Bond-ish Batman

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All-Star Batman #11
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

This was a high stakes issue that took Batman from fighting alligators to teaming up with Penguin, Black Mask, and Great White to nearly bleeding out in a casino submarine. Snyder does know how to write a good James Bondish Batman story. I have no idea who the big bad of this issue is or what he has to do with Alfred’s past but I enjoyed this comic and look forward to seeing where this story goes. I can’t say that I really like the way Alfred was betrayed in the entire issue though. I don’t buy that Alfred wore a punk rock hair cut in his teen years but maybe that was just a poor artistic choice.

All-Star Batman 9 and 10

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All-Star Batman #9
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jock and Francesco Fracavilla

For a split second I thought that the woman posing as Batman was really Cassandra Cain because of how Jock drew her – but sadly no it was just Catwoman. That being said the main story was just beyond awesome as we think everything is completely hopeless and it turns out Batman had everything in control the whole time. I rather enjoyed Bruce’s speech about stories and how stories about heroes are better than stories about villains. Could this by Scott Snyder’s rather dark way of giving his support to the Rebirth’s hope and optimism? As for the back up story – I am not exactly sure at all what happened.

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All-Star Batman #10
Written by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, and Rafael Scavone
Art by Albuquerque and Sebastian Fiumara

Wow I did not expect Scott Snyder to use Hush in this series, and I loved how Alfred and Batman worked together to scare the crap out of the villain. I am not fan of the Jeph Loeb run that introduced the character, but I do like the character and I am glad to see him again. I even had forgotten he had made himself look like Bruce with plastic surgery. The crazy Pirate fort was beyond cool as well and I wonder how this will all have to do with Alfred’s past. The backup story written by Albuquerque was interesting but it is too early to judge.

 

Not the Best Visit to Arkham

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Batman (Volume 3) #19
Written by Tom King
Art by David Finch

Bane fights his way through Arkham Asylum taking on some of Batman’s most famous villain in the process, some of whom I was surprised to see in Arkham since they seem to be out of Arkham in other books. I guess it depends on when this exactly takes place. Copperhead shows up and he is suppose to be dead! I guess we have to assume this is a different Copperhead than even the one who showed up in All-Star Batman recently? Come on DC you have been so good at keeping things consistent lately do not let me down. Speaking of let down – David Finch was incredible last issue but I coudn’t get excited by his pencils this time around as it is all just kinda blah and this was suppose to be a showcase of him drawing the different Bat-villains. Listen, I like a romp through Arkham Asylum just as much as the next person but this time Tom King offered us nothing more than Bane just beating people up.

Endings

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #21
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

 

The final issue of Streets of Gotham marks the end of more then just this series. It marks the end of Hush posing as Bruce Wayne after Jane Doe rips his face off (How is he able to talk after that? Wouldn’t that be too painful) and it also marks the end of Dini’s writing in the Batman corner of the DCU which is sad. The House of Hush arc was no where near as exciting as the Heart of Hush storyline but it was still good and added a lot to the history of the Waynes and Elliots. I have a feeling it was cut a little short. I wonder when we will see Hush again or when Dini will return to writing Batman.

Streets of Gotham 19 and 20

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #19
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

 

The House of Hush storyline seems all over the place here filled with time jumps but I don’t mind cause it has been a good story so far and I loved the Joker stuff in this.

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #20
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

This was even more flashback to the Waynes and this time includes the Justice Society with Hippolyta on the team!! Despite comments by Didio and DCU Legacies, I knew she was still the Golden Age Wonder Woman! It is weird how Nguyen draws her here though.

Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #18
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen
Co-Feature by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Szymon Kudranski

The main story is so good it makes me sad that this book is ending in a few months. The BedBug is a great new addition to Batman’s Villains as Dini has yet to create a new villain who isn’t and the Hush storyline keeps my interest enough. In the Ragman backup, Ragman discovers the mayor is behind Firefly’s arson. I wonder where this story is going to continue now that DC is dropping its back ups??

Selina, It’s Me

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #17
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen
Co-Feature by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Szymon Kudranski

 

The main story continues the House of Hush story arc….which I assumed would feature the fall of Hush before Bruce’s return but I guess not as Bruce reveals himself to Selina as Batman in a great scene at the beginning of this issue. The “Selina, it’s me” moment was just awesome for fans of their relationship and Dini writes their relationship very well. The Bed Bug is another great Gotham villain creation by Dini. How does he keep doing this?! The revelations about The Wayne, Kane, and Elliot families also continue to be interesting. The Ragman backup starts off really well as the art really suits the mood and darkness of Gotham City – especially the underbelly a character like Ragman should explore. I love the theme of Gentrification. Gotham really reminds me of Chicago sometimes. It must be why they set the movies here.

Streets of Gotham 15 and 16

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #15
Written by Ivan Brandon
Art by Ramon Bachs

 

This is kinda weird…replacing the back up as the main feature in the middle of an arc. I don’t know why Dini is having trouble getting his scripts in on time but whatever this was good. It was violent and disturbing as a Two-Face story should be and ends with Two-Face getting stabbed brutally by his lackeys and thrown in a river. I doubt he’s actually dead but it sure seems that way.

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #16
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

Co-Feature by Ivan Brandon
Art by Ramon Bachs

The main story continues “House of Hush” and it is really good. It focuses once again on fleshing out a back story dealing with the Waynes and we get more moments from Bruce and Tommy’s childhood. I have said before and I will say it again that Dini has given Hush more depth then Loeb ever did or could. Zatanna showing up was weird….does Dini have to put her in everything he writes? He writes her well don’t get me wrong though. The Two-Face back up has Harvery being found and taken care of by a priest and has a pretty shocking ending I don’t want to ruin here. Good stuff.

Manhunter Should Still Be Here

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #14
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen
Co-Feature by Ivan Brandon
Art by Ramon Bachs

 

The main story begins the sequel to Dini’s excellent Heart of Hush storyline that ended with Hush being made to look like Bruce Wayne. Now Hush feels trapped as the imposter Wayne and someone wants Wayne dead. It is all set up though and not much happens here but it is cool to see Dini is using Jane Doe. The new Two-Face back-up starts out okay although I just don’t see Two-Face as a starring role character…I don’t understand why they took Manhunter out of this book.

Streets of Gotham 12 and 13

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #12
Written by Paul Dini, Dustin Nguyen, and Derke Fridoffs
Art by Nguyen
Co-Feature by Marc Andreyko
Art by Szymon Kudranski

 

I don’t know why Dini is having such trouble writing this book solo but this is another kinda fill-in – although it is based on a plot by Dini. Luckily, it has Dini’s good writing and style to it as we get to know The Carpenter and are introduced to a new Bat-Villain, The Director. A crazy director who wants to make superhero snuff films. Dini is a genius at creating themed villains I sware! Anyways, he hires the Carpenter to build the perfect set but then plans on killing her when she is done. It’s a neat plot and meanwhile Damian gives a gift to Abuse that Batman won’t be happy about. I liked this. The Manhunter back-up was as good as always as Ramsey arrives at his mom’s place only to find Jane Doe dressed up in a skinsuit that looks like her! The art change from last issue was pretty dramatic. Not that I don’t like Kudranski’s art but it is just a completely different style.

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #13
Written by Paul Dini, Dustin Nguyen, and Derke Fridoffs
Art by Nguyen
Co-Feature by Marc Andreyko
Art by Szymon Kudranski

 

The main story concludes the tales of the Carpenter as she is saved by Batman and all is a happy ending for this new fun character – she even defys Batman by deciding to stay in Gotham after all. It was really good. Hush is also dealt with here as the second plot apparently setting up with the next arc. I wonder what is in store for Tommy Elliot now that Bruce is coming back? The Manhunter back-up wraps up the co-feature as Jane Doe is defeated. The ending has Dick Grayson asking Kate out on a date. I wonder where this will go from here? Will Andreyko write their relationship or what? I don’t know but I will miss Manhunter in this book. Why is she being taken out and replaced?

The Missing Daughter Saga Continues

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Red Robin #12
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marcus To

 

Okay if Ra’s took the time to track down people like fucking Julie Madison, then why the fuck would he not go after Cassandra Cain – Bruce’s adopted daughter daughter and the former Batgirl! Is it because DC’s editors are asshats?! I think so. But anyways, this was a great way to end Yost’s run on the title and bring Tim full circle. This began as the story of Tim going in a direction too dark for the character but Yost has brought him back to Gotham and back to his old self. Hell they even made the costume more his. Yost’s run was great. I am certainly glad To is sticking around but I will miss Christopher Yost on this book.

The Missing Daughter

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Red Robin #11
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marcus To

 

So Ra’s Al Ghul and his League of Assassins are going after every member of the Bat family…except for Cassandra Cain!!! Seriously pissed off after DC apparently lied to Cass fans in their DC Nation column and what’s his face at Wonder Con said there are no plans for Cass any time soon. Why does the Bat Family not care where she is? What the hell is going on here? Why is there no mention that Bruce’s adopted daughter is missing? I am going to fucking scream! AHHHHH! But anyways this was a pretty awesome issue.

Needs More Sirens

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Gotham City Sirens #10
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Andres Guinaldo

 

Guinaldo fills in for March here and I think he was a good choice as I hardly noticed. Doctor Aesop is driven out of the Sirens’s “headquarters” but I can’t say this was the most exciting issue of this series – probably a little too much about the Riddler and not enough about our three main characters. I enjoyed it but it needed more. Aesop is a great addition to the rogue’s gallery though.

Red Robin 9 and 10

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Red Robin #9
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marcus To

 

The end of this issue is the beginning of Batgirl #8. They weren’t the same scene at all though! What the hell is wrong with the editors at DC Comics. If you are going to do a crossover shouldn’t this all be coordinated? Anyways Tim returning to Gotham is really awesome, loved about every panel of this issue. To draws Gotham fantastically.

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Red Robin #10
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marcus To

 

Former lovers Tim and Steph continue their team-up in their new personas in this issue and I am still annoyed that Tim has not asked what happened to Cassandra! Whatever the art was good and the mystery with Ra’s, Hush, and Vicki Vale is really interesting. I am still loving Tam Fox as a character. Good stuff.

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.

Tam Fox To The Rescue

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Red Robin #7
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Marcus To

Somehow I doubt that Ra’s al Ghul is dead – I bet you that wasn’t the real Ra’s. Anyways, this is good stuff and I am really liking Tam Fox – I hope Yost plans to keep her in Red Robin’s supporting cast. She is a neat character. I loved the conversation between Lucious and Alfred – I wonder if Lucious knows more about the Wayne Family then he lets on. Is this going in the direction of the Batman movies where Lucious knows that Bruce is/was Batman? I am not sure but I am interested to see where this is all going.

Journey Into Devil’s Square

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Batman #693
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

Daniel once again shows he has what it takes to write Batman, there was more story to this issue then in all three issues of his Battle for the Cowl. It was good to see the Bat Family working together (Although I wish we could have seen Cassandra Cain!) during the party and we check in on everything that is going on in Gotham. I am dying to know who the Black Mask is. Is Devil’s Square a new concept? I don’t remember that area of Gotham being mentioned before or am I wrong? I am excited to see Riddler returning to his old criminal self. The Riddler as detective thing has been fun for a while but I mean who didn’t think he would be a villain again? And the way he switches back is so comic bookey I love it. I was excited to see the Barbara-Dick-Helena love triangle again. I forgot that he slept with Huntress back in the day. Plus, I may be in the minority here, but I have never bought the Dick and Barbara relationship. I always felt like they should be close friends and not lovers.