Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Aquaman 4 :: The Trench IV

Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis present the final chapter of "The Trench" as Aquaman and Mera immerse themselves in the depths of the mid-Atlantic ridge. This is a complete change of scenery, and the challenge and complexity of drawing, inking, and coloring an obscure environment such as the bottom of the ocean, have just earned the artistic team a standing ovation; what a great job. The resolution to the story makes you empathize with the trench critters despite their "Aliens" quality; on the other hand, that same resolution forces the question: did this story really need four issues to be told? The end of the arc brings readers full circle regarding the jokes and the awkward reactions from the public in the initial chapters; now that everyone can see how totally awesome Aquaman is, let's hope that's the end of that. Mera didn't get to do much in this issue other than saying "Arthur?" a lot of times, but there was also some display of power underwater.  Next stop in this thrilling ride: Who sunk Atlantis?  and just two months away from the spotlight on Mera.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Birds of Prey :: Absolutely Mental

The Birds of Prey welcome a new member in "Absolutely Mental" by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz.  Whereas Batgirl's guest role in Nightwing #4 was carefully crafted and in synch with previous events, her joining the female super hero squad was disjointed and made little sense.  Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled to know Batgirl was going to appear in this title, and later on when it was announced she would actually join, I was ecstatic; however, even though it's been months since the initial announcement, her sudden presence felt improvised and last-minute; like the story was supposed to go a different way, and then five minutes ago somene said "hey! throw Batgirl in there, draw her in the pages you haven't done yet and let's see where that goes".  There is no explanation, no actual reason, and worst of all, in complete contradiction to Dinah and Barbara's talk in issue #1.  Perhaps issue #5 will take care of these concerns and smooth Batgirl's induction to the team.

Nonetheless, December 2011 was a great month for the Dominoed Daredoll with apperances in three different titles.  I knew it would eventually happen, just didn't think her success would be so big so soon.

Birds of Prey #4
Cover Art by David Finch

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Nightwing 4 :: South Beach Connection

Kyle Higgins brings Nightwing and Batgirl together in "South Beach Connection".  It is so pleasant to see when creators  communicate and are in synch with each other; this issue not only is a nice stand-alone story for Nightwing, but also a nice follow-up of sorts to Gail Simone's Batgirl #3.  This team-up serves not just to go after some bad guy, but also to patch things up between Dick and Barbara; the combination of action and character development was just right.  By the end of the issue, we have a better sense of closure between the two of them, and also kind of a new rogue for Batgirl named Spinebender (which for some strange reason I keep reading as Spellbinder).  While I missed Eddy Barrows' pencils, Trevor McCarthy did a great job with his movie-like action sequences, and continuing with the theme of after-images when illustrating acrobatics.  Overall, this was a fun and enjoyable issue that no fan of Nightwing or Batgirl can miss.

Nightwing #4
Cover by Eddy Barrows and Rod Reis

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Batwing #7

Written by JUDD WINICK; Art by BEN OLIVER

Batwing comes to Gotham City! Batwing and Batman race back to the city hoping to stop the killer Massacre from assassinating the last two members of Africa's lost super-team, The Kingdom! Meanwhile, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Robin are already on the ground leading the search. Plus: The dark past of the Kingdom is revealed!

DC Universe | 32pg | Color | $2.99 US | On Sale March 7, 2012
 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Birds of Prey #7

Written by DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI
Art by JESUS SAIZ and JAVIER PINA
Cover by JESUS SAIZ

Go ahead. Skip this issue. You’ll only be missing 20 pages of insane, wall-to-wall action as the Birds of Prey finally catch and unmask the elusive mind-controlling villain known as “Choke” – only to discover that he’s turned one of their own against them! You’ll also be missing Black Canary vs. Ivy! Batgirl vs. Starling! Katana versus…well, that would be spoiling things, wouldn’t it? Birds of Prey #7: The comic for people who think there’s not enough fighting in comics
 
On sale MARCH 21 | 32 pg | $2.99 US | RATED T

Batgirl 4 :: An End to Dreams

"An End to Dreams" is the final confrontation between Batgirl and Mirror, presented by Gail Simone and Ardian Syaf.  The final chapter of this first arc takes us inside the minds of both characters, and while Mirror believes no one deserves to have a second chance, Batgirl feels she is undeserving of the one given to her; they are indeed twisted reflections of each other.  Their conflict is resolved, not in a predictable manner, but in the only one that made sense, bringing to a close the first adventure for the dominoed daredoll in her new beginning.  Ardian Syaf was absolutely fantastic in this issue; each one of Batgirl's expressions, her movements, the dynamics, and the flow of the panels, was exceptional; while Vicente Cifuentes and Ulises Arreola did an amazing job with the shadow and light contrast.  The end of the story introduces a drama element that as far as I recall has never been addressed before, so hold on to your chairs because the ride just gets crazier from here!

Batgirl #4
Art by Ardian Syaf

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Batwoman #7

Written by J.H. WILLIAMS III and W. HADEN BLACKMAN
Art by AMY REEDER and ROB HUNTER
Cover by AMY REEDER

Six lives on converging courses that will change them forever: Batwoman, in a hidden lair beneath Gotham Harbor, faces a horde of monsters inspired by urban legends led by Falchion, an evil mastermind. Jacob Kane waits in agony for some sign of life. Kate Kane tries to enjoy new romance as the werebeast Abbot begs for her help. Maro, an enigmatic wizard, evokes an evil that all children fear: their own reflections in a darkened mirror. Detective Maggie Sawyer is caught in a turf war between The Werebeast Cult and The Medusa Syndicate. DEO Agent Cameron Chase struggles with a new operative who refuses to be controlled. It’s all coming in “To Drown the World.”
 
On sale MARCH 14 | 32 pg | $2.99 US | RATED T+

Batwoman 4 :: Estuary

An issue not for the faint of heart, "Estuary" picks up right after the end of last month's chapter and introduces in a gruesome way a new menace to Batwoman's world.  The intensity of the opening pages is something I had never seen in a "conventional" comic book, and while it might provoke an uproar among the non-readers, it was tastefully done.  If anyone was on the fence regarding Cameron Chase, you will make up your mind here, and if you like Flamebird, there are huge developments for her.  With the exception of the first and last pages, the story is told in its entirety in double spreads, without sacrificing content.  Williams III and Haden Blackman are building a masterpiece that will for sure reverberate beyond the world of comics for many years to come; the storytelling, the art, and the characterization make of this book an absolute winner.

Batwoman #4
by J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Previews

Batwoman #4 by J.H. Williams III

Batgirl #4 by Ardian Syaf

Monday, December 12, 2011

Batgirl #7


Written by GAIL SIMONE
Art and cover by ARDIAN SYAF and VICENTE CIFUENTES


One dark, tragic night, The Joker shattered the life of Barbara Gordon in the landmark story BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE. In this issue, see a side of that story that has never before been told, as Batgirl faces the demons of her past! And if that’s not enough, a deadly new gentleman killer, Grotesque, stalks the streets of Gotham City!

DC Universe | On sale MARCH 14 | 32 pg | $2.99 US | RATED T

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Diving Into the Trench


Aquaman and Mera by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Rod Reis

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Everything is well with the world again!

So the corrected version for the cover of Batwing #7 has been posted, and it is indeed Barbara Gordon who is featured along with Batman, Nightwing, Robin, and Batwing.  Why does hell have to raise for these things to get noticed?  It was never about a colorist making a mistake; it was about the dozens of hands this image was put on before getting posted on the internet, and no one noticing the error.  Knowing corporate America the way I do, probably some intern got yelled at over this while the actual editors who were in charge of doing quality control still have no idea of what happened.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Apologies to Stephanie's fans


One tries to be supportive of DC and then they go and pull stuff like this.  What you see below is an early preview of Batwing #7 which features the character's first visit to Gotham.  Batman and his closest associates share the cover with the titular; but as you may clearly notice, Barbara is shown with blond hair and purple accents in her armor to make her look like Stephanie Brown.  I am not an avid fan of Steph's or anyting like that, but I completely understand why her followers would be p****d off to see how their feelings for the character are being played with in such a cheap way.


Saying it was a coloring error won't do it, as DC pays people called "editors" who are supposed to notice and correct this kind of things. What is the purpose of this, I wonder? Creating buzz and controversy? Test the waters for a possible second Batgirl in current continuity? Was it really an error, an oversight by potentially dozens of people? I just don't see a reasonable excuse for such a move. Now fans of Steph have to add this insult to their injury; so as a Babs fan I apologize to you and ask you don't hate on Barbara because of things like this; it's not worth it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Blackest Night :: Director's Cut

Nekron, the Deputy Lanterns, and Sinestro by Ivan Reis



Thursday, December 1, 2011