The second issue in the two-part mini where we see what happened to Batman between the events of Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis has finally arrived. As you guys and gals may or may not remember, I enjoyed the last issue, but with Grant Morrison stuff is either hit or miss with me, so hopefully I'll have good things to say about this issue. We start off with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman updating the JLA on the seriousness of the fact that a New God has been killed and how dangerous whatever and whoever killed him must be. They put the JLA on condition Amber. The little things, like Batman calling Wally West "Wallace" are things that help you remember that this is Bruce and not Dick Grayson after a year of him under the cowl. We see things that we've seen clips of in the past like Batman talking to Superman about the time traveling bullet, and when he confronted Alpha Lantern Kraken in Final Crisis. All the while we see excerpts from his diary or a note he's writing, discussing how he's a man who tries to fight against Aliens and Gods. We also find the back story between the Batman that was resurrected in the Lazarus Pits in Batman and Robin a few months ago. We also see the huge scene where Batman stands face to face with Darkseid before taking him out with the Radion bullet. This issue was really well done so I've gotta commend Grant, I may not like some of his work but I do love some of his other comics, and this is a great one. Although he just showed us scenes we've seen already from Batman's point-of-view it was still interesting and kept me wanting to know more. I'm sure it also unlocked some secrets for Return of Bruce Wayne readers but I'm not following that series, anyway this was a really good comic, nothing epic or mind-blowing but a good solid comic. I'd give this issue an 8.5/10.
Batman: I made a very solemn vow about firearms. But for you, I'm making a once-in-a-lifetime exception.
Justice League Generation Lost #8
Generation Lost, my favorite Bi-Weekly comic right now, picks up where issue seven left off with our heroes, Booster Gold, Rocket Red, Blue Beetle, Fire and Ice, dressed up in their Rocket Red attires surrounded by a bunch of armed Checkmate guards. Booster takes control and has Skeets patch the Checkmate computers to find Maxwell Lord's location, then has Rocket Red talk some communist stuff at Checkmate to stall them, but sadly they discover that Max isn't in the building. Our heroes, stuck in a stalemate with Checkmate decide to resign from the game. (I love Chess lingo :P ) Anyway, during their escape from Checkmate, Rocket Red takes some office via some type of electric scrambler that was placed on his suit. Fire gets angry and causes her suit to explode off of her, so the rest of the team decides to stop hiding and use their powers to subdue the Checkmate guards. With a little help from Captain Atom, the former JLI make their way back to their base. While there, Ice talks about how she never asked to be apart of any of this and doesn't want to do it anymore. We also see a nice moment between Fire and Rocket Red, who I think may become the resident couple, if Red isn't killed or something, which I hope he isn't since I'm starting to like him. The ending caught me by surprise, a common theme in this series, as I gotta say I didn't expect what happened to happen this soon, but I'll be waiting for the next issue to see how this goes from there. I'd give this issue an 8/10 rating.
Rocket Red: I love this woman! I know vhy she is called Fire!
Action Comics #892
This issue starts off with Lex, Lois and Slade Wilson getting off of Lex's personal Jet in Antarctica. It's said that Lex has brought Deathstroke to help him find a remaining Black Lantern Ring, as they are near the residual energy source. They eventually find the black source of the ring. Slade goes first to check out the energy because he has a bad feeling about it, as he should. While he's by the power source, Lex starts talking about how great an accomplishment this is, and Slade freaks out for some reason and rushes towards Lex. Lex has his people keep Slade occupied by being killed by him while Lex puts on his portable power suit. The former President of The United States takes on Deathstroke and sends his scientists to go scan the power source. Another one of his scientists succumbs to the power of the black sphere and it causes her to become homicidal as well. We also finally find out why Lex's head is unprotected when we see him in his power suit, because he has a force field surrounding it. Not the best explanation but it's better than him being so stupid that he leaves his head vulnerable. Our Bald Genius also figures out that strong emotions cause you to lose control quicker. The ending of this issue leads us to a showdown of the minds for the next issue that should be pretty good. This wasn't a bad comic, the pacing just seemed kinda slow and hard stay interested in so I'll give this issue a 6.5/10. Oh, and the Superboy Co-Feature made me 100% that I have no interest in reading the series now... man that was bad.
Lex Luthor: I'll deal with Deathstroke.
Time Masters: Vanishing Point #2
I wasn't aware this came out this week until I saw it in the store so this was a pleasant surprise. We kick things off with a young Rip Hunter and his father watching a great moment in time. They're watching the moment Superman's rocket lands on the planet earth. Rip's father tells him that he has to protect moments like this in the time stream to make sure no one ever ruins them and changes history or the future, and that one day it will be Rip's job. We then jump up to present time, whenever that may be, and see Rip fighting some type of savage man that thinks Rip is a murderer. With some help from Skeets, Rip subdues the Savage and talks to him, telling him he's not the man he's looking to kill. Rip decides to help the savage known as Claw on his mission, due to there being a stream of chronal energy, and maybe it will lead him back to Booster Gold, Green Lantern and Superman. From there we see Black Beetle (whose red for some reason) and a team he's put together consisting of Despero, Degaton and Ultra-Humanite from different moments in time so they can work together and get control over time. We then catch up with Green, Gold and Big Blue, in the middle of a war zone where some armed guys are shooting at unarmed humans, so Supes decides to jump in, even though Booster reminds him Rip said not to. They help and Superman and Green Lantern, like the arrogant jerks they are take shots at Booster for being a glory hound and such. Then like the hero he is, Booster saves GL. We then see Rip and Claw heading forward to find this evil wizard when they are attacked by some tentacles that pull them under water, when they arise, Rip see's that he can see various moments in time in the water. We then jump to Booster's sister Michelle (Goldstar) and his cousin Daniel (Super Nova) in Rip's lab. The ending of this issue was a bit surprising, but the comic overall was a good read, nice pacing and a really well done story. I'd give this issue a 9/10.
Green Lantern: I can see why you'd like to help find Batman. A guy like you could parlay that into a million-dollar payday. Maybe even get your own Reality show.
It's the historic 75th issue of Superman/Batman! Who would've thought that by combining the two biggest names in DC Comics and you'd get a nice ongoing series? Well this big action packed issue kicks off with some dude who looks kinda like Lex but greenish in the future, fighting past the Legion of Superheroes and going back in time. Supes, in our present time is flying around relaxing and hears the time barrier cracking around his favorite tree (who the hell has a favorite tree?!) and heads there expecting the Legion. The Lex-look-alike pops out and socks Supes in the face, drawing blood. We then jump over to The Dark Knight in his Batcave, listening to the bats fly around as he stitches himself up. Suddenly, Dawnstar flies in with Superman cradled in her arm asking Batman to help him. We soon see Batman has been sent on some errand at Lexcorp and he's not too happy about it. Batman finally gets in and finds a Luthor cloning speciman which is in a tiny test tube. Shrinking Violet (Too many Legionnaires!) pops out of Bats' utility belt, drops something into the tube then they replace it and leave. We eventually find out that it was a Kryptonite powered Lex clone that poisoned Supes....well thanks for telling us now! After some arguing the Legionnaires go back in time while Batman takes care of Superman like a big burly nurse on Halloween. The Legion then go back and help Superboy beta the Kryptonite Lex clone...then end. well if that were the only story I'd give this issue a 1 because that was awfully boring. Then we see a two page story that was boring.... very boring. Then there was another two page story that took place at a comic-con where I chuckled. There was a nice little quick story where Tim Drake asks Dick Grayson if he should tell Superboy he kissed Wonder Girl, and SB asks Superman what he'd do it Bruce kissed Lois. There's also a funny page long story with Joker and Lex that's clearly channeling the old Calvin and Hobbes comic strips. Overall there was more bad than good in this 75th issue which is sad because I like most of the series so far, but this one doesn't keep up with the other issues. I'd give this issue a 2/10. I wanted to like it but I felt like I ended up wasting my money, so I wouldn't recommend it.
Dick Grayson: I can't believe you made out with Cassie... I'd never be stupid enough to make out with Selina.
Gotham City Sirens #15
It's that time of the month again, for the lovely ladies of Gotham's former crime elite, The Gotham City Sirens, take center stage. We start things off with Catwoman and Harley Quinn armed with two tanks of defoliant on their backs looking for Poison Ivy and her new "ally" from the last issue. Harls and Selina use the defoliant to clear a path from the many plants that have sprouted up due to some pollen being spread, if ya catch my drift. *wink wink* For the record, I don't even catch my drift, so if you don't that's fine. We finally see Poison Ivy and she's turning purple for some reason, but unlike Violet Beauregard I don't think she's eaten any Willy Wonka chewing gum. Oh yeah, I'm dropping all types of references today. Ivy tells the plant-alien how she used to be human until Jason Woodrue injected her with some compounds that changed her Dioxy-Ribonucleic Acid or DNA (Told ya I could use it in a review X!) and made her into a Plant-woman. Selina and Harley continue to burn down all the plants in their way until Ivy steps out of the plants. She confronts the other two Sirens about killing her plants and gets angry, as a fight breaks out between Catwoman and Harley versus Ivy and her new "boyfriend." The best part of this issue was Harley comparing Ivy and the plant guy to herself and The Joker, because it was a great comparison and a nice way to show that Harley is evolving from just being Joker's sidekick. The ending seemed kinda last minute, I would've liked something better but it was fine for what it was, as was this issue. The next issue is billed ad "The Return of Talia Al Ghul" so hopefully that should be the start of a good arc. I'll give this issue a 6.5/10.
Harley Quinn: He's using you... just like you use normal guys... like Mister J used Me...
Superman: Secret Origins #6
And the comic with second longest wait of the year, hailing from DC Comics..... Superman: Secret Origins!!!! The first issue came out in September of 2009, this blog hadn't even debuted yet, now here I am reviewing issue number six. Things start off big with General Lane and his men commandeering the Daily Planet. When Lois confronts her father and claims Superman would never attack the U.S. Military without being attacked first, Gen. Lane asks his Lois trusts Superman. When she replies, "More than I trust you." he drops the bombshell and asks if Superman ever told her that he was an alien, leaving Lois, Perry and the rest of the D.P. staff shocked. Elsewhere we see Lex Luthor in a lab, operating on someone before breaking into a huge grin says "He's alive." From there we see some members of the military in the sewers looking for the Man of Steel, they stumble upon him but he uses his super speed to dodge their bullets, take their guns apart and then burst out of the sewer, and asks everyone to hold their fire so they don't harm innocents but they continue to bombard him with Rocket Launchers and bullets. Back in the Daily Planet, General Lane explains that Superman is an alien and they know his weakness, then plans to shut down the Daily Planet. Jimmy and Lois hatch a plan so she can get out of the office and to Superman. Back with Superman, he's trying to subdue the men and women of the military when he's attacked from behind by Sergeant Corben wearing a new suit. Lois warns Big Blue to leave the planet so they don't kill him with the meteorite, he doesn't back down and rushes towards Corben to fight him, punching off his helmet, revealing what's basically a corpse in a big metal suit, and starts calling himself Metallo. Eh, I like the other version better. I won't ruin the rest of the fight, but afterwards a very well-written (by Geoff not Supes) speech by The Man of Steel shows us why he is the embodiment of hope... and not Saint Barry Allen. :P Other great moments were the big Superman/Lex Luthor confrontation that was expected, and the Superman/Lois Lane confrontation the dialogue was very strong and seemed true to the characters. Overall I think this was a really good ending to the mini-series, there's not much you can deviate from with the history of Superman but Geoff did a fine job, I'd give this issue a 9/10.
Lex Luthor: You don't belong here! You never will! Why don't you go back to your own world?
Superman: Because I can't. And even if I could, I wouldn't. This is my home. And I'm not going to let you ruin it anymore.
Green Arrow #3
This cover is so gruesome that it looks awesome. It's definitely one of my favorite covers this year, maybe ever. How fitting is it that Green Arrow gets "Prometheus'd." We start this issue off with Green Arrow lying there with an arrow in his skull, waiting to die, as he compares it to his days on the island, waiting to die until he found a reason to live. We even see a few panels that reminded me of the fantastic Green Arrow: Year One comics. He lies there, surprisingly not dead, while three big dogs run toward him, until he's saved by the big guy that X-Man called Thor over on his blog not too long ago. The man picks Ollie up and takes him to a part of the forest and holds him underwater in a lake, where it asks "Do you deserve to live?" In Ollie's thoughts, he mentions that he's abandoned his son, murdered, alienated everyone he loves and couldn't keep anyone safe, including Star City. We see flashbacks that show us Ollie as a kid, and his parents, who had problems of their own, as Mr. Queen was unfaithful and was suggested to have done things with his secretary. After this, we see Ollie rise out of the water, and the flying water makes the White Lantern symbol. Oliver, being the jerk he is, blames the man who saved his life for trying to kill him, but the Mystery Man deflects all of Ollie's attacks until he can convince him he didn't try to murder the Emerald Archer. We then jump to Mary, the chick Ollie saved in the forest in issue one, trying to help sick people, but not having the resources due to Queen Industries snatching up all the health contracts. Back with Green Arrow we see he was saved by someone who believes he's Knight Galahad, of King Arthur's Round table. After discussing why he's there, Oliver interrupts by saying he doesn't know what's more confusing, why the forest saved him, or who tried to kill him. With another flashback we see the life of a young woman who encountered Robert Queen back in the past, he was drawn to her and even called her "Pretty Bird." We come to find out that this is the woman that is currently the new owner of Queen Industries. Back with Oliver and Galahad, they discuss like in the forest before a blinding white light shines, and Oliver, looking for answers, runs into the light. While there he sees the forest go through all four seasons, in a matter of seconds while Star City remains unchanged, before the issue abruptly ends. I mean like, next page ends. I liked this comic but the ending was so random and abrupt that it threw me off guard. But the majority of this issue was damn good and interesting, I'll give this issue a 9/10 rating as well.
Green Arrow: As Green Arrow, I've stood up to every adversary to cross my path. But as Oliver Queen, it seems I'm my own worst enemy.
So that's all for this week's Ratings and Rantings everyone, as always thanks for reading and feel free to comment. Also, this weekend since I couldn't last week, we're going to have another Top 5 Five! Oh yeah, I can hear that excitement rumbling in the pit of your stomach, or it may just be gas. Either way, the categories are below, so make sure you send me your top five for each of the five topics at KevinKavalier@Gmail.com by Sunday Noon EST. Time and I'll make sure your picks are counted.
Top 5 Marvel/DC Team-Ups You'd like to see
Top 5 Marvel vs. DC Fights You'd like to see (for the first time or a rematch)
Top 5 Comic Characters who you wish had a TV Show, Cartoon or Movie
Top 5 Most Overrated Characters
Top 5 Five Characters you'd like to put on a team together
The sooner the better people so send those picks in! I'll make sure I post the results this weekend, until then, I'm your Neighborhood Blogger-man and Saint Barry Allen worshiper, JT!
Next Time on Ratings and Rantings
Brightest Day #9, Red Hood: Lost Days #4, Dark Wolverine #90 and Shadowland #3...That's it?! I guess so....