Batman #11 - "I try to let go...but even as I do...the city...she calls me back to her. She saves me. she reminds me...we still have work to do."
The finale (at least for now) to the "Court of Owls" saga that's been Batman's omnipresent concern since issue #1 is here at last! Batman has to fight a twisted reflection of what he himself is and find it in himself to overcome the trauma and torment of this ordeal. For Bruce to accept that he's been wrong and misled and nearly beaten and yet still carry on the fight...even worse, for Bruce to accept that he can't learn all the answers right now, nor can he go back to the way things were...this takes a special kind of strength.
Well, that's sufficiently vague, isn't it? There's a big mystery in this issue, one that was teased in Issue #10 and one which I still refuse to spoil...all I can say is that sometimes there IS no black and white answer.
The "Court of Owls" has been possibly my favourite Batman story ever. It's as strong as any I've read, and far stronger than most. Usually I find the last couple books in a long run like this a bit anti-climactic but this wrap up, both the main story and the "Fall of the House of Wayne" back-up story, are simply perfect. Scott Snyder is brilliant and he's made a life-long fan out of me over the last 11 months. I can't wait to see what comes next!
Of course there's a lot more from Gotham City and beyond, after the JUMP!
Batgirl #11 - Barbara has to fight a new team of vigilantes this issue, the same folks who set bear traps to catch a criminal last month and have more or less decided that Arkham and Blackgate are pointless and obsolete...it's time to stop sending criminals to prisons and start sending them to graveyards!
Oh, but this team, led by crazy-lady Knightfall, doesn't really want to FIGHT Batgirl...they want her to JOIN them! Of course Barbara's much to nice and classy of a lady to resort to cold-blooded murder, so the fight is ON!! Batgirl is up for the challenge though...
"Outmanned and outgunned here. Could get STORMY. Maybe the Batgirl from a month ago would've doubted herself. But that was a month ago. And that was a different me, entirely."
Of course, she gets a little help, whether she wants it or not! From a GCPD Detective named Melody, the same one who lost her partner in Batgirl #1 and who hates Batgirl's guts! Does she want to make friends or is she just gunning for the opportunity to take Babs down herself? Either way...she KNOWS something and Batgirl needs to find out what!!
Before Watchmen: Minutemen #2 (of 6) - What's the point of a group of costumed crime fighters if only a small fraction of the members actually care about stopping crime? Is it any good if most of our "heroes" are more interested in publicity and partying than in actually helping people?
This month finds Hollis "Nite Owl" Mason already disillusioned with the team that has just accepted him. They go on their first mission only to find it's nothing more than a fireworks-smuggling operation! Intel gone wrong but no worries! A little spin can make it a much more appealing news item! Capitalize on war paranoia! These are dangerous Japanese explosives!
"Somewhere in my head I gave into it. After all, we were the good guys. Nite Owl knew this was the best for everyone. With the public behind us, now the Minutemen could really do some good. But Hollis Mason wondered what his dad would make of it all."
Of course it's not all publicity ops, cover-ups and after parties for the Minutemen. At least not for Silhouette, Moth Man and Nite Owl! The ones who actually CARE about people go out to try and learn more about a case Silhouette has been working on involving child trafficking. What might they find? Probably more than they're really ready for...
Batman and Robin #11 - Remember last month when Damian warned all of the other Robin's about how he was going to surprise them, beat them up and take something of theirs to keep in his room as a trophy? Well, first up in this issue, Jason "Red Hood" Todd! I guess he figured he might as well strike while Jason was still in Gotham. There's some interesting dialogue between the two...a lot of unexplored territory to write about when dealing with the black sheep of the bat-family. The interplay was both amusing and enlightening!
No time to relax afterwards, as Batman and Robin are called into town to deal with a bunch of crazy freaks who are branding everything and everyONE in sight with bat symbols!! If you want to really get the Batman's attention, this is an excellent tactic. Just don't expect him to show up in a GOOD mood! The freaks don't care...they are all minor thugs who were permanently injured while fighting Batman and Robin and they're out for revenge! This wouldn't be too threatening (after all, they've all been badly beaten by some manner of Bat in the past) if not for their leader, a villain who calls himself Terminus and who clearly has little to lose. He's been planning this mischief for a while as his final revenge before dying of some terrible degenerative disease I guess? Something is making his skin melt...he blames the bat, now Gotham must pay. Yikes!
Superboy #11 - Superboy and fellow Teen Titan Bunker are out and about, hanging around town, getting tattoos, debating the morality of bank robbery and fighting a giant alien robot that made a wrong turn on the way to a Michael Bay film...It's very entertaining!
Like last month's Superboy w/Wonder Girl, this issue lets Superboy spend some quality time with one of his new teammates and learn what it is to be a "real boy". Remember, he's only been alive a few months and only really knows what N.O.W.H.E.R.E. wanted him to know. For example, he didn't realize that robbing the bank was wrong because money is just a thing and you can't hurt a thing! Plus he was only borrowing it anyway...Bunker, who is always entertaining and has grown on me tremendously since I first "met" him in Teen Titans #1, is something of a moral compass for his teammates and tries to set the "Boy of Steel" straight about right and wrong. These last few issues have been very helpful both to him and to us as readers in developing Superboy into something more than a mindless hitting machine.
Plus he really does get a "S" Shield tattoo on his arm! Cool!
Suicide Squad #11 - Amanda Waller finally has the intel on where the terrorist organization known as Basilisk may be found and the Squad is on the hunt! Or at least they are for a few minutes until the plane they're in explodes!! Now they're missing, presumed dead, and surrounded by a lost tribe of Mayans somewhere in Mexico! Most of them think it's their big chance to escape, but Deadshot knows better. He knows that Waller won't let things lie just because she thinks they might be dead right now. He's having a hard time getting it through to the others that it's in their best mission to finish the mission, though.
Add to this the stress of knowing that one of the Squad members is a traitor and dealing with Harley Quinn now exhibiting signs of 2 personalities (Dr. Harleen Quinzel and Joker's girl Harley Quinn, both fighting for dominance) and Floyd is having a rough day. Also, I don't know if those Mayans are particularly trust-worthy. Considering the motto of this book could be "don't trust anyone" I'm going to say no...At least King Shark is having fun...he got to swim in the ocean and it makes his brain actually work for a while. The dryer he gets the dumber he gets, so usually the Squad keeps him away from water...otherwise he can be unpredictable...
Well, it's not "Walk-in-the-park Squad" now, is it?
The Ravagers #3 - The gang's still on the run from N.O.W.H.E.R.E., still homeless and lost and seemingly without much in the way of a goal either. Caitlin Fairchild is trying to find a way to help these traumatized kids, but she's just as (metaphorically) lost in the woods as her young charges right about now.
Bad place to be because the bad guys have sent a new adversary to come and collect the team. A demonic cult-leader and his minions...welcome into the grasp of Brother Blood ("Trust me, I didn't pick it" he says). He comes along with his followers, near-mindless cult members who've all flayed the skin off of their own faces, and offers to take away the team's pain. I don't know what they'll think, but that's a promise I've learned not to trust. Particularly from someone whose outfit is composed of human bones and who inspires his companions to self-mutilation. Sounds like a bad goth party from the late 90's...
The only ace in the hole that the team may have is that they are still separated from Terra and Beast Boy (aka my reasons for being interested in this book). Beast Boy's been having visions about Blood and has convinced Terra that they should help! What will happen? Tune in next month...
Well I managed to keep a stable Internet connection through that WHOLE article. Shocking! Hope you had fun and don't forget to visit your comic shop this Wednesday! Issue #2 of Silk Spectre is coming out, along with new Justice League, Catwoman, Nightwing and more!
Oh and in case you missed it I also did a super long review of the new IDW book, Transformers: Regeneration One right HERE. Look for that to be incorporated into this weekly article in the future too.
Of course as always there's a new post up at Stryder's Dementia. I just can't seem to stop it...
Have a great week! Hasta la vista, Baby...