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.
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.)
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?
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.)
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 KevinKavalier@gmail.com 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!