Welcome to another addition of The Bat Casebook. I’m sure you know the score by now—I read whatever new bat-related comic came out during the week and I review them. Why should you read my opinions? ‘Cause I’m that bloody awesome, is why! Anyway, this was a really light week, so let’s just blaze through these books.
BATMAN & ROBIN #8
Written by Grant Morrison
Drawn by Cameron Stewart
Colored by Tony Avina
Lettered by Jared K. Fletcher
Covers by Cameron Stewart and Frank Quitely
Is there any way to make it so that Batman & Robin always ships bi-weekly? I mean seriously, this has been a pretty sweet deal so far. It’d probably completely destroy the chance of Quitely ever doing another arc, but still!
Anyway, question—well, one, at least—were answered in this that we’ve been wondering since the end of Final Crisis—the body of Bruce that they’ve had here in the present? One of Darkseid’s clones from when they had Bruce imprisoned and were siphoning his memories to create the perfect minions. That makes a lot of sense—and is far more explainable then the “Bruce’s body died, but his mind was transported in a new body” theory that I had—and it really puts into place why this is a “spiritual” cross-over with Blackest Night—like Nekron, Darkseid downloaded the memories of Bruce into this body and it was resurrected, but twisted and nothing like the Bruce we all know and love.
But none of our intrepid heroes know about this—it isn’t until “Bruce” tries to kill one of them that Dick realizes this and they try to take him down. Unfortunately, that only really works to bring down part of the cave and seemingly kills Batwoman in the process—though that’s part of her plan. Meanwhile, Clone-Bruce hijacks their plane, heads back to Wayne Tower, and is out to get Alfred and Damian, who’s still confined to a wheelchair.
Overall I dug this issue—it answered a big question, had some amazingly rendered fight scenes, and it makes you want to see how Dick, Kate, Knight and Squire are going to get back to Gotham in time to save Alfred and Damian, which is what a great serialized superhero series should do. However, if we don’t see Alfred lay into Clone-Batman with his trusty shotgun, I will be a touch disappointed.
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Penciled by Lee Garbett
Inked by Trevor Scott
Colored by Guy Major
Lettered by John J. Hill
Cover by Phil Noto
Speaking of great cliffhangers, the previous issue of this book ended with a pretty good one: Batman’s out of commission, with the super-villains Riot, Doctor Phosphorous and Roxy Rocket going after him, with the whole world watching thanks to the villainous Roulette—will the two young superheroes we love as much as they hate each other, Batgirl and Robin save him in time? Find out, true believers—right now!
Overall this was a great issue—very exciting, full of funny little moments, and really cements Stephanie as a full-fledged, down-right competent super-hero. She definitely gets the “Big Damn Hero” moment for using Roxy’s rocket to take out Doctor Phosphorous. Even “Batman” had to admit that was a pretty clever way to take out two villains in one swoop, even if it was the kinder, gentler Batman—but I’m sure even Bruce would have gruffly nodded in approval. I also loved the further establishing the sibling rivalry between Stephanie and Damian.
Overall it was a great issue and a solid end to a cool arc. If this was any other week when Batman & Robin wasn’t on in the same week, this probably would have been my favorite bat-book of the week. I eagerly await this upcoming cross-over between this and Red Robin.
Like I said, this was a light week, but packed to the brim with some awesome stuff. Next week is definitely not going to be light, with Batman #696, Batman: Streets of Gotham #9, and Azarel #5.
If you are a Batman fan, check out the Source. They have some VERY cool covers from the upcoming Bruce Wayne mini. I am really excited to follow the journey of Bruce. This is an interesting story because I had no doubt Bruce would eventually return. The part I am anticipating is going on his journey with him. I want to know what the Omega Effect did to him. I want to see what it will take for him to overcome it. The covers have only added to that build.
I am a big fan of the show Heroes. Season 1 was steller and the rest of the seasons have been enjoyable. This season is worth checking out on DVD or Blu Ray if you missed it. I truly felt it was a return to the excitement that I felt with Season 1.
Samuel made for an interesting villian. What worked for me was that you were never quite sure if he was a hero, villain or something more complicated. In the end, while his intentions were evil, his story was tragic. The tale of lost love that was found and lost again. I have to wonder if he didn’t bring some of that upon himself by trying to force her into his world. The boy who didn’t fit in, wanting to be something more, in his brother’s shadow, and never quite escaping, even in the brother’s death. Just truly engaging elements to a complex character.
While I knew he was gathering the carnival for his own purpose, I do think he wanted their love. The problem was that he put his own interest of being an all powerful leader, before what was best for them. He could have had so much more power if they truly were embraced as a family of equals. Samuel never got that and it was his undoing. I loved that. It felt real.
Peter was really “fixed” this season. I felt like he was returned to the likable, accessible character from Season 1. Peter should be the character you admire because he keeps trying. He tries to find solutions when most wouldn’t. Sure, he makes mistakes, but he ultimately picks himself back up and comes at the problem from a new angle. He always felt the most like a comic book hero in this real world. A bit of that was lost along the way, but came back big time this season.
Sylar was the MVP of the last two episodes. I want to see more of his transition to trying to be a hero. He hurt a ton of people along the way. They will want him accountable for what happened. I have to admit there is something cool about seeing this “formerly” evil man use his powers on the bad guys for a change. I am also interested to see if he really can maintain that change.
Hiro and Charlie resolved, Noah surviving, Claire revealing them to the world, it gave me hope for some more stories that interested me this season.
I hope Heroes gets another season. I know there has been some net write ups of numbers dropping this season but I think the quality of the show was so much better this go around. If marketed right and kicked off with an accessible opening, I think it has a lot to offer the audience members that left. It’s a show that I hope gets the chances to be bookended for DVD and Blu Ray viewing. I’m sure I’ll share more thoughts in the future but it was a very satisfying end to this season.
I am changing the web site over to a wordpress site. This will give me some freedom and speed in how I update and eventually add some convenient features for listeners in the coming months. Pardon our mess, this is a work in progress.
I will be gradually be adding back links and content to the new site over the next couple of weeks.