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@BatWatcher Reviews: @DCComics Talon, Teen Titans, Batman, Batwing



Here are today's Guest Reviews by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch for DC's; Talon #9, Teen Titans #21, Batman, Incorporated #12, and Batwing #22. 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.



Talon #9 - Uneasy



In the aftermath of his encounter with Strix and the Birds of Prey (continuing from this month’s BIRDS OF PREY #21), Calvin is sent on his deadliest mission yet: Retrieve one man from the deadliest island on Earth, Santa Prisca, the home of Bane!

Preview




Some Things You Can Still Depend On


Woo! All my hard work on comic book reviews has finally been rewarded. I've sludged my way through The Dark Knight and Teen Titans, two series which are not my favorite, and I even endured the mental ravages of Catwoman, but now I've finally made my way to the bottom of the pile in terms of sales to the book which is by far one of my favorites, Talon!

The tale of Calvin Rose has been a tricky one to predict. (other than Sebastian Clark being evil. That was super obvious) Calvin started as a runaway kid, became a circus performer, was drafted by the Court of Owls to become an assassin, escaped his destiny as a serf and became a free man yet an exile, formed a sort of loose family relationship with Casey Washington, confronted his past, fought against the court, died at the hands of Bane, resurrected as a fully formed Talon, was blackmailed into working for the Court once more, attempted to carry out an assassination, stopped himself at the last minute and became an ally of the Birds of Prey. It's a pretty crazy amount of ground to have covered in a mere nine issues.

In the latest issue of Birds of Prey, it appeared as if Talon had formed an understanding with the Birds, and together they would confront the Court, yet the solicit says that Talon will be going to Santa Prisca in this issue at the Court's order, so what gives? There's only one way to find out.

Does this new resurrected Talon fill this series with fresh life's blood or is it time for DC's doctors to declare this series dead?

In this issue, Calvin fakes Strix's death before infiltrating Santa Prisca.

I was actually a bit nervous about this issue because I had seen a snippet of a bad review on some random comic book site, but you know what, whoever said this issue was mediocre was a moron because Talon continues to be awesome.

The Birds of Prey story line is wrapped up fairly quickly but in a manner that makes perfect sense. Casey Washington, thank goodness, has not been relegated to the status of mere damsel in distress. The plot continues to thicken, and things are still moving at a break-neck pace when you consider the constantly shifting status quo of the series. If you like your comics to be well thought out and unpredictable, I don't see anybody in the Bat books doing a better job than James Tynion IV (current writer of Talon, Red Hood and the Outlaws and Batman) is with Talon.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.4
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Teen Titans #21 - The Brothers Trigon


Something is very wrong with Red Robin…and he’s about to prove it! Can the rest of the Titans stop this tragedy? Or is it already too late?



Preview




Ooooooo-kay


Teen Titans is in the midst of drudging up the old plotline of Trigon and recycling it over the past couple months. Quite tellingly, this has actually been one of the better arcs of the series, but really, that is saying very little. Nearly two years into the rebooted Teen Titans, and we've had nary a good arc. We've had some that were okay, and that's the best Mr. Lobdell (former writer of Uncanny X-Men and current writer of Teen Titans, Superman and Action Comics) has managed to provide.

I'm not really in the mood to pick apart the pros and cons of the DCNU Teen Titans. Suffice to say that the bar is low, but thus far, this Trigon arc seems to be clearing that bar. If Lobdell can focus in and bring us a coherent story and Eddy Barrows (former artist for Nightwing and cover artist for Teen Titans and current penciler for Teen Titans and Superman and cover artist for Constantine) can bring his A game with the art, then there is potential here for an issue which is a lot of fun as the demon Trigon unleashes his full power upon the Teen Titans.

Does Teen Titans #22 prove to be a devilish good time or is it time for this series to go straight to Hell?

In this issue, Red Robin, Beast Boy and Raven take out Trigon.

Well this was...odd.

You know, I usually say that surprise is the way to win my comic loving heart, but this is not the kind of surprise I mean when I say that.

I knew a great plot was practically out of the question based on Lobdell's previous work on the Titans, so I was hoping for nothing more than a reasonable plot with some well drawn action. To my pleasure, Eddy Barrows delivered a much better looking issue this month than the last. The battle was quite dynamic, and I was enjoying right up until the minute that it ended...unexpecteldy...without much warning. One minute they were fighting and the next minute Trigon got an owie, grabbed his toys and ran home to his hell dimension. That might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but it's not far off, and it just felt...too easy and kind of boring. For a huge battle that has been built up for four issues to end with a blow that clearly did Trigon no serious damage was just disappointing.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4
 - (Buy Teen Titans #21) SAVE 10%


Batman, Incorporated #12 - Fatherless


Leviathan and the Heretic are on the ropes...could Batman be on the verge of avenging all he’s lost?



Preview




Disappointed Yet Again


I think something is up with Batman, Incorporated. This is a theory I've been pondering for some time, and it seems to track to me. I would have floated it in my weekly rundown of upcoming comics, but since I did not get to it this week, I'll lay this out here.

I think something changed with the conclusion of this story. Why do I think that? There are many reasons.

For one thing, Batman, Incorporated laid things out to be amazingly epic at the end of issue #10 with Batman having taken a version of the Man-Bat serum, donned the Suit of Sorrows, and wearing a giant Bat-mech, but instead of continuing the story in issue #11, we get some weird backup tale which derailed from the main arc to explore the Batman of Japan. Not only was this a massive departure and tone shift at a critical juncture, the issue itself was uninspired and completely irrelevant. Sure, this series was supposedly about various Batmen around the world, and it is great, conceptually, to see that explored, but in all honestly, the time for Batmen has past. Morrison has made it perfectly clear that Batman is the central character and everybody else is just backup, so in the light of this reality, it still makes no sense for the Batman of Japan issue.

Obviously, the Batman of Japan issue delayed the main story a month, and then in addition to our one month extra wait, we had an extra week tagged on for no apparent reason. Also, there were rumors of an extra issue being added to Batman, Incorporated. Then, it was confirmed that there would be a Batman, Incorporated Special wrapping up various subplots from the series. Then most recently, I've heard rumor that Morrison (former writer of Rebellion's 2000AD and Batman and current writer of Batman, Incorporated) might be continuing the main Batman, Incorporated story in Batman, Incorporated #13, so I don't even know what to expect anymore, but I do have a theory.

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 - 4/5
Verdict - 3.1
 - (Buy Batman Incorporated #12) SAVE 20%

Batwing #22 - Daddy Issues


Batwing returns to Gotham City, unaware that his actions in Africa have set in motion a dangerous plan of retaliation that will not only target him personally but also Wayne Enterprises! Plus: An attempt to reconcile with his father is interrupted by the arrival of the mercenary swarm of the Marabunta! Will Batwing be able to protect his family without revealing his secret identity?



Preview



Standout Moments


Batwing has been a pretty fun ride thus far though I would not say I'm competely sold on it. Luke Fox certainly seems like a fun character and thus far the series has really been solid on the action front. Last month, we were even introduced to a host of supporting characters who hold differing degees of promise. Still, two issues do not necessarily mean an excellent series is bound to follow. We can hope for the best, but the proof is in the pudding, and personally, I'm still doing some taste testing.

Batwing is off the ground, but will it be flying high or making an unscheduled landing?

In this issue, we see a flashback of Wayne's dealing with a mysterious new power player and Batwing attempts to rescue his father.

The Marbunta have really grown on me as villains. At first upon seeing them, I figured it was just another random mercenary group with fancy armor, and though this description is not exactly inaccurate, they seem to be interesting cannon fodder. For instance it is revealed in this issue that the individual soldiers are actually partially brain controlled by the Queens. They are individually stupid, but they are able to coordinate on the marco level rather well since they have a hive mind giving direction. Amusingly, this would imply to me that their antennas are being used as actual antennas to receive commands from their leaders. Also, it's hard not to find at least some respect for their constantly evolving class system where they are always coming up with a newer, better model. It makes things feel a bit like a video game, and I admit that constantly having a bigger, better model up your sleeve could become a bit of a narrative crutch for writers, but hopefully Palmiotti and Gray will avoid that temptation. Finally, we get a look at some different kinds of Marabunta operatives in this issue, and I'm very eager to learn more about them.

The art also deserves some props. I'll fault Eduardo Pansica a smidge for making Bruce appear too young, but beyond that, the art is dynamic and engaging. Pansica's portrayal of the Marabunta was especially cool because it really did convey the swarm type behavior of ants as anybody who has ever fed caterpillars to ants can attest. (I was bored, okay?)

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.9
 - (Buy Batwing #22) 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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