Super Types

September 22, 2009

Fenix: A Week In Review

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What a week, what a week! So many great books hit the stands this week that it was hard to figure out what to read first! With that said let’s not sit around chatting like a bunch of old biddies in rocking chairs.

bmrob-cv4Batman & Robin #4

Same Bat station all new Bat story arc! Last issue we got a glimpse of the Red Hood and this time around he is center stage, delivering a heaping handful of insight into what is driving this gun toting vigilante. At his side is Scarlet, his version of Robin who you all will remember from the first story arc as one of Dr. Pyg’s victims gone mental. She completes this twisted version of the Dynamic Duo driven by the Hood’s quest for vengeance. Right in their sights is the Gotham underworld and Batman and Robin not only have to fight the underworld, but track down and stop the Hood and his slightly unstable partner.

Playing catch up for most of the book is Batman and Robin who have been unable to catch the Hood in action and put a stop to him. It seems that for the better part of a week the Hood has been beating them to the punch, and paying the price is the crime community as the Hood is executing the villains one by one.

The tag line says it all: The fight against crime grows up. The Hood’s campaign of terror against Gotham’s underworld is all about new methods and punishments to match the ever changing methods of Gotham’s criminals, and the new types of crimes they perpetrate on Gotham’s citizens. While we may not yet know who this incarnation of the Red Hood is, at least two possible names pop into my head right away. Is this the return of the Joker? Is this his way of paying some sort of twisted tribute to Batman? If it is not the Joker then has Jason Todd resurfaced? The last anyone saw of Todd was in the Battle for the Cowl mini-series.

Even Batman thinks this could be Jason but only time will tell. In looking at the Red Hood his costume does share a striking resemblance to the Batman’s. It just has that certain feel and look to it that leads me to think this is Jason Todd. It would be fitting that one of the most troubled Robin’s would take to this violent methodology for confronting Gotham’s criminals. The similarity between the Hood and Scarlet and Batman and Robin is eerie. Both the Red Hood and Batman are driven and focused. Both have young partners in need of mentoring and these young partners are violent. The difference here is that Robin embraces this violence as a means to an end while Scarlet seems to be frightened by it. She fears that there is something wrong with her; that she is evil.

Readers should not be dismayed that Batman and Robin play second fiddle to Red Hood and Scarlet this issue, as right up front you get to see what the Red Hood and Scarlet are about. You also get a look inside their lair and some excellent dialogue between them.

I said it last week and I will say it again; DC is not shy about slapping the cliffhanger card down on the table. They have us salivating for the slobber knocker that issue #5 should be delivering. How will Batman deal with the Hood? How is Robin going to confront Scarlet when he already has failed her once? No matter how this plays out we are in for a feast for the eyes as the artistic team of Philip Tan and Jonathan Glapion are kicking arse and taking names. I know there are those that may not have wanted Frank Quitely to take a time out from the book, but so far I am all for this. If this team can churn out another issue like this then those people have nothing to fear; this is an A+ effort here and I loved the change in pace.

bmsog-cv4Batman: Streets of Gotham #4

Short on action this time out the fourth installment is more about setting a mood for the next couple of issues. We open with “Bruce Wayne” (a.k.a Thomas Elliott – Hush) making a donation under the watchful eye of one of his many new chaperons to Gotham’s houses of worship. The scene shifts to a young boy standing outside a closed down youth shelter getting snatched up and shoved into a van in a dark alley. A limo passes by shortly after and the main star of this issue is revealed. Wheeling and dealing abandoned properties in Gotham is the Broker and he deals with the underworld and sets them up with whatever they need. Fancy a closed down meat packing facility? You call the Broker and you bring cash. He just provides the base of operations and looks the other way. He doesn’t want to know what you do after the keys are handed over. This time though, the Broker is dealing with Victor Zsasz, the one person in Gotham that makes him feel dirty about what he does for a living.BSOG4p1

Broker is not an animal, he is a business man and when Batman and Robin show up at his office door for a little chat he is already into the booze trying to cope with what he saw Zsasz roll into the property he sold him. It is not much of a choice for him this time around. He is a father and the kids in the cages are not something he can look the other way about. Like he said though, he is a business man and making a deal with Batman would get him killed. So you have to keep up appearances and take a beating every now and then so you can sleep at night. In the end you are left with the impression that Batman walks away with what he wanted.

The book while not action packed, keeps its gritty feel and while it lacks any kung-fu feats of awesomeness it still moves at a great pace. Every now and then you just need a story that will set up future action and maybe provide a look at the back story of either a character or a location. In this case you get a glimpse of Gotham in the past and the origins of its criminal past. Over all I liked this slight change in pace.

Second Feature: Manhunter

I want to try and find something good to say about this… I do. I just can’t get into it though, which has always been my problem with this character. I admit I skipped it the first time through the book. I forced myself the second time. Long story short Kate Spencer survived the assassination attempt by Jane Doe and her alter ego wants to smack someone around to take off the steam. She knows Two-Face is behind this and she calls him out in her press conference letting him know that the Gotham D.A.’s office is going to bring him down no matter what it takes. As you can imagine Two-Face is so not shaking in his boots and I am sure at some point we will see him play a more active role in trying to take her head off.

839673-13_dark_avengers_9_superDark Avengers #9

Who wants to hug it out?! Honestly, talk about a Hallmark moment waiting to happen that you didn’t see coming. So if you are one of those people that judges a book by its cover then you are not gonna be happy. Scroll down now and skip the rest of what I am about to say and you can thank me later.

Is there action and property damage galore?! Is there big talk and a ticked off god of war swinging his ax for the fences?! Is there Nick Fury defusing the situation with his words instead of his trigger finger? Wait, what? Yes this hinted at show down between Ares and Fury takes place, yet no punch is thrown, no bullet sent astray or skull split. Instead what we get is Fury having a heart to heart with Ares about his son Alexander and his role in Fury’s Secret Warriors.

Lets back up a bit though as I am jumping ahead. The meat and potatoes of the story starts with Ares and Alexander going through their morning domestic routine. The morning news is on the tube and here is where the fun begins for young Alexander. The news coverage just happens to be of the events in old San Fran, and who is on the TV but dear old dad smacking those ever so evil mutants around. Knowing that something is bothering his son, Ares wants to know what is on his mind. What follows is the typical ‘father knows best’ and ‘shut your trap and get to school’ moment as Ares does not like his son questioning his working for Osborn. Moments after his father storms out telling him to get to school, as anyone with half a brain can guess, this is exactly what Alexander doesn’t do. Instead of going to school he is greeted by teammate Daisy as he leaves the family apartment and after hopping behind her on her scooter (lucky dog) the two zoom off with Alexander holding on tight. Now Ares being Ares, he knows that something is up, and being the god of war he knows a thing or two so he trails his son and Daisy to where ever it is they are off to.

Cue the collateral damage as Ares having tracked them to their safe house smashes not only through the front door but then smashes his way through the floor into the buildings sub level. Not heeding Fury’s warning, Hellfire attempts to take out Ares only to get donkey punched unconscious. Here is the best part; all of Ares fury and vigor is defused by a simple response from his son. Wanting to know if this is what he has been doing all along behind his back Alexander simply answers, “The world’s kind of messed up”. You can see the shame in his father’s face. This one moment leads to the heart to heart between Ares and Fury. Ares wants better for his son than the way he was raised and he has no clue how to go about it. He has no clue about the things his son has done under Fury’s guiding hand and this catches Ares off guard. He realizes this is Alexander’s choice to make, and a path that he has to walk on on his own. In the end you get the threat you know is coming as Ares makes it clear that if anything happens to his son things will not go well for Fury.

The cover hints at some battle royal but what we get here is, in my humble opinion, ten times better. Ares is made to seem human and you get past all the bravado and are reminded that like any father Ares wants what is best for his son, even if like every other father on the face of the planet he may not have a clue how to go about providing it. This so far has to be one of my favorite issues of Dark Avengers; the writing is just great and reminded me why I loved the Ares mini so much. That was all about a fathers love for his son and what he would do to protect his child. I only hope that the upcoming Ares mini is as good as this. Now I would be remiss if I did not tell you to check out the second to last page for the “oh sh!t” moment of the book. I am not going to give it away but I will tell you that the Sentry is having some family issues and you will not want to miss it. So go and get issue #9 for crying out loud!

84_punisher_9Punisher #9

Tell me you are reading the Punisher. Admit it, you like this book and you want to scream so from the roof tops! I have not had this much fun reading old Frankie in a long time. The Hood’s horde of recently returned to the living villains are throwing everything they have at Frankie and co as Microchip makes with the plan to bring down the Punisher once and for all. While these assassins may not be able to slow Frank down, it is the man that knows the Punisher better than anyone that is doing the real damage. Having hacked Frank’s system Microchip has his war journal at his disposal and he is making with the psychological warfare big time.

The question you have to ask yourself though is Microchip right? Did Frank turn the Hood down on his offer because he knows his family would reject him? Would his family turn their backs on him and the man he has become? If deep down Frank knows this to be true than what does it say about his quest for vengeance?

The body count is climbing as this story arc is drawing to a close, and there are big things coming to Frank’s door as everything is falling into place for a show down with the Hood himself. After all, someone has stolen the bodies of Franks family from their graves. The future only seems to be getting darker for Frank and if you read between the lines it just may be that his time is just about up.

With luck more clues will show up in Punisher Annual # 1 which is out this Wednesday, and then there is Dark Reign the List: Punisher which is out next month.

capreborn3covFULLReborn: Captain America #3

So this is what we know so far; Captain America is not dead, he is trapped in time and the key to bringing him back into the here and now is locked away in the body of the person who thought she had killed the man she loved. Making this worse is that Norman Osborn has figured this out and has put out a warrant for her arrest via national TV. He let the world know the face and name of his “killer” in an attempt to force her to turn herself in. If she does this than current Captain America, Bucky Barnes, will be set free (he got himself captured last time round), and if she doesn’t than she will be responsible for the death of a second Captain America. Never fear, for the Falcon is here and busting Bucky Captain America free from his Thunderbolt captors while they transport him to a holding facility. With the help of Ant-Man (who is supposed to be helping transport him) in the chaos, Bucky Captain America gets free and goes about pounding the ever loving stuff out of Scourge (who had been putting his hands all over Cap’s shield when they had him restrained).

With Bucky Cap free, everything is looking up for out heroes and this is only part 3 of this 5 part tale. So what could possibly go wrong? What is that you say? Sharon did what when no one was watching her? No Sharon why!? Why did you turn yourself in?! Frick!

Now Osborn has the key to pulling Captain America’s body back into the time stream, and having figured out what the Red Skull’s original plan was for Cap’s body, he has cut a deal with Crossbones and Sin to bring the Red Skull to him to complete that plan; Put the Red Skull’s mind into Captain America’s body. Why would Osborn do this? He is Osborn and he is a d!ck, and now the Skull will owe him.

Strap on your armor, lace up your boots, and hang on kids as the final two issues are going to be epic! I can’t wait! Is it October yet? I don’t know which is better; all the killer flashbacks through Captain America’s life or the action taking place on the main stage! If you can’t tell, I am in love with what Brubaker is doing with not only this book but Captain America in general. He has made Captain America not only great again but important again!

moon-knightVengeance of the Moon Knight #1

Moon Knight, how I have missed you so. All I can say is you sure know how to make an entrance and let the world know that you are back. It is just another hot summer day in the city that never sleeps and there are criminals to be punished. That is just what the Moon Knight is all about. He is out to prove that he is the hero he used to be and he is back for one man and one man only: Norman Osborn. The world thinks he is dead, killed by Osborn’s crew, and man oh man is Osborn going to be ticked off to find out that they missed their target.

He is done hiding; he is done with small time hoods and sneaking around. This time he wants to be on center stage where the people of NYC will see him and his deeds and where Norman will have to deal with him.

If you want to bring a character back with a bang this is the way to do it. Talk about hard core action and smart writing! Hurwitz has crafted an excellent beginning to what I hope is a long run to this new chapter in the tale of Marc Spector. What you get is a man who is well aware of his shortcomings and is struggling to do right this time around. He doesn’t want to be that cold and calculating killer. He wants to be a hero, he wants to find redemption and he wants to regain his sobriety. He wants to be the one to bring down Norman and save the world. Right now standing in his was is the Sentry. That’s right, first a cruise down Broadway and now the Sentry. Issue #2 can’t get here soon enough!


Jason Fenix



  1. Jake

    Moon Knight was sweet! Totally digging the whole sort of batman look to his armor!

    • Jason

      Very true. I didn’t want to come right out and say it but you do get that feel from it. At least I know I am not the only one that thought that.

  2. billy

    I thought Dark Avengers was a great issue. The father/son angle was good. Also any book with Fury in it has got to be good.

    • Jason

      I know right! I know some people will pick it up because the cover will lead them to think Ares and Fury are going to have a throw down and I hope this approach to their confrontation doesn’t make them feel let down. In a way this was a far more entertaining and clever way to go about what everyone knew was going to be a “If you get my kid killed I am going to eat your face” conversation. Ares needs to be seen like this from time to time or he is being misused as nothing more than a more violent version of an alternative to Thor. Heck the Ares mini was all about him and his son and the lengths he would go to for him. This was a nice touch.

  3. DecapitatedDan

    Hell yeah I read Punisher! And I love it. Then again I love Remender. Nice review

  4. Billy

    I guess I’m in the minority here about Moon Knight. Personally I think it stinks. I thought the art looked very amateur at times. The story didn’t float my boat either.

  5. LOL I totally had a Batman vibe the entire time i was reading Moon Knight. It was cool but i totally was thinking of Batman the entire comic.

  6. I’m really liking ‘Streets of Gotham’ as well; I think it’s cool how it loosely ties in with ‘Gotham City Sirens.’ I’ll agree with you on the ‘Manhunter’ comment; however I do think Jeremy Haun’s art is cool, and it was nice to see the Huntress finally appear post ‘BftC.’

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