Tag Archives: DC Comics

DC Comics April 2020 Review

Introduction

We keep on keepin on here at 2 Generations Gaming. Welcome to my DC Comics April 2020 review. It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with the good folks at DC Comics and quite a few things have changed. Tom King is no longer writing Batman. It’s now James Tynion. More on that in a bit. As a result, Tynion is working with Ram V on Justice League Dark. Heck, even Scott Snyder is not on the main JL title anymore.

And, yet, Bendis remains stubbornly on both Superman titles.

Some of these changes have been good. Some have been not so good. I don’t say this to be Captain Obvious. I was just surprised that one change I was actually looking forward to ended up not working out as well as I hoped. Be careful what you wish for, I suppose. In any case, let’s take a look at the books.

The Decent (The Usual Suspects)

Action Comics 1021 (Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr.) – I already touched upon this in the introduction and I’m not going to say what I haven’t already said in numerous previous reviews. I guess I’ll just wonder why I’m even reading this book anymore. This particular issue was the culmination of a story line, but it felt too quick and clean to reach it’s conclusion.

Justice League 42 and 43 (Robert Venditti et al) – I also mentioned that Snyder isn’t doing Justice League anymore. That’s good because there’s no more Source Wall nonsense. But, every single issue is a fight where someone says they need to “win or lose everything”. When the stakes are always that high, it loses some of the gravitas.

Superman 21 (Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis) – See above. At least Reis is doing the art for this one, so it is pretty and dumb.

Wonder Woman 753 (Steve Orlando and Max Raynor) – Maybe I just picked a bad time to get back into comics. Seems like all of the books are wrapping up arcs right now. Even so, in the past, that’s made me want to go back to read the stories. None of these issues are making me want to do that.

The Good (Batman makes an appearance here for the firs time in a while)

Aquaman 57 and 58 (Kelly Sue Deconnick and Robson Rocha) – I was very much enjoying Aquaman when we last left off on Noob’s comic reviews. I still like the book and this story is interesting. Maybe it has been too long and I just have to warm to the books again.

Batman 90 and 91 (James Tynion IV and Jorge Jimenez) – This is the one that I found really surprising. After I learned that Tom King was being taken off the Batman title, I asked Chris who was taking over. He informed me that it would be James Tynion IV. I love everything that Tynion does, but I don’t love this. I just can’t figure out this nonsense with the Designer. Is this a retcon? Or, is a retelling of an old story? I could look it up, but I just don’t care that much.

Wonder Woman 754 (Steve Orlando and Kenneth Marion) – This one was good. I almost put it in the great section, but it wasn’t that good. It’s just one of those good old fashioned one shot (?) stories they put in between arcs. Good story and good set up for what comes next.

The Great (Thank goodness for Justice League Dark)

Catwoman 21 (Joelle Jones and Fernando Blanco) – When Joelle is writing this book, it’s fantastic. I love her take on the character and am always excited when I see her name on the marquee. This issue was no different. Cover to cover entertainment.

Detective Comics 1021 (Peter J Tomasi and Brad Walker) – It took me a while to warm to Tomasi’s take on the book. I think part of that was just following Tynion IV. But, I very much enjoyed this issue. It is a well told Two Face story that actually had me sympathizing with the character.

Justice League Dark 21 (James Tynion IV, Ram V, and Kyle Hotz) – Tynion is listed as a cowriter on this one, but I wonder if he is focusing more on this title than Batman right now. Because, all of the things that have been true about this in the past are still true. This is just a solid and fun title.

The Verdict (DC Comics April 2020 are surprisingly weak)

Other than the old standards of Joelle’s Catwoman and Tynions Justice League Dark and the surprise appearance of Tomasi’s Detective comics, this batch of books wasn’t very good. Perhaps that’s to be expected because it’s still early in the year. Still, it is disappointing. It’s even more so due to the fact that the virus lockdown or quarantine or whatever we’re calling this has halted production and maybe even shipping until who knows when. DC Comics April 2020 might be the last time we get to read them until the summer.

Mortal Kombat X Komix Review

Introduction

Wait, now it is a Mortal Kombat X komix review? You’re just trolling at this point, aren’t you? Honestly, no. If I was really trolling, I’d give you another one of those erroneously numbered lists. But, I won’t. I will just continue writing my article. You have the choice of whether or not to continue reading.

The reason that it is MKX is that there are no MK 11 komix. Notice how I am intentionally misspelling komix? The “k” is for Kombat. The x is because we are x-treme (in a 1990s way, yougins) here at 2GG. The reason for komix is that I am reviewing what might be my last full DCBS order for a few months at least. This will serve as a nice bridge.

I got the idea for reviewing the komix when I started to put together the plan to relaunch the web page a couple of weeks ago. I saw that Comixology had a good deal on the entire series. I texted Chris the other day, “I’ve been so desperate for comics that I bought the MKX digital series.” He mentioned his DCBS order. As I mentioned, I’m saving those for next week. Now, on to the review.

The Royal Family of the MK series decrees it.

The Great

The Stories – I’ve only made it a third of the way through the series, but so far there are some great stories in the comic. Specifically, the ones that I’m enjoying so far are Scorpion’s and Kotal Khan’s. The first one isn’t a surprise. Scorpion has been one of my favorite characters since the first game. But, Kotal Khan? A reject smurf looking dude with daddy issues? Okay, I guess so.

All he wants is his Papa Smurf to be alive again.

Writer: Remember when I said earlier that there is no MK 11 comic? The main reason for that is that they hired the guy who wrote the MKX comics to do the story for MK 11. So, those of you us thought that the MKX story was lacking and the MK 11 story is so much better, that’s the main reason. Like I say, if you have me caring about a guy like Kotal Khan, you are a damn good writer.

The Good

The Stories – No, this isn’t becoming one of my running jokes. There won’t be a The Stories in “The Decent” section. Some of the stories have just left me flat. The Cassie/Jacqui cage fighting story has been less than stellar. Also, I just don’t like Raiden. I thought I did and I’ve tried, but before MK 11, Raiden has just been a mess of a character.

He should be cool, right? I dunno. I just can only think of the guy in Big Trouble and Little China and it makes it tough to respect him. Also, his story line is a disaster. Thankfully, they finally fixed that.

No Liu Kang? – Like I said, I’ve only made it through about a third of the book, but how are you going to do my boy Liu Kang like that? The protector of Earthrealm deserves better. Free Liu Kang! Watch, he’ll be in the next book I read and every one after that. I guess that means that my complaining helped. Right?

The Decent

Beginning is a bit confusing – This might just be me. I was reading the books while my kids were playing Minecraft in the background, so I wasn’t paying full attention maybe. It’s tough to do so when your youngest keeps saying, “Dad, check out this thing.” or “Look at this, Dad.” Mind you, I’m not complaining. It just made focusing on the story much more difficult.

Short? – It isn’t all of the issues, but a few of them felt really short. I haven’t verified if they actually are or if it is just a product of digital comics not having advertisements, so they are only the 20 or 22 pages of actual content. Maybe they were just books without a lot of writing, so it didn’t take long to read. Perhaps I’m just reaching because I usually have two ideas per section and the books are so much fun that I’m having trouble finding something wrong.

Though, no Liu Kang is really irritating me. Seriously, D’Vorah gets a cover and not him? C’mon, Man.

The Verdict

Thanks for reading my Mortal Kombat X komix review. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much going in. Usually these cross promotion things like video game comics or movies or movie video games or comics don’t turn out too well. But, the source material (as damaged as it is in places) is treated well and I don’t feel like the writer is trying too hard to make it Mortal Kombat.

I mean, sure, there are references like “Finish Him!” and the occasional dismemberment that doesn’t entirely make sense in context. However, those are few and far between. I half expected the thing to be like the old comics that my sons would write when they were younger or something like Yu Gi Oh cartoon, where it is literally just the game on the screen. But, it’s not. The story is compelling. The art is decent. I’m just now noticing that it is DC comics, so now it makes sense. They actually have a reputation to uphold. If you find yourself bored, drop the 30 bucks over at Comixology and grab the series.

DC Comics October 2019 Review

Introduction

Welcome, finally, to my DC Comics Review for October 2019. Both life and technology have been working against me recently. Still, I’m not ignoring articles like I used to. It might be a couple of weeks late, but it’s here. Plus, Liam is getting the new Pokemon game this week, so that gives us something to discuss next week.

Finally, I’m pretty excited about the prospect of Pioneer. That’s what I meant by technology. Chris and I were all set to record last week except my phone wasn’t delivering messages for some reason. Nevertheless, I’m going to record something this week to get us to the Pokemon discussion next week. Who knows, maybe doing so will inspire us to actually record more. The goal is still to get to consistent content by the end of the year. Now, let’s get to the DC Comics Review for October 2019 so that I can read November’s books!

The Forgetable (Eff Superman)

Eff Superman…

Superman #14 and 15 (Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis)

There are two books this month that made me finally break out “The Forgettable” category for these reviews. I will discuss the other briefly. All I can say about this one is Eff Superman. Maybe I should elaborate. I’ve never liked Superman as a hero. The only time I ever read the book was during the death story. My brother really likes him for some reason, but I just can’t get into the character.

I gave it a chance when Bendis came and very much enjoyed the Man of Steel lead in series. Ever since then, though, the book has gone back to the same old formula that just isn’t that interesting. I will continue to collect, but until the story gets better, I’ll probably just skim rather than reading.

The Decent (More Bendis and Justice League is on the block)

Time for a change?

Justice League 31 and 32 (Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Howard Porter)

This book is such a mess right now. I texted Chris about it and he mentioned that he gave up on it a while ago. There are already so many of my books being killed that I don’t want to stop collecting, but this one is definitely on the block right now. I mean, they have Tynion cowriting for the Doom War books, but as Chris said, “Not even he can save it.” There are some good things. I enjoyed the Wonder Woman speech and Aquaman coming in at the end. Otherwise, these issues were just another war for the fate of mankind as Kamandi said in exasperation. Also, Braniac 1 million? Ultra Monitor? Good lord.

More Bendis…

Action Comics #1015 (Brian Michael Bendis and Szymon Kudranski)

Action, for what it is worth, has been worth reading, at least. This issue had some distracting artwork with the lightning border for the initial Naomi panels. Also, the parallels of her story to Superman and Batman were nice to read. Otherwise, again, Bendis isn’t making me enjoy Superman any more.

Detective Comics 1011 (Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke)

This was a one shot (?) issue about some Japanese soldiers on an island being rescued by Bats from Deadshot. He’s my least favorite villain, so this issue was just okay the end seemed to finally set up for the Mr. Freeze show down that has been teased for the last 3 or 4 issues, so I’m excited about that.

The Good (Aqua, Wonder, and Cats, oh my! Oh, Detective, too)

Love is dead. Not the most subtle of metaphors.

Wonder Woman 78 and 79 (G. Willow Wilson and Tom Derenick)

Cheetah has the God Killer. She’s already used it to off Aphrodite. This means that love is dead. It’s not the most subtle metaphor for what’s happening in real life right now. Then again, maybe I’m just extra sensitive to that sort of thing. I will say that this particular writer is doing a good job with the story and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

Not as strong as recent issues, but still fun.

Aquaman 52 (Kelly Sue Deconnick and Robson Rocha)

This issue was a bit weaker than some of the recent issues. I even pushed this book into the great column in my last article. Ultimately, this is just a fight issue against a big dumb monster. Most likely, it is a set up issue for the big Mech Black Manta show down coming.

Detective Comics 1012 (Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke)

Okay, this is more likely. Finally, we get Mr. Freeze. The intro showing the dichotomy of Batman and Mr. Freeze set the mood perfectly. Then, comes a decent set up story explaining what Mr. Freeze is up to and why Batman is getting involved. Spoiler Alert: It has to do with Freeze’s wife. I hope this story continues to pick up.

Ram V is growing on me

Catwoman 15 (Ram V and Mirka Andolfo)

I admit to being salty when Joelle stopped writing the title and I couldn’t get into Ram V’s version of the character. I’m not sure if it getting better or if I’m just getting used to the writing style. Either way, Ram V is starting to grow on me. This story, like the Freeze story in Detective, is gaining steam. Also, this one is building to the Tom King’s upcoming Bats/Cats book, which I’m here for.

The Great (Batman stands alone…as usual. Oops, forgot Justice League Dark)

Justice League Dark 15 (James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez Bueno)

Sure, James Tynion IV is working on the main Justice League title. But, you can tell that he is much more in his element on this title. This is another great set up issue where things are just falling apart for our intrepid “heroes”. Swamp Thing has lost his connection to the green. Wonder Woman is lost (?) on her way to the moon to fix magic. How can things possibly get worse? I can’t wait to see.

Batman 78 and 79 (Tom King and Clay Mann)

Tom King pissed off a lot of people with Batman 50. That’s been discussed here and elswhere. But, come on, that was at least a year ago now. How long are we going to stay pissed off? Okay, before City of Bane, things were slow, too, but there has to be some set up. Yes, I’m an unabashed Tom King stan. Still, this most recent story has been nothing short of amazing.

I love what King is doing with Batman and Catwoman now. This “interlude” is a great story of redemption and a great story of revenge. I know that King will be leaving Batman soon and I’m sad to see him go. But, he will be working on Batman/Catwoman and I can’t wait for that book.

The Verdict

DC Comics had been fading a bit for me recently. I found that I was skimming more books than I was reading. I’m still skimming some (Superman and more recently Justice League), but I am enjoying most of them. Batman is back to the amazing form that Tom King brings. Justice League continues to be amazing. As long as those books are great, the rest can be sort of middling and I’m a happy camper. Thanks, as always, for reading my DC Comics October 2019 (even if it is a couple of weeks late) review and join me in a few weeks for November.

DC Comics September 2019 Review

Introduction

Welcome to my comic book review for DC Comics September 2019. The comics are technically from my August DCBS order, so that makes this about a month late. Unlike past articles, I’m not going to fill this introduction will a lot of excuses and self deprecating humor. I will explain that the beginning of the school year has hit me harder than I expected, but I’m in a bit of a groove now. My hopes of making semi-regular posts by the end of the year looks quite promising.

So, Chris and I have been regularly talking about the demise of comics. Previously, as you surely know, we have been completely and utterly wrong. More recently, however, it seems as if we might be on to something. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that my DCBS order was very light. Upon research, I found that several books have been canceled and Chris confirmed that many others are being delayed. Peculiar, to say the least. Stay tuned to see if comics are indeed on the way to extinction.

The Great (Justice League Dark Remains, Batman is Back!)

Bane is breaking the Bat again, but in very different ways this time.

Batman 76 and 77 ( Tom King, Tony S. Daniel, and Mikel Janin)

Tom King clearly got too comfortable on Batman. Look, I get that not every issue can be fire, but the more recent issues have been the polar opposite of fire. It was all I could do to not just skip the issues entirely. City of Bane started to pick up until Chris texted me about these issues. I read 76, then texted him back about needing a break before reading 77. I’m glad I took one. Like Chris said, King knew he was on the way out and he is pulling no punches. Jesus.

Seriously, if you’re not reading this book, shame on you.

Justice League Dark 14 (James Tynion IV and Alvaro Marinez Bueno)

Regular readers of the page know that this is my favorite DC book and it isn’t even close. Broken Record Alert: (say it along with me, take a shot, shout BINGO!, whatever you do when a common phrase is uttered) Like Immortal Hulk for Marvel, there hasn’t been a bad issue of this book. It has just consistently brought the quality. I love the team. The stories have been entertaining. If all comics were like this and Hulk, Chris and I wouldn’t have to worry about their inevitable collapse.

The Good (Aquaman might be great, same with Catwoman, Wonder Woman and Justice League are inconsistent)

This book is dangerously close to cracking the great section. Who would have ever thunk it?

Aquaman 51 (Kelly Sue DeConnick and Robson Rocha)

I enjoyed Aquaman right after the Rebirth. Things got a bit slow right before the 50th issue. I know that comics cares about round numbers and that they usually have a bit of a lull before the big numbers. Still, I would have liked for the consistency to be there. I’m telling you, if this keeps up, Aquaman will be up there soon.

Maybe I will be able to get over myself and move Cats up there, too.

Catwoman 14 (Ram V and Mirka Andolfo)

I got into Catwoman after the big wedding fiasco mainly to show my support for the controversial ending. I fell in love with the book because I liked the way that Joelle Jones handled the character. She did a good job. I’m not as big a fan of Ram V’s version, but it is still okay. this latest issue was very good. If I can ever get over my Joelle bias, perhaps there will be multiple books in the great section.

Are things starting to turn around?

Justice League 29 and 30 (Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Bruno Redondo)

I was pretty down on Justice League for a while there. I just couldn’t get into what Snyder was trying to do. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy Snyder as a writer, but I just wasn’t in to the whole source wall story. That might be changing. It appears that there is finally going to be a payoff for all of that with the Justice League/Legion of Doom War.

Another book that suffers from some inconsistency.

Wonder Woman 76 and 77 (G. Willow Wilson and Lee Garbett)

As part of my comics reading, I have been keeping up on the DC Giants that used to have Walmart exclusivity, but no longer do. Speaking of the Giants, I’m going to do a review of the latest issues sometime this week (hopefully Saturday). As far as this book is concerned, it’s been up and down. Right now, it is up. Hopefully they can continue.

The Decent (Honestly, I could do without Action and Detective Comics)

A cornerstone of DC Comics with one of the superstars of writing = meh.

Action Comics 1014 (Brian Michael Bendis and Szymon Kudranski)

I was excited when I heard that Bendis was coming to DC. I was slightly less excited when I learned that he was going to retool Superman. Superman is probably my least favorite superhero. However, I gave it a chance and the initial limited series was good. Some of the follow up was decent, too. Then came Leviathan. I had no use for that story. This one is better than that, but they sold it on the Red Cloud, who is barely even in the book.

Tynion left. Boo.

Detective Comics 1009 and 1010 (Peter J. Tomasi and Christian Duce)

I was upset when Tynion left this title. Still haven’t gotten over it. I just can’t get into what Tomasi is trying to do with this title. Seeing Mr. Freeze on the cover of this one was exciting. However, similar to Action Comics, he’s barely even in the book. Maybe that will change as it seems like they are setting something up. I hope so because this used to be my favorite book.

The Verdict (DC Comics September 2019 is more good than bad)

As I just said in the title, DC Comics September 2019 is more good than bad. Certainly, it is better than some recent months. Batman is great, which could go either way when Tom King departs. Justice League Dark will be good until Tynion eventually leaves like he always does. I would make a missing dad joke here, but I don’t see how they are funny.

The rest of the books ping pong between good and decent from month to month. Aquaman and Catwoman are threatening “great” status. Wonder Woman could get there, too, with a few good months. The real bummer is that their two marquee titles are not very good at all. I haven’t read Marvel yet, so I can’t compare the two companies this article. Look for that in my Marvel review on Friday.

DC Comics August 2019 Review

Introduction

I went with a slightly different format for the last review article and it worked out well for me. I will continue to use that format in this article for DC Comics August 2019. The reason for the change is that I rarely have anything bad to say about the comics and there is almost never any ugly. I did stick with the meter of the list, though, with The Great, The Good, and the Decent.

I will say one thing about DC Comics right now. For a while there, I was enjoying them more than Marvel books. That has changed. I found only two books that I’d consider great, one good, and the rest were barely in the decent pile. I mean, that can all change and hopefully it does. Because I’m enjoying the DC Giant books more than the current books.

The Great (DC better hope that James Tynion IV doesn’t jump ship any time soon)

Justice League #27 and 28 (James Tynion IV and Javier Fernandez)

I was getting a bit sick of Scott Snyder on Justice League. He had a pretty good run, but it was just getting stale. I’m not sure if I really just like the Year of the Villain stories or Tynion, but I also like Justice League Dark, so there’s some evidence for the latter.

Justice League Dark #13 (James Tynion IV, Daniel Sampere, Mark Buckingham)

This has consistently been my favorite DC comic since it was released a little over a year ago. I never expected to enjoy it as much as I have. Just like Immortal Hulk for Marvel, it has been a good book without a bad issue the entire time. Even if other books falter, I’m convinced this one will keep me into DC until they get it back together eventually.

The Good (A Surprise Here)

Aquaman #50 (Kelly Sue Deconnick and Robson Rocha)

I liked Aquaman after the Rebirth. The whole “the king is dead, long live the king” story was interesting to me. I wasn’t sure that they’d be able to keep it going after that, but this has been a solid title. If you told me that I’d prefer Aquaman over Batman, I’d have called you a filthy liar! But, it is I who was lying to myself the whole time.

The Decent (Quite a Hodge Podge of Inconsistency)

Catwoman #13 (Joelle Jones et al)

Normally, I’m a fan of Joelle Jones’ Catwoman, but the last few issues have fallen a bit flat for me. Things seem to be spicing up a bit now that we are in the Year of the Villain banner, so I hope the momentum keeps building for the next few months.

Action Comics #1013 and Superman #13 (Brian Michael Bendis, Szymon Kudranski, Brandon Peterson, Ivan Reis)

It was a big deal when BMB went from Marvel to DC. DC gave him their defining super hero and titles. For a while, I was impressed. However, things have gotten a bit disjointed with the two Superman books. I’m starting to remember why I didn’t like this hero very much growing up.

Detective Comics 1007 and 1008 (Peter J. Tomasi et al)

When James Tynion IV was writing this book, it was one of my favorites. Since Tomasi has taken over, it has been okay, but nowhere near as much fun or as interesting. These two stories revolved around a cult of Spectre and the Joker? All I have written here is *sigh*. I guess that about says it all.

Batman #74 (Tom King and Mike Janin)

Of all the books that have fallen off, this one’s drop has been most precipitous. I remember raving about Batman and salivating for each new issue to come out. Things started to go sour for most fans with the big #50 reveal, but I was still invested. Chris started to fall off somewhere in the 60s. I’m now almost completely out, but things look to change with the “City of Bane” story, so I’m hoping.

The Verdict (Hoping for Big Things from YOTV)

I haven’t been much of an event guy recently. I’m still burned out from Secret Empire. However, the way that DC is handling this Year of the Villain thing has me intrigued. It seems as if they are using it to shake up some of the creative teams. That’s a good thing because the books have been getting stale.

The stories, too, have been really good. I said earlier that I’m back to being a Marvel zombie and looking forward to more of their titles recently. That could change if the payoff from this Year of the Villain is anything close to the set up. DC Comics August 2019 could prove to be a turning point in many of the books.

DC COmics Week of 7/21/19 Review

Introduction

I think I said in one of my previous articles that it would be the last time that I would include older comics in the review. So this isn’t technically DC Comics Week of 7/21/19. There might be some older books in here, but I am at the point where I’m caught up on the books that I read and it is the most recent books as of last month. Progress! If I’m going to get any more current, I have to get famous and have the companies send me preview books.

Superman #9, 11, 12 (“Unity Saga” by Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Prado and Ivan Reis)

My heavens, what has the House of El ever done to deserve all this hate?

The Good (This book is better than Action Comics right now)

As you probably know since you are all fans of comic books, DC Comics handed control of their most famous hero to Brian Michael Bendis last year. What you may not know if you aren’t a fan of this page is that I’m not a huge fan of Bendis. I’m not against him necessarily, I just don’t like his propensity for long exposition and the standard that he set for serializing comics into 6 part stories. With that being said, I have liked this book more than Action Comics lately.

The Bad (Why the Retcon?)

I’m not much of a fan of Superman, either. Again, I don’t actively dislike the character. I mean, how can you? He’s a boy scout who champions the virtues of America. However, the character is kind of lame and Zack Snyder kind of ruined Superman and DC for me and it is taking some time to purge myself of those very painful memories. Granted, I was always a bit biased against DC, but they have been doing good things with their comic books the past few years, so I was missing out.

The Ugly (Everyone Hates the House of El)

Now, I know I just spend a couple of paragraphs talking about the negatives of this book in the good and the bad section. I’m not a hater, though. I did enjoy this story as I read it. So, you can’t count me in the headline for this section. However, the Evil Justice League, Rogol, and Zod most definitely do not like Superman’s family and they will stop at nothing to destroy them.

Wonder Woman #73 (“Prisoner of a Dark Dimension” by Various)

Why is Wonder Woman always tied up? Uh, don’t Google that unless you want your preconceived notions about comics and kids utterly destroyed.

The Good (This is an interesting story)

I’m pretty sure this is a rehash of a story that has been told over and over in Wonder Woman. However, not being a DC fan as much as a Marvel fan, I haven’t read many of these stories in the past. With that being said, this was a good story that I enjoyed reading, even it it wasn’t Greg Rucka writing it. There’s your obligatory Rucka reference for 2GG Bingo.

The Bad (This is only a one shot)

This issue was obviously filler for some reason or another. That’s why I say that it is most likely a story that has already been told. Even so, I’d have liked to have explored this story more. Oh well, maybe in the future.

The Ugly (I like this creative team)

What, what? You liked the story. You liked the creative team. How is that ugly? Well, this team filled in for this one shot. Therefore, chances are they won’t be back next issue. I wish they were. Hear that, DC? If these guys don’t have a regular book, give them one!

Catwoman 11 and 12 (Joelle Jones and Fernando Blanco)

I think I like Catwoman more than either Batman title now. That’s saying a bit.

The Good (Joelle is Back!)

The last time I reviewed Catwoman, there was a one shot fill in issue not involving Joelle. That made me sad. Joelle is back writing for Catwoman again. That makes me happy. I like her writing style for this book and if she leaves, it will almost be a Rucka-like adjustment for me to get used to a new writer.

The Bad (Not Quite Deus Ex Machina)

One problem I have with the book is that while there is an ongoing story, each book has it’s own specific narrative. It’s not quite Deus ex Machina that she utilizes to accomplish these feats of daring and do-baddery, but it’s close. Things just wrap up entirely too quickly for my tastes. I wouldn’t mind a cliffhanger or two.

The Ugly (Movie Premiere)

Part of the narrative of issue 11 was a movie premiere. I’m sure that it has some bearing on the book or the character, but damned if I was able to find it. Just felt completely random and not related to the story one bit. Maybe those pages could have been used for more set up for the eventual heist.

Justice League Dark #11 and 12 (James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez)

This might be my favorite DC book right now.

The Good (This is better than Justice League)

I’m not a fan of whatever Scott Snyder is doing with Justice League right now. It’s a fine title, but it just doesn’t feel cohesive or well executed. I will keep reading in hopes that things change. I would much rather be reading this book, though.

The Bad (Nothing)

That’s not an exaggeration. I love everything about this book. As I wrote in my caption, it might be my favorite DC book right now.

The Ugly (Justice League Dark Chaos?)

Is that a double negative? Are they now the real Justice League and the other Justice League is what then? Yes, this is a reach. But, as I said, this book is very good and you should be reading it.

The Verdict (DC Comics Week of 7/21/19)

Overall, the comics that I read for this week are strong. DC is having a bit of a wobble since it is mostly a comics venture at this point and it can’t quite figure out how to make movies. That being said, I did like Aquaman and Shazam was quite a bit of fun. But, I digress.

Back to DC Comics Week of 7/21/19, it isn’t as strong as some previous weeks. But, it wasn’t bad, either. At this point, I’m not sure who I like more, DC or Marvel. Maybe neither, and I’m just becoming a fan of individual books instead of either company.

DC Giant (Batman 1-6)

Introduction

This review is for the DC Giant (Batman 1-6) books. Yes, I realize that I am somewhat behind on my reviews. These books came out last year. However, I am getting caught up and my reviews next week should be of current books. So, that’s something for all of us to look forward to. For now, enjoy another blast from the past as we gear up for more modern content.

I don’t remember how I learned about the Wal*Mart exclusive DC Giant Batman books. Either Chris mentioned them to me or I saw a post on social media. While it doesn’t matter either way, I do like to give Chris credit when due. I do remember that when they first released, Chris wasn’t able to find them for the first few months. That was a mixed bag. I got to feel superior but I also couldn’t discuss the books. Overall, a net negative.

The Good (“Hush” by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee)

Somehow I missed this entire story the first time around. It’s not because I didn’t know about it. It was a very popular story at the time and I remember hearing about it and seeing the books on the shelves at the store. Jeph Loeb is one of my favorite writers and Jim Lee might be my favorite artist. It just doesn’t add up.

Nevertheless, I did miss it at the time and I’m sort of glad that I did. Being able to read such an engaging story for the first time is a treat. I am enjoying the intrigue and issue 5 introduced The Joker. I don’t like all Joker iterations, so I’m hoping that this is one of the better ones. FWIW, I really liked Tom King’s interpretation during the run up to the “wedding issue”. I look forward to finding out in the next issues.

The Good? (“Universe” by Brian Michael Bendis and Nick Derington)

I’m usually a fan of Brian Michael Bendis. I enjoyed his run on Ultimate Spider-Man. I have also more or less liked what he’s done with Action Comics and Superman. It feels like the move from Marvel to DC was a good one for him creatively. So, when I heard that he and Tom King were switching things up for the Giant books so that he would write Batman and Tom King would write Superman,it got me excited.

You may think that I’m setting this up for one of my old switcheroos. And, you’re correct. But, only partially correct. I’m not going to completely shred the story. It’s a decent story. It’s just that the pacing feels uneven, for lack of a better way to put it. The story bogged down especially in issue 5. Maybe it will get better going forward.

The Bad (“Nightwing” by Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows, and Eduardo Panscica )

I’ve never been a fan of Nightwing. Having grown up as a Marvel zombie, I didn’t have a particular affinity for any one Robin character. In fact, other than the old campy Batman TV show, I never liked Robin at all. I prefer my Batman to be alone. That’s weird, then, that I was all in for the Catwoman wedding. But, as ever, I digress.

This story hasn’t made me want to learn more about the character. I plug through the story because it’s in the book and I paid 5 dollars for it, so I might as well get my money’s worth. I just don’t see a scenario where I become a Nightwing fan from this particular story.

The Ugly (“Harley Quinn” by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Chad Hardin)

Unlike Nightwing, I actually like Harley Quinn as a character. However, like Joker, she can either be written really well or not so well. That’s not the problem with this particular story. The story is actually interesting. It’s just that in addition, Harley suffers from the Deadpool disease.

What do I mean by that? Well, in small doses, both characters are fine. They are enjoyable even. However, larger sample sizes such as entire books dedicated to the characters quickly become tiresome. They become parodies of themselves. Look, I understand that’s what they’re supposed to be. I just don’t like it.

The Verdict – DC Giant (Batman 1-6)

Overall, DC Giant (Batman 1-6) is solid and well worth the 5 dollars. There are two good Batman stories and the Nighthawk and Harley Quinn stories aren’t even that bad. It’s just that I’m not a fan of either of those characters, so I don’t pay as much attention to the stories. I just read without much enjoyment or comprehension.

I don’t know, other than eBay or another reseller, how you can obtain a copy of the books. Given the popularity of them, I assume that DC will figure out a way to compile them into a collection of some sort. You could always buy the trades for the stories. I will put a list at the end of this article. The only problem with that is that it could be cost prohibitive. Nevertheless, if they do reprint the books or collect them, I highly recommend picking them up as the value can’t be beat.

DC Comics Week of 6/16/19 Review

Introduction (DC Comics Week of 6/16/19)

Note: These aren’t actually DC Comics from the week of 6/16/19. This is just when I finally got around to reading them and writing up my review.

I haven’t been as good as I had hoped about updating the page again, but that is to be expected. Still, I’ve been better than in the past, so that’s progress. And, please, bear with me. I actually do have a plan to get things rolling and keep this page relevant (or at least not dead) for the foreseeable future. Now, without any more delay, my DC Comics review for the week of 6/16/19.

Aquaman #48 (“Mother Shark”)

The Good (The King Returns?)

I enjoyed the beginning of the Rebirth Aquaman series. They went with a “the king is dead, long live the king” story that gave Arthur amnesia. I’m sure that they’ve done it before. I haven’t read Aquaman regularly, so it was new to me. But, it was handled well and got me to be a regular reader of the series. Even now that they are giving him back some memories, I’m still in on the character and would like to see where this all ends up.

The Bad (Did they rip off the movie?)

The whole Mother Shark angle is pretty fresh in my mind since we just watched the movie a few weeks ago. It wasn’t great, but by DC standards, it was one of the better movies. Nevertheless, this isn’t a movie review. Still, is this Mother Shark thing a part of the Aquaman mythos or are they trying to piggy back off the success of the film?

The Ugly (Do Do Do Do Do)

I got the song stuck in my head. What song, you ask?

Action Comics 1009 and 1011 (“Leviathan”)

The Good (This isn’t Doomsday Part 2)

I was a bit worried that Leviathan was going to end up being some big, dumb super powered villain on a mission to kill Superman, a la Doomsday. I should have known that BMB would try his hardest not to be that hacky, but he is pretty busy right now. It was a pleasant surprise that Leviathan was not just your run of the mill idiot.

The Bad (This story is a bit confusing)

I mean, there is at least one issue missing and I haven’t read any of the lead in issues, either. So, this is probably my fault. I say that a lot in these reviews, which isn’t exactly awe inspiring. However, I am reading the books more regularly for the reviews, so this is one of the last times.

The Ugly (I kind of wish this was Doomsday Part 2)

It’s not that the story is bad. It’s just a bit convoluted right now. I will probably go back to reread it and see if I can’t a better handle on what exactly is going on. Admittedly, I wasn’t fully invested in the book as I read it. Therefore, it’s kind of ugly that I wanted this to just be a big, dumb ugly and not the nuanced story that BMB is offering.

Justice League #19-24 (6th Dimension)

The Good (This Story is Compelling)

This is going to sound weird along with the bad and the ugly for this book, but this story is compelling. I found myself enjoying it in spite of the warts. Scott Snyder has always been one of my favorite comic book writers. I was a little worried about how he’d do on a multi character title, but he has performed well so far on Justice League.

The Bad (Source Wall? Meh…)

Chris has been a bit down on DC Comics lately. He was one of the first ones I heard say that maybe Tom King’s handling of Batman was losing some steam. More on that in the next section. He also was not impressed with all of the source wall stuff as he called it. I might have been a bit poisoned by that comment, but I agree that it is all a bit too much at this point.

The Ugly (Another Reboot?)

I don’t think they are planning another reboot so soon. It’s not out of the question. Marvel rebooted 3 or 4 times in about that many years a few years ago. But, I feel like the companies have learned from that lesson and wouldn’t be doing so again so soon after what has been a pretty successful one. Still, this feels like a reboot.

Batman #70 and 71 (Bane)

The Good (This Story starts awesome)

So, Tom King is off of the Batman title as of 85 if I remember correctly. As I said earlier, Chris has been a bit out on King for a few months, but I didn’t think it had gotten that bad. I do remember texting him when this book first got announced that it looked like King might be redeeming himself some and he has. This story is good so far.

The Bad (The Narrative Structure is Wonky)

I found myself having to reread issue 71 a few times over and I’m still not entirely sure what is going on. I’m usually a fan of that type of back and forth narrative, but this time it was just strained. I’m saying that a lot of these stories are confusing. Maybe I just have summer brain.

The Ugly (Things got Ugly between King and DC)

Even with people (including Chris) piling on Tom King, it still came as a rather abrupt surprise that he’s not going to be writing the comic anymore. It has been over 70 issues and companies tend to rotate talent sooner than that, but still, things seemed to be humming. The most likely scenario that I saw is that he was going to have Batman kill someone and someone higher up got squeamish about it.

The Verdict (As of 6/16/19, DC Comics are still in good shape)

In my previous reviews (here, here, and here), I had very good things to say about DC Comics. I come here today not to bury them, but to praise them still. They can’t stay on top forever and it is the nature of the comics business for the two big companies to leap frog one another as the big boy. But, for now, I’d still rather read most of the DC books than most of the Marvel books. The gap is closing and my favorite book is a Marvel book. Immortal Hulk for those scoring at home. Look for more on Friday when I post my Marvel review for the week. See you then!

Detective Comics 1000 Review

Introduction

Okay, this is more like it. Detective Comics 1000. Surely after reading and enjoying Action Comics so much, I am going to love Detective Comics 1000. After all, Batman has always been one of my favorite comic book characters. Plus, there is a lot of crossover as far as writers between the two issues. Well, not so fast.

After reading it, I texted Chris that surprisingly I didn’t like it as much. I will get more into it with the individual story reviews. Overall, though, it just wasn’t as enjoyable experience as reading Action Comics 1000. Read on to find out why.

“Batman’s Longest Case” by Scott Snyder

Wait, they are starting with Snyder? That feels like a bold choice. I mean, I know you want to start strong, but one of the best and longest tenured Batman writers in recent history? This book is going to be great. (Narrator: The book wasn’t great. It was good. But, not great.) The big deal about this story was that the twist actually surprised me. That doesn’t happen often. A good start.

“Manufacture for Use” by Kevin Smith

I wrote “puns” and should have known. I’m not sure if this means that I should have expected puns from Kevin Smith or I should have expected some plot device because of the puns. I suspect that it is the former. This was a great story and the ending gave me goosebumps. Nice. 2 for 2.

“The Legend of Knute Brody” by Paul Dini

I actually liked this story from Paul Dini more than his Action Comics story. That’s not a surprise since he is known for writing Batman. Still, this was a funny story. I liked the idea of the family masquerading as an inept henchman to foil the plans of the villains. Clever.

“The Batman’s Design” by Warren Ellis

This story wasn’t vintage Ellis, but it was a good story. I enjoyed the way Batman psyched out the enemy. It was vintage for the character and one of the things that I most enjoy about Batman.

“Return to Crime Alley” by Denny O’Neill

This is Batman’s defining story, but it is told in a very different way. It was cool to see the bat judged for what he does and has been doing. He doesn’t kill people, but he is still very dark and welcomes others into that darkness.

“Heretic” by Christopher Priest

All I wrote here was “Meh. Tibet.” This is perhaps my least favorite part of the Batman mythos. I know it explains much and fills in some of the details of the character, but it is just tedious at times.

“I Know” by Brian Michael Bendis

A “last” meeting between Penguin and “Bats” (well, an older and supposedly invalid Bruce Wayne. Penguin tells Bruce that he always knew and could have ended it at any time. Bruce pulls one last one over on the old man by showing that he isn’t invalid. This was a cool concept and well done.

“The Last Crime in Gotham” by Geoff Johns

Bat’s birthday seems like a much more solemn occasion than was Superman’s. His wish is all our wish. Well, my wish for him. That he gets to stop being Batman and live his life.

“The Precedent” by James Tynion IV

This is a cool origin of Robin story. Very well done. I’m going to miss Tynion on this title. I enjoyed his run. At least I still have him on Justice League Dark.

“Batman’s Greatest Case” by Tom King

This isn’t his best effort. I can see what Chris means when he says that maybe King needs a break from the main title. DC agrees. Not that Chris gave them his input, but they’ve taken King off of the title. Still, it was okay and there was a great spread of the whole family.

“Medieval” by Peter Tomasi

I’m not a huge fan of Tomasi. I texted Chris when he mentioned something about the story that I wasn’t sure how Tomasi would do. He said that he’s liked it. I enjoyed this intro of him on the title similar to how I liked Bendis getting introduced in Action Comics. I’m definitely sold and I will read the main story now.

The Verdict (Detective Comics is good but not fun)

I talked in the opening paragraph about how Detective Comics 1000 wasn’t as enjoyable as Action Comics 1000. Then I spent 11 paragraphs talking about how good the stories were. Isn’t it enjoyable to have good stories? Well, technically, yes. That part of the book was enjoyable.

However, I feel like the dark and brooding Batman has been done. Maybe I’m just getting older and I want more fun from my stories. I can’t do the dark as much as anymore. Heck, even The Lego Movie made fun of Batman being emo. There’s room for fun and laughs in the Batman universe. Or, maybe not. Comic book nerds can be an unyielding group. Oh well, I think a little less grumpiness could go a long way.

Action Comics 1000 Review

Introduction

I was never a fan of Superman. Okay, that’s not true. I liked the Christopher Reeves movies, but you’d have to not be human to not enjoy those movies. They are just good fun. But, I never read the comics other than Death of Superman and a couple months of the Reign of Supermen. If ever there was a candidate to miss the epic issue of Action Comics 1000, it would have been me.

I hated the Zack Snyder interpretation of Superman. Could not stand a single one of those movies. Okay, that’s sort of a lie. Did Snyder do Batman vs. Superman? Because I sort of hate like that movie. What’s my point? I’m not sure at this point. Maybe I’m reiterating that Action Comics 1000 wasn’t on my radar and I could have easily missed it.

I didn’t. Not only am I a collector in addition to reader, but I had heard that Bendis was moving from Marvel to write for Superman and was curious to see his take on the character. I did enjoy Man of Steel, but I haven’t read any of his more recent stuff. And, catching up on comics and the web page, I figured now was as good as any to read Action Comics 1000. Continue for my review.

Note: I will forego the good, bad, and ugly for this particular review. This issue is a who’s who of comic book writers and all of the stories are good.

“From the City Who Has Everything” by Dan Jurgens

This is a good old fashioned feel good Superman story framed in a different light. It is set up as an “Appreciation Day” for Superman. There is both the suspicion that something larger is at play and also the event turns out to be an elaborate stage for a former henchman to tell how Superman helped him turn his life around. A solid start.

“Never Ending Battle” by Peter J. Tomasi

This story was fine. The ending was good with a nod to Krypto at the very end. Otherwise, it was some time travel (?) nonsense that was an interesting way to look back at the history of the character. Definitely not one of my favorites.

“An Enemy Within” by Marv Wolfman

This one tells the story of a school held hostage by a principal who is being mind controlled. Underlying is another classic Superman motif. We are all heroes. This was a good story, but the school hostage situation hit a bit too close to home for me.

“The Car” by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner

Not to toot my own horn or mention myself in the company of such great writers, but this one is like one of my “what if” or “beyond the scenes” stories that I like to write. An example that I’ve published on the page is Tales from Marvel Civil War: I Am Spider-Man.

“The Fifth Season” by Scott Snyder

All right, here we go. One of my favorite writers tackling one of my least favorite characters. Snyder does a superb job. The interaction between Lex and Superman has always been one of my favorite things from the book and he does a great job of capturing that. I think this might have been my favorite story.

“Of Tomorrow” by Tom King

I’m not sure if it still fashionable to like Tom King, but I absolutely do. I haven’t read some of his recent stuff and Chris says it isn’t as good, so maybe I will change my mind. But, he is a thoughtful and thought-provoking writer who isn’t afraid to take chances. He does so with Superman facing down the end of Earth to say good-bye to his parents. Solid concept and good execution.

“Five Minutes” by Louise Simonson

I have only written fine here in my notes. I guess it was. The story was fine. Superman is Clark Kent and he’s fast.

“Actionland!” by Paul Dini

Paul Dini is better known for Batman and The Animated Series. I’m not sure if he introduced Harley or reinvented her. If only someone would invent that repository of information so that I could be able to research these topics. Regardless, the story was fun, but I got definite Harley/Joker vibes from the story. I guess you write what you know.

“Faster than a Speeding Bullet” by Brad Meltzer

That’s literally what the story is about. That’s what I wrote here in my notes. “Faster than a Speeding Bullet”. It’s an okay story to illustrate that and gives a little bit of suspense, but ultimately it’s just that.

“The Truth” by Brian Michael Bendis

Here we have the introduction of Brian Michael Bendis and his retconning of the destruction of Krypton. I’ll give the guy one thing. He has some balls to come in and rewrite Superman’s history first thing. And, sure, the story is interesting, but I’ve already read it, so I didn’t exactly catch the hype train from this one.

The Verdict

I’m still not a huge fan of Superman. I’ve been reading the DC Giants and Brian Michael Bendis books, but the character is just too much for me. As a teen, I was more into the anti-hero like Spawn or the weird book like The Maxx. As I’ve grown, I want my heroes to be a bit more complex. Spawn gets to be too anti for me and Superman is too wholesome. But, I did enjoy the stories in this book for the most part and if, like me, you avoided it for months, now is a good time to head out and get the book.