Batman and Robin #18: Ugh, I cannot stand this new villain, “Absence”. The concept is too hokey for me. It’s like Cornell read an article on Dandy Walker Syndrome and thought, “Hey, I can use this to create a cool, new Batman villain!” Umm, not so much. I hate the way the hole in her head is so clean and round and just as big in the front as in the back. Bad visual, Mr. Artist. I do like the cover though, with the contrasting purple and orange splotches. Can’t wait for this 3-parter to end.
Plus, there’s a point in the issue where “Absence” (yes, I’m using I-don’t-like-you quotes) references Bruce Wayne’s financing of Batman, and that got me thinking. I’m finding I don’t like the idea of it: Batman is to Bruce Wayne what Iron Man is to Tony Stark (to the public at least): a corporate employee. Worse, there are at least two Batmen, so he’s been franchised (with expansion plans). However, I do think that this recent development in the Batbooks is good from a storytelling standpoint and should provide some entertaining plots and character beats, but it waters down the uniqueness of what Batman is to me. Of course, I’ve only read a few issues since Bruce Wayne dropped that bombshell on the DCU, so Morrison may yet change my mind about it.
Birds of Prey #7: Babs expects Bruce to lecture her and he offers her a hug. Let me type that again: Batman offers to give Oracle a hug! Wtf? I obviously need to go read Bruce Wayne: The Road Home because whatever Bruce went through really fucked up his head. So, is Savant really playing both sides? Towards the end of the story it’s suggested that he’s just playing Calculator, but I’m not so sure. And Creote’s confrontation with Batman killed me. He’s fucking Batman and you’re going to pull a gun on him? I don’t know the Creote character all that well, but he doesn’t appear to be very smart. Tough, sure, but not high in the I.Q. area. Or just cock-sure of himself.
As for the newest villain (What is it with the Batbooks? Create a new villain month?), Mortis, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of her creepy power. And since this is a Batbook (of sorts), here’s another rant: it turns out that Mortis is from Boise, Idaho, yet she’s written as if she’s from Texas or something. Not that some southern Idahoans don’t talk like they’re from the southwest, but it seems every time I find a character from Idaho, we’re depicted as unschooled cowboys, or shaved-head racists. Bonus rant: I’m actually getting tired of the little ending bits of dialog on the last page. This issue has Dove remarking how she doesn’t like beer. Wonka wonka! Simone, please stop it!
Brightest Day #16: I wish I had been able to read this issue before I had watched Young Justice because those hilt things are explained in this issue, and I think they’re pretty cool. Also cool is that much of this issue is devoted to Aquaman, with the other portion focusing on Firestorm, especially the creepy Deathstorm. I like all three characters, so bonus! And I liked the way the issue ended, with the small figure of Firestorm on a splash page of black saying, “I think we just destroyed the universe!” I might be wrong (and I’m too lazy to go the five feet to my comic boxes to pull out previous issues to check), but I like the shift to focusing on two characters per issue.
Green Lantern #60: There’s a couple really cool moments in this issue. The first being that Hal confronts the Parallax-possessed Flash saying it could possess Hal, “Or are you afraid?” The look on Parallax/Flash’s face was nicely done. Then at the end we get the reveal of who the bandaged hunter of the emotional entities is: Krona! Oh holy hell. First, Johns brings back Nekron, and now Krona?! This should be good. (Of course, this is the umpteenth time that Krona has been the big bad in Green Lantern, but Johns has yet to disappoint in regards to Green Lantern.)
Superman #706: So we get another “Grounded” storyline interlude. I liked the story, as I did the first interlude not so very long ago, with the focus on Perry White this time. I loved how this story brings up an idea that I’ve often thought, namely, how does it look that the Daily Planet always gets the Superman exclusives. In this story, it’s suggested that the Planet pays Superman. Ridiculous, of course, but still, if I were in the DCU, I would think something was odd about that relationship. I just appreciated that the story addressed it in some way. Best line in the story: Superman tells Perry, “There are plenty of things in this world that scare even me … and the Internet is one of them.” And then, to accentuate his point, Supes flies off!
Unwritten #20: I always like this title, but this issue really connected to me on a narrative level that other issues haven’t necessarily for some reason. I really enjoyed the plot of the issue, and where the characters are going. I liked how Tom, while trapped in Moby Dick (the book, not the whale) as one of the characters, says everything that he can to convince the other characters he doesn’t need to go on the Pequod (because you don’t want to get on that sinking ship), but then his dad appears as Ahab. Great cliffhanger.
Best thing about this issue, though? The back cover was an advertisement for the Legends of the Superheroes DVD. I so want that! I remember watching that when it originally was broadcast and I’ve been wanting to rewatch it ever since. My birthday is coming up…. ;)