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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Nightwing 1 – 16

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Nightwing (Volume 4) #1
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Javier Fernandez

How great is it to see Nightwing in that costume again? It’s been what ten years since he wore that beautiful – frankly iconic – Nightwing costume. DC….what were you thinking? He should have been returned to that immediately after he stopped being Batman. Speaking of that, Dick refers to his time as Batman. Does that mean Final Crisis happened in the New 52 universe or is this a result of Rebirth restoring the timeline? Interesting. This was a great start to this series but not exactly a good jumping on point for new readers for a first issue. We aren’t really told what is going on with this Parliament of Owls other than they are forcing Dick to work with them or they think they are and he is playing them. I don’t know much about the Court of Owls because they are a new 52 creation. Anyways, it is still weird to see Barbara Gordon in a Batgirl costume and not Oracle and looking so young. Is she still suppose to be the same age as Dick?  So far…this is good. Seeley seems to really understand Dick Grayson as a character and the art is perfect for a Nightwing book.

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Nightwing (Volume 4) #2
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Javier Fernandez

This was a fantastic comic. I like how Seeley writes Nightwing’s narraration. It isn’t all action, there is depth to this story. I don’t like how the Raptor knows their have been different Robins. That is dumb. The general public in the DCU should not know that. Also, how is Barbara flying to Tokyo and back? Does Bruce bankroll her?

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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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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.

 

 

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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.

Batman Incorporated 5-8

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Batman Incorporated #5
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Yanick Paquette

In this issue we are introduced to “The Hood” who I immediately mistook for being Azrael at first and Batwing who is the Batman of Africa. I did not realize it but Bruce and Kate aka Batman and Batwoman had never met before this issue. At least since Kate has become Batwoman. How did I not notice that? Paquette draws a great Batwoman. Anyways, like usual Morrison’s story doesn’t make sense until the very end when the clues will come together. We still don’t know what Doctor Dedalus’s plan is or what exactly Leviathan is but there a ton of interesting clues in this issue. Can’t wait to see where this goes!

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Batman Incorporated #6
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham

Wow Grant Morrison is amazing! Of course the Outsiders would be part of Batman Incorporated! Anyways I loved this issue up until Bruce Wayne tells a group that includes pretty much everyone he cares about that they are his closest associates except Cassandra Cain is not there! But then a few pages later my dreams came true! Cassandra Cain was back with a new identity! She is now the Black Bat – the Batman of Hong Kong! Seriously this is the best thing Grant Morrison has ever wrote. I love the character so much and to see her back in action is incredible. I definitely prefer the Black Bat costume over her present Orphan costume. I sincerely hope Rebirth ends up having Cassandra remember her time as Batgirl and as Black Bat and retaking up the mantle of the bat where she belongs. The best thing about this is it redeems Bryan Q. Miller having Cassandra leave Gotham because Morrison is writing Batman here as trusting Cassandra enough to be her own Batwoman of Hong Kong. She is not a sidekick. She is an equal to him. And that is how it should be. Best issue of this series hands down.

Batman Incorporated #7
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham

This issue focused on Man-of-Bats and his sidekick Little Raven and I expected it to be dull as shit but I was pleasantly blown away. First of all, Burnham’s art is gorgeous. Second of all, Morrison wrote a really inspiring story about a hero standing up for his community on a low budget. It was really good.

 

 


Batman_Incorporated_Vol_1_8Batman Incorporated #8

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Scott Clark

This issue is one of those brilliant Duh comic books that you think wow that’s genius but why hasn’t somebody already of that. There is no reason why this couldn’t be a whole series of virtual Barbara Gordon fighting. We didn’t need to stop her from being Oracle to see her in action. This issue even makes more sense today with virtual reality. I say make Cassandra Cain a bat again and put Barbara back as Oracle and if you need to have her in action use this virtual reality. Anyways, we learn Jezebel Jet is behind Leviathan which I didn’t see coming at all.

Batman 709 – 713

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

 

 

Firewall

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #19
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Ramon Bachs

 

Eh this was okay. The mystery and this slipstream character doesn’t really interest me and I know I am a Cass fan so one may think I am biased, but this series is wayyyy overrated. It was cool to see Batman Inc gave Steph her own “cave” of sorts though.

Hidden Oracle

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Birds of Prey (Volume 2) #10
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Inaki Miranda

Cassandra Cain gets name dropped again as Tim asks why she doesn’t have access to Kord Tower. I don’t know that I am completely satisfied with the answer that she has too much going on now because well…we are never shown what the hell she has going on. I hope this wasn’t a throw away line and Gail or DC editors plan to show us what is going on with Cass soon enough. This was an otherwise fantastic issue that showed off how tough the Birds are and how it was a good plan to fake Oracle’s death. Loved the bit with Catwoman too!

Limbo Town

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #18
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Dustin Nguyen

 

I have a confession – this is a good book but I always am upset when I read it because I miss the real Batgirl, Cassandra Cain. Now to get that out of the way, I really liked this issue if it wasn’t a little too cutesy for my tastes. It was great to see Limbo Town and all the stuff From Grant Morrison’s Klarion Seven Soldiers Mini as Steph tries to help Klarion find a mate for his cat. This was definitely not a story you could tell with Cassandra without it being altered a lot – actually now that I think of it you could tell it with Cass and it would have been so much better! Think of how she would freak out the people in Limbo Town! God I miss Cass!

Red Robin 19 and 20

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Red Robin #19
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

 

Tim fights the Unternet in its own virtual world in this issue (By the way I love his alternate costume) and one of the things he uses is a program representing Cassandra Cain! Nice job of course Tim would think of the greatest of Batgirls to defeat a threat. God I miss Cass being a regular member of the bat family!

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Red Robin #20
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

Red Robin fights off Catman and call in the Teen Titans to go after the Calculator – who has robots now. Okay what the hell – I am so sick of the Calculator! Let’s get some other villains he is in Batgirl, Birds of Prey, and now here! Enough with this guy!

Moon Bounce

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #17
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Pere Perez

 

This was a fun story of Steph teaming up with Damian and saving a schoolbus full of kids from kidnapping. It was fun and the banter between the two is always amusing. Miller writes Damian really well and I loved the ending where Steph brings him to a moon bounce to teach him how to have fun.

Confusion

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #16
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Dustin Nguyen

 

There were a couple of scenes in this where the action just confused me – I don’t know if it was Miller’s writing or Nguyen’s art but I just didn’t know what the hell was going on and I find myself not really caring about this whole “Order of the Scythe” thing. And yes I miss Cass.

Who Framed Batgirl?

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #15
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Dustin Nguyen

 

Oracle returns just as Batgirl (Not Stephanie) is framed for the murder of a fellow student at Gotham U. Nguyen joins the creative team and I liked his work here. Cass being left out of the bat history lesson was explained here so I am not too upset about it. I liked Proxy’s new hair too. Good stuff.

Too Many Blondes

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #14
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Lee Garbett

 

Okay I do like the growing friendship between Steph and Kara but ugh why does every teen hero have to be a pretty blonde now. It just makes me miss Cass more! If they teamed up with Wonder Girl and Speedy they could be the pretty blonde brigade. Garbett barely differentiates the faces of Kara and Steph here too it was annoying. That being said there were some amusing moments. I loved how Supergirl asked if Steph has a bat-bra.

Clay

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #13
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Pere Perez

 

Batgirl takes on Clayface as he breaks into a bank in this one-shot issue. It was a fun romp but still no Cass…and seeing Steph as Batgirl just isn’t the same or give me that hell ya feeling as I did when I saw Cass kicking ass in her Batgirl costume. I do like Steph a lot though she is a fun character and in no way was this a bad issue. Great to see Wendy working as Proxy now.

Protecting Secrets

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Red Robin #15
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Marcus To

 

Tim shows his genius in this fantastic issue where he pulls off a huge stunt to convince Vicki Vale he is not Red Robin and throw her off the Bat-family’s trail. It was great to see Miss Martian helping out and Tim continue to reach out to his connections. This really is the book for the Batfamily as everyone seems to be appearing here (Except for Cass of course, Vicki didn’t seem to know her identity because Cass is too awesome for that!) I like how Tam Fox is being trusted to keep the BatFamily secrets as well. This book rocks!

Proxy

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Batgirl (Volume 3) #12
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Lee Garbett and Pere Perez

 

The Calculator is defeated and Wendy becomes the new fill-in for Oracle as “Proxy.” I figured that was what was going to happen with Babs back with the Birds of Prey and I am glad it did. Too bad no Cassandra yet. Not much else to say ):