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!
Beware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time,
Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime.
They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed.
Speak not a whispered word about them, or they’ll send the Talon for your head.
… … …Expect a far more elaborate geeking-out about this later on. lol Until then, click the image above or the link below to learn more about the Court of Owls’ involvement in Robin War, and we’ll see what other information turns up from now til then. Ja né!
… … … …Calvin Rose and Casey Washington better fucking well return in this. lol
Well, I’ve recently read the last issue of Scott Snyder’s Batman that I’ll be reading for a while, so now’s as good a time as any to look back on some of my favourite moments from this 40+ issue run (including annuals and whatnot). As always, these are in no particular listing of best to worst, and just like with my Favourite 5 for Superman Unchained, only one entry per issue, unless there’s a tie for which moment I liked best, in which case, they both share the same entry. So, let’s go ahead and start with…
This was probably the first time I actually had to physically ask the question “Scott…….what the hell is wrong with you?” XD I think what I love most about it is how it just comes outta nowhere, right as Batman is trying to size himself up for this confrontation with the Joker. Just imagine yourself being like “Okay, you got this, no matter what he throws at ya, you can’t let anythi-WHAT THE FUCK?!” And that’s not even the only horse to die horribly in this series. Hell, another one gets frozen and smashed IN THIS ISSUE! Seriously, Mr. Snyder, between this and your love of harming Alfred, were you assaulted as a child by an Englishman riding a horse or something?
As you know, I’m a big fan of the original Court of Owls story arc. Without a doubt, though, the highlight of that arc had to be Batman #5, as it’s probably the single creepiest comic I’ve ever read that isn’t explicitly supposed to be a horror comic (though with Scott Snyder, it’s hard to tell sometimes, lol). It’s not overly gross, it’s not filled with jump scares, it’s just this slow build of terror as we watch Bruce slowly but surely fall into madness. And even the hater of turning books on their side, Linkara, has gone on record as saying he approves this issue not only eventually turning on its side, but then turning upside down, as it’s symbolic of Bruce’s fractured mind becoming more-so as he goes crazier and crazier. I won’t spoil the whole thing, though. With that said, it’s a must read, especially if you love scary stories, which usually I’m not that big a fan of, but here, I LOVE it.
While I think this ultimately takes a close second in terms of overall creep factor to Batman #5, this is nonetheless a terrifying moment as it’s revealed that Eric Border was actually The Joker in disguise all along. Looking back on it, yes, the clues were all there, but so subtly that, much like Batman, you didn’t realize it until it was far too late, and the way the scene builds up to the point where Joker is revealed is very much a scene filled with dread as the truth slowly dawns on you, that the man you thought was the ally was the greatest enemy. It’s gripping, it’s terrifying, it’s, for better or worse, the modern-day Joker.
You all know I like Damian, right? Good. Now, in Death of the Family, Joker had knocked out and captured Batman’s allies one by one, sat them around a table with their faces covered in bloody bandages, and presented them dinner platters with their faces staring up at them. So after Batman forces Joker into retreat and tends to them, he goes to Damian first. Now, most comic fans, when they’re reading a comic, will hear the character’s voice speaking in their head. As such, in this scene, you can hear Damian trying desperately to sound like the cocky little bastard he usually is, trying to be brave as his father removes the bandages, when the fact is, he’s a 10-year-old boy who believes he’s had his face surgically removed. And the relief that it was just a facsimile and that he was just fine under the bandages, followed by the hug between father and son, brings the emotional moment full circle. Plus, there’s the fact that this was just before he died in Batman Incorporated, so the emotion is made even more-so in hindsight. Scott, you might not have the best grip on Damian’s character, but you managed to come through just fine on the father-son dynamic here.
…Yeah, you knew this was gonna make it on here. lol What can I say? It’s an AWESOME recreation of the cover art where the world first laid eyes on The Dark Knight and said “Wow, that looks cool”. EVERYTHING about this two page spread is frakking perfect. If I could, I’d blow it up and put it on my wall…and then I’d put Wonder Woman on her pegasus in Batman/Superman on another wall. XD Zero Year, you may have taken FOREVER to get finished, but my God, did you leave the most epic of moments for us to remember you by.
And those are my 5 Favourite Scott Snyder’s Batman Moments……….Now for the honourable mentions! 😀 Oh, and no rulings with these ones, so anything goes.
There’s just something about that grin of his as he’s about to launch the Batpod off the train at these poor bastards that makes me go “FUCK YEAH!”
I find it simultaneously amusing and awesome that Bane has gone from the man who broke the bat to being the Colossus to his Wolverine.
…Admit it, you thought it too. lol
I just think this scene is too cute. “Come on, Dick, you know me better than nearly anyone. We’ve been through so much together……Of course I checked the cameras to make sure you weren’t a horrible murderer. What the fuck is wrong with you?” XD
The moment where I realized that not only was Stephanie Brown going to be back in Batman Eternal, but she was going to play a big role…..ish. Well, okay, that’s a debate for another time.
Yeah, Snyder’s definitely taken a cue from the version of Alfred from the Dark Knight trilogy when it comes to Alfred’s speeches, but regardless, this is a good one, where he sums up exactly why people have rarely managed to tie Batman and Bruce Wayne as being the same person.
What could very well prove to be the final battle between Batman and Joker. Just a warning, though: It’s not for the faint of heart.
That moment where I just laughed, shook my head, and said “Scott, you just couldn’t resist, could you?” XD
Anyway, I think that’s enough for now. Got one that’s not on here? Lemme know what your favourite moments of this series were in the comments below. Ja né, and long live the Dark Knight!
It seems the Court of Owls might be a little resistant to helping Batman out…Yeah, let’s see how well that works out for them. lol
“Endgame” part 5. The Joker is back! The penultimate issue of the Clown Prince of Crime’s horrifying return! Plus, in the backup story, the inmates and Mahreen finally learn the truth about The Joker!
So, this book is kind of a mixed bag for me. Overall, I enjoyed it, and damned if the ending didn’t have me thinking “Pants to be darkened”, but it kinda perpetuates something that has been irritating me in recent years…but I suppose I’m getting ahead of myself. First off, I should note that this takes place after the events of Batman Eternal. As such, things have changed quite a bit. Bruce, Alfred, and Julia are hiding out in a new base, which just happens to be the Court of Owls’ old nest on the 13th floor of Old Wayne Tower. I mean, hey, if they’re not gonna use it, right? lol Besides, operating out of the Batcave is pretty much impossible with the events of Arkham Manor, wherein Wayne Manor is converted into a place for several of Arkham’s inhabitants, and it’s questionable if the cave even still exists at this point. That said, PLEASE tell me that, with him operating out of an old Court of Owls hideout, that he’s gonna be working with Calvin Rose and Strix later. I’m DYING to see them play a role in future Batman stories. Also, I do love how this book spoils SOME of what’s happened post-Eternal, but not ALL of it, nor does it elaborate on the situation going on with Robin and whether Damian will be returning or if we’ll be seeing someone new take up the mantle of Boy (or Girl) Wonder.
At any rate, Bruce is getting over a recent bout with the Scarecrow that has caused him to see the supposed end of his life over and over (and further hints at important involvement down the road by Harper Row and Duke Thomas), and is talking with Julia about what a great job she’s been doing while Alfred is recovering, but the nice moment doesn’t last long before freaking WONDER WOMAN comes crashing through the window (and yeah, this base has windows, just roll with it). While Bruce is capable of getting out of her grasp with some gadgets he keeps on him, he knows he’s royally screwed, as for whatever reason, Wonder Woman is trying to kill him. So, he has Alfred set off some gas meant to scare people away, thus evacuating the part of the city they’re in. Also, Bruce has a specialized Bat armour in the underground bunker for a situation he’s been hoping he wouldn’t find himself in: Fighting the Justice League. And right here, we have my problem: Batman proceeds to bring down, even if only temporarily, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Aquaman, and he apparently has methods built into this armour that could disable Cyborg and Green Lantern if necessary. Y’know, this wouldn’t be AS big a deal if we saw the other members of the League being forced into situations where they have to defend themselves against their team-mates, but when we see that it’s constantly Batman that has a leg up on them, it’s just ANNOYING. Granted, though, we do see him mentally taking note of the fact that their movements aren’t nearly as fast as they could be, so they aren’t at their best in this fight, but it’s still three-on-one here.
Anyway, after disabling Aquaman, he knows someone else is coming, and while he has contingencies built into the suit for Cyborg and Green Lantern (why is Hal still considered a member? He left the League two years ago), less so for who actually shows up: Superman. I guess either he neglected to pack Kryptonite into the suit, or he just doesn’t have enough to make much of a difference. Regardless, Supes hits Batman for massive damage, and Bruce tries to get through to Clark, trying to find out who is making them do this (since, as I noted, they aren’t going quite as hard and fast as they could be, meaning they’re trying to hold themselves back). Superman tells him it’s a funny thing, and Batman realizes to his horror what has happened just before Superman breaks out into insane laughter: After all this time, the Joker is back, and he’s found a way to take control of the Justice League.
So, I think I’m getting the whole ‘Endgame’ title. Unless I’m missing something or am simply way off, this is Joker’s Endgame. His previous endeavour to split Batman from his circle of allies ended in failure, and Joker, feeling betrayed, defeated, and humiliated, is now out for blood. And apparently, if we’re to believe an interview Scott Snyder had with Newsarama, the Justice League is just the START of what Joker has planned. Now, I could ask how the hell Joker got control of the entire Justice League, but I won’t, at least not yet. I’ll give Snyder a chance to explain it. Let’s just hope things are a bit more thought-out then some of the impossible crap we saw Joker pull off last time. And I suppose I could complain that we now have ANOTHER Joker story right after Zero Year, and I seem to recall suggesting against such on a forum once, but I can’t argue that this is really well done. Also, the fact that it doesn’t hint at Joker’s presence at all until the very end, when it hits you right when you’re least suspecting it, is executed so perfectly that all you can think is “Oh shit, this just got real in a hurry”.
One other thing I gotta say about this comic: Ever since I saw that cover that Greg Capullo did for Justice League years ago, I’ve been dying to see him draw them for real again someday. So, yeah, definitely loving this. I WAS gonna say that his Wonder Woman looked too menacing, but now that I’ve read the full comic and know what’s going on, I get that that’s kind of the point.
Overall, I think I would’ve preferred if we didn’t jump into a major story involving Joker right away. They could’ve done a short one or two part story involving the Circus of Strange, or perhaps this incident with Scarecrow that causes Batman to have these visions of his end (assuming it isn’t told in another book), something to help establish this new status quo we’re finding ourselves in. Still, I can’t argue that this story has me on the edge of my seat, excited to see how the hell Batman manages to get through this one, and what the hell Joker could possibly have planned AFTER the Justice League. Just woulda liked it even more if it wasn’t done so quickly.
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)
What I Bought This Past Week – Talon #10, X-Men #3, Batman Annual #2, Batman Incorporated #13, Fearless Defenders #7, Watchmen on DVD, The Hexagon Artwork (WARNING – SPOILERS)
Oh hey, it’s Wednesday, and it’s time to take a look at…
…Yeah, I kinda neglected to do this last week, and you’ll understand why when we get to it. Also, it ended up working out pretty well, since I bought something yesterday, and received a little something that I paid for a week ago and was expecting to receive at Harbour Con, but was ready for me a couple of days early. So, let’s start with what I bought last week, Talon #10.
The reason why I didn’t talk about this is because I wasn’t really all that inspired to talk about it. Maybe it was just kinda underwhelming, maybe it was because I had other stuff to talk about, or maybe I’m just used to doing bunches of comics all at once nowadays. Regardless, not much really happened. Calvin Rose got into a fight with one of Bane‘s goons, got cornered by a whole whack of them, but then was saved by Casey Washington’s buddies, which led into a much bigger fight on the horizon with Bane himself. The only thing of real relevance was that Casey managed to get herself free, and I was kinda expecting she would anyway. I will say that I DO feel delighted to know I correctly assumed the lead woman in this story, who is not a superhero, would be able to take care of herself just fine when kept in the Court of Owls‘ headquarters. 🙂
Adjectiveless X-Men #3 had a bit of a delightful mislead: Rather than the box with the ticking timer being a bomb, it instead is an override device that pretty much sets the X-Mansion against Kitty Pryde and the students, though they seem to be able to get out of danger just fine thanks to Bling (Hey, I’m finally learning people’s names! ^_^ ). Meanwhile, the rest of the team go with Sublime and track Arkea to a hospital. It seems she’s been busy with the patients, enslaving their minds, but Psylocke holds her at…erm, blade-point, while she’s in Karima’s body. She seems hesitant to go through with taking her down, though, but Karima manages to regain control just long enough to take Psylocke’s blade and damage herself enough to seemingly force Arkea out, though she leaves herself in critical condition. Overall, another great issue of a series that is definitely my favourite Marvel book thus far, with some awesome moments with Jubilee and her kid, and I honestly kinda hope Karima recovers well enough that she joins the team. Just seems like the logical step to make given how much time they used to establish just how much she means to the X-Men.
So when I learned that Batman Annual #2 was gonna be a tie-in to Zero Year, and then saw the preview pages showing him walking into Arkham Asylum in the costume to be locked away, I naturally was like “WTF?! They locked him up?!”. However, it seems Scott Snyder was kinda trolling us with those first few pages, as Batman’s actually there to test the new security systems. So how does this tie-in to Zero Year? Well apparently, while looking through files at the Asylum, he attracted some unwanted attention by a woman staying there who can walk through walls, referred to as the Anchoress. Essentially, she’s there because she actually WANTS treatment, but over the years, less attention was given to her as Batman started sending additional villains there. She breaks out when she finds out he’s present and nearly traps him in an inescapable prison of his own mind, but thanks to some help from a new guy working at the Asylum, he manages to stop her and return her to her cell, all the while the new guy arranges for the Anchoress’ treatment to be restored. Overall, a nice read, and much better than the last Batman Annual.
Fearless Defenders #7 promised major change to the status quo, and it has. As you’ll recall, last time on Fearless Defenders, fan favourite Annabelle Riggs died to stop Valkyrie’s rampage as the Maiden of Rage. Well, good news to fans of the character, she’s alive again!…Sorta. I’ll admit, I’m a little confused, but long story short, Valkyrie goes to Valhalla where she finds Clea and asks her to resurrect Annabelle. Clea says it can only be done with a sacrifice of some sort, though it appears to work just fine, and they all return to Misty Knight‘s safe house, Valkyrie stating that Clea would be safer with the Defenders. However, upon arriving, only Clea and Annabelle are present, until Annabelle turns into Valkyrie, Clea stating that the two will need time to get used to some changes. I read that and was like “…Wait, WHA???” over and over for a good fifteen minutes. As near as I can tell, Annabelle’s spirit has been bonded to Valkyrie’s, and they essentially are now, as SongbirdDiamond on Twitter referred to them, the Superior Valkyrie…Except, y’know, not stupid. lol Either way, colour me intrigued.
And now, the big one: Batman Incorporated #13, the end of Grant Morrison‘s run on Batman, and……..I feel kinda underwhelmed. Now, before ANYONE calls me out on this, I am NOT saying this is a bad comic by ANY stretch of the imagination. However, I did see a couple of things coming from a mile away, namely that the mystery woman who kidnapped Jason Todd was Kathy Kane, the original Batwoman, and that Talia was going to die, killed by a bullet to the skull by Kathy. All of this is being shown to us as Bruce narrates the events to Commissioner Gordon at the GCPD, following his arrest that we saw in Batman Incorporated #1 of the New 52. He tries to be a bit vague, though, as to keep Jim from knowing that he and Batman are one and the same. However, some inner monologue boxes from Gordon suggests that he’s always had a hunch that they are but keeps it to himself, mainly because it doesn’t really matter to him who Batman really is. Then we learn that some woman (most likely Kathy) has bailed Bruce out and gotten the charges against him dropped. All the while Bruce was contemplating shutting Batman Inc. down, but a returning Alfred gives him reason to stick around: Damian and Talia’s graves, both dug up and their bodies missing. And as this goes on, Ra’s al Ghul has retaken control of the admittedly battered League of Assassins and is now breeding an army of Damian clones.
So why do I feel underwhelmed by this issue? Well, because this is the LAST issue of Grant Morrison’s run, and despite it ending where it began, with Bruce and Talia and Damian, I’m left with so many frakking questions! How did Kathy Kane bail Bruce Wayne out of all his charges and lift the ban on the Bat Symbol? What’s Jason Todd’s plans now that it’s been revealed he was actually working for Talia but betrayed her? What happened to Talia and Damian’s bodies at the end? If the Fatherless was the actual individual to become Batman 666, why are we getting a ‘What If?’ mini-series about how Damian becomes Batman 666? With so many Damian clones being created, does that make it possible for the real one to come back someday? Is the British Government really going to resurrect Knight somehow? What’s the status of Batman Incorporated as a group now that the book is cancelled? Is there any chance they’ll let Chris Burnham do a Batman of Japan series? And most important of all, WHO’S GONNA FEED BATCOW?!?!
Now, of course, I expect that all these things will be answered soon enough. However, if Grant Morrison was going to create so many major changes to the status quo, you’d think he’d wanna give the resolution himself, unless of course it turns out he wanted to but for whatever reason he couldn’t. Either way, it leaves a lot unresolved for his LONG run with Batman. Still, as I said before, it ended where it began, and that’s oftentimes the best place for a massive story-line to end.
So, I finally rectified a mistake I’d made for quite some time and bought Watchmen on DVD. And if you’re wondering what took me so long, the answer is simple: I honestly thought I already had it on DVD somewhere. lol Yeah, not sure why I thought that, but whatevs. I have it now. Of course, I’ve already seen it at least a couple of times, and it still remains a great flick. And yeah, I know they made it without the slimey squid, but I don’t really think that’s anywhere near as low as the standards of the 90’s Kid. 😛
And finally, my friend Nikki-Lee Dyckow drew this picture of The Hexagon, my superhero team (which, I promise, I will get back to eventually). I LOVE this so much, and she even made some improvements, like giving Strix boots that more resemble an owl’s talons, and The Bard a more medieval look…She also gave her slightly bigger boobs, which is a little odd, and was a little disturbing to N. Harmonik, but at least it provided a good laugh from me while explaining it to her. 😀
So that’s it for this week. Next week, we check in with The Movement and their attack on a police headquarters, and venture back to the world known as Earth 2. Ja né!
- Fearless Defenders #7 (comicvine.com)
- DC Histories: Grant Morrison’s Batman (ifanboy.com)
- Threat Level Wednesday – Angels, Bats, Wolves, and Physics! (whatchareading.com)
- Guide to Reading Batman Comics in the New 52 (residinginthefifthdimension.wordpress.com)
- Comicbook releases 31/7 (justpressplay13.wordpress.com)
- Bunn’s “Fearless Defenders” Protect the Marvel Universe (comicbookresources.com)
- COMICS: Preview ‘BATMAN ANNUAL #2’ And ‘DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #2’ (comicbookmovie.com)
- Review: Talon 10 (comicbooked.com)
- This Week’s Essential Comics: 07/29/13 (comicvine.com)
- 5 Suggestions for Marvel’s Valkyries (houseofgeekery.com)
Hey guys! Well, I thought I’d talk a little about IT’S MY 300th BLOG ENTRY!!!
Ahh, 300 entries in a little over 2 years on a blog that has brought new meaning to my life…
…Yeah, apparently that new meaning is to torture myself. But today, I feel like being a bit more positive minded, taking a far more optimistic stance on something I’ve ragged on a lot these days: The New 52. A lot of DC fans are STILL pissed off about the reboot that happened two years ago, myself included a lot of times. Decades of continuity gone in a flash(point), characters shoved aside, stories becoming unnecessarily darker in some cases, and almost everything to do with Wonder Woman. And with all of that going on, it’s hard to remember that a lot of good has come out of the New 52 as well, something that occurred to me on Twitter last night while talking to Spoony. So today, I’d like to talk about some of the finer points of the New 52, in no particular order or planned number.
Let’s face it, sometimes a character gets introduced who kinda bombs with the audience. However, the New 52 has presented a unique situation where these characters get another shot with a whole new audience and have their personas freshened up a bit to work better, and in no other case is this truer than with Vibe. Let’s be honest, when we all found out that Vibe was on the JLA, we were in horror of what was to come. When we found out Vibe was getting his own series, we wanted to call Arkham Asylum and have Geoff Johns committed. But, looking at how Vibe has turned out, he’s actually one of the better characters in JLA, and while his solo series isn’t my particular cup of tea, I will say that the quality of the stories is still good. So yeah, I’m considering Vibe’s reintroduction a successful one.
I kinda wanna put an asterisk over this one since I’m not sure that stuff like Court of Owls required the relaunch, or if Snyder had planned it all along regardless. Either way, though, this was easily the best frigging story of the early days of the New 52, and I still recommend it and Scott Snyder‘s Batman to anyone who wants a great story within the New 52. Likewise, all the really cool stuff that’s come as a result of this story, like James Tynion IV’s Talon, can be added to this list as well.
I know old school fans are gonna wanna kill me for saying this, but I gotta throw this out: I really like the revamped origins for Alan Scott and Jay Garrick, to the point where I actually prefer them to their Golden Age counterparts. Jay Garrick is FAR less selfish than he was originally, and I really like the method by which he becomes The Flash. Alan Scott can at times be kind of a jerk, but it’s usually done in ways that kinda make sense, and frankly, having him actually be on the train when it explodes and losing someone he loves in the process makes the situation far more personal for him, and you feel sadder for him too. James Robinson has been doing an excellent job writing these Golden Age heroes in a present day world, and while I won’t say it’s perfect (there have been small hiccups along the way), it’s still about as good as you can expect, and really, that’s all I can realistically ask for here.
Now, the last three on this list are kind of a trilogy, so I apologize if this gets repetitive really quickly. Basically, it’s three event comics that occurred that are no longer in canon with DC’s universe, and frankly, I’m kinda happy about that. If you need further examples of why, I have four words for you: Atop The Fourth Wall. They were all covered on that show, and better than I possibly could, and pretty much spell out every single reason why these event comics were TERRIBLE. With that said, let’s move on…
Yeah, sorry to disappoint, but no matter how bad the New 52 gets, at least we can say this with absolute certainty: COUNTDOWN NEVER HAPPENED. Y’know, that year-long event comic that only continuously sucked more and more the further it went along? Yeah, never happened. Seriously, you know an event comic is bad when the creators of it basically try to pretend that it never happened, and that was BEFORE they hit the universal reset button. And while we’re on the subject…
Yeah, I know, a lot of people really liked Identity Crisis, and admittedly there IS a good story in there…if you can dig past all the bullshit. I’m sorry, but frankly, I’m happy that in this new universe, Tim Drake‘s parents are alive, the Justice League never wiped Batman’s mind, and Doctor Light is NOT a psycho rapist! Although while we’re on the subject, I WILL say that this is a bizarre fucking universe in that Doctor Light is a good guy and a family man, and Superman is the man who apparently murdered him? By the way, I say apparently since it’s clear it wasn’t his fault, and I’m not 100% sold that Light’s really dead. But anyway, last on the list of event comics I’m glad never happened…
Okay, while I’m not exactly thrilled that Lian Harper doesn’t exist in this universe, I take comfort in knowing she can eventually be reborn within it and then NOT be horrifically murdered like she was in Cry For Justice! Also, to be perfectly fair, this book sucked plenty bad before and after the death scene, although it WAS the cherry on top. I would love to one day have a sit-down talk with James Robinson and just ask him what the thought process was with this book, especially since I feel like a lot of fans would just yell and scream at him for what happened. I mean, Robinson is NOT a bad writer, but this book was wretched, and I would just like to know what went wrong.
Anyway, that’s all from me. Leave your comments below, and hey, if there’s anything you really like about the reboot, lemme know. Ja né!
- SDCC 2013: Justice League Trinity War (comicvine.com)
- DC Histories: Alan Scott (Green Lantern I) (ifanboy.com)
- Is DC Comics Backing Away From ‘Identity Crisis’? (comicsalliance.com)
- Cunningham Explores the Mysteries of DC’s “Trinity War” (comicbookresources.com)
- EDITORIAL: 10 Must Haves For The JUSTICE LEAGUE Movie (comicbookmovie.com)
- SDCC ’13: Geoff Johns Shares His Thoughts On A Potential AQUAMAN Movie (comicbookmovie.com)
- Grumpy Old Fan | ‘Trinity War’ is testing the old ways (robot6.comicbookresources.com)
- The New 52 and me, then and now (comicdomwrecks.wordpress.com)
- SDCC LIVE: DC Comics – The New 52 (comicbookresources.com)
- DC Comics Solicitations for October, 2013 (comicbookresources.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