Stephanie Brown 20-24

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #20
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Ramon Bachs

Reviewing this series always made me a little queazy because I wish it was the real Batgirl Cassandra Cain and not Stephanie Brown who really should be the Spoiler but here we go…this issue was decent. The art was good and fit the title well. I am a tad but confused by the ending although it could be because I did not go back and re-read the last issue. I hated the annoying talk between Oracle and Steph confirming once again that Stephanie is Batgirl now. Gross.

batgirl_vol_3_21Batgirl (Volume 3) #21
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Dustin Nguyen

Batgirl fights Harmony in this issue, another operative of the Order of the Scythe. It was rather uninteresting. The side story of Wendy Harris deciding to go to Nanda Parbat was interesting though. I wonder if this ever gets resolved or if Wendy is just MIA after this. I have to note that the cover of this issue has the wrong artist on it. Come on DC.

 

 

Batgirl (Volume 3) #22batgirl_vol_3_22
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Pere Perez

In this issue Stephanie travels to London on Batman Inc orders and fights a a villain with the Squire. The whole thing was okay I guess as Stephanie realizes unlike the squire, she really is not a sidekick. Whatever. I miss Cassandra Cain as Batgirl and this issue would have been so much more fun to read if she teamed up with the Squire. Anyways, this issue ends with a cliffhanger said to be continued in Batman Inc #9…which never came out. DC clearly had no idea they were going to do the New 52 till the last second and it was horrible decision.

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #23
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Pere Perez

Stephanie goes into the middle of a riot at Blackgate in order to find out who is behind the Order of the Scythe if I understood this issue correctly. She is helped out by Miss Martian, Bombshell, Supergirl, and Stargirl because she is not Cassandra Cain the real Batgirl and therefore could not pull this off herself. The cliffhanger was something I did not expect – the mystery is revealed to be Steph’s Dad, the Cluemaster!

 

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #24
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Pere Perez

This is the final issue of this Stephanie Brown Batgirl series. I can’t say I am sorry to see it go because this is the series that broke my heart and gave the mantle of Batgirl to someone other than DC’s greatest character, Cassandra Cain (who doesn’t even make it on this cover!). Cassandra actually does appear in costume as Batgirl in a one panel where she is shown as part of Stephanie Black Mercy effected hallucination where all the Batgirls are working with the Blackhawks. It is such a shame we never go to see her team up with the Black Bat since they used to be best friends. Anyways, this was a decent issue.

Justice League of America 55-60

Justice_League_of_America_Vol_2_55
Justice League of America #55
Written by James Robinson
Art by Brett Booth

This James Robinson Justice League was so fantastic. It really was totally underrated. Robinson is a writer who understands that the DC Universe is so rich with diversity of characters. Anything CAN happen in the DCU and Robinson and really knows how to play with its toys. I also loved how odd this group of Justice Leaguers was at the time. This issue is actually part of a wider crossover but Robinson does what any good writer should do and incorporate the crossover into the ongoing story of the book without a hitch. It was cool to see Dick Grayson Batman’s space suit too.

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Justice League of America #56
Written by James Robinson
Art by Brett Booth

Congorilla calls in the Justice League Reserves which I didn’t even realize existed but I am sure glad they do because Zauriel is a great character to put against Eclipso. Robinson is brilliant with his use of DC characters. Even Manitou Dawn got a name drop! He joined the League back when I first started reading comics as a kid and has been barely seen since! I did find it odd that the Shade is aware that two heroes teaming up is called The Brave and the Bold. How would he know that in-universe? What does the media in the DCU say that?  The issue ends with Obsidian showing up as the Big bad.

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Justice League of America #57
Written by James Robinson
Art by Brett Booth

Robinson’s use of Theology in this DCU is fascinating to me. Earth as the Conduit for God’s love for the Universe. Theology in the DCU would be an interesting topic for a paper don’t you think? Anyways, The Spectre shows up now (Robinson is brilliant I can’t say that enough) to fight Eclipso and Eclipso absorbs Spectre’s power. His whole plan with this is to kill God. That is the ultimate villainous plot is it not?

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Justice League of America #58
Written by James Robinson
Art by Daniel Sampere and Miguel Sepulveda

Jesse Quick makes mention here that she is no faster than Donna or Batman now that she has lost her link to the speed force. Does Jesse Quick think that Batman has super speed powers? Because Donna does have superhuman speed so why is she saying that like Batman and Donna are equal in speed. I hate to sound like a broken record but Robinson’s knowledge of DCU obscurity is great and he uses that to a great advantage in the story. All of the Leaguer’s histories are mentioned in this arc so far and this time we get a look at Donna Troy’s past which is quite interesting. But I sure hope Eclipso did not just kill Donna at the end. I like Sampere’s art here.

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Justice League of America #59
Written by James Robinson
Art by Daniel Sampere

The Justice League defeats Eclipso in this issue and all returns to normal, but there is a tease that the League will be breaking up next issue (which is the last issue of this series) after the Atom expresses how impressed he is with this new ver

 

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Justice League of America #60
Written by James Robinson
Art by Daniel Sampere

This is the final Justice League issue before the New 52. Sad because James Robinson made this comic good for the first time since I can really remember. Certainly specifically this volume of the comic was pretty awful till he showed up. I look forward to reading more Justice League Comics during the Rebirth of the DCU. The beginning of this issue is a quick summary of an arc he probably had planned for the book where all the robots in the DCU get corrupted. How cool would that have been as a full arc! Robinson has so many obscure Robots name dropped. Instead he fast forwards through that and has the team meeting and talking about why each one wants to bow out of the League. Donna wants to discover who she is again now that her rage is gone, Supergirl wants to do the same after dealing with New Krypton, Jade wants to enjoy her second chance at life outside of the superhero costume, Jesse Quick is pregnant, Congorilla wants to become a hero for Africa, Starman is nursing a broken arm,  Batman thinks he will be too busy with Batman Incorporated,   They look back on an untold story (has to be another arc Robinson had planned, this guy is great!) about a war between Saturn and Thanagar and an untold story in Gemworld. Donna makes a comment at the end she wants the world to forget her which is ironic because I think at the beginning of the New 52 they had forgotten her. This was a very bittersweet ending to Robinson’s run and I love that we get a taste of what he would have done with this group if the book wasn’t ending.

 

 

International Heroes

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Batman Incorporated #3
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Yannick Paquette

 

Interesting set up as Batman and El Gaucho are set up in a “Saw”-like deathtrap where they have to kill each other. I am interested to learn more about Gaucho but we don’t get that much here. I like how this series is growing the DCU by populating it with non-American heroes.

Stumped

 

BatRob13 Batman and Robin #13
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Frazer Irving

Ummmm hmmm I have no idea what the hell is going on with all of this. Simon Hurt is claiming to be Thomas Wayne back from the dead, Robin is beating the crap out of the Joker, apparently Pyg led by hurt has poisoned the entire city with his addictive virus thing and someone has shot down the Batmobile. Irving’s creepy art works for this story I guess but I would have preferred something different I guess. I don’t know how I feel about all this just yet.

Morrison’s Conclusions Are Always Better Than His Beginnings

batrob9Batman and Robin #9
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Cameron Stewart

I have to say the conclusion of this three-part arc here is the best issue of the arc so far. Dick finally gives a reason for trying to throw what he thought was Bruce’s body into the lazarus pit, but I still find it to be pretty weak reasoning and not like the character at all but whatever. Dick’s relationship with Batwoman is fun and I like that he kinda has a crush on her – but we all know nothing can come of it. Damian kicked major ass from his wheelchair Babs Gordon-style and in the end the fake Batman falls apart. The last page was exciting for any Batman fan. Bruce is alive and we have to find him!

What A Twist!

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Batman and Robin #8
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Cameron Stewart

Whoa! How the hell did no one think of that? SPOILER ALERT!!!Of course it was a clone…the clones of Batman Darkseid was trying to create. That was the body that Superman found during Final Crisis. So Dick just brought an insane clone of Bruce back to life! What a twist!!! I am not sure what is going on with Batwoman exactly and there was a little too much channel zapping in this which Morrison is fond of but readers can not stand but still what a twist! This was a great issue, great art, great twist, and I loved the moments between a crippled Damian and Alfred.

Would Dick Grayson Really Do This?

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Batman and Robin #7
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Cameron Stewart

 

After everything they have been through with the Lazarus pits, I really find it hard to believe that Dick would willing try to put Bruce in one of them. It just seems completely out-of-character to me. I don’t know. The art is definitely amazing and I loved every page but the story was – eh – not my cup of tea (no pun intended), but I guess we will see where this goes. Batwoman was a nice guest star and it made sense since the whole religion of crime thing.