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What I Bought Today – Fearless Defenders #12, Batman/Superman #6, The Movement #7 (WARNING – SPOILERS) + Farewell Fearless Defenders

Well, tis Wednesday, meaning it’s time to look at…

What I Bought Today

And no, I didn’t forget last week, I just didn’t buy anything. The weather was nasty out, so I didn’t go out. Also, I’ve been home sick with a cold, and I got my early Christmas present, the Wii U, a bit earlier than expected, hence why I haven’t writing much. But, I’m back, which means I now have the unfortunate responsibility of sending of one of my favourite books from this past year: The Fearless Defenders.

Suffice to say, Fearless Defenders, despite one or two dipping points, has been a delight to read this past year. I still haven’t had the chance to grab the first few issues before the one that hooked me, the issue with the awesome tournament fighter select screen cover, but I plan to, as soon as I can find them. In the meantime, though, I’ve loved what I’ve read of the series. If I haven’t made it clear, my favourite characters of the book have thus far been Annabelle, Valkyrie, and the newly created Ren Kimura. Still, the other members of this all superheroine team have been awesome in their own ways. It’s a shame to see their comic go, but at least we’ll always have the memories. And with that said, let’s look at Fearless Defenders #12.

So, long story short, Enchantress and the other Doom Maidens that Caroline LeFay let go ratted her out to the Defenders, so they go to where she and the rest of her team are hiding, while picking up a new member for the ride. It seems that Annabelle and Valkyrie are kind of having troubles, since it turns out part of the agreement with the All Mother to allow their little trick and let Annabelle return to the realm of the living was for her to remind Valkyrie of her duty to bring together shieldmaidens, not defenders. Also, Valkyrie’s a bit bothered by the fact that, every day, she’s becoming more and more like Annabelle. However, Annabelle counters that she agrees with Valkyrie, that the world needs Defenders, not shieldmaidens, and that she too is becoming more like Valkyrie. It’s a lot like Yugi and Yami Yugi from Yugioh: The two are balancing each other out. So, after hinting that Valkyrie likes Red too (thanks for suggesting the threesome that can never be, Cullen, lol), Valkyrie and the other Defenders go to work and stop the Doom Maidens, while Caroline decides to sacrifice herself to a pit sending off energy to summon something. The Defenders have their new recruit, Frankie Raye, AKA frigging Galactus‘ former herald, siphon off the energy to stop the pit, but it appears to have nonetheless summoned Morgan LeFay back to Earth. Still, the Doom Maidens are defeated, which is likely a huge hindrance to her plans, so I’m calling it a win for the heroes, which is good to see for the final issue. Still, I totally wanted to see Cullen Bunn’s plans for the book come to be, particularly them going into space and confronting Galactus. Although, I suppose revealing said plans may be a way to entice people into wanting to see the book come back. 🙂

Batman/Superman #6, still going with the gimmick of turning it on its side, apparently gonna be a thing for this arc. But regardless, we open the comic and we find that, following his VERY short fight with Mongul at the end of #5, Batman is dead…No, I’m not kidding. Mongul put a smoking hot hole in Batman’s chest. He’s DEAD. BUT, since it’s Batman, and this isn’t a major storyline that would get tons of attention, naturally he gets a get-out-of-jail-free card. A nanotech cloud formed by the players in what they still believe only to be a game brings him back. Fortunately, this gives him access to whose playing, and as soon as Supes finds out Jimmy Olsen is sitting in, he yells at him to knock it off…I think Olsen may have soiled himself right then and there. lol Anyway, Batman uses new powers granted to him through the tech holding him together to try to destroy the machine holding the game (and now himself) together, but Jimmy and the players stop him by taking over, having figured out now that it’s all real and not wanting Batman to die. Instead, they help him deal with Mongul when he starts attacking people, while Superman battles Mongul head on. However, Mongul has another trick up his sleeve. Remember how in last issue everyone’s heart rate went up, and now people have been a bit more prone to anger and violence? Yep, Mongul spread the pollen of a blossom that increases the urge for violent behaviour in people. And with the game up and running, now open to a ton of people who are affected by the pollen, and with Batman under their control, Mongul has the army he wants with the appropriate weapon for them to use: A super-powered Batman on equal footing with Superman. Unlike Earth 2, however, I like this twist, as we know this won’t be permanent, for obvious reasons, and that either Superman will find a way to free him, or Batman will override the system somehow, or Olsen and the others will free him. And hey, at least they’re doing this with Batman instead of Superman for the who-knows-how-many’th time this year.

The Movement #7…Yeah, I think I’m dropping this book. Make no mistake, though: I still support this book. I still want this book around. I like the characters. I think I proved that when I made Virtue a character in my Birds of Prey fanfic. The reason I’m dropping this book is out of necessity. I don’t wanna get too much into it, but money is going to be an issue for myself and my family for a little while, and there’s some books coming out next year I wanna get, so I have to even it out. As a result, I will most likely be dropping The Movement, as well as one or two others. So, why The Movement? Well, because while I like the characters and the concept for the story, the plot itself seems a bit unfocused and goes back and forth on what it wants to do. Characters will just do complete 180 turns on their plans with little contemplation, like I mentioned before with Tremor, or here where Vengeance Moth tells Burden that the exorcism last issue was bunk. The only one that seems consistent is Virtue, I LOVE Gail Simone’s writing (which is why I’ll be more than happy to start buying Batgirl again once the current arc is done), and these characters are really special to me, but this story needs better focus.

Anyway, lemme know what you thought of this week’s comics, and join me next week as we look at Batman #26 and Nightwing #26. Ja ne!

What I Bought This Past Week – The Movement #4, Earth 2 #15, Batman #23, Nightwing #23, Fearless Defenders #8, Red Sonja #2 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

…Yeah, I did it again, leave me alone. lol

What I Bought This Past Week

Before I start, I’m just gonna make it clear, I didn’t buy Batgirl #23, nor will I be. When Batgirl eventually leaves this asinine storyline, I will start buying it again. Others who choose to buy it, feel free. I do not blame any of you and respect your opinions. However, I personally cannot read this. Gail Simone knows why, and I’m just hoping this particular arc doesn’t drag much…That having been said, we DO have some Gail Simone books to look at, so let’s start with The Movement #4.

Okay, looking online, I see that this book has quite a few detractors. I think I kind of get why, but I’m still enjoying the heck out of it. That said, there is something that kinda bugged me about this book, and ironically, it’s regarding my favourite part of it: The back-stories. Specifically, we’re finally getting an idea as to who some of these people are. Mouse was a child born of a wealthy family who connected better to rats than people, so he escaped his home to the sewers. Katharsis was an immigrant who joined the Gotham City Police, but left after she killed a man who got away with assaulting and murdering an immigrant girl. Tremor ran away from home after a car accident with her friends and was enlisted by Amanda Waller to infiltrate The Movement, though later in this book, she tells military officials to tell Waller she quits. Finally, Burden was believed by his VERY religious parents to be possessed by the devil and thus ran away as to not burden their lives. I don’t have a problem with any of these back-stories. My problem is that we should’ve gotten them at least a couple of issues ago, maybe even one or two every issue so that, by this point, we’d be caught up on them all. Still, can’t fault this particular issue for that, and it is showing general improvement of the story-telling. That said, given the number of detractors to this book, I’m sadly expecting to hear any day now that DC is cancelling it, which will be a shame if it happens.

Honestly, not much to say about Earth 2 #15. The JSA fights the Terrors and get their asses kicked, Hawkgirl follows the bread-trail of clues regarding Sam’s murder to a place where she gets caught in a net, and Mister Miracle and Big Barda fight Fury while some of Miracle’s back-story is explained, only to be interrupted by Red Tornado. Granted, everything looks really awesome, and there isn’t really fault to it, it’s just that, overall, not much happened. Surprisingly, I find the next big arc they’re moving toward to be a bit more interesting, and that’s taking place AFTER James Robinson leaves, so…Huh? Me confused now.

Batman #23…Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have finally brought us to THAT point in the story. No, he’s not in the costume yet. Before that. That moment where he’s sitting in the chair, and he’s speaking to the ghost of his father, and sees the dark figure, and says “Yes, Father. I shall become a bat.” Also, the Red Hood Gang leader’s motivations are explained a bit more, we get some genuine goodness out of Alfred and Edward Nygma. If I had a single problem with this book, it’s simply that Snyder seems to be having some trouble deciding if Batman: Year One is still in canon with this story, or if Zero Year is the replacement origin for Batman. I honestly don’t care which he decides, although looking at how the scene with the bat is depicted…Yeah, it’s the new origin for the New 52 Batman. And again, I don’t care. I know a lot of people LOVE Year One, but personally, you’re not gonna hear me weep over the fact that Frank Miller’s take on Batman’s origins that also showed Selina Kyle as a prostitute and Jim Gordon as an adulterer has been retconned (although I hope the better parts of the story, of which there are still plenty, manage to pop up).

Before I talk about Nightwing #23, I wanna share a revelation I’ve had recently. I finally figured out what it is I love so much about the Nightwing book in its current setting and plot: It honestly reminds me a lot of Spider-man before they ruined Spider-man. Think about it: Snarky and acrobatic superhero with a complicated love life and a tragic childhood fights to protect a city that isn’t 100% sure whether to trust him or not. Hell, even the red on his upper torso and arms kinda makes his costume resemble Spider-man’s a little bit. Although, I should probably be careful saying stuff like this. Otherwise, instead of his constant attempts to kill off Dick Grayson, Dan Didio might just decide to force Kyle Higgins to write a story where Dick sells out his loved ones to the devil.

Anyway, getting back to Nightwing #23, it continues to be a great read. Nightwing is fighting to protect the people of Chicago, but he’s clearly beginning to run on fumes, as he’s apparently been doing this for several days. Then again, he might’ve gotten a booster from the red-head he saves who gives him a big one on the lips (What IS it with you and red-heads, Richard? Barbara, Starfire, you even had a crush on Batwoman for a while). Meanwhile, the Mayor’s denying the allegations of the Prankster, even though his own men have pretty much figured out the truth of it all, but in the end, Prankster ups the game a bit by apparently kidnapping the Mayor. However, despite all this, the single last person in the world that Nightwing would ever expect to give him aid offers to help stop Prankster: Tony Zucco, the man who murdered Dick’s parents, and the very reason Nightwing came to Chicago in the first place…So tell me something, Dick, IS it like a free ride when you’ve already paid? lol

So after Fearless Defenders #7 a couple of weeks back, I was kinda confused, so I checked in with Cullen Bunn on Twitter to figure out exactly what had happened to Annabelle and Valkyrie. To quote his exact words, he said “They switch, like Don Blake and Thor….but there are some twists to how it works.” And before anyone asks, no, Valkyrie is NOT already hosting a body, as to again quote Bunn, “She’s just herself these days, I guess, ever since she was ‘reborn’ post Ragnarok.” Anyway, this is kind of a filler done-in-one book, but a good one. Plenty of great scenes, and a lot of references that got a laugh outta me like Misty Knight in the intro page talking about how Tumblr was pretty upset over Valkyrie killing Annabelle. Also, apparently Elsa Bloodstone, the monster hunter, is now a member of the team, and we get some info regarding the forming Doom Maidens. All in all, good stuff.

Red Sonja #2, and HOLY SHIT. Again, this is clearly Gail Simone being allowed to write whatever the frak she wants, and it is GLORIOUS. Although, there’s one scene that makes me wonder if she inherited Scott Snyder’s fear of horses. lol Anyway, we get some more glimpses of her time spent at the arena, fighting for her life, until only she and her now opponent, Annisia, were the last girls left. They managed to escape that fate, but now they’re on opposing sides, Annisia motivated by the ghosts of their fallen comrades at the arena that only she can see and may not even be real. Anyway, long story short, it turns out Red Sonja has the plague, and she surrenders to save the lives of the people she’s protecting, but Annisia has her marked and exiled to the snowy mountains to wait out the last of her days…Yeah, somehow, I don’t expect this badass to die to something like the plague. 🙂

Anyway, that’s all I bought this past week. I’m thinking from here on out, I may need to change the layout of how I do my recaps of what I buy every Wednesday, but as far as next week goes, we’ll see Supergirl taking on Cyborg Superman some more, we’ll see Superman battling the alien kept underground by the military, we’ll see the X-Men prepare for Battle of the Atom, and we’ll see Batman teaming up with Nightwing and…Robin?! See you guys then! Ja né!