October 18, 2010

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 10/13/10

Hey folks! I’ve got a large batch of books for you this week. For all you Batman fans, like myself, this week is especially great for you.

Minor spoilers ahead!

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Ryan Sook, Pere Perez, and Mick Gray
Cover Artist: Ryan Sook
Variant Cover Artist: Andy Kubert
Publisher: DC

Though it’s been months since the last issue, this issue does an impressive job of making you forget the time spent waiting. The issue starts off with Red Robin continuing to debrief the Justice League on the Bruce Wayne situation. We then travel back in time, where Bruce is waking up in a hospital with little memory of how he got there. He meets a lady named Marsha, who hires him to uncover the truth behind her best friend, Martha Wayne’s, murder. Bruce then interviews Betsy Kane, Martha’s mother and Bruce’s grandmother, who paints Thomas Wayne in an unflattering light. It turns out, however, that Marsha’s intent all along was to drug Bruce and to use him to create the forged evidence that appears in Batman: R.I.P. Bruce then breaks free of his captives and figures out what he must do. We return to present time where the Justice League is alerted to something happening, which would be Batman returning to the present.
Like I previously mentioned, once you start reading this issue it’s fairly easy to forget how much time has passed between issues. This issue is arguably one of the best of the entire series. Morrison does an excellent job of incorporating so much detail into this story as well as reintroducing ideas he set forth in the Batman series. Morrison is also doing a fantastic job with the mystery behind the death of the Wayne’s, and especially on Thomas Wayne’s involvement. The artwork in this issue worked fantastically well with the story, especially considering there were two artists. 4.5/5

Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Batman & Robin
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist: Cliff Richards
Cover Artist: Shane Davis
Publisher: DC

The series of one-shots covering Bruce Wayne’s return to the present starts here. Batman and Robin are working together, handling an assassination attempt. The two continue to clash in style, but clearly have developed a good sense of partnership. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear to the reader that there are two individuals keeping track of the duo, for completely different purposes. Vicki Vale continues to be an ever present annoyance as she continues building her case against the Wayne family. Meanwhile, a dark figure in very high-tech gear is following and keeping tabs on the dynamic duo. At the end he reveals himself not only to be working with Red Robin, but also that he is in fact Bruce Wayne.
Overall this issue was good. The plot was fairly decent and Dick and Damian’s relationship was handled very well. However, the story does not go into how Bruce’s return affects the duo, nor do we even know if the two are aware of his return. (Though how they would be left in the dark is beside me.) The artwork was real nice and did well to highlight the story. 3.5/5

Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Batgirl

Writer: Bryan Q. Miller
Artists: Pere Perez
Cover Artist: Shane Davis
Publisher: DC

Ever since it was revealed that Bruce was lost in time and on his way home, Stephanie Brown has been worried her time as Batgirl was coming to an end. This issue shows Bruce putting Stephanie through a series of tests to see how well she is handling herself, as well as how much she has developed in his absence. First, as the masked, high-tech man previously mentioned, he tests her hand to hand combat and later sets up a fake assassination attempt that she is meant to foil. Stephanie, after Bruce reveals himself to be the “assassin,” slaps him and insists upon remaining as Batgirl. This issue was pretty well done. It did a great job of incorporating some flashbacks from Batgirl and Batman’s history together, and also did a great job of showing their newly modified relationship, as a result of her growth in the past year. It was also nice to see mention of ex-Batgirl Cassandra Cain, who had noticeably disappeared. 3.5/5

Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Red Robin
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist(s): Ramon Bachs and John Lucas
Cover Artist: Shane Davis
Publisher: DC

As revealed in the final pages of the Batman and Robin one-shot, Bruce is back and he’s working with Red Robin. As the story unfolds, it is almost as if there has been no time spent apart. While the two naturally have some concerns about one another, having spent a year apart can do that to partners, when on the field the two work together effortlessly. This issue reads almost as if it were a part of the Red Robin series, most likely due to the fact that it is the same writer. Bruce accompanies Red Robin on an international job, infiltrating the Council of Spiders. While Prudence makes an abrupt appearance, the job continues without issue.
This issue does a nice job of portraying their relationship without getting overtly emotional. There is a clear sense of mutual trust on both sides, even though they both give each other a test in the issue. Also, much like in the Batgirl one-shot, the role that Bruce’s arrival is going to play in Red Robin’s life is clear. 4/5

Green Lantern #58
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist(s): Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy
Cover Artist(s): Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, and Mandy Mayor
Publisher: DC

As the search for the entities rages on, the hunt for the Butcher leads Atrocitus and Sinestro to a prison, where the Butcher had attempted to find a host. Atrocitus, sensing great rage coming from a busload of murderers, burned them all to a crisp. Meanwhile, on Zamaron, Hal and Carol have somewhat of a lover’s quarrel as Carol decides to accept her role as queen. Elsewhere on the planet, Larfleeze had been watching over the once host of the Predator. Unfortunately, the young lad had been exposed to too much knowledge of Larfleeze’s past, and as a result was almost murdered by Larfleeze, though it is revealed that that is not his true name. Meanwhile, on Earth the Entity of Hope chooses a new host, a young girl who has been kidnapped. Saint Walker calls forth Hal and Larfleeze, but they are interrupted by Barry Allen. This was an overall decent issue. The story didn’t move the overall plot forward all that much, though enough to keep things interesting. The bits and pieces of Larfleeze’s past were an interesting touch. Whereas Hal came off a bit whiny in parts. It will be interesting to see what role Barry will be playing in the upcoming issue. 4/5

Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #3
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist(s): Fernando Pasarin and Cam Smith
Cover Artist: Rodolfo Migliari
Publisher: DC

With Bleez having arrived at the end of the last issue, it was unclear what purpose she would serve. In this issue it is revealed that she has arrived to prevent Guy from cleansing himself of the rage. Brother Warth attempts on numerous occasions to explain that it is troublesome that the green rings have not doubled in strength in his presence. This, ultimately, is the reason Guy chooses not to be cleansed, because he feels he will need the strength to defeat the forces in the unknown. On Daxam, Sodam Yat awakens to find a group of Daxamites who worship him, while also learning that his father and the rest of Daxam are hunting him down. The new villain Zardor, friend of the capturing entities, has collected and is growing an army of telepaths he is using to manipulate individuals from galaxies away. This was a fairly exciting issue. The cast is coming together very well and the plot is headed in a great direction. The twist at the end was surprising and a great set up for the next issue. 4/5

Arnab Pradhan



  1. All the Batman books were great this week, especially all BW The Road Home books.

  2. The impression I got was that Dick and Damian don’t know, but like you said how that’s possible is beyond me. I almost wish these had come out after Bruce had come back, so we could see it in chronological order. Not that his return wasn’t a given, but I just like things to happen in the proper order.

  3. @Matt- Well technically Bruce came back in ROBW #5, unless that person wasn’t Bruce, but I understand what you’re saying. ROBW #6 is slated to come out on Nov. 10 which would be after all the Bruce Wayne: The Road Home one-shots and after Batman and Robin #16 and after Batman Inc. begins, so that might prove to be somewhat awkward.

    @Nick- I thought the Bat-books were great this week as well. I had a bit of problem that, as far as we know, Dick’s in the dark about things. But other than that, I thought it was great.

  4. Anisa

    I liked all the DC books this week.

    The one shots were fun. Well, I only read Batman and Robin and Red Robin, and I thought they were both interesting and fun reads.

    Green Lantern was great, I don’t know if it’s just me but I think Atrocitus is a hoot!

    Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors was also a great read. The only parts I am still confused with are the parts with Zardor, which is apparently his name… who knew.

  5. I would give all the Road Home one-shots reviewed here 4/5. I think it’s cool how Bruce is solving for us how everyone in the Bat family will fit into his larger plan. Although, I read them in a slightly different order: B&R, RR, BG, then Outsiders.

    I agree with you on both Lantern reviews! All three books have finally been back up to par since Blackest Night ended (well, in terms of EW, it’s now getting really good).

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