December 20, 2010

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 12/15/10

With the winter season in full bloom (we’ve had days of rain here in Southern California), it’s great that there are so many great books you can sit back and read. From the gritty world of Gotham to the far depths of the universe , this week’s batch of comics are sure to keep you entertained.

Minor spoilers ahead!

Batman #705
Writer: Tony Daniel
Artist: Tony Daniel
Cover Artist: Tony Daniel
Publisher: DC

Tony Daniel brings in some characters from the past in the next chapter of his arc. The issue starts off with a look at how Sensei’s life was saved at Nanda Parbat, followed by a battle between Sensei, Peacock, and Batman. A drugged Peacock is led away from the battle by Batman on horseback. The pair then meet up with another blast from the past, I-Ching, who fills us in on the history of the “Mask of the Beholder.” Batman separates from the two to check on Lucius Fox, only to be attacked by Riddler and his daughter, Enigma.
Daniel has done really well to bring in elements of past stories and combine them into the story that he is creating. Even though Dick has been Batman for a year now, with Bruce back, he is still in Bruce’s shadow as is evident by the opinions of both Peacock and Sensei. I thought bringing back I-Ching was a nice touch. He had been an interesting character in the Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul arc and he all but confirmed Dick’s role as Batman. Bringing the Riddler back was a welcome surprise, especially with the addition of Enigma. In recent months there has been an increase in a younger generation of heroes and villains, which I think is necessary as time passes. Daniel’s art also continues to impress; his new style seems to have gotten tighter and cleaner from the last issue. 4.5/5

Batman and Robin #18
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist(s): Scott McDaniel and Rob Hunter
Cover Artist(s): Guillem March and Gene Ha
Publisher: DC

In the last issue we were introduced to a new villain, Absence, who just happened to be one of Bruce’s past lovers. This issue starts off with Absence explaining the story of who she was and why she came to be a woman scorned. She then leaves Batman and Robin in the church, rigged to blow, and goes after Vicki Vale.
This was a fairly decent issue. There wasn’t much that actually occurred in this issue, which highlights the fact that this is pretty much a filler arc. However, I actually think that a filler story is appropriate coming right after Morrison’s run. The throwback feeling of this arc is very straightforward and light and has done well to maintain that feeling throughout both issues. 3.5/5

Batman Orphans #2
Writer: Eddie Berganza
Artist: Carlo Barberi
Cover Artist: Carlo Barberi
Publisher: DC

The two-part story continues as a false Batman continues his desire to recruit runaway teens. Bruce, Dick, and Tim (who is referred to as Tom in certain scenes as a cover) suspect a psychiatrist, whose mentor is Dr. Hugo Strange, is the culprit. Before they can track him, however, an all out brawl occurs at a Fedlex (that’s right, Fedlex) where the likes of Merlyn, Two-Face, Ivy, Harley Quinn, and others start a war over some mysterious package. One of the orphans turns on his own teammates and escapes with the package, and returns to claim his place as Robin, not realizing that it was a fake position. Batman, Nightwing, and Robin (remember, this was before Bruce’s apparent death) make it underground just in time to stop any more deaths.
There were some really great moments in this issue and some moments that were not so great. Bruce’s freak out as a result of the fear gas played out really well. The twist, in which one of the orphans took out his teammates, was unexpected, but well executed. For the most part the issue was well written and had a fairly realistic approach to things. The biggest problem with the issue was the introduction of the mysterious package that everyone seemed to want. That entire portion of the issue felt rushed and out of place in what was otherwise a well written book. I also felt it was unrealistic to have the fake Robin manhandle Batman, regardless of how much Bruce didn’t want to hurt the kid. 3.5/5

Birds of Prey #7
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist(s): Ardian Syaf, Vicente Cifuentes
Cover Artist: Stanley Lau
Publisher: DC

Far too many people know that Oracle exists and for what she does, that’s not a good thing. In order to fix this problem, Barbara Gordon has come up with a plan to kill Oracle and go back to being but a whisper in the shadows. The issue starts off with Barbara sending her bodyguard, Savant, to convince Calculator that he was deceiving Oracle. Batman drops by, as the cover indicates, and he and Oracle have a heart to heart. In a male strip bar on the other side of town, Dove, Huntress, and Black Canary are attacked while on a girl’s night out.
This was a really strong start to this next arc. The series up till now has been packed with action and has been very fast paced. With this issue things seem to slow down a bit, with more focus on the actual characters. This arc sounds great; Oracle was always at her best when people didn’t know she existed, and somehow getting her back to that status seems like a brilliant plan. Starting this issue Ardian Syaf  has been signed on as the penciler, and hopefully that will bring some stability to the art portion of this series, which has been lacking since the beginning. 4/5

Brightest Day #16

Writer(s): Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi
Artist(s): Ivan Reis, Scott Clark, and Joe Prado
Cover Artist: David Finch
Publisher: DC

Now that we can put the last Brightest Day issue behind us, this week’s issue was a huge improvement. Focusing mainly on Aquaman and the soon-to-be Aqualad, with a couple of pages on Firestorm, this issue had the sense of relevancy and importance that was missing in the last issue. Having saved Aqualad from his biological father, Black Manta, Aquaman gets him and his parents to safety. Then Aquaman leads him to a cave where Aqualad, as well as the readers, get a crash course on his importance as well as his past. While all this was occurring in the realm of the sea, Firestorm, Ronnie, and Jason, traveled to see the Atom in hopes that he could help them. What occurs, however, may very well alter the DC Universe as we know it.
I thought that this was a strong issue, and not just because of how pointless the last issue was. The Aquaman portion of the issue had a steady pace and we finally get to see the Aqualad character that has been teased for so long. Firestorm’s portion, which took up less of the issue, arguably overshadows Aquaman’s portion due to the sheer potential of the plot. 4/5

Green Lantern #60
Writer: Geoff Johns
Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, and Shawn Moll
Cover Artist: Gary Frank and Nathan Eyring
Publisher: DC

With Parallax back, Hal Jordan has the opportunity to get a little bit of revenge. The bulk of the issue featured Hal and Parallax/Barry trading jabs, both verbal and physical. The most important part of the issue comes when the figure that has been capturing all of the entities reveals himself to be Krona, who is also revealed to be the keeper of the entities. A struggle ensues, and Krona takes possession of all the entities present.
I thought that this issue was good, but I thought it could have been better. I felt that the interaction between Hal and Parallax was drawn out a bit too long, and in the end not much was accomplished. The portion where Krona reveals himself and explains his story was by far more interesting and more relevant. The last issue touched upon the darker side of the Indigo Lanterns, and I was hoping that would be touched upon more this issue. 3.5/5

Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #5
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist(s): Fernando Pasarin and Cam Smith
Cover Artist(s): Rudolfo Migliari and Felipe Massafera
Publisher: DC

For me this issue was the best of the series. The plot was basically split into two parts. The first part began with Guy and company being captured by a group of mind controlled rookie Green Lanterns. They were able to break the mind control with a little bit of pain, however before they could get any information out of them, they were permanently silenced. Filled with rage, Guy received a message from Atrocitus regarding their mission. This launched the second half of the issue in which Guy explains everything to us, from how he knew the entities were being captured to why he has continued to insist that he and Hal will come to blows.
This issue, as I mentioned, was the best one yet. There was a good mixture of action, recap, and progress. One thing that I did notice this week in the Lantern books is that they are all beginning to tie in to one another. In Green Lantern it was Sinestro, and in this issue it was Atrocitus tying the three titles back together, which clearly is in preparation for the upcoming Green Lantern crossover. 4/5

Time Masters Vanishing Point #5

Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund
Cover Artist: Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund
Publisher: DC

This issue started off with Rip Hunter, Booster Gold, and the others falling through a time warp, barely being able to escape using Hal Jordan’s power ring. The gang tracks down the two rogue sorcerers and returns them to their proper time. With one mess averted they return to their search, only to be diverted to a dangerous villain, the Reverse Flash.
The decision to subtitle this mini-series “The Search for Batman” was a mistake from the beginning, because after the first issue there has been almost no actual searching for Batman. Instead, we’ve received a great time traveling story starring Rip Hunter and friends. The flashbacks in the beginning, showing Rip as he was a child, have been very interesting, and the introduction of the Reverse Flash makes it seem like there is a deeper importance to this mini-series. 3/5

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

Arnab Pradhan



  1. Eli

    I’m loving Birds of Prey, Gail Simone knows what she’s doing. That hug part was nice too.

  2. Tony Daniel is rockin’ Batman right now let’s hope it stays that way for a while longer!

  3. Anisa

    The Bat books were awesome, as usual. 🙂

    I really enjoyed Brightest day this week, as well as Emerald Warriors, they were very interesting and had pretty good art through out.

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