August 30, 2010

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 08/25/10

Welcome back everyone, to a brand new batch of DC reviews. It has been a while since we’ve had this many issues, so let’s just get straight to them.

Minor spoilers ahead!

Batman #702
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Tony Daniel
Cover Artist: Tony Daniel
Publisher: DC

This is the final missing chapter between Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis. This issue starts off by referencing the beginning of Final Crisis, where Bruce uncovers the truth behind Orion’s death and discovers the properties of the god-killing bullet, while also reminding readers that Bruce is just a man going fighting against gods. The issue further details his capture by Kraken as well as his escape from his holding cell. Throughout the issue Bruce is chronicling everything that has taken place, and as a result we are able to comprehend his state of mind. What is important, is just how well Bruce understands and is aware of his actions. He recognizes everything that is occurring and reacts in a methodical, meaningful manner. There is an immense amount of information in the issue that explains events in Final Crisis, Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne, and Batman and Robin. This is a must read issue for everyone following Bruce Wayne’s return. The writing is what you would expect from Morrison; everything is symbolic, the attention to detail is amazing, and while questions are answered, the endgame remains hidden. Tony Daniel’s art continues to look great. Now that he’s doing his own inking, his technique is starting to change, and the more sketchy artwork worked well for this issue. 4/5

Gotham City Sirens #15
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist(s): Andres Guinaldo and Lorenzo Ruggiero
Cover Artist: Guillem March
Publisher: DC

Harley and Selina open up the issue, burning their way into the forest created by their chemically altered best friend, Ivy. Convinced that their love was true, Ivy readied herself for the arrival of an alien Queen who would overwhelm the planet with foliage. With a little bit of force and a little more persuasion, Selina and Harley are able to knock some sense into Ivy, who immediately unleashes toxins of her own to kill the alien. After a couple of strange issues, this two-issue arc is getting back to what made it good in the beginning. The interaction between the characters has always been the driving strength of the title. Bedard seems to be trying to go back to the sense of sisterhood that existed in the earlier issues, and does a great job portraying Harley and Ivy’s relationship. With every issue the artwork is starting to grow on me, although there are scenes where the art does not measure up. 3.5/5

Green Arrow #3
Writer: JT Krul
Artist(s): Diogenes Neves and Vicente Cifuentes
Cover Artist: Mauro Cascioli
Publisher: DC

The previous issue ended with the title hero laying on the ground with an arrow jutting out of his forehead. This issue started off with a hooded stranger fighting off a pack of wolves attempting to feast on the body of Green Arrow. Fortunately, the stranger was able to save Oliver and take him to a pond in the forest where he was healed by the powers of the forest. Though his history is unknown, the stranger reveals his name to be “Galahad,” like the knight from Arthurian legends. While the last issue was more fast paced and action filled, this issue necessarily slowed down to lay down some story, both present and past. We learn of Queen Industries’ lack of action with regards to rebuilding Star City, and we also have a flashback into the Oliver family history. This issue is great because it doesn’t only focus on developing Green Arrow, but it also develops the story surrounding the forest itself, which will eventually tie in to the Brightest Day. 4/5

Superman: Secret Origin #6

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist(s): Gary Frank and John Sibal
Cover Artist(s): Gary Frank and John Sibal
Publisher: DC
One would think that creating the “definitive” story of Superman’s origin would have top priority in DC. However, it has been months since the last issue of this mini-series was released, almost a year since it began, and that’s truly unfortunate. In case you’ve forgotten, the last issue introduced General Sam Lane, Lois’s father, and the villain Metallo. This issue starts off with General Lane attempting to shut down the Daily Planet and Superman wandering the sewers in a weakened state. When Metallo reappears, he and Superman battle on the streets of Metropolis. Unfortunately for the people of Metropolis, Metallo is both power hungry and slightly unstable, and puts civilians at risk. Naturally, Superman saves the day and gains the trust of the people of Earth. As someone who isn’t particularly a fan of Superman, I thought that this mini-series was well done. The writing and the artwork were both well executed and worked well together. However, the large gaps of time between issues truly detracted from the overall experience. 3.5/5

Time Masters: Vanishing Point #2
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist(s): Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund
Cover Artist(s): Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund
Publisher: DC

The hunt for Bruce Wayne continues, or does it? This issue is filled with events, though none that directly involve the search for Bruce. Rip Hunter finds himself transported to a place and time that he does not recognize, and is also separated from the rest of his search team, except for Skeets. He encounters a prehistoric looking man who mistakes him for an evil sorcerer. Meanwhile, in another place and time Booster Gold, Superman, and Hal Jordan find themselves transported into the middle of a war. Bull-headed as ever, Superman and Hal take no heed to Booster’s warning that they should not interfere, and find themselves in the grips of a huge monster. As I mentioned, I’m not particularly sure how this issue ties into the search for Bruce Wayne. If the connection is meant to come in later issues, I see there being no problems. A group of villains find themselves coming together to take advantage of the destroyed Vanishing Point. Admittedly, I have never seen these characters before, so not only do I not care about them, I have no idea why they are in the issue. This mini-series is meant to be a companion piece to Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne, although considering this is the second issue and that mini-series has already released four of six issues, I’m not sure how that works. Other than the lack of connection to Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne, this was a pretty good read. 4/5

Arnab Pradhan



  1. Batman- Liked it, but I really REALLY hope DC collects all of Morrison’s Batman run in SEQUENTIAL reading order so that it all makes complete sense later.

    Sirens- Thought it was a very abrupt ending to a story arc with great potential.

    Green Arrow- Not sure how I feel about this one. I’m on the fence.

    Supes- Didn’t read it.

    Time Masters- Skimmed it then decided to skip it when I didn’t see Batman. : /

  2. Billy

    So, wait a minute. In current DC continuity Orion is dead?
    Green Arrow sounds like its going to be a good series.

  3. @Billy- As far as I know Orion died back in Final Crisis and has not been reborn since. Green Arrow is a great read.

    @Andy- A collected edition of Morrison’s run would be brilliant. That man is meant to be read from beginning to end.

    Here’s my thought on Sirens. My take on this series is that they suffer from the curse of the Batman. Meaning, that nothing really huge could really happen in the series without having one of the members of the Bat-Family knowing about it, realistically speaking. And if one of the Batmen, or Red Robin, or Robin, or Batgirl, or Batwoman, kept on appearing it would not longer be a Sirens book. I mean, Gotham is Batman’s city. If there’s a male, updated version of Poison Ivy gearing up to take over the world, they’d have to know. I don’t particularly know what solution there could be, though a good writer could definitely do it. Dini’s run in the beginning was great. I hope it does get back to being great, because these are three great characters.

    Time Masters- I don’t know what it is about Rip Hunter, but I think he’s really cool, Booster too.

  4. Anisa

    Batman was interesting. Seeing the events leading to the Omega Sanction was fascinating and I’m really liking Tony Daniel’s new art style.

    Green Arrow was awesome but I felt that the transitioning between scenes was choppy, but maybe it was just me. The art is great, I don’t know why but that always surprises me.

    I felt like the creepy-plant-guy storyline for Gotham City Sirens ended really fast, but even so I still liked it.

    After reading your review I realized that this issue didn’t really have much of a connection to Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne. Anyway, I’m really liking Rip Hunter, his back story and his scenes are entertaining.

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