Batman #47 Written by Scott Snyder Art by Greg Capullo …
The heroes seem to stack up well against the villains of their counterparts. There is a nice scene in which Shredder threatens Gotham, and the Turtles dispatch of Killer Croc and his goons rather quickly. Splinter also makes a brief appearance right before Donatello geeks out over the Batmobile. All in all, the book is fun. Williams’ art is amazing, and every page pops. The characters all look like they’ve been hand painted, and the style is so unique that you can’t quite place the story in either world. The plot is simple enough, but the character interactions and interesting art is why this book is a must read. There is enough in the book to sate both the Batman and TMNT fan in everyone.
The Dark Knight III #1 is bombastic in its themes and scale and type of art drawn by Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson, and Brad Anderson. There are ideological differences between gods and mortals, the law and citizens hinted at or show vividly on the page with blood flowing like red wine on the Gotham rooftops leading to the kind of conflict that spawns one of the biggest, final page cliffhangers in recent memory.
Snyder and Capullo are charging ahead with this Gordon as Batman plot, but Batman #46 is an issue that shows how many narrative balls they can juggle in the air without really taking the time to get to dive deep into any of those stories. With a lot of characters, Snyder and Capullo spend a little time with character A and then with character B and C before heading back to the beginning again. The snippet of character moments creates the sense of a lot happening, but none of the stories are developed in a completely satisfying way. Luckily, Mr. Bloom carries the weight of the issue, creating a threat for Batmen new and old.
Working off a story from Scott Snyder and James Tynion, Tim Seeley turns in a script for Batman and Robin Eternal #3 that is simultaneously full of bouncy Bat- (or Robin) banter with some choice douchiness from Red Hood and scenes both past and present featuring the dark psychological effects of the Scarecrow’s fear toxin. This is somehow connected to the “mysterious” Mother, which our heroes are no closer to finding her identity. But there is still plenty of conflict as Dick Grayson’s Spyral colleague Poppy Ashemoore goes off the reservation, and threat level of the series increases when an important supporting character is put in the crosshairs of Mother and her creepy operatives.
The Darkseid War rages on and is proving to be the biggest and largest story DC has told yet in the New 52 and DCYou era through the Justice League title. Readers are treated to an artistic switch with Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato, who were the team that ushered in a new era for The Flash at the New 52’s inception to give us this aftermath of the insanity that went down in issue #44.
At the end of Batman #45 Mr. Bloom literally crashes Geri Powers’ Batman party/news conference/gathering. Jim Gordon is to step down as the Batman and someone new is to step up. Batman is now not a single person but persons into perpetuity. This feeling of constant change is felt in this issue of Batman. Not only is that cowl supposed to change shoulders but Bruce Wayne wants to change the parts of Gotham that get destroyed the worst only to be rebuilt and cleaned last.
After last week’s blockbuster opening, Batman and Robin Eternal #2 has a little bit of a sophomore slump as a mysterious assassin almost beats Harper Row (aka Bluebird) to death until she is saved by Dick Grayson and a silent, deadly Cassandra Cain, who runs off to do other mysterious things. After the extended action scene, most of the issue is Stephanie freaking out about Dick being alive along with a flashback of Batman and Dick Grayson as Robin fighting the Scarecrow with some twisted, horror influenced art from Paul Pelletier and Tony Kordos and a bendy, trippy color scheme from Rain Beredos. This sequence makes up for a mostly lackluster fight scene between the mystery attacker, Cass, and Dick in which Pelletier starts strong with a kinetic double page spread of a full bodied kick from Cassandra Cain before pulling back from the action and even using storytelling shortcuts that diminish potential acrobatics from Grayson.
The first panel at New York Comic Con’s main stage on Friday, October 9 marked the triumphant return of an old favorite as DC Comics editors and creators gathered to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Dark Knight Returns. They also previewed the upcoming The Dark Knight 3: The Master Race. This miniseries is co-written by original Dark Knight creator Frank Miller and seasoned comics veteran Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) with pencils from Andy Kubert (Flashpoint) and inks from the legendary Klaus Janson (Daredevil). All of these creators were present at the panel with Miller making a surprise entrance in his trademark fedora to thunderous applause. They were joined by DC editor and moderator Brian Cunningham and publisher Jim Lee, who worked with Miller on the controversial All-Star Batman and Robin.
Hosted by the energetic Miz Caramel Vixen, the founder of Vixenvarsity.com, the #BlackComicsMonth Diversity in Comics panel featured a wide variety of panelists from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and sexualities. They also work in vastly different comics genres from Mildred Louis writing and drawing a Magical Girl webcomic with women of color called Agents of the Realm to David F. Walker, who directed a documentary about the blaxploitation genre and currently writes Cyborg for DC Comics and much more. One of the panelists, Mikki Kendall, only recently broke into comics with the Swords of Sorrow: Lady Rawhide/Miss Fury one-shot and is more well-known for her pieces about intersectional feminism for XoJane, The Guardian, and others as well as prose fiction. Vixen let each panelist speak their mind about what diversity means to them, and they often tied in their thoughts with their comics from Genius (which I scored a free copy of) to Princeless and even Batman.
Batman and Robin Eternal #1 is a genre spanning (superhero and possession horror), kick in the pants start to this weekly comic event. Scott Snyder and James Tynion set up a creepy, overarching storyline for the series by exploring the tragic side of being a Robin. (They don’t usually get out alive.) Artists Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea use speed lines, little circles, and every tool in the action cartoonist’s toolbox to give the comic a hyperactive feel as the various Robins swing, kick, and ride into action while wisely utilizing full page spreads for surprise reveals that burst the nostalgia bubble of “Batman and Robin forever”. By the end of Batman and Robin Eternal #1, readers will see the relationship between the Caped Crusader and his various sidekicks in a new, complicated light.
This year, I will be attending my first ever New York Comic Con with a press pass from Popoptiq.com. I am very excited and a little nervous about getting the chance to rub shoulders with 150,000+ comics, sci-fi, fantasy, anime, and video game fans. (Sorry if I forgot your specific niche.) This year, New York Comic Con is really bringing their A-game as far as panels, guests, and even afterparty opportunities. This year’s guests range from Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto to the casts and writers of upcoming genre TV shows like Sword of Shannara, Ash vs. the Evil Dead, and Legends of Tomorrow and of course, a stacked comics creator lineup from living legends like Chris Claremont and Brian K. Vaughan and relatively new stars like Batgirl artist Babs Tarr and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Jughead artist Erica Henderson.
The two biggest topics at the Baltimore Comic Con IDW Panel were the continuation of the story arc for Walter Simonson’s Ragnarok, and the official announcement of James Tynion IV’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Batman crossover. Simonson and Tynion were on-hand to discuss their respective books while IDW President Greg Goldstein and Vice President of Marketing Dirk Wood acted as moderators.
In this one-shot, writers Scott Snyder and Brian Azzarello have decided to tone down Batman into a simple detective story. Set five years in the past, Batman wants to discover who’s murdered a fifteen year-old boy; sounds easy enough. But the world of Gotham is never as calm as it seems. Batman treks throughout the city questioning the likes of The Penguin, the leader of a local gang, and a GCPD detective, but in the end discovers that the young man’s demise came from the young man himself, via Mr. Bloom. Batman wasn’t there to save the young man and in the process learns that he doesn’t know as much about his home as he thought; a staple of the Snyder-era Batman run.
The 43rd issue of Batman drops like a ton of bricks. There have been those who have filled Bruce’s shoes as Batman (Dick Grayson, Jean-Paul Valley and now Jim Gordon), but it has never been imagined that Bruce wouldn’t return to the cowl. The reality in this issue is that Bruce doesn’t want to go back to being Batman because he can’t. Scott Snyder has dreamt up an otherworldly Batman pretense: Batman dies and he is then healed by the Joker’s dionesium, but the brain forgets all his past training, experience, and most importantly, past pain. For the foreseeable future it seems that Bruce Wayne is only going to be Bruce Wayne. The motivation to become the Dark Knight doesn’t exist for Bruce and this changes Gotham expansively.