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@BatWatcher Reviews: @DCComics Superman/Batman, Dark Knight, Catwoman


Here are today's Guest Reviews by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch for DC's; Batman/Superman #1, Batman: The Dark Knight #21, and Catwoman #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.



Batman/Superman #1 - Cross World



A new epic begins with the debut of this new, ongoing series! Don’t miss the first fateful meeting of Batman and Superman in The New 52!

Preview



So Much To Say...


Batman/Superman #1 has finally arrived, and expectations are high as Greg Pak, (former writer of Hercules and current writer of Batman/Superman, Age of Apocalypse, X-Treme X-Men, Astonishing X-Men and X-Termination) the talented writer, and Jae Lee, (former cover artist for Wolverine and current artist for Batman/Superman and cover artist of Animal Man and The Phantom Stranger) the talented artist, come together to bring us the tale of the true World's Finest. It would take a completely incompetent writer to pen a story starring two of the most iconic heroes of all time and make the final product boring, so at bare minimum, I'm assuming this issue will be okay. The real question is, “Will it be excellent?”

DC fans have had a lot of opportunities to see Batman and Superman work together, and we've seen both wondrous triumphs and stupendous failures. In my mind, the chemistry between the characters is what separates the excellent team up from the mundane. Obviously, it's fun just to see the two in combat; Superman's litany of powers and nearly indomitable strength contrast nicely with Batman's human frailty shielded by intelligence, skills, tech and truckloads of money, but the disparity between Clark's optimism and Bruce's pessimism, Superman's hope and Batman's dread, and the Man of Steel's bright ideals and the Dark Knight's rough justice are the true sticking points between these two characters, and seeing them battle on these grounds, not with fisticuffs but with their personalities, is where the true potential for Batman/Superman resides. Big villains, high stakes, and over the top battles are all great, but if this series does not exploit the hearts of these two characters, it's missing the mark.

Does Batman/Superman #1 live up to fans' expectations and usher in a new age of enlightenment for the World's Finest or is this the beginning of a dark financial empire built on the backs of the world's greatest superheroic duo?

In this issue, Batman tracks down and confronts a vicious murderer, but when Superman arrives on the scene, he mistakes the Bat for the baddie.

This is one of those issues which I could pick apart for hours, but for the sake of getting through these reviews, I have to resist the temptation and just hit what sticks out the most to me.

The plot is solid. The issue does get inside the heads of the character and contrast their ways of thinking and operating which is something the series desperately needed in order to succeed. The artwork is gorgeous with hardly a blemish. The dialogue is strong, and and the story would be pleasantly unpredictable if I had not already read so many previews and interviews for the series.

Nonetheless, I find myself thinking more about the issue's shortcomings than its strengths.

The issue starts off strong, but things get a little crazy when it gets to the first fight scene. First up, what is Catwoman doing here? The Zero issue of Catwoman certainly made it appear as if Selina has only been operating for a year or two, yet here we see Catwoman about her business six or seven years ago. What gives?

Another little thing that nagged at me was that Bats paid off every Wayne Industries employee to leave town for a few days. That's a pretty drastic move even for Bruce Wayne. Assuming the same amount of employees that Donald Trump has in Trump Tower, (7,000) you are talking about fourteen million dollars. That's not insubstantial even for a billionaire. Also, Bruce called them all personally? Bull crap! These are minor details, but it shows that these details were thrown in casually and not thought out seriously.

When Batman busts in on Catwoman, the artistic style matches nothing else in the book and looks majorly out of place. Also, Bats has two glowing discs on his back which serve no obvious function. It looks as if, perhaps, they might be part of a flight suit, but who knows?

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 Batwoman/Superman #1) SAVE 10%


Batman: The Dark Knight #21 - Mad


The grand finale to the origin of The Mad Hatter is here as Batman’s quest for vengeance reaches its conclusion.



Preview




Redeemed?


The Dark Knight has consistently been the worst of the Bat series in the DCNU. The beginning of this arc made me believe things might be changing with an origin story for the Mad Hatter that actually caught my attention and some sharp art by Ethan Van Sciver. (former artist of Impulse, cover artist for The Fury of Firestorm, and penciler for Superman/Batman and current artist for The Dark Knight) Then in the last issue, all went to heck as the Jervis Tetch killed Batman's girlfriend and the origin aspect of the story was ignored while my eyes were abused by the eccentric art of Szymon Kudranski. (former artist for Detective Comics, Pain and Prejudice, Streets of Gotham and Image's Spawn) All I really wanted for this arc was to see how  Jervis became Mad Hatter in the past and to see the Hatter get his just deserts in the present, but now, I'm left with only part of the origin and the knowledge that yet another writer has made the most obvious of plays for readers' emotional involvement by killing off a shallowly developed love interest.

Screw all that! At this point, I just want to see a cool fight scene that will make me forget and forgive, at least partially, the crappy plot line involving Batman's latest squeeze. Sciver is back on board, and the preview made it appears as if we will be treated to some nice art even if the plot sucks, so I'm hoping for a moderately satisfying conclusion to this story.

Will Sciver manage to save the day or is this arc beyond any redemption?

In this issue, Alfred tries to calm Batman before the Bat faces Mad Hatter in Tetch's own personal version of Wonder Land.

To make a long story short, The Dark Knight #21 has some good moments especially in the art, but the good moments do not balance out the pain of the last issue, and several new mistakes are added to the tally of this arc's list of sins.

On the positive front, Van Sciver's art looks excellent apart from a few minor hiccups, and there is one scene I'll point out in more detail later which is really cool and serves as one of the best scenes in the entire arc. Also, there are a few really nice lines of dialogue, and Hurwitz plays to a strong, if all to familiar, theme with the Bat mythos with the idea that Batman just uses all his personal loss to fuel his resolve to the cause of justice.

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 Batman: The Dark Knight #21) SAVE 10%


Catwoman #21 - Gang War


Following the events of the CATWOMAN ANNUAL, Catwoman and the Penguin declare war on each other—and Gotham City is set to burn in their wake!



Preview




Disappointed Yet Again


Oh, Catwoman. You are like a weak willed woman in an abusive relationship too afraid to cut ties with the menace and stand on your own even though you know you should, but rather than casting aside Ann Nocenti (former writer for Daredevil and current writer for Catwoman and Katana) like yesterday's soiled newspaper, you continue to cling to her despite her terrible history with you. If it were not so depressing to see you suffer, it would be funny, but I'm afraid my sense of humor on the matter has dried up.

As per usual, Catwoman sucked last month. Unlike usual, she sucked in two issues rather than one because of her annual. However, neither issue made a positive impression on me. Selina inserted herself into a needless conflict and almost got killed as a result. At the end of the annual, Selina realizes that Penguin has been selling some neighborhood kids poison ice cream, and Selina decides to fight with the Rat-Tails gang against Cobblepot.

Is there any way this horrible story can be slightly improved in the last act or does Nocenti score three for three on the crap-o-meter?

In this issue, Catwoman fights in a gang war.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 5/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4.1
 - (Buy Catwoman #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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