The Dark Knight Daughter

tec893

Detective Comics #953
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Christian Duce

I recently asked Phil Jimenez on twitter if Linda Danvers could show up in his Superwoman run. His answer made it seem like all of the Rebirth creative teams will be changing soon. I hope he is wrong because DEAR GOD DC DO NOT TAKE TYNION OFF THIS COMIC. He is the best writer of Cassandra Cain in years. The only way I could be okay with that is if they said she gets to be Batgirl again. In this issue, Cassandra has to deal with the revalation of Lady Shiva being her mother. In the flashbacks to her training, Cassandra is able to speak some words. This was not true pre-flashpoint and it bothers me but perhaps it is a key to DC Rebirth and the missing ten years? Maybe she subconsciously remembers learning the language before the timeline change. That would be cool. The cover to this comic is not deceiving, she does fight Batman when he tries to stop her. She even goes as far to reject the name Cassandra because she wants nothing to do with her parents. Who could blame her? This is a character with murderous parents who instinctively knows murder is wrong. But Batman trying to calm her down made me so happy. It was the father-daughter relationship they had in Cassandra’s early days. Before DC stupidly had him abandon her during 52. There was no reason why she couldn’t have gone with them on their trip in 52 or Bruce would have put her in charge of Gotham and not Harvey Dent. It was years ago but I am still pissed about it. Cassandra finally confronts Lady Shiva who challenges her to fight her to the death, she wants to see her daughter try to kill. Cassandra refuses being the one true Batgirl and is beaten unconscious and left in the sewer by her mother. I hope we get to see Cass get her revenge for that soon.

Pandora Pits and Creative Teams

Trinity7

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.

The Real Batgirl Meets Her Mother (Again)

Detective_Comics_Vol_1_952

Detective Comics #952
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Christian Duce

In this issue, Tynion IV once again shows me that this is without a doubt the best comic book DC is publishing. He consistently hits it out of the park with the team dynamics, characterization, and the exploration of what makes this Bat-family tick. Because yes despite what some writers have acted like the bat-family goes way beyond Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne. And as any reader of this blog knows the best bat-family character in my opinion is the one and only Cassandra Cain which this issue so wonderfully focuses on as Cassandra meets her mom Lady Shiva for the first time in this new timeline (or at least in her memory if this erased memory thing turns out to be true) and she is devastated by it. Lady Shiva acts completely evil to her, calling her refusual to kill pathetic, and saying she wish she had never known about what happened to her daughter. It was the final pages of this issue where Cassandra cries and Batman holds her that I knew Tynion understands the father-daughter relationship between these two characters. Like I said, Cassandra is the real Dark Knight Damsel and I hope this moment blooms into him once again adopting Cass in this continuity. Oh and the art is fantastic as usual.

Titans Tower is Back

Teen Titans (Volume 6) #5
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Khoi Pham

This was another incredible issue of Teen Titans. I am beginning to think this is going to be a really great run in the way Geoff Johns, Marv Wolfman, and J.T. Krul had (although Krul’s was abbreviated) – there is a lot of hope already and a feeling these people will become close friends like the Titans always were. I still don’t like Damian much and I don’t think he should be there “leader” but even I am warming up to him. The art was fantastic in this comic I got to hand it to this creative team they are kicking it out of the park. I was so happy to see at the end Titans Tower is back!

Teen Titans Rebirth 1 – 4

Okay this is it…. I am returning to the DCU after a five-year absence. I have caught up with all pre-flashpoint stories. And now we are here in the world of DC Rebirth. Will I recognize these characters I have loved so much? How much has the Teen Titans changed since I last saw them in Volume 3. Let’s find out.
teentitans1-1

Teen Titans (Volume 6) #1
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Jonboy Meyers

Immediately off the bat I have to say this felt more like Young Justice than Teen Titans to me and that is probably because of the art style which I enjoyed I guess…and it fits the tone…but I like my art usually less cartoony. I am willing to give Meyers a chance. I thought this was an okay start if a bit simplistic. Damian Wayne has gathered a new team of Teen Titans and plan to restore the team to greatness it has been missing the last few years which I suppose is how this book incorporates the Rebirth aspect. I love that Beast Boy says Damian is no Time Drake because hell ya he is not! Damian is still an annoying brat to me and always will be. I have to ask how of the Pre-Flashpoint Teen Titans history is now back. Dick is mentioned by Alfred as having grown up with the Titans but Beast Boy and Raven are much younger than they were pre-flashpoint it seems. Did they have the history with the Titans before?  Damian briefly joined the Teen Titans back in Volume 3. I had thought he was turning 13 then too. Is that story out of continuity or taken away by Dr. Manhattan? These are the kinds of questions I would like to see answered eventually.  Are Connor Kent and Bart Allen ever going to come back? I am new to this new Kid Flash who I wish they would just change his name to something besides Wally. Let’s see if Benajamin Percy can bring the Titans together again…

teentitans2

Teen Titans (Volume 6) #2
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Diogenes Neves

We learn the real reason these specific heroes have been picked by Damanian to be the Teen Titans is because they were all chosen by a group of young assassins working for Ra’s Al Ghul as targets. The assassins show up and the team has to work together in this issue to fight them. It was a good issue. I enjoyed the art and the writing much more than I did the previous issue. Still waiting to find out how much of Titans history is still in tact.

teentitans3

 

Teen Titans (Volume 6) #3
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Khoi Pham

In a flashback scene in this issue, you see Damian training with the assassin Mara and man oh man he was a little dickhead then wasn’t he? Scarring her so she will remember he is a better fighter. This issue balanced out the last issue by being more about getting in the heads of the characters. I really enjoyed it and I think I am already impressed with Benjamin Percy as a writer. This book has had 3 different artists in 3 different issues but they all have been good.

tt4

Teen Titans (Volume 6) #4
Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Khoi Pham

I was very impressed by this issue as well. Damian nearly sacrifices himself to save the Teen Titans and the team finally gets behind him. I like how this adventure is really building this group into a cohesive unit. I have to say it is making me feel that “Titans family” feeling you got from the Pre-Flashpoint Teen Titans. Keep it up!

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.

red_robin_vol_1_24

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!

 

Red Robin #25red_robin_vol_1_25
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.

red_robin_vol_1_26

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.

Batman 709 – 713

Batman709
Batman #709
Written by David Hine
Art by Guillem March

In this issue we learn that Dick let a boy he was jealous of get beat up back in his trapeze days. Dick acts so guilty about it but he was just a kid…what was he going to do? He hadn’t been trained by Bruce yet. Azrael realizes that he is being duped by Ra’s Al Ghul and the day is saved. I liked this comic although it was a little too convenient that the guy ended up bringing up “his friend Dick from childhood” to Batman.

B
Batman #710
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Steve Scott

I often forget that it is Dick and not Bruce in these comics sometimes. But Daniel did a good job of reminding us of this when he has Dick just standing around as Batman near reporters. Bruce would never do that. Meanwhile Dick and Selena try to convince Katrina Falcone aka Catgirl to leave Gotham and Two-Face is looking for his missing coin.  Daniel is really mining continuity for his run on Batman and I love it. Steve Scott was an excellent substitute for Daniel’s art too. The issue ends with a surprise return character.

bat711Batman #711
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Steve Scott

This was another fun issue of Batman. Yes sometimes things can be both dark and fun. Daniel has had a way of balancing that in his run. I love that he mines Batman’s history and his supporting cast. Here we get Riddler’s Daughter, Catgirl, Riddler, and Two-Face plus the Falcones and Gilda Dent. I am not sure I understand why Gilda is with Mario Falcone but I am sure that will be cleared up in the next issue or something.

Batman_Dick_Grayson_0042

 

Batman #712
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Steve Scott

You can tell Daniel is wrapping up his run now. Catgirl leaves Gotham, I think the Riddler just killed his own daughter, and Two-Face killed Mario Falcone. Lots of death in this issue. So why would the Riddler shoot his daughter to “restore” himself?

Batman_Vol_1_713

Batman #713
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Steve Scott, Daniel Sampere, and Andrei Bressen

Here it is the final issue of a series that began in 1940! I hate when they renumber things and hope Batman goes back to its original numbering some day. Why is Cassandra Cain not in the splash page that shows the Batfamily! I mean come on! It shows the Huntress. Cassandra is way closer to Batman than the Huntress ever was! What is it with writers in this period and ignoring the greatest of all Batgirls. It ends up just being a a sweet story about how Dick teaches Damnian an important lesson. But that is so underwhelming for a finale of a comic book this important in history that it is just sad. Plus no Cassandra Cain so I obviously hated this.