Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Week In Comics 1/25/12

And now for what is probably my least favorite of all the weeks. Don't get me wrong, there is some good stuff in this week, but it doesn't have a book that I desperately look forward to reading more of like the other weeks do. As always SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

All-Star Western v3 #5
By Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Moritat
     Every little touch of Gotham history just makes me like this book more. It uses established things from the past and comes up with surprising ways to bring them up. Even without that, it's a well put together comic. So far there has really only been hints at a larger story, so it's a bit light there, but what we've got has been entertaining so I can't really complain.

Batman: The Dark Knight v2 #5
By David Finch and Paul Jenkins
     As is becoming tradition with this comic, I am going to write my reactions as I read it. So, if my sentences and leaps in thought seem more disjointed than usual, that's why. Never seen the fear gas/seeing dead parents thing before. I wonder at what point will they have to admit that this is just the plot from the Arkham Asylum game, but outside and with other heroes showing up for useless cameos. The art is like extra strength bad in this issue. The flow in the action scenes doesn't make any sense either. OH CLIFFHANGER! NOW I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! SURELY THIS WILL BE VERY IMPORTANT AND NOT BE RESOLVED QUICKLY WITH NO IMPACT ON ANYTHING!

The Flash v4 #5
By Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul 
     Now that's how you cliffhanger. Instead of a random event that won't matter by the end of the next issue, this was built up and earned by everything that came before it. That is the major difference between competent writing, and things like Batman: The Dark Knight. The Flash uses it's art and it's writing to build a larger story that is well communicated and builds off of itself. There is a reason and thought for the actions of the characters and events of the story. The Flash is just a good comic through and through.

I, Vampire #5
By Joshua Hale Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino 
     With the inclusion of Batman, my wishlist for any series is complete. I've liked the art previously, but it looked off when Batman showed up. Vampires and even Constantine suit the very dark, more realistic proportioned art, but Batman looked out of place. I almost think having him be in a different style would have kind of established the gap between the superhero world and what's going on in the series. Other than that, I enjoyed the issue. It was a pretty quick read, which always leaves me wishing there was more. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing.

Justice League v2 #5
By Geoff Johns and Jim Lee
     So... Batman's master plan was to reveal his identity, run around Gotham, get captured and... what? This was terrible. Worse than usual. Mostly because Batman was so out of character and I am going to notice that more than another character. I mean what the hell. Seriously. Ok, besides my fanboy complaints, what happened in this issue? Superman gets captured, Batman lets himself be captured, and Green Lantern talks. That somehow fills 20 pages. I get that Johns has a lot of affection for Barry and Hal, but come on dude. There are other characters who can be the focus. You're writing Aquaman, maybe give him some dialog.

Justice League Dark #5
By Peter Milligan and Mikel Janin 
     I really hope the next couple of issues are dedicated to exploring these characters. So far there hasn't been a ton of info dropped about them, besides their powers. I only know about most of them from other comics I've read. And I know almost nothing about Shade, and even less about Mindwarp. I didn't even know that June Moon was part of the Enchantress until I looked on a wiki. Either that or just make them all about John Constantine. That would be cool too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Week in Comics 1/18/12

Despite some issues with Comixology, I was eventually able to secure my comics and read them. You may notice that I did not read Batman: Odyssey, but that's because my brain can't handle that comic and I need to space out my readings of it. As always, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Batman v2 #5
By Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
     I don't even have words for how good this issue was. One of my favorite books if House of Leaves. This was kind of like that, but with Batman in it. At first I was a bit pissed that there was a splash I had to turn on it's side. I assumed this was a carryover from Capullo working at Image, but then it kept going. And then it got upside down. This issue, and pretty much everything Scott Snyder has written, is some of the best comics I have ever read. It's exactly what I want out of comics. Established characters, new and inventive everything else.

Catwoman v4 #5
By Judd Winick and Guillem March
     I liked that this took a little more fun direction than previous issues. As good as a dramatic story about a dead friend can be, I think that Catwoman works better as a fun series. In my mind Catwoman is about the joy of being stealing stuff and being rich, not dark vengeance. That shown through a bit in this issue. The art seemed kind of rushed in parts, as did the last issue, but i'd rather have a couple of wonky panels than a delayed book.

Nightwing v3 #5
By Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows
     This issue felt a lot like filler. All the character stuff was crammed into the beginning and the end, with the middle being just an unconnected fight with a demon. Kind of a disappointing issue, not much more to say than that.

Wonder Woman v4 #5
By Brian Azzarello and Tony Atkins
     I would totally read a comic about a soldier in WWII discovering they were the son of Zeus, and using that power to fight Nazis. I would like it even more if he was basically John Constantine. Which he has been, so far. But, this is a comic about Wonder Woman, and I am enjoying the updated mythology a lot. Even if Poseidon is a stupid looking fish monster.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Detective Comics #49

Cover: Bob Kane

Clayface Walks Again
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos
Letters: George Roussos
(Right click>Save as to download)

Send questions to
Follow on Twitter @BatIssues

If you enjoy this show please check out Tom vs The DCU, who was a big inspiration

For some reason, half the episode has white noise. So there's that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Week In Comics 1/11/12

I really have nothing to say here. But since I always write something, here I am writing this. Isn't this part great? My favorite is when I say, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Batgirl v4 #5
By Gail Simone, Adrian Syaf and Vincente Cifuentes 
     OK, so I am still unclear on which of Barbara's moms it's supposed to be who shows up. I am guessing its Barbara Sr, which means that she didn't have her face torn off, which means some of Scott Snyder's stuff on Detective isn't in continuity with the new 52. And that is disappointing. Another disappointing thing with this series is the villains. I know that a 'new' hero needs to have some villains of their own, but none of the ones who have cropped up seem like villains who will work for more than one story. There is no staying power. Maybe it's time to bring in a heavy hitter and just tell a good superhero story. Oracle had enemies, why not some of them? Batgirl vs the Calculator. Everything so far has been let down by the villains. Also, anti-Wayne sentiment Occupy Gotham is a little hard to believe when Bruce Wayne funds free clinics, low income housing projects, and every other good thing in Gotham. Not to get too nerdy, but Bruce Wayne was basically the only person of wealth who wanted to revive Gotham after No Mans Land. "Not to get too nerdy," I say on my blog about Batman comics. It's too late, me. It's too late.

Batman and Robin v2 #5
By Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
     This issue felt kind of transition-ey to me for some reason. There were several things that happened, but I don't feel like there was any payoff. Just buildup for what will come in the next issues. It wasn't bad, it just didn't really leave as much of an impressions as I think it should have. There was definitely good scenes, but something just felt off about it. I think maybe this will read better as a complete arc, but in the month between issues it loses something.

Batwoman #5
By J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman
     Everything about this book is good. I have such a hard time coming up with things to say about it every week. It's just too good. The art is amazing as always. Every character and every moment in the book feels earned and set up by what happened before it. Characters have reasons for their actions based on their past and personalities. There is no caption box that says "See issue #1" when characters refer to past events. It's everything that's right and good with dramatic comics, in one comic. The only negative, which isn't even a negative for a dramatic comic, is that it's not very light and funny. It's just a solid dramatic superhero story.

Demon Knights #5
By Paul Cornell and Diogenes Neves 
     This issue was a lot more serious than previous ones. Not necessarily a bad thing, but kind of surprising. Of course there still was a fair bit of silly. This issues was like half backstory for some of the characters and half more buildup for the siege. I am glad we are getting some info on the group, but I really think it needs a lot more exploring. I am talking big flashbacks like we got for Shining Knight. It's a good sign when a comic draws me in and makes me want to know more about it.

Frankenstein Agent of SHADE #5
By Jeff Lemire and Alberto Ponticelli 
     I should note that I didn't read OMAC #5, so I have no idea if it's important to the story at all. It didn't seem like it. What it seemed like was another one shot team-up that didn't matter to any story and only served as an attempt to get people to buy OMAC. Which didn't work for me. It didn't even really get at why people should read OMAC. None of the crazy Jack Kirby action was there. Just a blue dude with a mohawk.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Detective Comics #48

Cover: Bob Kane

The Secret Cavern
Writing: Bill Finger
Pencils: Bob Kane
Inks: Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos
Letters: George Roussos
(Right click>Save as to download)

Send questions to
Follow on Twitter @BatIssues

If you enjoy this show please check out Tom vs The DCU, who was a big inspiration

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Week In Comics 1/4/12

I am finally back in Portland, so there should actually be new podcast episodes soon. Hopefully I will actually sit down to work on them instead of saying I will. The fact that I almost forgot to do this today doesn't bode well for the future of me working. For now, SPOILERS FOR THIS WEEK'S COMICS.

Animal Man v2 #5
By Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman 
     What more can be said about this series? Every issue is absolutely quality. The art still manages to be creepy no matter how much I see it. The story is interesting and makes me want to read the next issue as soon as I finish one. If previous weeks are any indication, the only thing that this book doesn't have is a guest appearance by John Constantine. This is one of the books that any comic reader should be picking up. OK, maybe not little kids.

Batwing #5
By Judd Winick and Ben Oliver
     It seems like a lot of the team-ups and cameos that have been happening are pretty shallow. There was really no reason for Batman to be in this issue, other than the fact that Batman makes everything better. I know that Batwing is completely tied into Batman Inc, but this felt kinda tacked on. And what's with all the cameos happening now? Was there a 'no crossovers until issue 4+' rule? Can't have people mixing it up in a shared universe. Not until all the JLA manages to appear on one page.

Detective Comics v2 #5
By Tony Daniel 
     What the hell is with this being two stories? Tony Daniel can't produce 21 pages of bad comic on his own? Nothing happened. Batman chases a guy who happens to be carrying some nice deus ex machina to move the plot along, and then it's suddenly a backup story that somehow is worse. Daniel already brought up Enigma Nygma and Kitrina Falcone back in his pre-Flashpoint Batman stuff. Why more villain's kids? It's an idea that can work once in a while, but this was already used by the same writer in July of 2011. That's just lazy writing in an already lazy backup. Maybe wrap up your one crappy story before starting on a second.OK, I have to stop writing this review before I become an alcoholic.

Huntress v3 #4
By Paul Levitz and Marcus To
     One of my least favorite comic cliches is the, "(SUPERHERO) ...MURDERER?!" cover. especially when, like this issue, there is absolutely nothing inside the book that has anything to do with the cover. A cover blurb that said "HUNTRESS ...LOCH NESS MONSTER?!" would have been equally accurate. That aside, I'm not sure what was really accomplished in this issue. It seems like every other issue of this series is just some setup. Also, the two cops who are helping Helena are the worst at keeping secrets. When Huntress is in costume and there is enemies, innocents, and police around, maybe don't use her real name. Just a thought. 

Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #4
By Gregg Hurwitz and Szymon Kudranski 
     "My momma always told me...never trust anyone whose name starts with 'the'" has got to be one of my favorite pieces of dialog in a while. Plus, this issue has one of the most dynamic and bad-ass looking Batman-through-a-window panels I've seen in a while. Those two things make this issue awesome in the first few pages. The rest of the issue is up to the high standards set by the previous ones. This really branches into the fact that the Penguin is a super-villain. Sometimes a dude needs to run a crime empire, sometimes a dude needs to build robots that send out attack birds. 

Swamp Thing v5 #5
By Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette 
     I was half hoping that this issue would pick right up with the Swamp Thing/Animal Man team-up. Only half because I knew it wouldn't. It's alright tough, there was still some crazy rot monsters and those flies that snap people's necks. That's all you really need. Still, this series maintains its slower pace moving a bit at a time. Taking its time with each step to make sure it's meaningful and not full of fluff. I think this is a series I will come back to and enjoy even more as one long read.