Hey all! It's ten days to Christmas.
Batman #705 $2.99
Art and cover by TONY DANIEL
Batman joins forces with a new hero who's as dangerous as she is beautiful. When members of a secret order turn up dead and tortured in Gotham City's Chinatown district, I-Ching informs Batman that he fears an ancient relic is the target. Batman connects this case to that of a missing satellite architect. With few clues to go by and the stakes getting higher, Batman races to locate the surviving members of the order before it's too late.
Hmmm, interesting. This is one of the things about Daniel that I like, he's not the greatest writer ever, but he gets outside the standard mobster/gangster milieu that tends to dominate most Batman writers. I mean, really...think about it, almost all of Batman's rogues gallery tend to be some variation of a mob boss. Mob bosses with a gimmick, sometimes literally. Two-Face (my personal favorite)? The good man forced into a life of crime, but his gang? Essentially the mafia.
Nothing wrong with this, at all, but I do love it when writers start using the sections of Gotham you KNOW have to be there, but aren't used often, like, well...Chinatown. It gives Gotham a much more realistic flavor. I mean every city has their ethnic areas, but, many times Gotham just seems to be a collection of areas names after old comic book creators...
Batman and Robin #18 $2.99
Art by Scott McDaniel and Rob Hunter
Cover by Guillem March
Variant cover by Gene Ha
The Absence has come for Batman and Robin, and, as they hear the tale in a burning church, our heroes start to realize the scale of the horror they're protecting Bruce Wayne from. The Absence is on a mission, and it can only end in fire and destruction.
Here's the only thing I'll say...I took one look at that cover, and the first thought that jumped into my head was, "I thought Grant Morrison had left this title." It's kinda funny, for a writer that's supposed to be cutting edge and unpredictable, I feel like even the art direction for his stories has become kinda easy to pick out.
I dunno, I really am kinda biding time until this Morrison era on the Batman line reaches it's end. I was impressed with Batman, Inc., believe it or not. If nothing else, the use of Selena Kyle/Catwoman was really excellent.
Brightest Day #16 $2.99
Art by IVAN REIS, PAT GLEASON,
ARDIAN SYAF, SCOTT CLARK and JOE PRADO
Covers by DAVID FINCH & SCOTT WILLIAMS
1:10 Variant covers by IVAN REIS
The hottest series in comics blazes on as the legacy of the new Aqualad is forged and the extent of his powers is revealed! Plus, Aquagirl joins the battle, and Firestorm seeks out the Justice League's help!
Yeah, yeah..."hottest series," whatever. A internet friend of mine, Grant, commented to me that Brightest Day feels like it's turning out like Heroes, it's just piddling out. I was excited when this whole thing got rolling, but here we are, eight months in, and it's feels like nothing but running in circles and padding. Seriously, the whole thing feels like The Matrix Reloaded.
Green Lantern #60 $2.99
Art and cover by DOUG MAHNKE
& CHRISTIAN ALAMY
1:10 "DC 75th Anniversary" Variant cover by FRANK QUITELY
BRIGHTEST DAY continues as the truth about the Indigo Tribe members is revealed along with their Entity: the enigmatic Proselyte.
Plus, don't miss a special Green Lantern movie image!
Oh, how many times have I seen that cover layout? Not really bitching, it's a classic way to present our rugged hero and his vile arch-nemesis. Green Lantern has become a little oasis of coherence within Brightest Day, for me. It's not to say that every other book involved with this crossover is BAD, in fact that's not the case at all. Green Lantern is, however, the one place where it feels like all of this might, actually mean something. Call it faith in Geoff Johns, or, maybe just a sign that the whole story should've just stayed in the Green Lantern books.
The Spirit #9 $3.99
Co-feature written by PAUL DINI
Art by MORITAT
Co-feature art by MIKE PLOOG
Cover by LADRÖNN
The Spirit knew there was something suspicious about the relationship of mafia heir Ophelia Ottoman and no-good loser Jimmy Bauhaus, but he didn't know that the secret they kept could pit Central City's crime families against each other! But that doesn't mean he's going to let Ottoman get away with murder. . . does it? Say it ain't so, Spirit!
And in the co-feature, THE SPIRIT: BLACK & WHITE, Paul Dini and Mike Ploog have a holiday gift for you: the tale of an extremely bad Santa – a crook haunted by the Spirit of Christmas everywhere he turns!
I am overjoyed with the end, or at least rolling back of the $3.99 price point at the big two companies (DC & Marvel), even with the regular titles going from 22 pages to 20. That's bad news, I know, but I also worry about some of the great back-up features that DC has kicked out. Among the best of that is the Black & White series in The Spirit. I'm so excited to see Paul Dini writing for this issue. Hopefully, that content can live on elsewhere.
I am really on board with this title. DC has rounded up some really talented people to play with Will Eisner's character. It took me a while to get over losing Darwyn Cooke, but recently it dawned on me exactly how long it's been since Cooke left the last version of this title. Yeah, the Next Wave version of The Spirit re-arranges the chairs a bit, but it's still a solid, entertaining seating chart. Which is kinda stunning, because the rest of the Next Wave line has been a total wash-out for me. The Doc Savage title started out so horrid, I can't even bear to look again.