Ripping the Mask


Batman #677

The latest chapter of the “Batman R.I.P.” storyline is pretty freakin’ weird. Batman is obsessed with the international assassination organization called the Black Glove. The Club of Villains puts evil schemes into motion. The Gotham Gazette plans to run a story claiming that Bruce Wayne’s parents — and Alfred the butler — were degenerate drug fiends. Jezebel Jet suspects Bruce himself may be the Black Glove. Batman has been hypnotized somehow. The Club of Villains has gotten into the Batcave and plans to do some killin’.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s almost unstoppably weird and random and baroque and chaotic, and it seems to be awesome. The Club of Villains, by the way, is the best mass supervillain addition I’ve seen added to a comic book universe in years.


1985 #1

A bit of high-concept here. Our story is set in 1985 in a non-superhero universe. Toby is a normal kid with divorcing parents and a fascination with comic books. He and his dad happen across an old mansion being renovated by a bunch of out-of-towners who seem oddly familiar to Toby. So what are a bunch of Marvel comic book villains doing hanging out in an old house on the outskirts of a small town?

Verdict: Thumbs up. In places, this one is really pretty spooky. The brief glimpse we get of the Red Skull, peering down from an upstairs window at Toby, is pretty chilling. Dr. Doom is plenty scary. And the big guy who Toby runs into at the end of the issue looks really, really terrifying. I’m not sure where they’re going with this, but I hope it’s all this good.

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