Pull List Review (8/24/11 Comics)

Batman, Inc. #8: Batman creates Internet version 3.0. Seriously. I actually liked the virtual world renditions of Batman and Babs as Batgirl, especially the panel on the next to last page showing Batgirl fly away. Even better, I loved how Batman was depicted as mostly muscle and it was Babs who had the lay of the land, so to speak. She even tells Batman later that she spends her downtime (Oracle has downtime?) “playing online against teenage masterminds in Asia”. The contrast of colors in the issue was a bit of a stumbling block for me though (too much black/gray on red backgrounds).

Batman, the Dark Knight #5: Hmm. This title, though lovely to look at when David Finch was doing the art (not to downplay the art by the other artists these last few issues), reminded me a lot of Spawn if he were in the DCU. Does that make sense? I actually enjoyed the “mystery” that started the series, but as time went on, that became moot, and it just became Batman dealing with magical threats. I won’t be returning to this title when it’s relaunched.

Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #3: It seems rather pointless to review these last tie-ins since we’re now two weeks into the DCnU. But I started them, so I must finish them! :) Bart becomes a Black Flash, stealing Speed Force energy from previous speedsters as he works his way to Barry. Then he transforms into a White Flash to give Barry all of that Speed Force to help Barry save the world (but I don’t get how, even after reading Flashpoint #5). Again, another pointless end to a tie-in. Also, I never want to see Scott Kolins art again.

Flashpoint: Lois Lane & the Resistance #3: What to say about this title? I liked the Brittania character. I hope she shows up in the DCnU. My main complaint about this series was that Lois Lane, while featured prominently on the marquee, was barely in the story in any significant way.

Flashpoint: Project Superman #3: There are some interesting things about this book. The Flashpoint “Superman” never developed that innate respect for human life and kills when, I guess, he feels it necessary. I first saw it in Flashpoint #5, and it’s here as well when Kal kills the Subject Zero (after a long fight scene, of course). I like how we’re shown how powerful Kal is despite that he’s been stunted by his imprisonment. I wish we would see this more often with our Superman. Speaking of Subject Zero, we’re told (or maybe I missed it in issue 1) why he has the powers he has: his DNA was spliced with Doomsday’s. I also like the Lois Lane we’re given in this story much more than her depiction in Lois Lane and the Resistance. They should have just kept Lois in this book and retitled the other Flashpoint: The Resistance.

Teen Titans #100: I. Am. So. Sick. Of. Superboy Prime! Please, please, please! DC, let this be the very last time we see this character. We’re off to a good start because the Teen Titans do end up defeating him (oh, like that’s a spoiler!). It was cool to see a bunch of past Titans, like Red Star and the second Speedy (I like her costume for some reason). I do have a problem with the Titans’ hypocrisy at the end: Superboy Prime created Connor clones that the Titans defeated by stabbing them with a kryptonite stake, yet when they’ve defeated Prime, Ravager says they should do the same thing to Prime, but the rest of the Titans go, “Whoa! That’s murder!” O.O The epilogue shows us Ravager’s softer side (I actually would have liked to see how her and Conner’s budding relationship would have progressed) and an actual character moment when Ravager realizes that Conner trusts her to kill him if he ever loses control: ” I get it,” she says. “. . . You’ll need me to kill you. Because that’s what I do.” That panel had more resonance for me than the next panel showing her crying. It was nice to see Raven and Gar end up together, and to see her happy for once. The comic ends with nine pages of pin-ups (I’m also counting the actual final page of the story). While I enjoyed seeing the various artists do their own Titans splash pages, I could have just paid $3.99 for the actual story (30 pages).

Wonder Woman #614: After how disappointing the “Grounded” story was in Superman, “Odyssey” was a satisfactory resolution, and ended up where I expected (not that it wasn’t hard to guess that our Diana would return). In fact, the best part of this final issue was the second half, when Diana returns to the world she (and we) know. The pure joy she feels when she realizes reality is once again restored resonated with me. Later, she visits with her mother, who notices her different clothing: “Themysciran themes, but in a form the mortals would find appealing.” I spoke with Oddfellow about Wonder Woman’s costume in episode 9 of the LBR podcast, but I’ll reiterate that I would be just peachy if they had kept the “Odyssey” version of her uniform in the relaunch. Later still, Diana speaks of change in the air, yet another instance where the DC writers wink and nod at we readers about what’s coming. Finally, I just wanted to note how much I liked Lee Garbett’s work on this title. He started out on Batgirl and was my favorite on that title until Pere Perez came along, but that certainly doesn’t mean that Mr. Garbett’s work is inferior, just different. His (I believe it’s his anyway) final splash page of Diana flying into the Themysciran skies was wonderful. A great ending to a pretty good final Wonder Woman story prior to the DCnU. If you haven’t been reading this, pick it up some time.

Xombi #6: I am so going to miss all the oddball stuff in this comic. Usually, I gravitate toward a character, but it was the world of Xombi that grabbed me and said, “Look at all this craziness! Isn’t it great?!” Yes, yes it was. In this issue, we get the Sisterhood of Blood Mummies, Dental Phantoms, actual Pearls of Wisdom, and dudes with eyeballs as heads! I also liked the bit where Annie rushed at the bad guy who was teleporting away and grabbed a hold of his heart. I would have loved to see where John Rozum and Frazer Irving would have taken us in the next storyline. Again, I repeat: DC dropped the ball by not keeping this title on their roster.

I also read Batman: Gates of Gotham#5 (what a disappointing series; Scott Snyder continues to elude me as being a good Batman writer. Do not waste your time with this turkey), Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #3 (just . . . don’t bother), and FF #8 (still good, but nothing worth talking about).

Finally, have you noticed how much DC is pimping the OGN New Teen Titans: Games in this month’s comics? I love it! I cannot wait to get this (I’m sure I’ll do a podcast on it). It was especially apropos being in Teen Titans #100.

What do you think of my thoughts on this week’s comics? Agree or disagree? Let me know!

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