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@BatWatcher Reviews: @DCComics Worlds' Finest #10, Batgirl #18, Batman #18

Worlds' Finest #10 CoverBatgirl #18 Cover

Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch. Included are DC's; Worlds' Finest #10, Batgirl #18, & Batman #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.



Worlds' Finest #10 - Some Things You Can Change, Some You Can't


After being attacked by a group connected to the missing Mr. Terrific, Power Girl and Huntress take the fight to Holt Industries, where they make a shocking discovery!


Plus: Huntress is personally affected by a tragedy in The New 52!


Preview



Some Things You Can Change, Some Things You Can't...


Worlds' Finest is upon us once more, and this issue is using the death of Damian to give itself a sales boost. I dislike this series as you will well know, but I did read the preview, and it shows a close encounter between Batman and Huntress, and I have to admit that the idea of these two meeting does hold some intrigue. How odd would it be to meet your potential father or daughter from another dimension? Still, I have very mild hopes for this issue since Worlds' Finest seems to squander everything that threatens to make it interesting. There is also the whole “Michael Holt” returning thing which makes no sense but surely must be explored in this issue. Will this issue be the point at which Worlds' Finest turns things around to become one of DC's best series, or is this just one more comic to go in the stack of disastrous issues that the creative team has thus far produced?

In this issue, Power Girl starts taking apart Michael Holt's business one natural disaster at a time while Huntress investigates his motivations by breaking into his personal files.

What Is This? Quality?

I am just going to come right out and say it. This was by far the best issue of Worlds' Finest I have ever read.

This issue actually had genuine humor, emotion, and chemistry, and it even had a plot that did not suck to boot. Power Girl's plan to make her attacks on Holt Industries look like natural disasters was clever, amusing, and gave us some insight into Power Girl's personality. Sure, the way she screwed things up is rather embarrassing, but it was a mistake that both she and the writer realized. This is a million times better than the awful Worlds' Finest #4 where Power Girl repeatedly made decisions that would have killed dozens if not hundreds of people in the name of protecting the environment. When Huntress learns about Damian, the emotional blow actually lands despite their admittedly forced bond established for no other reason than to lead to this scene, but despite the half-hearted set up in issues six and seven, a good scene is still a good scene, and this one worked. The chemistry between the leading ladies which has always been the series' strongest suit is better here than it is in most of the series, and both Power Girl and Huntress actually play important roles in the story instead of Helena getting in over her head only to be rescued by Kara. Finally, the story, while simple and short, is entertaining and has no obvious flaws.

I am still a long, long way from being sold on this series, but if stories of this caliber would continue, I at least would not feel so foolish for shelling out the money for it every month.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 2/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 2/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 2.7



Batgirl #18 - The Mask of Ashes


Batgirl must face the man who sold her out to The Joker during “DEATH OF THE FAMILY”…her own brother, James Gordon, Jr.


Can Barbara help him, or will this conflict be the final nail in her family’s coffin?


Preview



Requiem


I can't say I am terribly excited for this issue. I've become kind of bored with the forever long build up of James Jr.'s attack without any apparent motivation or game plan. Ray Fawkes, (former writer of Vertigo's Mnemovore and current writer for Batgirl and Justice League Dark) who is standing in for the fired/hired Gail Simone, (former writer of Birds of Prey) did write Barbara in a way that made her more likable in last month's issue, but whatever excitement that brought was more or less negated by the sight of Batgirl catching a missile in her handbag, so I cannot say I am primed for first tier writing at this point. Added to the mix, we have the Requiem crossover which seems like a hard sell to me. We have never, to my knowledge, even seen Barbara and Damian talk to one another, so why should we expect Babs to have a deep emotional reaction to his death? Altogether, I'm just not overly psyched for this issue, but you never know what an issue has in store. Does Batgirl #18 sell me on the concept of Barbara mourning Damian or Firebug being a threatening villain, or does the potential splendor of this wake go up in smoke?

In this issue, Batgirl recovers from her encounter with Firebug and prepares to confront the villain while Commissioner Gordon is informed that Robin is dead.

Batgirl's Requiem


I have to say, much to my surprise, this issue did convince me to the legitimacy of Barbara's emotional reaction to the news of Damian's murder. When Babs gets the news, she does start to cry, but she says, “Oh, Bruce,” and that is what made the scene work. Babs is broken up, but she is not mourning the personal loss of a friend. Rather, she is mourning a friend's personal loss. She is not feeling the pain directly as much as she is empathizing with what Bruce must be feeling.

Babs then tries to call Dick in a move that seems completely in keeping with her old school relationship with Grayson, but Dick says he has to go and they will talk later which kind of sucks. I understand why Nightwing had to get off the phone; he was most likely dealing with the fallout of this event, and he was probably on the verge of breaking down emotionally and did not want to open himself emotionally by putting a crack in his emotional dam. Still, I fear that this conversation, which would no doubt be powerful, might never be covered in comics, and that is a shame.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3.3



Batman #18 - Resolve


Welcome guest-artist Andy Kubert!


In the wake of unspeakable tragedy, Batman is in danger of losing his humanity!


And in the backup story, fan-favorite character Harper Row returns—but will she be able to pull Batman back from the brink?


Preview



Requiem


Snyder (former writer for Detective Comics and current writer of Batman, Talon, American Vampire, and Swamp Thing) promises an issue focused on Harper Row, the girl without any apparent role in the DC Universe. Apparently, she will somehow discover Batman's loss of Robin or at bare minimum witness the fallout from the event. Harper appeared to be taking an unhealthy fascination with Batman in Batman #12, so perhaps she has spent all her time since then obsessing over The Dark Knight and she will discover Bruce's identity and need for a Robin in the same fashion as Tim Drake did in A Lonely Place of Dying. Harper has long been rumored to be the new Girl Wonder, so could this be the beginning of the road that leads to Harper donning the yellow cape and domino mask? Only time will tell, but for the moment, another question is at hand. Does Batman #18 deliver a poignant tale of loss for the caped crusader and character development for the mysterious Harper,or is this a forced crossover that fits poorly into Snyder's regular storytelling?

In this issue, Harper stalks Batman and watches as he becomes increasingly aggressive and self-destructive.

Harper Row Is Officially the New Tim Drake

Why does Tim Drake not act like Tim Drake? Because Harper has stolen his role in the DC Universe.

I am pretty sure I would have loved this issue if I had never read “A Lonely Place of Dying,” the plotline that introduced Tim Drake to the world back in 1989. There is nothing wrong with this story; in fact, it is quite well told with great art, excellent dialogue, and a good flow, but I'll be darned if every single page did not feel exactly like the classic eighties story. There are certainly differences between Tim's origin and Harper's origin, but the similarities just left a bad taste in my mouth.

Harper has not discovered Bruce's identity as of yet, but she most definitely has the same fanboy type admiration for him which made Tim such an easy character of love. Like Tim, Harper has natural computer and technical knowhow. Also like Tim, she has been physically training herself for battle. She approaches Bruce right after he lost a beloved if rebellious son/Robin. She instinctively realizes that Batman needs someone to bring light to his darkness. It is all so very familiar.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4.1


Pre-Order Worlds Finest TPB Vol. 2 Hunt and Be Hunted (Save 30%)
Purchase Batgirl #18
Purchase Batman #18
Purchase Batman #18 (B&W Variant)
Jeremy Sims is a blogger at https://batwatch.squarespace.com/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of these reviews has been authorized by the original author.

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