Deathstroke Rebirth 1 – 20

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Deathstroke (Volume 4) #1
Written by Priest
Art by Carlo Pagulayan

I only know Deathstroke from his appearance in other comic books (and I have to say he is way overused) and not his solos series, and for a #1 issue this really is not written for new readers. I was so lost, and I know the character.

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Deathstroke (Volume 4) #2
Written by Priest
Art by Larry Hama and Carlo Pagulayan

Okay I have always wondered why Rose Wilson had silver hair, I always assumed it had something to do with whatever the thing is that Deathstroke injects into himself but when he has injected others – like sadly Cassandra Cain for example – their hair does not turn white. (Maybe that is just because Cassandra is so badass she can take it without her hair turning white.) Anyways, I still found this issue hard to follow, but better than the last – at least I know Rose Wilson/the Ravager from her Titans days.

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Less Batwoman Please, More Cassandra Cain

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Detective Comics #959
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Alvaro Martinez

This is another wonderful issue of the best Batman book on the stands! Alvaro Martinez draws a killer Gotham City. He really knows how to draw the essence of Gotham City’s “beautiful darkness” motif. Tynion IV writes a solid story too as Zatanna joins the ensemble cast. I was sad there were barely any Cassandra Cain moment in this issue but we got to see her smile as Clayface starts to have feelings for the doctor so I guess I can wait for more moments next issue. But please DC – put her in a Batsuit again! I liked learning about Luke Fox’s Foxtech headquarters. Is his identity public knowledge? With Batwoman having her own book now, can’t we have her leave the ensemble cast of this book so we can have more Cassandra Cain moments?

I want to read a Linda Danvers/Cassandra Cain Phantom Zone story

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Supergirl (Volume 7) #10
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Brian Ching

The beginning of this issue has a bunch of characters breaking a character out of her prison I did not recognize. This group included Mago, Emerald Empress, and what looked to me like Indigo from the Outsiders! I loved that character when she was around! Then I was sad to see Barbara Gordon in costume as Batgirl – a title that should belong to Cassandra Cain. Barbara is not drawn as even remotely terrifying as a bat or intimidating by Ching here, and that isn’t Ching’s fault, her current costume just sucks and she isn’t Cassandra Cain. While this is the best issue of this series yet, I even did not mind the art this time around, I am still unimpressed. I wish this was about Linda Danvers and Cassandra Cain teaming up. But hey at least we got Indigo back.

 

Mother Panic 1 – 7

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Mother Panic #1
Written by Jody Houser and Jim Kreuger
Art by Tommy Lee Edwards and Phil Hester

DC’s Young Animal line is suppose to be the successor to the Vertigo line for except set in the DCU. It is interesting that this series is set in Gotham City and even features Batman in a scene because 1) The city is already crawling with costumed vigilantes 2) would DC allow Mother Panic to appear outside the Young Animal line because when they had vertigo characters they were not allowed to be in the Teen and Up series. I am of the opinion they should because this seems like an interesting character. I say she is interesting because she is a foul mouthed vigilante who has a cool new look to her costume. I hope she isn’t just another rich person with tragic past because we already have that with Batman and Batwoman. Let’s hope Mother Panic shows in future issues how she stands apart.

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Mother Panic #2
Written by Jody Houser and Jim Kreuger
Art by Tommy Lee Edwards and Phil Hester

This was another intriguing issue of Mother Panic. I thought she was going to be a violent vigilante but she is seemingly unable to kill in this issue. It would be great to see a team up with Cassandra Cain! Edwards’s art is a little too confusing for my tastes – but it depends on the panel. I wasn’t quite sure what was going on when Mother Panic went after Helmsley. The backup story was interesting as well. I like how this book is being set up as the people’s perspective Gotham City book kind of like Gotham Central was back in the day.

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All-Star Batman 9 and 10

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All-Star Batman #9
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Jock and Francesco Fracavilla

For a split second I thought that the woman posing as Batman was really Cassandra Cain because of how Jock drew her – but sadly no it was just Catwoman. That being said the main story was just beyond awesome as we think everything is completely hopeless and it turns out Batman had everything in control the whole time. I rather enjoyed Bruce’s speech about stories and how stories about heroes are better than stories about villains. Could this by Scott Snyder’s rather dark way of giving his support to the Rebirth’s hope and optimism? As for the back up story – I am not exactly sure at all what happened.

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All-Star Batman #10
Written by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, and Rafael Scavone
Art by Albuquerque and Sebastian Fiumara

Wow I did not expect Scott Snyder to use Hush in this series, and I loved how Alfred and Batman worked together to scare the crap out of the villain. I am not fan of the Jeph Loeb run that introduced the character, but I do like the character and I am glad to see him again. I even had forgotten he had made himself look like Bruce with plastic surgery. The crazy Pirate fort was beyond cool as well and I wonder how this will all have to do with Alfred’s past. The backup story written by Albuquerque was interesting but it is too early to judge.

 

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.

 

New Super-Man 1 – 11

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New Super-Man #1
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Art by Viktor Bogdanovic

Going into this new series I did not know what to expect. I thought maybe DC was doing this to sell a series in China but I don’t think they would let a comic book be sold there that has “conspiracy theories” the Chinese government. I did end up finding this first issue to be a lot of fun. Yang is building almost a paralell world to Superman’s world in China with his own Lex Luthor and Lois Lane. But why Shanghai, why not make up a fictional Chinese city? The character of Kenan Kong…the new Super-Man is very interesting in that he is not a reluctant hero. He seems excited about gaining powers which is so different from how these things are usually done in comics.

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New Super-Man #2
Written by Gene Luen Yang
Art by Viktor Bogdanovic

Young Kenan Kong is now the Super-Man of China and meets the Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman of China. This Dr. Omen is putting together a Justice League for China. I quite enjoyed Dr. Omen’s no nonsense characterization and Kenan Kong is also a lot of fun. He is so excitied to be the new Super-Man he announces his secret identity on live tv.

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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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The Dark Knight Daughter

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Detective Comics #953
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Christian Duce

I recently asked Phil Jimenez on twitter if Linda Danvers could show up in his Superwoman run. His answer made it seem like all of the Rebirth creative teams will be changing soon. I hope he is wrong because DEAR GOD DC DO NOT TAKE TYNION OFF THIS COMIC. He is the best writer of Cassandra Cain in years. The only way I could be okay with that is if they said she gets to be Batgirl again. In this issue, Cassandra has to deal with the revalation of Lady Shiva being her mother. In the flashbacks to her training, Cassandra is able to speak some words. This was not true pre-flashpoint and it bothers me but perhaps it is a key to DC Rebirth and the missing ten years? Maybe she subconsciously remembers learning the language before the timeline change. That would be cool. The cover to this comic is not deceiving, she does fight Batman when he tries to stop her. She even goes as far to reject the name Cassandra because she wants nothing to do with her parents. Who could blame her? This is a character with murderous parents who instinctively knows murder is wrong. But Batman trying to calm her down made me so happy. It was the father-daughter relationship they had in Cassandra’s early days. Before DC stupidly had him abandon her during 52. There was no reason why she couldn’t have gone with them on their trip in 52 or Bruce would have put her in charge of Gotham and not Harvey Dent. It was years ago but I am still pissed about it. Cassandra finally confronts Lady Shiva who challenges her to fight her to the death, she wants to see her daughter try to kill. Cassandra refuses being the one true Batgirl and is beaten unconscious and left in the sewer by her mother. I hope we get to see Cass get her revenge for that soon.

The Real Batgirl Meets Her Mother (Again)

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Detective Comics #952
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Christian Duce

In this issue, Tynion IV once again shows me that this is without a doubt the best comic book DC is publishing. He consistently hits it out of the park with the team dynamics, characterization, and the exploration of what makes this Bat-family tick. Because yes despite what some writers have acted like the bat-family goes way beyond Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne. And as any reader of this blog knows the best bat-family character in my opinion is the one and only Cassandra Cain which this issue so wonderfully focuses on as Cassandra meets her mom Lady Shiva for the first time in this new timeline (or at least in her memory if this erased memory thing turns out to be true) and she is devastated by it. Lady Shiva acts completely evil to her, calling her refusual to kill pathetic, and saying she wish she had never known about what happened to her daughter. It was the final pages of this issue where Cassandra cries and Batman holds her that I knew Tynion understands the father-daughter relationship between these two characters. Like I said, Cassandra is the real Dark Knight Damsel and I hope this moment blooms into him once again adopting Cass in this continuity. Oh and the art is fantastic as usual.

Finally a Writer Who Respects DC’s Greatest Character

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Detective Comics #951
Written by James Tynion IV
Art by Christian Duce

Without question this is the best series that DC is putting out right now. And I say that not just because it features Cassandra Cain but because she is now being featured heavily! Last issue she was the focus of the anniversary issue and now she is still a main player in the plot. This should be a regular thing I am used but this fan has missed her so much these last few years they took her away. It is so awesome to have her back and in a beautifully drawn well-written comic book with an amazing cast of characters. In this issue, it seems that the League of Shadows may be real and Lady Shiva (Cassandra’s mom) is part of them. Batman even admits to Batwoman he would lose if he had to face Cassandra Cain in a fight. DAMN! Tynion IV really respects her character and I respect him for it. Now Dc let’s get her in a batsuit ok?

 

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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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