Sunday, December 16, 2012

Week in Comics 12/12/12

My god have I not been doing any comic stuff lately. Someday I will get back to actually reading things before Sunday. Anyway, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS

Batman v2 #15
By Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
Backup by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Jock
     Similar to last issue, some stuff just came off weird to me. This time it was some of the dialog. I'm not sure if it was supposed to reflect Batman losing his cool, but lines like "YOU ARE NOTHING--BUT DEGENERATE FILTH" read really awkwardly in my head. And the framing dialog about pupils, I like as a concept, but the way its phrased like Batman psyching himself up is strange to me.
     Then there's the scene where Bruce tells a story that has no real point, and seems to only piss off the rest of the family. On a metatextual standpoint I can see wanting to have an encounter like this, but I am not sure why Bruce would decide to go "Oh, BTW the joker possibly knew who we were all along, but probably not because I say so" from a character standpoint. He doesn't want to tell everyone about Alfred and upset them, but he does want to tell a nearly decade old anecdote that will only upset them.
     I get the sense that all of this is to show that Batman is off his game, but it comes out more like out of his character. It's like Snyder wants that post Jason Todd era Batman, but that was an era where Batman shut everyone out. It clashes with all the scenes of dealing with the rest of the bat-family.

Batman and Robin v2 #15
By Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
     This issue was fantastic. It was all talking, but managed to get across the Joker's point in a way that wasn't weird. There was none of the king Batman stuff, it was just the Joker telling Damian why all the bat-fam needs to go away. It pretty much communicated everything the last 2 issues of Batman tried to in a way I enjoyed and understood way more. Plus the Joker did some seriously creepy stuff with his face. Somehow this issue beat out Batman #15 in terms of my enjoyment.

Demon Knights #15
By Paul Cornell and Bernard Chang
     KING ARTHUR VS HELL VS DINOSAURS

Monday, December 10, 2012

Week in Comics 12/5/12

I totally meant to do this last night, and then I ate a bunch of crappy food and passed out. Then, I meant to do it on the MAX this morning, but completely zoned it. So, now it's officially into the next week, BUT I DON'T LET THE MAN'S CALENDAR KEEP ME DOWN. SPOILERS FOR LAST WEEK'S COMICS. Although, my thoughts on these may be a bit short.

Animal Man v2 #15
By Jeff Lemire, Timothy Green II and Steve Pugh
     Pretty much more of the same. Which isn't a bad thing, but it's one of those issues where a lot of not much happens and then there is a shocking reveal on the last page. Pretty common in current comics, which sometimes makes issues that don't really stick with you. I'm sure they'd serve a lot better for Trades, but waiting a month for a light issue is always kind of a bummer.

Batwing #15
By Fabian Nicieza and Fabrizio Fiorentino
     I really hope these solo adventures keep up. Batwing is developing some much needed personality.

Detective Comics v2 #15
By John Layman, Jason Fabok and Andy Clarke
     Again with this series. The main plot is solid and the backup seems way more interesting. They tie pretty closely together, but Clayface yelling "NOOOO" has nothing on Clayface being super sad in a sewer reading old love letters.

Swamp Thing v5 #15By Scott Snyder and Marco Rudy













Worlds' Finest #7
By Paul Levitz, Kevin Maguire and George Perez
     Did not think I'd see any comic ever mention Kony 2012.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week in Comics 11/28/12

SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS UNLESS YOU CONSIDER SUNDAY TO BE THE START OF THE WEEK, IN WHICH CASE IT WOULD BE FOR LAST WEEK'S COMICS.

All-Star Western v3 #14
By Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat
     This is, as far as I can remember, the first story I've read to be labeled with the BLACK DIAMOND banner. Like all of All-Star Western's tie ins, the actual plot elements that tie the series into the crossover are barely present. I wouldn't be surprised if the first half of the next issue dealt with it a little and then dropped the plot entirely.
     I'm not really sure what's going on with this book. It just leaves me wanting something more, but I can't pin down what it is. It feels too small, which can work, but I like my historical fiction to be grand. It should be huge and full of detail, which I feel this series is lacking. Instead it's smaller stories in one city and it's not quite doing it for me anymore. Hex needs to move on and do some traveling.

Batman Incorporated v2 #5
By Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham
     I think what I loved most about this issue was its demonstration of how Morrison continues to not give a single fuck about the rest of the DCnU. That's not to say the rest of the issue wasn't fantastic as well. Similar to Rotworld, I would read the hell out of an alternate future ongoing of the Batman #666 future. It wouldn't really make sense to have one based on what happens in the issue, but I don't even care. This issue pretty much does everything that Earth 2 hasn't. AKA be interesting and actually make me unsure of what will happen to the characters next.

The Flash v4 #14
By Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
     All I could think about for the first half of this issue was that there should have been an Abbot and Costello style routine on "Gorilla invasion" vs "Guerilla invasion." Once I got over that idea, I got a pretty solid issue that I can't really form a thought on. I've probably said this too many times, but The Flash is just a good series. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, it's just a very well done superhero story. Which is what makes it hard for me to put how I feel about it into words. It doesn't fail to meet expectations and it doesn't do completely insane things, so there is nothing I can really point at and discuss.

I, Vampire #14
By Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino
     Talk about a world where you don't know what's going to happen. I've referred to this series as being like a Vertigo title before, and it still holds true. New characters and a loose connection to DCU mean things can actually happen and characters can actually play out their arcs. I'm pretty interested to see what will happen to this series. It's definitely at its best when not dealing with other DCU stuff, but that means that a lot of people aren't going to pick it up because someone they like is in it. I'm glad it has survived thus far  and I hope it keeps on for a while even being under the radar as it is.

Talon #2
By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Juan Jose Ryp
     It seems like a lot of series this week are just reminding me why I am disappointed in other series. Here is a book that contains a high tech heist, a room full of treasure, and yet this isn't Catwoman. Why is the high adventure crime all happening in a series about taking down the Court of Owls? Well, I'll take it where I can get it, because this issue was good. Each issue seems to be building off the last and giving me a lot of hope for this series.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Week in Comics 11/21/12

I kept meaning to read these all week, I'm not sure why it took me so long. Anyway, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS

Batwoman #14
By J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
     I'm not sure if it's because I've been reading a lot of other stuff lately, but the narration by Medusa in this issue makes me think I have missed/forgotten a lot about this series. It was probably there to bring everyone up to speed on what happened in those hard to follow mixed up issues, which is nice, but it left me focused less on the issue itself and more on trying to figure out how we got here. 

Birds of Prey v3 #14
By Duane Swierczynski and Romano Molenaar
     This issue was just pretty bland. I've seen heroes fight armies of ninja. I've seen the new hero not want to work with the team. It just read like a totally average comic. The only remotely interesting thing is Black Canary's reaction to using her powers, but there hasn't really been any clues to what this could be. They'll probably reveal what it is too fast and destroy any tension it would have, but here's hoping they don't.

Catwoman v3 #14
By Ann Nocenti and Rafa Sandoval
     What was going on with the dialog in this issue? I'm not sure what the Joker was supposed to be, but it wasn't scary and it wasn't funny. This is kind of what I was afraid cut-off-face-Joker would be. I get what they were going for, and it makes sense for the Joker to mess with Catwoman over her pseudo bat-ally status, but it lacked impact and didn't accomplish anything. Which is too bad, because I think this concept could have worked really well.

Nightwing v3 #14
By Tom DeFalco and Andres Guinaldo
     This is another of those issues that feels like it was written before the crossover, and had to have the Joker shoehorned in. It has lots of talk about what's going on, "... AND THE JOKER IS BACK!" It would probably have been a better issue if it didn't keep reminding me that Nightwing is faffing about and not all in with stopping the Joker. The problem with a shared universe is that characters have to exist and make decisions that fit their personality in that universe. Sometimes it's better not to talk about what else is going on and just tell a story.

Wonder Woman v4 #14
By Brian Azzarello, Tony Akins, Dan Green and Rick Burchett 
     It'll be interesting to see where all this fourth world stuff is going. Especially since we've already had Darkseid in Justice League, and some fourth-worldey stuff in Justice League Dark. If I didn't know the next event was the Trinity War, I'd say this was pretty clever buildup to a big story. With the exception of Justice League of course. Clever is not a word that could come within miles of that series.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Week in Comics 11/14/12

Well, this may be the first time I have read comics before the weekend in a while. Batman #14 was a big motivation for that, as my 500+ word thoughts show.

Batman v2 #14
By Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
Backup by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Jock
     The first half of this issue was just weird. I don't know if I am in the wrong frame of mind or this stuff will come back up later, but there are things I just don't get. We are going to dip into more spoilery spoilers here, so you've been double warned. This might be a longer section than usual.
     First, when Batman is in the vat of chemicals, Harley says "Maybe you'll be the next one. Like I always thought you would. Maybe you'll come back like he used to be, back then... Beautiful" I'm interpreting this line as Harley thinking that Batman will turn into the next Joker and she can be happy again. Which is crazy, but she is pretty crazy. What I don't get is the "like I always thought you would" this was the first thing that threw me for a loop in this issue. I didn't think it was biting commentary on how Batman is as crazy as the rest of them, I thought it was weird and kind of out of character for her.
     Second, When Bruce gets the package from the Joker, he opens it to reveal a cassette. Which he puts in a bag for one panel, and then is standing there in the next panel with no bag and puts it in a tape deck. What was the purpose of the bag? I thought maybe it was an art error. then I thought maybe it was to show that he was just going to take it as evidence, but changed his mind and decided to listen to it, which is weird. For a second I thought maybe he switched it with another tape, but that makes no sense at all considering he then listens to it.
     Third, does he pull a gun on Gordon when telling him to get to safety? I can't tell what the hell it's supposed to be from the art, but it looks like he is threatening Gordon with a pistol, which is so insane that I think there has to be something else going on that I'm missing.
     Fourth, I sort of get the point of the scene between Nightwing and Batman outside the hospital, but it felt totally off in terms of characterization. As much as Batman is about crushing his emotions he doesn't really fuck around when it comes to Alfred, and he certainly knows that Dick understands how he feels about it. It comes off as just really awkward to read and kind of beating you over the head with Bruce's emotional issues, which continues through the Bat/Tron-Cycle ride to the reservoir.
     And then things pick up. I really like that the Joker has Batman's number and has this 'yeah, yeah all that stuff we always do is fun and all, but this is something else.' attitude. And the idea of the Bat-Family making Batman weak is an interesting one. After Morrison spent a few years making Batman realize that he has never really been alone in his crusade, Snyder shows up and has the Joker hate that about Batman. It plays off the idea without erasing or copying it, which is great. I don't know if I like the whole King and Court Jester routine, but maybe it will tie in thematically with the Joker's plans.
     Also, I am so tired of the Penguin. Not really the backups fault, but I just sigh when I see him now. I do like the idea of the Backups being the Joker touching base with all the villains, and hinting at some future event.

Batman and Robin v2 #14
By Peter J Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
     This smells of rewrites. It makes absolutely zero sense for the Joker to be involved in this plot. it seems like this issue was 3/4ths done when Tomasi had to tie it in with Death of the Family. I guess the signs where there all along. Last issue characters could not shut up about how the Joker was back in town, but I just don't buy it. Maybe I hope it's a rewrite, because if this was planned it was just bad.

Demon Knights #14
By Paul Cornell and Bernard Chang
     DINOSAURS


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week in Comics 11/7/12

You may have noticed (probably not) that I didn't write about any of the comics last week. That is because 5th weeks are generally pretty light and I didn't get around to reading them for a while. But now it's glorious first week, and I will be dropping some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS. Although I guess I don't spoil too much unless something is really dumb.

Animal Man v2 #14
By Jeff Lemire, Steve Pugh and Timothy Green II
     I'm glad there is a comic where superheroes are having a really bad time and not winning at all. I'm sure they'll win in the end like always, but it's cool to see. Alternate futures are about the only way you can add a  real sense of danger and unknown to a superhero story. Which they have by showing exactly how many other heroes are possessed by the Rot. It actually seems like any one of the survivors could go at any moment.

Batwing #14
By Judd Winick and Marcus To
     It's nice to see this series back to building up character history and adding to the cast. My main complaint has been that it was just another dude to team up with the Bat-Family. I kind of hope it stays away from the rest of the DCU for a while and really develops some of its own continuity and characterization. This issue is a step in the right direction, but we'll have to see if it keeps going that way. It started out like this and went awry pretty quick.

Detective Comics v2 #14
By John Layman and Jason Fabok
Backup by John Layman and Andy Clarke
     Once again, I think I enjoyed the Backup more than the main plot. It's like all the interesting stuff is being saved for that while the main story is just normal. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, or that the main story isn't worth reading, it's just strange to me.

Swamp Thing v5 #14
By Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette
     The art in this book is just fantastic. Doesn't matter if its a massive exposition scene (which Snyder's Swampy has had a lot of) or action, it's great to look at. I think that pushes it up over Animal Man for me. Both are extremely well written, but Swamp Thing's visual representation of Rotworld is great.

Worlds' Finest #6
By Paul Levitz, Kevin Maguire and George Perez 
     It's nice to see Damian getting out more. I really enjoyed him being a dick to everyone he teamed up with pre-Flashpoint. I seem to be liking this series more with every issue. It's slowly building up to something above average. If only Maguire would take over all the art duties.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Week in Comics 10/24/12

I almost forgot to review comics this week. So, that's pretty cool. I should still probably say SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS even though we are pretty close to next week's.

All-Star Western v3 #13
By Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Moritat and Phil Winslade
     I kept getting the feeling with this issue that this series is just missing something. There's no real arc to it so far. Sure characters have been introduced, but the stories seem almost too fast and end without much consequence. It seems to me like this series needs a villain, or at least a goal. As far as we know Jonah Hex is just hanging out in Gotham because he's bored and anything Batman related sells comics. There isn't a grand story tying all of this together, and without the #0 issue a new reader would know almost nothing about Hex as a character. Shallow is the word that comes to mind for all of this. It's entertaining, but there is nothing more to it, at least so far.

Batman Incorporated v2 #4
By Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham
     This is the kind of issue I've been waiting for since Batman Inc started up. A bunch of different members of Batman Inc all fighting a bunch of leviathan troops. Of course, there's more to it than that, but on a base level this issue was satisfying for that alone. It'll be interesting to see how much the plot point at the end of this issue will affect Batman and Robin. Probably not at all since DC seems to be keeping Morrison in a bubble.

The Flash v4 #13
By Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul 
     Any enjoyment this issue may have provided was immediately destroyed by the eye roll inducing page where someone's arm is cut off. People at DC have to know how insanely lame and cliche that has become in relation to DC Comics.

I, Vampire #13
By Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino 
     Once again this series is back to feeling like a vertigo title, despite mentions of Stormwatch and Gotham. This issue reminded me of all the stuff I am missing in All-Star Western. There is characterization, a sense of history between characters, a reason for the grand scale plot other than the moment to moment justifications. There were definitely some hits and misses over the last few issues and tie ins, but this gives me hope that the series is back on a track where I was really enjoying it.

Justice League Dark #13
By Jeff Lemire, Mikel Janin and Victor Drujiniu
     I never thought I would see a high speed chase between two houses. That plus some other stuff made this issue pretty sweet. So far it actually seems like the #0 issue will matter to this series, which is a plus, I'm not sure I'm totally on board with the whole mentor coming back thing. The idea that constantine had a mentor kind of ruins the image of the young punk rocker who used magic and the occult to fuck with people. But that is the Vertigo series, and I guess DCU Constantine isn't as much of a prick.

Talon #1
By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Guillem March
     Right away this series gets bonus points for having a GCPD blimp. So sweet, yet so impractical. One of the things I have been, and still am, worried about with this series is that it's based on an enemy who was cool because they were secret. The same thing worked with James Jr in Snyder's detective run. The evil was mysterious, which led to surprises and tension stemming from the fact that the reader didn't know what was coming. Now we have a series all about following up on one of these, and it shows. There was pretty much nothing in terms of the court that we didn't know going into this issue. I hope there'll be more to discover down the line, but so far there really isn't. At least this doesn't feel quite as lame and undermining as James Jr's appearances in Batgirl do.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Week in Comics 10/17/12

Hey, here is some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS. Which I should probably still say, but it doesn't feel like I have to since I am not reviewing everything on Wednesdays anymore.

Batwoman #13
By J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
     It really seems like J.H was in an experimental mood when doing the art for this issue. This series has usually been pretty unconventional with layouts and it's visual style, but parts of this issue seemed to be another level beyond what I'm used to seeing. It's not a bad thing, but after reading some other comics all week, it was definitely striking.
     So far I'm not totally on board with the writing in this issue. It came off as a bit overdramatic, and not totally in line with Wonder Woman's own comic in terms of characterization. Although, I can't think of any comics Wondy has shown up in that felt similar to that. But maybe I am expecting more out of this series than, say, Justice League.

Birds of Prey v3 #13
By Duane Swierczynski and Romano Molenaar
     I've never really been a fan of any dudes on the Birds of Prey. I always kind of liked that it was a ladies team because I can't think of any other team that is all women. So this Condor dude is obviously being set up to join the team, and that signals pretty lame times ahead. Also, starling just straight tortures a dude for info. This team has had issues with murder and all that before, but it really makes the characters less likeable to me. Double-also, the art in this is not too hot. It's not terrible, but it has little bad habits that annoy me, like characters having solid white eyes if they aren't front and center in a panel.

Catwoman v4 #13
By Ann Nocenti and Rafa Sandoval
     I'm not sure what to make of this issue. The writing was all over the place, and really felt like it was trying to be clever, but was totally missing the mark. The cover led me to believe that this was a Death of the Family tie in, but aside from a little clown iconography, there wasn't anything that made me think the Joker was involved at all. I'm sure the little bits of her past showing up is him, but the plot with the chess pieces seems totally unrelated. I get the feeling from this issue, and Batgirl last week, that some story arcs had to be rewritten or chopped in order to fit in with this new event. Which is a feeling I got around Night of the Owls too. As much as I like Scott Snyder, I don't really want his stories encroaching on every other Bat related book.

Nightwing v3 #13
By Tom DeFalco and Andres Guinaldo 
     Ok, seriously. What is the obsession with the Penguin in the DCnU? He has got to have shown up more than any other Bat-Villain so far. And it's never good. The last and only really good Penguin story I can remember is Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, and that is seeming like a fluke with how Dark Knight is going. I mean, I get that the Penguin totally fits in with the evil 1%er zeitgeist, but he isn't that great of a villain.. He just sits in his casino waiting to toss a little deus ex machina info into a story.
     Beside that, this issue wasn't great. Nothing really happened. The penguin showed up, leading me to write the first paragraph, then Batgirl was kind of a bitch for like 2 pages before someone remembered that the comic was about Lady Shiva. I look forward to Kyle Higgins coming back.

Wonder Woman v4 #13
By Brian Azzarello and Tony Akins
     As I mentioned when talking about Batwoman, there are no other comics where Wondy is like this. I really wish there were, because this series, and this issue, is really enjoyable. Similar to the Flash, I thought Wonder Woman was kinda boring pre New 52. Both Flash and Wonder Woman changed my mind about their respective characters. At leas tin their own series. I can't say I have enjoyed either one of those characters in their various cameos and team-ups.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Week in Comics 10/10/12

You may notice that Frankenstein isn't in this week's comics I read anymore, and that's because it's just eh. I enjoyed it a lot at first, but lately I've been enjoying each issue less and less. This week is getting pretty light. If only Batgirl would get worth reading again.

Batman v2 #13
By Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
Backup By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Jock
     I really wish this story hadn't been hypes do much. For a while now it's been "OH SHIT THE JOKER IS COMING BACK!" and the covers to all the tie ins make sure that you know what's happening. It really kills the impact for me. Don't get me wrong, the Joker's first scene back was intense and definitely striking, but I can't help but feel that I would have been blown away had I not known what was coming. Even if I hadn't kept up with comic news and read solicits there were tons of ads detailing that the Joker was back and what issues he'd be in.
     All of that aside, I still really liked this comic. It really had that tense darkness that Snyder pulls off so well at times, and I swear I like Capullo's art more every issue. The reintroduction of the Joker was appropriately creepy, and I really enjoyed the ties back to Batman v1 #1. With all the shitting on continuity DC has been doing, it's nice to see some callbacks.

Batman and Robin v2 #13
By Peter J Tomasi, Patrick Gleason and Tomas Giorello
     Ehhhhh Zombies. As much as I was into all of that a few years ago, and still like to see it done well, it just feels so played out. I'm sure the cult will play into it and maybe it'll not even be zombies, just crazy cannibals, but it's got a stigma to it that just makes me sigh. I do like, and by like I means it's kinda dumb, that everyone was like "BOY THE JOKER IS BACK" but the story had nothing to do with him. I get the whole shared universe thing, but sometimes it's less weird to keep them disconnected.

Demon Knights #13
By Paul Cornell and Bernard Chang
     As I've said before, I really like seeing characterization and backstory for all these characters. I actively want to learn more about them, and that's exactly what this issue delivered. Of course it was pretty funny too. I'm glad that we're finally getting more of a plot than a kind of vague quest to go somewhere.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Week in Comics 10/3/12

After a month of comics I mostly want to forget, I'm back to hopefully read better things. We'll see. I am pretty much giving up and assuming this column won't be coming out on Wednesdays anymore, but I will try and post it before the next one. Anyway, time to drop some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS. Which are much less important the later I do this.

Animal Man v2 #13
By Jeff Lemire, Steve Pugh and Timothy Green II
     I'm so glad that Rotworld is more than a generic zombie apocalypse story in a superhero universe. It's a similar concept but done way bigger and, so far, way better. This issue really gives the feeling of the apocalypse. Things don't seem like the JLA is going to show up and fix everything.
     The art gets this across really well too. The red and the rot always looked great, and now the rest of the world has been brought up to match. The scenes that take place before Rotworld just don't look as cool, and are a lot less interesting now that I know the outcome. I'm sure these scenes will be important to how the DCU didn't get taken over, but for the moment I don't care. I'd love to see a spinoff series in this future like Marvel's Age of Apocalypse  ongoing.

Batwing #13
By Judd Winick and Marcus To
     What's this? A Batwing story that takes place in Africa and doesn't end with one of the Bat-Family taking care of the problem? I must be hallucinating. But, no. It's true, and I am so glad. I really hope this series stays away from Gotham for a while. At least long enough to establish some supporting cast and maybe a solid villain or two. Although, it's not selling too well so it may never get there.

Detective Comics v2 #13
By John Layman and Jason Fabok
Backup by John Layman and Andy Clarke
     I had to give 'Tec another shot with the creative change, and I was pleasantly surprised  It wasn't the best comic I've ever read, but its miles above Daniel's run already. The main story is kinda bland, but I can definitely tell that Layman knows he is writing DETECTIVE comics. There was definitely a focus on Batman figuring out crimes instead of punching them. It was maybe a little too forced, but I'd definitely willing to read the next issue, so that is an improvement.
     And, for once, I enjoyed the backup. I always like stories about normal people living in superhero universes. It seems like the backup is going to tie into the main story in a larger way than just referencing it, but maybe that is me just hoping.

Swamp Thing v5 #13
By Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette
     I got less of an 'end of the world' type feeling from Swamp Thing than I did Animal Man. Sure, similar elements were there, but it didn't feel as big. Maybe if I had read this first I wouldn't have been left kind of disappointed. I really wanted it to ramp up from Animal Man. It had elements of a bigger story, but I think the pacing and the small panels of the fight took everything down a notch. It needed a big splash page to set up the scale of the fight, and it didn't get that.

Worlds' Finest #5
By Paul Levitz, George Perez, Jerry Ordway and Wes Craig
     Every issue of this series is trying to reintroduce the characters. At some point, there has to be more of a plot than "WE ARE FROM A DIFFERENT DIMENSION AND THINGS ARE DIFFERENT HERE." Also, 3 pencilers is never a good sign. This book needs help. I'd really like for it to stick around long enough to get better, but at this rate it will be canned before then.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Announcement

     As some of you may have noticed, the week in comic posts haven't been going up on Wednesdays anymore. This is because I've made some changes in my life that have led to me actually having things to do. While this is a good thing, I end up with less time, and more time spent on activities where I can relax my brain and body. All of these have led to me not even really reading comics for pleasure. That and the #0 month not making me excited to read anything. 
     SO, I am taking September off. No podcasts, which isn't much of a change, and no Week in Comics until October rolls around. Hopefully I can come back a bit more fresh and actually want to work on stuff instead of feeling guilty for not doing anything. I'd like to get back to wanting to write episodes instead of dreading it.
     I will probably be tweeting about random things, including comics when I get around to them, on twitter @BatIssues if you want to keep up. Maybe you can even figure out what kind of school I'm going to now. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Week in Comics 8/22/12

I think the fact that I almost forgot to read these comics this week tells you all you need to know about this week's comics. There just aren't many to be excited about. Sure, I think the ones I read are good, but there is nothing that really blows my mind. Anyway, onto SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

All-Star Western v3 #12
By Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat
Backup by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Scott Kolins
     I feel like this comic has ideas and then just abandons them. With the reboot and being alone in it's time period I expect a lot more out of the plots. Nothing that happens seems important. There is mentions of history here and there, but none of it actually happens. Why don't we see a story that ties into the building of Arkham Asylum more then "oh, now that we are done with this plot I want to build an asylum." I've complained about other series taking too long to tell a story, but this one isn't taking long enough. Nothing is built up enough to matter. At least with the other series I feel like something has been accomplished in a year.

The Flash v4 #12
By Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
     It really seems like all these issue #0s are coming at a time where there wasn't supposed to be a break in the story. Basically nothing I have seen as "NEXT MONTH IN ISSUE #0" has been exciting or interesting at all. I want to see the stories I've been following, and not some retcon retelling of an origin people have already been told about in issue #1. I would actually like to see where this story is going, so that is a plus for the series, but skipping a month to do something else isn't helping anyone.

I, Vampire #12
By Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino
     I was really expecting this issue to be worse, with the Stormwatch team-up and all. It was surprisingly alright. Once again, I'm interested to see what happens next, but have to wait for #0 month to pass by. At least this time I don't really know the origin of the characters involved already. Even though it was explained a bit in early issues.

Justice League Dark #12
By Jeff Lemire and Mikel Janin
     I really hope issue #0 of this series is that one issue of Hellblazer where Constantine has a party where he and Zatanna end up smoking weed that Swamp Thing grew. But, I seem to be talking a lot about #0 issues this week, so let's talk about the actual comic. It was alright. Nothing totally mindblowing, but still a solid series I enjoy reading. I definitely think it's been better since Lemire came on, which is kind of a shame since I love Milligan on Hellblazer. Even Mikel Janin's art has grown on me. Only a bit though.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Week in Comics 8/15/12

Lately there has been a heatwave here in Portland. If there is anything that makes me not want to do anything, it's heat. Now that I woke up this morning to clouds and rain, as the one true bat-god intended, I feel like reading and dropping some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Batwoman #12 
By J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman 
    I'm kind of bummed out that this story is picking up right where the last arc left off, but at least this arc seems to be chronological. I'm interested in seeing a Batwoman/Wonder Woman team-up, so I'm already a bit more on board for this story already. And J.H. Williams art doesn't hurt either. But then, it's getting broken up by #0 month, which makes Batwoman pretty confusing considering it had a #0 come out in 2010. Maybe it's been secretly volume 2 all along.

Birds of Prey v3 #12 
By Duane Swierczynski and Cliff Richards
     As much as I liked Poison Ivy on this team, it makes sense for her to go all super-villain at her first chance. I knew it had to happen eventually, but I was really hoping for Ivy to not flip out and always be the one on the team who bent the rules a bit. But then, we've seen Katana and Starling are more than willing to get their hands dirty. This team feels kinda doomed from the start. I really don't see a good way for them to stay together that isn't just, "OK GUYS SERIOUSLY, LET'S TRY TO NOT MURDER" every issue.

Catwoman v4 #12
By Judd Winick and Adriana Melo
     Oh look, another series where the child of a villain is the real villain. What is up with that? Do writers really think this is a super sweet and shocking thing to do? Because I don't. I think it's pretty dumb. Maybe it would work if a bunch of different villains didn't all have kids who are also evil.
       On another note, Catwoman calling Batman in to take care of her problem is stupid. Catwoman is supposed to be strong and independent, and calling in a man to do it for you is not that. I would've rather seen something like a team-up where both sides were using the other for info and eventually converged at the same time. Maybe it's a bit cliche for a Catwoman story, but at least that way she doesn't come off as only good for calling for help.

Nightwing v3 #12
By Kyle Higgins and Andres Guinaldo 
     So, what is the point of framing Nightwing for murders if the villain then just reveals to the police that it wasn't Nightwing at all? It seems like this really elaborate plan added up to getting Nightwing into a sewer so they could have a fight with electro-whips. The same goes for this whole secret society thing. They are just a gang who dress up because they can, and the leader is messing with Nightwing over some petty crap instead of grand plans. It feels like the plot of this arc is trying to be way grander than the action inside it.

Wonder Woman v4 #12
By Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chang
     With the exception of some cheesy dialog, I really enjoyed this issue. This is another one of those series that has been running the same arc for a year now, but it doesn't feel the same as any of the others do. It seems to have gotten a lot more done. At least, it did a lot more stuff. Where things like Batman and Animal Man have been building toward one event, this felt like it had smaller arcs that served a greater arc. It reminds me of the pacing in Vertigo books. The main plot of the series is slowly marching forward with every  issue, but it's paced with smaller events to give a sense of accomplishment and an overall sense of a story with an end. I don't think this is a pace we see a lot in cape books, and with these massive stories happening all over, it's a pace that would serve a lot of them.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Detective Comics #52

Cover: Bob Kane

The Secret of the Jade Box
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Jerry Robinson and George Roussos
Letters: George Roussos
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Week in Comics 8/8/12

I got nothin' for this section. I won't bore all of you with my life so have some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS

Batman v2 #12
By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Becky Cloonan and Andy Clarke
     It was pretty interesting to see a Batman comic deal with homophobia. Not a subject that comes up all too often in superhero books. I liked that it was different though. I really wish there was more stories about regular people in a superhero world. Stuff like Gotham Central and Batman: Gotham Nights I-II did this with varying levels of success, but they were always super interesting to me. So, this was a nice change of pace. It's also pretty nice to see a more one-shot style story out of this series.
     I also really enjoyed the art. I've liked Becky Cloonan a lot since I read Demo and I think her style fit the story great. The shift to Andy Clarke's art was a bit jarring since the story flowed right though the writer/artist change. It seems like with a one-shot type story that was going to be a different artist all along could've been done all by one person to keep it consistent, but what do I know about making comics.

Batman and Robin v2 #12
By Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
     Once again I felt the villain and that plot was stupid, and now seemingly pointless. It went nowhere, the villain wasn't impactful and the side villains didn't fit with the rest of it. Maybe if Terminus was someone we actually knew, or even someone set up in another arc with a reason to hate Batman, it would've been better. Instead we get a couple issues where nothing matters and then the dude just drops dead. Even his final plan is taken care of in almost no time.
    The part I was interested in was all the Robins interacting. This part just proves exactly how much of a cool bro Dick Grayson is.

Demon Knights #12
By Paul Cornell and Diogenes Neves 
     Every once in a while this series has an issue that is serious. I know some of that needs to happen for the plot to move along, but I always look forward to this book as a kind of palate cleanser. Sadly, this was one of those serious issues. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next, but i get to wait a month for all the zero issues.

Frankenstein Agent of SHADE #12
Matt Kindt and Alberto Ponticelli 
     I feel like I just read a novel. I'm not sure why this issue is constant exposition over related images when it seems like it would've worked well as a straightforward comic. It felt unnecessary and like overkill. I have been enjoying this series a bit less since Lemire left, so we'll have to see in the next coupe if I will keep reading it.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Week in Comics 8/1/12

Similar to last week's comics, I wasn't really feeling like reading them on Wednesday, and then there was several days of different reasons I didn't get around to it. But now it's time to drop some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.
  
Animal Man v2 #12 
By Jeff Lemire, Scott Snyder and Steve Pugh
    FINALLY this crossover has started. Being the first issue of Rotworld this was mostly recap of plot and character to introduce anyone who is coming over for the event. Not a bad thing, but not too much happened. Things were put into motion that I'm sure will be expanded upon in Swamp thing, and the rest of this event. It'll be interesting to see if non-related series will mention the fact that there is a massive rot invasion, or totally ignore it like all the vampires running around.

Batwing #12
By Judd Winick and Marcus To 
     Hey, I have an idea! Let's have a last minute crossover with a series that's being cancelled, which includes a character from a book that's already cancelled! EVERYONE WILL LOVE IT!
     So far, it really doesn't seem like Batwing can do anything. Every time there is a major villain he has to team up with someone to defeat them. This story is set up like Batwing is returning home, and one of his supporting cast needs help so he has to save them. But, apparently he is incapable of doing that and needs the JLI, OMAC, Nightwing, and Batman. I can't wait to see who takes care of Batwing's problems next story arc!

Earth 2 #4
By James Robinson, Nicola Scott and Eduardo Pansica 
     Maybe my brain was trying to protect me, but I didn't really notice how terrible the dialog was in this series. I mentioned it in the first issue, but since then I've been distracted by other, more stupid, things. Now, I can see dialog balloons that contain things like, "How's the hell this happening? Hawkgirl? Are you causing this?" in their full glory. I'm not even sure if "How's the hell this happening?" is English. The dialog says everything that needs to be said about the quality of this series, so here's some more. Keep in mind that these are all ONE dialog balloon, and I kept the punctuation intact. Nothing breaks these quotes up to make them seem less awkward.
     "Here I am, monster! Come on, face me! Who--What are you?"
     "--We ask is this the beginning of a new era of wonders?"
     I don't know if I can read this series anymore. I really wanted it to be interesting. Instead we get terrible dialog, fetish-Grundy, and a bad imitation of the Rotworld stuff.

Swamp Thing v5 #12
By Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire and Marco Rudy
     Still a lot of setup, in this issue, but there was a lot more progression as well. Other than that, not a whole lot jumps out. I'm excited to read the next issues, but nothing really struck me. I think that's an issue with these massive stories we've been getting. Each issue contains a small part of something, and it takes so long to build to the full thing that I don't really know what to think until we get there. Each part is good, but until I see it all together I wont know if it was built well. Unlike comics where the parts are very obviously bad.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Week in Comics 7/25/12

It's been a long time since I didn't read comics right on Wednesday. A combination of not feeling like it, friends coming over/going to friends and dealing with some SERIOUS BUSINESS ADULT STUFF has pushed back my reading. BUT NO LONGER! Time to buckle down, be disappointed that Batman Inc didn't come out, and drop SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

All-Star Western v3 #11
By Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat
Backup by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Scott Kolins
     It's pretty great to see two of the larger evil societies of Gotham interact. I really like the idea of a war between the Crime Bible and Court of Owls. I feel like this series will be able to pull it off well since there it's kind of on it's own little island in terms of continuity. It's heavily tied into the Bat books, but it seems like there is plenty of room to explore. That, combined with a great creative team, always makes this book a good read. Although, rarely do I feel it's worth an extra dollar for the backup. Unless it adds to, or is involved in, the plot I'm rarely interested. The Nighthawk and Cinnamon backups did a solid job of it, with the characters appearing in the main story and expanded upon in the backups.

Batman: The Dark Knight v2 #11
By Gregg Hurwitz and David Finch
     I don't think I can do this series anymore. I really thought it would take a turn once Hurwitz picked up as writer, but it's just not much better. There's really strange elements like Scarecrows new origin and the moment with Thomas Wayne seeming disappointed that his child would be afraid of things. And then there is all these little changes to appease the movie/game crowd that didn't feel organic. It was just like "hey remember how the scarecrow in Batman: Arkham Asylum had syringe gloves?" even though this scarecrow has little else in common. And then the whole Commissioner Gordon being being kidnapped, and a kid who is traumatized helping out, is giving me Daniel's Detective Comics flashbacks. Which is not a good thing to have. As insane it would have sounded to me a year ago, I have dropped 2 Batman titles and a Batgirl title. Thankfully there's more out there, which there isn't for some characters I like. 

The Flash v4 #11
By Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato and Marcus To 
     This is another one of those series I have trouble getting my thoughts into words for. It's a good comic, I like reading it every month, but I dunno. There is nothing that really stands out inside. There is no little things that bother me, no little things that really get my attention. It's just a comic that I enjoy. Solid writing, solid art. Maybe I don't know enough about the flash to really catch things, positive or negative, the way I can with the Bat books, and there isn't any really controversial or crazy things happening in each issue. I feel like I'll need to revisit it at some point and read all the issues in one sitting, hopefully revealing some larger trend or idea. As it stands, I enjoy it and then forget until the next one comes out.

I, Vampire #11
By Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino 
     This comic contains the line "So... Zombie Vampire Vampire Hunters?" I don't know what more you need. I've talked a lot about Demon Knights and Frankenstein being fun, and that's what this comic has become. What once was a pretty dour start that had Batman punching vampires for some reason has become a massively insane horror B movie that is a super fun ride. Although, we'll see how that goes when Stormwatch shows up. I haven't been keeping up with the new stuff, but the old Stormwatch was not what I'd call a fun comic.

Justice League Dark #11
By Jeff Lemire and Mikel Janin 
     I think my favorite thing about this series, besides John Constantine, is that it explores the magic side of the DCU. It's a section that doesn't get a ton of attention, but has really interesting characters and concepts. All-Star Western is trying to do a similar thing to this series, but less effectively. JLD has a team of characters that can rotate around a bit and is pulling other characters out of the vaults to use for story arcs. I like this approach a lot more than trying to give people a new character every few months in a back-up.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Week in Comics 7/18/12

I finally, through spending too much money and convincing roommates, have an internet connection that can stay up for longer than 10 minutes. Added bonus: it can load things while it's up. So now I can drop all sorts of SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Batwoman #11
By J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman, Trevor McCarthy and Pere Perez
     All I can really say about this arc ending is "Finally." Before this arc Batwoman was my favorite comic coming out, right up there with Snyder's Batman. But, this arc was just sub par. Now that it's over, I can look back and see that there was no reason at all to have the timeline jumbled. It didn't serve the narrative and didn't lead to any shocking reveals that could've only been done with mixed chronology.
     There wasn't much to the plot in the first place. I feel like I need to reread the arc just to make sure that the plot was totally average. The best parts were the character stuff where no one was wearing a costume. The hospital scenes could've been a lot more dramatic if they took up a whole issue, instead of being mixed in. I would have liked to see the desperation that Colonel Kane was feeling in talking to an unconscious relative. The rest of the plot was an interesting idea that lacked execution. A shadowy organization that uses superstition and myth to gain literal power sounds pretty cool. Instead of Batwoman investigating and taking down that group we got a whole bunch of failed dramatic twists and double crosses that amounted to the villain from Inspector Gadget showing up in the last panel.

Birds of Prey v3 #11
By Duane Swierczynski, Travel Foreman and Timothy Green II
     This issue was... interesting. It's definitely got me wanting to see what happens next, but more out of a sense of "how badly will this arc play out" than hope. So far it seems very out of character for most of the BoP to be blackmailed into following Ivy's plans. Probably, they are just playing along and the ending is a misdirect, but I still get the feeling of wrongness from the way things are going down. Also, the art is not great. Foreman needs to be on something weird, and I am not a fan of Green from what I saw in this issue.

Catwoman v4 #11
By Judd Winick and Adriana Melo 
     I feel like this was a really short. So my review will be too. This plot is ok, and I hope it goes somewhere better. The art is not great. Lots of banging going down in this series.

Nightwing v3 #11
By Kyle Higgins and Andres Guinaldo 
     Seems like a whole lot of Bat-related comics are having shadowy organizations. Maybe those are the stories that should be saved for later rather than having them compared to all the Court of Owls stuff. I am glad to see this story, which has taken almost a year, to be lumbering toward some resolution. I can forgive Batman, Animal Man and Swamp Thing for having massive stories that are slow builds, because they actually feel/felt like they are going somewhere to do something big. Nightwing has felt like it didn't know what it wanted to do, so it bounced around and took to long to really go anywhere.

Wonder Woman v4 #11
By Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chang
     After the last few issues this felt relatively normal. Sure crazy Greek gods are talking to each other, but it felt a lot more like a normal issue of a superhero book. Little bit of character stuff, some bad guys show up, something is lost, villains talk about their plan, heroes show up on the last page. Not to say any of this is a bad thing, but it was a bit strange to read after the really insane Hades stuff.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Week in Comics 7/11/12

I don't know what's up with the internet here, but it better cut that shit out. I am really not enjoying the added time i get to sit here and watch comics load. Anyway, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS

Batman v2 #11
By Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
Backup by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Rafael Albuquerque
     This issue has to be up there with one of the longest villain monologues in history. I'm not sure if that's a bad thing. I really don't see another way the full story could've been brought about in 1-2 issues without March just blabbing nonstop. The info was interesting, and the poetic, tragic way March described his childhood definitely game some insight into his character.
     The whole issue felt anticlimactic. I know there isn't much closure in ongoing comics, but at the end everything is just left hanging. The Court of Owls are still out there and March is missing. There was no moment I really felt that solidified the end of this arc. As cliche as it is, it would've been nice to see someone end up in Arkham, only to escape later. Maybe a blow to the court that sees them nearly destroyed, only to become a threat again in the future.
      Now that the 11 month long story is over, I can look back on it and see that the whole ending was a bit underwhelming to me. The early parts when Batman was investigating the court and was trapped in the maze were fantastic and really got me excited for the storyline. Night of the Owls was interesting and I liked that the court was trying to exert their dominance, really showing that neither side had truly understood the other. Then the Lincoln March stuff happened and it felt like an entirely different story. All that intrigue was replaced by a shock revelation that I knew was going to be left hanging, but I hoped wouldn't. What was Batman vs the Illuminati became Batman vs another crazy supervillain. And by the end Bruce just mentions that he is still tracking down the court, when that is the stuff I really wanted to see.

Batman and Robin v2 #11
By Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
     This Damian storyline where he is defeating all the other Robins is fantastic. I wish the entire plot of this arc was just Damian going around trying to best other heroes. I would read the hell out of that. It's fun, which isn't something you hear about Bat-books very much anymore.
      But then you get tot he other plot, and it's almost fun. The idea of all these people who were damaged by Batman in hilarious ways is solidly fun, but then its mixed with this deadly serious, no fun type of villain who has flesh melting off of him. It doesn't work together. It ends up taking the fun out of the fun and the seriousness out of the seriousness.

Demon Knights #11
By Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves and Robson Rocha
     I always have trouble coming up with things to say about this series and Frankenstein. They are just so absolutely different from anything else I read. I can say that this issue strengthened my belief that Al Jabr is Ra's Al Ghul, and thus this series is somehow Batman related. And that I am always excited to read the next one.

Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE #11
By Matt Kindt and Alberto Ponticelli 
     I have spent a good 20 minutes trying to get this comic to load, so fuck it. It was probaby good.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Week in Comics 7/4/12

AMERICA Also, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEKS COMICS

Animal Man v2 #11
By Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli
     I am not a huge fan of Buddy's new powers. In previous issues I enjoyed that there were art hints at what animals Animal Man was tapping into. Now though, it looks weird. For some reason seeing a half-man half-rhino is off-putting. And not in the creepy way that has been used to great effect in this series. It just looks bad to me. The Bird form wasn't as weird but the rhino and the cheetah definitely had me looking at the panels funny.

Batwing #11
By Judd Winick and Marcus To
     I'm glad to see Batwing getting back to his roots, as it were. I am a lot more interested in the idea of a Batman who has to deal with an entirely different kind of criminal. Batwing's setting led him to deal with dictators and guerrilla types, which is something that Batman hasn't really touched on. But then Batwing carted off to Gotham and dealt with the same type of stuff as everyone else, and it was a bit boring. He felt under utilized. I am hoping this issue is showing the true direction the book will take and not setting up a plot that will be dealt with by globetrotting and fighting organized crime.

Earth 2 #3
By James Robinson and Nicola Scott
     Wait, what? Ok, so Green Lantern is an agent of the Green? Like the Swamp Thing Green? But on earth two the Rot or Black is actually the Gray? And it's Solomon Grundy who is now smart, not huge and in bondage gear? It seems like all the dumb parts of this comic are packed into the Green Lantern sections. I'm fairly interested in Jay Garrick and Hawkgirl stuff, but Alan Scott is just a bundle of insane plots and stupid ideas.

Swamp Thing v5 #11
By Scott Snyder and Marco Rudy
     The best part of this issue was the promise that the Swamp Thing/Animal Man team-up will FINALLY happen next month. Just in time to get delayed by a #0 issue the month after that. A full year is a looong time to wait for a story that really didn't feel like it needed a year on either series that are going to be in this crossover. I do like the idea of these crossover stories being limited to the "line" that the stories are in. The Culling ran though the Young Justice line. Night of the Owls in the Batman line. And now this though the Dark line. I am still excited for this story even with a full year of waiting, but it better be worth it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Week in Comics 6/27/12

Despite some internet troubles, I managed to actually read comics this week. A herculean effort to be sure. Anyway, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

All-Star Western v3 #10
By Justin Gray Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat
Backup by Justin Gray Jimmy Palmiotti and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
     Interesting to see this series keeping the Court of the Owls going. I expected it from Batman and maybe Nightwing, but with how the actual tie-in wen't I figured this would move on pretty quickly. It'll be interesting to see where that goes.

Batman Incorporated v2 #2
By Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham
     Interesting to see a massive recap of Talia and Damian's origins. The events of the last issue were barely mentioned, and only at the end, and yet I still really enjoyed this. As a standalone issue, it's nice to get some info on Talia and Ra's, especially since their place has been pretty unclear in the New 52. And in true Morrison fashion there is a lot of elements pulled from old comics and re-purposed to fit the current story. It'll be interesting to see if anything from this issue directly affects the upcoming events, or if it was just a way to catch up readers on the history that led to Damian.

Batman: The Dark Knight v2 #10
By Gregg Hurwitz and David Finch
     I've heard the idea that Detective Comics was the more crime oriented Batman book, and Batman was more Superhero-ey. I'm not totally against Dark Knight being a Horror focused series, like it seemed to be in this issue, but it's hard to draw the line between dark and scary and XTREME GRIMDARK. What's strange is that I felt Gregg Hurwitz pulled off a dark toned book extremely well in Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, so I'm not sure what happened here. Sure the writing was better, but it still felt like it was trying too hard. Maybe it was the fact that Finch is still on art, so everything has that crosshatched 90's look. I wish I could see another artist tackle this same script, because I'm really not sure which part of it I didn't like. Somewhere along the line it started to feel like it was trying too hard to be dark. It might've been the bleeding-sewn-mouth cover.

The Flash v4 #10
By Francis Manapul, Brian Buccellato and Marcus To 
     Being someone who hadn't read much Flash before the relaunch I am pretty glad they are going though his rogues and reintroducing them. Once again with this series, it didn't totally blow me away. It's consistently good comics, and I enjoy reading it every week, but there is nothing that really jumps out at me. It's just 100% solid in every area.

I, Vampire #10
By Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino 
     Ok seriously. If you aren't reading this I don't know what to say to you. I really want to yell the plot of this issue at you and ask why you aren't reading it, but I don't want to spoil everything that happened. Just go read this. Even if you've never read this series before, pick up issue #10 and read it.

Justice League Dark #10
By Jeff Lemire and Mikel Janin
     Similar to the Flash, I'm glad that all these people are showing up and being explained. The magic characters of the DCU don't show up too often so it's nice to have someone like Doctor Mist shout out his powers. It's also smart to have Deadman and Black Orchid not know a lot about things so Constantine and Zatanna can explain what the House of Mystery and Books of Magic are. It's almost like Lemire is a really good writer or something.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Detective Comics #51

Cover: Bob Kane

The Case of the Mystery Carnival 

Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Jerry Robinson and George Roussos
Letters: George Roussos
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Follow on Twitter @BatIssues

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Week in Comics 6/20/12

Because I'm super cool, I didn't notice that last week's post was the 1 year anniversary of this blog. So, for this special occasion, I encourage all of you to eat week old cake that's been in the fridge too long. You earned it. Anyway, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Batwoman #10
By J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman and Trevor McCarthy 
     Finally getting enough parts of the puzzle to really know what's going on. I just wish this story wasn't a puzzle. Maybe I just want a painting of unicorns standing on an ocean while a spectral wizard floats behind them next to a castle. You know, instead of that same image, but in 1000 pieces.
     I am basically waiting for this book to be awesome again. Rocking back and forth on my rocking chair whittling analogies while I watch over the comic fields, waiting for a good crop. I need to stop now. I have no idea why I'm writing any of this.

Birds of Prey v3 #10
By Duane Swierczynski and ravel Foreman
     So Travel Foreman leaves Animal Man just in time for the arc in Birds of Prey where monsters that look really freaky show up. Which, works. What doesn't work for me is anything that isn't a crazy monster. The style just doesn't fit what's happening. The stuff with Black Canary in the helicopter looked totally flat and static. I was distracted through the whole issue by how warped everything was. This style worked wonders on Animal Man, but it's too off for something like this.
     The story was a bit light. Mainly setting up for the next arc and reminding me that the last arc ended strangely. Maybe the upcoming #0 issue will spread some light on things, but I can't help but feel like I was missing a few issues of that story and had to move on anyway.

Catwoman v4 #10
By Judd Winick and Guillem March
     Nice to have Guillem March back on pencils, even with Catwoman's crazy-straw spine. It's also nice to see someone trying to do some good with the Dollmaker after Tony Daniel's first Detective Comics arc. Already the idea of taking junkies off the streets to cleanse them and then harvest their organs is a way better idea than just a creepy house with joker puppets. At least I assume it's the Dollmaker. With all the talk of THE DOLLHOUSE and the dude having dreads. It could be a fakeout for another doll-based villain, which would be pretty amazing.

Nightwing v3 #10
By Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows and Geraldo Borges
     I really enjoyed this issue. Finally back onto the plot that was set up in the first issue, and back to Dick trying to reconcile his past with his present. I love the idea of fixing up amusement mile, not only because I like to see Gotham's history be used, but also because I can't wait for every villain ever to use it in a plan. I really feel like modern comics are lacking roller coaster fights.

Wonder Woman v4 #10
By Brian Azzarello, Kano and Tony Akins
     You don't need money, don't take fame
     Don't need no credit card to ride this train
     It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimes
     But it might just save your life
     That's the power of love
     That's the power of love


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Week in Comics 6/13/12

I'm mostly moved into the new place. Still no bed, but sleeping on the floor is better than having my ears punched by whatever my old roommate happened to be watching. One of the things I have yet to move is my microphone, so it's a little hard to podcast at the moment. As always SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS

Batgirl v4 #10
By Gail Simone and Alitha Martinez 
     I think I am done with this series. I tried a lot longer than I should've. I'll probably forget next month and review it anyway, but I just don't care. It's brutally mediocre with a light dusting of bad.

Batman v2 #10
By Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
Backup by Scott Snyder, James Tynion III and Rafael Albuquerque
      Well, I have to say, I was a bit underwhelmed by this issue. Snyder had been tweeting hype and retweeting people who got advanced copies, and I probably let my expectations get a bit too high. The contents of this issue are still petty spoilerific, so this is your double warning. SPOILERS.
     So the idea of Thomas Wayne Jr isn't a new one, and I can't really fault Snyder for bringing back obscure continuity to make new stories. With all the court of owls stuff, I made jokes about their being an Earth 3 court of bats, so it kind of felt obvious to introduce Owlman. And that was my major problem with it. The idea of the long lost brother who was in an asylum the whole time is an idea that feels like a really cliche reveal.
     There's always the chance that this is a Doctor Hurt type of situation, where a villain is just messing with Bruce, and the reader is supposed to be unsure who the person really is. Even if that happens, I feel like the reveal in this issue was just not great. Immediately I thought of Snyder's run on Detective Comics where a long lost son of Commissioner Gordon who we haven't seen in comics in a long time turns out to be crazy and no one in the family talked about it. It just felt too familiar and that made it lose impact for me.
     With the exception of that reveal coloring my opinion of the whole issue, it was a good comic up to that point. As always, I think Snyder is a good writer who knows how to build tension. The scene in the opening that dealt with the Powers family was pure angry Batman goodness. The art was as solid as ever throughout, and so was the backup. What happens in the next few issues will be interesting to see.

Batman and Robin v2 #10
By Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
     I really liked this issue and it makes me wish there was at least a mini about all the Robins having adventures. Damian wanting to beat each of the other Robins at what they're best at and then take a trophy is amazing, and I really hope that story actually plays out.
     The other story setting up what I assume will be the next arc's villain was pretty dark. I like the idea of people who have been injured directly or indirectly by Batman grouping up and seeking revenge. The dude with the Batarang in his head makes me laugh, so I guess it's not all dark.

Demon Knights #10
By Paul Cornell and Diogenes Neves 
     Vandal Savage uppercuts a giant sea serpent.

Frankenstein Agent of SHADE #10
By Jeff Lemire (interior says Matt Kindt, so I don't know who wrote it) and Alberto Ponticelli
     I am not totally sure what happened in this issue. I think somewhere Between Batman and Robin and Demon Knights my brain was fried. This book is crazy. I'm going to go unfry my brain.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Week in Comics 6/6/12

Tomorrow I will be moving most of my stuff and probably myself into a new place. This is a potential plus for podcasting because, so far, I haven't had any indication that the new people are noisy dicks. If only I had planned to move today I could have called it Operation Overlord. WWII jokes aside, you may notice that   as always I will be dropping some SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Animal Man v2 #10
By Jeff Lemire and Steve Pugh
     I've been sitting here staring at this blank space for a while, having  a hard time coming up with things to say about this comic. It's one of those situations where I enjoyed it, but lack the capacity to put into words why I enjoyed it. There was a lot more humor than I remember there being in previous issues. Not only with part of the Justice League Dark showing up, but even with the more dramatic stuff that takes place within the red. I think parts of this story would have been better suited to the Annual. Just a one shot story about Buddy getting his body back that ties into the main plot, but isn't totally required to enjoy the series.

Batwing #10
By Judd Winick and Marcus To
     Batwing seems to be becoming quite the international man of action. I guess I expected the Batman of Tinasha to at least hang around Congo and do Batman stuff there. Maybe there isn't enough supercrime to go around so he has to fly out to China. And team up with Nightwing for some reason. Although it was worth it for that line about serious dudes in Bat costumes. It does seem like the plot is being Batwing back to his roots, which will be nice since he hasn't had too much time to develop a supporting cast.

Earth 2 #2
By James Robinson and Nicola Scott
     Anything I was going to say about this book was immediately overwritten by what happened at the end. So first let me drop a couple of those things. The dialog is awkwardly written and the costume designs are horrible.
     Now, this part is for real spoilers so you've been warned. HOLY SHIT DC COULDN'T GO A FULL ISSUE WITH A GAY COUPLE BEFORE ONE OF THEM DIES. What the hell, man? All this publicity over a character being gay and a few pages later the boyfriend dies. I can't even believe that. It's like DC said "OK, we can have a gay character as long as he doesn't actually have a gay relationship or act gay at all. Basically you can have one kiss and that's it." Partway through this comic I had to stop and think to myself, "Wait a minute. They aren't gonna kill everyone on that train right?" Because they hinted so hard at it. Alan Scott's old origin was surviving a train wreck in china, and Alan says that the trip sounds "MAGICAL" in bold font. I literally burst out laughing when that last panel hit. Jesus Christ. I have to stop typing now. I can't get my head around this. I am completely blown away by how fucking stupid that was. Every part of it from the actual events for the story to the publicity storm that proceeded it was utterly fucking stupid. I need to take a break.

Swamp Thing v5 #10
By Scott Snyder and Francesco Francavilla 
     I think Scott Snyder's superpower is that he always gets amazing artists no matter what he's working on. I really enjoyed Francavilla in the James Jr stuff, and was excited to hear he'd be on Swamp Thing. He did not disappoint. This issue looks great. Definitely a departure from the Paquette stuff in terms of layouts, but it still has that really dark but alive look.
     The story seemed a little light. Not in terms of content, but I blew though it. Maybe I was hungry for a story that didn't require me to take a 30 minute break. This is another part of Swamp Thing lore I'm not well versed in so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens over the net few issues and why this dude is  a major threat.

Worlds' Finest #2
By Paul Levitz, George Perez and Kevin McGuire
    God the credits on this book are confusing. There's Writer, Penciller, Inker, Colorist, and then artist. Anyway, the art in this still looks crazy dated in the present day sequences. The plot is eh at best. I don't know if I'll be picking this up past this issue. It's not bad, it's just mediocre. Which is a shame since I love PG and Huntress.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Week in Comics 5/30/12

Ah, the dreaded 5th Wednesday. A day when there is so few comics, at least from DC. From looking at Marvel's list, they have like 5 X-Men books out today. I am pretty sure I'd go bankrupt if I started reading all the X-Men stuff instead of Batman stuff each week. I guess I have broadened my horizons beyond Batman since I started this blog. Anyway, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Animal Man v2 Annual #1
By Jeff Lemire and Timothy Green II
     The cover to this issue is trolling a bit. While there is A Swamp Thing inside, it is not the one we know and love. While that is kind of a bummer, I really liked this issue. I'm a pretty big sucker for the history of the DCU and this issue doesn't fail to deliver a nice dollop of that. I now wish there was a Swamp Thing and Animal Man team-up series set back in time somewhere. I would read that so hard. I also find it interesting that the rot isn't always evil, and that there has been times when the Green or Red got too greedy. I really hope there is a flashback to one of those times.
     I was hoping for a little more development of the current Animal Man arc, but I can see why an Annual kind of needs to be a one shot. I can't really fault it for that since the Batman Annual did the same thing and I didn't think it was a negative there. I had a bit more of a problem with the art. It was still in that great really crazy, dark-inked style, but some of the proportions were weird. Especially on Maxine.

Batman v2 Annual #1
By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Jason Fabok
     The reboot was strong with this annual. I am going to have to spoil the twist on Mr Freeze's origin, so you've been double warned. I'm not totally sure how I feel about this. Freeze was previously defined by the Paul Dini origin from Batman The Animated Series. And it was a damn good origin. It took a pretty lame villain and gave him depth.
     So, now most of that has been kept intact, but twisted. While I am absolutely for the stuff with Victor Fries' mom, I am not so sure how I feel about the change with his wife Nora. I feel like it kind of removes some of what made Freeze special. He was driven by love for his wife, to the point of madness. He wasn't totally defined by his obsession with his gimmick until he get covered in the chemicals that changed him. While I do kind of like the twist that he became obsessed with Nora while she was frozen, I'm not so sure about the idea that Fries is more obsessed with snow than her. Maybe Batman was just wrong about him, I'll have to reserve total judgement until later.
     Other than all of that stuff, I really liked the rest of the issue. Like everything I've read of Snyder, I thought it was well written and constructed. The twist definitely played off of my assumptions of the character, but there seemed to be enough buildup to it to surprise even a new reader. The only other stuff I've read from James Tynion IV is the solid backups in Batman, which as far as I can tell that's all he's ever done. The art was solid, although Freeze's little hair tuft looks kind of hilarious in a was I don't think was intended.

Ravagers #1
By Howard Mackie and Ian Churchill 
Honesly, I planned to skip this issue when I first heard about it. I really don't want to read it, but I've done all the other Second Wave issues, and there is not many comics this week. It ties into Teen Titans and Superboy, both of which are abysmal. It has pointless retcons like making Beast Boy red, everyone has Tron costumes, and it was just... meh. I kind of wish this was worse so I could write SOMETHING about it, but I can't.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Week in Comics 5/23/11

Some exciting changes this week. David Finch no longer writing Dark Knight, Jeff Lemire on Justice League Dark, and most of all, the GLORIOUS return of Batman Inc. I have taken a break from killing zombies and running from other players in DayZ so that I can read what I hope are all good comics. As always, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS

All-Star Western v3 #9
By Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat

Backup by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Patrick Scherberger

     I was going to say that I mentioned in my last issue review that I wondered how the Owls would tie in when there was an entirely different story going on, but apparently I didn't mention that last review. Well, I did wonder that, apparently to myself, and this issue answered with "it doesn't really." The story from the last arc wraps up in a couple pages, then cut to owls for a couple pages, then cut to the next story arc.
     It seems like this series would've been better off without Night of the Owls. All the history I was enjoying in this series, and the other Owls tie ins, is missing. It's just a bit of fighting and then they move on. The issue feels like 4 short stories and not a full issue. Pretty disappointing.

Batman Incorporated v2 #1
By Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham
     It's good to see that Morrison gives no fucks about the relaunch and new readers. I didn't see a single editor's note explaining the references to any of the previous stuff. As nice as being new reader friendly is, this series was never going to be, so I'm glad they didn't try. The only way I could tell that this wasn't a pre-Flashpoint comic was through the costumes.
     The plot was surprisingly pretty straightforward. I was expecting some full on Morrison insanity right out of the gate, but maybe it's a good thing to break readers back in slowly. It'll be interesting to see if any other series even try to connect with this. I have my doubts that Batwing is going to be pretending to be dead in his own comic. Robin is definitely different than the one in Batman and Robin.
      HUMP DAT BEEF

Batman: The Dark Knight v2 #9
By Judd Winick and David Finch
     This is probably the first issue of this series that wasn't outright terrible. COINCIDENCE? No. It's not. David Finch's tyrannical reign over the writing is over, and we get Judd Winick. I would say that this is the second strongest of all the Winick written tie ins, out of three. Definitely better than Catwoman. Although the art was a bit hit and miss. Unless Tim Drake has been injected with giraffe DNA in Teen Titans or something.

The Flash v4 #9
By Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato 
     I am having a hard time coming up with things to say about this. Like the previous issues, it was good. It doesn't blow my mind every week, but it's definitely one of the better comics I read.

I, Vampire #9
Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino 
     Now that the Justice League Dark Crossover is over this series is back to feeling like a Vertigo book that happens to be in the DCU. This issue was pretty short. something like 16 pages of comic, so that is a bit disappointing. I am, however, super excited to see Vampires vs the league of Van Helsings. Even if I hadn't been enjoying the series, which I have, that sentence alone is amazing enough to get me to read the next issue.

Justice League Dark #9
By Jeff Lemire and Mikel Janin
     This really felt like a relaunch of the series. Sure, it mentions some of the previous stuff, but it's very different in tone and style with Lemire on. Even the reason the team gets together, and the line up, is different. Not that these are bad things. I liked the Milligan stuff, but it felt kind of slow and meandering. This is a lot tighter of an issue and does a solid job of re-establishing the series. Now if this book could get a new artist it'd be amazing.