30 April, 2011

Batman #709

          Batman is like Detective Comics in one way. The story quality varies from one arc to another. So far this has been a good arc. I don't really know much about Azrael, but it was still cool to see him appear in the arc. I didn't read the spin offs in Red Robin, or in Gotham City Sirens, so I was a tiny bit lost, and I might go back and read those later, but I was pretty much in the loop, and I still thought that it was a good arc.
       In this issue Batman goes to face Azrael since both Red Robin and Catwoman had failed. (That's the only part I was a little lost on. I didn't know how they failed, but it doesn't really interfere with the story) Batman meets Azrael, the Crusader and Fireball on top of a roof. Azrael brings the Prodigy forward. He explains that he was the best solo trapeze artist in the western hemisphere. But some guys didn't like him so they beat him up bad. Then Batman remembers. When he was little he didn't like the Prodigy either, and while people were beating up the Prodigy, Grayson just watched.  Azrael finds him guilty. But Catwoman and Red Robin bring Jenny and her kids to the roof hoping that this would persuade Azrael not to blow up the city. Jenny calls Azrael a monster , but the Crusader promises to protect Jenny. Then Batman convinces Azrael to use the sword of sin on himself. He does so and then no longer wishes to destroy the city. So when Fireball explodes the Crusader puts a force field around him, so that the city is safe.
     This was disappointing. I would have rather Batman defeated the Crusader, Azrael and Fireball then what happened. I'm all for happy endings when they are logical, but this seems like a sloppy ending for this arc. I've seen the villain seeing the error of his ways too many times now to enjoy this comic. This is the ending I had in mind, but it was too predictable. That's really all I have to say about the comic. Except that Dick Grayson was different because he wasn't as dark as Bruce and I liked that. But this arc and this issue made Grayson darker, and I don't want to see him  become Bruce Wayne. I like both characters, but Grayson should be Grayson and Wayne should be Wayne. So over all this ending ruined the arc making it predictable and also Hine did a bad job keeping Grayson from becoming Wayne. But since the quality in the arcs of Batman vary, I hope the next one will be better.

Grade: 6/10
Buy at: www.mycomicshop.com

The Flash #10

           This is a series that I said started in the middle, which is something I really don't like. Time travel stories are cool, but for the first arc of a story, I'm really just looking for a fist fight between the main character and his/her arch enemy, then you can do whatever you want. Then you can do time travel stories or  do something shocking that will change the series. After I got through the first arc, I thought okay now maybe I'll get a good Flash series. No, now I have an event that will change the series: Flash Point. If you knew that you were about to have a time travel/parallel reality story as your second arc, why would you make your first arc the same thing? I know the first arc wasn't really a parallel reality story, but it with out a doubt had time traveling, and it had different versions of popular characters, so it has the same essentials. I'm a huge fan of Geoff Johns, especially his work with Wally West, but scheduling these two arcs back to back was just a bad idea, and frankly it ruins the time traveling and parallel reality stories for a little while.
         In this issue the alternate Barry Allen (AKA: Hot Pursuit) tells Barry Allen (The Flash) all about him, the Multiverse, and all of the bad things that are going to happen. Bart Allen then comes and tells the Flash not to believe Hot Pursuit. Hot Pursuit then insists he's telling the truth and rides off. Barry runs after him, but Hot Pursuit gets away. Bart Allen wants to help Barry with this, but Barry want's to do it alone. Bart gets upset and runs away. Barry goes back to the lab to scan a piece of hair he snagged from Hot Pursuit, and it comes up as a mach for Barry Allen. Then Patty walks in. She explains how she is now working in Blue Valley, because things are slower there. Then Barry gets a call from Singh. He goes and brings Patty. A thirty year old man died in the exact same way Elongated Kid died. Then they find a witness hiding nearby.
       This was beyond disappointing. Again, I think Geoff Johns is great, but this was the worst comic he has ever written. Again this arc is redundant when matched with the previous arc, so already the comic and I got off on the wrong foot. But then when Hot Pursuit explained the Multiverse I was shocked. The Multiverse has been explained a hundred times but for some reason Geoff Johns felt the need to explain it again. That probably only bothered me as much as it did, because of the repetition of time travel, but both are pretty bad. Also I had no idea why both Barry Allens felt the need to do what they were doing alone, is it just so they could be upset? Or to make Bart upset? Johns made Barry tougher than he usually is, and then didn't offer an explanation for it. I do understand what Johns was trying to do when he had Betty move because she wanted her life to slow down, but this has been done a million times before. It's like calling Superman a weapon or saying Batman brings the villains to Gotham. Writers bring it up a lot, but every time they do it's supposed to be shocking. Overall this was not a good issue, and really ruins the series for me. The only hope Flash Point has now, is the spin offs and alternate reality stories that are coming, and those have only a medium sized chance at success.

Grade: 2.5/10
Buy at: www.mycomicshop.com

27 April, 2011

Birds of Prey #11

          As I've said many times before: This series started off great, but went down hill fast. It could be that I'm just not a fan of Black Canary and that is who Gail Simone likes to work with the most. The first six or seven issues of the book were devoted to Black Canary, and that just really got me off to a bad start with the series. The Death of Oracle arc was good, it was nothing special, and not something that I'm going to remember in many year, but it did improve my view of this series, although, it's still not even in my top 15 series that I'm reading, or go in and out of.
        In this issue Huntress is chasing down someone who stole some jewels. She starts fighting him, when Catman comes and stops it. He picks up the jewel thief and holds him off of the edge of the building asking who else was in the heist. He gave the name Rickie Lowlife. Huntress and Catman then go over some of their relationship history and problems. Then they go to find Rickie. They find him, interrogate him, and then he gives the name of his cousin Markie who has a hostage. They go and find him. Catman goes over to the hostage, but she gets scared for a second, thinking that he was one of the criminals. Huntress takes down Markie and then pulls her crossbow on Catman. The woman thought Catman was one of the criminals because he was. She recognized his green eyes. Catman then apologises profusely, and explains he has a son who was kidnapped, and also that he (Catman) is trying to reform and asks for Huntress's help. Huntress turns him down, and feels bad about it.
       I liked this issue a lot more than I thought I would. Again, it wasn't fantastic, and is not one of the best comics I've ever read, but it was pretty good. I even found the relationship between Huntress and Catman enjoyable. This was one of those fun read comics, its story was not complicated, or thoughtful, but it had some good fight scenes, some good banter, and great art, so it was still enjoyable. I'm debating with myself whether or not to renew my subscription to this comic, I'm leaning towards no, but I really did like this comic. It could just be that I'm surrounded by long story arcs, and every so often I just have a really good time with simple comics, but I don't know.
I recommend this comic as a fun read, if you are looking for a series or arc that you can really get into, this is not the right comic for you. But if you are looking for just a good story, than this is the perfect comic for you.

Grade: 7.5/10
Buy at: www.mycomicshop.com

24 April, 2011

Green Lantern #65

         In an earlier review I said I was tired of Green Lantern events, and that is true. But so far War of the Green Lanterns has been outstanding, granted I have only read three issues and there is time for it to all go down hill. But parts one through three were extremely good, and even though I have already recommended them, I will recommend them again.
       Part four starts out with Kilowog being tortured and finally being taken over by Parallax. Meanwhile Guy and Hal find the Green House and use the ship that was in it to go rescue Kyle, John, and Ganthet. As soon as they get to OA they are attacked by Green Lanterns and have to get out in an escape pod. Guy and Hal find Kyle and John under ground in a series of tunnels. Hal says to defeat the Corps they need to wear different rings. Guy picks the Red Ring, Hal picks the Yellow ring, Kyle picks the blue one, and finally John tries to pick the orange one, but Hal insists that he gets indigo.
      I really like this issue, I especially like when Hal was flying away in the ship and he was happy as a small kid. He is a pilot and it's fun to see him have a great time flying. I got excited to see Kilowog again, I was hoping maybe he will come back into the event, but unfortunately the got rid of him, again. That is a disappointment. He is one of my favorite B-list lanterns, and I was excited to read about him, but now he's gone. It doesn't ruin the arc, but it doesn't help.
     As anyone would be I was incredibly excited to hear about the lanterns of sector 2814 putting on different rings. Guy and Hal picking red and yellow was predictable, I can't give DC grief for that, because it was just logical. Kyle picked blue which kind of made sense, but then John picking indigo, I did not like that. Orange wouldn't have been better, really John should have picked violet, it makes more sense for him. Indigo just seems like they didn't know what to give him.
     Despite a few minor set backs, this was still an incredibly good issue, I recommend this issue, and the entire War of the Green Lanterns.
(sorry about the cover, it's the only picture I could find without the headings)

Grade: 8.5/10
Buy at: www.mycomicshop.com

22 April, 2011

Detective Comics #875

         Detective Comics is a unique series. Some are very classic Batman, others are dark Batman, and some have nothing to do with Batman at all. Each arc is very different from its predecessor which is different for a series, it has short entertaining arc opposed to long and over complicated and frankly boring series like Green Arrow.
         This particular issue is about James Gordon. He is remembering when he was lieutenant, he got a call from Barbara (when she was his ex-wife) who called to express concerns about James. (James Gordon's son) She says that he has nothing medically wrong with him, but she's taking him for more tests. He remembers all the creepy things that his son did, like killing a bird, and dressing up as the Joker for Halloween. But especially this time when Barbara and her friend were over, and the friend brought a science kit. The friend was mean to James, and then the friend goes missing, and James has the science kit. James Gordon Sr. started accusing the boy. Then everything comes back into the present. The entire flash back had been simultaneously occurring with James Gordon getting a criminal. Batman comes and gets him, and then Jim Gordon leaves while thinking about his son.
         This was a weird, strange and twisted comic book. It was very enjoyable. The story that was going on with the criminal that was running away from James Gordon was really just a space filler and a reason to throw Batman into the mix, so that whole section of the book was kind of boring, but it didn't interfere with the flash back which is really what was going on in the comic. The boy was something out of an Edgar Allan Poe, it wasn't just the thing with the bird, which was creepy, but it was him dressing up as the Joker that really made the character. That has been done by so many people in past Halloweens, but he's a fictional character, not really killing, and tormenting people. The cartoony art enhanced the creepiness of the story. It's hard to describe how, but if you read this issue you'll understand what I'm saying.
Over all this was a pretty good issue, I wouldn't call it a must read, but if you like Edgar Allan Poe, or other things that creepy, than this would be a good issue to pick up.

Grade: 8/10
Buy at: www.mycomicshop.com

17 April, 2011

Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #8

           I have no idea why I didn't pick up this series when it came out. Recently I have been going through a Green Lantern phase, and this has Guy Gardner and Kilowog two of my favorite B-list Green Lanterns. It's one of those series that I want to buy when I walk into the comic store, but then forget that I wanted it. So I finally remembered to get it, and here it is.
          In this issue Gardner, Kilowog, and Arisia are flying back to OA talking about recent events. Then Arisia gets taken over by Parallax and flies away. Guy Gardner finds out that this has happened to most of the Green Lanterns. Then a ton of taken over Green Lanterns come and take Kilowog. Gardner arranges to meet up with Hal Jordan at the Green House. Gardner and Jordan get angry at each other, because   Gardner said that Jordan was weak, so they start to fight. They fight for a while, but their power rings run out, and then they decide to put aside their differences to attempt to save the corps.
        I loved this issue. The War of the Green Lanterns is a stunt, and quite frankly I'm a little sick of Green Lantern events. But this was a good issue. The story was incredibly entertaining, and I know that I have said that I hate long fight scenes, but for one: the fight scene wasn't all that long, and two it was somewhat necessary to show the power rings losing power, I know that it could have been done by the rings losing power while they're flying, but when you have a character with a temper, like Guy Gardner, you need to use him. I don't know if I would have gotten rid of Kilowog so fast. Arisia was taken away in the first two pages, and then Kilowog in the first seven. I like Gardner, but it would be cool to see Kilowog in this arc as well. But that is my one and only complaint with the story. The story was terrific, but I would even pick up this issue for the art. Color is one of the things that keeps brining me back to the Green Lantern family of books. You can't have a Green Lantern series with out solid colors, which is something that I like. This issue had the same thing, but beyond that the penciling was great, and the cover was outstanding.
      This was a fantastic issue, and a great point to pick up War of the Green Lanterns. I recommend it highly.

Grade: 9/10
Buy at: www.mycomicshop.com