My Family Knows How to F’ing Fight

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All-Star Batman #8
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Giuseppi Comuncoli and Francesco Francavilla

Snyder has Batman say “My family knows how to fucking fight,” while explaining why he knew their were people fighting him pretending to be Nighwing, Red Hood, and Batwoman. That was amusing, but the idea of doing prose in a comic book has been done by Morrison and people hated it then…but at least this one had actual panels like a comic. I still found it annoying and overly-artsy. The back-up was better as Duke tells his friend he likes to patrol during the day time. I guess having Duke Thomas being Gotham’s day hero kind of gives him a reason to exist in already crowded Gotham Bat-family. I wonder what his code name will end up being?

The Real Batgirl Meets Her Mother (Again)

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Detective Comics #952
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Christian Duce

In this issue, Tynion IV once again shows me that this is without a doubt the best comic book DC is publishing. He consistently hits it out of the park with the team dynamics, characterization, and the exploration of what makes this Bat-family tick. Because yes despite what some writers have acted like the bat-family goes way beyond Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne. And as any reader of this blog knows the best bat-family character in my opinion is the one and only Cassandra Cain which this issue so wonderfully focuses on as Cassandra meets her mom Lady Shiva for the first time in this new timeline (or at least in her memory if this erased memory thing turns out to be true) and she is devastated by it. Lady Shiva acts completely evil to her, calling her refusual to kill pathetic, and saying she wish she had never known about what happened to her daughter. It was the final pages of this issue where Cassandra cries and Batman holds her that I knew Tynion understands the father-daughter relationship between these two characters. Like I said, Cassandra is the real Dark Knight Damsel and I hope this moment blooms into him once again adopting Cass in this continuity. Oh and the art is fantastic as usual.

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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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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Detective Comics 934-950

This is it…I am returning to DC after a 5 year absence. Now that DC Rebirth has brought back the original continuity without throwing the New 52…will these characters be the same as the ones I loved. Most of all, for this book, I care about Cassandra Cain. She is my favorite comic book character and in my opinion the one true Batgirl. AND she is finally a regular in a book again. Will this be the same Cassandra I know and love? I know she got reintroduced but is she really just the same character with the memories of her time as Batgirl erased by the evil Dan Didio…I mean Doctor Manhattan. Let’s find out as I explore Detective Comics Rebirth.

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Detective Comics #934
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

This was a great jumping back on point for old/new readers. I did not miss a beat. Batman discovers someone is targeting Gotham’s vigilantes and has recruited Batwoman to “train” them. (I do cringe at the idea that Cassandra needs training from Batwoman.) He finally reveals his secret identity to her and they are cousins. I always was annoyed the the Wayne-Kane connection was never explored pre-Flashpoint so I loved this moment. The first of the team we meet is Stephanie Brown former Batgirl and Robin but now back to her Spoiler idenity. The identity she should have remained. I like her, don’t get me wrong, but she should never have been allowed to take the mantle of Batgirl from Cassandra Cain.

After Steph, we see Tim Drake in a new Red Robin costume that evokes his classic Robin costume. Man it is good to see him look like that again. That was an amazing costume.

Finally, we get Cassandra and I love that her new costume evokes her original Batgirl costume but I am sorry it is not enough….she needs to have a bat emblem and be a real Batgirl again someday. As fan, we can’t just give up on that. She now calls herself Orphan. As cool as it is to have her full mask back, I still would prefer her pre-Flashpoint Black Bat identity than “Orphan.” Now besides this, Tynion IV writes her perfectly as the bad ass scary fighter she is but I just wish she could be that way in a Bat costume.

The final member of the team is Clayface which is an odd choice but okay we will see where it goes. Eddy Barrows’s art was beautiful…he has truly stepped up his game in five years and seems perfect for this book.

So ya….CASS IS BACK!

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Detective Comics #935
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

In this issue, Batwoman continues the training of the younger vigilantes. Meanwhile, Batman tells Tim he has always been Robin to him. So in this continuity was Tim never officillay Robin? If so, will he remember his time as Robin whenever the missing ten years gets restored or whatever? I sure hope so. I hope the same with the other characters too.

Cassandra is bad ass in this. I love how Steph says he just shows up and gets blood on the floor and is almost never home. We truly are getting old school Cassandra Cain back and I could not be happier…except if she was Batgirl again. That would be better.

Beautiful story and beautiful art. I feel Tynion IV truly gets these characters.

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