*These will just be regular reviews.
Today’s WEDNESDAY, and two HUGE books were released this week. Let’s get to ’em!
Batman and Robin #16 (SPOILERS!)
Well here we are, at the end of Grant Morrison’s long (and confusing) Bat-tale revolving around Dr. Hurt, traveling through time, Dick Grayson as Batman, and the omega beam, and guess what? Mr. Morrison actually has some answers for us fans who have been scratching our heads (or pretending not to) ever since Batman R.I.P. wrapped two years ago.
Batman and Robin issue 16 is the final part of “Batman and Robin Must Die!”, as well as the final story in the series by Mr. Morrison. Bruce Wayne has returned to the present day (somehow, as The Return Of Bruce Wayne STILL hasn’t finished) and has joined with Dick Grayson and Damien to fight off Dr. Hurt, the 99 Fiends, and of course, Professor Pyg. Morrison’s knack for crazy out of this world stories is out in full force here, but unlike his other recent work, this story is actually fairly easy to follow, despite the fact that every other Batman book is late.
We finally learn the truth of who Dr. Hurt/”Thomas Wayne” really is, as well as his connections to Darkseid. Now that it’s been revealed, it was the most obvious person all along. His origin was fairly interesting, and this is coming from a Batman fan who prefers the Dark Knight to not meddle with too much hocus pocus. Hurt’s “battle” with the Joker was awesome, as was Mr. J’s short-lived decision to switch sides before being sucker-punched by Bruce Wayne, but it seemed like Morrison wanted to move on from it before we got anything from it. The Joker working “with” superheroes could have had a lot of potential, and unless Mr. J keeps this new outlook, it will probably be forgotten by his next appearance. We also get more Professor Pyg, which is never a bad thing.
Fraser Irving, Cameron Stewart, and Chris Burnham split up the art duties, and all do a commendable job. Unlike other books that have more than one artist, B&R 16 has each artist tackle a different “act” of the issue, and result is one that is far less jarring than recent books with more than one artist.
While this issue definitely gets my recommendation, I’m still not entirely sold on this upcoming “Batman, Inc” event because to be honest, it seems to me to go entirely AGAINST what Bruce Wayne’s personal quest is about. *SPOILER* Bruce revealing in a press conference with Dick and Damien behind him that he has been “financing” the Batman for the past several years is very strange, and you can’t honestly tell me that no one can connect the dots that a billionaire whose parents were murdered is actually Batman. At the very least, Grant Morrison has piqued my interest in the first issue of Batman, Inc., so I will try and give him the benefit of the doubt until I read it. Even if no one thinking to themselves “Hey, Bruce Wayne’s kid looks like he’s the same height as that new Robin that’s been running around” is a bit of a stretch. Then again, no one STILL can connect that Clark Kent and Superman are the same guy……
Invincible is Robert Kirkman’s OTHER awesome comic book. Unlike The Walking Dead, Invincible follows the adventures of Mark Grayson, a twenty-something superhero who protects earth as Invincible. Throughout the series, he has been betrayed by his father, Omni-man, graduated high school, gone to college, joined the Guardians of the Globe, left the Guardians of the Globe, and got his girlfriend, fellow superhero Atom Eve, pregnant (but he doesn’t know that yet). The landmark issue 75 is the latest part in the “Viltrumite War” storyline, in which Mark joins with his redeemed father and younger brother to fight off the evil race that they belong to.
While its cover may lead you to believe that Invincible isn’t a particulary gory book, previous issues have out-gored most horror books. This issue is no exception. Kirkman’s story pulls no punches, and artist Ryan Ottley gives us the treat of SIX 2-page splash pages. Heads are ripped off, arms dismembered, and like Walking Dead, Kirkman has no problem with messing with seemingly untouchable characters. The space action in this issue rivals many current science-fiction movies, and makes me yearn for the day that we get an Invincible TV show/movie, which may be a reality after the stunning success of the “Walking Dead” premiere last Sunday.
If you’ve been missing out on Invincible, I strongly suggest you go back and snag the first trade. Like Kirkman’s zombie epic, the tale of Mark Grayson is best experienced from the beginning, and once you start, you won’t be able to stop. Trade-waiters of this series are in for a big treat when this bad boy is released as a single bound edition.