I had high hopes for every single comic I got this week, and every single one of them let me down. Here’s the damage.
Batman Inc. #13
The final issue of Grant Morrison’s multi-year Batman epic, this one splits its story between Bruce Wayne, beat like a rented mule and arrested for various crimes, being interrogated by Commissioner Gordon, and Batman’s final duel against Talia, leader of Leviathan. Wayne tells Gordon how the murder of his parents left a hole in his heart and how he filled the hole with… something else. And Talia poisons Batman to get a device that will let her destroy cities with a new kind of energy — only to be betrayed by Jason Todd and killed by… someone else. Can Batman continue on, or is his time over?
Verdict: Thumbs down. This one got a lot of hype, and a lot of people who just knee-jerk loved it. I didn’t think it lived up to the hype. The art’s gorgeous, yes. I was pretty satisfied with Wayne’s talk with Jim Gordon. But the rest of it was predictable and pedestrian. Sorry, I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t do it.
Dr. Doom wants the aged, time-traveled Johnny Storm dead, and he’s ordered the blackmailed Alex Power to commit the crime. So he asks Ahura, Tong, Onome, and Bentley-23 is they know anyone who’s ever killed someone. Sure, says Ahura, let’s go talk to my uncle Maximus. And Maximus plays a game of 20 Questions with them to get them to set him free. Meanwhile, Ant-Man, Medusa, She-Hulk, and Darla Deering, along with Leech and Artie, take Tom Brevoort, Matt Fraction, and Michael Allred on a tour in the microverse that ends with everyone getting stalked by a miniaturized giant tiger.
Verdict: Thumbs down. Comic creators showing up as guest stars in Fantastic Four comics are a long-running tradition — Stan and Jack used to meet the original FF all the time. But this time is just plain uninspired — the creators were completely unneeded. And the bit with the genius kids getting completely played by Maximus was really just not very interesting. Sorry, I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t do it.
Captain Marvel #14
Again, it’s a crossover with “Avengers Assemble,” so we miss about half the story — but I can’t actually tell the difference this time. Anyway, an old Kree supervillain named Yon-Rogg has it in for Carol Danvers and has a whole bunch of robotic Kree sentries converging on NYC. He’s somehow using the robots and his close proximity to Captain Marvel — and a piece of himself that he’s somehow implanted into her brain, which is what’s been causing all her medical difficulties — to materialize an ancient Kree city, which he’s going to use to crush the Big Apple. So she flies into space and dies to shut down the power source and save the city.
Verdict: Thumbs down. Man, it just made so little sense. And she’s not even going to stay dead a whole issue, ’cause we already know she’ll be back in a month, doing some kind of transformation into her old Binary identity. Sorry, I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t do it.
Nate Hackett, former childhood bully of Matt Murdock, on trial for crimes supposedly committed as a member of the Sons of the Serpent, has just been shot… by the trial judge. He’s a member of the Sons, too, as is the bailiff, the prosecuting attorney, several cops — half the folks in the courthouse are members of the Sons of the Serpent. Can Daredevil save Nate, save the innocent paramedic who’s been picked as the fall guy, save everyone else in the courthouse?
Verdict: Thumbs down. I got closest to liking this one, but it just went past my ability to take seriously. If so many cops, judges, and civil servants were secret members of a racist supervillain conspiracy, Nate and Matt and half the superheroes in New York would’ve been taken out by snipers ages ago. Sorry, I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t do it.
While most of the team travels to Budapest pursuing Arkea (in the body of Karima Shapandar), Kitty Pryde stays home to deal with an attack on the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning by Arkea’s drones. Bling ends up doing most of the work — and seems vaguely ominous while doing it, though we have no real idea why. Meanwhile, the team pursuing Arkea tracks her to a hospital, where they’re attacked by a bunch of cyber-enhanced patients who’ve been possessed by Arkea. They somehow bluff their way into a victory and even get Karima back alive and more-or-less intact mentally.
Verdict: Thumbs down. I loved the art, but the rest of it? It was all just too abrupt. Fighting against an enemy who scared the crap out of Sublime, who planned to kill every living creature on the planet, and they run her off so quickly, with such a small team? It was too anticlimactic. Sorry, I wanted to like it, but I just couldn’t do it.
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