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BatWatch Reviews: @DCComics Birds of Prey, Red Hood, Batman Inc, Dark Knight @BatWatcher


Here are today's Guest Reviews by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch for DC's; Birds of Prey #23, Red Hood and the Outlaws #23, Batman Incorporated Special #1, and Batman: The Dark Knight #23. 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.



Birds of Prey #23 - Dreams That Never Were



The Birds are locked in combat with Basilisk when Black Canary learns a devastating truth!

Preview



I Offer Up This Series for Sacrifice in the Place of Batwing


If the preview is any indication, this issue is going to suck. It's always a bad sign when the thing DC puts out to make you want to buy the book has the opposite effect. I don't think the series really deserves a detailed analysis right now, so I'll make this quick. Black Canary and Condor are in silly romance mode, Basilisk is an uninteresting team, and there is nothing interesting currently happening with the series.

Does Birds of Prey crank things up a little with Birds of Prey #23 or is this a completely skippable issue?

In this issue, Basilisk loads up the defeated Birds as our heroes dream of realities that never were.

Take Birds and leave us Batwing, please! Batwing might not be perfect or deep, but at least it's fun. This is just...I don't know what this is. I was enjoying things just a few issues ago, but this series has gone down the crapper quickly.

I just got done saying how comics overuse the head trip trope while reviewing Batwoman, and what do we have in this issue? Almost the whole issue is nothing but a head trip as the various members of the Birds of Prey relive their past with slight alterations, and as per usual, it's tired and boring.

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 - 3/5
Verdict - 3.6
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Red Hood and the Outlaws #23 - All Fall Down


Roy Harper lives up to the name Arsenal as he wages a one-man attack on the secret city of the League of Assassins to save Jason Todd!



Preview




Yawn...


I can't say I've been a big fan of Red Hood and the Outlaws recently. This whole arc seems like a waste of time. I've explained my hangups with the current arc in multiple posts, so I guess I will not bother repeating myself, but I will say that it would just be nice to have a more simple, fun loving series as opposed to this more soap operatic approach.

At least it appears we have a good fight scene on the way with Arsenal trying to take on the whole City of Assassins. It does not seem like the kind of battle good old Roy could win, but it should be interesting to watch.

Does this battle end with Roy Harper's speedy death or does Roy plunge a red arrow of justice through his enemies hearts?

In this issue, Arsenal attacks the City of Assassins all by his lonesome, but the other Outlaws are standing in his way.

This issue has two major flaws in the two major sections of this story.

The first section is basically just an extended fight between Arsenal and every assassin in the DCU. The problem here is that Roy should have about a billion more enemies facing him than he actually does. I guess the artist just got carried away and thought, "Wouldn't it be awesome if there were swarms of enemies coming at Roy?" and then he forgot to follow through on that thought.

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 - 3/5
Verdict - 3.6
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Batman, Incorporated Special #1 - Rending Machine; Without You; Brave; The Danger of La Muerte En Vida; Cowardly Lot; Never The End


An all-star special featuring the various members of Batman Incorporated—Man-of-Bats, Red Raven, El Gaucho, Dark Ranger, Knight, Batman himself and more! In the wake of their epic struggle with Talia al Ghul, the Heretic and Leviathan see what’s next for the members of Batman’s army. Featuring stories written and drawn by a collection of industry greats! Plus: Bat-Cow makes her solo debut in a tale by writer Dan DiDio and artist Ethan Van Sciver!



Preview



The Never Ending Battle


It's hard to imagine what might be in store for us here. A whole bunch of short stories telling us different tales of the International Club of Batmen is exactly what I always wanted this series to be. The concept seems ripe with potential, and this might be it's ultimate form. We might never get anything closer to the potential of Batman, Incorporated than what we find here, and that fills me with a little bit of happiness and a little bit of dread. It's nice to see the dream finally realized, but what if it is not as cool as I hoped? I guess there is only one way to find out if Batman, Incorporated lives up to my hopes, and that way is to read it.

Is Batman, Incorporated a great idea that was never given the chance to fulfill its potential or is it a title that should have never been shown the light of day?

In this issue, Batman reviews the case files of Batman, Incorporated.

The story is framed with Batman sitting at his Bat Computer, and it seems as if Bruce and DC are not quite ready to shut the doors of Batman, Incorporated for good. Everybody has been talking about how Batman, Incorporated has been disbanded, but Batman has been operating in secret for years. He could continue to fund Batman, Inc. in secret, right? Also, Katherine Kane threw around a lot of her weight at the end of Batman, Incorporated and cleared up a lot of the legal mess, so is there really any reason to keep the team disbanded? There are certainly routes to continue the series, and I suspect we will continue to see many of these characters and some sort of Batman, Incorporated team for many years to come though whether it will get another series will depend on the demand, and if forced to make a guess on that, I suspect half of those buying Batman, Incorporated were more loyal to Grant Morrison (former writer of Rebellion's 2000AD, Batman and Batman, Incorporated) then they were to the concept of Batman, Inc., so I'm not betting on a new Batman, Incorporated series anytime soon.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 2/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 2.9
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Batman: The Dark Knight #23 - Rampant


Batman and Commissioner Gordon are forced into a tight corner as Clayface embarks on a murder spree throughout Gotham City. But hope surfaces when the Mad Hatter emerges as an unlikely ally.



Preview




More of the Same


The Dark Knight has been a rocky road full of numerous valleys and much fewer hills. Currently, the action is focused on Clayface, and I have to say I found the first part of his story to be severely underwhelming last issue. He's such a cool character and it started off well with him taking the place of Commissioner Gordon, but then...well, not much happened. The Commissioner escaped and Clayface blended into the crowd. I honestly cannot remember a single other thing that happened in the last issue.

I know Hurwitz (former writer of Vengeance of the Moon Knight and Penguin: Pride and Prejudice and current writer of The Dark Knight) has some talent as a writer because he's written good issues. Even thought it was a rough start, I'm hoping he can come up with a nice chapter for this series today.

Does The Dark Knight stay steeped in darkness or has a little glimpse of light found its way into this series?

In this issue, Batman tries to pin down Clayface, but the Master Molder proves too slippery for Bats to catch.

If you read the last issue, then you know what you are going to get in this issue. There are some cool moments mixed with a lot of moments that are simply typical for a Clayface story. We will watch Clayface shfits and squeeze into places. We will watch Batman use gadgets to try and catch him. We will watch as he forms weapons and tries to kill the Bat. I find the typical stuff to be rather boring, so let's focus on the two pieces that stood out from the rest.

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 - 3/5
Verdict - 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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