Batman #12 (King/Janin/Petrus/Chung/Cowles): I must confess that it’s a bit hard to enjoy Batman presently. Don’t get me wrong of course, it’s well-written as is expected for a comic by King, and Mikel Janin’s art is gorgeous as always. However, the comic has issues keeping itself tethered to its current narrative with Bane, the last couple of issues have been swallowed by fight scenes and narration. While the wrinkle King adds to Batman’s origin is quite meaningful (if a bit similar to a bit Snyder added with electroshock therapy in Zero Year), it still feels a bit removed from the comic itself absent Bane’s own psychological problems which King explored. With any luck, the comic will loop back onto the shared trauma between the two.
3 out of 5 Diaries
Superman #12 (Tomasi/Gleason/Mahnke/Alamy/Mendoza/Quintana/Leigh): Superman is quite an interesting read this issue. While it sadly doesn’t feature Superboy, it does focus a bit more on reorienting the book’s status quo to differentiate itself from Dan Jurgens’ Action Comics run, and makes up a bit of the difference by bringing in Frankenstein. Even better: Tomasi and Gleason bring in Mahnke to draw his creation and trade blows for the entire issue. While it’s a bit short on plot, the comic does focus more on Clark and Lois, which is fairly welcome as far as comics with Superman fighting the Frankenstein monster go.
4 out of 5 Hellbat Gloves
Nightwing #10 (Seeley/To/Sotomayor): Nightwing has been a fascinating beast to follow these last few months. While its moved on pretty quickly from the events of the first arc, the running theme of Dick Grayson’s lack of an identity has been one to follow. While in theory Nightwing is a separate identity from Batman, the New 52 largely defined Dick Grayson as a tertiary figure to Batman and Grayson removed him from the board entirely. While I can’t profess to have much fondness in the Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel Nightwing run that introduced Bludhaven, it does take the idea of Dick being the equivalent of a college graduate to its natural conclusion, which is also heightened by Marcus To’s version of Dick being a softer and more athletic Batman, and Seeley giving him a position where he wants to save the world rather than just be in Batman’s shadow is a great idea, and hopefully that’s allowed to continue.
4 out of 5 Community Centers
Green Arrow #12 (Percy/Schmidt): I have to confess, after having binged Arrow recently, its hard not to start comparing it to the comic that inspired it. Ben Percy’s run on Green Arrow is most definitely far and away from the television show. Yes it has Diggle and Ollie’s kid sister (albeit fathered by his dad), but it refuses to be anything other than itself. Which yes, involves Ollie and the Black Canary fighting evil loggers and corrupt cops, while Arrow has largely refused to touch the hyper-liberal social justice warrior that the character has largely been in the comics. This is helped by artists like Stephanie Byrne and in this issue Otto Schmidt giving a lighter touch different from the typical style that’s permeated Big 2 books, with any luck Percy and co continue to build their version of the Green Arrow that’s wholly their own.
4 out of 5 Canary Cries
Non-DC Rebirth Reviews
Midnighter and Apollo #3 (Orlando/Blanco/Fajardo Jr/Reed): Midnighter and Apollo has been fascinating to watch. While I’m sorry that it’s only a limited series, its made the most out of each and every issue. While it’d be a strange choice to get Midnighter and Apollo back together and then immediately strand the latter in Hell, Orlando does a great job of using it to build up just how much they love each other, and just how Midnighter even with his trusty fight computer can be a source of hope to a living god like Apollo. Blanco continues to build upon the style setup by ACO and creates an insanely colorful world filled with all manner of obscure DC realms for Midnighter to eventually deface: including Hell.I look forward to seeing how it all ends.
5 out of 5 Fight Computers
Flintstones #6 (Russell/Pugh/Chuckry): Flintstones has perhaps its most depressing and melancholy issue yet, which is really saying something for this series. Focusing upon an ultimately false prediction of the world’s imminent end by fiery meteor, Russell focuses on Bedrock’s immediate collapse into destructive anarchy when the loose fabric holding their society together unravels. People say things they regret, some people find themselves all alone after a life of isolation, and some people grapple with never being able to reverse mistakes that ended up lasting a lifetime. Such an existential theme isn’t entirely new for this comic, but Russell treats everyone from Fred, to Mr. Slate, to even the household appliances with dignity even as it milks them all for humor. Pugh also gets to bring all of his drawing muscles to the fore: whether it deals with Fred and Barney’s war flashbacks, a lonely Mr. Slate, and even the more sad conversations between the Flinstones’ appliance. In short, you oughta buy this comic.
5 out of 5 Meteors of Doom