Archives for posts with tag: comics reviews

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Andy Kubert had his work cut out with his Damian Wayne tale. Firstly, and these are problems shared with the reader, Damian’s in continuity demise is still quite recent and profound. Secondly, we have Morrison’s work on a plausible future for the character standing as somewhere between a helpful framework and a barrier to story telling.

In essence Kubert does well with the first issue of this mini series teasing and creating enough mystery to keep the reader’s interest. What seems strange is that Damian himself seems to still be, though much older, somewhat immature and arrogant. This stands in firm contrast to the fact that in established continuity we’ve seen him grow and mature not only in Morrison’s writing but the work of many other writers as well. At first this seems somewhat jarring but we soon realise this sets the series up as Kubert’s take on Damian’s evolution. So in a way it’s good to have the capricious, back chatting, tutting little b-tard back again.

Without spoiling or revealing too much, since the landmark Dick and Damian team up, the question has always been just which Batman’s death Damian witnesses? This is a concept Kubert utilises as a fine bracket to Damian’s initial reaction to the tragedy. In essence the reaction is somewhat one dimensional and obvious, but that’s half the fun of Damian and Kubert adds some sublime elements to treat the reader. Damian scours super villain social media for clues to Batman’s demise and Alfred holds a paper boasting a Pyg headline while he scolds Damian. Damian even visits his maternal family and birth place. Though seemingly appearing as camp cliches Kubert actually captures the Al Ghul’s perceptions of the Bat mantle. Whether that be Talia’s passion or her father’s scornful admiration.

Strangest of all Damian goes to confession although, this being Damian, this plays out as a certain stubborn baiting of those who do not share a certain ethos. What is interesting is the potential identity of the priest,something I hope will be confirmed and explained at a later date.

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In closing I’d say that this is potentially an alternative tale of Damian’s maturation and redemption and though there are what initially seem to be a few awkward and clumsy stumbles, like all great journeys this might well turn out to be be those first small, but important, steps.

The post Damian Son Of Batman #1 – Review appeared first on WhatCulture!.

300px Uncanny X Men Vol 3 12

Battle of the Atom launched at the start of the month but we’re already at Issue #4 and even though the comics are coming thick and fast, the plot itself is barely inching forward.

The setup for the whole recent X-Men storyline is that Beast has gone back in time and brought the original X-Men to the present in a misguided attempt at showing present day Cyclops how much he’s changed since he started out. Instead of sending these teen X-Men back to their time, they’ve hung around indefinitely and it’s only in Battle of the Atom #1 that the other X-Men realise that this might not be a good idea. It’s further underlined when the X-Men of the future travel back in time (I know, Bendis really loves his time-travelling a bit too much) to inform present day X-Men that if past X-Men don’t go back to their time, things go very badly in the future. And that’s when young Jean and young Scott split and everyone starts chasing them.

In this issue, Jean and Scott go to the remains of Utopia, the X-Men’s former home, where present day Cyclops and his posse have established their base and new school for mutants. Young Jean wants to stay because she now knows that she’s going to die (twice!) if she goes back and understandably doesn’t want to – and young Scott will do whatever Jean wants because he’s in love with her. So the question is whether present-day Scott will help them stay in the present now that the rest of the X-Men are hunting them down to send them back.

Here’s what I find so crazy about this series: why the X-Men didn’t send the original X-Men back almost immediately in the first place. They’ve been around for a while now but it’s just occurred to them that having younger versions of themselves living alongside them might be dangerous? In this issue, literally all that happens are X-Men standing around debating whether or not to send the original X-Men back in time or not. Which is an insane situation because why wouldn’t they? It’s an inevitability that Bendis stretches and stretches so that we’ve now gotten four issues of nothing, with this fourth issue being the most static, pointless issue so far.

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The only other thing that happens is that Maria Hill finds out what Beast has been up to and determines to send the original X-Men back in time. Which, again, duh, is what should happen – why we need to see so many characters deciding this is beyond me. The issue ends with the most contrived scene you could imagine and will probably, given Bendis’ game plan in this “event” so far, take up the entire next issue, therefore ensuring any actual plot doesn’t happen until towards the end, a la Age of Ultron.

It’s great seeing Chris Bachalo’s art and his work is pretty much the only saving grace I can find in this issue. He and Bendis love to do these big two page layouts which look terrific, giving Bachalo room to fit in the massive cast and create some epic scenes, even if they’re let down by the script. But the cover doesn’t have anything to do with what goes on in this issue so that’s another let down.

So that’s Battle of the Atom so far: a complete non-starter! Four issues of nothing in a ten part series. Pretty standard fare for a Marvel Event then. Keep on stretching what little story you have, Bendis, and see how far you can stretch the audiences’ patience.

Uncanny X-Men #12 (Battle of the Atom #4) by Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo is out now

The post Uncanny X-Men #12 (Battle Of The Atom #4) Review appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Batman Beyond Universe 1

This new series of Batman Beyond (entitled Batman Beyond Universe) collects the first two digital releases of both Batman Beyond and Justice League Beyond into one book. This series is a grand departure for the past run with an all new creative team and a desire to tie into the animated series rather than a separate entity. This offers a fresh starting point for newbies to the comic’s Universe with this run being set one year after the end of the previous run, entitled Batman Beyond Unlimited.

This is first thing that strikes me about this comic is how extremely welcoming is it toward new fans, or those that have never read a Beyond book before. I have a familiarity with the Batman Beyond universe via the awesome TV series from the 90 s but zero experience with the past runs of the book. Before I get into this review I have to say that if you’re a fan of that TV show then this is for you!

Writer Kyle Higgins has expressed that he is a huge fan of the TV show on Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman podcast and in numerous interviews. It is clear that he loves this world, and that he is a fan and that shows. Higgins knows this world, understands his characters and more importantly he understands how to use them and what motivates them. This sense of understanding eases you into this world and that is even before all the fan service that is within the first issue. Higgins uses characters from both the show and the Return of the Joker movie. Everything about this spot on, it is the Batman Beyond for fans by fans. Neo-Gotham feels alive!

The plot begins with an attack on the elite of Gotham while on a tour of the new Arkham Institute. This issue then nicely introduces all the major characters of the world and highlights the changes in Terry’s life both in his personal life, breaking up with his girlfriend Dana, and as Batman. I love the interplay with Dick Grayson (Nightwing) with him being a father figure to Terry, almost in the same way that Bruce was to Dick in the past (see their interaction in the Knightfall saga for more).

Higgins’ choice to set his story one year after the conclusion of Adam Beechen’s Joker Night arc allows you the option to almost completely overlook the past comics run and gives you a blank slate to work from. The sense of the unknown throughout this first issue is really cool, as it allows the mind to wander. And you just know that something big is coming. In the TV show, this was underscored by the impact of the film that divulged what happened over the years to Tim Drake, Harley, The Joker and Barbara Gordon. It worked because of the longstanding set up that the TV show allowed. It appears that Higgins is aiming for the same thing.

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While artist Thony Silas has captured the look and feel of the show, but with a sense that things have moved on from the show. In other words, all the characters are older, wise and the futuristic world of Neo-Gotham has marvellously evolved.

The action scenes could translate nicely to the screen with a fast and explosive pace. Everything has a great sense of detail even down to the backgrounds and it feels alive. I hate to repeat myself but there is no other word, this comic is a refreshing take on the animated source material. And it is something that could have gone so badly wrong. It reads like a love letter to Dini’s and Timm’s work rather than a rip-off or worse a parody of the 90 s.

The backup featuring the Justice League Beyond is a nice start to establishing the new take on this group. However, there is really not much to say here as it is way too early to make an informed opinion. Maybe in a few weeks I can discuss it in detail. It is a nice backup that seems set to further set up this world of the JLA Beyond, yes. It feels rather samey but I am hopeful that it will engage me over the next few weeks.

Overall, Batman Beyond Universe is an exciting start to this similar but unique take on the beloved series. While Justice League Beyond is good but underwhelming at this point. Higgins and his team have made a definite statement with this book. From the stellar cover by Sean Murphy and Jordie Bellaire that brings back all the most iconic images from Batman: The Animated Series and set the tone for this run. Heck…you should buy this book for the cover alone!

Fans of Higgins’ Nightwing will also love this book, as it feels very much like this is what he wanted write all along. People have criticized Higgins’ Nightwing as a “wannabe Batman Beyond” and I can understand that. However, I never saw the issue with that take on the character. He made Nightwing feel like the heir to the BatThrone, something that Terry is. In this series, he is The Batman. I am a huge fan of Higgins’ Nightwing, and if you are too then you must pick up the first issue of Batman Beyond Universe. This is a buy!

Batman Beyond Universe #1 by Kyle Higgins and Thony Silas is out now.

The post Batman Beyond Universe #1 Review appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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