Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch. Included are DC's; Catwoman #18, DC Universe Presents #18, & Nightwing #18. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.
See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.
Catwoman #18 - He Said, She Said
In the fallout from “DEATH OF THE FAMILY,” Catwoman and Batman spend a night at the museum—fighting over stolen art!
Catwoman is a book that, to put it nicely, is struggling to find a mature voice for itself. I've detailed its ups and downs (mostly downs) in past reviews, so I'm not going to belabor on the point. Last issue was actually an up...at least from the standard nonsense we've been batting from the series. The last issue was not amazing, but it held up as a respectable and somewhat entertaining adventure story. This issue has yet another mandated crossover intersecting with whatever Nocenti might have planned for the series were she ever given the chance to come up with some original plot lines without the latest event being layered on top of what little there is of an ongoing story. It seems as if the ties between Selina and Damian are close to non-existent, so it is hard to see how the Requiem plot-line can really play a significant role here, but maybe this issue will surprise me. Does this issue deliver a fun adventure which manages to mourn the loss for one of DC's greatest new characters of the last decade, or is this just another story rife with nonsense and non-sequiturs?
In this issue, Catwoman and Batman tangle over Selina's most recent theft.
Requiem for CatwomanLet's go ahead and get this out of the way. Is this issue worth buying if you want to see some mourning over Damian's death? No. Bruce has an attitude, gets rougher with Selina than usual, loses his temper and vents some rage, and that's about it from a “mourning” standpoint. This might be somewhat intriguing, but you can see all of this presented much better in the latest issue of Batman, so why bother seeing a repeat of it here? Unless more of the same seems appealing to you, I would suggest you save your money if you were just interested in the tie in.
Bat DroppingsI'm going to try to make this brief since I am, once more, running behind in reviews. Keep in mind that I am now reviewing this series in a very special way. I'm viewing this from the lens of a campy, light-hearted adventure story which pretends to be nothing more, and I will base my rating on how well it fits that criteria. If you are expecting this to be a more serious comic which is fascinating, detailed, clever, and intellectual, then I can tell you to pass on all of Nocenti's run because she has already proven that is not what she is doing with this series.
Art, Colors & Inking - 5/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3.7
DC Universe Presents #18 - Without Honor or Humanity
Writer Joe Keatinge and artist Federico Dallocchio turn the spotlight on STARFIRE!
This is the second to last issue of DC Universe Presents, and it focuses on none other than Red Hood and the Outlaws' best naked heroine, Starfire. Starfire is a bit of a conundrum to me. She is gentle with her teammates yet a merciless warrior in many cases, and still, she is willing to forgive the deepest betrayals from her sister. Early on, she was said to have memory troubles, but now she seems more aware, so what is the deal with that? Out of the three main characters in RHATO, I would say Kori is the least fleshed out, (with the most flesh out) so it seems like it will be a challenge to give her a solo story which really stands up.
To meet this challenge, we have writer Joe Keatinge (current writer of Image's Glory, Image's H*** Yeah!, Morbius: The Living Vampire, The Amazing Spider-Man, and DC Universe Presents) who wrote the hilarious Arsenal issue in last month's DC Universe Presents, so that inspires some confidence. Handling the pencils, we have an artist I have never encountered, Federico Dallocchio. (former artist for Arkham Unhinged and penciler for Wildstorm's Starcraft and current penciler for DC Universe Presents and artist for Insurgent) Do these two manage to deliver a Starfire story which deserves to be lifted up to the heavens or will this issue fill you with a burning rage for revenge?
In this issue, Starfire allows herself to be recaptured by her former slavers in order to lead other slaves to freedom.
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 2/5
Verdict - 3
Nightwing #18 - Slow Burn
Dick Grayson lost so much during “DEATH OF THE FAMILY” that some new events are going to push him right over the edge!
Nightwing has almost no hope left until the chance for vengeance presents itself. What decisions will he make?
I'm not sure I've come straight out and said this in any previous reviews, but I've really been a bit disappointed with Higgins' Nightwing. I've heard lots of interviews with Kyle Higgins, and it is clear the guy is a true fan of Dick Grayson; he seems to get the character, yet when pen meets paper, the results are mixed. There are almost no issues of the DCNU Nightwing I would classify as bad, but Dick Grayson has no longer been adopted and/or raised by Bruce, Dick Grayson gets routinely routed by villains he should be able to school in a heartbeat, and Raya was introduced as a shallowly developed love interest for the sole purpose betraying Dick who is subsequently used as a pawn by Joker to create false melodrama, and let's not forget that future solicits make it appear as if the narrative gem that was Raya will be making a return from the dead in the near future. I find all of these plot elements to be severely disappointing. That's not to say the series does not have its moments. The last two issues have been very strong, but I cannot help but feel that Nightwing deserves more.
Though my expectation level is capped, this does appear to be a good issue. Grayson will be going after his Flying Graysons costume which appears to have been marked by the Joker, and this might imply that Joker has made a connection between Dick Grayson and Nightwing. Also, Robin has died, and this should affect Dick greatly. Finally, we know Grayson will be traveling to Chicago in the near future, so it will be interesting to see what prompts that move. Does Nightwing #18 deliver a satisfying chapter in the unfolding tale of Dick Grayson, or does this story stumble, fall, and crumple?
In this issue, Nightwing mourns the loss of Damian, spends some time with Sonia Zucco and mounts a rescue operation for his father's costume.
Delivered as PromisedIt's nice when an issue actually delivers what is promised.
Some of the other tie in issues to Requiem have been less than satisfying by failing to actually address the death of Damian in any detail, but no such criticism can be made of Nightwing #18. About half the issue deals with Damian's loss, and it is a pretty good handling of Damian's death. It did seem a little odd to me that we never saw Dick cry because, quite frankly, he strikes me as a big crier who would simply let his emotions run wild though him, but we never really see Dick lose control in this issue except for one brief move. On the other hand, the story takes place two weeks after Damian's actual death, so it makes sense that Dick would have come to terms with his initial emotions. Still, I kind of wanted to see Dick shed some tears. Another thing that struck me as slightly amiss was the way Grayson referred to Damian as his brother. True, they were brothers in a sense, but Damian was also the only sidekick Grayson has ever had, and that master/apprentice and father/son type of relationship was more important than their relation as brothers. However, I am nitpicking, and this was actually a good handling of Dick's grief.
Art, Colors & Inking - 2/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 2.9
|Purchase Catwoman #18|
Purchase DC Universe Presents #18
Purchase Nightwing #18