Hey yo X-Maniacs, after a two day period in which I reviewed 8 comics(in less than forty sentences!), it's back to the regular, normal-sized, two for one reviews that you've all come to know and love... Okay, maybe not love... Anyway, it's two DC books on tap for today, with two Marvel books due up for tomorrow. Let's get to it...
Batman: Gates of Gotham #3(of 5):
Summary: This issue begins with a flashback to the Gates brothers circa Gotham City 1900-ish. All you really need to know is that the Gates were the architects responsible for designing many of Gotham's major landmarks, they sided with the Wayne family over the Kane family, which led to the death of one of the Gates brothers, almost certainly due to Kane sabotage. In the present day, Batman(Dick Grayson) is trying to figure out who was destroying many of Gotham's landmarks, getting little help from Hush and the Penguin, who both seem to know more than they're letting on. Bats sends out Robin and Red Robin to search the home of a collector of old relics to see if they could turn up any information on the supposedly stolen costume being worn by the individual responsible for destroying the landmarks, while he takes Black Bat to the Gotham Herald building to see what newspaper archives they could dig up to figure out why certain landmarks were being struck, as well as a clue as to which one may be the next to fall... And that's pretty much it...
Thoughts: Meh. I just wasn't able to get into the story here. It seems pretty obvious as to who the mystery saboteur is, the guy who was collecting the relics, Dillon May, who just so happens to be the spitting image of one of the Gates brothers, but maybe that's just misdirection on Kyle Higgins/Scott Snyder's behalf... Or maybe not. If it is May, I'm going to be kind of disappointed, because that's not much of a swerve... His (great-?)grandfather was screwed over by the Gotham fatcats, so he decides to bring down all of the things that bear the fatcats names... Hopefully I'm wrong though, and this story really takes off the next two issues.
Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.I wonder how much it galls Timmy to call Damian, "Robin"?
Summary: After a magic performance, Zatanna is kicking back in her dressing room when a poisoned arrow comes flying through her window, slashing her across the throat... Don't you just HATE when that happens?! Unable to speak and beginning to feel woozy, Z decides to escape from her dressing room through a trapdoor in a closet. This buys Z some time to get away just before a bunch of armed goons storm the room. Following the blood trail, the goons figure out where Z has gone and shoot at her through the floor... Wait, if they wanted her dead in the first place, why didn't they simply shoot the arrow into her skull to begin with? Anyway, Z manages to emerge on the stage of the theater, where she grabs some sort of liquid, pours it onto a scarf and wraps the scarf around her bloody neck. The goons soon spot her and try to shoot her full of arrows(yes they were carrying both machine guns and crossbows), but Z escapes into the rafters, but not before catching a bullet to the thigh. Once again, the goons follow the trail of blood, this time leading to a rest room. Instead of entering, the goons simply aim at the door and empty their guns at the rest room(!), opening the door to find Z sitting on the floor, surrounded by bullet holes, although she herself wasn't hit by a single bullet because she was apparently using bullet-time or something... With Z hopelessly cornered and unable to speak, the head goon walks over to her and does what any good villain is supposed to do in such a situation, reveals who he was and what his plan was! Bottom line, the goons were from a long line of hunters who tracked down mystical type creatures and killed them. Unfortunately for the gabby goon, telling his story gives the liquid Z put on her scarf from earlier on the chance to fully heal her vocal cords, giving her back her powers. From there, Z dismantles the goons and finishes the beating by sending the goons back in time to the Salem witch trials, where the crazy residents of Salem figure they were witches and decide to burn them at the stake. But don't worry, Z presumably teleports the goons back to the present before they get roasted alive... Probably.
Thoughts: There was A LOT of stuff in this comic that really didn't make sense if you took the time to sit back and ponder it all... I mean, for me, the main problem was the fact that the goons didn't simply gun Zatanna down from the start... Why bother with the poisoned arrow if they had a vantage point to sniper her from? Shoot her in the damn head and you've won! For this entire issue it seemed like the goons weren't actually trying to kill Z, which kind of bugged me. Well, that and Z's uncanny ability to dodge bullets... Seriously, how do the goons shoot like 100 bullets into the rest room and manage to completely MISS Z?! Weird... If you overlook those various little story hiccups, this issue wasn't that bad. It kind of read like one of those summer action films, where the hero gets shot at for two and a half hours, dodges nearly all of the bullets and manages to come back and defeat the villains at the end thanks to various daring escape scenes. This was good, stupid fun.
Score: 6 1/2 out of 10."Sasquatchen"? Wait, does that mean they hunt Canadians?