Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 11/14/2012

The second week of November ramps up the Joker action with another 3 (or 4) "Death of the Family" tie-ins including the highly anticipated Batman #14!!  Let's hop right to it...

Batman #14 - "Hello, Brucie!  I hope you don't mind my borrowing your butler.  I'm planning something very special.  A celebration for you-know-who, and I hear he's simply the best."

"Death of the Family" officially starts HERE and The Joker is...WOW.  I don't know what else to say.  Normally, when I read comics, I'm just having fun...it's an entertaining romp and at the end of the day, I know things are all going to work out and the precious status quo will be maintained.  "Death of the Family" does not allow me that comfort.  Since the New 52 began, Scott Snyder has been teaching us that there IS no status quo...not in this universe!  The stakes are suddenly and thrillingly (some might say maddeningly) HIGH!

So when Bruce finds an audio cassette tape left for him in the Manor by the Joker, explaining how he's "borrowed" Alfred...I'm just as freaked out as he is (with good, albeit spoiler-y reason)!  The Joker's always been malicious, but he's often been funnier than he is scary...Often, he IS the joke!  No more...this Joker, wearing his own decaying face-skin as a mask?  He's much much scarier!  Still funny, too, but in an uncomfortable way...I feel sorry for Bruce and his "family".  Batman!  Save us!! 

Oh, perhaps I don't mention it as often as I should, but the art in this title is FANTASTIC!  Kudos to Greg Capullo!  Some brilliant work!  His pencils remind me of Batman: The Animated Series in some ways, but all grown up...

Lots more Bat-Action, plus the Phantom Stranger and lots of Superboy after the JUMP!


Suicide Squad #14 - "For a top secret black ops organization, there sure is a lot of chatter going on here."

Last month, Floyd "Deadshot" Lawton took down Regulus, the leader of crazy terrorist organization Basilisk!  He did it as Regulus had a hold of him from behind, by shooting himself through his own heart, thus killing both Regulus and himself with one shot (in the process also saving Harley Quinn's life)!

That's right...Deadshot is apparently legitimately dead!  This month's comic opens as Amanda Waller, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn and a pile of miscellaneous marines attend Floyd's funeral.  It's a solemn affair under a grey and brooding sky....until it starts to drizzle a strange, GREEN rain...
Of course it's no surprise given this month's gatefold cover!  Harley's ex-boyfriend, The Joker, is crashing Deadshot's funeral to "collect" what he considers HIS as "Death of the Family" comes to the pages of Suicide Squad!  

Oh this is pure speculation on my part, but I bet we see Deadshot again.  They remind us this issue that government scientists are studying the severed hand of Resurrection Man (collected by the Squad several issues back)...you know, they guy who's power is to come back to life...who's ability is to literally turn dead flesh into living?  Yeah...

Batgirl #14 - "The life I thought I was going to live?  It's over, it's done."

The Joker took Batgirl's mom while she was speaking on the phone with her daughter!  Now there are villains coming after Barbara too.  The Joker, his henchman, and...an accomplice?  One thing is clear...the safe, secure life that Barbara thought she had, separate from her secret life as Batgirl?  Not so safe...not so secret and DEFINITELY not secure!! 

In what is an incredibly tense and emotional issue for Barbara, "Death of the Family" continues to wreak havoc in Gotham City and change lives in ways that they may NEVER recover from!  Hopefully Batgirl can find the strength within herself to confront her personal demons and win!  Since being healed of the paralysis she suffered at his hands in The Killing Joke, a confrontation with The Joker has been what Batgirl's needed all along...to get over being paralyzed all those years ago, and more importantly, to prove to herself finally that she never needs to be the victim again!  IF she can find the strength withing herself to survive a confrontation with the Clown Prince! 

Batman and Robin #14 - "For someone who's supposed to be undead, you're very much alive."

Batman and Robin need to get to the bottom of what's going on when the undead seemingly attack Gotham at the bequest of an organization known as the Saturn Club!  Last month Damian was captured by same...now he's playing possum, waiting to be taken into their lair, hoping to save the hostages they've taken.  Sadly, he hasn't really had time to discuss this plan with Batman, and the Caped Crusader is NOT happy about the radio silence!  Particularly with the Joker running around (just take another look at this month's cover...he's very much present, at least in spirit)...and not to mention the huge price still on Damian's head thanks to his loving mother, Talia...it's a dangerous time to be the Boy Wonder...

Well, Batman IS the World's Greatest Detective...maybe he can figure out where this weird cult is headquartering and find Robin while there's still time.  Not that Robin needs THAT much help, but still...he IS only 10 after all...(incidentally, I thought Damian had turned 11 at some point, but it's clearly stated that he's still 10 in this issue).

Oh, we also learn what Damian was collecting in the sewer last issue when he was attacked!  It's not at all what I expected!

The Phantom Stranger #2 - "Today has been a day filled with interruptions and they've caused me great stress.  So explain yourself quickly!"

The Phantom Stranger, when not out betraying people at the bequest of a mysterious and  possibly divine voice in service to the "greater good" is living in a small house, going by the name Phillip and has a wife and two sons.  Of course, it's all a facade...he is and always will be a stranger.  Regardless, he'd like to maintain the facade..even if it could be a weakness.

Imagine his annoyance then, when supernatural beings keep showing up at his little suburban house!  The Phantom Stranger is visited this issue by Pandora, looking for help with her box issues, followed almost immediately by the demon Belial, who wants to thank him for returning his sister, Raven to their father last issue.  And of course to warn him not to interfere, hellfire, sulphur, blah blah blah...

Once the Stranger's dealt with that, he gets a phone call from someone called Terrance Thirteen, who wants help dealing with his enemy, another supernatural being calling himself The Haunted Highwayman!  Geesh.  For someone with the word "Stranger" in his name, this guy sure seems to know a lot of people! 

The Ravagers #6 - "Use the pain...the anger...even the fear...to get even.  Can you do it?"

This issue marks the first actual mission for the Ravagers!  They discover, thanks to their newest "teacher" (a man named Caulder) that N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is about to attempt the abduction of another young metahuman.  Of COURSE they need to prevent that, even if their training is woefully inadequate.  The rookie team will just have to do...at least they have some help!  Superboy is still hanging around after joining them last issue (looking for answers from Caitlin Fairchild), and doesn't seem to be in too big of a rush to leave!

We also have a cameo from Red Robin, who seems to be in cahoots with Caulder in training and keeping an eye on the Ravagers.  Since they know so little about these kids, it's best to keep close tabs, I guess.  The book almost makes it seem sinister, watching in secret and all, but since Red Robin is more-or-less morally above reproach, I'm not overly concerned...

Superboy #14 - "I have no desire to engage with the chattel of this world.  Begone!"

Superboy returns home from his time with the Ravagers and a guest spot with Legion Lost just in time to hang out with his buddy Bunker and have a heart to heart about how he'll always be a living weapon and he doesn't trust himself, etc, etc...luckily, all of this whining is interrupted by the arrival of H'EL on EARTH!!!  A crazy powerful Kryptonian dude with pale white skin, long black hair and a backwards Superman logo carved into the skin of his chest (oh yeah he wanders around shirtless) just shows up and OWNS Superboy as if he were just some annoying kid (which, to H'El I suppose he is).  

Well, Bunker calls the other Teen Titans in for backup, but they only arrive in time to see Superboy being literally dissected alive by H'El, who has some form of psionic powers not unlike Superboy's and is using them to unravel the Boy of Steel's very form!  Not that it seems likely that they could do anything against H'El anyway.  The interruption by the Titans only manages to annoy him slighlty, as he wants to learn more about this Kon-El (Abomination in the House of El) and needs peace and quiet to study.  If we know one thing about Kryptonians (aside from the powers under yellow sun and Kryptonite vulnerabilities) it's that they are NOT fond of clones, who I guess on Krypton inevitably go berserk and become unstoppable killing machines.  Of course, Superboy wouldn't do that!  He's half human and thus he'll be fine!  Right?  Right?!?

I guess we'll learn more next week as "H'El on Earth" continues in Supergirl #14!

Well we've come to the end of another week in the world of DC Comics!  (Anyone else read that sentence in Kermit the Frog's voice?)  Great week and even better?  Tomorrow is New Comic Book Day!!!

Look for another chapter of "Death of the Family" in Catwoman #14 next week!  Not to mention new Justice League, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman and more!!  Can't wait!

Let's see what I went on about at Stryder's Dementia this week?  Oh yeah...my financial triumph!  (no you can't borrow any money!)

Have a great week all you crazy comic book fans!  Peace, love and whisky for all!  On the rocks!

Oh PS:  Here's the inside cover of Suicide Squad #14.  Bye!

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