Bat vs. Bat

Batman and Robin #8

We get a little flashback to begin with, showing us how Batwoman got captured — she was knocked out with narcotic soot (!) while fighting Satanic chimneysweeps (!!!) — before we get to this issue’s real problem: Batman has been raised from the dead by a Lazarus Pit and has gone temporarily insane. Except it’s not really Batman — it’s an evil clone of Batman created by Darkseid during the “Final Crisis” crossover. And it’s taking everything Dick Grayson, Batwoman, the Knight, and the Squire have just to slow him down. And one of the British crimelords on the surface plans to wipe them all out with explosives in the mine — and someone’s going to pay with their life. Meanwhile, Damian Wayne is recovering from spinal replacement surgery and is under strict orders not to exert himself — which could mean some serious trouble when the Batman clone comes calling…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Action, intrigue, suspense, and superheroics, all in a single issue — this is great stuff. And it’s got a two excellent cliffhangers, too.


Strange #4

The final issue of this very enjoyable miniseries. Magic has been broken, and the magic users of the world are getting their butts kicked every time they try to cast a spell. Even worse, it’s likely that the mystical backlash is going to tear the whole planet, if not the entire universe, apart. Dr. Strange has vastly decreased magical powers, but he still has the best chance to fix the situation — he’s going to use his surgical knowledge to try to repair the flow of magical energies through the universe. But his new apprentice, Casey, suffering from the loss of her soul last issue, is going to have to guard his body while he does so. But when an old enemy of Dr. Strange’s comes looking for him in the midst of all the chaos, does Casey have a chance of saving him?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This has been a really fun series — I wouldn’t mind reading more stuff about the de-powered Stephen Strange, and I hope someone at Marvel gives Mark Waid a chance to write about the former Sorcerer Supreme and his apprentice very soon.

B.P.R.D.: King of Fear #2

While Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, and Andrew Devon explore the tunnels beneath Agartha, Kate Corrigan and her new beau Bruno have come to the infamous Hunte Castle in Austria to see if the ghost of crimefighter Lobster Johnson will release the spirit of ectoplasmic medium Johann Kraus.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The whole issue was just fine, but the final two pages combine to make it really awesome and cool.

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