The Origin of the Wonder-Woman of China

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New Super-Man #12
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Art by Billy Tan

I never thought of this before but since Superman has metropolis and it seems like Kenan’s whole life seems to mirror his, why not have Kenan protect a fictional Chinese city instead of Shanghai? Anyways, in this issue we learn about the origin of the Wonder-Woman of China who just like Wonder Woman comes from myth, but in this case from Chinese myth. The shocking Darth Vader-like reveal at the end of this issue is the Doctor Omen is actually actually Kenan’s mother! I mean it wasn’t so shocking it was hinted at but this was a good issue.

New Super-Man 1 – 11

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New Super-Man #1
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Art by Viktor Bogdanovic

Going into this new series I did not know what to expect. I thought maybe DC was doing this to sell a series in China but I don’t think they would let a comic book be sold there that has “conspiracy theories” the Chinese government. I did end up finding this first issue to be a lot of fun. Yang is building almost a paralell world to Superman’s world in China with his own Lex Luthor and Lois Lane. But why Shanghai, why not make up a fictional Chinese city? The character of Kenan Kong…the new Super-Man is very interesting in that he is not a reluctant hero. He seems excited about gaining powers which is so different from how these things are usually done in comics.

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New Super-Man #2
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Art by Viktor Bogdanovic

Young Kenan Kong is now the Super-Man of China and meets the Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman of China. This Dr. Omen is putting together a Justice League for China. I quite enjoyed Dr. Omen’s no nonsense characterization and Kenan Kong is also a lot of fun. He is so excitied to be the new Super-Man he announces his secret identity on live tv.

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My Guess Is Gilda

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Batman #707
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

The whole mess with the mask of the beholder ends here…it wasn’t my favorite story but it wasn’t bad either. I liked that it set up Peacock as a possible Dick Grayson love interest and the ending of this issue was just awesome. Daniel’s art has improved tremendously since Battle for the Cowl and it shows here too. So who is the mysterious woman at the end of this issue with the two-face coin? I am not sure but I have a feeling it’s Gilda Dent!

Girl Sidekicks

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Batman #706
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

There seems to be a theme of girl sidekicks running through this book as both Riddler’s Daughter and Catgirl show up. I am looking forward to seeing more of Enigma as her backstory has never been really explained but Riddler does act like she may be his actual daughter in this. Though you would think the Riddler would know better then to mess with Batman’s suit? As always Daniel continues to utilize Gotham City to its fullest and I am loving his run so far.

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!

Robin 164 – 180

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Robin #164
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

Meh….this issue was just a waste. Dodge recruits a bunch of Gotham Metas I don’t care about to take out Robin and Robin gets asked to be on the tennis team. I really don’t care.  Williams’s art, while I liked it at first, is kinda getting on my nerves. I don’t like how cartooney it is and how everyone’s mouth looks so strange.

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Robin #165
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

Now this was more like it. Robin fights off Dodge and his goon in the hospital. I like how Beechen is great at explaining how Robin can take out these guys who at first glace seem so much more powerful. He uses brains over brawn. I knew there was no way Dodge would want to kill Robin, but I wonder how this girl knows Robin’s real name or if she even does.

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Robin #166
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

While this storyline took a little long, I must say that I really enjoyed this finale. I hope Dodge comes back again. There is something so sweet about his flamebird-like wannabe attitude. I also must say that I was not expecting the whole Zatara/Ravager twist at all. This was a good issue.

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Robin #167
Written by Brandon Thomas
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

This filler issue was very very good and a nice story about a boy who misses his father. Sometimes these mourning stories can get a little tiresome but there hasn’t been that much focus on the death of Jack Drake in this series and this issue make up for it. The best part has to be when Batman tells Jack “That he will take it up from here.” Meaning of course that he will take care of Tim.

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Robin #168
Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

This is part of the Ressurection of Ra’s al Ghul crossover and is one of the better issues in this crossover. I totally understand why Robin is freaking out on Damian. I hate that little brat and I don’t trust him either. And it’s not like Damian is being subtle about wanting to replace Tim, I mean he runs around in a Robin shirt! How old is Damian supposed to be? Just curious.

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Robin #169
Written by Peter Milligan
Art by David Baldeon

This is another part of the Ressurection of Ra’s al Ghul and in it we see Tim tempted by the idea of joining with Ra’s if it means he can bring back those he has lost. I was shocked at first that Robin would consider it, but then I thought about it and realized….this boy has lost his parents, his girlfriend, and his best friend. I think it is very human of him to be tempted to do that, but I trust he will make the right decision in the end. Oh and I like Baldeon’s art better than Williams’s art.

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Robin #170
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Chris Batista and Jamal Igle

Chuck Dixon is  back on Robin and it looks like he is fixing DC’s biggest mistake in the bat-books of this decade, the death and mistreatment of Stephanie Brown. Dixon wsa the writer of Robin when I first got into comics (writer of most of the batbooks actually) and I have tremendous respect for him as a writer even if I don’t agree with his politics. This is a fantastic issue and a great start to his new run. I can’t wait to see Stephanie again. And I loved the mention of the memorial (or lack of) in the cave.

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Robin #171
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Chris Batista

This was a good issue, Dixon is back in the game like he never left. And I love how he is seeing Spoiler jumping across rooftops. If she is alive, was that issue of Batgirl where she talks to Stephanie in a near-death-experience just a hallucination? Anyways, Violet has an ugly costume. I wonder what is going on with Ives.

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Robin #172
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by David Baldeon

Robin busts up an illegal casino led by Maxie Zeus this issue, all the while trying to stop Violet. God…I hate her. I hate her costume and I hate her attitude and I HATE those stupid goggles. All and all I have got a lot of hate for her. I question since she isn’t the Spoiler, what the point of her character even is? I guess just to throw people off thinking she was Stephanie. But Stephanie is back in her old Spoiler this issue! But Tim doesn’t know it yet.

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Robin #173
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Chris Batista

Spoiler shows up but Robin doesn’t believe it is Stephanie behind the mask. I liked how he gets angry that someone is impersonating her as I think I would be too. I almost feel like Dixon should have waited to not show the readers Spoiler was back until the moment Robin saw her, it would make it more dramatic.

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Robin #174
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Chris Batista

Well Stephanie is back and Dixon has fixed one of DC’s worst mistakes, her brutal death. He even makes Batman look like less of jackass by saying that Batman knew that she was still alive and that is why there was no memorial in the cave. She apparently faked her death with the help of Leslie. Now I would like to see Batman and Leslie reconcile. It was really awesome to see Tim give her a big hug and kiss when he saw her. I know DC will try to play it off as if this was there plan the whole time, but we all know it wasn’t. I am just happy it is fixed.

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Robin #175
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Joe Bennett

This issue begins a crossover with R.I.P and more so of a crossover then Detective or Nightwing is (They are not really crossovers at all) but around the same level of crossover as Batman and the Outsiders. Dixon left DC before this issue and his remaining stories were chronicled in the Robin/Spoiler Special. I am not going to get into that whole dabacle, but I will say that this is good stuff. Nicieza is always good and is a perfect replacement for Dixon. I don’t really care for the flashbacks to 52 with Dick and Tim though. It just doesn’t interest me. Robin searching for the missing Batman does though and his strange relationship with Spoiler.

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Robin #175
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Joe Bennett

The R.I.P storyline begins and it is revealed that the Spoiler has been trying to steer Robin away from finding out what is going on with Batman because Batman asked him to. R.I.P is turning out to be an awesome storyline, and this crossover is really exciting as we see Tim dig deeper and deeper to find out what happened to Batman. Still don’t care much for the flashbacks but it works in the context of the story. The art is fantastic as well.

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Robin #177
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

I didn’t expect to see Ragman in this issue but I guess I forgot he lives in Gotham. As for who the new Red Robin is if it isn’t Jason Todd, I have no idea but I have always liked the Red Robin costume. I doubt Stephanie is actually paying Lynx to kill Robin. If she is that would be stupid and Nicieza is a better writer then that. The writing is good that I wasn’t even annoyed by Williams’s art.

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Robin #178
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

I am confused. I don’t know who that guy was at the end or what is going on with Spoiler. I really don’t care about this gang war, it bores me. This was kind of a dull issue and this time around I did notice Williams’s art.

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Robin #179
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

Okay everything is spiraling out of control for Robin who is trying to keep Gotham safe, Spoiler is acting weird, and there is a guy running around as Red Robin who seemingly wants to kill Robin. This is a lot to take in, but the annoying thing is that Tim mentions him and Dick are taking care of thing in Gotham, but so is Cassandra! Why no mention of Batgirl, damn it.

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Robin #180
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

I am sure Robin escapes the explosion at the end….but I was very underwhelmed by the reveal of who Red Robin was. I was expecting someone way cooler then that, some former Robin villain now a little muscled up. At least it looks like Anarky is coming back, although he sort of disappeared from comics around the time I started reading them so I don’t have that much of a connection with the character as some people do. Hmmmm…..not sure where this is going exactly but I guess I am along for the ride.

Batman 669 – 680

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Batman #669
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by J.H. Williams III

Ya maybe because it has been a while since I read the start of this story…..but I sooo confused by this. What happened? It seemed like pages were missing or something? So Mayhew was behind this? He is being paid by the Black Glove? So confused….maybe I have to go back and re-read the last two issues.

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Batman #670
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

This is the prelude to the Ressurection of Ra’s Al Ghul Bat-crossover and I have to say I liked it more then some of the other issues of this crossover. I was a bit confused by Ra’s saying Damian was grown in a tank? Did I miss something there? As for the storyline itself, I really could care less about it. But this was still a good issue.

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Batman #671
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

Also, a little bit confused by this issue. Was that really Ra’s father? It really didn’t seem like much happened in this issue. Very quick read….really only okay for a comic, a big failure for a comic written by Morrison.

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Batman #672
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

Wow…Morrison’s run is very confusing, but you know with Morrison it will all make sense in the end and when you reread things you will catch things you did not catch before. I didn’t notice the Zur-En-Arr stuff the first time I read this. As for what Bat-Mite is doing here, I do not know. But I am intrigued by everything, even though I am confused.

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Batman #673
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

Batman is having heart attack this issue, and flashes back to some interesting moments in his life where he has hallucinated. I like the flashback to the Robin Dies at Dawn storyline and it’s paralells with the Thogal ritual. I even liked the Joe Chill stuff, even if I was a little against the idea of bringing that character back. Tony Daniel is a fantastic artist and his work is perfectly suited for Morrison. I am not sure why some bloggers seem to not like him…to each his own I guess.

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Batman #674
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

Now things are getting really good! We learn the truth behind the three Cop-Batman’s that have been plaguing him. Apparently, they were created by Dr. Simon Hurt to take Batman’s place in case he died. But it looks like Hurt was a psycho who even went to the lengths of having one of the cop’s familes murdered to do the same psychological damage to the cop as Bruce experienced as a boy. Interesting stuff, I really think the overall theme of Morrison’s run is Bruce’s psychology, and the state of his mind. This is all coming together rather nicely. As for Bat-Mite, he seems to represent the readers, as he seems to know things only the readers of this book would know and is trying to clue Batman in. That would fit with the whole characters being aware they are comic characters thing that Morrison has been dealing with since his run on Animal Man.

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Batman #675
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Ryan Benjamin

Well, this is the prelude to R.I.P. The storyline that is supposed to change Batman’s world forever. Benjamin’s art is pretty bad. I did not like it at all…the facial expressions just seemed off. As for Jezebel finding out that Bruce and Batman are one and the same, I think Bruce could have easily said that he wasn’t Batman, but it looks like he does trust her for some reason.

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Batman #676
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

This is the first part of R.I.P and I must say that I really enjoyed it…especially on the second read. Yes, it is no Hush, this isn’t some stupid popcorn summer movie flick type comic, this is intelligent stuff. You have to read it multiple times to catch things. I am not sure if the Black Glove is the same as the club of villains or if the Black Glove is an actual person behind the scenes. The club of villains are interesting and I look forward to learning more about them. I am getting suspicious of Jezebel…could she be the Black Glove? The Joker’s first appearence in this story was particularly frightening….the perfect way for Batman’s arch nemesis to make his entrance.

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Batman #677
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

If this stuff with Thomas Wayne is true, then this WILL fundamentally change Batman as a character forever. I hope it is not. That is too much of a messing with the mythos. I hope this was created by the Black Glove to throw Batman off, to make him go crazy. I still am suspicious about Jezebel, I think she is involved with the Black Glove somehow. This is the most original Batman story I think I have ever read.

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Batman #678
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

I can’t help but think of that old Batman: The Animated Series episode where Batman forgets he is Batman and ends up on the streets while reading this issue as essentially the same thing has happened, except Bruce has also gone bat-shit crazy! He’s running around in hand-stitched costume saying he is the Batman of Zur-En-Ahhr! I have to say, I have no idea where this story is going, but I am loving it!

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Batman #679
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

The club of villains have taken over Arkham, and everything is going to hell in a handbasket. The Batman of Zur-En-Ahhr is one crazy bastard, but Bruce is sitll in there I know it. There was certainly a lot of red and black symbolism in this issue, although I probably would not have noticed if I hadn’t read about it in annotations.

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Batman #680
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

I was correctamundo! It looks like Jezebel Jet is the Black Glove or is at least working with him/her. This was one INTENSE issue as I really got the feeling I was reading Bruce’s final days. It is both creepy and amazing. I can’t wait to see how this arc ends.