Saturday, October 15, 2011

Batgirl #2, Batman & Robin #2, Suicide Squad #2, Ghostbusters #2, The Cape #2, Green Lantern #2, Dollhouse Epitaphs #4, Penguin Pain and Prejudice #1,

Comic Book Wednesday
Issue #22
(Part Two - Fast Forward Version)

Hey all. I think I've figured out a way to do these reviews. I was worried that, by the time I got a minute to sit down and type my normal long (hell, probably too long, I should be writing shit that pays me, eh?) reviews, the books wouldn't be fresh in my mind anymore. And I don't like the idea of half-assing it either.

Instead, I'll do a sort of hybrid of the long ass and half ass idea. I'll throw out all of my thoughts in a sort of Cliff's Notes-esque way, foregoing sentence structure, jokes, wordplay, and ass-hattery. Things will get back on track this coming Wednesday, but if work ever takes me away in the future... you can bet your ass this'll happen again. And I think it might be fun.

Why did I say "ass" so many times just now?

Batgirl follows and fights Mirror. Battle quips are surprisingly cliche. People keep calling villains things like "slime" in this series. Not a bad book by any means, but the reoccurrence of that awkward aspect of the otherwise awesome first issue takes the gloss off, a bit. The character stuff going on is great, though, and we get a big reveal on who Mirror is and why he does what he does. A bit too soon, maybe, but I admittedly like longform narratives - hell, my favorite indie book is Nick Spencer's 100-issue (planned) Morning Glories - so that's not really much of a complaint. This was a good read, just not as solid as the first issue.

This book, on the other hand, is a hell of a lot more consistent than the first of its series. It doesn't have moments that just shine, like the scene with Batman & Robin in Crime Alley, but hey - it feels a lot smoother in general. It's a meditation on how Batman's role has evolved from partner in crime to father and, in some ways, savior/only home to Damian. There is a lot of dark stuff brewing in Damian that he's letting out in small bursts, so this seems to be building somewhere interesting. Also, Batman brings up the question many comics readers have been asking for decades: why does Batman (and, to a larger extend, why do superheroes) enlist the help of children to fight crime? This series seems to be alluding to an answer, and that in itself makes this worth a read.

Great book. Every bit as solid as last time, which is saying a lot. The plot gets thicker, Slimer gets stronger, Venkman gets loud-mouthier, and pretty much every aspect of the last issue is accelerated here. Characterization is spot on, the art is stylized perfection, and the colors glow on these pages like goddamn ectoplasm. I can't wait to see where this arc builds, but this book has been one of the most solid releases from IDW all year. I'm absolutely digging this comic.

And more with the IDW goodness. In this perfect example of how it's bullshit that a book needs a protagonist you care for, the cape-wearing Eric has finally found what he's good at. It's not college like his brother, and it's not anything constructive - it's murder and mayhem. And there is a decent amount of that in this book. There aren't many wow moments like, say, throwing a bear through a car, but the whole ride is a solid, emotionally charged experience with moments of sheer hilarity ("Holy shit! It's Chriss Angel!") and scenes of true horror (Eric in the same room as Nicky and his mom). Ciaramella does a fine job turning Joe Hill's story into kick ass comic. Can't wait to see where this goes.

And the book is back on track. Joss's work is best known for his great characters, so maybe that's what this comic needed all along... more of the original characters from the show. There's a great development between Paul Ballard and Alpha that reveals why the latter has taken on heroic tendencies. The rest of the book is the search for Echo, and, well, based on the cover, you can kind of guess how this ends. I didn't think it would happen after last month, but I'm back on board and excited to see how this mini comes to an end.

Another solid Lantern effort from Johns. It's great to see Sinestro and Hal side by side again, as this is sort of like a supremely twisted version of SECRET ORIGIN. It's made more colorful by their terrible histories with each other, and that's the real core of this book: the tension between these two great warriors who ended up on opposite ends of the spectrum. Fine, one pun/joke, I'm allowed, even when I'm rushed. Anyway, it's a goodun. Some fun action, great constructs, and development of the relationship between Sinestro and Hal.

Fun, dark, funny, wild. Better than the first one. A hell of a lot better than the first one. It's great to see these characters on a mission, working (or not) together. Morality is constantly in question, as is villainy, with these characters who are constantly challenging each other's ideas of good, bad, and insanity. I didn't expect to stick to this series for the longrun, but hell - this was a solid, solid issue.

Jeez... Brutal. Dark. Beautiful. Sheds some light (not positive, mind, but light nonetheless) on Gotham's notorious Penguin. We see the beginning of some mommy issues, and one scene makes me almost suspect a bit of a Norman Bates thing going on. Or, more accurately, a THE JILTING OF GRANNY WEATHERALL thing. Such a creepy book that, I feel, is not trying to make us sympathize with Penguin, not to condone his behavior, but to understand him.

NEXT WEEK: Batman, Birds of Prey, DC Universe Presents, Justice League, Nightwing, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Morning Glories.

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