Comic Reviews: Batman &Robin, Age Of Ultron, and The Walking Dead!
COMIC REVIEWS!!!!As if losing Damian wasn’t hard enough last month, now we have to be reminded of it in every Bat-title. However, in no book will the loss be felt more than in Peter Thomasi and Patrick Gleason’s fantastic series Batman & Robin, and this all-silent issue will leave you feeling as empty as Bruce Wayne by the time you finish it.
Picking up right after the events of last month’s Batman, Inc #8, this issue finds Batman on a routine patrol, except without his son by his side. Thomasi paints a perfect image here, as Bruce Wayne, as we all know, isn’t one to openly express his emotions. Seeing how this is the first major death he’s had to deal with since he lost Jason Todd (who came back anyways), Bruce’s depiction of just sucking it up and acting like nothing is wrong seems very much in line with the character, and his interaction with a still-grieving Alfred early in this issue is a prime example of this.
But, on this routine patrol, he keeps seeing his son, imagining he’s with him. He takes his anger out on the criminals he encounters that night, bottling up his anger and sadness until issue’s end, when he finally breaks down. Bruce Wayne, for years working with surrogate “sons”, has lost his one real son, and it’s a loss that he cannot process. Seeing Batman, this almost god-like being in current comics, reduced to near tears at issue’s end reminds us that at the end of it all, past the planning and martial arts training, Batman is just a man, and yes, there is something that can bring him to a stop.
I mentioned earlier that this issue is a silent one, and with that means that the art must step it up to convey the story. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, Patrick Gleason’s finest work. Issue in and issue out he has produced some incredible arton this title, but he really nails the pain that Bruce is feeling in this issue. By issue’s end you will be in awe of what this book accomplishes, and if you somehow don’t feel any emotions stirring inside of you, then you are dead inside.
Age of Ultron‘s second issue fills us in a little bit on the backstory behind the mad robot’s take over of the world, but at the same time, still leaves more questions than answers by issue’s end. Opening with a pretty awesome action scene between Black Widow and Moon Knight, we’re once again shown how different this world is now that Ultron has taken over. This interplay between the two heroes is pretty awesome, and I really like Brian Michael Bendis’ trick for showing us how they manage to communicate with one another when out in the field.
However, things start to slow down once we shift back to Spider-Man and the rest of the Avengers. We learn that Spider-Man woke up one morning to find the robot army attacking Manhattan, and after swinging to save someone, he was hit by a white light and then woke up tied to the chair he was found in in the last issue. While I understand that Bendis wants to slowly fill us in on what happened between here and now, I’m already starting to feel like this event is starting to drag. I hope I’m wrong about this, as I really like the premise (and Bryan Hitch’s art), but man, I hope the pace picks up a teensy bit next issue, cause if not, looks like this will be going to the ol’ trade wait pile.
Meet Ezekiel, possibly my new favorite Walking Dead character. Yes, he’s just only been introduced now, but meeting this character is such a cool thrill that it’s hard not to be charmed by him. Walking Dead is a series that has somehow, someway avoided becoming stale, and it’s because Robert Kirkman keeps throwing stuff like this at us once we get complacent. The premise behind this character is extremely unique, and I’m really surprised it hasn’t been done before in a zombie story. The self described “King” of his people, Ezekiel’s servant Jesus brings Rick Grimes to him, and the two begin hatching a plan to take out Negan, our current big bad. Oh, he also has a pet tiger named Shiva, too.
This issue is the reason why I keep reading Walking Dead: just when I think it’s starting to lose me, they introduce something so intriguing that you have to keep reading to see where they go with it. I’m very excited to see where this storyline goes, and more importantly, to see more Ezekiel.