillen’s “Iron Man” (comicbookresources.com)
So, I went to Heroes’ Beacon today, and you know what that means. It’s time to look at…
Only one comic this week, so let’s get right to it. Here is Talon #12.
So, remember how last issue ended with both Casey Washington and Sebastian Clark seemingly dead? Well, guess what? Both alive and…well, not quite well, but doing alright. Following the assault from Felix Harmon, Casey has lost an eye and had to have her right arm amputated. However, she’s good friends with Morgan Freeman, I-I mean Lucius Fox, who vouches for her to Bruce Wayne and Batman (remember, in the comics, he doesn’t know they’re one and the same…even though he REALLY should) and lets her hide out in the lab for as long as she needs. And while I feel like I should be giving James Tynion a hard time for doing this to the female lead in this comic, I really can’t since, as we see in this issue, she’s still being awesome and witty despite her losses, talking about having to practise being a lefty and trading snarky comments with Fox as they get to work designing a prosthetic for her. Her only concern is the well-being of her daughter, and possibly getting some punches in on Harmon when they find him. Seriously, Casey NEEDS to become either the new Oracle, or a new heroine version of Cyborgirl. She’s just too damned awesome.
In the meantime, however, there’s a bit of a problem, which Calvin Rose and Batman learn upon investigating the Court’s hideout and sending Robats to Bane’s island: The Court of Owls has gone back into hiding, Harmon has officially gone rogue, and Bane and his entire island have disappeared, though readers of Forever Evil: Arkham War can learn what he’s up to. However, Batman and the currently beating himself up Calvin Rose have to get their priorities straight: They need to find Sarah and rescue her from the Court of Owls. Batman hands over what information he has on the Court to Calvin, to fill in any blanks he might have and give him some clues on where to find them, since his experience with them probably trumps his own. However, Batman isn’t completely sold on a good Talon, and makes it clear he has a cryo-tube in Blackgate ready for after Calvin has located Felix Harmon. Granted, kinda untrusting and paranoid of Batman, but to be fair, look at what happened to him a year ago at the hands of the Court of Owls and their Talons. Plus, while I love Calvin, he hasn’t done much to prove himself a good ally to Batman to keep loose.
Throughout the comic, we learn more about where Felix Harmon comes from, how he was brought into the Court of Owls, and how he earned the name ‘The Gotham Butcher’. By the end of the comic, we see that his great atrocity was that he murdered 17 people in one night and set an orphanage on fire. In the present, he returns there to hide out while planning his next move, only to find someone there waiting for him: Sebastian Clark. I kinda have to tilt my head at this, since we last saw him on the boat with Bane getting the frak punched outta his face, but regardless, he’s done some reading from The Secret History of the Court of Owls on Harmon. It seems that Clark, having had all of his plans torn apart and any sense left in his brain punched out by Bane, has come up with a much more simple plan of revenge against the Court, Calvin Rose, Casey Washington, Batman, and everyone else that’s crossed both him and Harmon: They’re going to kill Gotham City!
This issue was pretty good, setting the stage for the next couple of issues as Clark and Harmon get ready for the killing spree to end all killing sprees. If I have a complaint against it, it’s that it feels like it skipped a few details. Why is Batman instantly willing to work with Calvin Rose, even for the short-term? How did Clark get back to Gotham, seemingly so fast? How did the Court of Owls relocate so quickly? How did Casey go from being in danger of dying to just losing an arm and an eye? I feel like there’s an entire issue worth of stuff that was glossed over to get us to this point. Still, I guess we can attribute Casey’s survival to the money and resources available to Batman and Lucius Fox, and the Court disappearing because…well, because they’re the Court. The only remaining thing I feel the need to point out is that, even IF Calvin is put in cryo-stasis, it won’t be permanent, since we clearly see him on the cover of Batman: Detective Comics #27. Still, a good issue nonetheless, and I suspect the next couple to bring conclusion to the current arc in a powerful way.
- COMICS: The Caped Crusader Teams With Calvin Rose In First Look At TALON #12 (comicbookmovie.com)
- Batman: The Retrospective (nerdswole.wordpress.com)
- Forever Evil Event: Batman 23.4 (Bane) (comicbooked.com)
- Batman and Robin 23.2: Court of Owls (retcon-punch.com)
- COMICS: Stephanie Brown To Return As ‘Spoiler’ In BATMAN: ETERNAL (comicbookmovie.com)
- Batman villians (scifisicko.wordpress.com)
- DC announces new comic book for Batman’s 75th anniversary (2andahalfnerds.com)
- Forever Evil: Arkham War #1 Review (rtgomer.com)
- Stephanie Brown is Back in Business! (spandexandcapes.wordpress.com)
- NYCC 2013: Scott Snyder details ‘Batman: Zero Year,’ ‘Eternal’ (herocomplex.latimes.com)
Well, shouldn’t be too hard talking about…
…considering that I only bought one comic, and I’ll talk a little bit about what I didn’t buy later. For now, let’s take a look at Talon #11.
Well, I’ll give Mister Rose this much: He makes a pretty solid argument for the use of a good ol’ tactical retreat. Calvin makes it clear that Bane could easily crush him, but that getting into a one-on-one fist fight with him was never his goal: Instead, with Calvin’s buddies taking out Bane’s lieutenants, Calvin decides to head back to Gotham to warn Sarah of the coming army. However, when he calls, he gets Batman instead. While Calvin and the others were fighting Bane’s army, Sarah had escaped police custody and lit the Bat-Signal, only the Gotham Butcher arrived first. Although Batman managed to stop him from killing Sarah, her wounds are critical, and she may not survive. However, she’s still better off than Sebastian Clark, who Bane decides to kill in a single punch after his recent failure and with The Outsider giving him a better offer.
…Yeah, so some good news/bad news regarding this issue. First, please don’t let Sarah die. She’s been a delight to read in this series, and while she wouldn’t exactly be meaninglessly killed off, since you could say that, with her final act, she steered Batman in the right direction to help Calvin, it would still be a loss of a character that I feel has so much more to contribute. Also, I gotta say, Sebastian getting his face Falcon Punched in seemed kinda…wasteful. However, I somehow doubt this is the last we’ve seen of Clark, since he WAS the Grandmaster of the Court of Owls, and might have some of their stuff hidden away, HINT HINT.
Anyway, that’s it for this month, and looking to Villain’s Month, I see that the grand total of books on my checklist is…6. Half of which come out next week. lol So yeah, next week, we check out Batman and Robin 23.1: Two-Face, Action Comics 23.1: Cyborg Superman, and…yes, believe it or not, we return to Batman: The Dark Knight with the guidance of Gail Simone to learn more about the frakking freaky new Ventriloquist. Ja ne!
- Villain Month Guide: Part 1 – Batman (retcon-punch.com)
- Batman: How Dark Should Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight Be? (variety.com)
- Batman: city of owls (mtgcblog.wordpress.com)
- Batman: city of owls (tjabercromby.wordpress.com)
- Batman: Night of the Owls (scrattsite.wordpress.com)
- Comic Releases for August 28, 2013 (comicbooked.com)
- DC Comics Solicitations for November, 2013 (comicbookresources.com)
- Tynion Revives “League of Assassins” & “Court of Owls” (comicbookresources.com)
- Tynion Revives “League of Assassins” & “Court of Owls” (drhiphop85.com)
- ‘Telling Punchy Little Stories’: Chris Burnham on ‘Batman Incorporated Special’ #1 (geek-news.mtv.com)
Oh my goodness, my feet are killing me! XP So, while I relax and imagine my sore feet being lovingly massaged by my gf, allow me to take a sec and talk about…
Only two books today, since I’ve dropped JLA and Batman Incorporated got delayed by one week, so let’s start with Talon #9.
So yeah, the Birds of Prey cameo in this book…for all of the first four pages. lol Yeah, sorry to say this, but clearly this move was done solely to boost sales for Birds of Prey, and I will be shocked if it helps even a little. If anything, this probably got the people who hadn’t heard of Talon to go read it instead. But anyway, after tricking his superiors into thinking he killed Strix, Calvin Rose is sent after Bane and Sebastian Clark. Meanwhile, Casey continues to be awesome by not only talking smack to the Gotham Butcher, even while chained and helpless, but shows she doesn’t care what’s happened to Calvin as long as he’s alive, and then tops it off by managing to free herself and send a message to her allies to come rescue her. Seriously, Casey Washington deserves to be the new Oracle-type character in the DC Universe when the Court of Owls is finally taken down.
X-Men #2 was frigging awesome. I still have no idea who the people in the school are beyond the main six characters and Beast though…I really should check the Marvel Comics Database at http://marvel.wikia.com/Main_Page for all of my essential needs and information. (Cheap plug successfully deployed, ^_^ ) Anyway, Sublime’s even eviller sister, Arkea, has taken control of Karima Shapandar, AKA the Omega Sentinel, and is creating all kinds of chaos throughout the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning. Only Rogue and Kitty Pryde are able to get down there to deal with Arkea, Kitty threatening to phase through her body to completely destroy her should it turn out there is nothing left of Karima in her. Arkea manages to escape, all the while it seems that neither Psylocke nor Rachel Grey can sense an infant with Jubilee. Kinda weird, but Sublime explains later that when he and his sister leave bodies they’ve taken over, they leave a whole new person behind, basically resetting them completely, so I’m gonna guess that’s what happened. The baby, named Shogo, is apparently okay though, since he’s just a newborn and won’t exactly need much time to develop a new personality. Jubilee talks Storm into letting her bring Shogo with them to find Arkea, reasoning that it’s safer with Storm and the others than back at the school…which actually turns out to be true, as we see in the end that Arkea left a little surprise at the X-Mansion: A frickin’ BOMB. O_O
So that’s it for this week. Next week…Well, suffice to say, next week is gonna be an expensive one…Ja né…T_T
So yeah, despite the fact that I stayed home from my class today, I managed to grab a couple of comics, so let’s take a look at…
Let’s not waste any time, and dig into Talon #8.
This one is unfortunately kinda depressing, but I knew it would be, so at least I was prepared going in. The Butcher forces Casey and Sarah to bring him to Calvin Rose, who has died from the attack by Bane. Having suffered major damage in the past year+ between the Night of the Owls and the operations by Calvin and Sebastian Clark, the Grandmaster has had enough and revives Calvin to tell him who Sebastian is working with. With this knowledge, it becomes clear that Clark is now operating out of the island of Santa Prisca. However, before they force Calvin to deal with Clark and Bane, they have another mission they plan to force Calvin to undergo, and that’s deal with another of their rogue Talons: Mary Turner. And if he doesn’t comply, they’ll kill Casey and Sarah. So yeah, if you haven’t figured it out, looks like Talon will be having a crossover with Birds of Prey…Oh joy. I’ll get more into why I’m less than thrilled about that and why I think this crossover is kind of a dumb idea, but at least I can expect the Talon side of it to be well-written.
Batman Incorporated #11 is a bit different. This one kinda takes a break from what’s going on in Gotham as usual illustrator Chris Burnham instead tells a story involving the Batman of Japan, formerly Mr. Unknown, in his…what, third or fourth costume thus far? Anyway, I’m just gonna say this right now, so there is no mistaking my opinion on this book…I LOVE THIS BOOK! It takes Batman-esque storytelling and mixes it with lots of anime and tokusatsu elements, throws it all in a blender, and it comes out GLORIOUS. Jiro’s partner/girlfriend is Shy Crazy Lolita Canary for the Super Young Team, who is a TON of fun, the bad guys look like Power Ranger rip-offs, the way they beat the villain is clever, I just love the whole thing. I’m telling you, when Grant Morrison‘s Batman Incorporated finishes its run, Chris Burnham needs to give Jiro his own book, because this was awesome, and a welcome break from the horrible events going on with Batman in Gotham City.
Well that’s it for today, but check in later this week as I hope to give some glimpses at a couple of books I didn’t buy today. Also, be back in a week from today when hopefully we learn more about the new Batman of Earth 2. Ja né!
Yep, ’tis Wednesday once again, which means it’s time for me to kick back and talk about…
These two books I got are pretty damned good, and I can’t wait to talk about ’em, so let’s not and just jump into Talon #7!
And heel turn complete. Guess I was right the first time. Either that or Sebastian Clark is EXTREMELY bipolar. But yeah, Sebastian has been working to take back what he feels is his after he left the Court, and apparently he’s got a very LARGE, powerful, and pissed off accomplice: Bane. Casey and Sarah manage to escape him, all the while Calvin manages to escape Securitis Island. Calvin Rose gets a partial message from Casey, learning what’s happened but left to believe something’s happened to her. On his way back to base though, then runs into Batman, who tells him that his recklessness is risking innocent lives. He puts Calvin in a pair of WayneTech‘s new Ultraclasp Bonds. Apparently Batman tested them himself and found them completely inescapable. So naturally, all it takes is for Batman to turn around for ONE PANEL before Calvin is GONE. Attempts to find him using the imaging systems in his cowl fails as well when Calvin sends out infradark spheres that throw Batman off his trail. I’m trying to think of when the last time a non-powered good guy got the best of Batman on the first try, and honestly, I got NOTHIN’. O.O Unfortunately, Bane apparently breaks Calvin’s body and leaves him for dead, but something tells me it won’t be quite that easy. Overall, great issue once again, James Tynion IV continues to deliver.
Batman Incorporated #10…Okay, I have a problem. I know I will not shut up about this, but I can’t keep this held back. We’re supposed to believe that the Batman books all occur at roughly the same time. Problem is, they constantly contradict one another. For example, in Red Hood and the Outlaws #17, they reference Jason and Damian‘s time as Wingman and Redbird, but right after their team-up in Batman Inc, Jason got kidnapped. Also, in all of the other Batman books, Alfred is around, but in Batman Inc, he’s being forced to go on vacation by an angry Bruce. In fact, how Batman is dealing after the loss of Damian is different in every book, too. And here, we see Kirk Thorton in human form, Nightwing is still in town, Jason is still held captive, AND we see Azrael is back after he was seemingly wiped from existence in the reboot. It never ceases to amaze me that the editors get so much power and yet don’t do their actual jobs.
Anyway, Batman goes to see Azrael, who tells him he’s been studying up, and it’s clear that Leviathan is trudging the Earth toward Armageddon, whether Talia is aware of it or not. Speaking of whom, Talia goes to see Ra’s al Ghul, who she locked up a while back to take over his empire, who commends her for her complete turn to frakking evil as shit. However, he thinks she’s overlooked a small detail and will ultimately fail. Talia calls the Mayor and threatens that Batman must turn himself in at 11:00 that night. And sure enough, Batman does in fact arrive at 10:55…wearing Azrael’s armour under a partial Batsuit under a new exoskeleton Lucius Fox built. But more than that, after going over his thoughts from when he first became Batman, Bruce has finally been taken too far and used something to further tip the scales in his fight against his son’s clone and murderer: The Man-Bat serum. And with only 3 more issues of Grant Morrison’s tale left, something tells me things are only going to continue to get frakking insane in this book.
So that’s all for today. Next week, I THINK JLA #3 is supposed to come out (not sure why the delay occurred), we see Batman face Emperor Penguin in Detective Comics, we venture back to Earth 2, and we bare witness to the rise of the 99% in Gail Simone‘s The Movement. And if I don’t get any of them on Wednesday, hopefully I’ll be able to pick ’em up on Free Comic Book Day (and yes, I WILL be recording a Vlog for that). Ja né!
Gosh, what day is it again? Oh yeah, it’s Wednesday, which means it’s time to look at…
So unfortunately, still no Batman and Robin #18, so it seems I’ll need to wait another week to get ‘the feels’. Until then though, let’s look at Batman #18.
So this is a really emotional book that shows Harper Row return, realising that Batman needs her help after he’s become increasingly reckless, sloppy, and violent. While I do like this book a LOT, I have two problems with it. The first is that, after saving Batman’s life and showing her new skills obtained from some training she’s been doing, Batman shows his appreciation by punching her in the face through a fence and telling her off . Now granted, he’s EXTREMELY sleep deprived, working both in the day and the night, and he’s only doing it to shoot down any chances she’ll try to become his partner, in essence trying to protect her. Problem is, he still punched a teenage girl in the face and broke her nose. He does apologise for it the next night, though, after Harper went to see Bruce Wayne about helping Batman (teehee) by sending him a message on the side of a building, ‘RESOLVE’ (with emphasis on the R). The other problem I have with this book, and I’m sorry that I’m not the first person to bring this up, but this is pretty clearly what A Lonely Place of Dying would be like if it was condensed to one book and was starring Stephanie Brown instead of Tim Drake. I mean, it’s still a good book, but I can’t ignore that it feels a lot like retreading old ground.
I should probably take a moment to address something. Supposedly, there’s sort of an anti-Harper stink going around. Some people saying that she’s just Scott Snyder‘s personal character project. Um, if that IS true, then guess what? EVERYBODY is a writer’s personal character project to begin with. So yeah, sorry, but you’re not gonna get me on-board with that. However, I DO have to ask, what the hell is Harper wearing? She looks like Holly Robinson when she was serving as Catwoman for a while. I mean, it works for now, but I hope it isn’t her permanent look.
Batman Inc-Okay, I’ve danced around this issue for a while, but I need to discuss this: The continuity between Bat books SUCKS. They’re all good stories in their own ways (odd one out being Batman: The Dark Knight, though clearly some people are still buying it), but the continuity between them is TERRIBLE. Supposedly, they’re all happening simultaneously, but there’s no way that can work. But regardless, we’re back with Batman Incorporated after the death of Robin, and apparently Beryl has elected to become Knight, though it seems that people looking to possibly bring back Cyril are aware of the existence of another Lazarus Pit…Hmm…Anyway, it seems Talia has sent Gotham City higher-ups an ultimatum: Batman Incorporated is to be shut down, or Gotham will be brought to its knees. So yeah, Batman’s an outlaw again. Wonderful. Starting to see how this ends up getting us to the point we saw at the beginning of Batman Incorporated #1.
Talon #6, HOLY CRAP! So yeah, Calvin Rose starts to make an impressive escape, but it seems he’s caught again. Afterwards, he finds out at the same time as a snooping Casey that it turns out John Wycliffe, the current Grandmaster of the Court of Owls, is not the man who recruited Calvin into the Court. In fact, it seems that Calvin hasn’t been striking at the Court’s resources, but rather reclaiming them for the former Grandmaster: Sebastian Clark! DUN DUN DUNNNN!!! Also, seems that the Gotham Butcher, who is becoming even more difficult to control, is out for more blood, but he’s not after more civilians, he’s after Batman…Dude, you might wanna rethink that. Oh, and if you think all this is insanely shocking, guess who shows up next month?
Anyway, that’s all for this week. Next week, we traverse back to Earth 2, check in on Batman dealing with the Mystery of the 900 in Detective Comics, and hopefully I FINALLY get the last issue of Batman and Robin to be titled Batman and Robin for a while. Ja né!
Well, I was kinda busy doing up the eulogy and tribute video for Damian yesterday, and by that point, I was kind of exhausted beyond the point of even really wanting to type this up, so let’s make up for that by looking at…
Okay, I gotta judge this comic fairly, and thus, I gotta point out a small problem I have with this: If you did not know that Robin was gonna die from the spoilers DC was giving away, you’d still know it was coming. Why? The scene with him and Nightwing. Granted, it’s awesome seeing them working together here, and their team is probably one of two things I’ll miss most about Damian, and I’ll get to the other one in a sec, but you read this scene with Damian telling Dick he was his best partner and that they were the best team and you go “WOW, you are SO gonna die, Damian!” Then we come to the fight with The Heretic, and there’s a scene where I admittedly had to take a second to chuckle, as Damian aims a crossbow at The Heretic and basically says “I promised my father I would never kill again”. And as we all know, every time Damian says that, it means he’s fully ready to kill something. But yeah, Damian fights The Heretic, all the while yelling at his mother to stop all this madness, but The Heretic murders him as Batman arrives too late to save him, and Talia sheds a single tear. Aww, yeah that makes up for EVERYTHING, you psychotic bitch. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there’s a twist later where it turns out the Talia that was complex in her motives and characterization has been physically replaced by a clone. After all, THIS Talia LOVES cloning. Still, for all its ups and downs, I am enjoying this book for the most part, though I will admit to some stuff happening on the side of the main story that I am COMPLETELY in the dark about.
Oh, and real quick, I suppose I should address this. Readers of DC Comics occurring within the New 52 have probably noticed within the past month or so that there’s this little two page strip at the end of each issue called “Channel 52”, where these newscasters recap events within the New 52 for that week or so. Well, this week they decided to play up what was going on in Batman Incorporated, specifically that Robin dies. A few people, in particular Waffles For Stephanie, have been VERY offended by this, saying they’re making a show of the 10 year old’s death. Personally, I just found it more stupid than anything, much like how I find the entirety of Channel 52. However, if you WERE offended, I recommend you check out the link at the end of this post.
Talon has officially become my favourite comic to get on the last week of the month. If James Tynion IV can keep up this kind of writing for Red Hood and the Outlaws, I might actually pick it up. I’m thinking I may have jumped the gun saying that Sebastian Clark was going to inevitably turn heel, or Tynion changed his mind on what to do with him, as he’s shown interacting with Casey and Sarah in a kind manner and saying that it’s times like Calvin has enjoyed as of late with Casey and Sarah, time as a family, that they’re fighting for. Casey also gets some moments of awesomeness in here, and we learn a little more of her backstory. We also see that Felix Harmon, AKA The Gotham Butcher, has tracked Calvin back to Gotham and is just a bit out of the Court’s control when he needlessly murders a couple in their apartment. Also, Batman is here!…Yeah!…Umm, Batman!…Okay, I knew darned well Batman was gonna appear in Talon at some point, but I kinda figured it’d be a little further down the road. As we see, though, he’s found out about the bank heist that went wrong in the past couple of issues, and he’s concerned that Calvin Rose taking on the Court of Owls directly could force a war that they’re just not ready to fight yet. However, it seems that things only get worse when Calvin tries infiltrating an impenetrable building run by the Court and it turns out one of the staff in the building is actually the Grandmaster of the Court at this time, and faster than you can say Admiral Ackbar, Calvin walks into a trap to end the issue.
So yeah, this was a mixed week to say the very least. Come back again next week as we venture back to Earth-2 and sleuth about in Detective Comics. Ja né!
- ‘Batman’ Star Burt Ward — Hey DC Comics … DON’T KILL ROBIN!!! (tmz.com)
- Five Ways Robin Could Come Back To Life (geek-news.mtv.com)
- Robin the Boy Wonder killed? Grant Morrison speaks out (herocomplex.latimes.com)
- DC Comics’ Bat-Family Reacts To Robin’s Fate In March’s Covers (comicbookresources.com)
- I wasn’t going to do this DC, but now I am happily willing to raise you my other hand. (wafflesforstephanie.tumblr.com)