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Batman: Gotham Knights #32

Now that he's back as a solid citizen again, writer Devin Grayson gives us a day in the life of Bruce Wayne. It's a great slice of life piece that hearkens back to the days of Neal Adams on the character, when Bruce was important to both Batman and Gotham City. Sadly, it's a take that until now has gotten lost in the shuffle of cross-overs and big events.

The art team really runs with this chance to draw the ordinary, and we can only hope that this balance between Bruce and Batman continues. If there are any drawbacks to the story, it's this weird sticking point that nobody in Bludhaven seems to have any clue that there's a connection between Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne. Was he only a ward in secret?

The back-up story by Mark Askwith and Michael Kaluta is both pretty and pretty nifty. This has been the most fun Batman book in a while.


Birds Of Prey #46

I've said it before and I'll say it again: you can't go wrong with a story about World War II mixed with dinosaurs, mercenaries, and Black Canary. Well, you can, but Chuck Dixon doesn't. Wrapping up his run on the book, Dixon ends with a bang. Good luck at CrossGen, Mr. Dixon. DC will miss you.


Daredevil #36

Call this issue Matt Murdock: The Man Without Huevos. Who would have thought that the woman to tame him would be Foggy Nelson? Succumbing to his partner's pleas, Matt's reponse to his "outing" is to utterly turn his back on the superhero life. Not even the urgings of the Black Widow can bring him out of it. In the process, Brian Michael Bendis turns the spotlight on Foggy. Frankly, you're not going to like what you see, even though it's an understandably human sight. This storyline continues to be gripping, despite almost nothing actually happening.


JSA #39

There's a real easy and trendy explanation for Powergirl's persona, and thankfully Goyer and Johns refuse to go the easy way. Just what exactly we are to take away from this issue still seems a little unclear, but the occasional Karen Starr wouldn't want it any other way. The spotlight falls on this heroine without effective origin, as a supervillain decides that he's the only man for her. It's a fun issue, with great art by Patrick Gleason and Christian Alamy that brings to mind Doug Mahnke's work on Major Bummer. Johns promised at Comic-Con that Powergirl's character and origin would become clearer in the months ahead, and this issue makes a good start.


Peter Parker: Spider-Man #47

An interesting ending almost saves this tired rehash of the conflict between Spider-Man and Green Goblin. Almost. The first half of the story was already covered back when John Byrne was working on the book. To be fair, a lot of you probably weren't reading it then. But Paul Jenkins also steals from Alan Moore's The Killing Joke, and it's such a naked grab that it feels like the writer is as tired as the story. Having Osborn essentially take over the former function of The Kingpin in Spider-Man's life would be fine; it's just getting harder and harder to explain why he does it in that ridiculous costume.


Supergirl #73

Next issue, three Supergirls will face off against each other: Earth Angel, depowered Linda, and Bizarro. And just for good measure, Peter David throws in a suspiciously familiar rocket ship speeding toward the Earth. Until the final showdown against Lilith can begin, David also offers up some interesting contrasts between Mary Marvel and Supergirl. Still, if the climax wasn't going to make it into the 75th issue anyway, why stretch out the build-up for the last couple of issues?


Ultimate X-Men #21

Welcome to the X-Men, Kitty Pryde. If your mother has her way, you just might survive the experience. Mark Millar has injected a pretty basic question into the X-concept by having there be real repercussions for Iceman's injuries sustained against Proteus. Why does training these mutants to control their powers mean they have to be superheroes? Despite his reasonableness, Professor X doesn't have any easy answers, which does make one wonder if he has been surreptitiously using his abilities to change people's minds about the whole thing. Though Millar ends this issue with the promise of a familiar cosmic threat, the quieter, realistic conflict really might have been the more interesting way to go. (Though, of course, we haven't seen the last of it. He's too good to just drop it.)


Derek McCaw


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