Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ratings and Rantings

It's that time once again, for the weekly revolutionary ranting and ratings-fest known as Ratings and Rantings! JT here as usual to welcome you guys back to my Red Hood once again. This week's edition of R&R is gonna be a big one. Also this weekend will be the return of the now Bi-Weekly "Top Five 5!" since it was so well received by you guys. But more about that later. And I'd like to give a special thanks to you guys for helping me reach 20 followers. I appreciate the fact that twenty people think my insane thoughts are worth reading and subscribing to. Lastly, Power Girl was pushed back a week so I won't be reviewing that. Alright then, let's get things started!

Batman #701

This is the beginning of a two-part story of what apparently happens between Batman RIP and Final Crisis when Bats supposedly died. It's written by Grant Morrison and has art by Tony Daniels, a.k.a. The guy who turned Jason Todd into a villain and also gave Catwoman a sidekick that we haven't seen since last year. Things start off with Batman swimming to the surface after the Helicopter crash from RIP. He waits for Hurt to surface but he never does. I gotta say, seeing Bruce in the costume is kinda weird after knowing Batman as Grayson for the last year, but a good kind of weird. I know he's been in other things as Batman but this seems more real, if you get what I'm trying to say. We see Bruce try to make sense of who Thomas Hurt is and what he wants and even enters the secret room at Wayne Manor which he promised his parents he'd never enter. That confuses me because what the hell is back there, and I mean if he's a kid and someone broke in and that's the only place he could hide should he just stay in plain sight? Anyway, the room has Barbatos scrawled on the walls along with the name Thomas a ton of times. Not long after, Bruce is summoned by Superman who lets him not that a New God was killed. (Orion if I recall from Final Crisis.) This issue was surprisingly good, it showed us Batman's psyche before the events of Final Crisis, which he was barely in, so this should be interesting. I'll give this issue an 8/10, bring on part two!

Batman: All I had to do was survive a few minutes more. And remember one thing; if it was this hard for me, it would be impossible for him. For Hurt.

Adventure Comics #516 (Atom Story)

And it seems like they were just on issue one a few months ago. :P But no really, seeing as how I'm not a big fan of the Legion, I'll just be reviewing the Atom Co-Feature. And seeing as how I'm paying for half a comic, I don't expect to be reviewing this series for a long time. The story starts with the aftermath of The Atom Special I reviewed last week. Ray sits in a hospital with his unconscious father and tries to tell himself he'll get the chance to talk to him and air out their "dirty laundry" so to speak. Just for the record, there's a spoiler in this comic that ruins Batgirl #12's ending if you haven't read it yet so READ BATGIRL BEFORE THIS if you plan on reading them both. Well, that was annoying. Anyway, The Atom, with the help of Oracle, goes after The Calculator to ask him a few questions about the Library hold-up. Atom finds the Calculator but at a deadly price. The issue ends with a good cliffhanger that makes me want the next issue. Damn you writers!!! But this was a pretty good chapter of The Atom saga, the inclusion of Calculator seemed weird but it works. I hated that it spoiled Batgirl for me though, so I'm docking it's score for that, I'll give this issue a 7/10.

Oracle: I mean, even Batman can't track him.
Atom: I realize that, but last time I checked, Batman couldn't surf data lines.

Titans #25

Pretty sweet cover by the way. Anywho, Lex and Slade are in the sewers dodging bullets from the shape-shifter who acted as if she worked for Luthor. They aren't dodging for long until Slade lands a head-chopping-off slice with his blade on the shape-shifting senorita. Sadly that doesn't kill Facade, who continues her attack. The usual swerve you expect when dealing with Shape-shifter's happens but it was pretty well done this time around. Slade's choice when finding out who was the real Cheshire was pretty drastic if I say so myself. I don't think I would've made the same choice, but it was entertaining and shows you never know what to expect with Deathstroke. From there we get some Cryptic stuff from Deathstroke, a fire lit under Cheshire and a revelation we have to wait until next month for from Osiris. This issue was okay but nothing special or notable happened, I'll rate this issue a 6/10.

Facade: I see about-to-be-dead people. (Nothing like ten year old movie references.. yeah.)

Superman #701

So for those unaware, J. Michael Straczynski has taken over both Superman and Wonder Woman writing duties. After reading Superman #700 I decided to see what's going on in this issue, as the arc is titled "Grounded." Basically Supes feels he's lost touch with earth and it's people so he's gonna walk across America, literally walk and be closer to the people. Sounds weird but weird enough to keep me interested, so let's see how JMS does. It starts off with Supes helping a guy fix his car, then walking away from reporters. It's really MUCH more interesting than it sounds but I can tell this review is gonna make it sound very boring. The best part is all the reporters asking Supes if he's had any contact with Red Kryptonite or lost his powers or anything else. That's how you know it happens too much when they become common questions. Superman eventually stops to grab a bite to eat but can't afford the Philly Cheese Steak he wants and insists on paying, (he keeps his money in his cape...and I find that freaking hilarious.) so he offers to do some work there to pay for his meal. I'm sure there's people getting mugged while he's cleaning a back room to pay for a Cheese Steak but whatever. Eventually Supes encounters some Drug dealers, and a woman who plans on committing suicide by jumping off a building. This comic was different from the average Superman comic, it was very deep and I really enjoyed it. I honestly did, and I'd love to read more because it's Supes out of his element, dealing with real people but in a way only he could. 10/10 from me, everyone won't like it, but I thought it was great.

Reporter 1: So what're you doing here, Superman?
Superman: Walking.
Reporter 2: So why aren't you flying?
Superman: I'm not flying because I'm walking. Are you sure you're a reporter?

Justice League: Generation Lost #5

Gen Lost gets things underway with a flashback (er...uh... Flash Forward?) from Booster's past (future?) It's right after the top Quarterback, Booster (not yet Gold), was caught betting on his own College games, then throwing the games to make money. This is all as we see, a perfect metaphor of Booster never knowing when he's being screwed, as Max has been screwing over Booster and the rest of the former JLI'ers. Max claims he reunited everyone because the team needs to be back together. Max tells the team to fight crime and do good, and most importantly don't come after him because he doesn't want to hurt them. Booster vows to find Max and make him pay for his past troubles as Max ends his transmission. Meanwhile, Reyes manages to pick up Max's signal and may be able to help the JLI find him. The issue ends with more of Booster's thoughts (remembering his first meeting with Max) and he once again vows to make Max pay. I thought this was a solid issue, but not much happened. I'm still enjoying the series though. I'd rate this one a 7/10.

Max Lord: Booster, It's like I told you before, I still think of you as a friend.
Booster Gold: When you said that you were beating me to death with a pipe.

Booster Gold #34

This comic starts with a great opening page, and a little evidence that Mr. Dematteis (writer of the Super Buddies comics) doesn't like that Max killed Blue Beetle by shooting him in the head. Man the artwork in this comic is weird, faces look all long and stretched out, the little girl looks like a midget because she has a toddler's body but an adult's face. Michelle looks like.... a crackwhore for lack of a better term. I mean seriously she does and I wish I didn't have to say that but it's the best description. Anyway, Booster decides to try to replicate (oh yeah, I'm smart!) his deeds from the past issue but come back with evidence he can use this time. But this time he runs into Ted Kord, The Blue Beetle. Ted recruits Booster to going with him to get the Book of Destiny since it was recently stolen. After some classic Blue and Gold banter, the two recruit Big Barda and Mr. Miracle to help them track down this book. This comic also reminded me why I love Big Barda, because she is awesome. The art gets better too, I think because the early art is done by Giffen who should leave the art to the artist. Booster also realizes he's a different man than he was, he's smarter and more serious and I liked that this was brought up because Booster has matured. I'm happy with this issue and I'm excited for the next, as long as the artist stays on the art work. I'd rate this one a 7.5/10.

Big Barda: Oh for Heaven's sake, What is everyone making such a fuss about? It's just a dragon!
Booster Gold: "Just"? What? You think you can just stroll up to it and punch it out?
Big Barda: Yes. (And she did.)

Batgirl #12

It's about time they used this cover, I've had it on my computer since like November. It's a great cover and deserves to be on stands. We see Steph parachute into the Calculator's grounds then get past his security measures. She eventually finds Babs and Calc in a room, mind linked and trips an alarm. Meanwhile, in Calc's mind, Oracle see's that as a kid he was locked in a cage by his mother with a Rubik's cube until he could solve the puzzle, and he worked on it so much his hands bled. We also wee that his girlfriend/wife killed her self the day she brought his twin son and daughter, Marvin and Wendy home from the hospital. We also see the debut of Proxy, which I like. It seems as if Babs may be leaving Batgirl to go to the Birds of Prey comics, but it's too early to tell. I wouldn't mind, I like how things are either way. I thought this was a nice conclusion to the comic, we got a new use for Wendy, we saw inside Calculator's mind and we even got to see Steph save the day. I enjoyed this arc and I can't wait to see Steph take on Clayface, I'd give this issue of Batgirl a 8/10.

Batgirl: My name? Stephanie Brown-- I've said it before. I'll say it again-- I'm Batgirl.

Birds of Prey #3

The artwork by Ed Benes is phenomenal. That guy can draw like a freaking GOD. This comic starts off with me laughing, so damn hard. "Penguin party in my pants" is now my new favorite phrase. From there, The Birds try to figure out who's behind everything they've been through, but soon after their attacked by rogue cops. Hawk goes on the offensive and Canary and Huntress join him. Meanwhile, Penguin continues the funniest hallucinations I've seen in years. Babs tries to call in the JLA when the Batcave's connection doesn't go through, and Babs is shocked to see who confronts her. It shocked the hell out of me too. Hawk gets taken down due to his bravado and stupidity, and Dinah decides to take on her new nemesis one on one. Black Canary vs. White Canary. And Dinah knows who she is, or so she claims. This comic had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through, wondering what will happen with Dinah, who White Canary is, How'd Hawk get taken down, what's gonna happen with Babs. I've said it once and I'll say it again, Gail Simone is a genius, and quickly becoming my favorite writer. Birds of Prey gets it's third 10/10 rating from me.

The Penguin: Penguin party in my pants. (Always and forever Oswald, Always and Forever.)

So now that all the reviews are done with, let's get to the Top Five 5. Basically for newer readers, or long-time readers who've lost braincells from reading too much of my stuff, I'm going to list five topics. I want you guys to pick your top five answers for each topic, so the end result should be 25 picks. Then you email them to me at and I'll list all the answers this Sunday. So you guys have until Sunday at noon, EST. time to get me your picks if you'd like them counted. Get it? Got it? Good. So the topics are as follows:

Top Five Artists
Top Five TV/Film Adaptations
Top Five Couples/Duo's/Bromances
Top Five Favorite storylines of 2000-2010
Top Five Favorite Villains

And there you go, so please submit your answers to me whenever you get a chance, and make sure you tell me who ya are so I don't have to guess. So that's all for this week's Ratings and Rantings. Thanks for reading, and this weekend be sure to come back and see everyone's Top 5 picks, until then, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger Man, Jason Todd.

Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

 Batman Beyond #2, Batman: Streets of Gotham #14, Brightest Day #6, Power Girl #14, Superman/Batman #74, Time Master's Vanishing Point #1 (FINALLY!!!!), Dark Wolverine #88, and Deadpool #25!


  1. Sir, you had me at "crackwhore." This was a huge week, with at least 3 reviews I had to skip for fear of spoilers.

    I will say this, you're the only reviewer I've seen so far to think the the Superman comic was good. Everyone else is hating on it like it's Mel Gibson. Yeah, I got a bit topical there, didn't I?

    As for Titans, with all the lengths it took to get that line-up going (the dissolution of the old team, Lian's death, and the Atom getting killed), it seems like a pretty small pay-off so far.

    Congrats on the followers, my friend! You deserve 20 million.

  2. As always good reviewing sir. Definitely was waiting for that PG but we'll just have to wait won't we! ^_^ Sounds like there were some 7.5-8.0 averages for this run, but still enough to interest me to read them.

    Definitely looking forward to Batgirl as always. And BOP, man can't wait for that one. Lol.

    I'll be e-mailing you my top 5 five sometime tonight. Lol. Promise. Can't wait til next Ratings and Rantings. :) Good work sir.

  3. Kello - Lol I knew SOMEONE would enjoy the term "crackwhore." I'm so tempted to post a scan so you can see it... it was Crackwhorish at it's finest. So what three comics were they anyway Kello?

    Really? Weird, I loved it, then again I liked Superman #700 and a lot of other people didn't. It's like I said though, everyone won't enjoy it, but I thought it was well written. Lol @ that Mel Gibson reference.

    I couldn't agree more about Titans. For all of that, you'd think they'd be churning out 10/10 rating issues for it all the time but alas, maybe when the new member shows up. I won't say who for sake of spoilers.

    Thanks for the kind words buddy :) If I deserve 20 million you deserve FORTY million, so I can seal those too :P Kidding :D

    Falisha - Thank you babe :) I was sad about Peej getting pushed back but I can look forward to her comic next week.

    I think you'll love Batgirl and BoP, and I'll have ya read my Supes and see what you think. I'll eagerly await yours and everyone else's Top Five 5 picks too. And thanks again :)

  4. I skipped the reviews for Batgirl, Gen. Lost, and BOP for now. I actually just got the previous issues of those series in the mail today. But it's all good, because now I can look at the full version of your previous edition of R&R!

  5. Ah got ya, sweet. I'm glad you can read the last issues of those, I know it sucks having to wait for them in the mail. And if ya wanna, feel free to comment on those older reviews dude, I get the emails so I'll reply if ya wanna talk about em.

  6. The only book I can comment on is Gen Lost, so yeah, I don't really have much to say! :P A good majority of the books you have listed are my subscription books, and since they're from DC, I'll probably be waiting a good 2 weeks before I get my hands on them... Grrr...

    Gen Lost really wasn't that bad this week... But then again it wasn't that good either... It's like you said, it was just sort of there. Nothing really happened. I think I'm pretty much at the end of my rope with that series actually. Since they forced Hai-me into the series, I've literally lost all interest in it... Methinks I'll be relying on you to tell me what goes on in that comic pretty soon. So yeah, that's pretty much the spoilers for my reveiw of that comic!

  7. Ouch, long wait, guess we'll see you back here in two weeks commenting eh? :P Make sure ya send me ya picks too dude.

    Yeah, the stuff with Max happened at the beginning and the rest was just filler. I didn't mind Hai-Me much in this comic, although I see your point. I kinda like that Rocket Red dude though, he makes me laugh.

  8. Email sent. Reviews to be commented on after I've read the issues myself - guess I'll look at Adventure Comics never, cause I can't read Batgirl in the shops ;) :(

  9. Great reviews JT. Glad you liked Superman dude. I loved it too.

    Kello, I don't believe people are hating on Superman 701! I think Superman is just one of those characters that has gone through so many interpretations that it annoys people if it isn't "their" version being portrayed. I also loled at your Mad Mel reference.

  10. Nagash - I got it Nagash, thanks for participating. Lol yeah, I really am not a Legion fan but I wanted to know where that Atom story was going.

    Paul - Thanks dude. I agree with you. Some people just wanna see Supes flying, shooting Lasers, throwing tankers at Metallo and etc. but I love the more emotional tone this is taking. Plus it's still early, he may encounter a supervillain or two. Plus I'm excited because I read in #702 he comes to my hometown, Detroit, MI. And yeah, I'm lame for getting happy but so what Lol.

  11. Great reviews as always, JT. So much to comment on!

    I am extremely intrigued by Batman #701. I had no idea they were going to revisit the time between RIP and Final Crisis...that's just awesome. Of course, it'd be even more awesome if it weren't Tony Daniel writing it. :\

    That Batgirl cover is indeed great. Who's the artist? And I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but I really need to read some early issues of Booster Gold and Batgirl. I'll do it one of these days, I promise, lol.

    I should be able to actually participate in the top 5's this time, hooray! I'll send you my answers in a few minutes.

    Oh, and in the words of Mark Waid: "Superman #701 -- you will believe a man can walk." ;)

  12. Thanks Marc :) Yeah it was pretty good, and actually Tony's just doing art, Grant is writing 701 and 702, then Tony takes over on a new arc again.

    Yeah that cover is great, it keeps rotating to my desktop background. The cover artist is Stanley Lau. And yeah you should definitely pick them up buddy. In one arc Booster goes back to try to stop The Joker from shooting Babs, probably my favorite issues.

    Just saw ya answers in my email buddy, they'll be counted this Sunday. :)

    Lol I love that tagline. It makes so much sense too, just clever how they switched it up.

  13. Waid actually said that to be a jerk, lol. For whatever reason he's been publicly hating on mainstream DCU comics lately.

  14. Lol now I just feel dumb. Lol and wow, why the hatred, didn't he DO Mainstream DCU comics?