Batman: Arkham City #1
Arkham City is a comic that will bridge the gap between the amazing videogame Batman: Arkham Asylum and the upcoming sequel Batman Arkham City. We start things off where the game ended, with Batman hitting The Joker with an explosive Mike Tyson punch, only Bats literally had explosive jail on his glove as he tagged The Joker's jaw. From there we see Joker apprehended by the police and put in a straightjacket. Joker thinks of how he knows there won't be a next time because the Titan Formula is eating at his insides slowly, and how it's a cruel joke but he can't help but laugh. In a close cell, Harley hears the laughter of her puddin' and says to herself how much she misses him. She then overhears some guys saying how Joker won't last long due to him being sick and him not being the most liked guy around, so Harley vows that they won't get take Mistah J before his time. We then see Mayor Quincy Sharp getting ready to make an announcement but he's currently in his dressing room having a video chat on Skype (or so I assume) with a mysterious figure, obviously Hugo Strange. While making his announcement that Gotham will no longer tolerate any supervillians or vigilantes, Vicki Vale reminds him that often Batman and his allies are the people who save the day, with Batman saving Arkham Asylum while Sharp was incapacitated for most of then night. Sharp stands by his statement that anyone causing trouble will end up spending the rest of their life in Arkham Asylum. We then see Jim Gordon who tells Batman that Vale was right and Sharp is an idiot. He then tells Batman about a new brother and sister crime team, Terry and Tracy Trask, known as T&T (genius) who were low time crooks but are now Titan enhanced and a big threat. Batman gets info from Oracle that says the two are working for Two-Face which makes perfect sense so he heads to some of Two-Face's most obvious hide-outs, including the Two of Spades. Batman deals with his thugs and finds Two-Face waiting for him. Batman doesn't want to fight he just wants information. Two-Face tells Bats how he found a few crates of Titan during the Asylum events and had his thugs put them away. The Trasks had plans of their own and eventually turned on Two-Face and killed half of his men and how they wanted control of the whole city. Batman quickly realizes they plan to attack at a dedication ceremony at city hall and heads there. He also informs James Gordon but T&T have already started their plan, which apparently is a result of them teaming with Hugo Strange. They attack Warden/Mayor Sharp during the announcement and Batman swings into action, and takes them both out with tranqs after knocking them around. One of the T&T twins reports to Doc Strange saying their going down and he asks if their ready for what must be done, they say they are as Batman overhears and see's their body temperature spiking with his detective vision. So glad that was mentioned here. Anyway, Batman swings away as T&T explode, living up to their name. Batman escapes as do some the civilians who ran when gigantic freaks showed up, but the new City Hall has been completely wiped out and three hundred people died in the explosion. After that and billions in property damage, Mayor Sharp declares marital law in Gotham, during which he semi-phases out the GCPD and brings in a private military force to follow his orders. We see that Batman believes that Sharp is doing the work of someone else and Batman wonders how he'll stop that person as the issue ends. Now this is the Dini that I missed. This is a great way to build even more interest in Arkham City and seems to be a great tie-in to the game, I'll give this issue a 8.5/10, I'm also extremely curious to see where the Joker stuff goes from here.
The Joker: My night was over. Arkham secured, Gotham saved, and a the rest of that heartwarming crap.
Red Robin #23
We start things off with a quick synopsis of Tim being allowed to make renovations to the theater that Bruce and his parents went to the night of their deaths. Bruce seems to have a ton of faith in Tim, but their moment was cut short when a new Black Spider tries to assassinate Bruce Wayne. Not long after, Red Robin and Batman try to pursue him but he escapes. While following up on a tip Red Robin then encounters a familiar foe, Lynx. She tackles Red Robin through a window and plants a huge kiss on him as they plummet, he saves them with a line and swings to a building, all the while, Lynx is frenching the hell out of young Timothy. Playa playa! Turns out Lynx has to play along in front of her gang and attack Red Robin but once she's away the Lynx will play. Yeah, I AM clever, aren't I? After getting some information about one of her people's laptop being stolen and it being the same thing that caused Tim's suspicion, he heads to see James Gordon to convince him of his new plan. His plan will apparently endanger Lucius Fox but Red Robin is sure it will help save his life as well. From there Red Robin and Batman (Dick) put Tim's plan into action, unbeknownst to Lucius Fox. Red Robin and Batman pretty much have all the bases covered and are watching Fox meet with some clients and waiting for an attack on his life by the assassin. An hour later, the assassin outwits Red Robin and takes the shot from an airborne position. Batman pursues the assassin and places a tracer on him before he escapes, but he moves into orbit which freezes the tracer's signaling system. Soon the news stations report Lucius Fox as dead but we know he's not actually. Red Robin identifies the assassin to Batman as Scarab, but Scarab is currently in jail. He asks Batman to get her released into his custody, which Dick does, and Red Robin then takes Scarab to Cairo, all the while pestering her in a way that would make Dick Grayson proud. Once they arrive on a back alley street in Cairo, Scarab says "open sesame" (really?) which opens their secret hideout. Scarab leads Red Robin in and says a code which unleashes a bunch of traps for someone who's following one of the Scarab members. As Red Robin pursues he loses track of Scarab and gets a message from Lonnie. He tells him that Mikalek was shot, Dr. Light was attacked in her civilian guise and much more, but the issue ends when he discovers the Assassination Tournament has begun, and the new order is, Kill Red Robin. Now this was the Red Robin I enjoyed before the Unternet stuff.. I really like where this is going and this was a nice start to what looks to be an interesting arc, I'll give this issue a 7/10 rating.
Myself: Tim loves Asian women, who is he, Bobby Hill?
Batgirl # 21
We get things underway with Batgirl taking on one of her newest threats, a woman with a sonar shooting suit that's taking it to our favorite blonde Bat-babe. After taking care of her opponent momentarily, Batgirl heads off to try to help her non-official sidekick, The Grey Ghost. She finds him and asks what the hell, and he explains that he overheard Harmony (our sonic shooting senorita) saying she'd take out Batgirl and not end up like Slipstream. I already like this pitiful guy just for wanting to help Batgirl out. Batgirl notices Harmony is on the move but Grey Ghost wants to come. Steph decides to use some tough love to get the Grey Ghost to back off and tells him not to cross her path again but he vows to show her that she needs him. Meanwhile, our "B" story features Proxy a.k.a former Teen Titan member Wendy Harris seeing visions of her brother Marvin, telling her that she needs to find peace. She even meets with Dr. Thompkins who tells her that her spine isn't in as bad of a shape as Barbara Gordon's once was. And says that if Wendy needs peace she knows some where she could go. We then see Wendy meet up with Barbara to tell her that she needs to go to Nanda Parbat. Barbara is shocked at first but realizes it's what Wendy needs so she gives Wendy her blessing. Back with Batgirl we see her catch up with Harmony, who is collecting samples from graves for her bosses. Batgirl can't throw Batarangs without her zapping them with her Sonic Boom (Shout out to Guile!) and can't get close enough for hand-to-hand combat. Batgirl quickly thinks of a plan and drops a giant bell from the bell-tower near Harmony, which causes her sonic powers not to work due to the vibrations and sound from the bell. After taking down Harmony we see Steph and Babs on campus, with Steph explaining how Harmony was actually a music major that goes to her college, much like Slipstream. She mentions that there are three more Reapers on campus that could be anyone. After taht, Babs tells Steph about Wendy leaving for a while, and we see Batgirl in her new lair all alone, saying she likes her odds. The issue ends with The Grey Ghost meeting with the other three Reapers, saying he'll do his best to keep Batgirl away from them, if they try not to cross her path. Man I REALLY enjoyed this issue, Batgirl is always good for the most part and this was no exception. Even Wendy's B story with Marvin kept me interested, and now I'm wondering when she'll come back and how these other Reapers will come into play. Excellent work as usual by Bryan Q. Miller especially with taking characters like The Grey Ghost and Wendy and making me interested in them. I'll give this issue a 9/10 rating.
Batgirl: What the hell, Clancy?Grey Ghost: Just watching your back, my... violet.. avenger.
And just like that, that's it for this week's edition of Ratings and Rantings. Some of you may be wondering where the Birds of Prey was, but simply, I read the first five pages and couldn't even continues because the story did not interest me at ALL. Since this is apparently a two issue arc, I'll skip the next one and if the series doesn't get back to the way it was early last year, I'll probably drop it. Anyway, that's all for me, I'll be back very soon with another edition of Ratings and Rantings, so until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off. You stay Classy Todd Squad!
Next Week on Ratings and Rantings
Batman & Robin #23 (Return of Jason Todd), Batman: Gates of Gotham #1, and Power Girl #24,