Since I'm still waiting on my comic book order of over a month ago(has it really been THAT long?)I've been reading a lot of my rainy day back issues this past week. Sure, I'll get a few new books here and there thanks to my various subscriptions, but that blasted mail snafu has put a major crimp in my comic book reading. I've got like a dozen or so comics that I can't read because I don't have the prior issues. Unfortunately there's not much I can do here... I sent out an e-mail to the comic shop I placed the order with to see if they've heard anything from the USPS earlier today, but they still haven't gotten back to me. After that I guess I'll send ANOTHER e-mail out to the USPS and see what they have to say. *sigh* Besides that, the weather's been nice, school has been rapidly moving towards winter break, and everything else is pretty good. Well, with the formalities out of the way, it's time to get into the comics.
Titans #18- I read this comic a few weeks ago, but never got around to doing a proper review for it. Whoops. So, instead of wasting a post on a month old comic, I figure I'll just talk about this issue here. It was a spotlight on Raven and her evil brothers. The main gist of it was that one of Raven's evil brothers told her that no matter what she did, she'd always be Trigon's family, with Raven retorting that she considers the Titans as her family, even though the Titans are currently a very fractured bunch. By the end of this issue, Raven is wondering where she should go from the Titans(hint:the Teen Titans.). For a Raven story this was OK, I've never really been that into Raven's character, so I wasn't exactly doing cartwheels over a comic that spotlighted her. If you like Raven, then my guess is that you'd enjoy this comic. I don't like Raven, so to me this comic was OK, and nothing more. Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
Batman: Streets of Gotham #3 & 4- I've got to say, I've been very happy with this series thus far. It's definitely earned a permanent spot on my pull list. The main feature has been very good, and the Second Feature starring Manhunter has been fantastic. I really don't have anything negative to say, so I'll just post my score and move on. Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.
Batman Annual #11- My sister gave me this comic a few months ago and I can distinctly remember her telling me that she thought this was a very funny comic book. It wound up in my rainy day comic book pile until this past week, and you know what, it was absolutely hilarious! The annual dealt with two separate stories, the first was about Clayface(Preston Payne)and his love affair with Helena, who just so happens to be a mannequin... The second story dealt with the Penguin falling in love with a woman and deciding to turn over a new leaf, although the Batman didn't believe the Penguin was a changed man. The Penguin story was good, and remember, I hate the Penguin and I still liked that story, so that should say a lot right there. The Clayface story was positively genius. All I can say is Clayface accusing Batman of having an affair with Helena and Batman's subsequent reaction was laugh out loud funny stuff. Score: 9 out of 10.
JLA 80-Page Giant #2- This comic had 7 different stories in it, and I'd say the good definitely outweighed the bad. For the record, here's the story listing. Batman and Green Arrow starred in the first story, which consisted of GA and Bats early days and GA trying to prove that Bats was actually Bruce Wayne. Story two featured the dysfunctional silver-age JLA, while the third story told a tale of the late 1990's League dealing with realistic robots. The forth story was a tale about Wonder Woman trying to bring Huntress and Big Barda together, #5 featured Superman and the Atom taking down a living intergalactic spacecreft. The sixth story was about Orion being forced into a partnership with Plastic Man to save the west coast, and the final story featured Justice League A from the DC One Million event. For me the high point was the GA/Bats story, while the low point was the Wonder Woman, Huntress, and Big Barda one. All in all, this was an OK collection of stories that I'd give a mild recommendation to. Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
War of Kings: Warriors #1 & 2- These two comic tied into the War of Kings x-over from a few months back. While I enjoyed War for the most part, I wasn't exactly blown away by these two comics. The first one featured a story on Gladiator's origin(yawn)and a feature on KING Blastarr of the Negative Zone. The second comic featured stories on Crystal and an origin tale on Lilandra. Seeing as that I don't like Crystal, Gladiator OR Lilandra, that should give you some idea of what I thought about these two comics. I definitely could have found a better way to spend $8... Score: 5 out of 10.
OMAC Project TPB- This trade collected Countdown to Infinite Crisis, The OMAC Project #1-6 as well as Wonder Woman #219. We really get a little bit of everything here. Ted Kord's death, Maxwell Lord's insanity, angry robots, Maxwell Lord's death, and Brother Eye taunting Batman. To me that's the recipe for a pretty good story! I've always liked the idea of Brother Eye and the OMAC's, so this trade was definitely right up my alley. I'm still not sure how/why Maxwell Lord went from the JLA's inept liaison to an evil mastermind, but whatever I guess. This was a good trade with a good story, the only thing that sort of bothered me was the fact that the story actually finished up in Infinite Crisis, not in this trade, but since I read IC, that's really no biggie. Score: 8 out of 10.
Superman/Batman #53-56- The story here was that due to some magical mishap, Batman and Superman swapped powersets. So, Bruce gained all of Superman's powers and Supes gained... Well nothing, he was left totally powerless. While Superman and Zatanna try to track down a way to reverse the spell, Super-Batman decides to eradicate crime the world over. This was a very good story for a few reasons. First off, it was just cool to see Bruce flying around in his Batman gear with glowing red eyes. If I was a criminal, that right there would scare the hell out of me! It was also interesting to see Bruce decide to dedicate himself to using Superman's powers to travel the globe halting all crime everywhere. On one hand it really made me wonder why Clark couldn't do the same thing. In the blink of an eye the guy can go from one part of the planet to the other, he doesn't need to sleep or eat, and with his speed, strength and other powers, why doesn't Supes stamp out all crime planetwide? On the other hand though, if Supes did decide to take such drastic actions he'd seem more like a tyrant then a hero, and that was kind of the crux of this story. Bruce kept becoming more and more enamoured by his powers and abilities and allowed himself to get completely out of control. Of course in the end there was a cop-out reason as to why Bruce acted in the manner he did, but for the most part this story was very well done. Score: 9 out of 10.
Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood TPB- This trade collected Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood #1-6. On a rainy night in Gotham, the cops find a dead mobster floating in the river with a crossbow bolt sticking out of his chest. Batman arrives on the scene and immediately figures Huntress was responsible. Bats stops by Huntress' apartment and discovers her drying her wet hair. Huntress claims she didn't kill the mobster, and that she had just taken a shower. Bats gives her the benefit of the doubt and leaves. The next day, a newspaper reporter runs a piece slamming Huntress, and Huntress decides to pay the reporter a little visit, since the reporter is obviously in the mobs pocket. Upon arriving at the reporters apartment, Huntress discovers the woman dead with several crossbow bolts gutting out of her chest. On top of that, the police were called by somebody, so Huntress makes a quick escape and runs right into Batman and Nightwing, who are now severely doubting Huntress' claims of innocence. The three wind up fighting, Batman is accidentally shot by Huntress' crossbow, which enrages Nightwing, and Huntress winds up getting knocked off the rooftop where they were doing battle, landing in a river, where she is pulled out by the Question?!? From there, the Question helps Huntress get out of Gotham and the two decide to try to clear Huntress' name. This was a highly enjoyable mini, especially for me, since so many of my favorite characters were placed in prominent roles. I've always been a big Huntress fan, and it was great to see the Vic Sage version of the Question make an appearance here as well. The end of this mini was a little vexing, but other then that, this was a very good trade. Score: 9 out of 10.
JLA: Crisis of Conscience TPB- This trade collected JLA #115-119 and came spinning out of the events of Identity Crisis, namely the JLA deciding to force Batman to forget about their mindwiping of the evil Dr. Light. Flash(Wally West), who found out about what the JLA did to Batman during Identity Crisis, calls the JLAers who made up the team during the Dr. Light/Batman mindwipings and tells them that if they don't tell Batman what they did to him, he will. Before the JLAers can decide whether or not to tell Bats what they did, they are interrupted by the Martian Manhunter, who when told what happened is sure Batman already knows. Before the League can go to Batman, they receive a distress call from the Red Tornado, and when the League arrives to help, they find Tornado wrecked and are ambushed by the Wizard and his Secret Society of Super-Villains. The Wizard and his crew defeat the heroes and transports them all to Gotham, where he runs into Batman. Wizard reveals that him and his Society know all of the secret identities of the JLA members and that they intend on attacking the League through friends and loved ones. The villains make their exits, thus leaving the JLA with the same choice they faced years ago, what do you do about a collection of villains with knowledge of your secret identity and no qualms about using that knowledge to hurt or kill your loved ones? Now this was a great story. Which is no real surprise since it was written by Geoff Johns and Allan Heinberg(Young Avengers). The story and characterizations were great, so it should go without saying that I highly recommend this trade. Score 9 1/2 out of 10.
Whew, that was a lot of comics! That's it for this week, as always, Long Live The Legion!