Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Week in Comics 8/31/11

Well since this week is pretty light so I may end up talking a lot about these issues. So that means that I will definitely drop some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEKS COMICS. I'M SERIOUSLY GOING TO SPOIL THE SHIT OUT OF THESE.

Flashpoint #5
By Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert
     Whelp here is the end to the event to that WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING. As much as Flashpoint has been hated on for being poorly paced, I still enjoyed it a bit. It probably could have used an issue less, but whatever.
     My main problem is with the Batman related stuff. Big surprise. I am alright with Thomas Wayne stabbing Reverse Flash. He'd already shown a willingness to kill in the Knight of Vengeance tie in. But really shouldn't Barry have won? It seems weird that the Flash was beaten to hell and was losing, and then someone else saves him. It made it seem like Barry was weaker and couldn't beat his main villain, which isn't very superheroic. I'm not  saying heroes should never lose. I'm saying heroes should always win, if that makes any sense. Which it doesn't.
     Moving on, my main gripe is with the very end. Barry running through time and talking to a giant time head is fine. I like that the three timelines the world of heroes were split into were Vertigo, DCU, and Wildstorm. It makes about as much sense as combining three separate universes could have. But, the very end with Batman is stupid, and really feels tacked on for no reason.
     Seriously? Batman cries? The dude can cry if he wants to, but Flashpoint is not the series in which that should happen. It's so quick that it feels like it wasn't intended to be at the end. We don't see the letter Thomas Wayne wrote, Batman cries, that's all folks!
     And really this brings up a whole lot of continuity mess. Now Barry Allen remembers the DCU, Flashpoint and the DCnU. And he told Batman about this, which means that he knows. This all seems like something that could come up at a JLA meeting, so how long before everyone knows they got rebooted. How pissed is superman that the Flash is responsible for his divorce?

Justice League of America v2(?) #1
By Geoff Johns and Jim Lee
     Ok, seriously. How is the Justice League not in Justice League #1? If DC is trying to draw people to comics with JL as the flagship, you'd think they would make it an accessible comic that is just a solid story for the series. Instead they are going to get people wondering where Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Flash are. And probably people who wont realize Cyborg was in it as a regular person.
     Besides that misstep, this issue was alright. It's a little hard to read something so blatantly explaining for new readers. I know that it's the point of the whole #1 deal, but Geoff Johns is already a pretty unsubtle writer. So, having Hal Jordan yell things to the effect of "BATMAN DOESNT HAVE POWERS," "I'M A SPACE COP WITH A MAGIC RING," and "SUPERMAN IS AN ALIEN," comes off pretty bad. But that is from the perspective of someone who knows all those things.
     Also, Geoff Johns needs to calm down about Hal Jordan. He isn't that cool. He is kind of a boring douche. So chill out. If you wanted two people to meet up and introduce the DCnU to people, it should have been Batman and Superman. It would have been better if it were Bats, Supes and Wondy. Those are the heroes non comics readers will recognize. Non comics readers will recognize Hal Jordan as Ryan Reynolds in that movie they didn't like.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Week In Comics 8/24/11

Well I meant to write this yesterday, so... there's that. As always I will be dropping some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEKS COMICS, but I'm so late, people have probably read them.

American Vampire #18
By Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque
     Some pretty big events in this issue, all pretty great. I don't tend to read Vertigo solicits, so I have no idea if this is the end of the WWII era or just an arc. Either way, this had a big payoff.

Batman: Arkham City #5
By Paul Dini and Carlos D'Anda 
     I didn't really expect this series to have an end and it doesn't. Instead, I am left with a tease only furthering my desire for the game. Which is exactly what they were going for. 

Batman: The Dark Knight #6
By David Finch and Jason Fabok
     This was not a good ending. Batman failing to save someone should be the start of a story, not the end of one. Basically this whole series culminated with Batman being a failure. That is a shitty ending for a hero comic. Batman failing to save someone should be the start of a story about accepting failure and responsibility. Not something that happens as a twist at the end and everyone moves on.

Batman: Gates of Gotham #5
By Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins, Ryan Parrott and Trevor McCarthy
     As always this book was good. Being the final issue, everything came together and made for a good ending to good series. As much as I enjoyed everything else, the best part has to be Dick's speech about being Batman and Bruce being like "Uh... yeah, we need to talk about that."

Batman Inc #8
By Grant Morrison, Scott Clark and Dave Beatty
     Oof, this book was a huuge drop in quality. First and foremost, the 3D art was terrible. It looks like an late 90s PC game. And everything is so busy and detailed that I couldn't tell what was happening in a lot of panels. On top of that the plot isn't great. It seems like Morrison has no idea how the internet or video games work. This issue would have been alright with a more traditional penciled style. It would have been a silly over the top story about fighting viruses in the internet.

Green Arrow v5 #15
By James Patrick and Agustin Padilla
     This was a pretty lackluster ending for a series. And with how DCnU Green Arrow looks, it seems like I'm not going to be getting good GA for a while. Sad times.

Gotham City Sirens #26
By Peter Calloway and Andres Guinaldo
     This series ended weird. I know that Harley, Ivy and Selina need to go their separate ways for the DCnU, but the very end was strange from a Batman standpoint. The way they all split works, and makes sense, but the way Catwoman acts at the very end seems odd considering Batman and Her are basically in a full on relationship in other books. I'm not sure if this is going to split them up for Catwoman's ongoing, or if this will be forgotten as I'm sure a lot of these final issues will be.

Northlanders #43
By Brian Wood and Paul Azaceta
     Issues like this make me wonder why this series is cancelled. This final arc is shaping up to be amazing. I would recommend anyone and everyone to buy Northlanders trades. This is a truly great series that is under appreciated.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Detective Comics #43

Cover: Bob Kane

The Case of the City of Terror
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson & George Roussos
Letters: Jerry Robinson & George Roussos
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Detective Comics #42

Cover: Bob Kane

The Case of the Prophetic Pictures
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Bob Kane & Jerry Robinson
Letters: Jerry Robinson
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Week in Comics - 8/17/11

Yet again my recording has been thwarted, so here is the week in comics. At this point I wonder if I should just do episodes Monday and Friday, and post this every Wednesday. Not too many comics this week but there will still be SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEKS COMICS. At least a few.

Batman #713
By Fabian Nicieza, Steve Scott, Daniel Sampere and Anrei Bressan
     Yet another historic final issue. This wasn't at all the buildup/payoff Detective Comics had going. This was a quick recap of Batman continuity being told by an unnamed narrator who turns out to be one of the people in the story. It was pretty cliche, but this is probably an issue I would give to someone who wanted a quick update on Batman history. The very end had a really cheesy nod to Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson which was beaten over the head of the read so hard I couldn't help but laugh.

DC Retroactive Batman the 1990s
By Alan Grant and Norman Breyfogle
      As much as I ragged on the 1980s DC Retroactive for using Year Two I would have LOVED to see Jean Paul Valley Batman in this comic. Just to remind my why early 90s Batman was terrible. Really I would have liked a story in No Man's Land but that is a little hard to reprint in the back. The new story was alright, as was the reprint. I did like that the Street Demonz were in it. Oh the '90s.

DMZ #68
By Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli
     I love DMZ. It's a well told legitimately mature story, and not in the sex and violence 14 year old version of mature. The art is messy and dark, but in a very intentional way. It's kind of hard to talk about on an issue by issue basis. If you haven't read it already, go do that. Go buy all the trades right now. Seriously. You can be in my super cool DMZ readers club.

Hellblazer #282
By Peter Milligan and Simon Bisley
     I recently got into Hellblazer and only recently caught up with reading all of it, so now I get to talk about it. One of the things I've really enjoyed about Hellblazer is how direct it's continuity is. Thanks to writers taking long runs on the book, things are built up and pay off and brought back up later all in a way that enhances the plots while maintaining internal consistency. This issue took things that had been set up, mixed them together and made a good story. I'm excited for this book to continue post DCnU as well as Constantine to show up in Justice League Dark.

Superman/Batman #87
By Joshua Hale Fialkov and Tomas Giorello
     This series has had its ups and downs, and really should have been called World's Finest all along. I'm not really sad to see it go, but I did like that there was a book that existed in a vague continuity and could basically tell whatever story it wanted. There always needs to be one of those around, like Legends of the Dark Knight.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Detective Comics #41

Cover: Bob Kane

The Masked Menace of the Boys' School
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Bob Kane & Jerry Robinson
Letters: Jerry Robinson
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Friday, August 12, 2011

Batman #2

Cover: Bob Kane

The Joker Meets the Cat-Woman
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Jerry Robinson & George Roussos
Letters: George Roussos

Wolf, the Crime Master
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Bob Kane & Jerry Robinson
Letters: Jerry Robinson 

The Case of the Clubfoot Murders
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Bob Kane & Jerry Robinson
Letters: Jerry Robinson 

The Case of the Missing Link
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Jerry Robinson & George Roussos
Letters: George Roussos 
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Week in Comics 8/10/11

Well once again my roommate has defeated by best efforts to keep any sort of podcasting schedule, so here is the week in comics instead. I seem to not spoil too much stuff, but I have to say SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEKS COMICS. There are quite a few this week, much to my meager wallet's dismay, so some of these will be pretty short.

American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest #3
By Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy
     Another awesome issue. Scott Snyder is a great writer and I really like Sean Murphy's art. Not much more to say.

Batgirl v3 #24
By Brian Q Miller and Pere Perez 
     The ending to this issue was so self aware of it being the end for Stephanie Brown that I had to just laugh. Every bit of dialog is about how it's not really the end, and that this is Stephanie's moment and it wont go away. There really wasn't a lot of resolution with the plot with Stephanie's dad, but the last half was hilarious so I am ok with it.

Batman 80 Page Giant (2011)
By a whole lot of folks
      This is a big collection of a lot of stories. The one that stands out is Unspoken, which is a dialogless story about Bruce and Selina. Some of the stories were plots that I would like to see in full length, like the anti-batman suit testing.

Batman and Robin #26
By David Hine, Greg Tocchini and Andrei Bressan
      I really liked this issue. The surreal art worked really well and I like that a lot of books are giving the Batman Inc characters their own villains. The 2nd half was a little weaker with the knock off Joker, but the very end had a good twist which made up for it.

Birds of Prey v2 #15
By Marc Andreyko, Billy Tucci and Adriana Melo
      I am pretty sure this is the last issue and it had a real non ending. I know that some things are going to be left untied by the relaunch but I would like to see a little hint at why things will change.

Detective Comics #881
By Scott Snyder, Jock, and Francesco Francavilla
     It's pretty crazy to think that a comic from 1937 is coming to an end. The long James Jr arc comes to a satisfying conclusion, and there is a little bit of meta-awareness by Dick Grayson and Commissioner Gordon at the end. I think it would be really hard to make this final issue what I hoped it would be. It's a great comic, but I cant help but have extremely high expectations for the final issue of something that has been around longer than my grandparents. The art shift was a little jarring, but it's nice that both artists got to contribute to the issue they had been building toward. 

Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #3
By J.T. Krul and Fabrizio Fiorentino
     Meh

Red Robin #26
By Fabian Nicieza and Markus To
     The events of this issue seemed kind of out of character for Tim Drake. He has been kinda put in this more angry place since Dick took over as Batman. The end acknowledges that things are going to change, but it almost seems like Tim is going to stay in Gotham. Seeing as how Teen Titans isn't listed in the Batman new 52 ads it seems weird.

The Spirit v2 #17
By lots of people
     I consider this a casualty of the relaunch. I only got into the Spirit very recently and I like it a lot. This was a collection of short black and white stories. I am really not a fan of black and white American comics so I don't have too much to say on the art front. Although I did like how you could see the string keeping the Spirit's mask up in the first story.

Teen Titans v3 #99
By J.T. Krul and Jose Luis
     As I read this series I learn more and more about how a dinosaur is appropriate for every situation. Other than that, this book has a lot of team up topes I don't enjoy. This issue was like 2 pages of fighting for each character until something happens at the end. Why even fight the alternate universe version of yourself? Have people mix it up so that everyone isn't evenly matched. This story could have been about 5 superboys fighting the Teen Titans, but no we need 100 people to pay attention to so that none of them get any real time.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Week in Comics 8/3/11

Another week another batch of comics. This is going up on weds since there wont be an episode today, or probably Friday thanks to my roommate taking a day off. As always I will most likely drop SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEKS COMICS

Batman: Arkham City #4
By Paul Dini and Carlos D'anda
     Don't have much to say on this one. The story cant really have a conclusion because its all a lead up to the game. All it can really do is introduce game mechanics like the Guards who are trained to deal with Batman.

Batman Beyond v4 #8
By Adam Beechen and Chris Batista
     Batman Beyond is in the weird position of coming to an end without wrapping anything up. There hasn't really been a major storyline to conclude, and I don't think its continuity will be changed by the relaunch. It's a series that just kinda showed up and now is going away without a big fuss. I'm not sure if it will have an issue next month, but I don't really see anything they could do with it.

Batman: Gates of Gotham #4
By Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins, Ryan Parrott, Dustin Nguyen and Derec Donovan
     Whew that is a lot of credits. This issue was pretty much just an explanation and set up for the final one. It wasn't terrible and it wasn't great. Themes that are in Detective Comics are being brought up, with Dick viewing Gotham city as an entity all its own. I'm interested to see how Kyle Higgins handles Nightwing post relaunch.


DC Retroactive Batman The 1980s
By Mike W Barr and Jerry Bingham
Reprint by Mike W Barr and Alan Davis
     Really? Batman: Year Two? That story was terrible. Of all the stories from the 80s to pick for Retroactive you pick that one? Why? Frank Miller Defined Batman for the next 20 years in the 80s. If Miller is too expensive get Jim Starlin to do a KGBeast story with Jason Todd in it. That's 80s Batman.

Flashpoint #4
By Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert
     Oh my god there was progress in the plot. As much as I have been enjoying the crazy plot twists and random character deaths, the first 3 issues didn't really go anywhere. This issue also stands out as the first one that doesn't immediately undo the cliffhanger of the last one. Geoff Johns still writes some terrible dialog at times though.

Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #3
By Brian Azarello and Eduardo Risso
     This is definitely my favorite of the Flashpoint tie ins. It's so insane in a way that makes perfect sense. It set everything up and made it all pay off and ended. It takes all the themes reader know and distorts them, which has been what I liked about Flashpoint. Batman wasn't a hero, he was just was just trying to deal with his life. The same tragedy sent Batman and the Joker on two different paths, which reminds me a lot of the themes of The Killing Joke. I'm kinda sad this series is over but at the same time am glad that it was just a well written, constructed and paced 3 issues.

Suicide Girls #4
By Steve Niles, Missy Suicide, Brea Grant, Zane Grant and Cameron Stewart
     If anyone out there has not read this series, go get it. Suicide Girls is pure inanity with a sprinkling of nudity. Basically every page of this comic is hilarious. It contains dialog like "Something sexy about a suicide mission" and caption boxes that say "A short time (and many bodies) later." This comic also has what has to be the first vagina I've seen in American comics.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Detective Comics #40

Cover: Bob Kane

The Murders of Clayface
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane 
Inks: Bob Kane & Jerry Robinson
Letters: Jerry Robinson
Just unfocus your eyes and think of flowers Julie
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