March 15, 2011

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 03/09/11

Batman and Robin #21
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray
Cover Artists: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, and Tony Daniel
Publisher: DC

While Gotham has a love-hate relationship with the Dark Knight, the appearance of the new White Knight will leave no one happy. Gotham’s newest criminal is targeting the families of individual who have done time in Arkham, starting with the Langstrom family. While Batman, Robin, and Gordon are putting together the puzzle that is the White Knight, he appears to be preparing for a mass murder.
Ever since his time on Nightwing, I have enjoyed Tomasi’s depiction of Dick Grayson and he does a great job of continuing that here in Batman and Robin. With Dick appearing in multiple books these days, it’s nice to have so many different depictions of the character. This White Knight story is an interesting one. What his ultimate goals are remain unknown, but the fact that he’s amassed a list of Arkham inmates’ families, found a way to sedate and murder them, and intricately builds wings for them is fascinating. The art was inconsistent, in my opinion. There were certain scenes that were absolutely gorgeous, like when the white light engulfed the building, while other portions felt less refined. Overall a strong second chapter to this arc. 4/5

Batman Incorporated #3
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Yanick Paquette, Michel Lacombe, and Pere Perez
Cover Artists: J.H. Williams III, Yanick Paquette, and Michel Lacombe
Publisher: DC

If you’ve forgotten what last occurred in this series, due to the months between issues, for the most part it won’t really matter. The issue starts off in the past where a group of heroes deal with the Dedalus. In the present day Argentina, Batman accompanied by Gaucho rescues a local hero from the villain Papagayo. Back in Gaucho’s cave, Bruce extends an invitation to Gaucho to be a part of Batman Inc., though Gaucho declines. As the clues continue to piece together, the police alarm goes off informing Batman and Gaucho that three missing blind children had been located.
I thought that this issue started off a little slow. The flashback scene at the beginning was interesting, though I found it to be a tad hard to follow what was happening. However, once we got to the present things started rolling in typical Grant Morrison fashion. The months between issues aside, I’d say that this was a really strong start to the next arc. As time progresses, I do hope to see some sort of an underlying plot that connects everything together. Because as of right now, it is starting to feel like this might become a compilation of short stories. 3.5/5

Birds of Prey #10
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Inaki Miranda
Cover Artist: Stanley Lau
Publisher: DC

At the start of this arc I worried about whether or not this arc would play out well, and with this conclusion, I think it did. The issue starts off with a highly intelligent Huntress shredding what’s left of Calculator’s dignity, as he celebrates what he thinks is the death of Oracle. It turns out that Hawk was the person in the helicopter and his invulnerability saved him. A struggle ensues and Black Canary arrives in time to aide the rest of the Birds. At the end Barbara is seen ignoring calls from Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, and Manhunter, further bolstering her apparent demise. She calls forth a select group of heroes, much like Bruce did when launching Batman Inc., and tells them what she plans on doing.
I thought that this issue was well done. The art was disastrous which, sadly, I go in expecting so there’s no real shock there. After coming back to comics, after a four or five year hiatus, I always wondered why Oracle went from being a whisper in the wind to a full on presence. I think the idea to kill “Oracle” is a smart one, now we’ll just have to see if it will last. The final scene with Catwoman implying she knows Oracle is alive and well can either be an indication that the secret will come out or it could just be highlighting Selena’s intelligence. Either way, a solid conclusion to a rocky arc. 4/5

Superboy #5
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Pier Gallo
Cover Artist: Eddy Barros
Variant Cover Artist: Francis Manapul
Publisher: DC

I’m not sure if it is in anticipation of new readers due to the beginning of the Reign of Doomsday, but Lemire decides to start this issue with a recap of the series so far. While I am all for recaps, I don’t think the first four issues of a series necessarily need a recap. Moving on, this issue had one main focus, the first even Superboy vs. Kid Flash race, and one minor focus, Lori Luthor. The race went as expected; Conner and Bart race across the globe multiple times, taking the time to save those in need and chit chat, though I’m pretty sure Bart held back the entire time. Lori, Lex Luthor’s niece, is seen lonely pining after Conner and finally by the end has given up on him. Unfortunately for her, danger is lurking around the corner.
This issue wasn’t bad, but it was definitely lacking. As I mentioned, it had an unnecessary recap in the beginning that was just a waste of pages. There were also some strange continuity errors, like Damian being a part of the Teen Titans or Conner calling Beast Boy “Garth” even though his name is Gar, short for Garfield. While the Lori plot seems like it might end up being interesting, right now it just isn’t. The art, which has been decent for the series at best, didn’t help the issue at all. The best part of this issue is when Bart and Conner talk about life, Wonder Girl in particular, which comes off as a very natural conversation between best friends. 2.5/5

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Arnab Pradhan



  1. Really liked Batman & Robin but I do feel the same way about the art in this issue. And it’s not that some pages looked bad to me it’s just that some panels were just off IMO.

  2. @InfiniteSpeech, right. Some pages were outstanding and some just weren’t, which was a distraction at times.

  3. I think Batman and Robin was the stongest of these 4 comics and Batman Inc was the worst. I also thought that Calculator’s defeat was very anticlimatic in BoP. The Superboy book was just ok.

  4. @Nick, I don’t necessarily disagree with you, although for me BoP and B&R were the strongest of last week. I never really saw Calculator as much of a threat, certainly not near the level of Oracle, so in my opinion his defeat reflected that. I think Batman Inc. is likely to be a book that will be impressive as a collection, because as of right now it just seems to be a bunch of separate stories.

    Regarding Superboy, I’m not very impressed. I want to like it very badly, but I don’t think it’s quite there yet. And I can’t help but compare it to Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul’s run on Adventure Comics focusing on Superboy, which was great and I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it.

  5. Anisa

    Batman and Robin was a great read but I agree with you about the inconsistency of the art.

    I totally agree with you about Batman Inc. starting off slow, thankfully by the end it got better, much better.

    Superboy was very filler-ish, not sure if it was supposed to be.

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