Magical Therapists And Creepy Dolls

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Zatanna (Volume 2) #8
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Cliff Chiang

 

Dini returns to this book as Cliff Chiang does wonderful art on this issue and he creates another scary ass villain for Zatanna to face – this time in the form of a vetriloquist doll – always a frightening thing whether it is in Goosebumps, the Twilight Zone, or here. Great issue. I also love that there is a therapist just for magicians and of course Detective Chimp woudl go to her too!

Best Batman Issue Of The Year

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Detective Comics #850
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

As good as R.I.P is over in Batman, this has got to be the single best Batman issue of this year. Heart of Hush needs to be getting more press as Dini took a character with little to no substance (Loeb, you suck) and gave him a lot of substance and a reason to be among Batman’s greatest villains. More back story is revealed this issue and thankfully Catwoman is saved, and she gets even with Hush pretty well in her own Catwoman-ey way. The scene where Batman tells Catwoman that he will always love her almost made me cry as it is about time we hear those words come out of his mouth. The only problem I had with this issue is why Cassandra wasn’t in it, I mean shouldn’t she have been at the cave instead of Nightwing? Why go to great lengths to show so many members of the bat-family but ignore Batgirl? Anyways, it is still an amazing issue.

Heartless

Detective Comics #849
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyan

I kind of have a problem with Doctor Mid-Nite knowin that Selina is the love of Batman’s life. Why would Batman ever tell that to him? Is this common knowledge in the DCU? Anyways this was a good issue…not as exciting as last issue but good none the less. Hush gettin plastic surgery to look like Bruce Wayne is a smart move on Hush’s part and I like the continued flashbacks to Elliot’s life. Dini has brought more to the table with this character then Loeb ever did. The artwork in the flashbacks is great but I kinda miss Don Kramer’s stuff for the main story. The Joker getting so excited as he watched Batman beat the brutal crap out of the Scarecrow was fantastic. I love those types of Joker moments. I hope Selina gets her heart back soon though.

Detective 833 – 848

Detective Comics #833
Written by Paul Dini

Art by Don Kramer

The first time I read this issue I was pleasently surprised that Loxias turned out to the Joker. On a second read-through, it was fun to see the clues early on. What a great reveal. Dini may have a Zatanna-fetish, but he does know how to tell great Batman stories with her.

Detective Comics #834 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Don Kramer

Dini is probably the greatest Joker writer of the modern era. This issue supports that. The Joker is hilarious and I love the line about the Justice League Picnic. The ending was awesome where Joker stages his final act. And it was nice to see Batman finally forgive Zatanna for mindwiping him.

Detective Comics #835 Written by John Rozum
Art by Tom Mandrake

This is a particularly creepy Scarecrow filler arc from a writer I have never heard of. The art here is fantastic; dark and moody, fitting the story very well. Scarecrow is one sick fuck.

Detective Comics #836 Written by John Rozum
Art by Tom Mandrake

This concludes the two-part Scarecrow story from last issue. Scarecrow is scaring the heck out of Gotham without his fear gas. Hats off to him I guess haha. He does some scary shit here including almost convincing Robin to go to sleep with a bear trap as a pillow. I question why Rozum brought in this love interest, Kay. She served no point in the story and it’s just a filler so it’s not like she will be staying around. Odd.

Detective Comics #837 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Don Kramer

This countdown Tie-in worked really well I think. Anytime we have Dini writing Harley Quinn and the Riddler in one issue it is going to be good. Now that I think of it, have we even seen Harley since Countdown ended?

Detective Comics #838 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Ryan Benjamin

This is Part 3 of the Ressurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul crossover. Eh it was okay. I have never really gotten into Ra’s al Ghul. The only story I really liked with him was Tower of Babel but more for the Justice League then him. So it is really hard for me to care about this story.

Detective Comics #839 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Ryan Benjamin and Don Kramer

This was the conclusion of the Ressurrection of Ra’s al Ghul Crossover and I actually liked it a lot better then the previous issue’s part. Ra’s is not alive inside his son’s body and I did like the moment where they all share a Christmas drink at the end (although I wish Cassandra Cain were included in the family moment)

Detective Comics #840 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Don Kramer


Dini is the master of creating new villains. Many modern writers do not create new villains, they use the old ones (which I have no problem with) or they just use a generic monster or gangster. But Dini know how to create a good old fashioned Batman villain and the Globe – a guy obsessed with maps – just fits right in with the rest. But the Globe isn’t even the main attraction of this issue, Ra’s Al Ghul right after being ressurected is drugged and locked into Arkham by Batman. After all that, Dini put Ra’s right out of action….awesome.

Detective Comics #841 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

The things that I love about Dini’s work is how he writes the Bat-villains (and how he utilizes them, for the greatest group of villains in comics, a lot of writers choose not to use them) and he does it again with the Mad Hatter here who although tricked into starting a Wonderland Gang by Tweedledee and Tweedledum, gets his revenge in an awesome way. I miss Kramer’s work on this title, but Nguyen’s artwork isn’t half-bad.

Detective Comics #842 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

This was a good filler. This Suit of Sorrows reminded me too much of the black suit from Spider-Man but all in all, it was a nice little story.

Detective Comics #843 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

This is another great issue of Dini’s run in which we finally find out the real name of the new Ventriloquist – Peyton Riley. The name sounds familiar but I am not sure where I have heard it before. One does have to wonder how she could make the scarface voice as a female, but I guess that is just suspension of disbelief? Oh and I am not sure how I feel about a Zatanna-Batman romance.

Detective Comics #844 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

So I am still not sure if Peyton Riley has appeared before, but her origin story is pretty cool and I hadn’t even noticed that she had been hiding her eye with her hair this whole time. I garuntee you she’s not dead, as she just fell into the ocean and that always means they will be back. I wonder how she will get a hold of Scarface again, considering he’s in the Batcave now.

Detective Comics #845 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

I really liked this issue – Catwoman and Batman interacting is always fun – and I especially liked the Detective chat room Batman was in with the Riddler and Detective Chimp. Nice touch, Dini!

Detective Comics #846 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

So this is Hush’s return – and I must say Dini’s take on Hush may be even better then Loeb’s. His backstory is explored much better here and Dini seems to be on the road to making him a more developed villain for Batman…..and I like the idea that even a lion could cuddle up with Catwoman lol.

Detective Comics #847 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

Yep, I can tell you now that Dini’s Hush story is much better then the original – his back storie are making Hush a more well-rounded and frightening character. The conversation between Catwoman and Zatanna made me smile and I can’t help but get excited for the next issue.

Detective Comics #848 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

Oh my gosh, that was an intense issue. I was so scared for Selina there, thank god she is alive. How she is living without a heart I do not know. Hush is one sick mother fucker….and I wonder how this all connects to Peyton Riley, the Ventriloquist. And why did Selina recognize Hush as someone else before he stabbed her? This is really really good and I hope people are reading this….because this way better then Hush’s debut arc and actually more enjoyable then RIP.

Detective Comics 828 – 831

Detective Comics #828
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Don Kramer and Wayne Faucher

Another great one-shot issue by Dini, one involving the murder of another of Bruce Wayne’s old friends (A lot of Bruce’s old friends seem to end up dead). It was really fun to see how the Riddler and Batman figured out the mystery both by themselves and how they tried to outdo each other. Oh and Don Kramer is the perfect Batman artist.

Detective Comics #829 Written by Stuart Moore
Art by Andy Clarke

This was really cool fill-in issue (the start of a two part fill-in arc) and I am surprised nobody has thought about doing this before. Batman and Robin are stuck in Wayne Tower which explosions have been set off in. It is very cool and very Die Hardish. This new villain is cool too. I just wish that Batman did not seem to talk about being Batman so close to other people. I bet that was the artist’s fault and not Moore’s because it doesn’t make much sense.

Detective Comics #830 Written by Stuart Moore
Art by Andy Clarke


This two-issue fill-in arc about a crisis at Wayne Tower ends with this excting issue. It is really cool to learn that Bruce has secret “closets” hidden inside Wayne Tower. Bruce really does think of everything. Moore should do more Batman work in the future. This was by far my favorite of any of the recent fill-in Batman arcs.

Detective Comics #831
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Don Kramer and Wayne Faucher

Dini’s best issue yet, probably tied with his Joker one from a few issues back, is this issue. He focuses this time on the character he created single-handedly, Harley Quinn. He proves once again why she was probably the greatest new villain created in the 90s and why she is criminally underused now a days. I loved every damn panel of this issue and it was mostly because of her crazy and fun personality. I got sad when she talked about her relationship with the late Arnold Wesker, and couldn’t help but smile at her own hypocrisy and when Bruce decided to let her go free. Harley Quinn is Dini’s greatest creation ladies and gentlemen, let’s not forget that. Highly reccomended.

Who Is The Ventriloquist?

Detective Comics #827
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Don Kramer and Wayne Faucher

This issue marks the debut of the all-new ventriloquist and I hope she stays around for a long time to come. Dini continues his line of great one-shot stories of Batman too with this issue. So far Dini has not failed me and I do not suspect he ever will. Kramer’s art is fantastic and almost perfect for Detective Comics. Although Morison’s Batman run is getting more attention, this is the better of the two series. The new ventriloquist, Sugar, still has scarface but she is still very different from Arnold Wesker. She is confident and more violent. She is not so much afraid of scarface as Wesker was. Albeit, I suppose she is just as nuts as he was. I hope she sticks around. It is hinted that we are supposed to know her from somewhere, or at least Batman is. I wonder wonder who she truly is.