The Emperor Penguin storyline comes to an end as Batman battles Ogilvy, the self-proclaimed new crime king of Gotham who stole the Penguin‘s money and operation for his own. Underestimating his opponent, Batman arrives to discover Ogilvy has been busy by combining the stolen Man-Bat serum along with a version of Venom and a little contribution from Poison Ivy to craft himself into a legitimate super-villain threat.
Although I think Ogilvy is made too much of a threat too quickly, the fight between the would be king and Batman works well (even if it does require the Penguin to save our hero). It also gives us one of the better original New 52 villains. Batman makes up for the ass kicking he takes by putting down Ogilvy in short order, but he can’t take away Ogilvy’s short-lived victory.
The issue also includes a back-up story involving Ogilvy’s transport to Blackgate Prison and look at his origins. The story also brutally foreshadows the fact that the new Bat-villain is only getting started. Worth a look.
What happens when two Supergirls meet? That’s the question Supergirl #19 answers when Power Girl shows up to assist her twin from a parallel world after Supergirl is exposed to a nasty bit of Kryptonite poisoning. Just by touching, Power Girl is able to stabilize the other Kara’s condition allowing the pair of them to fight off Appex, a bargain flunkie Lex Luthor sends to test the limits of the pair’s powers.
There’s plenty of action here as they two Karas kick some ass, and the idea of the pair working together and sharing their memories and thoughts is an intriguing one that I hope the New 52 will play with in the future. The issue is also memorable for the DC finally admitting that one of their costume designs wasn’t getting the job done. By the end of the issue Power Girl will be returned to her classic costume (one done, about 100 more to go) to the appreciation of fans everywhere.
It appears Power Girl is sticking around for another month giving us double the Kara fun which means I’ll likely pick up next month’s issue as well to see where this new friendship is headed. Worth a look.
Although the cover teases the first appearance of the New 52 version of the Reverse-Flash, which we only get in final couple of panels, most of The Flash #19 deals with Barry Allen stopping the prison break of the Trickster and several other prisoners caused by the Outlander Nation.
Once again Francis Manapul is back to do the issue’s cover, but the art inside the book by Marcio Takara, which isn’t bad, is certainly a step down from what we were getting before. The storyline of Barry working without his powers, which is never properly explained here to anyone not reading Dial H for Hero, works all right, and by the end of the issue the Flash has his powers back and things are back to normal.
That is until the comic introduces the new version of the Reverse-Flash (whose awesome original costume has been thrown away for yet another lackluster New 52 redesign). It will be interesting to see what version of the character has made it into the New 52 and what exactly his plans are for the Scarlet Speedster. For fans.
Jason Todd gets little more than a cameo here as the story focuses on Arsenal and Starfire tracking down their friend who, after surviving the Joker‘s final attack, left them and headed straight for the All-Caste. By the time the duo track him through the Himalayan mountains and discover the secret entrance to the home of the magical monks who continued to train Todd after he returned from the dead, Todd has already made a rash decision which will effect all three of their futures.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #19 is a mixed bag as we’re given a Red Hood wiped of nearly all his memories (at his own behest). If this was where the New 52 planned on taking the character I’m not sure why they didn’t just allow the Joker’s final attack to do the damage.
The issue also has an odd appearance by Essence who attempts to influence Arsenal through his dreams. The point of this subplot isn’t very clear (or interesting), but it’s arguably better than the beyond bland blank slate of Jason Todd we’re left with as the issue closes. The consequences to this issue might be interesting, but this issue is a mixed bag.
Damian may be dead, but he won’t stay that way if Batman can help it. Batman and Robin begins anew with Batman getting a different member of the Bat-Family filling-in for the recently departed Robin. That doesn’t mean you can classify Batman and Red Robin #19 as a team-up by even the loosest definition of the term.
Overcome with grief Batman has sought out Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. in an attempt to learn what keeps the undead creature alive and find a way to resurrect his son. It’s certainly an unexpected cameo, and the first time we’ve seen the New 52 version of the Dark Knight driven to such extremes. That said, the story worked for me (especially as the New 52 has been vague about both the existence and Batman’s knowledge of Lazarus Pits leaving that option, at least for now, off the table).
Carrie Kelley, the young woman who would become Robin in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns is given new life as a Gotham City College student who had been tutoring Damian before his death. Bruce is unlikely to forget his first face-to-face meeting with the spunky young woman as she opens her door dressed in a Robin costume.
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At $8 Detective Comics #19 is overpriced for anyone who isn’t a huge fan of Man-Bat. All but one of the stories (involving Bane created a Venom-powered army to continue his vendetta against the Court of Owls) contained in this issue deal with Batman responding new a Man-Bat outbreak (which includes a Man-Bat version of Zsaz) started by Emperor Penguin to steal Gotham blind during the chaos or its consequences.
In an inexplicable chronological snafu set by the launch of the New 52 (and Grant Morrison‘s insistence to keep using Man-Bats as Talia‘s soldiers), we get out first introduction to Kurt Langstrom (the scientist who invented the Man-Bat serum) and, in the New 52 version is far, far, far from being the first to transform into a half-man/half-bat hybrid.
Other stories involve Emperor Penguin’s soldiers bilking Gotham out of millions, the Penguin planning his escape from prison and revenge against his former assistant, Mrs. Langstrom’s plans to save her husband, and a disagreement between cops, one of whom was infected by the Man-Bat virus, over Batman’s proper role in the city. For fans.
The much ballyhooed run of creative team of writer Andy Diggle and artist Tony S. Daniel begins and ends here. As you might have heard, Diggle quit the title before his first issue ever hit the stands due to irreconcilable issues with DC Editorial. Daniel will continue the arc doing double duty as both writer and artist.
Action Comics #19 certainly has its moments including a look at what Lex Luthor has in mind for the Man of Steel and a nice moment between Clark and Lois in a Quarac hotel bar that good-naturedly pokes some fun at the most ridiculous disguise in all of comics.
The rest of the comic features Superman battling giant robots (for reasons that don’t make a lot of sense), Lex Luthor keeping his shrink locked up for an accurate diagnosis of him as a megalomanical psychopath, and a weird hallucinatory moment where Superman thinks one of the soldiers piloting the robots is Jimmy Olsen (which, also, makes very little sense). Hit-and-Miss.
The New York Post has revealed the Robin on the cover of next week’s Batman and Red Robin #19 is Carrie Kelley (the character created by Frank Miller for The Dark Knight Returns) who will be introduced as an ongoing character in the New 52 (although it has yet to confirmed she will take up the role as Batman‘s new partner)
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting actress Zoe Saldana is in talks to play Gamora in Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy
Things are going pretty well for Barry Allen. He’s in a committed relationship with a woman who knows his secret, the Flash is back in the good graces of Central City, and he’s working to get his old job as a police scientist back. However, there are still issues for the Scarlet Speedster to solve including helping repair the damage of the the ape attack, looking into who might be framing the Trickster for murder, and watching out for a pair of would-be super-heroes enhanced by their time trapped in the Speed Force.
Brian Buccellato takes over the sole writing duties for this issue and Marcio Takara steps in to do the artwork for a missing Francis Manapul giving the comic a sleeker look. The art is good, but the layered panels that flow into each other, which the comic is known for, don’t quite have the same zip.
Even with Manapul’s abscence the comic works pretty well, although I’m less sure of the storyline that unfolds concerning the Outlander Nation or Barry Allen inexplicably suddenly loosing his powers (I’m also less than pleased I have to read the next issue of Dial H to apparently find out the cause). Worth a look.
As Batman, Alfred, Nightwing, and Red Robin lay Damian Wayne to rest Grant Morrison’s craptastic Leviathan storyline continues. Talia, her overgrown clone of a son, and the Leviathan troops are in control of Wayne Enterprises and issue demands for Batman to be banned from Gotham City and all of Batman Incorporated’s operations around the world to cease immediately.
Sure I could sit here and rip apart Grant Morrission’s “plot,” such as how Leviathan could ever make good on their threats, or the near-impossibility of removing all likenesses of Batman from a city in eight hours. Or I could simply point out the writer’s usual brand of mumbo-jumbo that the writer uses in place of actual plot.
Or I might mention how ridiculous the events covered in this storyline appear when (aside from Damian’s death) are completely being ignored in EVERY OTHER BATBOOK. You’d think Gotham under siege of a terrorist organization run by Batman’s former lover might be something that would effect other Batman-related comics.
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