Friday, August 26, 2011
Written by Grant Morrison, Art by Scott Clark, David Beaty
Batman Incorporated #8 faces a weird challenge this week. It's the last issue before the reboot but it is not being rebooted itself. On the other hand it is the last single issue before a long break (the series returns in 2012). On the other hand two planned issues will still be published in an extra long one-shot. Not that these challenges have much to do with the actual issue, just in how the book is received.
Grant Morrison continues his epic Batman narrative by focusing on the Internet 3.0 concept that was introduced in Batman: The Return. At this point most readers know where they stand on Morrison's writing, you either love it or hate it. From a story standpoint, it's a pretty straightforward story. Bruce is showing off Internet 3.0 when the entire program is invaded by a virus and Batman and Oracle have to work to find the source of this virus and eliminate it. Nothing really special about the story, it's just a simple fun tale.
Since the entire issue takes place inside a computer program, the artists used an art form that looks very digital. I don't think that this look would be appealing if it was used commonly but within the context of the story, it works. Perhaps my only complaint is that the lighting is a little too dark, that's partly expected because it's a Batman story but the darkness is a bit overwhelming and distracting in this case.
|Oracle in Batman Inc #8|
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Steve Scott and Ryan Winn
Cover by Tony Daniel and Ryan Winn
Batman #713 is the last issue of Batman before the relaunch. It's sad and a run like this deserves a satisfying wrap-up. But while Fabian Nicieza provides a decent and competent story, it lacks that final charm that the last issue of Batman truly needs. Perhaps it's the fact that Batman is one of the few franchises that is not being rebooted or perhaps it's just the fact that the story is one we've heard a thousand times before but Batman #713 doesn't deliver the satisfying punch that a franchise like Batman needs.
I must say that Fabian Nicieza is one of my favorite writers in the buisness. To me he's one of the few writers that understands the complexities of the relationship between the different members of the Bat-Family. In Batman #713 he proves it. The story is basically a synopsis of Batman and the various Robins in his life. I honestly feel like this story might be better received if it was the last issue of Batman and Robin instead of Batman. Still Nicieza really understands the Bat-Family and it shows. The downside to all of this is that it is in fact a synopsis. It's not a new story and it's not really new information either. Honestly I would give this issue to someone who only knows Batman from the movies, it would get them caught up on the mythology that is Batman. Agains the downside of all this is that the DCU is relaunching and the new issues should also fill that role.
The art in this issue is a mixed bag. There are a variety of artists so the pages are all slightly different and it's hard to argue for or against it in any way. It doesn't help or hinder the story, it is what it is.
|Last page from Batman #713|
Written by Adam Schlagman
Art and cover by Felipe Massafera
I picked up Abin Sur #1 because the book looked like it was going to explore Abin Sur and Sinestro's relationship. The first issue showed promise and while the second issue started to drop the ball, I hoped that the third issue would redeem this tie-in series. Unfortunately the third issue is a waste of your time and money.
Let's start with the art because it's probably the easiest to review. First off this series adopts the look from the movie versions of the characters. Nothing wrong with that except that as the series progressed those uniforms looked more and more sloppy and ugly. So much so that by this issue I personally found myself flipping through pages faster just so I could avoid looking at those uniforms. Other than that complaint the art is decent. Nothing spectacular but nothing really bad either. Just decent.
Alright so let's move on to the story. Remember that relationship between Sinestro and Abin Sur I was so excited to explore? Yeah forget about that. Sinestro basically takes on the role of the monologuing moustache twirling evil villain here. It's especially sad because Geoff Johns has been able to revive the character and make him a complex and interesting character to read. The contrast just further serves to drive this book into the depths. Here Sinestro is promptly and swiftly defeated in a way that makes no sense whatsoever and then Abin Sur moves on. By the time the ending is revealed you're actively rooting for the character to hurry up and die so that the book will be over. Alas no such luck. Not only that but if you're still curious as to Abin Sur's fate even that is not resolved. That's not to say the book is completly worthless, there are some cool moments and a Green Lantern pissing off the Guardians is always fun to read but it's not even close to being able to redeem the book's faults.
|From Flashpoint: Abin Sur-The Green Lantern #3|
Overall I'd advice you to avoid this issue. Unless you're a completist who already owns the first two issues and will die without this issue, stay far away from it.
Written by Mark Waid
Pencils and Cover by Paolo Rivera
After the enormous success of Daredevil #1, Daredevil #2 had a lot to live up to. While for the most part it succeeds, Daredevil #2 is not the absolute joyride that the first issue was.
This isn't the fault of Mark Waid though. Once again Waid absolutely nails Matt Murdock's character. The dialogue is fun and very Matt Murdock-like. Some people might complain from the overabundance of "lawyer-ese" coming out of his mouth but it fits Matt's character and is applicable in the context of the story. Not only is Matt handled perfectly but so is Foggy Nelson and pretty much every other character that is brought into these pages. In fact the only character who isn't written perfectly in these pages is the series guest star Captain America. In fact the entire fight between Daredevil and Captain America is the worst part of the issue and the only thing keeping each page of the issue from being an absolute pleasure to read. Not only is Cap written uncharacteristically but the entire fight scene is basically a recap of the last few Daredevil stories as well as talking about a story that took place in Captain America. None of the information presented is needed in the story and just distracts from the rest of the issue.
While the actual story is not as good as last issue, Paolo Rivera does a fantastic job on art! Every page is rendered beautifully. Even the Cap fight scene is a joy to look at! When Waid reveals the final villain, a reveal that Waid keeps as creepy as possible, Rivera matches him brilliant stroke for brilliant stroke.
|From Daredevil #2. Art by Paolo Rivera|
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
1. Black and Latino? Really?
It's a well known fact that Blacks and Latinos are not on good terms at all. This occurs at multiple levels of society, from intellectuals to gang members, African Americans do not get along with Hispanics. I'm not arguing that because of this Miles Morales should not have been Black or Latino but I am saying that both aspects of his race must be fully explored in the story, otherwise it becomes an issue of over emphasizing a characters status as a minority.
2. His age
Yes I know, comic book characters never are realistic representation of how old they are. But there is a part of me that objects to a 13-year old character attempting to be Spider-Man. I understand that it would make a cool story, at 13 many kids are just starting to find themselves so it's intresting. However, at 13 the risks and consequences of a career as a vigilante are much higher than that of a 15 or 16 year old.
3. That costume
|From teasers for Ultimate Fallout #4|
|From Action Comics #1|
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Speaking as someone who only entered the magical world of comics about five years ago, Wikipedia is a new reader's best friend. Yet I remember my frustration after reading a lengthy article on a character's history only to have to run into something called Crisis on Infinite Earths. Having to go back and figure out which parts of the character were changed was a bit of a headache. Eventually I stopped reading a characters Pre-Crisis story and just skipped ahead. If the DCnU is about accessibility, then shouldn't the characters and their history be less complex, instead of more? I'm picturing the new reader of the future trying to read previous stories of a hero I enjoys and running into Pre-Flashpoint continuity, some of which matters and some of which doesn't. Picture the new reader trying to get a backstory on a character and hearing about stories that still happened except for Character X no longer existing. And I thought Crisis was confusing!
On a side note, DC still hasn't said whether the Multiverse has been changed by Flashpoint or whether only the "main" Earth has been changed. We do know that Grant Morrison is continuing with his Multiversity project so I think we can assume that the Multiverse still exists in it's entirity but that's pure speculation.
If DC wanted to update their characters, how bout doing it the Marvel Way? Marvel subtly slides their characters origin dates forward without making a mess. Which war did Tony Stark get captured and become Iron Man? It's moved from Vietnam, to not a war, to the Gulf War. They're slowly updated their characters and yet no one really complains about it. I can see why DC might not go this route, their characters have become so symbolic and so iconic that it's hard to make subtle changes. Look at Grant Morrison's work on Batman. Everything from the bell that Bruce uses to call Alfred after his first night of crime fighting to the movie that he watched with his parents has now become an important part of Bat-history. Try updating that!
In my opinion, a soft reboot is nice and comfortable in theory but for a company like DC Comics, they have to go with a hard reboot, or no reboot at all.