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@BatWatcher Reviews: @DCComics Batwing, Detective Comics, Batgirl


Here are today's Guest Reviews by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch. Included are DC's; Batwing #21, Detective Comics #21, and Batgirl #21. 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.



Batwing #21 - Lion-Mane's Fangs of Doom



Caught in the jaws of Lion-Mane—who is the NEW Batwing?

Preview



The Wrath of Lion-Mane!


Once more, if this review sucks then I blame my illness. I can't wear my contacts because of my pink eye, so I'm pretty much too blind to read the comic or see what I'm writing in my review, so again, if this sucks, you now know why.

Now, how awesome is Batwing?  The last issue was a solid start for the series, and the preview for this issue look equally enticing. The new Batwing vs. Lion-Mane seems like a good, solid fight. Hopefully, Batwing will kick his butt, but what will happen after the fisticuffs? Presumably, Luke will return to Gotham and that is when we will really start to get a feel for where this series is going. Does Luke have a supporting cast outside of Batman and his family? Any friends? We still do not know Luke too well. It's time to learn more about him.

Does this issue continue to build Batwing into the next great member of the Bat Family or is this series still on its way to being canceled?

In this issue, Batwing takes down Lion-Mane before tackling trouble on the home front.

The Battle

The battle between Batwing and Lion-Mane was pretty cool. I got the impression that Luke was kind of scrambling to keep up. Unlike Bruce who always knows exactly how to take out any foe, Luke seems to have trouble nailing down the best way to take out the villain. His approach seems more like he is pulling out everything but the kitchen sink. I also get the impression that Luke tends to fight by instinct rather than through tactical analysis which will be fine once he has some more experience, but it seems to leave him floundering in this battle.

As far as for entertainment value, the battle was great. It felt visceral and brutal especially when Luke used his gauntlets to slice and dice Lion-Mane.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 5/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 5/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4.6
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Detective Comics #21 - Shadows and Ghosts; Territorial


Harper Row joins Batman on a case that leads all the way back to DETECTIVE COMICS #0, but will The Dark Knight be willing to accept her help? Illustrated by guest-artist Scot Eaton!



Preview



Shadow Assassin!


I'm hoping that even if I suck, the comic will still be high quality. I've been very happy with John Layman's (current writer of Detective Comics and Image's Chew) run on Detective Comics. There have been a few tiny missteps, but at the end of the day, Layman delivers my favorite current presentation of the Bat. Emperor Penguin was a cool new villain featured in the last arc, and now Layman is introducing a villain I've dubbed Purple-Glowy-Armed-Spider-Girl until an official name has been given for her. In the preview, she seemed like an intriguing villain, and we also saw Harper Row making more mischief in the preview. As the first time we see Harper outside of the Batman series, it will be interesting to see how a different writer interprets her. Altogether, there is a lot promising that this will be a great issue.

Does Detective Comics #21 live up to my high expectations or is this a Purple-Glowy-Armed-Spider-Failure?

In this issue, the past is revealed more fully and Batman and Harper take on an assassin.

Purple-Glowy-Armed-Spider-Girl Revealed!

Purple-Glowy-Armed-Spider-Girl is revealed to have a more compact codename, Penumbra. It turns out she is the returning assassin some might remember from Detective Comics' Zero Issue. Personally, that was by far my least favorite of the Batman Zero Issues and I barely recall any details of it, but thankfully, this issue rehashed the story in the first page (what little of a “story” was present) and showed some more of what transpired to set readers up for this issue. For a character who was completely unmemorable in the Zero Issue, Layman does a good job of making her feel interesting here.

Though not completely uninteresting as a character, most of her attraction comes because of her powerset which is pretty cool. Penumbra is the name of a shadow cast by a semi-transparent object. You know, when you can see a shadow but its not really fully formed? Penumbra can form various weapons out of shadows including extra arms, blades and even a crossbow, and it's a pretty cool effect. Not surprisingly, this ability also has its drawbacks. Though Penumbra is a credible physical threat and an interesting figure ripe for exploration in future story lines, she's not really fully formed as a character, so she's only slightly compelling.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4
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Batgirl #21 - Enclosure


Batgirl’s chilling battle against the new Ventriloquist continues—but has Barbara gone too far? How can she carry on as Batgirl? What choices will she make, and how will her new, decidedly deadly admirer affect her decision?



Preview




Ventriloquist


Batgirl is a really weird book. As far as quality, it's been all over the map, yet some people seem to think it is comparable to the second coming of Christ while others think it is dog poo. Personally, I think it has been both at various points, but this current arc has me rather split. All the personal drama with Babs, funny as it was to watch the non-drinking Barbara Gordon get drunk because she thinks she has killed her baby brother who is actually still alive and conniving on Suicide Squad, is far too manufactured and far fetched to carry much weight with me. However, it was oddly refreshing to see Babs act a bit foolish as opposed to her usual flawless portrayal. On the subject of the new villain, Shauna Belzer, The Ventriloquist, she is also a mixed bag. Having a lust for fame being the basis for a turn to villainy is somewhat interesting, yet Shauna still fails to really set herself apart as a deep new character. Her powerset and character design is interesting as she strikes a significantly creepy tone and her abilities are a bit mysterious, but if this second part of the story has one way in which it needs to improve, it is in regards to making The Ventriloquist a more fully realized character.

Does Batgirl #21 showcase all that is wonderful about Barbara Gordon or is it time to strike the gong and remove this story from stage?

In this issue, Nightwing tries to give Barbara some counseling and Batgirl tracks down the Ventriloquist.

More Mixed Nuts

In the battle between Batgirl being crappy and Batgirl being awesome, this pretty much splits the difference straight down the middle because parts of this issue contain some of the best Barbara Gordon character moments in the DCNU while other parts just feel like the same half-baked slop.

On the good front, I actually liked Babs in this issue. It seems like making a character likable would be one of your top priorities as a writer, and what do I know? Batgirl has more than its fair share of fanatics, so maybe those people do find Babs a fun character, but for my money, Babs has most often come off as cold, distant, and whiny. That changed with this issue.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 5/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.9
 - (Buy Batgirl #21) 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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