Sunday, June 17, 2012

Batman #6-9 MegaReview

Batman #6 (2011)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion

"Beneath the Glass", Or, Psychodelic Adventures with the Court of Owls


OK, so, last time we left Batman was being tortured and tried in the maze of the Court of Owls, with Talon on his tail and lots of memories and psychodelic hallucinations.  That pattern continues this issue.  The Court sentences Bats to death, and Talon is the deliverer of this sentence.  He faces a dilapidated Batman who is on the verge of giving up.  Will Batman succumb to the darkness?  Or, will he fight his way out of this crazy court and live to fight another day?

The Good:
The story continues to be the star of this book, even as the art and visuals go off the rails sometimes.  Even with such graphic psychodelic images and a bit of psychosis, you really get to see inside Batman's thoughts and you get a picture of just how broken he is.  The feel of the book continues to remind me of the best of Year One and Dark Knight Returns. 

The Bad:
OK, it took how many months for Bane and Co. to break Batman?  This is only taking a few issues in one book.  Not totally buying it.  Talon is too powerful of a character for what they are used for.  The Owls don't look overly menacing.  And what is up with all the hallucinations and thoughts of Bats giving up?  And what is up with the multiple assassins?

Bottom Line:
We really need to get back to butt-kicking action and away from the crazy visions and hallucinations.  They and this story are starting to get a little bit stale.  However, the intrigue and the writing itself along with the way it reminds me of the best of the Miller days keeps me coming back...

New Hope Patriot Missile Rating:


  2.5 out of 5 Shields


Batman #7 (2011)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion

"The Talons Strike!" And Bruce Finally Begins to Get His Groove Back.....




Bruce Wayne has been tried by the Court of Owls.  He was sentenced to die in their strange maze in Gotham City.  The Talon assassin was sent to hunt him down for the sport of the Court.  He was drugged, beaten, wounded, and dying.  Somehow, he makes it out alive.  He is found, shocked back to life, and then begins to piece together how exactly he and this Court and Gotham are intertwined.  Old friends are struck down and potentially new allies are told to go away, as Batman digs further into the mystery of the Owls, and the Owls decide to strike against all of Gotham. 

Let the Night of the Owls begin!

The Good:
Finally, enough of the odd perceptions.  Enough of seeing Batman see himself morphing into an owl or being a gigantic demon or giving in to death.  Seeing the alternate entrances to the Batcave and how Batman and Alfred interact is also well done.  The art along with the dialogue and inner thoughts are the stars.  The use of light and dark as well as the interplay between colors and shapes creates a dark and murky mystery feel, like the old pulps meets Sherlock Holmes.  The twist involving the original Robin, aka Nightwing, aka Dick Grayson is fascinating, but it reminds me too much of Marvel's Winter Soldier storyline, except this time, no one was turned.  Batman rises from his psychosis, locking away the pain to unravel the mystery and threat of the Court of Owls.  But, he is running out of time, as the Owls send an army of Talons across Gotham....

The Bad:
Some of teh renderings of the Talons being brought to life were a little too abstract or graphic at times.  Also, I don't buy Batman being broken and driven to tears and recriminations so quickly.  This is the Dark Knight, after all.  I also don't like Batman giving up his claim over Gotham, that somehow this Court has really been in charge.  For once, Nightwing makes solid salient comments, telling Bruce he is wrong about Gotham.

The Bottom Line:
Now that we are out of the psychodelic phase, the story grows legs again and the visuals are an excellent addition and each carries the other.  Nightwing acting as Bruce's conscience and psychological cheerleader is another nice touch.  Finally, this book is getting back to what made it awesome the first four or five issues!

New Hope Patriot Missile Rating:


  3 out of 5 Shields


Batman #8 (2011)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion

"Attack on Wayne Manor" as "Night of the Owls" Begins!




OK, so Batman is home and nursing his injuries.  His ribs are shot, his eyes are shot.  His very soul appears to be dying away.  Bruce Wayne's dreams for a better Gotham appear to be more fantasy and hope than ever being a reality.  He is forced from his depression and self-doubt when intruders threaten the Batcave and Wayne Manor.  It is an army of Talons bent on carrying out the Owls' sentence of death.  Bruce, Alfred, and the armory are all that stand between the Talons and a successful assault on Wayne Manor, even as scores of Talons fly across Gotham, going after targets the Owls have selected to destroy the city and Batman's soul with it.

The Good:
Seeing Bruce shut out the pain and get back to solving the mystery and getting retribution on the Owls was excellent.  The inner dialogue along with the interplay between the Talons, Bruce, and Alfred give you the feel of a horror movie where the heroes are caught in a haunted house as the ghosts close in.  The Talons mock Batman and the whole place and try to engage in psychological torture.  The Talons are not just automatons.  They are programmed to kill and follow orders, but they do so with grim humor and delight.  Will Batman's last ditch plan involving the armory pan out?  We see another nod to the Dark Knight Returns when Bruce emerges from the armory to take on the Talons.  Excellent!

The Bad:
The doubt and self recimination of Batman.  Not good to see.  Glad they dump it early.  Also, I don't like that this storyline is the Bat Family event of the summer.  Here I thought the Bat titles had learned that they could all tell independent storylines and the fans could pick their own.. Wrong!  We are going to ramrod making fans buy every damn book to squeeze as much blood out of this turnip as possible.  I hate that.  This could have been great as an ongoing arc with just Batman.  Let the other books engage in corporate Batmaning or Batman Goes African or whatever.  Keep this story in the book it began. But no!  DC takes a page out of Marvel's book and seeks to force you to buy every book.  Barf!

Bottom Line:
If this story were not so interesting and the writing so well done, I would put it down out of protest to the prostituting of it to every bat book.  However, I may miss a few pieces, but I will continue to read this Bat book and get the blanks filled in via the internet.  This team of Snyder and Cap is one for the ages in Batdom.

New Hope Patriot Missile Rating:


  4 out of 5 Shields


Batman #9 (2011)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion

"Night Of the Owls"....part 1





Batman, in his homage to Iron Man, is taking on the Talons at Wayne manor and in the Batcave.  Interspliced with his thoughts on the battle, we get lessons in how to scare Bats away using owls as well as the resiliency of Bats.  It all factors in to the subtexts of "Night of the Owls" DC's latest attempt to make you buy books in a family of titles you normally don't.  Batman gets a chance to play "rough" with the Talons, even as the assassins are killing civic officials all over Gotham.  As the Talons and Bruce battle in the cave, we get more of a picture of just how much the Court has been in a "war" with generations of Waynes. 

The Good:
Again, the story, art, and dialogue are very well done.  The dark humor in the midst of blood and guts truly do take the reader back to Miller's Dark Knight Returns.  The zoomed in panels on certain areas also remind the reader of the best of Batman tales gone by, certainly not the corporate crap that has infested the family for the last couple of years.  This is by far the best of the Bat Family books and the best new 52 book...well, at least until Batman comes out as a card carrying member of NAMBLA...with these morons like Dan Didio at DC, you never know what they will do for a cheap, theatrical stunt that demeans an entire group of people by saying in order for a hero to work it needs to piggyback on the legacy of another, even using the same name.....(see new 52 Earth 2 Alan Scott).

The Bad:
Not a whole lot to complain about.  We see a whole bunch of background information in a short time, interspersed with Batman battling the Talons.  My complaint is this should have stayed in the Batman book instead of being a friggin' "EVENT TO STEAL YOUR CASH AND PUFF UP SALES FIGURES FOR BOOKS WE DON'T WANT TO CANCEL SO WE CAN BE POLITICALLY CORRECT".  But, Marvel is doing the same lame arse thing.

Bottom Line:
As even two generations of Wayne butlers, the Pennyworths, get involved in this curse of the court of Owls, it gets more mysterious.  Even as Bruce thinks he has the answers, along comes the latest revelation which like Rowdy Roddy Piper, changes all the questions.  Even if you don't want to let DC steal your money buying other books, keep with this book.  Snyder's writing is awesome.

New Hope Patriot Missile Rating:


  4 out of 5 Shields
 
Powered by DinkerDoodle Productions 2013