Comic Reviews: THe New DC!!! BATMAN #1!!!
Wondering where I was last week? I was with 60 6th graders at Camp Merrowvista. It was about as exhausting as it sounds. But anyways…..
It probably goes without saying that my most anticipated title in the DC relaunch was Batman. The fact that Scott Snyder would be scripting the series made it a must-buy, but when DC announced that former Spawn artist Greg Capullo would be on the book as well, it was icing on an already phenomenal cake. This is the book that I will be pushing on all of my friends, whether they like Batman or not.
As expected, I loved this issue. A lot. Snyder starts off the issue with a bang, as Batman (now Bruce Wayne) stops a riot at Arkham. This opening is a great intro to new readers to some of Batman’s rogues, both old and new, and it was quite the treat seeing who pops up in these opening pages. Oh, also Batman teams up with The Joker (!!!) to help quell the rioters. Of course, not all is quite as it seems when it comes to that.
We then switch gears to the Batcave, where Bruce is working on a new gadget, while guests are arriving to his home. It’s basically a computer that acts as a contact lens, but it serves as a great way to introduce us to the myriad of background characters that are attending Bruce’s party. It also gives us the lowdown on the “Robin internship” system, basically giving us an idea as to the ages of Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, and Damien (for those keeping track, Dick has been de-aged to probably about 23, Tim to about 17, and Damien’s still ten).
At Bruce’s party, he reveals his new plan to redesign Gotham, and after a stirring speech that pretty much insures investments from all of his guests, we meet Vicki Vale and her date, Lincoln March, a front-runner for Gotham Mayor. While talking with March, Bruce spots Commissioner Gordon on the phone, and in classic Batman style eavesdrops on him and then makes a bolt for the crime scene, in which a grisly stabbing has taken place. Bats sends Alfred the DNA tissue of the supposed killer, leaving us with quite the cliffhanger.
This issue once again proves that Scott Snyder is a master of comics. His pacing in this issue is phenomal, and he provides us with a book that is not only new reader friendly, but will also please long time Bat fans. Snyder’s characterizations are spot effing on, and I love his handle on Bruce’s interactions with Gordon and Harvey Bullock. It also captures a lot of the things Batman fans are used to in the movies, which just adds to the accessibility for people who have never read a Batman comic, but love the movies. Capullo’s art is perfect for this book as well. It obviously has a similar style to Todd McFarlane, but it also reminds me a little of Scott McDaniel’s work as well. His bold character work is very energetic, and his action scenes really flow. Batman #1 strikes that amazing balance of being new reader friendly and pleasing to long time fans, and is the highlight of the new DC books so far. If you are a fan of the Batman in movies and video games, then this book is for you. Seriously, buy it. Buy two.
Invincible Iron Man #508
One of the biggest concerns of events and tie-in issues is “filler”. You know, issues that don’t really do anything to further the storyline, but are released just so something is on the shelves. With this most recent issue of Invincible Iron Man, we have the definition of “filler”. Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca’s usual awesomeness that is IIM has come to a screeching halt every since the words “Fear” and “Itself” were slapped on the cover, and it’s a real shame, because at one time, this was one of Marvel’s top books. I think maybe two things happened in this issue that really move the plot forward, but if you haven’t been following Fear Itself (which you don’t have to cause I’ve been suffering for you) then you will have NO IDEA what any of this means. The last two issues were fun because we felt the weight of Tony’s sacrifice to Odin. Here we get about 22 pages where nothing really happens. Such is the case where your main character is one of the focuses of an event book. Hopefully this picks back up when Fear Itself is over.
Wonder Woman #1
Yes, that’s right. Wonder Woman. I picked it up cause why not? This is the new DC, and I’ve never read a Wonder Woman book. And you know what? It was awesome. Brian Azzarello has presented a really cool take on the Amazon warrior, and it’s one that fuses her Greek Mythology background with aspects of horror. Also, this book is super violent. It’s almost like DC wanted to do a Vertigo spin on Wonder Woman, and my god. I am super impressed with this. Cliff Chiang’s art is a little strange at first, but by the end of the issue I was hooked. Definitely picking this up for the considerable time being.