Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Final Crisis #2

Creative Team:

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: JG Jones
Colorist: Alex Sinclair

Issue Rating:
Story: 9.4 out of 10
Art: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.2 out of 10

Issue Summary:
In Japan a bunch of "poser" superheroes gather at some sort of superhero club. Inside the club a fight breaks out involving Sonny Sumo and Megayakuza. Sumo quickly ends the fight by ripping through Megayakuza armor and taking out his heart. After placing Megayakuza heart on the bar counter Sumo goes to the bathroom to check his injuries. Just then a black "Mister Miracle" comes in and tells Sumo that Motherboxx has found him.

We then cut to a short scen of a teenage kid waking up in his room and at work telling his co-worker his strange dream of being exiled to Earth by some judge. Then we see the same kid drawing sketches of different superheroes.

The scene again changes to an apartmant were Tupin, the detective from last issue, beating the crap out of The Mad Hatter for answer to what happend to the mind controlled kids. During this time Tupin feels strange like he is being controlled from an outside force. Tupin finally gets Mad Hatter to tell him the kids are in Bluehaven.

Next we see Superman and all the rest of DC superheroes gathered together in Mars for Martian Manhunters funeral.

Elsewhere Libra ask all the supervillains if they are coonvinced of his power yet. Lex Luthor says he wont believe Libra until he is able to take down Superman. Libra just says fine. Outside while all the supervillains are leaving Libra tells The Human Flame how he can repay him for killing Martian Manhunter.

At the Hall of Justice the Justice League is running their test on Orion's body to find out what or who killed him. Just then Hal Jordan comes in with Alpha Lantern Kraken who decides to take charge of examining Orion's body and telling the League their help is not necessary.

Over at the dock where Orion's body was found John Stewart is looking for some evidence with some help from his Green Lantern ally Opto. After finding a glowing bullet both Lanterns are attacked out of nowhere. The attacker appears to be a fellow Green Lantern although we only see him from the neck down. This unknown Green Lantern pins John against some crates ready to kill him.

Over at Hal's apartment the Alpha Lanterns come in and arrest Hall for murdering John Stewart and take away his ring.

Back at the Hall of Justice Superman decideds to go back to the Daily Planet as Clark Kent so no one becomes suspicious of were he is all the time. As Superman leaves Batman goes back to the emergency room to check Orion and Kraken testing. Just as Batman is about to question Kraken she attacks and knocks out Batman and takes him with her through a Boom Tube.

In Bluehaven Tupin meets with a reveren that leads him to an underground base were all the kids are locked up. As the suppose reveren leads Tupin through the base Tupins ears start to bleed though he doesn't seem to notice. They then reach what looks like an experimentation chamber were we see Batman locked up in some sort of machine. Batman tells Tupin to get the League and warn everyone but some sort of headware is placed on his head before he finishes.

At the Daily Bugle we see that Clayface is posing as Jimmy Olsen and blows up the whole bulding with Clark, Louis, and Perry in it. Clark, in just his Superman gear, comes out of the rubble and see what looks like a dead Louis buried under rubble.

We then see Wally and Jay in Central City running to were all the supervillains gathered earlier in the day to find some evidence on who killed Martian Manhunter. They then see a machine inside the building that seems to start up with something screaming there name. That something appears to be a returning Barry Allen running out of the machine telling them to "RUN." End of issue!

Wow! That is all I can say about how awesome this issue was. I did not realize when I first read this issue how much stuff happend until I wrote the summary. Morrison really didn't pull any of the punches with this issue. Final Crisis #2 was far and away a much superior read than the first issue of the series, which was just plain average.

I practically loved every scene in the book. I thought the scene in Japan with all the kids dressed up in superhero costume was hilarious. I kind of wonder which of the kids in the club actually have superpowers and which ones are just dressing up so they could get into the club. Also the scene where Sonny Sumo ripped out Megayakuza heart out was just gruesome. Any time I get to see someone pull out some other characters heart in a comic book its a A in my book. Also I kind of wonder who this black guy calling himself "Mister Miracle" is since last I heard the New Gods Mister Miracle is still alive and white, but I may be wrong. Still I wonder if this guy is working with Granny Goodness at Bluehaven.

Speaking of Granny Goodness, I believe that was her maquerading as a revern since that is her thing. All I know is that were Granny Goodness is involved Darkseid is not far behind and it does seem that both Darkseid and Goodness are gathering up the re-encarnated New God children for some sort of diabolical plan, obviously. But I am kind of wondering why Goodness is running test of these NEW New Gods in what seems to be turning them into animal creatures.

Also how was Goodness able to control one of the Alpha Lanterns and why didn't the Guardians of the Universe know their was a traitor among the Alpha Lantern? Though I got to say I love it when any character stands up to Batman and just brushes him off. While Batman is my favorite comic book character it doesn't happen often when a character, in this case Kraken, completely ignors Batman. Also the more I see the Alpha Lanterns the more I love to hate them because it is obvious that Morrison and Geoff Johns over in Green Lantern are cooking up the Alpha Lanterns to be a force in the near future.

I don't know if it is just me but I am getting the feeling that Libra is Darkseid. Because it seems that Libra is working together with Granny Goodness to take down all the superheroes one by one. And Morrison has already revealed that Darkseid will be the big bad guy of Final Crisis so it could be interesting to see if Darkseid is using the Libra identity to work behind the scene and slowly manipulate the villains to do his bedding or if this Libra may be the re-encarnation of Darkseid and is looking for the Anti-Life equation to regain his power.

My second favorite part of this issue was how Libra and his crew of villains were able to take down some of the biggest heroes in the DC Universe. First we had Martian Manhunter quickly die last issue without warning. Then in this issue John Stewart seemingly killed by a Green Lantern. Then Hal is accused of by the Alpha Lanterns of killing John Stewart and basically becoming useless with his power ring taken away. Then Batman is quickly captured by the rogue Alpha Lantern and imprisioned in some secret underground bunker under Bluehaven. If that wasn't enough the Daily Planet is blown up and seemingly killing Louis and Perry. Now I do not think John is dead sinc he we do not see his actual death the reader is only told of his death. But I thought it was genious how Libra took out Superman because we all know Superman is invulnrable to all physical harm so the only way to take him out is to take out his loved ones. As Kingdom Come proved that without those closest to him Superman isn't so super anymore and is really at his weakest.

But my favorite scene of the whole issue has to be th return of Barry Allen. Morrison made sure the reader anxiously awaiting for the third issue with the mystery of how Barry is back. And now with three Flashes existing in the same universe it will be interesting to see if one or more of them die or if Morrison has something else in store for us with all the three Flashes. And what is a Crisis without a Flash playing a big role in it anyways

The only reason I did not give this issue a perfect score is because I still have no idea what Tupin's, I think that his name, role is in this title since I do not know hardly anything about this character and have never seen him before Final Crisis. Also it is clear that if you haven't been reading any DC book in a couple years this title will only confuse you since it seems Morrison is not really making any effort to make Final Crisis new-reader friendly. So if your thinking of picking up Final Crisis I advice you to look some of the stuff leading up to Final Crisis on Wikipedia since it is a pretty good website to get some info on whats going on in comics or else you may be lost with this and the first issue.

JG Jones art in this issue was just phenomenal in this issue. This is how art should look like for a big event. Jones nows how to make each page better than the last and the last page with the return of Barry Allen was awsome.

Closing Comments: If you liked the first issue of Final Crises than you'll definetely love this issue but if you were on the fence with this series you'll still love this issue since it was miles away better than the last issue. In any case Final Crisis is truly shaping up to be an great series and hopefully it will be the FINAL Crisis we have in the DC Universe.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Commentary: Marvel vs DC

With all the bad press DC Comics has been getting these past few weeks I thought I would give my thoughts on the two biggest comicbook companies. The bad press started for DC with the announcement that Chuck Dixon posting on his message board that he no longer works for the company. When asked if he quit or was fired he stated that he did not quit, since their really is only two options when someone leaves a job it's obvious that Dixon was fired. Then to top it off Diamond came out with the May 2008 Sales Chart and Market Share Report (found here) showing Marvel having 47.56% of the unit shares and DC only having 29.95% of the unit shares for May. That is a pretty large discrepency between the two comic book companies and these are just a rough estimate since in other comicbook websites it is being reported that the discrepency might be even larger. And to top it of in the battle of the big events Secret Invasion #2 top the sales chart at the number one while Final Crisis #1 came second. Here is the list of the top 25 comics in May:

1) Secret Invasion #2– 200,344 (MARVEL)
2) Final Crisis #1 – 159,036 (DC)
3) New Avengers #41 – 119,898 (MARVEL)
4) Avengers/Invaders #1 – 118,767 (MARVEL)
5) Invincible Iron Man #1 - 116,251 (MARVEL)
6) Giant Size X-Men #1 – 115,860 (MARVEL)
7) Batman #676 – 115,345 (DC)
8) Mighty Avengers #13 – 106,397 (MARVEL)
9) Batman #677 – 105,547 (DC)
10) Mighty Avengers #14 – 104,630 (MARVEL)
11) Justice League of America #21 – 98,869 (DC)
12) Dark Towers: Long Road Home #3 – 96,229 (MARVEL)
13) Thor #9 – 95,648 (MARVEL)
14) Uncanny X-Men – 90,144 (MARVEL)
15) Buffy the Vampire Slayer #14 – 90,122 (DARK HORSE)
16) X-Force #4 – 88,041 (MARVEL)
17) X-Men: Legacy #211 – 87,650 (MARVEL)
18) Captain America #38 – 87,135 (MARVEL)
19) Justice Society of America #15 – 85,994 (DC)
20) Amazing Spider-Man #558 – 86,518 (MARVEL)
21) Amazing Spider-Man #559 – 81,487 (MARVEL)
22) X-Men: Legacy #212 – 81,297 (MARVEL)
23) Amazing Spider-Man – 81,274 (MARVEL)
24) All-Star Superman #11 – 77,254 (DC)
25) Green Lantern #31 – 72,337 (DC)

It is important to note that these total sale numbers does not reflect which comic sold well with customers but it shows how much retailers ordered for each issue. While Secret Invasion #2 from total sales from the first issue it is still suprising that Final Crisis #1 did not out sell Secret Invasion. If there was ever a time when Final Crisis would outsell Secret Invasion it should have been with its first issue. This just goes to show that retailers were not confident enough in Final Crisis to order more copies of the first issue which they have a right to be since DC really bauched the lead in to Final Crisis with the sorry excuse that is Countdown to Final Crisis. So its understandable why Secret Invasion crushed Final Crisis by a little over 40,000 comics.

The embarrasment for DC doesn't end there because DC only had 7 of there titles in the top 25, four of the titles are written by Grant Morrison. That is just pathetic especially when you compare it to Marvel having 17 of their titles on the top 25, more than double DC number. To make things worse if you look at the sales numbers for DC Trinity characters ongoing series only one (Batman) was able to crack the top 25 while Superman's Action Comic and Superman titles were 47 and 49 respectively on the sales chart and Wonder Women was 55.

We just know that the heads at Marvel are kust enjoying the success they are having in both comics and the movies while DC is struggling with just their comics. This really just show that outside of Batman DC really does not have much appeal with comic fans and it may be the case where it is only those DC fanboys that are reading their titles in an ongoing bases.

I may not be happy with a lot of the stuff Joe Q has done (One More Day) I have to give him credit because overall Joe Q has risen the interest in all his comics in general. It doesn't hurt that Marvel has had success with their movies Spider-man, X-men, Daredevil, Blade, Punisher, Ghost Rider, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and The Hulk. While some of these movies have been better than the others there is no doubt the Marvel has pique the interest of the public with there characters.

While over in DC Didio and company have been really struggeling with their sales after Infinite Crisis and the One Year Later storylines. It is not a quality issue because DC does have some real great stuff coming out with Batman, Green Lantern, Booster Gold, Teen Titans, and 52. The real issue is that Marvel is just much more reader friendly than DC and in the past 9 years Marvel has been much more in the main stream than DC.

Going back to the reader friendly stuff the truth is that Marvel make sure that the reader is able to pick up an issue of Amazing Spider-man or Iron Man with out have read it to much in the past. Also it helps that the first page on Marvel's comics has a recap page were it informs the reader what has happend to lead to the point of said comic. Another thing that helps new readers to comics or to a title is that Marvel, especially in their crossover and team books, they have a small text next to each character so that the reader does not have to fry there brain thinking who Luke Cage or Iron Fist are.

It also helps that Marvel has the Ultimate Universe that helps new readers become familiar with the characters. And while many say that the Ultimate Universe has out lived its pupose I think it still helps new readers trying to get into comics. I know that when my friends asked me to what I would recommend them reading to get familiar with Spider-man or the X-men or Iron Man I always gave them Ultimate Spider-man, Ultimate X-men (at least Millars run anyways), and Ultimates 1 and 2 for them to read.

With DC it is much harder for new readers to get into the titles because you would have had to be reading the characters for a while to understand what is going on in the title. Final Crisis #1 is a perfect example of this a title that was not new reader friendly title. While I was able to recognize most of the characters in the title I could not recognize who the hell was that detective at the beggining of the book who talked to The Question (Montoya). For new readers trying it might have been harder to recognize some of the characters. I know I had a couple of friends that decided to give this title a try since they haven't read a DC title in a while ask me who the hell is Tupin? I thought Question was a dude? Why are all the New Gods children? Why was Orion in a dumpster? and so for.

If I was an editor at DC I would have the books always have the first page of the comic be a recap page similar to Marvel instead of having to read three pages of internal monologue of the main character recaping what is happenning. I know that Didio has said he does not want to copy a Marvel thing but I really think that it is neccessary for a title like Action Comics were the reader had to wait almost a year for them to receive the last issue of the "Last Son" storyline. Last Son is only one example of the huge delay issues that DC has had in the past and that blame has to fall on Didio lap.

Also another thing that DC seems to face is that there is a lack of communication between the Editors and Writers. From an interview Morrison did before the start of Final Crisis he said that he already handed the script for the first issue of Final Crisis to Didio before Countdown even began. So really what was Didio and those behind Countdown doing and not building on what Morrison was going to do with Final Crisis. Countdown, which I am happy I did not read, is seen by many as a complete and utter failure which went off on its own that did not develop any of the characters and left all those involve no better than they were before Countdown started. And really can any title be a success when the reader had to through 52 issues of crap so that the payoff is Jimmy Olsen vs. Darkseid? Seriously, I know that a lot people I talked to that read Countdown were pissed of with how it turned out. And now it seems Morrison is just ignoring everything that happend in Countdown, which makes completely errelavent and a waste of $156.

Also if you keep calling your crossover a "Crises" than really loose appeal with readers since in many minds they are just saying "Oh great another end of a World event." But while over in Marvel , while not all the events are great, each event like Civil War, World War Hulk, Messiah Complex, and Secret Invasion have their own way to market them which appeals much greater with a casual reader unlike calling all your events as "Crises." Also each of these events have there own way to market them.

Now I am not about call for Didio's head mostly because I don't think the heads of DC would fire Didio before Final Crisis ends which isn't until late in the year barring any delays. What I would do if I was Didio and the rest of DC staff is to suggest using the Multiverse that has largely been unused since Infinite Crisis to tell stories similar to that of Marvel's Ultimate Universe. I know that DC wouldn't go for it but if they did make one of the 52 Earths into somthing similar to the Ultimate Universe than that will give new readers a way to familiarize themselves with the characters and then they could start reading the regular "Earth-1" characters. These stories would more or less act along the lines of the Year One, Two, etc stories DC published after Crisis of Infinite Earth. The only difference is that these titles would act in there own "Ultimate" universe free from any continuity.

And I know DC has there All-Star linebut that line has just been bogged down with delays that made it unsuccesful. So for this new "Ultimate" line I would have Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern be the three titles for the new line. Also DC should place Geoff Johns and Mark Waid as the architects of this new universe similar to how Marvel had Brian Bendis and Mark Millar as the architects to the Ultimate Universe. Also this new universe could also allow new takes on characters that have existed for over 70 years with a fresh start.

Now if Didio was fired from his post the most likely canidate for his job in my mind would be Mark Waid. Waid has an encyclopedia knowledge of the DC Universe and also has a good relationship with all the writers and artist as well as editors.

I know thaat this really seems like an anti-DC article but the truth is Marvel has just done as many as mistakes as DC but at least Marvel has also found a way to keep there readers and attract new ones while DC struggles keeping their reader and attracting new ones. And I say all this because there are a lot of good stuff being done by DC that should be more popular than they are.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Comicbook Review: Wolverine #66

Creative Team:
Writer: Mark Millar
Penciler: Steve McNiven
Inker: Dexter Vines
Colorist: Morry Hollowell

Issue Rating:
Story: 8 out of 10
Art: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9 out of 10

Issue Summary:
In a battle were the heroes fell and the villains took over the whole country Wolverine, who suffered serious damage from said battle, disappeared with no one knowing were he went. 50 years later we find Wolverine, now going only by the name Logan, in the deselent wasteland formely Sacramento, California were he has become a pacifist farmer with a wife and kids. Logan and his wife, Maureen, are having a hard time coming up with the rent for the month. Maureen suggest selling their kids, Scotty and Jade, toys which Logan refuses to do.

Two days later the Bruce Banners (aka The Hulk) hillbilly grandchildren have come to collect the rent. After Logan says he does not have the rent for the month two of the three hillbilly Hulks decide to beat Logan within a inch of his death. After beating Logan they tell him they will be back next month and expect double the rent money or he and his whole family will be killed.

That night while Logan is recovering from his beating a now blind Hawkeye pays Logan and his family a visit. Knowing that Logan has money problems Hawkeye offers him a delivery job that pays $500. Hawkeye says the job calls for them both to deliver a package to the East Coast in two weeks.

The next morning after saying his goodbye's to his family, Logan sets of with Hawkeye in a new customized Spider-Mobile and Hawkeye says "Get ready for the ride of your life." End of issue.

Wolverine 66 was a great way for Millar and McNiven their Old Man Logan. From what I know both Millar and McNiven are on Wolverine for only this story arc which will be six issues. While that sucks that does not deter my enjoyment for this story they are both cooking up and I have high expectations for this story arc. There is no doubt this team can get it done since I loved what they did with Marvel's Civil War event last year. From an interview Millar did a while back when this story was first announce he said that he wants this story as one of the stories that defines him in this industry. So I expect the team that delivered the Civil War to give me another entertaining story worth my money.
I really like the idea of Wolverine becoming a pacifist and settling down with a family of his own after all the heroes fell in a battle with the villains. I know that this probably doesn't take place in regular Marvel continuity and this type of story has already been done to death with stories like Days of Future Past, Age of Apocalypse, The End series, etc. but I am just a sucker for these alternate reality stories.
I'm interested to learn what was this battle that saw the down fall of all the Marvel superheroes and the villains to be able to take over the whole country. My theory is that this battle happened during the alternate ending to the Civil War were all the villains united together and attacked the Marvel superheores at the end of the war right after all the heores had fought against one another in the battle over New York since that would have been the time all the heroes were at their weakest.
From the flashbacks scenes it looks as though this battle also weakend Wolverine's mutant powers since we see a Wolverine or Logan, as he likes to be known now. Millar shows the reader a Wolverine that has given up his past life and has really settled down with a family and accepted a life as a pacifist. And I kind of wonder that if it is because of Wolverine finally having a family of his own and not fighting for so long has actually caused Logan to look like he does becuase it has always been the case were his mutant healing ability that has keep him looking like he is in his late-thrities or early-forties. And it might be the case were Logan has finally excepted death and that he will die soon that cuse his mutant powers to become weak.
Millar showed in this issue how Logan has left his past life as a warrior behind and has become a pacifist. This new life choice was reinforced with Logan taking the beating from the grandchildren of the Hulk and not even fighting back. But the reader knows that even though Logan says and shows that he has taken the path of a pacifist their is still a warrior inside of him who inching to kick some ass which was shown in that quick fantasy scene were Logan imagines taking down the hillbilly Hulks.
And Millar truly presents villains that you can utterly hate in the hillbilly Hulks. These are the type of villains were you hope at the end are torn apart by Wolverine or by one of his kids. While it might of been a little much to have Hulks grandchildren be hillbillies but that something you expect from Millar and that is just his style.
Also this issue had an Aww! moment for me by finding out that Logan named his son Scotty which is an abvious nod to Scoot/Cyclops. Cyclops is one of my favorite X-men and I have always like the relationship both Logan and Scott have because even though they haven't always gotten along, especially when it came to Jean, you know that when the chips are down these two guys always had each others back. The only thing that I was a little suprised about was that he didn't name his daughter Jean to pay respect to one of the most important loves of his life. But I did find it funny that if you take away some of the wrinkles Maureen, Logan's wife, kind of looks like Jean. The scenes with Logan's family were some really nice moments because you can tell Logan has finally found some form happiness and that he really loves his family.
I also love seeing a blind Hawkeye since he is known to be one of Marvel,s greatest marksmen and now in his old age he has become blind. But what was greet about the Hawkeye is that even though he has become old he still has that big ego of his and it shows when he doesn't even let Logan drive the Spider-Mobiule even though he is blind. Also the inclusion of Hawkeye makes this story feel more like a Marvel Universe story and not just another X-men story since the X-men have always seemed to live in their own universe separate from the rest of the Marvel heroees.And let me just say any apperance of the Spider-Mobileis a hit in my book.
I am a big Steve McNiven fan and his art in this issue art was just awsome. Like in Civil War McNiven really brought Millar's story to life. I love seeing how Old Logan looke because Mcniven really drew a Logan that is really at the end of his life and has accepted his fate.
Closing Comments: While I loved this issue the truth is I will only be reading this story arc and mostlikely dropping it after the story is done. It's not because I don't like Wolverine but for me there really hasn't been a good run on this title since the Millar and Romita Jr. run a while back and I can get my Wolverine fix by ready one of the X-titles he is in since he is in almost all of them plus the Avengers. But if your a Wolverine fan this is definetly a story that is worth reading.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Comicbook Review: Batman 677

Creative Team
Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Tony Daniel
Inker: Sandu Florea
Colorist: Guy Major

Issue Rating
Story: 9 out of 10
Art: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9 out of 10

Issue Development
Batman fights some nobody in the sewers questioning him about Black Glove even though the bad guy is knock unconscious. Before he can finish his "interrogation" Commissioner Gordon stops him and before Gorbon can ask Batman a question Batman has already left.
We then see Batman in the Batcave trying to figure out all the people connected with Black Glove. Batman then ask were Tim is and Alfred tells him that Tim left a few days ago because of him being upset over the Damien situation. Batman just dismisses it as folish and leaves to go on a date with his girlfriend.
The scene shifts to Doctor Hurt telling the rest his group in the Black Glove that no one knows Batman better than him and tells them his plan to take down Batman once and for all. Hurt's plan involves not only taking down Batman psychological and physically but to also attack those closest to Batman.
We then see Bruce take a blindfolded Jezebel into the batcave for the first time and telling her to not go to the party John Mayhem invited them to because it is a trap.
We again shift scenes this time over to the Mayor of Gotham City office were Commissioner Gordon comes in yelling about a story about Bruce Wayne's parents in the newspaper. While Gordon says parents where good people the Mayor says that he was presented evidence that prove Thomas Wayne, Bruce's father, to be angry, drunk, and doing hard drugs who may have actually killed his own wife and faked his death. Gordon is in disbelief over the evidence
Back at the Batcave Bruce and Jezebel continue their conversation with Jezebel telling Bruce is crazy to keep all the Robin suits, the giant penny, the dinosaur, and the rest of his stuff in the cave. Bruce starts to think about it and says that he doesn't know what is going on and that he even thinks he is behind the whole Black Glove organization he is hunting.

Just as Bruce walks over to the Batcomputer he suddenly sees a demonic face pop up into the screen and then a red glove. All of a sudden the Black Glove organization comes into the Batcave and burns the cave down just as Alfred walks in. The issue ends with the some of the members of Black Glove beating Alfred within a inch of his life.
Batman 677 was an awsome issue. This was far and above the best issue I read this week. Grant Morrison is really working his magic on this title and you can tell that Morrison has had a long term vision on what he wanted to do with all the Bat characters since the start of his run. I love it when a writers have a lon term vision on where they want to take their characters and the only other two writers I can comper what Morrison has done with Batman is Bendis on Ultimate Spider-man and Brubaker on Captain America. Just like Bendis and Brubaker, Morrison knew he had a big storyline in mind that needed to take time build up to and he layed the groundwork for "Batman R.I.P" way back with his first storyline "Batman and Son."
I loved the scene between the Mayor and Commissioner Gordon. Their was so much information fed to the reader in that small scene. This is exactly how government officials are because they love it when their is controversy about celebrities that diverts attetion from what they are doing. I completely see why the Mayor allowed this article to be published even if it ruined the image of one Gotham's greatest people and he doesn't give a crap about what Gordon thinks about the article being pubished. And I get the feeling that we may finally see Gordon reveal at least to someone that he knows Bruce is Batman in this storyline.
The other scene I loved was Jezebel calling Bruce out on how crazy it is that he has basically created a museum of misery in the Batcave with all the old Robin and Batsuits as well as all the villain items he has collected. This is the first time outside of Alfred, Dick, Tim, or Barbara that someone has called out Bruce on how insane it is that he keeps all this stuff as displays. I know Superman, Wonder Woman, and some other heroes have called Bruce insane but that is usually because he has keeped secrets from them but not for what he does and all the stuff he keeps. Usually most of the DC Universe seems to be afraid of Bruce with probably the exception of those part of the Bat family. And it is insane for someone to keep all this stuff that only signifies misery and how the battle against crime Buce has fought as Batman may never end.
The best thing about this issue is the amount of suspects we have been presented with as who is behind Black Glove. First we have Doctor Hurt who says that no one knows Batman better than him. If it is Hurt than it will be interesting to find out what his connection is to Bruce/Batman and what his real plans are. Because just like every villain taking down the hero is the first step of their plan and Hurt is no different.
The second suspect is Jezebel. Her name is Jezebel after all and she seems to have taken all this Bruce is Batman in strive. The truth is that she seems to be to okay with finding out Bruce is Batman and the relationship of her and Bruce seems to have moved to fast since the reader really doesn't know much about Jet's history. I really can't this relationship between Bruce and Jet lasting much longer and Morrison only introduced her so she can et close to him and then betray him at the end
The next two suspects we have are Thomas Wayne, Bruce's father, and Alfred. The reason I have put these two together is because of the information we have been provided by that scene with the Mayor and Gordon. If the information provided is true than it means that one or both are behind Black Glove to take down Batman. While I can't see Alfred being some sort of mastermind who is trying to take down Batman it isn't like it is not possible. Just a part of me feels like this has been done before and would change to much of the core of the Batfamily snd if Bruce can't trust Alfred who can he trust in the future. But I can see Thomas Wayne or someone who will be impersinating him behind the scenes because their seems to be some more information that will revealed by Thomas.
The last suspect we have is Bruce himself. He even says that he may be behind this whole Black Glove organization and is using a completely different personality to run the organization. With the last storyline involving the other Batman and seeing that experiment Bruce ran on himself early in his career as Batman it may be that he developed another personality during the experiment. If it is Bruce than this may be a way for Morrison to have Bruce relinquish the title as Batman to Dick or Tim while he sorts out this other personality.
In truth I think that the most important thing Morrison is showing us with the story is how important having Dick, Alfred and Tim in his life. What I found interesting was that Bruce's freak out at the end of the issue happend when neither of these three was around him. And of course we can not forget the whole Joker factor in this even though he was not in this issue.
Now I do not expect Bruce or anyone in the Batfamily to die during this storyline just because I don't think DC much less Warner Bros. allowing Morrison to do it with the The Dark Knight movie coming out next month. But I can see that Bruce steps down from the mantle at the end of this storyline while he sorts out the revalations of this storyline. If this is the case than my first choice for who will take over Batman is Dick Grayson.
Tony Daniel's art was once again just flat out awsome in this issue. Daniel is one of my favorite artist in the business and the only problem I have had with him is the delays in his art cause to titles but I have come to expect delays know when it comes to comics .
Overall: This another great issue of Batman which was much better than the first part of this story. And I have complete faith that Morrison will continue this trend of great writing and if this issue is any indication we are in for one heck of a ride with Batman R.I.P. And it doesn't hurt to have Tony Daniel handling the art choirs either.