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November 16, 2010

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 11/10/10

Hello everybody! I have got a great batch of books for you this week. We’ve got the final chapter in Bruce Wayne’s journey home, a heart warming issue of Red Robin, some great fight scenes in both Birds of Prey and Emerald Warriors, plus the start of a brand new series.

Minor spoilers ahead!

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #6
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist(s): Lee Garbett and Walden Wong
Cover Artist: Andy Kubert
Publisher: DC

The epic tale of Bruce Wayne’s return to the present comes to a conclusion in this terrific finale. The issue starts off with Bruce arriving at the Vanishing Point, where he encounters the Archivists. With this memory back, he sets everything up in a way that only Bruce can, and returns to the present. Tim, who was notably missing in Batman and Robin, and it is explained why in this issue, plays his role as Batman’s sidekick as he and Wonder Woman stall Bruce, who has bonded with the demon-like essence, in time for Rip Hunter and company to arrive in the time machine set up for them by Bruce. The demon is stripped from Bruce, who has “died” and is banished, leaving a revitalized Bruce.
This series clearly isn’t for just the passing reader. Not only does Grant Morrison have a keen attention to detail where every little thing is purposeful, but this series also incorporates a lot of Batman’s history from past stories. You couple that with the science fiction element and all of a sudden you have fans crying foul. Much like the rest of this mini-series, I thought that this issue was fantastic. Bruce is portrayed here at his best. Stumbling through time, literally reaching the end of time, and he is still able to precisely plan and execute the downfall of Darkseid’s master plan. Lastly, what Morrison accomplishes in this issue is establishing that Batman exists as a result of his family, his allies, basically his support group. Batman has been successful as a result of having that support, whether he acknowledged it or not. This affirmation is a direct lead into Bruce’s next journey: Batman Inc. 4.5/5

Birds of Prey #6
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist(s): Alvin Lee, Adriana Melo, Jack Purcell, and J.P. Mayer
Cover Artist: Alina Urusov
Publisher: DC

Lady Blackhawk and Huntress arrive in Bangkok only to be rudely assaulted by some thugs in suits, and to find Black Canary is their leader. Dinah explains that the White Canary has kidnapped Sin, Dinah’s adoptive daughter figure, and has arranged for Dinah to fight Lady Shiva to the death. Huntress, born into a Mafia family, and raised on codes to live by and to honor Dinah, challenges Lady Shiva to a fight to the death, in Dinah’s place. The ever resilient Huntress not only is able to withstand a thrashing courtesy of Lady Shiva, but with the use of her own blood is able to blind and distract Shiva momentarily, thus saving her own life.
Overall I thought that this was a decent issue. Were there problems? Yes. The art was an unfortunate mistake, in my opinion. The artist, it would seem, has trouble with the female figure, which is unfortunate, especially considering the cast in this issue: Lady Shiva, Black Canary, and Huntress. Art aside, I thought Huntress’s portrayal in this issue was great and the story was good. 3/5

Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #4

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist(s): Fernando Pasarin and Cam Smith
Cover Artist(s): Rudolfo Migliari and Felipe Massafera
Publisher: DC

Guy Gardner and company release their pent up anger in this action filled issue. The issue starts off with Guy, Arisia, Kilowog, and Bleez arriving at the planet Daxam, where the President Prime is busy torturing a prisoner to find out where his son, Sodam Yat, is. After saving the prisoner, he leads them back to Sodam, however he and his followers have mysteriously disappeared. It turns out that Sodam has taken his followers to a new planet and has decided to part ways from the Green Lanterns. Across space, Guy and the gang stop the mining of a mineral that could potentially bottle up their lantern powers, only to be attacked by rogue Green Lanterns.
I thought that this issue was great. All the action was fun, but I really liked the plot developments. Sodam Yat’s newfangled gang is an intriguing twist and it will be fascinating to see how that will eventually tie back to Guy. The villain that Guy and company are on a collision course for appears to be a very formidable one, especially with all that we are learning about him from issue to issue. Admittedly, I can see how the argument would be made that this series and Green Lantern Corps could be combined into one ongoing series. Hopefully the series will more effectively assert its necessity in the next issue. 3.5/5

Red Robin #17
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist(s): Marcus To and Ray McCarthy
Cover Artist(s): Marcus To and Ray McCarthy
Publisher: DC

After a one month break from regular scheduling, Red Robin is back with a bang, or a hug in this case. The issue starts off with a guest appearance from the elusive Cassandra Cain, who is shown fighting crime in Hong Kong. Tim, who’s in Hong Kong on business, and Cass, who has been notably missing since Bruce’s apparent death, have a heart to heart where Tim reminds Cass that she is still part of their family. Back in Gotham, Tim is forced to decide whether or not he believes Lynx to truly be an undercover cop. With intel he received from Cass, he makes a gut decision and breaks Lynx out of jail, and the two give in to their mutual attraction and share a kiss. After she leaves, Batman appears and now that the dust has settled, Bruce and Tim are able to share the father and son moment of the year.
Fabian Nicieza is really doing an amazing job with this series. In this issue, he not only fills the story with great tidbits here and there, like Tim moving into the Theater in Crime Alley or Cassandra Cain’s appearance, but he does so in a fluid manner. His writing effortlessly moves from scene to scene, and in the end it all ties together with a purpose. Marcus To does a brilliant job in this issue, and to his credit has been doing a brilliant job since he signed on. He does an excellent job expressing emotion through facial expressions and body language. 5/5

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist(s): CAFU and Bit
Cover Artist: Frank Quitely
Publisher: DC

This is the start of a brand new series and signs point to it being a good one. The actual direction of the series isn’t immediately explained. Instead, we get some back story through some flashbacks and an interview. A character named Toby is introduced and it is his job to sell the idea of joining T.H.U.N.D.E.R. In essence, the program would give normal humans superpowers. Unfortunately, after a year’s time the individual would burn out and die. While the actual cast, or at least the cast on the cover, doesn’t particularly play a large role in this issue, or any role really, the writer does a great job of laying out the direction of the series.
I initially had trouble following the story because the cast was entirely new to me. However, as the issue progressed and as I reread things, the story began developing into a very interesting plot. Approaching suicidal individuals with the chance to do good, have superpowers, and eventually die is a very intriguing idea with possibly very unfortunate consequences in the future. Overall, a good start to this new series. 3.5/5

Be sure to check out previous editions of Crisis of Infinite Reviews by clicking here!

Arnab Pradhan
arnab@comicattack.net

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8 Comments



  1. Love that cover to Birds of Prey!


  2. Eli

    I’m loving Fabian Nicieza, his Red Robin is cooler than any other bat character, aside from Bruce of course.



  3. I loovveeddd Red Robin. I don’t know when this became my favorite Bat-title, cause I wasn’t even going to read it at first, but now I look forward to it every week. I think it has something to do with not delving too far into Grant Morrison’s mythology, which I am on the record as not enjoying even a little bit.

    Which brings me to RoBW #6, which I thought was overly convoluted. I’m all for detailed stories, but his is so self-referential that it’s impossible to keep track of everything without re-reading the entire series once a month. I’ve read the whole thing, and I get many of the references, but it’s so difficult to keep it all in my head. And anything that has a “You just don’t get it” following automatically puts me off. I’m excited that we can move into Batman Inc now, though.

    BoP was good stuff, and I liked watching Huntress kick some major ass. I didn’t really like Emerald Warriors this week, but I’m not sure what to point to as my problem. Maybe the cult that Sodam is starting. But I didn’t dislike it, so I’ll still be picking it up next week.



  4. Red Robin is one of my favorite series’ that DC is putting out. It is consistently good in both the story that Nicieza is telling and the art that To is producing.

    When it comes to Grant Morrison, I don’t really consider him to be a “you just don’t get it” kinda guy. At least, not in a way that what he writes is particularly confusing or over intelligent. He’s just the type of writer who is best read in the collected form. His writing is filled with past references and minute details, that when it comes out two months late you really have to re-read things to understand. So reading his stuff in the collected form takes away all those weeks in between issues where we forget things.



  5. I’m a little behind, but I thought Red Robin was slam dunk last week. Tim is really coming into his own!



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  7. I agree with everyone. Red Robin is my favorite Bat-book out there! Tim is awesome!


  8. Billy

    Nothing like a Kubert cover!



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