Say, it’s Wednesday, isn’t it? Guess that means I should take a minute to talk about…
We got some kickass comics this week, including one that’s brand spanking new one, completely new and fresh characters to it. So, let’s start off with Detective Comics #20…or is it #901, if last month’s was the 900th? I dunno, should I count it as #901? Lemme know in the comments. But anyway, here’s #20 of the current numbering system.
So the reign of Emperor Penguin is pretty much over at this point, which I think is a bit too soon to end it. Still, seems as though he may be looking to make a comeback. Long story short, Ignatius Ogilvy seems to have transformed himself with a modified Man-Bat serum, some stuff he obtained from Poison Ivy that makes his skin under his fur coated in a bark-like coating, and some sort of variation of Venom. He’s not as strong as Bane, mind you, but this transformation gives him an edge over Batman who never considered Emperor Penguin that big a threat for the amount of time that he’s known of him. However, a recently pardoned Penguin, of all people, aids Batman due to their mutual desire to bring Ogilvy down. Following Ogilvy’s arrest, Cobblepot decides to return the rights of the Children’s Centre to Bruce Wayne and renaming it the Martha Wayne Children’s Centre, feeling that putting himself out there made him a target and that he must return to the shadows for now. In the meantime, though, Ogilvy is sent to Blackgate Prison, quickly making a name for himself by brutally killing ‘The Boss’ of the prisoners, renaming himself Emperor Blackgate.
Earth 2 #12, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, EARTH 2 IS ONE YEAR OLD!
In fact, note to self: Do a Jyger’s Favourite 5 of favourite Earth 2 moments. But anyway, not really that much to talk about, other than Doctor Fate taking down Wotan in the skies over Boston while Flash and Green Lantern (who got involuntarily pulled there by the ring, it seems) run interference to keep the World Army from getting involved, then they go back to Alan’s to hide out, only to learn that the World Army has declared war on the country Steppenwolf is running. However, what is a bigger story to me, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl follow a trail of clues they gathered regarding Sam’s murder to a container at a dock in Macau, said to contain a clue as to why Sam was murdered…the contents of which being a bunch of dead Parademons. LONG dead, from the looks of things. It seems that Sam’s murder has more to do with the long-running plot of the story than originally met the eye.
And finally, we have the first issue of Gail Simone‘s The Movement. And since this features a brand new cast of characters…
Anyway, lemme just fill you in on some of the details, since I want you guys to go out and buy this comic yourselves: The story takes place in Coral City. The cops in this story, as well as pretty much every single bureaucrat in the city, are corrupt as shit. A murderer is running around town cutting people’s eyes out (comic is rated T+, btw). A group called The Movement are recording and unveiling the shady dealings of police officers under the guise of a hacker group called Channel M, while also investigating the murders, and pretty much keeping the cops out of everywhere from Tenth to Twentieth Street, proclaiming it as theirs. I’m not sure if The Movement are supposed to be good guys or anti-heroes, but either way, there’s a definite sense of the 99% conflicting against the 1% in this story. Not quite sure where it’s headed, but I’m definitely interested enough to keep buying and see what happens.
Anyway, that’s all for today. This Saturday, I will be going to GameZilla for Free Comic Book Day, so I’ll be sure to buy something there. And next week, if the schedule on the DC website is accurate (God, I hate months with 5 Wednesdays, they always do something weird with the schedule those months), I should be getting Batman #20, Batman and Robin #20 (Batman and Red Hood), and Justice League of America #3. Ja né!
Tis Wednesday, and it finally came in, so let’s look at…
Balls to the wall, people. It’s the 80 page spectacular known only as Detective Comics #900.
And first, I just wanna say that I know it’s technically considered Detective Comics #19. Well technically, I don’t give a shit what the New 52 numbering refers to this comic as, it’s Detective Comics #900. This comic is 80 pages long BECAUSE it’s the 900th issue, and I’m not gonna let anybody take that away from this comic. So, what do we get? Five stories all in one book, with a few splash pages in between drawn by various artists. Considering the stories mostly revolve around the same situation, I’m perfectly okay with that. So, let’s cover each one separate as to avoid any getting left out, starting with The 900, drawn by Detective Comics regular Jason Fabok.
Acting as a reboot of the Man-Bat backstory, we learn that the Man-Bat formula was actually stolen by Talia from Kirk Langstrom, who was the original Man-Bat before the relaunch. Now Emperor Penguin has it, and has used it to infect the 900 block of Gotham, even creating a Man-Bat Zsasz, because he wasn’t dangerous enough I guess. Batman tells Alfred he’s not calling in the others, but the truth is he already contacted Batgirl and Nightwing. Batgirl is already busy with her own Man-Bats, understandable, and Nightwing is on his way to Chicago…on his motorcycle…and he hasn’t even left the city limits yet. And this is the one problem I have with this story: Nightwing might be angry with Bruce over what happened in Death of the Family, but he would not abandon Gotham when it was being torn a new one by Man-Bats. That’s the kind of thing that people do when they’re about to turn heel. Anyway, with the Family apparently not able to give help, Batwoman shows up with Kirk and his wife to tell Batman about the serum and how to counter it. Unfortunately, it requires him to over-write the virus with another that will only cause transformations in people with a specific DNA: his. So with no other option, as creating an antidote would take too long and the Man-Bats could spread beyond Gotham, Kirk makes the sacrifice and becomes the Man-Bat to cure everyone. With Zsasz cured, he decides to rat out Emperor Penguin, who apparently is in the middle of calling in a favour from Poison Ivy.
Birth of a Family is the aftermath of The 900, drawn by Andy Clarke. Here, we see Kirk’s wife, Francine Langstrom, recount the events of his work as a scientist, how he wanted to help the blind and deaf children with the serum, how the two were married, and how everything went down the tube from there. The serum was mutating the children into Man-Bats, and before Kirk could fix it, the serum was stolen by the League of Assassins. Flash forward to today, where Francine believes she knows a way to bring Kirk back, but to do it, she has to make the same sacrifice he did and become a Man-Bat herself.
War Council is kind of the odd one out, honestly. Not because it’s bad, ‘cuz it isn’t. Just that it doesn’t have anything to do with what’s going on. It’s also the only one not written by John Layman, and instead is written by James Tynion IV. We check in on Bane and his crew, who had come to Gotham a year ago with the intent to bring it to its knees. It didn’t work out so well, as they were first attacked by Talons on the way in, and then Bane got his ass thrown off a cliff back in Batman: The Dark Knight #7…which I bought back then…for reasons that elude me. However, after that defeat, it seems that our old buddy Sebastian Clark showed up and encouraged him to take on the Court of Owls, which apparently will lead into the next issue of Talon.
Birdwatching, drawn by Henrik Jonsson, is told from the perspective of Mr. Combustible, who was from Detective Comics #6 and 7, which I didn’t read. Not much really happens, except that we learn a little more about Emperor Penguin’s operations during The 900, and we get some major hinting that Penguin’s probably gonna get away with everything that happened last month after the judge at his trial has his family threatened.
And finally, we have Through A Blue Lens, as drawn by Jason Masters. This one also takes place following The 900, where a group of cops are looking over one of their own in a hospital bed and telling them about how, when he was a Man-Bat, he took on Batman, and three of them admit they wished their colleague had taken Batman out, because they’re a bunch of those ungrateful bastards who think Batman is responsible for frakking everything. However, the one in the hospital bed tells the one who believes in Batman that he sides with her and that, when he gets out of the bed, he’ll be more than happy to be her partner out on the streets.
So, awesome issue. Could it have been better? Sure. But as of late, I’m trying to take the approach of being more thankful for what I have than cursing for what I don’t have. I have this, and it’s pretty damned good, and that’s all that matters. Next week, we check in with Calvin Rose as he meets up with Bane, we see what the JLA is up to, and see how far Batman Incorporated is willing to go to get vengeance on Leviathan for the death of Robin. Ja né!
Well, one week has passed since Damian‘s passing, and I’m still feeling kinda down about it, but it’s Wednesday and that means it’s time to look at…
Okay, first off, while I appreciate the Requiem bits that are gonna be in every Bat Family book this month, it’s very clear that it was kinda tacked on with Detective Comics, and honestly it just invites WAY more questions than DC is willing to answer regarding timelines in the books. By the way, if you’ve been following along, they don’t ever try to attempt to explain how these events fall into a timeline. I think the closest we’ve ever come to that was Snyder leaving mention in Batman #13 that it had been a year since Joker had disappeared at the end of Detective Comics #1.
Okay, mini-rant over. As for the story itself, awesome. Penguin manages to get himself set free after getting roped up in Joker’s plans in Death of the Family, and then finds out that Ogilvy screwed him over. Meanwhile, after spending a moment to mourn the loss of his son, Batman returns to the Batcave to learn that apparently Joker let one of the inmates loose: Zsasz. Frakking ZSASZ! Also, he has run into Ogilvy, who has given him a Court of Owls blade and set him on Penguin’s allies. The good news is, when Batman catches Penguin causing a fracas after going to the zoo for weapons he’d stashed there, Penguin tells him his lawyers will get him out of this, only for Batman to reply that Zsasz murdered them. However, it seems that Emperor Penguin has decided Batman has served his purpose and now seeks to get rid of him. Oh, I know, big scary mob boss wants to kill Batman, how terrifying. Well, it seems he’s got a trick up his sleeve. Remember that woman who was part of Casey’s group in Talon? The one who left the League of Assassins? Well, in exchange for protection from Talia al Ghul, she gives Ogilvy the FRAKKING MAN-BAT SERUM! OH GOODY! That’s gonna go over so great, especially if Batman ever finds out the connections with her and Casey’s group. And he’s already keeping an eye out on Calvin’s operations.
Before I talk about this month’s issue of Earth 2, I thought I’d bring up some info I heard. Apparently the current plan is to plant seeds for an eventual crossover between the events of Earth 2 and the JSA and the mainstream universe of DC. When is this gonna take place? 2014. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be late 2014. WOW. I don’t know if that’s brilliant or stupid. I guess it’ll just depend on how this is set up. Although this makes World’s Finest all the more pointless a book since we now know that they aren’t getting home any time soon. Also, it furthers my point that there needs to be more than one book telling this story, like one focusing on the JSA and another focusing on the stuff involving Sloan and Steppenwolf.
So yeah, Earth 2 #10 is…well, it’s weird, but it’s fun weird. We get a little bit of background involving Khalid, who is Dr. Fate before he becomes Dr. Fate, and Kendra, where we see her get her wings and Khalid obtain the Helmet of Fate. Cut back to the present where Jay Garrick, his mom, and Khalid are held in the Realm of Nabu by Karel Wotan who talks WAYYYYYYY too much to be perfectly honest. The gist of what’s going on is that Wotan is making Flash and Khalid go find the Helmet, which Khalid sent away due to the effects it was having on his sanity, or Wotan will kill Jay’s mom. So where did Khalid hide the Helmet? The frakking Tower of Babel! Oh, and at the very end is this freaking monster that’s apparently guarding the Helmet. Khalid, you were one of those kids who tried way too hard and got way too creative playing hide and seek, weren’t you?
The other thing going on in this book is that Green Lantern is in Wuxi to see Sam’s father, who, while he disapproved of Sam’s relationship with Alan, at least saw how happy he was with Alan. Alan feels guilt over what happened to Sam, feeling that Sam only died because someone detonated the train Alan was on, but it seems that Sam’s father did some digging. The target was never Alan, it was Sam all along. This sets GL after some gang (I’m assuming the Chinese Triad, I don’t know), who, I guess, were the ones who set the bomb, but none of them know why the hit was placed on Sam. As such, Alan goes to Louisiana to meet with Hawkgirl, who is cleaning out a Parademon cell she’d been looking for, and tells her that he may have been wrong before and that he needs her help.
So yeah, this was a fun week comics wise. Next week…oh boy, next week we get into some awkward territory as we look at Batman #18, Batgirl #18, and Batman and Robin #18. Ja né!
What I Bought Today – Earth-2 #8, World’s Finest #8, Detective Comics #16, and Batgirl: The Darkest Reflection (Warning – Spoilers) + What I Did NOT Buy Today
So yeah, it’s Wednesday once again, so let’s go ahead and check out…
This one’s kinda long, since I finally got around to using the money I got in Christmas cards. However, the last one I’m just gonna briefly touch on so I can give a legit review of it later. So let’s start off with Earth-2!
Well, the bad news is, the last Amazon of Earth-2 isn’t Donna Troy. Dammit. Also, I’ve heard that this comic is actually getting some heat because she IS apparently an established character from pre-Flashpoint Earth-2 named Fury, and here she’s been taken in by Steppenwolf at an early age to become his personal guard and killing machine. I can’t really say as it bothers me too much because I honestly don’t know who she is, and there’s plenty of time to do something cool with her later. Sadly, not a lot happens here, it’s more build up, showing that Steppenworlf has taken over a country to be his own kingdom on Earth-2, but he is moving on from there to take over the world. This’ll probably be the next big threat the JSA has to deal with.
World’s Finest…Yeah, I think I’m dropping this book. The stuff involving Huntress is great, and if you’re a big fan of the character and don’t necessarily care about what they’re doing with Power Girl, I say pick it up. Myself, I can’t get over the crap they do with her, this issue showing her to be an overly vengeful type who invades a foreign country over an assassination attempt on Huntress, and most likely creates a massive international incident. I might go back to it if they change writers or if it becomes just a Huntress book.
Detective Comics was okay, but kinda false-advertising. This one seems to be build up too, showing how Emperor Penguin, Penguin’s head goon, is currently taking over in his absence. He’s also killing off various enemies of the Penguin’s empire and pinning it on the Joker, who never actually appears in this comic. Instead, we see Batman running around and stopping a group of Joker copycat extremists called The League of Smiles. Yeah, remember those Joker cult freaks that gathered outside of Arkham Asylum after his face was found? Well, when he returned, they all formed various groups, the worst of which being The League of Smiles. I’m guessing they’re a New 52 modern day variation of The Jokerz. Still, that seems like a pretty weak way to tie into Death of the Family. The story itself isn’t bad though.
And then there’s the big one, Batgirl: The Darkest Reflection. As you may or may not be aware, I didn’t get into Gail Simone‘s Batgirl until VERY late into it. As a result, I’m now trying to get caught up, starting with this book, which is the first 6 issues collected. I’ll eventually get into giving it an in-depth look, but for now, let’s just say that I LOVE this book. This is the power of Gail Simone: She took this terrible idea of Barbara Gordon dropping the Oracle mantle (or possibly never having it, that part’s still unclear) to replace Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, and she made it work, AND be frigging awesome.
So yeah, that’s all I bought today… … …which leads me to what I did NOT buy, rather just read at the comic shop: Superior Spider-man. Y’know, far be it for me to disagree with Linkara, but Spider-man is not dead. Why? Well, because Marvel decided to put Spider-man on life support so that they can continue to punch him in the groin over and over again and leave him unable to just die with dignity, which continues into this comic where we see Doc Ock in Peter’s body dating Mary Jane (EW!) and almost killing a villain before he apparently stops himself…only to have it revealed to the reader that he was actually stopped by the invisible ghost of Peter Parker…Yeah, this comic sucks. I’d say buy it if you’re low on toilet paper, but toilet paper costs less and likely feels a lot better.
So yeah, had my brain damaged by a really, REALLY stupid comic, but the awesomeness of Gail Simone balances things back out for me. Still, I wouldn’t recommend trying it, especially since I feel like I opened Pandora’s Box when I opened Superior Spider-man. Next week, Death of the Family continues with Batman, Batgirl, and Batman & Robin. Let the nightmare fuel keep on rolling! Ja né!