Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part Two

Batman: Battle for the Cowl: The Network 1

by Fabian Nicieza, Don Kramer, and J. Calafiore

We finally get to see Batgirl’s idea in action, and the result is this Network: a collection of heroes that basically add up to meet whatever the situation requires, invoking in the personnel whatever attributes of Batman are most needed. Between Kramer and Calafiore, there are some nice pictures in this story, but having this as a one-shot is probably as far as you can go, unless DC is looking to just replace Birds of Prey with this.

Hugo Strange is one of the escaped convicts from Arkham, and he’s heard about the imitation Batman already. He puts him through his paces with a deal that is ripped out of the Dark Knight movie: go to one location and rescue someone, the others will die. The plot isn’t that original, but the dialogue is good. The Huntress goes for the easy answer a little too quickly for my taste; most writers seem to be handling her almost as if she’s a female Punisher at this point. Overall it makes for a fun read.

Final Crisis Aftermath: Run 1

by Matthew Sturges and Freddie Williams II

The Human Flame takes center stage, and boy is he fat and hairy! Now, I know in the past I have asked for Williams to add better detail to his style, but a hairy guy running around in a hospital gown was not what I had in mind! I had trouble caring much about the guy. It’s very strange to see a pudgy, overweight loser get any kind of credit for killing the Martian Manhunter in the first place. Firestorm also appears to be a white guy for some reason here, so maybe the colorist messed up; of course, the multitude of people who get to see the comic before it goes to print didn’t catch it.

Probably the best scene in the book is where the villain links up with the mother of his child, charms her, and then ties her up to get at what he really wants, one of his old suits. Sigh. When will women ever learn not to go out with the bad boys? Still, I’m not really seeing much to recommend here.

Solomon Grundy 3

by Scott Kolins

Poison Ivy tries to make Solomon Grundy her minion, but Cyrus’ memories help drive him into a rage. The weird thing this time is that he doesn’t actually transform from Cyrus into Grundy, but he thinks he does. Perhaps some inhibiting factor in what Ivy did to him. He manages to die again anyway, and then gets led around by the nose by Etrigan. The story is hard for me to follow on a monthly basis, and I’m not sure if that’s because it’s not memorable enough, or if the storytelling is not “up front” enough to make sure the reader has the necessary information to follow it. While Kolins is great at the art, I do think he has more to learn about the words part of the story.

Strange Adventures

by Jim Starlin and Manuel Garcia

Things are getting slightly confusing: Huge growing energy eyes of Weird are making the stars disappear, while Synnar appears in the Weird’s body and gets knocked out by Captain Comet and friends. Then Synnar steps out of the shadows himself?!? Half of the story s side-tracked by Adam Strange’s attempt to find Comet, and we have what looks like a random mugging happen too him in the middle. It’s strange (or should I say weird) to think such an experienced individual known for thinking fast on his feet can get taken by a small group of thugs.

The backup story is mostly used for a setup between Bizarro and Megalodon-7, so they can have a massive fight next issue. There is something missing from the series at this point, and I think most of it is a lack of explanation for what is going on. Synnar’s prophecies already weren’t working out for him as a member of the Aberrant Six had to be changed out, and it’s kind of useless to have a story involving prophecy from such an uber-powerful member when his prophecies turn out to be so much junk. They need to tighten this up and get to the point faster to maintain interest.

Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.