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

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.