The War of Jokes and Riddles Begins

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Batman (Volume 3) #25
Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janin

This issue begins a flashback story called the War of Jokes and Riddles. It begins with many violent hard to watch/read murders by both the Joker and the Riddler and ends with a great panel of a naked Batman looking pretty great next to Catwoman in bed as he tells this story. We still don’t know if Catwoman said yes to his marriage proposal last issue but who cares – we got to see Mikel Janin draw a great naked Batman! Yay! Jokes aside (no pun intended), this was a great start to what looks like a very cool past-Batman story which if done right looks like it could be on the level of something like the Long Halloween. Tom King is really good at dissecting these characters and his explanation of why the Joker and the Riddler do what-they-do (as told by the Riddler) is fascinating.

Batman 21 – 23

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Batman (Volume 3) #21
Written by Tom King
Art by Jason Fabok

This is it! The storyline that finally follows up on DC Rebirth’s button. How does Rebirth connect to Watchmen? Will we get the real DC Universe back for good? In this issue, the Button causes Bruce to see a vision of the Flashpoint Thomas Wayne Batman. I never read Flashpoint…it lead to the New 52 awfulness so I saw no point in reading it…but maybe just maybe I will think about it now. Afterwards, Reverse Flash invades the Batcave destroys the note by Thomas Wayne and beats the ever living crap out of Batman. I have to say I cannot remember another Flash/Batman crossover since I have been reading comics but it is cool they are doing this now. Reverse Flash eventually gets the button and is transported somewhere and when he returns he dies claiming he saw God. I wonder if what he really saw was Doctor Manhattan?

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Batman (Volume 3) #22
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Jason Fabok

This is Part 3 of the crossover with the Flash as Bruce and Barry end up in the Flashpoint universe being kept alive by the unknown threat. It was bitersweet to see Bruce united with his father just before the Flashpoint timeline is erased. I did not expect Thomas to tell Bruce to not be Batman anymore and live a happy life with Damian. It reminded me a lot of Alfred’s speech in Dark Knight Rises. I wonder how this will effect Bruce. It has to emotionally. They mention that whoever manipulated the timeline also sent Bruce and Barry to the fFashpoint universe for a reason. I wonder if Doctor Manhattan or whever the big bad is wants Bruce to give up being Batman.

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The Dark Knight Daughter

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Detective Comics #953
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Christian Duce

I recently asked Phil Jimenez on twitter if Linda Danvers could show up in his Superwoman run. His answer made it seem like all of the Rebirth creative teams will be changing soon. I hope he is wrong because DEAR GOD DC DO NOT TAKE TYNION OFF THIS COMIC. He is the best writer of Cassandra Cain in years. The only way I could be okay with that is if they said she gets to be Batgirl again. In this issue, Cassandra has to deal with the revalation of Lady Shiva being her mother. In the flashbacks to her training, Cassandra is able to speak some words. This was not true pre-flashpoint and it bothers me but perhaps it is a key to DC Rebirth and the missing ten years? Maybe she subconsciously remembers learning the language before the timeline change. That would be cool. The cover to this comic is not deceiving, she does fight Batman when he tries to stop her. She even goes as far to reject the name Cassandra because she wants nothing to do with her parents. Who could blame her? This is a character with murderous parents who instinctively knows murder is wrong. But Batman trying to calm her down made me so happy. It was the father-daughter relationship they had in Cassandra’s early days. Before DC stupidly had him abandon her during 52. There was no reason why she couldn’t have gone with them on their trip in 52 or Bruce would have put her in charge of Gotham and not Harvey Dent. It was years ago but I am still pissed about it. Cassandra finally confronts Lady Shiva who challenges her to fight her to the death, she wants to see her daughter try to kill. Cassandra refuses being the one true Batgirl and is beaten unconscious and left in the sewer by her mother. I hope we get to see Cass get her revenge for that soon.

Green Lanterns 1 – 19

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Green Lanterns #1
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Robson Rocha

As happy as I am to have a new Green Lantern book that is not starring boring old Hal Jordan, I can’t say I was excited to read this. Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz have not interested me one bit in the Justice League book. Simon just seems like a jerk and Jessica is so unsure of herself it becomes not sweet, but annoying. I was hoping under a different write I would feel differently. This issue did not win me over, but maybe future issues will because the art was good and I am interested in the Red Lantern sub-plot. Oh and Dex-Starr!

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Green Lanterns #2
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Robson Rocha

Now this was more like it! By focusing on Jessica learning about her ring with her sister, Humphries made me actually understand her character better and what she is going through. Hopefully we will get a similar focus on Simon. This series just got good.

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Babs Gordon Rebirth 1 – 8

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Batgirl (Volume 5) #1
Written by Hope Larson
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

Ugh. I hate that here I am reading another series titled Batgirl not starring the one and only Batgirl named Cassandra Cain. Instead we had these purpley Batgirls Stephanie Brown last time and now we are back to Barbara Gordon. Don’t get me wrong I love Barbara Gordon…as Oracle…where she made sense. Why do we need a purpley Batgirl who has a costume that could not scare a fly. In this issue, Barbara Gordon heads on a trip to Japan to meet a former hero named Fruit Bat and I guess the old lady can still fight. She also meets an old friend from Chicago while in Japan. It was well-written and everything but I miss Cassandra as Batgirl so much. This was too bright and happy and purpley for a Bat story. Also, with so many Golden Age heroes around….why did Larson make one up for this story. Come on if you are a writer in the DC Universe sandbox…utilize it’s many toys!

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Batgirl (Volume 5) #2
Written by Hope Larson
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

Okay so Barbara keeps mentioning Burnside and it has been mentioned in other books. What is it? A town or a neighborhood in Gotham? A quick google search made me realize it is a Hipster neighborhood in Gotham. Ha, like Logan Square or Wicker Park in Chicago. Babs’s new boyfriend Kai is a hunk! She should not be so worried about being with him.

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Nightwing 1 – 16

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Nightwing (Volume 4) #1
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Javier Fernandez

How great is it to see Nightwing in that costume again? It’s been what ten years since he wore that beautiful – frankly iconic – Nightwing costume. DC….what were you thinking? He should have been returned to that immediately after he stopped being Batman. Speaking of that, Dick refers to his time as Batman. Does that mean Final Crisis happened in the New 52 universe or is this a result of Rebirth restoring the timeline? Interesting. This was a great start to this series but not exactly a good jumping on point for new readers for a first issue. We aren’t really told what is going on with this Parliament of Owls other than they are forcing Dick to work with them or they think they are and he is playing them. I don’t know much about the Court of Owls because they are a new 52 creation. Anyways, it is still weird to see Barbara Gordon in a Batgirl costume and not Oracle and looking so young. Is she still suppose to be the same age as Dick?  So far…this is good. Seeley seems to really understand Dick Grayson as a character and the art is perfect for a Nightwing book.

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Nightwing (Volume 4) #2
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Javier Fernandez

This was a fantastic comic. I like how Seeley writes Nightwing’s narraration. It isn’t all action, there is depth to this story. I don’t like how the Raptor knows their have been different Robins. That is dumb. The general public in the DCU should not know that. Also, how is Barbara flying to Tokyo and back? Does Bruce bankroll her?

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All-Star Batman 1 – 7

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All-Star Batman #1
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by John Romita Jr. and Declan Shalvey

Scott Snyder wrote some good Batman comics before Flashpoint. But I never read his New 52 run he is praised for because well…it was the New 52. Of course I did not read that crap. So now after Rebirth he gets his own Batman series to play around with. In this first issue, Two-Face tells Gotham he is going to expose their criminal secrets unless one of them saves him from Batman…I guess that is what happened. I really did not like the art in this book. Was this Declan Shalvey or John Romita Jr.? It was confusing and the characters were ugly to look at. I could see it working in another comic but not a Batman comic. I am also very suspicious of any story that has Alfred betraying Batman. It also doesn’t help I find this new character of Duke Thomas hard to give a shit about. I am hoping Snyder turns it around and makes me understand the need for this character? We shall see. I can’t say that I was impressed with this first issue. The “stilling” technique was super gross.

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All-Star Batman #2
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by John Romita Jr. and Declan Shalvey

Why is King Shark referred to as Trixie in this comic? I don’t remember that ever being his name. Anyways, the art continues to bother me. I like Shalvey’s art better than Romita but still they both annoy me. They aren’t right for this comic at all. I want to get excited to look at Batman, not be weirded out by it. Also, the non-linear storytelling in this comic is beyond annoying. What the hell is even going on? I thought people said Snyder was a great Batman writer? He sure makes Zsasz scary but so far that is it for me.

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