Who’s next on our massive review of the New 52…
Batman and Robin – review by Chris Tresson
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artist: Patrick Gleason
I had absolutely no doubt before the relaunch that this title would be one of the New 52 line up. It was a popular book and one of my favourite titles before the relaunch, Batman and Robin. The original series only ran for 26 issues before being rebooted and it showcased the writing talents of such industry professionals as Grant Morrison, Paul Cornell, Judd Winick and Peter Tomasi. The latter took writing duties on the rebooted Batman and Robin title and he was joined by his collaborator from the earlier series, Patrick Gleason.
The story so far in the comic have all been part of a story arc called “Born To Kill”. The arc has seen an antagonist known as NoBody come into the frame and try to corrupt an already easily corruptible Damian Wayne (Robin). Damian feels his father, Bruce Wayne to be holding him back an treating him like a kid (which although he’s advanced for his age and probably could look after himself, he is only ten). Bruce is only trying to be a good father, trying to protect his son from harm, but Damian feels he could handle anything the world throws at him. The NoBody character picks up on this one night when Damian sneaks out on patrol by himself and ends up face to face with Nobody. NoBody sees Damian’s potential for evil and wants to nurture it. From there on out, it’s an explosive storyline that sees a father trying to save his son from becoming everything he’s sworn to fight against.
I like the tone of this book, it’s one of my favourite books of the New 52. It has an excellent writer/artist combination on it and the story is really exciting and interesting!
Nerd Verdict: Great!
You’ll never catch me saying a bad word about this series. I love the relationship between the characters and the current storyline is excellent, definitely go and buy this if you’re not already reading it. I assure you that you will love it.
Batwoman – Review by Rachel Proffitt
Written by J. H. Williams III
Artwork by W. Haden Blackman
Colors by Dave Stewart
Kate Kane survived a brutal kidnapping by terrorists that left her mother dead and her twin sister lost. Following in her father’s footsteps, she vowed to serve her country and attended West Point until she was expelled under “Dont’ ask. Don’t tell.” Now she is many things: estranged daughter, grieving sister, proud lesbian, brave soldier, determined hero. She is BATWOMAN.
- So says the synopsis provided in the first few issues of Batwoman. The first five issues form the Hydrology arc, where an urban legend seems to have walked out of the world of myth into reality, kidnapping and in some cases drowning local children in Gotham City.
Williams does an excellent job establishing Kate Kane’s sidekick and cousin, Bette, her love interested, Detective Maggie Sawyer, her pursuers, head of the Department of Extranormal Operations (D.E.O.), Director Bones and his colleague Maggie Chase, by the end of the arc. The character of Kane is fleshed out as she interacts with the supporting players, revealing her power, her vulnerabilities, her skills and perhaps her limitations.
It is her interaction with the primary villain of this small arc, the Weeping Woman, that reveals much of her back-story, including her deep-seated issues with her father and guilt over the loss of her sister. The ways in which all the above combine to feed the fire she feels as Batwoman are truly remarkable, given the short run of the series reboot so far.
All of this is enhanced by the shocking, almost-but-not-quite off-putting colors and artwork from Blackman and Dave Stewart. As Batwoman, Kane wears a wig of red-orange that matches the underside of her cape. In contrast to the luminous black of the rest of her costume, her every appearance provides a striking mix of intimidation and balanced-sex-appeal. There is something not quite right about the red. It almost hurts the eye…and maybe that is the point. The very thing that makes it not quite work is also what makes it work perfectly.
One of my favorites, I’ll give Batwoman an A.
Detective Comics – Review by Chris Tresson
Writer: Tony S. Daniel
Artists: Tony S. Daniel
There’s isn’t really that much I can say about this title. It’s just amazing. You have to be reading it to truly know the awesomeness of it. You’d only have to look at the last page of issue one to be sold on it (spoiler alert: it was a huge panel of The Joker‘s face, which had been removed by the villainous “Dollmaker” and pinned to a wall at Arkham Asylum. Awesome.) The series so far has been awesome, showcasing new Batman villains and bringing back old favourites like Joker and Penguin (we are only six issues in, that’s pretty good going!) Go and buy it… It has Batman… and strong storytelling and amazing art from Tony S Daniel.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Daniel’s previous Batman stories, but I have to take my hat off to him for his run so far on this series; it’s outstanding. I see good things coming your way if you are a Detective Comics reader! I think Daniel has the ability within him to give fresh, exciting stories as well as the ability to bring back old characters such as Two-Face, Killer Croc and Scarecrow and do new, exciting stories. Onwards and upwards for Tony S Daniel and his Detective run!
Nerd Verdict: Great! A strong title with lots of potential, go buy it!
Batgirl – Review by The Nerd
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Vicente Cifuentes and Adrian Syaf
The mantle of Batgirl has been passed around a bit in the past couple of years. From Barbara Gordon to Cassandra Cain to Stephanie Brown and a few scattered in between. When DC announced that the mantle would pass again to someone else, imagine everyone’s surprise when it was Barbara Gordon who would again be Batgirl. Next to Cassandra Cain, who I felt was the only worthy successor, Babs is my favorite Batgirl. I loved her as Oracle, but she is and always will be Batgirl to me. The Killing Joke, however, Barbara was paralyzed by a gunshot. How did she regain the use of her legs? That was one of many questions that fans had when Batgirl #1 debuted.
Based clearly on my love for Barbara Gordon and writer Gail Simone, this book is one of my favorites out of the New 52. I fell in love all over again with the first issue. If there is one thing I can say about Gail Simone, she knows how to write Batgirl. From her self-doubt to her quirky roommate to her struggle for acceptance from her former teammates, Gail is writing a very engaging book that transcends just the villains she goes against.
If Batgirl has any flaws, I would say it is the villains in the first six issues. They haven’t been very interesting and far less sinister for my taste. Her first foe, Mirror had such promised, but I quickly became uninterested in him as his story arc came to an end.
Where this book excels is the character development. Once again I cannot praise Gail Simone enough on this point. Barbara’s relationship with her father, her new roommate, the police detective who’s hunting Batgirl and even Batman and Nightwing are what’s so compelling in this book. There is far more story here than just Barbara being back on duty. She doubts herself, she is trying to convince not only herself, but those who know her that she is ready to come back and in a strange way needs to. There is even a surprise plot twist involving her mother that is just beginning to play itself out at issue six comes to a close.
If you are a Bat-family fan, you will love this book. If you are a Gail Simone fan, you will love this book. If you are a fan of strong-willed female heroes, you will love this book. It is definitely one of my favorites and other than some minor story arc issues, is one of the New 52′s superior titles. Batgirl should be on your pull-list.
Batwing – Review by J.P.
Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: Ben Oliver and Chris Cross
I do not know a lot about Batwing. I know that David Zavimbe is the creation of Grant Morrison and Batman Inc. and that he kicks a lot of butt in Africa but not much else. I will say that from everything I am hearing Judd Winnick is doing a great job and making Batwing morally relevant. The idea that you have a character based on the Batman mold in Africa can only mean constant struggle and heartache and I think that is generally where Winnick is going with it.
From the little art I have seen, the book looks very good. Lots of action and the back drop of war-torn Africa only adds to the appeal. I particularly love the theme and feel to both Batwing, and his nemesis Massacre’s back stories. And the idea of creating a history of heroism in Africa with The Kingdom, is something that gives both Winnick and artists Ben Oliver and Chris Cross a really neat chance to take some risks.
Admittedly I have not been reading this book, but from what I hear it has been good. And that is saying something considering the more crass remarks about Winnick’s Catwoman. I think a character like this has the potential to appeal to readers in the same fashion of Batman, but with a completely different feel. Having said that until I form some sort of attachment to the character, my budget is already full. Pick it up if you are looking for something different.
Make sure to come back all month-long for the rest of this comprehensive review!
Check out part 1 here.
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