Two comics on the agenda tonight, one that I have zero expectations for, while the other one should be good... With James Robinson and Eddy Barrows serving as the creative team behind BN: JSA, I definitely expect big things. Hell, whenever I see James Robinson's name near the JSA, I start thinking about Starman, and everything becomes right in my world. If James can capture just a little bit of his Starman magic in this mini, it should be awesome. On the other hand, Tony Daniel's Batman run has been unspectacular to say the least... It's just been a mess from the get-go. Besides the fact that there's WAY too much Penguin in this series for my liking, I'm not really fond of the Black Mask thing. It seems like a big time rip-off of Ed Brubaker's spectacular work with the Red Skull over in Captain America not all that long ago. Alright, enough talking, let's get to these books.
Blackest Night: JSA #1(of 3): Writer: James Robinson. Pencils: Eddy Barrows.
We begin with the Black Lantern versions of Sandman, Dr. Midnite and Mr. Terrific recalling their lives and being raised as BL's. From there we head to the heart of New York City, where the JSA is battling a small army of Black Lanterns, including the aforementioned three deceased heroes, as well as several other dead characters with connections to the JSA. While the battle rages on in the streets, Mr. Terrific(the live one), Power Girl and Wildcat are at STAR Labs, where Mr. Terrific is studying the corpses of BL Superman-2 and BL Psycho Pirate with the hope that he'll be able to deduce a way to end the threat of the BL's once and for all. Terrific figures that he's going to need to create a light to counteract the Black Lanterns so he gets in touch with Flash(Jay Garrick)and tells him to bring Green Lantern(Alan Scott), Stargirl, Thunder and Dr. Fate to the Lab. Flash does as he's told, and Terrific comes to the realization that if he's figured out a course of action, BL Mr. Terrific is sure to try to counter it, and this issue ends with BL Terrific leading an army of BL's straight to STAR Labs and Mr. Terrific.
Oh yeah, I most definitely enjoyed this issue! Besides the main story, you also had the JSA coming face to face with their recently deceased teammate BL Damage, as well as Earth-2's BL Lois Lane going after Ma Hunkel, who is saved by the timely arrival of Power Girl, who is originally from Earth-2 and was like a daughter to BL Lois, plus we also get Liberty Belle running into her dead father, Johnny Quick. Add great action sequences, fabulous storytelling(the retelling of the lives and deaths of Sandman, the original Dr. Midnite and the original Mr. Terrific was fantastic)and good dialogue, and I've got nothing to complain about! Man did I need to read something like this, because I was getting pretty tired of the BN storyline. This one issue has me re-psyched for the rest of the Blackest Night story!
Score: 9 out of 10.Anytime Jack Knight appears in a comic book(even in a flashback)I automatically add 1/2 to the score!
Batman #695: Writer/Pencils: Tony Daniel.
Batman tortures some answers from the Gene-Core scientist who didn't die in the elevator "accident" last issue, and finds out that a girl named Kitrina Falcone had been blackmailing him. Bats heads to the Falcone family home where he discovers two mafia goons fishing a box out of a lake. Kitrina was supposed to have been drowned in the box, but the goons discover she had somehow managed to escape her watery grave, and Bats beats them up and them proceeds to burn down Falcone's house. Catwoman finds Kitrina trying to rob from one of her safehouses, and attacks and ties up the girl, alerting Bats of who she had captured. Huntress, who was tailing the head of the Falcone crime family(Mario), witnesses Reaper attacking Falcone's car, and steps in to prevent Mario's death. While Huntress and Reaper are doing battle, Bats arrives on the scene and attacks Reaper, but Reaper manages to give both Bats and Huntress the slip. From there, Bats heads to Catwoman and the two discover Kitrina had managed to escape. Oracle calls Bats and informs him that Kitrina had called the Penguin 15 minutes earlier from one of the Mad Hatter's bases. Bats heads to Hatter's base(an abandoned amusement park)and enters the fun house, where he is attacked by a murder of poisonous crows... Uh huh... This issue ends with the Penguin and the Mad Hatter placing one of Black Mask's gas masks on Batman's head, with Penguin informing Bats that they'd make great partners.
The Mad Hatter?!? Are you frigging kidding me!?! Hey, all we need now is Toyman and we'll have the three most pathetic villains in all of the DC universe in one place! I almost don't know what to say... So we have a fat guy with an umbrella fetish and a midget with a hat fetish teaming up to take on the fake Black Mask(who I'm beginning to think may be Hush). You've got to love Dick's plan toward the end of this issue, where he simply decides to walk RIGHT into the Mad Hatter's trap! Um, wouldn't the more prudent course of action be to, I don't know, scout around and find another way into the fun house?!? Jeez, if Bruce were dead, he'd be rolling in his grave! So now we have Kitrina Falcone, who is working for the Penguin(I guess...), still free, Mario Falcone, is still around, although I have no clue what he brings to this storyline, the Penguin and the Mad Hatter seem like they're going to use Batman to strike at Black Mask, who coincidentally didn't even appear in this issue! Besides that, the Riddler seems to have lost much of his memory(I have NO idea where THAT fits into this story), Reaper is rotting away, Damian is still trying to figure out the mystery behind Black Mask's gas masks, Dick has a conversation with Dr. Arkham and Dick and Catwoman run around looking like amateurs... What a convoluted mess!
Score: 5 out of 10.The Penguin AND the Mad hatter in the same comic book?!? You have GOT to be kidding me!