Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, it's that time once again for your weekly comic content comments from yours truly. That's right, it's time for Ratings and Rantings, I'm Jason Todd and this is my comic spot. We've got six comics on tap for today. But I gotta warn you guys, my reviews may be a little crappier than usual since due to my new schedule I work Thursdays and Fridays from 2-10:30 and don't get home until about 11:30 p.m. That also means my reviews will now be pushed back to Saturday or Sunday instead up popping up on Thursdays or Fridays. Now that we're all caught up let's get things started with our Merc with a Mouth and a 2010 Red Hood Award winner, Deadpool!

Deadpool #31

We kick things off with Deadpool and his hot doctor sneaking around the hospital, trying to avoid Draculas. That is, until the hot doc screams and runs away from our favorite Mercenary trying to get help, and runs smack-dab into Draculas! After a battle of wits between Deadpool and one of those damn Draculas, Deadpool ends up "dead" at their hands. Silly Dracula's, don't you know death is for...other people...who aren't...Deadpool? Oh Yeah! While incapacitated, Deadpool dreams of Twilight, with some hot chick slapping the sparkly face of a fem-pire as I refer to them, and jumping ship tp Team Deadpool. Deadpool then awakes from his dream and heads off in search of the evil Draculas. From there we see the Hot Doc stall as Deadpool goes through with his plan which involves him pulling the fire alarm and saying "Yoink" a few times, which the Simpsons fan in me loves. It turns out earlier Deadpool had a priest bless a reservoir tank of water, making it Holy Water, and the Holy Water then fell from the sprinklers when the Merc with a Mouth pulled the fire alarm, which apparently just pissed the Draculas off. Deadpool grabs the Hot Doc and takes off, and even loses the Draculas, but stops and yells to them where he is so they can continue to follow him. They of course run into an awesome trap that's far too genius for me to explain properly, but take my word for it, it was damn genius. Deadpool then asks the hot Doc if she wants to go grab some drinks but she says no since she has a gunshot wound, so he suggests Ice Cream and she says yes. That's a lesson kids, shoot a chick in the leg, kill some vampires and ya get the girl. Or maybe not? The issue ends soon after and it's on to the next arc! This was a very fun issue, as always you can expect to laugh when you read a Deadpool comic, especially when it's written by Daniel Way. This was no exception as I laughed all the way through, as well as Deadpool shown being more than capable as a hero. I'll give this a 9/10, only because the ending bummed me out a bit.

Deadpool: Yoink! (Snake would be so proud)

Red Robin #17

Red Robin #17 starts with a few familiar faces, as we see the super campy Batman, Robin and Riddler inside the Unternet. We also see Tim tied up by binary and rocking a much cooler Red Robin costume that I hope he decides to keep. After being saved from "The Firewall", by Batman and Robin, Red Robin looks around the Unternet and soon finds his friend/possible-girlfriend Tamara Fox, except she's a cute chubby faced three year old. After talking to Tam and figuring that this must be the way they see themselves, Tim and Tam decide to look around together, along with The Riddler, who Tim figures is his subconscious mind trying to figure out what's going on. The expedition is cut short when Harley Quinn attacks our heroes and says no one leaves without Mayor Mr. J saying it's okay. Tim makes short work of the digital Harley but turns around and is shocked to see the Joker, in what I'd assume is Jason Todd's robin costume, still stained with his blood, a crossbar hooked onto the belt and even a "J" drawn on top of the Robin "R." The digital Joker is then killed by Anarky, and that happens to be the form that Lonnie has taken in the Unternet. After heading to Metropolis in the Unternet to find Mikalek, Red Robin, Tam and Lonnie figure out that this Unternet is making them angry, violent and more ruthless, due to Sivana and Darkseid's plans for it. The gang is then confronted by Metallo, but his link is quickly severed by Promise, who now looks fifteen years older according to Tim, as she cites she's been there a very long time. She explains how she's fought Mikalek's forces for years there and watched the many heroes fall, and she's soon shot in the back by Deathstroke, who's accompanied by Cheshire, Captain Boomerang and Firewall. We see Promise wake up back in the real world so we know she's not dead, and we then see Tim take down Deathstroke which even surprises him. He realizes he can control that world too, and Tam makes herself into an adult with an afro. Well...okay then. She calls herself Foxy Lady and decks Cheshire into next week. From there we see Mikalek's statue explode and a bunch of heroes fly out, including the adult Supergirl, as well as adult versions of Blue Beetle, Superboy, Aqualad, Miss Martian, Wonder Girl, Raven, Beast Boy, a female Batman (Steph?) and Bart Allen as The Flash. They need someone to stay and make sure that world doesn't go back to hell, and Lonnie volunteers, but Red Robin starts to have second thoughts as he awakes from the Unternet. The issue ends soon after with someone taking out a bounty on on Tim and Tam, in the form of Catman. We also see that this will start the Red Robin/Teen Titans crossover. This should be interesting, I enjoyed this issue but it seemed to drag on.A lot of it almost lost my interest but pulled me back in, but it was a fine comic, I'll give it an 8/10.

Batman: I'll deal with the cunning calculations of the capricious calculator, old chum, while you help our captured companion! (Fabian, you rule.)

Birds of Prey #8

This is a beautiful cover by the way. Okay, so Birds of Prey kicks things off where we left off last time with the Birds being confronted by a woman in a veil with two henchmen asking which of them is Oracle. The Birds keep egging the woman on to bring the fight after she explains how her touch makes people go insane due to their past demons, but Dinah says nothing, probably because she has enough demons in her past to open her very own hell. We switch over to see Oracle, nervous about her plan considering Calculator has moved hastily and put together a team of dangerous people, especially considering she has no intel on the woman. Batman offers his assistance but Oracle tells him her team is more than capable. The mysterious woman is about to touch one of the Birds when Dove speaks up and says she's Oracle. We then see The Calculator on the ground cringing in pain, saying how he's been having horrible headaches lately. He believes Oracle has somehow planted a virus in his brain and wants his last thoughts to be her death rattle. Oracle tries to call in Hawk but she can't find him and his communicator is off, and before she knows it, Batman has already left to go help the Birds. We then see Penguin make a fool of himself then threaten a woman before being interrupted by Hawk. From there we see Oracle ask Batman if he'll back off, and surprisingly he says he'll trust her judgment. She then asks the Batman to take a dive, to which he surprisingly agrees to do. Man... this new Batman is gonna be hard to get used to for a while. Meanwhile, Oracle gives the word to the Birds to attack and they do just that. We then see that Oracle erased Calculator's memories of her, as seen in Batgirl #12, and how she withheld this information from Bruce. Batman finally arrives on the scene to lend a hand to the Birds of Prey. After dealing with the bad guys, Bats lets Mammoth plant him with a giant left hook, and Dinah is about to help Bats when she's touched by our mysterious mademoiselle. After Dinah is pretty much taken as bait, our friend Dove has to power down and give in to the villains demands. This issue ends with Dinah caught in the memories of every decision she's ever faced, including Ollie, Ra's Al Ghul, Sin, The Ray, Doctor Light and even more. This was a great issue, almost everything was perfect, except I'm wondering where Batman taking a fall was supposed to lead to... and why the hell did I have to see the Penguin curtsy? That was just freaky. I'll give this issue an 8.5/10 as I eagerly await the next one.

Lady Blackhawk: I swear, the way you people get all dreamy over an ass kickin', I'll never understand.

Justice League: Generation Lost #17

This issue starts out with Jaime Reyes' father calling him stupid. I'm serious. It's hilarious out of context, so I'll just keep it that way. We then see Blue Beetle strapped to a table that's rendered his armor useless as he lies there, trying not to panic and to figure out a way to escape. We then jump back to see the guys of the JLI, Booster, Atom, Rocket Red and Skeets (Yes, I count him as a guy.) taking on the Creature Commando's still, at least until they realize they shouldn't be there for some reason. We then see that Checkmate has been pretty much disbanded by the government due to the Magog fiasco. Back with the JLI, Booster is livid at the idea that Max just walked in and took Jaime. Booster comments how their no closer to knowing what Max wants than they were when they first started, and Rocket Red interrupts to tell them he knows where Max and Jaime have gone. From there we see the Black and White Kings of Checkmate, and the Black king soon finds out that Checkmate has been under the control of Max Lord this whole time, and after doing that, Max turns the Black King into an OMAC. Well that was just uncalled for... Max then starts what can only be described as torturing Blue Beetle. Back with the JLI, Gavril's led them to Tokyo in search of Blue Beetle, but can't get a more specific reading on him. While the gang starts to plan what to do, Captain Atom is whisked away at top speed by an unknown force then punched back down towards the planet. When he climbs out of the rubble he sees he's been attacked by Power Girl?! So this is where the PG/Gen Lost Crossover starts, my mistake guys and gals! This looks to be very interesting, and seeing Judd's two current series interact should be fun. This was a great issue, nothing amazing but far from bad. I'll give this issue an 8/10 and hopefully the next issue can top that as we see the JLI and Power Girl team up...or throwdown!

Jaime's Dad: You can be stupid, Jaime. And you can panic. But you don't get to do both.

Batgirl #17

Batgirl surprisingly starts off with Damian Wayne and Alfred, which may be the best equation for comedy when it comes to a Bat comic and a writer with a talented funny bone. Alfred brings Damian breakfast but finds the pint-sized Robin has only had two hours of sleep at most before training, citing if his father can do it so can he. When Alfred remarks that he's only a child and will stunt his growth, Damian responds by saying his size and height are perfect for keeping his enemies off balance. Awesome...just plain awesome. We then see that just like Batman with his Black Casebook, Damian is keeping a Red Casebook of his own. We then see Steph who's overslept again, she hops up and grabs some waffles her mom made, munches on them while getting ready and takes off while her mom tells her to stop and smell the roses and all that jazz. Next we see Robin string up a crossing guard because he wants the kids to get to school on time and that's suspicious. Haha, really? Well... that is a good point. Anyway he's interrupted by Batgirl, who questions him with things like laffy taffy wrappers, if he knows what laffy taffy is, and where he pulled a sword from on his costume. You know, just normal things I guess. After telling Damian that she needs to question that crossing guard about missing kids as apart of her first Batman Inc. mission, Damian seems to be shocked he had no idea of the mission. Damian decides this is his mission too and tells Batgirl to try to keep up as he goes after someone he believes is a target. The kids they track are going on a field trip, so Batgirl sends Damian inside so he can, as he put it "blend in with a gaggle of runny nosed half-breeds." We then see Damian in his own Mini-Matches Malone undercover gear of his own. When a little girl named Nell introduced himself to Damian, he introduces himself as Bruce, showing how much respect he has for his father. (Even though it's really Jason! Okay rant over.) Damian goes around, being forced to play with the girl Batgirl refers to as his "girlfriend." Batgirl discovers that the bus driver has been incapacitated and they soon find out that the entire bus of kids is being kidnapped. Batgirl and Robin go after the bus and Robin even stabs his sword through the roof of the bus and tells Batgirl he's "almost fifty percent sure he didn't hit a child." You gotta be kidding me. Fabian, Krul, and Miller should ALWAYS write Damian Wayne. After taking care of the two criminals, Batgirl and Robin get the kids to safety and sit back with a good old cup of coffee, which according to Robin tastes like Battery Acid. The issue ends with Steph trying to teach Damian how to have fun, which itself was a fun moment. Nothing really came from this story, it was just a solid story that you could not read and not miss anything. But I'm glad I did read it because it's increased the fact that Damian has been growing on me, and it's probably the only comic that makes me laugh as much as Deadpool. There's a reason Batgirl won best Ongoing Series here at JTCS and if this continues it may do it again in 2011. I'll give this issue a 9/10. It was funny, and I enjoyed it, but it was missing that one thing to make it memorable enough for a 10.

Damian: Feel free to leave whenever you like. Preferably, now. (Even BRUCE doesn't speak to Alfred like that!)

Amazing Spider-Man #651

We start off this issue of our Amazing Arachnid with Hobgoblin heading to see Kingpin, knowling with Spidey and Black Cat hot on his trail. He tells Kingpin that he knows Spider-Man and Black Cat are there to steal the reverbium back, and when Kingpin checks with his men he loses the video fed, courtesy of Black Cat. It doesn't take long for some Hand lackey's to attack her (makes me think of the Foot clan from Ninja Turtles...) but the Amazing Invisible Spider-Man lays the Smackdown on them. Back with Hobgoblin, he continues to try to make himself look good to Kingpin at Montana's expense and heads after our heroes. Spidey seems to be by himself though as Black Cat pulls one of her famous double-crosses and heads to look Kingpin's penthouse, leaving our itsy-bitsy-invisible Spider-Man all alone. He's soon attacked by The Hand, but since they can't see him he deals with them, until Hobgoblin turns up the frequency on his sonic screech (He can do that?!) and shorts out Spider-Man's suit, making him visible. Over in the Penthouse, Black Cat tries to steal right in front of Kingpin and Montana and gets caught by the Southern Second in Command. Poor kitty, between you and Catwoman I don't know who does dumber thieving. She tries to contact Spider-Man for help but Spidey can't hear her, due to switching over to the suit's secondary mode. This new mode allows him to block out all sonic frequencies, so Hobgoblin's sonic screech can't affect him. While Spidey takes on Hobgoblin, Cat takes down Montana but is then caught by Kingpin. Hobgoblin realizes he may be in trouble so he uses his screech to set off the Reverbium, and everything starts to come crashing down. Hobgoblin leaves as Spidey turns off his sonic safeguard and finally realizes that Black Cat needs help, so he heads up to help her out. The building falls and Hobgoblin pops up to save Kingpin but of course lets Montana fall to his doom. Spider-Man of course saves Cat in time and tells her they won't be teaming up again if she's only looking out for herself. We then see Kingpin make Hobgoblin his new right hand man, and that Hobgoblin has taken over as his number two. From there we see Pete talking about how his life is getting better, how his job is working and we even see his new apartment. The issue ends with Pete and his new girlfriend Carlie, taking Aunt May and Jay Jameson out for a dinner that Peter is picking up the check on. This was another fine issue of ASM, we saw Spidey deal with Hobgoblin but we know it's far from over, more evolution for Hobgoblin, possibly the end of Montana which I doubt, and a little rift in the Black Cat/Spider-Man team-up. This issue was action packed and it definitely deserves it's 10/10.

Spider-Man: How do I look?
Black Cat: Honestly? Like an ad for the new Tron movie.

And just like that, that's all for this week! I forgot to pick up Booster Gold due to the amnesia I get from the crippling old age of being twenty so we may see a review for that next week. Besides that I hope you all enjoyed this week's Ratings and Rantings, I'll be back next week with more reviews and hopefully more great scores. Below are the results of last week's poll and don't forget to vote on the new weekly poll as well. Until next time I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off!

Last week's poll asked "Which story arc are you looking forward to most in 2011?"
Last Place with 14.3% - More Brightest Day! Hm... take note DC!
Third Place with 21.4% - Batman Inc. may have Batmen everywhere but not fans.
Second Place with 28.6% - Reign of Doomsday falls short to our winner...
Winner with 35.7% - Flashpoint ran away with the vote and seems to be the most wanted arc!

Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Streets of Gotham #19, Brightest Day #18, Green Lantern Corps #56, Power Girl #20, and Amazing Spider-Man #652


  1. Jeez, another issue of Amazing is already coming out this week?? Anyway, those are some SOLID scores, JT! Sounds like a VERY good weekly pull.

    I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you about DP(don't you like how diplomatic that sounded?), I didn't like this issue NEARLY as much as the prior issue, which was GREAT! I'll prob have a review up around Tuesday(hopefully), but yeah, I was a whole mess of points below your score... I still haven't read Amazing yet, but with that 10 there, I'll be bumping that up a few comics... That series ALWAYS seems to be getting perfect scores! As I was scanning through the reviews I couldn't read yet, I happened to catch the first sentence of your Gen Lost review and had a good laugh. It's funny 'cause it's true! :D

    I'm kind of disappointed at the results of last week's poll... I mean it's a storyline about Saint Barry Allen! It's gonna suck, it's just a matter of how hard. :P This week I went with the TT/RR x-over, which I'm legitimately looking forward to. Hopefully this will lead to Tim rejoining(or at least interacting more with)the Teen Titans...

  2. I'm just as shocked as you that another ASM is coming out, seems like very short notice, but I'm not complaining. Funny thing is everything up there was either a winner or a runner up for a Red Hood award so I'm not shocked they were all so good.

    Well YOU can respectfully shove it! :P Kidding, I look forward to seeing what you thought about DP, like I said the ending did bum me out. And I was hoping you'd catch that Hai-Me line, haha.

    I think Flashpoint is about WAY more than Barry, he may be the focus but from the stuff at the DCU blog it looks like Wally, Jay, Kid Flash, and even Batman and Wonder Woman should have huge parts in Flashpoint. And surprisingly I voted for TT/RR as well. I love Gen Lost and PG but Teen Titans has been SO good lately as has Red Robin so I can't wait for that, plus more Tim/Damian interaction.

  3. Well, glad to see we get more than three reviews this week. :-p In other words, great reviewing. Seem like a pretty 8-8.5 average in scoring so can't be too disappointing. I know I personally can't wait to read Gen Lost and BOP, seeing as BOP is a lot better this issue.

    As for Batgirl and Red Robin, I'm looking forward to those as well. But I think I got some catching up to do with Red Robin, I think I might be behind an issue. *sigh* I have so much to read!! Plus the WW stuff I got in the mail lmao. I'll get to it eventually.

    Once again, good reviewing this week JT. Oh and before I go, that IS s great cover for BOP. I really like cover for Spider-Man as well.

  4. "Well YOU can respectfully shove it!" Sheesh, that's the last time I try to be polite around here! :D

    IDK, JT. I think if it has the names Flash and Chairman Johns attached to it, it's gonna be ALLLLL about Barry, with a few bit parts thrown in for the other characters... I seriously hope that Batman ISN'T included in Flashpoint though... The Bat-books are one of the few DC books that aren't tainted by the Johns Affect yet. I'm hoping it stays that way, since I'm not looking forward to Bruce smoking a pipe, saying "chum" to everybody he meets, while Dick hops around screaming, "Holy giant penny, Batman!"...

    I was a bit surprised to not see a vote for Gen Lost/PG when I placed my vote, I thought for SURE that you'd have picked that! Look at that, even after all these months, you still manage to surprise me every now and then! :P

  5. Falisha - Yeah, more than three reviews makes for a much more enjoyable post! :P Luckily everything was pretty good this week, which damn sure made me happy.

    I'm glad you also think those covers are awesome, always good to have an artist agree with me. :P So thanks babe, and I can't wait to see what ya think about Birds.

    X- Lol first and last time eh? :P Haha, you clearly haven't read Red Robin yet... And it looks like Bats will appear, and to be honest I'm kinda curious as to what Geoff has planned for Batman in a Flash based event.

    Yeah, I thought about it and I'm genuinely more excited to see Tim and the Teen Titans meet again. So many variables between Tim,Ravager,Damian, Cassie and Superboy, that's just awesome.

  6. Nice reviews, JT! I can't wait to read ASM when I get it, it sounds great. I can't think of a whole lot else to say since I haven't read the other comics, but I do think we should all have another online chat sometime soon!

  7. Damn straight "first and last time"! You're stuck with surly/jerkish X now, buddy! :D

    Ugh... I am SO not wanting to see Johns mess with the Bat books... That's pretty much my last bastion of readability when it comes to DC. On the plus side, since I'm not buying the Flashpoint books, I guess I'll just skip any Bat x-over issues, thus saving myself a few bucks!

  8. Surly? Lol where'd THAT come from? :P

    Hm.. I don't know if it will crossover. It's Flashpoint so for all we know it could take place in the future or something. Who knows when it comes to this speed force stuff.

  9. And my bad Marc, I posted too fast. Thanks for the comment, I'd love to hear what ya think of ASM. Are you all caught up? I don't recall you mentioning much for the last few issues.

  10. Hey good reviews man. I've been on the fence, but I may have to give ASM another shot now, it's been a while.

    I actually didn't think Deadpool was that great this month, but it's still probably the most fun book Marvel has right now.

  11. Thanks Josh, glad you enjoyed my rambling, haha. I'd definitely recommend ASM, it's been so good lately it's crazy. I just hop it stays this interesting.

    Yeah, when it comes to Deadpool I had to stop reviewing it in terms of actually being a good read, not that it's not, but most of the time for DP you just gotta go off laughs, and I really laughed a lot at that issue.

  12. Nah, I'm not quite caught up on ASM yet...I still haven't read #650, and Marvel hasn't sent me #651 yet! I'm planning to read both those issues as soon as #651 arrives.

  13. Ah, let me know when ya get to read them buddy, very interested in your thoughts on it.

  14. Hahah awww Damian is growing on you! :D Dun dun dunnnn... I think it's hard not to love Jaime Reyes, too. I just recently picked up vol. 1 of his old ongoing series.

    Save for the retcon of Tora's past (which even though I don't know Tora well, I just didn't like the stereotype Judd used) I've been loving JLI: Gen Lost, too. And Peej has a new puppy!!!! :D Stinky the cat will not be pleased, LOL.

    Have you been reading New Avengers at all? I'm thinking of picking it up since Jess Jones is one of my favourite Marvel characters. (And her hubby, obviously, through osmosis of my love for Jess) Falisha, if you like really kick ass ladies, you should check out Alias (Jess Jones' introduction). SO GOOD. (And it's the beginning of her and Luke's relationship!)

    Also.... when is Judd going to release this info about writing more Jason...? :(

  15. LOL... not that I'm obsessively waiting for Judd to release news or ANYTHING... hahahah

  16. I actually hate Jaime, I just don't see the appeal of him. Maybe it's just me, but he's one of the few characters I just flat out don't like. And yeah, Damian's grown on me surprisingly enough. I attribute it to Krul, Miller and Fabian's excellent writing for him more than the character himself.

    I didn't know about the dog. Spoiler alert! :P And I didn't mind Tora's retcon, I didn't know her original origin but I'm fine with this one. It gives her a bit of a dark past under her super happy white-bread persona.

    I haven't been reading New Avengers, but I "think" X-Man may have been, maybe he'll chime in. I do remember reading something where Jess Jones said she had a crush on Peter Parker a while back and that was pretty funny due to the awkwardness.

    I've been waiting so patiently for that info, I almost feel like they changed their minds and Judd just wants us to forget he ever mentioned it, Lol.

  17. Ahhhhh I hope they haven't changed their minds. :'(

    I remember last year at this time, Shelley and I were obsessively checking to get news about Under the Red Hood! :O

    Yeah, you should definitely check out Alias/New Avengers. Luke and Jess just got a nanny for Danielle! ...It's Squirrel Girl, lol!