Friday, February 22, 2013

This Week's Reviews

I really want to get caught up with my comics reading -- and the stacks keep growing! -- but I started reading Game of Thrones, so that might take a while. But there are some comics I read as soon as I get them, so here's what I read this week, with likely spoilers.

Red Hood and the Outlaws 17
This Death of the Family aftermath was a feel-good story until the end. Kori and Roy join Jason as he says his goodbyes to his Bat family. Dick won't come out to see Kori, but Roy tosses a football around with Damian, in a very sweet scene, and Bruce and Jason have a moment. Then Jason puts on his helmet, which has been tampered with by the Joker and ends up getting his face burned. Hopefully, it's something easily treated, but it would appear to be the thing needing to be dealt with for the next issue or two, likely through the promised WTF issue. Sheesh. But nice emotions and interactions in this, which makes up for the filler aspect of the last issue. And the cover? It was great, paralleling Jason's death when he was Robin, with the present reflecting the past. Really nice job. Too many artists worked on this book, but that cover by Mico Suayan really rocks.

DC Universe Presents Arsenal 17
Well, issue 17 of DC Presents
The focus on Roy is nice, showing more of his personality, but adds nothing to what we know so far about him. The flashback showing Croc refusing to kill him for him was pretty much lifted from an early RHATO, though without the more recent flashback that showed Croc pushing Roy toward AA, which left it feeling unfinished for a spotlight issue. Still, it was nice seeing Roy's mad skillz front and center. Next issue is focusing on Kori, which should be good.

Nightwing 17
Another Death of the Family aftermath. This has Dick back on his own, dealing with the tragedies wrought by the Joker. It starts with what looks like right after Bruce defeated the Joker, but moves quickly to Dick, in a tattered costume, retrieving Raya's body. This is the kind of thing that drives me crazy about multi-book stories; they don't neatly fit together. In the cave, when Dick and Jason talk in RHATO 17, Dick's in a clean costume, but here, he's wearing a tattered costume and it's hard to figure out the timing. Not a big thing, but irksome. The circus folks are all recovering and want nothing to do with Dick, which makes me sad because I was enjoying having the circus be part of the book. It was Dick's heritage and this was the first time the circus seemed to be a viable part of his current life, too, not just making an appearance. Still, you really can't go home again, I guess, and now that Dick's lost his own fortune, it means a possible change in direction for his life, and the book, which seems to be the norm for him. The scene with Damian at the end was nice. Damian seems to be useful for a lot of feel-good moments lately. However, the "Next Issue: Tragedy Strikes" seems rather over the top given how tragic recent events have been. Two deaths of circus folks and the fire seem rather tragic, so what next? In this version of the book and in the past, pre-New 52 version. the theme seems to be: How much crap can be dumped on Dick before he snaps?

Batwoman 17
A really nice end to the current story. From the gorgeous cover that screams "Batwoman Rises" to the last panel, this book delivered, especially with the art. I will greatly miss JH Williams III's art on this book, especially his imaginative layouts. Wonder Woman and Batwoman made for a great team and Bette as Hawkfire was awesome. I love her new costume and her kickass attitude here. Uncle Jake is a great trainer, along with experience, because now Bette takes no prisoners. She's focused and strong, physically and mentally. I hope we see more of her. And the way Kate tells Maggie she's Batwoman and proposes to her is priceless. The teaser for next issue promises more thrills, even with a new artist taking over.

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