Archive for January, 2013

At last! The long-awaited origin of Damian’s Batman 666 costume!

DC, we need to have a chat.

Okay, I know this is a comic review blog, and that I should save my opinions on shows I don’t even watch for my Tumblr, but come on. As you may have heard, Young Justice and Green Lantern were cancelled, and are being replaced by a new Batman cartoon and Teen Titans Go, a semi-continuation of the Teen Titans cartoon that ran a few years back. This is a stupid move. You see, cartoons take time to make. Instead of cancelling two cartoons with a fairly large fan following, both of whom were famous for their constant hiatuses, why not renew them for more seasons, then take your time airing them, as you already do? That way, you can still have your Batman cartoon, your SD Teen Titans cartoon, and whatever else you wanted? Heck, maybe we could have gotten that third season of Legion of Superheroes that was planned, then cancelled, or a Super Best Friends Forever cartoon. Ahh, but what’s done is done. Actually, no. What’s done is done, but the fanbases of both shows are trying to raise support to have it undone. Personally? I don’t watch TV anymore. I’ll probably never get to watch these shows as they air, because I have work at that time. But if you are reading this, and you enjoy the shows in question, let your voice be heard. Sign petitions, buy episodes on iTunes, tweet creators, email DC! Maybe, if enough people speak up, some higher-up will take notice. And now, back to our scheduled comics.

I am very, very mad at Grant Morrison. As much as I’ve disliked some of his creative choices in the past (such as how he handled Jason in Batman and Robin pre-reboot), I think I get angrier with him when he creates something I love dearly, and then takes it from me. While Grant wasn’t the one to originally create Cyril, he is the one who formed him into what he is today, and gave us Beryl, to boot. And now Cyril’s gone. I know that his death happened last issue, but this isn’t a fakeout. He’s not coming back this time, he’s dead. And I…I don’t want to deal with that. So instead, hey, who remembers Damian’s clone from that one pre-reboot arc of Batman and Robin? Well, he’s a big boy now. A fully grown boy. Which, okay, kinda saw that coming, but at the same time, damn! I owe at least one person money, because I kept insisting that he was going to grow up to be Ibn al Xu’ffasch. Sigh. We could have had it all, folks. We could have had it all.

So, um. Remember when I said I was done with Batman and Robin? Well…okay, hear me out. Despite Peter Tomasi’s depiction of Bruce having me in literal pain whenever I read it, he doesn’t do a bad Damian. He’s got the kid down to a pretty basic science; he’s willing to do anything to get his father to like him, and to trust him as a partner. This being said, the Batman and Robin Annual was awesome. It was half a cute story about Damian sending Bruce on a scavenger hunt to find out things about his parents that he either didn’t know or didn’t remember, such as seeing the place where his father proposed, or visiting a place where they had their picture taken on their honeymoon, and half a story about Damian solving a case on his own. Also, he dressed up as Batman to do it! Ugh, this adorable little shit. I don’t understand why so many people don’t like him. So anyway, it was an issue with very little Bruce in it which, as it happens, turns out to be my very favorite kind of issue. The art was just, wow. Ardian Syaf, please draw Damian from now on. At 38 pages of comic (and 8 pages of ads), the annual was certainly worth $4.99, and I can honestly say that I was satisfied with it, and the content.

What has 20 pages of comic, 10 pages of ads, and the best, most creative layouts in the DC proper right now? Well, that’d be the Flash! I’m going to level with you, folks. It’s 2 am, and one of my friends took me away from my computer to get vodka’d up earlier this evening, so I’m only just coming off of that. But I can say, with some degree of certainty, that I think we’ve found yet another rebooted Rogue. It’s been speculated by fans that Turbine is the reboot version of the Top. They even share the same first name! Well, say hello to Albert, one of the Central citizens sharing a tank with Iris West. He may or may not be the reboot version of Doctor Alchemy. I’m honestly only going on the fact that he started to glow and then somehow managed to get the tank to shoot a mammoth (I know, right?). For all I know, he could be like Mob Rule, a completely new character. In any case, I’d like to see more of him. This issue further outlines the whys and hows of Barry and Iris not getting together. See, she asked him out right after her brother was jailed, leading Barry to believe that she was only trying to get him to help free her brother. Which, I mean, she kind of was, but she felt scummy over it. Thought I did like Daniel’s line: “What’s the matter?! Did I mess up your big chance with Barry Allen?!” Oh, honey. You have no idea.

And that’s this week in comics. If you’d like to save $4, don’t buy the tie-in comic to Injustice: Gods Among Us. Not worth it in any way. (Spoiler alert: if you like literally anyone related to Superman, they die. They just fucking die.) Glory and Hawkeye also came out this week! But I, uh, sort of grabbed the wrong issue of Hawkeye, as both the reprint of #5 and #7 came out at the same time. So, nuts. That was this week in comics. Next week, we tackle Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and, uh, possibly that Valentine’s special DC’s doing. Possibly. 

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Comings, goings, continuings, and chicks

Welcome one and all to an ending. Two endings, in fact. If I’m going to be completely accurate, two endings, a beginning, and several continuations. This week marks the end of two books; the Before Watchmen mini-series Minutemen, and the young adult book not quite allowed to reach its peak, Blue Beetle. Meanwhile, flip the coin to the Marvel side, and the Young Avengers are back! With…well, you’ll see. 

Let’s start with Minutemen. Last issue, we saw that Hooded Justice might not be as noble as we’d always presumed. This issue…well, I’m not quite sure how to explain it. It’s certainly a roundabout plot, something that could only really be concocted by someone as cracked in the head as the Comedian. The man who had been kidnapping and killing children? Not Hooded Justice, but a circus strongman. Possibly the same strongman who had tormented HJ in his youth, if a picture found by the Comedian after he murdered him is any indication. I’m not a fan of the Comedian. Never have been, probably won’t ever be. At best, he is a murderer and a maniac, a sociopath on Uncle Sam’s payroll. At worst, he’s a scum of a man. A rapist. The type of person children tell scary stories about. Masquerading himself as a hero, wearing the colors of the nation he calls his home, lying in his very name. And that’s what this book came down to, in the end. A lie to keep truths from being printed. A massive, all-encompassing lie that ended the life of a possibly innocent man. And guilt, a lifetime of guilt for a man the world knew as a true hero. Did the ending of Minutemen disappoint me? No. Yes. Sort of. The legacy of this world’s first masked heroes was many things, but it was never happy, or glamorous. Of their team, one died of a stupid mistake. One was murdered because she dared to love. One, supposedly, killed himself. One was murdered because of who he was. One was murdered in revenge. One ended up in an asylum, wasting away in an addled haze. One lived a near-perfect life, until it became clear that her nature was going to have her end up completely alone. And finally, one was murdered by people he once fought beside. No matter how pretty or poppy or gritty or psychedelic the art is in all of the Before Watchmen books is, the stories will all end the same. With tragedy. Because Watchmen is not, nor was it ever meant to be a happy story. The villain wins, people die, and they thank him for it. Because that’s what it is. That’s Watchmen.

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s having feelings about guys named Blue Beetle. I’m gonna be honest with you, folks, for a while? I hated the new Blue Beetle comic. In the wake of Ted’s death pre-reboot, it took me a long time to come to grips with Jaime having the scarab, but once I did? I loved the kid. He was, and still is, one of my favorite teen heroes. He filled a hole in the DC universe that I didn’t know we had. He was the everyman. He kept no secrets from those he was closest to, and his great power trip was being a dentist, so that he could make sure that his parents and sister would have good lives free of debt. That was the Jaime Reyes I got to know, and love. The New 52 version of Jaime was…not that person. His series was initially disappointing, falling back on strange plot twists and odd guest stars. Tony Bedard was attempting to imitate Keith Giffen and by god, the man was no Keith Giffen. Still, as the series progressed, a strange thing happened. Bedard found his voice as Jaime and slowly, I began to care again. And now here we are, on the brink of a new series written by the man who gave us Jaime in the first place. The final issue of the Blue Beetle series was fairly eventful, but that wasn’t the point. The point was the message Jaime sent to his parents, and sister, and friends. Pretty much any comic fan would be willing to pick up Threshold. It’s full of aliens and space adventures and characters we thought we left in the old DCU for good. But the message Jaime sent out, coupled with the fact that The Hunted is, as Jaime said, an alien’s Battle Royale, was meant to hook us, the Jaime fans. We love this kid. We’ll follow him anywhere. Now, I didn’t actually get to pick up Threshold when it came out last week, as it wasn’t at either of my local comic shops. But as soon as it’s available, you can bet your ass I’ll be getting it.

I’m not sure what’s going on in Supergirl anymore. Unlike with Death of the Family, where I don’t actually have to buy all the books to know what’s going on, all of the H’El on Earth books interconnect to tell one ongoing story. I kind of hate that, because until the story ends, Supergirl is just another Super-book to me. 

The cover of this month’s Wonder Woman made my skin crawl. I live in South Florida, and we’ve got fruit trees in our backyard. One time when I was younger, I fell asleep in a lawn chair near our mango tree, and I woke up covered in little fruit flies. And that’s why Diana’s other brother, Milan, is officially the creepiest member of her family that we’ve met so far, to me. However, he’s also the one who has proved himself the most useful. Hermes is hiding Zola’s baby with Demeter, and the child is said to be the beginning of the end of the universe. Meanwhile, Zola and Hera have a drink with Ares. I’ve said before that the way the various gods are presented is one of my favorite things about the Wonder Woman book, and that hasn’t changed. Strife is back! And she brought Dionysus! Sigh, and here I thought I couldn’t love this book any more. It’s no secret that my favorite reboot goddess is Strife. I mean, that design! That sarcasm! We last saw her months ago, on Olympus. In the words of…someone, most likely, what brings a lady like that to a bar like this?

I need a moment. I just need a moment to sit back and process everything that happened in Batwoman this month. First off, we’re finally given the skinny on Medusa. The threat we’re looking at is no story, or fake. This is the real damn Medusa, daughter of the goddess Ceto, who she’s bringing back in a big way. A big, destructive way. The art and the layouts go together beautifully, as usual, but it’s something more. I really feel like we’re seeing J.H. Williams’ full range, finally. We know he’s fantastic at drawing beautiful women and majestic backgrounds, but holy shit are his monsters and destruction scenes incredible. Like I say every month, if you’re not reading Batwoman, there is clearly something off about your choices. It’s easily one of the best books out right now.

The last time the Young Avengers had an ongoing series, that wasn’t a mini connected to a crossover event, I was in high school. Let that sink in a moment. It has been almost a decade, eight years, since the first Young Avengers series wrapped at a grand total of twelve issues and one special. Since then, they’ve crossed over with the Runaways, twice, had their name stolen from them by Norman Osborn’s Young Avengers, gone on a series of little adventures, fought alongside the actual Avengers to protect the world from Asgardians, and had a bit of a ‘disassembling’ of their own, which ended with the deaths of Stature and Vision. Patriot has quit, Iron Lad has gone full evil, and lord only knows where Speed is. Kate Bishop is running around with Clint Barton, and Billy and Teddy quit the heroing thing. So, who are our new Young Avengers?

Kid Loki, Marvel Boy, Kate, someone named Miss America Chavez, and reluctantly, Billy and Teddy. Okay, I can work with that.

Kid Loki is just coming off a very, very emotionally-charged run on Journey Into Mystery that I need to read, though a friend on Tumblr insists that doing so will destroy me emotionally. Noh-Varr, also known as Marvel Boy, is a Kree warrior who actually already had some contact with the Young Avengers, back during their Civil War crossover with the Runaways. He was an Avenger, briefly, and apparently likes rock from the 60s. You go, Noh-Varr. Miss America Chavez is…new? Okay, according to Wikipedia, she appeared in the limited series Vengeance, which I literally have never heard of until now. Her character design is excellent, though. Okay! To the actual issue. I’m going to do a full play by play of this, because I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book since it was announced. That’s a nicer way of saying MASSIVE SPOILER WARNINGS FOR YOUNG AVENGERS #1

The issue starts off with shipping, a half-naked, disgustingly hot alien, and a Skrull attack. I’m in love. I mean, the simple fact that on the credit page, they note what Noh-Varr was listening to (and wow, what excellent taste in girl groups he has. The Ronettes? You go, Kree) has me over the moon. So I’m easy to please, want to fight about it? Ughhhhhhhhhhh Billy and Teddy just gave me cavities. This is Kieron Gillen’s writing? This is what I’ve been missing from my life? Hell to the yes. Not particularly fond of their new designs, mainly because I’ve been utterly spoiled by the likes of Jim Cheung and the amazing YA fanartist CrisArt, but Jamie McKelvie has been doing a good job otherwise. I think it’s just Billy’s hair that irks me. I mean, wow. Gurl look at that hair part. Gonna be honest, this is the first time I’ve read anything with Kid Loki and Miss America Chavez in it, and I’m not sure if I like them. Never been a huge Loki fan in the first place (sorry Hiddlestoners!), and a kid version feels kind of…weird. Still, I assume I’ll change my mind once I get my mitts on his JiM run, right? God, someone needs to tell me all the issues I’d need for Kid Loki’s JiM run, because I need to know if i’m supposed to hate him or not. Because so far, I just. I love Noh-Varr a lot because I’ve loved Noh-Varr a lot since the Young Avengers/Runaways Civil War crossover, but I didn’t think I could love him as much as I do right now, dancing to the Ronettes. And I love Kate, because Kate is badass and so smart and so confident. Pilot an escape pod? No prob, I’ve never done it, but I can totally do it. And Billy and Teddy are just so. They’re just so. They’re perfect. I mean, they’re not perfect, no one is. But their chemistry and dynamics are just so wonderful, and they’re being written so well. Because that’s something that wasn’t really brought up at the end of Children’s Crusade. Teddy was just kind of, okay enough. And Billy was like, okay, and then they became Avengers. But now they’ve quit again? Also, weren’t they somewhat engaged? Or did I misread that? Back to the comic. Oh dear, Billy literally caused a disturbance in the Force that Kid Loki could feel. Hm hm, posturing, fight scene, ya ta ta…hello! Okay, wasn’t expecting that! So, Billy used his powers to go surfing the multiverse and pulled a successful Booster Gold; pulling Teddy’s mom out of an alternate universe just before she was killed. Except…he seemed to have pulled a very different version of her, a version that can apparently touch someone with her melty fingers and pull a Plasmus on them. Gross. Also, a moment of silence for Billy’s adoptive parents, because this is a Marvel comic and no one is allowed to have parents. 

My verdict? I liked it. Teddy’s mom is being set up as their first villain, I have a feeling that Kid Loki is set to be the main villain, and I really want to know how Kate Bishop ended up hooking up with Noh-Varr. That seems like it would be an interesting story.

It’s almost 4 in the morning, I’m completely brain dead, and my right eye keeps falling shut. Next week we’ll be covering the Flash, Batman Inc and uh…I’ll find something else. Maybe. Hopefully. Stay gold, kids.

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Someone hold my earrings, I’m about to do some jimmie-rustling.

I’m going to skip the intro and cut straight to the chase: I’m so sick of Death of the Family, I could hurl. Today, I went to my LCS looking forward to absolutely nothing, and you know what? Two doors down from the place I subscribe at, is a brand spanking new Alcoholics Anonymous rehabilitation center. I took it as a sign.

You see, in my experience, alcoholics are people with addictive personalities. They start out as folks who drink to take the edge off a hard day. Then they drink to forget. Then they drink because it’s the only thing that feels good anymore. Where am I going with this? I am an addict. I’m addicted to comic books and damn it, I’ve only been getting the bad shit, lately.

I bought one comic this week, and that comic is Batman. Do you know why? I still have faith in Scott Snyder to deliver an amazing story, even when everyone else he’s been collaborating with has failed. Sure, there have been decent individual issues (Suicide Squad #15 springs to mind), but the overall stories? In Batgirl, the Joker is obsessed with marrying Babs before he kills her. In Red Hood, Joker is angry that Jason didn’t stay dead. In Batman and Robin, Joker’s main goal was to have Robin die at the hands of Batman. In Teen Titans, Joker wants Tim to stop trying to prove that he’s better than everyone…by killing him. Detective Comics is filler, Catwoman has nothing to do with anything other than the Joker proving that he can still freak Selina out, Suicide Squad is less about killing and more about Harley finding herself definitively and breaking away from the Joker, whereas in Nightwing…shit, don’t even ask me to remember, because I honestly can’t. See where I’m going with this? The main Batman book, while frustrating, is the only one with a decently-penned, coherent story. And speaking of which…

There is a reason I only bought Batman this week. I flipped to the ends of both Batgirl and Batman and Robin in the store, and they ended the exact same way. Joker, standing before them in his purple suit, holding a platter. Now, all of the DotF books tie directly into Batman. You could not read a single one and still get the general story: Joker has beaten and kidnapped all of Bruce’s ‘children’, and he’s going to kill them unless Batman stops him. Keeping this in mind, I honestly cannot see a way for Death of the Family to end without Batman finally killing the Joker. I just can’t. He’s stabbed Dick, gassed Tim and Jason, and, to Bruce’s knowledge, beaten the snot out of Damian and Babs. And now he’s holding them all somewhere, somewhere that Bruce can’t get to. So he’s playing Joker’s game. He’s going to let himself be taken to where his captive children are, and then together, they will take the pale man down once and for all.

Going back to the epiphany seeing that AA center next to my comic shop gave me for a moment, I’m done. I’m so done. I read an article recently about not buying comics because they have your favorite characters in them when you don’t like the story or the way the characters are being handled. About not buying comics just because you’re so used to buying the series that you can’t remember a time when you weren’t buying it. About speaking to the comic companies with your dollar instead of your angry, ranting blog posts. So that’s what I’m doing. 

I’m not going to buy books out of habit anymore. I’m not going to buy books I hate. If I’m going to plunk down $3 or $4 a book out of my incredibly meager paycheck, I’m going to make sure I actually want it.

So I guess, this is my way of officially breaking up with Teen Titans and Legion of Superheroes. I’ve tried to adjust to the OL being back, but I can’t. They’re not my team. And I refuse to put another dime towards a book Lobell is writing. I may even start picking up Red Hood and the Outlaws again, as he’s off that book once DotF finishes. Blue Beetle ends this month, as well, which is another book gone from my pull list. Batman Inc is set to wrap up in May, or at least, that’s when Grant Morrison is leaving the book. Will it survive without him? It might, but I probably won’t be there to read it. My LCS was shorted Suicide Squad today, which is why I didn’t pick it up, but it has, amazingly, been getting better. I said once that I’d follow Deadshot anywhere. It’s a hard decision, especially considering my tumultuous relationship with the various artists that have cycled through, and Adam Glass’ less than inspired writing, but after last month’s excellent wrap-up of Harley’s personal DotF storyline, I think I can give Suicide Squad another chance. 

So, after this month, that leaves me with a grand total of nine ongoing DC titles. Nine. When the reboot started, I was reading twenty-eight.

That really sort of puts this whole thing in a new perspective, for me. You see, these nine books? I truly enjoy. Because they hit that comics sweet spot by weaving decent to excellent art, interesting writing, compelling story arcs, and relateable characters into every issue. I’m reading them because they’re good comics. And you know what? My list should be a lot longer. Comics should be good.

DC has the potential for good comics at their fingertips, but they refuse to utilize the resources they have. Even with the reboot shenanigans, they’re still a widely respected comic company. Instead of reaching out to new talent that already have devoted fanbases that would follow that talent anywhere, they snap up writers and artists that haven’t been relevant for over a decade, and even then they were only relevant because people enjoyed complaining about them. I think we all know who I’m talking about.

In any case, I’m free! Ish. There are two more DotF books next week, but I’m fairly sure I can sweet-talk my way out of having to buy them. Aside from that, Batwoman! Minutemen! Blue Beetle! Supergirl! Wonder Woman! Ladies week returns, and with it, my happiness. I’m Touch of Grey, and I bid you a good night.

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Rotting good fun, unless you’re alive.

My sincerest apologies for the late post, I was a bit distracted by my own hair. Got a bad haircut Tuesday night, and have since transformed myself from Dorothy Hamill to Molly Ringwald circa Breakfast Club. As I’ve decided to stop picking up the Death of the Family issues that I wouldn’t already be buying, we’ve got a grand total of two books to look at today! Ha, I remember the days where the second week of the month would have six books or more. On one hand, I can afford to eat lunch regularly. On the other hand, I could stand to drop some weight, if it meant that I was reading good comics.

The following reviews contain MASSIVE SPOILERS for both Rotworld books.

We’re deep into Rotworld now, with Alec making his way to Gotham, finally, at the end of the last issue. Only one person has the Man-Bat serum injected into them, sadly, and that person is Barbara Gordon. I actually applaud Snyder’s use of Babs here; she’s the only vigilante left to watch over the remaining citizens of Gotham, who’ve taken up residence in Arkham Asylum. Some of the other inmates had apparently been spared of the Rot infection either by their connection to the elements, or their total isolation from life. As far as I can tell, three of the presumably four Arkham inmates left to help guard the population are Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc, and the Fluoronic Man. Okay, Freeze and Woodrue I get, because one is connected to the Green, while the other cannot survive outside of his suit, and hasn’t taken it off in years, but why Killer Croc? The guy just had a skin condition, until he was warped over in Batwoman. He’s not connected to any elements, or to the Red. He just…looks cool? Okay, I guess that works. Kind of. Anyway, before he bit the bat-dust, Bruce was working on copying Alec’s restorative formula, and was pretty close. So Alec completes the formula and weaponizes it, giving it to the citizens of Gotham to fight the Rotlings coming their way. Of course, this wouldn’t be a Scott Snyder comic without a shocking ending, so let’s talk about Abby Arcane. She’s, uh. Well, she’s pretty dead, folks. Very dead, I’d like to say. Arcane ripped her head off, spine included. There’s not really a good chance of surviving that.

Over on the Red side of Rotworld, our band of misfits gains a very strong new ally, but possibly loses their only full human. Man, John Constantine just cannot catch a damn break! I think this was the first issue of Animal Man that I haven’t been completely on board with, mainly because of  all the time that was spent on Buddy and his gang, instead of the (arguably) more important Maxine plot. Though, speaking of that, I do see a possibly loophole for Maxine becoming the third Hunter. It’s been shown that she’s able to leave her body and grow a new one out of a nearby animal…so what if she left her body before she was bitten, and jumped into Socks? It would certainly explain how the older Maxine we saw in an earlier issue exists. Something to think about.

I feel bad that I’m posting a late review, for only two books, and it’s this short. However, I do have an event announcement! If you live in South Florida and have a house full of nerdy junk, roll on down to Tate’s Comics today to sign up for a table at next month’s Swap and Sale! For only $25 you get: A guaranteed spot in the parking lot to set up and sell your wares, and a commemorative t-shirt! I’ll personally be in spot #10 with action figures, trades, manga, card games, t-shirts, and of course, a buttload of comic books! If you choose not to get a space and just want to come to the event, it’s February 18th.

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2013 smells like Speed Force

Welcome to 2013, folks! Today we have three books up on the chopping block; two I love, and one that I love to hate. Let’s just jump right in!

Ha, oh Teen Titans. You know, I do believe I’ve had just about enough of you. As usual, Lobdell’s dialogue is weak, the general story is abysmal, and the idea that Tim is perfect with no flaws and knows everything…but still manages to get outsmarted by the Joker is just…bad writing. Okay? This book? Bad. I’ve been taking issue with it all year long, but I can’t do this anymore. No one addresses how Skitter has just been gone since before the end of the Culling event, no one really addresses how Superboy seems to pick and choose when he actually wants to be part of the team, they let Danny the street commit suicide to bring them home, and the last arc was all about how Cassie is bad at relationships. Teen Titans is not a good book. I’ve been unwilling to drop it because…they’re my babies. Bart, Tim, Cassie, Kon, even Kiran and Miguel. They’re my babies. I grew up with the first four, and grew to love Kiran before Lobdell got his talons into her. Miguel is darling in small doses, and could be amazing under a proper writer. So this is it. My sendoff. I’ll read the final issue of the DotF crossover for it, but I won’t be reviewing it. Goodbye Teen Titans, you were fucking horrible.

Batman Incorporated is one of those books that, if you want a payoff right now, you’re not going to like. Grant Morrison has been building up this storyline for years, ever since Talia lost Damian to his father. Her aborted attempt to get him back in Batman and Robin, only to end with her expelling him from her side of the family, seems to have been a feint, to see what he’d do. As it seems, mother dearest has been keeping tabs on her beloved Detective and her baby boy all along, going as far as to incapacitate the Dead Heroes Club…permanently, as it would look, in the case of Freight Train and the Knight. Ooh, yeah, moment of silence for him. After his Squire has a near-miss with the dark lady, a servant of the Demon’s Head takes out her protector. That really stung, as their mini was excellent, and I’d hoped that their involvement in Batman Inc might lead to them gaining popularity, and possibly their own book. In lighter news, this issue seems to include the origin of Alfred the cat, one of the only characters that seems to follow Damian into adulthood. Oh, a thought came to mind. As odd as it may be, I think Talia is the only person intimately connected to the Bat that has been left out of the Death of the Family event…which leads me to believe that the Joker is afraid of her. Smart move there, clown.

As you all may know, Flash #15 was supposed to come out last week, but a tricky thing called ‘Christmas’ waylaid it until today. Which is a damn shame, really, as this issue would have been the perfect thing to end 2012 on, for me. Reading it, I got shivers, especially on the last nine pages. Don’t get me wrong, Marcus To is a master storyteller. His craft, his art, is spectacular, and the first eleven pages of this issue could not have been handled more beautifully. But Francis Manapul…I have creative heroes. I have creative crushes. And then there’s Francis Manapul. With only Barry’s sparse mental dialogue and the images of possible futures, should the humans of Central and Keystone attempt to keep defying Grodd, Manapul manages to fit issues worth of content into nine pages. He has ascended to Perez-esque levels when it comes to attention to detail and is, in my opinion, out of the ridiculous stable of talent they have assembled, DC’s current top artist. I realize that this is more of a critique of the creators than a review of the issue, but trust me. Flash #15 is not an issue you want to miss.

And that was this week in comics. If you’ve got the spare dollars, I also cannot recommend Glory, American Vampire, the final issue of Punk Rock Jesus, and the first issue of Fionna and Cake enough. See you next week when I take a look at Animal Man and Swamp Thing!

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Obligatory end of the year post

As some of you may have noticed, I didn’t post an entry on Wednesday. Well, there’s a good reason for that: I didn’t have anything to review. DC shot their wad a bit early this month, and then decided to ship most of the books they would have in the last week of December for January 2nd. This irked me, but on the other hand, two issues of Flash this month!

I guess all I wanted to say is, thank you. To anyone that is reading this, thank you for sticking with me this year. I really appreciate everyone who has come over from Tumblr and Facebook and Twitter, and found me through Google. Here’s hoping this year brings another 52+ posts of making fun of every stupid decision DC throws at us, and maybe some great comics along the way.

Have a wonderful end of 2012, and an equally fantastic beginning of 2013.

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