Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Catching Up On Comics with CGraig vol.2

Batman #47 (2015, DC)
I want to be angry or mad or roll my eyes or something...this last page is ten kinds of whackadoo... but then I remember that a lot of what I come to comics for is the whackadoo.  When you put this level of illogical crazy into a book with such confidence as to not seem crazy at all, that's the glory of what the medium of comics affords. 

Scott Snyder killed off Batman, but not really, having an amnesiac Bruce Wayne reappear only a few months later (a real spit at those many many comics that spend so much effort making you believe a character is dead for a year or so only to make an event out of the character's return).  Batman died taking out the Joker, and thus the Joker died too, but here marks the Joker's return, sorta, all pink-skinned, grinning and not so insane.  We're so used to teasing and hyping of deaths and returns that something tame and a little goofy like this seem, well, off in some way.  But, actually, I like it.

We Are Robin #2-3 (2015, DC)
I was kind of intrigued by the idea of social networked vigilantes as presented in the We Are Robin 8-page preview that came out last summer, but I was paring back on titles so I gave it a tentative miss.  I told myseld that should the desire or opportunity present itself that I'd go back and start at the beginning (heaven forbid there be any gaps in my collections at this stage of my life and resources).  Well, with my wife picking up the "Robin War" event, I was reintroduced to Duke Thomas (first seen back in the Batman arc "Year Zero").  Duke very quickly made an impression in "Robin War" thus spurring on my desire to go back and pick up We Are Robin.
*(Duke also appears in Batman #47 above, apparently acutely aware Bruce Wayne was Batman and making pains to try and jog Bruce's memory, signaling real Batman's imminent return).

The first two issues were a little dry (putting me to sleep a couple of times), not really fulfilling the promise of the 8-page preview.  The highly stylized art from Jorge Corona (and Khary Randolph doing the epilogues) takes a bit of getting accustomed to and the oversized cast made it hard to latch onto anyone specific as a meaningful character other than Duke.  But the third issue finds the the team, reluctantly joined by Duke, trying to diffuse bombs in the Gotham subway systems (something they're ill-equipped to do) while a riot breaks out in the streets above.  Things get pretty intense for these Twitter vigilantes especially when robo-Batman shows up and tells them to go home, amateur hour is over.

The team has the support of a mysterious benefactor  called The Nest, who communicates with them through one-way text messaging.  There's a bit of mystery as to who this is, as to who wants these disenfranchised teens to risk their lives on the streets, and at first I thought it was Dick Grayson (given some of the things Dick has said to Duke in "Robin War", but turns out it's a wholly unexpected others character from the Batman mythos (nope, not Barbara either, though she apparently is in the next issue,  which I'm still hunting down in local shops). 

The third issue brings in the stakes as well as provides some meat to the "should they be doing this?" grill (a question to ask all around).  It took three issues but the setup finally lands, and it's an explosive punch.  I quite like it, certainly making the hunt for issue 4 a priority.

No comments: