Saturday, October 12, 2013

Smallville: Titans #2 Review

Written by: Bryan Q. Miller
Art by: Cat Staggs
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: October 11, 2013

Like Breakfast Club with More Flying and Scarab Armor


After the fiasco that happened in last issue, the Teen Titans have returned to school where Jay Garrick is telling them the redemption story of Barry Allen.  The lesson of making up for your past by being a hero today seems to especially important to a few of the members in particular.

What we get in Smallville: Titans #2 is a bunch of character origin and development.  Jay Garrick wants Superboy to become the leader he needs to be, but questions which part of his DNA will rise to the occasion.  Speedy questions why she even came to the school, and shows her resentment to Green Arrow in the process.  Jayna tells how her and Zan were abandoned by their father the first time they "gleeked" their powers (nice touch).  Ms. Martian yearns to help her Uncle prepare Mars for habitation to fix the sins of her past and makes out with Superboy.

In the funniest bit of the issue, Blue Beetle fights with the scarab armor about proper length required to brush ones teeth.  When he steps out of the bathroom he slips on blood...Zan's blood!  He is then greeted by the Villain revealed at the end of issue #1 who seems to have killed Zan and is now attacking him.

I really liked this issue.  Last issue we were thrown into the fire so it is nice to see what makes each Teen Titan tick.  Each member is that much more interesting now that we know why they are at Jay Garrick's school and if/why they actually care.  Seeing the bonds forming between them is sure to pay off in the next two issues.  Also, Blue Beetle is hilarious.

Bits and Pieces:

Smallville: Titans #2 was another solid issue.  Instead of the breakneck action of last issue, we get more characterization and back story.  The team and the book are all the better for it.  I can't wait for next issue.

9.0/10

Smallville: Titans #1 Review

Written by: Bryan Q. Miller
Art by: Cat Staggs
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: October 4, 2013



Here at Weird Science I am not the Teen Titans fan boy.  That honor goes to Eric who has spent hours debating on what Beast Boy's true color should be.  However, I am a digital comic fan boy.  I love the weekly release of bit-size stories that don't have to fall into the New 52 continuity.  I like fun comics and there are a bunch of those titles in the digital first lineup.  Smallville: Titans is just that...fun.

Smallville: Titans is a four part miniseries featuring Jay Garrick (Flash) as he attempts to mentor young heroes Superboy, Speedy, Blue Beetle, Miss Martian and the Wonder Twins.  He he he...how can anything with the Wonder Twins be anything but fun?

The issue starts with Dr. Phosphorous escaping prison and threatening a San Fransisco amusement pier.  That's when the Titans swoop in.  Each member does what they do best.  Superboy raises his fists and cracks wise, the Wonder twins fist bump and make me smile, Speedy shoots an arrow, Blue Beetle argues with his scarab armor, and Miss Martian tries to calm the citizens down with telepathy.  Individually they don't pose a threat to Phosphorous, but when they act as a team they send him into the Bay, defeated.

Jay Garrick shows up and like any good mentor, rains on their parade.  As a team, they stink.  He sends them back to the school possibly trying to nurse the headache he will have for the next three issues.  This is when I was waiting for the whole Dr. Phosphorous fight to be revealed as simply a training exercise, but it wasn't  In fact, the last panel reveals who set it up and it is someone with big ties to the Teen Titan Universe.

Bryan Q. Miller has done such a good job here.  The issue was full of excitement, but also enough character moments to make me care about the team.  Their interaction with each other seems natural and the inclusion of Jay Garrick as their teacher is awesome.  Garrick's frustration at the Titans and their hangdog expressions at the end were priceless.

Cat Stagg's art was really good as well.  The characters looked like their TV counterparts and even though I questioned the gritty style at first, it fit the story and the concept.  I'm used to the Teen Titans as cartoony and bright, but this is the Smallville version.  More realistic equals more sense here.  A special shout out goes to Stagg's cover.  The Teen Titans and Jay Garrick reflected in his Flash helmet is a great start to this miniseries.

Bits and Pieces:

Smallville: Teen Titans #1 is a great start to the miniseries.  It reads like a lost pilot to a Smallville spin off television series.  It is fun and action packed and should be read by Smallville and Teen Titan fans alike.  Highly recommended.

9.2/10

The Death of Superboy

During the Superman panel at New York City Comic Con, Scott Lobdell talked about the Krypton Returns story arc in the upcoming #25 issues of Superman, Action Comics, Superboy and Supergirl.  The story will involve the "Family" traveling back in time to prevent the destruction of Krypton.  Lobdell then told the audience that Superboy would die at the end of Superboy #25 and be replaced by John Lane Kent.

He also said that Supergirl would be moving on to a new title.  I'm sure Eric here at Weird Science will have a lot to say about both matters.


Batman 66 #15 Review

Written by: Jeff Parker
Art by: Colleen Coover
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: October 9, 2013

It's a (Bat)Catfight

I am a huge fan of the original Batman television program.  As a 12 year old boy, there were two things that made a Batman episode perfect...Batgirl and Catwoman.  Yes, Batman and Robin's adventures were the reason I loved the show in the first place, but those two ladies were icing on the cake.  When both appeared in the same episode...jackpot!  All these years later, Batman 66 #15 made me excited all over again, just not like a 12 year old boy just hitting puberty.

Yes, Batman 66 #15 features Batgirl and Catwoman.  The famous Tiger Topaz Diamond is on display at the Gotham Museum of Science.  Commissioner Gordan and his daughter Barbara are getting a sneak peak at the exibit and even get to meet designer, Madam Kugar.  Barbara notices that Madam Kugar is very interested in the security measures around the diamond.  She may also have noticed that the ladies name is Kugar and she looks like Ertha Kitt...well maybe not, but she is suspicious.

Later that night, Catwoman breaks into the Museum and is confronted by Batgirl.  I love that Batgirl is impressed by Catwoman's plan of posing as a designer, overseeing the exibit and after all that work, breaking in to steal it.  It is ridiculous and fits great in the 66 universe.  Of course they fight.  This is where the digital comic shines.  Each move, sound effect and funny dialogue pops up in turn, making it more an animated piece than just a comic.  The two also take a page from "They Live" and sit a rest a bit, before fighting again.  It may not be a reference to that, but it is hilarious all the same.  Catwoman is finally caught, Batgirl almost calls him "Dad" and Commissioner Gordan compares her to his librarian daughter.  Perfect.

I have to point out this weeks art.  I was not a fan of last weeks, but Colleen Coover does a great job this week.  It may still be a bit cartoony for some, but it fits the playful story just fine for me.

Batman 66 #15 is a 12 year old boys dream.  Batgirl and Catwoman!  The story is a playful romp that put a smile on my face.  Batman 66 is such a fun book and this issue continues the trend.

9.0/10

Poor Batman




Found this here and it made me laugh.

Friday, October 11, 2013

More Earth 2 Previews, and *SPOILERS*

DC just announced their line of Earth 2 figures, and gave away the identity of Earth 2's new Batman.  So are you ready?  Spoilers Ahead.


Well DC is saying that this figure is Thomas Wayne.  But this opens up a bunch of questions as well.  At least for me.  Is it Thomas Wayne Jr.  As in Earth 3's Owl Man / Earth 1's Lincoln March?  Or is it Thomas Wayne Sr. like in Flash Point?  But anyway you look at it, this has been a identity we have been waiting to find out for those out there reading Earth 2.  So what do you think?  Thomas Sr., Thomas Jr., or just a big fuck up, and I don't know what I'm talking about?  Leave some love, and tell us what you think of this news, and also here are a few more figures that were released for the Earth 2 Line.




Thursday, October 10, 2013

Stormwatch #24 Review

Written by: Jim Starlin
Art by: Yvel Guichet
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 9, 2013

I Guess the Name ExtremeFred was Taken



It's no secret, Stormwatch has been a mess.  It doesn't sell, gets bad reviews and is on it's third creative team.  Why this book isn't canceled is beyond me, but at least Jim Starlin and Yvel Guichet are giving it the old college try.

Stormwatch #24 starts with a glimpse at Apollo's origin.  It was a very brief glimpse into the relationship of Apollo and Midnighter, but was subtle and effective.  Things go off the rails a bit after this.

The Engineer has been taken over by a Artificial Intelligence known as A.I.  How original.  A.I. then tells the Stormwatch team about Extrememax.  She talks, and talks and talks.  Then she talks some more.  She tells them his history, his enemy and his motives.  She talks some more and then he shows up ready to destroy Earth.  She tells them they have to join up with Extremax to fight his enemy The Kollective.

As you can tell, this comic breaks the rule of show don't tell.  In fact, it makes it's own rule...tell, tell, tell, don't show, tell, tell, show a little, tell. It's a shame too, because Yvel Guichet's art is quite good throughout (except a horrible Justice League and Green Lantern page that reminds me of a 6th graders attempt at sprucing up his trapper keeper).  The story isn't bad, it's just crammed down your throat.

Stormwatch #24 wants to be good, but the story is just information being forced on the reader.  The actual setup is ok, but the execution is sloppy.  I really want to like Stormwatch, but this issue isn't helping matters.

4.0/10

Katana #8 Review

Written by: Ann Nocenti
Art by: Cliff Richards
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 9, 2013

Your Katana is such a Bad Wife...




I'm going to try my best to sum up the events of this book.  Seriously, I will not make anything up.  OK, here goes.

Shun the Untouchable is covered in tattoos that tell of events that may come to pass.  On her stomach is a tatoo of Katana and a Dragon.  It means Katana will destroy the World.  Funny, it looks like Katana and a Dragon to me, but I guess they know better.  Katana has to fight a master of a sword that coils. His name is Coil.  No, not making this up.  He may be the worst trash talker in the history of trash talking.  Seriously, one of his big ones is telling Katana that her Husband said she burned toast.  Again, not making it up.  She beats him, but only after calling him a clucking hen.

For the next test, she must kill Mona Shard at the Wayward Ship Graveyard.  Sounds like a real fun place to hang out.  Meanwhile, Mona takes over a little girl's body and starts punching the sand in a bucket to make her new little girl body one big scar.  Alrighty then.

We cut to Shun and Katana walking in the streets of Japantown wondering why people are staring at them.  Let me think, one of you is covered head-to-toe in tattoos and the other is dressed in armor, carrying a sword and wearing a Rising Sun mask.  Shun tells a story that makes no sense at all and then they are attacked by a falcon.

Suddenly they are both on a mountainside.  I have no clue how they got there.  Really, I have no idea. A Falconer arrives and tells Katana to let the bird trust her and then she can kill it.  Then he says if she wants more lessons find him on the Mountainside sometime.  What Falconer tells someone how to kill his bird.  Those Falcons take years of training.  I always thought there would be a bond between the bird and the trainer.  I guess I was wrong...dead wrong.

Next, a Sumo wrestler is possesed by a spirit because he is a "mountain of will and fat".  Exact words.

Then, Shun thanks Junko for building her a foot.  Katana asks Junko if she has to kill Mona Shard.  He says she will find out.  Way to go out on a limb there, buddy.  The book ends with Mona Shard about to kill a Dagger Clan thug who has an idea on making money selling monkeys to science labs.

This may be the funniest book ever made.  Ann Nocenti is a diabolical genius.  I would say you have to buy this and read it for yourself, but isn't that Ann's plan all along?  Diabolical Genius, I tells you.  Diabolical Genius!

1.5/10


Nightwing #24 Review

Written by: Kyle Higgins
Art by: Will Conrad
Cover price: $2.99
Release Date: October 9, 2013

Easy like a Sunday Morning


The best thing that has happened to the New 52 Nightwing was his move to Chicago.  Dick Grayson left the familiar confines of Gotham to confront his Parent's killer, Tony Zucco.  After arriving in the Windy city, he became embroiled in a cat and mouse game with tech-villain, The Prankster.  Nightwing #24 is the finale of the first Chicago story arc and unfortunately it's not as satisfying as I'd hoped it would be.

I don't have any problem with the action.  This book is wall-to-wall action scenes.  We get fights, chases, explosions and more fights.  Will Conrad does a great job keeping up with the breakneck speed.  His art fits the pace perfectly.

It hurts me to say that the worst part of the issue is Kyle Higgins story.  I've loved Nightwing since issue #1 and consider Higgins one of the stars of the New 52.  Moving Nightwing to Chicago was genius and the issues since have been great.  The problem here is that all the buildup and tension is thrown out the window.  The Prankster has been a mysterious villain that is one part tech wizard and other part urban evangelist.  He has gathered an army of rebels that desperately want to be him.  He has gadgets galore that have kept Nightwing on the losing end of the fight.  In this issue we get one lousy gadget and a few measly followers.  Nightwing gets some help saving the day, but it all wraps up too quick and easy.  It could have been so much more.

We also get The Prankster's origin story and again, it's disappointing.  There is no air of mystery or intrigue.  We get a kid looking for revenge.  Yes, it mirrors the Zucco-Nightwing story, but that makes it even more cliche. 
 
Bits and Pieces: 

I know it seems as if I hated this issue, but I didn't.  I was just disappointed.  I love Nightwing, especially this Chicago arc.  This issue just ended too quick and easy.  Great looking and action filled, but still too quick and easy.

6.5/10


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Worlds' Finest #16 Review and *SPOILERS*

Writer: Paul Levitz
Artist: RB Silva, Joe Weems
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 9, 2013


The Age Old Story of Two Girls From a Parallel Earth


I've continued this title through some really hard times.  But then I was very surprised when the mundane became really fun.  But sadly I'm not sure it will stick around.  When last we saw the two heroic heroines, they were facing off against Desaad, and Power Girl had lost her power.  Now.

Explain It!:

We start out this issue with Huntress dropping down into a burning building.  And when I say dropping I mean it.  It was one of the least super heroic things I've seen.  But this happens throughout, so just remember Huntress was once cool, and then say it out loud Huntress was once cool.  Now if you believe it hard enough it might be true again.  Anyway she finds the culprit and chases her down.  She tries to shoot her with a bolt, but this villain has powers, and the only way I can describe it is, she has the ability to send what looks like shadows or oil out of herself and use it as a weapon, or barrier.  Huntress loses her on the subway.

Meanwhile Karen Starr is trying to get her companies back since they were taken over by Desaad disguised as Michael Holt.  But now that everyone knows this, it will still take time for the lawyers to get the job done.  Back at home she's deciding what to wear.  (yup sounds like fun right?)  when Huntress shows up and tells her about her night.  Ugh.  When outside another building has an explosion.  Now Power Girl has been slowly getting her powers back, but they have been sporadic at best.  The two head over, and Power Girl creates a tornado in the lake next door to the building to put out the flames, as Huntress goes after the villain.  

In the end the villain gets away using a hover board construct (and this one works on water), but Power Girl is still in pursuit.  The shadowy oil girl whatever, uses her power to create a dragon which knocks out Power Girl and we are left with a very disappointing issue.

Bits and Pieces:

Just when you thought Worlds' Finest was getting good.  Ugh.  This issue was just a couple superheroes who seem to be really bad at being superheroes.  The art was fun, but the story was boring as hell.  Power Girl was better in Suicide Squad, and she was barely in that issue.  I don't know it just seems like these two heroes have given up, and we're stuck with Apathetic Girl, and Clumsy.  I just hope that the series gets decent again.  The problem with that is, it wasn't decent very long, and now we're back to bad.

4/10

Superman/Wonder Woman #1 Review

Written by: Charles Soule
Art by: Tony S. Daniel
Cover Price:$3.99
Release Date: October 9, 2013

Sitting in a Tree


I was not a fan of Young Romance or even Superman and Wonder Woman's relationship in Justice League so it's no surprise that Superman/Wonder Woman #1 was not high on my list.  When I heard Charles Soule and Tony S. Daniel were the creative team, my interest piqued a bit, but still it wasn't full out on my radar.  Now that I've read it, I'm more impressed than I imagined I'd be, but I wonder if the book has legs.

Superman/Wonder Woman #1 is a good character study of two of the most powerful beings on Earth.  On one side you get the secretive, calm Superman.  He has spent his entire life hiding his true identity mainly to protect his loved ones.  On the other hand we have Wonder Woman, a fiery  Amazon who wants the world to know her identity to bring pride and honor to the Amazons.  It's no surprise that the two philosophies clash on the subject of whether or not to make their relationship public.  Can these gods on Earth overlook their differences and become more than friends or colleagues?   That's Superman/Wonder Woman #1 in a nut shell.  Then things ramp up with an awesome reveal on the last page.

Charles Soule does a great job in showing us Superman and Wonder Woman "behind the scenes".  We see that Superman may be the Man of Steel, but he still is nervous and unsure of himself when dealing with Diana.  We also get to see a Diana frustrated and a bit angry at Clark for not being willing to go public with their relationship.  Then Soule throws in a nice action sequence where the two are on more familiar ground.  Speaking of familiar ground, those not reading the regular Superman and Wonder Woman books may find themselves wondering a bit about some minor background information, but luckily if you know the two heroes, you know enough to begin enjoying this issue.

Tony S. Daniels art will be familiar to those of Action Comics.  I really liked his art on some of the later issues of that series so I'm glad to see it here.  It is a strong, classic look that fits the iconic characters.

Superman/Wonder Woman #1 is a real good start to the series.  Charles Soule does a great job fleshing out the two titans without getting too cliche and/or boring.  It's a character study with comics true power couple.  I just wonder how long a book like this will last.  Hopefully, the twist end will get even more people reading because it is real good.

7.5/10



Phantom Stranger #12 Review and *SPOILERS*

Writer: J.M. Dematteis
Artist: Fernando Blanco
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 9, 2013


Re-Enter The Phantom Stranger


Well about a year ago I was saying to Jim. "Who the hell would want to read the Phantom Stranger?  There is absolutely nothing in that book that could be interesting"  Also add a lot more shit talk, then fast forward a few months, when I decide I want something new to read, and on a whim decided to pick up an issue of Phantom Stranger.  Then fast forward another week, and I have all the back issues.  So just to clear the air a little, I'm an asshole.  Man did I judge the shit out of it, without knowing anything.  Phantom Stranger is one of the best titles out there that no one is reading, and all of you out there that haven't read it, and are assholes like me, get out there and pick up the book.  So, on with the show.

Explain It!:

Last issue during the Trinity War, where technically this is still part of the Trinity of Sin cross over, Phantom Stranger was erased from existence by the arch angel Zauriel.  But now he's back.  The Scottish Terrier God, (I don't know the breed of dog, I'm taking a guess.  If I'm wrong cut me a break, I know comics, not dogs) decided that the Stranger's work isn't finished yet.  Even being God, he doesn't know why the Stranger sacrificed himself to help Batman, and Deadman, and for this he takes off two more coins around the Strangers neck.  God tells him that his redemption depends on saving two souls, and then he fades away.

We're reintroduced to the one soul the Stranger did save from heaven (wow that sounds funny) Chris.  But since Chris returned he hasn't been the same, and his family feels the difference as well, and even though they can't explain it, Chris makes them uncomfortable.  Chris goes to his room, and then electrifies his laptop, and vanishes through a wall to find himself in the old house of the Phantom Stranger.  Chris asks for help, Stranger wants nothing to do with it.  He vanishes, and then Chris follows.  Now Phantom Stranger wants to know whats up.  But no explanation is present.  They teleport to the home of Dr. Thirteen, who in issue seven betrayed The Stranger and stabbed him through the heart with the spear of destiny.  They find him on the verge of death, and Chris revives him.  More powers that Chris doesn't understand.  

The Trio now decide to go to another home of Dr. Thirteen, where we find out that Ole Doc Thirteen is from old money.  He has a huge penthouse and he allows Chris to stay and try to figure out whats happening to him.  The Phantom being him, decides to vanish back to his home.

In the end the Phantom Stranger finds that his home has been set on fire, by The Sin Eater, and his, I don't know Satan Dog?  The last panels are of The Stranger standing in the flames disappearing yelling out "What have you done?"

Bits and Pieces:

This title continues to be great month after month.  The Phantom Stranger has so much untapped potential that you could pretty much to anything with the character and make it work.  Now the Stranger is back from being erased from existence, and we're starting a new interesting story, so for everyone who needs a jumping off point.  Well this might not be it, but you'll probably enjoy it enough to pick up a few back issues.  Great issue, go check it out.

8.7/10

Superboy #24 Review and *SPOILERS*

Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Robson Rocha, Dan Green
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 9, 2013

Psycho Vs. Psycho


When last we saw Superboy he was staring down a new Psycho Pirate.  Oh yeah, now shit's going to get real right?  Well after an origin story.

Explain It!:

So back at McDuffie High Psycho Pirate explains to Superboy that he friend Dr. Psycho has been siphoning his power.  At first Superboy doesn't want to hear it and plans on having an attitude problem as usual.  But luckily Psycho Pirate uses his power to calm Superboy down, and now we can all sit around and have a bowl of popcorn for story time.  The Origin of Dr. Psycho.  Turns out that as a boy Dr. Psycho was a prodigy, and skipped many grades to get into high school early.  But being very smart doesn't always make you very popular, and sometimes it makes you nobody at all.  One day Dr. Psycho goes home to find out that his entire life had been erased.  No one, not even the school had any recollection of who he was.  Guess what, it wasn't random happenstance it was H.I.V.E.  Their they trained him and other kids to be a weapon, but before they could scrap him, for not being psychic exceptional.  Dr. Psycho figures out how to use others around him.  Doc Psycho escapes, and over the years manages to become a formidable psychic.  But then he met Superboy, and knew that he needed his power for his own.  We also find out how Dr. Psycho could be here, and was also in Trinity of Sin, the Secret Society had gotten to him before this story takes place.

Superboy as always is pissed.  Psycho Pirate turns up Conner's anger now that it isn't against him, and Superboy finds out exactly how much energy Dr. Psycho has taken from him.  BAM! Uber Psycho!  Doc Psycho becomes a giant green construct of himself and the two start duking it out.  But Psycho Pirate isn't finished yet.  He goes inside Doc Psycho's mind and erases everything that he knows about Superboy's past.  Superboy knows that Pirate is just doing this so that he can now use him, instead of Dr. Psycho.  But even with this knowledge he decides to take Dr. Psycho out.  The two throw massive blows at each other, and then all is black

In the end Superboy wakes up and Dr. Psycho is gone, but that isn't the only thing.  Right before Psycho Pirate knocks out Superboy, he realizes that his powers are also gone.  Dun Dun Duuuun.

Bits and Pieces:

Here I thought we were going to jump into a whole new story line with Psycho Pirate, filled with action, and questions.  What we got was a Dr. Psycho origin story, and his motivations for working with Superboy.  Which was nice, but just not what I was expecting.  I still feel that this title is hindered by the ever angry Superboy fits of rage.  But for what it is, and what we have come to expect from this title it was alright.  This title is continuing to grow, and is a lot better than it used to be, so that says something, and gives me something to look forward to in the future.  

6.8/10

Green Lantern Corps #24 Review

Written by: Van Jensen and Robert Venditti
Art by: Bernard Chang
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 9, 2013



Lights Out continues directly from last months Green Lantern.  Relic has destroyed the Power Battery and Oa is about to explode.  Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner and Green Lanterns old and new attempt to battle Relic and escape with their lives.

It's no secret that I didn't like last weeks Green Lantern but this issue won me over a bit.  To say this issue had character is not entirely true...it had CHARACTERS.  Lots and lots of cool characters.  The Corps is getting so much interesting even as they are falling apart.  Hal is becoming the leader that they need.  John Stewart steps up to show his military prowess and one new recruit in particular establishes himself as a great Green Lantern.

Back to the action.  The book is pretty much nonstop action and it's great.  Relic is stoically dangerous.  He treats the Lanterns like pests that need to be exterminated.   Luckily, the Lanterns are better than that.  They fight back with everything they have and don't give up even as their rings are draining.

Bernard Chang has drawn another great issue.  Everything is so expansive and grand.  A book about galactic space cops should be big and Chang's art comes through in spades.

My only complaint is that while the story is emotional and satisfying it is moving very slowly.  Maybe it's because I'm interested and want it to move forward, but I want it to go a little faster.

Green Lantern Corps #24 made me more interested in Lights Out.  The Corps is showing it's character by making each one an interesting and unique cog.  This is the Corps I've been waiting for and Jensen and Chang are delivering the goods.  Hopefully this upward trend continues with New Guardians #24.

7.8/10


Suicide Squad #24 Review and *SPOILERS*

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Patrick Zircher
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 9, 2013

Talk About Rag Tag


Well I've missed the Suicide Squad, and I'm glad we're back in the groove.  We got Matt Kindt starting out with his first issue, and I can see why he was writing so many Villain's Month issues.  This issue was full of characters.  Alright lets jump right into it.

Explain It!

We start the issue with a Belle Reve in shambles.  Turns out that after Amanda Waller got a hold of Deadshot, and Harley Quinn she stayed inside the rioting prison.  But Amanda knows things about this prison that others do not, and found herself a nice little secret office to hold up in.

We find out that Amanda ordered Deadshot to find more team members to go to Colorado, to find a weapon.  She wants the weapon brought back to Belle Reve so she can keep it from the Crime Syndicate.  But we also find that this isn't the only team Amanda Waller has put together to do this.  On one end we have the Suicide Squad, consisting of Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Captain Boomerang. (missed him.)  On the other team we have a character I'm not familiar with named Warrant, Steel, Unknown Soldier, and Power Girl.  Wow.  Just wow.  Who could of seen these characters as a team?

Another part of the story going on at Belle Reve, we see Jimmy Gordon Jr. watching a bunch of inmates putting together a satellite for an inmate called The Thinker.  The Thinker's lieutenant King Shark makes sure that the inmates are continually working.  At first in this issue I thought they were referring to King Shark as the Thinker.  Man did I laugh. 

When the rag tag team of superheroes show up to the complex in Colorado they find the weapon they were looking for, and also they find that they are to late.  The Suicide Squad are already there, and trying to control the weapon.  Whats the weapon you ask.  Well we finally find out what happened to OMAC after Justice League International Annual.  Omactivate!  So Waller's playing both sides against each other, and in the end we find out that she may be being controlled by The Thinker.  In the last panel we see that she is wearing a head blowing up collar.  Oh my.

Bits and Pieces

So much going on in this issue.  Matt Kindt certainly jammed his first issue of Suicide Squad full of awesome.  I was really hoping at this new start we wouldn't be seeing James Gordon Jr.  Man I hate him.  But with all the extras thrown in I really can't complain that much.  I'm really interested in seeing where Mr. Kindt will take us on his journey, and already can't wait for next month.  Only downside isn't really a downside.  This is a book full of characters, and it has always been, it just might be too many for one issue, especially if it continues to be this chock full.  But it was a fun issue, check it out.

8.9/10

Batman #24 Review

Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Greg Capullo
Backup by: James Tynion and Rafael Albuquerque
Cover Price: $6.99
Release Date: October 9, 2013

Saved By Zero


It seems like forever since the last issue of Batman Zero Year and Bruce Wayne's declaration of becoming the Bat.  With Villains Month and Forever Evil dominating sales and discussion last month, I guess I couldn't blame anyone from forgetting little old Batman's New 52 origin story..  However, like anything great, even if it slips from your mind a bit, once you get it in your hands again you realize how much you've missed it. Missed it and love it.

To say this issue had it all is a lie.  It didn't have rocket cars, alien princesses or flying gorillas.  What it did have was a Batman fans wet dream.  Long time Batman comic fans get a nod and tribute to Batman Year One and Killing Joke.  Fans of the 66 TV show get a couple of inside jokes to make them smile. Readers following the Zero Year story from the beginning get an awesome conclusion to the books first story arc.  Most importantly, anyone who picks this issue up gets an awesome Batman story with a thrilling and satisfying conclusion filled to the brim with jaw dropping art.  Seriously, this book is outstanding.

I really can't say enough about Greg Capullo's art here.  It is simply brilliant.  The detail and care given to each panel shines through.  From the early Batcave to the ACE chemical battle...everything is perfect.  A big shout out to colorist Danny Miki who makes it all look even better if that's at all possible.

I guess I have to look for something to complain about.  My only gripe is that the character art by Rafael Albuquerque in the backup is inconsistent with Greg Capullo's main art.  Batman and Alfred look a little different and it took me out of the story a bit.  But only a bit.  It's my only complaint and believe me, it's minor.

Bits and pieces:

Batman Zero Year has gone from "Why do we need this again?" to "I can't believe I ever got along without it!".  With nods to the past and new wrinkles to make it their own, Snyder and Capullo have fashioned a story that already stands with the best of them.  What's even better is that this is only the beginning. I can't wait until next month, but at least it gives me time to pour over this issue again and again.

9.9/10


Forever Evil: Arkham War #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Jaimi Mendoza, Scot Eaton
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 9, 2013


The Bane of the City?


Well Villain's Month all led up to this.  The Villain's of Batman have taken over the city of Gotham, and have taken sections of it for themselves.  Oh but Banes back in town.  

Explain It!:

We've got Professor Pyg, Scarecrow, Penguin, oh my.  Bane has broken into Black Gate Prison on a mission.  The inmates all want to claim it for themselves, but it doesn't look like they can keep it.  Once Bane makes everyone realize that standing against him is a bad idea.  They show him what he's looking for.  A secret cell block where all the frozen Talons are being held.  Looks like Bane is going to try to control the Talons and use his own military to take full control of the city.

Penguin is now acting Mayor, and is less than delighted to find out that Scarecrow, and the rest of the Villains aren't controlling their areas the way he feels they should.  Crazy.  So Penguin to prove a point decides to take a note from The Dark Knight Rises and blows all the bridges leading to Gotham.  So it looks like Bane, The Villains, and the GCPD are going to hunker down for the long hall, as the Arkham War begins.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue is just chock full of fun.  We're given Batman's Villains O' Plenty, and I can't image how this will all play out.  The artwork is beautiful, and this is the best Bane I've seen in the New 52.  Now this being a set up issue, I don't expect a lot, but the set up kept me entertained the entire time.  I love Tomasi's writing, and I hope he continues for the entire series.  Go check this out.  Any fan of DC will enjoy it, and Any fan of Batman will love it.

8.5/10

Batgirl #24 Review and *SPOILERS*

Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Fernando Pasarin, Jonathan Glapion
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 9, 2013

Girl Goes Out With Guy, Girl's Father Shoots Guy.  So Cliche


Remember all of two months ago when last we saw what was going on in Batgirl?  Well I kind of forgot so I had to go back.  Looks like Batgirl's boyfriend Ricky had to go all action hero on us, when he found out that his brother was being held by gang bangers.  Well in the end of that issue Batgirl, dressed as Ninja Girl goes in to save them, the police show up, and Ricky gets shot by Commissioner Gordon.  Alright all caught up?  Let's dive into Batgirl #24.

So we start out at the aftermath of the shooting.  Batgirl, (remember dressed as a ninja) for a moment believes that this is the end, the police have her surrounded, and her boyfriend lays bloody beneath her.  But it's Batgirl.  She tussles with the cops and makes her escape, almost punching the Commish in the face.  During her escape she is confronted by Detective McKenna, who realizes that it's Batgirl, and let's us know that Knightfall, (Batgirl's big bad since the story began) has been supplying gangs with high tech weapons, in order for them to take out rival gangs.

Unbeknownst to Batgirl, Knightfall has sent a hit squad of her goons to kill Commissioner Gordon.  On Barbara's way to see her father to confront him about shooting her boyfriend she sees the goons, and have no other option than to dawn the cowl once more, and as she puts it the last time.

Bits and Pieces

This issue didn't bring us anything new.  We see some really fun action scenes between Batgirl, and the police, but after that it's just more misery.  I can't wait until we get done with this story arc, where we find out that Jim Gordon Jr. is still alive, or Batgirl just mans up and decides what she is doing is right.  All the self loathing has gone on to far.  because of Villain's month we were given a break of two months between issues, and I found myself forgetting where we were, and now next month is another break with Year Zero, which will make this story go on even more.  I just hope we can get back to a Batgirl that is fun.

5/10

Earth 2 #17 Preview

One Week In, And I'm Already Jonesin'


One of the best reviewed comics of this year, has been Injustice: God's Among us.  This book came out of nowhere and surprised the hell out of me.  Just a digital comic, that's telling the story of a video game out of my normal continuity.  What the hell would I want to read that for?  Well just so you all know, I'm an idiot.  I first found out how good the book was from a buddy of mine who usually doesn't read comics.  So I got a guy who doesn't read comics telling me what I should read, Nonsense.  But Luckily I listened to him and my Weird partner in Science Jim, started reviewing it.  Now we're a relatively new site out there, So we don't get the traffic, that a bigger site would, but once Jim started reviewing Injustice the site started blowing up.  Tom Taylor continually put out an amazing issue, after issue, and you all came to see it reviewed.  Thank You by the way.  But now Injustice is over.

Last week we saw the final issue of Earth 2 by James Robinson, and as you all know, it was fucking amazing.  I even made a bold statement proclaiming the issue to be the best thing I have read in the New 52.  Well that hasn't changed, the issue blew me away, and it even revitalized me after the extraordinarily long Villain's Month.

Now we all sit in withdrawal, waiting for our next hook up, our normal dealer is gone, but word on the street is that this other cat in town, has the real hook up so.....  Man comic books, and drug references don't really go together so I'm just going to stop this before it gets awkward.  
Next month we've got Tom Taylor taking over Earth 2, and DC has been kind enough to leak some preview art by Nicola Scott.  Man the artwork is amazing.  I could sit around all day with strangers, and make them hate me because all I would do is talk about Nicola Scott's artwork, and how I look forward all month for it.  Such a fanboy.  We were also leaked the information that we will see the evil Superman of Earth 2 going up against Dr. Fate, which DC should just turn into a animated movie right away because it just sounds awesome.  We were also told that we will be seeing the origin of the new female Red Tornado, I can't wait to see where they go with this.  We'll also get to see more of the very teased new Earth 2 Batman, and find out who he really is, so maybe that means we'll be getting a Earth 2 version of Batman Vs. Superman, so we can get a little relief from the long wait on the movie.
I just wanted to share the small amount of news, and brilliant art with all you out there, because I love this title, and I'm under the impression that DC doesn't really know what they have here.  I think that we could see some of the heroes of this title in their own series.  Hell Green Lantern has five titles out there why can't Earth 2 be the next big thing?  Comment down below with what you all think would be a great solo title from Earth 2, and also to make it more fun tell us who you think the creative team should be.  I was talking about this yesterday and I'd like to see a Jay Garrick Flash, with Sterling Gates as writer, and Guillem March as artist.  See you all next month with Tom Taylor's first issue of Earth 2.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Adventures of Superman #24 Review

Written By: Marc Guggenheim
Art By: Joe Bennett
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: October 7, 2013

The last issue ended with Superman figuring that all was not right on the newly discovered "alive" Krypton.  Still elated at the idea of meeting his long dead Father, he must face the fact that everything around him, including Jor-El is a construct and not the real thing.  Couple this with the fact that his powers are slowly draining from lack of the yellow Sun and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it all was a trap.  Surprise...Brainiac's in the house.

What follows is both a battle of wits and brawn that ends with Superman victorious, but Brainiac succeeding in making Superman watch as Krypton is destroyed, as helpless as the first time it happened. Superman delivers Brainiac to the Prison Planet but is still haunted by the Kryptonian voices screaming out in pain and fear.  Superman has won the battle, but is devastated as one who finally got everything he always wanted only to have it snatched away.

Bits and Pieces:

Marc Guggenheim's Tears for Krypton arc was very moving and emotional.  Superman is often depicted as a solitary figure who faces the Universe's horrors alone.  This story shows just how alone he can be. While we love to see Superman run faster than a speeding bullet and jump tall buildings in a single bound, this story made me want to see him spend time with his own people for once in his life.  Sadly, it never seems to work out that way.  Great story that I highly recommend reading. 




9.5/10

Adventures of Superman #23 Review

Written By: Marc Guggenheim
Art By: Joe Bennett
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: September 30, 2013

Adventures of Superman #23 picks up right where #22 left off, with Superman discovering that Krypton is alive. On Krypton, he tells the inhabitants the only Kryptonian he knows, "Jor-El" and "Lara-El". They seem to understand, and lead him into a huge building that is not the House of El, but a prison.

Jor-El is indeed incarcerated having been arrested after wrongly predicting Krypton's doom. Kal-El argues for his Father's freedom and his status as the Universe's "Superman" allows for his release.  What follows is a great bit of detective work for Kal-El and a great ending twist as to why no one else has ever left Krypton.

The art of Joe Bennet remains quite good.  Krypton looks really cool and I love how Jor-El looks.  The only complaint I have is the inconsistent look of Superman himself.  Kind of strange complaint for a Superman book I admit.

Bits and Pieces:

Marc Guggenheim is really writing a great story here.  In fact, it seems so much bigger than the 22 digital pages it appears on.  The mystery of Krypton and Jor-El is so intriguing and I can't wait to see how it is resolved in issue #24.

9.0/10



Sunday, October 6, 2013

Batman: Black and White #2 Review

Written By: Rafael GrampaJeff LemireRafael AlbuquerqueDan DiDioMichael Uslan
Art By: Rafael GrampaJ.G. JonesRafael AlbuquerqueAlex NinoDave Bullock
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 2, 2013



Black and White...and Read All Over?


As a series, Batman: Black and White is appealing in a number of ways.  The art work is stylistic and haunting, the anthology aspect gives you a variety of stories that can go from humorous to serious and you don't have to be schooled in continuity to enjoy it.  Batman: Black and White #1 was an outstanding return for the series with great stories coupled with outstanding art.  Unfortunately, issue #2 doesn't maintain that greatness.  The issue has it's hits and misses and one glaring stinker.

Here are the individual stories:


Into the Circle written and Illustrated by Rafael Grampa is the highlight of the issue.  The art is surreal and disturbing.  Grampa's version of the Joker is one of the most gruesome and nightmare inducing I can remember...or is it?  The story is of a heist gone wrong or right depending on your point of view.

A Place in Between written and illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque is an medicore story of Batman being ushered into the Underworld.  I liked the guest appearences by Deadman and Jason Todd, but the story is a bit cliché and didn't leave me feeling much of anything towards it.  The art was really strong though, so I have to give Albuquerque credit for that.


Winter’s End written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Alex Nino was a big disappointment for me.  When I saw the creators lined up for issue #2 I was looking forward to this story.  It just didn't go anywhere.  It g.wasn't the worst story in the book (I am saving that one for last), but it was the least moving.  In fact, it was actually downright boring.


Silent Knight…Unholy Knight!  written by Michael Uslan and illustrated by Dave Bullock. This silent movie version of Batman was my second favorite in the book.  I am a sucker for silent movies and old time radio and this Uslan penned story fits that vein perfectly.  To top it off, Dave Bullock's art is inspired by Max Fleischer and also just simply inspired. The story was not a feel good romp, but I still had a smile on my face the whole time I read it.

And then there was one...

Manbat out of Hell  written by Dan Didio and illustrated by J.G. Jones.  Dan Didio has been a target for haters lately because of the whole Batwoman controversy, but the real travesty is this story.  Didio makes Batman first look like an idiot and then lets him do something he never ever, ever, ever should do.  He has Batman turn his back and allow a man to get brutally murdered.  WTF?!?!  I don't care how high up the ladder Didio is, this story should never have been allowed to be published.  The realistic artwork by J.G. Jones is nice to a point, but his rendition of Man Bat is bizarre.  Yes, I know it's a realistic style, but Kurt Langstrom is supposed to be half-man half-bat, not just an overgrown vampire bat.  Here he is just a huge vampire bat with no human features that I could see.  I'm actually getting angry writing about this story.


Bits and Pieces:

Batman: Black and White #2 is a very good book plus one horrible story.  It's a great showcase for the various authors and artists to tell Batman tales without worrying about continuity and a good read for anyone interested in the Dark Knight.  Please though, do yourself a favor and rip out Dan Didio's story and pretend it never happened.  I wish I could, but like walking in on your Grandparents getting it on when all you wanted to do was pick up that apple pie you were promised (long story), some things can't be unseen.
7.0/10

Batman Beyond 2.0 #5 Review

Written By: Kyle Higgins
Art By: Tony Silas
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: October 5, 2013

Beyond Thrilling

Kyle Higgins has gone on  record that he is a huge Batman Beyond fan.  Just like his run on Nightwing, his love of the character comes through loud and proud and the result is a comic that "gets" it.

Last issue, Terry found himself on the opposite side of the Bat Family including Robin, Batgirl and strangely enough, Nightwing and Batman.  Followers of the comic knew this just wasn't possible and in this issue we see the truth.  It is a real cool reveal and shows the strength of Kyle Higgins' writing and the digital format in general.  Almost every page has a cool moment, whether it's a reveal, twist, fight...You can't wait to click on the next page to see what awesome thing will happen next.  Higgins' plays this format like an old master.  The ending of this issue is going to make the two week wait for the next issue a long wait indeed.

Like Higgins' writing, Tony Silas also "gets" it.  The look of this comic is just a great update of Batman Beyond which makes everything a Batman Beyond tribute as well as a true 2.0 update.

Bits and Pieces:

Higgins and Silas are really making Batman Beyond 2.0 a great read.  This issue has action, reveals and a cliff hanger ending that will leave you wanting the next issue now.  The two of them are making their own mark on Batman Beyond that long time fans and newbies can both love.  Highly recommended.

9.5/10