Babs Gordon Rebirth 1 – 8

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Batgirl (Volume 5) #1
Written by Hope Larson
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

Ugh. I hate that here I am reading another series titled Batgirl not starring the one and only Batgirl named Cassandra Cain. Instead we had these purpley Batgirls Stephanie Brown last time and now we are back to Barbara Gordon. Don’t get me wrong I love Barbara Gordon…as Oracle…where she made sense. Why do we need a purpley Batgirl who has a costume that could not scare a fly. In this issue, Barbara Gordon heads on a trip to Japan to meet a former hero named Fruit Bat and I guess the old lady can still fight. She also meets an old friend from Chicago while in Japan. It was well-written and everything but I miss Cassandra as Batgirl so much. This was too bright and happy and purpley for a Bat story. Also, with so many Golden Age heroes around….why did Larson make one up for this story. Come on if you are a writer in the DC Universe sandbox…utilize it’s many toys!

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Batgirl (Volume 5) #2
Written by Hope Larson
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

Okay so Barbara keeps mentioning Burnside and it has been mentioned in other books. What is it? A town or a neighborhood in Gotham? A quick google search made me realize it is a Hipster neighborhood in Gotham. Ha, like Logan Square or Wicker Park in Chicago. Babs’s new boyfriend Kai is a hunk! She should not be so worried about being with him.

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Pandora Pits and Creative Teams

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Trinity (Volume 2) #7
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Clay Mann and Miguel Mendoca

Ra’s Al Ghul, Lex Luthor, and Circe are all called to “the Pandora Pits.” and fight a creature that comes from the Pits that is a fusion of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman; a representation of their greatest fears. In the end, they beat the creature and realize the power of the Pandora Pits is here. How this relates to the Pandora killed in DC Rebirth is unknown to me but this was an intersting start to this tory arc. Is Manapul now off this book or is Bunn just a guest writer? Is it always going to have rotating creative teams like Superman/Batman had? I really enjoyed Manapul’s work on this series before. I hope he is back.

Trinity 1 – 6

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Trinity (Volume 2) #1
Written by Francis Manapul
Art by Manapul

2008 – 2009’s Trinity Maxi-series was…well…bad. Nothing of consequence came from it and it really was a waste of everyone’s time and money. Nearly a decade later can DC create a good series starring their trinity of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman? If I had to judge from the first issue alone, I would say Manapul has hit one out of the park. In this issue, Batman and Wonder Woman decide to meet with the Post-Crisis Superman at his new home for dinner.  Superman brings up a story that Dick Grayson told him about Batman Pre-Flashpoint and Bruce has no memory of it. Interesting considering my theory that the ten years taken away thing means that their memories have just been erased. But this was early in Batman’s career, so it may just be chunks of time adding up to ten years and not a consecutive ten years? Anyways, there were many things I loved about this, but most of all the art. Manapul takes advantage of being both the writer and artist by setting up some rather beautiful and creative way to do the panels on the pages. I also loved how this book – unlike the first volume of Trinity – seems to  be firmly set in the DCU. It references the main series of its main characters and what is going on in those books. That is how to build a real cohesive universe and I am glad DC is doing that well in this Rebirth era. The final page through me for a loop too…what is going on there?

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Trinity (Volume 2) #2
Written by Francis Manapul
Art by Manapul

In this issue, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman seemingly go back in time and meet with Jonathan Kent in Smallville but the final pages reveal that they are all actually under the spell of Black Mercy and imagining it while Poison Ivy has attacked them with it. This was a beautifully drawn issue. But the Black Mercy thing has been done so many times before and it has been done with the Trinity so many times before, I wish Manapul had thought of something more original to do.

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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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Harley Quinn 1 – 14

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #1
Written by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Chad Hardin

I knew that Harley Quinn seemed to be way more popular since I stopped reading comics just by looking at dccomics.com once in a while the last few years. At first I hated that they sexified her costume and everything but after reading this comic I can see why she has become so big. This is hilarious stuff! Connor and Palmiotti write Harley as if you can hear her accent and funny quips in your ears. The way the zombie outbreak gets started is so morbid but funny. And all of these side characters are intriguing – the gang of Harleys, Red Tool, etc…

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #2
Written by Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Bret Blevins and  Chad Hardin

I did not enjoy this issue as much as the last but this is still a fun book. In this issue, it is mostly just Harley fighting the zombies in various ways and some of the jokes felt flat to me. But I loved the part in the bathroom.

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5 Years Later and I am back baby! So here is Gotham City Sirens 22-26

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Gotham City Sirens #22
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

It has been five years since I read the last issue of this book and I don’t remember what happened but I think this was a Batman crossover issue and therefore it doesn’t much matter. It sure as hell was a good one though. Calloway really played with Catwoman’s history here with her sister which shows he understands the character. Always interesting to hear Selena quote Jesus of all people. I missed the DCU! It is good to be back in Gotham.

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Gotham City Sirens #23
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

Look how old this comic is ! The Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern movie! Ew! Anyways, Harley tries to break Joker out of Arkham again and Batman sends Catwoman to stop it. I love that the Joker knows that there is more than one Batman running around Gotham and mentions it here. They really never had Joker and Harley together in the mainstream comics all that much. It is refreshing (and psychotic) to see it in this issue.

 

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Gotham City Sirens #24
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

This was an action-packed finale to this arc that ends with both Harley and Ivy locked up in Arkham but not before the Joker goes on a murdering spree. It is fun to see the Bat and the Cat fighting together again. This was a great issue. Violent. I had forgotten how violent these comics can be. But I don’t mind violence as long as there is still hope and optimism in the end. DC Rebirth restored that for me. Let’s hope the Didio doesn’t screw this up!

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Gotham City Sirens #25
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

Hats off to Guinaldo for choosing to make the borders between panels in this issue be actualy plant vines as it mainly stars Poison Ivy who breaks out of Arkham with Harley Quinn (I love that she goes between wanting to actually kill Harley and calling Harley her best friend throughout the issue) and with the help of the Penguin the duo traps Catwoman in Robinson Park. This is the perfect way to end a villain book, even sympathetic villains like these ladies. I look forward to the final issue.

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Gotham City Sirens #26
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

This is the final issue of the Gotham City Sirens as it ends before the New 52 disgusting no-good horrible reboot. So glad it is turning out to not have been a reboot at all.  I have to say it had some great character moments but I was a bit confused if Batman was really behind the entire Sirens “team” or if Catwoman was lying. It also ended abruptly. I wonder if the other titles do this before Flashpoint or if this was unique. The last panel was just blank. Sad.

Expectations

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Gotham City Sirens #21
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

 

This was another great issue of Sirens. Two in a row after a so-so opening arc for Calloway on this book! Harley succumbs to her love for the Joker after all. I loved it and I wasn’t expecting that but I should have! The story of the Guards’ kid was very sad and showed just how twisted the Joker really is. I didn’t expect Catwoman and Ivy to part ways in this either. Love the art as well!