Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Three 6/29 Books That I Read So That You Did Not Have To

Same as always...I tell you about three comics that I did not hear a lot about this week, and then I ask you all to fill me in on comics that I did not read this week.

Spoilers ahead!!

Batgirl #65

This is an interesting book to judge.

On the one hand, it was a very fun story.

On the other hand, I do not know how fun of a story it would be if you were not familiar with current Batgirl and Batman continuity.

So that's definitely a drawback.

However, I have to give Anderson Gabrych a ton of credit for his ability to work WITH the continuity of the other Bat-titles without it dragging his story down.

In any event, it is Father's Day, and Batgirl's thoughts turn to who is her mother?

The leading suspect is Lady Shiva, and there is a funny scene between Batgirl and Onyx discussing Shiva, with Onyx giving a funny "before she was a star" look at Shiva.

The centerpiece of the story is Batgirl visiting her father, assassin David Cain, in prison.

She wants to know who her mother is.

He will not say.

So she beats him up severely...which would be uncharacteristic of a superhero, except that Batgirl KNOWS that this is what her father would LIKE.

He WANTS to spar with his daughter, even if he knows she can kick his ass.

And the last scene, with her Father's Day present to him...very nice.

Pop Mhan's art was good, but Ale Garza's art was good BEFORE Mhan, so I don't see why they made a change.

So, while I liked the book, I think it was PROBABLY too tied into Bat-continuity to be as enjoyable to others, sooo...

Not Recommended!

Batman #641

Winick and Mahnke reunite (after the fill-in last issue by Paul Lee) to "finish" the initial storyline (it is annoying that they are taking a break from the book for a couple of months...just when the book was getting good).

It is Batman versus Jason Todd, the Red Hood.

It was a good issue, except I think it spent far too much time on the "is it really Jason?"

Who really cares?

In fact, I think being Jason HURTS the character of the Red Hood. Without being Jason, he is an interesting character who just looks at Gotham differently than Batman.

With it BEING Jason, it is just a dude harboring a grudge. In addition, if the Red Hood did not kill the Joker a few issues ago, then that is just poor writing. Which is why I would not have included the Joker scene at all. If Jason's ENTIRE POINT is that Gotham needs someone willing to kill the bad guys, then how could he possibly have let Joker live? So just for the sake of a "cute" scene (Jason pounding Joker with a baseball bat like Joker pounded Jason), Winick throws a wrench in the motivations of his character. Not a good job.

The bulk of this issue, though, is handled well. Mahnke is great on the art, as he has been throughout this storyline, and the story is fun.

Another complaint about Winick in this issue, though, is that he has Batman say this cool line early on.

Red Hood tells Onyx, "This is the part where you try to stop me and I beat the hell out of you."

Then Batman is suddenly write behind them and says, "No." and then turn to the next page, which is a full page shot of Batman saying, "It's NOT that part."

Great scene, making Batman out to look totally cool.

But then what does Winick do?


Like, "It sounds like hell itself is dropping out of the sky." "Yes, it sounds just like that."

"It's not possible." "No, it really is."

"I'll be the one who finally brings peace." "No. You won't."

How silly is that?!

Still, the overall issue had enough fun action and great art that I feel safe in saying...


Flash #223

Man, I did not like this issue.

First of all, Zoom is featured a lot in this issue, and I really do not like Zoom. The whole "I am trying to make you a better hero" thing is a decent enough motivation ...the FIRST TIME.

But when you bring him back as a recurring villain, it just doesn't follow.

Even a crazy person can't honestly think everything he is doing is designed to "make Wally a better hero by testing him."

In any event, I also dislike Howard Porter's art in this issue. I am not a fan of his art in general, but this issue in particular seemed weak to me.

In addition, Johns is just waaay too obsessed with "out of nowhere shock endings."

So much so that he has literally THREE of them in the issue!

BAM! Out of nowhere, KID FLASH shows up!!

BAM! Out of nowhere, GORILLA GRODD shows up!!


And each one of the "surprises" was lame.

Grodd shows up for a couple of pages (making sure, of course, to reference his role in Villains United).

So many characters, NONE of which are given any real attention.

I did like the scene where Heatwave joined back up with the Rogues.

He is the one "Rogue gone good" that I do not mind going back, as no writer ever REALLY did a lot of work developing his "good" persona, unlike Loebs and Waid with Piper and Waid with Trickster.

In any event, this issue was a collection of full page "shockers" that failed to "shock," and really, failed to entertain either.

Not Recommended!

Now on to the books that I did not read, so I was hoping you might have read them and could tell me what I missed out on -

Blacklight #1

Lullaby Wisdom Seeker #3

Pact #3

Genie #1

Thanks in advance!

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Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Hunh? Batgirl isn't recommended, and Batman is? Is this part of the blog war? Crazy talk! Winick's a lazy hack that couldn't even handle this softball of a storyline right. Bleh.

For the other stuff: Blacklight was surprisingly entertaining, especially if your opinion of Image superheroes is still tainted by memories of the 90s, as mine was. Genie has potential, but it's not a terribly good debut. Lullaby loses a step, but I'm still interested in where it's going.

7/07/2005 12:30:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

You haven't been enjoying Batman, Guy?

I am not a fan of Winick either, but his work on Batman (the current run, not the first time around) has, in my mind, been quite good.

And hey, I did say I liked Batgirl! It was just too tied into Bat-continuity to recommend to others.

7/07/2005 12:58:00 AM  
Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I dropped Batman two issues into Winick's ill-conceived resurrection arc. Like the Punisher aspect of it, but hate the laziness of using Jason Todd for it, and hated his comments attempting to rationalize it even more. Been skimming the issues in-store to keep up, but I refuse to put it back on my pull list until "One Year Later" kicks in, hopefully w/o Winick. Gabrych, on the other hand, has made Batgirl interesting and, more importantly, accessible since War Games ended.

7/07/2005 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Well, like I said, I do agree that the Punisher in the DCU aspect of Red Hood is a LOT better than the Jason Todd aspect, but the "Punisher in the DCU" is what most of the storyline has been about.

Meanwhile, Winick has also given us Batman and Nightwing against Amazo - which was tons of fun.

And I think Gabrych has a MUCH better handle on Batgirl than the previous writer, but I just differ on how accessible the book is.

7/07/2005 04:07:00 PM  

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