Batgirl 19 sees the return of Gail Simone, and the conclusion of the current story arc, revolving around Barbara’s insane brother. In many ways, the character reminds me of a more tame version of the Joker, and between the flashbacks and his appearances in the book, he has been fleshed out as an interesting addition to Batgirl’s rogue gallery. The ending of the arc felt a little anti climactic, yes, but other than that, it was a solid return for Gail Simone. Also, I like that Alysia (Barbar’s roommate) is finally getting some development, and I can’t wait to see where Simone takes here from here.
This week saw another solid outing for Batman. Snyder and Capullo continue to do an excellent job, both with artwork and storytelling. However, these short intermission stories aren’t really their strong suit. The sweeping epics are gone, at least until Zero Year starts, and, in their place, we have a Clayface story, with a back up featuring both Batman and Superman. The back up was alright, but nothing too special. The Clayface story is intriguing, and I love the idea of him “evolving” into a more dangerous villain. That said, the story does feel like a retelling of Arkham City’s Hush side quest. If it weren’t for that familiar fell, the issue would have been stellar.
Batman and Red Robin #19 (Batman and Robin #19)
I was initially excited for each of these installments, seeing Batman team up with each of his allies, and hopefully begin to fix their broken relationships after Death of the Family. However, this issue doesn’t get my hopes up. The plot is something of a scattershot, and never really hooks onto a single story. The Frankenstein stuff is cool, but, quite frankly, both Tim Drake’s and Carrie Kelly’s appearances felt shoe horned in. The Death of the Family fallout that is here is pretty good, and the dialogue is written well, but the issue left me with the feeling that it never reached it’s full potential.
So far, Constantine has had a great plot. Personally, I love the character, and I’m pumped that he now has his own book in the New 52. The plot is solid, and the issue overall is pretty solid. John Constantine is characterized perfectly, however, he hasn’t gotten the chance to be properly fleshed out yet. This being only the second issue, I don’t have a major issue with that at all. However, this issue is drug down by the abrupt change in the book’s tone between Constantine’s escape from E and his encounter with the Specter, which should have warranted it’s own issue. Nevertheless, the book is enjoyable, and a lot of fun.
I had difficulty understanding this issue. Why? Because neither Team 7, nor the Ravagers, ever appealed to me. And just because they are currently in a crossover with Deathstroke, which I have really enjoyed, doesn’t make me want to read mediocre books. As a result, Deathstroke #19 was pretty inaccessible. The first half tried to explain what was going on, but all e exposition only made the book slow and boring. The unexpected change of pace towards the end was certainly nice, but even that wasn’t written all that well, and it failed to redeem the issue.
The second issue of the new Wolverine series, like the first issue, didn’t have much staying power. The story’s alright, yes, but it feels slightly disconnected. It seems odd, at least to me, that the book would start out like this, going directly into the first arc’s main conflict. And that main conflict is beginning to feel formulaic and repetitive, where Wolverine stops one person, and then another one gets their mind taken over and goes a murdering rampage. Not a great start at all.
Hawkeye is quite possibly the last Avenger anyone would want to be. This issue, more than any of the others, is a testament for that. Throughout the issue, we see each of the girls he’s been in a relationship with in the past, and none of them is all that happy with him. Despite this, the issue is still funny, mostly because it’s extremely well written. Each of the characters is well written. Also, despite the fact that the book hasn’t really had a serious tone, a new, more serious plot seems to have been set up at the end of the issue.
Age of Ultron #5
Star Wars #4
With issue #4, Star Wars refuses to give up being one of the strongest books on the market. D’Anda’s art, especially his portrayal of vehicles, is stellar. This is only bolstered by the strong characters that Wood has at his disposal, characters he’s only made stronger. The pace is consistent, and the three separate plots are well developed. It’s also nice in this issue to see Vader get some more time, especially since he was absent last issue. Han and Chewie are quickly becoming my favorite characters in this book, especially after that awesome opening.
Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #3
Ever since Cargo of Doom, I’ve loved the Rocketeer. Hollywood Horror, then, is no exception. It’s ridiculously hilarious, and yet manages to maintain a quite steady plot the entire time. In addition to this, the characters are developed well, and each of the, is interesting in their own way. The plot, however, of Hollywood Horror isn’t as good as I feel it could be. It’s a little cliche, and that makes the overall plot slightly weak. The narrator, however, more than makes up for this one flaw.
Issue #12 of Saga was yet another excellent installment in Marko and Alana’s saga. Sadly, those two characters didn’t make a large appearance, and The Will didn’t show up at all. This issue focused, rather, on Prince Robot IV. He’s certainly an interesting character, but up until this point, Vaughan has been able to balance all of the plot lines in one book. Why he didn’t do that for is issue eludes me. The cliffhanger, at the end, however, has me pumped for issue #13.