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@BatWatcher Reviews: @DCComics Dark Knight, Talon, Teen Titans


Here are today's Guest Reviews by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch. Included are DC's; Batman: The Dark Knight #20, Talon #8, and Teen Titans #20. 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: The Dark Knight #20 - Down, Down, Down



It’s the penultimate chapter of the definitive Mad Hatter story—and not everyone makes it out alive!

Preview



Pulled Into Darkness of The Mad Hatter


I have been enjoying the origin tale of Jervis Tetch. Quite frankly, I don't care very much about the part of the story set in the present despite the high body count and “Bruce's first love” being put in mortal danger. All of that is okay, but I'm really much more interested in how Jervis Tetch went from normal kid to Mad Hatter. As Tetch loses more and more control over himself, we've seen him taking steps down a dark path, but we still have not seen his obsession with Alice in Wonderland fully form, his first murder, or his first attempt at professional crime. I'm hoping we get to see all of that before this arc is finished.

Is The Dark Knight #20 an insanely good time or is it just plain crazy?

In this issue, Batman gives up the cowl for Natalya not realizing that Natalya has already been kidnapped by The Mad Hatter.

Oh, Hurwtiz!

Come on, man! I had just begun to like your writing, and you pull this?

As I've said, the part of the story in the present is okay, but the really cool part is in the past where Jervis slowly becomes the Mad Hatter. There are plenty of moments in him turning into a criminal nut job which have yet to be explored, yet the origin story is apparently at an end, and all we get is the present in this issue which puts an early end to the best part of the arc.

As for the present, it's pretty bad unless you are brand new to comics. For anybody who has read many comic, especially Batman or Spider-Man, you've seen this story a million times and could probably predict it almost perfectly. From the Batman side, we have Bruce falling in love with a damsel who immediately becomes distressed as a super villain targets her, and from Spider-Man, we have the hopelessly tired, “I'm going to retire,” spill which lasts all of about thirty seconds until the hero gets back into the game.

I will give props to Hurwitz (former writer of Vengeance of the Moon Knight and Penguin: Pride and Prejudice and current writer of The Dark Knight) on this. At least Batman did not leave people to die as do many heroes. “Oh, there is a monster storming across NYC. Oh well. I' sad, so I quit. Sucks to be you poor innocents underfoot!” At least Batman planned to finish up his current projects, and in fact, he just said, I will not do this forever. He might have continued for years based on that statement. That seems a better way to do this story than the more whiny rage quit of most superheroes.

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
 - (Buy Batman: The Dark Knight #20) SAVE 20%


Talon #8 - Don't be Afraid of the Dark


Can the Talon escape the jaws of death? What will become of him if he doesn’t? Find out in this story that leads directly into next month’s BIRDS OF PREY #21!



Preview



Rage and Resurrection!


Talon has been on a whirlwind adventure all of which leads him...to the grave, or so it would seem. Bane snapped his neck in the last issue, and he appeared dead in the preview as well, so will he be resurrected as a talon or has he managed to cheat death completely. Only reading will tell.

Does Talon #8 deliver another excellent issue or is this where the series finally falls apart?

In this issue, Casey Washington is captured and tortured and Calvin Rose gets a new lease on life.

Give My Creation...Life!

The results are in. Calvin Rose does indeed become a resurrected talon of the Court of Owls. The only chance of reclaiming any of the resources Calvin and Sebastian Clark stole from the Court rests in Calvin's broken frame, so the Court boots him up once more.

I'm not completely sure how I feel about this. Calvin has felt like a very likable and relatable character, and all other resurrected talons have been standoffish and seem less than human. I would hate to see Calvin lose his humanity. Also, this change makes Calvin metahuman which doesn't fit very well into the Bat Family. Calvin can now, presumably, break through metal doors and resurrect from just about anything just like other talons. It's a little disconcerting, and it seems to take away the vulnerability that makes the Bat characters such underdogs.

However, it looks like James Tynion IV (current writer of Talon, Red Hood and the Outlaws, and Batman) is handling this concept in the best possible way. (Spoilers) Talon stills seems like his old self in terms of personality which is a relief, and the powers, though a big change, are not to the level of someone like Superman or Green Lantern who are essentially unstoppable. It does still upgrade his challenge level though. Why bother being stealthy anymore when he could accomplish most tasks with brute strength and endurance? Part of the answer might come in the form of a new substance that breaks down a talon's healing ability, but that would only make Talon vulnerable to very specific types of attacks mostly controlled by the Court of Owls. I admit, I'm still a little concerned how this powerset will affect the tone and flow of the story, but as for this particular chapter of the story, it was handled well, and I'm willing to bet Tynion can keep things exciting.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4
 - (Buy Talon #8) SAVE 10%


Teen Titans #20 - Only Begotten


“Light and Dark” continues as the fallout of last issue’s attack threatens to drag the team into darkness!



Preview



Red Robin Reborn!


Today has not been going too well in terms of my Bat enjoyment. I expected both Batman, Incorporated and The Dark Knight to be good, and I ended up disappointed for they were just okay. Perhaps its backwards day, and my usually loathed Teen Titans will turn out to be the cream of the crop. Last issue was actually pretty good; it was certainly the best issue of Teen Titans we've seen in quite some time. Could this be the start of a turnaround for the series?

No, not a chance. I don't believe after eighteen fairly bad issues, Scott Lobdell (former writer of Uncanny X-Men and current writer of Teen Titans, Superman and Action Comics) will suddenly change his writing habits and make this series great. The best we can reasonably hope for is that things will start to get better and the series moves from somewhat bad to somewhat good. That would be a small victory, but if this series is going to continue, then I'll take every victory I can get.

So what's been happening in Teen Titans anyway? Trigon has been making amuck though his motivation is not clear. Tim has been acting douchey which might finally be revealed as demon possession. (sad that I'm rooting for my ex-favorite character to be demon possessed) Raven has shown up and immediately became chummy with the Teen Titans. Beast Boy is in the mix for no apparent reason. Psimon is a nut job who kills people with his brain. I think that's about it.

Does all of this come together and form a great story or is this just a scattered tale of heroic nonsense?

In this issue, the Teen Titans regroup after their fight and we learn more about Raven and Trigon.

Rehashing It Right

If we are going to scrap years of continuity just for the sake of “starting fresh” and telling the same stories over again, then let's do that. I'm rather tired of all the half measures DC has taken in things. For instance, Tim Drake has still been around, but he's not been Robin, and now he acts completely different, but he's the same guy, right?

The DCNU seems full of attempts to try to please everybody by writing a story that tries to keep parts of old continuity while changing large chunks of old continuity. Screw that! It's doesn't work. If you are going to reboot a story, then reboot it completely, tell the story again, and make sure the new version is at least as good as the old one.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.7
 - (Buy Teen Titans #20) SAVE 10%

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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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