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September 25, 2012

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 09/19/12

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Written by: Arnab
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“Catwoman” #0
Writer: Ann Nocenti
Artists: Adriana Melo, Julio Ferreira, and Jason Wright
Cover Artists: Guillem March and Tomeu Morey
Publisher: DC

When you’re a character as old as Selina Kyle, origins and histories have a way of changing regularly and in different ways. This issue, for example, is the story of how Selina Kyle survives falling from a skyscraper and is nursed to health by some cats. If that sounds in any way familiar, it is because that’s exactly what happens in “Batman Returns.” If that sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is. Unfortunately, the oddness does not end there. In this issue we also learn that Selina has a brother, her real name isn’t Selina Kyle, and some very powerful and influential people want to make sure she never finds out who she is. This issue does little to provide any indication as to why she becomes Catwoman, why she decides to become a thief, why she decides to do anything really. The highlight of this issue was, without a doubt, the art. Adriana Melo does a fantastic job here portraying a strong, though damaged, Selina Kyle without being too overtly sexual. Also, it was nice to see that DC decided to change the cover from the strange version it once was. 2.5/5

“Nightwing” #0
Writers: Tom DeFalco and Kyle Higgins
Artists: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Rod Reis
Cover Artists: Eddy Barrows and Rod Reis
Publisher: DC

Every time a new Bat-book comes out, a different writer takes their shot at trying to make sense of DC’s five year plan. Unfortunately, that just ends up making everything more confusing, while at the same time diminishing the bonds that certain characters had. In this specific instance, a couple major aspects of Dick Grayson’s origin have been changed (even though there was a great insistence by DC that the Batman Universe would remain relatively unchanged). The first major change was that after Dick’s parents died, Bruce did not take him in, rather he sent him off to the Wayne Care Center. While there, Dick was able to determine Batman’s true identity, which is when Bruce brings him to Wayne Manor. So essentially, Bruce decides to care for Dick in order to protect his identity, not because of any sympathy, or because he felt he related to Dick’s situation; it was purely strategic. The other problem with this scenario is that it diminishes Tim Drake’s status, which is something DC has actively attempted to do since the start of this new DC. Previously, Tim Drake stood out amongst the numerous Robins as being the only one to deduce that Batman was in fact Bruce Wayne. His detective skills, from before he was Robin, through his time as Robin, and into his role as Red Robin defined his character and all that changes now. If this issue were the origin of a brand new character with no history, it would have been great. However, it’s not, and more importantly, it wasn’t supposed to be. 3/5

“Red Hood and the Outlaws” #0
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artists:
Pasqual Ferry, Ig Guara, Brett Booth, JP Mayer, and Blond
Cover Artists:
Kenneth Rocafort and Blond
Publisher:
DC

Jason Todd’s origin has gone through many iterations and a couple rebirths, so it shouldn’t be that much of a shock for his origin in the new DC to be a tad different than the previous one. Todd comes from a damaged family, he starts breaking some laws, gets caught by Batman, and then becomes Robin. In this version of the story, however, he is not caught attempting to steal the tires off the Batmobile. It’s not a huge change, but at the same time there doesn’t appear to be any significant reason it was changed. The biggest change, however, came in the backup story which indicated that Joker orchestrated Jason Todd’s entire transition from streetboy thug to Robin. This would imply that Joker has known Bruce’s identity for roughly 60% of the time he’s been Batman, which is completely ludicrous. The issue, as most #0 issues have, has major problems fitting into DC’s “everything happens within the last five years” plan. The best part about this issue is the characterization of Jason Todd, which depicts him in a more relatable, softer light than he has been in the past. 3/5

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

Arnab Pradhan
arnab@comicattack.net

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