I'm sure burning through the new books I ordered last week in a pretty rapid fashion... Luckily I placed another comic order this past Wednesday, so hopefully I'll be getting this week's books as early as tomorrow. Speaking of comic orders, since I'm pretty sure Blackest Night #8 is dropping this coming Wednesday, I'm going to see if there are any back issues I've been needing so I can place yet ANOTHER order to fill out my shopping cart. So yeah, that'll be three consecutive weeks of CB orders, which means after BN winds down, it's time to start to show just a little restraint... HA! Yeah right! So it's three DC reviews on the agenda tonight. Unfortunately one of them is written in Morrisonese, which means I probably won't have the damnedest idea as to what's going on... Might as well start at the bottom first, no?
Batman & Robin #10: Writer: “Mad” Grant Morrison. Pencils: Andy Clarke.
Last Issue: 6 1/2 out of 10.
This issue starts with Damian(he's only TEN YEARS OLD!!!)Wayne holding a meeting with the Board of Directors of Wayne Enterprises... Damian levels accusations of financial irregularities at some of the board members, and they ACTUALLY LISTEN to him!!! My god, I think my IQ just fell 40 points... I mean, I don't care how smart he is, he's TEN!!! While Damian is making me want to gouge my eyes out with a rusty icepick, Dick “I'm still Batman?!?” Grayson is meeting with some weird guy named Oberon Sexton, who tells Dick that he suspects that the Domino Killer(whoever the hell HE is)is probably targeting Bruce Wayne since the Domino Killer was hunting down members of the Black Glove(which the media insinuated Bruce to have been a member of... I guess). Dick acts confused and leaves, returning to Wayne Manor where he meets Damian and Alfred, who had shut down the Manor's electric systems since they are unsure of whether or not they had picked up all of El Sombrero's eavesdropping devices... El Sombrero? Really?!? So the guy's name translates to The Hat!?! Anyway, the trio discuss the fact that they now seem to believe that Bruce Wayne is alive and trapped in time, and as such they begin to search the Manor for any possible clues Bruce(while trapped in the past)may have left for them. Everyone wanders around, with Dick and Damian discovering some secret passage that leads them to a mysterious room of suits of armor. While this is happening, some goons try to attack Oberon Sexton, but he manages to get away. While Damian and Dick are searching the secret room, Damian begins to realize that when Bruce returns he'll probably lose his place as Robin, so he begins to get even more bitchy then usual. We then get a flashback to the last time Damian and Talia were together, where she was trying to sow seeds of doubt about the way the Bat-family felt about Damian. Back in the present, Dick begins to investigate a strange symbol on the floor of the secret room, as Damian grabs a sword from one of the suits of armor and takes a swing at the back of Dick's neck. Before Damian can connect, Dick falls through the floor, landing in a DOUBLE secret chamber! Ooo, Wayne Manor is sure quite the mysterious place! Damian seems to snap out of a trance and realizing what he almost did, runs away screaming about what his mother did to him. Dick wanders around the DOUBLE secret chamber and finds a strange alter with the Bat logo etched into the floor, as well as the word, “Barbatos” carved into the wall. Damian runs through the graveyard at the Manor(every home should have one!)and bumps into Sexton, who tells Damian to keep quiet, since the minions of the Domino Killer were spread all throughout the graveyard, ending this issue.
I don't even know what to say... What a mess! For me, the tone was set right from the start when Damian was heading a meeting with the Board of Directors at Wayne Enterprises. OK, I get it, Grant LOVES Damian, and Damian can do NO wrong, but come on, this is getting insane now! Are you really going to tell me that Wayne Enterprises, a multi-BILLION dollar company would even ENTERTAIN the notion of having Damian at one of their meetings?!? I mean there's suspending belief, but that's going TOO far! With that bad taste already in my mouth, I could never really get into the rest of this story. It was more of Grant's bizarre, nonsensical insanity. Knowing how crazy Bruce Wayne is(the guy built a multi-million dollar Batcave!)I can't believe that he would have been unaware of all of these secret rooms/passages hidden throughout the Manor. If I wanted to get REALLY nit-picky, I'd point out that those secret rooms should have been almost in ruins thanks to the Gotham City earthquake of a few years back... If you like Grant's Batman work, then I'd guess you'd probably like this issue. If you're like me, and can't decipher Morrisonese, then you're probably glad this issue ended when it did!
Score: 4 out of 10.Yeah, I'm sure this happens to all of the Fortune 500 companies...
Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton #1(of 3): Writers: James Robinson & Sterling Gates. Artist: Pete Woods.
We begin this mini where the World of New Krypton maxi-series ended, with Brainiac launching a massive attack on the Kryptonian homeworld. Unlike the first time Brainiac attacked the Kryptonians and stole the city of Kandor, this time around the Kryptonians are empowered by the yellow sun, and as such go about trying to defend themselves against Brainaic's robotic minions. Unfortunately, Brainiac's robots are equipped with weapons designed to neutralize the Kryptonians super-powers, which leads to Brainiac's forces pushing the Kryptonian forces backwards. While Superman and his Red Shard military unit are racing around the streets trying to destroy as many robots as they can, General Zod fires a massively powerful blast at Brainiac's ship, which kills several members of the Kryptonian military who were trying to attack Brainiac's ship, while doing absolutely NO damage to the ship itself. Supes, having seen what had happened, and witnessing the deaths of the military members, confronts Zod, who calls the incident unfortunate and calls the dead soldiers collateral damage. That does it for Supes, who quits the military guild, tears off his uniform and launches skyward back in his familiar red and blue. While Supes is taking the fight to Brainiac's ship, Supergirl assists her mother, who was being mobbed by robots and gets her out of harms way. SG drops her mother off with General Zod, where she figured she'd be safe, and heads back into the streets to try to fight off Brainiac's forces. Unfortunately for the Girl of Steel, Brainiac's forces hit her with a blast of red sunlight and prepare to kill her. Before the robots can finish the job, Superboy, Mon-El and the Legion of OLD Super-heroes arrive on the scene and rescue her. After cleaning up the robots, SG brings SB and company to Zod, and the OLD Legionaries tell him that he must not destroy Brainiac, because Brainiac still has several captive bottle cities aboard his ship, and destroying the ship would destroy those cities. Zod tells them that he understands, and he asks SG to go back out to help her people. Mon-El joins her, and after they leave, Zod commands his men to arrest SB and the OLD Legion, calling them maniacs. Back in space, Superman manages to bypass Brainiac's ship's force-field, and gets on board. After tearing through the few robots there, he runs into Brainiac himself in his room of bottled cities. Before Supes can launch an attack against Brainiac, Supes is struck down by a powerful blast fired by Lex Luthor(!). Needless to say, that ends this issue.
This was a VERY good beginning to this mini. The story was sound(Brainiac either wants to take back Kandor or destroy it), the artwork was good and everything blended together nicely. I was pleasantly surprised to see Lex standing with Brainiac, mainly because I had forgotten that they were working together... Whoops! Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, the addition of Lex can only help this mini, so it was great to see him here. The only thing that annoyed me about this one was the addition of the OLD Legion, but at least they were for the most part inoffensive. It should go without saying that I'll be collecting all three parts of this mini, as well as the other x-over stuff.
Score: 9 out of 10.Come on everybody, say it with me, "IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!"
Titans #23: Writer: Eddie Berganza. Pencils: Scott Clark and Ardian Syaf.
Last Issue: 7 1/2 out of 10.
This issue begins with a flashback that completely misrepresents what the original Teen Titans were all about, so I'm going to completely ignore it, lest I go off on some kind of a rant. After the awful flashback, we find Batman(Dick Grayson), Donna Troy and that OTHER Flash(Wally West)heading to Titan Tower to look at the new statue that was erected for their fallen teammate Tempest. While there, they get word from Cyborg that they should get to the bedside of Roy Harper since things weren't looking very good for him. We get a few more flashbacks detailing how much Flash hated Roy in the beginning because of the fact that they both had a thing for Donna, which would lead to tons of tension between Wally and Roy during their early years. Donna paints a different picture of Roy then the guys ever saw, stating that he was very sensitive with her. After the flashback sequences end, the three remaining original Teen Titans arrive at STAR Labs and sit at the bedside of the ailing archer. Dick begins to get upset and wants to leave(which would be the Batman way of doing things), but Donna convinces him to stay. Cyborg informs them that the doctors had finally halted the spread of the nanites that Prometheus introduced into Roy's system, which prompts Wally to run off to hug his wife and kids. This issue concludes with Wally having one final flashback where he finally buried the hatchet with Roy, mainly due to seeing how much Roy had grown over the years, and seeing the type of father Roy had become.
This was a good issue, although some of the flashback stuff ran contrary to my knowledge of Teen Titan history. I don't recall the original Teen Titans being a bunch of out of control kids, nor did I think Wally and Roy's relationship was nearly as bad as some of these flashbacks made it out to be. However, most of the rest of this comic worked well for me, and I was glad to see the Titans show some sort of emotion towards Roy's situation, unlike in the Rise and Fall Special. It was also a nice touch for Wally to rush off to see his own kids considering the fact that Roy had lost his daughter. Little things like that often go a long way with me, because they make sense in the context of the character(Wally in this case). While I still DETEST what DC did to Roy and especially Lian, this comic was good, and I'm cautiously looking forward to the recently released first part of the Rise of Arsenal mini-series.
Score: 8 out of 10.Wow, that's the longest string of profanity I think I've ever read...