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08/04/2003: a bunch of brief comic reviews

Sigh. The pile of Batverse comics I intended to talk about after I've read them is getting higher and higher. I have no idea how people like melymbrosia manage to post such in-depth book reviews so regularly. I mean, I'm reading much too slowly to be able to get through that many books in such a short time in the first place, but that's not what I mean. After all I read comics fairly quickly. I guess I'm just too lazy. Instead of blogging about the comic I've just read I'm more likely to just read another comic. It's not that I don't enjoy talking about comics, it's more like inertia. It doesn't help that it's much too hot to feel comfortable in my apartment. I wish I had a laptop and a cheap wireless internet connection so that I could sit a park somewhere while writing blog entries and reading online.

Anyway, I figured instead of writing longer posts about each comic, I'll just write down a few sentences about each comic, and whether I liked it or not.

Outsiders #2 (written by Judd Winick, pencils by Tom Raney, inks by Scott Hanna)

I may give this series a few more issues, because I'm just a sucker for comics with Nightwing in them, but considering that I have to pay $2.50 for each installment, I'll drop this series unless it gets better. I liked some things, for example the scenes with Lex Luthor and his reaction to the crisis worked quite well for me. However I still don't feel like I'm getting to know the new team members, and what little interaction we see between all of them didn't make me want to see more of this team. Also, I really, really wish writers at DC would realize that the Joker is not the little black dress of supervillains. They might yet explain how he got out of the Slab (you know the jail that ended up in Antarctica after The Last Laugh, where he supposedly still is?), but my hopes are not high. I mean, I actually like the Joker as supervillain when he is used well, and I hope that we get an escape explanation, and that whatever the Joker has arranged (he only appears as a cliffhanger in this issue) turns out to be in character for him, so that it may yet make sense why he was chosen as villain.

Batgirl #42 (written by Dylan Horrocks, pencils by Adrian Sibar, inks by Andy Owens)

I still really dislike Adrian Sibar's art, so I was very happy when I saw in the August Previews order catalog that, beginning in October, Rick Leonardi and Jesse Delperdang will take over the Batgirl art. I think their run on Nightwing has been, while not stellar or anything, very solid artwise, and I like their style a lot better than Sibar's. However I like Batgirl as a character, and I'm really enjoying the early issues I picked up(*) recently. I'm not decided yet on whether I like Horrocks' direction with the story, especially with the romance. On one hand I like that Batgirl gets to show more of her "regular teenager" personality at least a little bit, however I'm not quite sure whether I think that Bruce's reactions to this as Horrocks depicts them are in character. Sure, that he's not happy about Batgirl dating Superboy/Kon-El I can easily see, but that he goes to see Superman about this and also outright forbids Cassandra to see Superboy again, I don't know.

(*) Okay, I didn't "pick them up" as much as I tracked the issues down in two RL and three internet comic book stores, but IIRC the first Batgirl issues are also available as TPB, so you can get them more easily, if you don't share my preference for collecting single issues, and don't get a thrill out of looking for back issues instead of just buying a TPB.

Batman #617 (written by Jeph Loeb, pencils by Jim Lee, inks by Scott Williams)

I'm really not sure what I think about this. As the story is now I can't really tell whether I'm going to like it (or maybe even hate it), at the moment I'm mostly confused. I sure didn't expect the cliffhanger [spoiler].[/spoiler] So I'll just have to wait how this one turns out in the final chapters, and hope Loeb manages to pull all the dangling threads together into something that surprises me and works.

Nightwing #83 (written by Devin Grayson, pencils by Rick Leonardi, inks by Jesse Delperdang and John Lowe)

I liked the opening conversation when Amy asks Dick to resign and his partner tries to stand up for him, also because we see how much it hurts not just Dick but also Amy to do this, but she feels she has no other option. I also like how Dick misses his police job. I thought the scene where he reenacts the entry into Redhorn's office to figure out who could have committed the crime was really cool, but then I always like scenes where Dick shows off his acrobatics ability. I'm not sure yet what to think about the Tarantula thing. I wasn't too thrilled with her appearance in the first place (I don't think there need to be still more costumes in Blüdhaven) but on the other hand if she really turns out to be a villain, at least she won't hang around too much in a Spoiler-like junior partner fashion. The Blockbuster plot, which confused me a bit in the last issue, becomes clearer, which is a good thing. Oh and I liked snarky Babs, though her appearance was unfortunately brief.

Nightwing Secret Files & Origins (by various)

I know, it's an older issue, which I just picked up(*) recently, and I've already read the main story, Taking Wing (that's the flashback story set during NML, when Nightwing is unconscious in that prison) in the TPB, however it was still worth getting for some of the other stuff. I'm not sure how well the Nightwing timeline would hold up under closer scrutiny, however you'll find amusing entries there like "Nightwing meets 853rd-century Batman and races to find a cure for the "Hourman Virus" which threatens to erode the minds of both man and machine." (Was that the plot of the 1,000,000 special issue? I haven't read that one.) More interestingly it also has an overview map of Blüdhaven and the Blüdhaven-Gotham corridor, as well as schematics of Nightwing's apartment and his building. Also, the profile pages are the first mention I've seen for Hogan's first name being really Hank, previously I've seen him always listed as Hank on resource websites but had been unable to find the name in the comics (though I might have just missed it). Overall the profile pages are the usual mixed bag, but I like getting some more background, especially on some of the "minor" villains that didn't get an origin story (yet), and the mob overview is actually really helpful. I tend to loose track of the names of all the mob guys, the union connections, and the rather complicated power structure within Blüdhaven's organized crime.

(*) see above for the "picked up" thing ;)

Posted by RatC @ 12:27 AM CET
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