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BatWatch Reviews: @DCComics Batman #23.2s, Teen Titans #23.1 @BatWatcher


Here are today's Guest Reviews by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch for DC's; Batman #23.2 (Riddler #1), Batman and Robin #23.2 (Court of Owls #1), Detective Comics #23.2 (Harley Quinn #1), Batman: The Dark Knight #23.2 (Mr. Freeze #1), and Teen Titans #23.1 (Trigon #1). 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 #23.2 - Solitaire



With The Dark Knight out of the picture, The Riddler engages in an epic game of wits. Learn what maddening early moments led a young Edward Nygma to evolve into Gotham City’s Prince of Mischief! And see how events of ZERO YEAR continue to affect The Riddler today!

Preview



What makes the Riddler the Riddler?


The Riddler finally gets his own comic. I'm sure his ego will be sated, but will our sense of entertainment be fulfilled? Riddler is one of my favorite villains, but I'll admit, I have some insecurity about how a solo title could work for him. He's always been a character defined by his ability to make heroes squirm and push themselves mentally. Without a hero to foil, how will he entertain himself and how will he be entertaining?

Riddle me this! Can the Quizzical Inquisitor carry his own issue or does he lose all his charm without the Bat?

In this issue, we see Riddler take the Wayne building floor by floor in attempt to prove...well, that would be telling.

His riddles of course! Scott Snyder (former writer of Vertigo's American Vampire and current writer of Batman and Superman Unchained) knows this and puts them front and center. The first page lays out five riddles and essentially challenging readers to figure them out. If you fail to prove your self as smart as Edward Nigma, no worries. As usual, The Riddler will make sure to taunt you with the answer when it's too late.

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
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Batman and Robin #23.2 - Exquisite Dread


The Court of Owls takes stock of the new world order created in the wake of Forever Evil! What horrors will they unleash in order to maintain control!



Preview



The First and Last


The Court of Owls was originally an interesting villainous group, but with the massive exposure of the villains over the course of the Batman's first year in the DCNU, I'm kind of tired of them. Talon has been playing with certain aspects of the Court ever since Night of the Owls ended, but Talon, through the oversight of James Tynion IV, (current writer of Talon, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Batman and Robin and Batman) has managed to do it with class and without making the Court feel stale. With that in mind, you would think that James Tynion handling the Court here would be a good thing, but taking a look a the preview bored me as I saw a rehashed Talon assassination scene which was extremely tired.

Still, it does seem like the Court scrambling to keep it's power in a war torn Gotham could be fun. Perhaps things will heat up as the issue progresses.

Does The Court of Owls still have the ability to shiver the hearts of Gotahmites everywhere or is it time for these birds to be plucked and stuffed?

In this issue, the Court of Owls deals with the disruption of their power by turning to their rich history.

I was extremely bored and rather critical of the introductory scene where the family of a man who stumbles on the truth of the Court is cut down, but on the very next page, we see that this is a story being told from a Court father to a Court daughter. Simple assassination via Talon does not interest me, but seeing the way the Court responds to a crisis and watching them pass down their history from generation to generation does. The entirety of the issue is nothing more than a conversation between father and daughter about the current conflict with flashbacks to past events of some relevance, but that relevance is unclear and tenuous. It is mildly interesting to see how the Court has dealt with threats over the years especially as we get a little more perspective on The Butcher's history, but it's kind of a slow story without any conclusive punch from a one shot perspective.

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 - 4/5
Verdict - 3.6
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Batman: The Dark Knight #23.2 - Mr. Freeze


Mr. Freeze takes his obsessions over the line when he sets his sights on his newfound family and getting revenge on Batman!



Preview



Unleashes Mr. Freeze


I am not expecting much from this. I don't like Mr. Freeze in the DCNU. Rather than being someone willing to kill to revive his wife, he's just a delusional guy with no grasp on reality who kills people because...I guess he feels they are keeping him from his loved one? Mr. Freeze fails to compel me these days. Also, I despise his haircut. Still, I've been pleasantly surprised before on the quality of an issue. Maybe Mr. Freeze will prove me wrong.

Does Mr. Freeze warm the hearts of fans or chill them to the core?

In this issue, Mr. Freeze finds reason to believe he has a half brother, so when the gates of Arkham are ripped open, he check up on family.

Rebooting Quailty

I don't like the DCNU reboot just on sheer principle, but even ignoring my desire to see stories preserved, I never understood why the creators, when given liberty to change things up, decided to change things that were working well. If someone had a bad costume or a stupid origin, then it makes sense to change if the reboot must happen, but to take a character with a good motivation and change them on a fundamental level in the hopes that you will find something that will resonate even better with fans does not track with me. Why pass on a winning hand to gamble that you'll get something even better? Iconic comic characters are iconic because they are already resonating with comic nerds.

Essentially, the reboot is what I feel fails in this issue.

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 - 3/5
Verdict - 3.3
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Detective Comics #23.2 - Harley Lives


If Dr. Harleen Quinzel wasn’t crazy when she fell for The Joker at Arkham Asylum, she sure was messed up afterwards! Find out more from Harley’s time with her beloved Mr. J. and see what got her into so much trouble that she was “recruited” for the Suicide Squad!



Preview



The Anatomy of a Psycho Skank Ho!


When I see Harley Quinn on the cover, I kind of want to tell her that she must go back to her room and only come when she's wearing some real clothes. Does that mean I'm getting old?

Despite my disdain for Harley Quinn's current outfit, (I mean, seriously? Seriously!) I do very much want to see Harley Quinn's solo series succeed, and this could obviously help with that. In fact, I'm kind of surprised DC did not put Harley's Villains' Month title in Batman instead of 'Tec to give it a little more exposure, but since when has DC started done things that make sense?

This issue is supposedly going to explore Harley's DCNU past. I know almost nothing about her new continuity, so this should be interesting.

Does Harley Quinn #1 get our engines revving for her ongoing series or does it give fans one more reason to distrust DC's handling of Harley.

In this issue, we get a glimpse into the past of Harleen Quinzel.

Well, this sucked. I'm tremendously disappointed.

Matt Kindt  (current writer of Detective Comics, Earth 2, Justice League of America, The Hunt and Dark Horse's Mind MGMT) is a fairly accomplished writer, but I cannot say I enjoyed much that happened in this issue.

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
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Teen Titans #23.1 - Heart of Darkness


He is the ruler of six kingdoms of pain, suffering and agony—but the one world that evades Trigon is Earth. Trigon’s influence has been spread across worlds by his sons, but it wasn’t until he conceived a daughter of Earthly origin that the monster finally had an heir who could aid his quest. Now, with all the world’s heroes missing—is this the final victory of Trigon?



Preview




Trigon


I'm not a big fan of Teen Titans. I think the series as a whole has been subpar at best, but a lot of that disdain probably stems from the writing of Scott Lobdell (former writer of Uncanny X-Men and current writer of Teen Titans and Action Comics) who is thankfully absent this issue. Instead, Trigon co-creator Marv Wolfman (former writer of The New Titans, Tales of the Teen Titans, and The New Teen Titans and current writer of Teen Titans)  has taken the writing reigns. Perhaps he can save the day.

Does the classic writer of the New Teen Titans prove that he still has what it takes to write a new Teen Titans story or does the torture of Trigon #1 fill six entire dimensions of Hell?

In this issue, we witness how Trigon came to power.

This is easily the most densely packed issue I've read all day. I could probably spend an hour or two theorizing on the tidbits from this issue.

Essentially, we learn that Trigon came to power by binding with the Heart of Darkness, and we learn how he plans to spread his power across the multiverse.

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 - 3/5
Verdict - 3.3
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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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