Gotham Knights #33
writer: Scott Beatty
artists: Mike Collins and Bill Sienkiewicz
than a serpent's tooth a sociopath scorned. After failing
to measure up as heir to the al'Ghul line, Bane has decided
to destroy all the Lazarus Pits, thus restoring mortality
to the Demon's Head. (Ironically, possibly sanity, too.) What
does this have to do with Batman? Far more than you'd think,
and the family can only listen helplessly as this little psycho-drama
rendered by Collins and Sienkiewicz, Beatty's story could
have tremendous ramifications without violating the characters
we know and love. What a novel concept. Along the way he also
takes a shot at the trend of taking characters out of their
costumes. Note to criminals with lame gimmicks: even without
the costumes, they're still lame. There may not be a funnier
moment this week in comics than a plainclothes Signalman pathetically
whining, "I'm signaling! I'm signaling!"
of Prey #47
writer: Terry Moore
artists: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
in time for the TV show's premiere, Birds of Prey gets
a new creative team. The good news is that they've hit the
ground running. The bad news is that they won't be here long.
Moore sets up a tale of political intrigue and scientific
wonder. It's pretty timely, too, as there have been recent
news reports on the effort to turn off our aging clocks. Though
it may be opening up a continuity headache, he also gives
a nod to Barbara's political past. Most importantly, in just
22 pages, the whole team effectively establishes a new focus
(though not necessarily a new direction) for the book.
side note, Conner seems to have combined the best of all of
Dinah's costumes into a new one. While it smacks of The Wasp,
it still makes a good look. Probably ineffective for crime-fighting
in real life, there's still just something about a vigilante
writer: Peter David
artists: Chriscross and Chris Sotomayor
want an honest and fair evaluation of the U-Decide books,
I'm sorry, you're going to have to look elsewhere. Maybe it's
wrong of me, but I've already written off Ultimate Adventures
and Marville as publicity stunts, and frankly, I can't afford
to waste my money on publicity stunts. Thankfully, the Captain
Marvel relaunch is no stunt, Alex Ross sketch cover notwithstanding.
any need to know what's gone before, David deftly explains
the ground rules for the book and begins a simple tale of
Genis going slowly insane. The "what ifs…" (not What If…?)
explored here provide a lot of food for thought. They might
be ripping off Harlan Ellison a little bit, but hey, it's
the sincerest form of flattery. The desperate need to boost
sales has also caused David to get a little tighter with his
writing. Gone are the bad puns and vaudeville humor that usually
creep into his work. Instead, what little humor there is comes
right out of the characters.
ignore the hype. Instead, just buy this very good book because
that's what it is: a very good book.
writer: Brian Michael Bendis
artist: Alex Maleev
aptly points out, Matt Murdock has had terrible taste in women.
You'd think a blind guy would end up being more interested
in personalities than he has been. In this issue, there's
a slight clash between two of his exes, and Matt ends up saying
all the dumb things that he knows he shouldn't to his first
true love. It's a very human incident, handled well by both
writer and artist. So, too, is the resolution to this issue.
The things that have made this book exciting the last few
issues have nothing to do with gritty street action or jumping
around in tights. Instead, it's that everybody has become
so real you can almost forget that there's any spandex involved.
writers: David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns
artists: Leonard Kirk and Keith Champagne
Who knew that the Golden Age Dr. Mid-Nite even had
an archenemy? We're going to have to see some reprints, and
way, Johns has amped up the wattage on The Shadower (in the
form of his meta grandson), and thrown the focus on Captain
Marvel and The Star-Spangled Kid. While the new Dr. Mid-Nite
and Mr. Terrific labor over surgery, it's up to the two young
JSAers to rescue a classroom full of kids. It's tense, and
after a summer full of child abduction hysteria, Goyer and
Johns' resolution really hits home.
and Champagne do a good job with the art, remembering little
details such as Courtney still having braces. The only drawback
is that Kirk's bad guys all seem to look vaguely similar,
as if evil automatically makes them pinched.
Parker: Spider-Man #48 (146)
writer: Paul Jenkins
artists: Mark Buckingham and Wayne Faucher
Peter Parker throughout most of this issue, I felt like I
was missing something. To be fair, the antagonist is purposefully
mysterious, but it feels more obtuse than exciting. On the
flip side, Jenkins has a great handle on Peter's character,
allowing him moments of sorrow without getting overly bathetic.
And someone finally remembered the weird dog in the next apartment
over. But we all know this book has an expiration date, and
it feels like we're just marking time until the new one appears.
makes the book work better than it should is great art. Finally,
Buckingham and Faucher have been allowed to do the exterior,
too. Art-wise, you can judge this book by its cover.
writer: Peter David
artists: Leonard Kirk and Robin Riggs
Marvel struggles must have energized David. Again, he
leaves behind his penchant for corny humor and brings his
current Supergirl saga to a close. In the process he severely
upsets the status quo for the book, but then, there may not
be too many of us even aware of it. That's a shame, too, as
Supergirl has been another consistently entertaining
title, if not always a stand-out.
Supergirl against some of the forces of Hell does have its
drawbacks in a mainstream superhero title. Kirk and Riggs
have to cut away from some of the action, and in their efforts
to be subtle they've left a couple of sequences a bit confusing.
who worried, Mary Marvel does get out of this one alive, her
presence really does make a thematic point, and things will
never be the same for Linda. I can't wait for the next arc.
writer: Brian Michael Bendis
artists: Mark Bagley and Art Thibert
Marvel Universe was a place of wonder. The Ultimate one is
a place of fear. It may be more fitting for these darker times,
but it's also terribly sad. Yes, the adventures of Spider-Man
have always had an edge of tragedy to them, but somehow he
found a way to have fun in spite of that. This issue makes
perfectly clear that the fun will come to an end sooner than
later for Peter Parker.
it may be more real, but even in all the battling with the
Green Goblin, the consequences of being Spider-Man have never
seemed more of a downer. Though still a good book, Bendis
has steered it into a surprisingly melancholy area.
least Mary Jane didn't die.