Originally published on Friday 20, 2013
*Reviews may contain spoilers. We just can’t help it. Proceed with caution*
Batman #23.3 Penguin (DC Comics)
DC Comics. Written by Frank Tieri. Art by Christian Duce. Cover by Jason Fabok and Nathan Fairbairn.
I don’t much to say about this issue other than it wasn’t all that interesting. It felt like every other story about the Penguin. We weren’t offered anything new or exciting. I did like the way Duce drew Penguin though and the close ups looked great. That’s it.
2.5 out of 5
Batman and Robin #23.3 Ras Al Ghul (DC Comics)
DC Comics. Written by James Tynion IV. Art by Jeremy Haun. Cover by Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray and John Kalisz.
This is the third villains edition of Batman and Robin this month and it features Ra’s Al Ghul. It was a good issue with solid storytelling and provided conflict to the villains utopia that this whole event is trying to attempt (or the very least the Secret Society of Supervillains). I appreciate James Tynion IV’s approach to telling Ra’s’ origins through another character during a fight. I enjoyed the use of the two page spreads throughout the comic and the way Batman was drawn in the flashback scenes which feels reminiscent to his 1960s/Pre-New 52 costume. Trying to think of something else besides OK and good but that’s what it was.
3.5 out of 5
Detective Comics #23.3 – Scarecrow
DC Comics. Written by Peter J Tomasi. Art by Szymon Kudranski. Cover by Jason Fabok.
I actually really liked this issue, although I was disappointed it wasn’t really an origin story. This issue introduces us to a new Gotham. The legendary Batman villains have divided the city up amongst themselves, each sticking to their own territory. We follow Scarecrow around on his mission to warn everyone about an upcoming war with the inmates of Blackgate Prison. It was really interesting to see how the various Batman villains would interact with one another, where their loyalties lie and how they might try to manipulate each other versus how they try to manipulate the Bat.
I would’ve liked more information about the Scarecrow himself. We learn almost nothing new about him, which was the whole reason I picked this up. However this issue is more of a launching pad/introduction for Forever Evil: Arkham War, which I wasn’t curious about before but will definitely be picking up now.
3 out of 5
Justice League #23.3 -Dial E
DC Comics. Written by China Mieville. Art by Various. Cover by Brian Bolland
This was such a neat idea for a comic, with each turn of the dial, the kids transformed from one villain to another, and with each change a new artist takes over. 20 different villains. 20 different artists. Including some of my favourites like Jeff Lemire and Annie Wu. And the art was stunning – it was really neat to see so many different styles all in one book.
However, the actual story itself fell a little flat. After a group of kids steal the dial, it is literally a different villain every page. Which doesn’t leave room for much else. It’s hard to follow and you’re never really sure which kid is transforming. Also there is no explanation for those who haven’t read Dial H and to be honest I’m not sure how this fits into Villains Month/Forever Evil in the slightest. Disappointing considering the writer is the mega talented China Mieville.
2 out of 5
Wonder Woman #23.1 Cheetah (DC Comics)
DC Comics. Written by John Ostrander. Art & Cover by Victor Ibanez.
I really liked this and, if nothing else, it brought to surface the limitations or problems that I have with the Wonder Woman series. First off, I’m confident in saying that this is the Cheetah’s first appearance in the New 52 or at the very least in the Wonder Woman ongoing series which is one of the New 52 titles that I actually read. The Wonder Woman series for 2 years now has been focus on the Gods and that’s great but you kind of want to see her classic rogues at some point. The Cheetah is an awesome character and John Ostrander constructed a great origin story. Barbara Minerva is one of the first people Wonder Woman has met after leaving Themyscira and has been raised in a cult that thinks it’s being “authentic” in recreating the life style of the Amazons (who they think are Goddesses who worship The Goddess of the Hunt). Their ways are far more bloodthirsty than the actual Amazonian way of life (which in the world of the New 52 isn’t all that different from them: see issue #7) but nonetheless Minerva is trained & seeks out the God-Slaying Knife that will give her the powers of the Cheetah. This particular story is of a US Marshall hunting down the Cheetah after her escape from Belle Reve due to the events of Forever Evil.
The art was awesome and there’s some cool panel work/structure during the flashback scene of Minerva and Wonder Woman as well as closer to the end.
UPDATE: I stand corrected. Apparently she has an entire arc in Justice League which clearly happened after I stopped reading.
4 out of 5
Captain Marvel #16 (Marvel)
Marvel. Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Jen Van Meter. Art by Patrick Olliffe. Cover by Joe Quinones.
I love Kelly Sue DeConnick’s writing and as per usual this was a great issue. I like to think of this as the “pep talk” issue in the mist of a major Avenger event. The Independence Day speech, if you will, after the personal hardships of Captain Marvel (losing her personal memory) and the dusk before the dawn of a victory (or not since no war is without it’s price). I liked the variety of the panels and the way the images/figures bleed into or outside of the panels. They were as action packed as the story. The art was good but I’m sure I’ll say it to everything unless it’s 1) not my preferred style or 2) really bad. I really enjoyed it overall.
4 out of 5