Better Back-Up

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Harley Quinn (Volume 3) #23
Written by Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Paul Dini
Art by John Timms and Brett Blevins

Harley and Goat Boy takes Harley’s parents on a dinner cruise when the cruise is invaded by Clock King and Sportsmaster. Outside of the stuff with spoonsdale, I actually found this issue a tad boring and tedious. It seems like Conner and Palmiotti are being too wordy in each panel. Let the story breathe a bit. The backup Paul Dini was more fun with Harley overspending on her new headquarters for the Joker.

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Gotham Victims

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Batman (Volume 3) #26
Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janin

Ok what the hell Deathstroke is NOT a Batman villain. Why is he pictured with the Batman Rogues Gallery all of a sudden and showing up possibly in the next Batman movie – he is a Teen Titans villain who sometimes fights other heroes! But anyways the second part of the War of Jokes and Riddle was decent but I was surprised at how quick a read it was. It was good to see characters like Carmine Falcone and it looks like Batman has now joined the Justice League in his first year as a crime fighter which I don’t even think that was the case before Flashpoint so that is an interesting continuity change. The theme that I took away from this issue is that Tom King seems to be focusing on the innocent victims of the Batman villains and how Batman remembers their names to keep his crusade on crime going. I like that.

Bond-ish Batman

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All-Star Batman #11
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

This was a high stakes issue that took Batman from fighting alligators to teaming up with Penguin, Black Mask, and Great White to nearly bleeding out in a casino submarine. Snyder does know how to write a good James Bondish Batman story. I have no idea who the big bad of this issue is or what he has to do with Alfred’s past but I enjoyed this comic and look forward to seeing where this story goes. I can’t say that I really like the way Alfred was betrayed in the entire issue though. I don’t buy that Alfred wore a punk rock hair cut in his teen years but maybe that was just a poor artistic choice.

The War of Jokes and Riddles Begins

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Batman (Volume 3) #25
Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janin

This issue begins a flashback story called the War of Jokes and Riddles. It begins with many violent hard to watch/read murders by both the Joker and the Riddler and ends with a great panel of a naked Batman looking pretty great next to Catwoman in bed as he tells this story. We still don’t know if Catwoman said yes to his marriage proposal last issue but who cares – we got to see Mikel Janin draw a great naked Batman! Yay! Jokes aside (no pun intended), this was a great start to what looks like a very cool past-Batman story which if done right looks like it could be on the level of something like the Long Halloween. Tom King is really good at dissecting these characters and his explanation of why the Joker and the Riddler do what-they-do (as told by the Riddler) is fascinating.

DC’s Best Writer and Best Ongoing Series

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Detective Comics #958
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Alvaro Martinez

This was another incredible issue of DC’s best series. Cassandra Cain takes a break from being the lead now as this story arc focuses on Azrael and takes a look back at his origin, beautifully drawn by Alvaro Martinez. Of course being the Cassandra Cain fan that I am it was Cassandra’s small moments that made me smile. She is learning Shakespeare with Clayface, her understanding that someone who teaches children to kill must be a mother.  Those were great moments. The surprise guest at the end was something I did not see coming and I am glad to see her because she hasn’t been around much in DC Rebirth. Martinez draws a beautiful Gotham City. He needs to stick around. Tynion really loves Gotham City, there are so many easter eggs including naming the basketball stadium Dixon Stadium which has to be an homage to Chuck Dixon whose work on these characters inspired Tynion’s incredible run on this book so far. Tynion is by far the best writer and this is the best book that DC is putting out right now.

 

Purple Boring Girl

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Batgirl (Volume 5) #9
Written by Hope Larson
Art by Chris Wildgoose

Ugh she does not deserve to call herself Batgirl! She is no Dark Knight like Cassandra was. She walks around in a purple costume in broad daylight. Call her something else or make her Oracle. Why does DC insist Barbara Gordon has to be Batgirl? This issue just annoyed me. Barbara is still dating Ethan Cobblepot and in the end runs into the Penguin. Woot. Boring.

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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