Against All Odds


Batman and Robin #3

While Batman interrogates Professor Pyg’s fire-powered meta-terrorist (by zooming around the city in the Batmobile and holding him about a quarter-inch above the asphalt), Robin finally wakes up in Pyg’s hideout just before the bad doctor is preparing to lobotomize a girl named Sasha, one of his artificially doll-faced victims. Pyg introduces himself to Robin by… doing a really creepy sexy-time dance. Wwwwwow. That’s a pretty horrifically memorable way to introduce yourself to the world, I gotta say. Luckily, Robin has been working his way free of Pyg’s ropes this whole time and unleashes on Pyg and his dolls. Batman discovers that Pyg’s scheme involves releasing a aerosolized bio-weapon virus on Gotham City, and he comes to Robin’s rescue at the abandoned carnival. But they can’t find Sasha afterwards. And it turns out that the dollmasks don’t come off once they’ve been put on. Sasha wants revenge — and she meets up with a new partner to help her.

Verdict: Thumbs up. So much awesome stuff here — Batman’s near-face-scraping interrogation in the Batmobile, Pyg’s uber-creepy dance, Dick and Damian both dropping the whupass on the baddies, and some excellently creative sound-effects captions. This was a fantastically fun comic.


Detective Comics #856

Batwoman and her military dad make a narrow escape from Alice, thanks to the assistance of Abbot and his shapeshifting pals, all former members of the Church of Crime. Dad and daughter argue about the crimefighting biz, and later, Kate, her dad, and her stepmom — along with cousin Bette “Flamebird” Kane — attend the annual GCPD Charity Ball. Kate makes a scene by showing up in a spiffy tuxedo, to the disappointment of her stepmom. Kate runs into the only other woman wearing a tux — Major Crimes Unit leader Maggie Sawyer, formerly of Metropolis PD. After sharing a dance with Sawyer, Kate gets a visit from Abbot and his friends, now non-shapeshifted — they share some info about why they broke with the Church of Crime and reveal that Alice wants to succeed where the old leader, Mannheim, failed — they plan to destroy Gotham City. But has the warning come too late? Meanwhile, in our backup story, the Question is on the trail of the kidnappers and survives two different attempts on her life in only a few pages. But will she ever get the answers she needs to break the case?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great characterization work for Batwoman and her family. Excellent action, too. Some great intrigue as well. This is big fun. The Question backup story is good, too — very heavy on the action here, and Renee Montoya makes such a cool protagonist.


Wonder Woman #35

Wonder Woman and Black Canary are in Tokyo on some downtime from their next battle in Roulette’s metahuman fight club. Wondy’s down in the dumps about, um, various stuff, so Dinah tries to cheer her up, with some success. Their next bouts go well, until they’re matched up against a single fighter — and Wondy’s not strong enough to beat her. The new fighter is the goddess Pele, the daughter of the god Kane, Wondy’s chosen patron when the Olympians deserted Earth. Pele is angry because Zeus killed her father, and she plans on taking her revenge by killing Wonder Woman. Is there a way to survive a goddess’s wrath?

Verdict: Thumbs up, but largely for some of the smaller points. Wondy’s reaction to the over-sexualized toys of her in the Japanese stores was very funny, all the dialogue between Wondy and Black Canary was great, B.C. taking on all the villains in the arena at once was thoroughly and awesomely cool. But I’m getting a bit tired of the over-reliance on Roulette’s fight clubs as a storytelling gimmick, and Diana has spent much too much time lately fighting gods and goddesses.

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