Archive for the ‘Comic’ Category

  Batman Year One is Frank miller’s take on The Dark Knight’s rookie period, that’s told through a comparison of lieutenant James Gordon new arrival in Gotham as well.

In the sort of Miller-trilogy of books you could put this in first, then All-Star, and finally Dark Knight Returns, this one is definitely my favorite. David Mazzucchelli’s art is solid throughout the book, there aren’t a thousand panels of news casts like there are in Dark Knight, but you get all of the information you need, it’s certainly an evolution in Miller’s storytelling from the book about Batman’s end.

The story starts as both me arrive in Gotham, Gordon comes by train, thinking that is no way for him and his pregnant wife to get a good first impression of the city, they should have flown in, to see the lights and the skyline. Almost simultaneously Bruce Wayne is on a plain thinking he should have taken the train in to see Gotham as it is, like he needs to be on street level in his home city he hasn’t been in a dozen years. Throughout the book, it also has inner monologues from both Gordon and Batman. The future Gotham commissioner’s sound like a seasoned policeman, while Batman makes a bunch of rookie mistakes. However in their respective personal lives the opposite is true, James is never sure that bringing his wife was the right idea to bring to Gotham, and his affair with his partner Sara Eisen shows how rocky that life is for him at this point. While Bruce is determined to come into his city and clean it up from the ground up. And yes, his first night out he gets shot and injured, but technically he wasn’t Batman until that night when he was ready to die and give up, a bat flew through his window, fortifying his resolve to the city.

Which, if you think about, and I have, for a moment is strange. There Bruce was, bleeding out in a chair in one of the rooms of his mansion ready to give up and meet his parents in the after world, teetering on whether or not he should ring a bell to have Alfred come and save him. Then just on the moment of deciding Gotham can do it on its own, a disoriented bat crashes through his window, giving him just the right amount of inspiration to drive onward and make his parents proud. Lucky for him he still had enough conciseness left at that point to ring the bell.

After reading this for the first time, I have this forming opinion that, had there been told entirely from the perspective of James Gordon, and have Batman take a minor side story role might have been more interesting. Year One shows Gordon raising through the ranks of the Gotham Police Department, and Batman only shows up a handful of times. It would have shown a more Gordon sided perspective and kept The Dark Knight as an elusive entity, and you could play with the fact no one knows if this masked man is a beast or man, or good, or criminal.

All is good though, the two stories blend where they need to, and you see where James and Bruce are when they aren’t crossing paths, I never felt like there was ever a part where someone was in multiple places. There is an appearance of Selina Kyle, who starts out as a prostitute in a leather outfit, then becomes a jewel thief who dresses like a cat. Where one of if not only, minor complaint comes from. The decision of Selina to go from hooker to jewel thief was lost on me, especially the part where she thinks it is a good idea to dress up like a cat. Catwoman was just in it a few pages and maybe I missed something another reading would clear up.

Year One is well worth a read if you haven’t, it is an enjoyable time that show both the introduction of Batman to Gotham, and Gotham to its future police commissioner.


With that being said, this is the 52nd BatMonday post, making it a full year of Batman. Meaning, this is the last post for my year-long Batman project. I think I learned a few things for my next endeavor, whatever that is, like make things more clear where things are going. I would really like to write more Batman, there are tons of things I hadn’t gotten to, like A Long Halloween, or Arkham Asylum: A serious House on Serious Earth. A lot more characters to show a small spotlight on, I totally would have done Bat-Mite and Azrael if I had more time. I also had this idea of highlighting people who put on the cape and cowl, that werent’ Bruce Wayne. I still might, but I’m at least going to take a break beforehand.

If you have been here for the whole thing Thank You, hell, if this is your first time stumbling across my BAtman ramblings thanks for showing up there is plenty more if you liked what you read. I hope everyone liked anything I said, even in a small nondescript kind of way.

Good Luck and have Batman

~Jason

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Night of Owls

Posted: March 23, 2015 in Comic
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  The second volume, of sorts, to Scott Snyder’s run on The Dark Knight in the New 52 is just as fun of a read as the first volume.

Well, “of sorts” only because the Night of Owls trade paperback doesn’t cover just The Batman parts of the storyline, which Spilled over into the other Bat-related books such as Batgirl and Nightwing, so if you just got one part of the story it would have been short, disjointed, and confusing.

The different books in the collection were also written and drawn by their respective creative teams, which makes them fantastic chapter breaks if you can’t get through it all in one sitting, this is thicker than an average trade. And since time is somewhat important, the books go in order of time throughout the night, making a strong timeline of events. There is an emergency call from Alfred at the Batcave that went out to all  Batman’s allies in Gotham that went out through all the books, which put where everyone was at a specific time when things were going down. Except for Catwoman’s chapter, she came later on in the book, but earlier in the night, and not as integral as the others.

This takes place right where the last volume left off, with a legion of The Court’s Talons woken up to set Gotham “straight” by killing a bunch of people on a hit-list. And at the end of Court of Owls, there were a lot of Talons flying of to get their targets.

howSince the Court of Owls has a lot of history within Gotham untold to us, there are many flashbacks showing  some of the Talons came to serve The Court. For instance, the Talon that fights Batgirl has an interesting back story, she was a schoolgirl making balloon bombs that Japan sent over  across the Pacific during World War II in Nagasaki. Another Talon was a poor kid in Gotham who fell in love with a girl from a higher class, a more told type of story, but it did give an origin to Dick Grayson’s last name, an unexpected revelation. Then there are some Talons, like in Batwing’s chapter who don’t have a background, or anything. He just shows up,  out to get his target, in that case it was Lucius Fox. Luckily most of the chapters are more interesting than not.

Night of Owls as a whole has a good pace going with interconnected scenes between the members of the bat-family, until the end. Catwoman doesn’t feel out-of-place, but if they mysteriously left her out you wouldn’t notice, and the final scenes are of Bruce and Alfred at the grave of Alfred’s father, who had also served the Wayne family. Which leaves with a lot of questions to ask, like where did all the Talons in the Batcave go after they had been frozen? Or, how did Dick’s great-grandfather, a Talon captured by Batman escaped the cave and found Nightwing, I thought he was on ice as well.

Volume two into “new” Batman is as good as the first a definitely worth reading, adding an entire new mythology to something that has been well established is hard, The Court and Night of Owls does it better than you would think.

The Killing Joke

Posted: March 2, 2015 in Comic
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  Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s most popular oversized single issue of Batman.

The start of it has The Dark Knight going to Arkham Asylum, walking past inmates and members of his rogue’s gallery to have a heart to heart conversation with The Joker.

With the way Bruce acts, this story has to take place near the end of Batman’s era. You know the time in a relationship when one person realizes the whole thing is just a miserable unhealthy existence, so they try to be an adult and talk it over. Batman even starts out the heart to heart by saying, I’ve been thinking about us a lot lately. Of course in this case when he says that one day eventually either I’ll kill you, or you’ll kill me, sooner or later, The Caped Crusader is talking about literal murder and not just giving them a beating.

That’s partly the reason when the person sitting across the table “fnapping” playing cards amidst a game of solitaire turned out to be an impostor, Batman got real mad. Partially because an insane criminal had gotten loose, but also because that other person in the conversation he was trying to have wasn’t there.

The insane escaped criminal in question was out, buying an old dilapidated carnival as a place to carry out his

own twisted plan. Which is one of the most iconic events to happen in this book and resonate throughout other story lines. The Joker shows up at Commissioner Gordon’s home and shoots Barbara Gordon point-blank while she was opening the door, paralyzing her from the waist down. It happened so fast, that by the bottom of the page The Joker was already in Gordon’s living room telling him that his daughter was most likely never going to walk again.  I think this was done on purpose, to show how life can change in a blink.

One of my favorite things in Batman is when he gets shown as a detective. Sometimes writers won’t show Batman going through the puzzle and just skip to the end, or Robin will figure it out and Batman is two steps ahead of everyone. It is nice to see The Dark Knight go through some detecting work, in this case talking to some of the underbelly of Gotham to get leads, culminating in him driving the Batmobile up to the carnival where his arch nemesis is and trying to have that heart to heart conversation again.

The Joker, who at this point kidnapped James Gordon, and before leaving the scene at the Gordon’s home had stripped the defenseless Barbara of her clothes and taken pictures of her, just to see if he can drive her father into madness. Who The Joker had caged and naked, only to be brought out and tortured emotionally by being forced to face the pictures of Barbara. Because The Clown Prince of Crime thinks we’re all just one bad day away from turning out like him, that even the most level even headed person could be pushed to insanity.

All this is being juxtaposed by a few flashbacks of The Joker, and how he had a normal life at one point. Well, “normal” as anyone can conceive of, he has a wife and baby on the way trying to make it with his comedy act. It is not an act any of the clubs want to show, so to get money to provide for his family The Joker turns to organized crime. Things go real bad the day of the crime, both personally for The Joker and when the heist goes down. The chemical plant The Joker used to work at, and the target for his shenanigans, hired more security and Batman shows up. During the chase from the altercation, Batman helps create the green haired clown we know as The Joker. I’m not real keen on having a solid background for The Joker, but the slice we see works for the story.

In the present, we have The Joker projecting what happened to him and it is not working. James Gordon still has some sanity left when Batman arrives.

The hero arrives, he’s not diving into the fray to kick-ass. Batman enters the scene, confronting The Joker, and starts with his “we need to talk” speech. The two tussle and The Joker runs off into the carnival, but before Batman goes after him commissioner Gordon tells him to bring him in by the book, to show how ineffective his plans were.

Off Batman goes to find The Joker, with full intentions of completing the “one day one of us is going to kill the other, but let’s talk and see if we can get over that” talk. There is a bit of a battle, Batman tells his adversary what he’s thinking, how the Commissioner moments before hand told him to do things by the book, and after The Joker pulls a gun on Batman with intention ro shoot him, but it turns out to be the wrong gun, he tells one last joke, Batman starts laughing. Then the camera pulls both characters out of shot and the laughing stops.

The way Batman acts, says that one day one of us is going to kill each other, sooner or later, you could imply Batman took care of it right there and killed The Joker on the spot. I think the way batman felt he needed to have that discussion, he already made up his mind about what he was going to do, and in the flashback scene where The Joker first emerges as the clown, you can see his reflection in a puddle. At the end, there is focus on a rain puddle, but no reflection. Maybe to imply Batman caused this creature to be born, and was the reason he was taken out.

Of course you could say none of that happened, if there was an extra last page Batman just punched The Joker out because he was fed up with him  yeah, you could say that, the end does not put a definite cap on the situation. However. Having Batman take things into his own hands and stopping his greatest foe permanently is vastly more interesting than, say having the same Batman/Joker story end with the bad guy sent to be locked up, only to escape and have a never-ending repeating story.

Should you read The Killing Joke for yourself? Totally, it’s worth the read, and it’s not super long either so it won’t take that long.

Master of the Future

Posted: February 16, 2015 in Comic
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  A sequel to the Victorian-era set Gotham by Gaslight Batman story sounds like a good plan. Brian Augustyn returned to write Master of the Future, although Mike Mignola didn’t return as well, Eduardo Barreto handles the turn of the century Gotham style.

Taking place a few years after the original, The Bat-Man has retired from crime fighting in the public eye. The person who killed Bruce’s parents had already been  dealt with, stopping all the petty crimes in Gotham doesn’t interest this Bat-Man.

Of course Wayne still fancy’s excitement, betting on boxing matches. Then when the match doesn’t go his way, and his friend fussed about the outcome, Bruce steps in the ring to take on a giant man. We never see the fight, just a crowd reaction then Bruce and his friend walking away talking about giving the money they won to an orphan relief fund.

it serves its purpose as an introduction to this new old style Batman, and his new companies. His friend from the boxing match Teddy, and Bruce’s love interest. A woman who was saved by Bat-Man one night.

The main plot of the book is that, Alexandre Leroi bursts into a courtroom where plans for Gotham’s entertainment are taking place. There’s a Buffalo Bill look-a-like trying to get the mayor to let him have his show in Gotham and make a few dollars. The mayor is not having any of what the man wants and shuts him down jus before the crazy french Leroi bursts through a window nine stories up declaring that he is the master of their future, a man of tomorrow, and to give him the city of Gotham and it is saved.

They mayor doesn’t give in and the big Gotham City fair will go on. Gordon is a little uneasy about not having Bat-Man around, but Bruce isn’t going to let the opportunity pass him by.

Alexandre pulls a stunt, on the mayor making finalizing the fair plans, where he sends a machine gun  on wheels covered in a circus clown mask trying to kill the mayor. Of course Bruce was there to save its intended target and take it out with one thrown pipe.

The day of the fair Leroi kidnaps the mayor as he’s getting ready and takes him up to his blimp driven by a mechano-man. The antagonist Alexandre is successful at try to destroy the fair, he set buildings on fire, and kills the mayor. However Bruce does save a few people and Alfred is there at the right moment to give him his Bat-clothes. Bat-Man does manage to save some people before going after Alexandre himself. One of the people he saves is his love interest. In the end, she figures out who Bat-Man is. Something simple like having Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend get repeatedly saved by Batman and have them not put two and two together gets old. 

Ultimately, if you like the beginning of twentieth style Batman story that was Gotham by Gaslight, Master of the Future won’t disappoint. DC’s Elseworld tales aren’t for everyone, but I like them, they tend to be different and interesting, and this book is both.

 

The Court of Owls

Posted: February 9, 2015 in Comic
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 The first volume of Batman in the New 52 era of DC comics was an awesome start. Yes, the whole restart the universe idea had a few kinks, but this is Batman, you don’t need much to get going.

The last writer/artist combo to take on The Dark Knight in the old universe is the first team to tackle a story in the new one. Author Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo did it right. After seventy-five years it’s hard to come up with an actual threat for Batman, there are several tomes on The Joker alone.

At first it seems an overrun Arkham is about to get loose and in the thick of it is The Caped Crusader battling back. At one point, looking like he teams up with The Joker to help with the rumble, even commissioner Gordon was confused. Turns out it was Dick in a future E.M.P mask that looks like something out of Mission Impossible. I don’t know what E.M.P. means, they don’t say, but it looks cool.

In the same scene the former Robin appears, Bruce tells Dick he is trying out a new contact lens that has the whole Bat-computer linked to it. Those two little bits put this whole world into the near future with better technology, but not so far off the gadgets seem like they’re that far into the future.

Anyway the story revolves around a Gotham City specific nursery rhyme about how a court of owls is always watching and not to turn or they’ll get you. It is a touch creepy, but nursery rhymes usually are if you think about them. 

It seems The Court of Owls is something Bruce looks in on, in his spare time of course, and he’s always come up empty. So when things start to look like they exist, Batman denies their existence. Until Bruce finds himself trapped in one of the Court of Owls labyrinths.

Then it gets interesting. The story does what stories do, but the art goes in a non-traditional direction. Batman spends at least a few days in a maze, after some time he starts looking  ragged. At the same time the art gets topsy turvy, you have to slowly turn the book around every page or two. I thought the whole ideas was interesting. Though I wouldn’t know how to do that with the digital version. either it would play out like a regular comic, or the auto-orientation would make the upside down pages tough to read.

This book is a good read, it does it’s fair share of interesting and does a few things that give you some new mythos in the world of Batman. You’re a Batman fan, new things are good, this is fun, you should read this.

 Dark Knight Returns is one of the books that seems to be on everyone’s short list of must read Batman stories. Everything about an older retired Batman coming back to take down the criminal low life that spawned up once he went away sounds awesome.

A future Batman story by Frank Miller let’s you know a few things, Batman is going to be one hell of a grizzled old man, he is going to do whatever it takes to make his side the winning side, and Batman is going to act a little crazy while doing it. The art is hit or miss, there are some iconic images in the book, and others look a bit hastily drawn. There is an awful lot of individual panels as well, which is ok, I didn’t get lost in the book, but I’d prefer something that flows more fluid than have too many panels.  It’s not like there is a loss on words either, there is a lot of information given in each of those comic windows.

Back story goes, Batman retired due to the government stepping in on anyone who would dress up and play vigilante, and there may have been some legal trouble. Some of the villains and bad guys wanted to press charges against the heroes, but the police couldn’t arrest a masked man. Actually, it kind of sounds like Marvel’s Civil War storyline, after that happened, and you only see the dark future if Ironman won out. Honestly, I don’t know how that actually ended, the concerns of that universe are for another time.

In the Batman cosmos, some heroes sided with the government, some decided to stop, and others decided to fight. Eventually the government won and out and stop to masked vigilantism, but that didn’t stop the criminal underbelly of Gotham from overloading and exploding throughout the years of Bruce’s secret retirement.

Of course Bruce doesn’t like any sense of that. At the start of where the story starts ten years after that, the former Batman is on a track, in a car racing about. He gets into an accident, but Bruce escaped for the most part unscathed, seems old Bruce still searched for some excitement from time to time.

At one point James Gordon and Bruce Wayne are having a drink to celebrate Gordon’s soon retirement, in which they have a conversation about Bruce having to stop being Batman and what he did to cope with being forced out. Turns out it was alcohol.

Everything in Gotham went to hell when Batman went away, unsettling to Bruce after the years. So when his old friend Harvey Dent snaps back into being an outlaw, albeit a ultimately brief excursion in the story, that’s the catalyst Bruce needs to go and put the cape and cowl back on.

After that, the story goes and doesn’t look back. Bruce brings back the Bat, troubling for some, including Dr. Bartholomew Wolper, a psychiatrist of sorts, to the former Rogues Gallery of Gotham, most notably the aforementioned Harvey Dent and a catatonic like The Joker. In returning to Batman, he also inspires others to stand up for themselves and not take the over growing crime laying down. So out of that comes a new Robin.

  Enter Carrie Kelley, and I will say she may perhaps be the single most important character that Batman saved one night. Without her deciding to seek out and help Batman, Bruce dies face down in the mud during a fight with the leader of the Mutant gang, the most anti-climatic ending this book could have. Instead an overenthusiastic old man running around like he was twenty, “baptised by the rain”, in his words, decides to go toe to toe with a man at least half his age and twice his size, because he had to know if he could. Not stopping to think if he should, which isn’t the type of thing Batman does characteristically, but he is a bit rusty and impatient. Good thing a new Robin spawned into the light at the last second to stop Batman from having his head caved in.

Inevitably two important people see what Bruce has done. The government catches what’s up and President Reagan sends Superman to see what’s up, and to tell Bruce to stop. The other one, is The Joker, who comes out of his mellow comatose like phase and starts killing people again, starting with a late night talk show audience on television.

The conclusion to both of these threads could have been the climax to the book. Batman ends his longtime feud with The Joker permanently, and as an old man fights Superman. And wins.

Batman ending The Joker is a big deal. Even though Bruce doesn’t go all the way and intentionally left his old foe paralyzed, a younger Bruce wouldn’t have ever gone through and done that, or else he would have done so before. Even though killing The Joker is something that has probably crossed his mind more than once. Over the years the thought of killing Joker must have worn down Bruce over the years, added to Batman’s new thirst for vengeance, and The Dark Knight no longer puts up with his adversary anymore. However in the end, Batman gave Joker the upper hand and with a twist of his neck, The Joker finished what Batman couldn’t and killed himself.

The epic fight between Batman and Superman still stands as one of the most iconic clashes in comics. Even the upcoming Batman vs Superman movie is taking some imagery from this. There’s something about Batman putting on a suit of armor to go one on one with The Big Blue Boy Scout, with a plan of course. Even in a weakened state that Superman was, apparently  a nuclear bomb can take Superman down a peg or two, it still took everything Batman had. The fight itself is epic, Batman has to use his allies, as well as the big battle suit to fight Clark. Even though there is a huge foreshadowing moment when Bruce brings up Oliver Queen when Superman comes with a government approved cease and desist order. A balding Emerald Archer comes out of nowhere to snipe Superman with a kryptonite arrow. It’s not enough to kill Clark, that’s not what Bruce wants, but it is enough to turn the tide of the fight in Bruce’s favor, and he beats Superman, and Batman wants Clark to know that.

In the end, Bruce knows he can’t do everything as an old man, and resurrecting Batman started inspiring people to follow in his footsteps. During the fight with Superman Bruce fakes his death after giving Clark a pummeling,  and goes underground where he and Robin can round-up those who want to be taught by Batman to take a stand against crime. It’s a good ending you don’t see coming.

If you’re interested in this, as you should be, and don’t like reading, which makes you lame, DC decided to make this an animated movie. Instead of condensing the story down to eighty minutes, they divided it up into two parts. Not cutting half the story was a good idea.

Peter Weller lends his voice to Batman here, and is fantastic. Something about Robocop as an older Dark Knight hits a weird spot. The rest of the voices aren’t to shabby either. Although I will say I thought David Selby’s Commissioner Gordon would break out into a southern drawl at some point, he never did.

The look and the animation is superb, this is my favorite DC animated movie to date. DC took one of their all time best stories and did an excellent job adopting it into another form of media, which as we all know can be super tricky.

If you consider yourself a Batman fan, and for whatever reason haven’t read or watched The Dark Knight Returns, you really, really should.

 

Batman/Superman

Posted: November 17, 2014 in Comic
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The ultimate superhero team-up Batman and Superman. Early on, there was a comic called World’s Finest, but for whatever reason the comic was separate parts a Batman story, and a Superman story. They didn’t actually crossover and team-up until later on, which is crazy to think about, or I think so anyway.

Which Is why when I heard Jeph Loeb and Ed Mcguiness were doing a Batman/Superman team-up book I thought it was one of the better ideas.

Loeb had written Batman before with the Hush storyline, and I liked Mcguiness’ art when he was on the regular Superman comic, so my hopes were high.

The thing about Ed Mcguiness that I like is that, it looks fun to draw its bold and colorful. The line work is solid, and the characters seem to pop off the page.

Storyline wise, it starts off in Gotham city with Superman getting shot by a kryptonite bullet, and ends up in space with a giant one half Batman, one half Superman mech. It’s a far too outlandish story for just Batman, and some of the other characters in the book, like Atom, and Shazam, you don’t see Batman meeting on a regular basis, it shows Batman connected to a bigger world. I don’t think even as a businessman Bruce Wayne interacts with Lex Luthor that much, and when they do meet, Superman is definitely in the mix, including here.

I liked this fun read of a book, they even made it into a DC animated feature if you don’t want to read, but that’s just silly. Do both.

Hey, remember that time a few years ago now where Darkseid shot his omega beams and hit Batman and he died? Well. That happened, but Batman didn’t die, he just got sent back through time and made his way back over the course of about year. Maybe it’s just me, but that plot sounds vaguely familiar. Anyway.

During that time the mantle of Batman was fought over by a few people. I thought it would have been more interesting if they had gone and made three Batmen, one for each former Robins at the time, highlighting their individual strengths. DC Comics had other plans, made Dick Grayson Batman for a while, teamed him up with Damian Wayne as Robin, after being trained to be an assassin Damian was a good choice.

Then, and here comes the best part, DC Comics decides to have Grant Morrison write a book featuring a book with Dick Grayson as Batman and Young Damian as Robin. With Frank Quitely art.

Story is good, although you are reading Grant Morrison, so read it reads better as a collection rather than piece by piece. Don’t get me wrong, there are great little scenes. After Gordon calls Batman with the Batlight, Jim can tell there is a different man in the suit and remarks, “Didn’t you used to be taller”. It also has this fantastic turning point for Damian. he gets kidnapped and tied up by this new Batvillain Professor Pyg. when he comes to Damian doesn’t show signs of being afraid, or worry about whether Dick can come and save him. The young Robin simply asks who tied him up so that they are the first ones he punches in the face. It’s a transformation from being a jerk punk of a kid, to someone who can handle the pressure of being in that position and not freak out because there is a man wearing a pig mask, who might want to cut off his face.

Graphically, Frank Quitely is an artist you either like, or can’t stand, and he has grown on me over some years, I liked his run on New X-Men, it’s full of little details that get overlooked if your too fast.
Overall the story is alright. It mostly sets up for Bruce’s inevitable return and Damian’s introduction. It’s far from anything I would call necessary Batman reading at this point, but it is a satisfactory part of Bat-history.

Batman #33

Posted: July 23, 2014 in Comic
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photo Most times when I say to myself I should start reading more comics, or comics in general two things usually happen. The first is new books and I are rarely ever in the same place at the same time. There is a deli near my apartment that has comics, on a rack, and the newest ones are still older than my sister, who turned 21 last month. Seriously. The second being, when the planets do align and I get something from this decade it’s in the middle of the story and generally I can catch on super quick and enjoy what I get. 

Lucky for me that’s not really the age we live in any more, thanks to digital comics and comixology. Say what you will about recent changes, I have the same complaints, and I do prefer physical books still. Except it might be the most consistent source for new comics for me, so there’s that.

If my budget were bigger I’d read all the Batman books, and there are a lot of DC published comic books with or are within the whole of the Batman universe. So I started with Batman #33.

A red-haired James Gordon trying to help Batman save the city. Surely he'll be comissioner one day.

A red-haired James Gordon trying to help Batman save the city. Surely he’ll be commissioner one day.

Penned by Scott Snyder and Penciled by Greg Capullo, a duo I think who has been on the series a majority of the now 33 issues and I can see why.

Even though this is the finale of the whole Zero Year story where The Riddler crippled Gotham City so hard it turned into The Walking Dead minus the zombies.

This being the end of the tale, I skipped everything and now Riddler has Batman in a laser trap where he has to answer riddles before the jets get to the city. I don’t know why presumably the government says, Gotham City is in total blackout better blow the thing up. But that’s the kind of knowledge you would have by NOT skipping to the end.

While Batman is dealing with The Riddler, the not-yet-commissioner Gordon and Lucius Fox try to block The Riddler’s signal to the city and get the incoming jets to not drop bombs on the city.

I won’t outright spoil the ending, but this is the final chapter to a story called Zero Year, and move on…

To the art, which is fantastic. I didn’t have a hard time flowing from one panel to the next. Ok, so maybe the guided view had a helping hand in that, but even then Capullo does some fine work with a decent amount of detail. For example, Batman in this “first appearance” has purple gloves. Which might go more to the colorist Fco Plascencia as credited in the issue, who did a good job as well. I’m just saying I like the way this looks.
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If you haven’t read any part in Zero Year, the finale is not the place to start. Ideally i wouldn’t have either, I just wanted to start somewhere and not wait another month for the beginning of the next Dark Knight chapter. Which now I can’t wait for.

 

[Spoilers, maybe if you’re into that] And because we both know this was going to happen.

Hush

Posted: June 30, 2014 in Comic
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Written by Jeph Loeb and art by Jim lee, hush is one of my favorite Stories about Batman.

One of the big reasons why I liked it so much is that, it was a mystery. Setup was issue one, and each month you got a little piece of the story. It takes the villain of the month concept and connects them into a tale along the way. Reading it As a collection is a bit different, it is still good, you just aren’t going to take a whole year to read it. Well hopefully not anyway.

The one gripe I have with Hush is, if you read DC comics, or even just Batman, you know all the characters in the book. Catwoman, Two-Face, even Superman all make appearances. Bruce and Nightwing talk like a father and his adult son would. The exception being Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend that comes back to Gotham, Thomas Elliot. Which, when one supposed lifetime friend of a major character, you’ve never heard of before in comics shows up, its like wearing a red shirt in Star Trek, you have a strong sense about where this is going. It’s like that, except Hush’s mystery is a bit deeper than that.

This I’m pretty sure, marks the almost return of Jason Todd, the Robin who was dead for twenty-ish years come back from the grave. Well, heavily hinted at coming back. Weird part is, for as realistic as Batman can be, there is a very set way of bringing people back from the dead, Ra’s Al Gul’s Lazarus Pits. Which are used sparsely enough throughout Batman stories as a whole. Caveat being whoever uses them tends to come back a little more mentally unhinged each time, so it was surprising when Batman said he had thought of using one to bring Jason back as soon as he died, but ultimately never did.

I think the action bits are just as good as the detective parts. Thanks a lot to Jim Lee’s art, character designs are amazing, and there are some pretty awesome splashes as well. Batman fights Superman at one point. There is an iconic image of The Dark Knight, while wearing a kryptonite ring, punching Big Blue in the face You might think that’s something that happens every other Thursday, but doesn’t happen that way at all in comics.

In the end, I think the story holds up, maybe not as well as the art, the finale gets weird when you have time to sit and think about such things, but it’s alright. Read it and you’ll see a bunch of memorable scenes almost non-stop. Batman almost kills The Joker at one point. They’re fighting and Batman just puts Joker on the ropes and seriously considers ending Joker’s reign of laughs forever, but Commissioner Gordon steps in and says if The Dark Knight pulls that trigger he has to arrest him for murder, and Batman is not about to become the criminal he tries to keep off the streets of Gotham.

Hush is a great Batman tale that is both action and mystery, the best kind