Friday, May 14, 2010

Ratings and Rantings

Hey everybody, Jason Todd here welcoming you, once again, to my Red Hood. It's that time again where I read and review comics, give them what I think is an accurate rating and discuss them with any and everyone who'd like to talk comics. This week is a HUGE haul from DC Comics with a bunch of things I've been waiting for, including The Return of Bruce Wayne and Gail Simone's Birds of Prey, as well as the always entertaining Batgirl series. So with no time to waste let's get things started.

Batman #699

Nothing like seeing an ad for IronMan 2 in a DC Comic...anyway, this issue picks up after our last Batman/Riddler encounter. Riddler's been gassed by some Joker-Toxin rip off that keeps him laughing like he's watching Dave Chappelle stand up comedy. Before I go on, I wanna commend Tony Daniel, he keeps flipping and flopping with his writing but his art has been pretty good, I felt it was especially good in this issue so I just wanted to address that. The story on the other hand, confused the hell out of me. I felt like there was FAR too much going on. And to even think of the whole dual identity thing right after revealing that Arkham had a dual Identity as Black Mask just seemed stupid. I don't know where Tony gets these ideas but it just seemed like a very...unnecessary arc. I hope issue 700 isn't as confusing and forgetful as this one though, I just really wish the main Batman title kept me as interested as Streets of Gotham and Batgirl do. I'll give this issue a 4/10 and hope that someone else can tell me what the hell was accomplished in this comic book.

The Ridder: Paranoid much? I'm clean, Batman! I've been a hero to Gotham. You KNOW that!

The Flash #02

So heroes dressed as the Rogues from the 25th century are arresting Barry Allen because he'll apparently kill one in eighty days. All caught up? Sweet. So the fight scene with our Crimson Crimefighter and the um... Renegades was pretty awesome. During that, some collateral damage happened and The Flash took it upon himself to rebuild a freaking apartment building, better than new which was awesome. Being a comic fan for only about Two and a half years, I still mark out over seeing The Flash do stuff super quickly so that was an awesome moment in my eyes. Seeing the Rogues and Cap. Boomerang together was pretty interesting too, including the test they gave him to prove he's worthy of being a rogue. I'm hoping something interesting happens and his return wasn't pointless. The ending was pretty obvious but works for the story at hand. I'm really starting to like this Flash series, I may be a Wally and Bart fan first but I don't mind Barry being back as long as it's entertaining, and so far it has been. I wish we saw more of Wally but oh well, either way I liked this comic, I'll give it a 8/10.

Barry: At least pretend to give a damn about this job.
Singh: EXCUSE ME?!
Barry: Pretend that this job means more to you guys than a pension, a paycheck or a political favor!

Justice League Generation Lost #01

Dear God this is one ugly cover. Well mainly Booster and Fire, they look hideous. Maxwell, Ice and Cap look pretty good but Booster and Fire look horrendous. Anyway, Maxwell Lord is back, we know it after reading Blackest Night. So like myself I'm sure everyone is wondering, why doesn't Wonder Woman go and snap his neck again then go grab a cup of coffee? We find that out in this issue. But before we get to that, I gotta say I love that they treat Maxwell like the threat he is because I thought he may be ignored, but having the JLA, The JSA and everyone else on the streets looking for him is smart and I'm glad it was written that way because someone like Maxwell Lord is too dangerous to ignore. The run in with Booster and our Busty Bombshell Power Girl was also necessary because I've seen Booster as a hero and Time cop so long, I'd forgotten that everyone else looks at Booster Gold as a screw up. This ending was genius, it made so much sense and I loved the quote attributed it to it because it fit so well. This started off so strong, if it continues it will definitely be one of my favorite series. Some of it was slow, like the desert scenes with Fire, Ice and Captain Atom but I'll give it a 9/10.

The Greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing he world he doesn't exist. - Charles Baudelaire.

Birds of Prey #01

After months of waiting, Gail Simone and the true Gotham City Sirens return, with the new Birds of Prey series. As a fan of Oracle, Black Canary and Huntress I couldn't wait for this comic to drop, and rightfully so. I've never cared about Hawk and Dove but I LOVE the way Gail writes Hawk, he's such an asshole I can't help but to cheer for the big guy. Also the little banter and made up words between Oracle and Dinah that comes off funny, lets you know she knows these characters and she's glad to be writing for them again. I figured this would be a recruitment issue like many first issues but it was so much more, especially the debut of a new villain at he end that will keep me curious until the next issue. To say this was a great issue would be an understatement, I loved to see Gail return to the pages of Birds of Prey and this is another series that will quickly become one of my favorites if it stays this entertaining. I'm giving the first issue of Birds of Prey a solid 10/10 rating. Keep up the good work girls.

Hawk: And Molly, aside from the sex, I don't know a damn thing about you, either. Except one thing. You could do a hell of a lot better.

Booster Gold #32

Can Giffen & Dematteis reunite to bring the Bwahaha back to Booster Gold? Wouldn't that mean bringing back Ted Kord? Well...okay, anyway that's what their going with. The opening scene was hectic and pretty cool, I've never seen Booster's suit start to tear and seeing the mechanisms inside it was pretty cool. The line with Keith and J.M.'s intro was pretty awesome too and makes me think Booster will be pretty funny yet still taken seriously which is awesome. I really loved the way this story was written, everything shone through in one issue that you'd expect from an entire Booster Gold Arc. He made jokes, he played the cocky hero, he made sexual jokes, he made mistakes, he learned a lesson, and vowed to be safer. That's what makes Booster Gold a hero, he's not perfect, he's not always going to save everyone like Superman or Batman, but he's going to try his best, and that makes him a damn interesting character. Also the ending showed us Booster's reaction to a recent returned from the dead guy that seems to be EVERYWHERE this week. I can't be the only one who was confused. They argue about April 8th, then say the seventh when Booster should've went on the why are they mentioning three different days?! Can Anyone explain that? I reread that page like seven times, and I wanted to give this a perfect score but that just bothered me, so I'll give it a 8.5/10.

Emerald Empress: What is that? A Legion Flight ring?
Booster Gold: This? It's not the real deal... Just a cheap knockoff that I bought from Wal-Mart.

Batgirl #10

Calculator's evil plan continues in this month's Batgirl. Nice drop of the Birds of Prey name, and seeing Oracle's shadow with Bat ears is cool since that's usually Bruce's thing. I like the little love triangle with Batgirl/Gage/Oracle, and the first official meeting between Stephanie Brown and Nick Gage. And Stephanie's um... girlish charm? Comes off pretty well, it's always fun to see how awkward she is around guys, especially saying her inner monologue out loud. I thought the story started off kinda slow but "Woo Baby!" (I owe you a coffee, X!) did this story pick up. The ending was epic, in a superhero zombie yet not like Blackest Night kinda way, and seeing Batgirl's last page in this issue leaves me wondering what out Blonde Bat Bombshell is gonna do in the next issue. Batgirl continues to be entertaining each month and is solidifying itself as one of my favorite series and Batgirl as one of my favorite characters. Batgirl #10 gets a 9/10.

Batgirl: So what you're saying is...
Oracle: We're about as screwed as you can get.

The Return of Bruce Wayne #1

Bruce Wayne, returns a year and a half after his "death", and I missed the bat loving maniac so let's get right to the good stuff. Some of the caveman talk comes across as more annoying than anything, it's hard to understand when you're used to English and coherent sentences. The appearance of "Robin" was pretty awesome though, I liked that pleasant surprise, as well as Batman pulling a Scorpion. Guess he learned that in MK vs. DC. Another was the appearance of three of my favorites as well as the bomb that was dropped on us by him, so now it's literally a race against time. The ending was random but that's what happens when you try to throw a full story into six issues. For what it was I guess I enjoyed the first issue, but Bruce barely spoke, I was interested in seeing what he was thinking. It was alright but I wanted more, and there was a lot I didn't care for, I could probably sum up the whole issue in two sentences. But at least Bruce is on his way back... ah well, I'll give this a 6.5/10.

Superman: You are joking, right? He can survive anywhere. Anytime. Surviving is what he does.

Titans: Villains for Hire Special

First things first, the art in this comic, especially the first page with Deathstroke, is phenomenal. Just had to say that, so great work Fabrizio Fiorentino. Man, I love seeing Ryan Choi in action, say what you want about Palmer but Choi is the Atom to me, and I loved to see him go all out, the action was perfect and seeing him grow and shrink during the fight to his advantage was pretty awesome. Also seeing Deathstroke allow Ryan a break while his girlfriend was at the door was really... humane of him, I like seeing other sides of Slade than just kill, kill, kill! By the way, Deathstroke may have the best damn team around by now, and Cinder is hot. (No pun intended.) That being said, what happened in this comic was to send a message, I get that, but I hate that it had to be at the expense of someone who doesn't fit in the so called "Modern age." X-Man75 has mentioned that guys like Palmer, Ollie, Hal and Barry have reclaimed their mantles from people who had taken them, and If that's gonna happen oh well I guess, I agree but what can you do? But if it's going to lead to this, and Wally, Kyle, Connor and others have this to look forward to then it's a real mistake. This really bothered me, hell, this is almost as absurd as what happened to Lian. That being said, outside of that travesty I liked this comic... I wanna give it a ten but after that I can't, I'll give it a 8/10.

Deathstroke: Think about it, kid. I fought Ray Palmer. Which means I know moves you haven't even though of.

So, that's it for this weeks Ratings and Rantings. I think out of eight comics this was a pretty good pull, most of them left me excited for the next issue, especially Batgirl, Titans, Birds of Prey, and Generation Lost. I'll be back probably Sunday since I'm going to see IronMan 2 tomorrow with the poll results, a new poll and the review Marc requested, Wolverine: Enemy of The State. So until then, You've just been Gobsmacked!

- Jason Todd

Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Deadpool #23, Batman: Streets of Gotham #12, Brightest Day #2, and Superman/Batman #72.


  1. This has been your best review yet!!!! It's a first time I'm actually following 90% of the comics you ranted and rated. lol.

    BoP definitely deserved a 10, Gail is one of the best writers out there, well in my opinion. Glad she's taking on the BoP.

    I also loved the Justice League Generations Lost issue as well. I mean it has my favorite villain of all staring in it. I mean, the ending was just genius.

    I haven't gotten to The Flash, Batgirl, Return of Bruce Wayne nor Titans but I'm definitely excited about them all. Especially Flash. I love Barry, he's the best.

    But when I do get a chance to get to em I'll let you know how I felt about em. :)

    Great job JT.

  2. Awww such kind words!!! And yeah I really loved BoP, that, Titans and Gen Lost are probably my favorite of the new series that started this Month.

    Flash has been pretty good in my opinion so I see what ya mean, as well as Batgirl. Batgirl is probably my favorite comic right now... And sweet I'm looking forward to your thoughts, hell everyone's thoughts! :D And thanks again babe.

  3. Hey, pretty good scores for the most part here JT. I'm def glad to see a 10 for BoP, because that was def one of my favorite series before it was canned. These scores definitely have me looking forward to my package of comics!

  4. I'm pretty upset about the outcome of the Titans comic. They should just stop creating new characters, or just go ahead and kill them right away within their first appearance.

  5. X - Yeah I was really surprised by how good some of these were, and I'm sure you're gonna loves Birds of Prey, man Hawk had me laughing so hard. Had to choose between a few of his lines for LOTI and it was a touch choice.

    Kello - I agree man, it's like why even build up characters? Some of these guys have huge fanbases that rival the original, hell I'm one of the people who definitely like Choi more than Palmer, but I feel like that should have been someone else. Hell I guess we should be happy it wasn't Wally or Roy or someone but still, that just pissed me off.

  6. As an FYI, it wasn't Tony who did the art for this issue and the last issue of Batman - it's Guillem March, who also did some Sirens stuff.

    For Justice League, I got the alt cover, which was much nicer than that horrible thing.

    The thing that annoyed me out of BoP was some pieces of the art. Benes is a good artist, but boy, he does put arses into shots where they really shouldn't be. Oh, and Black Canary's snow gear was better than her normal costume. And I wish they'd change Huntress' costume to the Detective Comic/Batman one we saw a couple of issues ago, that's much better than the one we keep saying. Or maybe that's just me?

    Return of Bruce Wayne was just horrible, not really much of a story, annoying writing, no real sense of what people are thinking, not very spectacular art and just plain all round rubbish...

  7. Ah that makes sense, I saw Daniel's name on the cover and I know he usually does art and writing duties.

    Well aren't you special :P

    I do think her snow costume looks better than her other but I didn't see the Detective comics Huntress costume.

    Agreed, It was just pretty backwards and lackluster.

  8. Yeah, he hasn't done it these two months - maybe writing and drawing is too much for him?

    So very special, considering it's a better cover and cost the same as the normal, yeah :P

    It was similar to the costume she wore in Tony's use of Huntress in Batman. All over, with some armour panels and stuff...

    I didn't enter it with high hopes, so I think I'll give up on it TBH.

  9. Great reviews, as always. I think one of my friends bought Return of Bruce Wayne, so I might try and borrow it from him. I'm very interested to see how that series turns out.

    Who's the artist with Giffen and DeMatteis on Booster Gold? Is it Kevin Maguire (the cover looks like it's by him)? Because if so I may have to check it out...those three make a fantastic creative team. Your review reminded me that I still need to pick up the Showcase Presents Booster Gold trade.

    Oh yeah, and I'm looking forward to that Enemy of the State review...I'm sure X is too!

  10. Nagash - Well maybe he should stop writing and keep drawing :P

    Well that sucks haha, I only saw that one so I grabbed it and headed to the check out line.

    I'll look it up because I don't think I really even noticed it.

    I wouldn't blame you, if it doesn't pick up by issue three I'll probably do the same.

    Marc - Thanks for the kind words my man. And if ya do check it out let me know what ya think. Oh, did you get/read that Batman & Robin #1 yet?

    Just checked the comic for ya Marc, the artist is actually by Chris Batista.

    Glad to hear it, gonna type it up today. Finally got around to finishing it off last night, and it... well you'll see :P

  11. No, I haven't read B&R yet, or even my Free Comic Book Day comics for that matter. Between those things and a contest I won on another blog (I won a C2E2 variant of RASL #6; it should be arriving in the mail pretty soon) I have a lot of single issues to read. The only reason I haven't yet is because I have some books due to the library in a couple days that I want to finish so I don't have to check them out again. Plus, I have this week's review and my timeline to work on. But I will get to B&R, hopefully soon!