A Skitch in Time: Holiday Break Part 1 of 2

I’m off for the next ten days, so just mini-reviews, no commentaries.

What did Skitch read this week?

Went on a bit of a comic reading bender the last few days thanks to my Christmas bonus. A lot of it was Waid comics, including Daredevil, Irredeemable and Incorruptible. I also have been tracking down some of the earlier Batwoman stories from Detective Comics. I even plan on reading 52, which is why I started reading Infinite Crisis this week.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #5 – BOOK OF THE WEEK!

Justice League #4

Blue Beetle #4

Batman #4 The best parts of this issue were Bruce Wayne giving us some of the untold tales of his origin. A young Bruce Wayne obsessing over the Court of Owls really helps set the stage of everything this character would become later. It is usually tricky to try and shed light on a new event in the past of a character we think we know everything about, but Scott Snyder really pulled it off brilliantly. I did think the end with the labyrinth seemed a little odd, but Snyder has earned my trust through four issues, so I am excited to see where this story goes next.

Nightwing #3-4 Decided to make Nightwing and Catwoman day of release purchases. I’ve just been enjoying those books way too much to wait a month to read them. In these issues, Nightwing finds himself further getting entangled in the dark history of Haly’s Circus. Batgirl shows up in issue 4, and we get a lot of brief insight into Nightwing’s back story. It definitely seems like the entire Batman line only got a few tweeks here and there. Subtle lines like how Nightwing’s identity is tied into Red Robin really helps flesh out the Relaunch universe.

Catwoman #3-4 Catwoman 3 was a great issue that really got into Selene’s head and showed us how she views herself and the world around her. It really did an excellent job capping off the opening arc for this book, and I definitely think Winick has done a great job with Relaunch of reminding me why he was one of my favorite writers at one time. He really has recaptured that magic!  When he’s the right fit for a book, it is always a great thing!

Catwoman 4 was also really good, though I was disappointed that once again, DC seems to have created a comic that has nothing to do with the solicit for it. The summary on Comixology says that “Catwoman pays a call on Wayne Manor” and that never happens in this comic. That said, I liked that we got more insight into Catwoman’s past, including her criminal network. Reach is a pretty cool villain, and I am really curious how Catwoman could possibly beat her.

THUNDER Agents Vol. 2 #2 This was one intense comic.  Is the creator of the THUNDER Agents equipment still alive? Did the THUNDER Agents lose a teammate? Do the “rookies” have any chance in hell of saying the day? Nick Spencer is right up there with Scott Snyder among my favorite comics right now.

Young Justice #11 This issue focuses on Batman and Robin and tells the story of why Robin wasn’t there when the team met Dr Fate. Robin and Batman end up stopping Ra’s Al Ghul in a pretty madcap caper. My only gripe about this issue was the last few pages throw a little too much at the reader too fast. Artemis under arrest? Fate’s death. Clayface climbing from a Lazarus pit. After the light hearted adventure in the rest of the book, the end just turned everything into chaos, and I actually felt like they tried to do too much, and it weakened the rest of the issue.

DC Universe Presents #4 Deadman gets to play twenty questions with the devil, but really it just feels very long and drawn out, with too many attempts to make it seem like the writing was more clever than the story deserved. It wasn’t all that bad a comic, it just felt very cliche and didn’t make a strong case for me caring about Deadman’s situation.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #3 Seeing Starfire, Red Hood, and Arsenel’s favorite memories really helped give us a lot of insight into the characters. Even if it might be a little corny, I especially loved seeing Jason Todd’s favorite memory of the night Bruce Wayne decided to take a night off from crime fighting to stay in and play dad. It was especially telling that Jason decided to leave that memory behind.

Legion of Super-heroes #3 Legion slowly seems to get better each issue, but I still don’t feel all that inspired by it. I’m a long time Legion fan, and I’ve always liked Levitz, but this book is far from the best Legion he’s ever done. The Dominators and Renegade Daxamite just never feel like all that big a threat. I did love seeing the Legion get such a decisive victory, but it really wasn’t enough to make me care all that much about this book.

Birds of Prey #3 I was glad they addreseds all the strange behavior of the bad guys in the first issue. I really wasn’t sure if that was just odd writing or further examples of how badly DC treats all female characters. Seeing that there was a point to all of the strange touching really made this issue work. I also loved seeing how Poison Ivy fits in with the team (badly). When a superhero team has that adversity in their dynamic, it definitely makes for much more interesting reading.

Green Lantern Corps #3 Green Lantern Corps seems to get a lot of flack from readers and reviewers, and I think that’s unfair. It is a consistently solid book month after month, always telling stories on a huge scale that I enjoy a lot. I suspect that one of the reasons Green Lantern Corps is so badly judged is that for the most part, this book really just kept up the status quo after Relaunch. But in my opinion, when you have a terrific formula that creates great stories time and time again, stick to it.

Daredevil: Reborn #1-4 As much as I liked Bendis and Brubaker’s run, it really was about time to get Daredevil back to basics. This mini-series isn’t particularly ground breaking, but it does a great job of giving Daredevil a nice reset back to where he belongs, and gave Mark Waid the perfect place to launch his series from.

Daredevil #1-7 I’ve had people telling me to read this series for a while. I love Waid, I love old fashioned superheroes stories, and DD has  both. The best part of this book for me has been the use of villains old (Spot, Klaw) and new (Bruiser). Matt Murdock has been through the ringer and seems to have come out with a new perspective on live, and living for the minute. There are hints that all is not well with Matt, and I am hoping it doesn’t get too dark. I also liked that Matt and Foggy are now working as consultants for people who defend themselves. David Tennant was supposed to start in a TV series about this called “Rex Is Not Your Lawyer” which never got picked up, and I thought that sounded like a fun show.

Issue 7 was a really well done holiday issue, but I have to admit, I really just wanted to get back to the superhero action.

Detective Comics #854-857 Elegy gets a lot of good buzz, and I definitelty enjoyed the story quite a bit, but Alice is just about the most annoying villain I’ve ever read. The Alice in Wonderland dialouge got old really quick, and really dragged down my enjoyment of the book. I did think the Crime Bible elements were really cool, and I really want to read more of that. It especially ties in nicely to All Star Western! I did end up picking up the other six issues of Rucka’s Batwoman stories from Detective Comics, but I haven’t read them yet.

Irredeembale #2-31, Incorruptible #2-22 Hard for me to seperate these books as they are so closely tied together. Waid seems to have huge visions for both of these books, and each issue brings new twists and revelations. Yeah, it is a bit deconstructionist at times, but Waid just does it so damn well. Following the stories of a world turned upside down when their greatest hero goes bad really give both books lots of room to tell all kinds of incredible stories. These books have won a lot of awards and deserves all of them!

Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1 This actually was one of the last comics I had read before taking a real extended break from comic reading. I remember hating this book because I felt that it made Blue Beetle (one of my favorite characters) seem useless with all the other heroes ignoring him and him getting shot down in the end. It just felt like DC had been doing everything possible to get rid of the fun in comics.

Reading this book again a few years later, I have to give DC more credit than I used to. Countdown actually was a great look at everything that was going on in the DC Universe at the time, and definitely set the stage for everything that came afterwards. It was also pretty cool that DC only charged a buck for it. As opposed to Marvel charging 6 bucks for Point One a few months ago which seems to be doing the same for the Marvel Universe.

Infinite Crisis #1-2 To be honest, I still think bringing the multiverse back along with Alexander Luthor, Golden Age Superman, and Superboy Prime was just plain ridiculous. That said, I did end up enjoying these issues a lot more than I expected to. I usually don’t love huge event comics, but Geoff Johns really seems to be able to do them very well. If nothing else, DC does seem to go a good job at getting all their books moving towards something big. I’m not all that sure they ended up making it all work in the end, but they definitely were swinging for the fences, and it is all actually enjoyable as opposed to House of M and Civil War.

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