Tag Archives: Catwoman

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: June 6 – 12, 2018


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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:

Capture

The best comic I read last week was Batman #48.

THIS WAS A HARD WEEK TO PICK! SO MANY GREAT BOOKS –

ALL OF THEM, IN FACT!

 

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Mikel Janin

While I am running out of original things to say about Tom King’s Batman run, he is – fortunately – not running out of new twists and turns. Each issue and arc seems to add something new, something different and something fascinating to the Batman mythos. This is not hyperbole. It is as if, we he pitched for the job, he told the powers the be at DC Comics that he would write status quo changing moments in story-after-story.

With Batman #48, he continues this run.

As the build up to the wedding of Batman and Catwoman continues (and I believe this is the first issue wherein I understood that the marriage is decidedly of the costumed not secret identities of the characters), the Joker is becoming more-and-more unhinged at the thought of losing his best adversary (or… is Batman something more to the Clown Prince of Crime?) to someone else. This issue features the Joker at a wedding, executing guests and participants alike to draw Batman out and draw him out he does.

The ensuring action and dialogue is fascinating and is one of the best scenes between the two characters. Ever. What is equally interesting to this Catholic in particular are the overtones, both overt and covert, of the Joker’s thoughts on religion.

Daring, scary and powerful stuff, Mr. King.

I have written of Mikel Janin’s line work before. He is a crisp as Kevin Maguire, as detailed as Neal Adams and as brutal as Steve Dillon. He is a master and so very well suited to this book.

Batman remains, by any measure, one of the best books on the market. As long as King reigns, it will be a top-of-the-pile, must-read every time it is published.

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

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: December 20 – 26, 2017


Related Content from And There Came A Day:


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:

 

One

The best comic I read last week was a TIE between Batman #37 and Marvel Two-in-One #1.

BATMAN:

Writer:  Tom King

Artist: Clay Mann

No shock here, I have selected Batman again but, hey, I told you I would! The double date between Bruce Wayne/Selina Kyle and Clark Kent/Lois Lane was even better than I thought it would be. When the hero couples show up at “Super Fair” at which everyone must wear costumes they realize they have three costumes among them. How ever will they get in? The solution? Bruce as Superman, Clark as Batman (complete with glasses over the top of the cowl!), Lois as Catwoman and Selina as… well, who in their right mind would try to keep Selina Kyle out of an event? That humorous start leads to a brilliant and, dare I write, beautiful story highlighting the new dynamic duo of the DC Universe: Lois and Selina. Give me more of these two! What a terrific issue (bracketing, for the second installment in a row, the overly sexualized interpretations of women by otherwise stellar Clay Mann)! What a great team, and by this I mean King and Mann, Bruce and Clark and, of course, Selina and Lois!

MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE

Writer: Chip Zdarksky

Artist: Jim Cheung

The other dynamic duo of the week was the Human Torch and the Thing as written by Chip Zdarsky and illustrated by Jim Cheung. I so much want Marvel Two-and-One to be the Fantastic Four reboot we deserve. In this heartfelt, moving and pitch-perfect first issue, Johnny and Ben are back together (so we have the Fantastic Two!) and so well handled that I believe I can certainly take a series of arcs with just these two. Zdarsky’s style is well suited here. He has a light touch that is just what this book needs. Cheung is one of the best pencillers in the business and his work is just as good here as it Zdarsky’s. I loved this book and I cannot wait for more… and for FOUR!

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

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: December 6 – 12, 2017


Related Content from And There Came A Day:


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:

Untitled

The best comic I read last week was Batman #36.

Writer:  Tom King

Artist:  Clay Mann

I do not often regale The Cinnamon Girl, my lovely wife, with what happened in my comic books in the course of any given week. For me to say something to her about any book I have read means something very clever or very special happened in the given issue.

I told The Cinnamon Girl  about Batman #36. I told her with enthusiasm.

Batman #36 follows more of the story of the engagement of Batman and Catwoman.

And let us pause for a moment and note that writer Tom King is putting together a significant story arc featuring DC Comics’ most famous character which deals, not with a super villain’s nefarious plan or a crisis facing Gotham City, but with the wedding plans of the main character. Bold choice.

And this particular issue deals with something that happens in all engagements: best friends must be told life is about to change. In this case, Batman and Superman must come to grips with the fact that Batman is about to wed Catwoman and all that means for their friendship.

The issue is brilliant. It is funny and touching. It delves into the insecurities of powerful men and illustrates the power of secure women. Lois and Selina are far more than supporting characters here. They are main players and they are, clearly, more emotionally developed than their beaus.

Clay Mann’s pencils are solid and support the story nicely. There is a super villain to fight and he handles that work very well. What is less impressive, unfortunately, is the way he illustrates women. His women simply do not look like they could exist in any kind of real life and, while one can argue that is not the point of comic books and argue that convincingly, it seems to me that we have come to a point in which illustrations of women ought to be viewed differently than they have been or, perhaps, they are. Overall, however, Mann is on point and this issue is delightful.

Given that Batman #37 will feature a date night with Lois, Clark, Bruce and Selina, I think I can predict that #37 might find its way into the Best Sequential Art in two weeks…

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What’s Worth Watching Fall 2014 – GOTHAM

I understand that I am the target audience for the new Fox drama Gotham. I love Batman. I am so familiar with the Bat-mythos, I would actually call myself an expert in it. I am predisposed to enjoy a show like Gotham.

And enjoy it I did.

Gotham is, I don’t know, let’s go with a PRE-telling (as opposed to re-telling) of the origins of Batman and many of his famous foes. Catwoman, the Riddler, the Penguin (and there may have been a brief glimpse of another enemy fishing for punch lines towards the end of the pilot) all make appearances. His faithful butler Alfred does, too. For the comic book initiates and fanboys, there are other characters they will recognize leaping from the pages onto the screen as well and they are all very well handled.

At the center of Gotham is James Gordon, a newly minted Detective in the Gotham City Police Department. A solider whose moral compass will place him squarely at odds with the ambiguities he’s surrounded by on the beat, Gordon quickly becomes embroiled in the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne as he makes a promise to their son, Bruce, that he will solve the case. Ben McKenzie is wonderful as Gordon. The conflict he exhibits as a man of honor faced with a series of dishonorable choices is well-played and McKenzie cuts an impressive and believable figure as the hero of the show. He so embodies the role that I found it hard not to picture him in an overcoat with a mustache and thick glasses activating the Bat Signal on the rooftop of Gotham Central. McKenzie holds the audience’s attention as he allows us to feel his frustration and anger with a system that he believes is unjust. The oath he makes to young Bruce at the end of the episode sets up the entire first season of the show if not the entire series.

Perhaps not at the opposite end of the spectrum from Gordon, but certainly closer to the forces of chaos than those of order is Donal Logue’s Harvey Bullock. Cynical and raw-edged, Bullock is the counterpoint to Gordon. Where Gordon sees black and white, Bullock sees only grey and makes choices that heroes don’t allow themselves. Throughout the episode, Logue gets the best lines and the chemistry he and McKenzie share should drive the series. Logue has always seemed to me to be a character actor dying for the right leading role and he may have found it in Gotham.

Two other performances deserve mention: Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot is highly compelling. The actor takes a role – Cobblepot will become Batman nemesis The Penguin eventually – that could be utterly one-note, and steals every scene he’s in. Jada Pinkett Smith also shines as mob boss Fish Mooney. Her line delivery is arresting and her menace is palpable. She’s having the most fun of anyone in the cast and her character (the only major character created solely for the show) is critical to the proceedings.

Gotham has a lot of promise. There is conflict. There is atmosphere. There are many, many characters – literally close to 15 introduced in the pilot – whose stories were only hinted at in the premiere. If the rest of the show delivers on the promise of the pilot, it has every chance to have a good run.

GOTHAM * Premiere Date – Monday, September 22 * FOX

THIS ONE IS ABSOLUTELY WORTH WATCHING.

SET YOUR DVRs.

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Filed under Comic Books, Television, Television Review, Watching Television

Commissioner Gordon Begins

Fox television is producing a series for the fall based on the Batman legend. It’s called Gotham and it sounds pretty compelling.

GOTHAM

It looks pretty cool, too.I would be very surprised if the pilot is not picked up for the fall.

From ew.com, here’s the synopsis:

“Everyone knows the name Commissioner Gordon. He is one of the crime world’s greatest foes, a man whose reputation is synonymous with law and order. But what is known of Gordon’s story and his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner? What did it take to navigate the multiple layers of corruption that secretly ruled Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world’s most iconic villains? And what circumstances created them – the larger-than-life personas who would become Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker?

GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics super villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer/writer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist,” “Rome”), GOTHAM follows one cop’s rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of evil and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.

Growing up in Gotham City’s surrounding suburbs, JAMES GORDON (Ben McKenzie, “Southland,” “The O.C.”) romanticized the city as a glamorous and exciting metropolis where his late father once served as a successful district attorney. Now, two weeks into his new job as a Gotham City detective and engaged to his beloved fiancée, BARBARA KEAN (Erin Richards, “Open Grave,” “Breaking In”), Gordon is living his dream – even as he hopes to restore the city back to the pure version he remembers it was as a kid.

Brave, honest and ready to prove himself, the newly-minted detective is partnered with the brash, but shrewd police legend HARVEY BULLOCK (Donal Logue, “Sons of Anarchy,” “Terriers,” “Vikings,” “Copper”), as the two stumble upon the city’s highest-profile case ever: the murder of local billionaires Thomas and Martha Wayne. At the scene of the crime, Gordon meets the sole survivor: the Waynes’ hauntingly intense 12-year-old son, BRUCE (David Mazouz, “Touch”), toward whom the young detective feels an inexplicable kinship. Moved by the boy’s profound loss, Gordon vows to catch the killer.

As he navigates the often-underhanded politics of Gotham’s criminal justice system, Gordon will confront imposing gang boss FISH MOONEY (Jada Pinkett Smith, “The Matrix” films, “HawthoRNe,” “Collateral”), and many of the characters who will become some of fiction’s most renowned, enduring villains, including a teenaged SELINA KYLE/the future CATWOMAN (acting newcomer Camren Bicondova) and OSWALD COBBLEPOT/THE PENGUIN (Robin Lord Taylor, “The Walking Dead,” “Another Earth”).

Although the crime drama will follow Gordon’s turbulent and singular rise through the Gotham City police department, led by Police Captain SARAH ESSEN (Zabryna Guevara, “Burn Notice”), it also will focus on the unlikely friendship Gordon forms with the young heir to the Wayne fortune, who is being raised by his unflappable butler, ALFRED (Sean Pertwee, “Camelot,” “Elementary”). It is a friendship that will last them all of their lives, playing a crucial role in helping the young boy eventually become the crusader he’s destined to be”.

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I Don’t Think I Like Crying…

 

Les Miserables at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts

The Cinnamon Girl, HJ jr, Stretch, Sous Chef and I went to see Les Miserables at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts this afternoon. Labeled a “re-envisioning of the classic musical” (much to Stretch’s consternation, by-the-way – he didn’t want one piece of debris left off the barricade) I was picturing a JJ Abrams-style reboot of the story, alternate timelines and younger actors in the roles.  Who wouldn’t want to see Channing Tatum as Jean Val-Jean?

Actually, I wasn’t expecting that at all. I was expecting my favorite musical to unfold in primarily the way it has unfolded each time I’ve seen it staged. I think I am up to 6 or 7 times seeing the play. I realized that it wouldn’t matter what the slug-line for the show said “Now With Muppets!” I would still see the show. I simply love it.

As I cried for about the 10th time during the play today – I cry, typically, at least twice during Act One; Act Two is an exercise in sobs – I had a reflective moment: Do I like crying?

I am going to go with “no.” I am going to go with I don’t like to cry.

But I do cry. A lot. I cried during Star Trek Into Darkness (at a point I cannot mention until I post a spoiler-filled reaction to the film). I cry during Love Actually. Hell, I’ve caught himself crying during The Man of Steel preview when Clark says to his step-dad “can’t I go back to just being your son?” When Johnathan Kent replies “you are my son.” Man, I am choked up now.

At a show like Les Mis, I know what’s coming. I know I am going to cry. I can predict what’s going to get me: Fantine’s death, Marius singing Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, Val-Jean carrying Marius from the sewers, Val-Jean’s death and on and on. So, if I know I am going to cry, why do I put myself through it?

I don’t have a good answer, honestly. There’s catharsis, to be sure. That’s a possibility. Maybe I am just a glutton for punishment. Maybe the lyric “to love another person is to see the face of God” is like the rush of endorphins which I understand mothers get at the conclusion of labor which allows them to consider ever getting pregnant again.

I don’t know.

I do know that I will see Les Miserables again when it comes back to Denver.

I am tempted to watch Wolverine and Jor-El and Catwoman’s version right now…

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