I Think You Forgot…I’m Batman!

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Batman (Volume 3) #20
Written by Tom King
Art by David Finch

Bane tells Batman in this issue how all of the Robins have died at some point including Dick. When in the hell did Dick Grayson die? Is he referring to a faked death or something? Anyways, besides that point, this was an entire issue where just a fistfight happened between Bane and Batman. But unlike say Bryan Hitch’s Justice League, this did not feel decompressed because of the emotion and character study that Tom King puts into it. The whole fight is narrated by Bruce’s mother from beyond the grave…and while that might sound cheesy reading this here, it works in the comic because of the emotion behind it. In the end, Bruce tells her he doesn’t save people because of his parents, he does it because they should be saved. It was beautiful. Hats off to the creative team on this comic book. Also, what a great line when Bruce says, “I Think You Forgot…I’m Batman!” and knocks Bane out.

Bane, Venom, and Good Art

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Batman (Volume 3) #18
Written by Tom King
Art by David Finch

It occurred to me for the first time while reading this comic that Bane using venom was completely absent from Dark Knight Rises. That is a pretty important part of his character…it’s almost like Batman without the batmobile. How did I not notice this till now? Maybe because Bane was off venom for a long time in the comics before that movie came out. He never used it during his time on the Secret Six that I can remember. I have to say that what made this comic book from merely okay to being very good was David Finch’s incredible art. Until I read this issue I never really thought about how awesome Bane’s original costume is. Finch even mimics Frank Miller and other artists from Batman’s history as we do flashback to the history of both Batman and Bane. (I wish there was Cassandra Cain though!) I was a little bit confused by the ending, Batman seems left for dead but then it seems like Batman and Catwoman have a plan for Bane after all? We shall see next issue I guess.

Batman Rebirth 1 – 17

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Batman (Volume 3) #1
Written by Tom King
Art by David Finch

In the first issue of this new Batman solo series, Batman prepares to give his life to save a plane full of people that almost crashes into Gotham. Spoiler Alert…he ends up not dying although he prepares to say goodbye to Alfred in a touching scene. The plane is actually saved by two Superheroes calling themselves Gotham and Gotham Girl. The idea of heroes showing up in Gotham with actual powers is an interesting thing. Would this make Batman feel useless? I guess we will see. I enjoyed the art in this. Finch knows how to draw Gotham City and its world well. Also, who is this new Batman protege Duke Thomas? I don’t know anything about

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Batman (Volume 3) #2
Written by Tom King
Art by David Finch

I love how Duke asks Batman if he trusts these new heroes of Gotham and Gotham Girl, and he says “I don’t even trust Alfred.” That made me smile. I thought this would make Batman jealous to have super powered heroes but I should have known better – Batman is a true hero and wants what is best for Gotham City. These heroes could stop things he cannot stop and he knows that. I loved how the Gotham Man is confused when Batman dissapears when talking to Commissioner Gordon. But who are these two heroes and how do they have powers that are almost Kryptonian in nature? I do not like how skinny Finch draws Amanda Waller. She is way too thin in this. But that is my only complaint about this issue.

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Red Robin 22-26

red_robin_vol_1_22Red Robin #22
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Freddie Williams II

This was another issue of the Azrael Batman crossover. It was good and for once I wasn’t bothered by Williams’s art for some reason it seemed less cartoony this time around. I don’t quite buy the idea that Tim Drake would not believe in God because he is a member of the Teen Titans he has fought Gods and knows that there is Angel that used to be in the Justice League, etc. I think Nicieza should have said he doesn’t believe in the Christian version of God or something else besides this because it doesn’t work in the DCU.

red_robin_vol_1_23Red Robin #23
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

I wonder if the scene where Lucius Fox means with a Hong Kong businessman named Lau is a homage to the similar scene in The Dark Knight. It sure seems like it. Anyways, this was a decent issue where Red Robin is lead into a trap and an assassin’s tournament. Tim acts like he has heard of this tournament before and I wonder if it was in this book or in his time as Robin.

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Red Robin #24
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

I like how Marcus To draws Tim’s Red Robin costume when he is surrounded completely with his cape, which is surprising because I am not a big fan of the costume in general. The ending of this issue actually made this interesting after all as there is an occult angle to this story line that I was not expecting. Also Tim may be forced to impregnate someone but I am sure he gets out of this next issue? Let’s see!

 

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Written by Fabian Nicieza

Art by Marcus To

Tim and Cassandra Cain fighting together again at last! Despite the misleading cover, Tim and Cassandra – now in her new guise as Black Bat – a rather awesome title for her I think. The only thing better would be what she truly is – Batgirl! Anyways, it was great to see the two of them working together. To me and people my age, they are Batgirl and Robin. That being said, Nicieza only briefly mentions Tim going to Hong Kong to help Cass fight Cricket. Which sounds like an awesome villain. Why can’t we see that story instead of what I assume the next issue will be. I bet he originally wanted to include it but it was cut because of the stupid New 52.

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Red Robin #26
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

In the final issue of this series, Tim sets up a death trap for Captain Boomerang – the man who killed his father, but saves Boomerang at the last second. Batman is disappointed in Red Robin and even though he made the right choice the issue ends on a darker note with a darker Red Robin. I question why they would go in this direction at all? It doesn’t really fit the character although I do think there is room for Tim to kill more than Cassandra Cain whose whole character was about not killing but still…it’s a bit strange.

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.

 

 

5 Years Later and I am back baby! So here is Gotham City Sirens 22-26

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Gotham City Sirens #22
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

It has been five years since I read the last issue of this book and I don’t remember what happened but I think this was a Batman crossover issue and therefore it doesn’t much matter. It sure as hell was a good one though. Calloway really played with Catwoman’s history here with her sister which shows he understands the character. Always interesting to hear Selena quote Jesus of all people. I missed the DCU! It is good to be back in Gotham.

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Gotham City Sirens #23
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

Look how old this comic is ! The Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern movie! Ew! Anyways, Harley tries to break Joker out of Arkham again and Batman sends Catwoman to stop it. I love that the Joker knows that there is more than one Batman running around Gotham and mentions it here. They really never had Joker and Harley together in the mainstream comics all that much. It is refreshing (and psychotic) to see it in this issue.

 

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Gotham City Sirens #24
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

This was an action-packed finale to this arc that ends with both Harley and Ivy locked up in Arkham but not before the Joker goes on a murdering spree. It is fun to see the Bat and the Cat fighting together again. This was a great issue. Violent. I had forgotten how violent these comics can be. But I don’t mind violence as long as there is still hope and optimism in the end. DC Rebirth restored that for me. Let’s hope the Didio doesn’t screw this up!

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Gotham City Sirens #25
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

Hats off to Guinaldo for choosing to make the borders between panels in this issue be actualy plant vines as it mainly stars Poison Ivy who breaks out of Arkham with Harley Quinn (I love that she goes between wanting to actually kill Harley and calling Harley her best friend throughout the issue) and with the help of the Penguin the duo traps Catwoman in Robinson Park. This is the perfect way to end a villain book, even sympathetic villains like these ladies. I look forward to the final issue.

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Gotham City Sirens #26
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

This is the final issue of the Gotham City Sirens as it ends before the New 52 disgusting no-good horrible reboot. So glad it is turning out to not have been a reboot at all.  I have to say it had some great character moments but I was a bit confused if Batman was really behind the entire Sirens “team” or if Catwoman was lying. It also ended abruptly. I wonder if the other titles do this before Flashpoint or if this was unique. The last panel was just blank. Sad.

Expectations

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Gotham City Sirens #21
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

 

This was another great issue of Sirens. Two in a row after a so-so opening arc for Calloway on this book! Harley succumbs to her love for the Joker after all. I loved it and I wasn’t expecting that but I should have! The story of the Guards’ kid was very sad and showed just how twisted the Joker really is. I didn’t expect Catwoman and Ivy to part ways in this either. Love the art as well!