Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Rantings and Rantings featuring Justice League #1

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of all ages, it's time once again for that weekly cavalcade of comic reviews and rantings, brought to you by one half of the blogging tagteam champions of the woooooorld, yours truly, Jason Todd. So, here we are, officially apart of the DCnU, everything's changed, some for the better, some possibly for the worse, only time will tell. FYI, I bumped Amazing Spider-MAn #668 to next week so I could get this review up asap for all you Justice League fans. So since time is of the essence, let's get to what may be one of the most anticipated comic books of the year, but before we get to JLA, let's tie up a few loose ends from last week's review.

Superman Beyond #0

We start things off with Superman barely being able to keep the peace on an alien planet where a battle has broken out, but he's able to stop the planet from being invaded by the attackers. After helping the aliens, Superman decides it may be time to return home for the first time in a year, since helping Batman Beyond, Terry McGinnis, defeat Lex Luthor in the Superman/Batman Annual #4. We then see the Justice League trying to get Batman to come help out with Metropolis but he says he's busy enough with Gotham. We then see a prisoner named Mangler, and after his wife tells him she's not bringing their daughter to see him in prison anymore, and he seems defeated since he's been trying to get good behavior points to get out early, but she sticks by her guns and walks out on him. Later on, during a bit of a prison scuffle, a guard shoots some liquid that falls on the Mangler and of course makes him into a powerful villain. We then see Clark Kent on Earth, planting flowers at his parents and Lois' graves before meeting with a very old Jimmy Olsen who offers him a job as a reporter now that Jimmy is a media mogul. Meanwhile, Mangler uses his new powers to beat the hell of the joke that is the Justice League, with his Sandman-like powers. Superman makes the save but it doesn't take long until the Man of Steel is taking a beating due to his old age and the fact he's slowly grown weaker since his days on top. Once he momentarily despises of Supes, Mangler goes to see his daughter, but upon seeing what her dad has become she screams, obviously afraid, which breaks Mangler's heart. He then tells Superman to do his job and protect her from monsters like him, or he's going to destroy Metropolis. Superman throws everything at him but runs out of options so uses his speed to make a tornado and suck Mangler into space to knock him out, but once up there, with his last breaths Mangler manages to turn his arm into a spike and stick it through Superman. Well damn... as Supes realizes he doesn't have much time left, he selflessly grabs Mangler and takes him back to Earth so he doesn't suffocate in space, and takes the brunt of the fall as well. As Superman slowly dies, Mangler repeatedly asks why he would save him after he killed Superman, Barda checks on him and it appears Superman is still alive as his wounds slowly heal. They ask him to join the Justice League and he accepts, and the issue ends as we see an old Clark and Bruce share a moment like only Superman and Batman can. This was a good issue, but to be honest I think it would've been more impactful is they killed off Supes here. I mean with the reboot it's not like it matters, and Supes saving someone that killed him is like the epitome of something he'd do, which could lead to Mangler becoming a good guy to try to make that up to Superman and society. But maybe they wanted him around for more Batman Beyond stories. Either way, it was a fine issue that I had no problems with, I'd give it a 6/10.

Superman: Maybe tomorrow has finally arrived for the so-called Man of Tomorrow. Maybe I'm just too old to play hero.

Kick-Ass 2 #3

We start things off with Kick-Ass and his ragtag team of jabroni's questioning the criminal they caught, asking him where the girls he has working as prostitutes are. He says upstairs, so Kick-Ass goes to investigate wit two other heroes. They free the girls and give the the fifty-grand the criminals had so they can go start new lives. Afterwards, the heroes leave and let Kick-Ass in on the tidbit that they carry empty guns to scare the criminals, which Kick-Ass thinks is pretty awesome. We also see they don't just fight crime, but these heroes also pass out missing persons flyers, volunteer at soup kitchens, and of course influenced more people to become street heroes. And eventually, Kick-Ass decided to have his friend Todd join since he was the odd man out, but the person Dave really wants is Hit-Girl, but she continues to turn him down since she made a promise she was done fighting crime. Dave doesn't let up but when Mindy walks outside and see's Marcus, she runs to the car, as Marcus stares at Dave, clearly aware that he's Kick-Ass. When Dave arrives home he walks into his room to find his dad holding his Kick-Ass costume. His dad says he was worried because he thought Dave was on drugs but this is worse, and he's found his boots, sticks and the newspaper clippings he's saved. Dave says he's a hero and he's proud of what he's done, before snatching his costume from his dad and running out of the door. Over at the Justice Forever Headquarters, Colonel Stars is attacked and shot through the stomach by a huge woman named Mother Russia, the new bodyguard of the Red Mist. He orders her and his guards to tear the base apart and to leave a message for the other heroes. We then see the Colonel dead, duct-taped to a chair with his head gone and his dogs Sofia's head in place of his (gruesome) and the words "The Red Mist is Dead, Long live The Motherucker." The issue ends as the news of the dead hero found in a basement is seen by Mindy, which seems to incite the rage of the former Hit-Girl. Man this was a good issue, it started a bit slow but Dave's secret being found by his dad, the return of the former Red Mist and that gruesome scene made this a really good issue, I'd give it a 9/10 rating.

Marty: Those trunks are so tight I can make out individual pubic hairs.

Justice League #1

We start things off in the past, five years ago to be exact as we see Batman pursuing a criminal, while also dodging the GCPD. Batman manages to catch the person he's pursuing when suddenly the villain is blasted by a green firetruck, courtesy of Green Lantern Hal Jordan, who seems shocked that Batman is real. When the GCPD shoots at both GL and Bats, Hal throws up a shield, but while they focus on the GCPD, Bats and GL are attacked by the mystery villain. The villain blasts down a helicopter but Hal makes the save while informing Bats that he was sent there due to an extra-terrestrial sighting. Bats tells GL to go back to Coast City but he sticks around, and is shocked to learn Batman has no powers and is just a man in a bat costume. Batman somehow manages to take GL's ring and then returns it once he realizes it's the source of Lantern's power. The two start to get into a scuffle when Batman notices the alien planting a bomb. Hal tries to stop the alien but he yells "for Darkseid" before the alien explodes in the sewers of Gotham, as Hal protects himself and Batman with a box he constructs. Batman and GL then investigate the alleged bomb the alien left behind, and GL figures it may be connected to Superman since he's an alien, so the two go to confront the Man of Tomorrow. We then jump over to see Vic Stone playing football as he's apparently a highly scouted player, but when he scores a touchdown and looks in the crowd and see's his Dad isn't there he's pretty disappointed. Aww, poor Cyborg. Back with GL and Bats, they arrive in Metropolis right outside of where Superman is. Bats tells GL there was obviously a scuffle here and to take this tactfully but the ever cocky Hal Jordan decides he's going to go restrain Superman and question him, and half a second later he's flying across the sky from a red-blue-blur punch. The issue ends soon after with Superman staring at Batman asking what can he do. Well this issue kinda flew by, we didn't learn much... I mean literally. We saw Bats meet GL, we saw Bats meet Supes, we saw Hal get "one-punch!'d" by Superman and we saw Vic play football. It wasn't a bad issue but I expected more from this first issue since DC only dropped two issues this week, but on the plus side, Jim Lee's art was pretty damn good! I'll give this issue a 7.5/10 rating.

Green Lantern: You really want to pick a fight with someone who can create anything he can think of?
Batman: I'd be worried if I thought you could think.

And just like that, three comics have come and gone. Welcome to the DCnU, and the next month should be exciting with more DCnU comics, more Schism and Spider-Island from Marvel, and hopefully more Morning Glories and Invincible. Here's hoping you guys enjoyed this review and feel free to let me know what you guys think. But that's it for me, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off!

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Action Comics #1, Batgirl #1, Justice League International #1, Static Shock #1, Invincible #82, Morning Glories #12 and Amazing Spider-Man #668

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Hey Todd Squad, Jason Todd here with a your weekly collection of comic content comments. First things first, I saw that next week I'm only picking up two books, so I'm bumping Kick Ass 2 #3 and Superman Beyond #0 to next week so I at least have four books. Also,  this just so happens to be the final week of the DCU being the way we know it, because this Wednesday, Flashpoint ends and the DCU Changes. Babs becomes Batgirl again, Roy regains an arm, Dick loses the cowl, Superman loses his marriage and many more changes, so with this as the final week of the DCU until it's retconned or something, let;s take a look at the final DCU Comics in this timeline, starting off with the final issue of Gotham City Sirens!

Gotham City Sirens #26

We start things off with Harley and Ivy attacking Catwoman, who immediately goes on the offensive. Batman shows up and tells Gordon to let the girls fight this out for ten minutes, as it's between them and surprisingly Gordon allows it. Selina holds her own until she finds out it's hammer time, courtesy of Harley. Once they have Selina down, Ivy says Selina shouldn't be surprised since she betrayed two women that saved her, but Catwoman laughs and says she's the one who saved them. She basically says that Batman was pulling the strings and got them all together with a master plan that maybe they'd do good in Gotham. Harley says what Selina's saying makes sense but Ivy still thinks she's lying. Catwoman then says she basically kept then out of Arkham until they forced her hand, and that she helped them because she thinks their both better than that and can do more for Gotham outside of Arkham. Once finding out Batman was pulling the strings, Poison Ivy gets upset and starts destroying buildings and such, demanding Batman come face her. Bats shows up but Catwoman buys Harley and Ivy some time to escape, as the two go their own ways, setting up for their new roles in the DCnU. The issue ends soon after with Catwoman getting ready to take on Bats to give her friends a head start. Well this was... something. The ending just came off weird for me here, it wasn't bad and I'm sure it was rushed due to the situation DC has but it felt forced and odd, I just couldn't enjoy it like I wanted to, so I'll give it a 6/10.

Catwoman: I kept you free. Until you forced me to put you in Arkham.

Teen Titans #100

We start this issue with the Teen Titans and the former Teen Titans taking on Superboy Prime and his Terror Titans. After a few are taken care of like Indigo, Sun Girl and the Zookeeper, Cassie attacks Prime. While those two duke it out, Kid Flash grabs Inertia and runs around trying to kill him until he's stopped by Raven. This story was so rushed it shouldn't have even been done. Plus the fact that's not the real Inertia bothers me endlessly. Anyway, we cut over to Superboy taking on the clones, when he tells Ravager to go grab the box from his room we saw a few issues ago, and she grabs it to find a sharp piece of Kryptonite. She stabs one of the Superboy clones with it, then gives it to Robin who looks joyed to kill a Kryptonian with a piece of Kryptonite. After getting rid of everyone else, all of the Titans attack Prime at once, because, it's not like he killed a bunch of Titans and Outsiders and was stronger than Superman. Once he's been defeated, Conner decides there's only one place that can hold Prime, and he and Supergirl put Prime in the source wall, his own personal hell. Well, that's a let down, Prime was an A-Lister now he's beaten by a bunch of Teenagers. Afterwards, we see Conner and Ravager talking, and he tells her if he goes crazy he needs someone like her to put him down, and she has her feelings hurt because she thinks Conner see's her only as a murderer. Aww, poor murderous Rose. The issue ends soon after with Raven and Beast Boy kissing and the Teen Titans posing, well alright. This was a big let down in my opinion, as Prime was amde to look like a chump. Superboy beat up the Teen Titans by himself, there's no way four Superboy clones plus Prime AND a team of equally matched Titans should've been destroyed so easily. I'd give this issue a 3/10 rating.

Robin: You have no idea what cutting loose is, Red Robin. But I'd like to see that.

Batman: Gates of Gotham #5

We start things off with Batman taking it to The Architect, Dillon May. Meanwhile, under Kane bridge, Black Bat and Robin are trying to disarm the bomb that was planted there by The Architect. With a plan forged by Cassandra, she and Damian detonate the bombs safely away from the bridge, keeping everyone safe. After the bridge is safe, Batman subdued the Architect and explains that the Gates went made from the suit, and extended use caused extreme decompression sickness which pretty much drove the Gates insane. After proving this, Batman asks how long Dillon has been in the suit, which enrages Dillon causing him to break free of Batman's bind. He dives at Batman but Bats removes Dillon's Helmet before cracking him across the face with it. We later see Dick checking in with Bruce via satellite, and explaining "Dillon May" was an alias and the Architect was actually Zachary Gate. Bruce commends Dick on his work and says with enough time he'll be an even better Batman than Bruce. The issue ends soon after with Bruce announcing he's coming home to see Dick and Damian soon and to have a talk, and a quick flashback shows Nicolas Gate being sent to Arkham with Alan Wayne still trying to help his former friend. Well... another rushed issue, it was fine but the Dillon May reveal was pretty obvious, hell X-Man75 pointed it out like three issues ago. I'd give this issue a 6.5/10.

Bruce: I never doubted it Dick. Given enough time I'm sure you'd make an even better Batman than me.

Batman: Arkham City #5

The final issue of the comic mini that bridged the gap between Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. We start things off with Batman finding more info on Hugo Strange, and we also see the biggest damn Robin I've ever seen in my life. I swear this Robin looks like Captain Atom in a Robin costume. Batman realizes he can't go after Hugo since he's hiding in plain sight, so he decides to confront him as Billionaire Bruce Wayne instead. At a press conference, Bruce makes it known that four years ago Hugo Strange vanished from Arkham Asylum, and now he's supposed to be in charge of Arkham City. But Huge plays it like a politician and says inept doctors made mistakes, but more importantly why does a rich playboy care about a Doctor he's never met? Bruce quickly replies that he doesn't think the criminals of Arkham City will stay in Arkham City for very long, especially with Strange in charge of things. Hugo stands by his guns and says that Arkham City has no weaknesses, and unless Wayne wants to expose any secrets, he has nothing else to say to him. After Arkham City opens, Zsasz is allowed to escape only to be caught, as to kill any fears of the people of Gotham. As the issue comes to a close we see Catwoman, as well as many villains in their new environments, carving a niche in Gotham and Arkham City, including Two-Face, Penguin, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, Harley Quinn and of course The Joker, as Strange thinks to himself how he's aware that Batman and Bruce Wayne are one in the same and how he's eagerly awaiting his return to Arkham City. Now this was a fun issue, it really set the tone for the game, which I can't wait to play. The art was great, especially for Poison Ivy and Two Face, and the story was simple but well written, I'll give this an 8/10.

Hugo Strange: I eagerly await your return to Arkham City.

Deadpool #42

We start things off with Deadpool arguing with Death, as she calls him lazy and says she's leaving him. Deadpool doesn't care that Death is leaving him, as he's content sitting around and being "disabled." Turns out Deadpool is dreaming, as the Foolkiller stands over him shouting for Deadpool to wake up and fight him. After not getting a reply Foolkiller knocks Deadpool down and reaches for his mask, when Pool reaches up and grabs Foolkiller by the neck. We then see Deadpool's dream and how he's changed and wants to find his dear old Death again, and how that's pretty much revitalized Deadpool to his old self as he wakes up and beats the hell out of Foolkiller and the rest of the inmates, until DP gets distracted which allows the Foolkiller to hit him with a stun baton, which leads to a dogpile on Deadpool. We then find out that Foolkiller is in love with Doc Whitby, and that's why he's jealous and angry of Deadpool. Also, she signed off on FK's parole, and he doesn't want to leave, so he plans on killing Deadpool and getting a permanent stay. Deadpool has a plan, and we later see that he and The Foolkiller switched masks and FK stays in place of Deadpool while the Merc with a Mouth is a free man. Actually, I was reading this comic and reviewed as I read, and guessed that before finishing because it was obvious, and I was right, because I'm obviously "The Man". The issue ends soon after with Deadpool leaving dressed as the Foolkiller, but not before Doctor Whitby tells Wade she loves him and now that he's free they can be together, as Deadpool realizes he's now the object of affection but someone who's crazy, and not crazy sexy, but scary ugly. Well this was a fine issue as well, nothing amazing but it was far from bad, albeit predictable. I'd give this issue a 7/10.

Deadpool: I'm killin' everyone!

And that's it for this week's Ratings and Rantings everyone. This was a pretty lackluster week, and not the best way for the current DCU to end but what can you do, this was clearly a rushed plan. But next week should be interesting as we finally get a look at the DCnU. That's it for me though, I'll see you guys next week, until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood blogger-man, Jason Todd, signing off!

Last week's weekly poll asked "Which Comic Movie did you like more/or want to see more if you haven't seen any?"

Last place with 8.3% - Green Lantern, It's DC's Blackest Night so far...
Second place with 25.0% - Tie between Thor and Captain America, maybe Avengers will do better?
Winner with 41.7% - X-Men: First Class, I almost voted for this as well, man this was a great movie.

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Justice League of America #1, Amazing Spider-Man #668, Superman Beyond #0 and Kick-Ass 2 #3

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Hey Todd Squad, Jason Todd here with another weekly collection of comic content comments, we've got a few comics to get to and three I'm REALLY looking forward to, Venom, Schism and Batman's final issue before the reboot which was written by Fabian Nicieza. One book I said I was going to get but didn't once I flipped through it was the final issue of Green Lantern Corps, it was cut into different stories with different artists so I passed, but enough of that, let's jump right into things with this issue of Batman!

Batman #713

Awesome cover with Bruce and three of his four sons. We start things off with a quick flashback of Bruce's past, what led him to being Batman and how the addition of Robin changed his dreary outlook. This also shows the rift that grew and caused Robin to go out on his own, becoming Nightwing. From there we see how Batman brought on a new Robin that "wasn't ready" and the tragedy that followed, and how the third Robin figured out who both Batman and the original Robin were, and how he earned his spot and helped Batman loosen up. And how the change in Batman allowed him to accept more allies like Catwoman, Huntress, and the like. And once things seemed to be perfect, Batman "died" but upon his return he saw that the original Robin was Batman and Bruce's son with Robin, and he was proud so he gave them Gotham City to protect. We see that being Batman was a new adventure for Dick to take on, and Robin, who was always too stiff and strict had been warming up to Grayson and learning to have fun, we also see that although Damian would never admit it, he thought being friends with Dick was an honor. As the issue comes to a close we find out this whole recap was a story that Damian was telling to a young group of survivors, basically telling them there's always lessons to learn and to view everything optimistically, or at least that;s what I got from it. After talking to the kids we see Damian leave with Dick as the Bat Signal lights up the sky, and the Dynamic Duo swing off into the night. This was a cool issue, it was basically just a big recap issue but it was done pretty well, but it didn't deliver what I was led to believe. The synopsis for this issue said "Over the years, Dick Grayson has worn several guises: First, he was Robin the Boy Wonder, then Nightwing, and finally Batman. But now that Bruce Wayne has donned the cape and cowl once again, Dick finds himself at an identity crossroads." But we got none of that, we didn't see Dick feel conflicted or hint at going back to Nightwing, which annoyed me since that's what I expected to read about, so for that reason I'd give this a 6/10.

Dick: We need something that changes our clothes automatically, like a pole or something.
Damian: That is ridiculous.

Teen Titans #38

We start things out in the final issue of Titans seeing Ryan Choi's son and the mother of his son arrive at his funeral. We then cut over to see the Titans fighting amongst themselves over the machine that brought Joseph back from the brink of death. Roy eventually releases DJ Molecule, and since his power was running the machine, he's needlessly pissed, and sides with Roy and Cinder, before blasting Osiris. Jericho is eventually taken down and Roy prepares to leave, but is told by Slade to leave Jericho with him. Roy asks why Slade called them Titans, and Deathstroke says the Titans ruined his son, so he had to take their name and make it a disgrace. Well.. that seems like too much work. Roy realizes that Dick was right, the Titans were an ideal and thanks to Slade they'll be known as the Team that killed Ryan Choi, so Roy takes this time to deck Slade with a punch from his robotic arm, before bringing the fight to Slade like never before, before telling him the Titans are an ideal that won't be corrupted, so Roy will lead the team from now on. Slade tells him he's a little late (read my mind) but Roy says it;s never too late, and that Slade is fired. Cinder takes this time to meld herself with the Methuselah machine, causing it to explode as everyone runs, and Roy tries to get Jade to come with him since she doesn't want to live without Lian. Meanwhile, Osiris and Sivana escape together as the Doctor promises Osiris to rebuild the machine and bring back Black Adam if Osiris kills the Wizard Shazam, which he agrees to do. Isn't it a little late to start new storylines?! After the explosion, Ink and Jade tell Roy they're going their separate ways and Jericho says he'll follow Roy's new leadership. We then cut over to Ryan's funeral which seems pointless since he's The Atom in the DCnU apparently, and after we see Palmer give a speech we cut over to Deathstroke as he vows to throw out the rulebook as this issue ends. Well this was a lackluster ending. This started storylines which made no sense since this is the end for now, I mean why have Roy start a new group of Titans when we know he's going to be in Outlaws? Also, since her inception we still barely know ANYTHING about Cinder, so yeah this was all over the place, also Roy was magically no longer a junkie... I'll give this a 2/10 rating.

Deathstroke: Next Stop? Crazy Town. (That is the least Deathstroke sounding thing I have ever read.)

Power Girl #27

Nice cover Peej, very nice cover. :P We start things off with Peej taking on some robots, after finishing them she see's a message that says she has sixty seconds to save people in three life-threatening situations, but she only has time to save one. She has to choose between saving a friend, Cyclone, who is at gunpoint, saving a young girl fishing, or saving a bunch of old people in the leaning tower of Pisa. The first thing we do is see Peej pick up a giant boulder and throw it into the sea for some reason, next we see Peej save Cyclone with forty seconds left to spare. After she saves her, Peej writes the coordinates to somewhere and a note that says be there in twenty-five seconds, you'll know what to do, with her heat vision on the floor, out of view of a camera that was watching Cyclone. Peej then jets to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and stops the super-powered villain from pushing it over before heading to the young girl on the boat with twenty seconds left. In the midst of the first two missions, Peej snatches a bunch of guns from guys having a war and saves a cat from a tree. Peej arrives at the young girl in the boat just as she's about to be killed by Typhoon, when a giant wave throws her out of the boat, and she's caught by Power Girl. It turns out Peej threw the rock to buy her some time to catch the girl in the air, just in case she was late. Cyclone arrives a second later to help Power Girl stop the waves from destroying a nearby city. As Power Girl finishes up with seconds to spare, she then triangulates the signal of the cameras to find out who's been testing her, as we find out it was the Calculator, who's not even there. Power Girl grabs the guys who are there and tells them to explain what happened, as she has all the time in the world. This was a fun issue that I enjoyed, it was action packed, made sense, and it showcased Peej's strength and intelligence, which I always like. It sucks that this is the end of Peej's solo run, but I hope she's used well in the new DCnU, because she's a hell of a hero. I'll give this issue a 8.5/10.

Power Girl: Thanks to very much for their help, old man! (Peej speaking another language, she's almost as bad as Peggy Hill.)

Venom #6

Things get started right in the fray of things as Venom is deployed to deal with the mass panic caused by Spider-Island. Before Venom heads into the field, Flash gets a call from Betty, basically saying his Dad won't be aloive for much longer and to get there as soon as possible to say goodbye. Flash has that flying around his head as he takes on a big Spider-Monster, I believe one of The Jackal's henchmen, as Venom's leaders have told him to bring the monster in alive. He's getting the better of Agent Venom, until Venom grabs Gravity and tosses him into the sky, he falls down with extra weight onto the Spider-Monster and gets knocked out cold. Back at the secret base, Flash talks to his commanders about the monster he brought in, as the monster starts throwing up a bunch of tiny spiders. They figure he was sent into the city to infect more people with powers, but before anyone can react, the monster erupts from his cell, as Flash and the rest of the employees try to escape. The monster and it's spiders are between Flash and the holding cell with the symbiote, leaving him helpless. Flash speaks up with false courage that they have to take the monster and the spiders out, even if it means blowing up the base, and everyone else reluctantly agree and decide to arm themselves and try to reach the control panel that has the self destruct button. As they head out for the panel, the monster attacks and knocks Flash out of his chair, when suddenly it's attacked by the symbiote, which has formed like a black dog. Once the monster is distracted by one of Flash's teammates shooting at it, Flash suits up with the Symbiote and Agent Venom takes on the monster, but this time he intends to kill it, so you can imagine Flash's surprise, and my own, when one of the Doctor's runs the blood sample from the monster and finds out it's actually Captain America! The issue ends soon after with Flash taking down the Cap Monster, and being told by his commander to mimic the monster, take his spot, find out who did this to Cap, and snap their neck as Flash obliges. Meanwhile, Betty Brant is trying to call Flash so he can say goodbye to his dying father as we come to a close. Damn that was a good issue, the swerve with that being Cap was crazy, I didn't see that coming at all. This is going to be very interesting, I'll give this issue of Venom a 9/10.

Venom: Hello, is it me you're looking for? (Flash Thompson, Number one Spidey fan, number two Lionel Richie fan.)

X-Men: Schism #3

Things start with Cyclops talking to Emma Frost telepathically about the big gala, before there's some telepathic backlash which cuts their conversation short. Emma notifies the fellow mutants on the scene Iceman, Magneto, Namor and Colossus that either Utopia is under attack or they are, and a quick cut to Logan shows him at a bar when news breaks out that there's a disturbance at the Mutant Museum, which leads to him heading there in a hurry. We also get a  quick flashback to Kade Kilgore putting together his adolescent society of murderous geniuses, as well as some insight into each of their lives before jumping back to the present to see the Pre-Teen Scream Team (Yes, I named them that) blowing down a wall and crashing the Mutant Museum Gala. The kids demand the X-Men, so the X-Men deliver, and surprisingly the treacherous little tykes manage to take down Namor, Emma, Colossus, Iceman and Magneto. In the midst of that there's some awesome things like Emma Frost breaking a kid's finger with no remorse (I like her now...) and a kid calling Magneto a old bastard and a withered old fart. Meanwhile, Idie is still in the building, hiding and watching as she speaks to both Cyclops and Wolverine through telepathy, as both men are on their way. Idie tells Scott and Logan that the kids are taking the X-Men and leaving a briefcase, that may be a bomb. Logan keeps telling Cyclops to tell Idie to get the hell out of there, as Idie asks if she should try to stop them. Logan repeatedly tells her he'll be there soon and for her to run, but Cyclops tells her they won't make it there in time and to do what she feels she has to. Idie steps out and apparently saves the X-Men and the civilians but kills twelve men in the process. Logan says that's on Scott's head now, but Scott stands by his choice and said Wolverine should've been there and not at some bar. Wolverine's claws pop out but it turns out the bomb is some type of magnet that draws metal towards it, and it's drawing all the metal to form a giant Sentinel. Man, this was a good issue, since we KNOW the rift between Scott and Logan is coming we keep thinking it's one thing then we find out it's not, which keeps me drawn in even more. I really liked this issue, my only problem is we didn't see Idie's attack, because it happened in Generation Hope, and also we didn't see Colossus get beaten, but I enjoyed this issue, I'd give it a 9/10 as well.

Wilhemina: Mr. Farnesworthe (a cat) didn't like to be tickled, so I made his head all squishy, now he doesn't mind. (That's so damn insane that it scares me.)

And that's all for this week guys and gals. Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment and let me know what you guys think. But that's it for me everyone, be sure to come back next week for more Ratings, Rantings, and the last few issues of the DC Universe before the DCnU starts! And remember to vote on this week's newest poll and check out the results of last week's poll as well, and until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, signing off!

Last week's poll asked "Which comic movie are you looking forward to the most?"

Last place with 7.7% - The Amazing Spider-Man, swings into last place.
Third place with 15.4% - The Man of Steel wins the bronze in this poll.
Second place with 30.8% - The Avengers, which I'm definitely looking forward to.
Winner with 46.2% - The Dark Knight Rises to first place.

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Batman: Arkham City #5, Batman: Gates of Gotham #5, Gotham City Sirens #26, Teen Titans #100, Deadpool #42, and Superman: Beyond #0

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Hey everyone, thanks again for stopping by for another edition of Ratings and Rantings! This is a big week for comics as Spider-Island part one officially starts, and awesome comics like Fabian Nicieza's Red Robin and Bryan Q. Miller's Batgirl sadly end. But we've got a lot to get through today so enough with the introductions, let's jump into things with the aftermath of the War of the Green Lanterns!

War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath #2

We start things off with Soranik being asked to help assassinate Sinestro, and after hesitation she agrees to help. From there we see Kilowog, Kyle and Guy discussing Kyle's rift with Soranik, John not showing any remorse for killing Mogo, and the fact their rings won't show them where Hal is. Suddenly, Morro shows up and tells the GL's that the Guardians wish to bury Krona with their fallen Green Lantern members, which riles up Kyle, Guy and Kilowog so they go to see Salaak. They tell him they don't want Krona buried there, but Salaak says he's following orders. When Kyle stands up to him, Salaak accuses him of mutiny and he's threatened by Guy. Salaak then leaves, saying he has to take care of some errands, which prompts Kyle to realize how divided the Corps are thanks to this mess which was caused by Krona. He says he's going to apologize to Soranik and asks his ring where she is, but it replies that she's blocked tracking of her ring. He immediately realizes she must be up to something no good, involving her father, Sinestro, so he flies off, leaving Kilowog and Guy confused. Hannu, Soranik and the other members of the squad that wants to kill Sinestro subdue the Guardians' security but Kyle shows up before they can get inside. He tells everyone to relax and tries to talk to his girlfriend, which Soranik says she isn't and attacks Kyle. Kyle manages to knock Sora out and turns his attention on everyone else, and they blast at him but he moves out of the way. Their blasts rip open the Guardians door to reveal they have Sienstro in some sort of torture device trying to force the ring off of his finger. They give up and decide to address the Lanterns soon after as a group, and the Guardians say they will forgive most misdeeds of late, but one thing they will no longer tolerate is to have their judgement questioned. They don't know why the ring chose Sinestro but it must have something planned for the future they can't foresee, so they command everyone to return to guarding their sectors. The issue ends soon after with the Lanterns giving Mogo a proper send-off, us never seeing Hal in this issue, and the Guardians approaching Ganthet like zombies. Well this was weird. I find it odd we never saw Hal in this issue, Sinestro was just allowed to keep his ring, Kyle and Soranik and Kyle and John seem to have grudges, and Guy is just Guy. Oh, and Atrocitus has Krona's corpse thanks to Ganthet. Anyway, most of this issue seemed like filler in my opinion, I'd give it a 6/10.

Sinestro: Surely, they came to kill me. It's what I would do.

Teen Titans #99

We start things off seeing that Superboy Prime had himself cloned pretty much to bring along three other Superboy's to deal with Superboy and the Teen Titans. As the Teen Titans take on their enemies, we see into the thoughts of Red Robin, dealing with fighting his best friend, Wonder Girl fighting her now ex-boyfriend's clone, and Kid Flash taking on a carbon copy of Inertia. Meanwhile, we see Beast Boy, Solstice, Raven and Ravager fight their counterparts, Ravager even takes on the Persuader AND Indigo. Woo, you go Rose! Prime then leads his Titans after Titan Tower to finish the onslaught, even having Headcase use the Golden Gate bridge to turn it into a gigantic robot-like monster. The Teen Titans are busy saving civilians and manage as Prime sits back admiring the handiwork and says he's about to end the Titans legacy, when he's confronted by Bombshell, Zatara, Aquagirl, Speedy, Blue Beetle, Miss Martian, Supergirl and a very tall Damian Wayne as this issue ends. Well, that issue flew by, it was basically a fight stretched out over twenty or so pages with some needless dialogue to get us to the final issue, #100. This was alright, nothing amazing, and I would've preferred to see more Titans of the past, maybe Dick, Roy, Donna, Starfire and such, but ah well. Also, why is Prime just standing around watching, he could kill ALL of them. ALL OF THEM! Even the other Superboys!!!! Anyway I'd give this issue a 6.5/10.

Robin: Legends are a thing of the past.
Speedy: Legacies last Forever. (First thing she's said since Lian's funeral in Rise and Fall of Arsenal...)

Deadpool #41

We start things off with Deadpool, once again wearing his trademark mask, welcoming back the fellow inmates he beat the hell out of. We see that Deadpool has progressed since getting his mask back, and sense everyone's afraid of him and giving him their fruit cocktail (THAT IS NOT A EUPHEMISM!), Deadpool's on top of the world. One person who hasn't been allowed out to play or get any fruit cocktail is the Fool Killer, who wants revenge against a certain Deadfool, er, um, Deadpool. Meanwhile, we see Deadpool talking to the Doctor that'd taken an interest to him, when he realizes the boxes in which he converses with the voices in his head no longer show up, he asks her how she stopped them. Deadpool asks what she did to him and his brain, but she says she's not that kind of doctor. When an inmate says maybe she should tell DP what kind of Doctor she is, she has the inmate escorted away by security, before giving Deadpool one of her "specially made puzzles" to do. Deadpool immediately recognizes the picture from the scattered pieces, a job he'd completed in the past, as he notes they left out all the good stuff, all they left was the bodies. The Doctor said she wants Deadpool to see the bodies, but he says those are boring, and when she asks if murder is boring, Deadpool replies that he's a Mercenary, not a murderer, and he does it for money, but the doc doesn't believe Wade. Deadpool then notes that when he was a kid he saw a grown man slip off his porch and die, and that everyone in the neighborhood was shocked... but Deadpool never finishes the story because he apparently forgets he started it... that was interesting. Deadpool then says he's sleepy and wants to take a nap, but the doctor says he has to finish his puzzle first. Ten days later we see the doctor and her supervisor talking about how Deadpool has been sleeping so much and is sparingly leaving his cell, the soctor realizes she's losing Deadpool on her road to trying to cure him. We then cut to Deadpool, sleeping, when he's hesitantly awoken by a fellow inmate, who asks if Deadpool ever got any of Siryn's fruit cocktail (That IS a euphemism.), to which Deadpool replies he doesn't remember, he's done tons of things he no longer remembers. He then gets a letter from the daily mail distribution and it turns out he sent it to himself before he was committed and didn't remember that either. The letter contains a picture of Charlie Chaplin, which confuses Deadpool, we then see that the Foolkiller got a letter too, that enrages him, but we don't see what it is. The issue ends soon after with The Foolkiller being released from his cell as a sleeping Deadpool catches up on some rest. Now this was a pretty good issue, I couldn't get into the last one as much but this one was interesting, Deadpool seems to be somewhat cure, and he even started a story and didn't finish for some reason... I'd give this issue an 8/10.

Deadpool: What's so bad about puzzles? Puzzles are rad! (People still say rad?)

Red Robin #26

The final issue of Red Robin finally arrives, as a series I've followed since Fabian took over, I'm sad to see it go. There's been tons of women vying after your Timmy Drake/Wayne, and the final issue is Tim Drake finally going after the man who killed his father, so let's get to it. We start off with Red Robin facing off with Digger Harkness, a.k.a. Captain Boomerang. We get a quick recap to see that Tim planted seeds to lead Boomer to this trap, and that if he would've made one right choice in this cycle, he'd have never ended up in Red Robin's trap. We see that he had Digger steal what he thought was Black Lantern energy, and it eventually led him to Mr., Freeze because it needed to be opened by him due to being cryogenically sealed. Boomer bribed Freeze into helping him by saying he could use the power to resurrect his wife but when Freeze tells him it doesn't work, Boomer thinks he's lying and wants the power to himself. Red Robin intended this, so when Freeze killed Boomerang, Tim would feel no guilt, but at the last second he set off an explosion and took out Freeze before Digger knew what happened. But Timcouldn't allow Boomer to kill himself, nor would it allow anyone else to, so he decided he'd kill Boomerang himself. During their fight, Boomerang is hit and stumbles off a ledge, falling to his death, but Tim's conscience makes him save Boomer. Batman and Robin show up as the GCPD arrest Captain Boomerang, and Dick tells Tim he made the right choice saving him. After Dick and Damian leave, Tim says he knows Bruce is in the shadows, and Batman steps out, telling him he knows Tim made all the wrong choices that led Digger there, and regardless of how many options he gave Boomerang, Tim knew he'd pick the ones that would lead to him. Tim says this is him, and these are his decisions, as Batman leaves Tim standing on the rooftop, Tim says that this is his city if he wants it to be. Not Dick's or Bruce's, but his. This was a pretty good issue, we all knew Tim wouldn't kill Boomerang, nor allow him to die, but the planning that went into everything shows why Tim is Tim. This was a nice end to a great run of Tim as Red Robin under Fabian's watch, I'd give this issue an 8/10 rating.

Batman: You saved him tonight, Tim... But what about tomorrow... ? (Like you'd continually save Joe Chill...)

Batgirl #24

Batgirl, I've called one of the best series going for the last two years, with good reason. Bryan Q. Miller took a plucky character named Stephanie Brown, and made us care about her, he even made her become my favorite Batgirl, and yes I do mean over Barbara Gordon. So I'm sad to see this series end, but I do want to thank Bryan Q. Miller for the great issues, the tons of laugh of out loud moments, and being one of the first writers to actually make me like Damian Wayne. Thanks Bryan Q. Miller. So let's get to the finale of Stephanie Brown's run as the Blonde Bomber, Batgirl! We start off with Batgirl, Stephanie Brown, confronting her father, the former Cluemaster. It turns out not only was he behind everything that led Stephanie here, he also has been growing a powerful hallucinogen plant known as Black mercy. He blows the aroma at Stephanie which causes her to fall out and start hallucinating, and he gets ready to leave, saying he wonders what Steph's mom is up to. Before he can go, Batgirl throws one of her patented Goop-a-rangs, which explodes on her dad's hand, causing him to get stuck to the wall. Batgirl wakes up in the hospital with a nurse sitting next to her, the nurse is none other than her mom. After a few words back and forth, we discover that Batgirl got a blood transfusion to clear the spores from her body by her mom, and she's aware Stephanie is Batgirl and is very proud of all the good she's done. From there we see Batgirl leave her hospital room and she's surrounded by Nell and a bunch of the kids Batgirl and Robin helped save earlier in the series, we even see Robin through a window salute Batgirl from afar. That was a really great moment considering how critical Damian has been of Stephanie. From there we see Stephanie and Babs talking on the rooftop, and Babs asks Steph what she saw while under the spell of Black Mercy, as we see Steph beating up goons as Batgirl, Damian giving her the cold shoulder, and a mosaic of Babs, Wendy and Steph, a scene with Batgirl, Supergirl, Star Girl, Bombshell and Miss Martian in olden times fighting a dragon and dwarves, and even get the uber-awesome scene of a blue lantern Batgirl, Green Lantern Oracle and Red Lantern Damian Wayne (Awesome!) taking on a bunch of black lanterns. We also see a picture from 1944 with three Batgirl's (Steph, Babs and Cass) standing with the Blackhawks, as we even see Skeets in the picture, insinuating Booster Gold took it and finally we see an adult Stephanie with her son, and on the next page we see the adult Stephanie Brown as a futuristic Batwoman fighting crime alongside a future Batgirl. The issue ends soon after with Batgirl being optimistic about the future, and claiming this moment as her own, before swinging off into the city. This was an excellent issue, I loved the way Steph had things wrapped up with Babs, kind of passing the torch in a way. I loved the little what-if photos we got to see due to Steph's hallucinations, and I really loved the way Bryan showed how proud Mrs. Brown was of Stephanie. This has been a great run, damn near perfect in my opinion and I'm really sad to see Steph's run as Batgirl end. So thanks again to Bryan Q. Miller for giving us a hell of a book and a hell of a hero, Steph may be the "forgotten Robin" but she'll always be my favorite Batgirl. I'll give this issue of Batgirl a 10/10 rating.

Batgirl: It's only the end if you want it to be.

Detective Comics #881

This ends the over 50 year run of Detective Comics, and I can't think of too many other writers that deserve the honor more than Scott Snyder, who's crafted some of the best Batman related stories in recent memory. The last issue blew me away, and I know this one will as well. We start things off with Batman promising Commissioner Gordon that he'd fine Barbara, whose wheelchair was found outside with her blood stained on it. From there we see James and Babs, and Babs says that he's going to be found and he'll never see the light of day again. He says that may be true but it doesn't scare him, The only time he was really scared is when he first met Barbara, and the way she looked at him like she could tell there was something evil in him waiting to get out, but he was relieved because she saw it too. He asks when she first discovered he was "a psychopath" as Babs called him. Babs says when he retaliated at a bus driver for calling him four-eyes, and how he waited a year to get his revenge, as she was attacked in an alley and had her face slashed and disfigured. He asks how she knew it was him, and she says the weapon he used, a matchbox with razorblades tapes to both sides, so the cuts were too close to stitch, because if you stitch one side it pulls the other open. That sounds painful as hell... Snyder you're a sick man. Anyway, Babs says James did it for the sake of hurting her, and he wants people to pick on him, as it gives him an excuse to do what he already wants to do, torture them. He then tells Babs to look at her legs, she pulls away the cover that's over them to reveal two knives sticking out of her thighs above her knees. James says their stuck in her femoral arteries and if she pulls either one out she'll bleed to death in a matter of minutes. He then cites the time he was thrown in Arkham by Babs and their dad for a few nights to be scared straight, and how his cell was a few away from The Joker's. James said he actually ended up getting along with The Joker, and how Joker's a good listener, and he told Joker how Babs was always in a rush to grow up... and how he may have suggested maybe she should slow down and rest in a nice cozy chair. Holy shit... Scott Snyder is a goddamn genius. James Gordon... is the one to suggest The Joker paralyze Barbara Gordon?! Nope, he isn't as it turns out he never did say that, he's just tormenting Babs because he's an asshole. Well played good sir. Babs says she thought James was different, unlike the other criminals when he came from her, she figured when James came for her there wouldn't be any grandstanding, he'd just kill her, and before she can finish her sentence, James yanks the knife out of one of Babs legs. He says that Babs is right, but this isn't just about her, it's also about him, as we cut over to Batman trying to find Babs with the help of Red Robin via comm link. The link is interrupted by James Gordon who immediately outs Batman as being Dick Grayson. He recounts how basically while he was in a clinical trial, he saw that Batman had returned on the news and he was smiling, and how that reminded him of Dick from his childhood always being around Babs and how Dick always smiled and genuinely cared about people. He said at that moment he realized Dick was Batman, and it was no longer Bruce. He then reveals he's been around for most of the run Snyder has been doing, how he was there when Dick attended The Dealer's auction, and how this all led up to him getting alone time with Barbara for this moment. He then says they'll find Babs' body soon, and before he leaves town he's going to kill his father too, and he turns around and notices Babs has tries to escape. He turns a corner looking for her when Babs stabs him right to the side of his left eye with the knife that was in her other leg, but James recovers as if nothing happened. James gets up as Babs tries to crawl away, and as he finally reaches her, Batman appears and lays James out with one big punch, and tells Babs he's going to cauterize her wounds. Babs asks how he found them and he says when he met James for lunch he placed a tracer on him that works on a cellular platform, and how it just kicked in a few minutes ago. As Dick tries to cauterize Babs' wounds, she tells him not to let James get away. James gets outside and tries to get away when he's shot through the leg by his father, and then through the other leg as he continues his escape. He falls off a bridge but James is caught by his dad who says he's not letting him go. We later see Gordon thanking Dick, for everything, implying he knows he's Batman, and Dick tells him it was no problem. They ten talk about Gotham and how it seems to know everyone's nightmares and make them true. The issue ends soon after with both men vowing to stay in Gotham, ready for whatever the future brings. This was a wonderful issue, I'm looking forward to Snyder's Batman run even more now, and the character of James Gordon is so sick and sinister that he's a perfect villain. I would LOVE to see him return and become Babs' own Joker if you will. I'd give this issue a 10/10, especially due to the cliffhanger it left, an excellent end to the franchise of Detective Comics.

James Gordon: That's the spirit, sis! Hide and seek!

Morning Glories #11

We start thinks off with Ike sitting with a pool of blood pouring out of the body by his feet. He's stunned as he's told by Abraham to get out of here, and that everything will be taken care of by Abraham himself. Ike, seeming confused and still stunned leaves after thanking Abraham. From there we see Mr. Gribbs banging on a door and three women walk out, before finally Ike comes to the door. Gribbs tells Ike they finally have some use for him, and we see the two taking a walk. Gribbs basically says he figured Ike for the rich, prissy, smart ass type but after looking through his file he was surprised to see that Ike was wicked enough to kill his own father. We see a flashback of the media whirlwind that ensued once people thought Ike killed his billionaire father, but we see he was exonerated of all charges, and his lawyer wants to get him home after leaving court but Ike says he wants to stop at his father's funeral, but they must make another stop prior to that. From there we see Gribbs tell Ike he will let him free, let him out of Morning Glory Academy and allow him to go wherever he pleases without hearing from them again, if he kills for him. Ike is taken aback and says he needs time to mull it over, which Gribbs grants him. We then see a flashback to Ike's dad's funeral, where he brought a party bus and a bunch of dancer's, and even a banner that says "The Dick is Dead, Long live the Dick." He then drinks alcohol and insults his mother all while enjoying the death of his father. From there we jump back to present day and see Ike going to his former quarters where he's threatened by Jun for betraying the team, but Jun is calmed by Hunter. From there we see Hunter run into Jade, which we saw in Jade's issue, before being told to F*** off by Casey. He's then approached by Zoe, who states that as long as he keeps drawing their rage she coasts by. He says that if she were smart she would've cut the gang off a while ago, he did and pretty soon he'll be going home, to which Zoe replies that Ike doesn't seem like the type that has much to go home to. Burn! After that epic burn, we flashback to seeing a parking attendant that Ike is bribing, since he has tape of Ike leaving the building after his father was killed. Ike tells him he has to destroy the tape and forget he saw it but the guy plans on using it for more money because he's a greedy bastard. Ike warns him that it isn't safe and the money was to get his attention, the man starts coughing and clutching his chest before he falls over dead. Ike grabs the phone with the video from the mans hand and leaves as people come over to check on the man. Back in the present, Ike goes to see Gribbs and says he'll have to decline the offer, and Gribbs says that's fine but he can tell Ms. Daramount himself. He walks into her office and she tells him to call her Georgina, and she says if she had offered she would've been much less callous about it than Gribbs. What then follows is a bunch of words I didn't notice because Miss. Daramount took her hair down and removed her glasses and she is hawt! She basically offered to "thank Ike" if he did what she asks, probably with some fruit cocktail and the next page we see Ike walk out asking Gribbs where the guy is and how can he kill him. Well played Ike, well played. As Gribbs leads Ike to a basement room with the guy Ike is to kill, Ike is asked if he killed his own dad. Ike stumbles for a bit before saying yes, but they weren't that close. Gribbs says good news, before opening a door and revealing Ike's father, Abraham (?!), who says hey to Ike, as Ike, who doesn't even look surprised says hey back, as this issue ends. Now this was interesting, I loved seeing into Ike's past, as he's a smart ass and that's a fun character to read about (Jason Todd anyone?) and the stuff with him and Zoe as well as the scene with Miss Georgina Daramount made this issue interesting to say the least. Now I'm wondering why Ike's dad isn't really dead... and apparently is none other than Abraham. I'd give this issue a 9/10 rating only because we don't know why the guy in the bar died, that seemed very abrupt and I wish I had more insight on that.

Ike: Mummy! You know I applaud a woman who wears white to a wedding even though she's not a virgin, and wears black to a funeral even though she's not mourning.

The Amazing Spider-Man #667

We kick things off with Carlie Cooper showing Peter she has spider powers, which makes him wonder if he gave her a S.T.D., a Spidery Transmitted disease. Classic Slott. From there we see Madame Web and Shang-Chi on a rooftop, as they watch The Jackal and his guards show up at a meeting of thieves and mobsters from various crime families. Of course, they all end up fighting one another with their spider powers until the Jackal and his two goons, Spider-King and the Tarantula step in and put everyone in time-out. Jackal tells them thanks to him they have powers, and forget about what gangs they were in, they all have a new uniform, as he presents them with Spider-Man costumes, saying their going to break so many laws, and the most important one, Identity Theft. From there we see Peter and Carlie saying good bye to Jay and May at the airport, as Peter calls Aunt May "Mom" before they leave, and Carly for some reason yells she has Spider-Powers in the middle of her good-bye which cracks me up. Next we see a bunch of Spider-Men in different suits terrorizing New York, Mary Jane happens to see this and steps in, saving a kid from being crushed by something one of the bad guys threw. When a Spider-Man with the FF costume tells her quick thinking, she asks "Is that you, tiger?" to which he replies "Oh, I'l be your Tiger, pussycat." before he has his clock cleaned by The Thing! The Avengers join the fray and start taking on the phony Spidey's as MJ asks where Peter is. We then see Peter is stuck in traffic with Carlie as Jameson has ordered a lockdown on New York, due to a bunch of people developing spider powers. Before Pete can even react, Carlie web-slings off, saying this is a job for your friendly neighborhood Spidey-Cop. I'm really starting to like Carlie, plus she has a tattoo of Spidey's face on her pelvis apparently. Peter quickly changes into his Spidey gear and goes after Carlie, hoping he's able to dissuade her. Spidey arrives on the scene and manages to get beat up by Thing, Ms. Marvel and Iron Fist because they don't believe he's the real Spidey. Shang-Chi, unable to sit this one out like Madame Web instructed, joins the fight as Madame Web says Spidey has just learned the first lesson of Spider-Island, even though he has great responsibility, on Spider-Island his great powers are meaningless. We see Spider-Man laid out next to a bunch of other Spider-Men as this issue comes to a close. This was a fun issue, it jumped around a lot, I got a few laughs from Carlie and Ms. Marvel, and it was a great official start to Spider-Island. I'm wondering what Spidey can do to differentiate himself from these costumed villains as well. I'd give this first issue an 8.5/10 rating.

Mary-Jane: I swear, if we're doing the clone thing again, I'm going back to L.A.!

Whew, a pretty good week if I say so myself! The end of Batgirl, Red Robin and Detective Comics, the beginning of Spider Island. Well, that's all for this week guys and gals, until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood blogger-man, recklessly misusing my Spider-Powers to get a main event match against CM Punk and Wrestlemania. Anyway, I'm Jason Todd, signing off!

Last week's poll asked "Which Comic Character do you think should get a movie next?"

Last place with 0% - Venom, cause Sony and Topher Grace ruined him for us.
Third place with 9.1% - Teen Titans, cause we don't WANT it, but if it looks good, we'll see it.
Second place with 36.4% - The Flash, and 100% hope it's Wally and not Barry...
Winner with 54.5% - Invincible! Make it happen Kirkman!

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Batman #713 (By Fabian Nicieza), Titans #38, Green Lantern Corps #63, Power Girl #27, Venom #6 and X-Men: Schism #3

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Hey everyone, Jason Todd back with more of your favorite comic content comments, Ratings and Rantings! After my post yesterday on the new Ultimate Spider-Man controversy if you want to call it that, I'm back and ready to review my comics for this week. Surprisingly it's only three comics, even more surprisingly they're all Batman comics, and each features a different Batman! We have Bruce Wayne in Arkham City, Dick Grayson in Gates of Gotham, and Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond. So let's get things started with our Dark Knights of Gotham City!

Batman: Arkham City #4

We start things off with Batman arriving at Arkham City and jumping right into the line of fire, as Warden Sharp's guards were waiting for him. Once Batman gets away from the guards he hears the man that's really behind Warden Sharp and Arkham City, the man they've yet to reveal as Hugo Strange. It turns out he's cracked the frequency Bats uses in his cowl to talk to Oracle and Alfred and is taunting Batman through it. Strange has also got his task-force trained in to know Batman's fighting style, and their suits even absorb the impact of his explosive gel. When Batman is taking on the task-force, he's saved by a huge armored tank, bring driven by none-other than Catwoman. Once with Catwoman, Batman shuts off his comm link, so Strange can't hear him and Selina talking. Bats asks Catwoman why she's there, and the obvious answer is she's there to steal things. She also mentions running into and helping Poison Ivy, so she'll owe her one. Interesting, I guess that confirms Ivy for the Arkham City game. She mentions how she helped Ivy escape and she's staked out at the Central Gardens, before Batman warns her that even with allies like Ivy, Arkham City is dangerous, before he leaves Selina in her ride. We then see the Joker meeting with a Doctor he's keeping hostage to see if he's healing from the Titan serum, but his vitals are still destabilizing. We then see that Joker asked the Doctor to isolate the toxin from his blood sample, and the doctor hands it over to Joker, I wonder what THAT will lead to. After getting what he needs, The Doctor is led to his death by The Joker, oh you! Meanwhile, Batman attacks a group of guards that are waiting to ambush him, he then takes one and hangs him off the edge of the building, demanding to know who is the main man in charge. The guard tells him the man's name is Hugo Strange, as we cut to Hugo to see him in a room surrounded by monitors of Batman, looking pleased with himself as he promises to become immortal by taking everything Batman has and is, as this issue comes to a close. This was a great issue. We got to see a bit of Joker's plan, Catwoman popped up, we got a hint that Ivy will be in the Arkham City game, and now we definitively know (in the comic) that Strange is the man behind Arkham City. I'll give this issue an 8.5/10 rating.

Batman: Be careful Selina, this isn't a game.
Catwoman: You're telling me. Security has gotten tighter than my catsuit.

Batman Beyond #8

Just so you guys know, it was reported at the DCU Blog that the Batman Beyond series will start again in 2012, but this is the final issue of 2011. So we start this off with Batman fighting a mysterious villain named Inque. Imagine the Venom Symbiote beating up people, and there you go. After getting the best of Batman, Inque shoves herself down some poor guys throat and escapes using his body, until she makes him spit her out. Yeah, it sounds worse than it was. While Batman tries to pursue Inque, we find out a bit about her past. It turns out she was from a poor city and when she was a kid her country had a civil war which destroyed her city. And once her family went poor, they had to turn to the Black Market to sell their possessions, and once they ran out of possessions, the Black Market took Inque, as her parents were left behind to die. Once they made it to America, Inque escaped, and when she got sick she discovered she was pregnant, so she had a will to go on. Once she was offered a chance in an experimental procedure, she accepted, as she had food and shelter, but once they were concerned she would die from the tests, they returned her to the streets. She finally had her child while living in a charity ward and months after, she started to transform into the Inque she is now, so she gave her child to an Orphanage and waited to die, but she didn't. She then decided to use her powers as a service to make cash, and send the cash anonymously to her daughter to make sure she's well taken care of. She eventually revealed herself to her teenage daughter, thinking she'd understand, but she didn't. I actually stopped reading here, I just couldn't get into this issue. I tried but there was nothing endearing about this story that made me want to read about it, especially since it's the last issue of the year for Batman Beyond, it should've at least featured more Terry, some stuff with Dick Grayson or something. I gotta give this a N/A.

Batman: Gates of Gotham #4

Things get started with Red Robin and Robin fighting The Architect. Batman contacts Red Robin and says the Architect;s next target is Kane bridge, and Red Robin mentions he and Damian are fighting him now, so Dick says he and Cass will be right over. The Architect is holding his own against the Robins, but Damian dropkicks him through a load bearing beam which causes the building to come down on top of them. From there we jump to a flashback, and see one of the Gates mourning the death of his brother. He doesn't believe his death was an accident and uses the same suit the Architect now uses to move the rubble underwater to find proof that his brother's murder was premeditated. We then see Alan Wayne telling Nicholas Gates he's sorry about his brother, but Nicholas says he thinks his brother was murdered and asks for Alan's help. Alan tells him he won't because secrets are power and that's something he'd never understand. Yep, Alan Wayne was a bit of a dick. Back in present times, Batman and Black Bat arrive to help Robin and Red Robin but the Architect has already escaped. Red Robin then tells the gang that the Architect plans to blow up the Kane Bridge, which will result in half the city being drowned. While looking for the plans for the bridge, Black Bat comes across Nicholas Gates' diary, and we see another flashback, this time of Gates in the Architect suit attacking Cameron Kane. Robert Kane overhears and shoots Gates in the back, and when Gates grabs Robert by the neck, his suit depressurizes which causes him to lose mobility, but the suit stays choking Robert Kane, who dies soon after. He's soon arrested, but the final lines in his diary say that he doesn't regret what he did, he only regrets he couldn't do more. The issue ends soon after with Batman going to stop the Architect at Kane Bridge, once and for all. This was a fine issue, nothing amazing but far from bad. The only big reveal I could see is that Nicholas is still alive but I doubt that, but I guess we'll see soon enough. I'd give this issue a 7/10 rating.

The Architect: I am the Architect, Gotham's forgotten son, but soon they will remember. (Seems like something Gates would say to me...)

And that's it for me, on a quick edition of Ratings and Rantings. Next week should be interesting as I'll have more books, many of which are the final issues of their runs before the DCnU starts. But that's it for me, feel free to comment and vote on this weeks newest poll, as well as checking out the results of last weeks. Until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood blogger-man, Jason Todd, signing off.

Last week's poll asked "Which Marvel Hero would you like to see get Spider-Man's powers in Spider-Island?"

Last place with 9.1% - Captain America, Super Soldiers don't need Spider Powers I guess...
Second Place with 18.2% - Tie between the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool and the Gamma Giant, the Hulk
Winner with 54.5% - Wolverine, the best there is at spinning webs, bub.

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Batgirl #24 (Sad to see it go), Detective Comics #881, Red Robin #26, Teen Titans #99, War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath #2, Morning Glories #11, Amazing Spider-Man #667, and Deadpool #41! Eight comics next week!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The New Ultimate Spider-Man

Hey everyone, I'm here with a topic that is lighting up most comic sites, the identity of the new Ultimate Spider-Man. In case you've been living under a rock the past few months, Marvel decided to kill off the Ultimate Version of Spider-Man. Not the adult, dated Mary Jane until it was retconned and now currently is apart of the Avengers and the FF version, but the teenage, high-school student version of Peter Parker. The news was everywhere, even on CNN for some reason, and what followed was one of the best issues of a comicbook I'd ever read. The issue where Peter died, protecting his family and friends while surrounded by them was one of the best things I've ever had the privilege of reading. So, obviously the next question is, what happens to Spidey now, is the mantle taken over by someone else? Harry Osborn? Gwen Stacey? Aunt May? Every idea was discussed online, some good, some not so good, but the news was finally leaked a few days ago and has the internet in an uproar, so if you'd like to avoid spoilers, stop reading now.

Alright, still here? Anyway, the news was that the new version of Ultimate Spider-Man would be a new character completely, named Miles Morales, but seemingly more important is the fact that he's half African-American and half Hispanic. That news alone has a bunch of people in an uproar. Now don't get me wrong, I understand people may be upset that Spidey's mantle isn't being taken by someone close to Peter, or someone like Ben Reilly, but some people are delivering harsh criticisms of a character they haven't read about or have no background information. Some people are solely judging this character based on his heritage of being Black and Hispanic, so frankly, their being racist. Don't believe me? Here are a few quotes of what people are saying about Miles Morales, a Black/Hispanic Spider-Man, and race in general.

"Well, that nails it. Spidey’s dead to me."

"More politically correct stupidity! If the Spider Man series I read in the Sunday papers EVER changes from good ole white Peter Parker, I’ll simply cease to read it. If the PC nuts want to have super heros who represent other ethnic groups along with various sexual perversions then let them create new ones from scratch and leave our time cherished traditional heros alone!"

"What will he say when he runs into a criminal? “Sup Foo? Dis is MY ‘hood!”"

"That’s just dangerous. With spider powers, just think how much stuff he could steal, if he was not so lazy."

Those comments, as a black man, a comic fan, and a human being disgusted me. In this day and age, to think that people can be so racially insensitive, and to get that angry and disrespectful over a comic book character that you know nothing about, and are not obligated to read about is just stupid and sad. And here's one more comment that caught my eye.

"Shame on Marvel Comics! This is not diversity; this is a disgrace! Spiderman was Peter Parker, and Peter Parker was white. Create a new character if you want to prove that Marvel Comics is “diverse”. Minorities are typically less than 18% of the population, but they seem to get nearly 100% of the history. Why should white children not have a comic book hero that they can identify with?"

The one above is my favorite, because it makes NO damn sense. Really? Minorities have all of the history of comics? That person must've missed the 90% Caucasian Justice League that's coming out at the end of this month. I was under the impression that characters like Wolverine, Captain America, Superman, Batman, Ironman, Daredevil and etc. were white, but now I see their actually minorities. And really? Is it worth getting THAT upset about the new Spidey being of Hispanic and African-American descent? First of all, he's not even the MAIN Spider-Man! He's a Spider-Man you can read about if you choose to, no one is making you. You still have Peter Parker in the main Marvel Universe, he's still going to be in the Spider-Man movie next year, so why the uproar about one character taking the Spider-Man name and trying to be the best Spider-Man he can be, to help New York and to pay respects to the original, courageous Spider-Man that died a heroes death?

Another thing I want to comment on is Brian Michael Bendis, since he's the driving force behind this character. Bendis is the man that crafted the excellent send of story for the Ultimate Universe's Peter Parker, and it was his idea to make the new Spider-Man and mixture of Hispanic and African-American. Bendis has said that this character is personal to him, as he has two adopted children, one African-American and one that was born in Ethiopia. So considering he's in a position to create characters and decides to create one that can have different views than the traditional Peter Parker as well as make him relatable to Hispanic and African-American fans is a great move. There are plenty of white characters I relate to as a black man, so who's to say a white man can't relate to a Black or Hispanic character? Bendis says one of the main things that really made him want to make the new Spider-Man half African-American was seeing Donald Glover dressed as Spider-Man on the season two premiere of Community.

Bendis was quoted as saying, “He looked fantastic! I saw him in the costume and thought, ‘I would like to read that book.’ So I was glad I was writing that book.” I loved reading that because I'm a huge fan of Donald Glover's acting, writing, comedy and music. And for those that don't know, Donald Glover's Spider-Man costume on "Community" was an inside joke. Donald Glover actually auditioned to play Spider-Man in the new Spider-Man movie, but lost the role to Andrew Garfield. It all started on Twitter where Donald mentioned how he'd like to play Spider-Man as a joke, which started a huge twitter campaign Donald4SpiderMan, which eventually got so big it earned Donald the chance to audition for the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, which he of course didn't get. Sadly, that also resulted in a bunch of racist comments about how Spider-Man shouldn't be Black, much like the news of Miles Morales being the new Ultimate Spider-Man.

So, in a world where people are ready to flip out when a minority character debuts or takes up the mantle of someone else, we can only hope that Miles Morales is a great character and can get a fanbase behind him. If not, then back to the drawing board, but hating a character we know nothing about does no good for anyone. This isn't an African Batman, this isn't a Black Iron-Man or One Black Green Lantern out of thousands, this is Miles Morales, the half Hispanic, half African-American, Ultimate Spider-Man, and with great power, comes great responsibility.