Some light Batman

Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol 2: The Starfire by Scott Lobdell, Kenneth Rocafort and Timothy Green

I’m not going to chat about this book in the context of the wider New 52 stuff because I’m not up do date on most of it any more. I will add also that I don’t have a lot of the context of the New 52 on Starfire or Arsenal.

I do want to say one thing about each of them each though. Arsenal is well written and I really liked him. Starfire is drawn ridiculously sexually. Ridiculously. I know this is drawn for an audience that probably doesn’t think about this too much, and I know that Starfire is supposed to to be sexually liberated but she basically wears no clothes and is in a sexy pose whatever she’s doing. I don’t understand why sexually liberated means not wearing clothes so standing with her boobs popped out.

Because I love the Batfamily most, I will just mention a few things about the story from that point of view. I loved Jason’s portrayal in this. Not only is he well written and funny to read but he’s a complex and challenging and genuine. Having him care about Tim Drake and their brief conversation really completed  him in a precise way. The dynamic between Arsenal, Red Hood and Starfire was great! They were fun and fast paced and great to read.

I don’t have a lot of smart thoughts to say about this book, as it turns out. It was a good read, I’m glad I took a break from my serious reading list for a quick, fun read.

Last movie I watched:

I think Moana still. So cute

Last TV show I watched:

Last episode of The Dragon Prince and I really liked it! I’m looking forward to some more and would also like a baby dragon.

Batman’s trust issues

Batman Beyond: Hush Beyond  by Adam Beechen and Ryan Benjamin

Once again, I read this a long time ago, like several months and even though it was really, really fun, particularly it’s place in the Batman Beyond universe, it wasn’t exactly ground breaking.

Highlights have to include the cameo from Dick Grayson, the introduction of the new Catwoman and Bruce Wayne having to acknowledge that he screwed up because that doesn’t happen often.

If you enjoy Terry McGinnis and that timeline, I’d totally recommend it!

Last movie I watched:

A piece of Moana

Last TV episode I watched:

Still Supernatural. Sooner or later I’ll get through this.

The best story that the New 52 just erased for no actual reason

Red Robin: Collision by Chris Yost, Marcus To and Ray McCarthy

This series is one the best Batfamily series I think I’ve ever read, and I might seem to say that a lot, but I really do mean it.

Tim Drake (Robin #3) is convinced that Bruce Wayne (apparently recently dead – spoiler, he gets better) isn’t dead, but is trapped in time. Dick Grayson (Robin #1) is wearing the Cowl now, and chose Damian Wayne (Robin # 4 or 5 depending on who you ask) instead of his brother (adopted technically) Tim. He leaves Gotham to search for Bruce and gets mixed up in the League of Assassins. This book is the story of Tim coming home.

It has the best parts of a comic book – good fight scenes, relatively clever and driven plots, lots of humour and of course, the wonderful bundle of characters.

Okay, it’s not exactly high quality literature but it’s just really fun to see the Tim reuniting with his family and kick some bad guy ninja butt and really do Bruce proud. Tim deserves more credit for his awesomeness then he gets.

Last movie I watched:

Star Trek Into Darkness. This is a fun movie. Not as smart or big ideas as the original Star Trek but way more fun. Not as funny in a bad way either.

Last TV episode I watched:

The Fosters. Oh my god, the Fosters.

Value Village Comic Books

Superman 204 by Brain Azzarello, Jim Lee and Scott Williams

Rai and the Future Force 9 by Bob Layton, John Ostrander, Sean Chen and Kathryn Bolinger

Eternal Warrior 9 by Mark Moretti, John Dixon and Paul Autio

Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder 2 by Frank Miller, Jim Lee, Scott Williams and Alex Sinclair

Superman Action Comics 728 by David Michelinie, Tom Grummett and Denis Rodier

The Silver Surfer 85 by Ron Marz, Ernie Stiner, Tom Christopher, Hen Bruzenah, Renee Witterstaetter, Craig Anderson

This blog post is going to be lame. I’m just going to be upfront about that.

I read these comics weeks ago, but then I once again became an unemployed librarian (contract up, out of my home, squatting with friends, squatting and settling, driving places, sleeping on couches, job applications, interviews, etc) so blogging just didn’t happen. While I like to think I had some clever thoughts about these comics at the time I read them, I have no idea what they were.

This Superman was super broody as our hero confesses his guilt about how he can’t be everywhere for everyone. I guess broody Superman is a nice change, and as usually I love Jim Lee’s drawings. By far, my favourite part.

The Future Force I have no context for, at all but it seemed like a cool concept, even though I don’t understand what’s going on. Old school ethnically diverse cast. You know, in an awkward stereotype kinda way.

Eternal Warrior was like Highlander, but not as wonderful. Maybe it’s the cat people. Whatever. I actually would read this one for the story.

Batman and Robin I have conflicting feelings on. Jim Lee illustrations, so that’s a plus. I don’t know how I feel about Frank Miller’s Batman and Robin series. It’s Dick’s origin story but Bruce takes the “I’ll torture him” approach to shaping his sidekick. Which I don’t love. It felt too cruel, and maybe a little forced. Or at least, not in line with my Bruce Wayne. But that’s how comic books work right? Everyone gets to pick their own stories.

This Superman Action Comic was actually just an adventure of Manman, because Superman has no powers. It was fine, if a little plodding. It’s probably a better read if it’s read in it’s arch.

Silver Surfer featuring the Xmen? Whatever. Crossovers are all well and good, but I didn’t love it, probably because I was missing too much of the story.

So, now that I’m unemployed, I’m going to be blogging a lot more. Should be fun.

Last movie I watched:

Pitch Perfect 2! Not as good as the first one, but still pretty excellent!

Last TV episode I watched:

Game of Thrones. Rewatching, with people who haven’t seen it yet. THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT’S COMING.

Also I’m catching things I missed before. That’s cool.

Comic book binge is continuing

Batman: Bruce Wayne the Road Home by Fabian Nicieza, Cliff Richards, Ian Hannin, Dave Sharpe, Louis Prandi and a whole bunch other amazing people

This particular Batman was exactly what I love about Batman. Therefore I pretty much think it’s the best thing ever. I may not be correct, I am the first to admit I am not approaching this unbaised, but I thought it was awesome. Feel free to disagree.

Note: I will probably ignore anyone who disagrees.

So somehow Bruce has found his way back from his travels in time, only to find that life has continued on in his absence. Dick and Damian are making an epic Batman and Robin. Tim’s out in the world, making his own choices. Selena is, in her own Catwoman way, trying to be the best she can be. Oracle’s got everything under control. Even Jim Gordan’s managed to stay alive without him. Because life continues after death, as it has to all of the people Bruce loves and he’s forced to wonder where his place is, in this strange new world. He visits each member of the “family”, tests them and is pleased with their performance, if not completely sold on their choices, which reinforces his feelings of being out of place. But when Vicki Vale, his former lover FINALLY figures out the truth about the ever puzzling Batman/Bruce Wayne identity overlap and threatens to take it public, she triggers the kidnap urge in all the bad guys ever. So Bruce is forced to step back into the crime fighting game, and out of the, you know, trying to kill his family under an alias as part of an elaborate test game.

Man, DC you do know how to write a delightfully messed up family don’tcha?

I loved it because I like to see the whole family, and I found Bruce’s inner monologuing really interesting. Often the stories kind of generate conflict specifically to torture Bruce and spice up that inner monologuing. But this one felt good and natural and yeah, it must be really weird to die and then come back and see the way everyone just moved on without you and how do you step back into your old shoes when someone else is wearing them, almost better than you? Therefore complicated and emotional narrative, all my favourite characters and particularly kickass moment from Barbara when she realizes that this mysterious masked man is actually Bruce, you are going to make me into a gleeful, goofy nerd. That’s all there is to it.

Last movie I watched:

Pitch Perfect. Hilarious and musical, as always.

Last TV episode I watched:

Something about a house and redecorating it. Maybe Property Brothers. Unfortunately for both my current hosts and my significant other, I actually couldn’t care less about whether this family needs to expand their home or not, and nothing but deep affection for these people and an enjoyment of ripping into commercials makes me sit beside them quietly and fake watch any of it.

Comic book lapse

Robin: Violent Tendencies by Chuck Dixon, Chris Batista, Cam Smith and a bunch of talented pencillers, inkers, colourists and letters

It has been a very long time since I’ve read a superhero graphic novel. I miss them actually because I’m a huge nerd, but on the other hand, my year long audio book binge was pretty wonderful too. Apparently comics make bad audio books for some weird reason.

Anyway,  it was a really good ease in. This is a Tim Drake Robin story. I love all the Robins equally (obviously), but Tim Drake gets overlooked generally, because of his quiet awesomeness, so it was nice see him in top form. On top of that, this was a good story.

Robin strikes out on his own investigation after he runs into a mysterious, purple clad vigilante who is robbing criminals and reminds him just a little too much of Stephanie, his dead ex-girlfriend (and the only female Robin who’s brutal murder raised some pretty serious questions about DC and it’s handling of women) aka the Spoiler. Only (spoiler!) Stephanie isn’t dead (because DC comics) and before Tim knows it, he’s got two butt kicking ladies to keep track of.

The story is pretty solid, with Tim struggling to balance his personal life and regular school girlfriend with his crime fighting and his grief and guilt and affection for Steph, and she gets a good back story too. Bruce is hardly featured at all, which is kinda sad, but also helps the story to be a little lighter, more fun and gives Tim the chance to shine. Honestly, this one is an all around win.

Last movie I watched:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Actually, I fell asleep, but that’s not a reflection on the movie, it’s a reflection on my life.

Last TV episode I watched:

Big Bang Theory. Hahahaha. That is all I have to say about that.

A truly eclectic collection of comic books

Avatar The Last Bender by Gene Luen Yang and Faith Erin Hicks

Captain Canuck by Richard Comely, Paul Gardner, Dean Henry, George Freeman and Claude St Audin

Countdown to Final Crisis Paul Dini, Sean Mckeever, Keith Giffen, Jamal Igle, Keith Champagne, Tim Chu, Travis Lanham, Adam Kubert, Edgar Delgado, Elisabeth V Gehrlen and Mike Carlin

Thor God of Thunder bu Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic

Teen Titans Go! by Sholly Fisch, Ben Bates, Wes Abbott, Dan Hipp and Alex Antone

The New 52 Futures End by someone who apparently had their names taken off the cover

Okay, briefly because even though I was fond of most of them, I’m very behind on my blogs and my lunch is over in 20 minutes.

The Avatar was great! It was very empowered, kick ass lady like and I would absolutely read the rest of the series, even the ones that I’d have to pay for. You know, if I actually had time.

Captain Canuck is back. Everyone panic. Honestly, I kind of think the idea is kind of ridiculous because I’d rather my people and I came up with something that was less of a knock off and more of a Canadian thing, but I have to say it was pretty good. I liked it, and I was pretty impressed. It was cool to see places I know being reflecting in comics. Probably not enough to by the rest of them but you know, it was good.

The Countdown, I felt like I missed something. It looks like some of the Titans and some of the Justice League are somewhere, doing something. Yes, that is my report.

The Thor had no words and was basically a big teaser, but I’m not captivated enough to buy the next one. Sorry Thor.

Teen Titans Go! had a pizza monster. I enjoyed the cartoon for sure, and that is the kind of goofy, but this was like really, really goofy. And I laughed a lot.

The New 52 is Batman Beyond! It is Terry! Going back in time to meet the original Justice League and I’m really excited about this one.

Okay, weak blog post, I’ll grant you that. But I read them in a very spread out over several months and they’re a little short to get much said.

That’s why comic books are awesome! Bite sizes of fun!

The last movie I watched:

Probably still the Book Thief. So sad!

Last TV episode I watched:

The last episode of Smash! Season one. Helluva closing number.

Oh superhero comics, it has been so long

Nightwing Free Fall by Peter J Tomasi, Rags Morales, Don Kramer and Michael Bair

Well, this was the most comic book of comic books I’ve read in a while, complete with mostly dead superheroes, lots of guest appearances and super-weird superpowers.

In this story Dick Grayson moves to New York to investigate some grave robbing, which turns out to be part of a giant super villain plot to get an even more giant supervillain army. It’s super filled with capes and aerial battles and mortal frenemies.

My favourite part about this one is the way it balanced Dick Grayson with Nightwing. Sometimes there’s quite a slant towards the superhero and less of the other person, but here we see Dick moving, getting a new job, new girl (who I predict will die or turn evil any minute now) and interact with his Batfamily. And I love that stuff.

The weirdest part was the superhuman who gives birth to a hundred babies at a time, is constantly pregnant and watches all her children age and die prematurely. What the hell is that about?

Overall though, fun read!

Last movie I watched:

Ummm, probably  Fingersmith. Still awesome

Last TV episode I watched:

Charmed. Cole and Pheobe are getting married guys. I wonder if that’s going to end well….

Nightwing comics that I read ’cause they’re fun

Nightwing New 52 # 0,2,3 5,7 and annual by Tom DeFalco, Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, J R Mayer, Paulo Siqerira, Edwardo Pansica, Jason Masters, Daniel Sampere, Vincente Cifuentes, plus others

So, I’d actually read 5 of these 6 before because they make up the Nightwing: Traps and Trapezes, which is great, and honestly, graphic novels are kind of better. It’s like buying the TV episodes, one per download versus the box set. I like the box set. But I also always want to know what happens next. Anyway, if you’re desperately interested in that story, you should probably go read the other post. It was a great story.

The annual had a tie in with Batgirl, that was super great. Like, loved, loved, loved it. Barbara has to retire Batgirl because she’s wanted for the murder of James Gordon Jr, her own brother and she and Dick spend some quality bonding time together. It’s really beautiful actually, because they’ve been best friends forever and been in and out of love and in a lot of ways are really the best match they’ll ever find for each other. This is complicated because Babs has a boyfriend and Dick is leaving Gotham, and in the end these two things come between them but they do a really good job of showing their relationship and how it’s changed. Also there was some action in there too, but I’m less worried about that.

‘Cause relationships are more important then plot at least half of the time.

Last movie I watched:

Frozen? I think. Whatever. BEST MOVIE EVER.

Last TV episode I watched:

BSG!! Permanent settlement on New Caprica is coming! Let’s all rig elections! Three, prepare yourself for crazy!

 

 

Green Lantern and other strange superheroes

Green Lantern Blackest Night by Geoff Johns, Ican Reis, Oclair Albert, Jeo Prado

I’m so torn about the Justice League. This was a great story. The characters who were in it all had great stories. Hawkman and Hawkgirl was beautiful. Atom’s grief is real. The Flash is just excellent, as usual. Good beautiful human stories.

But as a whole they just hang together so goofily.

Green Lantern’s power is his glowing accessories. In the end of the story, he and a bunch of friends with super glowing accessories get together to literally make a rainbow to fight the evil Black Ring. Rainbow jewelry fighting evil. To anyone who was offended when DC introduced a gay Green Lantern: How did you not see this coming?

In this story, the Big Bad makes a bunch of Black Ring that pulls up the dead and turns them into zombies. And because this is a DC universe story, so naturally the only dead that rise are the dead superheroes and they kill their alive superhero friends, who then join the ranks of the zombies. The parts of it that was beautiful and art like and real and compelling were the emotions of the heroes as they face their dead friends. They all struggled so much with survivor’s guilt, grief and hopelessness (’cause this is all shortly after the Final Crisis) and their stories are very human.

And then there’s the weird disconnect between space aliens fighting with people who give themselves superpowers with lab accidents and kids who have to merge into one body to become magical flaming powers. And zombies. What’s that all about?

Highlights: Dick Grayson was mentioned. Alfred was there. Bruce wasn’t ’cause he was dead but they talked about him a lot.

Overall conclusion: 50%  awesome for good writing and nice pictures. 50% for huh?

Last movie I watched:

Divergent I think? Which was good guys. Really good. Like…. good

Last TV episode I watched:

Buffy! Who has recently become not dead. Fun time!