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I am limiting myself to a hard budget cap of roughly 25 bucks a month for new comics. I don’t really have the money to buy all of the 52 titles or all of the titles I’m interested in. So, I’m limited to about eighth titles a month after taxes. I have decided to pull seven titles a month and keep the eighth title open for month-to-month off the shelf purchases.

The seven I decided to pull span the various brands of the DCnU and I am giving some titles I’ve never read before a chance here. I am going to explain my reasoning for picking these titles. I also want to note that I am planning to give each of these titles 3 months. After that I am going to re-evaluate the seven titles and decide what to keep/drop and pick up. This way I am reading what I enjoy and not what I feel like I should be reading. I do find this to be the best way for me to purchase comics. I keep things fresh and I don’t get tired of a series for too long.

Now to get to the point, my New DC 52 pull list (Including the solicits, just because):

JUSTICE LEAGUE #1

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
On sale AUGUST 31 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US RATED T • Combo pack edition: $4.99 US

Comics superstars Geoff Johns and Jim Lee make history! In a universe where super heroes are strange and new, Batman has discovered a dark evil that requires him to unite the World Greatest Heroes!

I’ve decided to pick this one for a couple big reasons. First, Geoff Johns is a mastermind with team books. If you haven’t read JSA before, you should do yourself a favor and get his entire run. It’s amazing. Second, it’s Jim Lee. I don’t care if he doesn’t last more than an arc on the book, I will love what I can get. The dude is amazing and the art is a delight to look at. Those two reasons aside, I like the line up on the team and establishment of a new origin for the team.

I’ve always felt that the Justice League needs to be a loaded team. You can have your B-list and C-list members on the team, but Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman need to be there in some capacity. The fact Geoff Johns is on the title and the fact the universe is being relaunched should mean that the line-up won’t be hindered by various editorial mandates like it has in recent years. I hope this Justice League is comparable to Grant Morrison’s run in terms of greatness and impact.

Edit: At the time of originally writing this post, which I started a month ago, Justice League #1 came out. Expect a review here soon.

AQUAMAN #1


Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
On sale SEPTEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The superstar creators from BLACKEST NIGHT and BRIGHTEST DAY reunite to take AQUAMAN to amazing new depths!
Aquaman has renounced the throne of Atlantis – but the sea will not release Arthur Curry so easily.
Now, from a forgotten corner of the ocean emerges… The Trench! A broken race of creatures that should not exist, an unspeakable need driving them, The Trench will be the most talked-about new characters in the DC Universe!

Long before the New DC 52 was announced and before even rumors of DC relaunching their entire superhero universe started surfacing, I was looking forward to Aquaman #1. Heck, I wasn’t too hung up on was writing it.  I just wanted to read Aquaman. DC has done a horrible job with releasing any collections of the amphibious hero, so getting an Aquaman fix was quite difficult. The fact Geoff Johns is writing it with Reis on art is just delicious icing on the cake. I was going to pull this months before the relaunch anyway, but DC just sold me even more on this title.

I’m hoping that this run can equal Peter David’s in term of critical success and surpass it commercially. If there is one character that has struggled keeping a title, it’s Aquaman. I want this one to last for a while.

Wonder Woman #1

The new cover is pantless

Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art and cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale SEPTEMBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The Gods walk among us. To them, our lives are playthings. Only one woman would dare to protect humanity from the wrath of such strange and powerful forces. But is she one of us – or one of them?

I’ve never bought a Wonder Woman comic before and I’ve only read the ones that directly tied into some event via collected editions (Our Worlds at War). So this is a new title for me. I am not lying when I say the past Wonder Woman stories, while they’ve interested me somewhat, I was never sold on them. Just something about her character that bores me. I figured with this relaunch and the talent on this series, I should give Wonder Woman a shot. This relaunch is about attracting new readers and I’ll admit that it has attracted me to reading Wonder Woman for the first time.

Resurrection Man #1

Written by DAN ABNETT and ANDY LANNING
Art by FERNANDO DAGNINO
Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
On sale SEPTEMBER 14 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
It’s the return of Mitch Shelly – and he’s still dead.
Resurrection Man can’t stay dead for long, though – and with each rebirth comes new and unexpected powers. But his many returns have not gone unnoticed, and forces are gathering to learn what’s so special about him – and to see which of them will finally stop Resurrection Man dead.

This is my oddball pick of the DCnU. I’ve always found this character’s gimmick interesting and actually kind of fun. If you have ever read DC One Million then you know that this character can be all kinds of crazy. One thing I am curious about is if the JSA are back on Earth-2 will Vandal Savage be going with them, or will there be a Vandal Savage on this new Earth that can play the role of antagonist for Resurrection Man? This book is on my likely to be cancelled first list, but I don’t care. I will enjoy it while it lasts. It helps that DnA is on the creative staff.

Static Shock #1

Written by SCOTT McDANIEL and JOHN ROZUM
Art and cover by SCOTT McDANIEL and JONATHAN GLAPION
On sale SEPTEMBER 7 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The brilliant, slightly awkward high school student Virgil Hawkins transforms into the cocky electromagnetic hero Static!
A mysterious tragedy forces the Hawkins family to relocate from Dakota to New York City! Virgil embarks upon new adventures in a new high school and a new internship at S.T.A.R. Labs!
As Static, he dons a new uniform and establishes a new secret headquarters! But is he ready to take on the new villains who lurk in New York City’s underworld?

Static’s back and he’s in a series that’s not written by the butcher of Teen Titans! There was much rejoicing. I’m a life long fan of this Milestone Hero and I will probably be buying this series till the wheels fall off. Also I really dig the costume and I like the Spider-man feel they are going for.

Superman #1

Written by GEORGE PEREZ
Breakdowns and cover by GEORGE PEREZ
Art by JESUS MERINO
On sale SEPTEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The new adventures of Superman begin here! What is The Man of Steel’s startling new status quo? How does it affect Lois Lane and The Daily Planet? There’s no time for answers now, because Superman must stop a monstrous threat to Metropolis – one that he somehow is the cause of!

This is my controversial pick or at least it’s controversial if you consider that I AM NOT buying Action Comics #1 and instead choose Superman to be my Man of Steel comic of choice. Reasons why? I know the Grant Morrison comic is going to be great. I know it’s going to sell gang busters and honestly wouldn’t be shocked to see it outsell Justice League in the future. I know it’s a year one story. I know it will read great in trade and that’s why I am going to wait. I decided to pick Superman because I don’t know where they are going with this. I actually like the costume and I’m really excited to read Superman again. Which I haven’t done in nearly 3 years due to New Krypton, the Walk, and lack of funds.

Teen Titans #1

Written by SCOTT LOBDELL
Art and cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND
On sale SEPTEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Tim Drake, Batman’s former sidekick, is back in action when an international organization seeks to capture, kill or co-opt super-powered teenagers.
As Red Robin, he’s going to have to team up with the mysterious and belligerent powerhouse thief known as Wonder Girl and the hyperactive speedster calling himself Kid Flash to stand any chance at all against a living, breathing weapon with roots in another world! They – along with a few other tortured teen heroes – will be the Teen Titans in this new series from writer Scott Lobdell (WILDC.A.T.S, Uncanny X-Men) and artist Brett Booth (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!

The Teams of the DC Universe are getting the hardest of the reboots. Justice League is getting a new origin, Justice League International looks to be formed by someone other than Maxwell Lord, Justice Society of America is on another Earth, and Teen Titans are getting a fresh start. Of all of these reboots, Teen Titans is probably one that really needs it. Ever since Geoff Johns left Teen Titans the title has struggled. JT Krul made it a solid title in it’s death throws but it failed to meet sells expectations so he is not on the Reboot. Shame really. Now, Lobdell said he originally devised the pitch for the team not as a Reboot but a fresh start. Now with the state of the Wolfman Perez era New Teen Titans up in the air, I am believing this to be a full on hard reboot that ignores Young Justice and Geoff John’s Titans along with the past series. I think DC should’ve canceled the Young Justice animated comic and instead replaced it with a in continuity Young Justice series instead of Teen Titans, if they are truly trying to reach the readers.

That said I am looking forward to this series and it may be the XTREME Holofoil kool aid talking but I like the new costumes.

Well those were my DC: The New 52 pull list picks. As for the 8th title I am going to pick up something random, I’m thinking Batman #1 from Scott Snyder.

This week on the Revolution, I review a Batman PSA comic from the 90’s that deals with landmines callled: Batman: Death off Innocents- the horror of landmines. Like always here is a preview:

 

Batman: Death of Innocents- the horror of landmines

Creative Staff:
Writer: Dennis O’Neil
Penciller: Joe Staton
Inker: Bill Sienkiewicz
Colorist: Ian Laughlin
Letter: John Costanza
Background: In 1996, DC released a series of comics targeting the horror of landmines. The three comics featured DC’s big three characters (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman.Superman: Deadly Legacy and Superman and Wonder Woman: The Hidden Killer both produced for foreign audiences (Croatia and Serbia and Latin America, respectively). Batman- Death of Innocents: The Horror of Landmines (DOI from this point on) was the unique one of the group as it was produced for American audiences to show the true horror of landmines and their indiscriminate method of killing.

DC gave the task of creating the graphic novel to longtime Batman writer Dennis O’Neil, the supremely talented Joe Staton, and the phenomenal inker Bill Sienkiewicz. One would think this a perfect fit for such an important comic. Who is better than Dennis O’Neil to write a Batman story of this magnitude? This should be one of the best Batman comics ever written, but the truth is that it’s one of the weakest.

PSA comics, like this one, often suffer from having to convey a certain amount of information in a limited number of pages while at the same time keeping a decent story running. More often than not, something has to give and the message is lost. If it is the story or information, it does not matter because if one slips the comic has failed. This is why Batman- Death of Innocents: The Horror of Landmines is one of the weakest Batman stories ever written. It manages to fail in terms of story and conveyance of the message.\

 

You can read the full review over at http://comicbookrevolution.net/index.php/reviews/dc/826-xtreme-holofoil-edition-batman-death-of-innocents-

 

Also last week I was ill and overwhelmed by school so I revisted my old Supreme #1 review and fixed a lot of things. I posted that on the revolution and you can read it here: http://comicbookrevolution.net/index.php/reviews/image/812-the-xtreme-holofoil-edition-supreme-

‘Then check out the Hub. The Hub is a new channel owned by Hasbro and Discovery. The channel was formally Discovery Kids which means you might have it and don’t know it yet. What makes this channel awesome is the fact they air the original Adam West Batman, a show that isn’t available on DVD despite fan outcry. So check out the Hub at 11:30 pm est (and several times afterwards) Monday through Thursday.

While I am at it there are a couple other comic book shows that are on the Hub, let’s see how about Batman Beyond. You know the amazing Cyberpunk Batman series that followed Young Terry McGennis and the one show that kicked so much tail in the 90’s. Yeah it’s on tv again. It’s amazing they show two different sides of Batman on the network. Only if they could air Batman TAS or Superman TAS. Well a man can dream but you can watch Batman Beyond at 5:30 PM est and throughout the day on the Hub.

Other shows rounding out the line up are Transformers (G1), GI Joe: Real American Hero, Dennis and Gnasher (a British cartoon based on a popular British Comic strip), and soon to come Transformers Prime and GI Joe Renegades.

For more information on the Hub check out the website- http://www.hubworld.com/ (Don’t let the Taylor Swift promo fool you. The channel is great and for all members of the family)

 

 

 

Brief Introduction: I did this paper a while back for a mythology class. I did it on Batman and the Monomyth. I ended up making a C on the paper due to Grammatical errors that were present. There are some inaccuracies concerning the Batman legend. Part of the problem was I went with an amalgamation of the stories out there (various movies, cartoons, etc.) and some things I just plain got wrong. So here’s some fun: The person who spots the most inaccuracies will get a prize. Maybe a copy of one of my bargain bin comics. I will decide later. Also if you all enjoy articles that do more analysis of characters, tell me and I will. I enjoy the stuff but not sure how it will fair. Submit your entries in either the comment section below or email them to me at: comicbookoverkill@gmail.com

Note: This article is posted as it was sent to the teacher with grammar mistakes still present.

The American Super Hero and the Monomyth

The American comic book is often called the source for the mythology of America. It is only natural for the media to be called the main source of mythology when you consider the main genre of comic books is the Super Hero story. The world of the super hero is often characterized as a world where death is just a passing thought, as the hero (and villain) will not stay dead for long. It is a world where men can fly, women can unleash supersonic screams, and children can flip semi trucks with the power of their mind. This world is a mythological world and the heroes of this world often fit into Campbell’s Monomyth.

The American super hero, Batman is an excellent example of the American super hero and how it fits the monomyth presented by Campbell. Batman’s journey began at a very young age when, as Bruce Wayne, he witnessed his parents’ death at the hand of a mugger. At that moment Bruce became a different person. When he reached his teenage years Bruce, the successor of the massive Wayne fortune and Wayne Enterprises, decided to begin a quest at which he will be able to avenge his parents’ death. At his side throughout his journey was his loyal butler Alfred, who had to assume the role of the father figure for Bruce and became his guide throughout his quest.

The quest began when Bruce and Alfred left on a ship from Gotham City harbor and casted off to the Asia continent. When Bruce arrived in Asia he entered the training of the League of Assassins. The League was known around the world for the silent and brutal tactics used to enforce the will of the highest bidder. Bruce willingly began his transformation from the meek trust fund kid into a precision killing machine.

During his tenure under the league Bruce was assigned several tasks to prove his worth to the league. He achieved all the tasks but one, he refused to kill anyone. During these trials Bruce meets Talia al Ghul, daughter of the leader of the League. Bruce fell deeply in love with the young assassin but she often tempted Bruce into killing her father and assuming control of the League.   Bruce still held true to his convictions of not killing and turned away Talia, despite his feelings for her.

One of the final tasks Bruce was told to undergo was the task of isolating himself in a cave, inhale the fumes of a burning hallucinogenic flower, and face his own fears. His greatest fear turned out to be disappointing his parents by failing to avenge their deaths. Bruce overcame the fear and no longer was Bruce Wayne but Batman (He was not truly Batman in name, but he assumed the mindset and personality that would become known as Batman). This is when Bruce began his final training.

The final training for Bruce was to kill a fellow member of the league. Bruce still held to his conviction like before and refused to do so. The leader of the League did not take well to this and attacked Bruce. Seeing as he is now fully prepared to avenge his parents’ death, Bruce fought the leader and won. Instead of finishing the leader off, Bruce escaped from the League’s HQ and made his way back home to Gotham.

In Gotham, Bruce tried to use his training to fight crime but soon learned that he failed to intimidate the criminals and his tactics relied on this intimidation. One night after failing to stop the criminals, Bruce witnessed a bat flying into the window. This became the moment when Bruce known that he would have to take the form of a feared figure and he choose the bat as it is a creature of the night. Bruce then assumed the dual identity of Batman, the trained skilled fighter, and Bruce Wayne, the trust fund kid, as a way to achieve his goal to eventually rid the city of crime and avenge his parent’s death.

The story of Batman on the surface sounds like a revenge story but you can analyze it further and see how it fits the Campbell’s Monomyth. Starting with the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents it becomes apparent how it fits the journey. The death of the parents represents for Bruce the call to adventure. Campbell states “The awakening of self…But whether small or great, and no matter what the stage or grad of life, the call rings up the curtain, always, on a mystery of transfiguration—a rite or moment, of spiritual passage, which, when complete, amounts to a dying and a birth.” (Campbell 51). The death of the parent’s of Bruce marked a turning point in Bruce’s life. He lost his childhood and vowed to avenge their deaths. He sacrificed his childhood to his goals and began to train his mind long before he began training his body for the quest ahead.

Bruce’s ultimate goal was to earn the ability to avenge his parents’ death. The person to aide him on his goal was his loyal butler, Alfred. This was in a way was Bruce’s supernatural aid. Alfred served as his mentor and the earliest trainer to Bruce. “For those who have not refused the call, the first encounter of the hero-journey is with a protective figure…who provide the adventurer with amulets against the dragon forces he is about to pass” (Campbell 69). These “Dragon Forces” was the training Bruce was slated to face. Alfred was the earliest to provide him with the most basic training that Bruce needed to survive the difficult training process. It could be said that the training was Bruce’s amulet to face the training, which itself represents a dragon force.

Campbell’s’ monomyth states that the hero must cross the first threshold into the mythological world before he can begin his journey. “With the personifications of his destiny to guide and aide him, the hero goes forward in his adventure until he comes to the “threshold guardian” at the entrance to the zone of magnified power.” (Campbell 77). Bruce Wayne’s crossing of the first threshold was the voyage across the pacific to the land of Asia. The threshold guardian was the threshold itself. The voyage across the turbulent waters of the Pacific is a dangerous trip. If you are not caught in a storm, you are hit by min-tsunami waves, or you run the risk of running into modern day pirates that ride the coast looking for targets. Bruce must face the ocean if he is to ever begin his training. He must literally cross the threshold guardian in order to continue his quest.

The academy where Bruce received training functions as his “Belly of the whale” and is the location where he began to destroy the identity of “Bruce Wayne” and building the identity of “Batman.”  Campbell states that, “This Popular motif gives emphasis to the lesson that the passage of the threshold is a form of self-annihilation.”(Campbell 91). Bruce must undergo the training the academy provides in order to become the hero he desires. The academy is where Bruce begins his initiation and starts his road of trials.

The road of trials is represented in the Batman origin by the tasks assigned to him by the League of Assassins. The tasks range from the simple fetch quest to the killing of a man. Bruce succeeds in his quest but fails at one task, killing. Bruce refused to kill anyone as that would force someone to endure the pain he felt when his parents were murdered.  The trials show that Bruce is not fully ready to avenge his family. Bruce learns that he will have to avenge their deaths in another fashion. The trials provided by the League are not only trials Bruce must undergo in order to receive further training, they also present a trial of conscious for the hero. Bruce must decide what type of hero he wants to be. Does he want to be on the same level as the petty crook that took his parents and initiated his quests, or does he want to be the hero that rises above the world and let the system sort out the criminals? Bruce decides to be the hero that works alongside the system instead of outside it, for to be outside the system you are a criminal and no worse than a mugger on the streets.

In Bruce’s life women function as a temptress though are often disguised as the goddess. Talia was the first temptress in Bruce’s life. Talia tried to sway Bruce to break his vow of not killing and in turn deviate from his quest. He would become the tyrant instead of the hero.

Bruce has to confront his father and mother and atone with them. He does not truly meat his parent but he must confront haunting visions of his family and overcome his fear. Campbell on Atonement with the father, “Atonement consists in no more that the abandonment of that self-generated double monster – the dragon thought to be God (superego) and the dragon thought to be Sin (repressed id). But this requires an abandonment of the attachment to ego itself, and that is what is difficult.”  (Campbell 130). Bruce has to learn to let go of his fear if he is ever to instill fear into his opponents.  It is at this moment Bruce sheds his old life and becomes Batman. He is no longer his old self and now serves the greater good.

With his transformation Bruce obtains the ultimate boon he seeks, the training to avenge his parents. In order to make it out of the escape Bruce must fight the leader of the League. This battle represents the magical flight from the mythological world.

Once Bruce enters the city after his training, he must overcome the difference between the worlds. This is his return threshold. He overcomes this threshold when he assumes the mantle of Batman. The mantle allows him to live in his mythological world as Batman and in the real world as Bruce Wayne.

For more information on The Hero With A Thousand Faces- check it out at your local library or get it on Amazon.com

Yeah so what’s going on here at CBO Productions? Well all I can say is CHAOS! No, not chaos magic as that doesn’t exists, but really just a lot of things going on at once that makes things very, how do you say, hectic.

First up is my laptop. If you don’t follow my twitter (and you should) you will know that I have been experiencing some laptop problems for a while now. Good news is that I am replacing it later today (Tuesday) and should be fully functional by that night. That’s good as I was stressing about videos more than anything since all of the software is on my laptop and I don’t have any other real means of making a video.

My computer woes

The Laptop's problem.

Well, I will be getting a new one so that worry went away. Another stressor for this week is school.

School is quickly becoming the bane of my existence, to be more precise, Organic Chemistry (which can rot in Hell) is the bane of my existence. Seriously if there would be something to surprise me and break my back, it would be Organic Chemistry.

Ohhhhhh, Nasty

I'm Batman, Organic Chem is Bane. Get the picture?

Some good news there, next semester looks to be more favorable and not crazy since I got out of Organic Chemistry.

Now the real reason I wanted to make this post was to talk about a recent distraction of mine. Here lately I haven’t been reading  comics, writing reviews (or In Defense Of, I know), paying attention in class, or sleeping because of one thing. That thing is my own comic. I have been “writing” comics since I was like 6, but this time I am actually getting good at illustrations. I know I spoke about it last week, but its starting to take shape. Right now the comic is called FAB. This is just the working title. It will be about a team of six characters (some based on classic archtypes, some more original) fighting villany. Just a superhero comic. I have some more complex stuff in mind but the simple jist is a superhero webcomic. The schedule is still in the works but the idea is for to be a weekly comic (as in once a week). No clue when it will be ready, but the prep for such a project is demanding. Yet it is so rewarding. The amount of ideas I am having is just insane.

I am finally taking these fractured comic ideas and combining them together to form this cohesive universe that is just massive. It is startling to think about how many characters will be involved. It’s breathtaking to me. Expect to hear more about it in the near future.
On a related note I am about to fill up my first sketch pad. I have 12 pages left and I should go through them by Wednesday. It is amazing to see an evolution in the art style and quality over the last 5 months. Its a magical feeling when one fills up a sketch book. I will be sure to scan some images from there in the coming weeks.
and finally as a Beatles fan I have to just share this with everyone

Yeah someone decided to mash-up the Beatles individul solo work and make a 13th album out of the mash-ups. This is spectacular work. I suggest any Beatles fans out there to download this album. It is just, just…FAB. Check out the album here:

http://thebeatlesneverbrokeup.com/

I will be back soon to talk about the final In Defense of article and some videos that I plan to get released.

 

Thanks for reading.

Hey this is Jordan here, and I am here to introduce this guest reviewer. He is a fan from the Spoony Experiment forums, and when I asked for guest reviewers he was one of the first to submit a review. This is it, and I enjoyed it greatly. It’s not often I enjoy other comic book reviewers this much, but I found this be a great review. He doesn’t have a website, but if this review goes well I will be sure to bring him back for another review. So sit back and enjoy The Uninitiated Comic Reader Issue #1:  Batman War Crimes written by Danius Kang.

I’ve always loved stories about superheroes. When I was young, my favorite television shows were the old X-Men cartoon, Batman the Animated Series, the Superman Animated series, Batman Beyond and the like. The more mature over-arching stories and the great action, as well as fantastic art styles really hooked me. As a result, I’ve always liked the stories and mythologies surrounding superheroes, and at that time I even read a few comics. Few being the imperative word.

I couldn’t really afford comics at the time, so eventually I drifted away from the medium. For years, I kept toying with the idea, occasionally picking up a comic or two but never got into it, and still didn’t really have the money. But now with libraries carrying more and more trade paperback collections, it seemed like as good a time as any to start trying to read (comics) again, especially with so much interesting-looking stuff out there.

So I went to my nearest library and found a lot more than I bargained for. Overwhelmed by choice, I decided to go with a hero I knew I could trust:  Batman. And I thought I would share my naive experiences, giving a different perspective on the comics than you might be used to (caution:  possible spoilers).

NOTE:  I did not and have still not Wikipediaed (how exactly do you turn that into a verb…Wikied I guess)or researched any of these comics or related stories, characters, etc. This is because I want to preserve the genuine first impressions that I had. As a result, I apologize in advance if I overlook something and look like an idiot.

So, let’s get on with it. The first book is:

Batman: War Crimes

Summary:  War Crimes is a hard-bound collection of technically 7 (?) comics (three mini stories that are tangentially related to the four main chapters) that seems to put a cap on the “War” story arc. Apparently, I jumped in at the wrong point here. Looking at the back, it showcases four books preceding it (War Drums, War Games: Outbreak, War Games: Tides, and War Games: Endgame). However, the book kindly uses the first page to fill me in on everything that has happened so far.

Apparently, Stephanie Brown, the Spoiler, wanted to be the new Robin, but Batman said no go, because she wasn’t disciplined enough. She goes on to prove him right by enacting one of his hypothetical “War Game” scenarios behind his back, in some attempt to prove herself worthy (this part was pretty esoteric, actually). All this does is allow Black Mask (a villain I wasn’t familiar with) to take control of all the gangs, killing Stephanie in the process. During this, Batman apparently made some unpopular decisions (none of which are discussed) causing most of his allies to abandon him.

In addition to this recap, the comic opens with a long scene of Black Mask explaining the current status of the villains of Gotham. I found some of what he says here interesting, but he was really vague about a lot of what he was explaining. So to me, this 18 page spanning conversation would seem really boring to people who are regular readers, and it was just kind of confusing to me. And really, the only important thing said here (at least that is relevant to this book) is that Black Mask had a guy make him a bunch of masks of villains and heroes, and the Joker is missing.

The comic really gets going about the time Batman is being accused of not only the horrors of the previous months, but also tricking children into joining his crusade, and that then turns into Batman being blamed for Stephanie’s death. This stems partly from the fact that someone is running around dressed as Batman, acting like a maniac. The Joker reappears with unclear motives (although he turns out to be completely inconsequential), and Batman learns the true identity of Stephanie Brown’s killer. I don’t want to spoil anymore because despite my complaints this was actually a good read (mostly).

Art: The art fluctuates between each chapter, ranging from mediocre to pretty good. The only real gripe is with the way the Joker is drawn. I’ve noticed this in a few of the other Batman comics I’ve read, but artists seem to be in a big disagreement as to how he should look. And he is the only character that seems to fluctuate, chapter by chapter, in this jarring manner. It doesn’t help that this is the first panel we see him in.

Wowza. Did the Joker have facial reconstructive surgery and then put on a few pounds? Apparently not, actually, as he looks totally different in the very next panel. I get that this was done to portray depth of field and perspective at a dramatic angle, but it definitely didn’t come off as it was intended.

Writing: As stated above, the story is well plotted and doesn’t jump around too much after the first quarter of the book. The dialogue is very well written, and is clever without being over the top (not to mention a really good final speech from Batman). But speaking of Batman, this seems to be where the writing has its real flaws, in the form of his characterization.

Now, this might be because I haven’t read the previous books and don’t know what he’s  been through (although throughout the comic they give a good idea of how dire the situation was). But Batman seems to be…enjoying his job a little too much? I know the Dark Knight has, well, moments of darkness, but I kinda thought the whole shtick was that as much as his parent’s death motivated him, his crusade isn’t about vengeance. But during most of the comic, he seems to relish breaking peoples bones. In fact, he internally monologues several times about how good it feels to beat up some thugs (in this case, however, he admits it shames him to feel that way), and then later he does it again during a fight, commenting how nicely his fist fits into his opponents’ guts.

This sort of attitude is also expressed during a fight with Black Mask in which he is incredibly arrogant and even gloats at one point. It just seemed really out of place for someone who is usually as reserved and focused as Batman.

Overall: I really enjoyed this book. It was the first comic I had read in a long while, and it involved one of my favorite heroes. The art got a bit wonky at times, as did Batman’s actions in certain situations, but it didn’t detract enough to drag the whole story down.

It terms of accessibility, I probably should have researched this a little bit. It wasn’t a great jumping on point. However, the inclusion of some tie-in material and the front page recap made it a lot easier on me, so props to DC on that one. Before I could recommend this to anyone, though, I’d have to read through the rest of the arc.

And next time I do this, I think I’ll just pick up a single issue and work from there.

Hello everyone. Today I am going to take a break from the comic reviews and speak to you about something slightly more personal. Don’t go away. It is still about comics, but instead of reviewing a single comic or TV show, I am going to do something else. I am going to tell you why I have such an obsession with the funny books.

The reason this blog is being posted today is for many different reasons. One being I have a ton of class work this week and couldn’t review a comic. The other being I just celebrated my 19th birthday yesterday. I am not one to look back on my life, as I prefer to look to the future, but yesterday I reflected on my life. Seemed fitting at the time. Well I started to wonder why do I am I into comics in such a degree that I am today. Well I mentioned in an earlier review that the Justice League TV series got me into comics. That was a lie. I was into comics in the late 90’s. Heroes Reborn was going on and I actually remember reading a lot of the Avengers and Iron Man comics of the time. My very first comic was this:

I actually had to hunt down this comic recently. I loved it as much as I did then.

I actually had to hunt down this comic recently. I loved it as much as I did then.

That is right, the first issue of Blue Superman. To most people it would anger them and burn the book. Yet, I loved it. I don’t know why. Maybe because my obsession actually begins before I got my first comic.

I was a child of the 90’s and like every child of a decade, I had my iconic cartoons. The 80’s had Transformers and GI Joe; the 90’s had Batman, X-men, and Spider-man. I grew up watching these cartoons and loved every minute of them. My Dad was a child of the 80’s (actually 70’s/80’s) and was a fan of such shows as Transformers and Battle of the Super Friends.

See my father is a nerd at heart but due to financial constraints when he was young, he never got to experience comics. Shame because he would have been around for Crisis on Infinite Earths and Secret Wars.  Well my dad’s love for superheroes and all things geeky carried over to when I was born. My Dad was already watching these shows before I could even walk. See I wasn’t raised in front of a TV like most kids my age. I was raised with my dad spending time with me watching TV, reading books, and playing X-men. My earliest memories are watching shows like Batman and X-men with him.

Now I have come of age. I have grown wiser and more mature with time. I now see what I shared with my dad. I didn’t see why he wanted to see all these superhero movies with me or watch the cartoons until now. He is trying to capture the memories of when I was young and in the same way; I watch them with him because I cherish those memories.

I guess you can say I only like comics because they are all I know given what I was raised with. I like to think otherwise. I want to think that I am into comics because of the memories with my father. I was raised with a supportive father. Despite my mother’s concern for my comic buying habit, my father was always there supporting me. He even reads some comics with me. I may have to explain some things for him, but I love spending time with him just reading comics-even if it is just the Sunday funnies. I can only hope when I have kids I can be like him. I want to share this same experience with my kids, if I do have them.

There are actually several reasons why I love comics, but this is really just the basis of this obsession. Today all I presented was just one: My dad. My dad is a major piece into the greater puzzle that is my undying flame for comics. He influenced me young and in a way I read comics for nostalgia. We will learn in the next few parts of this series that is not always the case.

Thanks for reading. Join me Friday when I review the newest comics of the week. Also tomorrow I will have a special post concerning when the next “In Defense of” is going to be posted and who is the client. Again thanks for reading and good day.

This is a big week. If this week was a comic it would be called a double sized issue. I am throwing the 20 dollar budget to the wind this week  as 1) Its my birthday this week, 2) There is a lot of titles coming out that I read, and 3) I am a reviewer and I try to review all the major events and just so happens 3 of them hit this week. Should be a fun episode. So enough chitchat and one with the previews.

We will start with DC comics.

Adventure Comics #1

Superman, Superboy, and Luthor. I smell sitcom.

Superman, Superboy, and Luthor. I smell sitcom.

Alright I like to read Issue 1 of most comic series as it is fun to see how they present themselves for the general audience. They are to function as “jumping on” point for new readers, yet new enough for the fans. It is a balance few achieve and I love reading them to see how they do it. Now this is written by Geoff Johns. Johns is one of the writers I love  to read no matter how bad the idea behind the comic is. This comic looks to be fun. The 5 page preview I read in Detective Comics was pretty good and gave me an idea what to expect. I am not expecting much but I am expecting Johns to explain somewhat how Superboy returned to life after Johns killed him off in Infinite Crisis. I know it happened in Final Crisis Legion of three worlds but really not many people read it I don’t think. The book was delayed and released after Final Crisis wrapped up. I wont go into that much but I have high hopes for Adventure #1. I pray it doesn’t disappoint.

Moving on,

Batman #689

No funny capton. It just looks amazing.

No funny caption. It just looks amazing.

Not much to say about this one. I am loving the current run on Batman and I expect this to be good. I am really digging Dick Grayson as Batman. I love it when the sidekick’s take the mantle of their idol, much like Wally and Bucky. I can go into this for a while but I wont. Can’t wait to read this issue.

Next,

Blackest Night #2

Make this a poster Stat!

Make this a poster Stat!

Okay to explain the caption, there is no good Green Lantern poster. This would make for an awesome poster and even a t-shirt. DC brand this cover fast! Oh yeah, the comic. I loved the first comic and is on my top 5 comics of July. The only one to beat it was Amazing Spider-man #600. Green Lantern #44 makes me want to read this comic even more.

Keeping with Blackest Night:

Blackest Night Batman #1

SOUL PUNCH!

SOUL PUNCH!

I have no idea what to expect for this comic. It has Deadman as Black Lantern grabing at Dick Grayson’s heart. Very nice cover but will this be a pointless Blackest Night Tie-in? Probably. Will it be good? Not sure yet. I am getting this for crictic purposes and not just my own whimsy like I normally do. I would like for it to be good, but chances are it will be bland.

Blackest Night extravaganza will finish with

Green Lantern Corps #39

I guess she is a Living Dead Girl *smack* Well it is asking for it.

I guess she is a Living Dead Girl *smack* Well it is asking for it.

There is a lot of Dead Lanterns, A LOT. So Blackest Night will hit them hard and we are promised a whole planet to return to life. This will be epic and amazing. I expect this to be essential to the Blackest Night story line much like how GL #44 was. Can’t wait.

That does it for DC time to go to the other company, Marvel.

Starting us off is

The Amazing Spider-man #602

Why hello there, Ms. Watson.

Why hello there, Ms. Watson.

Amazing Spider-man is rocking my socks off these past few weeks and I am really eager to read this. The title has been making my pick of the week two weeks in a row, will it’s streak continue? We will find out. Now lasts week reveal makes things more interesting and is going to make this comic…Amazing.

Moving on,

Incredible Hercules #132

By Zeuss Beard!

By Zeus's Beard!

The cover alone is enough for me to pick it up, but apparently Herc fills in for Thor. Also we get Amadeus Cho’s back story. This will be the first Herc issue I have picked up in two years. Should be interesting.

Now time for the Ultimate Comics!

Ultimate Comics: Avengers #1

We are the Avengers, all four of us.

The Ultimate universe is given a much needed reboot and this is one of the few launch titles. I never read much of the Ultimate universe as they were oddly the hardest to get into, which defeats the point. So I hope this is good as Marvel gave reigns to the reboot to Jeph Loeb who is crazy now. UC Avengers promises to be at least interesting.

Next we have,

Ultimate Comics Spider-man #1

Note not the real cover

Note: not the real cover

This is basically the cover without the holofoil background. Now this is the only title to survive the Ultimatum reboot. Just got retitled and renumbered. Bendis is behind the wheel here which should bring some joy to me. This wll bring the total of number 1’s to a staggering 4 titles.

Now let’s go into the X-men Universe-

Uncanny X-men First Class #2

Ah good ol Claremont era X-men.

Ah good ol' Claremont era X-men.

I love the early Claremont era of the X-men and this series is smack dab in the middle of it. I can actually name the time frame it takes place. Uncanny X-men #109-#111. Yeah I am that much of a geek, and I had my handy Essiential X-men Vol. 1 in hand. Great series and this part of the story is mixing Fantastic Four Lore with X-men. Great stuff.

Next we have

Uncanny X-men #514

Why is the Dark X-men on the cover?

Why is the Dark X-men on the cover?

Okay despite some minor complaints about Utopia, this is a good X-men Story line. Not the best but damn close.  I even admit The Dark X-men is growing on me despite a horrible mini-series. Actually there is news the team is going to continue after the even with Dark Beast and Mimic (the best characters by the way). I am curious on how this is gong to end and each issue reveals a little bit each time. I love Fraction so I am a little eager to read this title.

Now to finish up the pull list is

X-men Forever #5

Not the real cover. Just a great imitation.

Not the real cover. Just an incredible simulation.

Seriously this is almost like the actual cover. Now why isn’t the cover here? Simple answer is that since the title ships twice a month, the solicits are only with one cover. So finding an online version I can use is next to impossible. I am lucky I found this piece. It must be a variant cover. This comic series sucks and I am hoping this issue steps it up. Two bad issues in a row makes me want to drop the title. Its a great idea but I can rant on this comic for about an hour. I hated the last issue and this one doesn’t look better. Though it looks like Pete Wisdom is there or Daredevil. Can’t really tell.

Alright that does it for this week’s pull list. Expect the newest episode of New Comic Review to air Friday. I will review all 12 titles. This makes for the biggest episode of New Comic Review yet. So join me Friday for new comic reviews and check the site out during the week for updates. Some In defense of news is coming down the pipes this week. So check out the site for that.

Thanks for reading.

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