All-Star Batman 9 and 10

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All-Star Batman #9
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jock and Francesco Fracavilla

For a split second I thought that the woman posing as Batman was really Cassandra Cain because of how Jock drew her – but sadly no it was just Catwoman. That being said the main story was just beyond awesome as we think everything is completely hopeless and it turns out Batman had everything in control the whole time. I rather enjoyed Bruce’s speech about stories and how stories about heroes are better than stories about villains. Could this by Scott Snyder’s rather dark way of giving his support to the Rebirth’s hope and optimism? As for the back up story – I am not exactly sure at all what happened.

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All-Star Batman #10
Written by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, and Rafael Scavone
Art by Albuquerque and Sebastian Fiumara

Wow I did not expect Scott Snyder to use Hush in this series, and I loved how Alfred and Batman worked together to scare the crap out of the villain. I am not fan of the Jeph Loeb run that introduced the character, but I do like the character and I am glad to see him again. I even had forgotten he had made himself look like Bruce with plastic surgery. The crazy Pirate fort was beyond cool as well and I wonder how this will all have to do with Alfred’s past. The backup story written by Albuquerque was interesting but it is too early to judge.

 

Detective Comics 954 – 957

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Detective Comics #954
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Marcio Takara

I am not sure how I feel about Takara’s art but this was another magnificent issue. The League of Shadows are about to destroy Gotham City and Jacob Kane says no one could take them on and survive, not even Batman or Batwoman. Then Jacob asks who could? And we get a panel of Cassandra Cain ready to fight!!!! I love you as a writer James Tynion IV. I screamed with joy at that page.

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Detective Comics #955
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Marcio Takara

This was a fantastic issue filled with badass Cassandra Cain moments standing up to her mother, even declaring that she knews her ability to fight and not kill has to impress her mother even if she says it doesn’t. Tynion IV undestands my favorite character – the best character DC has to offer and I am eating this series up. The final page had me cheering again!

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The Dark Knight Daughter

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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

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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.

The Real Batgirl Meets Her Mother (Again)

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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.
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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…

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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.

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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.

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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!