REVIEW: Batman #5

“Face the Court”

Writer: Scott Snyder
Pencils: Greg Capullo
Inks: Jonathan Glapion
Colors: FCO
Lettering: Richard Starkings
Assistant Editor: Katie Kubert
Associate Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: DC Comics
Batman created by Bob Kane

“Keep you head straight, Bruce. Focus.”

If you have listened to the DC Wormhole podcast that I’m on you know that this series has been something of a mystery to me. Batman is by far my favorite character. Scott Snyder is one of those writers that I know I like and I know is an extremely talented writer. His work on American Vampire and Detective Comics has proven that to me, but there’s something about his work on Batman that hasn’t clicked with me – until this issue.

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REVIEW: The Flash #1

Story: Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Art: Francis Manapul
Colors: Brian Buccellato
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Assistant Editor: Darren Shan
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics

The New 52 continues as fans get a first look at the Flash and his world, and right off the bat things are quiet surprising.

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REVIEW: Justice League International #1

The Signal Masters – Part One

Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Aaron Lopresti
Inker: Matt Ryan
Lettering: Travis Lanham
Colors: Hi-Fi
Editor: Rex Ogle
Pubisher: DC Comics

The United Nations decides it needs its own super-hero team tied to the Justice League and brings in a host of international heroes who bring in their own international problems, and all led by Booster Gold. What could go wrong?

If there is a series I have on my list of “must read” books from DC’s New 52 it would be Justice League International for a variety of reasons.  First off, I’m a big team book fan and when I can get a dozen characters in one book and building drama and character development, I’m a happy reader.  Second, I am an old fan of Dan Jurgens as a writer and artist. I think having Jurgens redefining Booster Gold, a character he created, it perfect.  And third, I really love the fact Aaron Lopresti is drawing this series.

As a first issue I think Jurgens did a really good job setting on the situation of why this new League is being put together and how these characters are being selected.  I like that there are more heroes that are on the list, but just aren’t ready to be a part of this team.  I like that Jurgens has defined what the motivation behind the United Nations’ decision and that it will definitely be a cause of conflict in the future between the U.N. and the League.  The character introductions are short, but enough.  On top of all of that, you actually get a story.  Jurgens really has a great knowledge and ability to put a lot of story into an issue and gives you your money’s worth.

Lopresti’s art in this issue is just great.  Like I said before, I’m a big fan of his and was really happy to see him working with Jurgens and with these characters.  Lopresti has a great style that is really clean with a lot of room for the colorist to really get in there and define the look and feel of these characters.

Overall, great first issue and I am looking forward to reading this series for a long time to come.

Writing: 4 out of 5 | Art: 4 out of 5 | Overall: 4 out of 5

REVIEW: Flashpoint #5

Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciler: Andy Kubert
Inkers: Sandra Hope and Jesse Delperdang
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Assistant Editor: Kate Stewart
Associate Editor: Rex Ogle
Executive Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics

The final issue of the Flash event comes to its conclusion and nothing is left the same!

Yeah, that statement is sort of cliché but it’s not that far from the truth.  If you’ve not read this issue I’ll do my best to not spoil everything, but I will probably spoil a few things because I think there are some really good moments in this issue.

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What Looks Good to Me – August 31, 2011

Hey there! Welcome to “What Looks Good to Me.” Each week I take a look at the Diamond shipping list and slap together a list of the ten things I’m looking forward to the most that week. There’s no real rhyme or reason to the list’s ranking other than the #1 spot which will obviously be the one book that looks good to me that week. Well, enough of this – let’s get moving!

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REVIEW: Red Robin #15

“The Hit List” – Part Three: Secret Identity Crisis

Writer: Fabian Nicieza | Penciler: Marcus To | Inker: Ray McCarthy | Colorist: Guy Major | Letterer: Sal Cipriano | Publisher: DC Comics

Batman created by Bob Kane

What Is It About?

With the threat that his existence as Red Robin could be exposed by reporter Vikki Vale, Tim Drake decides to make a move to throw her off the trail, but how far will Tim go to ensure he and the rest of the Bat Family’s identities are safe?

Thoughts?

After reading the first two issues of this series I decided that this was not the direction I wanted to see, or read, Tim Drake.  I felt his move in to being Red Robin would be temporary and he would eventually return to being Robin.  That seems to not be the case, and while I have acknowledged that to be the case – I’m still not entirely satisfied with the cards that have been dealt to Tim.  Despite all of that, Fabian Nicieza and Marcus To have really been doing a decent job with this current story arc and have made me remember why I enjoy reading comics with Tim in them.

The story is interesting enough with the worry that someone will possibly figure out the secret identities of the member Bat Family.  The problem I have is that it’s Vikki Vale doing all of the investigation. I thought, at one time, she at least knew that Batman was Bruce Wayne, but I could be getting confused with the movie.  I like the idea of it all, but it seems like Tim is the only one worried about this and that part doesn’t sit well with me. Dick, Damian, and even Alfred don’t seem nearly as worried, or are willing to take some of the risks that Tim is willing to take in order to throw Vikki off the trail.

The art by Marcus To in this issue is really strong and such a great addition to the overall storytelling for this book. To’s work only seems to get better every time I see it.  I feel To’s Tim Drake is perfect and he really gets the facial expressions and body movements down so well its really enjoyable to see what he does each page you turn to.

The Verdict?

I like this issue as a whole.  I think there are some parts of it that don’t come across I would expect them to, but it doesn’t ruin the enjoyment – just causes me to question how the whole story will play out.  If you’ve been on the fence about reading this series, I would give this arc a shot and then come to your own conclusions.

REVIEW: Batwoman Elegy Deluxe Hardcover

Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: J.H. Williams, III
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letters: Todd Klein
Publisher: DC Comics
Batman Created by Bob Kane
Introduction by Rachel Maddow

Collects: Detective Comics #854-860

Ever since Batwoman’s first appearance in the pages of 52, I have looked at the character in two separate lights.  The first is in all of the hype and buzz of her first appearance and the fact nothing really had been done with the character and people were already praising her as the greatest new character that DC Comics had in years.  That version of Batwoman is the one I’d rather forget.  The second is the Batwoman that appeared in the pages of Detective Comics when she took the lead role in the series and became a serious contender for one of DC’s best characters in years.  The first was a publicity stunt in my opinion that really didn’t go anywhere.  It took Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams, III a few more years to bring Kate Kane to the forefront and make her more than hype – they made her real.

There is little that can be added to the large number of accolades this run on Detective Comics has been given since issue #854 hit the shelves.  I remember opening up that issue and just being blown away by Williams’s art and then reading Rucka’s words and realizing that this is where Batwoman would really make her mark on the industry.  Through an amazing array of words and images, readers were definitely experiencing a melding in comics that just doesn’t come around that often. And after reading these issues, you just can’t look at comics with the same eye as you did before.  I know I haven’t.

This collections starts off with a really interesting Introduction by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that surprised me in her interest in Greg Rucka’s writing and how she so easily ‘gets’ what Kate Kane is all about.  She is a strong, driven, brave, and honorable.  Maddow goes on to say how she will read anything Rucka writes – including his grocery list because you know it will be compelling. And you know it’s true.

The back of this deluxe edition is packed with artwork from the variant covers of Detective Comics #854, 858, 859, and 860. The bonus material has a lot of sketches from J.H. Williams, III that are just beautiful.  Those pages are then followed by a couple of pages from Greg Rucka’s script from Detective Comics #857 and 859 with the black and white art pages from Williams.

Overall, Batwoman: Elegy Deluxe Edition is an incredibly well put together collection that provides those readers that are curious about Batwoman and her origin and want to see if the hype is true.  The only regret that I have after reading this collection is that Greg Rucka will not be joining J.H. Williams, III with the upcoming Batwoman ongoing series because the two creators make an amazing team.