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.
We are pretty much halfway through the Forever Evil event in terms of release chronology. There have been some pretty big, pretty major events that have switched around the status quo of the DC universe since the main heroes of three different Justice Leagues are all dead or presumed dead until proven otherwise, as far as the world at large is concerned. Given how big of an event it is, inevitability said that there would be quite a few tie-ins to this main event, and that’s where Rogues Rebellion steps in. It focuses on Flash’s premier New 52 villains, The Rogues, and how they defy the Crime Syndicate, the new “ruling” power.
For its first two issues, Rogues Rebellion has been a fairly good story that ticks all sorts of boxes, but there was still an undercurrent of unease that the six-issue mini-series would not quite live up to the mark. This week saw the release of the third issue, set in Gotham no less, and I was quite excited for it. Some of those expectations didn’t end up getting met since the story wasn’t as gripping this time around, but I have to say that on its own, its pretty good. It also doesn’t hurt that the artwork is so damn good here.
Growing up, my television entertainment was defined by Cartoon Network. And in those days, the 90s, no program was as popular or as timeless as Scooby-Doo Where Are You? Or that’s what I like to think. CN ran a ton of reruns in those days and this program was one of them. It was all cheeky humour, over the top situations, excitable plots, lots of goofy-creepy and a talking dog with a bunch of teenagers/young adults who solved mysteries. I used to love it, and still do. You hand me an season of SDWAY today and I’ll watch it straight without taking a break.
Which brings me to this comic, the first in a new ongoing (hopefully an ongoing!) from DC that pairs up the talking mutt with Batman and Robin in a match that is almost made in heaven. SDWAY originally debuted in the mid-60s, roughly around the same time as the goofiest and most hilarious Batman live-action series ever, so it makes sense to pair the two of them together. Sholly Fisch, who’s worked on numerous animated projects over the years, especially DC ones, makes for an almost natural writer for this, and she delivers the goods in full.
Managed to read a handful of more comics this week, since there were a lot of titles released that I was really interested in, and a couple from previous weeks that I hadn’t been able to get around to at the time. As usual, it was all a mixed reading experience, with some really good comics mixed in with some bad ones and a few that straddle the fence between the two extremes. More positive ones than negative ones.
No graphic novels this week sadly, since this week was a real slog in reading, again, and I was struggling for time in general with everything else too. Perhaps this coming week can be different!
DC’s Forever Evil is hitting its stride as the main-event and the four tie-ins across some seven titles get off to a rollicking start and move into their meatier moments. There is absolute chaos in the world right now and in Tomasi’s Arkham War mini-series, we see how that chaos is mirrored in the no-holds barred chaos in Gotham, where two criminal factions are going full-out at each other. Bane, powered by the Venom super-serum is leading one side, while the Society-backed Scarecrow is leading the other side, defined by the majority of the freak villains that call the city their playground.
The first issue of the series was quite promising. It was slightly better than I expected and the way that Tomasi wrote all the character interactions and sprinkled the hints of his longer plan for the series was really engaging. Of course, I didn’t get the big all-out fight I expected but the issue gave me enough to come back for this issue, which does involve some big splash scenes between the villains (and supervillains) of both sides. But, there are a few missteps made that I find really, really odd.
At this point, I think its quite safe to say that Frank Tieri is another of my favourite comic writers working in the industry right now. Before DC’s Villain’s Month, I’d never heard of him, which is not surprising since I wasn’t really reading comics until last year and even then I was pretty limited in my reading. However, with last week’s Penguin issue, and this week’s Man-Bat issue, not to mention his Infinity: Heist #1 (review tonight!), Frank keeps impressing me.
I remember coming across the Man-Bat for the first time in Batman: The Animated Series, and then, just last month as I began to read the current arc of John Layman’s Detective Comics, which features backups that go into some depth with the character. Suffice to say, I think Man-Bat is a fun supervillain for Gotham, thematically and otherwise, and I’ve definitely enjoyed all the outings of the character that I have come across. Frank’s Detective Comics #23.4 is no different in that regard.