Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Secret Origins #3 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Robert Venditti, Jeremy Haun, Scott Lobdell
Art By: Martin Coccolo, Trevor McCarthy, Tyler Kirkham
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: June 25, 2014

Double Secret Origin Probabtion

Here we are again with this strange title telling us it promises secret origins when at most we get a New 52 reboot origin, and it's really the same thing we already know.  For this issue we'll be taking a look at the origins of Green Lantern, Bat Woman, and Red Robin.  Now Green Lantern is just ridiculous, hell I think for the most part anyone who's in the Justice League is should just be passed over for a "Secret Origin", but I do have to admit I think the other two origins in this issue are a good choice for what this book is supposed to be.  I can't say I'm a big Bat Woman fan, and I'm curious to see what I might learn from this issue.  Red Robin has to be the reason to buy this if you happened to miss the Teen Titan #0 issue that told of Red Robin's beginnings.  Tim Drake's origins are strange since the New 52 started, and I hope this issue enlightens us to his new status-quo.  So let's take a look at a title I can't say I'm a fan of, but maybe one of these days I'll actually learn something from it.

Explain It!:

We begins our story with the fiery death of Hal Jordan's father, as little Hal looks on.  As we know this plane crash that took his father's life would drive young Hal to become the man who overcomes fear the rest of his life.  So Hal grows up being a brash asshole who doesn't like to be bossed around, and eventually loses his job as a test pilot and ends up being a grease monkey on them instead.  That is until he is pulled to the crash site of Abin Sur.  Hal as the ability to overcome great fear, yadda yadda yadda, we see him train a bit on Oa, and then we see Sinestro start the Sinestro Corps.  This is the life of Hal Jordan not much to get excited about, because you've known this from a ton of cartoons, that shitty movie, and countless comics that retell this story.  Let's get to the characters that DC Comics doesn't scream the origins of every other month.

Now I really don't understand the choices made when telling Bat Woman's origin story here.  When we first get into the story we see a twelve year old Kate Kane on her birthday being taken away from a violent scene by her father.  Dead bodies are everywhere and her father Jake in soldier garb tells her that he doesn't want her to see, and then we go to the Kane Manor where Kate opens a gift and her father is sitting downstairs by himself muttering.  For anyone who doesn't know Kate's story this beginning would be the most confusing intro ever.  But I'll help you out if you don't know, it's Kate's birthday and her mother took her out to a restaurant where they were taken hostage.  Her father went in to save his family and a gunfight ensued where Kate's mother was killed.  Was that so hard DC?  So Kate grows up, joins the army, but then leaves due to her being gay and being accused of homosexual conduct.  As you can imagine this leaves a hole inside Kate because being a soldier is all she's ever known, that is until a man tires to rob her, and after chasing him off she's confronted by Batman who tells her she did good, but not to make it a habit.  I love this page, while Kate falls backwards when she turns around to see Batman, Batman looks gigantic, and I love the idea that when you see this force in Gotham that you see him to be the huge figure that your mind thinks of him as.  It's really cool, and from that point on Kate Kane understands what she needs to do to give meaning to her life.

Kate begins taking crime into her own hands, but when she tells her father he insists that if she's going to do this she has to be prepared first.  For the next two years Kate travels the world learning everything she'll need to know to take on the endeavor of being Gotham's protector, a lot like Bruce Wayne did.  When she returns her father has her Bat Woman suit waiting for her and Kate's nightly adventures begin.  Later she meets and falls in love with Maggie, and we have the origins of Kate Kane/Bat Woman.  Besides for that really confusing beginning this was a really good origin story.

Now for one of my favorite characters in the DC Universe Tim Drake, who has had a big reboot for the New 52.  This Secret Origin is almost completely the same as Teen Titans #0, where we learn that a young man has been researching Batman and has figured out that he's Bruce Wayne.  Eventually his detective skills lead to a abandoned building where he meets Batman for the first time.  This was a decoy clue set up by Batman to talk the young man out of his extracurricular activities, and to get back to being a child.  Obviously the young man doesn't listen and to get Batman's attention again he hacks into The Penguin's bank accounts and donates a lot of his money to charity.  As you can imagine The Penguin isn't happy about this, and sends a hit squad to the young man's home.  Batman shows up saves the family, and afterwards the young man's parents have to go into witness protection, and he begins living with Bruce Wayne under the assumed name Tim Drake.  So if you didn't know yet, Tim Drake isn't Red Robin's real name, but we do find out that Drake was his middle name, for all you New 52 trivia buffs.  Is that a thing?  Now we get to new part of the story where Tim is brought down to the Batcave and is offered the job as Robin.  Seeing Jason Todd's Robin costume in the case Tim decides that he can't be the Robin of old, as a way to pay respect to the boy that died in the line of duty he would become Red Robin, and Batman and him would become the new Dynamic Duo.  Eventually Tim needs a new challenge and moves on to form the Teen Titans, a really nice panel here is where Bruce and Alfred say goodbye to Tim, but tell him he's always welcome home.  I love the Bat Family.  A big plus for this story for me was the artwork of Tyler Kirkham.  Whenever he does Red Robin or the Teen Titans, I know that the book will look amazing, and even if the story isn't there it will be well worth the price of the issue.

So that's it for this issue of Secret Origins, and the last two stories are the real way to go on this title.  Green Lantern is one of my favorite heroes in the DC Universe, but a retold origin story isn't needed.  Let's stick to tackling the B and C list characters and let new fans discover the joy of the heroes that don't get movies, or cartoon shows.  Come back next month where I will undoubtedly bitch about a few more origin stories.  See you then.

Bits and Pieces:

While I feel the retelling of most of these stories is unnecessary, when they feature the right character it can really be a good time.  I'm talking about the Bat Woman, and Red Robin segments to this issue, they really worked, and characters like these and even lower tier ones should be the origins that this title shoots for.  A lot of changes have been made with the New 52, and rehashing origins that have stayed the same during the reboot is just a waste of time.  So even though Green Lantern is featured on this cover you'll want to buy it for the supporting stories, and they are told and drawn really well.


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