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BatWatch Reviews: @DCComics Batman #23.3s, Teen Titans #23.2


Here are today's Guest Reviews by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch for DC's; Batman #23.3 (Penguin #1), Batman and Robin #23.3 (Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins #1), Batman: The Dark Knight #23.3 (Clayface #1), Detective Comics #23.3 (Scarecrow #1), and Teen Titans #23.2 (Deathstroke #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 #23.3 - Bullies



Follow The Penguin’s latest quest for power as he prepares to undermine one of Gotham City’s most powerful politicians. What does the criminal mastermind stand to gain?

Preview



A Tale of Two Penguins


I am a big Penguin fan. As all the other criminals of Gotham are set up on their way to power and knocked back down by Batman, but Penguin remains a near constant threat by running his illegal businesses under the table and refusing to get his hands dirty. If there ever were a master of crime in Gotham, it would be the bird who almost never does time for his multitude of offenses, and I look forward to seeing him in his own issue.

Does Penguin #1 underscore all that is great about the fine feathered fiend or is this story about as fun as being splattered by a pigeon?

In this issue, Penguin deals with multiple threats in his own unique way.

This issue feels like two separate stories combined into one. The first story revolved around Penguin disposing of some hustlers that were stealing from the casino while the second deals with the governor threatening to stop all of Penguin's operations. One of these stories was great and the other way just typical comic book fluff.

The vastly superior story is the latter where Penguin deals with the threat of the governor in a manner which is clever, somewhat original and completely believable. By using something other than blunt force to deal with a situation, Penguin set himself up to defuse a threat and gain a powerful new ally...even if things did not work out quite as planned. Seeing Penguin be completely ruthless while keeping his hands clean and maintaining the appearance of gentlemanly conduct is exactly what sets Penguin apart from the dozens of other criminal masterminds in Gotham, and this latter story struck that note perfectly.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4
Art, Colors & Inking - 3
Layout & Flow - 4
Story - 5
Verdict - 4.1 (8/10)
 - (Buy Batman #23.3) SAVE 10%


Batman and Robin #23.3 - The Demon's Tower


The origin of Ra’s al Ghul in The New 52! For centuries Ra’s has had a plan for this world, and now he is faced with an offer from the Secret Society that could help him achieve what he wants…or undo everything he has worked for. Which path will the Demon’s Head choose?



Preview



This. More of This.


Ra's Al Ghul is one of the best Batman villains of all time. In my experience talking to people about Batman's greatest foes, Ra's usually ranks around third place behind Bane and, of course, Joker. We can only hope that this great villain will have a great one shot.

Does Ra's Al Ghul reign victorious or will he be in need of a Lazarus Pit before this story is finished?

In this issue, a representative of The Secret Society offers Ra's a position among the ruling elite, but Ra's Al Ghul has a long past full of experience off which to base a response, and that response may not be what the Secret Society's ambassador was expecting.

I wish more of the Villains Month titles had been like this one.

This story cuts to the core of who Ra's Al Ghul is. We learn his motivation and much of his history, and you have no doubt at the end of the story that Ra's is a very great, very bad man who wields unfathomable power and prestige, yet the issue conveys this without the villains in question slaughtering a bunch of people at random or monologuing about his greatness. Don't get me wrong, people die, but in both the past and the present, there is always a reason for the death as he is mostly responding to outside aggression. He even lets some live to spread word of his legacy.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4
Art, Colors & Inking - 4
Layout & Flow - 4
Story - 4
Verdict - 4 (8/10)
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Batman: The Dark Knight #23.3 - Not Just Another Pretty Face


It’s the biggest audition of Clayface’s life as he attempts to impress the Secret Society and join their ranks. Desperate to prove himself more than a monster, Clayface sets a scheme into motion that quickly unravels! Will he make his mark—or dig his own grave?



Preview



Premise Promises Popped


Clayface is one of the biggest threats Batman has in his Rouges Gallery in terms of sheer power, yet it seems Clayface always gets defeated in the lamest of ways either falling prey to his own ineptitude or some random gadget of the Bat. I would like to see Clayface as something more compelling than just a threatening lump of clay.

Does this issue change the face of Clayface for the better or the worse?

In this issue, Clayface decides to take out a pocket of resistance in order to gain favor with The Secret Society.

In many ways, I like the premise of this issue. Clayface has a bunch of power, yet he can never make good with it. That kind of makes him a loser, and that's the angle this story takes. When Clayface sees a way to prove he's capable of the big show, he takes it.

It's a cool idea. In a way, we're rooting for the underdog, and that's something most people can get behind even if the underdog is an evil lump of clay.

The problem is that there is no real conflict in this entire issue.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4
Art, Colors & Inking - 3
Layout & Flow - 3
Story - 3
Verdict - 3.1 (6/10)
 - (Buy Batman: The Dark Knight #23.3) SAVE 10%

Detective Comics #23.3 - City of Fear


See the new Gotham City through the eyes of the Scarecrow! It’s Arkham Asylum unleashed on humanity—and it’s all the Scarecrow has ever wanted!



Preview



Clever But Wordy


Scarecrow is often considered one of Batman's greatest villains, but in recent years, he seems to have become a bit too predictable relying on the same formula for all his crimes. Perhaps this story can break the mold and take Scarecrow to the next level.

Is Scarecrow #1 a gas or just an empty burlap sack?

In this issue, Scarecrow visits the districts of Gotham controlled by other super villains, but to what end?

Scarecrow's Villains' Month title is one of the few that actually has some bearing on Forever Evil and the upcoming battle in Arkham War, and it deserves a lot of credit for that and for telling an interesting story that does not follow the typical, "Let me tell you my origin," or "Look how bad I am!" mold of most Villains' titles. That being said, it is so incredibly verbose as compared to most modern comics that it feels like you are slogging through it page by page. It's not an unpleasant slog, but it's not exactly the light reading generally associated with comics. Whether that is good or bad to you depends on what you want from a comic book.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3
Layout & Flow - 4
Story - 4
Verdict - 3.9
 (8/10) - (Buy Detective Comics #23.3) SAVE 10%

Teen Titans #23.2 - Lord of War


One of the deadliest men in the world has a secret: his family. Slade Wilson lives to kill, but can even Deathstroke the Terminator balance his home life with a complicated hit?


Don’t miss this amazing issue written by Corey Mays and Dooma Wendschuh, writers of the video games Assassin’s Creed and Batman: Arkham Origins.



Preview



First Impressions Can Often Be Wrong


Deathstroke is a character who has changed a lot over the years from antihero to downright scum of the Earth, but he is always one of the most deadly men in the world, so if any villain deserves a one shot, it should be him.

Does Deathstroke land a headshot with this issue or is this one contract he just can not fulfill?

In this issue, Deathstroke comes to blows with an old friend while trying to complete a contract, and we learn about Slade Wilson's past.

I read this issue a week ago, but I have not had time to review it until now. When I first read it, I remember thinking this was a flawed but cool little story which gave a lot of insight into a complex character and provided some good action for the ride.

Looking back at it now, I realize it's really a cluttered mess.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4
Art, Colors & Inking - 3
Layout & Flow - 3
Story - 3
Verdict - 3.1 (6/10)
 - (Buy Teen Titans #23.2) 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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