Batman Incorporated is well on its way to becoming another of one Grant Morrison’s epic Batman tales, that people with either love or hate. This issue has the Hood arriving and teaming up with Batwoman, only for both to end up saved by Batman (Bruce). As El Goucho, Batwoman, and the Hood take on Scorpiana, Batman infiltrates the lighthouse to foil Dr. Dedalus’s plan. If only things were that simple.
I thought that this issue was well executed. The narrative heavy description of Dr. Dedalus’s history was a lot to encounter in the beginning, but as the issue progressed so did the story. Grant Morrison does a great job in this issue of giving you the explanation you’re looking for, then taking it all back and saying, not quite. Batwoman, a character I’m not too familiar with, is written into the story very well, as are the Hood and El Goucho. I think it’s also great the way Morrison injects humor into such a serious story, without being overt about it. The art looked exceptionally nice, with the intricate details and refined line work. The introduction of Leviathan, the true Dr. Dedalus, the character at the very end, it is all building a very intriguing concept. Overall, this is a must read for Morrison fans and I think a lot of anti-Morrison readers would also enjoy it. 4.5/5
It’s been a little over a year now since this series started, and in some ways not much has changed, while in other ways things have changed significantly. We last left off with a variant of the Swamp Thing attacking the forest. Turns out, this Swamp Thing thought it was Nekron, go figure, and as such, it had to be stopped. The four elementals beat it down, but in order to truly beat it, the White Lantern needed to resurrect Alec Holland, the scientist the original Swamp Thing thought it was. In order to do so, a life must be taken, and so one of the resurrected twelve had to die. The White Lantern went on to explain the purpose of the twelve resurrections and their duties, which Hawk failed, by the way. With the Earth’s new champion we move on to the next event.
The series has had its ups and downs, but for the most part I enjoyed it. However, as far as conclusions go I thought this one was a little disappointing. I feel very little has actually been accomplished, and I for one am left with just as many questions here at the conclusion as I had at the beginning. The biggest one probably being, is the Swamp Thing now going to be an entity in the same capacity as Parallax, Ion, and the others? Furthermore, after 24 issues I think it would have been nicer to have an actual conclusion, whereas this feels more like a segue into whatever is coming next. We get to see what happens to the elementals, but there is no inclination as to where readers should go to follow up on them. Overall, this issue in particular was decent, but I think in the grand story it felt a little flat. 2.5/5
Scott Snyder’s impressive run continues as we head into a new arc, which is a part of one major story. The issue starts off with the description of a fairly mundane business day at a bank, which drastically changes with the unexpected appearance of a giant killer whale. Taking advantage of the sheer size of the facility, Gordon brings the whale to Dick for examination. The rail leads to Sonia Branch, formerly Sonia Zucco.
Snyder is doing a fantastic job of bringing back the detective into Detective Comics. Utilizing both Gordon and Batman, he’s creating this all inclusive story, where the separate arcs intertwine. I thought it was great the way Gordon and Dick interacted, especially when it came to discussing “Zucco” as well as Gordon’s son. Jock’s art, in my opinion, has improved a great deal from is first arc. The line work is still as expressive as usual, but it appears much more clean. Overall I’d say this was an excellent beginning to this arc as well as an excellent continuation to the series. 4.5/5
The last issue got me fairly excited for Flashpoint, and while that excitement is still there, for the most part this issue didn’t do much to enhance that. The issue starts off with Barry working hard at uncovering the culprit behind a recent string of murders when he is called home for an intervention. The Flashes of the past, Jay, Wally, and Bart confront Barry and question his actions. Bart, who felt personally affronted by Barry’s recent actions, sped off in a blur. Barry catches up just in time to see Hot Pursuit attacking Bart.
I take back what I said earlier; this issue did get me excited for Bart’s mini-series in Flashpoint, but then again he’s always been a favorite of mine. Other than that, this issue didn’t offer too much in the form of story progression. First and foremost, this book really suffered without Francis Manapul’s art. For a while I have felt like his art is what has been carrying this series, and without it this issue feels a little flat. Which isn’t to say the art was bad, just not capable of carrying the entire issue on its shoulder. I still plan on reading Flashpoint, though not all of Flashpoint after seeing that checklist, so I guess this issue was successful in that respect. 3/5
The essence of the forest is under attack. No, not Nekron-Swamp Thing, not yet at least. Etrigan the Demon, now separated from Jason Blood, is on a rampage, his bloodlust being fueled by the evil that lay dormant in the forest. Fortunately, the forest provided our heroes with a weapon. For Galahad the weapon took the form of a sword (Excalibur), unfortunately Galahad proved unable to defeat the beast. In his absence, Green Arrow claimed the weapon as his own, shaping it into a bow, and defeated the demon.
I thought this issue was great. For a long time now Ollie has been in the slumps, and I think with this victory, it’s his first accomplishment that nobody can really have a problem with. It’s a solid job well done, which I think is important for him on his road to getting back to being good with himself. Nobody told me that this issue was supposed to come before Brightest Day #24 (Brightest Day #23 even), but that didn’t really change much. From the beginning of this series this damn forest has been a thorn, but with this issue I think Krul was finally able to manipulate the Brightest Day presence to his benefit, and Green Arrow’s. 4/5
What’s the smart thing to do when it’s four against thousands? Split up. Wait no, that’s not the smart thing, that’s just what these four Lanterns decide to do in this issue. Guy, Kyle, Hal, and John bicker for the better part of this issue, though they are fairly amusing doing it. Unsure of what they should be doing, they dig their way into the Guardian’s base underground where they find an ancient weapon. This is when they decide to split. Kyle and John (the two that have trouble working their rings) decide to take on Mogo, the living planet, while Hal and Guy attempt to extract Parallax from the Green Lantern Battery.
This issue was good. I thought the writing was humorous and enjoyable. However, I do wonder whose call it was to have these four Lanterns, arguably four of the best Lanterns, be so useless as a team. John, as comical as he seems in his outfit, seems the most out of place with his new powers. He’s trying to build guns and other weapons with his powers that stem from compassion. Really? And we’ve all seen what the Red Lantern’s effects are on Guy, so why would he be the one entrusted with Krona’s glove? I said it before, I’m sure the writers all have reasons for this, but as of right now it all seems strange. Artistically, this book looks great. The fight scenes, the Guardian’s lair, the monster guard, it all looks great. 3.5/5
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