Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ratings and Rantings!

Hey Todd Squad, yours truly, back again with another edition of the best weekly comic reviewing post you've never heard of, Ratings and Rantings! So, right off the bat I wanna correct myself, last week I though I'd only have three books to review, when I actually have five, due to one book being bumped forward a week and the other just slipping my mind. Speaking of mind slips, it seems everyone, myself included forgot about last week's Top Five 5, since no one sent in any picks. So we're gonna try it again this week, and this of course shows me that these should be done once a month. But we'll get to more of that later, for now it's time to get reviewing!

Batman: Arkham City #3

We start things off with a criminal, avoiding the G.C.P.D. and breaking into Arkham City. I'm pretty sure he's Batman but we don't have any proof as of yet, anyway, he thinks to himself that Joker and Penguin has both set out to make themselves the main crime boss in Arkham City, and decides to interview with the Clown Prince of Crime for a job. After a few tests by the Harlequin of Hate, our boy makes it face to face with The Joker, and also face to face with the barrel of Harley's gun. And no, that is not a euphemism. Joker asks for the guy's name, and he replies that he's Lester Kurtz, and Harley looks him up, finding out that he's done time for armed robbery, grand theft auto and aggravated assault, as well as spent two years in Arkham. Joker likes the cut of his jib, and offers Kurtz a spot on his band of merry men, which Kurtz accepts. Harley leads him to his room and once he gets away he escapes from Casa De Joker and goes to see what Cobblepot is offering. Penguin tells Kurtz he's never heard of him but he's big and strong so he's in, and he doesn't have to go through any initiations like with The Joker. Pengy then notes that he's about to be short one thug anyone, and calls out one for double-crossing him and selling his secrets to "The Joker's slut". Penguin quickly puts him to work and has his men go to the Gotham Armory to steal guns before The Joker can send his own men. Penguin's men get to the guns but Joker's men show up and Kurtz throws a grenade that saves the men at the expense of the guns. He and one of the other thugs note that sense so many of Joker's thugs were nabbed at the explosion by the cops, that they have a number advantage over Joker's crew, but Penguin is still pissed. Penguin cuts his pay and tells him now he'll be leading an attack on The Joker the next day, and Kurtz says fine. While Penguin's guards escort Kurtz away, he takes them out and reveals that he was Batman in disguise all along. He thinks to himself that Oracle really helped him out by coming up with the fake rap sheet and now he knows firsthand about the tension between Joker and The Penguin. Batman thinks to himself how he still doesn't know who's behind the stuff with Mayor/Warden Sharp though, and the issue ends as Batman leaves, unaware he's been watched the whole time by Hugo Strange. This was another really good issue, it built more interest for the breaking point, it shows us what we have to look forward to with Joker and Penguin, as well as keeping Strange relevant, and not giving away too much. It even hinted that Killer Croc, or someone else may be below Penguin's layer, so we'll have to wait and see. I'm hoping the next issue we see an appearance by Tim Drake, Riddler, Catwoman or another with Two-Face, but this was a really good, interesting issue, I'll give this a 9/10.

Hugo Strange: The disguises, the elaborate subterfuge, He's only a boy at play, really. Motivated by a child's intense passion and unshakable convictions, but ultimately doomed to fail.

Gotham City Sirens #24

And from one comic with Joker, Harley and Bats to another. And man that cover is mega creepy, especially the shadow that completely covers Joker's eyes. We start things off with Ivy telling Harley Quinn to choose between her and Joker. Ivy tries to talk sense into Harley but Harley keeps her talking so Joker can free himself from her vines. Harley and Joker attack Ivy but she blasts them both back. She asks Harley what's wrong with her, and she never acts this way, even around Joker. Harley asks how does she know that's not the real her and the rest is just an act. Harley continues her psychological mind games on Ivy, while Ivy desperately tries to get Harley to realize Joker doesn't love her. Harley then jumps to the crux of the matter, and says the only reason Ivy is her friend, is because Ivy loves Harley! Wooooo, thank you Peter Calloway. Ivy is caught off guard by Harley's statement, so Harley then manages to beat Ivy senseless, before casually dumping her into the whole she emerged form in the prior issue. On the next page we get a pretty awesome picture of Joker and Harley jumping down at the same time as Bats and Catwoman, and it's split screen so it looks as if Harley and Selina are composite Superman/Batman. Anyway, Batman and Catwoman take out a bunch of the inmates, including Clayface in a pretty funny scene. Bats tells Cash to turn on all the lights, then turn them off when he says so, and when Joker see's the lights come on, he whips out two blindfolds for Harley and himself, and tells her to put it on, interesting. Catwoman takes out Zsasz but manages to get surrounded by more inmates, but Bats drops down and tells Cash to cut the lights. When they go out, Bats turns on his Night-Vision and Selina does the same, and they make short work of the inmates. When the lights go out, Joker and Harley remove the blindfolds, and she realizes Joker had them do that so they wouldn't get dilated pupils when the lights went out. Joker and Harley then finally meet with Batman ad Catwoman, and they all have it out, but when Batman throws a light grenade and temporarily blinds Joker and Harley, they manage to subdue them, then the both of them are admitted back to Arkham with the rest of the inmates. Catwoman then finds Ivy, still knocked out and wakes her up. She mentions how they missed her when arresting the inmates, but Catwoman didn't. She then mentions how she could let her escape, but she won't, she wants revenge for when Ivy tried to steal information from her by force, and we see back when Ivy tried to drug Catwoman into telling her who Batman was. Catwoman then turns Ivy in and tells her to enjoy her stay at Arkham, as this issue ends. This was a great issue, I kept expecting Harley to be double-crossed or do it to Joker but it never happened. I'm just wondering what the last two issues of Sirens are going to be about, with one as a good guy and the other two in Arkham. I'll give this issue an 8/10 only due to the fact the fight we all wanted only lasted one splash page.

Harley Quinn: Is it because you love me?

The Incredible Hulk Annual #1

Hulk looks SO constipated...Anyway here we are at the finale of one of the best tri-series crossovers this year in my opinion, waaaay better than that Batman/Sirens/Red Robin crossover, Identity Wars. We start things off with a trip to hell, where we see The Amazing Spider, Peter Parker's soul is there while his body is comatose, and he's taking a beaten from one of Mephisto's minions. We also see this dimension's Wade Wilson, Death Mask, being sent to hell. Death Mask notes that they have a deal, he's going to serve Mephisto, and he says he's basically sending him to hell to toughen him up. We then see Hulk land in hell, and he's ready for a fight, as are all of the hell dwellers. Apparently Hulk and Bruce are separate entities here. Anyway, back on the parallel Earth, their evil horned Hulk goes after the alternate Banner, who is actually Doctor Strange's protege. He tries to banish this Hulk away but he's too much for Bruce, that is until The Amazing Spider (Our Spider-Man) shows up to help him out. It turns out Banner realizes Pete isn't the real Amazing Spider-Man, tipped off by his demeanor and the fact he's rocking HIS costume and not the Amazing Spider's. Once Deadpool shows up, Spidey has Magic Banner turn Deadpool's appearance into his own, so he can lead Hulk away. Spidey then introduces the magic Banner to our Bruce Banner, and they quickly realize the only way to stop this Hulk is to reverse the seperation spell, which will put both Bruce's back with their respective Hulk's. After some magic, both Hulks are brought to the same place as both Banner's and Spidey. They have a pretty boring fight and Hulk snaps his neck while he's in human form, yawn. Parker, Banner and Deadpool are then sent back to their own world, but not before Peter Parker drops the Amazing Spider name and comes back as Ghost Spider... I kid you not, as the issue ends. I loved the other two issues but this one was slow and boring, and it doesn't help that I'm not a big Hulk fan, this REALLY bored me which is sad because I enjoyed the other 66.6%, I'll give this a 4/10 rating.

Hulk: C'mon... Pumpkin. Is that really the best you can do? (Hulk SUCKS at trash talking...)

Amazing Spider-Man #644

We start things off with Anti-Venom standing over a tied up Spider-Man, and he tells him he gets why Spidey always fights him, because all his team ups start this way, with Daredevil, the FF, the Avengers, it's so true. Anti-Venom tells him he's Eddie Brock and tries to remove Spidey's mask but it stays on due to his sticky skin power, which luckily is still working. Eddie says that's fine, he had to earn Spidey's trust, and tells him he's trying to stop Mr. Negative. Spidey notes that he hates him too, but only stopped Anti-Venom so he wouldn't attack Martin Li, and Brock explains that Li is Negative, but Spidey doesn't believe him so Anti-Venom takes off to prove him wrong, leaving Spidey webbed up in his lair. We then see The Wraith, Jean DeWolff, getting information out of someone on Li's payroll, while unbeknownst to her, Forensic scientist and girlfriend of Peter Parker, Carlie Cooper, is watching the Wraith and taking pictures. Over at a press conference involving Jameson and Martin Li, Norah and Randy are filming a piece on it when Phil Urich, the newest Hobgoblin shows up, jealous since he's Norah's cameraman. After some friction with Randy and Phil, Norah asks Phil to film her interview with Mr. Li, to which he agrees to, but thinks to himself that he needs to come up with a permanent plan for getting Randy out of the picture. Over with Martin Li, one of his guards mentions their plans are underway, which a security guard hears and pursues them, as the security guard is actually Anti-Venom in disguise. Once Spidey finally frees himself from Anti-Venom's webbing, he's webbed up again but the recently returned Anti-Venom, which was pretty funny. He carries Spider-Man to the museum so he can prove once and for all that he's not crazy and Martin Li is Mister Negative. Eddie webs up Spidey so he can watch him prove him wrong, but when Eddie thinks he's early for his attack on Mr. Negative, he's instead stabbed in the back with a sword which counteracts Anti-Venom's healing abilities. Spider-Man is still struggling to get free ends up getting loose thanks to help from the Wraith, as they rush into action. Spidey, Anti-Venom, and the Wraith take on Negative and his henchmen but Spidey realizes they may have a problem so he sets off a museum alarm, and manages to get a HUGE shot in on Mister Negative when the villain lowers his guard. Wraith takes advantage to use her facial recognition tech and confirms that Martin Li and Mister Negative are one in the same, and uses that tech to send the analysis to every computer, smart phone and TV within range. Negative, knowing he's defeated, runs away and leaves a cloud of cyanide, so the heroes don't pursue. The Wraith leaves since she can't face the cops, and Spidey pulls the sword out of Anti-Venom's back who then heals and leaves, once Spidey admits he was wrong, which makes Anti happy that Spidey trusts him somewhat. One they leave and the cops show up, Carlie slips into a back room, and Spidey follows her on the ceiling, to a room where she confronts Captain Watanabe and tells her she knows she's the Wraith, as she planted planted her phone in her bag and followed the G.P.S. and Watanabe admits it, that she did it to make a difference and scare people into telling the truth while honoring Jean. Carlie tells her if she figured it out someone else could too, so maybe it's better to take a break for a while, and the Captain concurs. The issue ends shortly after with Peter knowing Carlie can keep a secret and wishing he could tell her his secret about being Spider-Man. This was a really good issue, lots of fun with Eddie and Peter, Eddie came off looking good for once, and even the Wraith reveal made sense, I'll give this issue a 9/10.

Anti-Venom: See, This is what I'm talking about! No one takes crazy Eddie Brock seriously! But I'll show you, I'll show everybody!
Spider-Man: Right, because only the super-sane people storm off yelling, "I'll show everybody."

Venom #4

Man I've been waiting for this issue! We start things off seeing that Flash left a bomb with Jack O'Lantern and the villains, which apparently is the bomb that was implanted in the symbiote. The Symbiote is so smart it expelled the bomb because it knew there was a chance it would be detonated. Meanwhile, Venom is fighting Spider-Man and Flash has no control, he's just hoping Spidey can kill them before he and the symbiote hurt someone. Flash is trying to gain control of the symbiote long enough to tell Spider-Man that Betty is strapped to a bomb, but between Spidey punching his teeth down his throat and the symbiote overwhelming Flash it's pretty damn hard. Flash tries to get the symbiote to run but Spidey, thinking he's the one behind Betty's disappearance, keeps attacking, which just ticks off the symbiote. When Venom knocks Spidey through a drug store, Flash spots a shelf of sedatives and makes the symbiote take them all, and the rage of the symbiote gets sleepy instead, but it's still trying to over control Flash. Flash makes the symbiote tell Spidey that Betty is on Valentine Lane, but the symbiote then picks up a truck and flings it at Spidey who uses his body as a shield to save pedestrians. Flash outright yells at the symbiote that he will not kill Spider-Man, he's going to go save Betty, because if he doesn't Dodge will kill Flash, and the symbiote decides he doesn't want another host, and gives Flash full control. Flash tries his best to save Betty but the building explodes before he gets there, luckily Spidey was faster and saves her, but she's in shock. Venom slowly thanks Spider-Man but Spidey tells him he failed in trying to hurt Betty and next time he's taking him down. The symbiote then gives in to Flash because it knows it went too far, and Flash finds a Spider-Tracer on himself, but keeps it, because he knows once he stops Jack O'Lantern and the rest of the bad guys, he'll probably need Spidey to take him down. Venom heads after the Vibranium Shipment but is stopped en route by Jack O'Lantern, and Venom's had a toll taken on him thanks to all the sedatives, as well as the fights with Kraven and Spider-Man. Jack O'Lantern lays into Venom, all the while saying how psyched he is to finally have an arch-enemy, citing how real enemies have a grudge, then showing the remains of his face after Venom threw a grenade into it. Jack's fun is cut short when he's told by his boss the Vibranium shipment is being intercepted by government guys and to get back to guarding it now, and as Jack flies off he tells "Eugene" he'll be seeing him soon, unbeknownst to him that Venom has stuck the Spider-Tracer on Jack O'Lantern. Back at the base, Flash lies to his superior, saying the run-in with Spidey was the only time he lost control of the suit, and also keeps quiet about Crime Master, considering he knows Venom is Flash Thompson now. The issue ends with a conversation about the recent events with Flash, Peter Parker and Betty Brant literally in the middle of them as they wonder why exactly she was brought into things, and Venom and Spider-Man are unaware their a mere inches away from one another. And once again, Rick Remender outdoes himself. He's brought new life to one of my favorite characters and he's made Flash my favorite Venom after only one arc, so I can definitely say I'm into Venom for the long haul, this issue gets a perfect 10/10 rating.

Flash: My name is Flash Thompson. I'm about to kill my lifelong hero.

And that's it for this week's Ratings and Rantings, feel free to comment and leave any questions for me and be sure to participate in the Top Five 5! For those of you that don't know how it goes, you send me your top five picks for each category at and I'll post the answers this Monday, July 4th, and compare everyone's results. Make sure ya send your picks in ASAP so you don't forget. The topics are below, and here's hoping you guys participate before the deadline of Sunday 10:00 pm EST. And lastly, be sure to vote on this week's newest poll and check out the last poll results below the Top Five 5 topics. Until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd. You stay classy, Todd Squad.
Note: None of your picks are limited to DC, they can include Marvel, Image or whatever you like.

5 Characters You'd give a Green Lantern (Will) Ring?
5 Characters You'd give a Red Lantern (Rage) Ring?
5 Characters You'd give a Yellow Lantern (Fear) Ring?
5 Characters You'd give a Orange Lantern (Greed) Ring?
5 Characters You'd give a Blue Lantern (Hope) Ring?

Last week's poll asked "What DCnU retcon do you wish you could keep the same?"

Last place with 13.12% - Teen Titans and their old designs.
Second Place with 27.7% - Tie between Dick Grayson as Batman and Steph Brown as Batgirl
Winner with 33.3% -Barbara Gordon staying Oracle

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Batman and Robin #25, Batman Beyond #7, and Titans Annual 2011 so I have at least three books...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Hey everyone, Jason Todd here with another edition, albeit short, of Ratings and Rantings! This week's post only has a measly two comics to review, but this post will also feature this month's second Top Five 5 questions, so that works! So with that to look forward to, I don't wanna keep you loyal readers waiting, so let's jump right in and get these two issues reviewed.

Batman: Gates of Gotham #2

We start things off viewing the past of Gotham, as we see Alan Wayne and his fellow cohorts decide to make structures that would one day become known as the Gates of Gotham. We then fast forward to present day and see Batman, Robin and Red Robin meeting with Commissioner Gordon at Arkham, where Hush has apparently been attacked and abducted. Batman figures that since someone broke into Arkham to get Hush, then they still need him. And since they attacked the last living Elliot, then the Cobblepot and a Wayne family heirs are their next targets. We then see Hush underground with his captor, he tells him that he respects what he's doing, but if he makes it out of this alive, to stay away from the Waynes, because Hush is going to kill him if he doesn't. Hush then gets a punch to the back of the head for his troubles. Rule #31 Hush, never talk trash while you're in a straitjacket. Next we see Robin and Black Bat, staking out Penguin, in what I believe is their first ever meeting. Damian confirms this by telling Cassandra he's heard about her, and how she was destined to lead the League of Assassin's to glory. He tells her he's not impressed, and in typical Damian fashion insults her by saying "he's not the one his father relegated to Hong Kong." Cass ignores him and goes into action after finding a back entrance into the Iceberg Lounge. We then see Batman, as he breaks into the Elliot Family Manor. He mentions how he's down the street from Wayne Manor but can count on one hand how many time's he's been to Elliot's house in his life, and that was as Nightwing. Dick thinks to himself how little he knows about the Elliot's and Gotham in general, and how even though he's no longer a sidekick, he misses not having someone to go to with all the answers. Back with Black Bat, we see her talking to Red Robin via comm link, who mentions how many times he's thought of killing Damian but would having to explain it to Bruce is what stops him. From there, Cass asks him how his search is going, but Tim isn't really getting and hood results. Over in Iceberg Lounge, Penguin soon discovers a bomb, and the club empties as Black Bat and Robin rush in, meanwhile Tim is notifying Batman that a bomb has been discovered in Wayne Tower. Bats quickly makes his way to the Tower and finds none other than Hush ties up with a bomb strapped to him, and realizes he has to choose between saving the tower or saving Hush, which Hush loves because he wants to destroy the Wayne's legacy. On the other side of town, Damian disarms the bomb in the Iceberg Lounge, or so he thinks, but instead the timer speeds up. Damian is sure he can do it but Cassandra grabs him and drags him out of a window at the same time Batman does the same to Hush, as both Wayne Tower and the Iceberg Lounge are blown to smithereens. Batman, asks Hush how the Tower is apart of the Gates of Gotham, and Hush laughs, asking how someone so naive of Gotham's past can hope to save it's future, and reveals the Gates of Gotham aren't a what, but a who, as this issue ends. Man, this was a great issue. The thing I didn't care for was more of the flashbacks, but the actual scenes in present day with Dick, Tim, Damian, Cass and Hush were damn interesting. I'll give this issue an 8/10 rating.

Robin: A waste of time. I should be out hunting, not protecting a fat man who wishes he had feathers.

Deadpool #39

This cover explains everything about this issue. This issue starts with Deadpool warning the teacher and her students at this Daycare to get lost because the Incredible Hulk is on his way, and he is ANGRY. As an enraged Hulk tries to attack Deadpool, we see some army guys that are trying to neutralize the situation, they decide that blasting the Merc with a Mouth with a smart bomb would calm down Hulk because he wouldn't have Deadpool to be angry at anymore. That seems like a good idea until Deadpool tells the kids to get on a school bus so he can get them away from the Hulk, which of course to the untrained eye, looks like he's taking hostages. Deadpool barely escapes from Hulk with the busload of children, and makes his way towards the army guys. They see Deadpool and don't see the children, due to DP telling them to put their heads down for safety, so they shoot at the bus. Deadpool swerves which causes the blast to hit the Big Green Machine. Deadpool get's sad because now Hulk's gonna go after the army guys who shot him by mistake, when he nuked Hulk twice, on purpose. When the teacher as Deadpool if he works for the army, he replies he's just a guy that wants to die, to which she says it's his lucky day and pulls out a gun, then shoots Deadpool point-blank in the head. The bus flips over and somehow lands on top of our Crimson Comedian. He regains consciousness an hour later and Hulk tells him he lied about the nukes, as none have gone off yet. Hulk tells him the children are fine, but he's still pissed off because he could've killed them in his fit of rage that Deadpool induced. Deadpool pleads with Hulk to kill him and Hulk tells him he's insane. Deadpool agrees and Hulk says he can't let him go on like this, and punches Deadpool so hard he literally EXPLODES into a wave of meat and blood. Deadpool surprisingly STILL comes back, although in a full body cast, as Steve Rogers meets with his Doctor, and they discuss how Deadpool's sentence has landed him in Crossmore Prison in England, which has been converted into a mental institution as this issue ends. This was a fun issue, It was a lot of comedy and fighting which I enjoyed, and I was going to give it an eight, but seeing Deadpool splattered was so damn cool I'll give this a 9/10.

Deadpool: I'm just a guy that's tryin' to die, lady. (Best...pick-up line...ever.)

And just like that, this super quick edition of Ratings and Rantings is all done. And before I get out of here I wanna remind you all of the Top Five 5! Thanks to Paul C. and in honor of the recent Green Lantern movie (I guess...) they are all Color Corp Ring based! For those of you that don't know how it goes, you send me your top five picks for each category at and I'll post the answers this Sunday and compare everyone's results. Make sure ya send your picks in ASAP so you don't forget. The topics are below, and here's hoping you guys participate before the deadline of Sunday 2:00 pm EST. And lastly, be sure to vote on this week's newest poll and check out the last poll results below the Top Five 5 topics. Until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd. You stay classy, Todd Squad.

Note: None of your picks are limited to DC, they can include Marvel, Image or whatever you like.

5 Characters You'd give a Green Lantern (Will) Ring?
5 Characters You'd give a Red Lantern (Rage) Ring?
5 Characters You'd give a Yellow Lantern (Fear) Ring?
5 Characters You'd give a Orange Lantern (Greed) Ring?
5 Characters You'd give a Blue Lantern (Hope) Ring?

Last week's poll asked "What bothers you the most about the DCU Reboot?"

Last place with 9.1% - Everything!
Second Place with 18.2% - Tie between Nothing at all! & Missing Artists and Writers (Bryan Q Miller, Marcus To, Nicola Scott, Etc.)
Winner with 54.5% - Missing Characters (Power Girl, Ravager, Steph Brown, Cass Cain, Etc.)

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Gotham City Sirens #24, Amazing Spider-Man #664, and Venom #4! (Three comics? What is happening?)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Hey everyone, JT here with another edition of Ratings and Rantings! Now before I jump into the reviews, I wanna mention that my good buddy X-Man75 has opened a forum for comic book fans to discuss comics, TV shows, Movies and everything in between. It's a forum for us to discuss everything from our favorite comics, our least favorite storylines, and of course, the DCnU Reboot/Relaunch. So come join us at this comic forum and let us know what you think. And, you can even discuss the comics I'm going to review now. (Yep, I'm a master of the segue!)

Superman/Batman #85

We start things off with Jimmy Olsen finding a dead man with a newspaper stuffed in his mouth that washed ashore. We then find out that the man was the editor of the Gotham Gazette and had claimed to crack the case on who Batman was. When Perry White delegates this task to Clark Kent, Clark tries to tell Perry that he thinks Batman is a good guy that wouldn't do this, but Perry replied that good guys don't need masks. Ever heard of Zorro, Perry? When Clark finally arrives in Gotham by train (gives him time to start his article) he meets up with Batman in an alley. Clark offers his services but Bruce said he doesn't need them, this is his city and he can take care of it. Bruce leaves and goes to investigate and look for clues like only the World's Greatest Detective can, But when Batman stumbles onto a room with tons of Bruce Wayne articles plastered on the walls, with Cowl's drawn on them, he realizes this may be a bigger problem than he expected. While looking this over, Bat's notices the doorknob jiggling, and we see the deceased Editor's co-worker was coming with the police to check out his apartment. Batman decides to burn the evidence...and the apartment and manages to get seen escaping by the police. That's REALLY sloppy, Batman. Supes soon finds out about the arson when it's reported on the police scanner, and flies there just in time to see everyone is safe. Commissioner Gordon shows up and tells Superman they don't need this getting out of hand and don't need Superman's help. He says that Batman started the fire and then put it out with a special retardant, which sounds like Batman. Superman then goes to find Batman, and asks him what the deal was with him lighting an apartment on fire. Batman explains he used a retardant but Superman says it was stupid and sloppy. Hey, I said that! While they talk, Batman opens a safe-box he got from the editor's house, he opens it and says that he made a mistake, and forgot to file off the patent number on one of the pieces he used from Waynetech to make a Batarang, and that's what Remington (the editor) had, one from a mistake that Bats made during his first year as Batman. And Remington had created a paper trail to prove Bats had been getting tech from Waynetech (kinda really makes you appreciate the whole thing Grant did with Bruce announcing he funds Bats, that would REALLY help in this situation.) and Bruce mentions since they were a publicly traded company at the time, he was defrauding stockholders, which is something that needed to be done. Clark mentions that he has to finish this story, but he'll prove Batman isn't a murderer. The issue ends Bats telling Superman he doesn't need his help, as Superman mentions that Bruce is wrong, and he does in fact need the Man of Steel's assistance. This was a fine issue, nothing amazing but it was far from bad. Bruce made a few mistakes, one was explained as a rookie mistake but the other seemed kinda weird for him to make, but the guy is human. But this issue was fine enough, I enjoyed it and I'll give it a 7/10.

Perry White: Good guys don't need masks, Kent.

Batgirl #22

We start things off with Steph finding out she;s been activated for her Batman Inc. mission. Next she's in foggy ol' London town with twenty minutes to meet up with someone across town in a place she's never been. She even mentions spending ten hours in coach, and attributes that as her punishment for slapping Bruce in The Road Home. I love callbacks, so that automatically bumps this score up by one. Steph is soon picked up by Squire, who says she was sent by Knight, but uses the pointy ear thing which of course made Steph think she meant Bats. Man, why is this the first time these two are interacting? Cause it seems to be golden already. After yanking Steph's chain a bit, the Blonde Bat-Babe and London's Lady Liberty take off across the town. On the way, Squire asks Steph when was then last time she left the states, and Steph thinks of Africa, after her "illustrious year of dying". God, Bryan Q. Miller deserves SO much more credit than he gets... the guy has been writing Steph for less than two years and is already one of my three favorite writers. Steph and Squire's Excellent Adventure even has them pass Abbey Road while four guys who look oddly like the Beetles are crossing the street. While heading to their destination, our two ladies overhear an alarm and go investigate what turns out to be a robbery. It turns out the robbery is by a thug who calls himself the Orphan, and he's after The Mean, which is apparently a sword that has control over time. He beats Batgirl and Squire to it and manages to freeze time for everyone around except the three, who were nullified from the exposure since they were in the room with him. The girls try to figure out what Orphan would want to do with time frozen, and immediately set out to find Knight, just as the frozen in time Knight is about to be beaten to death by The Orphan and his Urchins. Batgirl and Squire figure that the Urchins can move due to the temporal clocks their wearing and target those, and Squire attacks The Orphan, but she's starting to sink back into real world time and slows down. Just as The Orphan prepares to finish her off, Batgirl tackles him and manages to steal his temporal clock and tosses it to Squire. The girls then manage to save the day and replace the sword, and all before dinner time. As Steph finishes up in London, she and Squire have a talk about their respective mentors and just as Steph says she's jealous, Squire says she's jealous of Steph, because she certainly isn't a sidekick. The issue ends as Steph finally gets home and Batman appears in the shadows, asking why she's late, which will be continued in Batman Inc. #9. I really enjoyed this issue, it was fun, funny and showed that Batgirl has REALLY come a long way in the last two years, it sucks that it all comes to an end in a few months, because in that short time, Stephanie has managed to become my favorite Batgirl, and I owe that to the amazing writing of Bryan Q. Miller. So thanks Bryan for this issue and all the rest. Anyway, I'll give this issue a 9/10 rating, it's bittersweet to know there's only a few more of these left.

Batgirl: You know this guy?
Squire: Calls himself the Orphan, always wants some more. (See... that's just plain genius.)

Power Girl #25

We start things off with the last issue of Judd's amazing Power Girl run with a thirteen year-old Rayhan Mazin, telling his father how much he hates it in America. He says how his father was an engineer and now he has to drive a taxi, and how people yell at his mother because she doesn't have a good grasp of English, and how he's been beaten up at school. His father tells him how his mother isn't bothered by rude people, how he's taking night classes and will be accredited in two years, and how America is better than where they came from. How they don't have to worry about bombings, militias or being drafted. How they can speak their minds and live how they want and love who they want, and how it's up to them to show Americans that Arabs are no different from them and how it won't be easy, but nothing worth it is ever easy. (This was brilliantly written by Judd.) We then jump to the present with Batman (Bruce) and Power Girl confronting an enraged Rayhan. They tell him to stand down and Rayhan notes he's done that all of his life, and Power Girl replies until he tried to bring down that plane. Rayhan tells her he was saving that plane, but Power Girl believes that she and Bats saved the plane, so of course she doesn't believe Rayhan. Batman says this is not the time and place for a debate and Rayhan agrees and tries to strike Batman, who dodges the lighting blast. Rayhan manages to blast Power Girl, which doesn't hurt her but manages to daze the Kryptonian powerhouse while he escapes. He leaves the raging storm behind so Peej tries to figure out a way to stop the storm from causing any collateral damage. We then see inside the hospital and see Rayhan looking for his father. He asks a nurse but she says he can't see him during an emergency, as their trying to accommodate all the patients due to the flooding caused by Rayhan's storm. Rayhan gets upset once again and powers up but he's suddenly shot in the neck with a syringe from afar by Batman, who tells him to relax and let the drugs do their job. Batman thinks to himself how his dart should've knocked Rayhan out, as it can knock out a man three times his size. Bats is then hit with a giant wave of water from Rayhan. Meanwhile, Power Girl uses her X-Ray vision to blast all the rain and make it evaporate, she then attacks the lighting blasts to make sure no one gets hit by them, and the storm quickly disappears, which lets Peej know that something must be going on with Rayhan. We see the reason it stopped is because he's calm, as he's finally found his father's room. Rayhan finally talks to his father, he lies and says they let him go, and his father says he tried to get Rayhan free, he got a lawyer, started petitions, and says he knew Rayhan was trying to save those people in the plane. He tells Rayhan that he's glad he got to come see him, as he passes away and Rayhan cries at his fathers deathbed. In the hallway, Batman tells the officers to leave him be, since all he did was cause a flood and no one got hurt, and that he and Power Girl will handle it from here. We then see Power Girl tell Rayhan she's sorry about his father, and he thanks her for her condolences. She also apologizes for getting him arrested, and says that Batman checked and saw there were discrepancies with the black box, and that Rayhan did save the plane before they actually did and some people knew but kept Rayhan locked up in order to create an incident and fear in people. Peej asks what they can do to make it up to him, and Rayhan says nothing will be necessary, so she asks something of him. We then see her telling Batman that Rayhan agreed to meet with the J.S.A. who have talked about bringing in new blood. Bats says that's good, and he's going to make sure the people that kept Rayhan locked up when they knew he were innocent will pay for their misdeeds as well. Before Batman leaves, Power Girl tells Bruce she missed him and she's glad he's back, and the best ones do always make their way back. Bats replies that Kara is among the best as well. The issue ends with a confident Power Girl flying off, stating that she is, one of the best. I loved the story with Rayhan, the motivation he had and I'd love if he became one of the first (?) Arab superheroes in DC. I loved this issue, and I've loved Judd's run on Power Girl. I believe this is is last issue and I've enjoyed every one up until this, and since it doesn't look like Peej has a place in this new DCU, I wanna thank Judd for making me a big fan of her, making her one of my favorite female characters, and making her my second favorite Kryptonian, right behind big blue. This issue was gonna get a 9, but since I enjoyed it so much, since it's Judd's last one, since it might be the last we see of Power Girl for a while after this reboot, and since it's my blog, I'll give it a solid 10/10.

Power Girl: I am one of the best. (That you are Peej.)

Morning Glories #10

We start things off with Jade walking down a hallway and being approached by a female student with a bald head that would make Lex Luthor jealous. She leads Jade somewhere while some pictures float magically out of lockers and they pass a that shows rubble of buildings and a bunch of dead bodies. She leads Jade to a lab and the scientist tells Jade to take a seat. Jade tells him nothing she does is ever good enough and she can't make herself or anyone else happy. The scientist says, "What about her?" and gestures over to a red headed woman who asks Jade if she's ready to go home and gets in a car. Jade says yes and hops in and as they leave the scientist tells Jade to make sure she tells Oliver Simon that he was right. This is trippy, I feel like I'm on LSD or something. Anyway, they leave and drive past a bunch of rubble and destruction, Jade's mom asked how she's doing. Jade tells her how no one remembered her at home and everyone was trying to kill her at the school, and her mom asks did Joshua ask her to the dance. Just as I wondered what the hell was going on, Jade's mom crashes into something and we see Jade was dreaming, as she wakes up screaming in her bed. Casey asks Jade if she was having nightmares again, and some guards rush in, obviously having gone through this before. They ask if maybe she needs to return to the nurse, and Casey tells them to try it if they dare. The Guards say if they want to they will, to which she replies that if they could they would've, and obviously can't, most likely due to headmaster's orders. The guard looks as if the cat has his tongue, and says if it happens again their taking Jade, and he and his guards leave. After all the hooplah dies down, Jade goes back to sleep and wakes up to a wall with the scribblings "The hour of our release draws near" over and over, and she walks into a room and see's some mysterious guy. Jade mentions she remembers him, and he asks if she remembers saying she'd never leave, no matter what, and she says yes. He then asks if she remembers him cutting her open and rings a bell which causes Jade to wake up in her bed. What? She awakens to Casey who tells her to get ready for class. While getting ready, Jade overhears Hunter telling Casey about what happened and why he never made it to their date. She believes him but tells him maybe they shouldn't be dating and maybe they should just be friends. Jade walks in and Hunter quickly leaves and tells Casey he'll see her around, and Jade shoots Casey a look and Casey says she knows. While on the way to class, Jade encounters Ike but Casey tells him to back off or she'll kick his ass again. Well, feisty aren't we? In class, the teacher shows them how to make a noose, then asks if anyone wants to test the noose. Really? Anyway, Jade volunteers and Casey tries to stop her but some students hold her back. Jade goes up and puts the noose on the steps off of the desk. When she does, we see an older version of Jade in an office, and she cuts young Jade free. Older Jade then asks Young Jade about Casey, Hunter and the rest of the MG Cast, and Young Jade tells her what she knows. She asks about Ike as well, which makes me think those two are going to get together. She then asks about her dreams and she mentions the lab and the cutting guy, but forgets to mention Oliver Simon. Older Jade then has Young Jade look up at the sky and describe what she see's as everything fades and she wakes up in the nurses office as this issue ends. Okay, well this confused the hell out of me. Maybe I need to re-read it a few times but it was all over the place and left me very confused, so for that I gotta give this issue a lower score than usual. I understand that the reason Jade always wants to die is so she can apparently talk to her future self, so that explains why people at the school want to kill her I guess. So I did understand some things but most went over my head, so I hope it's explained later, but this issue gets a 5/10.

Older Jade: Ha. You see him again, you should tell him you remember how shit he was in bed. (That made me chuckle.)

And that's all for me guys and gals! Thanks again for joining us on this week's Ratings and Rantings and feel free to comment and let e know what you guys think. And be sure to vote on the new weekly poll and check out the results for last week's poll below. Until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off!

Last week's poll asked "How do you feel about Babs Gordon being Batgirl again?"

Last place with 8.3% - I love her as Batgirl!
Second Place with 25.0% - I'm indifferent. (My personal pick, I like them both for different reasons.)
Winner with 66.7% - I loved her as Oracle!

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Batman: Gates of Gotham #2 and Deadpool #39... Really? That's it?!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Hey Todd Squad, it's that time again for your favorite weekly comic content comments, Ratings and Rantings. I'm your host, the incomparable Jason Todd, here to review comics for you guys and gals. Before I get started I'd like to mention a few of DC's new reboots that have interested me so far, besides JLI and possibly JLA,  Nightwing and Red Hood and the Outlaws, I'm also now interested in the new Teen Titans and the new Static Shock series. So, five or six outta 52 eventual titles so far I guess isn't a bad start... Anyway enough about the future, let's get to the present comics, because we've got five to run through today, and since I didn't know Invincible #80 dropped this week, it's been subbed in and Superman/Batman has been pushed back a week by DC, and lastly, my shop didn't have Morning Glories this week (boo) so I'll review that next week.

Red Robin #24

We start things off with Red Robin taking on the Scarab and her fellow Scarab's. but the fight doesn't last long because Tim and Lonnie had already worked up a virus for the armor that was stolen from the GCPD, which quickly takes care of everyone except Scarab, who wasn't wearing armor. She somehow manages to escape from Red Robin so Tim asks Lonnie to see if he could find any information on this tournament of death that Tim's life is the prize of. It turns out that killing a CEO was a ruse, and that was used to throw people off the trail so they wouldn't know the real target was Viktor Mikalek, so four hours later, Red Robin arrives in Samara with the intent on saving Mikalek. Once Tim gets past his security, he asks Viktor why they were after him, and who shot him. Mikalek mentions that he was shot by the woman Red Robin helped escape a few issues ago, Promise. He also mentions that thanks to Red Star, he's pretty much going to be ousted by Russia, to which Red Robin doesn't care, until Mikalek mentions that if he is ousted, where else would he go but the city where he recently purchased a hockey team, Gotham City. Red Robin then decides to try to find Promise before she can finish the job of killing Mikalek, but by the time he finds her "crow's nest" as it were, it's been abandoned. Surprisingly he's attacked by a GIANT member of the tournament that is beating Tim senseless, until Promise shows up and blasts him in the back with rubber bullets. Tim is then attacked by Promise of all people, who can make her hands look like Venom's for some reason, and knocks Tim out. He awakens chained up underground, with his Red Robin suit on but his cowl off. He's introduced to Promise's sister, a.k.a. the woman we've seen with Ra's Al Ghul, and she intends on killing Tim, but not before his legacy lives on by giving her a child, and the mystery woman disrobes as this issue ends. I couldn't get into this for some reason, obviously it's being rushed do to the reboot, I mean we went from Tim being cornered by a ton of guys to him beating them in three pages, to chasing Scarab, meeting Mikalek, fighting a big guy, then this Ra's mystery lady just being related to Promise, out of nowhere. But I couldn't get into it, it wasn't bad, but things jumped around too much and seemed really rushed, I'll give this a 6/10 rating.

Me: So wait...that dude...on the cover is Promise?

Batman: Arkham City #2

This cover is epic, one of my favorites of the year so far. We start things off with Vicki Vale and Jack Ryder outside of the future Arkham City, doing a live report on the future prison , or as Mayor Sharp refers to it, a "Quarantine Zone". As Sharp speaks, we see someone else is saying words and Sharp is merely parroting them. During this, Bruce Wayne arrives, and Vicki asks his thoughts, considering he's a member of the parole board, Bruce mentions he has a wait and see approach, but he does want to know who is in charge of releasing criminals, sense Sharp has suspended the parole board. But Sharp dances around the subject and never gives Bruce an answer. From there we see Batman, as he mentions to Alfred that he is convinced Sharp's strings are being pulled by someone else, so he goes to try to find Mayor/Warden Sharp's file at his home. Batman gets past Sharp's rent-a-cops without anyone noticing him, and finds his file which says that due to Sharp's past, he's a prime candidate for Schizophrenia. That explains why he believed himself to be the spirit of Amadeus Arkham. While Batman gathers files, a computer turns on and we see a shadowed figure that tells Batman welcome and that he can take the files, but they have something for him. A small Gatling gun descends from the ceiling and starts shooting Bats with rubber bullets, which barely sting due to his suits armor. Sleeping gas is then released, as well as other nuisances, which Batman deals with quickly because he realizes this is being done so they can study his fighting style. We then see Aaron Cash is doing his job of sedating criminals for their movement to Arkham City, even a guy named Jimmy Briggs, who's a small fish that won't survive in Arkham, I hope Jimmy Briggs is addressed in the game. We then see The Joker being moved, and he can't wait to get to Arkham City, he even plans on running for Mayor, which made me laugh. As he's wheeled away, he realizes he isn't being taken to be sedated, and is instead being taken to a guard room, where a bunch of pissed off guards plan on killing Joker over what happened to their friends during the events of "Batman: Arkham Asylum" That's an awesome callback, and I loved seeing Joker's thoughts during this, as he knew he was in trouble but played his Joker persona up the whole time. Surprisingly, Joker is saved when one of the guards turns on the others, even more surprisingly, the guard is revealed to be Harley Quinn, who does some pretty vicious attacks in order to save Mistah J, and the two escape by boat. Batman has apparently planned for this after the last events of Arkham, and knows when someone leaves Arkham without clearance, and he's also installed cameras in the boats, and see's Joker and Harley escaping. He goes after them with the Bat-Boat, and Batman blasts their boat with a missile. He tells them to surrender but they don't, so he blasts them again which blows the boat up. Well damn Bats... anyway he doesn't find any survivors, which lets him know Joker and Harley escaped. When Joker and Harley wash ashore, they find their way into none other than Arkham City, and no one knows their there. So Joker and Harley proclaim themselves Mayor and Mayoress of Arkham City as this issue ends. Man... I LOVED this comic. I mean, the last two years have been hit or miss for me with Dini's work, but this comic was great, everything had a pace, we saw Joker and Batman take center stage, we even got to see Harley kick some ass and show us why she's one of the baddest women in Gotham. I'll give this a perfect 10/10 rating, bring on more Arkham City!

The Joker: There are hands to shake, babies to kick, no one puts the "pain" in "campaign" like yours truly!

Deadpool #38

We start things off with an enraged Hulk asking Deadpool where the nukes are, but Deadpool won't spill the beans, especially since he doesn't have anymore nukes, but doesn't want the big green wrecking machine to know about that. DP tells Hulk that he has a small transmitter in his body that's powered by the electrical current in his body which will detonate a randomly placed nuke all over the city each hour, which is an excellent lie that he made up on the spot. He then taunts the Hulk, asking "What the hell are you gonna do about it?" Which makes the Hulk even MORE angry and causes him to grow in size/ Hulk calls Deadpool a monster, to which DP replies, takes one to know one. He then punches Deadpool SO far that he goes through numerous buildings and backgrounds and momentarily dies. Goddamn... that's just awesome. Deadpool soon awakes from death but not before promising his angel of death that he was gonna get Hulk to kill him. When Hulk lands where he knocked Deadpool, Deadpool manages to use a wrecking ball wire, get it ties around the Hulks legs, and use him as a wrecking ball, until Hulk gets even larger and more angry. Deadpool, proud of himself for finally enraging The Hulk so much that he KNOWS he's gonna smash him into dust, he realizes that Hulk will not only destroy him but probably everything within a Hundred feet. The issue ends as Hulk rushes towards Deadpool, who realizes that he's right next to a children's daycare. Man, this issue FLEW by as you can tell from the short review, but there was so much action that I loved it. I mean, I'm not a Hulk fan but he's been really impressive in these issues and as always, Daniel Way writes a fun Deadpool. This issue was really funny and now that DP has pissed off Hulk to the max, he has to get him away from innocent kids? Genius twist Dan Way, THAT's how you do it, M. Night! This issue of Deadpool gets a 9/10 rating from me.

Deadpool: He's gonna mega smash us into, like, sub-atomic particles!

Batman and Robin #24

We kick things off with a flashback, to Jason's time as Robin, and Batman telling him when things go wrong, not to just act cool and stay level headed, but to take control of the situation. We then flash forward to see Jason and his anamorphic rescuers who just saved him from being shipped back to Arkham, the Menagerie. The chained Jason asks for answers, but his saviors aren't at liberty to say who sent them or why, so Jason decides to take matters into his own hands, and beat the hell out of them. The artwork in this issue has fallen DRAMATICALLY since the last issue, I mean... I'm not trying to be a jerk but in comparison it looks horrible. Anyway, Jason takes down one of them but is soon overcome considering it's four on three and they have the strength and speed of their animal counterparts. They catch Jason and plan on taking him in alive, but considering he can't help but be an ass, he kicks one of them in the head, which makes him angry enough to want to bring Jason in as "Alive but broken". Before he can attack Jason, Batman and Robin show up to the party. Batman and Robin take on the Menagerie along with Jason, and Dick even saves Jason's skin (literally) but once Jason gets a gun the tone changes. Jason takes the reptilian member of the Menagerie hostage and shoots him in the foot, then holds a gun to his head and prepares to leave when he gets a call on a phone one of the Menagerie members has. Jason answers and we see him talking to some mysterious woman, who tells Jason to surrender or they'll kill the only person he cares about, his former partner, Scarlet. I guess this is enough of a reason for Jason to team up with Batman and Robin, which is a decision Damian is not a fan of.  Damian wants to leave Jason, tied up, and take Scarlet to Juvie. Dick says no, Jason is coming to willingly turn himself in, but won't go unarmed. Damian mentions that Jason will probably turn on them, and he'd prefer a plan, but Dick says they'll adapt if they have to, which is what Bruce told Jason as Robin. Dick also notes that if they make a plan, Jason will hear them since he probably has the building wired, and Dick mentions that's what he'd do anyway. Jason chimes in that Dick is right, and sometimes "You've gotta lie down with dogs and wake up with fleas." as Jason walks out wearing his costume from Grant's run, except without the cape and pill helmet, he has a leather jacket and his classic Red Hood helmet as the issue ends. This was a nice issue, I expected it to be dumb with the animals from the last issue, but the callback to Scarlet as well as Jason's new costume made me really enjoy this issue. I'll give it a 8.5/10, as I'm not a big fan of the artwork.

Jason Todd: Thank God. Batman and Robin are here. (This comment just OOZED of sarcasm.)

Invincible #80

We start things off with a huge bomb dropped on Mark, just minutes after finding out the news that Eve was pregnant while he was away, his parents tell them their getting back together, but since Nolan can't stay on Earth, both of Mark's parents are going to Talescira, plus his mom wants to go see Oliver. They also waste no time leaving, as they leave only minutes later. With the house to themselves, Eve tells Mark she's moving in, due to all the drama that goes on at her parents house. The next day, Mark goes to see William and explain how he and Eve are moving in due to his parents moving to an alien world. While they talk, Rick walks in with dinner and kisses William, his boyfriend, on the cheek, which of course, surprises the hell out of Mark. After talking about it, Mark thinks back to all the times they changed in gym and he says he's glad William wasn't attracted to him, and in a moment of pure hilarity, William says he's always been attracted to Mark a little, to which even Rick agrees. Lmao, that's so damn awkward. Anyway, Mark, embarrassed leaves and William wishes they had handled it better, because he doesn't think Mark will take him flying again. Man... this series is so awesome. The fact that that's what worries him the most is hilarious. From there we see Invincible flying when he spots a criminal, the criminal instantly gives up, knowing he can't take on Invincible. When Invincible asks why he ran away on the side of a building with gravity boots and such when he could've just escaped with what he stole (bonds from a bank) with normal clothes and he would've never noticed him. The criminal seems nice and we find out he stole the bonds so he could buy his girlfriend a wedding ring, he starts crying when he realizes he's going to jail, so Invincible tells him he'll return the bonds for him and let him go free. He then goes to return the bonds for him before getting out of his Superhero gear and hitting a comic shop. While there, Mark manages to take a few shots at his own writer and DC Comics for restarting ALL their series at #1! Haha, God this is great, go Kirkman! Afterwards, we see Mark and his newer, thicker, more bootylicious (lol) version of Eve cleaning the master bedroom, and she even cleanses the sheets, which only slightly changes Mark's mind about sleeping in a bed where his parents had sex. They get a call at Invincible Inc. a.k.a. a cell phone that Eve has, and she tells him there's a big red guy attacking a client's building in Vegas. Mark gets dressed as Invincible and heads to Vegas to take on The Velociraptor. When the dinosaur-man announces that Vegas is full of bombs that will explode any second, Mark tries to figure out how to stop him, but surprisingly runs out of time, and Las Vegas is wiped off the map, the blast is so huge it obliterates everything, turns the ground to glass from the heat, and manages to turn Mark's suit into dust, leaving him nude in a desolate land as this issue ends. Man, that was wild, I didn't expect that ending at all, and this was a good issue with a lot of action, and since I can't think of one thing I didn't like, I'll give this a 10/10 rating.

Eve: We can move into the master bedroom.
Mark: No Way. My parents have had sex in there.
Eve: From what your mom told me, if that'll keep you out of a room we should probably just stay outside.

And that's it for this week's Ratings and Rantings everyone. As always, thanks for reading and feel free to comment below. That's it for me, and the results for last week's poll is below so be sure to vote on this week's new poll as well. So until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off. Until next time, you stay classy, Todd Squad.

Last week's poll asked "What are your thoughts on the DC Reboot?"

Last place with 11.8% - "I hate it, I'm done with DC", good thing that's the minority eh?
Second place with 17.6% - "I love the idea, can't wait", we've got a few fans that can't wait.
Winner with 70.6% - "I'll wait and see before I decide", my personal pick, and a few series I can't wait for, but others should've never been more than an idea.

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Batgirl #22, Power Girl #25, Morning Glories #10 and Superman/Batman #85

Monday, June 6, 2011

Jason Todd will lead them (Red Hood and The Outlaws)

Huge news from the DC reboot this week. A lot of people are either happy , upset, or conflicted. Some things I don't like, like the fact that Dick is being reverted to Nightwing, but I do love the new colors on his uniform. A lot of people are upset that Babs will be walking apparently, and I definitely see their point but I won't get into that. As a person who has been a fan or Babs for a long time, I love both her Batgirl and Oracle runs. But the news that has made me the happiest so far, besides the JLI series, besides the fact that Dick has an awesome outfit, and besides the fact Kyle won't be lost in the shuffle, is the fact that Jason Todd, has finally returned to the side of the good guys, and he isn't alone, as he's LEADING a team, with one of my other favorites, Roy (Arsenal/The TWO-Armed Archer) as well as Starfire. This team, will be called, the Red-Headed Rejects. But seriously, Jason, Arsenal, and Starfire on one team (known as The Red Hood and The Outlaws) is awesome already, now if we can get some other awesome characters added (Wally West anyone?) then I may just forgive DC for giving everyone stupid collars on their costumes. Anyway, here's one plus myself, and other Jason Todd fans are definitely gonna be looking forward to.

Batman’s former sidekick had put his past as The Red Hood behind him, when the reclusive Jason Todd finds himself unwillingly elected as the leader of an all-new team of outlaw vigilantes.

As The Red Hood once again, Jason Todd will lead this new team of antiheroes, including Green Arrow’s rejected sidekick Arsenal and Starfire, a former prisoner of intergalactic war.

RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS will be written by Scott Lobdell and illustrated by rising superstar artist Kenneth Rocafort.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Top Five 5!

Hey everyone, once again welcome to this month's Top Five 5! As always we're gonna do things just like we always do, I'm going to list each category along with each person's picks. So let's get into it. And just to remind everyone, here's the color guideline:

Jason Todd
Caz Tidrick

Five Characters you want rebooted by DC

Jason Todd (Black Hair, Anti-Hero and not a criminal)
Arsenal (Arm and Lian returned to him)
Wonder Woman
Ted Kord
Vic Sage

Wonder Girl
Donna Troy
Green Arrow

Booster Gold. (I really just want his suit updated.)
Wonder Woman.
Green Arrow
Roy Harper
Captain Marvel

Lian Harper
Barry Allen (can we kill him off in the reboot?)
The Legion of Super-Heroes (here comes the Four-Boot!)
Tempest (Bring him back!) (I second that!)
Wonder Woman

Green Arrow
Justice Society (bring back Earth Two)
Wonder Woman
Red Arrow (make him evil if you want, just don't make him a cat swinging joke)
Garth/Tempest (he doesn't have to be Aqualad, I like the new one, just make Garth a living part of the Aqua family somewhere.
Five Characters you don't want rebooted by DC

Bruce Wayne
Wally West
Dick Grayson
Power Girl
Bart Allen

Wonder Woman (If they were bringing old Wondy back for nothing, keeping the Teen Amazon)
Hawkman (I can't stand him)
Mr. Terrific (Who is he again? Doesn't need his own series)

Wally West
Booster Gold (except for that new suit-I think I'm in love!)
Bruce Wayne & the Bat-Family-I like the current logo for Bruce, and I love the entire supporting cast

Wally West
Kyle Rayner
Tim Drake
Dick Grayson
Bart Allen

Legion of Super-Heroes (enough with the Legion reboots!)
Batman (keep Damien Wayne around, keep Dick as Batman!)
Superman (Man of Steel, Birthright, Secret Origin, Earth One or even a new origin, I don't mind, just pick one and stick with it!)
Lex Luthor (okay, he grew up in Smallville, fine, now leave it, don't monkey with his origin anymore)
(I couldn't agree more, Paul.)

Five Characters you'd send from Marvel to DC

Daken (imagine him meeting Bats)
Deadpool ( ^^^^^)
Black Widow 
Bucky Barnes (Team up with Jason)

Black Widow
She-Hulk (She-Hulk vs. Wonder Woman, anyone?)

I don't really KNOW any Marvel characters.

Um, nobody cause I don't want to see any characters get ruined by Johns/Didio....

(I'd never want any characters to permanently swap universes, but it'd be fun to see these characters swap companies for a year.)
Iron Man
Thing (I gotta ask, why Thing?)
Doctor Doom

Five Characters you'd send from DC to Marvel

Jason Todd (Marvel is good with Anti-Heroes)
Wally West (They'd use him)
Bart Allen ^^^

Green Arrow
Black Canary
Hal Jordan
Firestorm (Adios sucka!)

Captain Atom
Wally West (if it were to mean that he would get used)
Bart Allen (same as Wally)

Roy Harper!
Jason Todd
Bart Allen (circa The Fastest Man Alive series)
Connor Hawke
Black Adam

Lex Luthor

Five Favorite Non-DC or Marvel comic series

Y The Last Man
Morning Glories

Jungle Girl
Grimm Fairy Tales
Morning Glories

Invincible (Pretty diverse list, eh?)

Y: The Last Man
Morning Glories (shocking!!!)

Judge Dredd/2000 AD
Alan Moore's Supreme
Astro City

Category Winners

Top Character we want rebooted by DC - Wonder Woman (Sad she just got one a year ago...)
Top Character we don't want rebooted by DC - I counted votes for Bruce and Dick, so Batman wins.
Top Character we would send from Marvel to DC - Black Widow
Top Character we would send from DC to Marvel - Bart Allen
Top Non-DC or Marvel Comic Series - Invincible

We had some real dark horse winners this go around. I'm pretty surprised that Wonder Woman won for character we want rebooted, yet at the same time I'm not. If this was about two months ago I'd have figured Wonder Woman a shoe-in, but considering we've got an armless Roy Harper, Slade missing two-eyes, and a few other characters I figured Wonder Woman wouldn't be at the top of the list. Batman doesn't surprise me since everyone seems to like where he is, meaning Bruce and Dick. Black Widow coming to DC would be interesting, I'd probably reboot the Birds and put Huntress, Cheshire, Black Widow, Oracle and Canary on the team. Bart going to Marvel would be really interesting, especially as an adult like X mentioned, I'd love to see him run into Spider-Man and a few other Marvel guys and gals. And Invincible winning doesn't shock me at all, as it's clearly one of, if not THE best comic series going right now. But that's it for me everyone, thanks for participating in this month's Top Five 5. Until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off, You stay classy Todd Squad!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Hey Todd Squad, Jason Todd here with another edition of your weekly comic content comments, Ratings and Rantings. Man this has been a huge week. From the huge fallout of DC announcing they plan on changing up the continuity with 52 new #1's in September, plenty of my fellow bloggers have commented on the news, which you can read here, here, here, here and here! Also, the fallout from Fear Itself #3 and the possible death of a major Marvel hero as well as the second issue of Flashpoint which I'm not following, this has been a pretty huge week for comic books. Now normally this is where I'd rant about that Marvel possible death or how stupid I think it is for DC to change continuity but instead I'll look on the bright side of that. Maybe now Jason can be a hero that came back and never went crazy and went to Arkham, oh and has black hair. Maybe Arsenal can have his arm and more importantly his daughter Lian back. Maybe Hush can be a force to be reckoned with instead of a joke, and maybe we can get Ted Kord, Vic Sage, and a few other fan favorites back from the grave. But one thing I AM looking forward to, is the recently announced, Dan Jurgens written, Justice League International series, which will feature Booster Gold, Rocket Red, Fire, Ice, Batman, Vixen, Guy Gardner, and possibly Donna Troy?
But enough of that, We've got three comics to review as well as this month's Top Five 5 choices, so let's get to the reviews, first up is one of the best comics coming out of Marvel today, Amazing Spider-Man!

Amazing Spider-Man #663

We start off with the man who was formerly Venom and Formerly my favorite Venom, the current Anti-Venom, Eddie Brock. He plans to take down the criminal empire of Mr. Negative, who happens to be New York's greatest philanthropist, Martin Li. Anti-Venom starts by stopping an incoming Opium shipment of Mr. Negative's. The guards are scared crap-less but it turns out they aren't running from Anti-Venom, their running from a woman known only as The Wraith. Anti-Venom is shocked that the guards are more afraid of The Wraith than him, so he goes to find out who she is, she just happens to be unmasking to a very afraid lackey when Anti-Venom recognizes her as none other than Jean Dewolff, a character that was dead as far as I knew, and also the sister of the original Wraith. Anti-Venom is shocked to see her alive, but she disappears, leaving Eddie confused. We then jump over to see Peter Parker being mistakenly woken up by his girlfriend, Carlie Cooper, as she gets dressed for work. As Carlie commends Peter for putting in so much time at his new job, he thinks to himself how he's really tired because he's been pushing himself as Spidey so hard, especially patrolling New York and being apart of the FF and the Avengers. On her way out, Carlie mentions she's going to see a crime scene that had the Wraith, and Peter makes a mental note to look into that, but on the way out Carlie also congratulates Peter. For what you may ask? It turns out that besides using his Spidey suit designed for a bulletproof suit to make a safer motorcycle helmet and his stealth suit to make noise reduction headphones, and even making voice activated web-shooters, Peter Parker has been published in the American Science Journal, which definitely makes Peter's day, month, year and lifetime. Pete calls Aunt May to tell her but she's already passing them out over at the help center she volunteers at, when she runs into a bearded Eddie Brock, whom she doesn't recognize. Turns out Eddie is there to get more information on Mr. Li/Negative, and when Mr. Li steps out of his office and runs into Aunt May, she suddenly remembers seeing him murder a man, something he wiped from her memory. May passes out and Peter overhears it, still on the phone with Jay Jameson and heads that way. As May is taken away in an ambulance, Eddie thinks about how he should've stopped Li by now, and how one of the nicest people he's ever met may pay for it, which enrages him, so he unleashes his inner Anti-Venom and pursues Mr. Negative, and rips a hole in the top of his limo. Before he can get to him, Spidey shows up, and of course thinks Brock is going crazy. After a quick talk with Aunt May, she tells him if there's something he can do to help someone else instead of getting there, do so because that's how she and Ben raised him, to which Peter says he'll do. He dropkicks Eddie off of Mr. Li's limo, Spidey and Anti-Venom duke it out while Li escapes, but Spidey's forgotten that Anti-Venom's powers disrupt his, and as he loses both his speed and strength, he's easy picking for Eddie, who thinks Spidey is a villain for siding with Martin Li. The issue ends with Anti-Venom getting ready to "cure" Spidey of his powers for good. Man this was a good issue, I didn't really care for the whole Aunt May thing but it made Spidey and Anti-Venom collide so it works. Man, Spidey vs. Anti Venom in this, Spidey vs. Venom in Venom, if we get a three-way fight from these three with Eddie/Flash/Peter then that's getting a guaranteed 10/10, maybe even an 11. Anyway, I'll give this issue an 8.5/10.

Anti-Venom: "The Wraith?" And you're more scared of her...than me?! Idiot!

Batman Beyond #6

We start things off with a news report of the recent explosion at the Wayne-Powers building, an explosion which almost claimed the lives of both Paxton Powers and Batman. But our futuristic Dark Knight and Powers managed to hop into a vehicle before the explosion, which took the brunt of the blast. They find a vehicle to escape from the flaming building with, something that looks kinda like the cycle Bats had in Batman: The Dark Knight, as Bruce chimes in saying that Terry lost radio connection and then he heard about the explosion. Terry tells Paxton he's taking him to the police so he can get protective custody, as Bruce realizes Terry's saying that so Bruce knows he has company and can't answer him at the moment. Next we see the original Powers or Wayne-Powers, Derek Powers a.k.a. Blight, as he watches over the burning remains of Wayne-Powers. He recounts how he escaped death, as he was on a ship that sank, which he blames Batman for of course, and should have drowned, but due to his condition, he doesn't need to breathe. He then stayed pinned under the ship (ouch) for months and as the radiation and nerve gas ate away at his body, it also made him stronger, and after a few months he was able to move the tons of steel that pinned him to the underwater ground. Once he freed himself, Powers decided he wanted revenge on Wayne for taking his business and revenge on Batman for various things, so he went to his former business partner Dr. French, who built him an containment suit as Powers slowly exacted his revenge. So you can imagine the anger Derek experiences when a few seconds after recounting his return, he's told that both Batman and his son Paxton escaped from the blast. After taking Paxton to the cops, Terry heads back to Wayne Manor to talk to Bruce about their plans, as Bruce mentions whoever is trying to take the WP company is doing a good job scaring the investors, and if they sell their stock, whoever buys it could become majority owner and snatch the rug from under Bruce. Later we see Terry talking to his friend Max when she tells Terry that his Ex-Girlfriend Dana is being extra distant because he brother returned, and Terry was unaware she even had a brother. Max tells Terry he's gonna have to choose between telling Dana everything or telling her nothing about him being Batman and risk losing her forever. Back as Batman, Terry goes to cat the rat that's been after him and Paxton Powers Bruce sets the cheese, but things go crazy when Batman walks into a trap of his own, an attack by none other than the Blight! Now this was a fine issue, nothing bad but nothing amazing either, It didn't blow me away but it wasn't bad by any means, I'll give this issue a 6/10 only because the stuff with Dana, Max's little storyline, none of that interests me, plus we haven't heard anything about Grayson in like two or three issues.

Batman: Powers, you're an idiot, but you're not stupid... (Um... thanks for the compliment I guess...)

Static Shock Special

The Static Shock One-Shot Special starts off with Static Shock's alter-ego, Virgil Hawkins, with his family. The Hawkins family are waiting outside of prison for Virgil's formerly incarcerated uncle, Teshome Gabriel Hawkins, hereby referred to in this review as Gabriel. Virgil says how his uncle was wrongly accused and forced to serve ten years for a crime he didn't commit. As Gabriel is released from prison, the media is all over him asking how he feels about being free. We then see a flashback of Virgil's, to years ago, having Thanksgiving with his family. The police suddenly rushed in and arrested Gabriel for murders Virgil believes he didn't commit, Virgil admits his Uncle was a thief, but he was more of a cat burglar, and no one ever saw him or got hurt during his thefts. Virgil says he kept writing letters to people, from the Mayor to the police chief, but no one believed a kid, until he sent something to a law firm of McDuffie, Cowan, Davis and Dingle (clever...very clever) and they believed him, and it took seven years but they proved Virgil's uncle was innocent. Once Virgil's uncle is free, he joins them and Virgil and his uncle are spending time together when a bunch of gangsters pull up on them, as Gabriel tells Virgil to run, but Virgil stands by his uncle. The men take Virgil's uncle and throw him in their truck, as one of the men, a bang baby (super-powered being due to an explosion/big bang), deals with Virgil before driving away. It turns out the leader of the gangsters, a man with one eye named Blinder, was in prison with Gabriel, and once he got his release, he happened to become a bang baby and uses his force field powers to commit crimes and even put a new drug on the street called ZCE, which "makes ecstasy look like aspirin." It doesn't take long for Static Shock to find and easily rescue his uncle from a few two-bit thugs, considering it takes two pages for him to do it. As the issue goes on, Virgil's uncle and the rest of the Hawkins family have a party to celebrate, but during the party Gabriel has a heart attack. It turns out he'd been having heart problems for years but never took them seriously and they caught up with him, he died at the age of 39 before he even got his 10 million dollar settlement. Well damn, that's sad. Static thinks about his uncle and decides he's going to make it up to him by taking down Blinder, once and for all, so Virgil does some equations (seriously?) and figures out an electromagnetic blast will stop his force fields, he then hits him with one as Static, and beats the hell out of him before leaving him for the cops, and as the issue ends Static proclaims that he is the future. Man, this main story was bad. It jumped all around, there didn't seem to be any explanation of what happened to the ten mil Virgil's uncle was going to get before he died, or why Blinder wasn't at the base when Static was there although he was IN the car when Gabriel was being taken there. It was just bad, which is sad because I like Static. The back up story featured a few pages about Dwayne McDuffie being a legend and him being compared to M.L.K., I mean, come on, I'm a fan of Dwayne's but that's a bit much. Anyway, sadly I never really got into this comic, which sucks because I'm a big fan of Static and he's one of my favorite African-American heroes, which we could always use more of. Anyway I'll give this issue a 2/10.

Blinder: You responsible for taking out my operation?
Static: I can't take all the credit. I'd like to thank God... My mom, my science teacher, my agent, my manager...

And just like that, we're all done for this week's edition of Ratings and Rantings. Feel free to comment and let me know what you guys think, whether you wanna ask questions, talk about comics I reviewed, or talk about the DC and Fear Itself news, feel free to bring it up. And before I get out of here I wanna remind you all of the Top Five 5! For those of you that don't know how it goes, you send me your top five picks for each category at and I'll post the answers this Monday and compare everyone's results. Make sure ya send your picks in ASAP so you don't forget. The topics are below, and here's hoping you guys participate before the deadline of Sunday 2:00 pm EST. And lastly, be sure to vote on this week's newest poll and check out the last poll results below the Top Five 5 topics. Until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd. You stay classy, Todd Squad.

5 Characters you want rebooted by DC
5 Characters you don't want rebooted by DC
5 Characters you'd send from Marvel to DC
5 Characters you'd send from DC to Marvel
5 favorite Non-DC or Marvel Comic Series

Last week's poll asked "Which Venom do you like the most?

Last place with 0% - Peter Parker and N/A - Shocking... I figured Pete would get at least one vote.
Third place with 7.7%  - Mac Gargan - Figured he wouldn't get a vote. If you voted for Mac please tell us!
Second place with 38.5% - Flash Thompson, Second best Venom after three issues, not bad at all!
Winner with 53.8% - Eddie Brock, the first man to be known as Venom!

Next Week on Ratings and Rantings

Batman and Robin #24, Batman: Arkham City #2, Red Robin #24, Superman/Batman #85, Morning Glories #10, and Deadpool #38