Saturday, September 21, 2013

Batman and Robin #23.3 Review and *SPOILERS*

The Demon's Head comes to a..ah...well Head.

What can one say about Ra's al Ghul?  Well if we take a look at this issue of Batman and Robin, we find that
apparently we can talk about his greatest hits in history.

A messenger is sent by the Secret Society to convince Ra's to join them.  Ra's responds by sicking a bunch of man bats on the messenger's goons, and Ra's throws the messenger a sword.  Let the history lesson sword fight begin.  We're shown Ra's past where he first let a knight of the crusades go back to Rome, to tell the Pope about the demon he confronted.  Ra's then went and learned what he needed to learn, and gathered the people he would need to secure his dream.  He founded the League of Assassins.  We see that Ra's was responsible for the great fire of London, the opium war, introducing cholera to America, and starting World War I.  But the hell with all that, now we see Ra's sword fighting a bare chested Batman (sorry folks Bruce's luxurious hairy chest apparently has been retconned.), the introduction of Talia, Damian, and the Batman Inc story arc.

While the history lesson is fun the best part of this book is when Ra's disarms the messenger during their fight.  The messenger tells Ra's that Batman is dead, and Ra's laughs. "You really think death can stop one such as him?  I have seen the Bat's soul, young pup, and in it I saw my own face staring back at me."  So badass.  So Ra's refuses the offer to join the Secret Society, the messenger tries to kill Ra's but is stopped when he is harpooned to the wall by both arms.

So there ya have it.  Now all you suckers out there not reading the Red Hood and the Outlaws has an excuse to pick up the book.  Oh yeah this issue will tie into the next issues of Red Hood, sorry for the suckers comment.  This book was fun to read, just a little talky, and by talky I mean telling us everything we already new about Ra's.  Immortal bad dude, who fights Batman, and also respects him.  Now Ra's is back which is about time, and we have to wait to find out what he's up to now that the heroes of the world are gone.  I really enjoyed the artwork by Jeremy Haun, and hope that we get him working with James Tynion regularly on Talon, so that that book can be as good as this one was.  Check it out.


Green Lantern #23.3 Black Hand Review

Can Someone Give Him a Hand?

Black Hand has risen from the grave...again.  You see, that's what he does.  Green Lantern #23.3 shows his latest resurrection.  It is part origin, part Forever Evil tie-in and part Green Lantern prologue.

Charles Soule gives us a pretty damn good story.  William Hand rises from the grave and is trying to figure out the who, what and why of it all.  With the backdrop of the Forever Evil events, he slowly gains his bearings and remembers Hal Jordan and his hate of all the Lanterns.  What he does next is a great twist and really sets up a future confrontation with Hal.  I can't wait to see it when it happens.

Alberto Ponoodticelli's art is really good.  It is dark and creepy the way it should.    Compliments to colorist Danny Vozzo for his work here as well.

Green Lantern #23.3 is a really good issue.  We get Black Hand's latest origin story set in the backdrop of Forever Evil.  Then we get a twist that is sure to set up a great confrontation with Hal Jordan that I can't wait to see.


Batman: The Dark Knight #23.3 Clayface Review


Clayface is an idiot.  He just doesn't like being called one, trust me.  When Gotham goes dark and the Crime Syndicate proclaim their dominance, Clayface wants in.  However, they don't want him and he gets really pissed.  Oh yea, they also call him an idiot, which I already told you he doesn't like.

Clayface has been a bit of a mystery in the New 52.  In the regular Batman title he can assume others DNA. In the monthly Dark Knight he is a jewel thief who seems to always kill his gang.  In his Villains Month title John Layman gives us a big, lumbering idiot.  I admit I'm not a huge Clayface fan in general, but this one is my favorite of the bunch.  He hates being called an idiot as he does the stupidest thing possible.  He lets his anger get the best of him to hilarious results.

Cliff Richards' art is OK.  The weird part is that the thing that looks the most out of place is Clayface.  He just doesn't look consistent throughout the book.

That said, this issue is good fun, but not very necessary.  We get a bunch of laughs at Clayface's expense, but in the end this is a average read at best.  Unless you can't get enough Clayface, you can pass on this issue.


Superman #23.3 H'el Review

So This is What H'el is Like

Ok, let me get this out right away.  Superman #23.3 sucked.  Even if you were one of the three people who enjoyed the H'el on Earth crossover event, I would not recommend buying this book.

Even though H'el ks on the cover, this is more of a Jor-El story.  At least I think it was.  It is one of the most confusing and boring comics I have read in a long time.  I really want the twenty minutes back that this book stole from me.  I've been told that Scott Lobdell is a great writer, but I haven't seen it of late.

Dan Jurgens does a fine job with the art.  It is a good looking book.  That only makes the rest of it seem even worse if that is possible.

Superman #23.3 is a terrible issue.  While the art is good, the plot is convoluted and boring.  The twist ending sets up the upcoming event, but I dare you to try to get that far without throwing this book out the window, into a fire, under a bus...


Injustice: Gods Among Us #36 Review

Recently it was announced that Injustice will be on hiatus until 2014.  The good and the bad is that at least we will be getting more, but the wait will be oh so long.  Issue #36 will have to tide us over and as usual it is great.

The issue picks up with Batman lying crumpled by Superman's back breaking attack.  But as we know, Batman doesn't go down easily and always has a backup plan.  While Superman was busy getting his Bane on, Batman was uploading the super pill formula.  When Superman realizes, it's already too late.  What follows is one of the most bad ass beatdowns in recent history.  It is so great.

The comic ends with Superman addressing the U.N. and promising the World he will deal with the terrorist known as Batman.  I can't wait until 2014.

Injustice has been so good every week.  This book deserves to be read by everyone who is any sort of superhero fan.  The wait until the next issue will be painful, but at least we got another stellar issue as a send off.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Batman #23.3 Review and *SPOILERS*

What Are Friends For?

Yep still here with Villain's Month starting week three.  This time around we dive right into one of my favorite Batman villains who gets a bad rap, the Penguin.  Just looking at him you won't get the degree of villain he is.  It's not until you crack the shell do you see the true deviousness of this character.  Lucky for us that is exactly what this issue does.  Let's dive right in.

At the Iceberg Casino a couple of street magicians are cheating the Penguin out of his hard earned money.  That's something you don't want to do.  Ever since the Emperor Penguin story arc in Detective Comics people have been seeing the Penguin as someone that can't hold on to what's his.  So obviously he has something to prove.  When one of the card hustlers disrespects Penguin in his place, Penguin simply lets them leave.  No goons, no guns, no nothing.  So what do we get?  Weaponized Umbrella.  Penguin slaughters the David Blaines, and then makes sure to put a hit out on all their families.  The Penguin is back!

But when the bodies are discovered in front of GCPD, it causes the Governor Carter Winston to say no more.  He plans on shutting down the Iceberg Casino and giving Gotham back to the decent people that live there.  But the Penguin isn't worried, turns out that him and Carter were friends back in prep school, and Carter even got the bullies off his back.  Carter informs the Penguin that the threat was real, and that he's gone to far, so the Penguin does the only reasonable thing.  He drugs Carter and frames him for the murder of his assistant.  But it will all go away as long as Carter realizes that Gotham is the Penguin's city.  Damn right.

Later Carter Winston goes in front of a press conference and blows his brains out.  His last words were "Sometimes the bullies get it right."  So badass.  In the end we see the Penguin pull out a year book.  Next to the pictures of the boys that bullied him are newspaper clippings.  All the bullies came to a bad end.  The last page is Carter and Oswald, arm around one another, and smiling.  Never underestimate the Penguin.

For those of you boys and girls out there, that don't think The Penguin is a proper villain, than this issue is for you.  No kidding by the end of this issue if you don't have chills then your probably dead, or Mr. Freeze, either way it leaves you feeling frightened by the Penguin, and what he might do in the future to secure his empire since the Emperor Penguin story line in Detective.  The artwork wasn't spectacular, but I feel it really worked for this story, and this character.  Also guess what.  No origin story, woo!  But if your looking for a Gotham that should be ravaged by power outages, and street crime, and a wide open insane asylum, well sadly you won't find it here.  I don't really know what that means as for timeline, but I won't let it hold me back from enjoying this issue, and neither should you.  Check it out.