Now this was a pretty good week!
Man, this was good. Bruce after getting creamed last issue, wakes up in an apartment and at first has no idea where...or even when...he is. He was fortunately rescued by a very nice family and finds out that the Riddler has taken complete control of Gotham. He does however offer a way out to anyone who can stump him with a riddle, and the little boy who helped rescue Bruce is trying out crosswords so that he can try. Unfortunately, people who FAIL to stump the Riddler...get dumped into the sewers...or possibly something even less pleasant.
Alfred is delighted and relieved to hear from Bruce. Jim Gordon is still out there trying to mount a resistance. A bunch of armored "rescuers" drop in, but there are actually there to try and negotiate with the Riddler...to pay him off. Eddie isn't interested.
Bruce does manage to find his cape and cowl, and jumps back into the action, and this is getting genuinely thrilling, as things all start to lead up to the final confrontation between Batman and the Riddler. I have to say that Edward Nigma has been a lot more ruthless than I am accustomed to...but cleverer as well.
This is very very good.
Batman & Wonderwoman #30
Batman's quest to find Damian's body and thwart Ra's takes him to Paradise Island, in the company of Wonder Woman. It blends in nicely with what is happening in her own book, as the Amazons have been restored by Hera...all that is, except for Hippolyta, who is still a clay statue. A lot of the Amazons are still pretty disgruntled, and not particularly inclined to follow Diana as their new queen. In fact, they are simply outraged that Batman is even there at all. Bruce manages to...dissuade them in his own inimitable fashion.
Ra's thinks that there is a Lazarus pit on Themyscira, but in actuality, it was sealed off by Zeus, and resides in a kind of limb between worlds, and naturally, there is a big scary monster, that even defeats Ra's. Batman manages to get a hold of Damian's body...for a minute or two...until Ra's gets him back and makes his escape.
The monster is out of the bag still, and the way that Batman and Diana manage to tame the beast is amazing...and poignant.
Tomasi does an excellent job of portraying Bruce's desperation, and Diana's resolve...and capacity for love. Gleason does his usual stellar job on the art. This was also very very good. And one of the best depictions of Wonder Woman out of her own book that I have seen in quite a while.
So many Bats this week!
Kate is now trapped in Arkham as Wolf Spider makes off with the painting. She does manage to hold off all of the various villains in a particularly capable fashion, exciting even a bit of admiration from Wolf Spider. She manages to tag him with a tracer, which leads her right back to...her old family estate! This has her a bit confused, but she does realize that he's after the final remaining painting, before getting shot from behind by Grantham, the old, but extremely persistant baddie, who has hired Wolf Spider to collect all of the paintings in the first place.
There is a nice bit, where the two groups try and decipher the code, showing them side-by-side, and having Wolf Spider and Kate come to the correct conclusion simultaneously. Well done, and a good book.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #30
I'm dropping this. Kyle and Carol and the Guardians fight X'Hal and the God-killers in what seems to be a completely pointless display, except for the fact that Kyle displays NEW FABULOUS POWERS!
For some reason, the writers always seem to feel that Kyle needs to be totally awesome! Better than all the other Lanterns! The bestest in the Universe! Kyle is ALREADY pretty awesome, and as a kind, modest and occasionally idiotic young man, I prefer him as a really capable and imaginative Green Lantern.
I'm not really sure what Carol is doing out here, it's nice that the new new Guardians are actually...doing stuff, but they seem pretty befuddled most of the time, and it's just...a little too over the top for me.
Justice Leabue #30
Finally! A pretty decent issue! Actually last issue with the Metal Men was pretty good too! This has been the lamest and most boring and looooooooong crossover in quite some time, and I've been mostly avoiding it, but it is finally...FINALLY starting to pick up the action and even make a bit of sense.
Cyborg has teamed up with the Metal Men and they are quite fabulous. Johns does a good job of portraying them, and Doug Mahnke does his usual lovely job of drawing them, and it is always a joy to see Keith Champagne inking.
Cyborg finally goes mano-a-mano with Grid...and proves that he's more than a man in a robot suit. Magnus is fabulous doing his thing, and Steve Trevor shows up with Wonder Woman's lasso, and oh, it looks as though things are finally coming to a head, and our long nightmare will soon be over.
If the entire dreary series had been like these last two issues, I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more. But there is at least light at the end of the tunnel.
Wonder Woman #30
Hera has restored the Amazons! Woohoo! But for some reason, she can't turn Hippolyta back from the clay statue, which has her puzzled. I really am starting to like Hera. She's always portrayed as a bit of a nag, a harpy, a whiner, a villainess...it's been fun to see her grow and mature. The Amazons are glad to be back, but still aren't particularly happy with either Diana OR the Gods. Also...someone...is stirring things up. I suspect Strife, because really, who else could it be?
The Firstborn has taken Cassandra captive and for some reason is keeping her alive..by feeding her parts of her erstwhile henchmen. Man, those Greek Gods are into some weird stuff! Meanwhile, Zola and Zeke are with Diana and Hera and Artemis, and Diana proclaims herself their Queen, at least until Hippolyta can be restored, and also...that they can all be mothers to Zeke. They are appalled at having to deal with a MALE baby, but hey...maybe it will work.
In Tartarus meanwhile, Hades goes and visits dear old Dad, who has been chained up to a wall for millenia, for some advice. Should he go up against the First Born, or just wait things out? Too bad for him that the First Born has decided to be proactive.
Meanwhile over at Marvel...
Thor: God of Thunder #21
We have old cranky Thor fighting old crabby Galactus over the dried out remnants of the Earth. Galactus tossed Thor through the MOON...which really ticks him off. In the present, Roxxon has basically bought Broxton, in revenge for the way that Thor dismantled some of their operations, and with the full approval of the government.
Thor tries to buy Broxton, but they won't take his gold. They ARE suing the pants off of him however. Thor...is not happy. This isn't something that you can swing a hammer at and make go away. He has help from the nice woman from SHIELD, and could probably ask the Avengers for some help, but he is in a rough spot here.
Quite frankly, now is the time to call in his own baby brother. I'd back Loki against Roxxon anyday.
Also pretty fabulous.
And finally, I managed to get my hands on a bunch of the back issues of the Mighty Avengers. I had been hearing some good things about this book, and was trying to find it,but it was shelved in a rather remote spot at my beloved comic book store, and I was too blind...or too stupid to notice it until yesterday. But still...it's darned good! And amusing. Greg Land's grasp of anatomy seems a bit off, but I'm trying to ignore that. The writing is fun, and I've always liked Luke Cage and Jessica, and it's good to seem some of these characters. The Falcon has been great.
So, I can understand what all the excitement is about. I'm not reading any of the other Avengers books, but this one is much more down to earth, and has all of that great behind-the-scenes stuff going on, that I love so much.
So....a fabulous week. Except for GL: New Guardians. And you don't know how much that depresses me.