If you are looking to try out just one DC book, or if you’re limiting your comic book purchases, this is the book you must keep. After an assassin tried to kill Bruce Wayne, Batman has proactively sought out his attackers. His initial leads take him to the subways, where five gangs have taken their hold. When this lead takes him nowhere, he goes back home where he and Alfred touch base and establish what, if any, validity there was to the Court of Owls. He remembers a superstition his ancestors held, which leads him smack dab in the middle of the Owls’ nest. This issue was absolutely fantastic for a couple of reasons. Scott Snyder is writing an amazing story. Just like with his run on Detective Comics, Snyder is creating an enemy that is positively sinister, but more importantly, one that has been operating right under Batman’s nose. With as many buildings involved and with every passing portrait, we get this all encompassing feeling that this threat is very real and very dangerous. I get excited about comics all the time, but this is one book I hate waiting a month for. Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia have created an absolutely fantastic reading experience. The characters, the city, the gorgeous line work, the tone of the colors, every single aspect artistically in this book has a larger than life feeling to it that is just brilliant fun. It has just the right touch of grit, realism, and a cartoonish feeling that mesh perfectly with the haunting story by Snyder. 4.5/5
After I finished reading this issue I was left thinking two things. The first was that this was a very sad story. Catwoman has always been a loner, that’s her thing, but I’ve always felt like she was genuinely happy. With Gotham City Sirens we got to see her in a team, with friends, and I thought the transition worked perfectly. But with this book, she’s neither with friends nor alone, and all I’m getting out of this is that she’s miserable. The issue starts off with Selina being held hostage while her friend lies dead on the floor. She kicks a whole lotta ass and is able to capture Bone, the thug boss that killed her friend. Batman arrives and that final streak of loneliness and sadness is driven into Catwoman. The decision to make Selina and Bruce’s relationship go back to being anonymous is absurd really, but specifically in this situation she’s now left more alone and broken than I’ve ever seen her.
The second thing about this issue that stayed with me was the art. I’m not sure if this is a conscious choice by Guillem March, but his facial expressions are just not working for me. Selina alternates from looking terrified to bat-shit crazy throughout the issue. The words in the book paint a picture of a very strong female and the art does not convey that at all in my opinion. That being said, the rest of the book is done very well by March. 3.5/5
We are now three issues into the series and every team member has now made an appearance in the book. That being said, this is without a doubt Wonder Woman’s issue. What the beginning of the issue will tell you, is that Wonder Woman enjoys fighting, wields a sword, and has never had ice cream. Simple enough, but where she shines is when the action starts. After Darkseid’s monster minions tear into this universe, she zips through the city beating them all back. Right about then is when Green Lantern, Flash, Superman, and Batman meet the Princess for the first time. There’s some more fighting, while simultaneously Cyborg is being born as a result of his body being torn apart to the brink of death. The issue ends with Aquaman bursting onto the scene, nearly completing the team.
Except, they’re not a team. Not yet at least. Right now they’re pretty much just a bunch of superheroes that don’t exactly trust each other and actually just met each other. There’s something about this book that makes it feel extremely short, and it’s not just that it’s 22 pages. Most of the entire three issues have been heavy on the action, which in some cases I wouldn’t mind, but in this case it’s just not doing it for me. Other than Wonder Woman and Aquaman’s entrance (for Aquaman it’s literally just an entrance), and Cyborg’s change, there was very little story progression here. The art is decent, but I’m failing to be wowed here like I am on other books, such as Batwoman, Batman, or The Flash. Basically, I’m not as impressed with Jim Lee’s art as I have been in the past. Two things stuck out as odd for the most, one in the story and one in the art. First, Superman apparently has no problem killing anymore. It is possible that these things are robots or that Superman’s no killing policy is only meant for humans; either way it was weird. Secondly, there’s a spread that puts a splash of Darkseid to the right of some panels on the left. Hands down the worst laid out spread I’ve ever scene. The juxtaposition of the two pages is jarring and completely threw me off. Overall this is a strong action book with little meat to the story. 3/5
I would love to take the next two paragraphs of your time and gush about how great this book is, and believe me I could do it, but for now you’ll have to settle for one. In the wake of Mr. Haly’s death, Dick is reunited, once again, with his friends from his previous life as a circus entertainer. While there, two things happen. One, his being the new owner of Haly’s circus is a sore spot for Mr. Haly’s son. And two, one of his old circus buds is a booking agent for contract killers, like Saiko, the man who killed Haly. He tracks down the agent and in Nightwing fashion, uses his wits and awesome technology to overpower Zane, the circus friend. All the while this is happening, Dick finds himself getting closer and closer to Raya, another redhead from his past. This issue was fantastic. The story progressed rather nicely, with the conflict with Zane, the emotional turmoil with Raya, and the potential for danger with Mr. Haly’s son, who it turns out knows more than he’s let on. The art was gorgeous. Handled by Eddy Barrows and Eduardo Pansica, their art styles blended perfectly creating the best looking issue yet.
Why not two paragraphs, you ask? Because I have one big problem that this issue makes glaringly obvious. Five years is not enough time to logistically make sense of the Bat-universe. We’ve heard from near everyone involved that the Bat history has been left relatively untouched, which it has. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make sense. One, Dick being adopted by Bruce as a young adult, nonsense. Two, if Dick’s been around for five years, that means Tim’s only been around for two or three years, which puts Damian at a couple months. Seriously, whose ever idea “five years” was, complete idiocy. Lest you forget, however, this book is the complete opposite. The writing is smart, witty, and touching. While the art is consistently gorgeous to look at. 4/5
This is just another book in a line of amazing Bat-Universe books, if you’d even consider it such. The trio, Jason, Kory, and Roy, are on a strange and dangerous journey, one where two of them really have no business. But for whatever reason, Kory and Roy are here to stay and help Jason. In order to do so, the three were forced to give up their most cherished memories. These memories pretty much ended up being mini origin stories for each character. Kory’s focused on her time as an enslaved Princess, Roy’s involved hitting rock bottom in order to get better, while Jason’s was the familial love he once shared with Batman that no longer exists. In this one issue, with each mini origin tale, we get more character development than the first three issues of Justice League combined.
Kenneth Rocafort and Blond have quickly made this book absolutely gorgeous. The line work is precise, unique, and has a very modern feel to it; it is quite unlike anything else on the market. Blond’s colors bring a nice vibrant feel to this book, which works in fantastic conjunction with the quirky story by Lobdell. This book perfectly blends a great story with fantastic artwork. And if that last scene didn’t change your opinion of Jason Todd, you’re dead inside. 4.5/5
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