Gotham Victims

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Batman (Volume 3) #26
Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janin

Ok what the hell Deathstroke is NOT a Batman villain. Why is he pictured with the Batman Rogues Gallery all of a sudden and showing up possibly in the next Batman movie – he is a Teen Titans villain who sometimes fights other heroes! But anyways the second part of the War of Jokes and Riddle was decent but I was surprised at how quick a read it was. It was good to see characters like Carmine Falcone and it looks like Batman has now joined the Justice League in his first year as a crime fighter which I don’t even think that was the case before Flashpoint so that is an interesting continuity change. The theme that I took away from this issue is that Tom King seems to be focusing on the innocent victims of the Batman villains and how Batman remembers their names to keep his crusade on crime going. I like that.

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.

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.

Family Time

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Batman and Robin #20
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason

 

Okay Tomasi already did the whole “Bat-family watches a movie together” thing when he was writing Nightwing and I thought it was corny then – doing it again here made it cornier. Maybe I am just pissed that he didn’t include Cassandra I don’t know but it’s just not what I want to see in Batman comic. The rest of the book was pretty good as a guy dressed like an Angel falls to his death and Batman and Robin tried to figure out why. Man-Bat shows up and everything. Not a bad start to Tomasi’s run on the book, but not really spectacular either.

New Mentors

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #11
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Lee Garbett and Pere Perez

 

I feel like despite being action-packed, not much happened in this issue. Calculator has gotten inside Barbara’s head but she is holding her own and Wendy is helping out Batgirl. It has some cool visuals but still no mention of Cassandra so I really don’t care. With Babs running the Birds of Prey again, Cassandra along with Wendy should be Steph’s new mentors.

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.

Masks

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Batman #697
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

The person behind the Black Mask is revealed and all-in-all it is not that shocking. I still loved the issue. Daniel’s artworks has been great since he started on this book and so has his writing. Battle for the Cowl was a total fluke. I was sad to see the splash page of the Network considering this was an organization began by Cassandra Cain – and she has been gone since August and no one seems to care to look for her (In other words DC’s editors are douchebags) The debut of Catgirl was unexpected – I hate the costume it looks really ridiculous but that doesn’t mean I hate the concept. I wonder what Holly Robinson will think? Will this be reflected in Gotham City Sirens? Time will tell.

Killing Time

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Titans (Volume 2) #22
Written by J.T. Krul
Art by Angel Unzueta

 

Hmmm…Krul continues his great characterization of the Titans. He certainly gets these characters but I am not sure we needed another issue of Starfire pondering whether she should join the Justice League. And what’s with Beast Boy saying he is the leader of the Teen Titans, when it’s pretty clear Wonder Girl is leader. Maybe he is just saying that? Or this is before Cassie fully takes charge? Anyways, they are just killing time for Wallace to take over the book. Why is it taking so long?

Monsters

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Superman/Batman #67
Written by Scott Kolins
Art by Kolins

Hmm…this was rather confusing maybe I read it too fast as I am not sure what exactly occurred. Did Bizarro send Grundy into the sun? What is going on with Man-Bat and his wife? I don’t know if it was actually confusing or I just don’t care enough. Kolins is a good artist for these monsters though.

Quick Read

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Superman/Batman #66
Written by Scott Kolins
Art by Kolins

As it turns out, Bizarro is much more interesting in Black Lantern emotional spectrum vision then he is without it. Haha. I like that he said he was full of rage when the Black Lantern saw love. Nice use of the opposite speech and twisting it to fit Blackest Night perfectly. It was also great to see Frankenstein and the Bride. This was good but a little rushed. It was a quick read.

Batman and Manhunter Kissing In A Tree?

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #6
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Dustin Nguyen
Co-Feature by Marc Andreyko
Art by Jeremy Haun

This was a decent issue. I don’t really have much to say about it. Yost toned down the blood-thirstiness of the Huntress which was good. I like Man-Bat’s mentioning of being in Louisiana – acknowledging how he was in the Outsiders and this. Nice use of continuity and it shows how strong of an editor Marts is with the Batman line. The Manhunter Co-Feature wasn’t as fun as last issue and I don’t really like Dylan as a character so I am not excited to see him come back in Kate’s life. But I am interested to see how this Dick Grayson – Kate Spencer dating thing will pan out.

Her Name is Gabrielle!

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #23
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin

Pasarin is such a good artist why doesn’t DC ever use him as a regular artist? Although his Creeper is a little more normal looking then the Creeper usually is. But at the same time Tomasi writes him as more “normal” then he usually does too. It was great to see Katana and Halo’s relationship acknowledged, even if it is annoying that they keep calling Halo Violet instead of Gabrielle. This is going to be Tomasi’s last arc on this book before Didio takes over. I guess we shall see if Tomasi’s run is considered a sucessful one or not.

Blood Thirsty Huntress

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #5
Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Dustin Nguyen
Co-Feature by Marc Andreyko
Art by Jeremy Haun

During Gail Simone’s run on Birds of Prey, if I remember correctly, Huntress grew as a character and now rarely goes for lethal force on villains. So why in this issue is she unnecessarily blood thirsty? I get that she is more willing to kill then any of the other Gotham heroes but she seems to want to kill Man-Bat in this issue. It is just over the top. That being said I did like the story and the idea of the crazy priest. The Manhunter co-feature was pretty damn awesome as we look at Dylan’s histoy and Two-Face being up to no good. I did enjoy the issue although the Huntress was written strangely.

Best Use Of Clayface Ever

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #22
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin

Pasarin’s art is much better then Garbett’s for this book. And I have to say I am enjoying this rounding up the Gotham villains arc so far. It is much simpler then the last arc and less confusing. Not to mention that this issue contained the best use of Clayface I have EVER read in a comic. Clayface is usually used as a a throw away character disguised as someone else or a background character, but this issue shows how dangerous and powerful he can be. Especially when he shows up and absorbs a whole family into his body so they can mine him! Kudos to Tomasi for making great use of a character and showing me his worth.

She’s Back In The Family!

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Batman and the Outsiders (Volume 2) #13
Written by Frank Tieri
Art by Fernando Dagnino

The Outsiders don’t actually appear in this issue (having disbanded last issue) and neither does Batman (having dissapeared after R.I.P) but damnit I am happy, I got a Batgirl issue! Cassandra is being her usual bad ass self kicking ass and taking names! Alfred referring to her as part of the family made me soooo happy, as she really has been ignored as a member of the bat family ever since fucking Loeb didn’t include her in Hush. (Fuck you, Loeb) and especially since Beechen turned her evil for a bit. I hope Nightwing and Batgirl don’t actually fight next issue as that would just be stupid, I have seen enough of that shit for a lifetime. I hope they work out their differences as Alfred suggested. It is cool to check in on Gotham’s underworld of crime and to see all of the villains again. Tieri needs to write a Batgirl ongoing because I really like how he characterizes her. He gets her a lot more then Beechen does (Beechen doesn’t get her at all). But DC, she doesn’t need to be in her own book, but she does need to be a member of the Bat family and to be a constant guest star in Batman and Detective Comics because ignoring her is stupid. She is a great character. It looks like from the solicitations she will be leaving this book, so she better be showing up in Battle for the Cowl so I can get my Batgirl-Fix. Oh and kudos to Tieri for featuring the Spoiler in this as well. And Dagnino’s art was superb.

As I Have Said Before, Batgirl Rules

Batman and the Outsiders #12
Written by Frank Tieri
Art by Ryan Benjamin

Yes, Cassandra Cain is awesome! Didio respect her you big porn-mustached Jackass! I thought Tieri was leaning toward Batgirl betraying the team but no, she makes a mistake and the Outsiders disband but she demands that the team be brought back together. I like how Robin is worried about Batgirl in this issue because in the main bat-books it seems like they don’t give a shit about her. This book is actually tying into RIP more then most of the tie-ins. In fact, the Black Glove appears in this issue threatening the Outsiders. I don’t think Thunder will stay in the coma and I like how Grace speaks to God about it. And Remac’s death doesn’t bother me a bit, visually he was cool, but Salah was just annoying as hell. Tieri picked the right Outsider to kill off. I really liked this issue.