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TO THE MATT CAVE – Batman and Robin #3 Reviewed!

28

Sep

Posted by Steve

Batmatt’s back with his review of Batman and Robin # 3.  What did our resident Batman fan think?  Read on:

Hello fellow geeks, Batmatt here with the next review of Batman and Robin’s latest escapades. We left the last issue with Dick Grayson speeding off on a four-wheeler that would make any redneck jealous. As issue three opens we find out that Batman has been busy, he has Rex the flame head hog tied and is tearing down the road holding his face just inches from the pavement. He is doing this to loosen the circus freak’s gums and get him to talk. Rex spills the goods on his boss on the steps of Gotham PD, and Commissioner Gordon is a little upset by the tactics used and flat out demands to know who this Batman is. In response, Dick Grayson says the line made famous by Michael Keaton, “I’M BATMAN”. Batman also gives a clue to Pyg’s plan but we readers have to wait a little longer because we need to see what is happening to Robin.

Batman_and_Robin_3.jpgRemember last issue the snot nosed spoiled brat was getting overtaken by a mob of creepy dollatrons and is now tied to a chair. As Robin wakes up he delivers the best line of the issue “so… whose neck do I break first?” I got to say this kids got guts, ten years old, tied to a chair, and he still knows he has the upper hand. So after I have a good chuckle I then get to cry big man tears as I have to read through some really bad writing. I suffer through 3 and a half pages of Pyg dialoguing in a way that only a lunatic can. Say what you will about any of Batman’s foes but you can always count on their dialogue to at least make some sense. Not so when it comes to Pyg. I finally got to breathe a sigh of relief when Robin removed his rope restraints and started to kick everyone’s teeth in. Then we go to Batman kicking the posterior of a dollatron that has an “Al-Qaeda special” strapped on, but there is no bomb only a sneezy dollatron that tries to blow his nose on Batman. Dick then realizes that the threat is biological. Robin is still fighting off the dollatrons and gets some help from an unfinished one named Sasha, the daughter of Niko, the drug dealer Pyg turned into a dollatron in issue 1. As Sasha burns Pyg he squeals and runs away. Robin pursues him and then gets knocked out. Batman rides in and saves Robin from getting skewered and both Batman and Robin knock Pyg out. In the words of the immortal Porky Pig “Th-th-th-that’s all folks!”

During the moments after the fight and before the police get to the scene Batman and Robin are talking and the realization that Dick saved Damien’s life settles in on Robin. It is my hope that some of the harder edges on the character of Damien are going to soften, at least to some degree. Right now all I see is a ten year old with a sardonic mouth twice his age. The end of the issue gets interesting as Batman and Robin are chasing down a lead on the guys that killed Bruce. Pyg is now in Arkham Asylum, and Sasha is killing off the dollatrons. The cops try and stop her, but they are gunned down by the Red Hood. The last time I read anything about Red Hood was in a genesis story of the Joker. The Red Hood was an idea, he was never just one man. The costume was passed around from thug to thug. The guy that was to become the Joker was wearing the costume when Batman pushed him into batch of chemicals, then poof, out comes the Joker. But in issue three, the Red Hood alludes that he is going to be a vigilante. Not like Batman, because the Red Hood carries a big red gun and does not have a problem killing cops.

Batman_and_Robin_3_variant_cover_batman_7957196_583_872.jpgStory- 3/5 This was a wrap up issue for the Pyg story arc and I have to say I did not like the villain at all which makes the experience harder to find good points in the story. The story lagged in a few spots, but it did have great action and some good dialogue between Batman and Robin.

Art- 5/5 Again great work, the art is so detailed and is one of the main reasons I enjoy reading comics today. A comic can have a great story and be completely ruined by poor, sloppy, lazy artwork. This does not happen in this issue and I hope it continues down this same path.

Covers- Main issue cover 5/5 it really conveys the Closterphobic feeling from the swarm of dollatrons as they close in on Batman and Robin.

Variant cover- 4/5 great cover I just felt that it did not have anything to do with the issue. It was just a good picture of Batman and Robin.

Final summary- This issue did not grab me like the first two did but there were several good moments in the story that helped redeem it. Not that I am complaining, I still get to read a comic and write about it. How sweet it is.

From the Desk of the Superclerk: Blackest Night #2 Reviewed

7

Sep

Posted by Steve

Basically, I wanted to give all of the GOO readers a lot to read, I kept all of this until Labor Day.  So now you all have something to do, and I’m finally caught up with the reviews that Jason aka Superclerk has sent in.  If you enjoy Superclerk’s writing, check out his podcast, Flicks, that he hosts with his friend Dan. You can find it over at sfpros.podzone.net. Once again, my apologies to Jason for not getting his reviews out in a more timely manner. You didn’t read the site to read me talk about all that though. Here’s Jason with his review of Blackest Night #2:

The Blackest Night has begun…

Inside the Stonechat Museum located in St. Roch, a phone rings. Blood covers the floor and signs of a battle lay strewn about. On the other end of this phone call is Ray Palmer, The Atom.

Blackest_Night_2.jpgRay is trying to get through to Carter Hall, Hawkman, and tell him why he is still mourning the death of his wife even though in the end she was a murderer. When the call connects and he pleads to his friend to just listen for a few minutes he is answered by the voice of Carter asking him to come over. Ray accepts the invitation without knowing that his friend is dead and the voice he is hearing is that of Hawkman of the Black Lantern Corps.

The next scene is one I found very touching and also a good look into the world of the Gotham City police force. Gordon and Barbara are sitting on the roof drinking coffee and standing around the glow of the Bat Signal. Gordon is concerned about Batman and tells his daughter that he feels that something is wrong. He doesn’t know what it is but it’s the same feeling that he had when the first Batgirl stopped being seen. The police knew something had happened and that it wasn’t good.

Barbara comforts her father and lets him know that she will stay up on the roof with him until it’s time to turn the signal off.

The tender moment is over when Green Lantern smashes down onto the Bat Signal smashing it to bits.

Meanwhile, in Amnesty Bay…

Mera is taking Garth and a few Atlantean soldiers to the grave of Arthur Curry, Aquaman. She has finally allowed Garth to take the body of Aquaman to the burial place of their kings. While she is not happy about this she has allowed for the sake of her people.

They come to the resting place of their King and friend and find that the grave has been torn open and the body missing. As the two try and figure out which of Aquaman’s foes could have done this they are interrupted by a voice from behind.

Aquaman stands risen and takes out a few of the soldiers before anyone can react to his sudden appearance. As the blood begins to be spilt on the wet ground he attacks the two people he loved the most in the world.

Back in Gotham City we find another hero in the midst of peril. Boston Brand, Deadman, is under attack from the voice of the Black Lanterns. He can hear it calling for him to rise and he’s doing everything he can to stop it from happening.

A black ring digs into the dirt of his grave as he attempts to stop it but his actions prove useless.

A boney hand pushes through the earth and soon the whole corpse of Boston Brand is flying into the air and away from the spirit that once called the body home.

In Washington D.C. more rings seek out flesh and come across the resting places of the duo known as Hawk and Dove. While one ring is able to claim the corpse of Hawk the other ring attempts to claim Dove but is forced away with the proclamation that Don Hall of earth is at peace. Finally we are shown a weakness of the Black rings. This is the first time they have not been able to claim a body in the series so far.

I like this idea. I had thought that the rings could bring back whoever they wanted and to have Don Hall deemed “At Peace” makes me wonder why he is so special. What other heroes will not return due to finally resting in the peace they deserve?

We return to Aquaman tearing apart the people who had come to blackest_night_issue_2_variant.jpgreturn their King home. The soldiers are torn apart and Mera has just plunged her trident into the chest of dead her husband. This does nothing to slow him down and instead he manages to get closer and able to attack.

Garth is fighting a new battle with the risen corpses of his former lovers, Dolphin and Aquagirl. As they attack his mind with accusations of loveless relationships they tear at his body as well.

More soldiers come to the aid of the heroes but before they can even leave the water they are consumed by sharks at the command of Aquaman.

Back at the grave of Boston Brand we see a gathering of some of earths mightiest heroes of the supernatural. With the grave ripped open as we have seen of the others they are trying to figure out what it all could mean. Before they can try and come up with a possible scenario they find themselves with a visitor. A once dead ENTER NAME HERE visits them and soon explodes in a rain of gore and Black Lantern rings.

Standing back hidden from sight is Black Hand. He smiles as one ring finds it’s way to Crispus Allen… currently the host of the Spectre. The power of the Black ring pins the Spectre inside and allows Allen to rise and join the ranks of the Black Lantern Corps.

Crispus Allen grows to tower over the grave yard and calls out for Hal Jordan. This is a massive splash page and it works to show the power of the Spectre. I’m thinking this isn’t a good thing for Hal Jordan to have to face while also dealing with the Blackest Night.

Coming back to Hal Jordan, we find Gordon helping him up from the smashed Bat Signal on top of police headquarters. While he tries to shake off the attack we see that Barry Allen, The Flash, is still battling Martian Manhunter. Hal asks if he can borrow a cop car and heads off to help his friend.

The battle continues as Mera and Garth fight against the undead versions of their former flames. Aquaman is attempting to rip Mera’s heart from her chest when she manages to use her power over the water around her to blast him away. Garth hits Dolphin with a blast to her face, which freezes her head. A blow from Mera with the trident causes her head to shatter. This is a momentary set back for the Black Lantern as her head grows back almost immediately.

While Mera struggles with Dolphin, the risen Aquagirl over powers Garth and his heart is torn from his body. As Mera screams out to her fallen friend he is sought out and taken by a Black ring. Mera escapes as the undead team now including Garth searches for her.

We return to the battle between Flash and the Martian Manhunter. As Barry manages to get J’onn in a pool of chemicals, Hal returns to the fight hauling a police cruiser along. He throws the car down which causes a massive explosion that consumes the undead Manhunter and lights up the Gotham City night.

While the two heroes discuss the possibility that J’onn might not be the only victim of the Black rings, the smoke clears and we find that Martian Manhunter is very much unfazed by the fire and that he now has back up in the form of Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Firestorm, and the Dinby’s.

The battle has only just begun.

STORY: 5/5

It’s still going strong, as this entire issue is nothing but battles between heroes and Black Lanterns. The chaos is unfolding and the heroes of the DCU have no idea what is going on.

Both of the major battles are done very well as we lose another hero to the Black Lanterns and we see two of the major players do their best and not even leave a scratch on their adversary.

The strength of the members of the Black Lantern Corps has been shown and it really seems like the heroes have meet a challenge that may not be defeated.

ART: 5/5

Still excellent. I remain convinced that Ivan Reis is the perfect choice for this main story. His ability to create a world for this story that is familiar yet darker than the DCU we know and love is perfect.

Like Commissioner Gordon says in the book, “The sky seems so much darker tonight.”

COVERS:

Regular Edition: 5/5

I really dig this cover. The lone Hal Jordan glowing green in the midst of the most powerful undead that has ever been is a striking image. The best part is… Hal doesn’t look scared at all.

Variant Edition: 5/5

It’s an undead Aquaman riding a giant zombie seahorse while commanding an army of skeletal fish and great white sharks. Need I say more?

ALL IN ALL –

I know it seems like I have nothing bad to say about this series… but I don’t. So far I have loved all that I’ve seen and I hope it keeps this momentum

From the desk of the Superclerk – Blackest Night Tie-In Wrap up

7

Sep

Posted by Steve

In an effort to get all caught up on the site, here’s yet another round of reveiws from our man Superclerk.  This time, Superclerk runs through a quick wrap up of the tie ins to the Blackest Night crossover that is currently running through the DC Universe.   Here’s Jason:

Blackest Night Quick Hits – A quick look into the Blackest Night tie-ins and cross overs.

Blackest Night has begun…

Green Lantern Corps #39

green_lantern_corps_v2_39t1.jpgIt all gets pretty real for the GL Corps in this issue as the black rings find their way to Oa and the crypt of the fallen Lanterns.

We see the same thing we have been seeing in every issue of Blackest Night so far… The Green Lanterns are nowhere near strong enough to fight the Black Lanterns.  The black rings rip through the shields and constructs as if they were melting butter.  It all comes to a head when the fallen Corps rise and we realize that there is an army forming that is more powerful than anything we have seen before in the DCU and it’s made up of some of the best soldiers to ever enter the field of battle.

Oh, and Kyle Rayners dead ex fiancé comes back from the dead.  I would say things are looking up but that would be a lie.

Green Lantern #44 & #45

green_lantern_44.jpgIt begins with the rise of the Martian Manhunter.  I know what you’re thinking… “Thank God… we are saved!”  You would be wrong.  Don’t forget… a person coming back from the dead, at this time, is not a good thing.

It’s the beginning of the fight between Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, and J’onn J’onzz and let me tell ya… it’s a humdinger.

Like all the other battles with a Black Lantern, this one doesn’t go well.  With all their power the two heroes can’t even slow down the Zombie Manhunter.

While the fight continues we get to see Black Ring swarms closing in on some very important places in the DCU… the home worlds of the other Corps.

The issue ends with John Stewart sitting on a chunk of rock in space.  There are lots of chucks of rocks where he’s at as this is the location of a planet that he is responsible for it’s destruction.  What’s left of the planet Xanshi is hit with a swarm of black rings and the call for it to rise is a powerful image that had me saying, “oh, crap…”

green_lantern_45.jpgIssue #45 opens with the resurrected planet.  Let me tell you, I dig that so much it hurts.

The rest of the issue is a battle between the Star Sapphires and the Sinestro Corps.  Sinestro and Carol Ferris yell at each other and punch each other in the face and that’s all well and good.  It’s when, in the middle of the fight, Abin Sur arrives with a group of Black Lanterns shows up that it finally comes to a head.

We then get shown two really cool things.  A swarm of black rings hovers above the home of the Blue Lanterns awaiting death so that they may claim more flesh and the really cool moment when the rings raise the corpses of the victims of Agent Orange.

Once again, “Oh, crap…”

Blackest Night: Titans #1

It’s Heroes Day and the Titans have gathered to mourn the loss of blackest_night_titans_1.jpgthe fallen team members.  Garth and Cyborg have a few words about the statue dedicated to Terra.  There is a little bad blood there as she did almost help murder the whole team.  Garth thinks she could have been helped and that there was a hero’s heart somewhere inside her.

Talk of other fallen loved ones continues through out the book and soon the dead begin to rise and we are greeted with a risen Terra and a very ghostly image of Donna Tory’s dead baby… creepy.

In the other story of the book the newer versions of Hawk and Dove must face the risen Hank Hall in a fight to the death.  It doesn’t look like the new Hawk is making it out of this one…

I still love the image of the black ring hovering over the grave of the original Dove and not being able to claim him.  Don Hall of Earth is at peace…

Blackest Night: Batman #1

blackest_night_batman_1.jpgI bet you thought the rings would bring back the fallen Bruce Wayne in this story.  It’s not going to happen here, folks.  There ate other people crawling from the grave in this book.

Our new Batman and Robin discover that the Grayson’s and Drake’s have returned to see how their sons have grown up… and to make sure they stop growing all together.

Deadman helps our heroes figure out what exactly is going on but they don’t have time to do anything about it because a big group of dead villains have also been given a second chance and they are now on the hunt for the Caped Crusader.

The scary part about this story is that we have seen some of the most powerful heroes of the DCU stand up to the power of the Black Lanterns and have absolutely no luck at all.  Now we have mere humans heading into the battle.

They are so dead.

Blackest Night: Superman #1

Kal-L of Earth 2 is commanded to rise and he is all too happy to BlackestNight.Superman_Cv1.jpgcomply.  I know for a fact that this isn’t going to end well.

Kal-L heads to Smallville and begins to kill lots of people in a way that doesn’t alert the visiting Superman.

Eventually Superman and Connor meet up with Kal-L and the sucky part of this meeting is that it’s over the grave of Jonathan Kent.  A fight ensues and, as you can guess, Superman and Connor have no luck at all at stopping the Earth 2 Superman.

A risen Earth 2 Lois Lane kidnaps Martha Kent and the book ends with a stand off on Smallville’s main street between Earth 2 Superman and Lois Lane and our Superman and Connor Kent.  What’s at stake?  The future of Jonathan and Martha Kent.

The really cool thing about this issue is that we see a lot of the POV of the Black Lanterns.  Now, we’ve seen this shown in other Blackest Night books but not in this way.  Every time we see a shot from the BL POV we see the emotion of the person they are up against.  If they are facing off against a Green Lantern, they glow green with will power, a Sinestro Corps member glows yellow with fear, and so on and so forth.  When Earth 2 Superman looks at our Superman he sees the entire spectrum in one person.  It goes back and forth depending on the situation but it’s still the first time we have seen all in one and I think that’s pretty awesome.

Also in this book, as if we didn’t have enough to deal with, we get the rise of Zor-El… Supergirl’s recently murdered father.

ALL IN ALL –

So far the first group of tie-ins and crossovers are a success and it keeps the Blackest Night books at the top of my reading list each and every week.

From the Desk of The Superclerk – Adventure Comics #1 Reviewed

7

Sep

Posted by Steve

Well, I’ve had this one sitting in my inbox for a couple of weeks now.   I apologize to Jason for not getting this from him to the people sooner.  I have to say that I too pickedup Adventure comics #1 and there’s something very special about it.  There’s not a ton that happens, but I felt it was a great first issue and I’m sold on the new journey of Superboy, and for the first time in my comic collecting history, it looks like I’ll be getting into the adventures of the Legion of Superheroes.  But, enough with my thoughts, here’s Superclerk with his review of Adventure comics #1:

adventure_comics_1.jpg

Alright, folks…

Next to the beginning of The Blackest Night this book has been my most anticipated comic to come out this year. It’s something I didn’t think would happen and even, to a point, didn’t think should happen.

Connor Kent has returned to the DC Universe. And he’s got his own title to carry for the cherry on top.

Just to give you a brief history of my love for the character we have to travel back to the event that got me from being a kid who read random comics to one who collected comic books. That event was the death of Superman.

After Superman died and was replaced by the four Super Imposters, I went heavy into getting all the Super titles. I didn’t miss an issue. When the event was over and two characters became supporting role people and two were given their own books I made the decision to follow both Superboy and Steel where ever they went.

It was harder to follow Steel as his book came to an end and he spent a lot of time hopping around the DCU helping out heroes all over the place. Superboy was easier as his title managed to last one hundred issues and even had a team book in the middle of that. Superboy and the Ravers wasn’t the best book in the world but I bought it anyway.

I followed the character to Young Justice then onto the Teen Titans. It was here that the character really came into his own and finally got out of the shadow of Superman. Unfortunately it came to a close fast as he sacrificed himself during a Crisis at the hands of Superboy Prime.

The death was a good one. Connor had been through a lot the last year and had even called it quits on being a hero, quietly hiding in Smallville trying to be a normal teenage boy. He came back to the fight and went up against a foe he knew was more powerful than he was. He knew that taking Prime on would be the last thing he would ever do. He didn’t even look back.

His passing was one shrouded in legal issues and so much double speak that readers were sure we would never see him again. But it was somehow ok. He went out the hero we all knew him to be.

And then he returned.

The story is a long one. The short version is that he was brought back the same way Superman came back from the dead only his revival took one thousand years and the Legion was involved.

So now he has returned to his own time and that’s where we pick up Adventure Comics #1 and see where his story leads us next.

The book opens with Connor returned to the Kent farm. He has begun where he left off… doing chores, playing with Krypto, attending high school. One thing has changed though. Jonathan Kent has passed while Connor was gone. The farm feels quiet. Connor feels the need to help where he can. To make up for lost time.

The issue is set up as Connor makes a checklist of what Superman did to become the hero we know. Number one on that list is living with the Kents. Connor has this covered. He moves into the room Clark grew up in.

Next up on the list is attending Smallville High. He signs up for classes and assumes a normal teenage life in the small town. It’s a funny scene, as he has to choose between Animal Husbandry and Chemistry 101. I’m glad my high school didn’t have that kind of a class. With the luck I had back in those days I would have ended up in there. Connor picks chemistry.

Joining a team of superheroes is an easy one to check off the list as Connor returns to the Teen Titans. It’s a good scene. Connor and Bart, who came back from the dead during the same adventure, destroy the memorial statues that were put up after their deaths, letting people know that that they have returned.

During all these scenes we see flashbacks to Clark as a kid doing these simple things as well. Laying the groundwork that Connor is trying to live up to. In this scene we see a panel showing us a young Clark as Superboy flying with the Legion of Superheroes. This answers questions as to what role Clark had as a boy in this new timeline since the Crisis a couple years back. Not only is our Superboy back… but the original one has returned as well.

One his way back to the farm, Connor spots a young girl falling into a river and swoops in for the save. Before he can get there, Krytpo pulls her from the water and brings her to dry land. She’s fine and Connor flies her home with his loyal dog following along.

We take a break from the story of Connor at this point and see a scene in which a teen is taking samples from a body of water. While the kid talks to himself about the mysteries that have popped up in the last few weeks surrounding the town he comes face to face with a massive creature that rises from the water. The boy runs off while the creature speaks in mysteries. Something about the boy becoming Connors best friend and eventually his greatest enemy. It makes me want to know more.

Before making it back to the farm Connor stops at a large house that is falling apart and nearly part of the landscape as the foliage has begun to absorb the house. This is the former home of Lex Luthor. Lex lived in Smallville as a youth. Much like in the Smallville television show. I like it.

Connor isn’t alone for long as he gets a visit from Superman. They discuss Lex. The talk about his stay in Smallville and Clark’s relationship with the man who wants nothing more than to see him dead.

The whole point of the talk is to let Connor know that he isn’t Lex. He isn’t Clark either. Connor is his own person. Everything he does and everything he becomes is all him and no one else. In case you aren’t up to date on the origin of Superboy, Connor is made from the genetic material of both Superman and Lex Luthor. Crazy, I know.

Superman makes Connor promise him that he won’t go near Lex. Connor promises and the two part ways.

Connor finally returns to the farm and heads upstairs before dinner. We see him pull a journal out of hiding and he updates it. There are check marks next to all the events we have seen Connor do over the course of the day and it seems he is on the right path to follow in the footsteps of Earth’s greatest hero.

advcom1var.jpgThen we see the other page opposite the one about Superman. This page is going to become a list of the things that Lex Luthor does. The first thing on the list is that Lex lies to Superman. Connor checks this item.

He lied to Superman about not seeking out Luthor. Dun dun dunnnnn!

That’s the end of the story involving Connor but that’s the end of the book…

The next bit is our introduction to the Legion side of this book. It’s a double feature kind of thing as Connor and the Legion share top billing of this title. I’m excited to see more of the Legion after the Legion of Three Worlds book and to be teamed up with Superboy makes things even better.

The story is a short one as we get a little origin of the Legion and then a story dealing with Starman, who is currently stuck in present day and has most of his mind lost as well.

He pops up in Smallville and after accidentally trashing the local bowling alley he meets up with another Legion member who happens to be the same creature that we saw rise from the water in the last story.

They talk a little and the short of it is this…

Starman’s mental breakdown is getting worse and the future is in peril unless they do something. That’s a good enough set up for me. Let’s get this ride started!

STORY:

SUPERBOY: 5/5

Ok… I’m a little biased. But I did think it was an excellent start to the book. It’s what I wanted in a return to the character.

A few of things I’m going to like is that this is feeling like a Smallville TV show book. I’m hoping it takes the best of the show and the best of a comic and puts it all together into a compelling read.

LEGION: 4/5

It was a little short so it didn’t have much to go with. But it left me wanting more so it did the job it was supposed to do. I think the teaming of these characters in a single book is a great idea.

ART:

SUPERBOY: 5/5

I know. Deal with it. I loved this issue. The art is my kind of art and that only makes me love it more. It’s simple but the coloring of the pages really makes it feel real. I want to see more.

LEGION: 4/5

I dig it. It works with the story and it’s pretty clean work. The team they have set up for this book lends well to each other.

COVERS:

REGULAR EDITION: 5/5

A simple cover that shows us the simple story. Superboy is fighting with the fact that he was created from the world’s greatest hero and it’s greatest villain. The image says it all and it’s a good-looking piece. I would hang it on my wall. Christmas is right around the corner folks… hint, hint…

VARIANT COVER: 4/5

The cover is made up of a few boxes showing us different characters we are going to be dealing with in the book. It works and I like it. I’m going to like it better as the issues keep coming out because it looks like all the variants are going to be this set up. That’s going to look mighty cool all laid out next to each other…

ALL IN ALL:

I’m excited for this book. It seems to be a good time for the DCU. Superman is pretty good right now, Superboy is back, Blackest Night is in full swing…

This Fanboy is a happy one.