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January 24, 2012

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 1/18/12

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Written by: Arnab
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Batman #5
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO
Cover Artist: Chris Burnham
Publisher: DC

When it comes to comics, I feel I’m in the minority when I say that I rank the art at the same level as I rank the story. 50/50. In most cases I feel people forgive poorly illustrated books as long as there is a strong story more often than they forgive a poorly scripted book with brilliant art. I say all this, because this is a particularly well done, fantastically illustrated issue. The story? Brilliant. No doubt about it, this is some of Scott Snyder’s best work. But then again, I haven’t read anything of his that would be considered “B” grade or below. In just five issues Snyder has taken one of the most confident, domineering, strong heroes, and he’s cracking him, tearing him up piece by piece. And this isn’t a story that feels clunky or rushed. The entire series so far has been well paced, well written, it feels organic. Reading this title, you can read Batman’s breakdown. That’s where the brilliance of this art team comes in. Where you can only read Batman’s breakdown with Snyder’s words, you can see it with the art. The words literally come to life with Greg Capullo’s pencils, accompanied by Glapion’s inks and FCO’s colors. What you see in this book is something that is really only effective in comic books. The tension built by rotating the pages, the ominous presence of the Court of Owls, even the simple pages of Batman walking over the miniature Gotham are remarkable. The way his cape flows and is engulfed, and becomes part of, the shadows is something that is very classic, yet modern, with relation to Batman’s history. This book is absolutely amazing. Will everyone feel the same? Of course not. But coming from a literary standpoint, and with an art background, I think this issue was perfect. 5/5

Catwoman #5
Writer: Judd Winick
Artist: Guillem March and Tomeu Morey
Cover Artist: Guillem March
Publisher: DC

The retcons continue as the Bat-Universe is unable to escape the greedy claws of DC’s reboot. A little known fact about our title heroine is that at one point in time Catwoman got pregnant and had a child named Helena. The child was put up for adoption and kept safe, and unless I read the wording of this issue wrong, she’s now so safe she doesn’t exist. That annoyance aside, this issue was fantastic. It did a great job of showcasing just what a strong woman Selina is, both mentally and physically, albeit a tad reckless with her actions. We start off the issue with Catwoman free falling from the sky, after having been blasted into the air by “Reach” last issue. With a bit of smart thinking and excellent timing, she’s able to survive the fall. Unfortunately, Reach is still around and Catwoman’s dislocated her shoulder, amongst other injuries. Being cool under pressure, and being a kick ass hand to hand fighter, easily allows her to overpower Reach and escape with her loot. Except her loot turns out to be a couple of dirty cops’ loot, and boy are they pissed. This is easily the best issue of the series so far. We get a strong protagonist, who like anyone has moments of weakness, but at the end of the day is able to defend herself. The cliffhanger has her trapped, so it will be exciting for her to get out of that mess. 4/5

Nightwing #5
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artists: Eddy Barrows, Paulo Siqueira, Eber Ferreira, and Rod Reis
Cover Artists: Eddy Barrows and Rod Reis
Publisher: DC

When you talk about comics as much as I do, you hear a lot of opinions. People like this character, or people like that character, some people love events, some people hate events. One thing I’ve heard quite often is that some people don’t like long arcs, stories that span over four or fives issues. But then you give them an issue that is slightly related to the overall story, but otherwise a one-shot, and you’ve offended them. That’s the thing about comics; you can do so many different things and some people will always disagree. I for one thoroughly enjoyed myself reading this issue. The story about Saiko and the Haly Circus makes a brief but important appearance, but for the most part this issue is about Nightwing helping out a friend who is in way over his head dealing with a crazy ex. Unfortunately, in this case, crazy ex equals powerful rhyming demon. Pardon the interruption, but I must say that I love a good rhyme and I think Higgins did a great job with the rhyming, keeping it from becoming corny. After Nightwing does his heroic bit, the book ends with one of the most shocking cliffhangers I’ve seen yet. 4/5

Red Hood and the Outlaws #5
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Kenneth Rocafort and Blond
Cover Artist: Kenneth Rocafort
Publisher: DC

With every issue this series gets better. There, I said it. If for some odd reason you’re avoiding this series, in the previous issues Jason Todd has predominantly held the spotlight, while Kori has proven time after time why her power set makes her the perfect addition to the team. Roy, on the other hand, hasn’t had the opportunity to shine, until now. With the Red Hood MIA and Starfire temporarily weakened, Roy takes the lead and protects Kori from Crux, the green, winged freak who hates her people. Not only do we get to see Roy kick some ass, which Red Hood does as well, but we get to see a more emotional side to the character that hasn’t always been present. Little by little these characters are being fleshed out, giving them depth and making them more interesting. What I’ve also consistently found good about this series is that it isn’t afraid to instill a bit of humor, regardless of the situation. In this particular issue, the villagers chasing after our group of heroes sticks out in my mind. Whether or not it was meant to be humorous, I couldn’t stop laughing seeing them with their tractors and pitchforks. 4/5

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

Arnab Pradhan
arnab@comicattack.net

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5 Comments


  1. Anthony

    OMG, those who so-called liked the DC new 52 are just plain sheep and most of them seem to have no conception of what the real DCU is about, it’s value and what it stands for. The reboot is a total disgrace in so many ways, it’s not even funny. They have basically ruined most of the DC heroes, they have replace the once cool-looking logo with a plain and shitty looking logo, when the old logo was fine the way it was before. They are basically white-washing and alienating the entire DCU, let alone giving the heroes ugly costumes, they have made superman into a total douche bag and they tore the legendary couple Lois and Clark, which struck me
    They have overly done blood and gore, and add and showing….sexual acts?? BLASPHEMOUS! The DC comic is suppose to be about superhero for all ages, that has inspired us and had us positively influenced by your favorite superhero as positive role models that you looked up to while growing up and kicks ass, too at the same time. NOT a porn show!
    I was also planning to introduce my little nephew to comic book with Superman. But ever since this reboot came out and saw what they have done to our heroes, including superman and what they have added, I am not going to let my little nephew get anywhere near that garbage. I’m sorry but obviously, it’s a no-go for me. Right now, I will buy anything from DC until the sales come crashing down and somehow give us back the DC universe. It’s just the DC comics without them.



    • I’m by no means a Superman fan but in my many years of comic collecting and just plain research I discovered that Supes being a douche character now is actually a return to his roots. Go back and read many of the older, original Supes stories and you’ll see that he was a bit of an ass.

      DC took a ballsy risk with the reboot/relaunch and if you noticed it’s in their first issues that they decided to be all risque especially w/ the sex. Why? Because it got people talking and not only that NEWS outlets were talking as well. Which in turn got more people buying the books if only to check out what was going on. DC also began advertising the reboot/relaunch in commercials on Cartoon Network (though very weak ones) that expanded public knowledge once again. I applaud them for their business moves even though much of the titles in the New 52 aren’t all that great. Once the excitement wears down we’ll see how great the books are. Or when creative teams are taken off of these “GREAT” books if people will still be as gung ho about them.

      Your nephew can always enjoy DC comics since they do have several titles for the younger audience but there are plenty of indie publishers that have great books for kids as well. I’d suggest giving those a try if you don’t think DC’s subject matter is appropriate for him. Though I’ll also throw in that a LOT of DC’s material BEFORE this reboot/relaunch was a bit heavy for a little kid. DC has had many rapes, murders, drug use, and sex for decades. The New 52 can’t be the blame for this.

      If the sales ever come “crashing down” then it’s not like it would be a good thing for comics as a whole. So I hope that never happens to a company with as rich a history as DC but they are owned by WB and they’ve got DEEP pockets.

      But it is good to see varying opinions on this issue Anthony so thanks for yours! I’m a big fan of letting your dollars speak for you and if enough people would stop financially supporting books they don’t like then maybe companies would actually listen to the fans.



  2. You sound very angry, and I get some old school fans hate the relaunch, but you need to come at this with more of an open mind. The DC Universe is more than Gotham City and Metropolis.

    The new logo, while hideous, was introduced this past week- the New 52 debuted 5 months ago. Not sure what that has to do with anything.

    Porn show? Are you serious? Do you ever turn on your TV or take your nephew to the movies? Get over it man.

    I wouldn’t expect the “sales to come crashing down” anytime soon when stores are selling 800% more copies of Justice League and 300% more copies of Batman than before the relaunch, and more copies of Animal Man and Aquaman than Avengers. Also, DC sales are about on par with Marvel sales which hasn’t happened in over a decade.

    Which New 52 issues have you actually read, and not read about, that are leading you to these conclusions? Based on your rant, I’m willing to bet not many.

    Baa.



  3. @Anthony – There are a couple points I’d like to make, but I’ll try to keep this from becoming an essay.
    1. I sense a lot of anger specifically towards the rebooted Superman. I myself am not reading any of the new Superman books, other than Superboy, so I won’t comment on the quality. But what I do know is that the Superman themed books, pretty much all of them from Action, to Adventure, Superman, Supergirl, and even Superboy, were not doing well pre-reboot, as far as sales go. I know Supergirl and Superboy had a strong creative team going, but for the most part the books were struggling. And quite frankly, that’s unacceptable. Superman is supposed to be one of their forefront franchises and it wasn’t cutting it. Something had to be done.

    2. Logos are a corporate deal that really have nothing to do with quality of comics. The logo represents a symbol of the company as a whole and the type of image they want portrayed. This logo s meant to be demonstrative of DC’s venture into the future. It is a very modern (some might say too modern), digital based logo that suits the current climate of the world we live in.

    3. I don’t know about you, but blood and gore have always been a part of comics, from what I can remember. It may not be as censored as it was in the past, but that’s because the target demographics have changed. Is that a good thing? Maybe, maybe not. But as it stands, most comics aren’t targeted towards kids. Speaking strictly business, kids don’t buy comics. Or at least, not enough to make an impact. And the sex? I haven’t really seen an increase of that either. And I’m coming at this from a standpoint from someone who’s reading almost 20 DC books.

    All that aside, I don’t love the new DC. There are some major flaws, which in my opinion all can be summed up with one word: continuity. Half the things changed and half stayed the same, so from book to book you get the same characters acting differently.
    Like Andy said, which books are you reading, if any? And if you’d like to look at the new DC with fresh eyes I’d be happy to point you in the direction of some of the particularly strong books.



    • Looks like my attempts at keeping things short were unsuccessful. lol



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