Mark Delaney's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: GWW Reviews: 43
8.4Avg. Review Rating

8.5
All-Star Batman #1

Aug 10, 2016

There's plenty of room for multiple Batman story-lines in the lives of devotees, so if you find yourself already invested in Tom King's mainline or the continuing Detective Comics, don't set Snyder's new run aside. It might prove to be the best of them all.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
All-Star Batman #2

Sep 14, 2016

There are some truly great lingering threads set up in this issue that overall do make up for the slight confusion in what's going on, and one major mystery I can't wait to see unmasked. On top of that, the art, both pencils and the color palette, are somehow even better than the last issue. This series is in great hands, and if the focus can be maintained I don't worry at all that it'll be well worth the time month after month.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
All-Star Batman #3

Oct 12, 2016

If there's a gripe so far, it's in the lack of attention playing up on Two-Face's motives. We understand he wants to prove to Batman that everyone has a darker side, even Batman, and even if they don't all wear their darkness on the left side of their body. The metaphors have always been heavy-handed with Two-Face, and Snyder seems comfy to reiterate a lot of those same themes, but he has, in interviews, teased a deeper dive into that symbolism, too, and so far we haven't seen it. I guess that's simply because the odd couple of Bats and Harvey have had barely a moment to catch their breath along their fast-approaching 200 mile journey.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
All-Star Batman #4

Nov 10, 2016

There are a few slip-ups where villains do stupid villain things — stop leaving Batman "to die" if you want him dead — but overwhelmingly, I'd be surprised if this isn't shaping up to be one of 2016's best comics. I read Batman almost exclusively when it comes to comics, so while I understand his character greatly, I'm not privy to the status of the rest of the comicsphere. If there are many comics out there right now better than All-Star Batman, I'd love to hear about them, because reading something as well done as A-SB is simply awesome.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
All-Star Batman #5

Dec 28, 2016

This arc took great risks, like leaving Gotham behind almost completely and having only Duke, a polarizing pet project of the author, tagging along with the titular hero. But they worked. The pulpy feel is punctuated to great effect in issue #5. The action feels epic like any finale should and the character drama has the sort of grand reveal we should've always expected. All-Star Batman was promised as a series of smaller arcs wherein Batman focuses on one enemy at a time. Snyder really delivered a worthwhile Two-Face story in just 110 pages or so and now he's looking ahead to my personal favorite villain, Mr. Freeze, and I can't wait to see what he and Romita Jr. can come up with next.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
All-Star Batman #6

Jan 11, 2017

For whatever reason, it just didn't hit as hard as I expected, even after an excellent first half.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
All-Star Batman #7

Feb 8, 2017

Overall, whether you were left impressed with last week's introduction to the second arc, or, like me, just confused, this week's follow-up is a worthwhile and aesthetically intriguing step in the right direction.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
All-Star Batman #8

Mar 15, 2017

The most exciting part of this issue, however you feel about Mad Hatter, is the dangling thread that sets up the next issue with another (possibly teased?) villain reveal.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
All-Star Batman #9

Apr 19, 2017

This is an issue that stands as an example of the heights this medium can reach when it's undertaken by a team as well versed and understanding of a character as these two.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
All-Star Batman #10

May 10, 2017

All in all, it's another strong month for the team behind All-Star Batman. It's getting comfortable expecting a great issue each month and we may have to wonder -- can it always be so much fun?

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
All-Star Batman #11

Jun 21, 2017

Sometimes in this arc it just feels like Alfred's backstory, albeit worthy, is obstructing a cool, apparently new villain story in the A plot. Now, an Alfred spinoff prequel series -- there's an idea.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
All-Star Batman #12

Jul 26, 2017

I think this story would actually be strongest without the main Batman plot. If we were only getting the Alfred flashbacks, the modern day ties would still be evident and fun to catch, but the story would feel more cohesive.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
All-Star Batman #13

Aug 29, 2017

My favorite part of this issue is actually the first third of it, where it's all spent highlighting the same rapid fall to earth for our heroes.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Batman (2016) #1

Jun 15, 2016

The dichotomy of person and persona is better with Batman/Bruce Wayne than perhaps any other superhero out there, and King's openness to blurring those lines in his debut is a great sign for the future.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Batman (2016) #1

Jun 15, 2016

The climax leaves us with plenty of question marks regarding not just who is threatening Gotham now, but who has risen alongside the Bat to save it. The dichotomy of person and persona is better with Batman/Bruce Wayne than perhaps any other superhero out there, and King's openness to blurring those lines in his debut is a great sign for the future.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.5
Batman (2016) #2

Jul 6, 2016

Batman is a hero with exceptional and cherished history, more so than maybe any other superhero in comics, I'd argue. One of the best aspects of Scott Snyder's work was his familiarity with and respect for that history. King is again, like in the premiere issue, proving he's fluent in speaking Batman, too. Simply put, it's a joy to read. This issue is the best of the three so far, counting the one-shot. Batman historians may have already figured out who the villain is going to be for this first arc, but if you missed the subtle clue in the last issue, the conclusion of issue #2 leaves no room for doubt and plenty of room for feverish anticipation.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Batman (2016) #3

Jul 20, 2016

Even with another cliffhanger, the arc noticeably takes a step back, but by no means is it a terribleissue. It just feels inconsistent with what we've seen so far. There's still a lot to look forward to in weeks ahead, even if there isn't a lot to love in Batman #3.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Batman (2016) #4

Aug 3, 2016

A Suicide Squad namedrop felt like overt product placement for the movie that "just so happens" to release days after the issue hits stores, but the story content surrounding it was still worth while enough to not be too distracting. Just like he did in the premiere, King is using his personal knowledge of government agencies and how they operate to paint a somewhat militaristic view of Gotham and its goings-on. It's a new look for the Bat, and while I'm still getting used to it, I haven't been displeased with the arc so far. My only hope is that the payoff surrounding the new heroes in the city is a big one, and this issue at least leaves us believing it will be.

View Issue       View Full Review
3.5
Batman (2016) #5

Aug 17, 2016

Overall, King's fifth issue stands as a symbol of his first arc overall. It's inconsistent, with glimmers of both excellence and mediocrity, and mostly rests in the middle somewhere. I'm looking forward to more from the new series, but even if you don't unfairly compare it to his predecessor Snyder's brilliant debut run, it's hard to argue he will be running uphill for a while until he can get Batman back on track.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Batman (2016) #6

Sep 7, 2016

At this point, I don't think I'll ever get over the hokey-ness (is that a word?) of Gotham and Gotham Girl. Their names, their costumes, their general presentation " it all speaks (and spoke, RIP Hank) to that bygone comic book era of decades past. I've said that in past reviews, and I now see it's never going away. But I'm much more comfortable with it now. Claire feels like a real character. She's someone I care to see develop moving forward, so much so that I hope she can be saved and returned to a more, uh, functional state. I don't just wish her character a strong progression, I wish her well. That's an achievement on Tom King's part, and I'm excited to see where he " she " no, where we go next.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.6
Batman (2016) #7

Sep 20, 2016

After such a great Gotham Girl-centric issue with #6, it's a shame to not see her appear in the immediate follow-up. Even when Batman signals to his cave, only Alfred and Duke are on standby to assist. What she's up to and how she's doing are questions that remain unanswered in the latest chapter. What's left is a paradoxically predictable and unpredictable issue all at once. The stakes are raised and the story is on the right track, I think. So long as they don't veer unexpectedly off course again.

View Issue       View Full Review
5.0
Batman (2016) #8

Oct 5, 2016

Speaking of the action, it has a few cool moments that I won't spoil, even for those that are confused by the series-jumping like myself. For the most part though, the building-sized monsters just aren't what drives me to read Batman. Even Hugo Strange feels altered for the worse when he's being used for this sort of Power Rangers-like villainy. Simply put, King's first Big Bad hasn't carried the issues the way Batman's stellar rogues gallery so often do. Batman works best when his nemeses are breaking out of Arkham or inflicting some sort of psychological terrorism of Batman and/or Gotham. Blowing up the proportions of grotesque creatures and throwing them Batman's way simply doesn't feel like Batman, at least not the kind I want to read. The next issue, #9, reignites King's solo work with the character, and teases the idea of a Batman-curated Suicide Squad. That sounds promising, and hopefully it delivers.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.4
Batman (2016) #9

Oct 19, 2016

Issue #9 is certainly not full of action, but it's well aware of that. Instead, it uses its time wisely to set the table for what's coming. King and company still have to deliver on what they've introduced, but the road ahead looks more enthralling than anything this crew has done so far.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Batman (2016) #10

Nov 2, 2016

The best part of the issue is the framing device that comes from its hand written letter narration. A letter from — who? That'll become clear by the end — speaks to Batman and Bruce at once on a deeply personal level. Friend or foe? Nemesis or" lover? It hints at more character drama to come, and it's a thread of which I never tire. After such a shaky start, it's really rewarding to have the mainline Batman series back delivering a worthwhile plot. It's just two issues, but this arc looks to be much better than King's debut. It's trimmed the fat, installed a new, better-fitting artist, and has finally introduced some worthwhile villain drama. King is undoing all of his early mistakes and giving Batfans something worth clinging to. Some major teases for issue #11 should have you reeling during the two week wait.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Batman (2016) #12

Dec 7, 2016

Did Selina really turn on him? You still won't be able to say after this issue is over, as where we finish is only a few moments after where the last issue finishes. This issue is great because of that fact, as surprising as that might sound. It moves the current story almost not at all, but delivers some great characterization from King as he navigates Bruce and Selina's relationship for the first time in his Bat-career. After a rough first half of 2016, the new scribe has found a great rhythm with the last few issues and I look forward to more in a few weeks.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Batman (2016) #13

Dec 21, 2016

The entire arc has felt like a Rube Goldberg machine. We've watched Batman put all the pieces in place for the past few months of releases. Issue #13 is as satisfying as sending a ball in motion through such a contraption. You see everything perform its specific task, timed precisely, and it's a joy to see all facets of the machine cooperate and work as one unit by the time the panels have come to an end. We haven't seen the last of these villains, and that's an exciting cliffhanger too, but for now, Batman #13 reminds all readers that he can't be outmaneuvered by either brawn or brains.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Batman (2016) #15

Jan 18, 2017

There's so much more I want to see between these two characters and I would do a multi-arc love story just between them, villains need not be involved. This issue ends with a seemingly temporary goodbye to this story with the setup for what could be another quality arc on the way. And yet, just like the man in the cape and cowl, I'm really just looking for more of Catwoman.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Batman (2016) #16

Feb 1, 2017

If you can't tell, issue #16 is my favorite of King's work so far. Something wicked this way comes. And if these twenty pages are any indication, Gotham " maybe even Batman himself, won't be ready.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Batman (2016) #17

Feb 15, 2017

For an issue that featured surprisingly little Batman himself, #17 was all at once exciting and eventful but remains mysterious with plenty of proverbial meat on the bone for the next issue.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Batman (2016) #18

Mar 1, 2017

I'm hopeful the author and the rest of the team can keep up this fantastic level of storytelling.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Batman (2016) #19

Mar 15, 2017

A lot of single comic issues are just bridges to the good stuff. The best part about this run lately is that each of them are bridges to the good stuff, but not before being superb themselves.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Batman (2016) #20

Apr 5, 2017

Batman's writers look inward to the character more often than perhaps any other, so it's not that the ideas we explore, namely Batman's unbreakable will, are wholly new ideas.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Batman (2016) #21

Apr 19, 2017

Without question, Batman #21 is mysterious, tantalizing, and all around well written.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.5
Batman (2016) #22

May 3, 2017

In terms of the big picture, this issue doesn't move the needle too much. This was designed to be a close-to-the-heart character issue for the Dark Knight, and both visually and in writing it really nails that.

View Issue       View Full Review
8.0
Batman (2016) #24

Jun 7, 2017

This issue made me laugh out loud more than once with what was inadvertent humor from the titular hero even though it was much more intentional from the author.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Batman (2016) #25

Jun 21, 2017

The War of Jokes and Riddles feels like it will be the most explosive and memorable arc of King's reign so far if the setup delivered in this issue is any indication going forward.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Cryptocracy #1

Jun 28, 2016

Cryptocracy is bound to be confusing at times, perhaps even priding itself on that like a season of LOST. It's a deep-running rabbit hole, and if you're into that sort of thing, it's worth jumping in.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Cryptocracy #2

Jul 28, 2016

Jensen clearly plotted out a lot of the confusing in-universe mythology before sitting down to begin writing the series, and if it can remain maddeningly intriguing, if he believes in his audience, there's no doubt in my mind that Cryptocracy will emerge as one of the best new comics of the year.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Cryptocracy #3

Aug 31, 2016

There's so much to learn about the world Jensen is building, which makes having it drip-fed surprisingly satisfying. With each issue, we learn more of the complex mythology and the wide cast of characters. My only complaint inthis issue is that some moments felt like they're happening so fast that it's hard to follow at times but the pacing is fitting for the story. After all, a group's "world" is crumbling beneath them, figuratively and sometimes literally. But I think the accelerator could be let up just a little to focus in on the gravity of situations a bit more. That would really sell the chaos better, I believe. Aside from that, however, this third issue cements Cryptocracy as a must-read that, if not already immensely popular, damn well should be.

View Issue       View Full Review
7.0
Cryptocracy #4

Oct 3, 2016

The events that unfold in this latest issue are some of the series' biggest and most intense so far. The way they bridge the A and B stories using Hum is probably the most exciting part of the whole issue too. But the attempt to resonate in a way other than through mystery and political drama just don't reach the mark, and that could be a hint of future troubles too.

View Issue       View Full Review
10
Ringside #6

Aug 1, 2016

Everything that revolves around the actual pro wrestling in the story is told with an obvious familiarity for the medium. The glossary of terms like kayfabe, work, shoot, and so on are all used cleverly to mirror the events of in-ring action alongside the primary story of Danny's quest to save his companion. The future is dim for Danny, but so, so bright for this series. Issue 6 is exceptional, and so too is the rest of the burgeoning series. If you're a fan of pro wrestling, crime dramas, or comic book fare that departs from the usual superhero route, there may be few more deserving of your pull list than Ringside.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.6
Ringside #7

Sep 23, 2016

My pull list isn't long enough for me to really feel comfortable calling Ringside the best comic book going right now, but I would be surprised if I discovered something better existed. As for issue #8 and those beyond, I have to remind myself that surprise is no longer a valid reaction. Keatinge and Barber are putting on a masterclass on how to write and draw a comic book. At this point any missteps they suffer in the future will likely be few and far between exceptions to the rule.

View Issue       View Full Review
9.0
Ringside #8

Dec 7, 2016

Not much more can be said for Ringside. I believe I said it best in my last review: it is increasingly redundant to even look at Ringside critically, as each issue has been amazing. The story, characters, and tone are all consistently well written, and if you handle the dreary art and even gloomier characters, Ringside is among the very best things you can read in comic form.

View Issue       View Full Review

Reviews for
the Week of...

September

August

More