Good Gosharootie. What a lovely lovely week this was!
This is a part of the whole Owls crossover going on in the Bat books, and I have to say that I'm enjoying the heck out of it. I'll never quite look at owls the same way again, that's for sure.
We begin with a flashback to World War II, with school girls making balloons in Japan. It is poignant, and you realize in a few pages, just what this has to do with the present, and the present is rather chilling. The word has gone out from Alfred in the Batcave that the Owls have declared war on Gotham, and the Talon assassins are going after specific targets, and that it is up to the various members of the Bat Clan to do their darndest to save them. So naturally, Babs is in the thick of it.
To complicate matters more, James Gordon is also being targeted, not for death, but if he doesn't want anything to happen to Babs or his friends, he had better just sit on his hands at the Police Station. He tries...but of course he can't, and goes to turn on the Bat Signal, except that they anticipated his actions, and it is actually the OWL Signal!
There is more of course, but I'm not going to spoil it any further. Suffice it to say, this is a very good issue...the best one that Gail Simone has done yet with this particular book.
Oh this is good. So very very good. The Talons have attacked Bruce at the Manor, and he's fed up and not going to take it anymore. Alfred is relatively safe in the Batcave and sends out the word, while Bruce is suited up in a new Iron man style Bat suit. He's also figured out the weakness of the Talons, and is having Alfred lower the temperature in the Cave, so that the Talons can't regenerate. Also the Dinosaur steps on a few of them. And the Bats come back.
The art is beautiful, the writing is gripping, and it's just really really good. Also the backup story is told by Alfred's father, who was the butler to the Wayne's before him, which I think is a retcon, but it is also a very good story.
Twelve thumbs up!
Batman & Robin #9
Bats isn't in this so much, since he's running around trying to stop the Owls from decimating Gotham, and Robin is more or less on his own, and trying to save a Major Burrows, who is the Adjutant General of Gotham, and currently occupied with running training sessions. The Owls attack and Robin swoops in to try and save the day...which isn't easy when you are only a kid, and all these trained soldiers aren't taking you very seriously. They do end up taking him a bit more seriously when he saves the Major's star-spangled behind.
Naturally he's attacked by a Talon, this one dates from the Revolutionary War, and has a very personal reason for wanting to kill the Major. Robin takes him out...rather nastily, but rather satisfyingly as well. The art is by Pat Gleason who always knocks it out of the partk, and Tomasi writes a rather visceral and terrifying story.
Demon Knights #9
Now we have come to the beginning of a new story arc, and our madcap bunch are all together again, more or less intact, and I do like this book. A lot.
Merlin is apparently dead, which makes a lot of people very upset in various ways. The rulers of Alba Sarum aren't particularly enthralled with the Knights, but are supposed to become the New Camelot, which they can't really do, if Merlin is pushing up daisies. So they hire the crew to figure out what is going on. Xanadu realizes that he's not actually dead, he smells of roses, which is nice, so they decide to haul his fragrant corpse off to Avalon.
Naturally there are all kinds of machinations going on from various members, and it all looks to be quite exciting. A good point to jump on.
Well, Lumi the Snow Queen has recaptured Ali Baba and Sleeping Beauty, but she's being surprisingly civil about it all, even listening to the Imp tell the story of Sleeping Beauty's christening, and giving them a nice feast. Granted, the feast has some nice Goblin entrails ,but that's a quibble.
After supper, she sends the two human fables off to bed, and the Imp proceeds to ask her what exactly it is that she is up to, and why hasn't she disembowled them all yet? The Imp, whom I find to be rather adorable also has his own agenda going...naturally. It turns out that Lumi simply loves hearing stories, so she's decided to spare them...for a little while at least.
This book is picking up nicely after a rather slow start.
Green Lantern #9
Journey Into Mystery #637
This is currently crossing over with New Mutants and Exiled, and by Gad, it is pretty good. FAbulous in fact.
The Disir are up to no good, Dani is still a Valkyrie, and Sigurd has put everyone under a spell. Well, at least all of the Asgardians are under a spell, they all think that they are normal people, who live in Broxton, and are going about their dull and humdrum everyday lives. Thor is a mechanic, Volstagg runs a bakery but keeps eating all the donuts, Loki is still a kid who likes to play dungeons and dragons or whatever...Hela is into recycling and it is all just absurd...and rather hilarious.
The New Mutants realize that something weird is going on, and keep trying to convince the Asgardians of their true identieis, but it isn't working, until they find Loki, and they do manage to break the spell..with him at any rate. Then they are stuck with him, because he is apparently a HUGE X-Men fan, and the try to get Sigurd to end the spell but he doesn't know how, and doesn't really care, because the Disir are all taken care of, and that's all he cares about.
Except that it is never that easy of course.
Poor Mitch. He ends up being killed by Deadshot and the rest of the Suicide Squad, because Amanda Waller wants him. This is at distinct odds with the Body Doubles and their agency and they start to squabble over his dead body, which turns out to be a mistake, because it gives him time to regenerate, and he becomes liquid metal and just tears through them, and encases Deadshot, so that he can infiltrate the Suicide Squad and get to Kim, whom he thinks has been captured. She is actually working with Waller, but she's has had a change of heart, and seems to be genuinely on his side. Of course it's never that easy.
Good stuff again.
My goodness what a wonderful week!