We start things off with Dick Grayson as Nightwing, in his new Black and Red suit to show a change in his persona I guess. This Nightwing is not only our fun loving acrobat but now possesses the knowledge of walking a mile in Batman's shoes. He says he was Bats for just under a year for anyone wondering how long he was actually in the cowl. He also mentions how life has changed for him in Gotham, and how just as he's adapted to his new life, things change, considering Haly's Circus is back in town, yet Dick still hasn't gone to visit his circus family. We also see this new, more aggressive Nightwing take down a criminal using tricks he's learned from his time ad the Dark Knight, showing that while he's once again Nightwing, he still has the prowess of Bats and that this is far from being a demotion. We then see someone arrive in Gotham, and when it looks that he's going to be robbed, he makes work of his would be attackers, but kills them before walking off nonchalantly, so there's our introduction to a new baddie in town. From there we get a quick insight for the newer readers into what makes Dick different from Bruce, as he cites how he's living in a new loft that's closer to the bad part of the city as opposed to the richer parts that house Wayne Manor and the Penthouse, as Dick states "Why live in the best part of the when you're trying to save the worst part." which is an excellent point. After working up enough nerve, Dick finally visits Haly's circus and gets a welcome reception from his former family, especially Raya, a Red headed female acrobat, which has Grayson's name written all over her. On the way home, Dick is attacked by a man brandishing claws like Wolverine, well technically more like Daken since he has no middle claw. He attacks Dick for some reason, but the cops show up and he gets too caught up in killing them, which allows Dick to make the costume change to Nightwing. Once Nightwing takes on the costumed attacker, he replies that Dick is far from innocent and Nightwing is "Protecting the fiercest killer in Gotham, and that Grayson just isn't aware of it yet." Interesting. The attacker one-ups Nightwing and manages to get the upper hand, seemingly sealing the fate of Nightwing as this issue ends. Now first things first, I was recall reading we'd know why Nightwing took make his name and costume in the first issue, and we didn't find that out at all. But this issue was fine, it was a little slow but it's an opener so I don't expect too much. The new villain looks interesting although we never got a name, but this issue was solid, nothing special but far from bad, I'd give it a 8/10 but I'm faithful it will get better from here.
Nightwing: Being Batman taught me a lot about myself.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1
We start things off with The Red Hood (Awww yeah!!!!) saving Roy "Arsenal" Harper from a prison in Quarac, after coming in one of the best disguises someone in the Bat-Family has ever used. Damn, this comic started off with action, plus the art work is pretty damn awesome, it's gritty but doesn't look too dark. There's a ton of jokes and back and forth that comes off well between Jason and Roy that I can't give the justice it deserves, but I enjoyed their banter. While escaping, Hood and Arsenal run into three tanks that are ready to blow the former teen sidekicks sky-high, the two are saved thanks to an attack by Starfire. Not only is she with Jason and Arsenal, apparently she's WITH Jason, which is just awesome in my book. Jason never gets any women besides Ms. Al Ghul so of course I marked out for that, even if she is Dick's old flame, no pun intended. We then cut to a few weeks later as out Outlaws are chilling on a beach in St. Martinique. Roy asks Jason how Kori feels about dating him considering his run-in's with Dick, which proves those also happened, as did the Teen Titans considering Jason alludes to them. He says that Tamaranians apparently have short attention spans about all things Earth and she probably barely remembers the gang they used to hang with. He also says they see humans as basically sights and smells, which I don't know how I feel about that considering I don't think that's how Kori was pre-reboot but whatever, could be worse. As Jason and Roy are chilling on the beach, a chick in all black with white hair by the name of Essence asks for a word with Jason. She mentions that a bunch of people have turned up dead, missing their organs, but the organs were apparently missing before they died and there were no incisions made, which leads Jason to believe that a group called The Untitled are behind it. Over with Kori and Roy, Roy mentions that Jason is talking to himself, which seems to show that only Jason can see Essence. Kori on the other hand doesn't care, as Roy asks her if she remembers Dick, Garth, Vic (Cyborg was on the Titans? ...Okay.) but to his and my surprise, she asks Roy if he wants to have sex. Roy is taken aback and asks if she's Jason's girl, to which she replies she is free and does what she wants when she wants. Good answer considering she was a slave, so that fit her character, plus Star's always been a free spirit and a bit promiscuous. And considering Roy is Roy, and also was in a prison week ago, he says yes. Meanwhile, after some prodding from Essence, Jason agrees to help her take down The Untitled. We then cut halfway around the world to Chicago as we see a young black man on the internet looking at a picture of Starfire that was uploaded from a kid on the beach, he recognizes her and says "A Tamaranean. On Earth. At Last." Hm.. so now someone's looking for Starfire, more intrigue! :P Back in St. Martinique, Jason walks in to see Starfire and Roy in bed sleeping, and nonchalantly grabs his mask and walks back out. We then see Jason twelve hours later in his Red Hood attire, now in the Himalayas, apologizing to the corpse of a woman named Ducra, who is what I imagine is one of the people who trained him during his journey to become better than Bruce. During his goodbye, Jason is surrounded by the people who apparently murdered Ducra, as he pulls out his guns and says "Finally, someone to shoot." as this issue comes to a close. Now say what you want, but I LOVED this issue. Jason was smarmy old Jason which is great, he had black hair which is even better, he came out looking awesome, as did Arsenal and Starfire. Arsenal is a bit more timid then I'd like but I think this will be a growing experience for him. I kind of like Starfire in this, her personality makes her a wild card as well. So I enjoyed this, and I can't wait for the next issue. If I have any complaints, it would be that we could've learned more about Ducra, and maybe a bit about why Jason made this team in the first place, but because I loved it, and because I'm willing to admit I'm biased, and because I'm just happy Jason has his own comic and Roy has two arms, I'll give this a solid 10/10.
Red Hood: The only reason I'm here is 'cause if anything happens to you, that would make me the worse former sidekick ever. (Brutal... and that's why Jason rules.)
We start things out with Selina Kyle throwing on her costume, grabbing her cats and jumping out of the window as a bunch of men with guns bust through her door. Excellent timing. As Selina escapes, she mentions that she doesn't know who the guys are but they won't find whatever they're looking for in her apartment, and that she'll circle back and get her things in a few days, but to her surprise the skull wearing brutes blow up her apartment. Realizing she needs a new place and some cash, Selina goes to see Lola, who apparently was a showgirl. (Shout out to Barry Manilow!) Turns out Lola is Selina's best-friend, as well as great at intel, which helps Selina know who to rob, what to get, and how to get it. She gives Selina info on a place where she can crash while the millionaires that stay there are out of town, and also gives her information on a job so she can do what she does best, steal from the rich and keep for herself. She gets a gig tending the bar where guys from the Russian mob meet, and since she's proficient at Russian, she listens in for anything she can use to her advantage when she overhears something about a painting that is worthless but one of the mobsters believes it's a lucky talisman, which leads Selina to believe if she steals it, they'd pay big money to get it back. Selina is about to leave with her new information when she overhears a man talking, a man named Renald, a man who apparently shot a woman in front of her as a kid. An upset Selina follows him into the bathroom, and uses her seduction to lower his guard before beating the hell out of him, leaving him a bloody mess before leaving the club. We then see Selina in her penthouse that she's staying in now, when she notices Batman in the shadows. He asks if she's alright after the firebombing, but before he can finish she's kissing him. He tells her they aren't doing this, he's come because she's endangered herself and others, but that just leads to her tackling him and the two having sex, but before the issue ends we learn that Catwoman doesn't know who Batman is under the mask. Holy retcon! Catwoman doesn't know Batman is Bruce... and they are still getting it on apparently... well I don;t like that. But I did like this issue, a lot. It showed how awesome and capable Catwoman is, she went under cover and used her skills, I didn't even know she spoke Russian, plus there was like three scenes with her in a bra, which I'll never complain about. But honestly, this was a good issue and Judd has done a nice job in writing Selina for the first time, I'd give this a 8.5/10.
Lola: Your place got torched again?Selina: One, it was my new place. Two, blown up, not torched. And three, yes.
We kick things off with Batman being attacked by a cavalcade of villains, including Two-Face, Killer Croc, Professor Pyg, Scarecrow, Clayface and more. We even see the recently turned villain, James Gordon Jr. there reading a book while the rest of Bats' rogue gallery tries to take out The Dark Knight. When Batman in thrown through a window into a cell that belongs to The Joker, things take a shocking turn as Batman and The Joker team up to defeat Bats' enemies. Before we can get an explanation, we see Batman talking to Jim Gordon about how he went to Arkham to go after a corrupt guard, and how the guard sprang open the inmates doors which led to Batman being attacked. Gordon questions Batman on if he actually teamed with The Joker, to which Batman tells him that would be ridiculous, to which Gordon agrees. Hm... Afterwards, we see Batman in his cave, unmasked when The Joker shows up. We soon see that The Joker was actually Dick Grayson, wearing the E.M.P. mask that was used in the final arcs of Detective Comics before the reboot, a mask that contorts light to give you someone else's appearance. Turns out that Dick was in Arkham as The Joker for a few days to make sure that the guard Batman believed had gone corrupt actually was. Dick and Bruce then get dressed and head upstairs to meet Tim and Damian for some fancy soiree they are all attending. It turns out it's a big banquet where Bruce gives a great speech (kudos to Scott Snyder) and basically says how he's looking towards the future of Gotham and how he hopes to improve the city with new buildings and a new public transit system, which gains applause from the crowd. During a meet-and-greet Bruce takes the time to use his new device (a mobile bat-computer in his ear, and no, not literally.) to read Jim Gordon's lips as he repeats that someone in Gotham was stabbed. A few minutes and a costume change later, Batman is heading towards the scene of the crime. At the scene the crime, Batman learns from Harvey Bullock that the victim was loaded with antique throwing knives, with each vital organ missed purposely so he would suffer before he died. Gruesome. Being Batman, he soon uncovers a clue that was left, a clue that says "Bruce Wayne will die tomorrow." The issue ends soon after, when Batman runs an analysis on the corpse and the skin cells between the victim's fingernails are none other than those of Dick Grayson! Man, that was a great cliffhanger, maybe this and Nightwing link-up? Snyder and Higgins have worked together so I could see it, but only time will tell. But this was a good issue, and Scott Snyder is a damn genius. He used the facial recognition that Bruce has in what's basically a mobile bat-computer in his ear, to use that as giving us a name and a bit of information on various characters, which was a genius way to introduce these characters to new readers, as well as something that can easily be written off as Bruce trying new tech. That alone was a pretty clever idea that made me appreciate this comic even more. I'll give this issue a 10/10. It was a perfect intro issue, it built on a lot, it showed off Batman's planning and tech and gave us a bit of doubt for one of Bruce's closest allies. There's nothing about this comic that I didn't enjoy.
Tim: Tell me he's not using facial rec for the party.
Damian: The party? He's using it to remember who you are, Drake.Dick: And... Zing. (Somewhere, X-Man75 just marked out for that.)
We start things off with Deadpool hiding out in England because he's afraid Dr. Whitby is going to go to the police about him escaping, since he turned down their life together in the form of a super kick. But it doesn't take long for the Doc to find Deadpool, which leads to her disrobing and showing her wearing a Deadpool outfit with fishnet stockings. Deadpool (and myself) yells "MY EYES!" after seeing this. She then opens fire on Deadpool, thinking he'd like that, but Deadpool manages to take her gun and knock her out before fleeing. Deadpool, after sleeping in garbage, decides to don his red and black attire and head to the street, jackin some fools yo, Deadpool style! Hey... he said it, not me. During his escape, Deadpool manages to get surrounded by the cops and the guards that are watching The Queen of England, and they capture DP...for about three seconds before he escapes once again. Deadpool manages to hitch a ride with The Queen, wait really? Yep, he hitches a ride with the Queen of England and uses her as a bit of a hostage to escape. While talking to the Queen, he explains his situation with Doctor Whitby, which leads DP to the realization that as long as she's killing people and emulating Deadpool, that Whitby is his responsibility. Deadpool decides to go finish this once and for all, by confronting Dr. Whitby as this issue comes to a close. This issue was solid, and a lot of Deadpool comedy. It wasn't the best issue, but Deadpool meeting the Queen and using that classic Deadpool style of surviving and planning was enjoyable. I'd give this issue a 6.5/10.
Deadpool: Give it up smooth, Dingus! You just got jacked! Deadpool style! (See... I told you.)
Ultimate X-Men #1
It annoys me way more than it should, but I hate the fact that Iceman is wearing that hat on the cover. Anyway, we get things started with Karen Grant, formerly known as Jean Gray, going to a school to recruit a young mutant who's powers have recently started to manifest. It turns out the young mutant was upstairs taking a nap, and in a world where Mutants are being shot on sight if they don't turn themselves in to containment camps, her parents felt it would be better to just murder the poor girl in her sleep. Man, that scene blew me away right at the beginning. Leave it to Nick Spencer to draw you in within a few pages. Meanwhile, a news story breaks that basically says the mutant gene is a virus that was created in America and somehow spread around, infecting people. It's also disclosed that the man formerly known as Wolverine was the first genetically engineered Mutant, thanks to the Weapon X program. Jimmy Howlett, the son of Wolverine decides to go investigate the place that made his father into a mutant killing machine. We also get a glimpse into one of the containment cells, which is basically a mutant concentration camp, and we see that Storm is actually being held in one, as well as Colossus. We even see Rogue pursued and captured by one of the teams in charge of the containment camps. We then see Kitty Pryde, Bobby Drake, and Johnny Storm discussing the news, which only upsets Kitty. When they mention the rioting going on in New York, Kitty says they aren't playing superhero, as they made a promise not to once Peter died. But as Kitty walks away, the guys tell her that Rogue was identified as an attacker on the news. Knowing that someone has to save Rogue, Kitty suits up and Bobby chills out and Johnny flames on (you know that was genius), as the issue comes to a close. Well this was interesting, the idea that the mutant gene is a virus kind of makes sense, it explains how two humans can have a mutant child as well. I like where this is going, and with Spencer writing it, he hasn't steered me wrong yet, so I'll keep checking this out. I'd give this issue about a 7.5/10.
Johnny: Mutants got their powers through a science experiment! I got my powers through a science experiment! It's the same thing!
X-Men: Schism #4
I've been waiting for this for about a month, so let's do it. We start things off with Cyclops telling Idie back at Utopia that she saved lives, and if the deaths of those men she killed are anyone's fault, it's his. At least Cyclops owned up to it. For some reason, Cyclops is at Utopia while Wolverine tries to fight the gigantic Sentinel from the last issue. What the hell Scott?! As the Sentinel knocks Wolverine into the sea, Dr. Nemesis tells Cyclops that the Super Sentinel is heading towards Utopia. Cyclops immediately tries to rally the X-Men when he learns that the teleporters are down, some X-Men are busy or incapacitated, and the closest ones en route are thirty-seven minutes away. Cyclops runs outside, while realizing that the X-Men were set up by someone, and he blasts the hell out of the Super Sentinel, which is apparently closer than I thought. His blast doesn't take down the SS, but he's offered help by Hope, Idie and the rest of the students. Scott accepts their help but Wolverine doesn't and tells Scott to get rid of the kids. Logan says they're children and are going to get killed, Scott says they're X-Men and can handle it. They argue back and forth, as Wolverine says the kids should evacuate and live to see another day, but Cyclops says they should fight now because if they run today they'll be running forever. Wolverine says he's done everything Cyclops has asked, lied, killed, and kept secrets so they wouldn't have to, but Cyclops retorts that if Wolverine is so concerned about their fighting skills then he should have taught and led them instead of blowing off every class he assigns them. Cyclops tells the kids anyone who wants to leave can, anyone who wants to stay can as well, as a pissed off Wolverine walks away. While inside, Wolverine grabs something we can't see, while Quentin Quire tries to instigate him. As Scott tries to rally his team, Wolverine walks out and tells everyone to leave, as he's armed 2,000 pounds if explosives and he plans on blowing the island up with the SS gets close enough. The kids leave, as Scott tries to tell Logan this won't help, all he's doing is taken down one Sentinel when there are thousands of others, and now the mutants won't even have their safe haven, but Wolverine stays adamant and says he's pushing the button and tells Scott to walk away. Cyclops then says that Jean never loved Logan and was always afraid of him, to which Wolverine replies she'd be more afraid of Cyclops now. And enraged Cyclops blasts Wolverine, who immediately fights back and takes it to Scott. The two X-Men fight each other as the Sentinel draws near, ready to destroy them both. Man, now THIS was a great issue. I loved the debate between Scott and Logan, as I love when a conversation is so fluid it draws me in like a TV show or a movie, and that's what this issue did. I'll give this issue a solid 10/10 rating.
Cyclops: She never loved you, you know. You always frightened her.
Wolverine: And if she was here right now... who do you think she'd be more frightened of?
Man, what a great week, THREE perfect scores?! I love it man. I love how Lobdell is doing Red Hood and the Outlaws and I'm optimistic for that, as well as Ultimate X-Men, Batman, Catwoman, and Nightwing. As for Schism, the arguments were so compelling I feel like it would be tough to pick a side, but in my opinion, I'd probably have sided with Scott. They may be kids but they know what they signed up for, and eventually they're going to have to get into a battle with a Sentinel and I think they had a chance of stopping them, so let me know what you guys think in the comments. But that's it for me everyone, thanks for reading and feel free to reply with any questions, comments or criticisms, as well as vote on this week's poll. So until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off.
Last week's poll asked "Halfway through the month, how do you like the DCnU comics?"
Last place with 0% - "I hate them!" Well that's good for DC.
Third place with 22.2% - "I expected them to be better."
Second place with 33.3% - "I love them!"
Winner with 44.4% - "Better than I expected..." I definitely feel that way after this week!
Next Week on Ratings and Rantings
Teen Titans #1, Superman #1, Amazing Spider-Man #670, Ultimate Spider-Man #1, Kick-Ass 2 #4, and Venom #7