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October 20, 2009

Fenix: A Week In Review

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Welcome back for another look at the week that was my personal reading list. It was a DC heavy week for me, but that happens from time to time, so never fear Marvel fans, as in the next few weeks the balance will swing the other way.

bm_cv691Batman #691

You know what I like about a good story? That you get to the end and want more, that it just sucks you in and you don’t even realize that you just tore through it until you close the back cover. That is what you get with Batman #691. Finally, the showdown between Batman and Two Face takes place, and there is a lot of hitting. There is a lot of banter. There are a lot of reminders that Dick still has a ways to go if he is going to be the true Batman that Gotham needs. I know that what we are seeing here is Dick going through the growing pains of being Batman, but I still think that at times some liberties are being taken. He is a seasoned crime fighter, and at timesbatman-20091007040231012 some of the mistakes being made seem out of character. Nevertheless, there are things brought up that point out just how anal retentive and paranoid you have to be at times to be Batman. Like say, keeping the barriers and disruptors going 24/7 in the Batcave so no one can just pop in and try and bust a cap in ya. That is the kind of thing that Bruce always made sure to do, and since Dick has abandoned not only the mansion but the cave, those are things that he has not been keeping up with.

Still, this is a great fast paced story that ends with some new plot twists, and adds a few new wrinkles to the fold. Like, is Harvey going to leave Gotham for real now that the Black Mask has freed him? Just what the hell was Bruce hiding from Dick about his parents’ murders, and why of all places did he hide it in the foot of the case displaying Jason Todd’s Robin outfit?

With this story arc now closed, what is next for Dick and how long do we have to wait for a show down with the Black Mask? All I know is that I love the pace of Batman these days, and hope that it keeps getting better!

13213_400x600Booster Gold #25

You have to like the hero Booster Gold has become. There is still a touch of the arrogant-leave-it-till-tomorrow Booster there, but it is only enough to remind us that he is a man all about changing to become a better person. That is what is at the heart of issue #25 as far as Booster is concerned. You get a heart to heart so to speak between him and Batman, where he lays it all out for Dick and brings things full circle from last issue. How do you prove to the current Batman that you can be trusted? You go back to a defining moment in his youth as Robin, and repeat a bit of advice uttered from the mouth of an “enemy” that all of a sudden makes all the sense in the world (see Booster Gold #24).

While Booster and Batman are having this moment, Rip and Skeets are busy tracking down the Black Beetle, only to have him get the drop on them and blow stuff up (see it was not all flowers and hugs and granola). Rip and Skeets are hot on the identity trail, and think they have some vital clues as to who this Black Beetle is; and Skeets for one is not sure he is happy about where this may take them.

A nice way to wrap things up, as Blackest Night is around the bend for Booster and co. I especially like the end as Booster gives Batman something that no one else can; a reminder of why he does what he does by letting him get a glimpse of one of his happier childhood memories.

Second Feature: Blue Beetle

Last time we were left with Blue Beetle about two seconds away from giving Black Beetle a face lift with his fist andboog_25_0010 some rather large claws. Too bad that the Black Beetle has that whole time travel thing down and can hop around like a nut ball and take shots at Blue Beetle from behind. Which is basically what he does both physically and mentally, because if you buy what he is selling, Blue Beetle is destined to become Black Beetle and this confrontation is all part of his plan; and this could possibly explain why Skeets did not like what he was finding from his scans of Black Beetle (all this from Booster Gold).

So what are we left with here? Well for one, more questions. We know that Black Beetle is from the future, and that is about all we know. Other than that, the list of possible suspects is not getting any shorter, and I for one am not buying that load of junk about Blue Beetle becoming him. Why is this? Could it have anything to do with the fact that you never trust the bad guy; because that is just crime fighting 101.

So until we get some answers, the identity of the Black Beetle is still up in the air, and I will continue my one man hissy fit until Blue Beetle gets his own book again!

Detecttie_Comics_Annual_27Detective Comics Annual #11

Finishing off this two part story (see Batman Annual #27 for part one), Fabian Nicieza wraps things up nice and gritty like. Which is just the way that some stories need to be dealt with, and I am happy to say that Batman and the Question are an excellent pairing, as these two match wits and figure a thing or two out.

You get a very quick rehash of the events from part one, as Batman brings the Question up to speed, and then the two of them make with the crime solving and track down the location of the missing Robin. Damian has managed to escape (he is trained in all sorts of uses of nasty and tricky things) from his captors, and makes it street side before one of the seven sins catches up to him and tries to make him her play thing. Enter Azrael, whose two fisted swords of righteous judgment save little Robin’s bacon in time for them to start smashing bad guys in the face. Normally held in check by Batman, this violent little crime fighter gets to tear into it at the side of Azrael as they make their way back underground to save the other captured children.

In the end what do you get? Six saved kids and some family trauma, all wrapped up with another sweet look at some of the gadgets on the new Batmobile and a partridge in a pear tree. OK, so I made that last part up, but the rest of it is true. That and you get a tender moment between the Question and her old partner from the Gotham PD, Harvey. Not a bad little story in the long run, and a nice way to wrap things up and set the stage for Azrael to take center stage in his new series.

Red_Robin_5Red Robin #5

When we last saw Tim Drake, he was bleeding all over the place and passed out next to Z, who was also bleeding like a stuck pig. This time around he is still passed out, but doing so in the Wayne Industries private suite, only to be found passed out and bloody by Miss Fox who is still looking for him. Then everything goes downhill when the ninja show up; it always goes in the crapper when the ninja show up.

What happens next can be summed up rather quick like. Tim wakes up and thinks that he must have been resurrected, because he is laid out next to a Lazarus pit. As it turns out, this is not the case and he was just stitched back together. He is then askedRed Robin023 to lead the League of Assassins against the Council of Spiders, after a little chat where he fills the league in on what happened in the desert. Along for all of this is Miss Fox, who thinks that she is seeing the descent of Tim Drake down a path that is apt to give her nightmares. What we are seeing though is a Tim Drake that has found a crusade he can sink his teeth into (other than proving that Bruce is not dead): Taking down both the Council of Spiders and the League of Assassins! It seems that Tim is a bit of an over achiever.

Overall, a decent story which serves its purpose well as the next story arc is about to begin. I am not saying you shouldn’t put this on your must read list for last week, but I am also not saying that in the grand scheme of things the heavens and earth didn’t move while I was reading it. Then again, for those that like getting a glimpse at the origins of a character, you do get to see a member of the Council of Spiders as a child…and you get to see how she gets her powers…which is just…wow.

Titans_18Titans #18

Continuing on the theme of things breaking apart, we find that now Raven is the one with all the thinking to do. We get a nice little confrontation between her and two of her siblings at the start of the book, which is not the important part. What is important is the little chat she has with her brother (one of them that is) about family. How family is always there for you no matter what, and will never turn its back on you. Why is this important? For as long as Raven has been in the pages of the Teen Titans, and now Titans, she has always seen them as her real family. A family that right now is falling apart around her, and while her blood relations may be bad to the core, she is still holding onto the Titans being her family.

While she has done just about everything to drive Beast Boy away, you get a glimpse here that she is regretting it, as she starts to see that no matter how bad she has treated him as of late, he still loves her and cares for her deeply. If anyone is going to suffer from Beast Boy’s departure from the team, it will be Raven the most, even if she does not want to admit it.

Just a side note here people: This is the type of story that you can expect for the next few issues, as each member of the Titans is going to be looked at in a similar light. The events of the Blackest Night: Titans miniseries are still impacting members of the team. With that said, it is still a good story being told. As exciting as it is to see a team come together, it is even more entertaining at times to watch them come apart at the seams.

Jason Fenix



  1. billy

    that Detective Comics looks cool. The Question rules.

  2. I thought ‘Batman’ fell flat because the whole thing with Two Face’s Bat-costume didn’t end up how I wanted it to and made me go, ‘eh?’ I wasn’t hot about ‘Booster Gold’ either, but then again this was the first issue I’ve read of the series and I only read it because of the Batman and Robin appearance- yay marketing!

    ‘Detective’ wasn’t bad, but I REALLY liked the scene you mention between Harvey and Montoya. Great stuff there!

    As for ‘Red Robin’ I was disappointed that no mention was made about what he saw in the cave in issue #4. Talk about a cliff hanger!!!!

    And will the Titans ever have good luck?… EVER!?

  3. Infinite Speech

    thanks for ruining Batman for me Andy lol

  4. Totally my bad! I edited it to make it less spoilery…

    : )

  5. Kristin

    Kind of wish I had stuck with Titans now. I enjoyed the first issue, but they immediately changed the artist, and I couldn’t stand the new art. Plus the writing just wasn’t kicking off for me. But the story has sounded pretty interesting lately.

    Almost wish I had picked up Booster Gold, too. Loved his story line in 52. Ah well; just can’t afford all this stuff. 🙁

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