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Friday, March 1, 2013

Comic Book Quick Reviews: Batman Incorporated, The Black Beetle, The Rocketeer, The Answer, and Batwoman


SYNOPSISEverything Grant Morrison has been planning since the start of BATMAN, INCORPORATED leads to this stunning issue! You must not miss this one!

REVIEW: If you haven't kept up with the publicity leading up to this release I would suggest not read this review because of forthcoming SPOILERS...Grant Morrison has been great on Batman Inc. and the way this issue is constructed is an example of his versatility in developing heart-pounding action while conveying impending doom and emotion. Chris Burnham's art is fantastic as usual with creatively engineered panels and perfectly drawn facial expressions. From the chaotic scenes of action to the heartening interaction between Damian and Nightwing the issue really encapsulates everything we love about the series. The issue ramps up to the inevitable fight sequence that ends in Damian Wayne's demise. Even though we think killing off a character with so much potential is a bad idea it was masterfully executed and well worth the read. 


SYNOPSISWhile investigating a mysterious mass murder that leveled Colt City’s mob bosses, Black Beetle gets wrapped up in a puzzling maze of clues. Could the appearance of a costumed criminal named Labyrinto be related to the destruction of the powerful organized-crime racket?

REVIEW: This great throwback to pulpy comics continues with the exquisite art and emerging writing prowess of Francesco Francavilla. The lean but mean first issue leads the Black Beetle to a sticky situation and face to face with the enigmatic villain, Labyrinto. The ever resourceful and affable Beetle manages to maneuver his way out of trouble but questions remain. A fun and enjoyable mystery ride. 


SYNOPSISYou wanted more Rocketeer... and you've got it! Missing scientists! Plucky girl reporters! Betty and Cliff on the rocks! The mysterious Church of Cosmicism! And who is the sinister Otto Rune? Pulp thrills the way you like them as the Rocketeer comes up against a brand-new adversary in... "The Hollywood Horror!"

REVIEW: Speaking of fun throwbacks...You won't find a a more enjoyable old school tale of spunky heroism and pulpy dialogue than in The Rocketeer. This series has all the charm of the movie serials and radio adventures of the 30s and 40s it pays homage to.  A far cry from the jaded and dour heroes you'll find in other books. A light-hearted and fun adventure title. 


SYNOPSISOn the run in Cincinnati, punctuation-faced hero The Answer must rescue the abducted librarian Devin from a sinister gang of asylum nurses and orderlies . . . but she may not WANT to be saved! More insane superhero adventure!

REVIEW: More questions remain in the second installment of The Answer. The Answer loses Devin and gets caught trying to rescue her. Is the Answer really just a nutcase in costume? Is the think tank that recruits Devin something more nefarious? I don't know but Dennis Hopeless has me wanting to  know and enjoying Mike Norton's clean and vibrant artwork.


SYNOPSISIt’s the massive conclusion to the current storyline as Batwoman and Wonder Woman struggle to defeat Medusa and a horde of villains! Don’t miss the start of a surprising new status quo for Batwoman!

REVIEW: JH Williams III has always made this title one of the best illustrated books in comics. As a co-writer he made this a very intriguing and exciting ground-breaking title in the beginning. Unfortunately, in the span of 17 issues the storylines have meandered a bit. One plotline led to another subplot which then bred another plotline that involved Wonder Woman. While their partnership worked well the overall arc really should have ended months and months ago. It is finally put to rest with an unexpected ending unrelated to that story. The surprise was publicized but I don't think it will come to fruition considering it feels premature. Perhaps now though Williams and company can focus on a more coherent and definitive tale worth recommending.   

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