Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel…

Detective Comics #863

Serial mutilator Cutter has kidnapped Kate Kane’s cousin Bette — and he’s got an accomplice as crazy as he is, a heavily bandaged woman who wants Cutter to cut off Bette’s ears so she can have them. Bette used to be a superhero called Flamebird, but she wasn’t wildly successful and she’s kinda tied up now, so she doesn’t have much of a way to resist. Batwoman is trying to track Cutter down (paralleled by how Bruce Wayne tried to track Cutter down years ago, the first time he kidnapped someone), but can she find them in time to save Bette?

Meanwhile, in the backup feature starring the Question, Renee Montoya and the Huntress have been caught on Oolong Island, international haven for mad scientists, and get tortured to find out what they’re doing there. Soon, they’re brought before Veronica Cale, president-for-life of Oolong, and they persuade her that directing them to the smuggler they’re after is a lot easier than having to deal with a bunch of superheroes who’ll eventually come looking for them.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great art, great storytelling. And that’s for both the main feature and the backup. Don’t know that I need to say a lot more than that — this is just a wonderful, wonderful comic book. Greg Rucka is going to be greatly missed when he leaves this book.

Madame Xanadu #21

This series finally leave pre-Arthurian Britain and returns to 1950s America, where Nimue has been ambushed by her sister Morgaine le Fey and buried under the rubble inside her shop. Luckily, the mysterious, super-strong, telepathic detective John Jones comes to her rescue. While Morgaine cavorts with her suburban Satanists, Madame Xanadu and Detective Jones locate a group of mobsters who have transported a strange magical artifact from Chicago to New York. They take out the gangsters fairly easily (and Mr. Jones gets to show off some more of his unearthly talents) and finally gain control of Morgaine’s artifact. But what is it, and what place does it play in Morgaine’s plans?

Verdict: Thumbs up. So very, very glad we’re finally continuing this part of the story again. Aside from getting more of Amy Reeder Hadley‘s fantastic art, we also get a lot more of the disguised Martian Manhunter, and the story is proceeding very well. Weirdly, one of my favorite parts of this issue was the dialogue between the gangsters, both playful and menacing at the same time.

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