Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part 1

Batman: Streets of Gotham 5

by Chris Yost and Dustin Nguyen

Chris Yost steps in to spot Mr. Dini, but he makes Huntress a one-note wonder. I can relate to her thinking: she’s mostly just a person going up against superhuman threats, and in the heat of battle, it makes perfect sense to defend yourself, even if it involves lethal force. However, they go one step further with this character. Helena doesn’t belief in redemption or rehabilitation, and focuses on a more permanent solution.

The slight problem I have with this is that they pound it home almost every page, until she comes across as bloodthirsty as the Punisher. There are shades of belief in this matter, but they really go overboard with her willingness –scratch that, her eagerness- to kill.

For the rest, the colorist gives us red “crisis” skies the whole time, which I don’t like, and the subplot involving a priest takes a strange turn when he asks for a sign, and Huntress and Man-Bat crash through the church roof. All of a sudden a disembodied voice tells this guy, who has been nothing except compassionate and faithful the entire time… to kill them. It doesn’t make much sense.

Marc Andreyko and Jeremy Haun handle the Manhunter feature, which focuses on Dylan. I only know that’s his name because I read the Manhunter series, but they don’t bother to identify him, which is lame. The story itself is better than the main feature, as Two-Face has his hooks into using Dylan, and Dylan relates how he was sucked into this particular Gotham freaky kind of life of crime. What does it say about this second feature that the first time I liked it, the main character wasn’t the main focus?

Blackest Night: Superman 3

by James Robinson, Eddy Barrows and Alan Goldman

Fire doesn’t stop the Black Lanterns nearly as well as it did in the Batman mini-series, but Krypto settles the deal with Lois Lane-2, and anytime you can show a dog with heat vision, that’s just ultra-cool. Robinson continues to mis-use his own voice, dumping it into each of the characters, to the point that Superman doesn’t sound like his normal self. Thankfully, he lets Barrows use his excellent pencils to tell a lot of the story, saving us the pain of too much dialogue.

The rest of the story is pretty cool, with killer art the entire way, and a resounding defeat for all of the bad guys. Chalk up another winner for the Blackest Night story.

The Brave And The Bold 28

by J. M. Straczynski and Jesus Saiz

Straczynski opens his run on this DC title with a Flash story that feels very much like his classic adventures. A science mishap sends him back to WW II with a broken leg, and he stumbles into the Blackhawks. Saiz does well on the art, giving us some excellent facial expressions for all the characters.

The key stopping point for Flash is that he took an oath not to take a life when he put on his costume, to the point that the Blackhawk leader threatens to kill him if he doesn’t join in the war effort. As a result, Barry takes off his uniform and puts on combat fatigues, and for the next few weeks, he becomes an American soldier. It is a good answer to the age-old question of when is it okay to kill, especially for someone who is supposed to be heroic and find a better way.

A very good start for Straczynski. Oops, his second issue for this title (thanks for the correction below). It felt longer than a month, but last time he did Batman and Dial H for Hero, and that was a good one too.

Outsiders 23

by Peter Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin

Man-Bat is a beast over in the Batman title above, but here he is with full intelligence in the swamps. I like the art better here, with Pasarin doing well to portray the menace. Unfortunately, we still have to live with Tomasi treating Katanna like a regular American, as opposed to the Japanese national we’ve always seen. She speaks with no unique character. Then she jumps underwater with a mouth-breathing unit, and still manages to call out Halo’s name at the same time. The depiction of the underwater environment is not that different from above ground, and can cause confusion if the reader isn’t paying close attention. They could have portrayed that better.

Man-Bat comes from out of nowhere to prose an alliance with Killer Croc, which makes no sense to me. Creeper has also lost his previous nonsensical gibbering, and now is acting more like Plastic Man. Although the art is good, this title needs a kick in the rear. Perhaps the Blackest Night knocking down their door next issue will shake things up.

Supergirl 46

by Sterling Gates, Greg Rucka and Jamal Igle

This entire issue is basically one big running fight with Reactron, but every time he gets the upper hand and is about to kill someone, he drops them and goes to attack someone else. It gets to the point that he’s powering up to kill Lois, and somehow he doesn’t bother to shoot. Instead, he turns around to grab Supergirl and Chris. Hello! What happened to the power-up in his right hand the panel before? The art is cool, at least.

Although the fight choreography could have been better, Thara transforms into the Flamebird manifestation and really take down Reactron. He gets shrunk down into a crystal for Supergirl to take to Krypton for justice. It makes for a solid middle part to his big story.

Superman/Batman 65

by Peter Johnson, Matt Cherniss, Brian Stelfreeze, Brian Haberlin, Kelley Jones, Joe Quinones, and Federico Dallocchio

The cover is cool, with the Super/Bat symbol dripping blood on a gravestone, but the insides are a letdown. Scarecrow somehow manages to infect Batman, superman, Joker and Lex Luthor, and make them all dream their own little personal nightmares. For some strange reason, we have red skies again for the backgrounds all over the place, but not nearly enough good detail. It’s a simple little story, but without much explanation. Just a timing thing to let a handful of artists try some weird stuff for Halloween. Very forgettable.

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