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BatWatch Reviews: @DCComics Detective Comics, Batgirl, Batman @BatWatcher



Here are today's Guest Reviews by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch for DC's; Detective Comics #23, Batgirl #23, and Batman #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.



Detective Comics #23 - Bat and Mouse; Marital Abyss



Alfred is forced to confront the Anti-Batman known as the Wrath! Taking care of Batman all these years has left Alfred with more than a few tricks up his sleeve, but will they be enough?

Preview



Dadgummit!


The Wrath is a villain ripe with potential, but so far, I have not been impressed by Layman's (current writer of Image's Chew, IDW's Mars Attacks and Detective Comics) current arc featuring the Anti-Batman. I did think the setup was cool making Caldwell a business rival and a mover and a shaker in the Gotham social scene in addition to making him merely a slaughterer of police officers, but beyond the original villain setup, I've found little of greatness. Scorn, the Anti-Robin, had potential, but then Wrath killed him because that's what stereotypical villains do. The 'Tec Annual did some cool stuff with Jane Doe, but Wrath's backing of her felt like little more than an afterthought. The arc has been a worthwhile read as a whole, but I'm hoping this issue steps it up a notch or two.

Does this Bat and Wrath game finally lead to some worthy surprises or are these antics about as predictable as an episode of Tom and Jerry?

In this issue, Batman and Alfred take the investigation to Caldwell Industries.

I really wanted to like this issue more, but I'll be darned if Layman didn't go ahead and disappoint me again.

On the good front, this issue does actually fair a little better than the last two. The story does not seem to have any filler unlike the last regular issue. There is a nice balance between story and action, and Layman even takes time to give us a little more depth on Scorn putting that character and his death in perspective while moving the issue forward. Batman finally mixes it up with The Wrath himself; though Wrath is still a coward and runs off, it is nice to see the two meet face to face. The story amps up nicely building off that which came earlier and taking it to the next level, and Wrath's plan, at least in part, seems to make good sense. Also, there is a really cool battle between Bruce and Caldewell which takes place in an unorthodox and intense setting.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict -4.1
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Batgirl #23 - Batgirl: Wanted, Part One of Three: Manhunt


The new “Batgirl: Wanted” epic begins here, as Commissioner Gordon must track down his son’s murderer—who happens to be his daughter! But has Barbara already given up the Bat?



Preview



A Tragedy Tonight!


I'm not sure what to expect from this issue. Batgirl has been a rather unpredictable ride, and this arc in particular is built on a shaky foundation. Babs killed her own brother to save her mother's life? Why? Babs clearly has the skill to avoid that. Commissioner Gordon immediately believes the worst about Batgirl without even trying to find out what actually happened? Babs turns to drink to deal with her problems? Really?

Contrived as it may be, the last issue of Batgirl is easily the best issue of the series I've read in many months and the best in the whole run in terms of making Babs likable and building her supporting cast. Sadly, it looks like Batgirl's boyfriend, Ricky, might have been given some character development in the last issue just to give emotional weight to his certain crisis and possible death in the next couple issues. At leas that is what the preview for this issue and future Batgirl solicits suggest. If Simone (former writer of Birds of Prey and current writer of Batgirl and The Movement) is playing Rickys in Refridgerators, then I have to say my respect for her is going down a notch.

Can Simone give Babs a likable personality and her supporting cast depth or is Babs and her supporting cast just cannon fodder for the grim monstrosity of Gotham to destroy?

In this issue, Commissioner Gordon tries to track down Batgirl and Barbara finds that Ricky is in deep, deep trouble.

This issue has all the makings of an excellent tragedy. A tense family situation full of lies and betrayals, people inexorably being led to their dreaded fate, and fatal flaws becoming one's undoing are all in play. However, I can't really talk about any of how that stuff plays out without spoilers, so let's save that for later.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 5/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4
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Batman #23 - Secret City, Part Three; The Pit


Witness the moment Bruce Wayne becomes Batman as “Zero Year” makes history! And in the backup story, a young Bruce Wayne fights for his life in a death match in Russia!



Preview



What the Crap Was That?


It's not completely fair to judge a work of literature piecemeal, but in comics, you have little choice. Everybody who buys monthlies picks up an issue and has to decide whether they want the next month's adventure. I feel I can at least make a decent judgment after reading, for instance, the first issue of a three issue arc, but it's a different situation with mega arcs like Zero Year. This story is spanning a whopping eleven issues. (I actually saw one source say it was now thirteen issues, but I have not seen that confirmed and it could easily have been a mistake) Trying to make a judgment based off only the first two would be like only judging Batman Begins off the first twenty minutes of the movie. We are still in the very early stages.

That being said, I have not been overly impressed with this arc for reasons I've discussed previously. By the time this third issue is read, I feel like we should have a decent feel for what this arc is doing. I'm not saying this issue is going to make or break the arc for me, but I am saying it needs to deliver something with less focus on spectacle and more focused on Bruce if it wants to keep my attention.

Does Batman #23 put Zero Year on a firm foundation or is this series, like Gotham, doomed to dark days in the future?

In this issue, the Red Hood Gang beats up Bruce Wayne and Riddler and Phillip Kane come head to head.

Okay, I nearly went off on this issue. Thankfully, I took lots of time to think about things and put some stuff together, but there is one scene in here which, if you do not remember important pieces of information from previous issues, will really confuse the heck out of you. Normally, I'd save this part of the review for later, but since it is in the forefront of my mind, we're going to hit it first.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 2/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 3.9
 - (Buy Batman #23) 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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