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DC Comics Review: Batman #689

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics,

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.

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DC Comics Review: Blackest Night: Batman #1

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics,

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


The Purpose Driven Batman

Posted by Kris Madden Categories: Editorials, Reviews, DC Comics,

Purpose Driven Batman

This is just too funny. The novelty book mirrors Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life forty-day outline for understanding Batman’s purpose in life. Rather than trying to say something clever about it, I decided to post chapter excerpts from the book. So, here they are:

Day 1: It All Starts With Batman

It’s not about you, it’s about Batman.

Or rather it’s about thinking you’re Batman. When you believe in a symbol, you become greater than what you actually are. As Batman said, “As a man I’m flesh and blood I can be ignored I can be destroyed but as a symbol, as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting.” Or to quote Descartes, “I think I’m batman, there I am Batman”.

For long years, Bruce Wayne traversed the globe looking for his purpose, coming up empty handed. It wasn’t until he believed in something bigger than himself, that his life changed from being driven, to purpose driven…


Day 11: Becoming Batman

You’re journey to becoming Batman, begins by arming yourself with knowledge you will need, at a later time, to escape from inescapable situations. As Batman says, “Fore-warned is fore-armed” and “An opportunity well taken is always a weapon of advantage.”

Remember that with all the technology available to you, it will not always be able to save you. As the caped crusader once told his sidekick, “I’m afraid we’re not going to get much help from the Batcomputer, Robin. It can’t go back to prehistoric times.” More often than not, Batman relies on his superior education and training to see him through various villainous snafus.

In following Batman’s example, learn about the dangers of common every day items; as Batman said, “Bartender, a bit of advice. Always inspect a jukebox carefully. These machines can be deadly.” Batman maintains this frame of mind, because “He who knows how to fear, Robin, knows how to proceed with safety.’ A translation from the Latin.”...


Day 19: Cultivating Useless Knowledge That Will Later Be Useful

As Batman, you must not only be well versed in common knowledge, but also in un-common knowledge. This includes learning ancient culture’s uncommon dates and times, such as, “Oda wabba simba”, which is, “Six o’clock in our nomenclature. In the 14th dynasty, the hour of the hyena. The time when ancient Egyptian super-criminals invariably struck!”

Memorization of an umbrella gun’s mechanical functions and operations can also be handy, when needed to thwart villains. This deeper understanding of unusual weaponry physics, could save your life, as it has saved Batman’s many a time. In one instance, he explained his foreknowledge to Robin, saying, “I observed the recoil of that umbrella gun. Obviously, its angular momentum was inadequate for the mass of a real bullet.” ...


Day 28: Understanding Batman

Batman lives his life by a moral code of uprightness and persistent pursuit of truth and justice in all of his acts. He put it best, when he says, “In the end, veracity and rectitude always triumph.” He places emphasis on being early, rather than late, saying, “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” Always remembering there was “No time to tarry, lest we forget, lives are at stake.”

In this way, Batman lives his life consistently ahead of the curve, prepared for whatever life may throw at him. In understanding how Batman prepares for life, we understand how he lives life. Let us not forget, “He who hath life hath time. A proverb worth remembering.”...


Do You Drive A Batmobile?

Posted by Kris Madden Categories: Editorials, Reviews, DC Comics,

Batmobile keys

You might not be aware of it, but you may be driving a version of the Batmobile. Throughout the vehicle’s history, artists and filmmakers alike used popular car base models to construct the Caped Crusader’s famous ride. The History of the Batmobile website indexes more than 200 variations on Batsy’s wheels, and provides information on the inspiration behind each version.

For example, the first Batmobile is a copy of a RED 1936 Cord. From 1970-1987, it seems Batman drove a pretty standard black corvette (complete with “battering ram” and “armor plated body panels”, of course).

I looked for my old Ford Tempo GL, a maroon four-door sedan with a broken air conditioner, but came up empty. I searched for Honda Civics, or hybrids, to see if Batman was becoming more eco-friendly in the current times, but found gas-guzzlers in their place.

Now, with “stealth mode” available in Toyota Priuses, it might not be too long before Bruce Wayne goes “green,” trading in his 10 mpg (highway) hummer-tank for a sleek EV-1. But maybe not, because after all, muscle cars look more fierce than fuel economy cars. I honestly, can’t see criminals shaking in their boots when when chased by a moped-inspired bat-bike, but that’s just me.

A great comic book resource to have.  Enjoy strolling through Batmobile memory lane.


Batman’s Secret For Stress-Free Workdays

Posted by Kris Madden Categories: Editorials, DC Comics,

Description

BAT BROTH! That’s right, not your household chicken broth, “Bat Broth” is “a special mixture of nutrients designed to quickly convert to energy under conditions of internal stress.” It’s no wonder Bruce Wayne is able to run a multi-billion dollar business and moonlight as a crime fighter, when he has the modern businessman’s ultimate remedy.

I found out Bruce Wayne’s secret soup at the The Great Batman Equipment Archive. The site takes a comprehensive look into the Dark Knight’s “utility belt” of tricks; highlighting Batman’s inventory from comics, video games, RPGs, films, scripts, books, websites, and TV shows. Most common items are Batman’s tried and true “Batarang”, “Grapple Gun”, cape and cowl, but you’ll be surprised to learn about other items (Besides “Bat Broth”) the caped crusader carried with him from time to time.

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Comic-Con News: Batman Back in 2011

Batman

might have have been on this year’s Comic-Con schedule, but it easily became a hot topic.

At Friday’s panel for , Gary Oldman was asked about the superhero franchise. The actor, who played Police Commissioner Gordon in the first two films, got the crowd buzzing with his response.

“We start shooting next year,” Oldman revealed. “Which means the movie won’t come out for another two years.” Uh, did he just say what we think he said? “But you didn’t hear it from me!” he added.

Sorry, Gary—but we heard you loud and clear.

Read More | LA Times

DC Comics Review: Red Robin #2

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics,

Red Robin 2

Rating: ***

Another descent issue of Red Robin by writer Chris Yost.  I’m not blown away here, but I am enjoying this new journey that Tim Wayne is on right now.  Tim is alone.  He feels betrayed by Dick Grayson his “older brother” so to speak and the bastard son of the Batman family Damian has taken over his job as Robin.  As mentioned in the previous issue, Tim Wayne believes that his mentor and adopted father Bruce Wayne the original Batman is still alive and well and Tim has gone out into the world to search for clues as to his whereabouts.

He’s currently in Paris and finds himself fighting a group of assassins.  The assassins turn to be working for one of Batman’s deadliest enemies: Ra’s al Ghul.  Ra’s has an offer for Tim.  He agrees with and he also believes that Bruce Wayne is really alive and wants to help him.  How does Ra’s know Bruce is alive?  We don’t know.  Why does Ra’s want to help Tim?  We don’t know this one either, but I’m assuming Ra’s wants his revenge on Bruce and what better way to do it than use his son to get to him.

I’ve mentioned this before and I said that Tim seems to becoming more dark like his father Bruce.  When he’s fighting Ra’s’ assassins, he’s thinking about how he needs to work on his voice in the same way Bruce put on his “Batman” voice when he was fighting.  He’s also pushing people away in the same Bruce has done so in the past.  He deletes the messages of friends who are trying to contact him and he turns his back on Stephanie - the Spoiler who comes looking for him in this issue.

Click to continue reading DC Comics Review: Red Robin #2


DC Comics Review: Batman #688

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics,

Batman688

Rating: ** !/2*

This month’s issue of Batman is not as good as the previous issue.  I can’t put my finger on why that is, but I was left kind of with a whatever attitude after I read this story, where I was pumped after I finished reading Batman and Robin last week.  I think maybe the reason I felt this way was because of the way Judd Winick wrote the character of Dick Grayson.  He seemed weak.  I still don’t feel like he’s confident that he can do the job when he’s been fighting crime all his life.  I know DC wants him to portray him as if he’s not worthy, but he is worthy - more than worthy.  Which is why I was a bit upset by two scenes in this particular issue. 

One scene is the opening scene where we see Dick dressed as Batman fighting an unknown assailant in the Bat-Cave three weeks from now.  The assailant knows he’s not the real Batman and is telling him so as he kicks the crap out of him.  Dick lays defeated at the foot of his mentor’s cowl encased in glass with the assailant ready for the kill.  This scene screams you’re a loser and a pretender.  The second scene is comical, but again it seems like what we have here in Dick is a pretender to the throne.  Dick is talking to Alfred about the cape and cowl and how he can’t see and the cape is too heavy to move around.  I know that DC wanted to change the dynamic of Batman and Robin and have Robin be the dark figure while Batman is more light hearted, but it doesn’t seem to work here in this issue, where it’s been portrayed well over in Batman and Robin.

We’ve seen in the previous issue as well as in the Battle for the Cowl mini-series that the Penguin and Two-Face are both trying to take over the Gotham City underworld.  On a side note, I wonder what happened to the Black Mask.  Wasn’t he supposed to be involved as well?  Maybe he’ll show up later.  Anyway, Dick Grayson as Batman stops one of the Penguin’s shipments and is caught on camera.  Two-Face notices something is different about Batman.  He finds it interesting that the Batman would even allow himself to get on camera in the first place.  After watching the footage Two-Face says to his cohort that the man in the Batman costume is not Batman.

Click to continue reading DC Comics Review: Batman #688


DC Comics Review: Batman and Robin #2

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics,

BatmanRobin2

Rating: ****

Wow.  I just can’t believe how much I’m enjoying Batman and Robin.  I know I’ve said this in my review for issue one, but after reading Batman: RIP and Final Crisis, I thought there is no way I would enjoy anything from Grant Morrison from here on out.  Batman and Robin #2 is a big home run for DC Comics.  I don’t know what it is, but Grant is just rocking and rolling right now.

In the last issue we saw the Circus of Strange hit Gotham City with their own weird secret agenda and here in this issue the new Batman and Robin face off against them in Gotham Police Headquarters.  The new dynamic duo also come face to face with Commissioner Gordon and he notices that this is not the old Batman and Robin that he’s known over the past few years.  He gives them a pass, but I’m not sure if he’s going to do that again as Damian takes things a little too far.

Click to continue reading DC Comics Review: Batman and Robin #2


DC Comics Review: Detective Comics #854

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics,

Detective854

Rating: ***

Batman: Reborn continues in the pages of Detective Comics this week. Big changes have been happening in the world of Batman and one of those changes is that Batman will not be appearing in the pages of Detective Comics. Instead we have the new Batwoman Kate Kane flying solo in Detective Comics with Greg Rucka as writer and J.H. Williams as the new artist for the book. Batwoman is not a character that really grabbed me when she first appeared in the pages of 52.

According to Wikipedia, Barbara Gordon was originally supposed to return as Batgirl a while back, but wanting to be more diverse and continue to have a handicapped character, DC decided to bring back Batwoman instead.  It seemed more like DC wanting to do a bunch of different things here: 1) Bring back a Silver Age character. 2) Bring in a new female character in the male dominated world of super-hero comics and 3) make her a lesbian to show even more diversity. I have no problem with any of these reasons, I just think DC mishandled her introduction to the DC Universe and didn’t give me a reason to care about this character. However with this first issue of her in Detective Comics, they’ve taken a good first step in giving me a reason to read stories about Batwoman.

With the prices of comic books going up, and being the father of two children and a mortgage to pay, comic books can be an expensive hobby to continue. So I have the various titles I collect on a very short leash.  If after an issue or two I don’t find myself interested in the story anymore, the comic gets dropped from my pull list.  This first story has a good beginning and its given me a reason to stick around.

Click to continue reading DC Comics Review: Detective Comics #854


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