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)
Well, it’s Wednesday, so let’s take a look at…
Kind late today, I know, but that’s because I went in earlier and they weren’t ready since the books were late due to Monday being a holiday, so I had to go back later. No biggie, though, it happens. So, let’s start with Batman Incorporated #12.
So, only one more issue to go after this one, which means it’s time for rapid-fire holy-crap-moment deployment! So Batman comes sailing in, decked out in his exo-skeleton/Azrael costume/Man-Bat serum look. Don’t worry, though, the swarm of bats accompanying him are injected with the antidote to the Man-Bat serum, making them the perfect air-to-air combatants for Talia‘s Man-Bat army, as well as allowing Batman to gradually recover, basically using the Man-Bat as an early edge against The Heretic. The fight between the two is violent as hell, and the reveal of what The Heretic looks like under his own cowl may supply you with nightmare fuel for the next few weeks, especially after he fails in both stopping Batman AND in heeding Talia’s orders, which causes her to decapitate the clone of her own son. Talia then blows up Wayne Tower, then arrives at the Bat Cave for the final showdown with Batman, all the while it seems there’s a far bigger picture to worry about, one that is made known to Batman Inc. by a woman who seems vaguely familiar to Nightwing. Overall, great issue, can’t wait for the final issue, but going to be sad to see the end of Grant Morrison‘s run with Batman.
Earth 2 #14…I kinda have mixed feelings about. Not that it’s bad or anything, it’s still really good, but I have a slight issue with Alan Scott‘s plan here. Basically, they decide to attack Steppenwolf’s forces in the country he took over before the World Army gets there, take down the outer defenses and soften up the capital, then Alan will use his broadcasting corporation to spin the heck outta the story so the public will come to instantly trust in them and the World Army will leave them alone. Granted, I understand that the World Army hasn’t exactly made life easy for them in this series, but this seems like rather selfish and foolish behaviour, and Dr. Fate and Jay Garrick are apparently just fine with it. So they arrive, they smash baddies, Steppenwolf orders his people to release the hounds…no, really, he says that. And yes, I DID imagine Mr. Burns‘ voice over that. However, while the JSA manage to take down quite a few enemy soldiers, it isn’t long before Wesley Dodds, the Sandmen, The Atom, and apparently Earth 2’s version of Red Arrow, all arrive a bit ahead of schedule, looking mighty pissed with the JSA, all the while Commander Khan and Mister Terrific are not far behind. It seems they were going for the more subtle and sneaky approach against a foe from Apokolips, and the JSA coming in guns blazing kinda ruined that. GL tries to keep everyone calm and work out an alternative for everyone, but it seems there’s not much time for that, as the Hunger Dogs of Steppenwolf have arrived to cause all kinds of crap.
The Movement #3 was…hang on a sec, I gotta ask something: Gail Simone? Were you locked in closets as a kid or something? Because you’re a really great writer, I love your work, but there’s kind of this darker aspect to a lot of your writing nowadays that makes me think there’s something not quite right in your head. o.O Anyway, The Movement continues to be compelling as we learn a bit more about certain members of the cast. The team discovers a bit more about who is really behind the killings in the city from Rainmaker, who I believe is a character from the Wildstorm Universe, but I’m not too familiar with her. I think she’s supposed to be some kind of a witch (at least that’s what Burden keeps calling her), and that she’s a lesbian, as she semi-discreetly gives Virtue her number, who jokes about it a bit…before pocketing it when no one is looking. Interested to see what happens there. Anyway, it seems they have issues a bit closer to home, as the police have Kartharsis (during which we get to see some of that darker writing I mentioned come into play), and when initial attempts to negotiate a hostage trade with the cops fails, Virtue instead decides to let the people of the city under their protection aid as they seek to literally tear down the police department. Um, eep?
Anyway, that’s it for this week. Btw, the reason I thought this week would be an expensive one is because I thought the newest issue of Fearless Defenders and the first issue of Gail Simone’s Red Sonja would be coming out. Apparently not so, so only three books this week. Not sure if they come out next week or not, but either way, check in then to see what I buy. Ja ne!
- Batman Incorporated #12 (comicvine.com)
- Andy Kubert Launches “Damian: Son of Batman” In October (comicbookresources.com)
- Earth 2 #14 (comicvine.com)
- New Releases: July 3rd (catywhomp.wordpress.com)
- Wonder Woman graphic novel: Grant Morrison takes on the feminist icon (herocomplex.latimes.com)
- Gail Simone praises male reader support (digitalspy.co.uk)
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!
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)
Well, luckily the bad taste of Injustice: Gods Among Us #1 is outta my mouth, thanks in no small part due to…
Oh, and I also bought Batman & Robin Annual #1, but I’m doing a separate blog entry for that so I can give it a proper review. But before I take a look at Talon and Batman Incorporated, I’d like to take a moment to apologize for missing something important in Batman Inc. last time, and as well, I would like to say a fond farewell to a long lasting character in DC since 1950, Cyril Sheldrake, AKA the second Knight, who died at the hands of The Heretic near the end of Batman Incorporated #6. I really have no excuse for not realising he was dead, what with his neck snapping and all. Anyway, Cyril was the second Squire, later taking on the mantle of Knight when his father passed away, and then taking on Beryl Hutchinson as his new Squire. He was a prominent member of the Batmen of All Nations and Batman Incorporated, with he and Squire acting essentially as Batman & Robin’s counterparts in England. Indeed, a legend has fallen within the Bat Family…
Anyway, I suppose I might as well start with Batman Incorporated #7…
Batman is captured by Talia after The Heretic kinda beat the shit out of him. Nightwing looks over the evacuation of the Batman Inc. members that were in the building, and Beryl is a WRECK after what has happened to Knight, blaming herself. They don’t have much time to grieve, though, when all of a sudden a bus full of kids brainwashed into serving Leviathan arrives, attacking with weapons as the police are unable to fight back due to them being children. Wingman, who as you’ll recall is actually Jason Todd, heads to Batcave East when he’s tasered down by The Hood, who declares that Batman Inc. is over and he’s getting out while the getting’s good. Red Robin is nearly blown up, Traktir and Spidra may be about to die, but through all of this, Damian learns the truth about Batman’s visions of the future: The Batman of the future is not Damian. Piecing together what he’s seen and learned over the past few years worth of comics (pre-Flashpoint Batman & Robin and Batman Inc.), he deduces that The Heretic is his clone, created by Talia to replace Batman at the right given time. As Talia puts Batman through a death trap that will either kill him or leave him unable to stop Talia in time, Damian decides enough is enough and becomes Robin to go out and try and save his father, the city, and the world. Overall, great story, though hampered by the death of Cyril, who we hopefully either find out isn’t really dead, gets raised again, or his death serves a higher purpose like turning Beryl into the next Knight.
Dammit, I love Talon. Seriously, someday I hope to see this guy join either Batman Inc. and/or the Justice League. He’s THAT good. I’m still pretty sure Sebastian Clark is gonna turn heel at some point, Casey and Sarah and their group are all awesome in their own ways, and of course, Calvin Rose remains a badass. Sadly, when a monster of a Talon known as The Gotham Butcher, comes looking for them, Casey has to scramble her networks, but after they give the Gotham Butcher the slip and wash him down the Hudson, Calvin and Casey decide it’s time to go to Gotham and stand against the Court of Owls together like they should have in the first place. However, Calvin makes one mistake: He says the words “We’ll never see him again” in relation to the Gotham Butcher, which of course leads to the last image being the Butcher’s fist emerging from the Hudson in a major WTF moment, since Talons brought back from the dead are vulnerable to the cold, and he got flushed into the Hudson IN JANUARY! This guy really IS a monster! :O
Anyway, that’s it for those two comics. Next up, I give my review of Batman & Robin Annual #1. Ja né!
So as you’ve noticed, I’ve been giving short text reviews on the comics I buy every week. Now, I realise that there’s always the chance this could change, but for now, this is the line up of comics I buy every month. And before you ask, NO, I don’t buy any Marvel right now. Will I? Possibly, eventually, but not right now, no.
This comic continues to amaze me with just how good it is. It’s pretty much the JSA in a modern setting on an alternate Earth. To add to the uniqueness, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are all dead after saving the world from Darkseid, and these new heroes have to pick up the slack when the Earth comes under attack again. It actually retells the origins of Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, and others in ways that I actually find far superior to their Golden Age origins. Also, Mister Terrific has arrived on Earth-2 by accident and will be getting caught up in the events here, which should make Linkara happy since I know he liked that comic a lot. It’s a great comic with a lot of action and great storytelling, it’s just great overall.
I actually didn’t buy Detective Comics prior to issue 13, except for the tie-in issue with Night of the Owls. Why? Eh, the style just didn’t agree with me, and I also thought it was really gruesome the way that Joker lost his face. Plus, I was already buying Scott Snyder‘s Batman, which was WAY better and still is, I didn’t need to buy this. The newer arc with the new team working on it has proven to be worth my time, but I still maintain my opinion that Detective Comics should probably go to Red Robin. I think this team writing Red Robin solo stories would be awesome.
This is a book that I’ve been enjoying a bit less as time has gone by. The first arc was great, telling the story of how Robin and Supergirl of Earth-2 were stranded on our Earth following the battle on Earth-2 with Darkseid’s forces, becoming Huntress and Power Girl. It actually ended with a battle against a giant monster in the bay off the coast of Japan, which could only have been better if Kamen Rider Skull, DaiZyuJin, and Godzilla had shown up. The problem with it, as has been pointed out to me, is that nothing was really resolved by it in terms of the overall story of Huntress and Power Girl, and it doesn’t look like much will be resolved by this next one either. I hear there might possibly be a new team taking over later on, I hope that the make the story lead somewhere great…and STOP having Power Girl wind up naked EVERY ISSUE!
This is another book I chose not to pick up for a while, but it’s for reasons I kinda kick myself for: I was still feeling all butthurt over Stephanie Brown being gone. Now granted, I still kind of am, but that’s no reason to not buy a book that’s a legit good book. Basically what happened is, prior to the relaunch, Barbara Gordon was in a wheelchair for years after being shot in the spine by Joker and served as Oracle, who was a cyber hacker that pretty much operated as an extra set of eyes and ears for Batman, the Birds of Prey, even the fugging Justice League. However, with the relaunch and the New 52, it was decided that she would have back surgery and regain the ability to walk, and thus regain her status as Batgirl. Also, her time as Oracle MAY have been erased, I’m not really sure. Either way, though, Gail Simone has been writing an awesome Batgirl title. Do I still miss the Bryan Q. Miller Batgirl with Stephanie Brown? Yeah. But this is still an awesome book, worth picking up.
Okay, I know that I will not shut up about how awesome this book is, but that’s only because it can not be said enough. Snyder is apparently best thought of as a horror writer, and even here it kind of shows, and it’s amazing how well it works for Batman. And the thing is, generally speaking, horror stories scare me and scare me away. But this? This scares me into wanting to read MORE, wanting to see just how in the hell they’re going to make it through the situations they find themselves in. I also love how the storyarcs are long, involved, and have a lot of work and effort put into them, and it shows. I would honestly argue that this and Earth-2 are among the best books going in the New 52.
Oh, and side-note? Rob Liefeld, if by any chance you read this, the heck with you if you think the only reason anyone buys this is JUST for Batman and that Snyder is no good on his own. You were neither a good writer, nor a good artist for that matter. And I’m sorry, I know this issue is pretty much dead by now, but when it happened, I never really commented on that, so I just felt the need to get this off my chest. So, rant over, let’s continue.
This has been kinda up and down for me. For the most part, it’s definitely an enjoyable read, but there are some times I really kind of miss the previous Batman & Robin title where Dick Grayson was Batman. And I know, I didn’t buy comics regularly before the relaunch, but I did read along with what was happening and picked up and read the comics at the shop if they looked interesting. But anyway, this book is still good, but lemme just say this: If you’re like me, and you don’t necessarily like seeing superheroes kill villains, the last thing you ever want to hear Damian say in this comic is “I will never kill again”, because that means he is, at best, five minutes away from killing someone. Granted, one was technically already dead, and one was threatening to kill Batman, but still…
Okay, technically I am buying this book, but really it’s just for the Death of the Family tie-ins. I WAS thinking of maybe getting the book past that since they changed teams, and while it is admittedly MUCH better than when Judd Winick was writing it, it still isn’t really my thing. Still, for those of you that wanted a better Catwoman book than the Winick book where he had Catwoman pretty much forcing herself onto Batman for no reason and then getting the crap kicked out of her in a VERY graphic manner, feel free to pick it up and make your own judgements. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know.
This is another book that I started picking up for the Night of Owls tie-in and decided to stick with. Basically, after spending a year as Batman, Dick Grayson has gone back to being Nightwing (in a new red costume, which I do not get at all) and now has inherited the deed to Haly’s Circus that he and his family travelled with. Making his life all the more complicated is that working with him in his attempts to bring life back to the circus is none other than the daughter of the mobster who had his parents killed, who apparently might also have feelings with him. The current mini-arc involving Lady Shiva isn’t all that great, mostly because it’s obviously just there to be filler, but I get the feeling it’ll go back to being awesome afterwards.
This book is just a ton of fun. It’s not the best book going right now, but it’s a ton of fun, it picks up right after the book of the same name that existed before the relaunch, it goes a lot into the Batman stories of the past few years, and it just has fun with the concept. For those that don’t know, after a situation where Bruce Wayne returned from travelling through time, he decided to take Batman’s mission worldwide, thus creating Batman Incorporated. Their number one adversary has been someone called Leviathan, revealed to be Talia al Ghul, and a lot of the various Bat Family members, both old and new, have gotten involved in the battles against her. Also, it has frakking Bat-Cow. It is an awesome and fun read, end of story.
From the first issue, actually since the issue before the first issue because before #1 was #0, but from that issue, I was officially sold on this book. Again, recap for those not in the know, but issues 1 through 12 of Scott Snyder’s Batman saw the Dark Knight facing off against this group called the Court of Owls and their undead assassins called Talons. This book, spinning out of that storyarc, deals with a single Talon that escaped the Court named Calvin Rose who is now on a mission to bring them down, primarily by taking down the last of the Talons not frozen by Batman following the Night of the Owls. Calvin is, for a lack of a better term, a hoot, and James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder’s writing for this book has been snappy as all hell. It CAN get a touch text heavy, which might be a problem for some people. Not quite WARRIOR level text heavy, mind you. Still, if you can get past that, there’s a LOT of enjoyment to be had here.
Anyway, those are the books I buy every month. Again, it’s possible I may drop one or two titles in favour of something else, but rest assured, if I do, I will keep you guys up to date. Ja né!
…Holy CRAP! Okay, I’m not gonna give a complete synopsis of the comic, just so you can read for the nitty-gritty details, and so I can talk about the bombshells dropped here.
So Batman Inc. #4 features a MASSIVE battle between Leviathan’s forces and a ton of Batman Inc.’s top members, including Nightwing, Red Robin, Batwing, Hood, El Gaucho, Wingman, and Damian under the alias of Red Bird. Meanwhile, Batman in the guise of Matches Malone, manages to free himself and is NOT happy to see Damian present and fighting alongside Wingman. However, they all pull together and stop Talia‘s group, ending with Batman demanding to speak with Talia and try to negotiate a stop to this.
Meanwhile, Damian has figured out who Wingman really is. I won’t say who it is, but let’s just say that at least a few people guessed it. Damian is pissed that Batman didn’t tell him and would actually enlist this man, but quickly pieces together that there’s something more he’s not telling him, something terrible. Batman finally relents, spilling the beans. He’s been trying to deny himself this truth, but the fact is that they’ve been put in an inescapable position where Damian MUST return to Talia, or something horrific will happen, not just to them, not just to Gotham, but to the entire world. Again, won’t say what, just gonna give this hint: 666.
But yeah, Batman Incorporated continues to be awesome, and we’re starting to get more hints as to what apparently happens to cause the events we see from one month in the future from #1. I can’t frigging wait to see where it goes from here, and it saddens me that I gotta wait a month for the next issue. Oh well, life of the comic book fan. Ja né!
- ‘Batman, Inc.’ No. 4 first look: Morrison, Burnham deliver action (herocomplex.latimes.com)
So I just got back home from FINALLY seeing The Dark Knight Rises, and my immediate thoughts are that it was a good movie, definitely worth paying money for, but at the same time I will say that The Dark Knight is just a little bit better. It does work as the final chapter of the story that Christopher Nolan was telling with these movies, though, and while it’s not perfect, it’s still pretty damned good. My only issue is with the ending if it does in fact prove to be the absolute end to this story, but I’ll get to that at the end.
First off, let’s talk about Bane. This character works so well as the villain for the final chapter of this trilogy, as someone who can match wits as well as fighting prowess with Batman. I still prefer Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight from a psychological standpoint, but then I wasn’t expecting to find him to be the better villain, so no let downs there. The only issue I have with him is that his voice is kinda weird, and what the hell is it with these movies and their love of funny voices? I will say that I am VERY glad they didn’t give him the Batman & Robin movie treatment, but at the same time, we later find out he actually is hired help for someone, but we’ll get to that.
I hear that a few people aren’t that thrilled with Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, I thought she worked great. Yes, she is very much self-centred, but she also does show to care for Bruce Wayne/Batman, which is shown when she comes back to save him and help save Gotham in the end. And yeah, she has no issue with killing bad guys, but then again, Catwoman always did tend to blur the line between hero and villain, so not so shocked she does so here.
John Blake, or rather Robin John Blake…I have only one issue with this character: the fact that his story is confined to this one movie. If we do get a spin-off with him, as a lot of people are speculating, that would erase my issue. My only concern is what they’ll call him, be it Nightwing, Batman, hell even Batman Beyond. I REALLY hope they don’t call him Robin, though, since that’s his actual name and would be confusing if that were his name AND his alias.
Miranda Tate…Can’t say as I’m too shocked it turned out she was Talia al Ghul all along. I actually kinda figured that Marion Cotillard was a misdirection for people that guessed it. Sadly, that’s a problem, that a lot of people knew going in, because that was supposed to be the big twist, that she was the real mastermind behind it all. The problem is that it’s revealed halfway through the third act and then she dies not long after. Personally, I would have saved it for the VERY end, right after the credits, that she’s in a headquarters for the League of Shadows and walks in, revealing her status and then could be a villain for Robin John Blake, again assuming we get a spin-off. Plus, that way Bane stays the main villain for this movie.
Alfred is kinda hard to make a judgement on for this movie. On the one hand, it is believable for him to finally have had enough to the point where he tells Bruce the truth about Rachel and then leaves, but at the same time I kept expecting him to come back, and he never does except at Bruce’s funeral at the end, but we’ll get to that later. I will say that he once again proves to be wise and inserts some occasional humour here and there…though part of me kinda wonders what would happen if he ever came across a scenario where he didn’t have a speech or anything prepared. lol
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox is always so much fun to watch, and the same is true here. And frankly, that should come as no surprise at all. Not to mention the fact that Morgan Freeman adds class to anything he’s cast in. That’s really all there is to say there.
Commissioner Gordon once again works well in this movie, this time as someone who is trying hard to keep the streets clean while also being haunted by the choice he made at the end of The Dark Knight. Of course, the problem with that is that the truth is revealed and it’s pretty much spelled out for anyone that didn’t already know it themselves that the lie was a bad mistake, which is really the only flaw to The Dark Knight. Also, I gotta side with Linkara on this, why the hell does anybody in Gotham believe Bane when he reads Gordon’s confessional regarding Harvey Dent and Batman’s innocence?
And finally, we come to the Batman himself, and I’m just gonna ask this one question: Why in the hell did Bruce Wayne lock himself up in his mansion?! Hell, deciding to retire as Batman after what happened in The Dark Knight actually makes more sense than that, but hiding in Wayne Manor just because the clean energy thingy failed? It makes no sense! Plus, he heals a broken back over a 5 month period, and then crawls his way out of a giant hole in the ground with no harness, and then somehow manages to get back into Gotham despite the bridges being blown up and the city being sealed off as a No Man’s Land, and then proceeds to do his Batman voice even growlier, even when by then several of the people he works with knows who he is. He saves the day by flying the bomb out to sea, apparently blowing up with it, only for the viewers to learn he fixed the aircraft’s auto-pilot beforehand and ejected out so he could go live with Catwoman somewhere in secret while Gotham believes he’s dead and Robin John Blake is left with the Batcave…Umm, not a great exit, Bats…
Don’t get me wrong, this is still a good movie. The problem is that it’s one of those movies where the secondary characters are easier to relate to, are better written, better portrayed, more believable, or just more likeable than the protagonist. Batman’s ultimate decision to fake his death and leave Gotham to a new protector seems so at odds with the character that I know. Now if he were to come back in the spin-off-I-hope-to-happen as a mentor to Robin John Blake, that could work, because we’ve seen it work in Batman Beyond. But if the story is left like this, it’ll make Batman’s journey seem kinda…odd.
But anyway, those are my thoughts. Leave your thoughts, but please don’t get into an argument with each other in the comments section. Ja ne!