Batman

Batman #21

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Ever since DC Rebirth #1 hinted that the Watchmen would be part of the DC Universe proper, I’ve been very excited. I’m sure the idea turns off some fans – and I can understand that. But me? I’m all for seeing more Watchmen – especially mingling with other DC characters.

Batman #1 was THEE comic I had to pick up this week. It was the beginning of “The Button,” a story that would crossover Batman and The Flash with Watchmen. I couldn’t wait. And I was thrilled with the cool lenticular cover.

Anyway, on to the comic. It definitely has a Watchmen tone. That is dark. Gloomy. Serious. It begins with patients at Arkham watching a hockey game where a fight breaks loose. A woman in the asylum freaks out, exclaiming that this is the game where a player dies.

Meanwhile Batman is watching many things on many screens – though he always has, it feels like a deliberate Watchmen nod. Among those things is the same hockey game. Oh, remember that smiley face button he found back in DC Rebirth #1? Well, “Reverse Flash” comes out of it while Batman is waiting for the real Flash to show up.

We now watch a minute – a full minute with countdown to Flash’s arrival as Reverse Flash and Batman soak the pages in blood. It’s violent alright. And most of the issue is this big fight scene. Though I don’t want to make it sound boring. Some other things happen, but I don’t want to ruin everything.

One thing I really appreciated was the classic Watchmen style layout of the pages. You can see that the artist Jason Fabok really took care with this.

I’ll definitely be looking forward to where “The Button” goes next.

Batman · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #5

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I’m sad to realize that there’s only one issue left of this excellent mini series. This issue focused on the Mad Hatter trying to mind-control Manhattan. And in it we saw a pair-up between Robin and Michelangelo. There’s a two-page spread in which Mikey and Robin act out the entire opening of Batman: The Animated series and it was awesome. Really nailed the nostalgia big time.

Like I said, I’m going to be bummed when this one ends. I really thought it would make a good ongoing series for 90’s fans. Oh well. The little teaser for next month’s final issue is exciting as it looks like the Scarecrow will be coming back.

Batman · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #4

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Well I’ve been talking for a while now about how fun this series is. And it continues to be so. I don’t know how many issues they have planned, but I’d love to see this turned into an animated series or mini-series or movie or whatever. It would feel like a return to Batman: The Animated Series… plus would have Ninja Turtles. Win-win!

This issue focuses on the Scarecrow and his fear gas. He uses it on most of the city and also on Batman, Leonardo and Raphael. Oh, and meanwhile The Joker has Shredder in a daze with his laughing gas and is planning another attack on the city. And this all culminates in a big clash that has a surprising turn of events.

Keep spitting this one out, IDW. This series is killing the TMNT Universe issues lately.

Batman · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #3

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Over the past three issues, this series has turned out to be pretty great. My initial fear that it was “for kids” has now given way to a total appreciation for how it embraces both Batman The Animated Series along with the Ninja Turtles cartoon. Now in fairness, the latter would be sourced from the more recent Nickelodeon show, which I really haven’t watched. But I can at least give credit where credit’s due. This book is just plain fun.

It’s a total treat the way the writers (and artists) have managed to make the mix of the Turtles’ universe along with Batman and all his many foes seem so perfect. Indeed, it’s been a blast to see the introduction of The Joker and Harley and Poison Ivy and now in this issue we get to see a bit of Scarecrow who will apparently be a big part of #4. I totally recommend this series to reads of all ages who have any interest in either property.

Batman

Batman: The Man Who Laughs

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My wife has actually been urging me to read this for months now. And since she finally started reading The Long Halloween, I figured it was only fair that I knock this one off of my backlog.

The Man Who Laughs was short, but damn good. It tells the story of Batman’s first run-in with The Joker, and does so quite well. In some ways it feels like a ret-conned prequel to The Killing Joke with the Red Hood talk and some other small details.

The artwork was great. The details were superb – especially of The Joker’s victims, such as the many corpses found in the beginning of the book.

Story-wise, I felt like it was a nice brisk intro to The Joker’s story. And I liked how at the end Batman had a chance to kill him, but didn’t. Of course part of the allure of The Joker is never really knowing which origin is really the real one. But no matter, this is an excellent story either way.

UPDATE: Actually, it turns out it was Lovers And Madmen that she really wanted me to read. So I read the wrong book. Haha.

#1 · Batman

Batman #14

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So I had read the first two issues of this run and honestly wasn’t all that sucked in. I wasn’t really into the “I Am Gotham” story line anyway. But the cover of this issue grabbed me. I like how it sort of mirrors that late 90’s Harley Quinn cover of she and the Joker. And then I noticed that this issue is a start of a new story, “Rooftops,” so I figured why not? It seemed like a good enough spot to jump back in.

This is a simple story. Subtle. Batman is going to turn Catwoman over to the authorities, but she urges he do it in the morning so they can have one night together. And that’s what this issue is. Their one night together. Maybe it’s not shocking what they end up doing – or maybe it is. But it gives a real human story to these characters. Of course the Batman/Catwoman vs. Bruce/Selena relationship has always been complicated.

The art here is GORGEOUS. There’s a two-page spread of just them on the rooftop where the night sky takes up about 90% of the two pages. Very pretty stuff. I’ll at least stick around for #15 which will wrap up this short story and see how I feel after that.

Batman

Batman #2

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A friend of mine has been urging me to read the new Batman series for a while now. I had read issue #1 over a month ago – and enjoyed it – but I was having trouble finding a copy of #2 on any shelves until this week.

I enjoyed this one less. I don’t care for these characters “Gotham” and “Gotham Girl.” I don’t know. It sounds so… generic? Hopefully it’s smarter than I realize. But I mean, really? The dude is named Gotham?

At least there’s the interesting moody Batman stuff going on. Bruce is getting depressed. It’s actually pretty humanizing when he tells Alfred that someday he’ll day and Robin will take over but then Robin will die. There’s definitely an air of existential crisis going on. So that’s something.

Batman · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #2

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When Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures was first announced, I wasn’t even really interested. It seemed to me like it was targeted more at kids than the original Batman/Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles series was. But then I ended up picking up the first  issue at Comic Con because I met Steve Lavigne who had done a variant cover for that day. He kind of sold me on the concept of the new series by suggesting it was a bit of a spiritual successor to Batman: The Animated Series which I’ve been watching and loving lately.

The first issue was “just alright” in my opinion. But I think now I can look back and see why – it didn’t actually combine the two properties fully. Nope… that happens in issue #2. And to be honest I took a chance on this issue solely because Harley was on the cover and I was curious how this would turn out.

I’m happy to report that issue #2 is a step up from the first. You’ve got Joker and Harley; Shredder and Rocksteady and Bebop; and finally you’ve got the meeting of Batman, Robin and Batgirl with the Turtles and April. It is one big mix of great characters and more importantly, it is a lot of fun. I went from a bit of indifference to actively enjoying this series. I’m not totally hooked, but I am now indeed interested to see how this series progresses on top of the ongoing TMNT main book and the recent and awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Univerese series.