Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ratings and Rantings

Hey Todd Squad, Jason (G.B.C.) Todd here welcoming you to my Red Hood on a MOMENTOUS edition of Ratings and Rantings. Sorry it's up so late but I've been hella busy helping a buddy with his script as well as my cousin graduating this week. Anyway, this week we're gonna see the return of my namesake, Jason Todd's return (of sorts) as we find out what the former Robin/Red Robin/Red Hood did during his time before he returned to wage war on Gotham City's drug scene. Also we're gonna tackle Brightest Day #3, The Superman/Batman annual, The first issue of The Joker's Aslyum, and Deadpool creator Fabian Nicieza returns to writing Tim Drake in Red Robin #13! Should be a big review, so let's get things started!
Brightest Day #3

This issue starts with a fight there's no way in hell Deadman should be able to win, which he even says, except his line is much funnier. The page where he uses his White Lantern ring looks pretty awesome and shows a little of what powers Boston may have. I marked out when I saw Jason Rusch was fron Detroit... that's his only redeeming quality now that he's been demoted to floaty head brainiac guy. I may be the only one, but I'm still loving this Firestorm storyline. I see why Ronnie doesn't feel responsible, even though there are hints he may be, and I see why Jason would blame him. As far as I'm concerned this is the best thing that doesn't include Max Lord in Brightest Day. Also, I think I may have laughed for like three minutes straight seeing Aquaman being eaten by a big Shark or Whale...I think? Either way that was classic. I loved the decomposing flesh on the fish to give it the weird Blackest Night vibe and keep us wondering why Arthur can only call on dead sea life. Sadly the stuff with The Hawks, and Martian Manhunter couldn't be MORE boring to me, it's really bringing down the tone of the comics. Then to end with something so... lackluster annoyed me, I mean really? Do I wanna read something called Hawkworld? I don't even like the Hawks, they should've stayed dead in Blackest Night, at least that death was shocking and surprising, anyway I'll give this issue a 5/10. (G.B.C.)

Deadman: My claim to fame was performing aerial acts without a net and that didn't work out so well, which you probably know.

Superman/Batman Annual #4

As someone who's read ALL the Superman/Batman issues in this current series, (Yeah, be jealous...) I've also read the annuals. My favorite so far would have to be the one that has Ultraman, Owlman, and Deathstroke attacking Superman, Batman, and a very obvious Deadpool, although they never say his name. This cover takes the cake though, I love it and as a fan of Batman Beyon (who's series restarts this month.) I had to pick this up. Superman actually met Batman Beyond (Teryy McGinnis) on the cartoon show in the third season, so I'm wondering if there will be any references to that. The artwork looks great, very true to the cartoon I remember, and when I read it I can picture the voices I'm used to. So if Terry's comic is anything like this, I know I'll be a fan.  Luckily, they do mention Terry's last run in with the Man of Steel, giving me even more hope for the upcoming Batman Beyond series. This comic is more of a stage setting for that series than a Superman/Batman issue per se, but I'm not complaining at all. The scene with Superman's arrival is so well written it caught me off guard, and showed us that sometimes Superman is more human that Batman. Seeing Superman, who's lost everyone that matters to him like Lois, his Parents, Jimmy Olsen and everyone else comes off as more touching than anything. Especially when he gives Terry something near the end of the issue. I thought this was a great preview for Batman Beyond and a fantastically written Superman appearance, I'll give this issue a 10/10 rating. (G.B.C.)

Superman: Old Man (Bruce) never understood what I shared with Lois... Or lost when she went. He forgot how to let a woman into his heart... How good it feels to be vulnerable. He doesn't even know how lonely he is. I know.

Red Robin #13

Welcome back Fabian, Hasta La Vista Yost!!! Now, this comic starts off awesome, seeing Red Robin, Batman and Robin with the chest shot that always looks awesome, if ya don't believe me go read JLA Tornado's Path and see it with The Trinity, or the one with Joker, Lex and Cheetah. I love how happy Tim is being written after a year of Gloomy Tim Drake, and the line about Lynx with Dick's retort about Starfire was funny. I love that Tim can be written so well but still have fun, If ever there was a comparison to Bryan Q. Miller's Batgirl, It'd be Fabian's Red Robin. Tim hints that he may want to return to the Teen Titans, which I'd be all for. Their roster is getting pretty damn big, anyway, Lynx seems interesting as a villain choice for Tim but I'm all for Tim having hot female villains. Hell, it works for Batman. Btw, only someone affiliated with the Bat-Family can completely DECK a woman with a punch and still be viewed as a hero. This issue is more of a ground setting, since Fabian took over but I thought everything was done well. It raised questions, and we saw Tim enjoy his work for a first time in a long time. I'm very happy with this issue and I know this is just the beginning of a great Red Robin run, I'll give this issue a 8.5/10.

Tim Drake - I hate Damian. (G.B.C.) (Me too buddy, me too.) (G.B.C.)

The Joker's Asylum: The Riddler

This is a one shot like the previous Joker's Asylum series where the Clown Prince of Crime tells us a story about his villainous cohorts, that's right I used cohorts! This month we get five and this first issue kicks off with The Riddler. The narration by the Joker comes off as downright hilarious sometimes, and the story takes place before The Riddler reformed and became a good guy or whatever he is now. So the story focuses on, get this, a Love story with The Riddler! But it's not your typical love story, and it's also written pretty damn well to be honest. The Joker's comments along with the tone of the story work out nice together, and there's even hidden easter eggs and riddles (G.B.C.) IN the comic, which is cool. I loved the scene with Joker not revealing Riddler's guest and showing other people instead, it's so wacked out that it actually works for The Joker.  As for the story, I really liked it. It ends somewhat ambiguously but I liked it, and apparently there's more Riddles than the main Riddle so read around, look close and etc. As for this, I'll give it a 8/10, I hope the others are as entertaining as this one was.

The Joker: The very idea of it makes me want to strangle children... Then again what doesn't?

Red Hood: The Lost Days #1

And now, the MAIN EVENT! (G.B.C.) I've been waiting for what seems like ages for more good Jason Todd stories and I doubt Judd Winick is gonna let me down, so let's jump into Red Hood: The Lost Days #1! The story starts with Jason's escape from Ra's, and Ra's telling Talia if she were anyone else he'd kill her, because she doesn't know what she's just unleashed on the world. Hell of a way to build up Jason, too bad he's been getting his ass kicked lately. Then we jump back in time to just after Jason is murdered by The Joker, and we see Ra's discussing that and Batman's state of mind with Talia. Seeing Talia care for Jason so much shows us a different side of her, and now that she's turned on Damian in normal time-lines, seeing her so caring to Jason comes off well. And seeing Jason, defend himself based on instinct is a testament not only to his strong will, but shows that his street lifestyle made him more of a toughened person. The fact this first Jason story was more about Talia made it interesting, to see inside of her and her vulnerabilities. How she wants to do anything to make Batman love her, and how it seems like he never will. We didn't learn anything from this issue that we already didn't know for the most part, but that doesn't mean it wasn't good. It was well written, showed us why Talia never told Bruce about Jason, and why she resorted to doing what she did. I really liked this issue, and now Jason is gonna take center stage and I can't wait to read about it. And hey Grant, why didn't she dye his hair? Because it's ALWAYS Black you jackass.... anyway, I'll give this a 8/10. I can't wait to see what else Judd has up his sleeve. (G.B.C.)

Ra's Al Ghul: You have no inkling of what you've created-- WHAT YOU HAVE UNLEASHED!

Well this was a big week, great reviews for the most part, the return of Jason Todd, which I of course marked out for, and a nice close race in the polls. Be sure to check out the new poll that I added today, and now for the results of last week's poll! The question was "Which B-Lister would you like to see get their own TV show/Cartoon and/or Movie?"

Last Place with 0% - Power Girl, but she her chest still cross the finish line first from last place...
Third Place with 15.4% - Kyle Rayner, Sadly couldn't Will enough votes to get first. (G.B.C.)
Second Place with 38.5% - Booster Gold, The Golden one settles for Silver this week.
Winner with 46.2% - Black Canary! Someone let this Bird of Prey Fly Solo!

So, that's all for today, although I keep hearing something big is supposed to go down here tomorrow. No idea what it could be but hopefully you guys come to check it out. In the meantime, I'm outta here, so until next time, You've just been Gobsmacked!

-Jason Todd

Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Batgirl #11, Batman #700, Booster Gold #33 and Titans #24


  1. That Superman/Batman issue sounds great. The quote you posted is so's always heartbreaking to see Bruce push away the women who love him, without even realizing it. The best example I can think of is from the Marshall/Rogers run in the seventies, which was collected in Batman: Strange Apparitions, where Bruce falls in love with a woman named Silver St. Cloud. It's one of the definitive takes on the character and on the Joker, in my opinion, and was one of the main inspirations for the first Tim Burton movie.

    And believe it or not, I've never watched Batman Beyond...although you've just reminded me that I should, so I put it on hold at my library. Hopefully they'll get it to me soon!

    Oh, and who or what is Boston (mentioned in your Brightest Day review)? All I can think of is the band!

    P.S. Great reviews as always, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you have in store for tomorrow!

  2. I agree dude, I've always loved the fact that Bruce is quick to call Clark "In-Human" he even says he's done It before to Terry in this issue, yet Supes is more Human that Bruce in a lot of ways. And not to ruin anything for you but in Kevin Smith's Batman Widening Gyre, Silver St. Cloud returns as Bruce's left interest.

    I really liked it Marc, you should enjoy it. It's not with Batman:TAS or the JLA/JLU cartoons but it is damn good. In face since Beyond never got a proper finale, they gave him one in the JLA series. (or Maybe it was JLU) Either way you should definitely pick it up when ya can.

    Lol Boston Brand aka Deadman, I guess I could've thrown his name up there. Funny thing is I've listened to "More than a feeling" at least 15 times in the past few days, no lie.

    Thanks again bro, as for tomorrow I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I would say more but... I like building suspense :P

  3. I heard Silver returned in a series Englehart did like five years ago as a sequel to Strange Apparitions, and it doesn't surprise me at all that Kevin Smith is using her as well. As I mentioned in my review of Batman: Cacophony, he clearly drew a lot of inspiration from Englehart, especially in the way he protrayed the Joker. Now I have yet another reason to check out Widening Gyre!

  4. Looks like a pretty good pull this week JT. I couldn't resist, so I wound up breaking my strict, "NO SPOILER!!!" rule and I read your thoughts on the Jason Todd book. First off, where's the love?!?! I would have bet one of my New Mutants #98 that you'd have gone 9 or higher! Hell, I was thinking it was going to be a 10 no matter what! So it sounds like it was more Talia focused then Jason focused. That's... interesting I guess... At least we know the next few issues should be very Jason-centric.

    And for the poll, I had to go with Roy...

  5. He makes references to I believe, so yeah I'm sure you'd enjoy it. The sixth part FINALLY comes out next month, so I'll probably sit down and re-read it all from the beginning.

    Haha, man you broke the no spoiler rule? SHOCKING!!! And yeah, I wanted too, but I couldn't haha, I mean it was a good comic but Jason was catatonic, never said a word so it was all Ra's and Talia. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but when Jason gets a Ten it's because JASON EARNED IT!!!! Unlike your Nate "No one ever calls me X-Man" Grey. :P Lol

  6. :D See that, I broke my #1 comic rule for this blog! You should be proud!

    So in other words, if Jason would have had some dialogue you'd have gone the full ten... I hear ya. ;-)

  7. I see, I feel the respect... *cries* Lol I am proud though :D You gonna get the Joker's Asylum one shot's X?

    Exactly, if the next issue is this good and Jason talks then it's a done deal. Oh and I voted for Static, may the best man with two hands win :P

  8. New Mutants #98? X, why did you make me think of that awful comic?! (I just read it less than a week ago, so in case there's any doubt, let me assure you: it IS awful.)

  9. I'm absolutely loving the Ronnie Raymond/Jason Rusch Firestorm storyline. Glad I'm not the only one! I think the combination of Ronnie and Jason presents lots of possibilities and Johns and Tomasi are the ones to explore it.

    The Irredeemable Shag

  10. Shag, your name is awesome first things first haha. And yeah I'm loving it, because I can definitely relate to Jason and see why he'd be so pissed off, I mean his girlfriend is Table Salt! And he's been demoted pretty much from Firestorm to a talking head only Ronnie can hear. And I love the twist that we maybe got a hint of in the last issue with Ronnie.

  11. Yeah, I would have given Red Hood between an 8 to an 8.5 out of 10, so totally agreeing with you there. Not that it wasn't good, but simply for the reasons you listed.
    And oh yeah, it was really good. :-D

    I though Ra's whole curse yelling and screaming bit was simply because he'd just come out of the Lazarus Pit (and was still under the whole temporary insanity thing) and that's why he was being more of a drama queen than usual.

    I also loved the cliff side scene and the scene where Talia slapped Jason and punched the doctor. She can be fierce when she has to be.

  12. Yeah, I think the general consensus would be it's a good issue but it needed more Jason, of course considering the mental state of him we all knew he wasn't gonna be talking much. But since he should be back to his normal "super pissed off that the Joker's not dead yet" self, we can expect a lot from the next issue.

    Haha, I love the fact that you called Ra's a drama queen because he was overacting like a drama club kid whose parents showed up. He's just in his towel screaming at no one in particular. I wanna make a Planet of the Apes (You blew it up!!! Damn YOU!!!!!) Reference but I won't :D Lol

    Both excellent scenes, the cliff scene let us see how caring Talia is, and the other scenes were awesome because we got to see how much of a strong woman she is, and does have that Al Ghul rage in her.