Bats20832's Profile

Joined: Feb 02, 2021

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3.7
Overall Rating
6.5
Batman (2016) #106

Mar 4, 2021

A relief to see a semi-"normal" Batman story again. But the continuing commitment to ultra-violence is just what public does not need. Batman does not need to team with someone whose stated "goal" is to "maim." I think part of the challenge for DC Comics is that a number of today's writers often genuinely DISLIKE Bruce Wayne, and more than that, they dislike the very idea of Bruce Wayne. In addition, they really don't like the idea of "crime-fighting" anymore. They really only want to write sci-fi stories, and use crime-fighting costumed characters in what they prefer to have as sci-fi plots, or as we keep moving into (as in Future State), "revolutionary" stories. In the second story, the continuing direction of making Damian into a gory killer is predictable, but counterproductive. Make that a separate comic if you are going there. Imagine (God Forbid) if you were a parent buying a Batman comic book for your child in 2021. Thank goodness there are still stories from the past which are "child friendly."

4.0
Batman (2016) #107

Apr 8, 2021

The issue has a story for The Batman moving onward to the "Future State" and an embarrasingly bad second story with the criminal Ghost-Maker fighting a "rich" Madame Midas ("the richest woman on Earth") hiring assassins to stop criminal Ghost-Maker, setting up a fight on "Devil Skull Island." (not even worth an eyeroll). Oh and plans for "mini-Batsignals" to be used like burner cell phones. The Batman storyline is an exposition story of flashbacks, while he is tortured by the Scarecrow. It sets up more of the "Future State" groundwork, for those who like that (I don't). The idea of writers pairing The Batman to appear with criminal characters, such as criminal Ghost-Maker or criminal Harley Quinn is designed to further blur (redefine?) who/what The Batman is. Criminal Harley Quinn as portrayed as delivering "Gotham Justice" here. James Tynion IV has the criminal Harley Quinn state that she believes she is "Batman's new official sidekick" (eye roll.) The criminal Harley Quinn using a baseball bat on a police officer as she calls him a "pig" for wanting to arrest an insane man who is stabbing people. As Saint Industries leader behind The Magistrate concept continues to work with psychotic criminal The Scarecrow. And this has Batgirl/Oracle telling The Batman that the "Unsanity" criminals are "utopian at heart." She urges The Batman to join these criminals. That is where Tynion is taking us in Batman 107. Again, the parade for abandoning the values and reason for The Batman as part of a "Future State" storyline. Tynion has written Batman for a while on regular issues aside from the specials (Batman 51, 87-present, Detective comics 934-981 -mostly "Rebirth era"). But the efforts to redefine The Batman character as increasingly pro-tolerant of criminals is another part of the "Future State" thinking at DC. The Batman character is a detective and a vigilante against cowardliness of crime, who will not stoop to their level of tactics, and criminals preying on innocent people. This is the core identity of the Batman character. Everything else is a detail. Among reviews of the "poor" Bruce Wayne is a fundamental misunderstanding of the Batman character. Batman did not exist because Bruce was "rich." Batman existed because Bruce took a vow to avenge his parents' deaths and strike back against crime. Bruce Wayne's wealth simply was another tool to help in that campaign. But that's all it was - a tool. It **NEVER** defined him. Being The Batman defined him. And Bruce was ever resourceful in finding ways to be The Batman. Another reviewer writes: "One of the smarter approaches Tynion took with the book was separating Bruce Wayne from his wealth. In this particular point in the real world, the wealthy isn’t exactly hailed as heroes of humanity and Tynion has made Bruce more a man of the regular people so he can have the same amount of disdain for Gotham’s elite like many readers." Bruce Wayne always had "disdain" for those who used their status to believe they were better than others. Some Batman writers, reviewers, and readers simply don't get that. But the Harley Quinn character is a pre-meditated murderer - not just of police, but also of CHILDREN (Detective Comics Volume 2, Issue 23.2 (November 2013)). She does not just view police as "pigs" (popular among some today), the character also has a long history as a murderer. But murderer or not, DC Comics has a vested interest in popularizing and re-inventing this character for its other commercial campaigns.

4.0
Batman (2016) #117

Nov 16, 2021

Is "Future State" done? This is the only reason to buy this comic, and hope that it is. This is a largely science fiction, confused, and scattered end to an overdone "Fear State" by Mr. Tynion. Like Mr. King, his work was wildly inconsistent, and both really didn't know how to write The Batman. I would argue this is mainly because they didn't understand the concept behind The Batman. It is deeply disturbing to see mass-murder criminals (Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy) once again glamorized as "heroes" in the same issue as Magistrate is rightly taken down. Perhaps a panel showing the Bat-Family team getting to the Magistrate Skybase would have been helpful before they "appear" at the beginning of this issue. And of course all of the obvious inanities like Simon Saint's $40 billion communication infrastructure. Also deeply troubling to see "Miracle Molly" is ready to use The Scarecrow's "Fear Bomb" to change the memories and minds of all of the people of Gotham City (some hero). Batman (revealing his secret identity to a troubled youth) has to preach to "Miracle Molly" why she should not brain wipe all of the people of Gotham City, as if she has the "right" to do this. That is problem with continuing to confuse "power" over "equality under law" and "justice." The Batman's creation was founded on the concept of Equality Under Law - that the powerful and the cruel did not deserve to live outside the law. Our shared law is designed not only for our common good, but also to protect us from those who would view as targets, not as equal human beings. James Tynion's run on Batman concludes: "The human capacity for good is incredibly powerful. I believe when you take away the politicians, and the media, and the corporations, and its just people together, they can overcome their fears. They can overcome anything." But Mr. Tynion's Batman concluding remarks ignore the essential nature of Equality Under Law. To horror-writer Mr. Tynion, we are not fond of politicians, media, and skeptical with many corporate leaders in today's America, but what also brings people together is a shared law and shared sense of JUSTICE. A shared law means Equality Under Law. It means neither you nor I have the "right" to be criminals. This remains a concept that was widely understood in the beginning of the "Justice Era" where The Batman was created. But it is too often lost today in an era which not only expects but applauds a Two-Tier Justice System: one set of laws for those we like, another set of laws for those we don't like. It is not enough to only prosecute Peacekeeper Sean Mahoney. You also have to prosecute mass-murderer of children and police killer Harley Quinn. You also have to prosecute police-murderer and killer Poison Ivy. Their gender does not make them outside the concept of Equality Under Law, and allow them to become "anti-hero" killers, who are now popularized as "heroes." Tynion's Batman: "Heroes save other people. You've only ever wanted to save yourself. And that's why you were always going to lose." Mr. Tynion does not realize that heroes think about Justice. The reason they rush to protect the vulnerable from the cruel, the reason they work for human rights, the reason they respect Equality Under Law is about Justice. It is not about "winning," "losing," or "power." It is about respecting a shared set of values of Justice. This is not a criticism towards Mr. Tynion, but I believe he genuinely does not understand the concepts behind The Batman. It is not his fault. The idea that DC Comics would hire a horror writer to write on a equality under law/justice comic speaks volumes about their inability to understand their primary financial intellectual property in "The Batman," which has been their major seller for many, many years. That is the state at DC Comics. The one good thing from this issue of Batman 117 is probably that DC Comics has hopefully realized that their dystopia "Future State" is a lost cause, and as a result, in Detective Comics it sounds like they are sending unpunished Hit-and-Run killer Jace Fox Batman to New York City. Hopefully, they don't give him a driver's license. (But FYI the Hit-and-Run laws in NYC are clearly more strict than in Gotham City.) Hopeful (perhaps naive?) that Batman 118 with Joshua Williamson has a direction outside of this "Future State" madness, and that as with the overdone "Fear State" melodrama which deserved 3 issues at best), the "Future State" melodrama will also find its way to the shelf were all other DC bad ideas have gone. As to Batgirls, ugh. "Rugrats" artist Jorge Corona has a media for his art with Kindergarten to very young children. I wish Jorge Corona luck with that. It does not belong in a Batman comic book. Worse yet "Rugrats" artist Jorge Corona is doing the ongoing "Batgirls" book. I hope they at least got a discount rate for what is really pre-K art.

8.5
Batman (2016) #119

Jan 7, 2022

Surprisingly good issue. I was on the fence about continuing after seeing Lex Luthor appear in the last issue, wary of another lame stunt. But I am pleasantly surprised to see that Williamson has a pretty good story here. I also liked the backup story by Karl Kerschl, as Mia "Maps" Mizoguchi (founder of "Detective Club") is a sympathetic character. This is the way The Batman stories used to be written with actual heroes fighting villains, not villains being glamorized. Hopefully, this trend can continue. Imagine a young character who does not hate the Batman. But best of all, Batman and Bruce Wayne has shaved and looks like himself, not like a bum. I like how Bruce would not tolerate any disrespect from Luthor towards Damian, even if I think Damian is a mess. (The Abyss storyline would also have been great for Dr. Mid-Nite.) With the history of the Gotham Books disasters, I was sitting there mulling if Batman #119 would be worth $5.00 to see where this story goes. It was a good purchase, something that I have had a lot of trouble saying over the past year or two.

2.0
Batman (2016) #125

Jul 5, 2022

The old frame-up plot is literally 100 years old in illustrated stories. I can't even count the number of times it was done to Batman. But Canadian writer Chip Zdarsky and some reviewers believe it is fresh, new, and innovative. Can't wait until they discover bell-bottom pants. And of course, The Penguin would massacre the wealthy and then take poison (huge eyeroll). Maybe The Joker can take a trip to Mars in the next issue. You know this isn't Spider-Man, right, or the primarily Sci-Fi Marvel Comics? If you enjoy it, great, it is your money and you have the right to spend it on whatever you want. Even the crazy 1950s Sci-Fi monsters that Batman of that age fought had some coherency in stopping crime for the most part. Here it is all suspend disbelief because we have a good artist. Like the Gotham comics haven't tried that for a good 10 years already. Worked so well. One thing for certain: whether the writer is Mariko Tamaki or Chip Zdarsky, the Batman Gotham editors at DC are convinced that pitiful Batman Bruce Wayne is dumb as dirt. At some point, people will just drop off spending money on that attitude. Maybe it works for Spider-Man fans. But definitely not for long-time Batman fans. Bruce Wayne is really not Peter Parker... or Matt Murdoch. The dumb-guy Bruce Wayne storylines are really just grating. And to Chip Zdarsky's comment: "How essential is money to Batman?" Is Chip writing DC Comics for free now? Is WBD's DC Comics giving away their $5-$6/issue comics? Is the Gotham editorial team working for free now? And most of all Warner Bros Discovery, which is roughly $57,000,000,000 (yes, that's billion BTW) in debt... how essential is money to WBD? Update - and - those claiming Daredevil is just a "Red Batman" - also from Chip Zdarsky, and I quote and source: --- And from Chip Zdarsky himself:"They're VERY different characters. I can't even fathom thinking that they're close to the same. Like ... what about them is similar? I know I joke that they're two brooding guys on gargoyles, but really that's it for overt similarities!" https://www.reddit.com/r/Daredevil/comments/vxeur4/comment/ifvwjs7/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

1.0
Batman (2016) Annual: 2022

Jun 1, 2022

Here is the problem with the Batman, Inc. storyline: Ghost-Maker is a killer. Batman Issue #109, page 10 (June 2021)- quoting from Ghost-Maker himself: "I was eight years old when a psychologist put a name to what make me different. I am a Psychopath. I do not feel empathy or fear." So you can't train crime fighters (as per the Batman, Inc. characters) not to kill and then have managed by a killer. It would be no different if they were run by killer Harley Quinn, killer Deathstroke, etc. It is an obvious conflict with the characters, the point of the characters, and the story and values of the Batman.killer characters by DC Comics is a plan to move away from hero comics and only be in the sci-fi and horror comics business. --- "Ghost-Maker was the childhood friend turned rival of Batman. Having trained to become a vigilante, he took on more lethal means to fight crime and often worked off-grid." --- "Bruce also recognized that Ghost-Maker lacked a sense of empathy, leading him to classify his former-friend as a psychopath." https://batman.fandom.com/wiki/Ghost-Maker Those who like this - enjoy the EC Comics Punisher editition of Batman Comics. But it is not The Batman. The reality is there are a lot of people in the DC Comics Batman books and management who really hate the idea of their top selling character The Batman. Luckily for them, most of the nation is not paying attention to any of this. They mistakently view this as "acceptance" or even "approval," when in fact, it is neither. At some point, the toxic values in current Batman writing will bubble up to video entertainment; we'll see how the masses respond then.

2.0
Batman / Fortnite: Zero Point #6

Jul 14, 2021

The difference between comic book writing for superheroes and horror/sci fi writing for gaming using superheroes as characters. The first hopefully has a coherent plot with a beginning, middle, end - the latter develops a loop with constant crisis and constant empowerment of evil threat as its goal. They are different genres and disciplines. DC Comics tries to merge the two - with the real goal of promoting gaming sales. But the idea of comics writing takes a back-seat to the financial objectives of gaming sales. To the gaming writers, Batman is a costume to be used in a gaming loop plot. To the gaming writers, Batman's gaming character is only there to sell more stuff, more gaming accessories, more sales opportunities. You could replace The Batman really with any costumed character in the gaming loop plot story and it would be the same. If you used Marvel's Captain America, same basic plot except he would have a shield instead of a batarang, etc. They throw in just enough "plot" as "glue" for more action loop scenes, which is the least possible, because after all, plot is not the point in a gaming loop story. There is no conclusion, no resolution, no explanation, just a set up for more of the same. Because in gaming writing, the idea of resolution, conclusion, explanation would make no sense. The goal in gaming writing is to completely AVOID resolution, conclusion, explanation - and just keep the loop going - and provide a goal to generate more sales opportunities. But it is simply NOT a costumed hero comic book. Or maybe it is by the standards and direction that DC Comics has decided to take. More of the real "Future State" at DC. They really need to create a new genre and call it "gaming comics," so that other comic book readers know what it is, and decide if that is what they want or not. But the "gaming comics" should be expressly outside DCU continuity. And if you like "gaming comics," then that's great, and they should make some expressly for that customer base, not compare and review them to other costumed hero comic books. NOTE here on Comic Book Roundup, which predominantly has positive reviews by the "professional" reviewers, Christos N. Gage ranks barely 50 percent green/yellow, with 26 yellow ratings and 29 green ratings, and other than Buffy, Wildcats, and a few others, a lot are one-shots. But Mr. Gage is a good corporate employee, with the focus on writing to promote sales for the customer base of "other stuff." That's a big difference between being a good costumed hero comic book writer.

3.0
Batman / Superman (2019) #18

May 29, 2021

I don't know why DC writers view it necessary to go after the dead parents of costumed heroes. I am sure there is some type of mentality there. I just don't know what is and I honestly don't want to know what it is. Leave Martha Wayne alone already, for God's sake. I saw this during the twisted Dark Metal series too. It is really twisted stuff, and the type of cheap shock story, when you really don't have a plot or good writing. DC Comics continues to march into becoming the values of Horror Comics, and should reconsider branding as EC Comics, hosted by Crypt-Keeper, and let the readers know what DC Comics really are today. If not EC Comics, then be honest already about your brand as "DC Horror Comics." DC is working hard to keep me from spending money on DC Comics.

4.5
Batman: Black & White (2020) #3

Mar 3, 2021

Unquiet Knight Story with Zatanna was fine: Rating 7. It benefitted from the short format. Few "stories" actually do; it only did because we already knew so much of the characters and story. The others were really filler. Rating: 4 7 page mini-story from John Ridley on "New Batman." Rating: 4.5. Readers mostly didn't buy this to read the Zatanna mini-story. I only got this story to see how John Ridley developed the "New Batman" character with Tim Fox, since there is so little actual story out there. I understand maybe these are not all going to be massive tomes of stories. But 7 pages? Really? I keep hoping to see something from Ridley. And regularly disappointed. Surely he knows what he is writing is more important that "Ancient Knight Batman," etc. Please. That is NOT why we are buying this comic; give us a break. Batarangs now break metal chains? That's cool. How do they do that without injuring the person bound in chains? And his sister suddenly is trained and skilled to take down what 7-10 criminals at once? We keep getting fantasy, when an actual story with some possible credibility could build the character. I don't have any problem with the criminals, certainly they are parodies, but so. They are at least part of some level of storyline. Beyond the initial panel, we really focus on just one of the criminals, the rest are "background noise." My concern here: I am beginning to wonder if John Ridley actually is ABLE TO WRITE meaningful comic book stories for a plot, with any coherency or credibility. I don't mean reimagine another character's history, but write a new story, with beginning, middle, end - which actually has a storyline and not dependent only on soap opera serial mini-stories. (Next week, Jace opens the front door... next week, Jace ties his shoes... etc.)

10
Batman: Fortress (2022) #1

May 24, 2022

The Batman as who and what he always has been - the symbol of Defiance against any forces of oppression. It is really sad how so many readers and so many writers have never understood that basic concept about why The Batman exists. One reviewer who is "one busy dude" (who has done a big total of THREE comics reviews in this month for website he is writing for) seems to forget that Gary Whitta has done comics before in the past for Marvel Comics, Image Comics, and DC Comics. Gary Whitta clearly seems to understand what stories need to sell. He has a story with suspense, characters, and plot line to grow and expand other characters, with The Batman as a leader, not as too many writers have used this classic DC Comics hero for completely different narratives. He doesn't have The Batman crawling through sewers like one "historic" writer recently spent a year doing. He is not caught up with Batman Book Editor team's obvious contempt for The Batman, and is instead writing for the fans. Hey there is an original idea.

10
Batman: Fortress (2022) #2

Jun 28, 2022

"Then let's do this. Together." A story based on courage, sacrifice, fearlessness, and heroes and heroines. A story from a time when our heroes and heroines WERE heroes and heroines. Some comics reviewers might not recognize it because it may be out of step with post-modern comics anti-heroism. https://twitter.com/usa_bats/status/1541800263241142272 Some reviewers bemoan the idea that this story may revert to "Batman saving the world," which we don't know at all... but if that were true, so? Isn't that what we WANT our heroes to do? Here we have the JLA - not killers, not psychotic child-murderers, not criminals - but heroes and heroines fighting against a threat to Earth itself, in a period reminiscent to a Justice Society of America world of comics stories, when there was not regularly a Krypton alien "Superman" to save them from every threat. It is the out-of-touch, off-planet Kryptonian, who has brought this violence against Earth, as the invaders seek to punish Kal-El for claims that Kryptonians destroyed their planet. **SPOILERS below** But Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Hawkman now all appear to be held hostage by the aliens, Flash is injured, and Cyborg has provided Batman with clues to stop the invasion, as space design appears to use Kryptonian technology. We know, however, that the aliens attacking Earth, are doing so based on their hatred of Kryptonians for what they say is Krypton destroying their planet.

8.0
Batman: Fortress (2022) #3

Jul 26, 2022

Good transition story. I despise Luthor with a passion. But in this unique story, the efforts to work together to defend Earth by obtaining Kryptonian weapons make sense. Big panels make the story look "short," but enhances the "cinematic" appearance of the story. "Literally the last cup of coffee in Wayne Manor." Horrors! (I bumped it from 7.5 to 8 just for that.) P.S. I would can the political side-comments in the future. Some will chuckle, but it really adds nothing to the story. That said, you blink and you will miss them. Side note - one reviewer critical of the series: "I’m not even into the idea of Batman being a member of the Justice League." Well, Batman was part of the Justice Society of America in All-Star Comics #36 (August 1946) - 76 years ago. Batman has been part of the Justice League of America since JLA #1 (October 1960) - 62 years ago. So, I am cool with that view on Batman, but if a review on Batman:Fortress starts with a problem of DC Comics canon for the past 60-75 years, you have consider where that review is coming from.

2.0
Batman: One Dark Knight (2021) #3

Jul 26, 2022

Ugh. Back in the sewers. Honestly is there no more creativity in DC Comics than that?

1.0
Batman: Urban Legends (2021) #10

Dec 15, 2021

More ageist anti-Batman hypocrisy in "A Carol of Bats" by Meghan Fitzmartin, whose career has mostly been in supernatural and horror. She is only interested in Tim as label teenager, not in his values in fighting crime. In fact, the very concept of fighting crime itself is viewed as passe and disgusting backwards thinking. So why exactly are her characters dressing up in costumes? But DC's Gotham Books really do NOT like Batman, and so they need to have outlets to dig on him and the "terrible" concept that "Crime Does Not Pay." And people give DC Comics ***MONEY*** for Batman comics, so Meghan and so many of the other anti-Batman writers get a job, getting paid to diss the main character. In this case, by pretending to examine how "broken" he is. Yeah, right. No one is fooled, EC, I mean, DC Comics.

4.5
Black Adam: The Justice Society Files (2022): Hawkman #1

Jul 5, 2022

The entire time I am reading this, I am thinking hey it is the invincible Iron-Man with wings! Like a smooth James Rhodes character. And I keeping hearing the 1960s Iron-Man cartoon theme song in my head, while reading this comic. This science-fiction movie-based version of Hawkman Carter Hall battles a science-fiction empowered version of Gentleman Ghost James Craddock. The nanotechnology suit based Hawkman in this "alternate universe" (new DC universe?) has a partner working with him named Jeremy. Jeremy looks to improve Hawkman's "armor blasters" and "Hawk cruiser," using Black Adam's (apparently) "Eternium." So we have a version of Tony Stark's Iron Man with wings, and thrown in some mysticism as well. It's an interesting story. Just not Hawkman. But if you don't know/care anything about Hawkman, and/or never heard of Hawkman before, you might find it enjoyable. I respect that Cavan Scott wants to do his own version of Hawkman to support the Black Adam film. Good for him, and hope people who like an Iron Man version of Hawkman enjoy this. (with apologies... to 1960s Iron Man cartoon theme song...) Carter Hall makes you feel He's a cool archaeologist with a Nth metal heart of steel As metal Hawk-Man, all jets ablaze He fights and smites with armor blaster rays! Amazing armor! That's Hawk-Man! A blazing power! That's Hawk-Man! P.S. - Now if Cavan Scott decides to go full Stark on us... and reimagine Carter Hall completely as "Hawk (Iron) Man" - maybe that would be an interesting creation. I would really like to see Iron Hawk Man battling Fing Fang Foom, then Melter, etc. So if you are going to go this direction, Cavan, I would fully embrace it, don't pretend that this isn't really Iron Man with wings. At least it is a character a lot of audiences would understand.

1.0
Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1

Jan 15, 2022

"Woman Without Fear" title to an unpunished killer Elektra Natchios? That fears accountability of the very law she claims to be defending? If the Punisher was given a Daredevil costume, and Frank Castle was now called the "man without fear," would we not call out the obvious hypocrisy? (Same Elektra who once worked with the Punisher murderer as well). But when it is Elektra, that is alright. But it isn't. We either have values or we do not. Elektra's brief stint at Pleasant Hill no way was punishment for her long history of murder, which continued after she escaped. Has Elektra Natchios paid for her crimes in prison like Matt Murdoch? No. And Elektra's murders were not an "accident." They were deliberate. They were repeated, first-degree intentional murders. Elektra is not the "woman without fear," especially when her real fear is meeting the same law and standards of justice that we expect for every other individual, child, mother, father, young, old, rich, poor, and every race. We either believe in Equality Under Law or not. If you want to make Elektra into Daredevil, that is Marvel's choice, it is their intellectual property. Comic IP owners can make Harley Quinn into Batman too. But regardless of the Marvel stories, Elektra is not and never has been the "Woman Without Fear." There are many many great women heroes who deserve that title. Certainly not Elektra.

1.0
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths (2022) #1

Jun 13, 2022

The Post-Modern Anti-Hero "Justice League"? Jon Kent creates a "Justice League" with child-mass murderer Harley Quinn and criminal Killer Frost. There is no plan, no structure, no direction, no story. Just scenes. Just posing. Put on a costume and pose. And strut. And pontificate. They should just make the Hall of Justice into a dance club. Put on your costumes, put on some music and dance, and pose. That is what costumed heroes / heroines are reduced to in the post-modern anti-hero age. You know it is really bad, when genocidal Black Adam is the only "voice of reason." Even Comic Book Dispatch writes: "I literally left DARK CRISIS #1 wondering if this was some kind of joke."

3.5
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths (2022) #2

Jul 5, 2022

Outside of the last page, ugh. And the genocidal Black Adam is going to lead the Justice League? And Dick Grayson shouts "this is a job for Superman"? PUH-leeze. Just pathetic. And THIS is Josh Williamson, not one the new YAF / horror comics intern writers. So the reason I am not ranking this as a 1, is the last page. My advice would be to save your $$ for next issue and see if the Virdis (that is a clue) group on the last page does something in next issue. A shame to pay for an entire comic and everything but the last page is a literal waste of money.

1.0
Dark Crisis: Young Justice #2

Jul 20, 2022

Using comics Elseworld stories to put homophobic words in the mouth of a major costumed hero helps no one. Yes, of course, people will blame Meghan Fitzmartin (and given her educational background even more controversial). But let's be clear DC Comics editors approve this and DC Comics publishes this. As reviewer William Martin writes: "This is a meanspirited comic." Yes it is, and one that will be used to spread hate. So this is not JUST a Meghan Fitzmartin problem. This is once again DC Comics editors problem. This is an Anne Leung DePies problem (as Daniel Cherry III is not around to blame anymore let's be clear). And yes, this is a Jim Lee problem. And let's be clear, Anne and Jim didn't start with DC yesterday. There are not "newbies" without a sense of what the consequences of their actions are. They have had great power... and use it for this nonsense. What a shame. Using Dark Crisis: Young Justice #2, to create panels with Batman uttering homophobic phrases is wrong in every sense. Anyone with any sense of social responsibility would understand that.

3.0
DC Mech (2022) #1

Jul 28, 2022

When DCComic$$$$$$$ leaves much of the Justice Society of America and its powers out of a story, you have, well... another science fiction story. Yay for Sci-Fi fans. The Spectre would have crushed these "elite warriors" from Apokolips. But then if Kenny hadn't written it this way, DC would not have another opportunity to claim it was showing the JSA by wiping their feet on them. And of course future product merchandising.

6.0
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #2

Nov 25, 2021

I got this to see more of Alfred, who I always respect. Other than Alfred and The Batman, Bruce Wayne, the rest of the characters are off. Barry is really not stupid and really not slow; the fastest man is also can think the fastest. And the idea that Green Lantern's power battery source could be readily used for this level of evil is really questionable, although of the questionable plot areas, it is the most credible. But for Pete's Sake, what is with the Nightwing and Batgirl Barbara Gordon characters. I mean give me a break, Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon were literally pathetically ***BAD.*** Please, Barbara Gordon is not a ditz. Really. Tynion's failure to characterize such key characters shows his very real limitations. But it is good to see Alfred. He was and is a vital character to the Bat Family. This shows once again how disastrous Tom King's run on Batman, and the murder of Alfred was a disaster. A comics trivia point - The Batman may very well have been the FIRST American vampire hunter in early Detective Comics, and the Mad Monk. I hope they don't go the route of revisiting the Mad Monk, and have some originality. But I imagine the Mad Monk would bring in readers. If it is the Mad Monk, the obvious thing would be to head to Hungary.

4.5
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #3

Dec 28, 2021

So if you are still reading this series, it is because you are a Batman fan. OK. I am good with that. But the writers' portrayal of Nightwing and Batgirl is off-the-chart out-of-character (again). You have Dick Grayson trained as a detective and Barbara Gordon one of the greater analytical minds, with writers showing them behave as hormone-driven teens (which they obviously are not - get a room already). Just Dumb, writers. I am sort of hopeful that this is being led by Matt Rosenberg, because despite my problems with James Tynion, not the best way for him to finish his DC career. But Batman, as always, is the man with the plan, and clearly the lead protagonist. (They croak Batman and it is lights-out for this otherwise unlikable series.) They are telegraphing something about Gotham City, so the leader of the vampires is like Talia al Ghul or Ra's al Ghul, or someone in the depraved League of Assassins crowd, which the writers will probably think is "interesting." (Yawn.) Despite being an obvious Batman fan, I object to the entire JLA being portrayed as dim-wits. OK, maybe a lot of them are. But they didn't save the Earth a hundred times because they were dumb as dirt. Martian Manhunter alone is a detective, and does anyone remember his mental powers to read minds? So this plot of "Batman and the other cast of costumed dumbbells" is both sort of incredibly ridiculous and incredibly insulting to the rest of the JLA. Like Wonder Woman has no will power. Like Flash cannot instantly vibrate through the Earth and move in time. Like... etc. I do respect Batman as the World's Greatest Detective, but we can respect Batman's prowess and not demean everyone else's capabilities. The writers do not seem to have the ability to do that in this plot. And showing Batman as the only one with a drop of brains is faint praise. The writers' limitations have never been more evident than here in DC vs. Vampires, which is a shame for Tynion, as a way to end his work with DC. I guess I will follow this series for another issue or two, due to portrayal of Batman (ironically better here than in most of the other Gotham and Batman-hating writers/editors books). But we'll see. The idea that all of the JLA are idiots is getting pretty old, pretty fast. Hopefully the writers have more of a story than this stuff. We'll see... or not. Yes I noticed the nonsense with Damian, Black Canary, and Green Arrow, but almost too silly to write about. (Dismissive handwaving gesture.) To unexperienced readers, Green Arrow and Batman regularly have a history of close working relations, and if Ollie doesn't know he can trust Bruce, well... I mean that is just too dumb for words. This is what happens with writers who really don't know the DCU, as we have sadly seen too often. In his career at DC, Tynion needed to read more DC Comics and spend less time with his horror comics projects. But that horse has long since exited the stables. As to Matt Rosenberg, I don't know what he is thinking.

3.0
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #4

Jan 25, 2022

Eh. Another "Earth-D" story, where most heroes are just DUMB. Gullible is written on the ceiling for JLA. Great plot for fans of Batman and his omniscient detective skills superiority (me). Otherwise?? Writer Matthew Rosenberg (obviously NOT James Tynion IV) makes weak plot work by making most of JLA into incompetent fools. While second-stringers JLA are obviously NOT the Justice Society of America, still the JLA members gained some mental skills in 60 years. Tempting but improbable to view JLA characters as that incompetent. As our fearless leader might say, "Come on, man." And Batman would not be ready with yellow weapons, kryptonite, etc., from a rogue JLA? (Eyeroll.) Now EVERYONE who has read Batman in the past 80 years KNOWS that he would be (well maybe Mariko wouldn't know, but she is a 2021 Tec writer). Matt seems to think The Batman would be caught unprepared. Please. Are you writing Blue Beetle, Matt? Because you need to know who The Batman is. Regarding "JLA-D" for Dumb: Just take that stalwart of decades in Detective Comics, J'onn J'onzz, aka the Manhunter from Mars. J'onzz is not simply green muscle like Big Blue (and even the Kryptonian has super-speed of thought power-like Flash also "had"?) Stop making J'onzz into a green JLA figurine tchotchke, when he is a trained detective. Did Matt forget that J'onzz can read minds? And would have a LONG time ago? Etc. But this is "Earth-D" JLA-D. Nice to see JSA's Dr. Fate, with common sense (I mean, he's with JSA) to realize, the only meal a vampire needs is a stake sandwich. JSA guys that fought Hitler aren't planning to sit around for humanity's annihilation by fang-boys. Dr. Fate is the (very brief) bright spot in this story, which brings my review from 2.5 to a 3. It really is only this high because of Batman's leadership of the D-Patrol and JSA's Dr. Fate. Back to Matt again. You know, Dick Grayson also has a brain too. I know the social media guys focused on his physique may forget this, but Dick Grayson was the detective protege to The Batman. And Barbara's google eyes are getting to be pathetic. I don't know about Ollie. Is he also that dumb? I guess I am willing to be more patient with Ollie for now, as he is at least smarter than the rest of the JLA-D. As to the facial expressions, Otto Schmidt, I just don't know. I am thinking "cartoon" as I read throughout this series. Otto, the cartoon look may be OK for Saturday morning kids' TV, but do you really want us to keep paying $4 for that? How many kids fork over $4 to watch Saturday morning cartoons, Otto and DC Comics "editors"? Still, in this issue, there was Dr. Fate. Still in thie series, The Batman is a detective, not some bumbler in Mariko Tamaki's sewers, and a Batman who actually has a Batcave. So for all of that (remember when we used to think that was worth 12 cents?) - I would give it a 3. Matt needs to take a few minutes and outline the next several stories, and remember they are really NOT on "Earth-D." At least, I hope not. P.S.: I do hope that Hawkgirl simply needs to see a dentist or Otto's pencils are slipping. I really like Hawkgirl, whose original DC Earth character was one of the FIRST women costumed heroes of DC Comics, way before that upstart Amazonian who gets all the attention.

10
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #5

Feb 22, 2022

I wish I didn't like this. I don't like the JLA being so utterly stupid and slow. But at least this series does (for a rare change) actually write the character of The Batman with understanding and conviction. I do hope to see Dr. Fate teaming up with the Caped Crusader soon. They are the team needed the most here. Will Big Blue be turned? Pfui. If so, The Batman will have a kryptonite stake with his name on it. Because that is what The Batman does. Defeat Evil. Period. It doesn't matter he doesn't have any "super-powers" - he has the human mind and human drive to fight against impossible odds. It is who and what he always has been. When you wonder why there are so many Batman stories? That's why. Even though, most of them in recent years have been... well... "not good" (being polite). Jeffrey Lyle writes: "Tynion and Rosenberg couldn’t convincingly account for how the two non-superhero League members could hold off Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg and Hawkgirl besides Batman rulez!!!" No, this is Jeffrey Lyle, wise, experience, and thoughtful comics reviewer who misses the main point: there is no superpower greater than the human mind. Always has been true. No matter how many aliens, radiation guys, magic guys, or even vampires show up.

5.0
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #6

Mar 30, 2022

In a creative story, a talented writer does not have to "cheat" to create effective mystery/suspense/thriller. If you want to write a story about such fictional characters, like vampires of Earth, changing centuries of mythology to allow a story to "make sense" is simply weak plot development. The cross is a series of supernatural apotropaics (holy items that serve as protective magic) against vampires and evil, including the holy water, etc. Suddenly inventing that vampires could be protected from this due to alien chemicals is absurd and cheating. It doesn't use magic and doesn't use thinking; it just creates lazy fantasy because "I say so."" This is what happens when you are a lazy thinker as a writer and don't think your story out all the way. I know its a comic book. It is a story. In keeping readers there has to be some degree of respect for what is know, what is jointly know, and what the reader does not know. Reinventing the mythology of the vampire for one issue is just lazy. Sorry. It's the truth. As to the remnants of this story by Tynion, who will step up to defy the enemies of humanity? DC has a lot of other very powerful heroes and heroines who can turn the tide. If it is going to be Barbara, Ollie, and criminal Harley... ... a lot of readers will not be quite as interested. With the cheat, I am now less disappointed in seeing Tynion go. His talents will be better suited to 21st century horror and gore readers, which seems to be the direction he wants to go. To each their own. As to the plot in this story, I note that The Green Lantern ring was left behind. I suspect the story felt "rushed" to some, because I believe THIS STORY was the end goal of writer Tynion. He really doesn't care about how the rest of the story concludes. Another guess: it may not always have been planned to be 12 issues either at some point.

1.5
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #7

Jul 5, 2022

Weak transition story, where Tynion and Rosenberg gleefully hang up Batman's body with a hole in his chest (only point of story). What's left ends up in the Bottle City of Kandor to hide and plot. Only interesting character is Doctor Fate who just gets a panel or two. Doctor Fate stands around and of course has the answer but does nothing in Tynion and Rosenberg's story. Obviously they don't know Doctor Fate. Supergirl comes on to whine. Batgirl comes on to vow revenge against Nightwing. Obviously some experiments being done on mass-murderer Harley Quinn somewhere now that she has Luthor's blood; couldn't happen to a more deserving character. Could have been done in a few panels, but you know DC Comics wants yoru $$$ since everything else is selling poorly. I couldn't give it a negative number and there are one or two panels with Doc Fate. So that's it, really pretty worthless.

1.0
DC vs. Vampires (2021) #8

Aug 6, 2022

The Vampire Shark Jump issue of Utter Absurdity in Plot. So if you going to have The Spectre, a spirit channeling the actual Wrath of GOD, in an issue - realize that The Spectre is not just another "magician" easily controlled or wiped out. The Spectre not only could wipe out the vampire scourage, The Spectre can literally move planet Earth itself. But you have him here like a "magician." Utterly pathetic. As is the pathetic portrayal of Dr. Fate and so many others. There is no "conflict." It is just Rosenburg (and when he glances at this Tynion) creating the most pathetic stick figure level characters of heroes and heroines, so they wipe them out. Like little boys playing with Army men. That is the level of writing that we see here. Rosenburg and Tynion gleefully wipes out DC heroes and heroines so that they can set up a "bitchin'" last group of women costumed heroes with the archer. But so many reviewers LOVE this issue, during the post-modern, largely anti-hero age. As if the stick figure versions of the characters, somehow create drama of "destruction" of the DC heroes and heroines. As the old fashioned saying used to be "gag me with a spoon." Just dumb. Can't score it a negative 100, so it gets an undeserved "1."

1.0
DC vs. Vampires (2021): Hunters #1

May 24, 2022

Baloney. By the way, Grammarly has thing called a "plagirism checker." We heard about this character Blade, you know. And spare us with the nonsense about Dick Grayson characterization. You have ruthless psychotic Dick Grayson mass-murdering his family. And now he is kind-hearted psychotic vampire ruler Dick Grayson. What happened Matt? People liked issue #6 about as much as they did Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? "Warner Bros DISCOVERY" (we know who is in charge and sure isn't WB) marketing a major multi-million dollar Batman movie global product gets on the phone and calls up DC Comics Batman editors asking them who had the bright idea to murder their number #1 selling character? Discovery call up and ask in words that we can't print, what the ********** is DC Comics thinking and do they really want to all go to work for Image Comics - like tomorrow morning? And someone in the Bat editors convinces Discovery "oh this is Elseworlds, think nothing of it.... blah blah blah... and we will tone down Dick Grayson?" And we will make Damian into a light-skinned (hmmm... notice how DC ignores this when convenient)... Blade? I mean, hey desperate times call for desperate plagiarism? Because other than that... I don't get this story at all.

1.5
DC vs. Vampires (2021): Killers #1

Jun 28, 2022

Matt is writing this stuff because DC Comics sales are in the trash, with the belief this will improve them. Bad idea. Bad management. And using this disaster to slime JSA heroes is a seriously bad idea. And of course, ripping off the head of Solomon Grundy ("Sol" eyeroll) does not kill him. Someone should read comics someday. By the way, I still am not confident that Batman is "dead" in this mini-series. Not with the Green Lantern ring left behind.

4.0
DC vs. Vampires: All-Out War (2022) #1  
10
Detective Comics (2016) #1033

Feb 23, 2021

Solid Batman issue in Detective Comics. I wonder in future, if we will look back at Detective Comics Issue 1033 and fondly remember when there was still a coherent story for Bruce Wayne as Batman. Batman rescuing the Bat family was a great ending, and Bruce getting his pets on the road and leaving town was great too. I wonder if this is how they should have ENDED it. I mean really ended it. Leave Bruce Wayne as Batman with his dignity, self-confidence, integrity. Give it a year, let all the craziness wash out, and have Batman return to save Gotham, sort of like they did in No Man's Land, when Bruce went to petition Federal Govt to end Gotham's blockade.

7.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1034

Mar 23, 2021

Overall, the art is well done and the story is OK. Bruce is resourceful with the mini-caves, although there is no logical reason not to have access to the Batcave, other than lack of parking near where Bruce lives in the city. The changed situation for Bruce forces him to deal with neighbors, etc., and different dynamics. The story is just OK. Not a lot of it, so going over too much of it would just be total spoiler. Weird cameo by Huntress with no follow through. I do wish Bruce would shave. It is a shame to see Bruce Wayne... sloppy and continuing to be unkempt. He can come down in the world and still afford a razor and an ironed shirt. Batcaves in the sewer tunnels. This portrayal of Batman more than "grounded," but intended to also humiliate. Bruce Wayne was billionaire, not millionaire. He could afford more, and a story that deprives him of "all" assets, simply is not credible. I think there is a middle ground that could be more reasonable, such as the 1969 apartment, or similar to the apartment and garage combination used by Britt Reid downtown in the 1960s. The unshaved, unkempt Bruce Wayne is more than "grounded." It is designed to humilate "people like him." Some writers enjoy this, some readers won't. I don't know where Bruce's two dogs and a cat have gone. Let's hope they are somehow safe. The other reality is that for some time, we are going to have a generation of writers that not only dislike Bruce Wayne, but also dislike the very idea of a Bruce Wayne. I don't have to like it, but that's frankly just tough. It isn't changing. Over time it may, but not in the near future. So we have what we have. Bruce doesn't have his back broken, his arm cut off, or is a living dead zombie, so there is all of that. Whether the current approach is your cup of tea, well, it's not changing. I am not a fan of the "Future State" approach, but DC already made its mind up about that. I don't see a point of re-ligitating that debate now in Detective Comics. Damian story backup is also OK. Damian didn't slaughter anyone, which is good, and he is developing some detective skills. Also not a fan of the Talia al Ghul stories, but this is what they are doing. OK, some people like it. Not me. Given the campaign to make Damian involved with assassins, I would rather pay for a second story of an actual adult detective: Martian Manhunter, Spectre, etc. Of course, the DC powers that be have wasted Spectre's Earth-bound appearances for the nonsense Essence or what they call "the gods" (eye roll). So Spectre is out, which is a shame. A Bruce Wayne/Batman Detective and Spectre combo in Detective Comics would be a good sale. Or at least put Huntress in, who makes a tiny cameo appearance. The Damian assassin stories, meh? Not for me.

3.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1035

Apr 30, 2021

Another story about character in a costume dressed like The Batman, who cannot think like The Batman. Why did the "Batcave" exist? (And no reason to believe it still does not.) Because a secretive vigilante crime-fighter like The Batman needed a space he could CONTROL for research and deduction, which was not accessible to pretty much anyone in the world. So 81 years later, The Batman no longer grasps something so obvious? Instead, The Batman has decided to expose himself, his operations, to complete public vulnerability in a series of "mini-caves" throughout the Gotham PUBLIC sewer system? Of course, it would become a trap. The real headline of the story would be "HOW LONG" did Gotham police know that the character dressed in The Batman's costume was using the sewer system in Gotham? And THIS is why The Batman would never do this. He would already KNOW this was inevitably going to happen, and sooner, not later. The Batman is a lot of things. Not Stupid. This is what happens when DC Comics gives romance and relationship writers like Mariko Tamaki creative control over a character like The Batman. They will try to have a story with structure. But they really still don't understand the IDEA of a character like The Batman, what drives the character, and the boundaries that such a character would naturally create (e.g., the private "cave"). And a lot of justice writers would also have trouble with being credible writers on topics of teen relationships, YA stories, etc., too. What Mariko Tamaki views as intelligence here is "organization." Being organized is not being calculating. A wardrobe designer could create a "Mini-Cave 7A." A calculating detective vigilante would intuitively know the very idea was a ridiculous abandonment of control of operations. Blunder is not bravery. Reckless is not resourceful. A blood hound just chasing clues is not a detective. We literally have animals that do that. It is actually more of an abandonment of logic and rationality to believe that The Batman would leave himself vulnerable to such an obvious and easy public frame-up with a "public sewer-based" "mini-caves," than it is to believe The Batman would end up on the planet Zur-En-Arrh with the Batman Tlano. Multiverses and aliens? Maybe. The Batman being dumb and not thinking like The Batman? Eye roll. People may laugh, but this is still the truth. The Batman will THINK like The Batman, no matter where he is. Even when he was a zombie with just one arm, The Batman still thought like The Batman. And great, Zombies. DC Comics has been big on Zombies for quite a few years. It seems like whenever they don't know what to do with a storyline or a character, especially when it comes to "justice," and God forbid "detective work," you know, like "Detective Comics"? Let's roll out the Zombies. How many Zombie stories does DC want to do? I mean, Black Lanterns, DCeased, Dead Planet, Hope at World's End, A Good Day to Die, Unkillables, the various zombies in Dark Metal, etc.... even making The Batman into a one-armed member of the living dead. Because... well, action, action, action... who has time to "think" if we are facing the "living dead!!" Some "Detective Comics." Let's hope the person wearing The Batman's costume realizes in the future that public sewers, parks, telephone booths, etc., are not good place to stage a vigilante fight against crime.

1.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1039

Jul 17, 2021

So Mariko Tamaki is writing another vampire horror comic story like she has done so many times before.... oh wait... that's right, it is "Detective Comics" Batman horror comics story. It is hard to tell them apart these days. All that Mariko needs to add to EC (I mean DC) horror comics is the Crypt-Keeper to introduce the stories. So if you like Tales from the Crypt, Creepy, Eerie, etc., then Mariko Tamaki is the Batman writer for you. The issue discussing the Vile Truth is very appropriate, as this is the vile truth that Detective Comics has been reduced to. After all, who needs detective PLOTS, when you can throw in MONSTERS! EC Comics continuing to leverage the low-paid, inexperienced writers, who couldn't figure out a plot if their lives depended on it, by throwing anything against the wall to see if it will stick. Now it is horror comics. What "leadership" and "vision" at EC Comics, they get cheap Buffy the Vampire Killer writers with zero talent in writing costumed heroes, and they charge the readers the big bucks. The real crime to solve is how EC Comics continues to get away with it.

1.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1042

Sep 16, 2021

And THIS is why I am giving up on DC Comics' Detective Comics. DC Comics writer Mariko Tamika on Batman: "mariko tamaki @marikotamaki· Sep 8 After two weeks off, it's back to Batman and mayhem. Admittedly, I missed torturing these guys." When it is written by someone who enjoys "torturing" the Batman, they have lost the plot. Literally.

1.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1045

Nov 25, 2021

Are we reading EC Comics Weird Fantasy or Detective Comics? Is there a difference anymore? Mariko Tamaki continues to use Detective Comics as "Horror Comics," as WildStorm's Ben Abernathy keeps editing/driving the "Gotham Comics" Group towards mainly horror and pro-criminal stories. Dan Mora is reportedly leaving Tec next month, so his art will be gone. Detective Comics covers now looking like EC Comics sci-fiction monster series. Should Mariko introduce the Crypt Keeper from Tales from the Crypt, next? Maybe Batman vs. Godzilla? Maybe Batman vs. Vampirella? I mean we have another DC Vampire series already, but DC Comics does not seem to get too much of horror. To those who don't understand there is a difference, try reading some of the OLD Detective Comics stories. There once was a time (also when there were complete stories) when detectives (without costumes) in Detective Comics also had great and interesting stories. Go figure. Astounding to imagine that Detective Comics used to focus on stories where "Crime Does Not Pay."

1.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1046

Jan 2, 2022

Yes, 2022 can get worse. Horror Comics writers and Mass-Murder Apologist Comics writers now control DC Comics so-called "Detective Comics" in Detective Comics Issue # 1046. Horror Comics writer Mariko Tamika writes for character Spoiler aka "Batgirl" Stephanie Brown: "Maybe its one thing to be the Dark Knight. It's something else to be a hero." The EC Comics Gotham Books gang would know who is a "hero" alright. In "Out and Gone," Mariko gleefully kicks The Batman out of Detective Comics. Watch the sales of Detective Comics without Batman, Mariko. Other than that, some Dr. Meridian is supposed to keep an eye on a crank Dr. Ware who is creating a new Arkham Tower to help psycho criminals get loose... or as they will call it "heal." Stephanie Nicole Phillips, the writer of that ever popular mass-murder character, Harley Quinn, provides a backup story in "Foundations" where killer Harley believes she deserved "a second chance." In a responsible world, a "second chance" starts with accepting responsibility for your actions during your "first chance." But EC Comics doesn't believe in that. Does anyone remember the issues where child mass-murderer Harley Quinn got a life sentence for all of the children that she murdered in Detective Comics #23.2, or all of the police that she has murdered? How many children did she murder in Tec 23.2? 50 children? 100 children? More? But hey... "you gotta understand." She is a "heroine" now. Right. In "Foundation" backup story, mass-murderess Harley Quinn, The Batman, and some insane guy from Arkham are trying to stop the insane guy from trying to blow up/spread drugged gas/destroy (?) the Arkham Tower under construction. Speaking of drugs, writers, there are these drugs that help you get from the beginning to the end of a story. Not interested? You like chaos? But of course, it is EC Comics after all. We'll see how Detective Comics does without Batman for a while. My expectation would be that without the crutch of Batman, Detective Comics sales will plummet. The DC Gotham Books gang can't "kill" Batman (cause they need the $$$), so the goal was to "pervert" what Batman is and represents, but they have to create replacement characters first, and that will be the goal of Detective Comics in 2022. Good luck with that Gotham Gang, hope your "World's Most Psychotic Mass-Murderer/Detective" Harley Quinn stories work out for you. Glad I won't be spending any more money on them. Happy New Year!

3.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1047

Jan 7, 2022

DC Comics sales campaign: "12-part weekly Detective Comics event starts here" - this idea of "12-part weekly Detective Comics events" keeps undermining credible and interesting stories. Interestingly, DC Sales is promoting same 12-part weekly "event" as both "The Tower" and "Shadow of the Bat." A different title for different buyers, as the stories are all about $$$. DC Comics takes junior people like Mariko Tamaki, who already have trouble writing coherent hero plots to begin with, and have them do nonsense weekly comics serials as "mini-events" as methods to bring in more $$$, while continuing to undermine the writing discipline, coherency, and creativity of the Detective Comics team. The idea is to artificially increase fan sales interest in Detective Comics by simply putting more and more of them out there. But long-term fan interest also is linked to plots that are both interesting and rational, even if (it is the comics world, after all), they are not "realistic." Creating narrative tension by making characters continue to incredibly DUMB things (e.g., plant Arkham Tower in middle of Gotham City) just continues to diminish characters that are DC's valuable Intellectual Property. Microsoft could do the same thing, for example; they could increase sales by coming up with a new version of Microsoft Windows every month, and in short run that would look good to their bottom-line. But the strategy would begin to chase people away from lack of consumer trust that the Microsoft product was a good and reliable purchase. So it is with Detective Comics. For all the "volume" DC churns, how many other long-term consistent readers are getting fed up and just walking away from Detective Comics, due to incoherency or as Mariko Tamaki plans "supernatural" aspects of upcoming Tec stories? How many are questioning if Detective Comics is a good and reliable use of limited (yes for everyone) money? We'll see if Mariko Tamaki can be more effective with Huntress Helena Bertinelli, Batwoman, Batgirls, etc. in this "event."

3.5
Detective Comics (2016) #1050

Jan 25, 2022

So the only reason to buy this is the THIRD "preview" story by Mark Waid. If you are buying for the other stories, well, I am sure DC Comics, and especially writer Mariko Tamika appreciates you funding them, especially as she enjoys "torturing" the Batman (so sorry he's not here, Mariko) and Bat-family characters (her words, on September 8 Twitter... before her Twitter history was deleted on anything before November 2021). Gosh that is a really expensive preview, though. Looks like Steppenwolf is using DC villains to stab Big Blue with Red Kryptonite and make Superman totally unpredictable. (Hardly a "Detective Story," but most interesting of the lot.) OK. The Cover. Buy that guy a razor blade, PLEASE. Batman with little tuff threads of a beard looks SO RIDICULOUS. You can just see a hoodlum grabbing this guy in Batman costume by the little hairs on his chin. It is incredible DC Gotham editors cannot see this. And I thought I needed glasses. As to more of Mariko Tamika's random story, more with the sci-fi horror in a "Detective Comics" title. Who did not know who was going to be at the "shock" reveal in the first several pages of the book? (If not, you need to read more comics.) Gotta wonder how he just happens to show up after being with Darkseid (zero sense), or didn't Mariko read other DC comics? Story depends on irrational "plot" continuing about how removing Vile gave Huntress Helena Bertinelli violent visions? And why not Batman or anyone else? Simply just another story line for sci-fi horror and romance. The first several pages were OK, and almost looke like a normal comic book, but of course not for long. So Tec 1052 begins with Nightwing about him "falling" for Huntress Helena Bertinelli. For those of you wondering (WTHeck?), Dick Grayson falling for Helena Bertinelli goes back to being part of the "Rebirth" story lines, and the Birds of Prey storylines. If you didn't read all of those romance stories you might feel a bit behind. Stories that really have nothing to do with being detectives or fighting crime. Because after all, why shouldn't you have a prerequisite of reading DC costumed romance stories to follow a Detective Comics story about crime (eyeroll). But how frequently has Tec even BEEN about crime in the past several decades. This "evolution" has become perfect for some writers whose speciality is about range of romance through horror writing, but concerns for justice are "meh." But Dick Grayson's love life? Well... that's a Detective Comics (or Action Comics or fill in the blank) story! If you can't write for "Sex in the City," write for "Detective Comics." Yes, that makes "sense." Then Dick Grayson gets a job undercover at the con-man Dr. Wear's Arkham tower, and goes to check on Huntress. And some hood gets killed by psycho Ana Vulsion who is next door to Huntress Helena Bertinelli in the next room. Who the heck is Ana Vulsion? Oh she is a knife-wielding pscyho introduced in Ted 1046. Real relatable. This is what the plot comes down to. As to the "big reveal," meh. Send him back to Apokolips where he belongs, destroying the universe. If these are the stories we are going to read in this DC Universe, the sooner he gets over with it, the better, so we can get another REBOOT. To those of you who never saw it, there was a time when DETECTIVE Comics actually had detectives in them. And multiple detective stories sometimes up to 5 detective stories. Before the Caped Crusader Batman, we had the Crimson Avenger and all sorts of detective stories. I know it was quite literally another universe for DC. But there was a history when Detective Comics was actually about detective comics stories.

3.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1058

Mar 23, 2022

No more sewers. 24 issues of Detective Comics later, Mariko Tamaki gets The Batman back out of the sewers, where she has had him for so long. What a "great" achievement (slow handclap), and there is the return of some form of "Batcave"... with waterfalls? But Mariko is "historic." And so are some of the past 24 Tec pratfall story lines. Bringing us to this epilogue as "epic finale" of "Shadow of the Bat" in Detective Comics #158. A "finale" where very little is actually resolved except burying Dr. Wear, and rounding up some of Penguin's drug sales criminals and thugs. Don't blink. There are a few pages of "action," though. And what happened to the Medusa mask? WHO KNOWS? Maybe Koyuki kept it. Maybe Batman has it. Maybe Psycho-Pirate still has it. Maybe it was a figment of our imagination as readers. Regardless, the "plot" (massive eyeroll) by Mariko Tamaki for "Shadow of the Bat" moves on, that is, it changes to another story, not actually "completing" one. And do we not **ALL** know of horrific criminal Psycho-Pirate's crimes? Should we make a list of them? (Now THAT would be a good comic.) But the Psycho-Pirate, an aide to darkest villain Darkseid seeking to ***DESTROY THE UNIVERSE*** is now just "misunderstood" poor Psycho-Pirate. (I could hear the "Officer Krupke" song from West Side Story every time that psycho whined about "poor me." Poor, poor Psycho, the mass murderer. Just like poor misunderstood Harley Quinn. So what should be done with criminal Psycho-Pirate? Put him in prison? Oh no, not to Mariko Tamaki. Batman should help the poor misunderstood Psycho-Pirate. (Which is why I am not consistently reading and funding this version of Detective Comics.) With respect to the great Jeffrey Lyles, I had to literally laugh out loud when he gave this an "8," and wrote: "As disappointing as The Tower's finale was The House of Gotham shined. This was a case where I'd prefer to rate the stories separately, but the higher mark here comes solely from House of Gotham." Because that is why people bought the issue. OK, Jeffrey. Because Matthew Rosenberg's “House of Gotham” was a "great finale" (heavy sarcasm). OK. Both stories ultimately bomb in their "finales." 24 largely disastrous issues later, next month Mariko Tamaki will have a co-writer, Nadia Shammas, for a new Riddler story. Nadia Shammas is known for "Squire," "Care Bears: Unlock the Magic," "Summer in Brooklyn," etc. YA, real YA, graphic novels and horror. Hero comics? Detective comics? (Could Detective Comics get worse?) Let us hope not. (I for one, would like to see DC Comics readers, who are willing to shell out $5 for Batman and Care Bears.) I would have rated this a "2," but indeed The Batman does get out of the sewers. So there is that. Postscript: I just want to thank writers like this for making me grateful to be old. There is really very little to be grateful for in aging beyond survival. But knowing the Detective Comic stories that I grew up with reminds me of how lucky I was to live during a time when heroes could still be heroes. And I didn't have to wonder from week to week if the Batman will get out of the sewers in Detective Comics. And I grew up with a Batman who knew how to shave.

1.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1061

Jul 5, 2022

Wishing Mariko Tamaki the best of luck in her future career in other work, and very grateful that her writing on Batman Detective Comics has (hopefully) come to an end with this comic, which hits a very loud "thud." But the good news is that over in other Batman comics, Batman is no longer in the sewer system. In terms of Batman romance stories, it seems like Tom King has cornered the market on that niche, which gives him something he can do, and keep him from upsetting the rest of the DC Comics fan base. I would urge Mariko Tamaki to work with Tom King for more of the future "relationship" / romance storylines, which some at DC Comics believe customers want. Let them knock themselves out printing that, and see what the sales are like.

1.0
Detective Comics (2016) #1062

Jul 26, 2022

A new Detective Comics with the same basic message from DC Comics writers, editors, and publishers: ** They really HATE Batman Bruce Wayne ** (with a passion). Barbatos, the demon again (eye roll). Big whoop. More supernatural woo from Ram V. Give me The Spectre, and he will straighten this nonsense out. But honestly, we are not buying The Spectre, as the title says "Detective Comics." Bruno Maroni should go see an emergency dentist for all of that green goo leaking out of this mouth. Yech. And you know, Batman needs to be rescued by assassin Talia (yeah, right.) And I really don't care about the Orgham Family and Svatrstal. Not Shavhod, not Neng, not Gael (in Gotham - oh woo, we should be scared). If you like this, and obviously MOST reviewers think it is fantastic, good for you. I won't throw $5 more dollars away for this. Every time, I think Detective Comics is turning the corner, it goes off the rails, crashing down the hill again. DC Editors love it. If they can't "kill" Batman (really), at least make him "over-the-hill," possessed by a demon, etc., as they snicker and take our sucker money. I mean, GOD forbid, Ram V actually writes a detective story about stopping CRIME... because you know, in the post-modern anti-hero era, Crime is Good. Yech. Take your creeping dread back to your horror stories where it and EC Comics belongs. And the piece d'resistance: a snarky Nightwing Dick Grayson with a sneer and "Bruce, you ever consider the fact that you just might be getting too old for...." and "I'd kick your butt, old man." OK, with me Ram V! Why don't you just go write Nightwing instead then. Or maybe DC vs Vampires, I mean they killed Batman there. DC Comics and Ram V - you ever consider the fact that Batman fans are fed up with your crapping on Batman Bruce Wayne? Why should we buy Ram V's Detective Comics if he believes Batman is just "over-the-hill?" Didn't we have two years of that stuff with Mariko Tamaki? If you don't like writing about the Batman character, find another job. Write a different comic. Why bother doing this? And we ALL KNOW. Because $$$$. The ONLY reason DC grudgingly keeps Batman and Detective Comics around. Ram V - they're not coming and you are still not prepared. Try actually reading a few Detective Comics from the past 80 years. That would be a starting point. But no, you will want this to be another JLA Dark. How are the sales for that? If there hadn't been JLA to prop it up, would you be writing for Dynamite Comics? (And in the crap follow-on story, we really needed a drunk old Jim Gordon, talking about Alzheimer's Disease and being told to retire. Because that story was really necessary here, right? It would really increase sales.) I mean, heh heh, right, wipe your feet on some more legacy characters. It is not **all** bad with new team on Tec. I mean after all, Batman is not using the Gotham City sewers for a Bat-Cave. So there is that. So much "progress" with Detective Comics. It's your $5 and your time. P.S.: With over 1 million dead in the elder genocide of COVID-19 in USA, which is a speed bump to much of the USA society. The obvious and blatant ageist hate in the writing in Dectective Comics 1062 by horror writer Ram V (and his "old man" dialogue) and "Alzheimers" crap by Simon Spurrier. Ageist hate has become so normalized (like white supremacism), it is not even noticeable by those who view themselves as superior based on their youth.

10
Flashpoint: Beyond #0

Apr 13, 2022

Interesting MYSTERY story. If you don't like mystery and detective stories, you might not like this. But first set your expectations with understanding that this is a mystery story. It includes Flashpoint Batman Thomas Wayne, Batman (what universe?) Bruce Wayne, Sandman Wesley Dodds, Flashpoint Green Lantern Abin Sur, Flashpoint Aquaman, various time-travelers, Flashpoint Superman, and Rip Hunter Time Masters team... and yes there definitely **IS** a Flash in this story. Not clear who or what universe Flash. Sandman is part of a narrative, GL and Superman by reference. Bruce Wayne Batman begins the story with Watchman villains Mime and Marionnette leading the Bruce Wayne Batman into Time Masters redoubt to get a snowglobe that apparently has some type of time-travel powere. Bruce Wayne Batman's goals? Not clear. But he erases from the Time Masters blackboard of ideas that "Thomas Wayne will die." Next we jump back to Flashpoint universe, as if nothing had changed, with the intervention of the Flash Barry Allen from Earth One. Batman Thomas Wayne tries to recreate Barry Allen as the Flash, but he is apparently (we'll see) stopped by an Atlantis saboteur working for the Tyrant Aquaman. He apparently fails, and we see Barry Allen's body die. However, we then is some type of Flash in this Flashpoint universe, who is nearly invisible. Is it Reverse Flash? Flash from another universe? Or was Barry Allen's spirit merged with Speed Force although his body dies? Or is it another Flash who has been or has gone to the Flashpoint universe? (Be aware, there are gray "thought" narrative boxes with bat logo in yellow moon, but that is Thomas Wayne, not Bruce Wayne thinking. That was really odd. Sloppy?) Lots of questions. However there is killer stalking time-travelers called the Clockwork Killer. Time-travelers Jeff Smith (1st in Rip Hunter, Time Masters), Atom villain Chronos David Clinton, Waverider Matthew Ryder (Linear Men),and #Flash villain Abra Kadabra are all victimes of the killer Clockwork Killer. Meantime, Psycho Pirate Roger Hayden jailed, and he remembers a universe where the Flashpoint issues were resolved. A Batman Bruce Wayne concludes in a Batcave in some universe being taunted by Time Masters Corky Baxter for "what he has done" to the Divine Continuum, and that the Time Masters are going to get Batman Bruce Wayne, and they will "change his future" as well. A lot of people have read Flashpoint, Justice League Incarnate, which you pretty much need to know to understand the story. I would also recommend re-reading: Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance by Brian Azzarello, as it recounts the last part of Thomas Wayne's universe... before the Aquaman/Amazon war which took over in the main Flashpoint series. As one reviewer wrote: "this feels like it could be issue #4 of Batman: Knight of Vengeance."

10
Flashpoint: Beyond #1

May 12, 2022

Great mystery story.

7.5
Flashpoint: Beyond #3

Jul 5, 2022

I can see Thomas Wayne being set up as alternate character in future Time Travel/Dimensional stories. We'll see if DC Comics management agrees. It would a good way to leverage Thomas Wayne Batman and replace (frankly outdated) characters like Rip Hunter, etc. introduced 1959. To me, it is obvious that it is Bruce Wayne Batman (Earth-1) behind the resurrection of the Flashpoint timeline to save his father, Thomas Wayne's, life. In my read of the mystery, I also believe the main villain is Rip Hunter of the Time Masters. Not a lot of action as this is a transition chapter in a mystery story. A lot of work for what could have been briefer. I believe the Clockwork Killer is Rip Hunter deranged from temporal travel. I don't know this. That is my speculation based on reading. Rip does not appear or anything. Just clues I am putting together. So, this is a mystery story. It is not an "action" comics. If you like mysteries, eventually this will grow on you, if not, well there are other stories out there. Could be a lot better, but it is a transition story in a mystery. If I was rating each chapter of a mystery story, there would be some I would like more than others. This is like that. Doesn't mean I don't want to know the end of the mystery. So that's what it is. I would not give it a 10 or a 1; it is somewhere in the middle, but since I am invested in this as a mystery story, I would give it a 7.5.

1.0
Future State (2021): The Next Batman #1

Apr 29, 2021

The "Next Batman" as a killer of the innocent. But they save THAT for later, when you aren't looking. Why doesn't John Ridley tell origin here? Deliberately. The Next Batman as Tim (Jace) Fox, the hit and run driver and cold-blooded killer, with the moral values of running some innocent person over and leaving them to die in the street. Of course, John Ridley won't talk about the "origin" of this "Next Batman." He will bury it in "chapters" of a digital-only issue. So the DC Comics audience does not grasp his "Next Batman" begins with a conscienceless killer of the innocent. That wouldn't fit in with DC Comics PR stories on this. They will have PR reviewers call him the "anti Bruce Wayne." But the reality is that a killer with no conscience is still a killer. No matter how they dress him up. Watch for other DC Comics writers, including Ridley, to start rationalizing killing in other books to come. It is part of the "new morality" of DC Comics "Future State," which reimagine "masked hero" comic books as "horror comics."

5.5
Future State (2021): Justice League #2

Feb 10, 2021

The Justice League Future State filler story was contrived, simple, short. But it wasn't bad. It was OK, the art was OK, the story was at least a story. The idea that The New Batman "discovers" a way to defeat the White Martians by TO Morrow simply leaving something "around," is obviously contrived. Joshua Williamson clearly ran out runway as a writer on this and page space to come up with a credible plot, so he punts on contrived ending. I notice The New Batman's mask ("Jace" Tim Fox) keeps changing. I am hoping that is on purpose, as part of him "opening up," but we really don't know. The New Batman "humming" was (I think) intended to be funny. If so, then ha ha, OK? (eye roll). But let's be honest, too many comics have done that at some point. And a filler story can be "OK." Not a lot have paid 6 dollars for such comics, however. If this were a 1960s/1970s 12 to 25 cent comic book, you would shrug, but, well, it's not. To be clear, a 25 cent comic book from 1970, with 605.2% inflation would be $1.76... so even a $3-4 comic would be average, but not $5.99. So basically, we are paying a premium to give Joshua Williamson some work during pandemic... or DC Comics is setting new pricing standards. Either way, this is an "OK" $2-3 book with a $6 cover price. DC is just normalizing "future state" of comic prices from $4 to $6-8. That's the true point of "Future State." A lot of reviewers panned the Justice League Dark (JLD) second story, which I thought was much more entertaining. Problem is the heavy exposition makes it into a 2 day read. It got so boring at the beginning that I set it down and gave up on it. But the next day, it was OK to finish. No you shouldn't need 2 days to read a 20 page second story. However, if you read it that way, it is not so bad. It is always good to see Dr. Fate, in any of his incarnations, as I am a long-time Justice Society of America (JSA) fan. The other characters (meh), but Dr. Fate's sacrifice, knowing the many diverse multiverse futures, and his whisper to Etrigan at the end (point of the story), made it a good read. Staggering exposition and clumsy art at the beginning of JLD made it a plow, but there is something interesting revealed for the "past" of JLD in "future state." That was probably better than JLA. At least it had a point. The JLA story was really just filler. JLA Issue 2 Rating: 5.5 JLD Issue Rating : 6.75

6.5
Future State (2021): Nightwing #2

Feb 19, 2021

It was a surprisingly good issue with good art and pacing. But Dick Grayson continues to make a major mistake. I understand Nightwing is "his identity." But if he believes Gotham needs a Batman, then he needs to wear a bat costume. It is not enough to let someone else take over. Batman is not about skills, talents, courage. It is about compulsion, values, and determination - to fight crime without being a criminal. Robin in Earth 2 had the right idea. Some may have thought Earth 2 Robin's costume quirky. But if Nightwing believes a Batman is needed, he needs to be looking in the mirror. Not expecting that from strangers. I also don't believe Dick would have given up looking for Bruce. Especially after Oracle/Batgirl found evidence of The Batman, during the breakout of the Magistrate prison (which this story would clearly be after.) But this story is written like he doesn't know anything about that. Detective Comics Issue #38: Batman and Dick Grayson: "That night two grim figures take an undying oath" -- Batman: "And swear that we two will fight against crime and corruption and never to swerve from the path of righteous" -- Dick Grayson: "I swear it." And THAT is DC Comics canon - probably one of the single most foundational part of DC Comics canon. That is the point of the Batman. There are plenty of other costumed characters. There is only one true Batman and Robin. And Dick Grayson has a responsibility to follow through with his oath... not leave it for strangers with unknown motivations.

3.0
Future State (2021): Batman/Superman #2

Feb 23, 2021

"Supes." That's what Gene Luen Yang thinks The Batman calls Superman. That is how much Mr. Yang understands the Batman character. "Supes." How many times in past 80+ years has The Batman called Superman "Supes"? That's right. The Magistrate regime just happens to have a facility to develop artificial Kryptonite, with all types of Kryptonite weapons on hand. And schizophrenic Professor Pyg is supposed to have the capability to readily and instantly (?) clone parts of Superman, and monster versions of Superman. Because.... yes, Mr. Yang never explains any of that.... because after all, then you would need a plot. The good news: thank goodness it was ONLY two issues and just $8 that you will never see again. Not like $32 for four issues of The New Batman, for example. Batman of Zur-En-Arrh and Batmite were infinitely more credible, and less grim. But the goal of rationalizing the all powerful nature of The Magistrate regime in Gotham is the propaganda that is the only priority in the Future State bat stories.

2.0
Future State (2021): Shazam! #2

Feb 23, 2021

Once again, we have another television screen writer who is writing DC Comics for characters that they clearly know nothing about. Tim Sheridan does what he thinks is his job, and he makes it grim for the whole "Future State dystopia" vibe. But anyone who believes Captain Marvel (aka Shazam) could kill The Spectre simply has no understand of the characters whatsoever. None.

4.0
Future State (2021): Dark Detective #3

Feb 9, 2021

Grifter/Huntress Issue #2. That's what the title SHOULD be, because the Dark Detective story tells us that Bruce knows that there are Magistrate nanodrones everywhere, which we pretty much already KNEW. The Dark Detective plot of the story is about one page of plot. Some handwringing. A currently pointless crossover of Tim Fox as The New Batman having a cameo meeting; hopefully in issue DD Issue 4 there is some point to this, other than to sucker readers to pay $6 for this issue. But SURPRISE, Grifter/Huntress Issue #2 does have a story, a plot, action, and actually moves the story forward. After lots of boredom about Tim Fox as The New Batman (why, exactly?), we now can clearly surmise WHY Tim Fox became The New Batman. That is the value to buying this issue. They don't actually "tell" you, but you can now "figure it out." Tim Fox's motivation is about betrayal and disgrace by family (at least I sure hope so). That plot has mostly been in Marvel comics, but you see it here and there (not very successfully) in DC Comics: Batgirl Stephanie Brown/brother Cluemaster (Arthur Brown), Batgirl Cassandra Cain and her assassin parents, and the always (boring to me) ex-Robin Damian Wayne and his assassin mother Talia al Ghul/lunatic grandfather Ra's al Ghul. I have always thought Marvel did that type of plot better. But lack of other moral / social motivation (not good) has repeatedly gotten more of the Bat family "motivated" or at least "entangled" on these lines. So Grifter/Huntress Issue #2 does explain things - and fills in missing motivation for the other Future State The New Batman, regarding Tim Fox's motivation. However, it certainly is outside of "canon" (whatever that means anymore), as Luke Fox (aka the former BatWing) was always described as someone with different level of intelligence, skills, values. Aside from the "aha" moment, there is a sense of disappointment that "is this all they have for the future of The New Batman?" You may wonder why this matters in a DD review, when "The New Batman" literally just makes a cameo. Well, it is the only meaningful part of the comic book. The DD plot line is basically 1-2 pages stretched out over 15. Always glad to see the Huntress, and Bruce Wayne will of course, always be the only Batman; it is good to see Bruce not dead, not a zombie wearing a Black Lantern ring, and not wandering around with an arm cut off, so it is worth it online, if you can get a discount from 6 to 5 dollars on Comixology. Nothing here you really want to hold on to on paper for future investment. Grifter/Huntress Issue #2 (Rating 8); DD Issue #3 (why you bought this) (Rating 4)

4.5
Future State (2021): The Next Batman #4

Feb 17, 2021

The New Batman "Crime is Mostly OK" issue number 4 decides portrays a bat family, with "justice" values to aid killers, give a killer a device used in suicide bombing, have several Magistrate figures killed and mutilated, and reject law enforcement punishment for hardened criminals. For a lot of fans, that will be worth $8. Unlike pro-crime figures in Crime Syndicate, we now have justification in persecuted revolutionaries in Future State Gotham. As to "The New Batman" Future State bat family, resistance is all, at any cost. And in issue 4, you should really like Homer, because you will be hearing Homer quoted a lot, and Delphic maxims of course. The New Batman (Part 4 finally). Rating: 4.5. Because there is a story, no matter how weak. The challenge of Future State The New Batman is "The Magistrate" dystopia creates an environment to justify murder, because "The Magistrate" has created an anti-law police state. But this is used as a strawman argument to also "heroize" violence and murder by Future State "heroes" on behalf of "justice." The past several issues of The New Batman have been about Batman protecting a couple who committed a brutal murder of another criminal, because "he deserved it" for murdering their daughter. But the idea of becoming judge, jury, and executioner is both a fault-line for The Magistrate fascists as well as the corrupted "future" bat family. While Tim (Jace) Fox as The New Batman is seeking to get hooded couple (Eric and Sara) "safely" (?) to GCPD peacekeepers for "justice" for this murder, he too ends up compromising his values. And Jace gives both members of the couple a weapon with a micro columb charge, to press the trigger, and throw at the peacekeepers. Eric jumps out of the car in front of peacekeepers pursuing them, and with the weapon from The New Batman, becomes a suicide bomber, taking out two of the peacekeeper vehicles with armor flying and vehicles on fire. Perhaps other readers are aware of suicide bombers with Batman in past issues, but I really don't remember them. Do we remember when Batman used to rescue people who were in burning vehicles? Even his enemies? But it is Future State (a few years from now), and The New Batman just lets them burn. That is his idea of "holding back." The New Batman has another fight with The Magistrate figures and also his mother en route to getting Sara (now that Eric is dead) to Peacekeepers. His mother pulls a gun on The New Batman, and Tim slices her shoulder with a bat-blade shuriken. (FYI, his bat suit is bullet-proof, we later discover.) After he injures his mother (do we think Bruce Wayne would stab his own mother), then stabs disarmed Magistrate Captain Stanz in the shoulder/chest with a knife; it is hard to tell from the art. But the image of Batman with a knife in his hand, stabbing a disarmed individual, is something I really don't want to see. I really don't want others to think this "New Batman" is "The Batman," anymore than I did with Azrael. But DC Comics goes through these periods. [Spoiler for DC Comics, when you had Azrael as Batman you got zero (count-em, zero) dollars from this reader.] And the New Batman would have killed Captain Stanz, except Sara (another killer) stops him. Magistrate Captain Stanz hypocritically says to The New Batman: "You don't care a thing about innocent civilians." Stanz is the "bad guy" and clearly also doesn't care about innocent civilians. But is Captain Stanz also right about The New Batman, who just injured his own mother, and ends up putting his own mother in the hospital. Or should we not question the new values of the Future State "heroes"? Ironic to Barbara Gordon's later words, in Future State, criticizing "ends justifies the means," when it has become the new world view. Other than Batman the stabber, Batman the mother slicer, and Batman the armer of suicide bomber, there really isn't much to Issue #4 plot. Dystopia, killer couple, Batman gets one of the couple to Gotham police. And has family conflicts. We still don't know Tim's (Jace) motivation, but DD seems to explaining that based on treacherous brother Luke Fox. And Lucius seems to be working just fine with The Magistrate. But could Ridley at least pick one first name for Tim/Jace Fox? The challenge for new DC writers is not "who" Batman is. It is "what" Batman is. And motivation is not a sideline topic. For Batman, it is everything. Otherwise, it is just another costumed character. But most of the effective ones have "powers." What is Batman's "power"? His Compulsion. His Determination. His Values. Not what he wears and or his gadgets. But his identity. That is Batman's superpower. Always has been for 80+ years. Batman's real super powers are his obsession to refuse to surrender to violent crime, and not BECOME like them. It is a determination beyond measure. It is a refusal to surrender under any circumstances - to violent crime, not only to refuse their power, but also to refuse to become LIKE them. Batman's loss is not just part of his origin, but a definition as to Why He Fights. So with a character like Batman, you will believe he will overcome any obstacle, not because of "superpowers," but because of the power of his identity. He has no choice. It is not just he should, but He Must. So in the wild, Elseworld type, Dark Metal stories, you can believe Batman would keep going, even after shot, even after KILLED, with a Black Lantern ring, even after his arm is cut off. Because, after all, he is Batman. He Must. Motivation is Everything. Batgirls (# 2). Rating: 3. Nonsensical. People repeatedly quote Homer (yes, that's right Homer-from around 700–750 BCE); I noticed four Homer quotes. They actually quote Homer in between punching Magistrate figures in the prison. Imagine. Someone is punching or hurting you, and in the middle of fighting, you stop to quote Homer passages. And the same thing is done by other characters, also quoting Homer. [I like Homer just fine, despite the fact that some people would never want him taught in schools or colleges anymore.] That might be the type of "comedy" (?) type thing that Thor would do in Marvel? But honestly. Batgirl? Black Lightning? Oracle? (Shrug.) And wasn't Black Lightning literally a force of lightning last time we saw in the Bat universe in DD? Same one this New Batman is in ? So the idea behind Batgirls 2 is not a comic book story, but a moral and timeless call for revolution of the persecuted. OK, Vita Ayala. It is still DC Comics. In this story about Batgirls Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, we get to read about a prison riot. The story is about Cain and Brown organizing a prison riot to free Batgirl Barbara Gordon, locked in prison basement, whose brain is so important that she is inexplicably connected to computers from The Magistrate on 24x7 basis. Cassandra Cain finally gets to basement to release Barbara Gordon. Babs is just fine and ready in fighting shape after being locked up and hooked to computer against her will for "years." [I missed the part with Barbara Gordon was also a secret Kyrptonian with infinite strength and invulnerability. (sarcasm)] Barbara then uses The Magistrate computer system network (what she was connected to) to call for public to rebel, and well, you just hear her (as "Oracle") call for rebellion, but you really don't know what happens. On the "Oracle" side, you do get to hear her shout out some incriptions from the Temple of Delphi (aka ironically known as "Temple of Apollo.") And while that is interesting historical stuff from 3rd-6th century (when carved into temple), a little side note reminder that equality was not such a big thing back then, and part of 147 Delphi Temple inscriptions, for example, was "Rule Your Wife." (As well as three Delphic maxims against violence and one against murder. Well, we know the Future State Bat family community would struggle with these.) And of course, Homer was a big fan. Ancient wisdom for a timeless article on the need for The People to revolt against oppression. The Bat family revolutionaries control the prison, defeating the Magistrate guards. (And doing what with? Maybe we don't want to know.) But the Bat revolutionaries also decide to free murderers and other criminals, who could just be good members of the Resistance if given a chance, and urge killers and masks work in harmony side-by-side to build little tents, etc. to create their own Autonomous Zone. When the prisoners succeed in their riot against The Magistrate, the criminal killers locked up with "the masks" are not a problem for the "Future State" "bat family." "Rehabilitation through service. There are no white hats or black coats now, only resistance." There is never any question WHY and HOW the rest of U.S. and world just allowed Magistrate to create this dystopia without any outside intervention. Just because, you know. The first panel has NINE text boxes. Yes, nine. I literally fell asleep, and finished it the next day. Vita appears to have her strong suit in writing horror and science fiction. But... this is Batgirls. And where did Cassandra Cain suddenly get "diamond-tipped titanium steel nails" in a maximum security prison? (???). Not to mention the "Subdermal Key-Gen and Interface." We have assume all this somehow came from Dick's resistance, but we actually have no clue. Later on, non-super powered Cassandra also has an armored Batgirl costume pop up out of a ring. I can't recall, is that before or after the super-powered Bat-Unicorns appear? Perhaps Stephanie Brown gets a similar "ring," because a page later, her costume materializes on herself. Maybe the costume ring that Stephanie had was invisible too, which is why we never saw her wearing it. (Don't ask questions, silly reader.) Vita's story is good with the Homer quotes and the sci-fi. Coherent plot is just in the way.

3.5
Future State (2021): Dark Detective #4

Feb 23, 2021

Dark Detective "Finale" (eye roll) Issue #2 (I mean #4) ends with a bang, but no real conclusion (of course), after stretching out 2 issues worth of story into 4 issues at $6 each. Was it worth $24? DC and writer Mariko Tamaki thinks so. And we have gotten interesting art from Dan Mora and great coloring from Jordie Bellaire. The lettering is intended to be "futuristic," and Aditya Bidikar continues the same annoying lettering from previous issues. It wasn't as bad or as expensive as "The New Batman." So there is that. But of course, there was never any intent to have a "story" with any real conclusion. We have a Bruce Wayne who is struggling with uncertainty, guilt, self-blame, doubt. The same Batman who defeated countless world threats, organized teams to defeat threats to entire Earth, struggles to find the resolve to defeat the punk of The Magistrate regime. Bruce Wayne continues his efforts to undermine The Magistrate and stop its surveillance system of nanobot drones everywhere. Supporting character Hannah ends up aiding Bruce and has been secretly recording The Magistrate's own work. She believes she has information about The Magistrate that will help to prevent "the end of all democracy in Gotham." Peacekeeper-01 wants to fight "scum" like Bruce Wayne to the end. And the carnival barkers tell us "Bruce Wayne's adventues continue anew next month in Detective Comics #1034." When the key is the art and coloring, you are losing your reader, but we need to be honest, there really is no serious intent to engage the reader. Just push them forward, get along little doggie, towards buying the next issue in the latest "event." Part of the broad story line (beyond just Future State DD) is that the struggle is much of the people WANT The Magistrate, they want security at whatever cost that regime will bring. DC describes the Magistrate regime as being all-knowing and powerful, being able to clone (Batman/Superman 2) parts and versions of Superman, as a rationale to keep Superman or any other powers to stop "The Magistrate." The sci-fi storyline is intended to suspend disbelief, because the only real goal is to drive stories to the next "event." We have writers with lean plots to serve as carnival barkers to gin up suspense and enthusiasm for the next "event." Because that is really all that DC wants to sell, "events." In the 20th century, the events were in between periods of storylines. Now the events are really everything, and storylines are just placeholders or road signs to events. This allows DC to hire inexperienced writers to learn on the job writing major comics, because they will keep fanboys coming back with a hint that another "clue" in the next "big event" will be there. This is especially valuable for AT&T to keep internal costs down of knowledgable DC Comics talent. This is a trick television has been doing for years. So you end up going from mysteries like Columbo (with beginning/middle/end) to semi-soap opera, constant cliff-hangers like The Blacklist. Exchange interest with plot and mystery, and replace with brutality, value abandonment, and constant "shock" value. So those of us really expecting stories will be constantly disappointed.

10
Generations (2021): Forged #1

Feb 24, 2021

Great to see 1939 Batman Again! This is a 1980s/90s-style story for fans of specific old characters, especially those whose characters no longer exist in the same way due to endless retcons by DC Comics, such as the 1939 Batman.If you are such a fan, this works for you. I am, and so for me, I am glad to see 1939 Batman back. In anything. He could be reading the telephone book. I don't care. But if you are looking for a coherent story that makes sense, well, that's a different situation altogether. Dominus (previously a Lord of Order and priest, Tuoni) appeared in 1990s Superman comics, and I think an appearance in DC Universe Legacies #1. But most readers don't care about this villain. He is just a placeholder. They just want to see old versions of characters from the past again. It is a nostalgia book. That simple. Let's be honest. This is a story that was conceived when different people worked at DC Comics who were laid off and overtaken by events, and went from five issues to two issues. So, of course, it isn't going to make sense. If you expect it to make sense, you really weren't paying attention to what is going on, and sorry for you. I like to see that 1939 Batman, **The** Batman (thank you very much), solves the problem despite a lack of "powers" and modern and future century high-tech gadgets. So if you are a fan of 1939 Batman (like me), you will be willing to plow through the nonsense in this comic by committee, just to get to the 1939 Batman parts. Clearly the committee also were great fans of 1939 Batman so there is a cool ending page. Yes, the Linearverse obviously doesn't make sense. But they had to end it somehow, and clearly the writers were not in touch with the rest of DC's Infinite Frontier/Future State vision. It is a nice, fun comic book, if you like these characters. I do. Glad to see 1939 Batman again.

1.0
Harley Quinn (2021) #2

Apr 28, 2021

Psycho Killers Unite as Civic Leaders for Gotham. Psycho Harley Quinn (DC "hero") vs. Psycho Hugo Strange (DC "reformer")... written by a romance novelist, who is enjoying writing "hero" characters in what is essentially now "horror comics." And of course, there is "reformed clown" Kevin, who feels troubled as he walks by a store that he burned down and might of killed someone. And that aspect, whether Kevin also killed someone, is quickly dropped. Why? Because it doesn't add to the story? (Oh so naive.) No, try, because killing is OK now. Just ask John Ridley's writing of Jace Fox over at The Next Batman. In fact, when you KILL some innocent, then YOU are the victim. (And that pretty much sums up the state of USA 2021.) After all, DC Comics Writers/Editors/AT&T Overlords believe: who wants to be remembered for a "bad day" - like Hugo Strange's efforts to mass-murder people of Gotham with literal giant monsters and fear gas and Harley Quinn (questioning Strange's values LOL) who has blown up little children with bomb put into games. And these are the "protagonists" and heroic figures in DC Comics today. If we change the name from "DC Comics" to "Horror Comics," we might had a better explanation of the evolving value sets in "costumed hero" stories at DC.

1.0
I Am Batman (2021) #0

Sep 15, 2021

Jace Fox's "Batman" and an innocent protester:"Please Batman, don't kill me." "My whole life is built on deceptions." And so is this comic book series. It is about a hit and run killer who tries to rationalize his murder and lack of punishment by wearing someone else's Batman costume and beating up other people, over his unending shame and disgust about himself. But he "can't be an instrument of violence." And DC Comics and Ridley simply don't care about the level of hypocrisy that they put on paper. Notice how the real victims, the Acevedo family, are never mentioned?

1.0
I Am Batman (2021) #1

Sep 15, 2021

"Who does the driver remind me of?" The "mask" that Jace Fox really wears has nothing to do with Batman. The "mask" that Jace Fox wears is one of pretending to be an honest and sincere person, who is an unpunished killer. A self-loathing hit-and-run killer wearing a Batman costume gets his own comic series as "I Am Batman." As he states in "I Am Batman," "If you can fake sincerity, you can win anyone over," and this is the point of Jace Fox's pretending to be Batman. But this "Batman" does not worry about law and justice, simply about whether "these folks cancel you for real" using their phones and social media. And regarding "sincerity" of this "Next Batman," the "disinformation" and "conspiracy theories" spread by "Seer" about how The Magistrate are "booted thugs" is true. In any U.S. city in any part of the country, the fact is that the citizenry would rise up and stop them. This is not the totalitarian nation that Ridley seeks to draw it as, and the people are not shackled to the fear that he and DC Comics would find an entertaining dystopia story. Fact is Jace Fox only wants people to look up to him, because he needs them to believe in HIM. Because Jace Fox knows in his heart that what he sees in the mirror is a killer. He claims that his father believes Jace has "forgiven" him. No, the truth is Jace knows who and what Jace is. But of course, none of this will get into the "I Am Batman" series. One reviewer wrote: "Jace isn’t the same jaded hero as Bruce Wayne and didn’t need a family tragedy to incentivize him to become the new Dark Knight." This is the same Jace Fox who praised his mentor, the costumed killer Katana, for killing "people who deserved it." (Second Son #11) No, Jace Fox is not "incentivized" by HIS "family tragedy," but rather the "family tragedy" that Tim "Jace" Fox committed on the innocent Hispanic Acevedo family, killing Enrique Acevedo and leaving him to die in the street. (Second Son #8-9) And using race to rationalize someone else family tragedy (Second Son 9):"There was a road rage incident in that neighborhood last week. White driver assaulted a black man. Tim didn't run--he was afraid to stop." (By Lucius Fox, and clearly a lie, as shown in Second Son #8-9). So as a reviewer of "I Am Batman" waves away the issue of "family tragedy" in this "better" Batman, they just ignore the blood on Jace Fox's hands. They won't mention the "family tragedy" that led to Edgar Acevedo about killer Jace Fox (the "Next Batman"): "I swear on my dad's grave you just bought yourself a world of hurt." (Second Son #11)

1.0
I Am Batman (2021) #4

Dec 16, 2021

Just Ridiculous. Story lines by "How to Even Sell Less of Your Comic" by J. Ridley. A best-seller to DC Comics editors. John Ridley just simply won't accept it, that the Magistrate story line is played out. So he wants to plan for Lucius Fox to work with Victor Noonan to spread fascism beyond Gotham City to other cities more ready to submit. OK - go to NYC already. See how long the fascist story line sounds credible there. How many people were gunned down in Chicago last weekend? Over 30? How many children? There is a REAL storyline out there for Luke Fox as Batwing to tell real and meaningful stories in fighting crime and working for Justice. And with the Batwoman TV show including Batwing, this would really provide a positive comics story line and IP to promote the character. But this Jace Fox hit-and-run and Magistrate story stuff by Ridley just gets more and more counterproductive and ridiculous all the time.

1.0
I Am Batman (2021) #5

Jan 13, 2022

Notably, the criminal penalties for hit-and-run murder are the same throughout all of New York State. A Batman with contempt for the law and unwillingness to be accountable for his own crimes, sets an incredibly bad example for our youth. If Lucius has real paternal concern, it would be for his son to first pay for his crimes, before he hypocritically judged others for theirs. Wrong is wrong. Criminals are a cowardly lot. Crime Does Not Pay.

2.5
I Am Batman (2021) #11

Jul 13, 2022

Privilege. Billionaire' Row. Where hit-and-run killer Jace Fox lives, when he is not wearing a Batman costume in NYC, pretending to work for law and order as his form of penance. Privilege. Since he is too privileged to actually pay for his crimes like everyone else. Murder by Jace Fox is OK. Murder by others is wrong. Privilege. What I would like about this story is if Detective Chubb was consistent about law and order, including the criminal Jace Fox. Equality Under the Law. Not Privilege. But John Ridley doesn't want to write about that. What a shame. I like the characters of Detective Chubb and Whitaker. If they had a larger role, this might be more interesting. Meantime, there is just too much soap opera nonsense going on. I see this headed in the direction of now sadly canceled Batwoman series. What a shame, and she was a heroine 100 times more credible than the criminal Jace Fox. Sometimes there really is no glamor in Privilege. As to the Question, we all know it was the Seer using a kid to kill Anarky. OK now what? Is the Question going to do something about that back in Gotham? Obviously criminal in Batman costume Jace Fox isn't. So what is the point?

7.0
Infinite Frontier (2021) #0

Mar 5, 2021

Interesting issue, and not bad; apparently these are excepts from some of future books. Do we have a name/number for our Earth? A lot of discussion about "Elseworlds" Earth and Omega Earth (apparently home of Darkseid), but what Earth are "we" on, the "Elseworlds" Earth? That doesn't have a lot of coherency. Given the complexities of the Omniverse of multiple universes, it is worth clarifying for the readers to keep track. I am not sure how Wally West is going to resolve things, but apparently he returns as Flash of our Earth, while Barry Allen becomes the Flash for the universe to monitor the omniverse. The Batman, Stargirl, and others have interesting stories, and the current Batman 106 is the lead into the Magistrate story line, which unfortunately DC is continuing. It is good to see Seven Soldiers of Victory will return in some form. It is also interesting and surprising to see that Queen Hippolyta will return to the world, similar to the JSA era, to take on the interim mantle of Wonder Woman, while Nubia serves as Queen. I think Sentinel's story excerpt would read better in an overall story working with his children on the effort to work to protect vulnerable from crime. I wish readers were aware of past stories of Sentinel Alan Scott working to fight criminals, protect steel mills, and defend Americans. Crime-fighting identity gets lost in cosmic sci-fi fantasy. Brief soapbox: One aspect that gets lost in the costumed hero world is that they originated as figures to protect the vulnerable public from reign of lawless criminals and assist the law, not BECOME the law. "Crime-fighting" (not so popular these days) is not the same as the sci-fi narrative of protecting vulnerable public from EVERY and ANY possible threat. At some point, the question is when do such heroes stop helping, and start herding the public? This is the larger philosophical question being asked. But we are so far gone into sci-fi fantasy, it is hard to even recognize this question exists. An Infinite Frontier of Justice Cosplay, instead of Justice to "help vulnerable" in fighting "crime," are different. And so Wonder Woman Diana Prince's response that she will not join the Quintessence also demonstrates she cannot step back and let humans make their own choices. This is the overall issue, whether Magistrate/Masks or other metahumans. Speaking of "crime-fighting," the concept of the Spectre was to "fight crime." But over the years, protecting the vulnerable has expanded the Spectre's power to change reality, affect multiverses, and literally move planets. This is very different from just being the avenging spirit to condemn those killed by criminals. But the immortal Spectre's power is significantly greater than simply a living/dead creature like Darkseid in any of his permutations. As one wrote, in terms of power comparison, Darkseid is to The Spectre, what we are to Darkseid. (Aside: it says so much about society that The Spectre, given avenging powers by GOD, is now part of a Quintessence of "gods." Anyone who once read The Spectre would say "I don't think so.") But we will be led to believe Darkseid is omnipotent now. Nonsense, based on the sci-fi canon. I believe there is value to Infinite Frontier moving less from the sci-fi fantasy dependency and more on actual "justice" that the costumed figures were created to address in the first place.

9.0
Infinite Frontier (2021) #4

Aug 12, 2021

For a rare change, something to read that is not totally grim, depressing, and horror-filled. So it is a rare enjoyable read from DC Comics. Now of course they are not going to defeat Darkseid. And of course they won't wrap this up in 6 issues. That is why they are going to have a follow-up series Justice League Incarnate. It might turn out to be the only DC Comics series that I follow. But at least it was nice that Thomas Wayne's character has been recovered somewhat from the train-wreck that was Tom King's writing.

3.5
Justice League (2018) #59

Mar 16, 2021

Justice League issue #59 "Prism" goal is to set stage to introduce Naomi McDuffie into Justice League, who is on the cover, but DC wants its "mystery" of blacking out "faces" - aka its' "Prism" realignment of the Justice League. Another Wonder Woman (apparently Hippolyta) is also on the Justice League 59 cover (with a blacked out face), but not in this issue. Among lots of other characters in a Variant B cover. Other than introducing Naomi literally on the LAST page of only 18 page story... that's it. Otherwise, "Prism" is pretty quick, incomplete, and forgettable. Or as another reviewer Matt Meyer delicately writes "somewhat light on plot" (LOL). Good for DC making $$$. We really don't need the horned weirdo villain from Naomi's Earth to introduce her. Rather have a better (and more complete) story. To those who think readers will hanging on each month to see DC Comics dole out drips of this non-story, just to see Naomi, Hippolyta, and who else is "replaced" / "changed." Maybe. Not for some readers. Also Justice League isn't Young Justice/Teen Titans (where Naomi has appeared the most in 10 issues). Moving Justice League to Young Adult Justice League is a "plot," but it doesn't appear Bendis/DC is thinking that coherently. Just.. whatever. Who is Naomi? She did appear in Justice League before, on January 29, 2020, issue 39. You don't remember? You read Issue 39 and didn't see her? You missed the cameo at bottom of page 21 with Young Justice figures (including Teen Lantern's Keli Quintela)? Well... Marvel's Brian Michael Bendis started writing Superman in Action Comics in June 2018, which ended in December 2020, and in Action Comics (AC 1014-1016, 1020-1021, 1028... what you weren't reading those?), the "energy-powered" character from another Earth, Naomi, was introduced. The Naomi character was also created by Bendis, and he developed a six issue mini-series about her, creatively called "Naomi," (part of label "Wonder Comics," DC's "new teen-focused, in-continuity imprint") run in 2019, starting in March 2019. In Young Justice 10 issues, her own 6 issue "Marvel Comics" miniseries, and 6 AC issues, Naomi has had over 20 appearances in DC Comics, and of course bottom of page 21 in JL 39. No clever name, not "Energy Girl" or anything like that. Just Naomi. I wonder if we would have bought comics named, Clark, Bruce, Diana... or even Brian? But some fans did with Naomi, who is being promoted in the CW's Arrowverse now. So Naomi will be coming to a television show on CW near you! In Justice League issue #59, some weird creature from Naomi's (ozone layer mostly destroyed) Earth has found this Earth by focusing on Naomi's energy signature and wants to invade it. It fights Black Adam (not Shazadam LOL), Superman, and punches Aquaman of the Justice League, then flees back to its alternate Earth. Naomi flies around on her own on the last page, to show that she can. Black Adam appears to talk to her. That's all. Quick, quick 18 page read. Five dollars later, you finish and think, that's it? It's over? Mostly a Superman and Black Adam book with cameos by friends. Ollie makes a cameo to gripe with Dinah Lance (both do nothing). The point of Oliver Queen's Green Arrow is to make an obvious and pointed call for diversity in the Justice League, "We need to get new voices in here. Some disruption. Some dissent." So Bendis philosophy on Justice League is going to be "Disrupt Justice League." The thing is that plot actually has been done... a lot of times. But we will see Bendis' take on it - if he can actually move the story along. Flash is wearing a lab coat over his costume, Hawkgirl, Aquaman (getting punched), Batman also have minimal appearances. Wonder Woman Diana Prince is GONE of course, and Hippolyta is going to be in Justice League in the near term future, as she is on the cover - with her face blacked out (just not in THIS issue). And there are lots of non-story characters on variant cover too. BTW, DC Comics, can we put other characters on main covers that don't appear in the stories? Not just "variant covers," but also main story covers. (And FYI there are apparently Zack Snyder variant covers too.) That's a cool idea. Then we could just buy them for the covers and not the stories. How about Sandman? Spectre? JSA? Calvin Ellis Superman? Why do we need to have characters on the main cover that are in the story? Just put any characters you want on the main cover. I agree. Let's change it up a little and make it more exciting (off sarcastic soap box). Green Lantern is also GONE. But I expect we will be seeing John Stewart soon... I have learned John Stewart is apparently on the variant cover... along with a lot of other characters not in the story... or Jo Mullein.. or Teen Lantern? After all, Teen Lantern's did appear in Justice League 39 along with Naomi's cameo. (By the way, so did Guy Gardner... on page 7.) We need some lightness to Justice League beyond Ollie's drop of complaining. Maybe it is the art, but they are "god" like. I never thought I could miss Guy Gardner. Go figure. Then there is JLA Dark about Merlin returning, killing someone, taking stone from Arthur's sword, Zatanna losing powers, and Jason Blood's return. Meh. I wouldn't have bought this, but it is stuck on JLA issue, to justify only giving us 18 pages of real JLA story, since we aren't paying 8 dollars for this. Other reviewers say to buy this just for the JLA Dark story, which had its own series (CANCELLED three months ago), but obviously if JLA Dark was THAT popular it would not have been cancelled. Overall? Meh. I would rather be reading Bendis at Marvel. I read this and think about how I would rather be reading Spider-Man or Daredevil. Although the weird new costume thing at Spider-Man is creepy. But Bendis says the main JLA characters are going change in their books. DC Comics then "interviews" Bendis "What does it mean for Naomi to Join the Justice League?" I mean they can't tell us. They have to "interview" Bendis to tell us. And he answers: "This lineup is just a hint of the major changes the Justice League will be going through over the course of the year. A lot is going to happen to these characters in their solo books, and that will reflect wholeheartedly in Justice League." So there, see? As you can see in the JLA cover with their faces all blacked out... (hint hint)... the JLA is due for "changes...." "wholeheartedly." I believe they wanted to fake out readers who thought Yara Flor was joining the league, instead of Hippolyta. Not "half-heartedly," Brian? No, "wholeheartedly." Yes, people don't "talk" like that (maybe Brian does). But hey its DC's comic, if they want to put pretend interviews in it, that's their choice. However, it explains the "reason" behind JLA Issue #59. The lineup is going to be "changing" and "wholeheartedly" too. Get it? "wholeheartedly." It is ironic that the week of Synder cut JLA release, we have a Justice League starting with the goal to replace main line-up. But that may be part of Synder's epilogue too. Who knows? And who would believe I would miss Guy Garnder? Not me for sure. ----------------------- (P.S. - By the way this is NOT part of "Endless Winter" storyline CB Roundup. Unless Naomi is here to warn about her new Earth's ozone layer... which I think she could have already done in 20+ previous appearances?)

4.5
Justice League (2018) #60

Apr 22, 2021

Does might make right for this JL's Superman? Are we reading Justice League OR the League of Heroes and Villains (as convenient) (or another version of Injustice)? Should we walk away like Hippolyta in disgust? Or should we applaud the Bendis' Superman call to give mass-murderers with superpowers a second chance? I was hesitant to read it because of Bendis and had forgotten I had subscribed. The ethical question of whether mass murderers can be members of Justice League is real question, not just for Bendis and JL, but for DC Comics. So far, the Superman argument is that mass murderers are OK for the Justice League. Sounds like something the Injustice Superman would say. Arguing against the Bendis Superman (or DC Comics writers/editors) may make you sound crazy; but it doesn't make you wrong. The highlight of the book - strawman argument Green Arrow: "Brainiac wasn't available?" But the debate over Black Adam is the real point of the "new direction." Bendis' Superman makes the argument that mass murderers just need compassion to change to become figures for "justice." Screen Rant's Nicholas Conley has previously described Black Adam as on one of DC's worst "supervillains," "Though sometimes portrayed as more of an antihero than a villain, we can't forget that Black Adam has serious blood on his hands." Hippolyta is introduced to this version of JL, by using an attack by Brutus. It was a good plot manuever. Hippolyta leaves in disgust when she discovers Black Adam is with the JL. This subplot is part of DC Comics actual problem. People WILL leave as psychotic killers are paired with "heroes" and "hero groups," whether it is Black Adam with JL, or Harley Quinn with Batman. This is a fundamental problem that DC Comics has in the long run. Not simply a "hero gone bad," "taken over," "insane," but actual killer who keeps getting re-imagined as a "hero." Black Adam has literally murdered millions of people. Naomi's world is designed to not make sense, so that you keep reading more stories,as you get dribs and drabs of story. The thing is if this was the Doom Patrol or some other group comic, OK would be good enough. But this is JL, which should be DC's flagship comic. We'll see how long OK is good enough. JLD was "OK" too, as a horror comic. Is that what JL is going to become - a horror comic? Are the JL "heroes" going to become "horror" figures rather than "heroes"? JLD has the same "relativism" on "heroes/villains." It actually makes DC Comics philosophical point by John Constantine: "As for being the good guy, when you've wandered so far away from the rest of us... Good? Bad? I reckon it all starts to look the same." And ***THAT*** is the problem, not just for the Justice League, but for DC Comics, and more importantly... for US - as readers. At what point, do we accept "it all starts to look the same" and we FUND that thinking by purchasing DC Comics? Not the characters in ink, but the characters in our mirrors need to ask THAT question.

3.0
Justice League (2018) #61

May 19, 2021

It is like JL stops in the middle of the story. And I also thought th... That's how it reads. JL ends up in Naomi's alternate world, and largely lays on the ground. A lot of panels of conversation, Black Canary screams, Green Arrow has bow taken away (electrocuting the thief), Superman is in atmosphere with powers not working then getting beaten up, Black Adam says "I'm here," Batman throws a flare... and IT'S OVER... Is that worth $5? I stopped my subscription. I will look for it on DC Universe next year or so. Maybe.

5.0
Justice League Incarnate (2021) #1

Dec 15, 2021

After the fun and interesting Infinite Frontier, this Justice League Incarnate was a rushed, jumbled, and inconsistent let down. And really there is no need to have three artists, and it is clearly uncomfortable for the story. If I wanted a "Marvel look," I would read a Marvel comic book, OK? So hopefully after ugly story on Earth-8 and next issue with Demon, maybe by issue 3, we will start to get a coherent plot. Sure hope so. Currently just buying for Thomas Wayne's redemption, and hopes this will get better. We will see. Miss the JSA characters A LOT.

6.5
Justice League Incarnate (2021) #2

Dec 23, 2021

I really want to like this series, and I will keep following it. I am hoping we get something more engaging and interesting in an issue or two. The shame of it is that Justice League Incarnate is a GREAT IDEA. I like the idea a LOT. I am not sure that Josh Williamson can deliver on the idea, and I also think we are seeing Dennis Culver as the LEAD writer on this issue, NOT Williamson. Hmmmm. I continue to follow, because I like to see where it is taking Thomas Wayne. That is the hook for me. I think Justice League Incarnate will keep going for people who have different "hooks" (characters they want to see more of): Superman Calvin Ellis, Batman Thomas Wayne, etc. Definitely **NOT** "the Batwoman who laughs" (UGH)... let us hope she got blown up with the House of Heroes. But if the House of Heroes really is destroyed, how does the Justice League Incarnate pull back together? Not so sure about Earth-41 in Issue 3 either (big big shrug). But again, I will continue to buy for Thomas. He got bad breaks, and what Tom King did to him was a disgrace. So they will keep getting money from me for now. But kill off and/or ruin Thomas, and I am out of here.

1.0
Justice League Incarnate (2021) #3

Jan 5, 2022

Oh Geez. A multiverse-trash dumpster on fire disaster by Dennis Culver (clearly from Earth 33), with Joshua Williamson putting his name on it for the $$. What a shame. At least we learned that DC Comics is Darkseid's secret identity. Written like someone was drunk and started throwing out random ideas, what a "Cracked" Magazine parody of Justice League Incarnate might look like by someone who wasn't funny. So much promise for this series too. And FIVE different artists for 27 pages. Justice League Incarnate Issue #2 was bad, and Justice League Incarnate #3 was train-wreck. I can just imagine what issue #4 will be like. "Of course, the Batwoman who laughs would survive. Pft!" Justice League Incarnate had the capability of being the **TOP** DC Comics series. And now we are left with this multiverse-trash dumpster on fire. Apparently, someone among the editors don't like that idea, and they are (what, really?) deliberate sabotaging it? As Dennis Culver is describing the recent issues on Twitter "Co-written w/@Williamson_Josh!" You know, of course. BTW, Dennis Culver is pretty thrilled about the last couple of disaster issues, and excitedly promoting all of it on Twitter. Everyone likes a joke, Dennis Culver, but here's a funnier one, how about we stop paying for Justice League Incarnate?

2.5
Justice League Incarnate (2021) #4

Feb 4, 2022

$20 too much to get this far - I am done. Unpopular opinion: Darkseid is one-dimensional, lame, and boring character: "all evil," (which is never described) meaning DC writers never have to actually take a stand on ANYTHING, let alone something "heroic" on Earth. "Darkseid is:"... "Safe (dull) Sci-Fi solution to write about 'heroism.'" The point of this series for was to read about the actual Justice League Incarnate from multiple dimensions. But now.. $20 later... on this very short series... all we have is Darkseid as a "hero" (gag), who is now mercifully squashed (by a worse, more nonsensical alien "villain".) I mean, i honestly don't care about the latest "all evil" alien god-thing. It is just lame, one-dimensional, non-creative, and boring... Just like Marvel's Thanos. And if ALL of the Marvel universe was once again based on such nonsense I wouldn't care about those stories either. At least Galactus (thankfully who appeared RARELY and was not "used to death") actually had somewhat of a story. Should I keep throwing money at this? I'm not. So Dennis Culver and Joshua Williamson have convinced me, honestly, this issue #4 is enough already. The idea in Infinite Frontier... and the one redeeming value of the endless Dark Metal fandango - was the idea that all realities would exist. From a story-telling perspective, that seemed to offer possibilities for variety and interesting stories. That was interesting. The idea of bringing Batman Thomas Wayne back was interesting. The idea seemed like it might offer interesting stories with Justice League Incarnate. But after Justice League Incarnate Issue #1, what we do have? The endless focus on pathetic (wishful evil god) Darkseid. So I said previously wrote that when they killed Thomas Wayne I would be done with this story. I know there is something in April. Honestly? We'll see. Clearly there are a lot of people who like this. I don't know. There is a point when you are throwing too much good money after bad, and I was there two issues ago. So best of luck Dennis Culver and Joshua Williamson. The constant "events" and lack of characters with any values or purpose may be working for DC Comics management and editors, but seems like it has just been turning a lot of readers away for too long. Maybe it is just me. After Infinite Frontier, I was hopeful that Justice League Incarnate could be an issue that would reignite some consistent support for new DC Comics. Guess not.

10
Justice League Infinity (2021) #7

Jan 5, 2022

A good and uplifting ending to a story by DC! Wow! I am pleasantly shocked! OK - great job, J.M. DeMatteis! The story may have been inconsistent previously, but I do love a good and rare happy ending.

1.0
Nightwing (2016) #92  
1.0
Robins (2021) #1

Nov 17, 2021

Randomness is common element of horror comics, which too often focuses on shock, rather than plot. Horror Comics writer Tim Seeley (e.g., Creepy, Eerie, Hack/Slash, Young Monsters in Love, Vampirella, you get the idea) is given the role to write about one of the second most popular justice heroes in DC Comics intellectual properties. So a comic with psycho anarchists and a lunatic claiming she is the "first Robin?" Hey, you may like this stuff; everyone has their own taste in entertainment. I am sure DC Comics appreciates your money. It just has absolutely nothing to do with the purpose for one of the Dynamic Duo, led by the World's Greatest Detective. "Feelings," randomness, and shock. How predictable, and ineffective for a story on "Robins." P.S. when fair-minded Jeffrey Lyles is giving you a "4," maybe you need to start rethinking the plan. Not that there actually is one, of course. Hard to believe Daniel Cherry is SVP; you can bet the other companies he worked at were not all over the place like DC Comics.

1.0
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #8

Feb 21, 2022

In the blood-covered Supergirl cover of this story, the question is asked should an arch-villain be killed? DC writer Tom King's message is ultimately yes. But not before being punished, multilated, and spending many years in the Phantom Zone away from life. Troubling story and writing again from Tom King. Do horrible things happen in war? Yes. But the definition of war and "organized crime" by brigands are an important distinction. If Tom King writing was that Batman's values should encourage the mutilation,Phantom Zone imprisonment for a lifetime, and death of the Batman villain, what would be the public takeaway? That it is powerful and meaningful? Like when Supergirl, "Woman of Tomorrow," stood by and watched a mob stone someone to death? This is clearly the minority of opinion of those taking time to post here. But I would ask all of the positive reviewers, if the storyline was Batman, would you feel the same? Or is Supergirl's values simply something she has privileged entitlement to? I find it deeply troubling by how Tom King's values come from a corrupted intelligence organization that have abandoned any concepts of values of human life and dignity. That he would then be put in such a position in DC Comics. Question. If this were not the USA, but it were Russia, or CCP, or (fill-in-the-blank), if a former member of the Russian FGS/KGB intelligence organization retired (or the equivalent), and then got involved in writing comics on costumed heroes to affect human values, how would the world react?

2.0
Superman: Son of Kal-El (2021) #6

Jan 3, 2022

Damian Wayne states to Jon Kent that Damian believes he is "on the way to being the greatest detective in the world." Oh yeah, right. Here's a suggestion. If you want to write stories about Superman, keep it about Superman. Not kid wannabe assassin Damian Wayne/Al Gh'ul. Just sayin. Nor should Tom Taylor be writing about Batman here. The Gotham Books gang are doing enough damage to the Caped Crusader, thank you. And for God's Sake, someone give Bruce a razor blade already, so that he stops looking like a street bum, as well as losing most of his intelligence. The "sorry, I don't know" version of Batman fits better with Blue Beetle or some other character. Leave The Batman alone, Tom. (Perhaps we shouldn't let anyone with a first name of "Tom" writing Batman.)

2.0
The Next Batman: Second Son #1

Mar 1, 2021

Second Son #1 "Light on Batman." OK so the "origin" (aka previous life) of Tim Fox is that he does spy work to try to stop an international cartel in human trafficking in Vietnam. This is a real global problem. And a lot of people around the world, in every line of work, are actively working against it. But it actually addresses nothing about Tim Fox's origin as Batman. Again. $32 later. OK, so when does John Ridley want to write about this? Because that is why people bought the "comic." I can tell you for free real and actual stories about people fighting human trafficking, and the need for all of us to work together on this. I don't want your money. If you want to give money, I will tell you to donate it to someone actually making a real difference. But AT&T/Warner (who actually could afford to really donate) and John Ridley figures you have infinite $$ to throw his way, without actually writing any type of heroic journey for Tim Fox or his rationale to be Batman. Good luck with that, Mr. Ridley. As for me, I am checking out. $32 on Future State: The Next Batman (alone) and now more cash every week to tell us absolutely nothing, is really just not Batman writing. John Ridley wants to write what he wants to write. Just not about Batman. OK. My favorite part of this was not the comic, but a review on CBR by Sam Stone, where he wrote "while this opening issue is light on Batman". Pretty funny, Sam. Batman is not part of this paper thin "comic" story at all. Oh excuse me, it is in the title on the "cover."

3.0
The Next Batman: Second Son #2

Mar 2, 2021

Second Son Issue ("Chapter") # 2 . Hamster Rage artist draws Batwing standing (with force field on) in front of lunatic; police arrest insane person with gun. Tim (call me Jace) Fox actually does nothing. Gets off a plane. Talks to some family. Minimal story; art goes downhill. OK - there was someone with a Bat suit on in this issue. Not Tim (excuse me Jace) Fox, but at least someone. Now the Bat suit wearer is the same Luke Fox, who is going to betray the Bat family to the Magistrate. But in this issue Luke stands in front of Mad Magazine level parody of white supremacist madman and turns on a Batwing suit force field to stop him from shooting at people... or as they are writing Luke has "a prior engagement with an armed madman." Parody of "white supremacist" random crazy with gun. Not even attempt at any plot, simply thrown in. Eye roll. But it has to be short (aka brief to the point of nonsense), so we can get back to a few random pages of Fox family soap opera (again literally telling us nothing on story). I know I said after first Second Son Issue ("Chapter") # 1, I was "out." I was suckered back after $33, when there was a bat face on the cover. Sucker me. Ha ha. Fooled me. The pencils are done by Tony Akins, famous for his work on Hamster Rage, Dirk Gently, Manifest Destiny, and Fables. Looks like something drawn by artist from Hamster Rage too. And this is where John Ridley is going. DC Comics and John Ridley are taking us for a ride here. This issue should have been the first several pages of the $8/issue Future State The Next Batman. The art is crappy, but still there was at least something coherent as a beginning of a story. And the "origin" (whenever that is going to be) needed to be part of the same Future State The Next Batman Issue #1 or at least issue number #2. Not $34 later... dragging it on. I have a suggestion for DC Comics and Mr. Ridley - stop selling these issues as "chapters," consolidate an actual comic book with some coherency and an origin story, and get back to us when you have plan already. You have had readers. Stop literally taking them for a ride, and respect the money they are paying you. Otherwise, maybe on Second Son Issue ("Chapter) # 1001 they will start to get the story actually started. Who knows? But there is a point at which this has been absurdly drawn out. That point was a good $20 or so ago. Reminder: The Batman's origin was revealed in just two pages in Detective Comics #33 (November 1939). By that point, readers had 60 cents invested in six prior issues. There is a considerable difference between 60 cents and $34. At a cumulative rate of inflation of 1781.9%, 60 cents in 1939 would be $11.29 in 2021. NOT $34. Now DC and John Ridley just want you to send him money for nothing. That's a fact. We can have lot's of "professional reviewers" tell us how meaningful and bold this endless soap opera is. But in terms of a costumed hero comic book story, wake me up when John Ridley wants to get started. Rating 3, which is about 2 points more than it deserves, but the cover was OK.

1.0
The Next Batman: Second Son #8

Apr 22, 2021

DC Comics "Future State:" Killers are Heroes. I thought we already had that storyline on Earth 3? That is the "success" that John Ridley is having in telling the "story" of "the Next Batman" - who by "chapter 8" (issue 4?) still has no "Next Batman." But we have a killer named Jace Fox? Unlike Bruce Wayne's Batman origin story where he responds to killing of his parents, in the "Future State" DC Comics we have a Jace Fox as "Next Batman" with origin story of being a killer himself. I mean NO WONDER John Ridley has been dragging his feet on the "Next Batman" origin. How would that have read in the press and the major reviewers (all of which are studiously ignoring Ridley's writing on this now)? "Future State: John Ridley invents the Next Batman as black American character, responsible for hit and run vehicular murder." Oh that would have sold right? (Heavy sarcasm.) But drip, drip, dripping this in these digital only "chapters" is a way to get it out there, and well, not face actual accountability from reviewers, press, and of course fans. Jace Fox wouldn't look so "heroic" in "Future State" after we start off with his past as a hit and run coward, who lets an innocent person die in the street, would he? So DC Comics whispers that part of the story out in "chapters" below the radar of the public. "Accountability." Right. And by the way, doesn't anyone see how incredibly racist this "Next Batman" storyline is? Of all of the heroic black Americans, John Ridley picks a killer to be the "Next Batman." And this will be "OK," because after all, it is John Ridley writing it. But if you did NOT know the writer... play how this would have sounded in your mind. "We are going to do a New Batman, who is a black American. But instead of like Bruce Wayne whose parents are killed, we are going to have the black American figure kill someone himself." Before you tell me how "realistic" (shaking my head) the storyline is, honestly - if you didn't know who wrote this - you wouldn't be asking if this was a racist double-standard? It sounds like a storyline we would hear venomously on some white supremacist site. But when John Ridley writes it, this is OK? Because? As if there are not MILLIONS of actual (in fact - you don't need fiction) black American heroes in USA today, who actually have faced trauma as victims and family victims of crime, and want to do something about it? As Jace Fox says "Consequences? Accountability? Purpose? They meant nothing to me." And Jace runs someone down and kills them, and flees the scene. So the "Next Batman" is a killer. An actual cowardly criminal, who leaves a person to die in the street. Congratulations, John Ridley. You have brought DC Comics "Future State" to exactly where it wants to go. (Notably - Dark Horse Comics the Orphan and the Five Beasts #2 gets many more reviews than this. And of course, we are not going to get "user reviews" criticizing John Ridley for making "The Next Batman" from a hit and run, cowardly killer. Because, that's OK now, right?)

1.0
The Next Batman: Second Son #9

Apr 29, 2021

"Criminals are a cowardly lot." Notice no DC PR announcement on this part: "DC Comics' Next Batman, Tim Fox, cowardly murders Hispanic man as part of Next Batman origin, with origin story written by award-winning author John Ridley!" Because, you know, some lives are cheap. Such thinking is entire REASON for the creation of The Batman by Bob Kane and Bill Finger- that all lives actually matter. "Criminals are a cowardly lot." And this case, it is the criminal Tim (Jace) Fox, who DC Comics and John Ridley is writing as the "Next Batman." The victim murdered by the "Next Batman," Tim (Jace) Fox was Enrique Acevedo. Jace ran him over and left him to die, in the last issue. (Like last issue, it was reviewed by very FEW "professional reviewers.") Of course, Mr. Ridley didn't want to tell us the "Next Batman" origin as we were paying $8/issue, because, you know that murdering and slandering a Hispanic man, might have been bad for DC Comics business. Sounds like the mobsters of Bob Kane's era, doesn't it? "Criminals are a cowardly lot." Mr. Ridley wants Jace's "origin" story as "Batman," to leave us believe "the family isn't pressing charges." Let's be clear about New York's State law on Hit-and-Run Resulting in Death: It is a Class D felony; fine of $1,000-$2,500 AND imprisonment for not more than 7 years. Not just when we feel like it. Not just based on how rich you are. And yes, not just based on your race, either, despite Mr. Ridley explicitly trying to use that as a "rationale" in the story. "Criminals are a cowardly lot." Speaking of cowards, notably we see reviwers of this "DC Comics" "The Next Batman," who claim to review this and just gingerly ignore Jace's murder of this innocent man. Let's talk about "the art," "the relationships," "different direction" of plot, anything OTHER than the basic values of "a hero." Because, you know, after all, murder of innocents is OK now. That is the value set that DC Comics brings for the future. "Criminals are a cowardly lot." Jace's father (Lucius Fox) sought to slander the victim that Jace left dying in the street, including using race to justify his death. Quoting from this "chapter" in Mr. Ridley's story: "There was a road rage incident in that neighborhood last week. White driver assaulted a black man. Tim didn't run--he was afraid to stop." (And of course he got out of the car, and they know.) This corruption is the "Future State" of DC Comics. This is not because his father "worked hard" or was "rich," but because both of them lacked values respecting human life. You know, the same values we saw Lucius Fox respect for 42 years - not the character created by Len Wein, Before John Ridley (BJR), but the "Future State" Lucius Fox. And that is John Ridley's (and more importantly DC Comics) "Next Batman." This is NO surprise to those who have actually READ John Ridley's comics. He started out in Wildstorm (then bought by DC) in "The American Way," with his first character, "The New American," Jason Fisher, becoming a murderer. But like other John Ridley books, "it's OK." And murder has NO consequences for Jason Fisher. So we should we expect murder to have consequences for Jace Fox's "The Next Batman"? To those determined to make this value clash about race, Baloney. There are plenty of talented comic writers, and there are untold millions and millions of black Americans who in REAL LIFE are heroes. They don't run people over and leave them to die. They work tirelessly, selflessly, and give THEIR LIVES to protect others. This is the height of contempt to the real heroes that do exist. Those real heroes truly DO know that "criminals are a cowardly lot." Despite DC Comics and Mr. Ridley's "relativism." One of the very FEW "professional" reviewers on this comic, Timala Elliott, simply writes: "the line between hero and villain depends on intent and perspective." No outrage. No sense of being troubled by this attack on our SHARED value system of respecting human life. And then focus on the art. As if that was all there was. (And at Bleeding Cool "We Meet Vol For The First Time In The Next Batman: Second Son." Because it is about minor character, Vol, who matters. After all, you know, who cares about that whole "murdering an innocent person thing"? So 20th century.) But is it? Is leaving an innocent person to die in the street, after you run them over, simply a matter of "intent and perspective"? Or do we respect life and one another, and we share values and mores which are essential for our functioning as a cohesive society and credibility for any shared law? Because if crime and criminal violence is only a matter of intent and perspective, who can say any criminal act or actions are "wrong"? I question whether such level of relativism can work in a diverse democracy, and whether it actually leads to rationalization for police state thinking. "Criminals are a cowardly lot." But the worst are those who look the other way and shrug as criminals attack our fellow human beings and society, because it simply too much trouble to stand up to them. Especially those who KNOW BETTER, right? In 81 years of Batman comics, if readers learned nothing else, the only point was it is ALL of our responsiblity to stand up to criminal attacks on our fellow human beings. You don't have to be Bruce Wayne. You just need a conscience. "Criminals are a cowardly lot." (Note: while rated "1," this is only because there is not "negative 1000" rating available.)

1.0
The Next Batman: Second Son #11

May 14, 2021

DC Comics has "killer" heroes unite, in what it views as its "Future State." Amazing how criminals with knives, and criminals with swords look so much alike. But in other comics, this is probably why John Ridley tried to express that Katana was justified as a "killer," based on her associations with the Bruce Wayne Batman. As if Katana's history as murderer was not well documented. And of course, the Bruce Wayne Batman **WAS** wrong to ever work with her. We knew this last century. Wrong=Wrong. Edgar Acevedo about killer Jace Fox (the "Next Batman"): "I swear on my dad's grave you just bought yourself a world of hurt." You could imagine it being Bruce Wayne talking about the criminal Joe Chill. But in this perversion of justice, here it is about the killer, Jace Fox, who DC Comics seeks to portray as the "Next Batman" in "Future State." The idea that murdering an innocent Hispanic minority man can be ignored by Gotham Police and explained away by the powerful and those seeking to manipulate a story based on race is seen is a way to motivate a kiler to be a "hero." Later in the story, the "Next Batman" Jace Fox and Katana share notes about killing. Killer "hero" Katana (also name of a sword type), Tatsu Yamashiro, uses her sword "Soultaker," to capture the souls of those she murders. The Katana character was a corruption of DC Comics characters, just like killer "hero" The Punisher (Frank Castle) was for Marvel comics. It led to an era of increasing ultra-violent, psychologically-troubled "anti-heroes" in the 1980s - with very limited popularity. Parents don't want their children to grow up to be killers. While Marvel and DC decided to make such criminals as "noble," in our real life world, they would be put in prison where they belong. So of course, Katana is the "trainer" for Jace Fox. Naturally. The trend for "killer" heroes is an ethical choice. The individual reader needs to decide why they choose to read stories about costumed heroes. The character of Katuna has always been a "fringe" character and really questionable in past. In other DC Comics storylines, as animated stories, the Katana character was seen as "ruthless vigilante" stealing the souls of criminals and the innocent, including trying to "steal the soul" of Wonder Woman. And this is our inspiration for Jace Fox, the "Next Batman." (And of course, it was not the role of "The Outsiders" to lead insurrection in Markovia, right or wrong. Never the place for foreign costumed heroes, but for real men and women who take accountability for their actions.) In this chapter, Katana praises her acts of killing others, and the "Next Batman" Jace Fox describes her killings as "people who deserved it." They claim to have "regrets," but someone attacking police officers with a sword would be viewed as a "criminal," in pretty much every city and nation around the world, except for DC Comic's "Future State," where Katuna is a "hero." And Killer Jace Fox is "Next Batman." (Note: look up any news story of anyone with a sword attacking police in any city, any nation, any language, and tell me what you read. But it is being a "hero" here.) And John Ridley writes that Killer Katana tells Jace Fox, the "Next Batman," to "get rid of your guilt" over killing an innocent man and leaving him to die in the street. After all, it is no "big deal" to be a murderer of the innocent. And THOSE are the DC Comics values now. This is not just writer John Ridley urging "the Next Batman" to "get rid of guilt" over killing an innocent man, this is really the DC Comics value statement. These stories are not being published by John Ridley's private company. They are published with the label of "DC Comics." DC Comics owns this - both the story they sell for profit, and values they promote. The true "Future State" of DC Comics. And where do we go with DC Comics from there? We will have those praising the plot, the action, the art. But the morality? Well, we just don't talk about that. We just need to "get over" actual Justice. As for me, well, I am cheering for Edgar Acevedo... for the same reason we have cheered for Bruce Wayne for 80+ years and all of those victims who fought back against those who were above the law. People above the law like Jace Fox. Criminals are a cowardly lot, especially those who pervert the costume (or as we see TOO OFTEN "the badge") of justice to cover up their own unpunished crimes against the innocent. In an age of too many "killer cops," DC Comics and John Ridley introduces a killer "Next Batman." Criminals are a cowardly lot. PS - Note on page 19, Jace Fox is referencing Katana's "kills" saying that they were for "people who deserved it." This is NOT the quote that some other reviewers are attributing to Jace Fox. See page 19 for yourself.

1.0
The Next Batman: Second Son #12

May 19, 2021

The Conclusion! Except, well, it isn't. It just sort of "buries" the you know, gross parts of Tim (Jace) Fox's origin story as a killer criminal in digital chapters, so "The Next Batman" can be revealed in August, free of this unpleasant backstory, for PR media to welcome a new series "I Am Batman." (See, they you told the "origin" - not OUR fault you didn't read it. Because we wouldn't want AP, CNN, media to get a line on what the ACTUAL origin story is. Just the "Next Batman" stories of understanding empathetic guy, who represents society better, never mind he is a killer... details, details, details.) We now know the "origin" (eyeroll) of Ridley's "The Next Batman" is the guilt of Tim (Jace) Fox over killing a Hispanic father in a hit and run, and leaving him to die in the street. He allows his family to cover-up for him, and he faces no punishment for his crime. So now he is in sub-basement of Wayne Enterprises and he finds an actual hero's costume, THE Batman. The rest of story, somehow, is Jace Fox deciding to wear The Batman's costume as a way to manage the guilt of his own unpunished criminal past. Of COURSE, John Ridley didn't tell us all of this "origin" stuff back during the $8/an issue "The Next Batman" Future State issues. Can you imagine how THAT would have sold? So he buries this in these digital only "chapters," and basically hopes everyone will sort of, you know, forget about the basis for his character. As another reviewer wrote about previous "Chapter 11," the dismissal on Jace Fox's murder of innocent man has been "framed in a way that the audience/characters can handwave away the incident feels kind of gross." Excerpt one minor detail, and hey I notice they left THIS out of the DC Comics PR too, that John Ridley is writing about how "Antifa" are "radicals." How would the read, "Murderer of Hispanic man, who leaves him to die in the street, goes on to become The 'Next Batman," after escaping prosceuction from the police. The 'Next Batman' uses his background as a criminal to motivate him to judge other people for being criminals, including research into 'Antifa radicals.'" Bet we won't read any of that on the Comics PR sites or media PR releases. And let's be clear, these editorial decisions are DC Comics' decisions, not John Ridley's self-publication. And unlike a lot of DC Comics readers, they READ John's previous work with Wildstorm, etc. before they gave thim this assignment. What is left OUT of John Ridley's bio? He created the first black American costumed hero, the New American Jason Fisher, who murdered (and got away with it) in 2006 in the Wildstorm comic's "The American Way," reviewed and praised by the Washington Post. And 15 years later, he creates a "Next Batman" black American character whose origin begins with killing a Hispanic father, begging for help in the street, as he leaves him to die - not even calling 911. And he is unpunished. There are untold millions of heroic black Americans, who save lives and rescue EVERY DAY. This portrayal that to be heroes they must also be killers is incredibly unfair and racist to them. Just wrong. And no one is saying anything about it... which is even more wrong.

8.0
The Thing (2021) #3

Jan 12, 2022

The Fantastic Four's Greatest of All Time (GOAT for those who don't know) Blue-Eyed Benjamin J. Grimm battles the alien immortal Champion of the Universe (Tryco Slatterus), of the alien Elders of the Universe (first appears in Marvel Two-in-One Annual #7 1982). Why? I don't know. Ask that Walter Mosley guy writing this. Anyways it is a good fight. But this seems to be the least of his problems as some demon/extra-dimensional being wants to send Ben to the MOON! Why? You want a PLOT? Seriously, a coherent plot yet? For $4? About the cost of a Big Mac at McDonalds? Who are you kidding? OK. OK. A plot would be nice, Walter Mosley. But hey, we are reading it to see Ben Grimm clobber bad guys, alright? In the tone of the silver age. That is the only reason to buy this, which is probably the only reason you would consider buying this. You want some fancy storyline, go read one of the old FF's by Stan Lee (which is a good idea). But if you want to see a new story, this is worth it if you are a Ben Grimm fan. If you are not, you probably aren't even reading this? Right? Because after all, we are just waiting for..... you know... Aunt Petunia's favorite nephew to shout... "It's Clobberin Time!"

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