Sunday, September 29

DC Comics – September 2013, New 52 Month 23

Reviews, commentary, general reactions, and random notes on the DC Comics that were released during July that I received near the beginning of August. Caution: Spoilers ahead! [ Link to previous month ]

I am 'way, 'way, 'way behind this month, so this write-up may not be much more than a fleshing out of my notes, without much expansion along the way....

In the news over the past month or so: 1) The September solicits went up mid-August per usual [link]. 2) The Justice League 3000 fiasco [link], wherein DC fired or drove off another high profile creator, Kevin Maguire, replacing him with Howard Porter, and lost this sale to me. 3) Batman was cast for Man of Steel 2 – Ben Affleck [link]. Outcry ensued [link]. I actually can live with this. He's a capable enough actor. My main problem with him would be The Voice. He really should study Kevin Conroy's portrayal (the voice of Batman in the animated series) – not Christian Bale's. 4) The Justice League of America is emigrating to Canada [link]. 5) Rumors flew but ultimately no real clarification on whether Bryan Cranston will play Lex Luthor in Man of Steel 2 [link]. I like Breaking Bad, but I'm not sure I see him as Lex Luthor. 6) DC drove off another set of Batwoman creators – J.H.Williams III and Haden Blackman – allegedly over whether to marry Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer [link]. It may or may not have been because of the homosexual nature of the relationship; they tapped Marc Andreyko, who is homosexual himself, as the new writer [link] (possibly keeping me on the title since I loved his Manhunter), and proclaimed their stance as that the Bat-family's personal lives have to be sucky, and heroes can't be married [link], both of which I think are stupid as mandates. They also announced their intent to pull Batwoman closer into the rest of the Bat'verse. 7) Finally, another blogger put the sad state of affairs regarding DC Editorials' bad relationship with creators and the general chaos that has plagued the company since even before the New 52 into a timeline that makes for terribly depressing reading [link]. Something is definitely rotten in Denmark.

Let's discuss some comics:

Batman, Incorporated #13
The Dark Knight and the Devil's Daughter”

I pulled this to the front because it's the end of an era and I was anxious to read it. It's so out of continuity order that it can't matter anyway.

There are parallel narratives as Gordon interrogates Bruce Wayne and Batman fights Talia in the Cave – until Kathy Kane, the original Batwoman, appears out of nowhere and shoots Talia dead before vanishing, but not before she's implicitly manipulated the government to kill any charges against Wayne. In the first epilogue, Alfred shows Batman two empty graves at Wayne Manor. Second, Ra's al Ghul swears to hound Batman to death, and is cloning either new Talias or more Damians. There are a couple of interesting bits – both Gordon and Leslie Thomkins (her first appearance in the New 52?) are present at the aftermath of the Waynes' murder. There is insightful narrative from Gordon regarding Batman: “We all have our own ways of dealing with grief. / I've had my suspicions about Bruce Wayne and Batman for a long time, but I keep them to myself. / All I really need to know is this: / Batman always comes back, bigger and better, shiny and new. / Batman never dies. / It never ends. / It probably never will.

So ends Grant Morrison's grand seven-year operatic saga of Batman. There's no way to adequately assess it without going back, rereading it most likely several times (it's Grant Morrison!), and meditating on it, but I will say I'll miss wondering what the Mad Glaswegian has in store for Batman month after month. It will leave a hole in my comics reading, most definitely. But Morrison also definitely leaves a lot of pieces to be picked up on and developed by future writers. It never ends....

Justice League #22
Trinity War, Chapter One: The Death Card”

I don't like the perversion of Trinitarian imagery that pervades DC comics (see Trigon in Teen Titans, and Red Robin's alleging that the Christian doctrine is based on Trigon – that's blasphemous), but it's emblematic about so much that is wrong with DC. I found some interesting commentary regarding these issues and the state of DC here [link].

Against the structure of Madame Xanadu reading Tarot cards laying out the players, they are introduced. The gist is that Pandora makes the second beggest mistake of her life, believing Superman is somehow inhumanly pure of heart. She manipulates him into reopening the Box, whereupon he's possessed in some manner. He seems okay once he's no longer holding the Box, but is laid open to malevolent influence that causes him to blow Justice League of America member Doctor Arthur Light's head clean off during a confrontation between the Leagues in Kahndaq, sparked by Shazam's invasion of that country to scatter Black Adam's ashes on his homeland. They're all apparently being manipulated by the Outsider, a character previously featured in Flashpoint, who basically says Superman thinks he killed Light. Doesn't matter right now, though – the Leagues get it on, and double agent Atom feels smaller and smaller as she tries to intervene to no avail.

The story takes place in the week after Superman and Wonder Woman saved the hostages in Kahndaq. They do have a different philosophy re killing. Doctor Light's stated desire not to hurt kids is ironic given his pre-Flashpoint characterization. What is the significance of Superman having three eyes when possessed … scratch that, given what I wrote above.

Earth 2 #14
Battle Cry”

War! Green Lantern, Flash, and Doctor Fate attack Dherain to try to score a PR blow. After confronting the Dheraini troops, they find themselves challenged by the Sandmen, Red Arrow, and the Atom in a tense stand-off. Green Lantern offers to follow the World Army's wonders, and Dodds seems to consider it, then all are interrupted by Steppenwolf's Hounds. The World Army is actually approaching, and Michael Holt Mister Terrific is with them.

I can't put my finger on what makes this book so consistently satisfying month after month. But for me, its a perfect blend of writing and art. Sadly only two more Robinson issues to go, leaving Tom Taylor some mighty big shoes to fill. Based on Injustice, I have faith in him. And apparently Nicola Scott remains on art.

Action Comics #22
Atomic Knights, Part One” – “The World of Krypton, Part 3: Darkest Depths”

In the lead story, Lobdell brings Action Comics into present continuity with a story following from his Superman issues. Lobdell can be infuriating – sometimes good, sometimes bad. His Suiperman is more often good, but then little things like here: Superman wantonly destroying property just to give Clark and Cat a story. It's not the first time (see the Silver Age), but I've never liked that characterization. And the New 52 Superman has been more hit than talk, so his soliloquy (“URPHN! // Once, Clark. Just once. / You're not going to give big ugly alien the benefit of the doubt. You're going to... // ...hit first... // ...and often!”) rings a little hollow. Okay, so we've got something called “Pax Galactica,” whose member responds, “So say we all,” to the leader's proclamation? – Lobdell's been watching Battlestar Galactica it seems.

The gist of the story is that Straith and Pax Galactica show up to destroy a HIVE WMD – Hector Hammond – who telepathically calls in Superman for help (how does that get around Orion's shielding Superman's mind from Hammond's machinations?). Superman fights Straith until the rest of Pax G shows up announcing a bigger threat is imminent. There's really nothing special here, except the comic book staple of scantily clad warrior women alongside fully armored men. She is hot for a blonde green lady, though.

The Krypton story introduces the Eradicator: The military coup is led by a hitherto unnamed “Colonel” (or did I miss it?) to eliminate the Science Council's benevolent control of Kryptonians and cause them to wipe each other out. Lara mutinies and saves Jor-El, whose knowledge the Colonel needs.

Detective Comics #22
Targeting the Shield” / Man-Bat in “My Better Half”

In the lead story, there are two new plots, doubtless connected – a caped cop killer and a new multimillionnaire industrialist philanthropist setting up in Gotham City, wanting to partner with Wayne but Bruce is not interested because E. D. Caldwell is heavily into munitions. So far this story seems pretty predictable that Caldwell is the Wrath. How many times have we had the “anti-Batman”? The backup continues the Man-Bat story, with Kirk Langstrom having started involuntarily transforming even though he stopped taking the serum – and finding out that Francine has developed her own version – which uses vampire bat DNA.

Batman/Superman #2

Introducing the New God Kaiyo, the goddess of deception, who manipulates both the Batman and Superman of five years and more ago into fighting, the Booms them to Earth 2 (wow, that was easy!), where each fights his other self before realizing that alternate Earths are involved. “Our” heroes are each surprised to find their other self married, and to whom! Young Superman is startled by the still-living Jonathan and Martha Kent. We find that Earth 2 has been made a relative paradise by the Wonders and Wayne Tech. Then the Earth-2 Wonder Woman appears and reveals Kaiyo is possessing Lois. … There is a seeming discrepancy in that young Clark seems to indicate that Pa died in hospice care, which is not how I remember it. Jae Lee provides some stunning art here, with perhaps a little overuse of silhouette shots.

Justice League of America #6
Trinity War: Chapter Two”

This time the framing narrative is by the Question. The melee between the Justice League and the Justice League of America continues until Superman puts a stop to it and turns himself in to ARGUS, who imprison him somehow, but I'm not clear how. Kryptonite? Magic? It obviously takes its toll on him – in the final scene he really looks like he's suffering from Kryptonite poisoning. Waller does put Firestorm to work practicing to create Kryptonite. Anyway, all of the heroes are thrown into confusion by the events. Batman believes that Doctor Light's solar-based powers somehow triggered Superman's heat vision. He doesn't buy Wonder Woman's tale of Pandora's Box. Wonder Woman consults Hephaestus, who informs her that the gods did not craft the Box, and that it must be destroyed. She goes to John Constantine and his “Justice League Dark.” Meanwhile, the Question approaches Superman under the guise of Steve Trevor, frees him, and asks if he wants to find out who really killed Doctor Light.

Worlds' Finest #14

DeSaad's forces mount a public raid on Starr Lab in Oxford, England, as a trap to capture one of the girls. They get Helena, but Karen dives into the Boom Tube after them. The early part of the issue is set in the Catskills Mountains, Upstate New York, including Woodstock, which is cool since I've been there. It's something that I find interesting about Levitz's work of late, that he uses real locales – and I identify it with him because it's been with a variety of artists. Robson Rocha's pales overall in comparison with Kevin Maguire's or George Perez's, but his style does render Karen's face in such a way as to make it believable that she and Kara/Supergirl are other-dimensional counterparts. Karen refers to getting along with the Earth-2 Supergirl from the day they met.

Superman Unchained #2
The Fall”

Man, I still hate that series title.

Aside from that, Snyder is great at showing Superman's thoughts during a crisis. It could get old if he starts each issue off with this same type sequence, however. Then you have Superman visiting the Batcave and confronting Batman, who shows off his cloaking suit designed to elude even Superman's senses. Ascension is using the image of Ned Nudd as a digital mask. Superman confers with Lois who is flying north to interview the man pulled from the sea; she gives him a clue to finding General Lane, which he does, ending up in a confrontation with whatever that secret super-weapon is. Meanwhile, Ascension is crashing Lois' plane, while Lex uses a jury-rigged suit to break out of prison. In the epilogue, we are treated to Bruce's soliloquy on why he didn't destroy his anti-Superman tech now that he trusts him. A lot certainly happens in this issue – it's a great story and art – but how long is it sustainable?

Superboy #22
High School and Other Assorted Horrors”

Guided telepathically by young Doctor Psycho, Conner heads back to high school for the first time to try to find why kids have been freaking out and going catatonic before HIVE finds and recruits another agent. It turns out that its the Goth geek girl who befriended him, mentally destabilizing the popular kids who shun her, but when he realizes it, she affects Krypto – or is it that she's affecting him? There's some fun made out of how unprepared Conner is for high school life. There's also a seemingly disconnected prequel with Jocelyn Lure trying to find Conner.

Batman #22
Zero Year, Secret City: Part Two” / Bruce Wayne in “That One Time”

More parallel story five or six years in the past and fifteen or so years before that, which I guess is par for the course. Young Bruce falls into the cave and the story ends on a silhouette shot of bats chasing. The adult Bruce confronts the Red Hood, meets Edward Nygma, finds that Uncle Philip has been supplying weapons to the Red Hood gang, and has a falling out with Alfred over the issue of Bruce Wayne's “death,” until his hand is forced by Red Hood sabotaging his penthouse – Boom! There are certainly multiple layers and threads to this story. In the backup, 21-year-old Bruce gets a lesson in lateral thinking and MacGyvering an escape plan from the inside of the Sphinx – which is a thematic connection with the lead story in which the Sphinx reproduction in the Gotham Museum of Natural History provides a clue to Nygma's riddle.

Batgirl #22
A Day in the Life of Endless Velocity”

Babs has a fun date with Ricky the reformed car thief that includes a throwdown with a group of thugs attacking them, then an odd interaction with Jim that leaves her determined to give up the Batgirl identity … just as Jim tells Batman that he's going after Batgirl and to stay the hell out of his way, emphasized with a sucker punch to the jaw.

Nightwing #22

Nightwing continues shaking things up in Chicago in his quest to find Tony Zucco, but he also has to deal with the Prankster's warped vendetta against corruption in the Windy City. It's a good issue – I really like the art here. A lot of the locations are clearly photoreferenced, e.g. City Hall on p. 2 (which page also contains another egregious typo – I repeat myself when I say I wonder exactly what the hell kind of copy editors they've got there at DC! – or do they even bother? – they obviously don't give a shit, why should I?) Are some of the people photo-referenced as well?  Ted at the Chicago Times doesn't look like he came out of the artist's imagination.

Supergirl #22
Close to Home”

Kara resists Cyborg Superman's temptation to lose herself in a virtual memory-generated Krypton, getting another lesson about “boys.” She ends up assaulted by incarnate memories of her own angers with more traumas to come. So who created Cyborg Superman?

Her reaction when Cyborg Superman proclaims his real agenda – that he literally needs her body – “I need your flesh to reconstitute my own.” Partly it's visual – a mixture of disgust and astonishment in one single panel – followed by her verbal reaction, “You want to say that again? // I couldn't hear you through all the creepiness coming out your mouth!” A bit further on, after he elaborates, “... / Wow. I... I'm speechless over your level of insanity.” – Flying away, “H'El and now this creep? When am I going to learn? Boys offering Krypton are not to be trusted.” That's actually some great stuff.

Batman and Catwoman #22

As a Justice League of America agent, Catwoman calls Batman for help in rescuing a little Chinese girl who is being used as a pawn to coerce her defected father to return to China. The story is framed by more on Carrie Kelley, who receives a faked message from Damian, as well as another strange Two-Face epilogue. … I like Patrick Gleason's art, but sometimes his female faces are a bit weird, flat and broad. Peter J. Tomasi is a great writer who seems amiable and better than some others at integrating continuity and the wider DC Universe without making it seem forced.

Birds of Prey #22
Operation Kaizen”

Kaizena Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc. (Google) The Birds find Strix okay, but she is unable to explain what happened, of course. They retreat to Condor's lair since their own is compromised. Batgirl gets a call and has to go off (into issues #19-20 of her own title). Side scene: Tsiklon – According to Wikipedia, The Tsyklon ( Циклон , “Cyclone”, also known as Tsiklon) … was a Soviet/Ukrainian-designed expendable launch system, primarily used to put Cosmos satellites into low Earth orbit; my guess is that the term is being used here in its more literal sense as a Russian (?) spelling of “cyclone.” In any case, we are introduced to a new villainous team Basilisk what Condor was once part of and whose leader has a vendetta against Black Canary. … Days later, Canary is despairing about her own team, which seems to be dissolving around her. Condor puts the moves on her again, but respects her resistance and goes out to handle some matter, not realizing he's being stalked. Batgirl returns, having killed her own brother (so she believes; I'm not reading it, but James Jr. is now appearing in Suicide Squad).  Condor is ambushed as Basilisk raids his lair – and Canary is stunned to find that he is a former member of that terrorist organization. The Birds are overwhelmed....

Birds of Prey is languishing in the danger zone of sales – with the imminent demise of Legion of Super-Heroes it is the lowest-selling title I'm reading. Look at the reception it's getting from the reviewers.... I'm continuing to enjoy it, but man, I'm missing Starling!

Batwoman #22
This Blood is Thick: Hits”

Batwoman and the DEO prepare to take down Batman by following Bane's plan – wear him down first. Meanwhile, Bette trains with Jacob's old unit to extract Beth from DEO custody. Not a whole lot else to say about this issue.

Legion of Super-Heroes #22
Endings – Part Two”

T minus one issue … the end of the Fatal Five story. The Legion fights to a hard won and costly victory, then assesses its losses – one of Duplicate Girl's duplicates among many others dead and missing. And Brainiac 5 looks dangerously close to breaking as he announces it's all his fault....

Justice League Dark #22
Trinity War, Chapter Three: House of Cards”

A whole bunch of shifting alliances, mixing and matching the various members of the various Justice Leagues – who are at odds with each other, and with Amanda Waller. The Question breaks Superman out of ARGUS custody. Superman is weakening, apparently not from Kryptonite poisoning. Madame Xanadu is held captive by the mastermind of the situation, who boasts that he has a mole in the Justice League (which one?). Wonder Woman takes a group to track Pandora. Superman and a group are searching for Doctor Psycho – who is not the same as the kid who is all but Superboy's sidekick of late in that title, so I'll call them “Old” and “Young Doctor Psycho” respectively. John Constantine lures the hero formerly known as Captain Marvel away (into his own book, which came out earlier but luckily I realized follows on this story, so I bumped it to just below). The Phantom Stranger and his group are off to find the ghost of the murdered Doctor Light.

As the Bad Guy likens it to Madame Xanadu, it's like chess pieces being moved around on a board.

Constantine #5
Stealing Thunder – A Trinity War Interlude”

John Constantine steals the hero formerly known as Captain Marvel's magic to keep the “untrustworthy” lad from wielding it with – perhaps good intentions, but – awful consequences. But his plan goes awry when he is forced to invoke the power of Shazam against a monstrous attacker, and Billy uses the distraction to steal the magic back – and leave, not trusting Constantine … perhaps to do what John Constantine warns him against.

Frankly, I don't think this is a terribly well integrated “tie-in” to Trinity War.

Aquaman #22
Death of a King, Chapter Four”

The three parallel stories continue. Aquaman and Mera in Xebel versus the Ice King, who claims to be the first and true king of Atlantis and the Seven Seas; the Scavenger's attack on Atlantis; and Tula's raiding party attempting to free Orm from Belle Reve in south Louisiana.

Superman #22

The Queen Bee of HIVE is one of the Twenty – metas who were apparently left on Earth five years ago to prepare for Brainiac's return. She tries to force Hector Hammond to serve HIVE, but sparks a Psychic War. … Superman/Clark Kent does a lot of introspection; Clark seemingly focuses on the Twenty as a breakout exposé for his and Cat Grant's blog, and visits Jimmy who seems to have gone spend-crazy with his parents' money. What is the story on their disappearance/death?

Talon #10
All Sorts of Fun”

Fun? – We begin with a scene of torture and brainwashing of a little girl. Yes, the Owls are truly vile and sick. But as much as I've been liking this series I'm not sure I'm continuing it. I'm needing to cull some books, and this one, not terribly connected with anything else, is a prime candidate.

Anyway, Casey escapes the clutches of the Owls into GCPD custody. Meanwhile, Calvin fights Sebastian's creatures and ends up aided by Casey's team – but the cliffhanger has Bane stepping into the fray.

Batman: The Dark Knight #22
Breaking Point”

This title has gone from rivaling Tony Daniel's Detective Comics for biggest waste of paper and ink to being one of my favorite books each month … come to think of it, 'Tec post David is good, too. It's a good time to be a Batman fan. (Whether DC really needs this “extra” Bat-title is a separate issue.) I hope Hurwitz can keep it up. Alex Maleev's atmospheric art is perfect for Batman as well.

Anyway, the Clayface saga continues as Clayface tries to frame Commissioner Gordon for murder during a jewel heist, which reveals that he holds Gordon captive. Batman races to find him, but Gordon is not a hapless victim awaiting rescue. No, he aids in his own rescue by piecing together a “ghetto version” of the Bat Signal. At the end of the issue, Clayface is still in the wind.

I do wonder how Clayface knew to use Natalya's image to torment Batman. There is good interplay between Alfred and Bruce regarding the latter's closed-off nature, and why – Bruce's contention is that opening up always backfires on him, being used against him.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #22
Dangerous People”

I honestly have no idea what is going on. The three “heroes” are split and seemingly working at cross purposes, although each thinks they are acting for the others' good. Kori seems to be in a particular conundrum.

Teetering on the edge of my pull list....

Teen Titans #22
Dark Titans”

Kid Flash did something in his past to protect his family that Raven interprets as evil taking root in his soul. The fight against Trigon ends quickly – then the Titans face the problem of massive damage and a PR nightmare … which is wiped away by some kind of psychic fixers who claim to be doing it as a one-off to repay a debt. …? They invite Raven to join the Teen Titans, then she spills the beans in explaining Red Robin's erratic actions, including his making out with both Wonder Girl and Solstice as being Trigon's influence … which was hitherto unknown, and doesn't really matter. The other Titans all react badly. Kid Flash decks Red Robin and locks himself in his cabin – from where he is abducted by someone claiming “Bar Tor” is going to pay for his crimes. … And it transpires that Raven is infiltrating the Titans on behalf of her father.

Superman Annual #2
The Last Byline”

Great story! I ask again how can one writer vary so greatly from title to title? And there's great art by Dan Jurgens who makes even new-costume-Superman look like the same great hero I grew up with.

This is Lois' story of how she is investigating the mysterious disappearances of Metropolitan citizens after the Brainiac Event, and discovers the truth … and is infected to become one of the Twenty, which dooms her!

Batman Annual #2

This story takes place some time after the death of Damian but has a flashback to Zero Year. One consequence of Batman capturing the insane criminals of Gotham and their confinement to Arkham Asylum is its transformation from a hospital to a prison for all intents and purposes. This causes a backlash from the oldest inmate, who means to have revenge on Batman. And there is a new doctor there who hopes to remake Arkham back into a hospital. It's an interesting story that puts a modern spin on the old canard that perhaps Batman's presence causes the evils of Gotham.

Detective Comics Annual #2
Face in the Crowd” / “Contained Multitudes” / “Harvey Bullock, This is Your Life”

The first story introduces Jane Doe, a villainess introduced pre-New 52 in Marc Andreyko's Manhunter. She infiltrates GCPD on behalf of Wrath, but Batman doesn't find that out. She assumes the identity of Harvey Bullock and torments him by forcing him to watch her live his life more successfully than he himself, including a budding romance with a police psychologist. The second is a very short tale showing now split personalty and demented Jane Doe really is, centering on her multiple conversations with herself. Finally, we see the effect captivity and having his failure of a life thrown in his face by the impostor has on Harvey.

Overall, a very good issue, examining multiple facets of a single story that is complete in itself (as an annual ought to be, in my opinion) but tying very much into the overall arc of the monthly (which doesn't hurt).


Smallville Season 11 Weeks 59-62
Hollow, Part 3 of 4” / “Olympus, Parts 4-6 of 12”

Tess at STAR Labs is discussing philosophy of being disembodied intelligence with Henshaw's head when LexCorp troops invade and shoot Emil Hamilton. Despite Henshaw's cautions this may send her over the edge, it looks like. STAR Labs is apparently working on “Zeta Beam” technology. I smell an Adam Strange appearance in the future.

In the continuation of “Olympus,” it almost seems like Superman is a supporting character.  And he looks far too much like the old classic Superman in build than the leaner Tom Welling Smallville version.  Overall, I would prefer that the interior art depictions of the characters more resemble the actors than they do.  Cat Scaggs' covers generally do a fair job.  Anyway, we do find out all kinds of good stuff about this Smallville version of the DC Universe: There was a Shadowpact in World War Two, with a none-the-younger Bones serving alongside Felix Faust and Zatara. Something happened way back then to break them up. Hippolyta brought young Steve Trevor back from the Island, cared for him for a time, but then vanished. Diana knew nothing except that her mother never came back, and she eventually left the Island to search for her. Everything heads to a confrontation at Steve's house when the army and DEO come to get Diana. Superman does step in, saving Steve's life, but Diana gives herself up to be taken to Hippolyta, whom she has found is in DEO custody … but it's all part of Faust's plan to get to the captive Hippolyta, on behalf of his “lord” whom Hippolyta had long ago imprisoned.

Reviews:  Hollow (TBA) – Olympus

Batwing #22
Daddy Issues”

I tend to like Palmiotti and Gray as a writing team, so it was perhaps inevitable when, in their somewhat extraordinary efforts to keep one of their lowest-selling titles going, DC decided to attempt a major reboot of this title, to the point of changing the protagonist as well as turning it over to P&G, I would give it a try. I actually did so, digitally again, a couple or three months ago, intending to follow my normal past practice of waiting the month for the digital price to drop by a dollar, which would put it about the right time for me to read it in its proper relative release order with the other titles from that month. Then DC went and messed that plan up by, suddenly and with little or no prior notice, extending the dollar-discount time from one two two months. The only reason this one is getting reviewed with the other September books is that I'm so bloody behind in writing up this post. And I'm considering adding it back to my monthly order anyway.

It's good – the new Batwing is Lucius Fox's son, which of necessity draws it far closer into the Bat'verse mainstream. He's just completed his first mission, returning home to a family who does not know his secret and a father who disapproves of his seemingly wastrel lifestyle, when that family is attacked by agents of the criminal empire he just fought against. Turns out it's just coincidence, sort of. Yes, it's a result of Batwing's actions, but no, they do not know he is Batwing. They are here to kidnap Lucius to put pressure on Bruce Wayne. Although Batman orders him to stand down and let him handle the situation, he discovers that his father has secretly been Batman's R&D man – obviously an import from the Nolan'verse. Anyway, he horns into the mission, and together he and Batman penetrate where Lucius is being held.

I'll definitely be reading this in future, whether in trade, wait-two-months-for-digital, or in issues, where it would displace Birds of Prey and the lowest-selling title I'm buying … assuming it lasts. Again, its sales are abysmal, and I'm not sure a couple months in that the reboot has made much difference. We'll see.

And that's it for this month. Hmph. Shorter. Right.

Cheers, and Thanks for reading.

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