Friday, February 11, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Hey Todd Squad, Jason Todd here with another edition your that weekly sensation known as Ratings and Rantings. This week we've got a whopping six reviews compared to the last few smaller installments. Before I jump right in, I wanna plug my most recent post, which is called "Why you should be reading Morning Glories", so please swing by there and check that out if you haven't already. So, since we've got more reviews, that's less stalling and prattling I have to do, so let's get things underway with one of my favorite series, Generation Lost!

JL Generation Lost #19

We start things off getting a brief history lesson as we see a flashback of Jaime Reyes explains to his friend how he got the scarab, and when it's mentioned that the two previous Blue Beetles, Dan Garret and Ted Kord are dead,his friends say maybe he should take up a mantle where the namesake doesn't die. Um... Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, Green Arrow.... that might be kind of hard. Jaime tries to explain that the scarab chose him and he didn't choose it. We then jump to present day to see Max is still pretty much torturing Beetle for the sake of Science. When Ivo tells Max Lord he thinks he's found the suit's nervous system, he heads over to see what Ivo has found. While Max is gone, Beetle's suit goes into emergency mode and plugs itself into a machine to send an emergency distress signal to the JLI. Back with the JLI, they decide to send Power Girl to warn the JLA and JSA, and she claims that she won't be forgetting about Max again, well I hope so Peej, you've only done it like four times by now. After she takes off to get reinforcements, Skeets tells Booster that he's just picked up a distress signal from The Blue Beetle. Back with Bettle, his armor finally reboots and he blasts Max Lord through a wall. Max claims he has home court advantage and fires a ton of lasers at Beetle, but Beetle fights back and causes Max to have to retreat the entire base. Just as the base starts to move, still with Max, Ivo and Beetle inside it, the JLI show up ready to save Blue Beetle. A clearly enraged Beetle keeps taunting Max as the JLI arrive and Max seems to be all out of escape plans when suddenly Max hits a button and Beetle is zapped and falls to the floor. Max tells him that while studying his suit he's learned all of his strengths and weaknesses, and the JLI arrive just in time to see history repeat itself as this issue ends. This was a great issue, it seemed like it flew by because it was so action packed. I'm waiting for confirmation on the end of the issue but I will say they made Jaime seem like a very capable hero in this issue. Anyway, I really, REALLY enjoyed this issue, I'll give it a solid 9/10.

Booster Gold: JAIME!

Batman and Robin #20

We get underway in this issue of Batman and Robin with Tim, Dick and Damian in the kitchen with Alfred, making smoothies and popcorn as they talk about how rare it is for them all to be together and not in costume. We then see Bruce join them, and that the five Bat-family members are getting ready to watch The Mark of Zorro, the movie that Bruce saw with his parents the night they were murdered, to symbolize a new beginning of sorts. From there we see Dick attend a fancy opera performance after fighting crime as Batman alongside Robin. Alfred picks up the Dynamic Duo and drives them there as Dick changes in the car, and before he can enter the building, a man just wearing a towel and white wings falls to the ground and splatters all over the red carpet, as Dick, Damian, Alfred and the other guests watch in awe. This leads to an autopsy as we see Batman, Robin and Commissioner Gordon discussing the autopsy. The always brash Robin refers to the victim as Mr. Potato head, joking about his death, which draws the ire of Gordon, who threatens to never let Robin "tag along" again, to which Robin brushes off and replies that he doesn't tag along. During the autopsy we discover that this suicide victim has burned off his finger and footprints and his face is unrecognizable due to the trauma of falling eighty stories. From there, Batman and Robin go to look for clues, and find a very odd suicide note, but Batman is then randomly attacked by Man-Bat, who rants about being able to hear screams. The issue ends with a very confused Batman and Robin taking down Man-Bat. Well this was interesting, this issue was basically used to build questions, but I loved seeing Bruce and Tim appear, as well as them watching Zorro together because it shows more Bruce Wayne evolution after his "death". This was a fun issue though, and I'm looking forward to the next one, although this issue was perfectly fine. I'll give this issue a 7/10.

Bruce Wayne: It may have been the worst night of my life, Dick, but up until Chill stepped out of the shadows, it was one of the best days of my life.

Birds of Prey #9

Black Canaries! Well that's what we see when this issue kicks off, Dinah and her mom face to face, as Dinah's mom asks her why everything she loves dies. From there we see her confronted by ghosts of her past in the form of her father, Arsenal, Green Arrow and Sin. Batman and Oracle try to help Dinah as she deals with her visions and Oracle tells Batman to take Canary to Savant and Creote so they can watch over her since Savant has medical training and Bruce complies. We then see the other members of the Birds of Prey, Huntress, Lady Blackhawk and Dove are being transported to the Calculator via a school bus... I guess times are tough for everyone in the Board of Education. After almost being frisked by a bunch of goons and delivering a knee to the groin for their troubles, Lady Blackhawk is slapped by one of Calculator's henchmen. She delivers an awesome line that makes him back off (line of the issue) as they arrive to the drop off point. Back at Oracle's new headquarters, Hawk shows up and asks where Dove is. Oracle asks him how he managed to be off the grid for fifteen minutes and why he went to see Penguin, but he ignores her and asks where Dove is. Oracle tries to find out but see's the team's signals are blocked. Soon after that, Batman shows up with the still incapacitated Black Canary. When Hawk starts to say he needs to save Dawn and tells Oracle to shove this team, Batman tells him to relax, causing Hawk to start swinging on the Caped Crusader. Babs calms Hank down and tells him she has a plan to save the other Birds. As they leave she tells Savant to watch over Dinah and he promises he will. We then see Mortis in Dinah's mind, asking her if she wants to see Lian again, and Dinah of course cries no. She then turns around to see herself, when she was kidnapped and beaten to near death during Longbow Hunters. Canary then starts to regain her mind by stating Mortis pulled the wrong trigger because she knows her friends are on the way to save her. Dinah fighting back reverse Mortis' powers I guess and causes Mortis to start convulsing. The rest of the Birds are being watched over by Calculator who plans on killing Lady Blackhawk, but due to a diversion by Dove and a timely save by Oracle, but the issue ends with Calculator having the upper hand. I really enjoyed this issue, it wasn't bad but it was better than last months. I'm wondering what Batman will do and how Oracle plans to help her team. I'll give this a 8/10.

Lady Blackhawk: Hittin a handcuffed woman. Guess somebody found his lil' berries, huh? You look like you're fixin to try that again, Mister. Let me just say this friendly thing, all right? It ain't smart to hit a Blackhawk once.

Batgirl #18

 Batgirl featuring Klarion....Bum...Bum...Bum... The Witch Boy! And yes, those were for dramatic emphasis, just like the Witch Boy has demanded. Things get started with Batgirl talking about how she just wants some quiet time as she spends Valentine's Night on patrol. She soon comes across a murdered man on the streets and follows the bloody footprints that lead to a very shocked looking Klarion as he writes in the blood of the recently murdered man. Batgirl confronts him and makes the mistake of calling him a blue pilgrim which causes Klarion, Bum Bum Bum... The Witch Boy to shrink our heroine and place her into a tiny magic ball. We then find out that Klarion is looking for his beloved cat, and agrees to turn Batgirl back to her normal size if she helps. We then find out his cat wanted to get it on with another cat and Klarion got jealous and kept them apart, so now his cat is out stealing hearts. Well, I've heard worse Valentine's Day related crimes. When Batgirl and Klarion hear screams, they head in that direction and find Klarion's cat, only he's six feet tall and has claws that would make Sabretooth look like a kitten with clipped nails. Batgirl uses a few gadgets from her utility belt to subdue Klarion's cat, Teekl and Klarion puts him into a magical orb, much like he did to Batgirl. Klarion explains how Teekl will keep murdering until he finds a mate, and Batgirl convinces Flarion that if their as good as friends as he says they are, then he should trust Teekl will come back to him. From there they go on a hunt for a mate, which takes Klarion and Batgirl to Klarion's home land, which makes Batgirl stick out like a sore thumb since she isn't blue. So is Klarion an Avatar or a Smurf? Anyway, after a plot that goes hilariously wrong, Steph and Klarion find Teekl a mate. Back in Gotham, Klarion is amazed at how much the humans want to find someone to be with, much like Teekl. And when Steph's arch-rival Jordanna shows up and almost incites the wrath of a certain Witch Boy, Steph plants a kiss on Klarion to calm his engines. The issue ends with Klarion and Stephanie spending Valentine's Day together. Well this was a cool issue, nothing amazing but it wasn't bad. The story was pretty odd but it included a Witch Boy and a Were-Cat so what can you expect? I'll give this issue a 7.5/10... BUM BUM BUM!!!!!

Klarion: My name is Klarion! And I'm a Witch-Boy! (You tell her Klarion!)

Red Robin #20

We start off with a quick rundown of what happened since Tim got back from Russia, and how after someone tripped an alarm in Lonnie's room, he knows someone is on to him and his friends jumping into the Unternet, and how this all leads to him being confronted by someone he doesn't want to fight as much as Doomsday and the Anti-Monitor, Catman. Okay, right off the bat, what?! I get that they wanna put Catman over as a threat but really?! In the same league as the Anti-Monitor and Doomsday?! This same guy that's in a group with Ragdoll, Deadshot and Scandal Savage? I mean... not Darkseid, Bizarro, Solomon Grundy or Deathstroke... but CATMAN?! Come on... Anyway, Red Robin and Catman fight as Catman tries to get away with the Unternet Firewall code he stole from Lonnie. When Catman get's trapped he pulls out a pink phone and tries to access the Unternet from it, so it'll draw the attention of Calculator (since he created the Unternet), and Tim realizes that it's Tam Fox's phone. He rushes over to find Tam, leaving Catman to escape. As he heads to save Tam he calls Stephanie to make sure Calculator isn't attacking Batgirl or Proxy and warns them. Red Robin arrives just as someone with an RPG (rocket, not video game) blasts Tam's dorm room to smithereens. Way to be late Tim, you could have just called Bart or Connor and had them get there in time. Luckily for Tam and her roommate, they appear to have been out studying and missed a near death. Back at his makeshift lab, Red Robin checks security camera's and gets a view of the rocket man (And I think it's gonna beeee, a long long time...) and recognizes him as the Calculator. When he runs a facial scan on him, he doesn't get a 100% confirmation so he searches the world for people with 94% facial matches of Calculator and finds 147 matches, so Tim determines he needs help and calls on his former team, the Teen Titans, and is surprised to see Damian is now a member. With Red Robin and the newest Teen Titan team all caught up, he tells them about the Calculator robots and how he'll need their help. Tim realizes that Calculator will recognize the team without their uniforms so they send the one person he doesn't know, Damian, to infiltrate. Things end soon after with the Teen Titans and Red Robin getting ready for one heck of a battle. This was another fun issue, I loved seeing the Teen Titans and Red Robin meet up together, as well as Damian's smart mouth. The only thing I didn't like is how dumb Red Robin came off here, shocked that Catman had a pink phone. I mean really? It takes that long to realize when a guy like Catman has a pink phone that it's not HIS phone? Also, overrating Catman doesn't make Catman look like a threat, it just makes Tim look like an idiot. That aside, this was another well done issue of Red Robin, I'll give it an 8/10.

Damian: Perhaps it's time to retire then... since the Titans have been more than satisfied with the energy brought to their dynamic by... The real Robin!

Amazing Spider-Man #654

We jump right into the fray of things with Col. Jameson arriving at the space station. He tells them to send him back asap so he can help his dad but they tell him they need to work on it due to the damage caused by the fight between Scorpion and Spider-Man. While they talk we see a tiny robotic bug climbs off of the ship, the same bug we saw earlier that was being controlled by Doc Ock. Back with Peter Parker, Max Modell has figured out his secret and confronts him. He knows that Peter Parker... invents tech for Spider-Man. God... have you people EVER heard of Occams Razor? From there, Max even helps Peter make something to block out Scorpion and the Spider-Slayers Spider-Sense. From there Spidey heads to join Ben Grimm and Mockingbird in saving the Jameson women, but checks in via phone call to Glory to make sure the Jameson men are okay. We then see the crew of the Daily Bugle trying to escape, and as Norah runs out and the Robertsons are trying to escape,  Phil Urich breaks a column which causes the building to start to cave-in. One of the big rocks falls on Randy's legs, and Robbie realizes since the Spider-Swarm is after him, he leads them away from Randy by having Ms. Marvel and Power Wom..screw that, Jessica Jones, fly him away.. Back with The Jameson women, Marla uses her knowledge of Spider-Slayers to make a frequency which screws with the swarm and allows The Thing to really start Clobberin! While Spidey is trying to place his Spidey-Sense screwing up devices around for triangulation purposes when he is confronted by The Scorpion again. Scorpion notices Spidey's new weapon and promptly breaks the remote detonator, like the jerk New Yorker he is, right X? So Spidey detonates it himself, and also feels the brunt of the device that screws up his Spider-Sense. He then takes down Scorpion with one huge punch and webs him up before heading to join the Thing. While the Jameson's all reunite, Spidey is talking to Ben and a explosion causes a piece of metal to fly and smack Spidey dead in the forehead, and Spidey is shocked to see he no longer has Spider-Sense! Smythe climbs out of the wreckage and tells Spider-Man his machine had no effect on him and subdues Spider-man's friends and allies before going after Jameson. He sends a spiked tendril at J. Jonah Jameson but hes pushed out of the way by Marla who is impaled. Spidey, feeling a surge of adrenaline rushes Smythe. This issue ends as Marla tells Jonah not to blame anyone, and to stop living his life with hate as he holds Marla in his arms. This was probably the best comic I've read in a long time. I didn't expect the ending and it was amazingly done, down to the last page. The artwork, especially on the last page was amazing, as was the ending, and we're left to also wonder what happened to Spider-Man's spider-sense and how he'll cope with that as well. Along with this we also see a great sneak peek at the new Venom, and man that made me even more excited for next week's Spider-Man 654.1 issue. This issue deserves a perfect 10/10 rating.

Jonah: I'm not going to say it.
Spider-Man: What?
Jonah: "This is all your fault, Spider-Man." Because I know. This is my fault. All mine.

Well that's it for me guys, here's hoping you enjoyed this week's Ratings and Rantings. I'll be back next week with four more comics to review, and as always comments are appreciated. Below are the results of the last Weekly Poll, and be sure to vote on this week's new poll as well. So until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off.

Last week's poll asked "Who do you think will die in Reign of Doomsday?"

Last place with 0% - Cyborg-Superman, you just can't win can ya Hank?
Third place with 10% - Tie between Superboy and the Kryptonian Killing Machine, Doomsday.
Second place with 30% - John Henry Irons himself, Steel.
Winner with 50% - The Eradicator, voted most likely to be eradicated.

Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Brightest Day #20, Green Lantern #62, Green Lantern Corps #57, and Amazing Spider-Man 654.1 (?)


  1. I haven't read a single one of those comics yet, so I can't say anything about any of them. I am a bit disappointed by the Gen Lost score. See, I had figured if Hai-Me was to die, you'd give it a perfect score. Seeing a 9 there makes me think he weasels out of what the cover plainly shows... Here's hoping I'm wrong this time! I'll probably give Spidey a read tonight. I was going to go with Batgirl, but that score kind of scared me off a bit. One thing, what's up with the question mark near Spidey #654.1? Oh, and for no other reason than to be a jerk-ass, I voted for Damian in the poll, even though I'd want to see a Jason Todd series above all else. :D

  2. As for that Gen Lost score, it was a 10, but ASM was SO good I didn't feel right giving Gen Lost a ten because it didn't measure up to ASM. As for them weaseling out... I don't have a comment yet. Batgirl's score was moreso because it accomplished nothing, it was fun but meh, it was just... there. I put the question mark because I was wondering why its issue 654.1 but I know now after looking that up. And lastly, you're a jerk-ass, especially since Damian is dominating the poll.

  3. Oooo... See, now I want to read that issue of Gen Lost! It sounds like my dream may have come true! >:D

    HA!!! I am, and he is! I love that Damian is in the lead so far... That's awful! :P

  4. Haha, Yeah... no comment still. Also, I dont even mind that Damian is winning after that news I saw earlier... that totally made my day.

  5. Jason's trying to make a comeback I see. I don't think he'll be able to topple the demonspawn from that top spot though... Now if I would have voted properly, I think it would be tied. :P

  6. Goddamn you X-Man! I hope he gets the win just so I can rub this in your face! Bwahahaha

  7. I, seriously..........have some catching up to do. Especially on, well everything. Once again you give us good reviews this week. I'm really digging the scores for Gen Lost. Sounds like a really good issue as well as Batgirl and BOP. I really need to get caught up on school reading and being able to read comics. :( I'll work on it. Lol.

    Great work sir.

  8. Come on demonspawn, hold on for that win! He's slipping, but I'm confident he can hold on! Poor Alfred... Who wouldn't want to read about his adventures in butlering?

  9. Haha, Falisha you are quite behind, but you'll have a school break and catch up soon, hopefully :D

    X, I'm really hoping Jason squeaks this win out so I can rub it in your face :P And I'd read a few Alfred stories, like in a co feature, but not an ongoing. Sorry Alf.

  10. Come on Demonspawn! I know you can pull out the win! Do it for me! Do it for Bruce! And most importantly, do it for Grant Morrison!!

    You know JT, there was an Alfred one-shot back in the 90's. It co-starred Nightwing. It was called Nightwing: Alfred's Return or something like that and dealt with our favorite butler meeting his long lost love and some guy who was supposed to be his son. Yup, weird but true.

  11. The death of Oracle arc is the biggest farce ever. A huge tease and thankfully didn’t end with the death of the namesake character. If Gail Simone is reduced to doing stunts like these to save a book she has had many years experience writing, there really isn’t any hope for this book is there? Sales are higher and not dropping as fast as Secret Six which apparently is a better written book. But people aren’t buying it. Bob Harras also had it in for Simone while she worked at Marvel and ousted her. She probably will be ousted from DC and returning to Marvel soon. Deadpool 2012 anyone?

  12. Hm... how was that Alf story X? Sounds kinda dumb to be honest.

    ms Thanks for the commnt, and yeah, I think their gonna kill off the Oracle name and just give Babs a new name but I definitely agree. I like Babs and I've enjoyed most issues but it doesn't have that Birds of Prey Vol. 1 tone...

  13. Hey JT, I'm sorry it took me so long to comment on this's been a loooong week, but here I am, no worse for the wear (I hope)! As usual, your reviews have brought me no shortage of entertainment. I actually read ASM this week (I know, shocker!) and I was shocked and saddened by Marla's death, and it will be really interesting to see what direction Jonah's life takes from here.

  14. Thanks Marc, g;lad ya got to give ASM a read. I didn't see Marla's death coming at all, which was the main thing about it I kinda liked. It was shocking though and hopefully will evolve Jonah's character for the better.

  15. Wow, and I just saw you've got another R&R post up...I must have been REALLY late this week! I'll do my best to read this one in a more timely fashion!

  16. Haha yeah I was churning them out man, next week I've got like nine comics thouhgh, so don't expect that for Wednesday. :-P