June 29, 2010

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 06/23/10

Like I said last week, it is a rare week when I have only one book to review. This week was a great week filled with a reboot, an anniversary issue, the end of a mini-series, and some ongoing good stuff. I also mentioned that I didn’t get my copy of Birds of Prey last week, so I’ve also stuck that review in here too. Enjoy!

Minor spoilers ahead

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #3
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Yanick Paquette
Cover Artist: Andy Kubert
Publisher: DC

Bruce Wayne continues to fly through time and has now landed in the 1700s. Wayne is thought to be a pirate, and both he and Jack Valor are taken hostage. The two are then led into the caves to retrieve the treasure that lays there. Valor gives Wayne a cape and cowl, and the two of them escape the clutches of Black Beard. It is at this time that Valor reveals to Bruce that the Bat-People recognize him, and leads him deep inside the caves where his cape, cowl, and utility belt are worshipped. We also get more insight on how Bruce has impacted his own family history, by having Valor not only continue on fighting the good fight, but also taking his story to Gotham. In the present time, we see Wonder Woman declare that Bruce’s journey home will lead to some form of destruction, though the details remain a mystery. Morrison has not only been able to keep each individual issue interesting, but also been able to maintain a strong overall story. 4/5

Batman: Streets of Gotham #13
Writer: Paul Dini co-feat. Marc Andreyko
Artist: Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs co-feat. Jeremy Haun
Cover Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Publisher: DC

In the last issue, we were introduced to the Director, who had hired Duffy to construct the perfect set to take out Batman. It turns out, as depicted in this issue, that the Director’s plan included taking out Duffy in the process. Ever the opportunist, Duffy sends word to Batman while also booby-trapping the theatre to aid in turning the table on the Director. And though Batman ordered her to leave town, the reappearance of an old Batman villain has brought her back. While the Duffy portion of the issue was fairly entertaining, there was one thing that may prove to be much more relevant and exciting. For months now Elliot Thomas has been parading around Gotham in the guise of Bruce Wayne, though he has been kept under a close eye by friends of the Batman. However, it would appear that Hush is ready to make his move and wreak a little more havoc. 3/5

In the “Manhunter” feature, Kate Spencer is still searching for her son, who happens to be a meta-human. It turns out that Jane Doe is at D.A. Spencer’s apartment looking for some revenge. With a little help from her son, Manhunter is able to finish off Doe, just in time for some pizza with the family. 3/5

Birds of Prey #2
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Ed Benes, Adrian Melo, and Mariah Benes
Cover Artist: Ed Benes
Publisher: DC

In the first issue, Barbara Gordon, aka Oracle, got the old gang back together again and even propositioned a couple new folks to join. We kick off this issue right where we left off, with the White Canary. While the identity of the White Canary remains unknown, her fighting skills are tremendous. And not only is she capable of beating each of them individually, but the White Canary has set Dinah up to look like a murderer and a rebel. Meanwhile, the White Canary has reassured them all that people will continue to die. Oracle, however, is not willing to just sit back, but is now gearing up to take action against the people, or person, that are going after the Birds of Prey. The action and overall story prove to be a an exciting combination in this issue. And while it is not yet certain just how this will tie into Brightest Day, the series looks like it will be a great one. 4/5

Green Arrow #1
Writer: J.T. Krul
Artist: Diogenes Neves
Cover Artist: Mauro Cascioli
Publisher: DC

Upon being banished from Star City, Ollie has taken refuge in the mysterious star shaped forest that has sprouted in the middle of the city. The issue starts off with a young gal being chased into the forest by a gang of hormonal gangsters. Right when the hoodlums think they’ve won, Ollie swings into action much like another well known green archer. The Robin Hood reference resurfaces later on in the issue when Ollie blatantly steals food from the rich and delivers it to the poor. This issue also brought forth the new owner of Queen Industries. Though little is actually known about Isabel Rochev, she made it perfectly clear that she desires to return Queen Industries to its former glory. Overall, a great start to this revamped series. One particular scene that stuck out was when Ollie explained why he still wore his mask, and while there was a sense of loss, I also picked up a sense of acceptance, and that he was now moving on. 4/5

JLA: The Rise of Arsenal #4
Writer: J.T. Krul
Artist: Geraldo Borges and Marlo Alquiza
Cover Artist: Greg Horn
Publisher: DC

Ever since the events of Cry for Justice, Roy Harper has been on a downward spiral with no end in sight. Upon being brought to a treatment facility, Roy continues to be haunted by the ghost of his daughter, who has chosen to chastise him for the life he’s led, his failures as a father, and the women he’s gone through. Ghost Lian’s constant reminder that he failed to save her is the catalyst that pushes Roy to break out of the treatment facility, break into the Star City Penitentiary, and avenge his daughter’s death by killing the Electrocutioner. However, to get there he has to get past orderlies, reclaim his new arm, beat up a couple of guards, and take on his former mentor, Green Arrow. Ollie, who has come to his senses, takes on Roy in an attempt to prevent Roy from making the same mistakes he has recently made. In the end though, Roy has left behind the life he once cherished. This was a great ending to this mini-series. Going into the series I was under the impression that Roy would come out with an illogical sense of optimism and a sense of triumph, thankfully he did not. And while this wasn’t quite the “rise” I expected, I am very much pleased with the result. 4/5

Superman #700
Writer(s): James Robinson, Dan Jurgens, and J. Michael Straczynski
Artist(s): Eddy Barrows, Benard Chang, Dan Jurgens, and J.P. Mayer
Cover Artist: Gary Frank
Publisher: DC

This major event was divided into three stories with three creative teams. The first story was essentially a Lois and Clark, or rather Superman, renewal story. With Superman gone for the better part of a year, Lois Lane had been kicking ass left and right whenever and wherever she appeared. However, it would seem that now that Clark is back, she apparently needs to be rescued. That being said, as a big fan of Lois Lane, it was nice to see the two of them back together again. The second story, which I thought was great, felt slightly out of place. It followed Dick Grayson, as Robin, as he attempted to thwart evildoers without the aid of Batman. In the end, Superman rushed to his aid and the Boy Wonder lived another day. The final story is the prologue to Straczynski’s upcoming run. It showed us how Superman leaving has affected the Earthlings, who apparently expect him to do everything. Superman seems to reflect over past decisions, where he left Earth to connect with his own people, and decides that it is time for him to reconnect with the little people, who believe he was born to do their bidding. 3/5

Arnab Pradhan



  1. Eli

    I like this new Green Arrow, and I was surprised that I liked Return of Bruce Wayne #3 as much as I did. I’m still looking forward to him getting back to current time though.

  2. Kristin

    Oh man, come ON DC. I seriously hate that kind of shit. The woman can kick some ass while the man is gone, but she better get back in her place when he returns. What the hell? This isn’t 1945.

  3. @Eli- I’ve come to be a Green Arrow fan in the past couple of years and I thought that this issue was great. I am very excited about this series.

    This was probably my favorite Return of Bruce Wayne issue yet. I’m loving the weaving of the story, the reaffirming of past character traits, and the art has been nice too. I can’t wait for Bruce to be back in current time, though I will admit that I have loved Dick as Batman and wait anxiously to see what comes of that.

    @Kirstin- I will admit that I might have a bit of a bias, in that I can’t stand Superman. So for any of you that have been reading the “Super” titles, did you feel the same way? In recent months Lois has stood up against her father, General Lane, been in the line of fire of a false god, received favors from foreign military and the JLA. I just found it strange that her role in this story was to be rescued by Superman.

  4. Billy

    Good Reviews. I think that JLA: RoA #4 and GA #1 sound great!

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