Dustin Nguyen takes over art duties in Batgirl starting now, I could care less since I'm such a fan of Bryan Q. Miller's wonderful work on Batgirl in the last year. I will say that I wasn't sure what to expect from Dustin, but I like his work of Streets of Gotham most of the time. Three pages in I was no longer worried, Dustin is going to do awesome. We start out this issue with a Cartoon-ish quick rundown over Batman's history including Dick Grayson, Babs Gordon, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne, Steph Brown and surprisingly they even mentioned Jason Todd, all the way from Bruce's parents death up to his "return from the dead." We see that this was Stephanie explaining everything to Wendy "Proxy" Harris. We then see Steph in a class with her friends that also signed up, when Steph forgets the packet she was supposed to bring all hell breaks loose with her and Francisco's (her crush) girlfriend, Jordanna. When someone runs by screaming for help, Steph excuses herself to the bathroom and goes after the guy. Batgirl arrives on the scene as some cloaked guys are about to attack the fleeing classmate. When Batgirl gets some unexpected help from a crazed bomber from a few arcs ago, now calling himself The Grey Ghost. Batgirl turns down his help and The Grey Ghost says she won't for long, before magically disappearing, causing Steph to make a funny joke asking is that why everyone hated Spoiler. Meanwhile, the guy Batgirl was helping was cornered by the cloaked figures and committed suicide, or so the police think. Detective Nick Gage isn't so sure so decides to look into it, but not before he talks to Barbara Gordon. They both notice that the deceased student is missing a Flash Drive that he wore before the murder, and when Babs mentions guys in Robes were chasing him, Nick runs off as if remembering something. Steph also has a heartfelt conversation with her mother when Steph's Mom suggests moving away from Gotham. The issue ends soon after with an ending wondering how Batgirl will clear her name of some new found implications. This was a nice solid issue, nothing amazing but nothing at all was wrong with it. I'll give this issue a 8/10 rating.
Stephanie: Then Jason became Robin, then blew up, then came back, then went crazy. (Damn you Tony Daniel for adding the crazy to Jason's character.)
Beautiful art, even on an ugly character like the Mad Hatter. Anywho, this issue naturally picks off where the last left off, with Batman face to face with Deathstroke. Batman is trying to get to Allegra Garcia, but Deathstroke is too. Deathstroke notes his primary goal was freeing Mad Hatter, but Garcia is also apart of the deal for the client. Slade weighs his options, and decides Garcia is worth fighting for, and attacks the Dark Knight. We then see a flashback from two weeks ago with Ray Palmer searching of Ryan Choi's house. After finding nothing he shrinks down and see's blood corpuscles floating around the air. From there we see Osiris confronting who he thinks is Sobek, but it's actually Killer Croc. Croc tries to tell him he's not Sobek but Osiris "isn't hearing none of that" (heard that on Maury once...it works here.) The two break out fighting with Croc saying Osiris is the real monster. You go girl! Next we see a really, really bad scene with Roy getting owned by Clayface, Jane Doe offering sex to Ink (Tattooed Man) and Zsasz implying he's had sex with her....what?! Then... we get "Class A" Zingers like "At least I got hair" from Ink to Zsasz and the always priceless "Crazy witch" from Ink to Jane Doe.... okay, one more stupid thing and this gets a N/A. Scarecrow hits Ink with some good old Scarecrow toxin which is in powder for some reason.... causing Ink to see his dead son. While that distracts him he gets beat up by Doctor Phosphorus of all people as Jane Doe continues to lust for his skin. Alright, I'm done. This comic was horrible, I love jokes but these were horrible, and the dialogue was bad for everyone who wasn't Deathstroke and Batman. Also, why the hell would Croc EVER try to talk his way out of a fight?! The guy eats PEOPLE. You telling me a teenager with tights and a lightning bolt scares him more than Batman? Also, remember when Roy was actually worth something? Remember when Roy was ready for anything, even as Arsenal? Remember Roy was actually equal to Dick Grayson? Now look at him, the guy can barely fight CLAYFACE. Use Water or freeze him, it's not rocket science. Anyway, I have better stuff to read than Titans, period. Change writers and we'll talk, until then, consider this my last issue. N/A
Red Robin #17
This issue of Red Robin starts off pretty familiar, with a man and woman leaving what I assume is the theater or opera and a robber running up on them, grabbing her pearls and brandishing a gun, only this time the criminal's hand is impaled by a Batarang. But the criminal isn't attacked by Batman, this vigilante is none other than Cassandra Cain?! Freaking awesome, big fan of Cassie, especially when her entire face isn't covered. After subduing the criminal, Cass is confronted by Red Robin. We find out Tim asked Cass to get him information on Lynx, and she asked him to get info on a dangerous Chinese Assassin, The Cricket. Doesn't sound that menacing, but neither does Cass Cain. They both come up short with their info. Tim then offers Cass her Batsuit back, which annoys me since Steph is doing such a great job. Cassandra turns it down, reminding him that Steph is Batgirl now. Tim tells her to call herself Bat-chick, Knightbat or Black Robin, just don't forget she has a family. Cassandra tells him thanks, but replies that family isn't always a home, before leaving with the suit. From there Tim heads back to Gotham City, and we see that he's bought the theatre in Crime Alley. He then does a few more errands, including dinner with his friend Ives, and we find out Tim is about 17 or 18 years old. From there he meets with Lonnie from a few issues ago, recruiting him as his own personal Oracle, because if Steph can have one, and Power Girl can have one, why not Tim? Still conflicted on to believe Lynx or not from prior issues, Tim decides that he'll go help her. I really like the idea of Lynx being Tim's Catwoman, although I'm sure he'll end up with Steph in the end, since they're the updated Dick and Babs. Tim saves Lynx from being transported away, and when she unzips her prison jumpsuit down to her waist and hugs Tim, he gets flustered. Hey, he's a 17 year old virgin that's been fighting crime forever, I'd be flustered too! She gives Tim a kiss, which he enjoys, before telling him he has to continue to pursue her so she can keep up her charade. And just like that, Tim has a younger, sleeker, Catwoman. As Lynx leaves, Tim is joined by the original, Batman. Bruce and Tim talk about how they have everything in place for Batman Incorporated, and Bruce says with everything they forgot something, before hugging his adopted son. Bruce asks Tim a few questions, and even compares Lynx to Catwoman as well, before telling Tim they were gonna go have some fun. The issue ends right after with Tim and Bruce heading off, as Tim discusses Batman Inc. This was another great issue, since Judd took over I don't think there's been one issue of Red Robin I've disliked and this was another great one. I love the Lynx/Catwoman comparisons, the fact Tim gets his time to shine, and is more of an equal with Bruce than a sidekick now. I also loved seeing Cass Cain and I wonder how she'll be included. I'll give this issue a 9/10.
Tim: Dick's done a great job with him.
Bruce: I know that. What about you and the boy?
Tim: Did I mention Dick has done a great job with him?
Justice League: Generation Lost #13
Generation Lost #13 dropped this week, it's hard to believe this series has been going for 26 weeks already. That's insane. Anyway, this issue starts off with a quick flashback of a young Magog, somewhere between the ages of eight and eleven I'd assume, listening to his Grandfather tell war stories as he talks about how you always have to obey orders when in combat. From there we jump to the present with Magog attacking Captain Atom. Captain Atom tells Magog he won't fight back around a bunch of civilians as they fight in the middle of the street, and Magog says he doesn't care if Captain Atom surrenders, before raising his attack staff (?) over Captain Atom. We then rewind eighteen minutes back to when Magog first confronts Captain Atom, Jamie Reyes and Booster Gold. He announces that by orders of Checkmate and the United Nations Security Council, he's been told to execute Captain Atom. Booster and Beetle try to talk him out of it but Cap warns them to run, and that Magog's Lance (ah, that's what that is!) is different. Magog attacks the two and Booster mentions his force fields can't handle the Lance's new found power, as Beetle, like the chump he is, says the Scarab is telling them to get out of there. Cap Atom tells the guys that Magog's Lance is shooting radiation and other unstable energy, and tells the guys to leave. Beetle agrees but Booster refuses to leave a man behind. Cap Atom tells Beetle to take Booster away, and he does. I liked this because ut really shows how much Booster has grown as a hero in the last few years, hell ten years ago Booster would've been the first one out of the door. Magog and Cap have a huge radiation war with Magog getting the better of Cap many times over until Captain Atom asserts himself, and yells at Magog to tell him who gave him the orders. After a lot of yelling and Magog's quick flashback, he admits Max Lord did. He then falls to his knees saying he remembers it all, and how Max made everyone forget and was going to make him kill Captain Atom. This is soon interrupted by Max Lord, who walks up to the two men, tells Cap he's sorry for what he's about to do, then uses his mind powers to make Magog point his Lance at his head and blast it, causing it to explode, killing him instantly. The White Light then tells Max mission accomplished for stopping the war before it started, referring to Kingdom Come. Cap tries to get up to go after Max but realizes everyone around him is whispering and pointing camera phones. It seems Max made them all think that Captain Atom murdered Magog, and then the lance explodes, killing many people as Captain Atom tries to pull in the radiation, the issue ends. This was a wonderful issue. Magog being killed so early surprised me but Max using his powers to make everyone think Cap did it was the icing on the cake. The only thing I didn't like was so much jumping around, it just seemed unnecessary when it was done after the first two times. I'll give this issue a 9.5/10.
Max Lord: I'm sorry. It was for the best. I'm saving the world.
Amazing Spider-man #648
Big Time starts things off with our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man leading The Avengers into battle against Dr. Octopus and some giant Octopi robots. Yeah... cause those are WAY more menacing than say... almost anything else? Spidey manages to lead the Avengers in a great way, take out a giant octopus by himself, and save a guy who then accuses the Airborne Arachnid of stealing his wallet. We then see J. Jonah Jameson trying to get an air-strike on Manhattan because it's overrun by giant mechanical spiders. I love that character so damn much. Meanwhile, Spidey goes to find another robot to take down and get the glory since the Fantastic Four won't let him help... bullies. Spidey then finds himself with a little help from The Black Cat, who tries to get her to recommend him for the Avengers, she also hints that she'd like to Assemble with him as well (HIYOOOO, man I'm good at wordplay.) Spidey leaves before he has to take up the spandex-clad cutie on her offer. Next up we see that Doc Ock is working with Chameleon, Sandman, Electro, and Rhino on a plan, and he announces to Spider-Man that soon all of the Robots will explode. Spidey hangs back to let Reed and Tony try to figure it out but when Human Torch talks to him about how he should be over there helping, after a little self doubt he realizes something and rushes to the rescue. Afterwards we see Peter at the Front Line, and he soon discovers there are people who have Green Goblin tattoos and that their big with white supremacists. Who ever knew Norman was a racist? Or just racists like him anyway. Not long after that, J. Jonah Jameson walks in and with the encouraging of Marla, he gives Robbie and Ben Urich the rights to the Daily Planet name. Peter doesn't stick around though, and when he heads home he notices that Michelle is moving out, leaving him now homeless. So that leaves Pete looking for a new roommate, after being turned down by Randy Robertson, and his phone dying while calling Betty Brant, and turned down by his girlfriend Carlie, he even asks Flash Thompson, but gets turned down. On the other side of town, John J. Jameson Jr. meets with his grandfather J. Jonah Jameson Sr., and Marla talks with Aunt May. When Marla tries to help get Peter a job due to him losing his last because of Jonah, she makes some calls after discovering how genius Peter actually is. Back with Pete, he asks MJ to live with her, which results in them both crying tears from laughing so hard, which i really loved. Peter then finally heads home ashamed to ask Aunt May to live there again even though he despises himself for it. He surprisingly is only there for a few before being whisked away by Marla Jameson, but Peter senses someone watching him. I don't know who but they show interest in Mac Gargan as well. We then see Mac having the Venom symbiote forcibly removed by him for some reason by the army. Next up we see Peter as he's introduced to "The Johnny Depp of Einsteins", Max Modell. After a huge mishap, Peter saves the day, answers some lightning round questions and then is offered a job in Modell's think tank, as well as a HUGE paycheck. The issue ends soon after with the return of a big villain. Man this was a LONG, action packed, well written, great issue. I don't think there's anything I didn't enjoy, and I was caught up the whole issue. Plus everyone from Cap to MJ, Black Cat, Flash Thompson, the Fantastic Four, Four Jamesons and the Avengers! I'll give this a well-deserved 10/10.
Iron Man: You've dealth with Doctor Octopus' technology before. What are it's weaknesses?Spider-Man: Wow! Iron Man is asking ME for tech support? Pinch me.
Birds of Prey #6
One of my favorite series continues on with issue six as Huntress and Lady Blackhawk stand face to face with Black Canary whose dressed like White Canary for some reason. Dinah has Helena and Zinda get into the taxi they came in and commandeers it. When Huntress asks what the deal is, Canary says they'll be leaving tomorrow, but it won't matter then. She explains that White Canary has Sin, and she'll kill her unless Dinah challenges Shiva in a fight to the death. When Helena asks if Canary can win, Dinah says she can't, especially with a broken wrist. Back in Gotham, Hawk finally gets out of his hospital bed with help from Dove. Hank wants to retaliate at White Canary, but Oracle lets him know that the girls are handling that, and Hank surprisingly listens to her orders. Savant lets Babs know he doesn't like Hank so far, and when Creote asks if Babs believes Hank, she replies that she doesn't. Back with the three birds in Bangkok, they are at a big meal before the showdown between Shiva and Dinah, that White Canary has thrown. Only Zinda eats, as the tension is too high for the other women. A slightly crying Dinah asks Huntress to be her second and issue the challenge to Shiva on her behalf, and also to tell Babs and Ollie she loves them. Helena gets up and heads to Shiva, who says she doesn't find having to fight Dinah any more pleasant than Helena does. Helena then throws her drink in Shiva's face. She tells her to listen for once, and challenges Shiva to the fight, with her replacing Dinah. Shiva accepts with White Canary's blessing, and Helena goes to put on her work clothes. Dinah tries to talk her out of it but Helena says she has no one depending on her, and Dinah does. She tells them to leave so she can be alone, before kissing on her crucifix and praying. Dinah tries to challenge Shiva but she has to deny since she's already accepted Helena's request. Shiva and Huntress prepare to fight and Black Canary tells Shiva if she does this she will kill Shiva, and Shiva replies by saying "That would be just."As Dinah is helf back by one of White Canary's protege's, the protege tells her she knows where the child is. The fight starts, with the rule being no weapons as the only rule. Huntress attacks but can't even land a punch on Shiva. Shiva then administers a hell of a beating on Huntress, but Huntress has the Homer Simpson gene, patent pending, and won't stay down. We then see Canary reunited with Sin, and she gives Sin to White Canary's protege and tells her to take her to her foster parents and get them to safety, before rushing back to help Huntress. Huntress uses her street fighting ways to finally knock Shiva off of her feet. Dinah rushes on the scene and stops the fight, and Shiva says the fight will continue, but Dinah said they never specified when it would end, so they can do the fight forty years from now. Loopholes for the win baby! Dinah tells White Canary it's over, unless she wants to fight Huntress, Black Canary, Shiva and Lady Blackhawk. White Canary walks away defeated, vowing revenge. Shiva then gives Huntress the name "Iron Owl", and wonders if she can give her the honor of helping her stand as the issue ends. This was a fine issue, it was pretty predictable though. You knew no one would die or anything bad would happen, and I hate Sin was barely seen. I'll give it a 7/10.
Black Canary: I'm to issue a formal challenge to Lady Shiva if I want Sin to live. To the death.
Well that's it for me everyone. I'm all done for this week, and luckily for the most part I had great issues this week. As always, comments are appreciated. I'll be back next week for more Ratings and Rantings, and until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off!
Next Time on Ratings and Rantings
Batman Inc. #1, Streets of Gotham #17, Brightest Day #14, Green Lantern #59, Green Lantern Corps #54, Power Girl #18, Superman/Batman #78 (Written by Joe Kelly!), and Deadpool MAX #2.