November 8, 2010

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 11/03/10

Good day to all of you! This past week has had an excellent set of books. I’ve got the conclusion to Grant Morrison’s brilliant run on Batman and Robin, an interesting one-shot involving Catwoman and Batman, a must read issue of Brightest Day for Hawkman and Hawkgirl fans, a fantastic end to the Jason Todd mini-series, and a fantastic start to the new Superboy series.

Minor spoilers ahead!

Batman and Robin #16
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist(s): Frazer Irving, Cameron Stewart, and Chris Burnham
Cover Artist: Frank Quitely
Publisher: DC

The wait is over. The original Dark Knight has returned, and just in time to join the original Boy Wonder and the new Boy Wonder in the final chapter of the Black Glove saga. We start off with a blast into the past, 1765 to be exact, as we witness Thomas Wayne’s encounter with the demonic force “Barbatos.” Next we witness the two Batmen and the new Robin fighting side by side against the forces of evil. Notably, Dick Grayson is fighting moments after being shot in the head by a slow reacting, paralysis inducing shot, and Damian is fighting as part of a team, which is in stark contrast to the way he was when Bruce was around last. So as not to spoil everything, here’s a preview of what’s in this issue: Bruce going after a mentally unstable Thomas Wayne, Pyg’s final stand, and Joker getting the last laugh. The final reveal in the last pages will excite some fans, anger other fans, and leave the rest of the fans, like myself, interested in the future.
I think that Grant Morrison’s work on this entire series has been fantastic. He has taken portions of ideas that have long been established and manipulated them to work for him without actually changing history. His attention to detail has been so precise and intentional, that it is now expected of him. The art in this issue was handled by three artists and each of them handled their sections amazingly. Frazer Irving took on the scenes involving, you guessed it, Pyg and Joker. His work with these two characters has been brilliant; his fantastic ability to capture the creepiness of Pyg, and his depiction of Joker has been perfect. Cameron Stewart’s portion was absolutely fantastic, and in my opinion a step up from his previous run in Batman and Robin. The way he manipulates the panels is genius, and the way he distinguishes characters in a clean, crisp manner is great, plus it was all done digitally on his part. Chris Burnham channeled his inner Frank Quitely so well, I thought it was Quitely at first. Overall this was a great end to a fantastic series. 5/5

Batman/Catwoman: Follow the Money

Writer: Howard Chaykin
Artist: Howard Chaykin
Cover Artist: Howard Chaykin
Publisher: DC

It’s the team up a lot of us, or at least me, have been waiting for since Bruce Wayne’s return was announced. This one-shot, 44-page issue, follows Batman and Catwoman on their joint effort to take down the Cavalier and an embezzlement case plaguing Wayne Enterprises. Batman and Catwoman work together to capture the three former Wayne Enterprises employees that had robbed the company of its entire pension fund. Upon finding out that the entire scheme was orchestrated by the Cavalier, the duo quickly dispatch his efforts at regaining his lost wealth.
I thought the writing was definitely the strength of this issue. The back and forth between Catwoman and Batman, both in and out of costume, was fun and witty. The biggest problem that I had with this issue was the art, which was terrible. Chaykin’s art did nothing to add to the story, rather it distracted from all aspects of the plot. 3/5

Brightest Day #13
Writer(s): Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi
Artist(s): Patrick Gleason, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Rebecca Bachman, Keith Champagne, and Tom Nguyen
Cover Artist: David Finch
Publisher: DC

For the last five issues Hawkman and Hawkgirl have been, well, absent. This issue, like the last issue was for Martian Manhunter fans, is the must read for all Hawkman and Hawkgirl fans. With Hawkgirl captured by Hath-Set and Queen Khea, Hawkman leads an attack with some aid from the locals. Queen Khea, who happens to be Hawkgirl’s mother, explains her life long effort to gain power, and upon Hawkman’s arrival manipulates the Nth metal he wields in order to open the portal to Zamaron. The issue does bring hope to Hawkman and Hawkgirl fans, in that the death of Hath-Set may once and for all bring an end to their curse. The final pages of the issue brought the focus back to Boston Brand, who reveals that the White Lantern Ring may have been waiting for Bruce Wayne’s return.
Not having been exposed very much to Hawkman and Hawkgirl before Brightest Day, I have found their portion of the story to be quite interesting. However, I can easily understand if others find their story involves too much explanation and not enough action. The recent Brightest Day issues have done a nice job of tying up loose ends, while also bringing together plot lines in new and interesting ways. 3.5/5

Red Hood: Lost Days #6
Writer: Judd Winick
Artist: Jeremy Haun
Cover Artist: Billy Tucci
Publisher: DC

This entire series has done a great job of filling in the gaps between Jason Todd’s death and his return. The issue starts off with a recapping of Bruce’s introduction of the Joker to a young Jason Todd. Back at the present we witness the insanity that is Joker, as he murders two of his own henchmen without a second glance. The issue plays out with Jason Todd confronting Talia, which results in their carnal desires taking over. Talia introduces him to Hush, who aids Todd in his quest to to get at Batman on the emotional level. The most important interaction, in my opinion, is when he takes on Joker. Although his kidnapping attempt has a couple mishaps, he is still able to isolate himself with Joker. At that final moment, when he could have ended the reign of insanity (which would have denied us the pleasure of having Joker in Grant Morrison’s run), Todd decides killing Joker wasn’t enough. The rest, as they say, is history.
The final issue does a great job of wrapping up the mini-series while still maintaining interest, considering these events all occurred years ago, both in comic book years and actual years. The art was nice and the story was strong. Overall this mini-series did a great job bringing to the character Jason Todd, a sense of humanity and depth that the character had been missing. 4/5

Superboy #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Pier Gallo
Cover Artist: Rafael Albuquerque
Publisher: DC

The next chapter in the life of Superboy begins with a great start. The issue starts off with Superboy back at home in Smallville, lamenting over his lost childhood. However, with Smallville continuously breeding a new batch of weird, Conner’s moment of peace is interrupted by a visit from the Phantom Stranger, who warns him of an impending doom. The rest of the issue plays out almost like a day in the life of Superboy with guest appearances by Krypto, Ma Kent, Parasite, and a couple of local kids introduced in Adventure Comics. The issue comes to an end with two fairly shocking events. One a revelation by Conner’s Smallville best friend, and the other a guest appearance by one of Gotham’s former villains.
As a big fan of the amazing Superboy run on Adventure Comics, I didn’t have high expectations for this new series. However, the new creative team does such a great job with this new title that I am excited for the future. Lemire does a great job of incorporating past story lines with the new direction he has for Conner. The art is nice for the most part, though a little inconsistent at times. Overall a great read, and if you didn’t pick this issue up, you must have missed the great cover by Rafael Albuquerque. 4.5/5

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

Arnab Pradhan



  1. Great reviews, I read all of those books this week, they were all petty great!

  2. I couldn’t get through Follow the Money. I got about halfway through and got bored. Superboy is good stuff though.

    The pacing for Brightest Day has been so random and uneven. You’ll get episodes that are too packed, and then you”ll get issues like this that are all about the Hawks. At least we’re finally tying them into the others Brightest Day storylines.

    And the timeline in Batman & Robin still throws me. So this issue takes place before “The Return” issue later on?

  3. Billy

    Red Hood sounds awesome!

  4. @Nick- Thanks, I thought they were all pretty good.

    @Matt- I wouldn’t say the pacing has been random. The first 7 or so issues were pretty much filled with as many characters as possible. But since then there’s been a focus on two or three of the undead. With these last two issues there’s really been focus on one main character. And I think the reason for this is that the stories feel like they’re getting ready to intertwine.
    As far as I am aware, yes, this issue takes place before “The Return.”

    @Billy- Red Hood is a great Jason Todd book. I’ve always had a soft spot for the kid (kid, he’s older than me in comic years and real years) and I think the character has been undeservedly hated since his stint as the Boy Wonder and this series, I feel, redeems him.

  5. Loved Red Hood and B & R. I surprisingly liked Superboy too, but I think it may be because of my Bat bias there at the end. Although, Jeff Lemire is the man, so that could be it too. You all need to read Sweet Tooth!

    Brightest Day was weird this week…the Hawk story line just seems so irrelevant when compared to what’s going on with BLACK LANTERN Firestorm. And Batman/Catwoman? Yikes…

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack, argnarb. argnarb said: Check out reviews for last week's DC books: […]

  7. Anisa

    I’m going to miss the Red hood series. Jason Todd has won my sympathy and interest.

    I agree with Nick, great reviews. Though I disagree about the art in Batman/Catwoman, I thought it was beautiful! … just joking. 🙂

    Thankfully the art in Batman and Robin was split three way, I thought that was an awesome idea.

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