Thursday, December 5, 2013

Action Comics #26 Review

Written by: Greg Pak
Art by: Aaron Kuder
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 4, 2013

All Monsters Attack

In last months Zero Year tie-in we learned one thing about Lana Lang, she has really bad luck.  Well, it doesn't improve this month because while doing charity work in Venezuela she is at ground zero of a giant monster attack.  What we learn about Lana Lang this issue is that she has a set of brass balls.  She doesn't scream for help like a damsel in distress that comic book readers are used too, but helps evacuate the area and unloads a machine gun into the beast.  Of course, Superman still shows up to save the day, but doesn't have much luck himself.  The giant monster may not be what it seems and a new mysterious foe arrives whose power set actually is a threat to the Man of Steel.

Greg Pak writes Superman so well.  He always wants to do the right thing, but the right thing is not always so cut and dry.  Pak gives us a glimpse of this inner struggle and it makes Superman's actions even more heroic. The cover says Action Comics and this issue is so action packed.  Seriously, you can't really go wrong when Superman battles a giant monster and can really let loose.  However, it's this new threat that makes things so interesting.  His apparent creators and mysterious powers are cool and even Superman seems nervous fighting him.  Things are about to get real.  Actually, if the last scene is any indication, things may be getting unreal.  I don't know if I even understand what was going on, but it is sure to make things real interesting, real quick.  Pak also hits a home run with Lana Lang.  She already is one of the strongest female characters in the DCU and I can't wait to see more of her.  Let's just hope her luck improves a bit.

I have always liked Aaron Kuder's art, but this issue is hit-and-miss.  I didn't really like the way Superman looked throughout, but especially in the first few pages.  The giant monster, the new villain and Lana Lang all looked great, however.   Kuder really draws action well and this issue was no exception.

Bits and Pieces:

Action Comics #26 is a good setup issue for future stories.  Pak and Kuder gives the reader giant monster battles, a mysterious new villain who poses a real threat, a strong female character and a crazy twist ending. Action Comics is quickly becoming the go-to book for Superman fans in the New 52.


Green Arrow #26 Review

Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Andrea Sorrentino
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 4, 2013

My Clan is Better than Your Clan

Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino took over Green Arrow at the beginning of 2013 and it has been so good since.  The book features great plot, character moments and action framed by excellent art.  Green Arrow #26 continues this trend starting a new arc that is both exciting and new user friendly.  Everyone should jump on the bandwagon now while the gettings good.

Green Arrow #26 starts with Oliver acrobatically patrolling the rooftops of Seattle, which is a good thing since last time we saw him he was still combating the effects of Count Vertigo and a shattered ear drum. After assuring his crew he was OK, Shado drops a bomb that her and Oliver need to return to the Island to find the totem of the Arrow Clan.  Yep, the Island.  Ollie can't escape that place.  He finally agrees and the two of them jump in a helicopter (kind of thanks to Steve Trevor) and off they go.  On the Island, Oliver recalls his early days when he was stranded there and Shado shows him what he couldn't find all those years ago.  Meanwhile, they are not the only ones searching for the totem and are not even alone on the Island.

Like Britney or Mr. Magoo, Jeff Lemire has done it again.  Each month he not only gives us a great push to the ongoing storyline, but makes it easy for newcomers to jump on board.  This is a smartly written action adventure romp that is so unlike the other books DC is putting out.  It's real and gritty but in a fun and exciting way.  Oliver is a superhero because of his actions and beliefs, not because he wears a cape and flies.  Jeff Lemire gets this and it shows.

Another thing that shows is that Andrea Sorrentino can draw comics.  This issue looks so good.  I know some people don't like his minimalist style (I'm looking at fellow Weird Science writer, Eric), but I think even they would be impressed with this issue.  Everything looks great, but when Oliver and Shado get to the Island, Sorrentino outdoes himself.

Bits and Pieces:

Green Arrow #26 is a great start to the Outsiders War arc and a great comic in general.  The art and storytelling are fantastic and has the bonus of being newcomer friendly.  To say there is no reason not to read this is ridiculous because everyone is reading it already, right?  If not, go out now and buy Lemire and Sorrentino's entire Green Arrow run and get cracking!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Batwing #26 Review

Written by: Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by: Eduardo Pansica
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 4, 2013

Aren't You a Little Young for Full Contact?

Gray and Palmiotti are on a roll with Batwing and Luke Fox.  For me, this book has gone from an afterthought to one of the books I look forward to each month.  Last month's Zero Year tie-in put the story on hold, but Batwing #26 puts it back in gear and man does it make up for lost time.

The last we saw Luke Fox (in the present time at least) he had fought Lady Vic and found out that the man causing all the trouble was Italian Crime Lord, Charlie Caligula.  To get the guys attention, Luke channels his inner Jean-Claude and enters an underground mma fight under an alias with an awesome Mohawk.  Of course he wins and is invited to a even more secret tourney at Caligula's private Island.  The Kumite is on!

Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti are good at many things, but what they are best at is writing fun comics. This issue is so much fun.  You get a super secret underground fighting tournament with Luke battling an awesome powered baddie.  You get a rebooted Charlie Caligula and when you think Caligula you think debauchery and fetish and that's exactly what you get.  Then to top things off, they give us a Batman Inc sleeper agent who is a shout out to a "Club of Heroes" member who also ties in with Charlie Caligula.  Awesome.  Also of note is even though it continues the current arc, I really think it can be enjoyed by newcomers to the series and/or readers who just like fun action.

Eduardo Pansica is also really good here.  His art is clean and vibrant and fits the action scenes so well. Also, I love seeing Batwing's costume at night and hope every issue has a scene with it.

I do have a few problems with the issue, but they are minor.  Most of all, I wish that Caligula's tournament lasted longer.  It was so much fun while it lasted, but it was over way too soon.  Also, Caligula didn't feel like a fully fleshed out villain. His evil plan was a little too vague for me to see it as nothing more than a convenient reason for Luke to go after him.

Bits and Pieces:

Batwing #26 is action packed goodness.  Part Blood Sport and part James Bond, I hope this issue gets the exposure it should to elevate it to the next level.  It really deserves a bigger audience and this issue is a great one to get it.  With DC really pushing gritty and dark, Batwing is a perfect title for those who still look for fun and action in their comics.


Wonder Woman Confirmed and Cast!

So it's just been announced that Wonder Woman has been cast for the upcoming slug fest Superman Vs. Batman.  (Hopefully this is not a slug fest!)  The amazonian princess will be none other than Fast and the Furious star Gal Gadot.  Yep so that happened.

I'll just have to wait and see how the movie is.  Gal wouldn't be my first choice, and probably not my tenth, but I have enough trust in Zack Snyder to wait and see.  

Personally I really wanted to see Alexandra Daddario in the role, but you can't always get what you want.  So leave some feedback on what you're thinking on the casting, or even what you feel the casting should have been.  We're almost on our way to a Super Friends Movie.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Damian: Son of Batman #2 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written and Art By: Andy Kubert
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 27, 2013

All Growed Up

So in part one of this four part story line, which should not be anything but epic.  We saw Damian Wayne witness the death of Batman, and go on an all out murder fest of all things crazy in Gotham.  But what's this?  In the end of the issue we see a very livid Bruce Wayne confronting Damian about his activities.  So whether I missed something completely obvious, or we're in store for some bitchin' plot points.  Let's go see.

Explain It!:

Daddies home, and it's time for a ass whoopin.  So besides for the little family dysfunction, we find out (hopefully we find out, because if this was understood last issue, I have to give up my reviewing card) that the Batman that died last issue was Dick Grayson, and Bruce Wayne isn't happy about that, or all the nut jobs that Damian's killed either.  The two tussle, but ultimately Damian stabs Bruce in the chest, and almost kills him.  With some angry words from Alfred, Damian makes his way back to the church for a little confession.  

During the confession the priest from last issue tells Damian that if he truly wants to honor his father, and the mantle of the Bat, he cannot kill.  He must find forgiveness in his heart, and bring peace to Gotham through justice, and not murder.  In the end the priest exits the confessional, and either I'll be apologizing again next month for something I got completely wrong or... The priest is a now ex Commissioner Gordon.  

So after a little soul searching, Damian goes home to apologize to his father, who is still in critical condition, and unconscious.  Alright apologizes are done, so what now?  Well it's time to become Batman, and find the Joker.  The Bat Computer gets a ping on someone who might be Joker, who was seen at the now abandoned Arkham Asylum, so Damian goes off into the night.  We get a little tour of the now defunct asylum seeing the cells of criminals like Mister Freeze, Killer Croc, and Gentleman Ghost.  Until we find our way to Joker's cell.  Now I'm not the greatest detective in the world, but I have to call shenanigans.  Damian sees a strand of hair, and we're all to find Professor Pyg.  Maybe it's something to do with a dollotron, but man that is a leap.  So Damian leaves, and we're left with maniacal laughter filling the empty halls of Arkham Asylum.

Now here is a part I have to jump in and interrupt the main plot of the book.  There is a really weird page of this book, that I hope has some sort of payoff in the future because man is it weird.  So Alfred hired a hideous nurse to take care of Bruce, you know since his awful chest wound.  So while she's checking on him, she's talking aloud about her husband being an alcoholic, and his ability to see when the lights are off.  But in the end she hopes that Bruce Wayne will take her out after he is better.  Man this is some weird shit.  Moving on.

So we're after the Pyg.  Batman smashes into a window of a warehouse filled with Dollotrons, and Professor Pyg.  But sadly Damian seems to have put on the mantle of the Bat a little soon, because the Dollotrons take him out fairly easy.  Yeah he had to be easy on them, because they were children, but come on.  You're supposed to be Batman.  We're left with the cliff hanger, or warehouse faller of Batman being tossed out a window falling to his death.  Tune in next month same Bat time, same Bat channel.

Bits and Pieces:

While not being quite up to the challenge of topping, or maintaining the joygasm that was the first issue, this still has the ability to capture your attention, and keep you glued.  Last issue was a tough act to follow, but this is solid read, and gives you the Damian you've been craving.  So Kubert, if you keep creating, I'll keep shelling out the cash.  Go check it out.  


Justice League Dark #25 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: J.M. DeMatteis
Art By: Mikel Janin, Guillermo Ortego, Vincente Cifuentes
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 27, 2013

There's Evil Inside You!  Quick Stab It.

So remember last month in JLD when the whole issue was Constantine seeing the black smoke of evil hovering around mankind?  Well I do and I wasn't impressed with the issue.  Yeah we have to have a build up to a story but it hardly felt like a JLD title, and more like a boring Constantine issue.  Luckily that all seems to be behind us, so let's go check out the beginning of Blight.

Explain It!:

We begin this issue with Nightmare Nurse and Constantine standing in front of a giant, hideous, multi headed Swamp Thing clone.  Yep that happened.  But it's very short lived as Swamp Thing 2 gives birth to Swamp Thing 1, and then our Swamp Thing we all know and love intends on killing Nightmare Nurse, and Constantine for their transgressions.  But before Swamp Thing can drown the two in himself, (gross) the House of Mystery puts an end to the shenanigans.  So now that that is settled the trio decide to team up and kill evil.  Of course.

This just in.  Turns out the Sea King survived, and even though he has no memories of who he is, or what's going on, he knows he's mad.  His rage will guide him.  Now back to our regularly scheduled review.

The trio conjure a doorway to pass into the collective souls of everyone who has ever lived, to find the darkness that lives inside mankind.  Unfortunately they find it, and the giant smoke monster Blight whoops their magic asses.  But Constantine being the right bastard for the job gets the others and him out of there.  So Blight 1 JLD 0.  So back at the House of Mystery Constantine realizes that they are going to need more power to go after Blight again.  So after what I can only imagine was a hardcore session of cutting himself and crying, Constantine emerges from his shame room with the answer.  If they want to combat evil they'll need the ones who understand it better than anyone.  The Phantom Stranger, Pandora, and The Question.  Oh yeah!  The stories going somewhere.  We've crossed the bridge, so see you next month for fun and excitement.

Bits and Pieces:

If you're anything like me, you were expecting a lot from this issue, and while we might not be stuffed, it was a nice appetizer to the main course which is to come.  I've had my doubts about the Blight story arc, but from reading this issue, I can't wait, and besides I enjoy Pandora, and Phantom Stranger so we get some good ole' tie in action from those two as well.  This is only the beginning and as a bridge it's a good issue, and it will keep me reading.


Larfleeze #5 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written by: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis
Art by: Scott Kolins
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 27, 2013

Your Name Is Toby!

Larfleeze......  This is going to be an interesting review because I missed last issue, and still haven't read it yet.  But from where I left off reading, I really did not like this book.  I was hoping that issue #4, where the Orange Lantern Corps. were released from Larfleeze's ring, given new life, and looking for revenge would be the issue for me.  But for one reason or another I didn't get the issue.  So here I am, almost jumping in blind, on a ride I deemed hokey, about to find out if this title can be redeemed.  So let's go check it out.

Explain It!:

We start this issue with Larfleeze in shackles, from which I can only assume that he got his ass kicked bad in the last issue.  The Orange Lanterns bicker back and forth about what to do with him, and what to do with themselves.  But the decision ultimately made that they will have Larfleeze become their slave, and he will work the rest of his life to rebuilding the planet, and any task the group deems like Larfleeze work.  So of course Larfleeze refuses, so let the torture begin!

Elsewhere apparently Stargrave has become The Wanderer's butler now, but still does not seem content, and wants to escape.  There are so many slaves in this book.  Where the hell is the intergalactic Lincoln?  So anyway, Wanderer exists in several dimensions, the past and future all at the same time.  With this her mind sort of.... wanders.  But now she remembers that Council of Ten.  She rushes off to meet her sister, some misery being of god like power to tell her about the Council of Ten, which apparently have been against her family for eons.  But Wanderer believes that the Council has followed them to this universe.  Which we get the idea is bad news for all these extra-dimensional interlopers.  So Dyrge, the misery being sends Wanderer off on a quest.  She wants her to use her butler Stargrave to find out what the Council of Ten are up to, and then they will decide if it's a problem or not.  So there's that.  But what about Larfleeze?

After a grand time of torture the Orange Lanterns throw Larfleeze into the dungeon so he can think about what he did for awhile.  But they might have been a little hard on him, because Larfleeze starts hallucinating his dead mother.  In the end we find out that Larfleeze has been repressing his memories, and the hallucination of his mother is here to make him see the truth of what he is.  Where Larfleeze thought he freed the slaves that his people and him once were.  We find out that Larfleeze gained his freedom by finger pointing.  He turned in and snitched on everyone he could.  Oh Larfleeze say it ain't so.

Bits and Pieces:

Well I have to say I liked this issue a lot more than the first three.  But maybe I'm coming into this with fresh eyes.  Since I missed issue four, I'm taking some liberties with what happened, and making the best out of this issue.  But from what I read it seems this series might be on the upswing, so there's that.  Honestly I have to wait a few more issues to make sure that most of the goofiness that the first three issues were filled with has died out, and we can go forward with this series.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Red Lanterns #25 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Charles Soule
Art By: Alessandro Vitti
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 27, 2013

Hey Red Five.  It's Time To Meet Red Leader!

Ooohh.  I just love Red Lanterns now that Charles Soule has taken over.  We also get the benefit of this
being its own title, and there not being some giant cosmic big bad, that takes all the Corps. to handle.  So if you've been under a rock for awhile, or in a penal system of some kind and can't get enough of the Red, you'll be happy to hear that Guy Gardner is now the leader of the Red Lanterns, and their now in control of space sector 2814.  We're about wrapped up on whats been going down, so let's get to it.

Explain It!:

Well I know what I'd do after winning a big ole' space battle against a towering monster that wanted to kill my friends and me.  I'd get shitty drunk.  So like me, the Reds have the same idea.  On board the confiscated pirate ship (the new acting HQ for the team), the rage rovers get toasted, and talk about future plans for the Red Lantern Corps. now that they control space sector 2814.  But not all of the team is content with the new mission statement.  Ratchet, you know the big brain, jellyfish looking Red is asking the others, and himself, WWAD.  What would Atrocitus do?  But even with his lack of faith in Guy Gardner something else seems to be going on with Ratchet.  It looks like that story we left behind around the time of the Third Army is rearing it's head finally.  Remember the 5 Inversions?  If you don't I don't blame you.  But back in the day before Atrocitus starting getting his rage on with a ring, he was paling around with demonic space monsters that he eventually thought he killed, and used their blood to create the Red Power Battery.  But it seems they're back, and want revenge.  And why not use Ratchet to do it?  But we're not there yet, just getting you reacquainted.  Oh what's that?  What's Atrocitus up to you say?  Well lets go have a look and find out.

Out in space, Atrocitus, and Dex-Starr are in search of a red power ring, so that Atrocitus has the power to go back to Ysmault and kick Guy Gardner's teeth in, and get his team back.  They locate one, in sector 1008 on the planet of Shoum.  But the ring they locate might be harder to get then they thought.  The bearer of this ring is a gigantic being known as Itro, the last of his kind.  The people of this planet destroyed his species, when they couldn't control their massive appetite for this planet's natural resources.  So ya kind of understand why the species had to die, but I don't think Itro with his new found rage power really cares about the logistics of his peoples genocide.  So after Itro's revenge, Dex-Starr, and Atrocitus find him, sitting in the rubble of the once capital city, sobbing.  Atrocitus is going to try a new tactic in getting what he wants.  He wants to talk to Itro.  So we'll have to wait till next month to find out how that conversation went.

Back with the Reds, the team decides to start throwing around their weight around by going after a despot named Gensui, who is the cruel leader of Kormorax.  He turned the people of this planet into a slave race, and is now developing a Dyson Sphere.  Oh yeah, it's a Dyson.  Thankfully Rankorr is there for us and asks the question.  "What's a Dyson Sphere?"  Well it's a sphere built around a sun, that allows you to tap into the energy, and pretty much do whatever you want.  Also you get to keep the warmth, and energy away from other planets that might need those kinds of things.  EVIL!

So the plan to take down this bad dude is this.  Rankorr has a new deus ex machina that allows him to look like someone else for short periods of time.  The guy they are going after, just happens to be a friend of the space pirate "Barg" the Reds killed, and they have his ship now, so all that is going on alright.  The rest of the team go undercover as Barg's slaves.  So Rankorr is actually pulling off this whole undercover thing, and it all seems fine, but in the end we get a whole mess of confusion.  Well at least for me.  Gensui tells Barg that he has a gift for Barg that he's absolutely been craving.  Gensui opens a door and says "Revenge".  Behind the door, (now remember Rankorr is disguised as Barg) Barg is confronted by the Red Lantern Corps.  So either Gensui plans on using Red Lantern doppelgangers to kill his friend's killers, or he thinks that Barg got out of that whole being killed by the Red Lanterns thing, and is giving him an opportunity to get some revenge.  On some doppelgangers.  Yeah doppelgangers.  So see you next month and maybe we'll get some answers.

Bits and Pieces:

If you told me a year ago when I was picking up my first issue of Red Lanterns because of the Third Army story arc, that I'd still be reading and enjoying Red Lanterns, I'd call you a dirty liar, and good day sir.  But here I am looking forward to this Lantern book more than the rest.  Weird.  Soule has completely made this title his own, and made the interactions between the characters the most enjoyable part.  No more of this my rage is better than your rage stuff.  No sir.  So if you're not reading this title yet, I must insist that you drop what you're doing, and go to the closest comic shop, and tell the clerk behind the counter to please please slap you across the face with this title.  So yeah.... Good read.


Batman: The Dark Knight #25 Review

Written by: Gregg Hurwitz
Art by Alex Maleev
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 27, 2013

Struggling to Get an Audience

I've had a like-hate relationship with The Dark Knight.  I liked last issue and pretty much hated every other one.  I like Alex Maleev's art and hate Greg Hurwitz' depiction of Batman.  I like the concept of having a varied rogues gallery and hate the ones that have appeared in the book.  The latest villain may be my least favorite in Gotham, Clayface.  I apologize to those Clayface fans out there, but I really don't like him as a villain.  We usually get the same story...a character acts out of character and SURPRISE it's Clayface. Batman is confused, figures it out and then beats the crap out of him. He heads off to Arkham and eventually escapes to claim another person's identity.  Rinse and repeat.

Gregg Hurwitz changed up the formula a bit last issue and I actually enjoyed it.  We saw a Clayface origin that made him a sympathetic character who only wanted to be noticed.  He finally got his wish when an inmate in Arkham confessed to being his biggest fan.  Clayface got the attention he craved by acting out all his roles to the inmates delight.  Then the inmate died and Basil again felt unnoticed and unloved.

Hurwitz continues this issue by showing the lengths Clayface will go to get a captive audience (pun intended). When Batman isn't trading jokes with Commissioner Gordon (the highlight of the book), he is enlisting the help of Black Canary and Condor in finding and fighting Clayface.  In the end, Clayface heads back to Arkham in a new cell that I'm sure won't hold him for long.

This issue seemed unnecessary and unneeded.  In fact, the whole arc was mediocre at best.  Besides a pretty good origin last issue, Hurwitz hasn't done much to the Clayface-Batman mythos.  All we got was a couple issues of Clayface escaping Arkham to get beat up by Batman and getting put back into Arkham.  Oh well, at least it's over.

Alex Maleev's art is good as usual.  He really captures the changing nature of Clayface with his line work.  It must be hard to work on a book that relies so much on browns and blacks, but he does his best to make everything look so good.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman: The Dark Knight #25 is a disappointing end to a mediocre story arc.  I was never a huge Clayface fan and Gregg Hurwitz has not changed my mind.  This has been the weakest of the Bat books and this arc didn't change that.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Superman #25 Review

Written by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Kenneth Rocafort
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 27, 2013

The Point of No Return

The Krypton Returns arc featured Superman, Superboy and Supergirl battling H'el across timelines to stop his plan of saving Krypton, but destroying the Universe in the process.  Thankfully, Superman #25 ends this mess and maybe puts an end to H'el in the New 52.

To me, Scott Lobdell is an idea man.  The idea of Krypton Returns is interesting in theory.  H'el wants to bring Krypton back so he can destroy it himself.  Unfortunately, his plan will cause the Universe to cease to exist.  Pretty cool idea, but then Lobdell puts pen to paper and we get a wordy, convoluted and confusing story that not only tries the patience of Superman readers, but brings Supergirl and Superboy fans along for the ride.  

Lobdell has to be given some credit for attempting a story that happens simultaneously through three timelines.  That's not why it's confusing though.  It's confusing because various storylines don't get resolved, while others are rushed or just abandoned altogether.  The worst offender is the whole arc itself which can't even bring itself to end properly.

I do like the characterization in this finale more than past issues.  Superman shows just how smart he is, Kara shows more compassion and Superboy gets his redemption.  This issue sets up a very interesting future for the three heroes involved.  Let's just hope H'el is isn't part of that future because I'm really sick of seeing him.
I also like the action in this issue.  The battles between H'el and the House of El are the highlight of the book with Superman's being the best.  If only the dialogue and plot could have matched the action.

Kenneth Rocafort, on the other hand, is on the top of his game here.  The panels just pop off the page and the numerous splash pages are excellent.  He handles both the action and the quiet moments with ease.  This is on seriously great looking book.

Bits and Pieces:

Superman #25 puts Krypton Returns to a rest, but it is more confusing than satisfying.  The action, art and characterization are good, but the story and dialogue bring everything down.  Hopefully the future of the House of El will be better and H'el free.


Catwoman #25 Review

Written by: John Layman
Art by: Aaron Lopresti
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 27, 2013

Building a Better Pussycat

Zero Year has meant different things to different books.  Some have been fun little distractions while others have been unnecessary annoyances from their ongoing storylines.  Catwoman #25 is a bit of the first, but it sure isn't the later.  For the uninitiated, Catwoman has been a stinking mess for over a year thanks in large part to writer Ann Nocenti.  However, I'm not here to admonish her writing (I get to do that plenty each month), but to celebrate John Layman's work this month.  Yes, this issue shows two things.  Selena Kyle is a thief with a heart of gold and at least one person at DC can still write a good Catwoman book...even one without Catwoman being in it.

Ok, if you have been reading Zero Year tie-ins, you know the routine.  The Riddler has shut the power off in Gotham and a Super Storm is about to hit.  The City is in chaos and everyone in it is seeking food, shelter or...a good party?   This is where we see the goodness in Selina's heart.  She can't just sit by while the Gotham elite treat the disaster as an excuse to celebrate at the expense of the needy.

John Layman doesn't give us an origin story here.  He gives us a peek at what makes Selina Kyle tick. There are a few "first" moments that will make Catwoman fans smile as well as a shout out to the current Gotham Underground storyline that made me wince (only because it reminded me what's back next month).  Layman mainly gives us a glimpse at who Selina is, a thief with a heart of gold.  She isn't evil, she just likes to steal things.  She has always walked that fine line between good and evil and Layman does an excellent job showing it here.

Aaron Lopresti's art is really good as well.  He captures the essence of Catwoman without the costume and Gotham looks unique and diverse throughout.  I always liked his work on Justice League International and Sword of Sorcery so I hope we see more of him in the near future.

The only real complaint I have for this issue is that it still is a completely unnecessary Zero Year tie-in.  I say that with a grain of salt, though, because it is such a great diversion from the actual mess of the regular series run.  Still, at $3.99 it is hard to recommend it to anyone but true Catwoman fans.

Bits and Pieces:

John Layman and Aaron Lopresti give us something we haven't had in a while...a good Catwoman book. Yes, it is an unnecessary tie-in, but Layman shows that someone at DC "gets" Catwoman and Lopresti's visuals impress as well.  Too bad we have to return to the norm next month, but for now be thankful for a fun little diversion.