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    In ‘Final Crisis’ heroes die, but comics live forever

    On the surface, the title of Final Crisis feels like a misnomer. How can there even be a “final” crisis? There will always be a DC Universe, there will always be earth-shattering dangers, and there will always be heroes to ensure the end is never really the end. But the strength of Final Crisis lies in that it recognizes this, and uses this fact as the crux of the entire event: the promotional tagline was, after all, “Heroes die. Legends live forever.” The characters and stories of the DC Universe are timeless, never-ending, and very much alive in the way that language can be said to be alive. It’s from this angle that writer Grant Morrison attempts to comment on and interact with DC’s complex and often unwieldy history. While Final Crisis is not the final challenge these characters will ever face (because nothing ever will be until the day DC stops publishing — and at this point that’ll likely be the same day CNN puts it “Nearer, My God, to Thee” video to use), one walks away from it feeling like they’ve just experienced the ultimate in everything the DC Universe was, is, and will be. More

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    ‘Batman: The 12 Cent Adventure’ is More of a Trailer than a Story

    Batman: The Twelve Cent Adventure #1 has methodical pacing and repetitive writing from Devin Grayson. But it does its job as a prelude to the “War Games” event by showing how isolated both Spoiler and Batman are and the breadth of Gotham’s organized crime in the too short shoot out scene. In movie terms, it’s a damn good trailer, but doesn’t stand on its own as a story except for some insights into the character of Spoiler and her relationship to the Batman family. More

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    ‘Batgirl’ #41 pits Babs against the new Batman

    After a break for Convergence, Batgirl is back with a new villain, a new colorist, and most of all, the first real look about how Jim Gordon’s Batman affects the relationship around him. But Batgirl #41 is still both Babs’ show as readers get to see fight crime as well as interact with her roommate Frankie (who is taking on an Oracle type role) and her dad. Artist Babs Tarr also takes over both layouts and pencils and gives the comic the rush of a Saturday morning cartoon using slanted panels and slightly larger gutters to give her acrobatic style an additional “oomph”. Joel Gomez (most likely) helps out in some of the interior scenes adding details to the arcade where Babs and Frankie hang out, and the haunted house-type environment that makes up the first page of the comic, and Gotham Academy colorist Serge Lapointe give Tarr’s art a Studio Ghibli-esque palette like that series. More

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    ‘JLA’ #1 is an Average Comic with Great Art

    JLA #1 is another feather in Bryan Hitch’s artistic cap as he excels at showing superheroes in action along with labs, helicopters, explosions, and even a decent flirty interaction between Clark Kent and Lois Lane. However, his plot maybe suffers from some hypercompression as ideas, threats, and allies are introduced at a rapid pace without proper establishment. There are also a few story logic issues, The Flash and Green Lantern are written interchangeably, and Cyborg is kind of treated as deus ex machina. These misfires make JLA #1 an average comic with great art. More

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    ‘Earth-2: Society’ #1: Troubling times in the post-Apokolips.

    Being a travel agent on Earth-2 definitely has to be the Seventh Circle of Hell of careers. Sure the folks on the Nazi Earth or the Crime Syndicate Earth have their jobs cut out for them trying to convince anyone that their universe is a nice place to visit for even a nanosecond. But as Highfather’s sacrificial lamb to keep Darkseid from preying upon the whole of existence, Earth-2 makes a pretty strong case for having it the worst of all. That’s not the breaks, that’s just harsh beyond measure. But now Convergence has ushered in a whole new world — in the most literal way possible. Taking these characters in a completely new direction, Earth-2: Society makes a bold attempt at getting the Earth-2 line to hit its stride in ways that have eluded it since its inception. More

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    ‘Gotham Academy’ #7: Is this really it for Damian and the ‘GA’ gang?

    It’s a shame that Gotham Academy #7 seems to be a one-off because there is so much potential for Damian as a regular member of the cast. If you’re looking to get into Gotham Academy, this probably isn’t the place. The impetus for the story and the emotional beats rely on a familiarity with the characters that isn’t established here. You should go pick up the first six issues (and the excellent Endgame tie-in), and then race your way back. Because it’s well worth it. More

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    ‘Batman’ #41: The Right Man at the Right Time

    After the events of ‘Endgame’ the cowl has undergone a transition from Bruce Wayne to Jim Gordon, yes, that Jim Gordon, the same beat walking, cigarette smoking, and mustachioed man. Scott Snyder has never shied away from making his Batman completely different from the past 75-plus years. Here in Batman #41, Snyder does the inconceivable and replaces Batman with what seems like a less athletic, less aggressive, and lesser man. Sure, the new suit helps, but is it really Batman? More

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    The 13 Most Iconic Joker Moments

    What makes the Joker such an exciting villain isn’t just his diabolical deeds, but the way he acts as the perfect foil to Batman. The Caped Crusader is a dark and brooding shadow, bound by morals, rules, and logic. The Clown Prince of Crime is a manic, posturing madman, ruled by chaos, entropy, and a disregard for anything…including himself. Everything the Joker does is to make a point, or deliver a punchline even if it comes at his own expense. He knows no limits and pushes Batman to his own limitations like no our villain. The Joker is to Batman as Kurt Cobain was to Axl Rose, or as Aaron Burr was to Alexander Hamilton, a perfect antithesis in every imaginable way. Here’s a look back at 13 of the most iconic Joker moments. These are the moments that made the Joker the one of the most memorable and recognizable villains in all of fiction, across any medium. More

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    Was DC Comics’ New 52 Successful?

    Welcome to the new column “Comics Issues” where two Sound on Sight comics writers debate a important or controversial comics industry topic. First up, we discuss whether the DC New 52 was a successful initiative or not. Feel free to post your opinion in the comments below. More

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    Gotham, Episode 1.22, “All Happy Families Are Alike”

    In the Pilot episode the Penguin warns Gordon that there will be a war coming to Gotham City, a war that would possibly result in a change of power amongst the crime bosses. As it turns out Penguin was not merely playing Cassandra predicting doom for Gotham but planned for the war to happen all along. Ever since the Wayne Murders the Falcone crime empire began crumbling due to having lost one of its pillars leaving Falcone weak in his reign which prompted all of the crime underbosses to sniff around and try to tear him down. Although the Wayne Murderer remains a mystery the finale resolves Falcone time in power, relinquishing him to possibly make way for the dawn of a new class of villain to overtake Gotham, one that will be full of colorfully criminal characters and Machiavellian madmen (and madwomen); the Gotham City by which the comic book mythos are based. Now that Falcone has fallen, is the new Gotham City finally rising? More

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    Batman vs the Rubber Suit

    Lucius Fox: “You want to be able to turn your head.” Bruce Wayne: “Sure would make backing out of the driveway easier.” ―Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher, and Christopher Nolan have all left their mark on Batman’s cinematic incarnations with varying degrees of success. Burton’s distinctive gothic style redefined Batman for […] More

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    ‘Batman’ #40 is a brutal, personal conclusion to Endgame

    Batman #40 features the battle to end all battles between Batman and the Joker drawn in gory detail by Greg Capullo and Danny Miki, but the scraps of dialogue between the blows and explosion are occasionally weighed down by exposition. Snyder does punch things up in the third act and leave Gotham and the Batman title as wide open as it’s been since the dawn of the New 52. He and Capullo make “Endgame” the dark mirror of Batman Eternal, and it’s interesting to see this storyline fit in the larger context of their run on Batman and the weekly series, which preceded it. Questionable plot devices aside, Batman #40 concludes the “Endgame” in a brutal, personal manner that really shakes up the status quo on this book. More

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