Batmen, Batwomen, and Everyone Else, Too

Batwoman #0

Did you need another introduction to Batwoman? Just in case you were a schmuck and hadn’t read her story earlier this year in Detective Comics? Well, that’s what this issue is. The new series will start up soon enough, so we get Bruce Wayne following Batwoman and Kate Kane around incognito for a few days trying to figure out what makes her tick.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s great to see J.H. Williams III’s artwork again — and this time, Amy Reeder is apparently doing half of the pencils — it looks like Williams is going to be drawing the Batwoman side of the equation, while Reeder will draw whatever Kate is up to. Will it work? I have no idea — I need more than one issue to evaluate this stuff, man.

Madame Xanadu #29

Well, crud, it’s the final issue of this comic. Nimue spends some time instructing her new apprentice, Charlotte Blackwood, in the intricacies of the Tarot, the crystal ball, and the benefits and disadvantages of being able to see the future. She cleans up a loose end — Betty Reynolds, last seen as the innocent woman forced to serve as Morgaine le Fey’s host body, and now living a thoroughly rotten life because of it — and she has one final meeting with the Phantom Stranger, in which both of them contemplate the coming age of superheroes.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not happy to see that this series is ending, but I’m glad to see that Matt Wagner was able to bring Amy Reeder back for one final issue. And her art is as top-notch as ever here — beautifully expressive work all over, though my favorite is the snarl that Nimue greets the Phantom Stranger with — if there’s an award for “Best Facial Expression of the Year,” that one should be in the running.

Detective Comics #871

Scott Snyder and Jock make their debuts on this title with Dick Grayson opening up a new forensics lab for the Gotham PD. After discovering that a teenager who morphed into a crocodilian monster was actually dosed with Killer Croc’s mutagen from the police evidence locker, Dick investigates as Batman — the teenager’s family butler is soon killed by the lady of the house — who’s been exposed to a mind-control patch developed by the Mad Hatter. When Batman finally traces the stolen evidence to a former cop, he learns about some guy called “The Dealer” who runs illegal auctions selling villain paraphernalia. But before the cop can spill too much, he’s killed by a vine that erupts out of his throat. Who’s behind all this?

Verdict: Thumbs up. We’ve all gotten to know Scott Snyder through “American Vampire,” so I figured this was going to be worth reading. Very nice character work with both Dick Grayson and Commissioner Gordon, and I love the developing mystery so far. I’ve got my suspicions of who the Dealer really is, but we’ll see how it all plays out…

Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities and the Ghastly Fiend of London #3

Billy and Sproul have cornered Edward Hyde, the ape-faced freak who seems to be Jack the Ripper — but then he turns into H.H. Holmes, who Isadora identifies as the Ripper. Billy and Sproul chase him, but Billy has already been identified by the police as the Ripper, and he runs out of bullets just as he runs into an angry mob. They beat the snot out of him, but he’s rescued by Hyde — it appears that Hyde is the good version of Holmes. Now the group must try to figure out a way to get rid of Holmes without killing innocent Hyde. And in the backup story, the Goon and Franky chase after the hobo who stole their weiners. The Goon beats up an alligator, but will he have such an easy time when he has to fight an army of hobos?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good story, fun art, and some entertaining whuppins. And the Goon story is chock full o’ hobos, so that’s another one in the WIN column.

Batman and Robin #17

Paul Cornell takes over this title from Grant Morrison and gives us Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne taking on a really twisted bridal party in the process of investigating the death and disinterment of a woman named Una Nemo, one of Bruce Wayne’s former flames. And the question that seems to be on everyone’s minds — what are we missing? And how does the answer to that question affect Batman and Robin?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A seriously freaky story — excellently weird villains from beginning to end and nicely bizarre mystery to clear up.

Today’s Cool Links:

Comments are closed.