All the Bats

Still trying to clear out two weeks’ worth of comics as fast as I can. Today, let’s take on the Bat books.

Batwoman #5

Kate has a final tense confrontation with the Drowned Woman, the ghost who let her children drown and has been abducting children in Gotham. Though the Drowned Woman assaults her with memories of her lost twin sister, Kate is eventually able to trap the ghost in fire and dispell her. But before she disappears, she tells Batwoman that the lost children can be found in “Medusa’s coils.” But her investigation gets pulled up short when she gets a visit from Agent Cameron Chase and Director Bones of the Department of Extranormal Operations, and they want to offer Kate a deal…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Still the absolute most beautiful comic book on the stands. If I’ve got anything I’m disappointed in, it’s that Bette Kane’s story gets so completely shortchanged — she’s reduced to a nonspeaking cameo in a hospital bed, and I was hoping to see more from her.

Batgirl #5

Batgirl runs into a family of mobsters who are behaving very strangely, holding up cars and demanding exactly $3.88. Once Barbara intervenes, the dad of the family cold-heartedly kills his sons and tries to jump off a bridge. Babs manages to snag him with a rope, but she’s interrupted by a woman named Gretel who beats the stuffing out of her and then just strolls off like she’s got a drug buzz. Next time Batgirl catches up to Gretel, she’s got her sights set on Bruce Wayne — and she’s got an unexpected accomplice.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Gretel makes an interesting villain, the “338” motif makes for an interesting mystery, and the whole story is good fun. Not a big fan of the subplot with Barbara’s mother, but maybe it’ll be interesting later.

Batman #5

The Dark Knight is in a heap o’ trouble. He’s lost somewhere underground, affected by mind-warping drugs and not enough food or water, and going through day after day after day of bizarre hallucination as he’s stalked by the Court of Owls. Can he survive with his mind intact? Can he survive at all?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A totally weird, wild comic. Just reading it makes you feel off-balance — probably because the comic flips on its side after a few pages, then turns completely upside-down. Great art from Greg Capullo and fun writing from Scott Snyder.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • John Rozum has a long, depressing post about the experience of writing comics for DC. At this point, I think I’m rooting for DC to cease publication of everything…
  • This short movie about a warbot with human memories makes me wish it was a heck of a lot longer than just five minutes.
  • A TV station barred from filming in court turns to puppetry instead.


  1. Voodoo Ben Said,

    January 24, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    No offense, dude, but I think you’re taking the wrong message away from Rozum’s post. He says repeatedly that DC heads had nothing to do with his situation, and he got stuck with one crappy editor. That particular editor needs to be reprimanded, publicly, for mishandling talent. But saying DC should cease publishing comics is kinda throwing the baby out with the bath water, you know?

    Like say, not trying to get your goat or anything, but I’ve seen this reaction in a couple of places and I wanted to say my piece to someone I consider a friend. 🙂

  2. scottslemmons Said,

    January 24, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

    I think there’s an institutional problem at DC that heavy-handed editorial interference is okay. Remember, that’s what led to Dwayne McDuffie leaving the company — the big wigs wouldn’t stop telling him how to write comics. I think in a few years, you’ll start seeing more complete histories being written about DC during this period, and it’ll show that McDuffie and Rozum were just the tip of the iceberg.

    I say shut the joint down before DiDio, Johns, and Lee have a chance to fuck things up even worse than they already have.