HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Comics Today's Date:

Hey Kids! Comics!      

Batman: Gotham Knights #45
writer: Scott Beatty
artists: Roger Robinson and John Floyd

I really miss having Brian Bolland do interior art. Robinson and Floyd do a competent enough job, but it just doesn't live up to the promise of that intense shot of Man-Bat. And in fact, by competent, it really means that yes, you can tell what's going on, but it's all stiff, vaguely play-acted.

In a couple of places, Floyd's inking is so thick that colorist Noelle Giddings makes everyone appear nude; there's no place for subtlety in between the lines. Maybe the really high-profile projects have gotten so numerous that anything less than spectacular is a disappointment.

We finally get the story of the little batboy that has been lurking in the cave for a while, not that longtime fans hadn't figured it out anyway. But, like his artists, Beatty has gone back to being merely competent instead of able to use it to any real effect.

After being absent from the Batcave almost as long as Harold, Man-Bat himself gets treated in a rather ho-hum manner. If memory serves, he was pretty creepy in his last few appearances. Here, he's just a concerned suburban dad that happens to be able to turn into a giant bat.

His big emotional confrontation with his son takes a backseat to Bruce Wayne's finally breaking down over the loss of Jason Todd. (That's believable - if anybody would be stuck in Kubler-Ross' denial phase of grief, it would be Bruce.) Would you believe it? It all leads to a warm and fuzzy ending that just …isn't Batman.

There are still nice little touches. Alfred gets to express his grief, too, but in a reserved manner. Finally, Beatty backs away from making the social worker a villain; Desidero may be a little misguided, but he has good intentions. There's also an implication that just maybe, the Langstrom family will step back in with more regularity, which would be cool.

The back-up story, by Kimo Temperance and Nathan Fox takes a literally cute premise (awww) which only half-way works. Fox's art isn't bad; it's just too busy for the action he's depicting. Most panels end up a crowded mess.


Birds of Prey #59
writer: Gail Simone
artists: Ed Benes and Alex Lei

In the previous issue, Simone set her heroines up for a little humbling. Oracle tries to remain calm, trying to find a way out of the Hobson's choice of revealing Batman's secret identity or hearing her best friend die. As might be expected, The Huntress overestimates her own ability to tackle a crisis situation. And the Canary?

Well, the Canary probably has the coolest head. But even the coolest head makes mistakes, and as the first page points out, she made a doozy. Though successfully taking on the appropriately-named Savant, she forgot one little detail that could prove fatal.

However, Simone hasn't forgotten a single detail. Everything comes to a head this issue, and in the process the writer proves that she absolutely has a handle on these characters. More importantly, she makes it clear what binds them all together, especially The Huntress, in recent years made the outcast of the group.

There's a disarming lightness to their banter when facing enemies, and as it goes on it's obvious that it's not for our entertainment. For Dinah especially, quips are a weapon, a way of keeping male enemies off-balance. If it doesn't quite work against Savant, that's only because of his unique inability to keep time straight. It's an interesting dimension to the book that hopefully will be explored further. (Or I could be talking out of my butt on this one.)

And on the other hand, the Benes and Lei team continue to appeal to the lad magazine crowd. Sorry, it's hot, and Simone's strong storytelling and characterization make the point that Drew Barrymore wants us to think she did with Charlie's Angels: that women can have sexuality without being objects.

What tipped the balance for me was The Huntress finally offering an explanation for her new outfit. (Oh, sure, I like the look, but it still bugged me that she'd adopt it.) Leave it to Simone to believably justify it.

As I feel duty-bound to offer at the end of a really good arc: if you didn't buy these as individual issues, get the trade. This is why the WB thought a TV series was a good idea.


Daredevil #52
story and art: David Mack

Once again, the beauty of Mack's art cannot be called into question. Mixing watercolor with photographs and straightforward ink work, each page is stunning to the eye.

There's a greater emotional dynamic at work here than the previous issue, too. Maya, a.k.a Echo, returns to New York City, ready and willing to make more than peace with Matt Murdock. But of course, much has happened since she realized that he and Daredevil were the same. Many issues ago, she put into motion a chain of events that only reached their culmination at the end of Bendis' last arc. Things cannot be the same between these almost former lovers.

This change also allows Mack to make her a little more human. In general, Maya has been portrayed as practically perfect, within the scope of what she knew and understood of her own life. Not just in her ability to mimic physicality (that's just a hotter Taskmaster. Sorry.); the description of her intellectual abilities got as turgid as the worst of The Bridges of Madison County.

But for one page, Maya gets to flash jealousy. Suddenly, she's more believable than she had ever been before as she digs Matt about The Black Widow. Though it's an uglier side to her personality, dismissing Matt's new love makes Maya more sympathetic. All her earlier hurts were too remote; we get to truly experience this one.

It's still all a bit pretentious and recycling what we already knew. You need proof? Take a look at the "Previously…" page. The information pertinent to the last issue takes up one sentence. All the rest is backstory Mack told before.

Still, it's beautiful. Mack's model for Echo seems to have changed between issues; she looks a little less classically hot and a little more dangerous. (I can't help but think she looks more like Jennifer Lopez, echoing possibilities for the film Daredevil. Not that I'm encouraging that...)

Slowly, she's changing into a character that can stand on her own instead of just be in service to a Daredevil plotline. The creator might serve his character well to move that process along.


Derek McCaw


Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites