July 25, 2011

Crisis of Infinite Reviews 07/20/11

Batman #712
Writer: Tony Daniel
Artists: Steve Scott and Ryan Winn
Cover Artist: Tony Daniel
Publisher: DC

As this arc comes to a close, three current stories, about Two-Face, The Riddler, and Kitrina, also draw to an end. Two-Face, distraught over his wife’s betrayal, joins forces with the Riddler and makes a direct strike against Mario Falcone. The Riddler, it so happens, is on a destructive path in order to regain his lost memories. And Kitrina, well, she decides to make a change and heads off to the school that Dick had found for her.
What we have here is a good story that was clearly tarnished by the upcoming DC relaunch in September. With regards to Two-Face and Kitrina, the end result is exactly the way I imagined it would end, however, it felt a bit rushed. Specifically with Kitrina, who I have thoroughly enjoyed since her inception, the story feels like an abrupt and drastic change. Whereas I feel with more time it would have felt like a more natural progression of things. With regards to the Riddler, his story didn’t actually have a conclusion (though technically it still could be continued in Daniel’s run on Detective Comics.) Rather, he was just left a shell of what could be had Daniel been allowed to continue with the story. Overall, everything ends the way you’d expect based on the direction the story was heading, however, it ends up being compressed. The art by Steve Scott was the best of the entire arc. He seems to have finally found his groove and style and it looked great. 3.5/5

Batman: Gates of Gotham #3
Writers: Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins
Artist: Trevor McCarthy
Cover Artists: Trevor McCarthy and Dustin Nguyen
Publisher: DC

As different landmarks in Gotham are being destroyed, the sons and daughter of the Bat join together to stop the chaos from spreading. The issue plays out on two fronts, the present and the past, told in the form of flashbacks. In the past, Nicholas sees the good in others, and is persuaded into doing business with the Waynes, Cobblepots, the Elliots, and the Kanes. This proves to be disastrous, because the four benefactors do not share the same moral principles. In the present, Dick, Tim, Cassandra, and Damian scramble to ensure no more deaths occur.
After two issues of fast paced action, this issue acts as somewhat of a breather. Sort of the calm before the storm. What shines through this issue the most is the sense of familial bond. It shows within Nicholas and Bradley’s relationship, as well as in the relationships of the kids of the Bat. Regarding Dick, this issue had moments of frustration and contemplation, mostly where he compared himself to both Bruce and Tim. I can’t help but make the assumption that this will directly lead into his giving up the cowl, especially considering the two people writing the story (Snyder who will be writing Batman, and Higgins who will be writing Nightwing.) Overall I thought this issue was great. The pacing works out really well, especially with the flashbacks laced through the issue. The art continues to be well executed, though for whatever reason I find Tim’s hair to be slightly annoying. I also tend to be more drawn towards the art for the flashbacks as opposed to the scenes from the present, though they look good as well. 4/5

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #9
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artists: Dan Panosian, Mike Grell, Nick Dragotta
Cover Artist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: DC

The epic mother vs. daughter fight you’ve all been waiting for takes place here. However, just like the other issues in the arc, this issue is split into three decades. The issue starts off with the scene from the 80s, where it chronicles the final moments of the original Dynamo. Len Brown agrees to become Dynamo once more with the assurance that his wife, the Iron Maiden, is freed. In the present, Colleen battles her way to the Iron Maiden where the two take turns beating each other up. Just as the Iron Maiden goes in for the kill, team T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents arrive to stop her. The 60s sequence shows a fairly somber scene in which Len retires from the agency.
This was just another fantastic issue in a series of fantastic issues that goes back to the first issue. Nick Spencer has weaved such a tremendous story here, that in a mere nine issues I’ve become completely engrossed with the entire story. The 80s sequence, depicting Len’s final mission as Dynamo accompanied by his goodbye letter to Iron Maiden, was one of, if not the, saddest scenes I’ve read all year. Couple that with the sequence in the present, which is the direct consequence of the first sequence, and it just gets sadder. If you then consider that I had no idea Len even existed before issue #7, you’ll get just a sense of what a remarkable story Spencer is creating here. I kid you not, you will not be disappointed if you go back and read this entire series. 4.5/5

War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath #1
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artists: Tyler Kirkham and Miguel Sepulveda
Cover Artists: Dave Johnson and Randy Mayor
Publisher: DC

This issue starts off with Hal Jordan being banished to Earth after murdering Krona. John and Kyle (and really the rest of the corps) aren’t on good terms as a result of John murdering Mogo. Sora and a gang of corpsmen are plotting to assassinate Sinestro. The Guardians have withdrawn to their chambers, clearly still drunk with power. Meanwhile, Ganthet regrows his arm with some help from Saint Walker, which I didn’t know was even possible.
The war is over and this issue makes a bold attempt at making you care it even occurred. After such a major event, an aftermath issue isn’t really required, it should just exist, in all of the titles. The consequences should be an underlying theme in the ongoing series, otherwise it wouldn’t be much of an event. This issue attempts to do too much, and instead does remarkably little. Hal is left broken and emotionally drained, as if for whatever reason he didn’t expect this to be the Guardian’s reaction. The Guardians come off, more than ever, as being more of a problem than a force of good. I did find two things interesting, though. One, I wouldn’t be surprised if Salaak took it upon himself to rid the universe of the Guardians of Oa. And two, it now makes sense why Kyle is no longer going to be part of the GLC book. 2.5/5

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

Arnab Pradhan



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