“Why Do You People Keep Signing Up To Work With This Maniac?”: Bullet Points Part 2 – DC Comic Reviews 11/07/12


So here are my reviews that I call Bullet Points. These reviews will mention the highs and lows, favourite moments, and contain general discussion about each issue. The second part will finish my DC reviews. Only comics that I have purchased will be reviewed. Also I should mention that there be SPOILERS in these reviews. You are warned!

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Green Arrow #14

My least favourite DC title I purchase comes out with yet another issue. Thank goodness Nocenti’s run is almost over but before that glorious day when Jeff Lemire takes over we have a crossover to contend with before her final arc begins. Will this issue miss the mark entirely or just plain suck? Read on:

Cover: Green Arrow and Hawkman are surrounded on all sides by the Warhawks. Nothing special but nothing bad either.

Pros:

– Freddie Williams II does a nice job on his art duties despite a lame story.
– What’s the real story going on with Emerson? The most interesting part of this issue unfortunately only lasted one page

Cons:

– Going the “random encounter” route as to how Green Arrow and Hawkman crossed paths is just plain lazy storytelling.
– I find it hard to believe that Ollie’s weapons expert is able to create a compound to destroy the Nth metal so easily considering his lack of knowledge as it pertains to Thanagarians and their tech.
– Nothing much happens.
– An unnecessary crossover between all these titles. This story arc would have been better suited if it guest-starred Green Arrow and the others in Hawkman’s solo series.

Spoilsport: Green Arrow randomly encounters Hawkman and his girlfriend Emma who are being chased by Warhawks. The heroes fend them off but the Warhawks end up kidnapping Emma before fleeing. Green Arrow’s team devises a way to melt the Nth metal armour of the Warhawks, they find where the villains are, rescue Emma, and find the location of Shayera because she can end the conflict. A big “to be continued in Deathstroke and Savage Hawkman” is featured at the end.

Favourite Lines:

Green Arrow: Innocent, huh? I’ve heard that line before–from just about every con I’ve put away.

Green Arrow: Metal feathers chafe and rip and screech against chains…like fingernails turned backwards…and the Warhawks scream.

Hawkman: You call this a war room? Not much to look at. Doesn’t quite dignify the term.

God, I don’t know what more I can say about this series. I was going to drop it permanently until they announced the writer change, a change that can’t come soon enough. I’ll suffer through the remaining issues because I’m a completionist, something I curse myself for being in this very instance. For those that aren’t, stay away from this book for the time being. Stay far, far away. Don’t waste your money. I’ll tell you when it’s safe to come back…

RATING: ★★★½☆☆☆☆☆☆

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Green Lantern #14

Green Lantern Baz meet the Justice League. How this new Lantern will fair against such a pantheon of DC heroes doesn’t look great for him. Will their confrontation lead to us seeing the falsely accused terrorist in a new light or will it make us wish the League would put an end to his young career for good? Here we go:

Cover: A real nice cover with Baz trying to fend off the entirety of the Justice League. I love the poses and the way Batman’s cape flows upwards almost encapsulating the title logo itself.

Pros:

– Doug Mackne does a fabulous job on the art.
– Ganthet states that the First Lantern values souls but only because he loves to torture them. He calls him an emotional sadist and a reality bending monster. This defiantly piques my interest in the First Lantern.
– I admire Baz that he doesn’t want to fight the Justice League because he knows when he’s out matched.
– Baz is willing to let the Justice League take his ring off but when Batman tries to take it off we get an excellent double page spread of various images of Sinestro coming forth shouting “Do not touch my ring”.
– I love how Baz got away from the Flash and Superman. He uses a flash of light to disorient them and then creates multiple cars, more than they can search even with their super-speed.
– Black Hand resurrects Reegal. I really believe these new Guardians are going to replace the old ones eventually. I hope they don’t kill Ganthet but the rest can go.
– Hal and Sinestro appear at the end. I hope to see more of them next issue.

Cons:

– The Third Army parts, while necessary, really drag the story down.
– Once again, a lack of Hal and Sinestro save for the last few panels.

Spoilsport: Baz encounters the Justice League and wants to comply with them but when Batman tries to take off his ring it lashes out. The League thinks they are under attack and go on the offensive but Baz manages to escape from his pursuers. Later, Baz’s sister gives him the address of the man who owned the van he stole. Elsewhere, Black Hand resurrects the murdered Reegal and learns about how the Guardians split in two groups. Inside Black Hand’s ring, Hal and Sinestro encounter a mysterious individual who vows to make Sinestro pay to end the issue.

Favourite Lines:

Baz: You’re the Justice League.
Superman: Yes, Mr. Baz, we’re the Justice League. And you’re a wanted criminal.
(Pause)
Baz: You don’t really expect me to fight you, do you? I mean, you’re Superman. Even if I knew how to use this ring, you’d kick my ass by yourself. Maybe I could take Batman.
Batman: He’s a Green Lantern all right!

Batman: According to Green Lantern, recruits are chosen for their courage.
Aquaman: And they only choose a new recruit after a Lantern dies.
Flash: I hope it was Gardner. …I’m going to hell for that, aren’t I?

???: Sinestro? Is that you? Yes…yes it is you. Come now. You must pay for your crime.
Hal Jordan: What the hell did you do now?

Green Lantern is returning to form after somewhat stumbling these last few months. Baz is slowly growing on me but the tease of an increased presence of Hal and Sinestro next issue has me excited. The art was superb (as always), the dialogue was crisp, and the issue delivered an enjoyable ride that just breezed by. While the Third Army storyline is dragging, the looming menace of the First Lantern has me psyched. One thing you can say about this series lately is that it is anything but predictable and that is a good thing for Green Lantern fans everywhere.

RATING: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

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Legends of the Dark Knight #2

An anthology series that wowed us with its’ debut last month looks to keep the momentum alive with its’ second offering. This month, instead of three separate stories, we get one long entry involving the Crown Prince of Crime himself. Will it be a legendary contribution to the Batman mythos or simply leave us confused in the dark wondering why they released it at all? Find out:

Cover: One of my Covers of the Week. For more information check out: https://thegothamrogue.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/covers-of-the-week-110712/

Pros:

– Ben Templesmith’s art is nice and gritty.
– Love that the coroner proclaims the cause of death is due to “many, many, very big, very sharp teeth”.
– Joker is having his victims hypnotized while dressed up like Commissioner Gordon. The added touch of his pipe blowing out bubbles instead of smoke is nice. These scenes are ripe with lots of great dialogue from Joker during his “pep talks”.
– Joker thinks he’s helping Batman by hypnotizing others to do things Batman isn’t accomplishing in his mind like catch Killer Croc. He thinks it’s part of his civic duty.
– Batman tells a former associate of Killer Croc that they’re all like rats in a maze always finding a way back to their old bosses.
– Joker asks if the captured “Batman” will tattle on them and Mad Hatter replies to Joker with eat my hat. Joker comments that wasn’t very mad at all and he’s beginning to doubt they have a thing in common.
– Joker is getting mad at Riley and teaches him a lesson. He tells him that Miller is a good solider, does what is asked of him, and laughs at the right punch lines. He proceeds to shoot Miller in the head. He informs Riley that if he is willing to lose a trusted ally like Miller how much will he really take from Riley. Classic Joker!
– Love that Mad Hatter is trying to hypnotize Bruce Wayne into believing he is Batman. He gets him so confused that Bruce thinks he’s Bruce Wayne pretending to be Batman and not just plain old Batman.
– Joker remarks that Batman wouldn’t shoot him because he doesn’t use guns. Bruce counters that he’s not really Batman and that a “fat rich guy” couldn’t miss from this range. I find it funny that Bruce Wayne is the one to capture the Joker at the end of the issue.
– After Joker is defeated, Bruce asks him what the point of this all was. Joker tells him to stick to polo and that he is wasting time looking for rules to this game.

Cons:

– I found it strange that Mad Hatter didn’t need any of his usual tricks/gizmos to hypnotize people. Also, with all of Batman’s mental training how could he possibly be hypnotized without any of these gizmos?

Spoilsport: Various members of Gotham’s social and/or political elite are dressing up like Batman and getting killed by accident or murdered by criminals with the latest one being murdered by Killer Croc. The media is blaming Batman thinking he is convincing or coercing these people to fight crime. It turns out that the Joker is the one kidnapping these people and after said kidnapping he forces a tied-up Mad Hatter to hypnotize them into believing they are really Batman. He’s doing this in order to accomplish things that he feels Batman isn’t accomplishing himself like capturing Killer Croc. Batman prevents the latest imposter from dying and then proceeds to let himself get caught as Bruce Wayne. While being hypnotized, Killer Croc bursts in, Bruce shakes off the effects of the hypnotism that was confusing him, and he works together with the Mad Hatter to hypnotize Croc to sleep. While holding Joker at gunpoint, Bruce waits as the police show up to arrest everyone at the end of the issue.

Favourite Lines:

Killer Croc: You’re not the Batman, fat boy. You taste more like pork. Thanks for invitin’ me to your funeral.

Riley: You–uh–you don’t need me, do you, boss? If Croc finds out I’m the one–
Joker: Mr. Riley–for the moment I’ll put aside my disgust at your crippling fear of a walking suitcase. My appreciation for your efforts prevents me from demonstrating to you what real fear is.

Riley: He’s going to kill me, isn’t he?
Mad Hatter: He’s going to kill us all, you moron. Why do you people keep signing up to work with this maniac?

Mad Hatter: Listen, you fool. Let me go. You can go wherever you want. I’ll–I’ll pay you. In cash. Or–well, in bonds. I’m a little short on cash these days. Wait–I’ll cut you in on my next job. Um–
Riley: Man. Without your spinning hat, you’re a real rotten negotiator, you know that?

Batman: That’s enough, Croc. That man poses no threat to you, unless you consider chewing up innocent men bothersome.

Batman: That’s no excuse, Croc. You’re also a man.
Killer Croc: And you’re a man dressed like a freaking bat. You probably hang upside down in caves and crap on the walls. Who’s the messed up one here, huh?

Two issues into this young series and already it has established itself as a quality read. An issue that just barely missed my Top 3, there were so many memorable moments contained within its’ pages that it is a crime that it came out in the same week that Avengers Academy ended or else it would have been honored more in my books. It is only a matter of time before this book pops up in my Rankings as long as they continue with quality artists and interesting storylines. You never know quite what you’re going to get each issue but so far what we have got is fantastic.

RATING: ★★★★★★★★½☆

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Worlds’ Finest #6

This book’s attention gets split in two yet again but a worthwhile guest-star looks to make an impact on Huntress’ life. With Damian Wayne on board this issue, can he help make this the finest issue yet or is it beyond even his help to save it? Discover below:

Cover: Damian delivers a blood inducing blow across Huntress’ face. The background works well and makes the characters standout.

Pros:

– Maguire does a fantastic job with his section of the issue including his excellent skill at portraying facial emotions.
– Power Girl sees Supergirl and thinks to herself that is the last person she wants to see.
– Robin notices that Huntress’ moves are familiar but not all her moves come from Bruce but some come from Catwoman as well. Huntress thinks what is wrong with this Earth’s Batman that he’d train a Robin that is not subtle and shows no concern for civilians or so she perceives.
– The look on Power Girl’s face at the end of issue as she is pulling out some garbage in Huntress’ hair is great.

Cons:

– Power Girl’s part of the comic seems like filler and come off rather boring.
– Power Girl loses her clothes yet again. This is getting ridiculous having it happen every issue.
– Damian’s appearance came off as a letdown as it was missing something in its’ execution.

Spoilsport: Huntress is trying to steal money from Bruce Wayne but is confronted by Damian Wayne and a fight breaks out. Meanwhile, Power Girl attaches a device to a ComSat to detect any energy signatures from Apokolips but something destroys the device later on in issue. Back to Huntress, Robin defeats her in battle but Power Girl swoops in to save her. Robin claims that the two steal form Wayne every week but Huntress informs him that this was only the second time and he sees the truth in her eyes. The issue ends with Huntress about to explain who she really is and proclaiming they’ll work together to find the real thief.

Favourite Lines:

Huntress: Bad enough to get caught, but by a ten-year-old in a lousy knockoff of my old suit?

Huntress: It’s only money–Wayne has bank after bank full–even more banks than he has Robins.

Damian: Batman has no other children.
Huntress: No? Pity…that explains why he’s had such problems finding a suitable Robin.

 Huntress: Nothing I could find in any data explained who you were…
Damian: Why are you so curious, thief? It is enough that I am your death.
Huntress: No…you bear my name and my colors…you can’t kill me.
Damian: I deserve this uniform as no one ever has woman. Even if you are a bastard by a lesser mother…I am Robin.

I like the character of Huntress. I like the character of Power Girl. So why is it that I don’t like this series? It could be that I prefer the Helena Bertinelli version over the Helena Wayne one. She is simply lacking that edge she used to have. It could be that Power Girl’s segments are usually boring especially when compared to her solo series prior to the DCnU. Or it could be that a series that was billed as a team-up book has spent the last few issue with the two of them having little to no interaction. Even Damian couldn’t save this issue and that was strike one. If this series doesn’t improve with the next two issues, I’m gone for good.

RATING: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

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And that is Part 2 complete. Agree/Disagree with my reviews? Comment below!

6 thoughts on ““Why Do You People Keep Signing Up To Work With This Maniac?”: Bullet Points Part 2 – DC Comic Reviews 11/07/12

  1. About Green Arrow: Snyder tweeted he read the 1st issue of Green Arrow written by Lemire, and, from what he saw, he’s sure that Oliver will be the superhero of 2013. This statement comes from a Lemire’s friend, so it’s not an unbiased opinion, but, if that issue was pure crap, Snyder wouldn’t have talked about it in such an enthusiastic way.
    Also, the feud involving them against Liefeld and Lobdell seems to be ended. Snyder tweeted both with Liefeld and Lobdell some days ago, he apologized for his “shitty shots” and he cooperated wth Lobdell to the Death of the Family story arc, so at least 3 of the 4 “fighters” made peace.
    About Green Lantern: Mahnke always makes a wonderful job. He gave his best on Major Bummer and the crossover between Lobo and the Mask. In both cases he worked with John Arcudi: they’re one of the best artistic couples I’ve ever seen in comics. The hilarious narrative style of Arcudi perfectly ties with Mahnke’s storytelling. Mahnke doesn’t work on a comical series any more, and this is a real shame, because he’s simply born to draw that kind of comics. But I’m happy for him anyway, because he finally had the chance of his career on an A – list title. Better late than never.
    Talking about wonderful pencillers, as you probably know, Allred used to draw a Vertigo series now closed, Izombie. This year the first 2 trades of that series have been published in Italy, and I immediately bought them. Yesterday I read the first one, and it’s been a very nice read. Of course it’s a bit disturbing (Allred likes to work with creepy writers, so you know what to expect when you buy something drawn by him), but I really liked it.
    Notice that we had to wait TWO YEARS to get the italian edition of the first Izombie issues. That’s the way things go with indie comics in Italy: sometimes they are published very late, some other times they aren’t published at all. For example, a wonderful graphic novel by Vertigo, Pride and Joy, has been published a few months ago, FIFTEEN YEARS after its release in the U.S..
    Sometimes even some DC series don’t get an italian version. At present all the New 52 line is published, but in the past some series, like The Brave and The Bold, never had an italian edition, as far as I know.
    About Legends of the Dark Knight # 2: Very funny and impressive dialogues.

    • “Snyder tweeted he read the 1st issue of Green Arrow written by Lemire, and, from what he saw, he’s sure that Oliver will be the superhero of 2013.”
      Excellent news! Not that I had any worries after I knew Lemire was going on it.

      “In both cases he worked with John Arcudi: they’re one of the best artistic couples I’ve ever seen in comics.”
      I’m really enjoying Arcudi’s B.P.R.D. run as I read through the various hardcover collections I bought.

      “Of course it’s a bit disturbing (Allred likes to work with creepy writers, so you know what to expect when you buy something drawn by him), but I really liked it.”
      Never really read too much Allred drawn comics but his FF run that has just started is blowing me away.

      “That’s the way things go with indie comics in Italy: sometimes they are published very late, some other times they aren’t published at all. For example, a wonderful graphic novel by Vertigo, Pride and Joy, has been published a few months ago, FIFTEEN YEARS after its release in the U.S..”
      Wow! 15 years? Unbelievable. I couldn’t wait 15 years for something to come out. I could see if it was an obscure title but something from Vertigo should have come out in a more timely fashion. I wonder what the hold up was?

      “About Legends of the Dark Knight # 2: Very funny and impressive dialogues.”
      It’s been great so far and well worth the price of admission.

      • “I wonder what the hold up was?” With italian versions of DC Comics, things usually go like this:

        Step 1: A publisher buys the rights of DC Comics for some years.
        Step 2: When the contract ends, DC Comics sells the rights to another publisher, and the previous one fails.

        This happened 3 times only in the last 10 years. Maybe all the previous publishers meant to publish Pride and Joy, but, each time they were about to release it, the contract ended, and they couldn’t print it anymore. Thank you for your replies, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! : )

        • “Step 1: A publisher buys the rights of DC Comics for some years.
          Step 2: When the contract ends, DC Comics sells the rights to another publisher, and the previous one fails.”
          Huh. Thanks for the explanation. Are they the ones that translate the comic or does DC do that?

          Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as well!

          • No, they translate the comics all by themself.
            Each time I write something about italian comics, I’m always tempted to cut it, because I think “Why should Gotham Rogue care about it?” And then, I always find out you want to know something more about it. That’s very positive, curiosity is something I appreciate very much. Especially when that curiosity concerns my own country. : )

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