Friday, December 10, 2010

Ratings and Rantings

Hey everyone, JT here with another weekly dose of comic content comments with my favorite and only weekly feature, Ratings and Rantings! This is another small week for me, as I only have five comics to review this week, but they're big ones. A few of my favorites like Batgirl, Gen Lost and Red Robin as well as what should hopefully tie up some loose ends of Shadowland. I also picked up that What If: Wolverine Father but due to leaving it over Falisha's and being too lazy to go pick it up, I decided I'll review it another time. So, enough of my introduction, let's get to the meat and potatoes of this post, the reviews!

Batgirl #16

We start off this issue of Batgirl with our heroine, Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, running from the police after finding out she apparently killed one of her fellow students, which is news to Steph. Batgirl tries to escape from the Gotham City Police Department, and with the help of Oracle, she finally does after a long arduous chase. Batgirl then finds herself face to face with Detective Nick Gage, who knows that Batgirl is innocent. The two talk about what's happened, and Detective Gage even pops Batgirl's recently dislocated shoulder back into place. When the cops close in, Nick buys her time as Batgirl gets away and heads home. The next day at school Steph finds out that her classroom enemy Jordanna is now an enemy of Batgirl's as well, as she does a protest against our Blonde Bat, claiming her grief due to a classmate being "killed by Batgirl" has affected her studies. Stephanie, not in the mood to argue about Batgirl's innocence just walks away. Later on, Babs tells Steph that the reason she was believed to have killed the student, because Gage found a bloody Batarang, was wrong because the blood had been added after the death of the student along with some radioactive isotopes. Upon further analysis Oracle figures out where the isotopes originated and tells Batgirl where. Batgirl goes to crash the party and subdues the robed bad guys that are trying to steal things from the abandoned building. Batgirl is then shocked as the GCPD show up, and Gage tells her that bthanks to a tape sent by Oracle, Batgirl's been exonerated by the evidence that she didn't kill that college student. The cops arrest the robed goons but they soon escape due to someone that Batgirl expects must be a Speedster. The issue ends soon after as we find out who is behind the "Order of the Scythe." This was a solid issue, nothing amazing but nothing bad either, just solid. I enjoyed it and loved the smart remarks by Wendy when we saw her, even if she still does talk to her dead brother. Anyway, I'll give this issue a 8/10.

Batgirl: What's in the bag, Detective?
Det. Gage: Your Boomerang--
Batgirl: --Batarang.
Det. Gage: You realize that sounds more ridiculous, right?
Batgirl: Ridiculously awesome.

Shadowland: After the Fall One-Shot

After the Fall starts off with us getting the inside scoop from our narrator, Ben Urich, discussing the impact Daredevil had on Hell's Kitchen and how he changed the city due to recent events. We then start to follow Detective Alex Kurtz, as he discusses how his Captain wants him to bring in Daredevil, even though he's retired. What? If I was retired.... getting paid after doing my job long enough to be done doing it, and someone called me and asked me to go take down someone that fights heroes and villains for a living.... why the hell would I do it?! Anyway, from there we see both the detective and the reporter looking for info on Daredevil, asking everyone from Spidey to Luke Cage to Iron Fist, and coming up with no answers. After coming up with nothing, both men go to meet with Foggy Nelson, and when all three are at the same place, they discuss Murdock and if he's contacted Foggy, and if he's even still alive. Ben finally goes home after Foggy kicks both he and Alex out, and finds a micro-cassette. He plays it and hears a message from Matt Murdock, Matt apologizes for screwing up, trying to change The Hand and everything else he did and says he doesn't know when he'll be back or if he'll be back. The message ends and a Sai flies through the player, destroying the tape as Elektra tells Ben he'd best forget about Matt's message, much like Matt requests when the message ends. Back with Kurtz, he witnesses a crime and tries to stop it but it's broken up by Black Panther for some reason who looks like The Insider in the Batman: Road Home comics. He tells Kurtz he's watching over Hell's Kitchen now. Well who the hell asked you to? Back at the Police Station, the Police Officers all want to talk to Kurtz and ask him to stop looking for Matt, citing how he's saved them and when he was arrested the crime rate skyrocketed. The issue ends soon after with Urich telling Foggy how his article will be on how Daredevil helped change Hell's Kitchen to a better place and was an inspiration before the events of Shadowland. Well, that was a waste of four dollars. Nothing happened... at all. We found out nothing, we don't know why T'Challa is in Hell's Kitchen or anything. It was just a waste of time, the only good thing was seeing how some officers stood up for Daredevil. Anyway, I guess this was okay for what it was, but it wasn't much. I'll give it a 3/10.

Ben Urich: Hell's Kitchen isn't what it used to be. We've all seen it changing, recently changing for the better.

Red Robin #18

We get things kicked off with Timothy Drake, a.k.a. Red Robin in Russia thanks to the help of the former Anarky, Lonnie Machin. Tim is there to try to take down the villainous communication grid known only as the Unternet. Red Robin is soon joined by Mother Russia's former Teen Titan member, Red Star. Red Star is noticeably different, more hostile than we've seen him in the past, and even gives Tim a veiled threat when asking why Red Robin is there and tells him to tread lightly. Next we see Tim with Tam Fox, enjoying breakfast in their hotel room and discussing the plans for their meeting with Viktor Mikalek, and Red Robin's meeting with Mikalek, as he tries to find out if he's involved with the Unternet. When Tim and Tam meet with Mikalek, they convince the rich Russian mogul to invest in a Russian Neon Knights chapter and successfully hack into his computers with help from Lonnie. Just as the two are finishing up the meeting, a woman bursts through the window, guns-a-blazing. She tells Mikalek he will pay for his crimes and subdues his guards with rubber bullets. Tim determines he needs info from her and wants her to escape but Red Star shows up on the scene. Tim puts himself in the way, although making it look like a mistake, and the woman, known as Promise, uses Tim as a hostage to allow Red Star to let her escape. After changing into his Red Robin costume Tim goes after Promise, having secretly planted a tracer on her. When Tim arrives, Promise is taking a shower. And like the confused, non-sexually active horny seventeen year-old gentleman he is, he doesn't look and waits for her to finish, but she's aware he's there and blasts him with a bar of soap. Promise attacks Tim and he fights her off until he can tell her he didn't come for a fight. He offers to help her go after Mikalek if she has a good reason, and she explains that he hurt her brother, destroyed her home and various other reasons that make Mikalek look like a jackass. Red Robin and Promise's conversation is cut short as Red Star comes through a wall (Use a door jerk... who are you, the Kool-Aid Man?) and says that she's under arrest for being a terrorist. Red Robin stands between Promise and Red Star and Tam let's him know via comm link that Mikalek has been working with Calculator. Red Robin tells Red Star but he quickly refutes it by saying that Wayne Enterprises once worked with Lex Luthor to rebuild Gotham. Realizing he's in trouble, Red Robin hits a sneak attack on Red Star and tells Promise to run. Red Robin keeps avoiding attacks from Red Star and even boards his ship and tries to find something he can use against the big Russian Bruiser. The issue ends soon after with a very interesting ending for Red Robin, Tam Fox and Promise. This was another great issue, it seems like Red Robin keeps getting better and better under Fabian's writing. I love the character development in each issue, and I'm wondering what the deal is with the ending for this issue. It definitely has me hyped up for next months. I'll give this issue of Red Robin a 9/10.

Red Robin: Now I'm even more intrigued than I was with the whole shower thing... Lynx, Scarab, Steph, Cass and now this. (And Tam! Dayum, when did Tim become such a PLAYA?!)

JL Generation Lost #15

It's time for more Gen Lost, featuring in the spotlight a character that I've really taken a shine to lately, Captain Atom. We start off with a quick recap on Max Lord and how he controlled Superman and forced Wonder Woman's hand, which led to her snapping his neck like a twig. We see that Max learned since coming back to never underestimate Wonder Woman, as he damn well shouldn't. We then learn that Max has a problem of his own, because apparently no one else remembers who Wonder Woman is. Max has been tracking her but suddenly can't find the Amazonian Princess, and he of course has to see the irony in no one remembering him or the woman that killed him. I'd assume this is due to her new background and past as of late but that's just my guess. Max, clearly upset, orders the people at Cadmus labs to send someone or something after Wonder Woman and find her, because when he does find her, he promises to finish her off. Next up we see various news reports of how Captain Atom has caused destruction and murder in Chicago, even though that's not what actually happened. Turns out Captain Atom is back in his original time, now in the old J.L.I. headquarters with Rocket Red, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. (Such colorful names...) He tells his teammates how each time he goes to the future everything is bleak and it always comes back to Max Lord, and him killing Wonder Woman is the common denominator so to speak, so he says to stop that he has to kill Max Lord. Booster tries to talk him out of it but Cap doesn't want to hear it, citing how now he's a monster in the eyes of civilians and fellow heroes, and how they can't convince anyone to help them now due to them thinking he's a murderer. Booster tells Captain Atom to grow up, surprising everyone, including me. Booster tells Atom in no uncertain terms that he's not gonna be allowed to kill Max, regardless of what Max has done to him. He says that as good guys they don't kill, they're going to catch Max, arrest him, throw him in a cell with power dampeners, and let him rot there, but first Booster is going to "beat the ever-loving sh*t out of him!" Atom finally agrees, but his and Gold's conversation is cut short when both Rocket Red and Blue Beetle ask who Wonder Woman is. Booster checks with Fire and Ice and they recall our favorite Amazonian, meaning only Booster, Atom, Fire, Ice and Max Lord currently remember who Wonder Woman is, but not even Skeets remembers who she is. The team decides they need to find Wonder Woman and see what's going on but the team is soon ambushed by... The Creature Commandos? The issue ends soon after with one of our JLI'ers down for the count and not looking too good. This was another solid issue of one of the best damn comics out today. The mystery of wondering where Wonder Woman is (no pun intended), the anger shown by Captain Atom, as well as more character development on how much Booster Gold has evolved over the last six years and I couldn't be happier with this issue. The team attacking was kinda bleh, only because I've never heard of them but that's my fault I guess. Anyway, this was another fine issue of a great comic, I'll give it a 9/10.

Max Lord: WONDER! WOMAN! She's--She's a hero! The Amazon Warrior Princess, The--WONDER WOMAN, You Jackasses! None of you have ever heard of her?!

Well that's all for me this week guys, I'll be back with more Ratings and Rantings next week though. Below are the results for the poll from last week, and be sure to vote on the newest poll for this week. Until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd.

Last Week's poll asked "Who do you think should have won Battle for The Cowl if Dick Grayson didn't?"

Last place with 0% - Stephanie Brown, she's best as Batgirl anyway.
Third place with 7.7% - Damian Wayne, the young Robin wasn't ready for the Cowl
Second Place with 30.8% - Tim Drake, the favorite in my opinion for this poll falls short.
Winner with 61.5% - Jason Todd, I gotta say this shocked the hell outta me.

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Batman: Orphans #2 of 2, Birds of Prey #7, Brightest Day #16, Green Lantern #60, Amazing Spider-Man #650, Deadpool MAX #3


  1. Dude, that poll result was what I wanted to mention! What the HELL is that all about!?! I mean yeah, I'm as big a fan of Jason as the next guy(unless the next guy is JT)but how exactly would Jason as Batman work? I just don't see it. He was running around killing people before BftC, how could he become Batman?! I mean Tim had worked closely with Bruce prior to his "death", so how can't Tim be the man for the job?! Very, very weird...

    As you know, I can't really comment on the books yet, JT, since I have yet to read 'em! That score for Shadowland left me worried, but everything else seems to be pretty much how I expected them. Like last week, I'll get back to you when I actually get around to these books...

  2. I guess it would work the same way Damian works as Robin even though he's been killing and decapitating people for the last three years. :P I think it's easy to make Jason remorseful, and since he's only been killing bad guys which is something Huntress, Catwoman and even Wonder Woman have all done and are still viewed as Good Guys I could see it work. Plus, I'd think with Dick not in the picture they'd try to have him already changing to be more of a remorseful character anyway, plus after losing Bruce he'd be more likely to want to take the mantle than before. Plus you still have a weird resentment between him and Tim since Tim and Jason have a weird relationship, but Tim would never turn against the team so they'd be forced to work with one another.

    I'll be waiting buddy, and yeah, that Shadowland kinda did what the entire mini did, and that's barely accomplish anything.

  3. "I guess it would work the same way Damian works as Robin even though he's been killing and decapitating people for the last three years." Oh come on man! People keep throwing that at me, but really, when was the last time Damian killed and decapitated somebody? He's been much better as of late. Sure, he's still my least favorite Robin of all-time, but still, he DOES seem to be trying. Sadly I can't really say the same for Jason since he's come back. It's just been kill, kill, kill!!!

    I kind of think no Dick in the picture(if he were dead or something)coupled with Bruce "dying" would make Jason even crazier! If anything I could see Jason and Tim fighting non-stop until one was dead/in jail, because I don't think Tim would EVER stand for Jason as Batman considering Jason's past. Unless Bruce specifically left Tim instructions to let Jason take the cowl or something. That's the ONLY way I could ever see Tim standing by and letting Jason wear the mantle of the bat.

  4. Damian decapitated someone last year in the Batman 80-Page Giant. The only reason he's been better is because of Dick watching over him, I'd say. Whose to say that Jason wouldn't be the same way and turn over a new leaf if he became Batman after Bruce's "death?" He's shown he knows how to work with sidekicks, he even gave that Scarlet kid an outlet after her life got screwed up in that Batman and Robin arc, so there's some good in Jason.

    I think they'd have to align if it was only those two. Because if Dick wasn't around, I'd think Jason would try to become the good son. Jason's whole thing is that he was lost in the shuffle and thinks Bruce didn't care about him, with Dick gone, Bruce would try harder than ever to make sure he's aligned the family to deal with Dick's absence, and Jason would come back. Bruce would make Tim and Jason work together, even without them knowing due to how well he plans. Plus, you gotta remember, before he came back Tim looked up to Jason. The only thing that even changed that was Jason "testing" Tim at Titans Tower and beating the hell out of him. Whether Tim admits it or not I'd think he still respects Jason, and we know Jason respects Tim.

  5. There was a Batman 80-Page Giant last year? Well, I'll have to take your word for that! Who did he decapitate this time?!

    The main difference is that while Damian had Dick, Jason would have nobody watching over him. I mean we already saw how Jason reacted to Bruce's "death"... Going crazy and falling off of a train! :D

    Yeah, I can hear you on the fact that Bruce would probably take an extra interest in Jason with Dick gone, but besides the abandonment issues Jason has, his main gripe with Bruce is the fact that Bruce didn't kill Joker for him. That's one thing I'm not sure Jason could get over. As for Tim looking up to Jason, yes, but he was looking up to the ideal, pre-returned Jason. I don't think Tim respects this version of Jason at all, as evident by the epic ball-shot Tim laid on Mr. Todd! So yeah, I think Jason has respect for Tim, but I don't think that respect goes both ways.

  6. Lol yeah, he decapitated a villain named Spook that was dressed as a ghost or something. I'm sure you could google it to find proof, haha.

    Haha, well yeah but if we're talking about a world where Grayson was gone we kinda would have to take BFTC out of it and go with pre-BFTC Jason. And that's the same Jason that Tim helped escape from Jail if I recall correctly near the end of the Robin series.

    I think Tim was just mad because Jason beat the hell out of him, hell I'd be a little salty after that ass-kicking as well. And yeah, good point about the Joker thing but I think Jason has the means to get over that, it may take a while but tell me that wouldn't have been interesting if Jason had been Batman and discovered who Oberon Sexton was.

  7. Wait, no... Didn't that happen in one of Damian's first appearances, poss right after he beat up Jinx? Maybe that was a reprint in the 80 pager?

    Yeah, but Tim also changed all the passwords in the Batcave and told Jason he wasn't welcome anymore. I think he just let him out of jail out of respect for Bruce.

    Heh heh... "a little salty"... I don't know why, but I loved that... Anyway, that's kind of the thing. Would seeing Joker again in any form(Sexton, weird Ghost Joker from RIP or normal Joker)push Jason over the edge? I guess it's all kind of a moot point since in the hands of the right writer *coughJuddcough* most of, if not all of Jason's transgressions could be overlooked, dealt with. For me though, I just have SUCH a hard time imagining Tim letting a known murderer take up the Batman mantle. I think that would drive Tim away from the Bat-family for good.

  8. I just double checked and I was wrong, so I checked the DCU Halloween issue from last year and I got that mixed up with him pulling some guys teeth out, haha. Ah well, he's still quite brutal. Who pulls out someones teeth?!

    True, I think it's debatable, but I guess I'm not alone since some other people had to have voted for Jason as well.

    Lol fan of that phrase eh? I see what you mean but seeing as how Tim has worked and forgiven with so people who have killed in the past like Huntress or even working with the former Anarky, I think he'd forgive Jason.

  9. A day late and a dollar short! I swear I'm always traveling the blogs and get to your R & R late. But, I'm here. And the stuff I'm following sounds pretty interesting and solid to me. Especially Batgirl, Red Robin and Gen. Lost.

    Nice reviewing around this time sir, as if you weren't expecting me to say that. Lol.

    I'll try and make my way to reading some stuff this weekend and let you know what I thought.

    Good work.

  10. Thanks babe, glad ya remembered to comment :P Hopefully you get a chance to read Batgirl since I think you'll enjoy that, as well as the other two comics. I hope the comics I get next week are as good as the ones I reviewed this week, minus Shadowland.

  11. Ah-HA!! See that, Damian isn't NEARLY as EVIL as you thought!!! Sure he gutted Zsasz and tried to pull some fool's teeth out, but he HASN'T killed anybody since that mook the Spook(heh heh), meaning that he's trying, unlike Jason, who still runs about killing suckas.

    Yeah, that's the thing though! I'd love to hear from some of those other Jason-ites just to see why they'd go with Jason over Jinx. I'm just blown away by how far ahead Jason was!

    Mmmm, VERY good point on Huntress and Anarky. I can't debate that. But I still maintain that Timbo wouldn't want a multiple time murderer wearing Batman's costume. I think he could forgive Jason, but I'm just not sure he'd ever give him the opportunity to sully the cowl as it were.

  12. Lmao, there is no TRIED, he DID pull all of that guys teeth out. And Jason doesn't kill suckas that much unless it's people who DESERVE it :P Which is the same as Deadpool, Wolverine, and other heroes/anti-heroes.

    I've admitted I expected Tim to run away with the votes, so I'm just as shocked as you that Jason won.

    Haha, where was Tim when Azrael's crazy ass was wearing the Cowl then?! Oh wait, he was taking orders from the crazy s.o.b. Lol

  13. So he pulled somebody's teeth out... Batman is always knocking people's teeth out, I say big deal! :P It's funny, Jason does basically kill other bad guys(like the Punisher), yet he's universally frowned upon(unlike Wolvie, Punisher and DP). It's gotta be the fact that he's butting heads with Batman. You go against Batman's ideals and you're automatically a bad guy.

    Yeah, I'm dying for somebody to chime in here with some reasoning behind theie Jason vote...

    Now that's not all that fair... Tim was like 13, maybe 14 at the time? And he was told by Bruce to stick with crazy Azrael. I mean that's more on Dick than on Tim if you ask me. Tim was still new to the scene, Dick should have been on Azrael the MOMENT he started acting crazy.

  14. True, but we're talking about Gotham where Batman somehow still allows Azrael to run around killing people he feels are unjust. I see your point though, and I think if they wanted to and used the right writer they could easily make it so Jason stopped killing and I think everyone would forgive him. I think what they've missed out on are certain things, because we haven't seen Jason interact with Alfred, Steph, Babs, Cass and so many other people, I think it would be really easy for a talk from Alfred or Babs to really set Jason straight.

    Haha, looks like I'm the only one who stands by their vote :P

    I know, I know, I just like messing with you :P But I've seen Tim team up with and forgive a ton of people, I think he'd forgive Jason, not right away but he would if he had no other choice. Hell, he LOVED Connor after he beat the hell outta everyone and went all skinhead.

  15. Hey JT, great reviews as always! Sounds like they should just leave Shadowland alone now that it's over, instead of releasing yet more pointless one-shots. Oh well...looking forward to Amazing Spider-Man next week!

  16. Thanks Marc! Yeah, I say just leave it be, cause I could care less now about it or T'Challa taking over. And yeah, ASM should be great, definitely looking forward to that and Birds of Prey the most.

  17. I for one would LOVE to see Jason interact with Alfred. And no, not the Grant Morrison or Tony Daniel one, but the Judd Winick one. Alfred could talk sense into just about anybody, you'd think he could talk some sense into Jason...

    Yeah but in SB's defense, he WAS suddenly being mind-controlled by Lex Luthor... Granted, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really make sense, but still, it was mind control. Now if you let GEOFF write the story, maybe Jason will be revealed as the mind controlled son of... um, Deathstroke or something, meaning all of Jason's evil deeds can just be chalked up to Slade!

  18. Couldn't agree more. Alfred could lay that guilt trip and then build Jason back up as a hero all in over conversation. Alfred is SUCH a great character... I dread the day some idiot kills him for shock value.

    Lol... weird as it is I wouldn't mind Jason being Slade's son. That would open a LOT of doors, with him and Slade, Jason and Ravager, Dick and Slade moreso, Slade and Batman, only sucky thing is I'd never see the Ravager Jason Hook-up that would be awesome squared.

  19. Don't worry, old Alfie would be back in no time! Like you said, he's too good a character to leave dead for long! Oh, and I totally agreed on Alfred fixing Jason in one convo. I have NO doubt he could do it! Maybe that's why we haven't seen the two interact yet. Once they do, presto, instant face turn for Jason! :P

    Hey, you never know with the DCU! If they ever changed up Damian's origin, that would make him Slade's grandson! So he'd have Slade and Ra's as grandfathers... THAT is one awesome lineage!

  20. Exactly, make this happen and make it happen NOW. I wonder if he ran into Babs if they would mention the little crush he had on our favorite redhead.

    Man.... even I would have to like the little crumb-snatcher. That is a hell of a lineage, haha. Man.... that's TOO awesome.

  21. Hey check it out, you DID mention that Black Panther resembled Bats! :D

  22. Lol, did ya think I was just blowing smoke? :P

    Btw... should my year end awards be called the Hoody's as in Red Hood or the Hot Toddys... just because Buck Strickland is awesome? Lmao

  23. Oh my GOD, I LOVE the Hot Toddys! Anytime you have the chance to quote Buck Strickland, you HAVE to take it! Oh, and yes, yes I did think you were just blowing smoke. :P

  24. Lol the Hot Toddy's it is, for a joke that only you, Falisha and I will get. Ah well.... it's worth it. "BAT-MAN....TWO HOT TODDY's!!!!"

    Haha, I don't blow smoke buddy, I just drift through it like the Dark Knight....cause I'm Captain Awesome.