Gotham Knights #36
writer: Scott Beatty
artists: Roger Robinson and John Floyd
come as no surprise that the Batman continuity is not suffering
a shake-up. Clearly, you can mess with Bruce Wayne's
characterization, but his parents remain unassailable. Unless
you put Thomas in a bat-suit.
this arc, Beatty has wisely balanced these potential siblings
with the birth of a new villain, and yet, it's hard not to
have sympathy for her. Her story, and how it crosses that
of Bane and Batman, plays out pretty predictably. Also in
the background are Dick and Barbara stuck in traffic; Beatty
gives us a believable slice of their relationship. (But what
the heck was going on with that reporter and the payoffs?
It seemed like nothing more than a red herring.)
Beatty closes the tale with the implication that Bruce names
his villains himself. That's a weird throwaway bit that might
be worth picking up down the road.
of Prey #50
writer: Gilbert Hernandez
artist: Casey Jones
opens on Barbara and Dinah taking on luchadores art
thieves, a scene that will come back to haunt Oracle before
it's all over. But the real beginning lies in a mysterious
glowing woman taking out a scientific lab. You've seen this
character before, perhaps, but never like this. It's nice
to see that supporting casts don't disappear just because
their title character does.
does a good job of keeping the Birds in character, and if
the show has brought any readers to it, this makes a good
starter. Though one villain comes from DC's past, you really
don't need to know it. Though this book hasn't yet settled
on a creative team, it's good to have this run of fill-ins
keeping the potential alive.
previous arc got you hooked, artist Casey Jones (didn't he
used to 'kick for the Turtles?) has a style much like the
Conner and Palmiotti team, so everybody will still look familiar.
Heck, the cover even says it still is the Conner and
Palmiotti team. At least the cover is still by regular Phil
writer: Bill Willingham
artists: Mark Buckingham and Steve Leialoha
or not, the art in this book looks a lot like old Marvel bullpenner
Herb Trimpe, which reminds me that somebody really ought to
give the guy some work if he wants it. Possibly the resemblance
comes from a thicker inking job by Leialoha, which only adds
to the storybook quality.
this ain't no storybook. Snow White has accidentally stumbled
across an insurrection among the non-human Fables. For her
trouble, they're stalking her through the wild regions of
the upstate farm. Her less than noble sister Rose Red has
apparently switched sides. The only creature helping Snow
White is Reynard the Fox, who may just be doing it to get
some of the action he thinks the Big Bad Wolf has had.
don't show this to children. But definitely be reading it
yourself. Though many of the references are obscure (among
the rebel army appears to be "Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home…"),
Willingham has put together another solid and cool issue,
and nicely gives a grotesque but realistic answer to the question:
"Who killed Cock Robin?"
you missed it, by the way, DC just released the trade paperback
collecting the first five issues --
Fables: Legends in Exile -- and it's well worth picking
writers: David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns
artists: Leonard Kirk and Keith Champagne
the present age of comics (whatever it is), heroes could be
given origins that involved rich legacies and implications
of powers old as time, without anybody wondering, "hey, what
about that?" Thank heavens guys like Goyer and Johns have
come along to answer that question.
not enough that they refuse to accept the pat answer that
Teth-Adam, Shazam's first champion, went bad in two panels.
It's not enough that Nabu (the source of Dr. Fate's power)
fights alongside Adam and Khufu (Carter Hall's first identity).
It's not even enough that these heroes all ally against Vandal
Savage in ancient Egypt. Noooo…Goyer and Johns are apparently
the first writers to realize that hey, that wacky Orb of Ra
not only had to have been around then, too, but that means
that Metamorpho isn't the first Element Man.
from the curse that Rex Mason considers it, Akh-ton welcomes
the power. Never mind how he understands how to change into
chemical compounds in a time when they were unknown. Or maybe
I'm confusing that limitation with Firestorm.
creative team has given these long-standing characters a previously
unknown depth. Pay close attention to Captain Marvel realizing
that there is more to Black Adam's story than he knew; Kirk
and Champagne elegantly capture a moment of the teenager's
adult mask dropping off. It's subtle work, and you don't get
that very often.
writer: Grant Morrison
artists: Frank Quitely and Tim Townsend
Quitely returns at last! Actually, his subs have been doing
a great job, and I was not really looking forward to him taking
up the pencil again on this book. But inker Townsend has a
mollifying effect on him. Nobody looks quite as bloated as
they usually do, and that's a good thing.
the story, it's shaping up, but Morrison still has us dealing
with a lot of characters that haven't been developed. The
concepts behind them are interesting, but if not for a guide
on the "What has gone before…" page, they would all be a blur.
If Morrison has a weakness, it's that his concepts often take
precedence over pacing.
he's doing a great job showing us the social ramifications
of mutants in our midst. Taking an obscure piece of art from
the early days of the X-Men, he and Quitely have created an
image of mutant bigotry. As a result, the "Omega Gang" have
a look that may be a bit dorky, but has resonance with real-world
measure, there's a drug problem, making this a strangely realistic
look at high school years. But why does the drug come in a
container with an X-Men logo on it? No wonder nobody trusts
page 2 of this week's comics reviews, click