Ariel B.'s Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Watch Reviews: 44
9.3Avg. Review Rating

9.5
Action Comics (2016) #1033

Jul 27, 2021

Warworld Rising Part 4 keeps the reader at the edge of their seat with escalating stakes and a story that is both epic and profoundly emotional. Midnighter packs gritty action and existential questions about the value of humanity into one gut-punch of a story. Together, they make Action Comics one of the best books on the stands today.

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9.5
Action Comics (2016) #1034

Aug 24, 2021

"Warworld Rising" Part 5 pushes Superman and his allies to the limit as the echoes of Warworlds actions hit both at home in the Fortress of Solitude and on the sea. Meanwhile, Midnighter brings the duo of Midnighter and Mr. Miracle into direct conflict with Trojans forces as we gear up for the final confrontation between man, machine, and man-machine. With both stories in their penultimate chapters, Action Comics #1034 could easily have been an awkward, transitional issue; instead it is a delight from front to back, with the promise of even more to come.

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9.5
Action Comics (2016) #1035

Sep 28, 2021

Altogether, a fantastic issue with a powerful and affecting lead and the intriguing opening to a new backup storyline. This is just what Ive come to expect from Action Comics, which has been fantastic every month since this run began. If you arent following Superman books right now, my friends, you should probably correct that as soon as possible. Im just saying.

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9.5
Action Comics (2016) #1036

Nov 9, 2021

"Tales of Metropolis" is a fun side trip into the life of an often-overlooked hero. Unfortunately, due to its being a backup and limited to two parts, it doesnt fully explore the issues or questions it raises. That does, however, leave open the potential for the ideas herein to return on a larger stage, which would certainly be welcome.

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9.3
Action Comics (2016) #1037

Nov 30, 2021

Overall, Action Comics continues to hit it out of the park without fail every single issue. Excellent job all around.

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9.6
Action Comics (2016) #1038

Dec 28, 2021

There is nothing more satisfying than watching Superman's most impressive ability, his absolute and incorruptible goodness, coming into play. Don't get me wrong, I love to watch Clark throw down as much as anyone else... but fists are often impotent in fighting the most important battles, especially in a situation like this. Fantasies of playing the savior are tempting, but in the end, it is the people of Warworld themselves who must want a new path... and who must choose to walk it. Clark knows that, now. And that's why he's going to win.

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9.6
Action Comics (2016) #1039

Jan 25, 2022

Someone needs to make a film out of this Action Comics run sooner rather than later.

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9.5
Action Comics (2016) #1040

Feb 22, 2022

This is what Superman should be a beacon of hope, principled and good to the core, and all of this without falling into the trap of coming off as preachy or nave. In other words, Superman at his most inspirational. What more could you want than that?

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9.5
Action Comics (2016) #1041

Mar 22, 2022

Action Comics never fails to deliver these days, and this is no exception. I love seeing Midnighters journey it helps that Im a big fan of the character and theres a significant plot turn toward the end of the lead story that tells me things are about to get even more interesting. Top to bottom, a fantastic issue.

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9.6
Action Comics (2016) #1043

May 24, 2022

As a side note, who do I have to pay to keep Apollos hair white/silver instead of blond?

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9.2
Action Comics (2016) #1044

Jun 28, 2022

Various pieces are beginning to fall into place at a slow-but-steady pace as is to be expected with the recent announcement that the Warworld saga is coming to an end within the next handful of months. Im a bit sad to hear that, to be honest, but despite that, I know itll be a whole new, and just as exciting adventure.

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9.3
Action Comics (2016) Annual: Midnighter 2021

Aug 31, 2021

A satisfying and somewhat gut-wrenching finale to the past several months. Questions are answered, future roads are opened, and in the end my biggest question is... so, when do we get more Midnighter?

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9.4
Action Comics (2016) Annual: 2022

May 31, 2022

A Tale of Two Titans is a thought-provoking exploration of the environment and even more importantly, parenting can create the shape of a person. It can be heartbreaking at times, uplifting in other places, and sometimes a mix of both... so just remember to bring tissues when you sit down for this one.

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9.4
Batman (2016) #111

Aug 3, 2021

James Tynion IV continues to push Gotham in new and exciting ways, redefining the city and its denizens for the foreseeable future. Batman 111 is a largely transitional issue, moving Batman and Gotham toward the incoming 'Fear State" event, and Ghost-Maker toward the conclusion of his backup story in the 2021 Batman Annual later this year. While that does make it light on resolutions for a book that technically ends two separate features, it does deftly accomplish what it is trying to do: prepare the world, the characters, and the readers for "Fear State"... and Gotham's terrifying future. As it happens, Fear State has me more excited than any Bat-title crossover has in years, so if that's what we're here to do this month, that's fine by me.

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9.4
Batman (2016) #112

Sep 7, 2021

"Fear State" is shaping up to be the most exciting Batman-line event in years, elevating an underrated and underused villain to A list status while setting the stage for a new Gotham to emerge from this latest trauma... for good or for ill. Clownhunter is constantly falling into these problematic situations, and this time could be the worst of all, at least for him. For me its great.

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9.5
Batman (2016) #113

Sep 21, 2021

Batman 113 continues to advance the Fear State plotline, sending the characters careening toward a decisive answer to the question: Is there a place for the Magistrate in Gotham City? It is big and thrilling and still manages to maintain its humanity and the inter-character dynamics that have made the Gotham titles such a pleasure.

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9.3
Batman (2016) #114

Oct 5, 2021

Despite a few heavy-handed moments, Batman #114 sticks the landing where it counts, exploring the effects of modern society on the human psyche while providing intense action and stunning artwork. The ClownHunter backup pulls together all the threads of the previous stories in a satisfying manner while providing a possible future path for the character that may set him on a more promising and narratively versatile path. Excellent all around.

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9.1
Batman (2016) #115

Oct 19, 2021

Bright, fun, and fresh, Batgirls serves as an excellent introduction to what looks to be a promising run on a long-awaited team.

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9.1
Batman (2016) #116

Nov 2, 2021

Batgirls is exciting, touching and intriguing with a unique voice and a look that stands out with rich colors and dynamic character work. I cant wait for the ongoing.

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9.2
Batman (2016) #117

Nov 16, 2021

I wont miss Batgirls, though, because now that Ive gotten a taste of the narrative and visual style in store, I will definitely be following the title when it comes out.

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9.4
Batman (2016) #118

Dec 7, 2021

Batman #118 is a fantastic start to a new era for Batman, likely to appeal to fans both new and old. Batman himself is well-characterized, with a portrayal that veers more toward the classic detective model than the action-horror hero of the previous run, but without a jarring tonal shift that might be off-putting for current readers. The artwork is beautiful, but honestly, Im not sure Ill ever be able to get past that one page without wincing.

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9.3
Batman (2016) #119

Jan 4, 2022

A stellar second issue of a promising new run, incorporating a return-to-classic feel with more modern dynamics and relationship developments. Bringing Lex Luthor on board as a Batman foil, even temporarily, is honestly long overdue and I hope to see it continue in some form for a long time to come.

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9.1
Batman (2016) #120

Feb 1, 2022

Batman #120 is a heavy hitter with a clever, atmospheric lead and a magically charming backup. While I wouldnt necessarily say that Abyss is a compelling character thus far, the story that surrounds them is, and Abyss themselves is likely to follow once we know more about them.

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9.1
Batman (2016) #121

Mar 1, 2022

As a finale issue for both the lead and backup features, Batman #121 delivers satisfying resolution without closing the door on the return of these characters. Better than that, it situates the characters for future adventures, and Im excited to see them when they come.

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9.3
Batman (2016) #122

Apr 5, 2022

Experience tells me its a bad idea to get my hopes up, but this could be the event Ive been wanting to see for nearly 20 years.

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9.1
Batman (2016) #124

Jun 7, 2022

Doubling as both a one-issue story and a coda for an earlier arc, Batman #124 is a welcome and satisfying breather after a long chain of multipart issues and crossovers. The Poison Ivy backup serves as an enticing appetizer for the new Ivy series.

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9.1
Batman (2016) Annual: 2022

May 31, 2022

It's fun, it's exciting and it's excellent at setting the stage for what's to come. If youve been wondering just how Ghost-Maker became the leader of Batman Incorporated and what made them trust and follow him this is the story youve been waiting for.

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9
Batman (2016) Annual: 2021

Dec 5, 2021

A satisfying and long-awaited end to the Ghost-Maker saga from Batman backup features earlier this year. Ghost-Maker as a character has a great deal of potential and this annual has only just started to really explore that. As it stands, it is an effective exploration of his history and abilities, with additional insights into his motivation and his dynamic with Batman.

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9
Batman (2016): Fear State Omega #1

Nov 30, 2021

All in all, while Fear State Omega isnt the most exciting issue Ive ever read, it doesnt need to be and frankly probably shouldnt be. It is a rare quiet moment in the breakneck pace that has marked Tynions run as a whole, and thus a much-needed bit of breathing space. As a cap to Tynions two years on Batman, it makes absolute sense.

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9.5
Batman (2016): Fear State: Alpha #1

Aug 31, 2021

Beautifully illustrated, expertly executed - an exciting first part to the final act of James Tynion IVs Batman run. While its sad to see Tynion leave, hes definitely going out with a bang.

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9.1
Batman: Urban Legends (2021) #5

Jul 13, 2021

The tumultuous relationship between Batman and Red Hood has been tested, broken, and repaired many times since they first met lo those many years ago... but it has rarely been examined with as much love and attention as it has been here. We have one issue left, and Im honestly dreading having to let this story go.

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9.3
Batman: Urban Legends (2021) #6

Aug 10, 2021

In its powerful conclusion, "Cheer" brings together the remaining threads of Red Hood and Batman's difficult past and weaves them into a strong foundation for the future as a person and as a member of the Batfamily. Im going to miss this arc.

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9
FCBD 2021: Batman #1

Aug 13, 2021

Short but sweet. If youre a current comic reader and are looking for insight into whats to come, this is where you want to go. If youre on the fence about reading I Am Batman and would like to get a feel for what the book will be, this is also where you want to go. If youre a new reader, on the other hand, Id look elsewhere because youre about to be confused.

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8.7
I Am Batman (2021) #0

Aug 10, 2021

I Am Batman is a strong entry point for this new-but-old character as he makes his way into the mainstream Batman line. Jace is a great character with a unique motivation among bat characters that makes him stand out. It'll be exciting to see where he goes in the future.

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9.3
The Joker (2021) #5

Jul 13, 2021

The Punchline backup is a transitional chapter with a focus on the characters and setting up their next moves. Solid story with beautiful, clean artwork from new Punchline artist Sweeney Boo.

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9.1
The Joker (2021) #7

Sep 14, 2021

Joker #7 combines the horror, crime, and action genres and stirs them into a delicious mix of new and classic characters to create an irresistible fictional feast. This happens basically every single month, and if youre not reading The Joker, youre absolutely missing out.

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9.2
The Joker (2021) #8

Oct 12, 2021

When it comes to Punchline, Im excited to see the characters on the edge of a new phase in the story. ...I do really want to know what is going on in Blackgate though. If you read this chapter, youre probably going to end up wondering, too.

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9.2
The Joker (2021) #9

Nov 9, 2021

Meanwhile, Punchline delves into what were all here for or, well, what Im here for anyway: Punchline herself. It is an examination of who she is and where she came from. While it does not unlock a full understanding of her psyche, that is perhaps to be expected... because someone like her can only ever be a puzzle to people who arent violent sociopaths.

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9.2
The Joker (2021) #10

Dec 14, 2021

A compelling issue that consists primarily of flashbacks in both he lead and backup stories. "Broken Home, Broken Heart" is a character drama with just the right touch of action as well as an examination of the Jokers terrible impact and how it lingers long after he has left the scene.

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9.1
The Joker (2021) #11

Jan 11, 2022

A strong, if transitional, chapter of the lead Joker story moves the plot along while taking the time to explore some of the most intriguing additions to the cast that is, intriguing if youre interested in schlock horror fun, which I absolutely am. And in Punchline, subplots I hadnt previously been very invested in are beginning to pop and grab attention, making this my favorite chapter to date.

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9.2
The Joker (2021) #12

Feb 8, 2022

Im really going to miss this series in a few months when it has reached its conclusion. That said, I appreciate a book that knows its scope and steps offstage before it overstays its welcome. And while this is really only nominally a Joker book, it may well be the best Jim Gordon story in years.

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9.1
The Joker (2021) #13

Mar 8, 2022

With both the lead story and the backup poised to barrel into their final chapters, The Joker #13 is both a solid individual issue and an intriguing setup for the final page in both tales. The lead pairs exciting action with visuals straight out of a horror film. Punchline pays off months of build with an answer to the lingering question of what will happen to Alexis Kaye. And now it's all over except the cleanup.

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9.9
The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #4

Jul 21, 2021

Ram V and Felipe Andrade have delivered another near-perfect issue of this near-perfect series... and Im only adding the near because perfect is a big claim. Laila Starr continues to bring a mythic resonance to the questions of death, grief, and the fleeting nature of life.

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10
The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #5

Sep 1, 2021

Visually stunning, heartbreaking, inspiring, and poignant. The Many Deaths of Laila Starr is a masterpiece and I dont say that lightly. If youre anything like me, youll laugh and cry and resent the crying and then read it all over again.

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