Harley Quinn 17-22

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #17
Written by Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Paul Dini
Art by John Timms and Brett Blevins

The main story has the detective guy asking Harley and her gang to look into why homeless people are missing in New York and the dialogue was very funny. It seems that this series is a hit or a miss for me and this issue was a hit. The back up story by Paul Dini and art by Brett Blevins doing his best Bruce Timm – it reminded me so much of the old Batman: the Animated Series from when I was a kid it brought a smile to my face.

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #18
Written by Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Paul Dini
Art by John Timms, Joseph Michael Lisner, and Brett Blevins

The main story of the cannibals eating all of the Homeless is so sad but somehow they manage to write it all off as a dark comedy while not being offensive. That takes balls. The back up was filled with more Batman: The Animated Series style Harley and Joker goodness. This is a fun book to read 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.

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.

Detective Comics 934-950

This is it…I am returning to DC after a 5 year absence. Now that DC Rebirth has brought back the original continuity without throwing the New 52…will these characters be the same as the ones I loved. Most of all, for this book, I care about Cassandra Cain. She is my favorite comic book character and in my opinion the one true Batgirl. AND she is finally a regular in a book again. Will this be the same Cassandra I know and love? I know she got reintroduced but is she really just the same character with the memories of her time as Batgirl erased by the evil Dan Didio…I mean Doctor Manhattan. Let’s find out as I explore Detective Comics Rebirth.

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Detective Comics #934
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

This was a great jumping back on point for old/new readers. I did not miss a beat. Batman discovers someone is targeting Gotham’s vigilantes and has recruited Batwoman to “train” them. (I do cringe at the idea that Cassandra needs training from Batwoman.) He finally reveals his secret identity to her and they are cousins. I always was annoyed the the Wayne-Kane connection was never explored pre-Flashpoint so I loved this moment. The first of the team we meet is Stephanie Brown former Batgirl and Robin but now back to her Spoiler idenity. The identity she should have remained. I like her, don’t get me wrong, but she should never have been allowed to take the mantle of Batgirl from Cassandra Cain.

After Steph, we see Tim Drake in a new Red Robin costume that evokes his classic Robin costume. Man it is good to see him look like that again. That was an amazing costume.

Finally, we get Cassandra and I love that her new costume evokes her original Batgirl costume but I am sorry it is not enough….she needs to have a bat emblem and be a real Batgirl again someday. As fan, we can’t just give up on that. She now calls herself Orphan. As cool as it is to have her full mask back, I still would prefer her pre-Flashpoint Black Bat identity than “Orphan.” Now besides this, Tynion IV writes her perfectly as the bad ass scary fighter she is but I just wish she could be that way in a Bat costume.

The final member of the team is Clayface which is an odd choice but okay we will see where it goes. Eddy Barrows’s art was beautiful…he has truly stepped up his game in five years and seems perfect for this book.

So ya….CASS IS BACK!

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Detective Comics #935
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Eddy Barrows

In this issue, Batwoman continues the training of the younger vigilantes. Meanwhile, Batman tells Tim he has always been Robin to him. So in this continuity was Tim never officillay Robin? If so, will he remember his time as Robin whenever the missing ten years gets restored or whatever? I sure hope so. I hope the same with the other characters too.

Cassandra is bad ass in this. I love how Steph says he just shows up and gets blood on the floor and is almost never home. We truly are getting old school Cassandra Cain back and I could not be happier…except if she was Batgirl again. That would be better.

Beautiful story and beautiful art. I feel Tynion IV truly gets these characters.

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Birds of Prey 11-15

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Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #11
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Pere Perez

If Catman is suppose to be so hot, why does Pere Perez draw his abs so strange in this issue. That is my only complaint about this beautiful book. In this issue, the Huntress and Catman work together and Helena is debating whether to fall for him or not…ultimately Catman purposely shows her he is not worth her time. It was a sweet story. I love the continuity of Catman mentioning how he used to be fat.

 

rco001_1468987111Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #12
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Jesus Saiz

Gail Simone begins a new arc bringing in the Question to the Birds of Prey team and a scary villain in Ragdoll’s daughter. Did she appear in this book or Secret Six? I can’t remember but I remember thinking this villain was freaky before. And this whole issue was very unsettling but exciting. I usually enjoy Jesus Saiz but I found his art lacking a bit in parts of this issue.

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Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #13
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Diego Olmos

This was an action packed edge-of-your seat issue as the Huntress and the Question try to get to the basement of the building where Black Canary and Dove are fighting Junior who nearly murders Dove. Oracle calls Catman for some advice who tells her Junior hates being seen. It works, but the Birds decide in the end they need to go back in and go after Junior. It was a lot of fun to read but why does this book keep changing its artist?

 

rco001_1469152306Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #14
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Billy Tucci and Adriana Melo

So the last issue ended on a sort of cliffhanger and now we get an issue that is completely unrelated and not written by Gail Simone? In this issue the Birds of Prey go to a veteran’s benefit. A woman tells her Black Canary’s mom, the original Black Canary, was an inspiration during the War….I think Black Canary debuted in 1947…after World War 2. I guess she means a different war or Andreyko did not do his research. Also why would this woman know it was her mom…is Black Canary’s secret identity not so secret? Anyways the art in this was clearly rushed because it is not very good and very inconsistent. And this isn’t event a one and done issue. Gail Simone just abruptly left this book?!

rco001_1469152248Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #15
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Billy Tucci and Adriana Melo

Ugh this is the final issue before DC made the dumb mistake of making Barbara Gordon Batgirl again. Andreyko is not a bad writer by any means but this was a rush job and very disappointing. As far as I am concerned this is the last issue of the real Birds of Prey ever (the whole point of the Birds is Oracle) so this is a sad sad ending.

 

Detective Comics 867 and 868

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Detective Comics #867
Written by David Hine
Art by Scott McDaniel

 

I am not the biggest fan of McDaniel’s art and is it can be too zany and cartoony and take away from a story – but it worked pretty well here I’d say. The Jokerz are the kind of thing that McDaniel can do well. I never read a story about them before except I remember them from Batman Beyond as the imposter Joker gang. Here it seems like they have been in Gotham before so hmmm I wonder if they are not new to the comics. What makes this interesting is that was once a gang of practical jokers and vandals has suddenly become violent like the real Joker himself. Good stuff.

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Detective Comics #868
Written by David Hine
Art by Scott McDaniel

The war between Guardian Bats and Jokerz become bloody and violent and things are getting crazy out of control. We learn the origin of the imposter Joker – a young man permanently disfigured by Joker venom years ago. He makes an interesting villain as he seems to be angry with Batman for never permanently getting rid of the Joker ala Jason Todd. This arc continues to surprise me with how good it is.

Christmas In July

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Green Lantern (Volume 4) #56
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke

 

Once again the best thing about this series is everyone else but it’s supposed star Hal Jordan – as he continues to be boring but everyone around him is fascinating as hell. I finally can say that I love the character of Larfleeze and his search for Santa Clause was just adorable. Hector Hammond eating the orange power battery was interesting. I didn’t know he could do that. It was great to see Renee Montoya and Saint Walker together too. I wonder how these entities are going to effect everyone near them?