Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ratings and Rantings

Hola everyone, Welcome once again to my Red Hood. It's that time again for our weekly comic-fest known as Ratings and Rantings. Just wanna say, last week I said I'd be reviewing Titans: Villains for Hire but it looks like they pushed it back another week. So this week I'll be reviewing Batman & Robin #12, Brightest Day #1 and Red Robin #12. Speaking of that, this weekend I'll have a full review of the four-part Red Robin/Batgirl Crossover. And by full review that means spoilers, since my good buddy X-Man75 asked and I'm going to happily oblige. So if anyone else has any requests let me know and I'll be happy to do the same. So, lets get straight to it.

Batman & Robin #12

First things first I really hate this cover. It just comes off very ugly to me and kinda amateur for one of the main Batman titles. Secondly I hate that Slade is apparently just back to hating Grayson. I mean doesn't he have better things to do with his time than wanna kill Grayson for pretty much no reason. Hell he pushed Rose into the Titans purposely so this seems kinda counter-productive. Thirdly, Why do they need proof Bruce is stuck in the past?! I put his bones in the Lazarus pits and it wasn't him. He didn't really come back during Blackest Night, Tim Already knows he's lost in time and so does Rip Hunter. How many people do we have to watch find out?! Also... really? There's ANOTHER one of those little bastards? And when did Talia become more crazy than Ra's?! Everything about this comic makes hardly any damn sense. And for who Sexton was, I read back in issue 4 in someone's discussion on a site that it would be him. I thought, that'd make sense, and then I completely forgot about it. So... then we find out it's him. That bumped this comic up a bit in my eyes bit everything else about it I hated. So, final rating? 3/10, just for who Sexton is. Oh and did I mention Dick fighting a big Bat was one of the dumbest things I've ever seen?

Batman: We'll call that a trailer, Slade, for the main feature...

Red Robin #12

Here we are, with the last Yost written issue of Red Robin as well as the last issue of the Batgirl/Red Robin crossover. I loved that Tim relied on his friends because it shows how a Robin is different from Bruce Wayne as Batman. Whereas Bruce will hardly ever as for help someone like Tim or Dick Grayson will call in friends when he needs their help, so I loved that Tim did that. Even Damien's little retort was pretty funny. Tim's cleverness also shone through in this issue, and as a guy who's always been a fan or Jason then Dick then Tim, I really liked seeing Tim hold his own and be shown as a clever guy. That's what I expected when I picked up the first issue of Red Robin, just sucks it took a year for Yost to do that. Hell the man can even give Damien a funny one-liner from time to time, he even has two in this issue. We even see why Tim has believed Bruce to be alive for the past year. This was honestly a great read, and it exceeded my expectations, if Yost has written this well from the beginning I'd be a big fan. Ah well, I'll give Red Robin #12 a solid 9/10.

Dick: How'd you know? How did you know I'd be there to save you?
Tim: You're my brother, Dick. You'll always be there for me.

Brightest Day #1

We start off with Sinestro, Carol and Hal trying to lift the White Lantern although no one can, and it seems the only who can may be Boston Brand. Man, their really putting their stock into Deadman eh? We see Aquaman in action for the first time since returning and see there are some strange side effects to his powers. We also see a guy I can only assume is Black Manta. I for one am also loving this heated relation ship between Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond as well, I love the potential these two have as being complete opposites. Martian Manhunter's (Damn that dude is strong!) visions make me think we may be seeing a little of Miss Martian as well. I know they can't fit everything into the first issue but I was disappointed not to read about Maxwell Lord, as well as a few other of the returning people. But for what it was, this was a very solid issue, it raised questions and it's keeping me wanting more, so I'll give it a 7/10 rating. I'm just glad this is bi-weekly and not monthly like Blackest Night.

Aquaman: It's a giant squid. I could hear it deep below the surface, but it's...
Mera: It's Dead!

And that's it. Well that was really fast, but I promise next week won't be. I'm trying a new thing near the bottom of the columns so let me know what you guys think. Anyway after this short haul which was pretty average besides the let down by Grant Morrison. (Let's see how you explain this one Marc :P) That being said I'll be back this weekend with the Red Robin/Batgirl crossover as well as another weekly poll, so keep up the voting. So until next time, You've just been Gobsmacked!

- Jason Todd
Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Batgirl #10, Batman #699, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1, Birds of Prey #1, Booster Gold #32, The Flash #2, Justice League: Generation Lost #1, and Titans: Villains for Hire. *Whew* It's gonna be a LONG column.


  1. I actually kind of like the cover to Batman & has a nice retro feel to it. I should probably point out that I'm not a blind Morrison follower who loves every single thing he's ever done (I didn't like Vinamarama, for instance). It's sort of like the way that Martin Scorsese can be my favorite director even though I hate Gangs of New York with a burning passion. B&R could very well be Morrison's GONY for all I know, since I haven't read it, but that doesn't change the fact that I love most of his previous work. I actually have the first issue of B&R on its way to me in the mail, and I'm looking forward to reading it...I'll let you know what I think when it arrives.

  2. Oh, and as long as you're taking requests, I'd love to see more reviews like the ones you did for the Spider-Man Noir books...that is, reviews of whole stories (either in trade or in issue form, it doesn't matter). Reading a review of a full story is the best way for me to get a feel for whether something is worth picking up as a whole, as well as for me to compare my own thoughts if it's something I've read. So with that being said...Wolverine: Enemy of the State, perhaps? :)

  3. For the record I've never seen Gangs of New York, I have it but I don't wanna sit there and watch it.... As for the cover it just looks too...gritty and undone. The look on Batman's face is weird, the way the tights go to the boots with hardly any definition seems kinda odd to me too.

    As for a Wolverine: EotS review, I'm fine with that, I gotta finish it, I had two more issues left in the trade so that works. Consider it done Marc, you have two wishes left. :P

  4. I didn't really look at Batman's expression before...I guess it is kinda weird, lol. His leg bends kind of strangely below the knee too. What grabbed my attention initially were the bold colors in the background, which is what gave it the retro feel for me. It's too bad the other things you noticed sort of detract from that, otherwise I think it'd be a pretty great cover.

    And can I wish for more wishes? Haha :P

    But seriously, I'm looking forward to the Wolverine review and I hope you've been enjoying the story. I guess this means I owe you a request for a review too...I can't promise I'll get to it right away, but I'll do my best. :)

  5. Lol those were the main things I was thinking, I forgot to mention the knee but it just looks so odd... The background is pretty sweet though I will give you that.

    Lol nah, I'm like Genie in Aladdin, no wishing for more wishes Al...I mean Marc. :P

    I've been...well I'll make you wait for the review to find out. I actually used to only review trades, so if you're ever bored you can go back to like the first month of my blog and see some stuff I imported from my last blog. (Batmania Reviews) Hm... let's see... I think I'll save mine to name at a later date, so when you mention something I can just say REVIEW IT! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! Lol

  6. I always suspected you were a giant blue anthropomorphic being with the voice of Robin Williams! Glad to know I'm right about something every once in a while at least. :P

    I read over a few of your older reviews and I've taken your recommendation of Nightwing: Year One to heart especially. I've been curious about that book for a while but I've never gotten around to reading it. Over the last hour or so I've been putting together a comic book reading list for this summer (which has been a ton of fun, I just hope I get around to everything) and I'll definitely add that to the list.

    I hope that "..." means that you've been liking Enemy of the State, although even if you hate it I guess there are still another two issues for your opinion to turn around. You never know...

    And I guess I should expect your, when I least expect it? Hahaha :) But really, you can recommend anything anytime; I take friends' recommendations for things pretty seriously (why would I be friends with someone if I didn't respect their opinions, anyway?), and I try not to be that guy who says "sounds great, I'll look into it" and then never does. And you too X-Man (if you're reading this), feel free to add summer reading recommendations to the list...I'm sure JT and I would both appreciate them. :)

  7. Damn it, did I really make it that obvious? Crap! :p

    Glad I could help dude. Actually if you don't mind I'd love to see that list, and take a few of those and pick them up over the summer as well.

    Yeah, I could tell ya but that'd give you a GOOD idea of the review didn't it. The last thing wanna wanna do is make it obvious how much I LIKE the story... ;-)

    Yeah lol, expect it when you should least expect it, like NOW!.... nah not yet :P Glad to see ya think we're friends buddy, same here. And yeah I know what ya mean, I try to look into stuff right away instead of putting it on a to-do list and never getting around to it. And yeah, X add some Summer reading for us, because there's nothing better than sitting under a AC, sipping Iced Tea and reading a great comic. :)

  8. That sounds great, I wish I had some iced tea right now...all I have is Ice Mountain bottled water, lol. My list is still a work in progress, and I actually have yet to even touch on superhero-related far a lot of my focus has been on late '80s-early '90s Vertigo titles and 1950s horror and science fiction comics. But as far as the DC universe is concerned, I will probably be following this list pretty closely:

    Unfortunately, an equivalent Marvel list doesn't exist...yet. I've long thought about trying to make one, and someday when I have enough time it may happen.

    Also, I was looking at your list of comics for "Next Time," and there are two things I didn't realize were coming up so soon: one, the Return of Bruce Wayne comic; and two, the 700th issue of Batman. Definitely things to look forward to (in my opinion), and good reasons for me to try to get relatively up to speed.

  9. Dude I just brew tea in a coffee pot, put some sugar in a pitcher, pour the tea in and fill the rest with water, freeze it and bam delicious Iced Tea. Lol.

    Damn this is a huge list, I'm saving this link so I can look into some of these. And I'm just shocked at how many of these I've read.

    That sounds awesome, I'd love to see that list although I'd probably only pick up the best of the best, and of course stuff with Spidey and Deadpool.

    Agreed, definitely worth looking into. So you don't get single issues, just collections right, so will you be getting those or waiting for the trades?

  10. Yeah, I haven't been getting single issues since sometime in 2008 (although I did pick up some free issues on Free Comic Book Day). So I'll probably be waiting for the trade, but as always I'll be reading people's thoughts on them when they come out. Spoilers don't bother me too much when it comes to superhero comics because I know major changes rarely last's all about HOW the story is told, which is something that can't really be spoiled for you unless you actually read it yourself. :P

    That list is really great, and the nice thing is that it's constantly being updated too. It has almost every collected edition post-Infinite Crisis, up through Blackest Night. The blog it's attached to is good as well, and it usually has two DC trade reviews per week.

  11. I like that, Marc. Makes a lot of sense, hell by the time someone spoils something it can be retconned.

    That's gonna be the cause of my wallet getting REALLY empty. Man, how did you even stumble upon that anyway? And don't say Stumbleupon lol because that would be HELLA ironic.

  12. I think I first came across the list maybe a year and a half or two years ago. At that time it was being hosted off-site on Geocities or something, and I followed a link on that page back to the main Collected Editions blog. I had just recently started my movie blog, and this was the first really good comic book blog I had ever seen so I subscribed.

    From there I got more and more interested both in collected editions and in the comic book blogging community. So in a lot of ways, finding that list was responsible for my getting involved in the blog community and also eventually for my starting my own comics blog. Definitely glad that I was at one point curious enough about DC's collected editions to go searching for it.

  13. Pretty cool, So you've seen it grow which is pretty cool too. Typing pretty cool on top of each other is also sweet... that was random so don't mind me haha.

    So is that what got you into DC, because If I recall you were primarily a Marvel guy right? Or did you look into that after finding that DC blog?

  14. I was already into Golden and Silver Age DC at the time, and I had read a good deal of modern Batman comics, but I was looking to get more into the modern DC universe as a whole and I was confused about what order I should be reading things in. So I just typed "DC TPB Timeline" into Google (or something like that), and one of the top results was that site. From what I can tell, there are a lot of other people who discovered the site in a similar way too.

    I still haven't made it all that far down the list, but I'm working on it. Hopefully I'll be significantly farther by the end of the summer.

  15. That's pretty cool that it helped get you all caught up for the most part. There's a lot of stuff on there that I'd never even heard of so I'm eager to check out. Man imagine how much it would cost to buy everything on that list.

  16. I've still only read a small portion of the books on the list, but I have read the entire list itself as well as all the commentary on it, which alone has given me a pretty good grasp on the DC universe. I imagine it'll be even better once I actually, you know, READ all of the things on there that I haven't gotten around to yet.

    Haha, I can't even imagine how much that would cost. What makes things even more difficult is that a lot of the books are actually out of print and sell for significantly higher prices than they originally did. Still, it's nice that all of those books, even the OOP ones, are included.

  17. I've read stuff I didn't even realize just because of borrowing people's issues who I'm friends with like that Teen Titans Beast Boys Beastgirls or whatever.

    I agree, i love that they have such a wide varielty of stuff too, so someone like me who's more Modern age can pick up stuff from like 2004 that I missed or go back and pick up stuff from around Crisis on Infinite Earths.

  18. You've read a lot more modern DC than I have, so it must be interesting for you to go down the list and see things you've read and where they fit in with DC continuity. The coolest part about it in for me is that it's not just separate lists of Flash or Green Lantern or Batman comics, but really shows how they all interlock with each other. It's the next best thing to reading them all in monthly format, really.

  19. Yeah, It's awesome to see where everything fits. I agree with you, I like that it's not just one superhero, EVERYONE is pretty much mentioned, so a Superman fan or a a Batman fan or even someone who just likes Ryan Choi or Jason Rusch can find certain trades with that person.

  20. I know I'm a tad bit late, but nice review. ^_^

    I agree with you about the B-man Robin cover. Pretty hideous. Shouldn't have chosen two complementary colors (Blue/yellow) All it's doing is causing the blue and yellow to fight against each other, causing a white line to form visually in the middle of the two and be brighter to the human eye and be annoying ALONG with all the colors of Batman and Robin in the mix. *whew* enough of my art lecture.

    As for Red Robin and Brightest Day can't wait to read those...especially Red Robin. Sounds like a damn good read. Once again, nice review sir. :)

  21. I've got to agree with you on the cover to B&R JT, I'm not very fond of it at all...

    Not the best of scores this week I see(especially B&R!), and I've got to say that I'm really surprised by your 7 for Brighest Day... If you gave it a 7, I can only imagine how low my score will be, since you've been a bit kinder with your scores for BN & BD #0 then I've been!

    As for comic book recommendations, I've got to do a little bit of thinking there! I could recommend TONS of books, it would prob be better if you guys kind of narrowed it down a bit(company/character)and then I could toss out some ideas on that. Oh and speaking of recommendations, if you're still reading this Marc, I ordered that Crisis/Team-ups Vol. 1 trade you mentioned from Amazon when I ordered my mother her Mother's Day gifts last week, and it should arrive tomorrow(or I guess today).

  22. Thanks Falisha, and I couldn't agree mre, maybe if they had contrasting stuff like Blue and Red or Yellow and Black it would fit more or something.

    Lol don't get me wrong X, BD was an interesting read but it left SO much to be desired, I know it's just the first issue...but yeah.

    And Alright X, any good stories you can recommend for Batman, Tim Drake, Wally West, and uh... hm.. Deathstroke, yeah good Lex Luthor and Deathstroke reads.

  23. Aw no prob. They could have just stuck with a simple solid color...or black and red. But I'll definitely get a chance to read Red Robin and Brightest day this weekend. :) Also update my blog. lol.

  24. The man that you mentioned is Black Manta, is shows that on the very last page behind an Ad. Also I think that it is cool that Dead man is going to be the most powerful lantern of them all, but I wish a car would drop on his head and he would be Deadman again. But I also wonder if this is it for Deadman forever? He always said that he had no idea why he was on earth still so maybe he will become white lantern, do something, die and not come back.

  25. There will be a picture at some point >.< I've got the basic sketch for Batman & Robin done, I've just been lazy. And I've got some stuff to do tomorrow which'll take up a lot of the day, and it's raining today so I couldn't do em now. And anyway, Doctor Who shortly :D

    I'll probably have the picture done along with a special 12 issue review of the last year's worth of Batman & Robin (fitting, eh?). Mind you, I don't think I'll do reviews of this weeks comics, I just don't feel like it. You've already done three of em, and my feelings on Great Ten are already known, so, er, yeah… And I won't comment on Batman vs Robin - save that for the biggie ;)

    Was I the only one who thought there was a bit missing from Red Robin - he's in bed seeing the paper, next thing he's swinging on a grapple in his new costume. Oh, and why does every male Bat character now only have two scallops? Batgirl and Batwoman have three (Batwoman's removable mini-Batarangs), while Dick, Damians and now Tims each only have two… I know this a weird thing to comment on, but I am a designer, and on Tim's it just looks wrong. At least on Dick and Damian the gloves were shorter to accommodate that… But hey, I digress, eh?

    And now, to finish this off before watching TV, what would people say are the top five monthly comics out at the moment? I can't comment on mine as they've taken Greg off Detective Comics, and Batwoman with him, Great Ten is ending in three issues, Green Arrows become a joke, etc etc...

  26. Lol that's cool Nagash, so is Doctor who a big thing over there or is it more of a cult following.

    Eh, I thought the ending worked, there wasn't really a lot they can discuss at that point since I'm sure that's carrying over to the next arc. I honestly never even noticed that about Tim, Dick and Damian, now I'll have to look closer.

    Hm... I'll say Batgirl, Streets of Gotham, Green Lantern, Deadpool and uh... I'll have to think on that last one.

  27. Glad to hear you picked up that trade, X. I'll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts on that and the Chronicles books you got. Have you read any of those yet?

    Oh, and a quick update: waaay up there in the comments I mentioned that I'd be interested in trying to make a Marvel TPB timeline one day. Well, I started it, and I've got over 100 titles on it so far. Combined with my notes and commentary, it's at about six single-spaced pages on Word right now. Can't promise you'll see this thing anytime soon, but I am working on it. :)

    Also, I can't believe some of you guys have never heard of Doctor Who. I mean, I'm American and I've heard about him plenty. In terms of recognizability, he's almost like the British version of Tarzan or something.

  28. Awesome that ya started a Marvel TPB Timeline, what made ya decide to start it so soon? And I know it's a hell of a lot of work.

    I've heard of Doctor Who, my dad actually watches it every week, I've just never taken the time to check it out.

  29. It was just an odd leap I thought, a bad scene transition as it were...
    Yeah, I'm just trying to work out why it was reduced from three to two - differentiation between Dick and Bruce for the fight that was going to happen in Batman and Robin 8/9? Some form of thematic gubbins I haven't thought of? Just because they could?

    Batgirl is a given ;) Gotham City Sirens is another. I'm really unsure on how to rate Batman & Robin, it's both good and bad in equal measure, it's hard to say exactly how I feel about em, as there's loads of good stuff about em, marred by some major hiccups (like the really annoying text speak Batman, the disjointedness of some of it, Damian's on and off annoyance - sometimes I can stand him, like when he's talking to Dick about if Bruce came back, but then before he's being all supreme in that board meeting, etc etc)...

    Tarzan? Well, I wouldn't put him in that sorta league. I mean, Doctor Who is one of those things almost everyone in Britain has heard of, in one form or another. I mean, it's all summed up in Dead Ringers really ;)

  30. I guess it was talking about making the timeline on here that finally drove me to start. At first I just thought I'd take 10 minutes or so and see how difficult it would be. But I'm the sort of person who likes making lists for whatever reason, so once I started I could hardly stop myself. I've put several hours into it already, and I can easily see this being something that occupies me when I'm bored in the future.

  31. Probably just because they could. I've been really down on Sirens, some issues are good and some are very useless in my opinion. And I agree, sometimes Batman and Robin is good but most of the time, especially before the Batman vs. Robin arc, I was always disappointed by it.

    Man that timeline is gonna be huge, I think that's pretty cool that you're putting together something a lot of comic book fans can enjoy.

  32. I probably wouldn't have bothered to start (at least, not as soon as I did) if you hadn't said you thought it was a good idea too, so you deserve at least some of the credit. Thanks for that extra push.

  33. You're the one doing all the work buddy, but glad I could help, even a little.