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Comics Picks of The Week 22.01.2014

So this past week proved to be a rather busy week. Lots of comics came out and I think there were something like 30 titles I was interested in, not to mention my huge backlog which stretches quite a bit too. Still, I read quite a few, and I’m mostly happy with them. Interestingly enough I read almost twice as many Marvel titles as I did DC, which was a surprise considering that I enjoy DC far more and find it to be a much easier universe to get into. But, I suppose its the whole All-New Marvel NOW! relaunch at work since three of the titles I read were part of this.

My Superior Spider-Man read-through continued as well with Volume 2, which I really, really enjoyed, and will have a review going up soon for the first two volumes. I couldn’t really be bothered when the title launched last year but now that I’ve gotten a taste of it, I want more. Doc Ock as Spider-Man is really interesting and really good.

Anyway, here’s another edition of this new feature. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Batman #27 (Comics Review)

The end of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Zero Year arc on Batman is just around the corner now. From the very first issue of this arc, they’ve both delivered a fantastic reading experience (minus #25 which was a bit of a downer), and the extended art team has also been on top form. Retelling the origins of as iconic a character as Batman is no easy feat, but I feel that the team has performed admirably thus far. With Batman #27, out yesterday, we are in the final arc of this chapter, and the dominoes are all beginning to fall together finally.

In the last couple issues, we’ve seen a ton of character exploration while the plot continues to progress forwards. The overall arc took a bit of a detour with introducing a new villain in Batman #25 and while we have yet to see much of him, or the Riddler for that matter, the story has been good. Seeing a young Batman’s violent interactions with the Gotham City Police Department, and Gordon in particular, has definitely been a big highlight, and this issue is all about that.

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Comics Picks of The Week 11.12.2013

Looks like its going to be the month of busy weeks. The last two weeks I’ve read two graphic novels each along with all my regular monthlies and this past week proved to be no different. Both Detective Comics Volume 4 and The Flash Volume 4 proved to be exceedingly good and now I have two more series that I need to catch up on for the New 52. Tall order, but doable. And as regards the usual monthlies, there were comics across the board, in all sorts of ways: genres, publishers, characters, etc, etc. The year has slowly transformed over the months into a really solid year for comics overall.

I still haven’t made any dent in the pile of graphic novels I have to read, but I’m not too worried about any of it, to be honest. Already used to that phenomenon from my novel reading.

Anyway, here’s another edition of this new feature. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Batman #26 (Comics Review)

This month, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s big-arc on Batman continues with the sixth installment of the Zero Year plotline that last month extended to several other titles as well and gave us a crossection of what was happening in the city at this time from the perspective of the other heroes, many of whom were basically just beginning to reinvent themselves as vigilantes out for justice on the streets, for one reason or another. Last month’s issues of Batman was actually quite disappointing for me, in many respects, and I was somewhat apprehensive about this issue.

I needn’t have been though, because Scott and Greg come back into this week’s release with a bang. I’m not really sure what last month’s issue was, just a blip on the radar perhaps, but I’m happy to say that this one is a true Scott/Greg issue, what they’ve been giving us since the New 52 launched. This issue was a damn fun read, despite from all the serious stuff that happened here, and all the big revelations (of sorts) that were to be had. This is the kind of stories that I want these two guys to tell, because they are good at this kind of stuff.

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Batman #25 by Scott Snyder (Comics Review)

Batman: Zero Year has been one of the best mini-events in comics that I’ve read to date. In the space of the first four issues, #21-24, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo gave us a fantastic look at the early years of Gotham as it would come to be under Batman’s vigilantism and we saw the fantastic origin of the titular character. With superb art comes a superb story and till now, nothing has been the least bit disappointing, apart from some really minor stuff.

Which is why, reading this brand-new issue, I was confused as to what was happening. With the last issue, Snyder/Capullo ended their first arc and concluded the Red Hood Gang story, rather dramatically I might add, and they set up the Riddler to be the new big villain. With the new issue however, it is as if we are in an interlude, which doesn’t quite jive with the way that everything is two minutes to midnight in the story, with the worst storm in Gotham’s history approaching and the city entirely without power.

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Batman #24 by Scott Snyder (Comics Review)

Another Wednesday, another New Comic Book Day. As DC’s regular line-up of comics resumes after the month-long interruption of Villain’s Month, one of my most anticipated issues of October is finally here. The next chapter in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s awesome current arc on Batman, Zero Year. Till now, we’ve seen the early beginnings of how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman and have seen two major villains, in disguise of course. And its been great.

An oversized-issue with a not-quite-backup story, Batman #24 continues this ongoing saga, said to go on for another six issues and one that ties into various other Bat-family titles and even a few others, such as The Flash. All of which just means that this not-quite-event is becoming a really fun event really. But enough waxing lyrical. Let’s get to the review.

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The A-to-Z Comics Survey

Last week I posted a book survey, in response to a similar post by a blogger friend. I had a lot of fun writing that post and I immediately wanted to do a comics version of the same. In addition, I’ve talked two other friends, fellow The Founding Fields reviewer Bane of Kings and blogger Stefan at Civilian Reader, into contributing to this survey.

My post goes up today. Bane’s post will go up tomorrow (For those interested, you can check out Bane’s own A-to-Z Book Survey on his blog). And Stefan’s post will follow the day after. Do keep an eye on them!

Hope you enjoy! And even if not, do share your thoughts in the comments! And remember, all my comics reviews can be found here.

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Batman #22-23 by Scott Snyder (Comics Review)

Scott Snyder, following on from his epic crossover “Death of the Family” and the 2-part cool-off arc with the Clayface, launched Batman into “Zero Year“. The new arc, which crossovers with several other titles such as The Flash, Nightwing, Batgirl, Action Comics and others is about fleshing out how Bruce Wayne became Batman. In a way, its the comics equivalent of Batman Begins, the first in Christopher Nolan’s highly lauded Batman movie trilogy. We get to see the origins of one of DC’s most popular and oldest characters, in a vision of the character and his allies and the city of Gotham that Scott Snyder has built up through successful issue after successful issue in the New 52 relaunch of the DC Universe. It is certainly an exciting time to start reading some Batman comics, make no mistake.

The first in the new arc, #21 (review), launched the entire story in a most spectacular way, and introduced to us Bruce’s uncle Phil Kane and the latter’s business advisor, Edward Nygma (better known as the Riddler, another classic Batman villain). Without all the usual trappings, Batman was very unlike Batman because he wasn’t Batman yet. He was just a rich kid who grew up with an internal need for vengeance following the murder of his parents, and who has traveled (relatively incognito) all over the world to bring his body to the peak of physical martial perfection.

For someone who has already delivered three powerful arcs in the series already, Snyder’s “Zero Year” promises to raise the game once again. Issues #22 and #23 are certainly among the best that Snyder has written to date on the title.

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