Brightest Day #16
We get things started with Aquaman and Jackson Hyde a.k.a. Aqualad are in Aquaman's um... underwater base? Aqualad is looking at pictures that Aquaman has up and comes across one with Arthur, Mera and their son. When Jackson asks about the picture, Aquaman tells him who they are, citing that his son was killed by Jackson's biological father, Black Manta. Awkward... Aquaman then tells Jackson his parents will be safe there but he and Jackson need to go fight the war between his people and Mera's people or the entire world will be destroyed... okay then. We then see the Firestorm boys trying to get their powers under control with the help of Doctor Mid-Nite and Mr. Terrific. From there we jump over to the super 90's type villain, Deathstorm. Duuuuuuude! After talking with Prof. Stein about how much more powerful he is than Firestorm, he says that the only way he can be killed is if the host he's bonded to dies, before letting Jason's father take over the body and giving him a gun. He pretty much eggs Jason's dad to kill himself, only because he knows he won't do it. He tells Stein and Mr. Rusch to remember they had an opportunity to end this all when he makes the boys scream in agony when he turns their blood to acid and their eyes to cockroaches. Mr. Rusch asks Stein what to do and Stein says do it, so Rusch pulls the trigger, but Deathstorm, being the groovy villain he is tells them he forgot to create bullets, before taking back over the body and laughing. Back with the Aquaguys, they go to some spot as Arthur leads them and find another chest that Jackson needs to open. Jackson opens the chest which allows him to get a pre-recorded message from a younger Mera which tells him why he can open the chests and also gives a little bit of insight onto his past and his mother. Aquaman helps Jackson regain his composure then tries to give him a costume that was in the chest, but naturally Jackson gets afraid of the responsibility that's been thrust upon him and wants to leave. Aquaman won't let Jackson leave so he gets defensive and attacks Aquaman. After a failed attempt of beating up the King of the Sea, Aquaman explains to Jackson how he was tapped early for his destiny as well, and convinces Jackson to step up and accept what he's been born to do. The issue ends with a very dumb ending that definitely dropped the rating of this book down by three points... beforehand this was gonna get a 7 but due to the super stupidity of how this ended, I'm dropping it to a 4/10.
Aquaman: One is my wife, Mera. The other...
Aqualad: Your kid?Aquaman: My son. He was murdered by your biological father, by Black Manta.
Green Lantern #60
The 60th issue of Green Lantern gets underway with a quick rundown of Blackest Night, which apparently in the DC Universe was only six weeks ago. He talks about how entities have been possessing people, which leads us to him getting the hell beat out of him by a Parallax-controlled-Flash or as I'll refer to him, Barralax. After taking a bit of a beating from the "Fastest Entity Alive", Hal gets his second wind and boosts Barralax up into the air, interrupting his ability to run anyway. Barralax makes Hal look like a chump and explodes free of Hal's Green Lantern binds and continues his attack. In the midst of this they talk about how Barry used to guve Hal a book to read every two weeks and Hal would never read it. Um... okay? He also gave him his favorite book, H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" and Barry talks about how much he wishes he could time travel. I could've sworn he'd been doing that for the last twenty-plus years before he came back but hey, what do I know? After more random talking, Hal realizes that this is just Parallax trying to play off of Barry's memories, and he comes up with a plan of his own, by offering himself to Parallax. Parralax, being fooled into it like an idiot is about to try to possess Hal for like the third or fourth time but is stopped by the mysterious robed figure that has been collecting entities. Hal accuses him of being a Guardian but the small figure makes it known he's not one. He says he's the keeper of the entities and once watched over all of them. He even shows Hal that by controlling not only Parallax but also Ion, he can control the Will Power in Hal's ring, and demonstrates by dropping Hal's constructs with ease. The robed figure doesn't establish dominance for long because he's attacked by Saint Walker, Indigo, Larfleeze and a few other Lanterns and entities. Hal then asks Saint Walker to help use his Blue Ring to exorcise Parallax from Barry Allen. In a quick link up with Green Lantern Corps, we see Sinestro, with Atrocitus, and he's told by a fellow Sinestro Corp member how The Weaponer is threatening to kill Soranik Natu if Sinestro doesn't appear, since he's demanded it. For some reason, Sinestro finally decides to go save his daughter. Back with the Lanterns and entities, they try to exorcise Parallax from Barry, but the robed figure uses this opportunity to steal the Indigo Corps and Blue Lantern Corps entities and once again Parallax. This issue soon ends, but not before revealing who the robed figure is. This was an alright issue, too much talking from Barry and Hal for me and not enough action, I figured since they talked more in the last issue that this would be a action-heavy issue, but it's okay for what it was, I'll give this issue a 6/10.
Larfleeze: Where is my Lantern and the entity that I trapped inside? Tell me before I steal your eyes from their sockets!
Birds of Prey #7
Birds of Prey starts off with the Calculator, wondering why certain people like The Riddler and Joker continue to operate in Gotham when they could easily go somewhere else and not have to worry about dealing with The Dark Knight. He then welcomes in Savant, who apparently is working for Calculator and has double...or triple...or quadruple crossed Oracle? He tells Calculator he has what he wants, Oracle's exact location. We then jump over to see Babs Gordon out in the middle of the city, and about to be attacked by a bunch of thugs. They attack and Oracle lays them out like only a former Batgirl could, but when someone from afar pulls out a gun on Babs, Batman steps in and lays out the would be shooter. Batman tells the thugs, who are high off a drug called Blue, to go to Dr. Leslie Thompson and get clean, and he never wants to see them in that area again unless they're clean. When Batman (Bruce) finally walks over to Oracle, she's expecting to be admonished by the Dark Knight, but surprisingly he compliments her and offers her a hug. Next we jump over to see Dawn (Dove), Helena (Huntress), Zinda (Lady Blackhawk), and Dinah (Black Canary) at a strip club for Dawn's birthday. When Dinah asks Dove (who doesn't seem to be enjoying the meat suite known as strip club) where Hawk is, she explains that Hank is a hard to like individual but he's loyal, but Birthdays aren't his thing. We then see Hank with a gift for Dawn outside of the club, but throws it away and leaves, I'd assume for fear of being too close. Next we see Bruce and Babs talk about her new fortress of nerditude, and how only thirteen people have access. Those special thirteen are Bruce, Dick, Tim, Dinah, Helena, Stephanie Brown, Zinda, Hank, Dawn, Misfit (Woooo!), Savant, Creote and James Gordon. So no Jason Todd, Cass Cain, Alfred or Damian eh? When Batman and Babs finally enter her new base, Creote is standing guard and asks Batman to remove all his weapons, Batman doesn't do it so Babs interrupts and allows it, as not to cause a big ruckus between the two. Batman and Babs continue to talk and he tells her how the way he operates means he'll need everyone, from Huntress to everyone else, and especially Oracle. Babs says that he shouldn't call her that because Oracle dies tonight. Before she can elaborate, Savant enters the room, and when Babs asks him how it turned out, he says he's not sure they believed him, but she thanks him anyway. Best part of this issue, and a extra point, was Gail Simone basically rewriting it to make it show that James Robinson's claim made by Hal Jordan that he slept with Zinda and Helena at the same time was not true. Excellent work Gail. Back at the strip club, our girls are interrupted when some villains decide to attack for some reason. Canary, Huntress and Lady Blackhawk try to take them on since Dove isn't much help after passing out from drinking one beer. Lightweight! Things end when one of Calculator's newest goons steps in asking which of the Birds is Oracle. This was a nice solid issue, I liked seeing Babs and this softer Bruce meet up again, as well as wondering what happens to Babs since she's gonna kill off the Oracle name. I think this storyline has potential, and I'd expect Hawk to show up soon to help out the ladies in the next issue, as for this one I'll give it an 8/10.
Babs: Aren't you going to give me a lecture, Batman?Batman: Actually... I was thinking of a hug. Something of that nature. Does that seem appropriate?
Batman: Orphans #2 of 2
The second part of Batman Orphans kicks things off when Bruce Wayne in the alley with his date, the female reporter from the last issue. Bruce starts to spaz out due to the Scarecrow toxin he's come in contact with earlier in the night from touching that Robin costume in the last issue. Bruce attacks his date but Alfred shows up in time to restrain him from causing any real harm. Of course, this ends up being a major headline. Back with the group of "Orphans", Francisco is upset at being shot up with Venom by his so-called teammates. Monica then enters the room and says she can "relax him." Man, that girl is quite the slut, eh? Who does she think she is, Dick Grayson?! She pretty much throws herself at Francisco, literally, and just as the two are about to get down to business the Bat-Alarm goes off, and she gives Francisco a pep-talk as well as a kiss. Over at Arkham Asylum we see our Journalist and her camera man are trying to get some dirt on someone named Dr. Nigaff. Also in Arkham, Bruce Wayne and one of his employee's son's named Tom (actually Tim Drake) are there as well, to get info of their own with Tim posing as a troubled youth as they speak to Dr. Nigaff. Dick Grayson is also at Arkham (what is this a party?) and runs into our journalist, Samantha Locke, telling her what a big fan he is and laying on that old Grayson charm. Take notes Monica, take notes. When Samantha finds out that Grayson is aligned with that "loon" Bruce Wayne, she tells him that Wayne needs to be locked up, but also gives Grayson her card. We find out that Nigaff once studied under Hugo Strange, leading Bruce to think that Nigaff is finding troubled kids for Strange, who believes he's Batman, to make his own Robin's. Meanwhile, some mysterious package is being sought after by everyone, so this leads to a showdown between The Riddler, Talon, Merlyn, The Orphans and some more characters that all want this FedLex package, and yes, I did purposely say FedLex.... it's owned by LexCorp. When the dust is settled, the current faux-Robin, Lance, is fricasseed by Firebug, and Crunch dies or a ton of wounds that he didn't feel while hopped up on Venom. Monica starts to realize that people are dying and gets hysterical, but the little nerd tech wanna-be Robin slaps her and tells her to get a grip. Monica pulls her sword out and attacks the pint-sized genius and he pulls out a gun and shoots her through the stomach. When he's questioned by Francisco about shooting Monica, Merlyn chimes in and says the nerd is just like his father and brother who were also killers. The first Robin we saw dead was the nerd's brother, and people thought Merlyn killed all the people in the airport but apparently it was the Faux-Robin, so there would be no witnesses of his murder. Francisco asks the little nerd if this is true and he confirms it's true and zaps Francisco with a stun gun. The small nerd leaves with the package as his former allies are all laid out or dead on the battlefield. Batman, Robin and Nightwing arrive soon after, and question Merlyn (Merlin?) on the package and find out he was sent by Talia Al Ghul to get it and to help Batman if need be, and tells Batman he placed a tracker on the package. We then see Francisco in a car leaving with a bleeding Monica, trying to get her help. Back at the fake Batcave, Batman shows around his newest guests, Samantha and her camera man, Sam Jackson. He tells them how he's caused all this destruction and how he's assembled groups of allies and followers, when the little nerd with the FedLex package shows up. Fake Batman has his followers take away the reporting duo as the nerd asks him about the package, and stuns Batman with the stun gun. The Fake Batman tells the nerd how he's earned a prize by figuring out what was going on, but this is interrupted by Francisco, now wearing the Robin suit, and Monica, who's apparently fine thanks to a shot of venom. Francisco tackles Batman, trying to get the package and Monica gives the nerd a big kiss, with a razor in her mouth which definitely kills the kid. Damn, these kids are ruthless. When the package falls, the faux-Batman spots the tracking device that was placed on it and is upset that they've led people there. Francisco continues to go after the Faux-Batman, and our fake Dark Knight sounds the alarm and tells his newest recruits to attack anyone in the building that's not with them. The new recruits throw Sam and Sam (really?! I JUST caught that?!) in the holding cell with Hugo Strange... showing us he isn't the fake Batman. Back with Francisco, he's come back just in time to see that Monica is dying, which makes him sad. He turns around in time to spot the real Batman and attacks him, not knowing what he's actually doing. Francisco really takes it to Batman, since Bats trying not to fight back. Meanwhile, Nightwing and Robin catch the fake Batman and unmask him, showing us he's actually _________. Well that was fairly obvious. I won't spoil it though. Anyway, the issue ends after as a bunch of Gotham villains all try to find out what's in the FedLex package. Well...okay. This was alright, the ending was kinda bland and predictable, and what was in the package was so lame I don't even have words, I'd rather it stayed a secret instead of that reveal. I did connect with Monica and Francisco near the end, I just find it annoying instead of taking her to a hospital he went to get venom and confront Batman. Really? Are you THAT stupid? Anyway, I'll give this a 5/10.
Two-Face: The only thing I'm undecided about is how I will get rid of your bodies. (That made me chuckle.)
Well that's it for me, thanks for reading everyone. I also wanna thank all my newest followers for stopping by and following the insane ramblings that I post week in and week out. You guys are great, and feel free to comment and gimme any comments you want. But that's it for this week's Ratings and Rantings, but we've also got the last Top Five 5 of the year this weekend! For those that haven't participated before, I'll list five topics, and you send me your top five answers for each topic to KevinKavalier@gmail.com , and I'll post all of the replies this weekend so we can compare. It's fun so feel free to join. I'd say try to send your picks in as soon as possible and expect the Top Five up by this Sunday. The topics are below, and until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger Man, Jason Todd, signing off!
Top Five People that should never be on the same team
Top Five Comic Fights you wish would happen
Top Five Characters you wish had Ongoing Comics
Top Five Lamest Comic Characters
Top Five Hero and Villain Team Ups you wish would happen (Ex. Batman & Joker)
Next Week on Ratings and Rantings
Batman: Streets of Gotham #18, Green Lantern Corps #55, Power Girl #19, JL Generation Lost #16, Deadpool #30, and Amazing Spider-Man #650