Category Archives: Robin

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: May 17 – 23, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

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The best comic I read last week was

Super Sons #4.

Writer: Peter Tomasi

Artist: Jorge Jimenez

This comic book is intended to be a fun read filled with the kinetic energy that teens and preteens have in abundance and the team of Jorge Jimenez and Peter Tomasi are delivering. Of the books I read monthly, this one brings a smile to my face more often than others and is, frankly, the most enjoyable comic I read. It is not overly complex. It does not take itself too seriously. It knows what is it and what it is is joyful.

The dynamic between Robin (Damian Wayne) and Superboy (Jon Kent) is just what it ought to be. Jon is something of a naive do-gooder, always ready to call in the “super dads” to assist the boys while Damian is an arrogant know-it-all, always ready for the boys to go it alone no matter the risks. Essentially, Tomasi as broken down and magnified the traditional relationship between Batman and Superman and is playing it out in broader strokes with the boys.

Tomasi must be a father himself or have spent plenty of time around kids because he nails both the mindset and the dialogue of teenagers. Give this guy Teen Titans when it is looking for a new writer.

Jorge Jimenez’s art is wonderful. His predilection for cartoonish expressions which brim with manga influence is the right match for the tone of the book. Jimenez’s kids look like kids and there is great contrast between them and the adults in the book. I have noted this in prior reviews: drawing children seems to be a difficult task for many artists. Not for Jimenez. One of the things that truly shines in this issue is that Jimenez is able to contrast the fun of the book with the fairly terrible actions of the villain, Kid Amazo. The juxtaposition is powerful.

Super Sons is great. It hearkens back to the comics of my childhood, feeling very World’s Finest in its approach and execution. I loved that book as a kid. I love this one as a kid-like adult.

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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Robin, Superboy, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: April 5 – 11, 2017


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

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The best comic I read last week was

Superman #20.

Writer: Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

Artist: Patrick Gleason

 

There are so many good things going on in Superman #20, it is difficult to know where to start discussing them. Following an engaging, through a bit frustrating and confusing “Superman Reborn” arc which again altered the status quo for Superman, Lois and Jon, “Black Dawn” – the new arc – jumps in acknowledging but not dwelling on the story just concluded. That is a good thing.

All of this issue feels comfortable and that is the best thing the book has going for it. This version of Superman is known and comfortable. This story is as well. It is so familiar, one of my first thoughts upon concluding the issue is that I want a Worlds Finest Reborn title.

Why? Because Tomasi and Gleason bring Batman and Robin into this issue and the chemistry among the five main characters (Lois, her superpowered family and the Bat family) is so compelling and so well written that it could easily support its own book.

Batman is concerned, of course, that Jon Kent is not reaching his potential. Jon should be, even at this point, far more powerful than his father and he is not. Something is wrong and Batman and Robin have arrived to find out what.

Great set up. Great execution. Great twist in the end of the book.

Patrick Gleason is such a great cartoonist. He is not going for photo realism, rather he creates images that are quickly iconic. His facility with Superman and Batman is matched by the ease with which he draws Robin and Superboy. Why he is not mentioned in the pantheon of current “great” artists is beyond me.

Tomasi and Gleason are a terrific team. I want them on this title for a long, long time.

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Filed under Batman/Superman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Robin, Superman, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: January 13 – January 192, 2016


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 6 comics last week: Secret Wars #9, Star Trek #53, Avengers #3, Batman/Superman #28, Robin War #2 and Batman and Robin Eternal #15.

The best comic I read last week was Robin War #2.

Robin War 2

 

 

I love Robin. I have loved the character for as long as I can remember and I loved the character when there was just one of them. One Robin. Dick Grayson. The Boy Wonder then the Teen Wonder. I loved when Dick Grayson left Batman’s side and became Nightwing. Then I loved it when Nightwing became, for a time, Batman. Then… well, you get the picture. Robin is a character with a 75 year plus history. And, in 2016, at this point in the character’s history, there are many, many Robins running around.

In Robin War, writer Tom King takes the landscape of Robins and does something very interesting with it – he unifies the approach to the character while also setting up the various Robin titles for compelling stories for the immediate future.

Most important to me personally is the title Grayson, where Dick Grayson is currently not a costumed superhero at all. Rather, Grayson is a superspy working from the inside of a corrupt organization, spying on it as it spies on superheroes. I have really enjoyed the title, though I certainly miss Grayson as a costumed superhero. And, in fact, I had the idea in the back of my head that Robin War would Grayson back to that life.

Without spoiling the ending of Robin War (and it’s the ending that makes it my selection for this week) I will say that it went somewhere I didn’t anticipate and somewhere I really loved. I find myself waiting eagerly for this week’s issue of Grayson. After reading comics for almost 40 years, I really love being excited for the next issue…

The art in Robin War is handled by a cast too numerous to name. It ranges from serviceable to good. And that’s too bad. A story this well done should have had someone great handling the art.

No matter. As a read for me this week, Robin War delivered.

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Filed under Batman and Robin Eternal, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Dick Grayson, Grayson, Marvel Comics, Nightwing, Robin, Star Trek, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: December 23 – 29, 2015


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 9 comics last week: Cyborg  #6, Darth Vader #14,  Amazing Spider-Man #5, Dark Knight The Master Race #3, Robin: Son of Batman #7, JLA #6, Superman #47, Titans Hunt #3, and Batman and Robin Eternal #12.

The best comic I read last week was Titans Hunt #3.

Titans Hunt 3

 

I chose the first issue of this title two months back feeling overwhelmed by a sense of nostalgia for a DC Comics universe where the Teen Titans had a rich history, stood beside the Justice League as a superheroic institution and were made up of some of the most storied characters in the DC pantheon. The second issue last month was almost as good as the first. This third issue sets the stage for what I hope will be a grand re-introduction of the Robin, Wondergirl, Speedy, Aqualad Teen Titans to the DC Universe.

Things seem to be trending in that direction.

Writer Dan Abnett and artist Pablo Siqueria clearly see this title as a labor of love. Abnett has written some great stories, but he’s at the top of his game here, deftly handling this characters who know and yet don’t know one another. Siqueria’s pencils are terrific and he delineates the characters one from the other in great fashion. Even without the excellent coloring by Hi Fi, Dick, Garth, Roy and Gnark would stand as distinct individuals. Though Siqueria seems to have had an assist this issue, his work really shines.

The story does, too. The mystery of this team in built in such a way that I can begin to guess what’s to come, but I cannot really nail down where the story is going. That’s a lot of fun for a reader like me whose first issue of The Teen Titans was purchased in the late 1970s. I’ve followed most iterations of the group and this is the book I’ve been waiting for since Wolfman and Perez closed up shop (or, at minimum since Johns and McKone did). I want this mini to lead to a new ongoing with this same creative team.

I do have one complaint, however. I want Kid Flash. As grand as this story is, it feels like it’s missing a piece at this point. Will that lightning bolt hole be filled? I don’t know, but a guy can dream!

Great book. Looking forward very much to the next issue.

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Filed under Amazing Spider-Man, Batman, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, Cyborg, Darth Vader, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Robin, Star Wars, Superheroes, Superman, Teen Titans, Titans, Titans Hunt, Uncategorized, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: December 2 – 8, 2015


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 8 comics last week: Cyborg #5, Star Wars #13, Action Comics #47, All New All Different Avengers #2, Robin War #1, Doctor Strange #3, Invincible Iron Man #4 and Batman and Robin Eternal #9.

The best comic I read last week was Robin War #1.

Robin War

 

 

Tom King knows how to write Dick Grayson. Anyone reading Grayson understands this. He gets the character and he has completely nailed the voice, motivation and spirit of Grayson, one of the oldest of all the DC characters. It cannot be particularly easy to write a character with a history spanning over 75 years in terms of doing something new and unique with it. King manages this feat month-in-and-month-out in the Grayson title.

Fantastically and not surprisingly, King’s facility with the former Robin carries over to this first issue of Robin War, a story line that will run though all the “Robin” associated titles this month.

He accomplishes a lot in this issue, clearly laying out the stakes of the story while constructing set pieces that feature all of the current and former Robins. It’s a lot to juggle – Tim Drake, Jason Todd, Damien Wayne, the current “We Are Robin” crew – but King handles it brilliantly and manages to also tie in the terrific Court of Owls as antagonists.

King has set up a story with great potential and I hope that the subsequent issues playing out throughout the month meet this high bar. The cliffhanger gives me hope that we may see a certain character return… I am excited to see if that teased conclusion is where we’re headed.

If Robin War suffers from anything, it suffers from an inevitable comparison with Batman and Robin Eternal, a weekly series also in publication right now. Though I personally cannot get enough of the Robins, I do kind of wish these stories were more spread out.

 

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Filed under Action Comics, Avengers, Batman and Robin, Batman and Robin Eternal, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, Cyborg, DC Comics, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Marvel Comics, Robin, Star Wars, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 25 – December 1, 2015


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 11 comics last week: We Are Robin #6, Superman #46, Superman/Wonder Woman #23, Superman: Lois and Clark #2, JLA #5, Darth Vader#13, Grayson #14, Chewbacca #4, Dark Knight: The Master Race #1, Robin Son of Batman #6 and Batman and Robin Eternal #8.

The best comic I read last week was Dark Knight: The Master Race #1.

DK

 

First of all, The Master Race (an unfortunate title) is no Dark Knight Returns. It is, however, far better than The Dark Knight 2 which was a hot mess – I think it was intentionally a hot mess. No, The Master Race is a far more worthy successor to Frank Miller’s original classic and that’s a very good thing. Frankly, in a week that was fairly pedestrian in terms of the other comics I read this week, that, in-and-of-itself, was enough to get my attention.

Let’s start with art. Andy Kubert does a very, very nice job recalling the Frank Miller art style without mimicking it. He creates the environment that Miller did without simply copying it. His layouts are dynamic and his execution of the Frank Miller “TV Heads” is terrific. It doesn’t hurt that inker Klaus Jansen is along for the ride.

Brian Azzarello seems to be more in charge of the story than Miller this time around and he does a fairly good job of setting things up in this first issue. In fact, he does a bit too good a job of set up. There is not a lot that happens here, but the series is rife with potential. There are a number of surprises (a pretty central one, in fact) that hold great promise for the rest of the series and I am looking forward to the next issue.

It seems DC is really embracing the idea of multiple universes and that’s a good thing. Along with Superman: Lois and Clark, DC is tapping into its vast history. I have no problem with this. Tell good stories in any context. They don’t have to be in continuity.

I am happy to see this corner of the DC Universe back.

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Filed under Batman, Batman and Robin, Batman and Robin Eternal, Batman: The Master Race, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Robin, Star Wars, Superheroes, Superman, The Dark Knight Returns, Weekly Comic Book Review, Wonder Woman

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 11 – 17, 2015


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

I read 12 comics last week: Captain America: White #4, Thors #4, Secret Wars #7, Batman/Superman #26, Superman: American Alien #1, Batman #46, Avengers #1, Justice League: The Darkseid War Green Lantern #1, Justice League: The Darkseid War Shazam #1, Chewbacca #3, Darth Vader #12 and Batman and Robin Eternal #6.

The best comic I read last week was Justice League: The Darkseid War Green Lantern.

 

Green Lantern

Tom King is quickly becoming a writer that must be followed. I don’t have many of these. Normally with writers I like, I am interested in what they are writing, but I don’t necessarily pick up everything they lay down. King is becoming someone who must be read.

Case-in-point is Justice League: The Darkseid War Green Lantern. This book really makes me mad – I mean the existence of it. I get sucked into these ancillary titles all the time. In this case, the Justice League battle with Darkseid from their eponymous title has spawned a series of (so-far) largely forgettable tie-in books. I’ve read them all. I’ve forgotten most of them, but this one, this one works.

King brings an unexpected depth a pathos to the character, not because Hal Jordan doesn’t normally have depth and pathos, but because the writers of these sorts of books generally avoid all that for whiz-bang action. Not King. The Green Lantern he writes here is not only true to the core of the character (something the current Green Lantern title has forgotten to tap into) but also because he makes the character dynamic. Green Lantern changes here, and not just because of the power of a new god with which he’s been charged, but because the character changes throughout the course of the story. Hal realizes something new and different about himself and a reader gets the sense that, handled correctly in subsequent appearances, this could really propel Green Lantern into something worth reading.

That is if King was on the title. I may be getting to the point of wanting King to write all comics…

Doc Shaner’s art is quite good as well, and perfectly suited to the story King is telling. A very pleasant mix between Darwyn Cooke and Dave Gibbons, both artists who’ve left their mark on Green Lantern, the pencils are clear and the action crisp. Shaner’s Hal Jordan looks like Hal Jordan in all phases of the story and in all costumes the character wears in the issue. Shaner doesn’t lose sight of how important that is. He’s destined for bigger things that fill in books.

This story is so good it rivals what Geoff Johns has done in the main Justice League title and that’s very much saying something.

This one tugged at the heartstrings in all the right ways.

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Filed under Batman, Batman and Robin, Batman and Robin Eternal, Batman/Superman, Captain America, Chewbacca, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, Darth Vader, DC Comics, Geoff Johns, Grayson, Justice League, Marvel, Marvel Comics, Robin, Secret Wars, Spider-Man, Superheroes, Superman, Thor, Weekly Comic Book Review