Batman 709 – 713

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Batman #709
Written by David Hine
Art by Guillem March

In this issue we learn that Dick let a boy he was jealous of get beat up back in his trapeze days. Dick acts so guilty about it but he was just a kid…what was he going to do? He hadn’t been trained by Bruce yet. Azrael realizes that he is being duped by Ra’s Al Ghul and the day is saved. I liked this comic although it was a little too convenient that the guy ended up bringing up “his friend Dick from childhood” to Batman.

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Batman #710
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Steve Scott

I often forget that it is Dick and not Bruce in these comics sometimes. But Daniel did a good job of reminding us of this when he has Dick just standing around as Batman near reporters. Bruce would never do that. Meanwhile Dick and Selena try to convince Katrina Falcone aka Catgirl to leave Gotham and Two-Face is looking for his missing coin.  Daniel is really mining continuity for his run on Batman and I love it. Steve Scott was an excellent substitute for Daniel’s art too. The issue ends with a surprise return character.

bat711Batman #711
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Steve Scott

This was another fun issue of Batman. Yes sometimes things can be both dark and fun. Daniel has had a way of balancing that in his run. I love that he mines Batman’s history and his supporting cast. Here we get Riddler’s Daughter, Catgirl, Riddler, and Two-Face plus the Falcones and Gilda Dent. I am not sure I understand why Gilda is with Mario Falcone but I am sure that will be cleared up in the next issue or something.

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Batman #712
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Steve Scott

You can tell Daniel is wrapping up his run now. Catgirl leaves Gotham, I think the Riddler just killed his own daughter, and Two-Face killed Mario Falcone. Lots of death in this issue. So why would the Riddler shoot his daughter to “restore” himself?

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Batman #713
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Steve Scott, Daniel Sampere, and Andrei Bressen

Here it is the final issue of a series that began in 1940! I hate when they renumber things and hope Batman goes back to its original numbering some day. Why is Cassandra Cain not in the splash page that shows the Batfamily! I mean come on! It shows the Huntress. Cassandra is way closer to Batman than the Huntress ever was! What is it with writers in this period and ignoring the greatest of all Batgirls. It ends up just being a a sweet story about how Dick teaches Damnian an important lesson. But that is so underwhelming for a finale of a comic book this important in history that it is just sad. Plus no Cassandra Cain so I obviously hated this.

 

 

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Girl Sidekicks

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Batman #706
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

There seems to be a theme of girl sidekicks running through this book as both Riddler’s Daughter and Catgirl show up. I am looking forward to seeing more of Enigma as her backstory has never been really explained but Riddler does act like she may be his actual daughter in this. Though you would think the Riddler would know better then to mess with Batman’s suit? As always Daniel continues to utilize Gotham City to its fullest and I am loving his run so far.

The Post-Return Gotham

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Batman #704
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

Tony Daniel returns to this book and I am so excited about that as I loved his run prior. Despite writing and drawing the awful Battle for the Cowl, Daniel blew me away on his run on this book as he really brought Gotham to life and took advantage of playing with the great atmosphere that is Gotham City. This time around is no different as we are shown scene from Wayne Tower to Devil’s Square to Crime Alley. I liked seeing Catgirl again too and I actually like her costume a lot more now – I wonder if Daniel tweaked it I am not sure but it works better now. Selina is right, Bruce is being a hypocrite for not wanting Catgirl around but at the same time he always is right? He acted like that with the Spoiler. Great start to the Post-Return of Bruce Wayne Gotham City. Welcome back to writing duties Mr. Daniel!

Masks

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Batman #697
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

The person behind the Black Mask is revealed and all-in-all it is not that shocking. I still loved the issue. Daniel’s artworks has been great since he started on this book and so has his writing. Battle for the Cowl was a total fluke. I was sad to see the splash page of the Network considering this was an organization began by Cassandra Cain – and she has been gone since August and no one seems to care to look for her (In other words DC’s editors are douchebags) The debut of Catgirl was unexpected – I hate the costume it looks really ridiculous but that doesn’t mean I hate the concept. I wonder what Holly Robinson will think? Will this be reflected in Gotham City Sirens? Time will tell.

Mind Control

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Batman #696
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

Daniel’s tremendous run on Batman continues here and he shows no sign of slowing down. He chooses to tell the story of this issue in flashback after Batman is found barely alive by Robin in Gotham Harbor. Apparently Penguin and Mad Hatter (Love the use of all the classic villains) have created a mind control “false-face” to control Batman and send him to kill Black Mask. Of course Dick doesn’t kill him but he learns of Black Mask’s plans and has a crazy adventure. I have a feeling Black Mask is either the mayor or Jeremiah Arkham as he speaks about his “office” here. I am really starting to like the character of Kitrina Falcone – Daniel has stated in interviews that she is here to stay and I am glad that she is. This book is a lot better then Morrison’s Batman and Robin – everyone should be reading it!

Mystery and Speculation

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Batman #695
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

Tony Daniel’s run on Batman continues to impress me. He utilizes Gotham and it’s characters in a great way. I hope he isn’t leaving this book any time soon. I loved every page of this issue and his art is getting better and better. This has as many Gothamites has Hush had but it’s an actual coherent story and good mystery unlike Loeb’s Hush was. So is Kitrina Falcone working with Riddler or with Penguin and Mad Hatter? Could Jeremiah Arkham be Black Mask? The mystery to all this is great and the speculation is fun to make. I can’t wait to the next issue.

Bringing Gotham To life

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Batman #694
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

I know  this will make me unpopular among bloggers for saying this, but Tony Daniel’s current run on Batman is BETTER then Batman and Robin by Morrison. There I said it! This is some great stuff! The art is fantastic I loved looking at every page! What an improvement! And that is not sarcasm, he has really stepped up his game. The story and writing is fantastic as well as he crafts a compelling mystery and involves so many characters but it never feels overcrowded. It really feels like Gotham has come alive when I am reading this, sort’ve like the old days when I first got into comics during No Man’s Land. I love having the Falcones back! The Penguin being awesome along with Doctor Death, Hugo Strange, the new Black Mask, The Reaper! This was a great issue.