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@BatWatcher Reviews: @DCComics Batman, Incorporated #10, The Dark Knight #19, Talon #7, Teen Titans #19


Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch. Included are DC's; Batman, Incorporated #10, Batman: The Dark Knight #19, Talon #7, and Teen Titans #19. 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.



Batman, Incorporated #10 - Gotham's Most Wanted


When only one can survive, which will it be: the man or the bat?


Preview



He Will Become a Creature of the Night... He Shall Become a Bat!


When thinking about Batman, Incorporated, I find myself asking, “What's the point?” All the changes to the Batman universe brought forth by Morrison (former writer of Rebellion's 2000AD and Batman and current writer of Batman, Incorporated) are being reset by the very same writer, and according to the preview for this issue, Batman, Incorporated has now been dissolved, so we are essentially reading about a ghost team at this point. The last issue made it appear as if the boys (Batman and the ex-Robins) were going to take out Tallia's forces singlehandedly, and though that is no doubt awesome, it should really just be standard operating pattern for the Bat Clan, so I can't help but wonder what will set these next four issues apart from every other Batman story.

Then, I consider all the many things this series still has going for it. Morrison is a good writer whether or not he is reversing all his previous plot developments. The fight appears to be epic, and to quote every generic action movie, “This time it's personal,” as Batman has a Robin to avenge. There are still plenty of potential reveals lurking around the corner of the story. (Is The Heretic really who he appears? Is Talia really this evil or is something amiss with her? Will there be any long term fallout from this arc?) Azrael, (Michael Lane) for instance, is making a return this issue. What else could happen?

Does this issue prove that Batman, Incorporated still has what it takes to be a great Batman story or has the once great Morrison devolved into writing clich├ęs?

In this issue, Batman prepares for war, Talia ties up loose ends, and the city turns against Batman.

Slowly...

Morrison is taking his time moving the plot forward which I must admit is a little bit frustrating. I'm ready to see the crap hit the fan, but instead, we still have a slow steady build. There is little in this issue to make it feel like a complete story. It feels, instead, merely like several small pieces of various intertwining narratives. Don't get me wrong, I understand that this is indeed the case, but I do like some type of arc to occur every issue, and this issue has very little that can be considered an arc. This series is beginning to feel as if it would work much better as a novel instead of as a comic series.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


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



Batman: The Dark Knight #19 - Pool of Tears


Where is Batman while Gotham City is being destroyed?


Preview



The Guardian of Gotham City... Faces His Ultimate Failure!


The Dark Knight has been impressing me recently with some good quality Batman stories. Last issue revealed that the Mad Hatter's psychosis was started as a side affect from an experimental testosterone replacement, and we saw the grisly end of his Tetch's crush, Alice, but though we know Alice's final end, I'm very curious on seeing what other events from the past made Mad Hatter the lunatic he is today. In the present aspect of the plot, Batman revealed his identity to Natalya, and sadly, it appears as if Hurwitz (former writer of Vengeance of the Moon Knight and Penguin: Pride and Prejudice and current writer of The Dark Knight) is going to pull the typical, “Let's kill or otherwise get rid of the new girlfriend,” routine, and this bores me, but perhaps I will be surprised.

Does The Dark Knight #19 succeed in making The Mad Hatter a significant villain in the Batman universe or is this issue flailing to wrap up a story with more promise than substance?

In this issue, things grow worse for the young Jervis Tetch and Batman spends more time with Natalya.

Ow! My Eyes!

What the crap is going on with the art in this issue?

Ethan Van Sciver (former artist of Impulse, cover artist for The Fury of Firestorm, and penciler for Superman/Batman and current cover artist for The Dark Knight) has taken a couple issues off, and he has been replaced with Szymon Kudranskia (former artist for Detective Comics, Pain and Prejudice, Streets of Gotham, and Spawn and current artist for The Dark Knight and Green Lantern) who is not without his own skill in the art department, but his visuals literally hurt my eyes in many panels. It's not that they did not look good when I could see them, but he, presumably in coordination with colorist Hi-Fi, (former colorer of Birds of Prey and Booster Gold and current colorer for The Dark Knight, Worlds' Finest, Green Arrow, Threshold, Firestorm, Stormwatch, Sword of Sorcery, and Legion of Super-Heroes) created a sort of glare effect which made the otherwise nice art all but impossible to see in many scenes. In the present, darkness is the norm, and you would be hard pressed to find anything visible on a panel other than the things in the foreground. All else, and even much of that which is in the foreground, is obscured in shadows. The past, on the other hand, is painfully bright to the point that viewing it is like trying to stare at a light bulb after waking up in the middle of the night. The bright light occasionally obscures the images either by a distortion effect or by casting long, ever changing shadows over the characters. It's a headache, and I'm not sure why these talented writers wanted to cover up their own work. If the entire arc had been drawn this way, it would be less annoying, but since this is not the style used in the previous issues, this really stands out.

To give the art team props, the art is sometimes given a layer of psychedelic colors to show the altered mental state of Tetch. Also, the final panel of the issue is both beautiful and chilling.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3.1



Talon #7 - Revelations


If the Court of Owls isn't responsible for killing Talon, then who is?


Preview



The Court of Owls Commands... Bane to Kill!


Talon has been solid from the beginning and it's been great since issue #3, but now, we are drawing near the end of the first arc. Calvin Rose is face to face with the Grandmaster of the Court of Owls, Sebastian Clark appears to be a traitor, and Bane is coming to break Talon. It's a shame that more people aren't buying this series, but I am hoping that the introduction of everybody's favorite back-breaking luchador will give this book some much deserved traffic.

Does this issue prove a grisly end for Talon or does our hero still have some tricks up his sleeves?

In this issue, Casey turns the tables on Sebastian Clark and Calvin takes a trip on a rocket.

This Is How Comics Should Be

If you want to find the way to my heart, surprise me. I love a good narrative twist, and this issue delivers.

Thought there were certainly a few things I saw coming, there were just as many surprises in store. Casey Washington continues to be an admirable character by refusing to play the part of a victim. Calvin has an encounter with another hero in this issue that I simply did not see coming, and their encounter was extremely satisfying. The appearance of Bane would have been a complete shock if not for the cover and Tynion's (current writer of Batman, Detective Comics, Red Hood and the Outlaws and Talon) story in Detective Comics #19, and the end of this issue will almost certainly leave you in shock.

Marching Backwards

I was not as happy with Guillem March's (former cover artist for Gotham City Sirens, Catwoman, Huntress, and Azrael and interior artist for Batman and Batman and Robin and current cover artist for Legends of the Dark Knight and interior artist for Talon and cover artist for Vertigo's Django Unchained) pencils as usual. March has never been in the running for my all time favorite artists, but he has done a solid job and created some flat out beautiful images over the course of this series. Here, March also has some nice images, but quite a few panels felt off or simply not as polished as usual. For instance, the image where Calvin is thrown from the rocket looks a little bit goofy.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.7


Teen Titans #19 - Trigon-Ometry


Which new member of the Teen Titans reveals his true colors?


Preview



Trapped and Terrified... By the Forces of Raven, Beast Boy, and Trigon!


Teen Titans, you make my heart sad. You are everything that is wrong with the DCNU with the way you throw out decades of character growth and replace it with a thin imitation of the original. Characters are updated, but their updates only serve to make them less admirable and more easily despicable. Your stories are meandering, simple, overly long, far fetched and poorly thought out. You should go away.

Last issue set up lots of nonsense for us. Trigon has arrived and is being generically evil. Raven is there too and she is...well, we don't know anything about her, do we? Beast Boy is apparently going to betray the Teen Titans which is odd since he's never really been allied with them in any significant way. Reports say that it was originally going to be Skitter who betrayed the team, but that was changed by editorial staff. I do wonder, however, if we might see Skitter in this issue who has been missing without explanation for numerous arcs now. Oh, and there are apparently brain sucking twin brothers in the mix too. Yay?

Is Teen Titans #19 just another example of how this series should bite the dust or does writer Scott Lobdell prove that he has the writing chops to form sense from this insanity?

In this issue, the Teen Titans interrogate Red Robin before going into battle against Trigon.

Grrr!

This is one of those frustrating issues that contain some things I really love and some things I completely despise.

In the despise department, Red Robin is still acting like a complete tool, and I wish someone would run him over with a lawn mower. Also, characters often have knowledge of things that they have no apparent reason to know. Superboy, who was only with the team for a brief period before going solo, apparently is the go to guy for information on Cassie. Why would Superboy know more than the team members who have spent every day of the past several months with her? Raven's history with the Titans is also called into question, and I'm unsure how Psimon is supposed to fit into things. This issue was certainly more focused than the last couple, but it still seemed a tad scattered.

On the positive front, it was much more coherent because of the increased focus. Also, Eddy Barrows seems to finally be finding his place with the Teen Titans. I've been very disappointed in his work on the last two issues, but this time around, his art is beautiful. There are no more horribly fake expressions on characters faces, and the image of the giant Trigon fighting the Teen Titans on the city streets is at times breathtaking in scope. Also in the positive front, the team is finally working as a team as long as you overlook their early attempts to throttle Red Robin. Even during the Red Robin interrogation, the Teen Titans were at least interacting in a more fluid way than has previously been seen.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3.4


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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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