Friday, August 30, 2013

All-Star Western #23 Review

Jonah Hex has escaped Gotham City and is on the run with Dr. Jeremiah Arkham.  They pull into a small town, meet a few of  the local ladies and get involved in a showdown with a revenge seeking homicidal maniac.  All in a day's work for our scar faced man out of time.

All-Star Western #23 is a really good story.  It may be in modern day Gotham, but it still reads like a Western.  In Fact, the modern setting really makes it fresh, fun and exciting. There are shoot outs, chase scenes and damsels in distress.  Jimmy Palmiotti and Just Gray really know what they are doing.

Jonah is not just a time traveling man, but a man whose honor and values are out of time.  In issue #23 we get to see more of the man and what he thinks about our society and it's great. He is a hero who shoots first when the situation dictates it and in the end, that gets him in hot water.  Speaking of the end, it looks like Batman and Jonah will finally meet face-to-face next issue.  I can't wait.

Moritat's art is ok.  I've been praising him for his work in modern Gotham, but this issue takes a step back.  Maybe it's the smaller scope, but it just doesn't look as good as it has.

Overall, All-Star Western #23 is a very good issue.  Jonah Hex shows he's an honorable man that will do what's right no matter the consequences.  While the art isn't as strong as it has been, the story more than makes up for it. 


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Teen Titans #23 Review

This issue starts up where last month's cliff hanger left us. Kid Flash is being pulled into a portal to the future. But not if Wonder Girl has anything to say about it. OH NO! she isn't strong enough. Well not if Bunker has anything to say about it. OH NO! He's getting pulled in too. Well not if Beast Boy has anything to say about it... yup this goes on with Solstice, and then Super Boy who disrupts the portal with his TK abilities. We get the old classic where every issue is someones first issue, so the whole team has to be reintroduced to the reader using a time portal tug o war scenario. Oh and after all the nonsense. we get a single page in the 30th century of the people trying to get him back, but no clues telling us why, or who they are. Boo.

So it seems this issue is just a nice calm breather after the last issues with the Trigon battles, because now we have time for Super Boy, and Wonder Girl to talk about their feelings. Guess what she's into Superboy. (she also says she'd bang Red Robin too. Awkward. Reminds me of Prom.) Oh and we also get Red Robin explaining to Raven, the backstory to all the members of the Teen Titans in tight little paragraphs. I wish he'd just have the decency to break the fourth wall. We all know who your talking to Red Robin. BAH! Oh and Solstice, and Kid Flash make up, and make out. (Remember kiddies last issue Raven spilled the beans on Wonder Girl, and Solstice making out with Red Robin. Yup there's Prom again.)

The issue ends with Bunker telling everyone that his lover Gabriel who's been in a coma is awake, and wants to see him, and that he plans on leaving the team to do it. Beast Boy says that he's going with him to make sure he gets there safe. Everyone watches as Bunker leaves, and we have a nice picture of the team seeing him off. But wait, just like the last issue, no Beast Boy. I don't know what it is, but it seems the creative team hates Beast Boy. Just like Chewbacca, no medal.

This issue is a little dull, but it's nice. I guess you can't ask teenagers to kick ass and take names all the time. For the most part the team is back together emotionally, and hopefully we can move on to more exciting stories. Like I said in the review, this is also an place for the creative team to annoyingly let the readers know who the characters are, and what they have done to get them here. Man I hate that. This is one of my favorite books, but it has been letting me down, I hope that after Villain's Month we can get back on track with interesting Titan stories.


Larfleeze #3 Review

Last month I gave issue 2 a 3/10. I hated it, coming into this issue, that opinion was fresh on my mind. So for the first bit of this story we have a drawn out orgin story of The Wanderer. Remember the chick at the end of Larfleeze #2? If ya don't I don't blame ya, but don't come here looking for an explanation. Well it turns out that before StarGrave was kidnapped by Larfleeze The Wanderer had bought StarGrave from his previous master, and rightfully he is hers. So what's first on the agenda you may ask. Well let's start out with some castration jokes. Yep.....castration. So StarGrave wakes Larfleeze back up in a hurry, and the fighting continues.

So The Wanderer, and Larfleeze duke it out, energy style, and the whole base starts getting torn up. Which gets the attention of N'Odens. But Larfleeze apparently is capable of learning, because he doesn't just go balls to the wall. He straps N'Odens to a rocket construct and blasts him off into space. Now it's looting time. Oh and remember that big energy hound Lou, from last issue? Well he says about three sentences and The Wanderer blows him up. I kind of felt bad, but I hated him last issue. StarGrave pleads for Larfleeze to help him, but with so much shiny stuff around he decides against it. As StarGrave cries out, Larfleeze sends out the constructs of the Orange Lantern Corps.

The Wanderer feels that these creature that are energy, were also living at some point, and she has the power to reconstitute them. Now we have an interesting story. Living Orange Lantern Corps members. Oh and can you guess who isn't their favorite person? The Wanderer escapes with StarGrave and we're left with something that resembles something you might want to read. I can't believe it.

Surprisingly I'm not saying I'm dropping this book, like I thought I would when I started reading issue 3. Most of the book was rough to read but the ending really pulled it back from the brink. I guess at this point I'm on a month by month basis. If I get one more real stinker I'm done. It just really suffers from the same flaws as Threshold, and I really don't want that. Larfleeze could be a great title, but I think Keith Giffen isn't the man for the job. But if you want a good Keith Giffen title, go check out his ongoing run on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. He writes the hell out of that book. So shocked as I am, I guess I'll see ya back here next month for Larfleeze #4


Batman Incorporated Special #1 Review

Deep in the Batcave, Batman goes over the Batman Incorporated case files. We start off with the Batman of Japan. Kids are gathered around an icy treats vending machine, trying to knock one of their cold goodies loose when the unexpected happens. They run across the street to Jiro's toy store to tell him what they found. Jiro investigates the machine to find a vacuum sealed severed hand. Batman of Japan is on the case. Contacting his side kick Canary, the duo's investigating leads them to a capsule hotel, where in they find the next victim. Through a secret chute Batman of Japan and Canary find themselves face to inside out face with Doctor Inside-Out. Using gas the Doc tries to knock them out, but what he didn't count on was the Japanese Bat gas mask. Realizing he will not will the fight, Doctor Inside-Out activates a robotic arm to grab Batman of Japan and pin him down in a disposal tube. As the countdown for the tube starts, Canary uses her sonic scream to jossel Doc Inside-Out's Insides out. Got that image? Batman of Japan switches with Doc In-Out, and the disposal tube launches him into the ocean. In the end the two heroes explain that they saved the baddie from being eaten by sharks, and got him to talk about who all his victims were, and all his associates. They got him to spill his guts. Nice.

The next case file we're given a look at is about Squire, in the days after Knight's death. The story shows us how Squire moves past her grief, by reminiscing about her and Knight's first meeting, and her becoming Knight's Squire. Then comes the drinks. Beryl goes to the pub "Time in a Bottle", where she talks to her friend the Mechanic, but she isn't ready to talk yet. The next day the Mechanic finds her, to tell her that Spring Heeled Jack is back in town. Squire wants a crack at this villain. During the fight, she realizes that Knight isn't truly gone, because he still lives on in all the things that he taught Squire over the years, and these teachings allow her to overcome Spring Heeled Jack. With this knowledge Squire knows what she needs to do. Knight needs to live on, and it will live on through her.

The next case file we're given a insight into Raven Red. While Raven Red, and Man Of Bats are chasing a criminal on a high rise that isn't completed yet, Raven Red remembers talking a man off the ledge of a casino. The man tells him about his past and how he used to work on high steel. The story becomes about men overcoming fear, and what they can accomplish. Leading to Red Raven taking down the criminal, standing out on the steel beams, and staring out onto the horizon.

This case file is a three way team up with Night Runner, Dark Ranger, and El Gaucho. While the three were enjoying a night out on the town, it was abruptly cut short, when everyone in the town became crazy. The three try to save innocents, and figure out what is causing the violent behavior. They locate a strange frequency on the other side of the city. Dark Ranger's jet pack runs out of fuel, at the same time the frequency starts to effect Night Runner. Dark Ranger realizes that his helmet was keeping him safe from the noise, but without his jet pack he will never be able to reach the source of problem. Dark Ranger gives Night Runner his helmet and sends him to stop the source. Inside the building a nasty faced villain monologues. Night Runner shows up but is quickly subdued. (he couldn't see out of the helmet.) But fear not because El Gaucho is to the rescue. He knocks Nasty face out, and quickly takes care of the crazy sound source. In the end the three decide to find another place to hang out and continue their good time.

The final case file is about Bat Cow. Yep Bat Cow. One night in Gotham City Bat Cow (wearing a cape) is grazing in an open field. But by the road a police car is chasing a speeding car. Shots are fired, but Bat Cow is near. Bat Cow plays chicken with the car, causing it to smash into a tree. Bat Cow stays there until the police catch up. Out of the police car a crying woman runs to the criminal car, and pulls a baby out of a car seat. In the end we see a bottle spilling milk, and the next two panels we see the criminals being arrested with the view underneath Bat Cow's utters. Very strange. And Why?

Well it's the end of the case files and Batman looks on. The Bat Computer asks Batman if he wants to archive the files. In the end he chooses no, so I guess in some form Batman Incorporated will live on.

This was a very fun special, with the exception of the Bat Cow story. Don't get me wrong, I love Bat Cow, but I also love good story telling. I really hope that since this issue is numbered we will be getting more Batman Incorporated Specials along the way, and if we don't it was a very fond goodbye to the characters we have come to love.


Justice League #23 Review

Well the final installment to the Trinity War is upon us. Let's get started. We learn that this all started five years ago during Darkseid's invasion. While the walls of this universe were weakened, two figures emerge. One being the leader of the Secret Society, the other is still a mystery for now. Back at the Temple of Hephaestus, the three teams finally meet up with Constantine, and Zatanna. But the corrupting power of Pandora's Box is still in effect. Constantine finds himself up against the entire might of all three teams. BOOSH!

But the bad ass image of that quickly fades when Batman gets a sling around the box, and everyone starts fighting among themselves once again. But new Lantern Simon Baz thinks he's up to snuff to take the box away from Batman. He is quickly schooled, and then completely overwhelmed when Superman decides to throw a pillar at him. Poor poor Simon Baz. The degenerating mental state of Superman continues and in a delusional rampage believes that when he dies, Wonder Woman will go back to Steve Trevor, or Batman. Superman knows what he must do. Kill the Batman. But before he can, Superman collapses. Wonder Woman is curious why the box is affecting Superman this way, but not the rest of them. Well remember back when Amanda Waller asked FireStorm to create Kryptonite? Well he can sense it now. Element Woman turns into oxygen and finds a sliver of Kryptonite inside Superman's brain. Ready for some revelation? The Atom sitting on Cyborg's shoulder tells them that she stuck it in Superman's brain during the JL vs. JLA battle in Kahndaq when she stabbed the sliver into the nerve it caused Superman to melt Dr. Light's face. But she also reveals that she isn't the only traitor, Cyborg is one as well. Cyborg's cybernetics come alive, and decide that the human parts are weak, and it will separate from it's weakness. the metal forms into a new being calling itself Grid.

While all this is going on The Outsider comes in and takes Pandora's Box. He explains to the groups that the box is actually from his world, and that only someone from his world can open it. A portal opens and a version of Aquaman (think of Aquaman in the 90's) comes through, but immediately collapses. Madam Xanadu explains that the real Trinity wasn't about Pandora, but it was really the true number of evil. Three, as in Earth 3. Through the portal the Crime Syndicate emerges. The Outsider is really Alfred from Earth 3, and he has been trying to bring his master Owl Man to this world. So for the most part all has been revealed, with what's left most likely being revealed in the continuation Forever Evil. The issue ends with the Crime Syndicate charging the heroes.

We have come to the end of our journey with the Trinity War, but we have found out that this was merely a stepping stone to take us into Villain's Month, and Forever Evil. For the most part I have enjoyed the entire six parts, and this issue is no exception. But as a whole, I think I'm a little let down, now maybe it was from all the Intro net spoilers, like the Crime Syndicate ending was leaked awhile ago. But like most crossover story arc, I always feel a little let down by the end. But that's probably just the awful fanboy in me. For what it was I enjoyed it, and I can't wait to see what Geoff Johns, and Jeff Lemire give us in the future.


Catwoman #23 Review

Bad Kitty

Catwoman is taking Tinderbox through Gotham's underworld to stop a war.  You see, Tinderbox is the daughter of Dr. Phosphorous and he hopes to make peace with his rival, Warhog by marrying his daughter to Warhog's son..  We learn that Warhog is a bio engineer who has developed a plan to save mankind from a biological attack using...a biological toxin??  Believe me, his explanation doesn't make anymore sense then you would hope.  The marriage doesn't work out and Catwoman has to fight her way out of Warhog's bunker only to run into Joker's Daughter.

Ann Nocenti (with script help by Scott McDaniel) has given us another confusing issue.  Maybe infuriating is more the word I'm looking for.  Catwoman just doesn't seem right.  It may be her detective-like observations, her awful dialogue or both.  This Catwoman is not likable at all.  Throw in Tinderbox, a one dimensional brat and overall awful person and I wanted to slap them both.  Which leads me to one of the worst panels I've seen in years.  Catwoman spanking Tinderbox.  Was it supposed to be provocative and sexy?  Who knows.  It comes off as ridiculous and totally out of character.  Shame on you Ann.

So what was good about the issue?  Rafa Sandoval's art is good.  The coloring of Sonia Oback is good as well.  Also, we are introduced to Joker's Daughter in a setup for Villains Month.  That's about it.

Ann Nocenti's Catwoman run has not been good.  In fact, it's been pretty horrible.  With that said, this is one of her better issues so far.  It doesn't make much sense, the plot is cliched and the dialogue is laughable...but it still is one of the better issues.  Take that for what it's worth.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Batman : The Dark Knight #23 Review

A Load of Clayface


Let's cut to the chase.  This issue of Batman: The Dark Knight sucked.    Yes, most of the other issues in the series have sucked to, but this is the suckiest suck who ever sucked.  All kidding aside, this issue did suck big time.

The Batman in Dark Knight is not good at his job.  In fact, you may say he sucks.  He visits insane villains and asks them to solve his cases.  He hits James Gordan across the face to see if he is Clayface and he needs the whole GCPD to dress up like Batmen to do his job. 

And what is with this Clayface?  He's a jewel thief and stock market terrorist who always kills his crew.  Seriously, who would ever work with this guy?  If he can assume others DNA as we have been told, why is he bothering stealing jewels?  A lot of questions and I'm not even sure I want to know the answers anymore.

The last thing I want to mention is Batman's force field containment gun.  When did he get that?  Why hasn't he used it on say...every villain he ever faced?  The Joker shows up, zap!  Captured in the force field.  The Riddler causes an issue, bang!  Force field.  The Penguin, ba-da-bing!  Killer Croc, ba-da-boom!  Just plain ridiculousness.  

On a happier note, Alex Maleev's art work is ok.  I'd say it was a highlight, but that compliment is getting old.  Anything but the story, characters and dialogue in this book could be called a highlight.

To say I hated this issue is an understatement.  The art is ok, but everything else is terrible.  Batman sucks at being Batman and the characterization of Clayface is ridiculous.  This issue is the best example of how NOT to end a story.  A fizzle would be a huge overstatement.  I am not looking forward to Clayface's Villains Month origin story and I could care less if another issue ever hits the stands.


The Flash #23 Review

The Flash #23 grabs you from the cover and doesn't stop even after reading the last page.  The issue picks up right where the last ended, with Barry Allen and Reverse Flash kicking the crap out of each other.  Throw in the fact that Dr. Elias is trying to drain their speed force powers while this is going on and you have a hell of a start.

Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato have created such a great series and this issue may top them all.  Iris finally gets her speed force powers, but they may not be long lasting.  We finally find out the identity of Reverse Flash and it is a dozy.  I can't wait until his Villains Month origin story.  The Patty-Barry-Iris love triangle may even get a little more complicated.  That is if everyone lives.  This is how a comic book should be.  Breakneck action and super dialogue and story.

The art and coloring continue to be excellent.  I have thought it for a while but I think I am ready to say that this is the best looking New 52 book out right now.  Anyone who disagrees needs to look at the splash page fight scenes in this issue.  They are numerous and they are great.  The Flash is about speed and the art perfectly portrays it.

Whoa, what an issue.  The Flash #23 had everything you could want in a comic.  Great action and fight scenes, check.  Awesome art and coloring? Yep.  A crazy reveal?  Oh yea.  A great cliff hanger that will make the two month wait for the next issue unbearable?  A huge YES.  Do yourself a favor and buy this book for yourself and any comic book fan you know.


Injustice : Gods Among Us #33 Review

Old Heroes never Die...or Do They?

The last few issues of Injustice have been fun.  Unfortunately, the fun ride had to end and it does in Injustice #33.  Last issue ended with Captain Atom detonating above Earth in an attempt to kill Superman.  It didn't work...and Superman is pissed.

Tom Taylor has done a great job with the story and characters in Injustice.  One of the standouts of the series has been Green Arrow.  His wisecracking, especially with Batman, has been a treat.  This issue shows what a hero Oliver really is.  Can an archer hope to take down the Man of Steel?  Maybe not, but that doesn't stop Green Arrow from trying to save the day.  It is a bitter sweet issue indeed.

Though not as great as last issue, Bruno Redondo does a fine job with the art.  Everything looks good, though nothing really stands out either.

Injustice : Gods Among Us #33 continues Tom Taylor's great streak.  Green Arrow shows what a hero does when he has no hope and Superman shows what a man does when he's pushed too far.  A sad moment in a tale full of sad moments to come.