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BatmanRobin3

Rating: *** 1/2*

Grant Morrison continues his run on Batman and Robin with issue three of the Circus of Strange storyline.  In our last issue, Damian had quit being Robin and went off alone to stop the Circus of Strange.  His arrogance resulted only in him getting captured by the Circus’ leader, a man by the name of Pyg. 

When DC Comics decided to go in this direction of having a new Batman and Robin with Dick Grayson as Batman and Damian Wayne as Robin, they wanted to have a role reversal.  Batman was always the dark character and Robin the lighter character.  With Dick and Damian as the Dynamic Duo, the roles are reversed: Dick is the “light” and Damian is the “dark”.  I was interested in seeing if they could make this a success, but my feeling was that if Dick’s Batman is portrayed as this happy go lucky crime fighter, the image of Batman would not work and readers would reject the idea of Dick as Batman and demand the return of Bruce Wayne to the role.

Click to continue reading DC Comics Review: Batman and Robin #3


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Hailing from Spain, Aitor Iñaki Eraña is the writer/artist behind this 4-page conflicted-character study. The comic strip follows trained-tailor, Arthur Berstein, from his introduction to the underground fashion of Super Villainy to the death of his assistant, and finally, salvation from his night-job.

Click to continue reading Super Villains Need Costumes Too


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If you’ve harbored a secret fantasy about working in the hallowed halls of the former National Periodical Publications—the current DC Comics—then you have three shots at winning the comic book lottery this month. Parent company Time Warner has three openings for someone like you. Maybe not you specifically, but certainly someone like you.

First up, is Manager, International Business Development. Yeah, I have no idea what that is either, so I actually read the posting. The new hire “will research territories and new international publishing opportunities” as well as “prospect, pitch, and negotiate international publishing licenses (in person, via telephone and in writing).” There are a lot more responsibilities and requirements at the link, but here’s my favorite: “Analyze DC’s international business to understand trending and recognize opportunities to maximize profitability.” In other words, make us some money, college boy.

Click to continue reading COMIC BOOK JOBS: WHO’S HIRING? DC COMICS!


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Batgirl

Rating: *

I collect about twelve titles each month - not including mini-series and one-shots.  I collect the stuff that really interests me and normally I’m not disappointed.  A lot of my reviews for comics are positive.  On the four star rating system, I normally give a comic I’ve read three to three and a half stars.  Since I began writing reviews for Comix 411, there have been a few comics that I’ve reviewed that have disappointed me.  Those comics have received two stars or two and a half.  I have never given a comic book, a one star - until today. 

Last year DC announced that they would be canceling Birds of Prey.  After it was revealed that Dick Grayson would be the new Batman, another announcement was made regarding the collection of Bat-Family books for DC Comics.  One of the books that would be debuting would be a new monthly Batgirl title.  Leaks began hitting the Internet that there would be a new girl under the mask.  Some began to think, with the cancellation of Birds of Prey, Barbara Gordon would be returning to the role of Batgirl in the new title.  So who is the new Batgirl?  Well it’s none other than Stephanie Brown aka The Spoiler, the former super-hero girlfriend of Timothy Drake Wayne aka Red Robin.

Click to continue reading DC Comics Review: Batgirl #1


Superman

Rating: *** 1/2*

The Blackest Night makes its way to Smallville in this first issue of Blackest Night: Superman as Black Lanterns resurrect the deceased Earth 2 Superman and Lois Lane. Our story begins with Pete Ross and some local Smallville townsfolk talking amongst themselves when they notice something flying in the sky. Being a Superman comic, someone is guaranteed to utter the famous “Is that a bird?” quote. Well it’s not a bird of course, but it’s instead the resurrected body of Kal-L, the Superman of Earth 2 as a Black Lantern. He arrives in Smallville and makes his way to the Kent farm where Superman, Superboy, and Krypto are sitting down for coffee with Martha Kent. 

I love that Conner is back and Superman has a “brother” of sorts; I love the little family that DC is developing here. I would have Supergirl start to develop a yearning to become a part of this family and have her mother become jealous—this would cause a big rift between them, resulting in a throw down with Superman and Allura with Supergirl caught in between. Speaking of which, we see Zor-El become a Black Lantern on New Krypton later in the issue. 

Click to continue reading DC Comics Review: Blackest Night: Superman #1


RedRobin3

Rating: **

This issue of Red Robin is pretty weak. The only reason I didn’t give this issue a lower grade is because I like the overall plot of the story of Tim Wayne searching for Bruce Wayne. I’ve also read a hell of a lot worse over the years in my comic book reading. As we know from the previous issues, Ra’s al Ghul is the only other person who believes Tim that Bruce Wayne is really alive. At the end of the last issue, Tim agrees to join up with Ra’s in his search.

Tim’s investigation takes him to a museum in Berlin. While he’s there, Tim discovers something we don’t see, but his reaction causes him to say, “Oh my God it’s true.” I don’t think that he’s found the information he needs to prove Bruce is alive, but I’m curious as to what it is he found. At the museum, he runs into the Wild Huntsman, a character I never heard of before. Tim has his back to the wall with the Huntsman, when Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Assassins arrive to back him up. 

The story has some flashbacks as we see Wonder Girl meeting up with Tim at a cemetery. She tells him that she’s here to give him some comfort when he tells her he knows Bruce is alive. She doesn’t believe him, and he leaves. She then contacts Dick and tells him that Tim needs help.

Click to continue reading DC Comics Review: Red Robin #3


Batman689

Rating: ** 1/2*

Judd Winick’s run on Batman continues. In the last issue, we saw that Two-Face has realized that the current Batman battling in the streets of Gotham is not the same Batman that he’s faced over the years. This Batman likes to smile, which is something the previous Batman was not fond of doing. In this issue, the battle to be the number one crime boss continues. Two-Face is feeding the new Batman intel on the Penguin’s operations; the issue opens with Batman taking out a secret Penguin casino.

The Penguin is obviously not happy as we see him complain to a mysterious figure. I think the person is the Black Mask, but I’m not 100% sure. The Penguin decides he needs help in taking on the Batman. To help him with this problem, the mysterious figure has some muscle for the Penguin in the shape of genetically-enhanced soldier. 

Batman continues his patrol in Gotham when the soldier attacks Batman (with some help from Clayface). We end there.

I wanted to mention one other scene that I thought was very touching with Dick Grayson and Alfred. Alfred talks about how his role was to stand in Bruce’s shadow and be his aid in the fight against crime. He wasn’t sure he could do it without Bruce, but he feels Dick makes it easier since he is a person closer to the “light” than Bruce. Alfred talks to Dick about how before the darkness came for Bruce on that night, Bruce was a very good artist when he was a little, but all that changed after his parents’ deaths.  We see a flashback to a young Bruce drawing. I would love to see DC follow-up on this little detail and make it a part of the Batman mythos. Sherlock Holmes used to play the violin for relaxation—maybe when Bruce returns he could draw for relaxation.

Click to continue reading DC Comics Review: Batman #689


Batman

Rating: ***

The Blackest Night storyline continues in this separate three issue mini-series entitled Blackest Night: Batman.  This series will focus on the Black Lanterns going after the deceased relatives a various Bat-family members.  As I mentioned in my review for Blackest Night #2 , this first issue also focuses on Boston Brand - Deadman and his physical body being resurrected into a Black Lantern.  Writer Peter Tomasi does a good job here, but I have to give him some negative points on this one because of the way he writes the character of Damian Wayne - Robin.  If you’ve been reading Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin, Morrison portrays Damian as a major jerk.  Judd Winick follows Morrison’s lead, but has toned it down a bit over in his stories in Batman, but the jerk personality of Damian is thrown completely out the window here in Tomasi’s version of the character.  There’s no arrogance; no snide comments about Dick not being the real Batman, nothing.  Instead we get a character who if you picked up this issue without knowing what has happened over the past few months, you would think that this new Robin is more along the lines of Tim Drake.

With that being said, the story is still very good in my opinion.  It opens up with Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin at the graves of Bruce Wayne and his parents, Thomas and Martha.  As we all know, Black Hand went to Bruce’s grave and took his skull for some unknown reason.  The caskets of Thomas and Martha have also been dug up, but their remains have not been resurrected into Black Lanterns.  In this scene, Tomasi’s makes his first mistake of writing Damian out of character as Damian shows genuine feeling of sadness as he sees the bodies of his grandparents.  He’s so distraught that he can’t bear to pick up their bodies as Dick decides to remove them from their graves to a safer location.  The Damian that we see in Batman and Robin probably wouldn’t care much for the bodies of people he didn’t know - even if they are related to him.  He’d probably say something like let’s toss ‘em back in the hole and let’s go.

Click to continue reading DC Comics Review: Blackest Night: Batman #1


Adventure

Rating: *** 1/2*

By the end of the mini-series Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, writer Geoff Johns resurrected two recently deceased super-heroes: Kid Flash and Superboy.  With this issue we see another resurrection as well with the return of the long running DC title Adventure Comics.  The original book ran from 1938 to 1983 and featured numerous adventures of secondary DC super-heroes.  Some of the characters that were featured in the title were stories about Superboy and the Legion of Super Heroes.  With the return of Adventure, we will be seeing new stories featuring both Superboy and the Legion once again. 

The difference here of course is where the original Adventure Comics showcased tales of a young Clark Kent as Superboy, this series will focus on Conner Kent who is a genetically created clone of Superman and Lex Luthor.  In this issue we see Conner return to Smallville to live with Superman’s mom Martha Kent.  Since he’s partially a clone of Superman, he’s also calling her Ma.

Click to continue reading DC Comics Review: Adventure Comics #1


BlackestNight2

Rating: *** 1/2*

Non-stop action.  Great artwork.  A great story.  The Blackest Night mini-series continues this week with another great issue by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis.  In the last issue we saw the murder of Hawkman and Hawkgirl and their resurrection as Black Lanterns.  In this issue, more of the dead rise to become Black Lanterns as we see Aquaman’s body rise to become a Black Lantern along with Aquagirl and Dolphin.  They battle Aquman’s wife Mera and the former Aqualad Tempest (worst super-hero name ever!).  In another shocking turn of events, Tempest gets killed and becomes a Black Lantern.  I’m curious to see how all of these dead heroes will be resurrected as I assume Tempest, Hawkman, Hawgirl, and anyone else who gets turned into a Black Lantern won’t stay dead by the end of the series. 

In an interesting twist, the super-hero Boston Brand aka Deadman, sees his body become a Black Lantern, but his spirit form is not effected.  His story continues in Blackest Night: Batman which also comes out this week.  Some members of the DC magic community: Spectre, Zatanna, Blue Devil, and the Phantom Stranger, become interested in what has happened to Brand and come to investigate his grave.  They are greeted by none other than Pariah of Crisis on Infinite Earths who is now a Black Lantern.  From his body bursts numerous Black Lantern rings.  They do not effect any of them except the Spectre as the ring turns Crispus Allen the current host of the Spectre into a Black Lantern.  In a stunning splash page by Reis, we see the Spectre as a giant Black Lantern screaming that he wants Hal Jordan back.  Very cool.

Click to continue reading DC Comics Review: Blackest Night #2


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