DC Comics Reviews Category



Batman and Red Robin #19 Review

Written by on Apr 15, 2013
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Batman and Red Robin #19

Rating: 4/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Publisher Website: www.dccomics.com
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Colorist: John Kalisz
Number of Pages: 32 
Price: $2.99
Safety Content Label: Teen

“Denial”

Publisher Blurb:

On the darkest of nights, who is the one person Batman meets that could change his life forever?

Reviewers Comments:

I hope I’m not being too blasphemous in my statement, but Grant Morrison giveth and he taketh away.

Unless you’re one of those few fanboys (or girls) that’s avoided spoilers from Batman, Inc. #8 than you’re one of the few fans out there that has no idea that Damien Wayne has gone the way of the dodo, 30 Rock and the New York Knicks 13-game winning streak. Now, I’ve personally gone on the record and stated my complete and utter admiration for the character of Damien Wayne, and I’ve also enjoyed how the creative team of Tomasi and Gleason have handled the young Wayne and his exploits. Now, with the untimely demise of the fourth Robin (third if you accept that Tim Drake was technically never Robin) I, like other fans of this title, openly wonders the direction of Batman & Robin in the long term.

However in the now, issue #19 of Batman & Red Robin continues to follow a sidekickless Batman. Keeping in lockstep with the silent “Requiem” issue, Bruce Wayne/Batman attempts to deal with a great deal of emotional turmoil, as well as make sense of the death of his only biological son. For a person living under normal circumstances it’s difficult to handle the death of a loved one, so for someone like Batman—a hard case vigilante—this is an experience that can’t be punched, kicked, or elbowed away.

Complicating matters for Bruce Wayne (as the cover suggest), he’s introduced to a young woman in Carrie Kelley (in what can be perceived as in poor taste), with ties to Damien that he as a father (and detective) knew nothing about. As for the Batman, the Dark Knight’s grief manifest itself in actions befitting of a super villain. The desperation of the World’s Greatest Detective reveals a willingness for extreme measures that a character like, Superman, would ever breech in order to resurrect a loved one. It’s also Batman’s borderline criminal behavior which allows for this issues co-star, Red Robin, to seamlessly work his way into the tale. All of this is made possible through the combined might of Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, who’s work over the last several issues remains me of ChrisCross (artist on Blood Syndicate and Captain Marvel).

I’m a huge, huge, Damien Wayne fan, before Damien briefly became Red Bird, before the Robin costume had a hood, around the time the young Wayne beheaded one of Batman’s villains, and much like the Dark Knight, I’m at a complete lost for words. As a fan I’m intrigued by what’s possibly to come. With the debut of Carrie (the Robin from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns) as well as Harper Row’s recent appearance in Batman #18, there stands a reasonable chance that the next Robin, in all likelihood, will be of the XY chromosome. Unless Batman is successful in bringing Damien from the dead.




Batgirl #19 Review

Written by on Apr 13, 2013
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Batgirl #19

Rating: 5/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Publisher Website: www.dccomics.com

Writer: Gail Simone
Pencils: Daniel Sampere
Inks: Vicente Cifuentes
Number of Pages: 32
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Will a battle of sibling rivalry lead to a death in the family?

Reviewer’s Comments:
The final showdown between brother and sister finally arrives in this new issue and secrets are revealed and a father and daughter’s trust is betrayed in this new issue.

Before Barbara goes to fight her brother for the final time, she and her roommate Alysia sit down and have a conversation about the past few months and each woman reveals a secret to the other.

Barbara tells Alysia about the Joker shooting her, the wheelchair, and her recovery to walk again. Then Alysia reveals her secret which has made big waves through out comic book fandom this week.

With her roommate warned about James, Barbara moves on to save her family…from her own brother. Little does she know that James has a surprise of his own in store for Barbara. Without giving it away, the final showdown between siblings happens on a rainy night on a Gotham bridge. One sibling won and the other lost…or did they?

I’m excited to see Gail Simone back writing Gotham’s heoric redhead who wears a cape and cowl. I loved the scripting of this issue, the plot is excellent and the conclusion to this story arc ends with a bang.

The artwork continues to be subperb with the stunning action scenes and the character interactions.

Batgirl has been a favorite of mine since the new 52 began and this issue is why series continues to be. I’m looking forward to what’s in store for Batgirl in the future.




Batwing #19 Review

Written by on Apr 6, 2013
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Batwing #19

Rating: 5/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Publisher Website: www.dccomics.com

Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Pencils: Eduardo Pansica
Inks: Julio Ferreira
Colors: Jason Wright
Number of Pages: 25
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Batwing quits—and what new member of the Batman family is ready to take his place?

Reviewer’s Comments:
Out with the old and in with the new as David’s story as the Batman of Africa comes to a close while a new Batwing’s story is just beginning. And David’s send off is a powerful, emotional, poignant,and an amazing one.

The story opens with David and the original dark knight at a grave in a cementary and Batman asks David if he’s sure of his decision David tells him that he didn’t come to this decision lightly as tears flow down his cheeks.

Flashback to a few days before and David in his Batwing suit-a gift that Matu left for him-and he’s out for blood. His first target is his former childhood friend Rachel who goes by the name Dawn. Batwing demands that she reveals where she’s stashed the spoiled rich kid Ancil, killer of many women. It’s a rough interrogation by Batwing but he gets his answers. He also gives Rachel a warning: leave Africa and never return.

Batwing locates Ancil and just in time as he’s about to kill another. In an electrifying fashion, David captures Ancil and moves on to his next target Ancil’s father Marksbury. Quietly and violently Batwing makes his way through Marksbury’s hounds until he’s face to face with the man. After a thorough beating, Batwing declares Marksbury’s business affairs over and he goes out with a bang, blowing up Marksbury’s ship along with Sky Pirate’s vessel.

David returns to the hospital and is at Matu’s beside as he passes. Before dying Matu tells David to take back his life. And David begins to do so by helping Kia capture Ancil and then quitting the police force. Flash forward to where the story started and we learned that his ‘decision’ was to quit being Batwing. We’re then briefly introduced to the new Batwing’s suit designed by Lucas Fox and the new Batwing himself Luke Fox.

This issue was what I’ve been waiting for. I’ve been reading Batwing since issue one and I knew that this book had potential but over time it was slowly losing it. But the last few issues written by Fabian Nicieza regained my confidence. And then this issue just sealed the deal for me.

I’m a fan of the writing duo of Palmiotti and Gray with their run of All-Star Western being a favorite of mine. The scripting was brilliant it captured everything just right. The artwork is fantastic. This is the right team for this book. I also have a feeling that though David isn’t the dark knight of Africa anymore, we haven’t seen the last of him.

Overall this was a fantastic issue. I’m excited for the future holds for the new Batwing.




Batman Inc. #8 Review

Written by on Mar 3, 2013
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Batman Inc. #8

Rating: 3/5
Publisher: DC
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Chris Burnham
Number of Pages: 25
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:

Everything Grant Morrison has been planning since the start of BATMAN, INCORPORATED leads to this stunning issue!

Reviewer’s Comments:

Grant Morrison ramps Batman Inc. to the max in issue #8 where the stakes are high and the casualties are great. The New 52 is about to experience its first real tragedy folks.

I was a huge fan of Batman Inc. before the reboot. It was a fun and new direction for Batman written by the prolific Grant Morrison. I can’t say that I have enjoyed everything Morrison has worked on in fact there are many books of his that I outright hate Final Crisis being the most glaring. I wasn’t even that into his Batman R.I.P because it tied back in to Final Crisis. I have dipped in and out of his run on Action Comics and found it to be far too contrived and needlessly complicated. Thankfully Batman Inc. has been a fairly straightforward story with twists and turns that actually made sense.

Issue #8 is good but it suffers from several factors that make it less enjoyable than it could have been. The narrative jumps around at several different points during the story between Robin, Batman, Red Robin and Nightwing. This makes things feel slightly jumbled in my opinion, there is fat here that could have been easily trimmed. There are also several moments where it seems clear that Damian is facing his death far before he reaches the climax of the book. Damian says things that are very out of character for him. While some could argue this is just his character evolving it seems more like Grant got sappy as the characters death began to grow closer.

I think the biggest problem I had with the issue overall was the fact the Robin’s death was so abrupt. If there was any real shock to it at all it’s that it was over so quickly you barely had time to process it. I know that the deaths of heroes tend to be drawn out for the sake of drama and that can get kind of old but here it really felt like it was warranted. Damian wasn’t just Robin the boy wonder he was a son and a partner a brother a friend and even a colossal pain in the ass to many characters. It feels like he deserved more than what he was left with. I know that several of the next Batman titles to come out will focus directly on the fallout of Damian’s passing and that may be fine for some but it’s not for me.

Finally the art of the book up to and including this issue has been really terrible. It always seems grainy and unrefined the colors are dull and the designs leave much to be desired. The regular titles don’t seem to have problems in any of these respects so I’m not quite sure why it’s so off here.

To wrap things up this issue had one single defining moment to it that was good. The rest I could take or leave. At this point I’m looking forward to seeing how the Batman books will be affected by the events of this issue. We may have lost an awesome character but change is always a good thing even if it takes a little getting used to.




Batman and Robin #10 Review

Written by on Jun 15, 2012
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Batman and Robin #10

Rating: 4/5

Publisher Name: DC Comics

Publisher Website: www.dccomics.com

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi

Artist: Patrick Gleason

Colorist:  John Kalisz

Number of Pages: 22

Price: 2.99

Safety Content Label: Teen

“Terminus: Scar of the Bat”

Publisher Blurb:

Someone calls a meeting of the Robins, but who and why? And will the exiled and egotistical Red Hood answer the call? Red Robin learns of Damian’s betrayal—but how long will the youngest Robin’s lack of discipline stand? Many of Gotham City’s villains blame Batman for their downfall, but what happens when they stand together in a pact to bring the Dark Knight down?

Reviewers Comments:

There are a number of titles within the New 52 where Batman plays a vital role, so it’s a delight to find a title with his name in the headline where Batman is actually second fiddle to his co-star. With Batman and Robin the series could stand to be renamed: Robin featuring Batman… Occasionally as Robin has proven to be the breakout star of the series.

Say what you will about Grant Morrison’s run on Batman, but it’s tough to argue against the creation of Bruce Wayne’s son, Damian. The Son of the Bat is arrogant and rash with violent characteristics similar to one Jason Todd. But where Jason was an annoying cynical one trick pony, Damian has actually grown despite his short comings. With Batman and Robin #10, Damian takes another step in his personal development.

Coming fresh off the heels of the events of “Born to Kill” and the “Night of Owls” tie-in, this issue has all the markers of being a fill-in; meaning, nothing happens. This is a partial truth as there is more character development taking place on behalf of Damian as well as the introduction of a new villain—Terminus—who despite his name might present the Dynamic Duo with a future challenge.

Now back to Damian.

For his part in this issue, and without giving away all the details and being a spoiler sport, the current Robin lays out a challenge to the former Boy Wonder’s that Peter J. Tomasi, or other writers within the DCU, can take full advantage in both the short or long term.

Although issue #10 of Batman and Robin lacks the pulse pounding action moments of previous issues there is still enough character and plot development packed within the 22-pages of this series to warrant a look-see. If you claim not to be a fan of the current Robin, do yourself a favor and check out this book. Truths me, Damian might not warm your heart but through his cocky arrogance behavior there is enough friction to propel in story in which his (co-)stars in forward. And at the end of the day isn’t that what we want from our fiction: conflict?




The Ravagers #1 Review

Written by on May 31, 2012
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The Ravagers #1

Ration: 2/5

Publisher Name: DC Comics

Publisher Website: www.dccomics.com

Writer: Howard Mackie

Artist: Ian Churchill

Colorist: Alex Sollazzo

Number of Pages: 22

Price: 2.99

Safety Content Label: Teen

“Children of Destiny”

Publisher Blurb:

Barely making it out the events of “The Culling,” Fairchild, brother and sister Thunder and Lightning, the monstrous Ridge, Beast Boy and Terra are on the run, being pursued by Rose Wilson and Warblade–who want them dead at any cost!

Reviewers Comments:

As a fanboy I’ll willingly admit I’m a sucker for a good teen driven, angst filled, four color comic which in large part is why I was curious enough to pick up The Ravagers #1. I hate to say it but what happened to that curious cat? Oh yeah, that’s right, curiosity killed that poor defenseless kitty.

Death not withstanding, there are a few things amiss with The Ravagers. Most first issues, for instance, put forth the effort of establishing the characters and their motives in relation to the story’s plot. This book does the opposite and hits the ground running, asking new readers to jump aboard the high speed bullet train that is the story and dare them to hold on for dear life as the plot powers ahead. The idea of asking the reader to work a bit at understanding the specifics of a story is one useful and unique storytelling technique, but in this case a little hand holding would have been most appreciated.

I, like others, am but a novice to DC’s New 52, and more background on the main characters of Fairchild (who I had to Google to learn about her powers and abilities), Thunder, Lightning, Ridge, Terra and Beast Boy would have been beneficial. As a matter of fact, the number of characters far exceed six when villains and minor teen characters (most of them in similar costumes to the main six and many of them don’t make it through this inaugural issue in one piece) are factored into the comic equation, thus by limiting the amount of page and panel space for the main six.

This issue has a decent amount of good, clean verbal—and physical—in-fighting between the six, some hero and villain punchy, punch, stabby, stab, stab and stellar pencil work by Ian Churchill. With plenty of story potential and a dynamite creative team, The Ravagers, has a fighting change of picking up steam and finding a niche within the New 52 given a tad bit more character development. Who knows, I might be temped to pick up issue #2; I mean, cat’s have nine lives, right?




Wonder Woman #8 Review

Written by on Apr 20, 2012
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Wonder Woman #8

Rating: 4/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Publisher Website: www.dccomics.com

Writer: Brian Azzarello
Pencils: Cliff Chiang
Inks: Cliff Chiang
Colors: Cliff Chiang
Number of Pages: 32
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
To march on Hell itself, you’re going to need some sensational weapons – and Wonder Woman intends to call in a few family favors to get them! Armor of Hephaestus? Check. The pistols of Eros? Check! But will any of it be enough to wrest an innocent soul from the grasp of Hades? And what does Hermes know that Diana doesn’t…yet?

Reviewer’s Comments:
I became a fan of Wonder Woman from watching the two Justice League animated series and I wanted to start reading her comics but didn’t know where to start. Thankfully, DC came out with the new 52. So far, I’m loving writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang’s run! It’s an excellent series both visually and story wise, and issue eight is no different.

First of all let’s start with the cover. All of the covers for each issue in this series have been amazing, and this cover doesn’t disappoint. This is a good example of a cover that catches the reader’s eye and this would definitely grab a person’s attention who hasn’t been reading Wonder Woman. The artwork throughout the book is fantastic, Chiang as always does his thing. I love the way how Chiang draws Hades. Besides Wonder Woman, he’s my favorite Chiang drawn character.
Wonder Woman and Hermes go straight to hell in order to rescue Zola from Hades’ imprisonment. There are some deep and morbid truths that are revealed as well as ass kicking performed both by Wonder Woman and Hermes along the way. At the end of the story-spoiler alert-somebody dies leaving an excellent cliffhanger for what will happen next issue.

The only complaint that I have is there’s no mention or closure about what was revealed about the Amazons last issue. I know this was a point of conflict for a lot of readers of the book and I hope that Azzarello resolves it soon.
Overall this book was great and I’m looking forward to what future issues will bring.




Blackhawks #2 Review

Written by on Nov 25, 2011
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Blackhawks #2

Rating: 5/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Publisher Website: http://www.dccomics.com

Writer: Mike Costa
Pencils: Graham Nolan/Trevor Scott
Number of Pages: 32 pages
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Wildman and Canada are prisoners of the enemy! Kunichi is a prisoner in sick bay! Lincoln faces the Bureaucrats! Lady Blackhawk battles the Internet! And who, or what, is Mother Machine?! Blackhawks only gets cooler – and stranger – by the issue.

Reviewer’s Comments:
The Blackhawks come face to face with their enemy in this new issue. The enemy is quite Terminator-esque……
In this issue, Lincoln and Lady Blackhawk find themselves in a troubling circumstance. Wildman and Canada remain lost while they are still dealing with having one of the enemies in interrogation while Kuniochi and Irish recover from the battle. Through Wildman and Canada, the enemy is revealed. She is much more than it would originally seem. She will certainly put up a fight for the Blackhawks down the road. She is Mother Machine, and she is able to accumulate data like a computer. However, she is still human. The same goes for the prisoner they have in interrogation. That is how their new enemy functions, and the Blackhawks will have to learn fast. Lady uses the infection of Kuniochi to find the prisoner when he escapes interrogation. The issue ends with Kuniochi finding him on Level 4, and him having killed one of the Blackhawk men.

Mike Costa continues to deliver a large scale plot with the Blackhawks combat troop. Graham Nolan and Trevor Scott do nice work on the art providing a sense of suspense and anxiety in the panels while also maintaining the style of the previous issues that has defined the series thus far. Hopefully, this team does not disband anytime soon…..

MAIN STORY: A.




Voodoo #3 Review

Written by on Nov 25, 2011
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Voodoo #3

Rating: 5/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Publisher Website: http://www.dccomics.com

Writer: Ron Marz
Pencils: Sami Basri
Number of Pages: 32 pages
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: PARENTAL ADVISORY – 15 years and older. Similiar to T+ but featuring more mature themes and/or more graphic imagery.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Already on the run from shadowy government agents who want to dissect her, Voodoo now must face a new threat: Green Lantern Kyle Rayner! Will even her shapeshifting powers be enough to keep a GL at bay? Writer Ron Marz returns to his signature DCU character!

Reviewer’s Comments:
This month, I found out Ron Marz will be departing the series. This is a truly sad day as I think he and Sami Basri have been one of the better writer/artist collaborations that have truly worked. However, now, I am counting down the issues he has left.

This issue titled “Into the Light” showcases Voodoo’s showdown with Kyle Rayner/Green Lantern. Voodoo hitchhikes, and gets a ride from a man named Big Willie. Her interactions with him are used to justify her beliefs about human males, and the writer makes a nice nod to the first issue of the series. As she returns, she meets with her fellow collaborators. She is only supposed to go there when she is in trouble, and she explains how she was found out by Agent Fallon. When she is about to leave, she and the other human-disguised aliens hear something. Lone behold, Kyle Rayner shows up for a little alien hunting. The Guardians informed Rayner the aliens were making transmissions into space. The aliens try to keep their identities but a battle eventually starts. Rayner and Voodoo have a nice interaction where Voodoo asserts her belief that all humans are evil and deserve to be conquered. However, Rayner lets her go as to give her the benefit of the doubt. She escapes while she almost mocks him in her mind. She thinks he is going after the wrong people. Meanwhile, a mysterious ending is leaving me interested for the next issue……

Ron Marz continues to hand in some solid script writing. He nails every beat in this issue as usual. Sami Basri continues to turn in some great artwork. I am going to be said about the departure of Ron Marz, and I will have to give Josh Williamson, who seems to have an affinity for the character, a chance. I read about his plans for the character in a Newsarama interview. I will have to wait and see on that. Luckily, we still have Sami Basri……

MAIN STORY: A+




Hawk and Dove #3 Review

Written by on Nov 15, 2011
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Hawk and Dove #3

Rating: 5/5
Publisher Name: DC Comics
Publisher Website: http://www.dccomics.com

Writer: Sterling Gates
Pencils: Rob Liefeld
Number of Pages: 32 pages
Price: 2.99
Color: Color
Safety Content Label: T+ TEENS AND UP – Appropriate for most readers 13 and up, parents are advised that they might want to read before or with younger children.

Publisher’s Blurb:
Hawk and Dove are in for the fight of their lives when the deadly villain Condor makes his move! But what secrets does he know about the avatars that power Hawk and Dove, and will one of our heroes be willing to kill to get it? More important, will Hawk be able to protect the President of the United States from Condor and his mysterious partner?

Reviewer’s Comments:
I think Hawk and Dove has been fairing quite well amongst the “New 52.” The book is not on such a grand scale as Justice League is, and does not have the recognition of a book such as Batman. However, I can say I have been thus satisfied with this book.

The story picks up with Hawk and Dove amidst battling their new foes Condor and Swan. The latter have taken Hank Hall (Hawk)’s father and President Obama captive, and Condor is threatening Obama’s life while Swan does the same for Hank’s father. Luckily, Dawn Granger (Dove)’s boyfriend Boston Brand/Deadman steps into help. He first steps in waking up Judge Hall in the guise of President Obama while he later goes to help Hawk take down Condor. In the meantime, Dove follows Swan’s song, and continues her battle with her. She stops her but before she does, Swan leaves an interesting tidbit that hints to a future plot that may be an ongoing subplot. Right now, I cannot say for certain but it is certainly interesting. Dove then stabs Condor after Deadman tried to possess him to stop him, and there was something interesting that occurred there. As Condor tries to revive himself using his avatar, it is revealed he is actually not as young as he seems.

Sterling Gates has a good handle on the story he wants to tell but also the characters he is using to tell it with. He has a very good characterization on Hawk and Dove, and I am continually glad to see the Dove relationship with Deadman continues. That was one of the great parts of Brightest Day. Rob Liefeld does a great job drawing the character he once drew many years ago. He captures the dynamism of each scene, and makes all the panels impactful. All in all, this is a solid book, and I really want to know what the heck is going on with this potential subplot. I hope Hawk gets some answers out of Condor next issue!!!

STORY: A.






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