May 24, 2011

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 05-18-11

Hey everyone! With the start of Flashpoint and the plethora of tie-ins involved, my awesome colleagues have offered to help out in reviewing some of them. So until the end of Flashpoint, I will be having some guest reviewers join me. Enjoy!

Batman #710
Writer: Tony Daniel
Artists: Steve Scott and Ryan Winn
Cover Artist: Tony Daniel
Publisher: DC

After waiting two issues, for a multi-series crossover, Tony Daniel is back, though only as the writer right now. Not to be outdone, Two-Face also makes his return to Gotham in this issue. He was last seen in Streets of Gotham, where he nearly died and was forced to part ways with his trusty coin. In this issue Two-Face is looking for his coin while also creating chaos for Mario Falcone, Gotham’s self-proclaimed crime lord. Meanwhile, another Falcone, Kitrina, is being nudged out of Gotham by Batman and Catwoman, per Bruce’s request; suffice to say she’s neither happy nor compliant. The end of the book is where things get heated up, when Mario kidnaps Two-Face and brings him face to face with a blast from the past.
I thought that this was a strong first issue to this next arc. With regards to the story, it’s nice to see Daniel drawing from past stories and reconnecting characters to one another, like with Selina and Kitrina, or Two-Face and Falcone. Unfortunately, Tony Daniel isn’t on art duties for this arc and he’s missed. Not to say that Scott didn’t do a good job; he did, however, his art just doesn’t have the same effect as Daniel’s does. As I previously mentioned, the last time we saw Two-Face he was on death’s door and he miraculously survived, which brings me to my point. It’s come to a point where we, as readers, view comic book hero deaths more as short-lived retirements than actual deaths. That being said, do you think we’ll ever see the deaths of a character with the prominence of Two-Face or Joker actually die? 4/5

Batman and Robin #23
Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: Guillem March and Andrei Bressan
Cover Artist: Guillem March
Publisher: DC

After spending over a year in prison (a year our time), Jason Todd makes his first appearance since Bruce’s return. Jason, who had been in Arkham and repeatedly filed to be transferred to the prison because he’s not psychologically unstable, is visited by Bruce, as Batman, who informs him that he’s in Arkham for his own protection. Not one to take no for an answer, Jason is transferred to Gotham prison, where almost immediately an escalating number of inmates begin to die. While being transferred out of Gotham prison, Jason finds himself being broken out by a strange group.
Jason Todd is one of the those characters that you either like or hate; there really tends to be little middle ground for most readers, which is a shame. Judd Winick takes over for this arc, and if anyone can write a great Jason Todd arc it’s him. This issue was quite good. The beginning flashback scene that depicted Todd when he was young was a great lead into the issue, and the reveal at the end definitely left me wanting more. For more on Jason Todd, I highly recommend the mini-series Red Hood: The Lost Days; maybe it’ll change your mind about this highly misunderstood character. The art duties were shared in this issue, and I’d say both did a good job. Both artists had certain strengths and some weaknesses, but overall the art was quite pleasant throughout the issue. Ever since Grant Morrison left this title there has been a different creative team every three issues (every arc), and I think in the long run that’s detrimental to the series. In this case, though, this looks to be a great arc. 4.5/5

Batman: Gates of Gotham #1
Writers: Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins
Artist: Trevor McCarthy
Cover Artists: Trevor McCarthy and Dustin Nguyen
Publisher: DC

The first issue in this mini-series starts off with a bang; three of them to be precise. Dick and Tim are working together to get to the bottom of the new terror that has befallen Gotham as three of Gotham’s major bridges are blown up. Some slight digging into Gotham’s history reveals that the bridges originally had completely different names, names taken from the founders of Gotham: Wayne, Cobblepot, and Elliot. Speaking of Elliot, Hush makes an appearance at the end of the issue, but who is the villain with him?
I thought that this issue was fantastic. I’m a sucker for Dick and Tim team-ups. I think the characters mesh really well together, so in that regard alone this book was a success. That aside, though, the story was exciting, especially with the flashback thrown in depicting the origins of each of the bridges. As it was the first issue of the series, there was quite a bit of story building, but it was done in a non-harmful way. The art was gorgeous. One scene that particularly stands out is when Dick is traveling underwater and the dead people float by his submersible; the emotion captured on his face is just great. Fans of Cassandra Cain (Black Bat) will be glad to know she’s in this book, though considering she’s making appearances in two other series, readers would have to go out of their way to miss her. Overall, this book is an excellent read with great art; can’t wait for more. 5/5

Booster Gold #44
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund
Cover Artists: Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund
Publisher: DC

Returning from his search through the time stream for Batman, Booster Gold finds himself under attack. Not only are soldiers firing at him, but big-ass satellites in space are shooting heavy duty lasers at him! Why? The surface world is at war with Atlantis. They believe Booster Gold to be Atlantean. They don’t know who Booster Gold is and Booster Gold doesn’t know where he is. Nothing is as, or where, he left it, including Rip Hunter’s time traveling stuff. Before he can set out to find what is going on, he comes face-to-face with an old enemy.
Dan Jurgens is back on the title, and from what I’ve heard he’s the only one who can do Booster right. This is my first experience with Booster Gold’s own book and I couldn’t have picked a better time! There is an excellent rundown of who Booster Gold is and what he’s all about, IN the story! Jurgens does a fine job of bringing new readers up to speed while not missing a beat of the current goings on. The book looks good, too. This is as safe as jumping on points get, and I don’t feel like jumping off. 5/5 – AW

Teen Titans #95
Writer: J.T. Krul
Artists: Nicola Scott and Doug Hazlewood
Cover Artists: Nicola Scott, Doug Hazlewood, and Jason Wright
Publisher: DC

The Teen Titans have found themselves transported into another dimension while on a rescue mission. Wonder Girl, Ravager, and Red Robin were captured in the last issue and play virtually no role in this issue. Kid Flash finds his missing teammates, but is unable to save them as he is quickly overpowered. Meanwhile, Gar, Superboy, Raven, and Solstice find themselves under attack as the monster pretending to be Ravager reveals herself. The demons kidnap Superboy and Raven and trap them in cages along with the rest of the captives. The god, Rankor, is attempting to drain their powers in order to escape this dimension.
While reading the issue I thought that it was very enjoyable. It was a nice, fun read with interesting plot points, like with Raven and the monster interacting or Kid Flash being unable to vibrate through the cage. However, not much was actually accomplished in this issue. The only difference from the end of the last issue to the end of this one is that Kid Flash, Superboy, and Raven are now captured as well. I think Krul does a nice job with writing these characters; he has a nice handle on their personalities. And while I’m no fan of Nicola Scott’s artwork, it certainly isn’t offensive in any way. My favorite spread of the book is when Rankor is torturing/draining the powers of the individuals he has captured and everyone looks to be in immense pain, except Red Robin. 3/5

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #7
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artists: Mike Grell, Nick Dragotta, CAFU, and BIT
Cover Artist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: DC

This issue plays out over three time periods: the present, the 80s, and the 60s. In the present, we witness Colleen as she’s traveling, lost in her thoughts, on her way to deal with a problem from her past: her mother. In the flashback to the 80s we see a domesticated Iron Maiden singing to her child, when they come under attack. Though she puts up a valiant effort, she is taken into custody by T.H.U.N.D.E.R., who have already arrested husband, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent Len Brown (Dynamo). The 60s flashback reads almost like it was a reprint of a Golden Age story. It depicts the budding relationship between Dynamo and the Iron Maiden, even though they were supposed to be enemies.
This is probably one of the best books you’re not reading because you’re afraid you won’t be able to follow. Let me tell you something: you’re wrong and you should be reading this. Nick Spencer does an excellent job with this issue. His dialog and story are perfectly plotted out for each time period. As aforementioned, he does such a remarkable job with the 60s era it was almost as if DC just chose to reprint a story from the original series. Each of the artists do a remarkable job, as well. Not only do their styles suit their designated decade, but they also really enhance the overall story. The rest of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents don’t make an appearance, but that doesn’t stop this from being an excellent read. 5/5

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

Arnab Pradhan

Aron White



  1. Billy

    Really diggin’ that Gates of Gotham cover.

  2. @Billy -That cover is pretty cool. I think the variant cover is just as awesome though. It’s a Dustin Nguyen cover

  3. Anisa

    I enjoyed all the bat books this week. I totally agree with you that the Jason Todd arc in Batman and Robin looks to be awesome.

    And I totally agree with your rating of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, it was fantastic this week!!

  4. I thought Gates of Gotham and Batman and Robin were both excellent this week. The alternate cover to B&R #23 was very cool.

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