Thursday, August 20, 2009

Superman Vs. Supermen (Blackest Night - Superman #1)

Hey guys, Jason Todd here with your continuation of Blackest Night Coverage. This week marks the beginning of Blackest Night Superman, and based on what issue you have, you may have the Variant cover listed above, which I used the picture of because it looks SO bad ass, I couldn't help it. So, before jumping right into things, I'm gonna go right ahead and say, I didn't used to be a big Superman fan but JLA/JLU and Superman/Batman comics changed that, either way I haven't been following the New Krypton series, but basically from my understanding, Planet Krypton is back with a bunch of Kryptonians and Earth isn't taking too kind to them. Either way, this is mentioned in BN Superman.

Our story starts off with the grave of Kal-L, Earth-Two's Superman, being resurrected from the dead like all the other Black Lanterns we've seen so far. Then we see the residents of what may be the most boring town on the place of the Earth, Smallville. Even they complain on the boring lives they live and how nothing ever happens. We see from the point of view of a Black Lantern for the first time, and we see that they see people based on emotion, and the colors correspond with the Lantern Corp of that emotion. Fear for example is yellow like the Sinestro Corps, Rage shows as Red, like the Red Lantern Corps, and Will of course is Green, like the Green Lantern Corps. It appears as if Black Lantern Superman is feeding off of the fear of these people in the city when he shows up, as each time his power level rises.

We then join the Kents, "Ma" Kent, Clark "Superman" Kent, and the recently resurrected Connor "Superboy" Kent. Their discussing the recent New Krypton news and the dinner their having in memory of the late "Pa" Kent. Then, The Kent boys and Krypto the dog hear something in town, so Clark and Conner go to check it out. They find the Black Lantern Superman resurrected and has dug up the grave of Pa Kent, and is intent on bringing him back as a Black Lantern.

Now as you guys know, I hate ruining the story, so I won't but I will say that I Loved the fact that Lanterns can see in emotion. That is what put this story into overdrive for me, the art was wonderful and the story is very very well written. As someone who hasn't been a fan of Superman for a longtime I was a bit weary about doing this review but the story sucked me in and I honestly don't know if Im more anxious for Blackest Night Superman #2 or Blackest Night Batman #2.

Now Superman isn't the only Black Lantern in this issue but I'll leave the surprise to you guys. But, Like I said earlier, The Art is excellent, the story is quite good, one of the Black Lanterns showing up kinds killed the momentum for me, I won't say which one, but that coupled with the fact that the story seemed so short, right when I was really getting into it, It just ended. It did leave me waning more so that was a big bonus. If you're following Blackest Night, it's definitely worth it to invest in one of the flagship heroes of DC, and check out Blackest Night Superman. Besides the momentum being slown down by the arrival of one of the Lanterns the story was great, the artwork was so detailed that this may be one of my favorite Tie-In's if not my current favorite. Thats why I give Blackest Night - Superman a solid 9/10.

See you guys next week when I continue my Blackest Night Coverage with Blackest Night Titans and Green Lantern #46.

- Jason Todd

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blackest Night: Batman #1

Hey guys, I'm back again, I've been having computer trouble so bare with me, either way,I'm here to jump right into Blackest Night: Batman #1. As you all know I've been the Batmania correspondant I guess you could say for The Blackest Night, and I've also decided to take on the duties of Blackest Night Batman & Superman series. So without further adieu, Lets get into Blackest Night: Batman.

Blackest Night: Batman starts off with the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder at the graves of Thomas and Martha Wayne, and the unmarked grave of former Batman, Bruce Wayne. After Bruce's body was stolen, Alfred was the first to find out, which explains why our newest Dynamic Duo is here. Here we see a rare moment between Batman and Robin, for one of the first times ever we see Damien as vulnerable, emotional and probably afraid, it's not too often I even care about Damien personally so Kudos to the writer, Peter Tomasi.

After gathering the bodies of the Wayne's, we see Deadman a.k.a. Boston Brand watch as his body leaves its grave as a Black Lantern while he can do nothing to stop it. Also en route to the newest JLA... morgue I guess, where the bodies of villains are being held, we see a flurry of Black Lantern rings, going through police officers to their newest owners, including former Batman villains Magpie, KGBeast, Blockbuster and even former Ventriloquist Arnold Wesker.

Later on, Boston Brand decides he needs help and runs to Bruce Wayne, only he doesn't know that Bruce is no longer in the Batsuit so he's shocked to find out he just possessed Dick Grayson. Afterwards he possesses Damien as well, I felt this scene didnt really push anything forward...It just bored me for some reason. I won't ruin the story, but I will say, I loved the Broken Batsignal, because it was a Nod to Blackest Night #2. As well as the appearance by Red Robin I'll say Batman is in for a hell of a time, and Blackest Night was a good start. With Wonderful art work and a well written story, I give Blackest Night: Batman a 8/10

- Jason Todd

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Blackest Night #2

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night....Look out DC Universe, the dead are back for a fight. This month's installment of Blackest Night jumps from various parts of the DC Universe but does it's job, it does it seamlessly as well as leaves you wanting more. With so much action there's has to be other comics to convey how big Blackest Night is, hence the installments of Blackest Night: Batman and Blackest Night: Superman. So lets jump right into Blackest Night #2.

Our story starts off with The Atom, Ray Palmer, still mourning over the loss of his wife, he calls Hawkman once again to try to get him to join him in going to see the grave of Jean Loring, which picked up from B.N. #1, which lead Ray Palmer to going to see Hawkman, if only he knew it was a trap. Then we jump to the roof of the GCPD, where we see Oracle (Barbara Gordon) and her father Jim Gordon discussing things while the Batsignal is shown lit. While discussing things like the disappearance of Batgirl, and they have a touching moment ... until Hal Jordan is thrown into the Batsignal, shattering the glass. This is where we pick up from a fight in Green Lantern #44
between the returning Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern & the Flash.

We also see the return of the King of the Sea, Aquaman, Arthur Curry in this issue, as well as the arrival of more Black Lanterns. Which may strike some as weird, especially, is the return of Hawk, and not Dove. When Dove's ring is presented, it said he was at peace with Earth. So does that mean every other superhero had grudges they secretly held? Only time will tell.

With the return of Aquaman, the fate of Ray Palmer currently unknown, the Spectre's fate that I won't ruin for you guys, and the confusion of why Dove did not return as a Black Lantern and many more. There are many small things about Blackest Night that are little yet very notable. Some people may read past Dove not returning, I'm sure there's a big moment in there. Also I loved that the Batsignal was shattered in this issue, and then is shown broken in Blackest Night: Batman, I love small things like that, that show consistency.

Blackest Night seemed a little drawn out, so for that reason, even though It's action packed, I can't give it a 10/10, it's not perfect YET, but I am confident it will get better, So That's why I give Blackest Night Issue 2 a 8.5/10.

See you guys tomorrow for my review of Blackest Night: Batman #1.

- Jason Todd

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nightwing Year One Review

Hey hey hey, Jason Todd back with another edition of Graphic Novel Mondays. Of course it's now Tuesday but hey, what can you do, I was busy. So two weeks ago we saw the birth of Dick Grayson's crime fighting career when I reviewed Robin: Year One, this week I decided to continue on the trail of Dick Grayson. Robin: Year One writers Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty team up again in the evolution of Batman's first sidekick. So I present to you, Nightwing: Year One.

Nightwing: Year One starts with Robin on his way to help our Caped Crusader out with Clayface, who's kidnapping a baby. After he's eventually stopped, it's revealed that the kid is Clayface's son, and words are had between Batman and Robin. Batman claims Robin is never around when he needs him, which he should be, considering he's Batman's sidekick, yet Robin's always busy with college and the Teen Titans. After an argument, with three little words, the Dynamic Duo is split up. "You're Fired,Dick .... Get out of my cave." And there it is, Dick Grayson is no longer Robin.

After being fired, Dick travels to have a talk with his favorite superhero, ironically it's not Batman, but Earth's favorite Kryptonian, Superman. After a talk about what a hero is, the Man of Steel tells Dick about a hero on his home planet of Krypton. A hero who was cast out by his family as well, a hero who became a Legend, a hero, named Nightwing. So with a new name, and a new understanding, Dick heads off to what can only be considered his Fortress of Solitude, Haley's Circus.

Nightwing: Year One is somewhat of a who's who of comic books, with many appearances, we see that Dick Grayson has friends in high places. Over the course of Year One we see Grayson meet up with Batman, Superman, Batgirl, Deadman, Donna Troy, The Second Robin; Jason Todd, and even his arch-enemy Two-Face. Nightwing: Year One, like Robin: Year One is written by artists who understand the inner most thoughts of Dick Grayson. You feel his emotions, his reactions, his determination to show that Batman made a mistake in casting him off.

Coupled with Great writers and a Great story Nightwing: Year One has it all, the art is very colorful and more animated series style but it fits some parts of the story better than other. You'd be hardpressed to find someone, Grayson fan or not, that dislikes this story, it shows the evolution of a man who would one day become the Guardian of Gotham. I give Nightwing a Year one a solid 9/10 and Highly recommend it to any comic book fan.

- Jason Todd

Monday, August 3, 2009

Batman: Face The Face

Hey guys, after a very slow week in Batman comics, I'm back with this week's Graphic Novel Monday. This week's review gives center stage to one of the most prolific characters in Batman continuity, Harvey Dent a.k.a. Two-Face. With a story penned by James Robinson that takes place after the events of Infinite Crisis, one could say that this may be one of Harvey Dent's finest moments. We'll see in this review of Batman: Face The Face.

Infinite Crisis was a huge moment in DC Continuity, it marked the death of Tim Drake's best friend, Connor Kent. The return of the fallen Robin, Jason Todd, and caused the three biggest names in DC, Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman to take a year off from the superhero business. A year later, a rejuvenated Batman and Robin return to Gotham City, and are greeted by cheers from the Gothamites and the GCPD (even Harvey Bullock.) Batman and Robin (Tim Drake) are better than they've ever been, one person even remarks that their cohesive as Batman and the first Robin (Dick Grayson) were, which could prove that Gotham is on it's way to being resurrected as a safe city. But Batman wouldn't dare leave Gotham unprotected for a whole year, so he gives control of Gotham to former distract attorney, former psychopath, the rehabilitated Harvey Dent.

Harvey Dent is no longer Two face, and after a rough month of training, he's ready to take control of Gotham, which he sucessfully does for fifty two weeks. But when villains start turning up dead by the two's, with two bullets in their brains, all the signs point to the former DA. Batman believes Harvey is Innocent, but it wouldn't be the first ...or second time (pun intended) that Harvey Dent has gone rogue.

This story has it all, I won't ruin it, but murders, deception, mystery, everything that makes a good Batman Novel is in Face The Face. That being said it's not perfect, some of the artwork is rather dark, and although it fits the theme it may turn off some readers. Also we don't get the epic clash that we're waiting for, which made me feel a little disappointed to say the least. Overall Face The Face isn't perfect, but it's far from bad, That's why I give Batman: Face The Face an 8/10.