This issue is titled, "Prelude to Bruce Wayne: The Road Home", and is written by Fabian Nicieza, the only man besides Bryan Q. Miller to make me like their portrayal of Damian Wayne. The issue starts off with Damian busting Dick's chops about not catching a criminal. When the criminal escapes, Damian starts to rip into Grayson, but Grayson remembers when he ripped into Batman for the same problem. They discover that the criminal was possibly "The Getaway Genius", just as Red Robin shows up with a newspaper that has Batman and Robin on the cover and says "Batman & Robin fail to stop Museum Thief", by Vicki Vale. After discussing that Vale may be involved, Dick decides to go meet with her, as Dick Grayson of course. Dick and Vicki argue, all the while she insinuates that Tim is Red Robin and other members of Wayne's entourage may be Bat-family members. Before leaving Dick places a huge tracker on her bag, which I found funny considering it's as big as a freaking quarter, so how she doesn't see it just blows my mind. We see a quick look at the Getaway Genius, and find out she's a woman, but not one I recognize. We then see Damian working out and talking to Alfred, as Damian basically shows an attitude at his father even being bothered with the Getaway Genius. Alfred tells Damian to stop making decisions on what he thinks Bruce "was...is" and started to learn the truth. From there we see Vicki Vale taking pictures for the society page and sees a crime, as someone snatches a woman's necklace. Batman and Robin arrive on the scene, have some banter, then Batman decks a guy who turns out to be our criminal using a holographic projector. The nice swerve of the Getaway Genius was a great view at showing us who Batman was, and what he may be upon his return. I like seeing different sides of Bruce and that's what this allowed us, and even made me connect with Damian a little. I'd give this issue an 8/10, it was a solid issue, with a self contained story that was well-written and built hype for "The Road Home", so you can't ask for more.
Batman: We've talked about about being overconfident.
Robin: Yes. You said it had been your most endearing trait as Robin.Batman: And it was, but it works better with a smile than a scowl...
The Amazing Spider-Man #641
This is the finale to the four-part mini series known as "One Moment in Time" which I've been thoroughly enjoying. We start off with Mary Jane and Peter discussing the events that led to this moment like they have been for the last few issues. We see Doctor Strange conversing with Tony Stark and Reed Richards about making everyone forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Strange mentions that when he was offered a chance at anonymity he jumped at the opportunity, as did Tony Stark, and that Peter deserves the same chance. Tony acts like a tool and says it's Pete's fault for leaving the Avengers and breaking the law that his family now faces these problems, but Strange retorts that Tony is just upset because Peter stopped believing in him the way he used to. After Tony decides that Peter should have privacy, and everyone should forget, Reed interjects that everyone except he, Tony and Strange should forget, in case something happens. Tony says nothing good could come from them knowing. After some deliberation, everyone agrees to make it so only Peter remembers everything that's happened. While this is going on we see Peter standing over an unconscious Mary Jane, telling her that everything will be back to normal soon. There's an awesome panel where we see Spidey's HUGE rogue gallery. Strange snaps out of his trance and tells Peter to enter the bubble that will basically keep him from forgetting his past, Peter enters and cries as he leaves MJ behind, and suddenly runs out and grabs MJ, bringing her in while telling Strange he can't live a life without her knowing the truth. When the dust clears everyone has forgotten and Strange is knocked out as Peter, holding MJ in his arms walks away. She awakens later and Peter tells her a quick version of what happened and how only they know the truth, before telling her to get some rest and that he's explain in the morning. Pete wakes up and sees MJ is gone, but before he can go to far he finds out she's in the bathroom crying. She tells Peter not to touch her, and she asks him questions and then asks if he did what he did for them, or for him. She asks Peter why he couldn't just let her forget too. MJ cries and tells Peter it's not her family that suffers because Peter is Spider-Man, they suffer because she's Spider-Man's girl, and if someone rips off his mask the cycle will start over. The two kiss as MJ tells Peter to stop ignoring the phone or pager or something and go see Aunt May at the hospital. They talk and as Aunt May asks about MJ we see her putting her bags in a taxi and leaving New York. We all know what happened after that so I won't elaborate, but the final part with MJ and Peter talking was great. This whole Mini was pretty good, and the think tank with Reed, Strange and Tony was some fantastic writing, I can't stress how much I enjoyed that. I gotta give this issue a perfect 10/10 and a very high recommendation for the One Moment in Time story.
Peter: Face it Tiger, you just hit the jackpot. How you, feeling, gorgeous?Aunt May: Like I was hit by something a tad bigger than a jackpot.
Batgirl and Supergirl, the first real team-up between the blond bombshells of the World's Finest takes place in this issue! Things start off with our two crime-fighting teens being held by the neck by a black and white Dracula. But hey, we're getting ahead of ourselves, so we take a jump back to about ten hours ago. We see a super bored Stephanie Brown with her mother playing Scrabble on "Family game night!" We see that Babs is off with the Birds, Wendy is updating firewall equipment and surprisingly there's not any crime going on in Gotham tonight. The doorbell rings and Steph jets to it and sees Supergirl, who uses her super speed to put on some civilian clothes (or Civvy Skivies as I call them...) before Steph's mom can see her. The two girls decide to head out, and talk about how life is going for them lately. After a little talking, Supergirl runs around like a child while saying how much she envies Batgirl for being in college. Supergirl asks Steph if they can go to Keg Parties and have pillow fights... now that sounds like a comic worth reading! Kidding, kidding. Kara talks Steph into going to see a 3-D movie, meanwhile some nerd doesn't wanna go back to being a teaching assistant so he does something that causes the Vampires in the 3-D movie to come to life. Yes, it's as corny as it sounds. It takes Kara a minute to realize because growing up on a farm for a few years obviously makes you stupid. Anyway, the two femme fatales decide to team-up and take care of the blood-sucking movie stars. There was a funny scene where Kara rips her shirt off and has her costume underneath, and waits for Steph to do the same until she replies "Not unless you wanna see my bra." They find out that there's 24 of these pesky Dracula's around that they have to stop. We see a montage like scene before there's only one Dracula left and that's where things started in this issue. From there you can pretty much guess what happened. This was another fun issue, pretty corny but hey, what can ya say? We saw Dracula's crying in black and white 3-D, but it was STILL better than Twilight :P I'll give it a 7/10 rating.
Supergirl: Aren't you gonna... you know...
Batgirl: Not unless you wanna see my bra.
Supergirl: Does it have a bat on it?Batgirl: I assure you it does not.
Green Lantern #57
First things first, this is a really nice cover. I don't know who the big man is in the middle but the way they used the colors to accentuate over having to draw everyone's faces is a pretty cool idea. So as we start off things, Larfleeze and Hal are avoiding attacks by Hector "The Great Pumpkin" Hammond, who looks positively creepy. After trying to eat Larfleeze, the Orange Entity'd Bobblehead flies off trying to find Carol Ferris. Hal and Larfleeze decide to head to Vegas to find Carol before Hector does. We jump over to Zamaron, the home world of the Star Sapphires and see that their power battery is rebuilt but not as strong that it was, and also for some reason it was powered by the remains of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Alrighty, well that's pretty awkward. They talk about how the Lantern will die out soon unless they find the Predator, but Carol is already in Vegas on the case. Carol runs into some jerks and disposes of them, and is then contacted by the head of the Star Sapphires telling her to pick up the speed basically. Meanwhile, some dude with a camera is snapping pics from afar of some chick he likes then takes them back to develop them. Suddenly the Star Sapphire entity appears and pretty much merges with him so he can go talk to the woman he's been stalking. Tough love I guess. While looking for The Predator, Carol stumbles upon Larfleeze who is loving Vegas and it's all you can eat buffets. Predator and his new host attack Carol and Larfleeze but Hal shows up to join the fight. After a bunch of conversation, Carol realizes that there's more to it than the entity just being evil. She confronts the host and the entity, and tells it that he doesn't love the woman he's watched, it was just infatuation. She kisses the guy which somehow allows her to catch the entity... which was odd. But that's not the end of the comic, because I wouldn't ruin that for you guys. But I was pretty surprised by the ending of the issue. This story wasn't one of the best in recent memory but it was far from bad, I'm wondering how the ending will affect everything though, and the tag for the next issue leaves me even more excited. I'll give this issue a 7.5/10.
Larfleeze: "ALL YOU CAN EAT"?! I HAVE ARRIVED!!!!
Daken Dark Wolverine #1
Just when you thought it was safe to not get killed by Wolverine's murderous Mohawk having son, Daken has a new series that starts only two weeks after his past one ended. This one is also written by Marjorie Liu and Daniel Way who's now going by Dan Way. So in other words... awesome. We start things off with a flashback from fifty years ago, seeing a drunken Wolverine stumble out of a bar. A crying woman runs out behind him, and says that the man Wolverine just gutted was done fighting, and Wolverine did it for nothing, implying he'd just killed her husband or boyfriend or something. All the while we can see someone has Wolverine in a Sniper Scope, but at the last second Daken tells them not to take the shot because "They have time." We jump forward to Present Day, which I love because even if you read this comic eighty years from now it's still present day. Anyway, at a Modeling show we see a blond woman looking for a model, and she finally finds her in the back room, making out with Daken. After the model leaves, Daken apologizes to the blond woman who blows him off and says she's used to dealing with Jackasses. Daken then flirts with a few people, then gets a call from Johnny Storm, which is weird, sure they could've kept in touch after meeting a while back but it just seemed odd. Anyway, he tells Johnny he has to call him back because someone's about to kill him. Daken hangs up, sips his champagne out of his tiny glass, then opens a 64 oz can of whoop ass on his attackers. Daken then goes to meet with the person who sent the attackers, telling them he's done his part of the deal. The mystery man replies that Mystique betrayed them, to which Daken sarcastically replies while acting shocked considering her track record. When the man wonders how she knows of the plan, Daken says he told her, because he wants everything, and the only way to get it is to make sure no one else has anything. The issue ends while we see things wrap up and Daken in his new costume. I thought this was a well written introductory issue, it raised a lot of questions as it should, yet set the ground as well. I'd give this issue an 7/10 rating.
Daken: I'm going to have to hang up now. Someone's about to kill me.
This issue gets underway with Foggy and Dakota in a hotel room, Foggy is standing by the window like an idiot after Dakota warns him not to, so some ninjas come in through the window to attack, but Dakota is ready for them. She makes them regret ever attacking as she handles them all, but Foggy manages to get held hostage. He isn't for long because some unlikely help comes in the form of Tarantula. He warns them that Matt is losing his mind and now it's not just The Hand to worry about, but the whole city is turning on itself. We jump over to Detective Alex Kurtz, commenting on how the city is going crazy. While in a convenience store, he overhears a robbery and tries to stop it before The Hand can come and deliver their harsh version of justice. When The Hand attacks, one of the robbers shoots and runs before realizing he just shot a teenager, and that the two "Hand" members were teenagers playing crime-fighter. We then see Iron Fist and Luke Cage talking about if they want to kill the thing inside of Matt, they have to kill Matt. At just that moment, Dakota and Foggy walk into the room, catching Iron Fist off guard. After deliberation, the heroes agree that they must kill Matt, but Foggy says this is all The Kingpin's idea, which prompts The Kingpin to walk into the room. Like the genius he is, Kingpin says just the right things to convince everyone they need to act now before the city rips itself apart. We then see Tarantula confronting Daredevil, who has Elektra and Typhoid Mary with him, telling him he doesn't approve of his recent decisions. Daredevil seems to agree with Tarantula before quickly changing his stance and telling Tarantula to get back on the streets and remind everyone who their lord is. The ending of this issue was great, (which I won't ruin, you're welcome.) I'm looking forward to the next issue of Shadowland and Daredevil just based on the last three pages of this issue. I'm wondering what will happen with Tarantula and everyone else, and that we may have a bit of Matt left to fight back is interesting. Anyway, I'll give this issue a 9/10 and recommend it to anyone who's loving the Shadowland story as much as I am.
Me: That is the worst Kurt Angle I've ever seen in my life... (Upon seeing an add for some TNA action figure things.)
Justice League Generation Lost #9
We start things off for this issue of Gen Lost with Booster Gold, Master of the monologue, filling us in on what's been going on so far for the team formerly known as the JLI. Unbeknown to the Golden One, He's a mere one room away from Max Lord, the man he and the rest of the JLI have been searching for. Meanwhile, Max has Fire at gunpoint, but our Brazilian Babe powers up and tries to engulf Max in flames, but lucky for him he has a force field. Max uses his super mind powers and makes Fire sit down and shut up. Fire tries to yell for help but the room their in allows no sound out, so Max once again tells her to pipe down while he works, before he puts a bullet in her knee. Back with the rest of the JLI, Ice says she's not happy and wants to quit the team. Captain Atom retorts that he doesn't wanna chase Max over the world either, but he's doing it for the good of the world. We then see Skeets and Rocket Red, as the injured Russian tells Skeets he's fine and wants to "up suit." Skeets announces he's found something to Gavril, and we see Max press a button that electrocutes Skeets. As Gavril tries to help, Max uses his control over Fire to make her go attack our Russian Comrade. Still able to talk, Fire warns Gavril that Max is controlling her. Gavril gets to his hand gear and rocket boots and tries to fight back, which attracts the JLA. Fire warns them that Max is there, and Atom tries to subdue her while telling Ice to help Rocket Red and Beetle to help Skeets. Booster has already found and attacked Max Lord, while Captain Atom overcharges Fire so she runs out of power. Meanwhile, Booster and Max are face to face as their force fields hold one another back, they argue as Max pulls out a gun, but drops it as his nose starts to bleed. Booster gets ready to attack but Max binds Booster using his powers somehow and leaves via teleportation, but as he leaves he tells Booster he's sorry, cause the gloves are coming off. The issue ends with Max Lord calling in a certain someone, (if you follow Brightest Day it shouldn't be hard to figure out) and asking them to kill Captain Atom. This was a really good issue, It held my interest the entire time and teased the big Booster vs. Max showdown very well. I'd give this issue a 10/10 rating, it deserves it in my eyes.
Captain Atom: It's not because we want to Ice! IT'S BECAUSE WE HAVE TO!
Red Robin #16
This issue starts with a web chat, we see that someone has been killing possible Robin's and Red Robin's based on age, body type and wealth to find the real hero. We see that this man is Tim Drake's former nemesis, Anarky. The man who as Tim put it, "Thinks of himself as my own Joker." Tim finds out about the murders that were caused somewhat because of him, and plans to put a stop to Anarky. From there we get quick updates on Lynx, Prudence, the search for Bruce Wayne, and Captain Boomerang since they all tie into Tim Drake, which I thought was pretty cool. From there we see Tim handle the running of Wayne Enterprises, as well as dealing with Vicki Vale. From there Tim and Tam Fox had lunch, and it was funny seeing how awkward Tim is with girls, guess the Wayne charm only rubbed off on Grayson... anyway the meal gets cut short when Tim gets a text message from an ally that Anarky may be striking again soon. We find out soon that Anarky is using Lonnie, the former Anarky, and that Lonnie is Tim's texting ally. Red Robin arrived on the scene just in time to stop Anarky from killing another innocent victim. While being subdued by Red Robin, Anarky activates a protocol that will blow up his apartment, killing the paralyzed comatose Lonnie and he has sixty seconds to get to him while he's fourteen blocks away. Tim hits Anarky in the vagus nerve, paralyzing him for at least twenty minutes as he heads to save Lonnie from a grim fate. The end of this issue was great, and it didn't end with the Lonnie stuff but with even more great writing from Fabian as we saw Tim stand face to face with one of his biggest enemies. Along with the hype for the next issue of Red Robin in two months I can easily say this has become one of my top five series since Fabian took over. I'll give this issue a perfect 10/10 score as well, there wasn't one thing I didn't enjoy.
Tim: They don't care about any of this. Vicki Vale or any of them. Will the first question be about my "injury" or my "engagement"?
Vicki Vale: Tim, How has your injury affected your engagement?
Tim: That's why she's the best...
So that's all for this week's Ratings and Rantings. Thanks for reading and as always comments are appreciated from my loyal readers as well as my new ones. Also, it's that time again for the Top 5 Five! So if you wanna participate, send me your five picks for each category to KevinKavalier@gmail.com. The choices are below, so don't forget to send those in by this Sunday. Until then, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd!
Top Five Powers you wish you had
Top Five Supporting characters (ex. Lois Lane)
Top Five Characters you hated now you like
Top Five Characters you'd hang out with if they were real
Top Five Former Robin characters in Order of your Favorite to Least Favorite (only canon, no Carrie Kelly)
Next Time on Ratings and Rantings
Batman Beyond #4, Birds of Prey #5, Brightest Day #10, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #2, and Deadpool #27