Dr. Langstrom, or how I learned to stop worrying and drink heavily to forget things that happen in Batman Incorporated.

And so we send off the month of April! A rather tumultuous month, we’ve seen shakeups in the Super-family, watched Batman slip quickly into insanity, and cheered as Diana continued to be awesome. As far as consistent quality goes, April has been…well. I made the executive decision to drop Batman and Batman and Robin from my pull list, because I am very much done with this nonsense. Glory ended, the few Marvel books I read continued their way up my list of favorites, we lost Carmine Infantino…it was a very varied month. Still, we’ve got three more books to look at before I can put April to rest, so let’s get to them.

Batman Inc was cancelled earlier this month. The tenth issue never came out, and we will never get closure on this Leviathan story that’s been building for over four years.

Okay, I’m lying. Batman Inc has been cancelled as of the 13th issue, where Grant Morrison will be ending his chapter in the history of Batman. There are three more issues following this one. Ha. Hahaha. I don’t want to live anymore.
Now, I know what that sounds like, but I probably don’t mean it the way you’re thinking. Batman Inc is a book of various levels of quality. The entire first series of it was…not great. The transitioning book, Leviathan Strikes, was fantastic. The second series, the one we’re in now, has had its high points (the return of Matches Malone! Damian teaming up with Jason as Redbird and Wingman! Ranger/Squire!), and it’s low, low points. Damian’s death was the lowest it could possibly get. A child was brutally killed. Knight’s death in the previous issue, tragic as it was, just couldn’t compare. This book could go nowhere but up. And this tenth issue has proven that theory.
Sort of.
Azrael makes a cameo! Kirk Langstrom makes a cameo! Bruce is forced to go head to head with Talia! The woman Hood brought Jason to is..! Okay, I could be wrong about this (my friends call me Nostradamus), but I think it’s Kathy Kane. Look at how her girls are dressed, look at the Spyral symbol in the background of their lair:

Image

Kathy. Kane. 
There are other interesting parts of this issue, such as Talia exerting her control over the Damian clone, and her interactions with her father, as well as her punishment of the Leviathan followers who shot at Damian. Actually, forget about the other stuff that happened in this issue, Talia freaking stole it all. This woman is badass. She has a goal: Destroy the man who fathered her child and broke her heart. That’s it. Everything else she’s done with Leviathan is inconsequential to her so long as Batman goes down, along with the city he serves. I can tell that Morrison is trying to play up the crazy, insecure bitch angle, especially during her conversation with Ra’s, but I’m not buying it. Talia al Ghul is determined to drag the world down to hell…and I’m kind of rooting for her.

Hey, who wants to get their heart broken?! Now I know why a friend of mine called Journey into Mystery Journey into Misery. Kieron Gillen shouldn’t have this kind of power, he’s just using it for evil. Take for example, “How do you know you’re not just the result of your boyfriend’s latent reality warping abilities in their earliest form, Teddy?” Loki no. That’s not cool. Nothing about this issue is cool. Nothing. Okay, y’all caught me in another lie. Kate and Noh-Varr finally show up, and damn if they aren’t the coolest. Now, I was always rooting for Kate and Eli to work out as a couple, but this is good, too.
By the way, thanks for confirming that you never tapped Clint, Noh. That’s information we sorely needed.
Still, I’ve been a Marvel Boy fan for, uh, about as long as there’s been a Marvel Boy, honestly. I loved his mini series back in 2000, I loved his appearance in the Civil War crossover with the Runaways and the Young Avengers, I just really, really enjoy him as a character. Everything I’ve read him in has caused his character to grow and evolve, finally reaching what we see here: A music dork with a bangin’ booty. Excuse me, an awesome music dork with a bangin’ booty, my apologies. 
In this issue, pretty much everyone gets a ‘moment’. Noh-Varr beats up Mom’s people, Kate has her plasma bow, Miss America gets more than one great one-liner, Loki and Hulkling have their little discussion…unfortunately, Billy’s moment is the one where he fucks everything up. Kinda par for the course of this series, so far. So, Billy agrees to lend Loki his powers for ten minutes, and Loki gets the Hel out of dodge, leaving everyone else stranded there. I honestly don’t know what any of you were expecting, it’s Loki.

Saving the best for last, aw yeah. But am I? Am I really? No, I totally am. The Flash was awesome this month, and not just because it was the second issue of the two-part Trickster story. Basically, the premise is that Barry has to navigate Iron Heights without his speed, aided only by weapons that formerly belonged to his Rogues. And here’s the kicker: he doesn’t actually know how to use most of them. Oh, and the reason he’s even in Iron Heights is because he’s trying to prove that the Trickster didn’t kill anyone and get him released legally before Axel’s friends break him out of prison.
How has this comic not simply materialized in your hands from the sheer want of it? Come on, now.
Okay! So, watching Barry try and figure out how Mark’s, sorry, Marco’s weather wand works is about an eight on the scale of hilarity. He proves to be pretty good at working Axel’s stuff, though. Instructions: pull pin. Throw. Run away. Oh yeah, and I should probably mention, Albert, one of the guys that was in the Speed Force for several weeks, is in this issue, too. He’s on the cover, actually. Anyway, his power is to amp things up to eleven by touching them. Um. AHEM. Well, I have about fifty different ways I could turn that into a dirty joke, but I think I’ll go the classier route and just shut the hell up. So, what do you call a speedless Flash and a kid named Turbocharger when they go up against an entire prison, as well as a few dozen desert-dwellers? An ambulance…for the other guys! Turbocharger saves the day by boosting up one of Len’s old cold guns for Barry, which actually leads to Barry discovering who really committed the crime Axel was jailed for…another Speed Force-powered civilian named Marissa! Of course, Barry gets his speed back in the end, and learns about where it probably went via the Watchtower computer, but the story isn’t over yet. In the last two pages, drawn by Francis Manapul, we get our first real look at the new Reverse Flash! Aw, and we also say goodbye to Turbocharger. I liked the four issues you appeared in, guy.
This issue of Flash was worth its cover price and more. Especially because Axel, bless his apparently white cotton socks, actually took the time to go, “Hey, I know this guy. The bartender. What are you doing here?” and not drop the subject. Ladies and gentlemen, Axel Walker grew a brain. And is probably the height he used to be billed as (5’7″), if his height next to Barry is any indication. Hm, y’know, it just occurred to me. Did Axel ever get out of jail? That was never really made clear. The guys who were trying to break him out got jailed, and Marissa probably got arrested, but what about Axel? He was pretty determined to not leave without his stuff, so…maybe he’s still in there? Oh honey, you’re too pretty for jail, now.

And that was this week in comics! If you would kindly direct your attention to the past, Booster Gold is currently appearing in All-Star Western. Superman Family Adventures ended today, Flash guest-starred in Justice League Dark, Avenger’s Arena came out again (?), and. God, this is something I actually have to yell about, hold on.

NONE OF YOU CAN COMPREHEND HOW FUCKING ANGRY THE FIRST PAGE OF THIS MONTH’S TEEN TITANS IS MAKING ME

I LITERALLY BOUGHT THE ISSUE TODAY BECAUSE I’M NOT PUTTING IT DOWN UNTIL I CAN FIGURE OUT WHOSE LIMBS AND TORSOS GO WHERE, AND THE COMIC SHOP WAS CLOSING

LOOK AT THIS SHIT, WHAT THE HELL

Image

WHAT IS THAT

FIRE THIS ARTIST, WHAT THE HELL. I’m Touch of Grey, I’m irrationally angry over things, goodnight.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Damian’s death was supposed to be shocking. Morrison planned from the start for it to end that way. Unlike Jason he wanted it so Bruce never had a chance. He failed outright. Now we’re presented with something rare in Batman: a breaking point.

    I feel the beauty of what Morrison has done (and to that extent Tomasi’s handling of Damian in Batman & Robin) is he made us care about Damian. We saw Bruce grow as a father and Damian as a son (and a damn good Robin and Batman!). This doesn’t compare to any if his other failures.

    And Talia’s plans are beyond Bruce by now. She’s taken everything. She gave him a decision. Now she’s shaping the world without him with her new Alexander.


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