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.

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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Red Robin 22-26

red_robin_vol_1_22Red Robin #22
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Freddie Williams II

This was another issue of the Azrael Batman crossover. It was good and for once I wasn’t bothered by Williams’s art for some reason it seemed less cartoony this time around. I don’t quite buy the idea that Tim Drake would not believe in God because he is a member of the Teen Titans he has fought Gods and knows that there is Angel that used to be in the Justice League, etc. I think Nicieza should have said he doesn’t believe in the Christian version of God or something else besides this because it doesn’t work in the DCU.

red_robin_vol_1_23Red Robin #23
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

I wonder if the scene where Lucius Fox means with a Hong Kong businessman named Lau is a homage to the similar scene in The Dark Knight. It sure seems like it. Anyways, this was a decent issue where Red Robin is lead into a trap and an assassin’s tournament. Tim acts like he has heard of this tournament before and I wonder if it was in this book or in his time as Robin.

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Red Robin #24
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

I like how Marcus To draws Tim’s Red Robin costume when he is surrounded completely with his cape, which is surprising because I am not a big fan of the costume in general. The ending of this issue actually made this interesting after all as there is an occult angle to this story line that I was not expecting. Also Tim may be forced to impregnate someone but I am sure he gets out of this next issue? Let’s see!

 

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Written by Fabian Nicieza

Art by Marcus To

Tim and Cassandra Cain fighting together again at last! Despite the misleading cover, Tim and Cassandra – now in her new guise as Black Bat – a rather awesome title for her I think. The only thing better would be what she truly is – Batgirl! Anyways, it was great to see the two of them working together. To me and people my age, they are Batgirl and Robin. That being said, Nicieza only briefly mentions Tim going to Hong Kong to help Cass fight Cricket. Which sounds like an awesome villain. Why can’t we see that story instead of what I assume the next issue will be. I bet he originally wanted to include it but it was cut because of the stupid New 52.

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Red Robin #26
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

In the final issue of this series, Tim sets up a death trap for Captain Boomerang – the man who killed his father, but saves Boomerang at the last second. Batman is disappointed in Red Robin and even though he made the right choice the issue ends on a darker note with a darker Red Robin. I question why they would go in this direction at all? It doesn’t really fit the character although I do think there is room for Tim to kill more than Cassandra Cain whose whole character was about not killing but still…it’s a bit strange.

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.

Leaving Arkham

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Titans (Volume 2) #30
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino

 

It’s a shame this Arkham arc is coming to an end as this has been the best this book has been since the Villains for Hire thing started. Heck any comic set in Arkham is usually a treat but this setting really amped up the fun for this series which I found to just be incredibly depressing before. Osiris leaves and swares off killing for now, which is a good thing, although it was kind of abrupt and the confrontation between Dick and Roy was great cause I am glad to see that Dick still believes in his friend even if Roy has become a drug addicted mess. I wonder where this is going.

Arkham Fights

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Titans (Volume 2) #29
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino

 

This was an okay issue but I don’t feel like a lot happened – just a lot of fighting inside Arkham and Tattooed Man talking about his dead son – who I didn’t even know was dead. But it’s still Arkham and that is always fun. Osiris is completely nuts now.

A Trip To Arkham

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Titans (Volume 2) #28
Written by Eric Wallace
Art by Fabrizio Fiorentino

 

I have to say that this is the best issue of Wallace’s run yet, and that has a lot to do with it is always awesome when a comic is set in Arkham Asylum and the Bat-Villains show up. The idea that the one guard had the key to all the cells is incredibly dumb but whatever. Osiris is a full-on killer now I highly doubt he can be redeemed even if he thinks killing is going to bring his sister back to life. Arsenal is actually quite interesting as a drug addict but it’s still so sad to see him like that. It was just as heartbreaking to see Ray Palmer investigating Ryan Choi’s disappearance. A part of me still has some hope that Ryan may still be alive somehow.

Damage

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Superman #703
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Eddy Barrows

 

JMS’s Grounded tales is a lot better then I thought it would be and I love that he is incorporating the after effects of New Krypton and not just sweeping that story under the rug but I don’t know if I buy the argument about the potential damage being done as Superman walks across America. What is the difference between this and the damage done when people attack him in Metropolis? Nothing really. Anyways, I wonder what this New Krypton kryptonite does cause it seems to have possessed a school teacher and caused another guy to gain powers hmmm.

Who Is This Angel?

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Gotham City Sirens #13
Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Peter Nguyen and Andres Guinaldo

 

Hmmm so is Maggie Kyle really being lead by an angel? It seems so or is it something else? Something sinister. I don’t know as it is clearly not just a hallucination as Harley saw it too. This was a quick read but it was still good and it was a great recap of Catwoman history. I loved seeing the nineties costume again too. I wonder when this will be followed up as Dini is sure to return as regular writer next month.

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?

To 700 More!

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Batman #700
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel, Frank Quitely, Andy Kubert, Scott Kolins, and David Finch

 

Morrison returns to the main Batman book to celebrate the 700th issue. I am not sure why everyone around the blogosphere wants to rip on this book. I enjoyed it more then anything Morrison did when he was actually the writer of this series! I liked the look at Batman through different eras and it was awesome to see Batman Beyond and everything. I thought all the art was superb and it worked really well. This was a great anniversary issue.

Halo Kicks Ass

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #25
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin and Derec Donovan

Tomasi’s run comes to an end with this issue and it was a good issue. Yes, Tomasi had Halo being called Violet again (Ugh she never went by that name!) but he lets her be the big hero and kick serious ass in this issue so I forgive him. I love when Halo kicks ass. I think this was a good way to end Tomasi’s run and this Blackest Night tie-in was definitely successful. Do I think Tomasi’s run was that great? No it could have been a lot better but it wasn’t awful either. I am more afraid of what the Didio-Tan run will be like. I hope they pleasantly surprise me. Oh and it was nice to see Thunder again!

More Ugly Art

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Green Arrow & Black Canary #26
Written by Andrew Kreisberg
Art by Mike Norton and Renato Guedes

Not going to lie, I have no idea who those guys were at the end of this and why they are putting Everyman in as Green Arrow again or what not. Was it even Everyman? We never saw any proof of that. This storyline is already annoying and we are only one issue in. The art in this issue was just awful. Why can’t this book get good art? Both Norton and Guedes are better artists then this crap. This book has just gone down hill.

Blackest Night Descends Upon The Outsiders

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Outsiders (Volume 4) #24
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin

The penultimate issue of Tomasi’s run may be the strongest issue of his run yet. That could be due to the strength of the Blackest Night concept or because Tomasi get the character of Terra – the evil girl who infiltrated the Teen Titans and betrayed them. She was not duped or drugged by Deathstroke – she was a bad person. It’s pure and simple. I love that Krul and Tomasi are acknowledging this as for a while DC seem to be heading in the direction of ignoring the intent of Marv Wolfman when he created her and pretending that she was this sweet girl who got corrupted. I love how Black Lantern Terra is just as manipulative as she was in life. She acts all sweet and kind to her brother even with that horrible zombie look – and he believes her! It was awesome. You know she is setting a trap for the Outsiders. It was great to see Katana and Halo’s close friendship acknowledged (Although she calls her Violet again ahh!) and Katana’s family who I hadn’t even predicted would show up as black lanterns.

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.