Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part 1

Batman: Streets of Gotham 12

by Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen

Is it important that when Paul Dini gets back to the writing table, the story reads better from a third-party viewpoint than when he’s trying to write Batman? This is probably a better narrative than usual, but it’s from a crook. She’s startled when Batman breaks up a fight and remembers her name, but we never get to see a recognition that it’s Grayson doing the remembering. Perhaps there’s a point to be made that most people can’t notice any difference in the man inside the Bat-suit, but there really should be some information for the reader about it.

Jenna Duffy turns out to be someone who is the architect for a lot of the underground hide-outs. Hey, somebody had to be the carpenter who made them, right? She’s slated to be executed after completing the job, and you’d think after her alleged years of doing this, that this would not be the first time someone had that idea. We take a small detour as Damian gives some support to Colin (Abuse), setting himself up the start of his own support network. The origins of Abuse are stretching even the believability of comics, though, and I was hoping this character would fade away, as Dini has spent too much time on him already when the book is supposed to be a little more about Batman. Even if they want to focus on Gotham, they really could stand to spend more time on the biggest character. Dini’s artwork is unimpressive here, with simplistic drawing even for his style.

Yet again, the second feature outshines the first, with Marc Andreyko’s Manhunter looking for her son. He can handle himself, but what’s-her-name escapes from prison and manages to duplicate Kate’s skin, so when Ramsey reaches his mother’s home, he thinks it’s his mom who answers the door. I’m sure it will all turn out fine!

Justice League of America 45

by James Robinson and Mark Bagley

I’m torn between seeing some nice full-page spreads of Green Lantern (Alan Scott) and Jade, and thinking that they could have put the first four pages all into one page and given me a little more story. The JLA/JSA team-up has Power Girl on a rampage, and Supergirl showing up to stop her, while Alan Scott is mysteriously catatonic and drifting away. We have to allow Jade to give the history of the Starheart and re-tell Alan’s origin for a couple pages, but it’s nicely drawn, if a little unsubtle about stopping to give the reader some background info.

In a convenient update, Batman and Mr. Terrific get immediate reports about all sorts of conflicts world-wide, all involving people who are magic–wielders going crazy or acting in a strange fashion. It’s all too pat and convenient for sure, but it allows them to spend a half-dozen panels on smaller spreads of other DC characters. Green Lantern wakes up, apparently possessed by the Starheart (which Jade thinks got shaken up when she was reborn after Blackest Night). It’s not the best story element, but it’s okay, and better than anything else Robinson has done with the book since he took it over, and Bagley’s art is arguably as good as it has ever been, so it’s worth looking at if you have spare cash.

Superman/Batman 72

by Paul Levitz and Jerry Ordway

Levitz is back! We begin with Superman out saving a civilization or three form a meteor, but in his attempt to repair some damage, it looks like he rebuilds a sacred structure incorrectly. Lex Luthor has used quantum physics to build a remote-viewer, and manages to see this culture. His meddling should give us headaches next issue.

While Superman is out of ear-shot, Batman picks up on a distress call when Lois Lane is kidnapped. Somehow, Lois has already been spirited away to a place where she is tied to a stake and fires are set around her. Some cult has decided she should have been Superman’s mate, because they are chanting his name like crazy and seem to have a mad-on for her marrying puny human Clark Kent instead of their favorite deity. Will Superman get back in time to catch on, or will Batman track her down before it’s time for dinner?

Jerry Ordway inks his own art and gives us a somewhat painted look to it that comes across well, with some nice attention by the colorist to make the pages shine appropriately. This is already one of my favorite issues of this entire series.

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