Tag Archives: Batman

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: May 10 – 16, 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

All Star Batman #10.

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Rafael Albuquerque

 

Scott Snyder is not only the master of the modern Batman story, he is also the master of the twist ending. He has a brilliant way of setting up expectation and then changing course at the last possible moment (often the last panel of a book) to alter the readers’ perceptions of his story in often uncomfortable and usually uncompromising ways. Both of these skills are on display in this initial issue of the new arc called “The First Ally.”

This story deals with the relationship (strained in recent issues) between Bruce Wayne and his faithful butler, Alfred Pennyworth. While it is clearly a “if you think you know the whole story, think again” kind of scenario, what Snyder is doing works. His brings the reader into the story of his young protagonist through deft, first person narration and a couple of time shifts that keep the reader guessing.

Snyder seems to be looking for a way to underscore and, perhaps, understand the bond between Batman and Alfred. He seems to be going for a definitive look at the relationship.

He’s off to a great start here.

Snyder is joined by his frequent collaborator Rafael Albuquerque and the artwork is excellent. The characters have real emotion, the action is well staged and the atmosphere Albuquerque creates is perfect for the story. I did not follow the artist’s American Vampire work and it is obvious I missed something. He nails Batman and Bruce, for sure, but, critically, he has a take on Alfred that is special.

This book, recently announced to be winding down, has been special. I will be sad to see it go.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: April 19 – 25, 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

Batman #21.

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Jason Fabok

 

If jaw dropping in surprise is a desirable reaction to a comic book, color my favorite book of of last week Batman #21.

This issue, superbly illustrated by Jason Fabok who has become something of a superstar with DC comics based on his incredible detail, his panel composition and his clear love of the characters, finally takes on the mystery that started DC Rebirth: namely what is the Comedian’s button doing in the Batcave?

Billed, a bit misleadingly, as a team up of DC’s two greatest detectives (Batman and the Flash), the issue had just enough twists and turns to keep me racing through to the conclusion of the issue in an attempt to find out what the heck was going on. There are genuine surprises and developments I did not anticipate, including the return of a forgotten villain and an emotional destruction of a treasured artifact.

I am really enjoying King’s Batman and having this title take on the mysteries of the Rebirth universe makes a lot of sense. This is a great first chapter to what promises to be a great event.

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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: March 15 – 21, 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

 

The best comic I read last week was Batman #19.

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ThreeWriter: Tom King

Artist: David Finch

If you like your stories of the “slow play” variety, and I do, you’ll love Tom King’s Batman.

You will absolutely love it.

King has all but perfected this drawn out storytelling and is using it to full effect in this latest epic “I Am Bane.” Everyone knows the Joker is Batman’s arch-nemesis (except maybe the LEGO Batman). It would be difficult to deny that Bane is almost as significant. The man who broke Batman’s back has returned, blaming the Dark Knight for the vendetta upon which Bane has embarked, and he seems more deadly than ever.

In a very clever twist, King pits Bane against Batman’s Rogues Gallery in a very neat reversal of what Bane did to Batman in their first ever confrontation. The result is a very entertaining and creative read.

The artwork by David Finch and Danny Miki, Trevor Scott and Sandra Hope more than compliments the writing. It completes it. Finch’s pencils have been hit-and-miss for me since he became the “main” Batman artist but this issue is all hit. He’s choreographed some spectacular fight scenes and illustrates Batman’s villains with the horrible edges they all deserve.

I cannot tell where one inker stops and the other starts, and that’s a good thing. The issue is crisp and tight and brilliantly colored by Jordie Bellaire. Truly the art and the story are worthy of one another.

Looking forward to the next Batman movie appearance? Don’t wait. Start reading DC’s Batman comic while it’s this good!

 

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Link’n’Blogs – 3.3.17 – What Does YOUR Batman Say about YOU?


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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

In the over 75 year history of the character, there have been many, many incarnations of the Batman. Perhaps you’ve enjoy the latest one, the LEGO Batman. Perhaps you harken back to the Adam West version. Perhaps you have another favorite altogether. The folks at superherostuff.com have attempt to explain why you might like the Batman you like. Great fun.

WHAT DOES YOUR BATMAN SAY ABOUT YOU?

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The LEGO Batman Movie – A Movie Review


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lego-batman-movieRemember when someone said to you “you’ve got to go see the LEGO Movie…it’s so crazy … it’s so funny” and you thought “LEGO Movie? Are you kidding?”

And then you saw it and couldn’t stop laughing.

The LEGO Batman Movie is the follow up to the whacked out LEGO adventure and, while it is not as breathtakingly fresh nor as side-splittingly funny as its predecessor, it is a worthy successor and a must see for any Batman fan with a sense of humor.

Will Arnett has created this singular version of Batman – an egotistical loner who believes that only alone can he do what he is meant to do and that is to save Gotham City. If, along the way, he can write and perform a few death metal songs, eat some Lobster Thermidore and kick some villains’ bricks, so much the better. Arnett is hilarious as Batman and, if you take kids to see this movie, get ready for them to imitate his over-the-top cadence and delivery (based on the ridiculous Christian Bale Batman voice) for days to come. In fact, try to keep yourself from doing imitating it. That is quite a challenge.

The story hinges on a the idea that Batman is such a loner, he will not recognize any relationship in his life, not with faithful Alfred (a wonderful Ralph Finnes), not with new ward Dick Grayson (the ageless John Cera) and not with his longtime enemy the Joker (an uproarious Zach Galifianakas). When the Joker realizes that Batman does not view the Clown Prince of Crime as his arch enemy, he concocts a plan no one could ever have seen coming: he bands together with villains from… well, I will not spoil the fun, let us say he bands together with villains never before seen in a Batman movie. The results are stunningly funny.

There are hilarious detours along the way: all filmed incarnations of Batman have a moment, Superman: The Movie is surprisingly and lovingly homaged, Tom Hardy’s Bane voice is parodied, Billy Dee Williams returns as Two Face, we discover Batman is a rom-com fan (and thanks so much to the Jerry Maguire folks!), we have two terrific musical numbers and more and more.

The movie is psychotic. The movie is loud and colorful. The movie is inspired.

Do not expect it to make much sense and do not look for complex through lines. Do look for fun and explosive visuals. Do look for excitement. Do look for fun.

Though it misses the boat on not having Ralph Finnes voice a very familiar villain (and what a miss that was!) and the second act gets a little bogged down and loses its way for a few moments, the overall movie is well worth your time. Lighthearted and fun, The LEGO Batman Movie is truly enjoyable.

 

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE receives FOUR AND A HALF LEGO BRICKS out of a possible FIVE. 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: January 17 – 24, 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 Batman #15.


Writer: Tom King

Artist: Mitch Gerads

 

Another week, another Batman title.

What can I say? DC is hitting it out of the park with their Batman comics. They are doing it consistently across the line and it’s very difficult to say which is the best of the bunch.

This issue features the conclusion of the very compelling, very adult story that has served as a bridge between two massive arcs. Featuring Batman and Catwoman as I’ve actually never seen them portrayed,  this issue – as has King’s entire run – stays true to the core of the characters while adding impressive layer and nuance. It’s a terrifically compelling story that resolves in a very satisfying fashion.

Tom King belongs on Batman and I hope he’s here for a long time.

I was not as familiar with Mitch Gerads, but he is certainly paired well with King. His Batman and Catwoman are wonderful – in costume and out – and his homages to earlier artists and titles are brilliantly and lovingly rendered.

Batman is a solid book, issue-in-and-issue out. DC has figured out that it needs top talent on its top characters.

I hope King is here a long, long time.

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