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April 19, 2011
 

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 04/13/11

Batman and Robin #22
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray
Cover Artists: Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, and Tony Daniel
Publisher: DC

The White Knight’s reign of terror in Gotham comes to an end in a blaze of bright light. Just as Batman and Robin come to realize that the White Knight had already kidnapped the remaining relatives of the Arkham inmates, the very inmates begin dropping from the sky like fallen angels. After saving as many as they could, the duo raced to Arkham where the Knight would make his final stand. He reveals the reason why he turned to his villainous ways and in a tragic irony, he ended up surrounded by everything he believed he was fighting against.
This was a fairly well done arc. Coming off of Morrison’s run, which was fantastic, I didn’t expect literary or artistic genius. However, these last two arcs have felt more like filler arcs than an ongoing series. It probably has to do with the change in creative team, which doesn’t mean things will be changing soon, because the next arc has a whole new creative team again. I thought that with respect to the story, this arc started off strong and began to falter towards the end. Whereas with the art, I thought it started out decent, but got better and better. 3/5

Birds of Prey #11
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Pere Perez
Cover Artist: Stanley Lau
Publisher: DC

Huntress takes the spotlight this issue, which starts off with Helena on the hunt. She’s after four thugs who have taken a hostage. The four split up and she chases one onto the roof, only to have him pull a gun on her. Luckily for her, or unluckily depending on how you look at it, Catman comes out of nowhere and saves her. Helena fondly recalls the past, as the man in front of her no longer resembles memory, though that doesn’t stop him from sneaking in a kiss. The two work together to track down the rest of the thugs. Helena deduces that Catman organized the entire heist and kidnapping and leaves with the kidnap victim. What she didn’t see was that the entire thing was planned by Catman in order for Helena to move on.
I thoroughly enjoyed this issue. Even with the kidnapping, I felt the issue was fairly light in terms of threat levels and overall seriousness. I enjoyed seeing the banter and interaction between Huntress and Catman, and though I hadn’t known about a previous relationship between the two, I am now saddened that one won’t continue. The other Birds take an issue off for the most part, with small cameos by Oracle and Black Canary. Perez takes over on art duties this week and does a great job. 4/5

Flash #10
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists:
Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
Cover Artists: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
Publisher: DC

The Road to Flashpoint begins here. Hot Pursuit, who revealed himself to be Barry Allen, is confronted by the Flash who demands an explanation from Hot Pursuit. Bart arrives just as Hot Pursuit finishes up with this explanation and immediately distrusts the stranger. Hot Pursuit speeds off, insisting he doesn’t need Barry’s help, and in turn Barry insists he doesn’t need Bart’s help. An old friend of Barry’s returns in time to help out with another mysterious murder.
Flashpoint sounds like a really interesting concept, but I feel like I’ve been waiting for it forever. That being said, this issue was great. The interaction with Hot Pursuit was kind of boring, but at the same time necessary to explain things. The spotlight of the issue has to be the interaction between Bart and Barry, which was very well executed. I am left wondering how these mysterious murders will end up tying into Flashpoint, as I’m sure they will. The art in this book is absolutely beautiful. Everything looks positively gorgeous, from Bart speeding around, to Barry chasing Hot Pursuit, to the very last scene, Manapul and Buccellato do a remarkable job. 4/5

Red Robin #22
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist: Freddie Williams II
Cover Artist: Guillem March
Publisher: DC

The three series crossover that started in Batman continues in this book with Tim being “tested.” The Crusader and Azrael, who believe they are on some sort of mission from God, have decided to test Tim, Dick, and Selena to determine whether they are worthy or not. Tim’s test is to navigate through Gotham, while saving innocents, in order to save a thug. The kicker comes at the end, when Tim is asked whether or not he believes.
I wasn’t particularly a fan of this story when it started in Batman and I don’t particularly find it all that compelling here, even though Nicieza is a remarkable storyteller. That being said, Nicieza does do a great job with the writing; he writes a very intelligent, calculating Tim. The art was quite nice as well, with Marcus To taking the issue off and Freddie E. Williams II taking over. Overall, it was good but not as good as when Nicieza directs the major plot. 3.5/5

Superboy #6
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Marco Rudy
Cover Artist: Eddy Barros
Publisher: DC

The Reign of Doomsday continues with the latest Superboy issue. The book starts off with a great scene with Superboy and Red Robin taking a moment to just hang out and talk. As Superboy heads back home, he’s blindsided by an attack by Doomsday. Other than a brief moment where Simon Valentine visits with Ray Palmer, aka the Atom, the rest of the issue plays out with Doomsday and Superboy exchanging blows.
For the most part I thought this was a decent issue. By far the best part of the book  was the beginning scene with Tim and Conner. The scene with Simon, Ray, and a lurking Psionic lad were unnecessary and felt completely out of place. This issue, as part of the Reign of Doomsday arc, follows along the same structure the previous books followed – Doomsday attacks, Doomsday wins, Doomsday kidnaps. However, this book didn’t quite add very much depth beyond that. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t entertaining, it was just predictable. The art was, for the most part, a big miss, with an occasional panel or page that looked good. Also, as a sidenote, as much as I’ve enjoyed Lemire writing Superboy, what is with the inconsistencies? As far as I know Cassie is still with the Teen Titans and Gar has never been referred to as Garth (this one was from the last issue). 3/5

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #6
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artists: CAFU, Bit, and George Perez
Cover Artists: Ethan Van Sciver and Scott Hanna
Publisher: DC

This issue serves as the conclusion to the first arc and the transition into the next one. The first part of the issue follows Colleen and Toby’s interaction following the incident where Toby put on the Menthor mask and killed his brother. She keeps his actions a secret from the authorities, who in turn reward her for her job well done. The second half of the book introduces the Iron Maiden, who rescues a young female from a sadistic man.
I thought this issue was good, albeit a tad choppy transitioning from one part to another. The first half played out really well as it especially gave us some deeper insight into Colleen. The reveal at the end of the first half and the abrupt switch to the second half leads me to believe that the plot is connected. I’m of the opinion that the Iron Maiden is the missing mother, but only time will tell. 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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