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review 2017-08-14 03:06
Fun crossover!
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1 (of 6) - Matthew Manning,Jon Sommariva

IDW seems particularly adept at crossovers that might not seem to make much sense, that seem impossible to do in a way that isn't pure crack-fic, and yet... they pull it all together.   (There is an adult Batman/TMNT crossover, but that's not on sale: this was, and I had a coupon that would only work if I added three dollars.   It was five off fifteen I believe, and I figured I'd give this a try because the first three issues were on sale and worked in combination with the coupon.)


So far, this seems to make sense.   The Krangs create portals into an alternate universe - Batman's universe, and they release Batman's villains into the Turtle's world.   When Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face, makes his way back to his own world, Batman catches Two-Face, only to hear his rambling about another world.   (With Two-Face's duplicity and obsession with twos, I'm sure Batman thought it might be Dent's personal psychosis coming into play.)


And there are others: Joker and Harley, Poison Ivy, Clayface, The Mad Hatter.   Maybe another?  I'm too tired to go back and check.   The turtles fight Clayface and push him back through a portal, so I suspect Batman will bring Clayface back to Arkham. 


For the others, though?   I suspect those will take place in the turtles' New York.   So far this is fun, but the art is a little hit and miss for me.   (I'm halfway through the second issue where a male character kinda looks like he has small boobs in the spandex, for example.)


It's not a killer for me, because it's mostly decent at the very least.   And I ended up buying the last three issues before the sale ends tomorrow, because after one issue I'm invested enough to want to know.   I'll probably want the original, adult mini-series, too, but not enough that I want it unless it's on sale.   (I sampled the first couple issues.   Good art technically, but the style is one that always makes me an unhappy reader.   I may just see if this comes up on Hoopla or get it from the library, to be honest.)

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review 2017-08-13 20:21
Dragging a little
Batman (2016-) #28 - Tom King,June Chung,Mikel Janin

Like this is supposed to be a huge event, but there are small storylines that can feel tangental told in a row.   It's getting frustrating, especially since the Kite-Man story was so brilliant that if I don't care about stories after that, well, I just want the larger story to get on with it and wrap up quickly. 


That's how I felt with this issue.   It's all Batman angst over not being able to stop deaths.   The way that the toll wracked up and why was interesting and I liked seeing Deadshot up against Deathstroke, but overall I want this war to be done. 


Joker.  Riddler.   Forcing villains to choose sides and all get in one big fight.   Really?   Ugh.  I don't want to deal with this on a long term basis.  I wish it were all over and another storyline would pick up right now.

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review 2017-07-29 22:15
I'm so behind on my comics!
Batman (2016-) #27 - Tom King,Mikel Janin,Davide Gianfelice,Danny Miki,Clay Mann

But I managed to sneak one in yesterday.   Easier to do that at the concert than Uprooted, so Batman 27 got read.   


This one was about Kite-Man.   Yeah, he's a villain who specializes in kites.   And I mean, like huge kites that can carry humans, but still.   Kites.   Kites.   


King chooses to do a story about the man behind the kite.   Well, underneath the kite, I guess.   It's about his child.   It's about how before he had his kites - kites, I repeat - he specialized in aerodynamics, building things for villains like The Joker.   It's about how The Joker used kites - yeah, kites - against him and about how he turned that on its head.  


By becoming Kite-Man.   That's right.   Kite-Man.   And as ridiculous as a touching story about the man behind Kite-Man sounds, that's what Tom King delivered.  


And yet, I'm finding myself slightly disillusioned with this series.   This might be one of the best stories King has delivered in this series, and yet I keep being reminded that Vision exists.  Sales, comments, seeing Vision somewhere and this isn't Vision.   And that's not the best thing.   It didn't have to be exactly Vision or say the things that Vision did; in fact, I don't think it should have done those things.   Batman isn't Vision and his series should be used to a different point.  


But Vision was meticulously layered, with depths of meaning - depths that I don't see in this series.   And I sorely miss that.  I wanted this to be as whip smart as that series was, and I don't feel it.   


So I'm foreseeing four stars, tops, unless this steps up to Vision level intelligence.   I still love this series sand will continue to buy and read it, but I will still hope that this series gets to that level where I want to reread it multiple times, to glean something new from this series. 

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review 2017-07-22 21:43
If you're looking for dark visuals and super-serious Batman then you're in the wrong place.
All Star Batman Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy (Rebirth) (Batman - All Star Batman (Rebirth)) - Scott Snyder,John Romita Jr.

If you're looking for dark visuals and super-serious Batman then you're in the wrong place. This is a massive road trip with Batman taking Two-face to find a 'cure' but thanks to Two-face's intervention everyone (villain, friends, and strangers) is trying to kill Batman and free Two-Face.
The artwork is okay but strange in places. But the colouring is great. Bright and inviting compared to other Batman comics I've read.


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text 2017-07-17 17:15
Comic Book Post
Wonder Woman FCBD 2017 Special Edition (2017-) #1 (Wonder Woman (2016-)) - Greg Rucka,Jr., Romulo Fajardo,Nicola Scott
Batman: The Gotham Adventures - Ty Templeton,Rick Burchett,Terry Beatty
Red Sonja #0 (Dynamite Entertainment Comics) - Michael Avon Oeming,Mike Carey,Mel Rubi

Over the last month I have read several comic books/graphic novels that have been offered for free for kindle or on Comixology.  Here’s a some of the highlights.

Overwatch Series – This comic series, offered for free, is based on the video game of the same name.  It is a game I haven’t played.  The comic series, spanning ten issues, is pretty damn good.  There are quite a few woman characters, several of whom are women of color.  The series also covers several morality questions – what is good, just, right.  The series also uses characters who are older.  The artwork is pretty good as well.  While eight of the issues are basically character studies with action, the last two issues deal with Halloween and Christmas, and so are somewhat a guest star list type of story.  Familiarity is with the video game is not needed to read these, though they should be read in order.  This is because a character in one is the mother of the central character in the following issue.  While the series does offer a must know cliffhanger, it is resolved in the ten issues.


Various Batman Comics -  Overall the Batman comics were what you would expect from Batman, and yet, they were in some ways the most disappointing.  The Rebirth first issue was good, though perhaps straining at the very loose sense of reality that holds things together.  The sequence involving passengers on a plane was, in particular, really great.  Neil Gaiman’s Batman in Black and White was clever, if not as clever as it thinks it is.  But the taste of Batman was soured by two freebies, the 10c Adventure and Gotham Adventures. 

                Batman and the Ten Cent Adventure is not as bad as Gotham Adventures.  The basic set up is that Bruce Wayne is framed for a murder.  The story is told from the viewpoint of his bodyguard.  A young woman who reminds a bit of Black Canary.  She was Wayne’s bodyguard until she discovered his identity as Brue Wayne and then she became is crime fighting partner, just don’t call her Robin.  Her voice tells the story so we get very much of Wayne worship and of course, she is in love with him, though he doesn’t know it.  And poor Bruce had to break up with his true love which he does by inviting her to his mansion so she can walk in on him when he is with some other women.  Of course, then he stalks her when he is Batman because that is so romantic. 

                You see my problem. 

                Gotham Adventures is worse, even though it features the extended Bat family.  That comic opens with Batman, Robin, and Batgirl chasing the Joker.  Robin gets delegated to help some woman, and I am not really sure what Batgirl does because she doesn’t have anything to do with Batman catching the Joker.  The Bat group take Joker back to the Batcave because there is a bounty on Joker’s head.  Nightwing shows up and gets a few lines.  Finally, after several pages, Batgirl actually gets to speak.  Everyman had lines, mostly several, before Batwing gets even one.  She is left to guard the Joker, who of course knocks her out.  If it was Alfred getting the drop on the Joker the shit would have hit the fan.  While she is knocked out, the Bat men are all doing heroic things.   So, one woman, who can’t even guard a prisoner who is handcuffed.  It’s a shame really because it is leaves a sour taste in the mouth, and stops what would have been a pretty fun comic read from being so.


Various Wonder Woman Comics – So these include Wonder Woman Rebirth (FCBD editions and #1 itself) as well as DC Super Hero Girls.  The Rebirth issues are very interesting and good.  And guess what, one of the FCBD editions has two men talking about a woman and her relationship to one of them.  That is just awesome.  Really awesome.  In particular, what I enjoyed about the Rebirth idea was the concept of storytelling and retconning which WW’s Rebirth storyline seems to directly tackle.  This is wonderful because all the multiple origin stories get a tad confusing.   

                There was also an older Wonder Woman, apparently after Crisis of Infinite Worlds.  This is interesting because Diana Prince is no longer Wonder Woman, at least in name, though the villains still see her as such.  Which shows you that villains know better.  And this raises a question.  I have not read mainstream comics for several years.  But I do know that have been quite a few times when Diana Prince has lost the title of Wonder Woman (once to her mother).  I know that in the last few year, Marvel’s Thor lost his hammer to a woman, and Iron Man is, wonderfully, a young black woman but my question is this -  do any male super heroes lose their status or title as much or more as Wonder Woman has?  Why Wonder Woman?  I’m not trying to be snarky, I am legitimately curious.  How does this break down?  Anyone know?

                The Super Hero girl comics are cute, and intended it seems for a younger audience.  The two I read where actually the same story, one just longer than the other.  The story concerns summer break where Wonder Woman and Bumble Bee go to Mount Olympus.  The cast is multi-ethnic, though a bit strange – why Poison Ivy – but the series does show the girls working together and being there for each other.  Though, why Batgirl sightsees as Batgirl I don’t know.


There were some surprises in this comic freebie read – Red Sonja 0, written by Michael Avon Oeming and Mike Curry was actually quite good, despite the   costume that makes no sense and seems to have a magical power to stay still and not show X-rated bits.  Red Sonja Vol 4, #0 was not as good, in fact it was just annoying, with more teasing of body parts.  Damsels: Mermaids was also quite good and a wonderful take on Andersen’s Little Mermaid.  Honesty, this might just be my favorite version.


Of course, not much has changed in comics.  Women, in particular the heroes, are usually drawn with Triple DDD bust sizes and a middle that couldn’t house a liver or intestine.  The men are buff too, let’s be honest, but they at least have some room for internal organs.  This is particularly distracting in Grimm Comics because the story telling is good there, but the female characters so sexualized that it is nerve wracking.  The explanation seems to be Neverland, a spin off, because the Wendy character was actually dressed.  The Godstorm spin off was good too  - Zeus mediating on fatherhood was really great.

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