Like The Creators, But Not The Comic

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Batman Confidential #50
Written by Marc Guggenheim
Art by Jerry Bingham

The switches between the far East and Gotham left me very confused as to what the hell was going on in this issue. The second feature with the Justice League was interesting but I still just didn’t care. Definitely not impressed with this arc so far and I like these creators.

Powerful

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Zatanna (Volume 2) #6
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Jesus Saiz

Just how powerful is Zatanna anyways? In this issue she turns a man’s soul into an inanimate object? That is God-like Spectre powers there right? Anyways, good issue I liked it a lot. What happened to the regular artist though? Dini developed the relationship between Zachary Zatara and his cousin really well here too and I hope he stays a part of this book.

Sirens 15 and 16

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Gotham City Sirens #15
Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Andres Guinaldo

 

In the end, Harley and Catwoman are unable to convince Poison Ivy to not sound with the alien – she has to realize it on her own. I liked that and it was great to see the recap of how Harley and Ivy became friends. Not a bad issue.

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Gotham City Sirens #16
Written by Peter Calloway
Art by Andres Guinaldo

 

So when is Dini returning to the title? No one writes Harley Quinn as good as Dini I really miss him. This wasn’t a bad issue though as Talia and Zatanna get involved when they discover that someone with magical powers and who apparently hates trees kidnaps Catwoman hoping to invade her mind and find out who Batman is. Not sure where this is going but it is an interesting start.

Streets of Gotham 15 and 16

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #15
Written by Ivan Brandon
Art by Ramon Bachs

 

This is kinda weird…replacing the back up as the main feature in the middle of an arc. I don’t know why Dini is having trouble getting his scripts in on time but whatever this was good. It was violent and disturbing as a Two-Face story should be and ends with Two-Face getting stabbed brutally by his lackeys and thrown in a river. I doubt he’s actually dead but it sure seems that way.

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #16
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

Co-Feature by Ivan Brandon
Art by Ramon Bachs

The main story continues “House of Hush” and it is really good. It focuses once again on fleshing out a back story dealing with the Waynes and we get more moments from Bruce and Tommy’s childhood. I have said before and I will say it again that Dini has given Hush more depth then Loeb ever did or could. Zatanna showing up was weird….does Dini have to put her in everything he writes? He writes her well don’t get me wrong though. The Two-Face back up has Harvery being found and taken care of by a priest and has a pretty shocking ending I don’t want to ruin here. Good stuff.

Mystic Roofie

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Zatanna (Volume 2) #5
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Chad Hardin

 

How does Dini keep telling compelling stories about Zatanna? A character so powerful I don’t know how anyone tells stories about her but Dini tells great ones. In this issue Zatanna is given a love potion so that the Las Vegas club owner guy can sell her soul to the devil – I like how Zatanna refers to it as a “Mystic Roofie” haha. The best parts of this issue are the moments between Zachary and Zatanna as they discuss their history and how very often Zach has been hurt by his older cousin who never comes to his shows. Great relationship development between two characters who we never really have seen interacting before this series…it was about time.

Vegas Magic

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Zatanna (Volume 2) #4
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Chad Hardin

Zatannna travels to Las Vegas and meets up with her cousin and a strange billionaire with a talking picture. In the end, she gets attacked by some crazy fire demons. Gotta love this book! Hardin was also a perfect fill-in artist as I liked his art a lot and it works nicely here. I don’t know why Dini has not been writing Gotham City Sirens lately, but at least this book is Dini-rific. I look forward to seeing more of Zachary Zatara as he makes a great sidekick to Zatanna.

Mystical Victory

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Zatanna (Volume 2) #3
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Stephane Roux

 

Zatanna defeats Brother Night rather brilliantly by freeing the sould that empower him. I didn’t expect this to happen so quickly but we all know Brother Night will be back. I loved this issue as Dini continues to come up with clever ways for Zatanna to use her powers and I was glad John Zatara wasn’t under Brother Night’s control for too long. Fuseli is a great character and I hope he comes back before too long. I was hoping he would become Zatanna’s reluctant sidekick but it doesn’t look like that will happen. Good stuff.

Streets of Gotham 12 and 13

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #12
Written by Paul Dini, Dustin Nguyen, and Derke Fridoffs
Art by Nguyen
Co-Feature by Marc Andreyko
Art by Szymon Kudranski

 

I don’t know why Dini is having such trouble writing this book solo but this is another kinda fill-in – although it is based on a plot by Dini. Luckily, it has Dini’s good writing and style to it as we get to know The Carpenter and are introduced to a new Bat-Villain, The Director. A crazy director who wants to make superhero snuff films. Dini is a genius at creating themed villains I sware! Anyways, he hires the Carpenter to build the perfect set but then plans on killing her when she is done. It’s a neat plot and meanwhile Damian gives a gift to Abuse that Batman won’t be happy about. I liked this. The Manhunter back-up was as good as always as Ramsey arrives at his mom’s place only to find Jane Doe dressed up in a skinsuit that looks like her! The art change from last issue was pretty dramatic. Not that I don’t like Kudranski’s art but it is just a completely different style.

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #13
Written by Paul Dini, Dustin Nguyen, and Derke Fridoffs
Art by Nguyen
Co-Feature by Marc Andreyko
Art by Szymon Kudranski

 

The main story concludes the tales of the Carpenter as she is saved by Batman and all is a happy ending for this new fun character – she even defys Batman by deciding to stay in Gotham after all. It was really good. Hush is also dealt with here as the second plot apparently setting up with the next arc. I wonder what is in store for Tommy Elliot now that Bruce is coming back? The Manhunter back-up wraps up the co-feature as Jane Doe is defeated. The ending has Dick Grayson asking Kate out on a date. I wonder where this will go from here? Will Andreyko write their relationship or what? I don’t know but I will miss Manhunter in this book. Why is she being taken out and replaced?

Creepy Fuseli

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Zatanna (Volume 2) #2
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Stephane Roux

 

It’s Zatanna versus the nightmare Imp Fuseli – who is actually from a real painting called Fuseli’s Nightmare. I like this creepy character and Roux duplicates the painting very well. Brother Night is creepy as ever and seems to have the soul of Zatanna’s Dad under his control. This book has been really good so far and I love what Dini is doing with the character. This storyline takes place back when Zatanna was member of the JLA during McDuffie’s run it seems – that makes sense since it was announced around that time.

A Great Start For The Mistress Of Magic

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Zatanna (Volume 2) #1
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Stephanie Roux

 

What a freaking great week for comics! I was pleasenty surprise by two new series – Legion and this – the debut of Zatanna’s new ongoing series. I wasn’t sure about it because honestly Zatanna is kind of a hit-or-miss character for me and I always thought it was kinda strange of Dini brings her into anything he is writing – but I was wrong because this was awesome! Dini sets up Zatanna’s rogues gallery with some creepy mystic villains led by the frightening – and pefect for San Francisco – Brother Night, a former hippie turned evil mystic. Fuseli is creepy as well along with the rest of the villains. I love how Zatanna is portrayed here, always confident and ready for her next move. Much better then she has been written since Identity Crisis as being filled with self-doubt. When she change into work clothes – it was breathtaking. Kudos to Roux for that. A great start for this book all around!

Girls Night Out

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Brave and the Bold #33
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Cliff Chiang

 

Wow that was a very heart-felt issue. I would have to say that this JMS’s best issue yet. Just wow. Zatanna and Wonder Woman take Barbara Gordon Batgirl out on the town for a night of dancing and fun. At first I was annoyed because I thought this story would be better with Cassandra Cain because she would be so out of her element, but then JMS turns the tables and the end shows why this had to be about Babs. (Although I am not really a fan of the idea that Zatanna and Wonder Woman are aware of Barbara Gordon’s identity at this time) I did not expect that and it was really a great twist. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone but it deals with her future.

Gogged

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Magog #7
Written by Keith Giffen
Art by Howard Porter

 

Magog begins to suspect he is inhabited by the Magog being and not just have his power and goes to see Zatanna (who despite the cover only appears on like one page, I am not even sure how he knows her) and his mother. The scene with his mother was a wonderful scene that gave some depth to this character. When it was all said and done, I think this was one of the better issue of this book. It all made sense, which is something I can’t really say about previous issues. I liked it.

Justice League 39 and 40

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Justice League of America #39
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

Why did Kimiyo just call Doctor Light Curry at the end of this comic like he was Aquaman? That is some bad editing and the kind’ve sloppy editing and mix ups that have plagued this title since it began. Not really forgivable. All-in-all this was a rather forgettable issue where neither of the creators showed how good they could be.

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Justice League of America #40
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

I have to say that this was an intense issue of Justice League where the heroes are emotionally and physically taken to their breaking points by the Black Lanterns. It dealt with race and rape. And it was very uncomfortable to read and almost mean-spirited in the way that Robinson’s Cry for Justice has been. I can’t say that I object to the subject matter but just in the way it was handled, I really felt like Kimiyo Hoshi was being raped in this issue as I was reading this. If not physically, at least on an emotional level and why the hell did Bagley have to draw her running around naked? That was unnecessary and disturbing. I don’t mind the subject matter but I felt like the entire story had no light – it was completely cruel.

This Was Actually Good

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Justice League of America #38
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

Holy shit! This must be the most underrated comic of the fucking year. After reading all of the horrible reviews and the abysmal so far Cry for Justice mini, I actually enjoyed this a lot. That’s a good thing – because this book has been bad for a really long time. Bagley can certainly draw better then any artist this book has had and Robinson’s dialogue is much better then it has been over in Cry for Justice. I liked it. Sure, Blue Jay dying was stupid and we don’t need another superhero dying but forget that, I liked the moments in the cave and all of the talking about its history and even Young Justice. It’s too bad Plas is going to stay on the team because he is always fun. The fight with Despero was even exciting because Bagley is an artist who makes it easy to see what is going on. Forget what you have heard, I think this is a good start to the Robinson – Bagley run.

Oh Hamburgers!

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Booster Gold (Volume 2) #24
Written by Dan Jurgems
Art by Jurgens
Co-Feature by Matthew Sturges
Art by Mike Norton

In the main Boosterific story, it was really cool to see Kyle get his GL ring (for the first time in this alternate timeline) and like always, I really enjoyed this issue. Although I don’t know how I feel about Booster being the one who dressed up like Deathstroke, although I like how they made it so at least Deathstroke believes he was there. I have no idea what is coming next in this series but I am enjoying the ride. The Blue Beetle co-feature had the scarab yell “Oh Hamburgers” like Butters from South Park. And that means it gets an A+ in my book!

League Of Executives

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Batman: Streets of Gotham #3
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen
Co-Feature by Marc Andreyko
Art by Georges Jeanty

Now this was a good issue. I liked how Dick and Damian solved the Hush problem, bring in the Justice League and the Outsiders and make them board of exectives that Hush has to listen to as Bruce Wayne! It is brilliant yet a little too easy. I liked it. But I don’t think Dick should turn to the League everytime he has a problem, I just think it worked this time. And damn can Dini write villains, he is really making Zsasz interesting, and I didn’t think he was at all before. I like how he keeps imagining how he will murder people. Nguyen’s art was inconsistent, but never horrible. Oh and you gotta love Damian saying that “Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot” is the stupidest thing he has ever heard. That shows how different he is from his father. The Manhunter Co-Feature still featured the incredibly creepy Jane Doe but was a really quick read that basically consisted of a fight and Huntress saving the day. It was just a little too quick for my tastes. But this was a good issue overall.

I Can’t Think Of A Title But This Was A Good Issue

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Booster Gold (Volume 2) #23
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Jurgens
Co-Feature by Matthew Sturges
Art by Mike Norton

Oh I love this series – and I love Dan Jurgens for letting Kyle Rayner appear in this issue! Every other silver age “i can’t grow up” writer would have chosen the incredibly bland Hal Jordan – but not Jurgens, he chooses the one true Green Lantern, and I thank him for it. This alternate future is pretty cool – even though I don’t really buy the idea that just because Batman is gone the Justice League couldn’t defeat Trigon.  The Blue Beetle Co-Feature had some amusing moments but I feel it is killing time for the face off against Black Beetle next issue. Anyways, pick this issue up if you are a fan of the DCU, you won’t be disappointed.