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May 8, 2012
 

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 05/02/12

Batman: Detective Comics #9
Writer: Tony Salvador Daniel
Artists: Tony Salvador Daniel, Sandu Florea, Tomeu Morey, Szymon Kudranski, and John Kalisz
Cover Artists: Tony Salvador Daniel and Tomeu Morey
Publisher: DC

The Night of the Owls continues here, and in a series centered around Batman, it was a nice and welcome change to have this issue follow Jeremiah Arkham. When the Night of the Owls was announced, the sheer number of Bat-titles that predominantly feature Batman became problematic. Luckily, Batman and Robin had Robin to fall back on, and Batman: The Dark Knight will center around Tim Drake, leaving this series. Fortunately, Tony Daniel didn’t narrate this issue through Batman, which would have been confusing and nonsensical; instead he chose Jeremiah Arkham, who sinks deeper and deeper into madness as the issue progresses. By centering the story around Arkham, Daniel easily bypasses any possible problems and instead presents as an interesting issue. 4/5

Green Arrow #9
Writer: Ann Nocenti
Artists: Harvey Tolibao, Richard Horie, and Tanya Horie
Cover Artists: Howard Porter and HiFi
Publisher: DC

Oliver Queen faces off against Leer and Skylarks in the final issue of this arc. As far as this arc goes, that’s pretty much the best part about this issue. The main focus of the arc, the story of Leer, the Skylarks, and their new breed of animals, was not good. The plot was ridiculous, the villains had very little depth, and their existence did nothing to enhance Green Arrow’s character. For a brief time the good Skylark triplet showed some promise, however, this issue erased any and all chances of her becoming a part of the Green Arrow family. Green Arrow himself was not a very compelling hero at any given point in this arc. He shirked his duties, abandoned his company, and immediately jumped to thoughts of betrayal with regards to the good Skylark. Other than this being the last issue of the arc, the most intriguing aspect of the story has been the corporate struggles of Q-Core in Ollie’s absence. The art in this issue wasn’t terrible, but it certainly wasn’t great. While the illustrations of the secondary characters and the scenery were pleasant, Tolibao’s illustrations of Green Arrow were peculiar. His handling of inanimate objects seems to be where he excels, whereas his illustrations of humans can be distracting. 2.5/5

Swamp Thing #9
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists:
Yanick Paquette, Nathan Fairbairn, Marco Rudy, and Val Staples
Cover Artists: Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn
Publisher: DC

There are rarely ever any perfect issues, however, the latest issue of Swamp Thing is a strong contender. The issue starts off right where it last ended with Alec, as Swamp Thing, sparring with Abby, as an insect-like servant of the rot. Initially things don’t appear to be in Swamp Thing’s favor, as the enlarged Abby effortlessly manhandles him. Luckily for us all, Swamp Thing has many tricks up his sleeve. The final pages introduce a new threat for Swamp Thing and the Green. Snyder delivers yet another fantastic issue. While it isn’t a conclusion, the issue serves almost as a segue from the beginning of the story to the end. The tidbit about the orchid seeds, and how they tied back to a couple issues ago, was an ingenious way of handling that plot line. The initial battle between Alec and Abby, followed then by Sethe going on a psychotic rampage, were not just exciting to read, but were gorgeous to look at. Even with the issue’s art duties being split in two, the book’s art is remarkable from start to finish. Paquette’s and Rudy’s art both serve the story extremely well, as well as enhance the other’s art. When it comes to a combination of story and art, Swamp Thing ranks as one of DC’s best books. 5/5

Teen Titans Annual #1
Writers: Scott Lobdell and Tom DeFalco
Artists:
Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, John Livesay, Marlo Alquiza, Sal Regla, Andrew Dalhouse,
Cover Artists:
Brett Booth, Rob Hunter, and Andrew Dalhouse
Publisher:
DC

After months of crossovers between Superboy and Teen Titans, and a month’s worth of three preludes, The Culling starts here and does so in spectacular fashion. The issue starts off with Red Robin and the rest of the Teen Titans finding themselves transported to the Colony, where Harvest and his minions leave the teenagers that they kidnap. Immediately we learn of the Culling, and more importantly, its purpose. In similar fashion to The Hunger Games and Battle Royale, these teenagers face off against one another. However, in this scenario, they work in teams, and the winning team gets the honor of working for Harvest. From the very beginning of this fast paced, action event, Scott Lobdell¬† and Tom DeFalco present an exciting, large scale story. With characters from three titles represented, this over-sized issue features over 30 characters with each team getting significant amounts of the spotlight. Brett Booth does a remarkable job handling the pencils. While there are certain characters that sometimes look identical to one another, the issue is considerably free of any major character confusions. As far as event starters go, this issue is an overall major success. The story and art work in harmony, the two teams both have a strong presence in the issue, and the issue in general has an epic feel. 5/5

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

Arnab Pradhan
arnab@comicattack.net

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