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Review: DC Comics Batman and Robin #8

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

BatmanandRobin#8 Rating: *** 1/2*
The past two issues of Grant Morrison‘s Batman and Robin have left me scratching my head - but in a good way. We discovered that Dick Grayson the current Batman has been keeping the body of the former Batman Bruce Wayne hidden in a sarcophagus in the Wayne Foundation building. His mission is to resurrect his former mentor by using a newly discovered Lazarus pit. Our last issue ended with Dick, Batwoman, and Kinght and Squire witnessing the supposed resurrection of Bruce Wayne from the Lazarus pit. Is this how Bruce Wayne returns to the land of the living? Thankfully, no.

It seems that the body that Dick Grayson has is one of the replicas created by Darkseid during the Final Crisis. All of them had been destroyed except one as Darkseid stated he could use the deceased body of the cloned Batman for some future use. This is a bit confusing as how could Darkseid have known that he was going to kill Batman and that he could use this clone body for evil purposes? Am I missing something here? Whatever the case the Batman that comes out of the Lazarus pit is a raving lunatic and begins attacking everyone in the room.

The clone Batman is able to escape thanks to a cave in and uses a Bat-copter to escape and head back to the Wayne Foundation. There he beats up Alfred and confronts a wheel chair bound Damian who thinks his father has returned to him. And we end there.

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Return of Bruce Wayne

Posted by David Torres Categories: Editorials, DC Comics

Return of Bruce Wayne It was announced a few days ago that Bruce Wayne would finally be coming back as beginning in April 2010. The event will take place in a min-series entitled Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne and it will be written by Grant Morrison. I’m very happy that Bruce Wayne will be returning, but I’m curious as to why both he and Captain America are through the exact chain of events in their lives right now. Both characters saw their side kicks resurrected (Jason Todd and Buck); both were “killed off”; both characters saw side kicks take over the mantle for them (Dick Grayson and Bucky); both are stuck in the past; and both are now trying to make their ways back to the present. What gives? Who’s copying who?

Well the idea of resurrecting Jason Todd began during the Hush storyline in 2002, but we didn’t see Jason return until 2005. The return of Bucky began around the same time in 2005 as well. Steve was killed in early 2007 and Bruce was killed in late 2008. It was revealed a few months ago that Steve was stuck in time, but Bruce was revealed to be stuck in the past at the end of at the beginning of the year. Since we are fans, we are not privy to which company came up with which idea first, but if it were me, I would try to do something a bit different with my company’s character. Also, what good is it for the fans? They will buy it nonetheless, but is it really that interesting to have the same exact thing happen to two iconic characters? What happens when they return?

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DC Comics Review: Batman and Robin #6

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

Batman and Robin #6 Rating: ****

Another amazing issue that will have everyone’s jaw drop by the time people reach the end. Sometimes the conclusion to a comic book story does not live up to the way it started - that is not the case here. Grant Morrison hits a big home run with the conclusion to his Red Hood story arc. The only drawback for me once again is Philip Tan’s artwork. Some of the artwork in the panels seemed rushed and murky, but Morrison saves the day for me with this amazing story. I read the preview that was released and I couldn’t wait to read this issue. After reading this issue, I’m now salivating for more.

Eduardo Flamingo proves to be a very dangerous character. When we last left off in the story, Flamingo had taken a shot at the Red Hood. The shot doesn’t kill him, which causes Flamingo to try harder to finish the job by shooting the side of Jason’s face off. He also tries to pull the mask off of Scarlet’s face (if you’ve been reading the title you know her face is attached to the mask).

Batman and Robin escape from the trap that the Red Hood put them in and they try to assist Hood and Scarlet in taking down Flamingo. Morrison writes a great line for Robin when they confront Flamingo, “I was expecting scary, not gay.” Very funny. The character appears to die at the hands of the Red Hood, but this is the comic book world, and we know that he probably isn’t dead.

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DC Comics Review: Batman #691

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

Batman691Rating: *** 1/2*

A great issue by Judd Winick to close out his run on Batman.  One of the problems I had with Judd’s first run on Batman was the inconsistency.  He would write a very good issue of Batman and then a very bad one.  In this short run, he started off with a great issue; followed by some mediocre ones and then this great issue. 

We pick up where we left off with Dick Grayson as Batman returning to the Batcave after the alarms went off.  He finds out that the intruder is none other than Two-Face himself and he’s now at his mercy.  Two-Face has pumped Batman with some drugs and he’s hallucinating.  He sees Two-Face in some weird Batman-like costume, but it turns out to be all in his head.

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DC Comics Review: Batman and Robin #5

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

BatmanRobin5Rating: *** 1/2*

Another great issue in Grant Morrison’s run on Batman and Robin.  The issue picks up right where we left off in the previous issue with Red Hood and Scarlet confronting the new Batman and Robin.  Some very cool dialogue between the current Robin Damian Wayne and the second one The Red Hood Jason Todd.  It’s funny.  Even though I’m on the side of Batman and what he stands for, the Red Hood makes a good point when he says that after killing all of these criminals, they will think twice before setting foot in Gotham. 

Damian is being his normal arrogant self here, and decides to try and take Jason out, but Jason proceeds to catch him and ram his face into the ground.  Batman not being too happy about that, returns the favor.  Scarlet grabs Damian in retaliation and holds him at knife point.  Batman backs off of the Red Hood and allows them to escape as they need to turn the Penguin over to police.

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DC Comics Review: Red Robin #4

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

RedRobin4

Rating: ***

I wasn’t thrilled that Damian Wayne would be replacing Tim Drake as Robin, but with that disappointment came the revelation that Tim was now the new Red Robin.  In my reviews of this series so far, I haven’t been all that thrilled with the writing or the artwork for this series.  The first two issues were okay, but the last issue was not very good and I began to think that maybe it was time to drop this title.  This month’s issue was able to prevent that decision from being made.  Writer Chris Yost has written a good issue - maybe the best in the series so far, but Ramon Bachs artwork is still weighing things down which prevents me from giving this book a better rating. 

Our story picks up with Tim in Iraq.  The members of the League of Assassins that we’ve seen in the previous issues are there waiting for him to assist him with his mission in locating Bruce Wayne.  It dawned on me in this issue that these three members of the League of Assassins don’t look like people Ra’s al Ghul would normally have in his League.  The lead member in this trio is a black man who fought against Tim and the other members of the Bat Family as a ninja when Ra’s was being resurrected.  Normally I picture Middle Eastern assassins with Ra’s, but at this point it doesn’t really matter.

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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.

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DC Comics Review: Red Robin #1

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

RedRobin1

Rating: ***

When it was announced that there would be a new Batman and Robin, a guessing game began.  When a teaser image was released, we all made the assumption that the new Batman would be Dick Grayson and that the new Robin would be Damian Wayne.  DC tried to keep the guessing game going, but in the end, we were all right.  When the announcement came that a “Red Robin” title would be launched, with a new person behind the mask we made the assumption it was Tim Drake aka Tim Wayne.  Well, guess what, we were right again!

I’ve revealed that in my opening paragraph because I don’t feel its worth it to continue teasing that information or say beware of spoilers.  We knew it was coming and now Tim is Red Robin with the quest to find his presumed dead mentor: Bruce Wayne. 

This was a good issue, but not a great start to the series.  I think the reason why I’m interested in collecting this book is because of the character of Tim Wayne.  Tim has developed into arguable the best character DC has created in over the past twenty years.  He’s developed from this young, intelligent, and innocent boy who discovered the identity of Batman, to this man who seems to be not only capable of taking over for Batman, but he could be an even be a better Batman than Bruce could ever be.

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DC Comics Review: Batman #687

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

Batman687

Rating: *** 1/2*

When DC announced the new direction they would be going with in the Batman books, I wasn’t happy. With this new direction would come a new monthly book called “Batman and Robin” which would be written by Grant Morrison. I wasn’t happy. Then came the news that Judd Winick would take over the “Batman” monthly title. Still not happy. I thought to myself, that I probably may end up not reading any of the Batman books that DC would be publishing for the foreseeable future or until Bruce Wayne returned as Batman. Well, if you read my review from last week, you know I was very surprised and absolutely enjoyed “Batman and Robin”. So what about Judd’s first issue of “Batman,” well, DC is two-for-two in my book as I absolutely loved this week’s issue of “Batman”.

The story is an epilogue to “Batman: Battle for the Cowl” and it shows some of the events that lead up to where Grant Morrison’s story begins in “Batman and Robin”. The issue shows various moments where members of the Batman family and the super hero community deal with the news of Bruce’s death. Some very moving scenes were done here, particularly the one in the cave with Alfred. I’m not a huge fan of Ed Benes’s art work, but he does a good job here with some moving visual images that set the tone of everyone’s feelings concerning Bruce.

As I said, there are some powerful moments in this book as we see Dick Grayson breakdown and cry over the death of Bruce Wayne, but the most moving scene come from Alfred. Superman and Wonder Woman return Bruce’s cape and cowl to give to Dick and Tim in the Batcave. As they discuss Bruce’s death, Alfred enters the cave with some refreshments for everyone. Superman asks him if he’s alright and Alfred’s response is, “Am I all right? No, sir. I am not. My son has just died.” I’m not sure if this sentiment was ever expressed by Alfred in any other comic, but for Alfred to say that about Bruce was dead on. Thank you, Mr. Winick. Bruce Wayne was orphaned, but he gained a father in Alfred from a very early age and Alfred has watched his “son” grow up to be a great man. I was happy to see that moment expressed here.

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DC Comics Review: Batman and Robin #1

Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

BatmanRobin1

Rating: *** 1/2*

The new era of the Batman begins today in Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely “Batman and Robin”. As any reader of Comix 411 knows, I have not been kind to Mr Morrison and his work on the “Batman” title and the miniseries “Final Crisis” over the past year. Where many readers and other comic book reviewers have given him praise, I have been one of the few who have disliked the stories that Mr Morrison has laid out before us. I made a promise to myself that if I didn’t like the first issue of “Batman and Robin,” I would drop it immediately and not even give it a second chance. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t expecting to like it, but for whatever the reason, I will be collecting this title because this first issue was great!

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I really liked the story that Grant Morrison has set up here. It’s different. It’s certainly not the Batman we have known over the years and not simply because of the new people in the roles of Batman and Robin. The one negative thing about this book is Mr Quitely artwork. I’m not a huge fan of Frank Quitely. Although there are certain times that I’ve seen him draw some cool images, overall his work on a full 22 page comic usually leaves me wanting a much more traditional artist’s interpretation of comic characters - someone like Andy Kubert. I know Mr. Quitely will not be penciling every issue of “Batman and Robin” because he’s slow and can’t keep up the monthly pace of a comic book so I hope DC will give Andy a shot to fill in. I do like the splash page where Mr Quitley has the new Batman and Robin jumping out of the flying Batmobile. Yup, the new Batman and Robin have a flying Batmobile. There’s that and more.

Lets begin….

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