If any of you are like me, you’ll have googled the Gordon Family genealogy. You’ll probably still be a little confused, but that just means you’re normal. The issue slowly starts off with a conversation between Barbara and her mother, which has the possibility of ret-conning a bit of the Gordon family history. With the first arc over, the next arc begins with a mind altering villain who is fascinated with the number 338, dyes her hair more than anyone, and is just as poorly named as the first villain. Aside from the awkward conversation between mother and daughter, I thought the issue was thoroughly entertaining. While Gretel isn’t a name that particularly strikes fear, the character herself is an interesting one. First of all, she either frequently changes the color of her hair, which I think is awesome, or she’s got clones running around. Personally, I’m hoping it’s just because she’s awesome. Also, her powers are pretty cool, too; they appear to be some form of mental manipulation that seems to have snared even Bruce Wayne. The recurring theme in this book, from the first five issues, is that Batgirl fails a lot. I don’t know why this is happening, but ever since the reboot she appears to be inadequate in many facets of life, which is terribly unfortunate. She has had at least five people, more depending on how many people were on that train, die right in front of her. That’s almost unheard of in superhero books, and while the intent might be to make her seem more human (which we know she is, she’s not a metahuman or alien, after all), it is really just making it seem like maybe this Barbara Gordon shouldn’t be Batgirl. 4/5
When DC foolishly rebooted itself, they told everyone that the successful titles were being left untouched, that for the most part the Bat-Universe was being untouched. Now, that’s just a bunch of nonsense, for a number of reasons, but in this book it is especially apparent in Bruce’s relationship with Damian. At times it’s like he’s never actually been around kids, which, per the original, supposedly untouched history, is bullhockey. But with the new DC, Batman only became public five years ago, so in that five years he’s partnered up with Dick, Jason, and Tim, but none of them were young. He didn’t raise Dick, he didn’t fail Jason as a child, he didn’t train an enthusiastic youthful Tim, he has befriended them all as young adults/adults. I don’t know about you, but I consider that a very big change. To bring it all back to Batman and Robin, because of the history I was told to remember, the lack of Bruce’s parenting skills and the huge gap in his and Damian’s relationship seems forced and at times absurd. The world’s greatest detective doesn’t see the homicidal tendencies of his assassin trained son? Please. Granted, I am still convinced that Damian’s teaming up with Ducard is an elaborate scheme on his part to win his father’s approval. Only the next issue can tell us whether I’m right or not. 3.5/5
We are at that time when different titles are getting creative changes, some books are being dropped, newer books are arriving, basically there’s been enough time to see how books are doing. If these first five books tell us anything, it is this – this creative team shouldn’t be touched, this story will be fantastic, and the art will be brilliant. I’ve always looked at Batwoman as distant cousin to the Bat family. You know she’s there and she shares your name, but for the most part she does her thing and you do yours. In this case, though, that’s what keeps her interesting. She’s involved with the Bat family enough to not be estranged, but for the most part she’s a separate entity. Her funding, her drive, her circle of friends, it’s all separate. So in essence, she’s extending Batman’s reach to places that normally would be untouched. This issue sees the end of the first arc and a resolution with the Weeping Woman. The entire arc was well paced, written very well, and looked beautiful. The issue also saw the start of a new venture for Batwoman, and interestingly enough, it isn’t Batman Inc. The only thing I found to be off putting about this issue was that Batwoman let her secret identity be found out. Anytime someone knows your secrets, you’re no longer a free woman. Though I don’t like it, it will be interesting to see how this affects things in the future. 4.5/5
This series has been really good from the get go, but I feel like there’s just a little something that’s keeping it from being great. This issue was particularly fast paced, had some great action, and in retrospect was filled with information. First and foremost, in my opinion, Lois Lane gets mentioned. Second to Superboy, Lois is my favorite character in the Super-Family, so it was nice of her to make an appearance, even if it was just her name. Then, we’ve got Superboy showing off his amazing powers once again as he rescues Caitlin Fairchild from the N.O.W.H.E.R.E.’s evil grasp. One thing that I am especially enjoying in this new take on Superboy, is that he seems to be immensely powerful. With the old Superboy it always felt strange that the scientists worked so hard to clone Superman, but then made a weaker individual. In this case, Superboy appears to be much more powerful than the Man of Steel. 4/5
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