Batman 709 – 713

Batman709
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.

 

 

Azrael 15 and 16

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Azrael (Volume 2) #15
Written by David Hine
Art by Cliff Richards

 

This was a good issue as Batman investigates Azrael’s suicide and Ra’s Al Ghul expects him to rise on the third day. I have no idea where this is going but I am loving the ride and the creepiness of it all.

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Azrael (Volume 2) #16
Written by David Hine
Art by Cliff Richards

Azrael rejects Bruce’s offer to join Batman Incorporated but Bruce still accepts him as an ally after seeing a vision of him either becoming a sinner or saint – I think Bruce wants to keep him around so he can lead him on the path to good. We shall see.

The Auction Of The Black Mirror

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Detective Comics #872
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jock
Co-Feature by Snyder
Art by Francesco Frankavilla

 

The main story was just fantastic and creepy as the Dick goes undercover at the Black Mirror auction. From the Dealer’s talk about evil being humanity’s divine spark to the creepy gas masks to the surprise ending it was fantastic. Jock really sets the mood with his art too. I hope this creative team stays here for a while! There is great characterization of Dick and Babs too. Everything about this makes the perfect Bat-book. The co-feature sees more of James Jr. as Commisioner Gordon and Barbara discuss him and apparently they suspect he committed murder in the past. Interesting stuff.

Finch’s Gotham

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Batman: The Dark Knight #1
Written by David Finch
Art by Finch

 

And so debuts another new batbook this time the sole work of David Finch depicting Bruce Wayne dealing with darker, more occult side of Gotham City. I really enjoyed it and I was surprised how much I liked Finch’s artwork here. I loved how he drew the Batmobile like the one from the Burton films and the mystery of Dawn Golden is intriguing (Even if her name and retconnedness is a little hokey). Not a bad start at all.

Surprise Guest Star

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Batman #705
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

I almost didn’t like this issue…this whole mask of the beholder thing doesn’t really interest me. I think Daniel works best when he plays with the Gotham cast and didn’t want to read about this Peacock and her brother — until the very end when he saved it all by bringing in a character not seen since Geoff Johns’s Teen Titans. I wasn’t expecting her to show up. Awesome!

Little James

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Detective Comics #871
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jock
Co-Feature by Snyder
Art by Francesco Frankavilla

 

Snyder begins his run with a great mystery – someone is selling weapons based on Gotham villains – and with an artist who knows how to set the mood for it. I am not the biggest fan of Jock’s art, but it works here. This was a great debut for the team. The Commissioner Gordon back-up had quite the shocking ending! I don’t know when was the last time we saw James Jr, but I have never read a comic with him except for flashbacks set when he was a baby – and now he is committing Gotham Crimes! Interesting!

An Offer To Azrael

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Azrael (Volume 2) #14
Written by David Hine
Art by Cliff Richards

 

Um holy shit has Michael Lane gone off the deep end?? I mean the character has always been anything but sane but wow does he lose it here – ending in well let’s just say I highly doubt this is a permanent state. I mean he has to be around for this series after all right? Good issue. I just am finding the main character less and less likeable as time goes on.