Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - Release Date 1/18/2012

Proving that not everyone at Fruitless Pursuits has given up on DC Comics, here's another week of comics reviews just for you!  Oh incidentally, since this column has become a more-or-less official weekly fixture, I'm looking for a proper name for it.  Any ideas?  Please share!  Now on to the reviews...

Batman #5 - Wow!  Batman is trapped in a crazy maze, bereft of his utility belt, forced to drink the tainted water to survive, and more or less slowly going crazy.  Watch as he tries in vain to solve the mysterious labyrinth of the owls!  One week in, and things are not looking up for the dark knight!  This book really tries to get into the reader's head...taking you through it's own labyrinth of topsy-turvy pages in an attempt to get you almost as lost at the poor befuddled Bat.  Very cool idea and decent got me!  I was literally reading the book backwards at one point.  I like it!  This Court of Owls story line has been the best thing in the DC universe to me anyway, with far-reaching implications that potentially change Batman's universe forever.  Talon is a great nemesis and I can't wait to find out what happens next!  Catwoman was going to be my favourite title this week, but Batman wins it in the end, hands down!  Sorry Selina!

Catwoman, Nightwing and more after the jump!

Catwoman #5 - I don't care what anyone says, I love me some Catwoman.  This book is my second favourite of the week.  Nothing really startling happens in it - as a matter of fact the whole thing is practically one big chase scene.  However, the internal monologue running through Selina's head the entire time coupled with the amazing artwork just makes me smile.  I love the way that artist Guillem March draws facial expressions.  The subtle and not-so-subtle emotions that play on his characters' faces really amazes me.  I know it's ironic, being impressed by the facial expressions in a book that's infamous for it's scantily-clad lady scenes, but hey...that's who I am.  Anyway, great month for Catwoman and a great title in general!

Birds of Prey #5 - The ladies find themselves in an enigma wrapped in betrayal wrapped in a vest?  No that's not right....Regardless, this month our heroes are confused and off-balance for the entirety of the issue, as they wake up in the middle of the street on page one with no memory of how they got there and go through the entire issue without figuring out quite what's going on.  As the reader, I don't know either.  I am interested to find out!  Katana gets some nice characterization this month, becoming more than the creepy sword-wielding chick who will murder your ancestors.  It's nice to have some characterization beyond Black Canary and newcomer Starling.  Speaking of which, Starling is also fleshed out quite a bit this month, as is Poison Ivy and even Batgirl, who seems to have snuck in as a regular on this title!  I can't complain...

Nightwing #5 - This issue has Dick and his travelling circus showing up in New Orleans for a show that gets interrupted by a demon attack!  Luckily it's a circus so no-one really notices.  Meanwhile the mystery of what the circus actually means and why someone is trying to kill Dick Grayson is getting deeper with no resolution in sight!  Could Dick's childhood friends be against him?  Only time will tell.  Incidentally, if ANYONE in this circus hasn't figured out that Dick Grayson is actually Nightwing by now, well, they aren't that bright.  I suppose a high IQ and attention to detail aren't necessary to work at a circus, but if Nightwing keeps showing up in every city the circus visits and keeps helping circus folk, don't you think someone will eventually put it together?  Either way, a decent issue, although it mainly made me interested in what happens next!

Red Hood and the Outlaws #5 - Another interesting chapter in the lives of our little band of ambiguously motivated young adults this month.  Jason Todd has another little flashback that fills in a little more detail about his past while fighting an ancient an immortal evil straight out of a Stephen King novel.  Meanwhile, Arsenal and Starfire are battling a being named Crux who has genetically altered himself with alien DNA in order to rid Earth of all aliens.  Idiotic xenophobe doesn't appreciate the irony.  There's a great emotional moment between Roy and a depowered Kori that may be the first genuine emotion that anyone has shown to anyone in this title!  I knew they had it in them, but they're all soo "tough" you know...

Supergirl #5 - Supergirl is good at two things so far in her comic book.  1. Hitting things.  2. Running away.  She does both in this issue quite a lot, and generally for no very good reason.  Of course, since she's a teenager just out of stasis and who is slowly learning that everything she loved in her life is gone, I guess it's understandable.  If she acted calmly and rationally to all of that it would be much more of a stretch.  Nevertheless, I'd like to see the story move out of the anger and denial stages of grief and move a little closer to acceptance....or at least bargaining.  That comes next, right?  So far the writers haven't really given me much of a reason to be interested in Kara as a person, rather than just as a super-powered alien in a skimpy costume.  She has her moments, but'd just be nice to see her calm down and have a few normal, calm minutes.  Something that so far has yet to happen for Supergirl.

Wonder Woman #5 - Family is coming first for the recently dissillusioned Diana as this issue sees her trying to figure out what to do with the few people she still trusts now that her old life is essentially over.  She doesn't have to wait long for action to find her, though, as an unknown apparent half-brother seeks her out and leads her to a confrontation with a very wet and very angry sea god!  As per usual, Diana refuses to be intimidated.  You'd be hard-pressed to find someone more courageous in the DC Universe.  Looks like it's gonna be war in the pantheon with Wonder Woman and friends stuck right in the middle.  Next issue, Poseidon vs Hera?!?  Oh incidentally artist Tony Akins does a good job filling in for regular artist Cliff Chiang  this month and apparently next.  He tries to keep the style of the book similar, although you can see some personal touches.  I prefer Chiang's work in the context of this title but the pencils are still quite good overall.

Well, that's it for this week!  A lot of titles and overall they were entertaining.  Supergirl and Nightwing could use as little work, and Red Hood is mainly interesting if you want to revisit 90's comics, I admit.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed new comic day this week and can't wait for next week, with Flash, Aquaman, Justice League and more on the horizon!!  See you then!

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