Bleach 85: Deadly Battle of Tears: "Rukia vs Orihime"
Well this episode was an improvement on the past couple of episodes of Bleach. Still this episode continues to show the problem with the Bounts not being very interesting outside of Kariya and the deceased Yoshino. The big problem might lie that it each fight versus the Bounts is taking two or three episodes to defeat which should only be one at most half of two not three episodes. Mabashi is a perfect example of this because his doll is not very interesting to start of with but with a two episode focus on Mabashi and his doll Ritz have just annoyed the shit out of me. The only saving point for this episode is Lieutenant Hisagi appears who gives this episode the necessary badass Bleach has been missing since Ichigo is being used as a punching bag, Renji was taken out quickly, and Uryu still doesn't have his powers so Hisagi, mostly from his character design, feels like a nice addition to this arc.
I will say that it was great to see Rukia back in her Soul Reaper gear again since the first episode of Bleach. Hopefully Rukia will start fighting as a Soul Reaper instead of using her gigai to fight. It was nice to also see Orihime finally coming out of her shell and show a much stronger will since her power fluctuates when she hesistates, which is how she has been since the show started, and hopefully Orihime will start acting more confident in future episodes like she did here. It was these two factors and the addition of Hisagi, as well as a promise of the other Soul Reapers sent to the real world, made this episode feel average and berable.
Episode Rating - 6.8/10
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion 25: "Zero"
For people that are expecting answers to a lot of the questions that haven't been answered about this series in the past 24 episodes of this series will be disappointed by this episode. In truth this doesn't really answer anything about any of the characters and instead mostly sets up this series for the second season of this series, called R2, especially with the cliffhanger ending, which I will talk about a bit later. I will say that this episode was not as good as the past three excellent episodes but I felt it did its job in getting me excited to finding out what is to with R2.
One of the important thing we find out, and really only thing we do, is how important Zero is to the Black Knights and that without Zero the Black Knights would have all died long ago since they are a bunch of terrorist. As soon as Lelouch leaves the battle field and turns control of the Black Knights to Todou the battle soon gets to out of hand for Todou to handle the second Lelouch cuts all of his contact with the Black Knights to save Nunally. This helps reinforce how important Lelouch is as Zero not only as a strategist but also a symbol of hope to all the Black Knights and the Japanese. Seeing how quickly the Black Knights were overwhelmed and confused I can see Lelouch as Zero having more influence with other nations that oppose Britannia for R2.
This episode also had some great scenes involving all secondary characters that were gathered at the Ashford Academy. Nina was perfect with how psycho she has become in willing to blow up the whole school in order to kill Zero for killing Euphimia. It was great seeing how Milly, Shirley, and Rivalz reacted in this scene when they finally realize how crazy Nina has become. But the real star of this scene, and one of the best characters of the series, was Lloyd. He perfectly played up his intrigue that Nina was able to finish her bomb as a scientist while still worried about his own life. I hope that Lloyd gets much more scenes in R2 since he felt like the most underutilized character in the series.
Now for those Lelouch-CC shippers you do get your moment with CC kissing Lelouch and Lelouch entering CC memory to see her past. I don't really have much to say about these scenes since I don't see this series as a romance show since this show has always been more about the action and strategy of war and think of this show as a cross between Deathnote and Gundam Seed.
The cliffhanger ending to this episode definetly had it suprises. First of I did not expect Kallen to be involved in the "final" confrontation between Lelouch/Zero and Suzaku since she has been more of a secondary character to this point. With her finding out Lelouch is Zero it seems the writers are going to have a much bigger role for Kallen now that she knows Lelouch's secret when R2 starts.
It is also interesting to see how much Suzaku has changed from how he started the series also nice and optomistic to blinded by revenge for Euphimia's killer. And Lelouch falls in the same category since he is so blinded by saving Nunally he doesn't see how insane he has become. The screen turning black and a one gun shot heard is a nice mystery of who was the one who fired the shot. Was it Lelouch? Suzaku? or Kallen? Also what are the intentions of the mysterious VV for kidnapping Nunally in the first place? All this helps build excitement for R2 that starts on Saturday though I still wish Cartoon Network and Adult Swim would air this series at a more resonable hour than 5am since I have to wait till it is uploaded on YouTube to watch the episode since I don't have a Tivo. But still this was a great episode and bring on R2.
Episode Rating - 9.2/10
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Bleach 85: Deadly Battle of Tears: "Rukia vs Orihime"
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns - Other than having Final Crisis in the title all of Geoff Johns supposed tie-ins to Final Crisis don't have anything to do with Final Crisis. This issue should really have been the next issue of Green Lantern and not a Final Crisis "tie-in." Now that aside I am looking foward to this one-shot dealing with the Red Lanterns and anything related to "The Blackest Night."
Superman/Batman #53 - I enjoyed the last two issue arc though that was do to how much I enjoyed little Batman than anything else. Still the premise of this story has peaked my interest enough to pick up this title for one more arc.
Teen Titans #64 - Since "Titans of Tomorrow...Today!" Sean McKeever work on Teen Titans has ranged from average to bad and he has not impressed me at all. It doesn't help that McKeever took out my favorite Titan, Ravager, from this title. And after the last issue I am considering dropping this title unless McKeveer can turn it aroun on this title and stop taking out or killing off Titans currently on the team.
Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3 - This is it folks the most controversial topic on Earth, or at least in the US, "sex." With that dramatization of what some people think out of the way I am interested to see where Bendis takes this Peter/MJ "will they, won't they" debate in this issue. The only thing that I am disappointed in seeing is that Mark Brooks isn't doing the interior art as he did in the previous two annuals and I am not at all familiar David Lafuente art.
Posted by Kevin at 7:21 PM
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Even though Bucky has been Captain America for over a month it is nice to see that he is still trying to get use to the idea of him being Captain America while still kicking some ass.
Is it me or does Darkseid look a lot bit like Darth Vader when he got his helmit off in Episode VI.
Right when Peter thinks things can't get any worse Gwenage is waiting for him in his room.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Luke Ross
Inker: Fabio Languna
Colorist: Frank D'Armata
Review: Since the start of this series Red Skull/Lukin have been the main antagonist of this title and the "Death of Captain America" storyline serve as an "end" to the Red Skull/Lukin plotline started in the first issue. So when a writer has had one villain be the major antagonist for a book for that long it is understandable that some fans might wonder/be hesistent what that writer can do with the hero now after taking care of that threat. But as Brubaker has shown since relaunching Captain America that he still has plenty of stories to tell with the new Captain America Bucky Barnes. It could be said that these past 42 issues have served to be Bucky's rookie year as Captain America and now in his sophmore year he needs to prove himself that he is the rightful heir to the Captain America mantle and that defeating Red Skull was not a fluke.
What is interesting about this issue is that it does not pick up right after the "Death" arc but instead picks up after Marvel's Secret Invasion crossover were Bucky has been Captain America for over a month and the superhero community has already accepted him as the new Captain America, well at least the Secret Avengers anyways. Even with having been Captain America for over a month it is nice that Bucky is still trying to adjust to his new role. For now, and for the next couple arcs, it is best to that Bucky still act like he can never fit the shoes left behind by Steve, which are some big shoes to fit. But that helps give Natasha a bigger supporting role than just Bucky's hot girlfriend but is Bucky's voice of reason to keep Bucky from becoming like Batman or Daredevil.
Now I am not to sure about this new French villain Batroc the Leaper and his colorful orage and purple costume. Even though he was able to give Bucky a nice run for his money during their fight I am not convinced he can serve as the main villain for this story and thankfully it seems that he will not and it will be the Chinese guy he was talking to at the end of the issue. It seems from the flashbacks to WWII this guy has some history with Bucky and I am glad that Brubaker is continuing to use these flashbacks that were present in earlier issues of this title to set up the villain for this arc.
Luke Ross does a nice job replicating Epting's artwork that unless you are really looking hard that you can't tell the slight difference between both artist work. Credit has to go to Breevoort for continueing to find artist that can mimic Epting's style so that this book can maintain a consistent feel to it.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Michael Clark and Stefano Gaudiano
Colorist: Matt Hollingswortg
Review: After last issue serving as an introduction to Lady Bullseye this issue serves to continue to set up this story arc and all the players that are involved. While this was not a bad issue I am kind of getting sick of seeing Matt having to be framed for something he did not do. It wasn't to long ago that Matt got out of jail and even though Dakota bailed him out this issue it is time Brubaker found another way to try and make Matt's life miserable than continuously being framed for murder.
Now I still continue to enjoy the Matt and Dakota relationship and the guilt both characters showed for sleeping together even though Matt is still married, even if his wife is in the loony bin. With Matt's strong Catholic beliefs he is always his harshest critic when he does something that goes against his beliefs. But with the sexual tension between the two it is going to be hard for both characters to continue to resist the obvious chemistry that they share. The only thing I am fearful is that with someone named (Lady)Bullseye in a story Matt's love interest are never safe, ask Electra.
Also even though this issue was still mostly set up Brubaker did not leave out the action scenes since their was one fight scene with Tarantula and The Hand and a shorter one between Iron Fist and The Hand. I was actually surprised that Tarantula was not captured by The Hand but instead by the mysterious Master Izo who appears to want Matt's help. And it was interesting that Lady Bullseye showed some respect to Iron Fist's skills that she used the attack on him as a scouting mission to analyze his skills instead of coming out to straight out fight him. I am expecting that Lady Bullseye and Iron Fist will have their meeting in the next issue.
While I am not a big fan Michael Lark's artwork his style fits with dark and gritty Brubaker's stories in Daredevil. I will say that the fight between Tarantula and The Hand was a nicely choreographed fight with some great panels.
Final Crisis #4
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: JG Jones, Carlos Pacheco, and Jesus Merino
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Review: Unlike Bendis's Secret Invasion, Morrison's Final Crisis definitely has the big event feel to it. Morrison has been able to this what is both the strength and weakness of this title: the transitions between scenes. Morrison has definitely given this event the grand scope a major should have by shifting to so many location showing how the Anti-Life equation has affected the Earth and all the heroes being spread out at different places on Earth. But the problem with this constent transitions between scenes is that Morrison does not give more than a panel or page showing which superheroes are left and how each hero is reacting to the event. The only group that was really focused on was the group in the Hall of Justice but the problem with this group is that it is to small compared to all the others that the only real reason for them to be a focus is because Oracle is part of the group and she is the one that shutdown all networks down and saw some of the Anti-Life equation. It just doesn't feel like we are getting the whole story with a lot of stuff happening off-panel that could informed the reader more than just having Alan Scott explain what has happend.
But I will give Morrison credit for writing some great dialog and for those that have been complaining about there being no action in this title got what they ask for. It was great seeing Green Arrow stepping up to defend all those in the Hall of Justice so they can escape while he stays behind. Even though Green Arrow is captured he went out with a bang showing just how bad ass he can be when given the oppurtunity.
It was great seeing Wally and Barry together again and they showed that even with Barry being dead for a while and Wally being the Flash these to still have not lost a beat when it comes to working together. After taking care of Darkseid's Furies it was awesome how Barry was able to use the Speed Force, through a kiss, to get Iris out of her Anti-Life induced trance.
While I complained about the transitions between scenes to be horrible I will say that Final Crisis is feeling like a combination of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and I am Legend. The Anti-Life equation is playing the same role as the virus that turned all the humans into mindless human zombies ala I am Legend. And by taking Superman, and to some extent Hal, out of this series it seems that Morrison is going to have Superman return to serve the same role as Luke Skywalker and Aragorn served in their films/books. When Superman does return it will be in issue #6 and #7 to unite all the heroes together to fight Darkseid.
Now I will say that while Turpin being taken over by Darkseid was unexpected it was not shocking. The reason for this is that I know nothing of Turpin and did not know this character existed before this series. If Morrison or at least Didio used Turpin in another series to lead up to this series whether it was a minor role this would have been a shocking event that would have resonated with me. But if Morrison had used another more well known character to be the "reincarnation" of Darkseid this development would have resonated with me a lot more than it should because right now it just feels Turpin was put in this series to serve this purpose which just feels like lazy writing on Morrison's part.
I will also say that with Tattoed Man's appearance in this issue that Final Crisis: Submit is suppose to be read before this issue. Which doesn't help that some people picking up Final Crisis, or any comic, don't have to feel they have to shell out another $3.99 to get the whole story. And even though I did get Final Crisis: Submit it was only after my LCS told to read it before this issue. And I will say that Tattoed Man is not a vary interesting character to begin with and I don't see the reason to include him in this story.
With this issue Carlos Pachcho joins JG Jones on the art duties. And compared to the previous issue I was suprised how different the feel of this book, art wise, felt. While I did not notice that there were two artist drawing the characters and could not tell if it was just one or both artist drawing the various characters. The problem I had with the art of this issue is with the background. I don't know if it was because of the artist or the inkers/colorist but the issue felt to bright and happy that does not mesh with the dark and gritty story Morrison is telling with the end of the world scenerio.
Final Crisis: Submit
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Matthew Clark
Inkers: Norm Rapmund, Rob Hunter, Don Ho
Colorists: Richard and Tanya Horie
Review: While this one-shot is a required read due to the connection it has with Final Crisis #4 if the reader wants to know why Tattoed Man appeared at the Hall of Justice and Black Lightning is a Darkseid drone. But what this one-shot proved is that Black Lightning is not able to support his own book and without Batman or the JLA around him his dialog gets old fast. Black Lightning is at best a supporting character and this one-shot would have been a better read if Morrison used another major player in Final Crisis since in the event itself the reader feels they are not getting the whole story. So because Morrison is writing this issue it does not give any excuses for Morrison to focus on a D-list character than is on the edge of being a C-list character instead of trying to expand the story he is telling in Final Crisis. The constent argueing Black Lightning and Tattoed Man get throughout this issue just feels like a waste of panel to justify the $3.99 price tag. But it doesn't help that both "main" characters of this one-shot are not very interesting alone or together.
The real positive towards this issue is Matthew Clark's artwork. The action scenes in this issue were very nicely done. The only problem I have with Clark's artwork is that I though Black Lightning was naturally bald but here he was drawn with a full head of hair.
Ultimate Spider-Man #127
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Review: After the last two action packed issue it is nice to see USM return to what made this title great: focusing on Peter Parker and not Spider-man. This issue served as a lull before the storm for the finale of "War of the Symbiote" story next issue and with the long awaited return of Gwen Stacy(Gwenage) next issue is going to see some nice action scenes. It is nice seeing Gwen again in the pages of USM and it is interesting to see that the reader does not know which personality is the dominant one: Gwen or Carnage. The last page makes this point home by having Gwen appear in Peter's room with the face of Carnage and the body of Gwen.
It is interesting that it looks like Dr. Connor's is now going to be working for SHIELD. It has been a while since Dr. Connor's last appearance and hopefully Bendis is using this subplot to finale introduce Ultimate Lizard afte Ultimatum since Lizard has not made his Ultimate debut yet and only appeared in a nightmare sequence involving Dr. Connor.
As I said before what made this is issue great is that it returned to focus on Peter Parker's life outside of Spider-man. Even when he was Spider-man it was Peter thinking at a hundred miles per hour trying to figure out what he should do with the Eddie problem. The sequence at the Daily Bugle was a fun seen to read with Peter in his wet clothes calling himself stupid for not using his Daily Bugle resources before now. Even though in titles like the Avengers Bendis long dialog scenes or scenes were a character is thinking a lot does not work these long dialog scenes work well in USM. And holding true to the Peter Parker luck Peter is unable to find someone in the hero community, since they are all not home, and when he comes home he finds things have gone from bad to worse.
It also looks like Ben Ulrich will play a bigger part in the future when he looked at what Peter was looking up once Peter left and left his computer on. Hopefully Bendis does not waste this development and we see Ben and the Daily Bugle more in future issues.
I have in the past said that Immonen art style is just not my taste but I will say that Immonen art has been improving with each issue. And he is finally drawing Peter more like a teenage boy instead of a 13 year old girl. The scene in the Daily Bugle was also nicely done showing just how busy a newspaper company is.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Bleach 84: "Dissension in Substitute Team? Rukia's Betrayal?"
Since Yoshino's death five episodes ago Bleach has taken a dip in quality. A major factor of this is because the writers have shifted the focus of the show from Ichigo and gang to trying to flesh out the remaining Bounts. And outside of Kariya, and maybe Koga, all the Bounts are dull one dimensional characters. Yoshi and Mabashi, the Bounts Rukia, Orihime, and Kurudo, are great examples of this and a lot of their dialog, especially Mabashi, feels to forced. It doesn't help that the fight between Yoshi, and later Mabshi, and Rukia, Orihime, and Kurudo isn't at all interesting. Also since Rukia's return I am wondering why she is fighting using her gigai instead of her shinigami body? I know that Rukia is still recovering all her powers but shouldn't she still be able to use her shinigami body to fight instead of her gigai?
The only real saving grace of this episode is Ichigo and Kira's fight with Koga and Dalk. I like Kira's zanpakuto's special ability. Its is great seeing how imaginative Tite Kibo is with all the different special abilities of every shinigamies zapakuto that makes them unique. Hopefully the other shinigami that were deployed to Earth show up to help the other fights become interesting
Episode Rating - 6/10
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion 24: "Collapsing Stage"
With only one episode left in this season the writers still have a lot of plotlines still unresolved. But given that past episodes the people behind Code Geass get the benefit of the doubt that they can rap up some of these plotlines while leaving some for the next season and creating new ones. Even with this problem some might have it should not take away the enjoyment of this episode. Props have to be given to the anime department for being able to create some great action scenes in this episode involving the Knightmare Frames. This show is not known for the mecha fights but the animators did a good job in showing how violent a war is especially when it involves people fighting in giant mecha.
Now outside of all the fighting the writers were able to create a lot of character work in this episode as well. There was Kallen revealing her true self to her Ashford Academy friends, Ogi getting shot by Villetta after she recovered her memory, Milly going nuts and ready to blow everyone up to kill Zero, Cornelia seeking revenge for her sisters death, and so on. Code Geass is definetely not lacking in the amount of characters it has been shown and fleshed out, even if it was slightly, that now they have found a way to involve just about every character in this war some how.
The biggest character development in this episode is from the co-stars of this show: Lealouch and Suzaku. Throughout this series these two best friends life have drawn many parrallels with each one fighting on the other side and in this episode both characters have let go of their previous beliefs and have descended down a much darker path than they started the show in. I thought the argument Lealouch/Zero gives Suzaku of who is the bigger hypocrite to be a very strong statement. In the end it looks like Lealouch and Suzaku will have one final confrontation in the season finally. This is made much more interesting with the mysterious VV appearing in front of Nunally to what seems to kidnap her which may affect all of Lealouch's plan.
Episode Raing - 9.4/10
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Captain America #43 - As always I can't wait to get this comic and now with that "Death of Captain America" arc is over I am interested to see were Brubaker takes Bucky and his role as the new Captain America. This issue might feel a bit odd since for 42 issues Red Skull and his crew have been the only villains to appear in Captain America. But it should be interesting to see what Bucky can do when facing someone other than Red Skull.
Daredevil #112 - The last issue did a nice job in setting up Lady Bullseye as the villain for this story arc. If anything else this issue should be an entertaining martial arts issue with characters that are going to involved in this story.
Final Crisis #4 - With over a month since the last issue, whether intentional or not, I may have to re-read the last three issue of this crossover to understand the complex story Morrison is weaving in Final Crisis. It is going to be great seeing Wally and Barry interacting again. I just hope that Darkseid finally appears in this issue since he has is suppose to be the big bad of this series but has yet to physically appear.
Final Crisis: Submit - I have to admit that I have enjoyed all the one-shots and mini-series related to Final Crisis more than the actual event itself. It seems that if a reader wants to even understand everything that is going on in Final Crisis these mini's have been essential. And even though I am indifferent about Black Lightining with Morrison writing this one-shot it may make this issue that much more important to get.
Ultimate Spider-man #127 - The last issue of USM was disappointing but with this issue I hope that Bendis returns to fousing on Peter Parker and not Spider-Man. And with the return of Gwen Stacy it looks like that is what we are going to get.
Also I just wanted to comment on the new DC Comics and Marvel solicits for January. The most noticible thing about DC solicits is that JG Jones is not drawing the last issue of Final Crisis instead leaving the art Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy. Right after the solicits Jones put out a statement apologizing for not being able to draw the last issue (read here). As of right now I don't know enough to start playing the blame game but this just shows that when making an crossover event that the company should give the writer and artist enough time that by the time the first issue comes out four or five of the issue to the mini-series are already done. The other telling thing about the DC Comics solicits is "The Faces of Evil" event that is taking over almost all of DC's comics. I don't know about anyone else but outside Green Lantern, GLC, and Nightwing none of the comics coming out of in January interest me.
And on the Marvel side I get the same feeling with"Dark Reign" inititive that is taking over most of Marvel's comics due to the aftermath of Secret Invasion. Though I got to say the that I am starting to get interested in Spider-Man: Noir and X-Men: Noir series for some reason. Also since I was able to drop two titles this week I am adding Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy to my pull list after the obligitory Secret Invasion tie-ins on both titles are over.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Since I changed the format of my comic reviews to only be a quick review of the comics I get that week with the cover of the issue next to the review I have decided to create a seperate post that will include the highlight of the week that I used to include in my individual reviews. This new post will include what I think is the best cover of the week, which may be from a comic that I am reading or from a comic that I am not reading, and also some of the more impressive pages from the comics that I am reading that deserve a mention. Included with the image will be a short summary of what I thought made the image a highlight of the week. Enough talking here is the "Legen--wait for it--dary Comic Book Highlights for 10/15/08:"
Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge #3 Highlights
After all the crap the Rogues have been dealing with for being responsible for killing Bart Allen it is nice to see them get revenge on the person that caused them all their misery: Inertia/Kid Zoom. And I am actually glad that Inertia, or Kid Zoom, died in this issue since I always found him annoying and the only other character I find more annoying than Inertia is Superboy-Prime.
I like this page because I am glad that finally someone calls out Libra on his BS. Also by turning down Libra's offer the Rogues have a little moment were you can call them badass for turning down the big bad of Final Crisis. And as in the next image shows the Rogues may not have time to follow Libra since they have to prepare to fight...
Barry Allen has returned! I know that Barry made his official return back in Final Crisis but it is just awsome seeing a page spread of Barry racing towards something. And while I have grown up with Wally being my Flash I am excited to see what Geoff Johns has in store for us in Flash: Rebirth. If Flash: Rebirth is anything like Green Lantern: Rebirth than we are in store for one great mini-series involving the return of Barry Allen. The only problem that I have with Flash: Rebirth is that it means that the Flash title may be relaunch into a new issue #1 that both DC and Marvel are known to do to raise sales.
Ultimate Origins #5 Highlights
Even though we already seen this image back in the early issues of Ultimate X-Men it is still a great image showing how Prof. X became wheel chair-bound. And given the reason Bendis gave Magneto for crippling his best friend I don't blame him. No one wants to be forced to have to believe what other people tell them to believe. And this just shows that Prof. X and Magneto are more similar than either man wants to admit
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge #3
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Scott Kollins
Colorist: Dave McCaig
Review: Even though I found the past two issues to be average reads Johns was able to make Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge #3 a great ending to this mini-series focusing on Flash's Rogue Gallery. This issue shows that Flash's Rogues aren't the some joke villains, except for the new Trickster who was just annoying, and are actual bad ass villains when written correctly. With all the villains in the DC Universe joining Darkseid and Libra it was great to see that the Rogues aren't buying Libra's crap. And after being hunted for the past year, DCU time, it was nice to see the Rogues finally get their revenge on the person that caused their misery Inertia/Kid Zoom.
What really made this issue great was the last page showing Barry Allen the original Flash's return. I just can't wait for Flash: Rebirth mini-series next year. The only problem I had with this series is Scott Kollins art. I just never been a big fan of Kollin's art but I will say that the fight between the Rogues and Inertia/Kid Zoom was some of Kollin's best work.
Writer: Judd Winnick
Artist: Julian Lopez
Inkers: Prentis Rollins and Bit
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
Review: If this was another writer I would be talking about how suprised I am that a writer can take one of the greatest teams in comics and write such a make the title feel so unreadable . But because this is Judd Winnick I am not suprised that he has taken the Wolfman/Perez Titans made the title so unberable to read. This issue was just the final nail in the coffin for this title. This whole Trigon son's story line was unoriginal and ill-concived from the very. Also Winnick's charatarization of each of the Titans is no were near how each member has been currently portrayed in other titles. What this issue and title shows is that as much as DC and fans want to relive the Wolfman/Perez era Titans that it is time to just admire how great that run was and allow these characters to move on from the Titans and take their perspective roles in the DCU. And since I don't have time or money to waste on a title this bad this is the last issue of Titans that I am picking up.
Ultimate Origins #5
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Butch Guice
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Review: Outside of the issue were this mini-series focused on the origins of the Ultimate versions of Magneto and Professor X and their relationship Ultimate Origins has been mostly a disappointing mini-series. With Ultimate Origins #5 Bendis was able to not only write a good ending but actually build up my anticipation for Ultimatum, even if Loed is writing it. While a lot of people may be annoyed that Bendis has tied in almost every character in the Ultimate Universe origins together in some way I actually think that this is an interesting development. Even though Ultimate X-Men already showed the falling out of Magneto and Prof. X it was interesting to seethe real reason behind Magneto paralyzing Prof. X. Making the reason Magneto did that to his best friend out of defense because of Prof. X attempt to force Magneto to follow Prof X's belief system made the scene much more powerful. The only problem I had with this issue, and story, is that Bendis introduced the idea of humans being the actual creaters of the mutant gene and didn't really give much more of an explanation than that.
The other interesting thing about this issue was the "apperance" of the Watcher and what it told the Fantastic Four about the upcoming disaster that is to hit the Ultimate Universe. The mystery of how the Ultimate version of the Watcher actually looks like since the Watcher used Sue's boy, with her permision, to relay it's message is interesting since they can either have an organic body, be a collective conscious or something else. Also it seems that this version of the Watcher is much more hands on the the 616 version with it assigning its on herald that will either record or bring about the upcoming disaster. And credit to be Butch Guice for providing some nice artwork to go along with Bendis's story.
Uncanny X-Men #503
Writer: Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker
Artist: Greg Land
Inker: Jay Leisten
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Review: Just like with my comments with Titans it is hard to believe how bad Uncanny X-Men has become since Fraction has taken over the writing chores. It is clear that Fraction is the one that has been writing the past few issues and that Brubaker may only be helping with the plotting of the story. All the characters are acting like Messiah Complex never even happend. It is clear that Fraction is ignoring all of Emma Frost previous charactarization and has turned her into Jean Grey-lite. This is not the Emma that I have been reading and Emma is at her best when she masks her kindness with the bitchy side she shows to everyone. And the rest of the X-Men are no better and this issue was nothing but a dumb action filled issue. Also the appearance of Madeline Prior, in BSDM fetish outfit, did nothing but prove how stupid this issue and story is. It doesn't help that we also get some stiff artwork from Greg Land. All of the character's basically look like they are all pornstars. And just like with Titans I don't have either the time or money to waste money on this title and their are other titles that I have been looking to pick up that I can now get with dropping both this title and Titans.
Friday, October 17, 2008
With all school work I have been doing for my business classes I haven't had much time to sit down and write as many comic reviews as I would like to do. In order to be able to write "more" comic reviews I have decided to change how my reviews will look. The format of my comic reviews will be similar to how my anime reviews were I will review all the issues I read in one post. Though the rating system will be the same as before but instead of writing a long review that includes the summary and highlight of the issue I will now only write a one to two paragraph reviews of an issue.
With how comics are currently written it is hard to judge a story arc based on a single issue so when a story arc or mini-series is over I will also write a full review of what I thought of the story. These reviews of will rate the overall story arc/mini-series and the art. The reviews will be similar in length to the single issue reviews I have been doing.
Now instead of attaching scans of my favorite pages of a comic to my reviews I will be writing a new article called "Comic Highlights of the Week" were I will post what I think was the best cover, page, panel, and spread of that week in comics. While the pages, panels, and spread will come from a comic I read that week the cover of the week could come from a comic I did or did not read. I will also write a short summary why I thought the image.
Posted by Kevin at 12:14 AM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Bleach 83: "Grey Shadow, the Secret of the Dolls"
This episode gives a little back story on the Bount Ichigo is fighting Koga. While far from being a terrible episode this episode felt like a filler episode due to being placed in the middle of the Ichigo vs. Koga fight. This episode did give some insight on Koga being more than just a big brute. It was nice to see that at least one of the Bounts had a happy life before joining Kariya and the relationship between Koga and his apprentice Cain was a change of pace for Bleach, which made Cain's death at the end of the episode have some impact. But even with seeing some of one of the Bounts history I did not feel any more sympathy for these characters. Also it just felt uncharacteristic of Kariya to show so much emotion and his crying for Cain's death just felt wrong, even if he was just trying to manipulate Koga to join him. The only real bright spot of this episode is the appearence of Lutenient Kira at the end of the episode. With the appearence of Kira it looks like the Soul Society is finally going to do something about the Bounts other than just talk about what to do.
Episode Rating: 6.4/10
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion 23: "At Least With Sweet Sorrow"
With only two episodes left after this one Code Geass is reving up for a great to the season. It is amazing just how much this anime has been able to keep the viewer guessing with what is going to happen next. While this episode did feel like it was setup for the final episodes it did leave the viewers wanting more. With much of the first part of this episode continueing the bloody rampage of Euphemia killing all the Japanese her death still felt shocking. Much credit has to be given to Euphemia's voice actress Michelle Ruff. Even though Euphemia was killing people left and right Ruff made Euphemia sound like the sweet and innocent character she is. With Lelouch being the one that had to shoot "the first girl he loved" to stop her rampage it feels like the one pure character in this show, at least in the Royal Family. Euphy's death automatically changed some of the major character's outlook of the coming war. With the death of his love Suzaku has renounced his former "gentler" self in order to kill Zero which should lead Suzaku to kick some serious ass in the Lancelot. The character that it seems to affected the most is Lelouch because not only did he kill one of the only people he actually loved but he also killed someone Nunally loved. The moment after Lelouch finishes talking with Nunally and realizes this is a great character moment and CC motherly comforting Lelouch shows CC is not as heartless as she wants people to believe she is. Add Lelouch officially declaring war on Britannia and renaming Japan as the United States of Japan, Suzaku's new attitude, the mysterious VV, and the other major players of the war will make these last two episodes to be bloody fun.
Episode Rating: 9.3/10
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis
Inker: Ocleair Albert
Colorist: Ranov Mayor
Hal and Sinestro arrive on Oa to receive a mouth full from the Guardians. The Guardians question why Sinestro went to a sector out of his jurisdiction. Hal having enough of the Guardians starts telling them of and accusing them of fear. The Guardians offended of this claim are about to reprimand Hal but Sinestro and one of the Guardians calms everyone down. Sinestro then tells the Guardians that the Guardian calling himself Ganthet sent him to help Hal Jordan fight Atrocitus. He then goes on tell the Guardians that the Green Lanterns should stop working independently and work together in the future. The Guardians tell him all Green Lanterns will continue to work alone and Sinestro must take Atrocitus back to Ysmault.
Later, Hal tries to destroy a yellow statue to prove to the other Green Lanterns he can do it when Sinestro appears. Sinestro tells Hal that next time they meet he is coming to his planet and leaves to take Atrocitus back to Ysmault.
Back on Earth Hal is back to Ferris Air were his buddy Tom tells him he is the new test pilot for Ferris Air. Carol appears and tells Hal that all the other pilots left so he is the only one that she has left to pilot the planes. Hal ask Carol out for a date but Carol responds by saying she does not date employees. We then see a captured Hector Hammond and William Hand in a mortuary were he test the absorbing device he took from Atrocitus on a security guard.
At Ysmault Sinestro leaves Atrocitus on Ysmault and before he leaves Atrocitus tells Sinestro that his home world will soon go into chaos and that is when Sinestro will feel fear. Sinestro does not believe him and tells him it will not happen as long as he is around.
The scene shifts back to Earth were Hal meets up with his brother Jim at their dads grave. Hal explains that he wants to be a much better brother to Jim and he starts today. Hal transforms into his Green Lantern costume and hands Jim a journal explaining everything. End of issue.
Green Lantern #35 was a good final installment to "Secret Origins." I am actually surprised how much I enjoyed "Secret Origins" since in general I hate re-telling of a characters origin. The only real knock on this issue, and story in general, is the re-telling of an origin most fans already know. But I understand that after "Sinestro Corp Wars" and "The Alpha Lanterns" arcs which changed the landscape of the Green Lanterns overall this title needs to slow down a bit and allow new readers who have just started to pick up this title after "Sinestro Corp Wars" to catch up with what makes Hal such a great character.
One the things that I have liked about this story is that we have gotten to see Hal and Sinestro work together as partners. The scenes they have during the time they are getting chewed out by the Guardians and before Sinestro leaves show that these two were once good friends. Which is what makes them being mortal enemies in the present that much more sad especially for Sinestro. For all the Guardians alienation towards Sinestro in the it is Sinestro that was correct in that the Green Lanterns should stop acting as individuals and work as a team. "Sinestro Corp Wars" showed that in the end Sinestro was correct and with the upcoming "Blackest Night" story it may be Sinestro that may be one of the Green Lantern's greatest ally or enemy because with this story I am not sure which side Sinestro will play.
This story actually made me miss the take no shit attitude Hal use to have when he started of as Green Lantern and before the Guardians gave him the responsibility of being the leader of all Green Lanterns. The present Hal Jordan is much more conservative and hesitant to take the leadership role again due to what he has done in the past. And with the upcoming war of lights Hal may need to return to the take no shit attitude he used to have if he is going to not only survive but thrive in upcoming war.
Reis and Albert combined to provide some great artwork. Even though this was mostly a talking heads issue Reis and Albert showed they are just as strong with having characters talk as they are with the action scenes. The best scene of the issue was the visual of the Guardians being offended by Hal's comment of them being the ones that feel fear. Even with out the words you can see by the artwork how pissed of they were by Hal's comments.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank
Inkers: Jon Sibal and Bit
Colorist: Brad Anderson
With finally capturing Metropolis in a bottle Braniac continues his plan with destroying the Earth with Superman looking on helplessly. As soon as Superman hears Lois screams for Superman to help, and that she loves him, he breaks free from Brainiac's machine and kicking Brainiac ass by fighting "dirty." Superman is able to KO Braniac and he grabs the bottles containing Metropolis and Kandor. He then frees Supergirl before Braniac's robot start "experimenting" on her and tells her she must stop Braniac's rocket before it reaches the sun and causes it to explode. Even though she doubts she can stop the rocket Supergirl gains the confidence to do it after some words of wisdom from her cousin.
As Supergirl goes to stop the rocket Braniac regains consciousness and he and Superman begin round 2. After trading punches and kicks Superman is able to kick Braniac hard enough to send Brainiac through his ship landing on Earth. When Brainiac lands on Earth he lands on a swamp and is exposed to all the bacteria of Earth which causes all of his systems to shutdown. To make things worse for Brainiac, Superman comes down and stomps Brainiac's head. Superman then flies of and releases Metropolis back to its original location and then goes to find a safe place to release Kandor.
In outer space Supergirl is able to reach the rocket before it reaches the sun. With all her strength Supergirl is able able to divert the rocket and it explodes in a safe distance from her and the sun.
Meanwhile, in a final act to destroy Superman Brainiac activates one of his rockets from his ship to destroy Superman's parents at Kent Farm. Before the rocket can hit Marta, Johnathan notices the rocket heading towards her and quickly moves her out of the way so the rocket only destroys their house. But as Johnathan and Marta embrace Johnathan starts having a heart attack which causes Marta to scream out to Clark for help.
On the other side of the world in Antarctica Superman arrives at the Fortress of Solitude were he releases Kandor from its bottle. Once Kandor is released it destroys the Fortress of Solitude and Kandor is now located were the Fortress of Solitude use to be. As Superman admires Kandor he hears his mom screaming his name. Superman flies of to Kent Farm at max speed and once he arrives at the farm he sees his mom cradling his dead fathers body in her arms. Clark breaks down and he and his mom hug morning Johnathan's death. End of issue.
Action Comics #870 was a strong conclusion to one of the best Superman stories I have ever read. I know that may seem like I being over dramatic statement but the truth is I have never been a big fan of Superman to begin since I have always viewed Superman the end all, be all of stories in the DC Universe. The only real version of Superman I have actually liked was the version from Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League/JLU cartoons. So for Geoff Johns and Gary Frank to make me enjoy a Superman in comic book form this much speaks volumes to how great of story this creative are telling in Action Comics. There was only two things that I did not like about this issue, one is specifically about this issue and the other is about the story in general, and I will go into depth later in my review.
The thing that has always annoyed about Superman comics or any comic were Superman appears is that writers will always resort to try to weaken Superman's powers to fit the story due to how powerful Superman is. And in the case DC crossovers take Superman out of the equation until the end, if your reading Final Crisis you know what I mean. I would like to see Johns or someone in DC would go back to making kryptonite back to being a rare object with in the DC Universe. With the return of Kandor and more Kryptonians than just Superman, Supergirl, and Powergirl I don't think this will happen anytime soon.
But Johns seemed to know de-powering Superman is just an unoriginal idea. The beauty about this story is that at no point in this story did I think that Superman was holding back when fighting the villain (Brainiac). I actually thought the opposite and that even with Superman throwing everything he had at Brainiac he still could not beat him at the beginning. Seeing how useless Superman looked when he was captured in that machine at the beginning of the issue made me question how Superman would beat Brainiac. It was a nice touch that it was Lois screams for help that woke Superman out of his trance and gave him the power to kick Brainiac's ass.
Brainiac definitely gave Superman a run for his money. I love how even when he was knocked out he came back with blood in his eyes ready for round 3. Brainiac being defeated by being exposed to all the bacteria on Earth was a pretty clever way for Johns to end the fight between Superman and Brainiac. I actually smirked as I was watching Brainiac being killed by all the bacteria because it reminded me of all the old alien movies and how the aliens were killed by being exposed to the Earth's air.
Other than this I thought it was nice to see one of Superman's least used superpower: the power to motivate others. It has been a while since I have actually heard Superman motivate someone, in this case Supergirl, with his words instead of his fist. Superman is what every superhero in the DC Universe strives to be and he is not the leader of the Justice League because of he has the strongest but because he can motivate the rest of the heroes to continue fighting. So it was nice to see that even though Supergirl was scared to do anything it was Superman that got her to overcome her fears with his little speech.
Speaking of Supergirl, this is the first time I did not find her annoying since her re-introduction into the DC Universe a few years ago. Her actions in this issue is the first heroic thing I have seen her do since Crisis on Infinite Earths. And since in the current DC Universe no one remebers it anyways it is her first heroic act. What made her saving Earth from being destroyed much more heroic is that she did it even though she was afraid of Brainiac. By saving the Earth you can see her smiling that she even realizes she is a hero.
What is going to be interesting from this point foward is who she chooses to aling herself with since her only real connection to Earth is Clark and Lois.Which is different from Clark since Earth and the people of this planet are the only ones he has known but for Kara she grew up in Krypton and has only been on Earth for two years.
Now my favorite part of this story is also one of the two things that I did not like about this story: Brainiac. The reason I say this is that even though I liked that Brainiac presented both a physical and metal challange for Superman it seemed that the ending to the Brainiac conflict was rushed. Throughout this story Brainiac was shown to outmatch Superman in everyway outside of Superman's heart which lead to Superman's victory. And the way it ended did not sit right with me since all Superman was able to defeat was Brainiac's organic body and not Brainiac himself. Because unless I missed something it was said in previous issues that Brainiac was the ship and not the organic body Superman was facing. So unless Superman destroyed Brainiac's ship it seems that Superman just let him go.
Another thing that that irked me about Brainiac is that even though in the previous issues we saw that Brainiac is one of the smartess being in the DC Universe I just did not get a sense throughout this story that he was one. It seems that Johns focused more on Brainiac being a physical presence instead of the mental presence that his character should be. With that said for Johns was trying to do with this story I understand why he changed some of Brainiac's character. I just hope the next time we see Brainiac he returns to being the mental threat he should be.
The other part of the issue that I really did not like was the death of Johnathan Kent. Having Clark's dad die does not do anything for Clark's character development. Unlike with the deaths of Peter Parker's Uncle Ben and Bruce Wayne's parents which helped motivate, and continues to motivate, both characters to be the heroes they currently are but Clark's father's death happens in a point were he has been Superman for a good while and his belief system is already set. So story wise this development only helps to make maybe one or two stories out of it since Johnathan's death could be considered out of old age and not out some great tragedy.
Outside of character development the true reason that I did not like Johnathan's death is because with this death the character of Clark/Superman loses the most unique and relatable aspect of his character. In comics today it is hard to find a character were he or she has both of their parents still alive since most creators think that it makes a character much more relatable if that character has only one or neither of their parents alive or around. In truth outside of a characters husband or wife it seems that most characters in comics don't have much of a family to begin with. So now Superman is just like the hundreds of comic book characters in that his only real family is his wife, mother, and cousin (close family anyways). And personally as someone who has both my parents still married and both my parents playing a big role in shaping who I am as a person it is harder for me to relate to Clark/Superman now.
With all that said I have to give props to Gary Frank and Jon Sibal for giving this issue, and story in general, some great artwork. Frank showed that he has great range in drawing both some furious action scenes as well as the quiet character moments. The only real problem I had with Frank's artwork is that he made Brainiac's organic body look like a cross between Lex Luthor and Barry Bonds. But this is only a minor complaint since I can understand Frank trying to make Brainiac look more like a physical presence than previous incarnations.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Bleach 82: Ichigo vs Dalk! Appearance of the Faded Darkness
Since Yoshino's death a few episodes back the episodes since then have slowed down the pace of the "Bount" arc. With this episode Bleach returns to the action this series is known for. Though the fights in this episode still does not compare to some of the great fights we have seen back in the "Soul Society" arc. Still the new appearances of the Bounts dolls, do to the power up from the souls they have been drinking from the previous episode, starts to make me wonder how Ichigo and co. are going to be able to defeat the powered up dolls since Ichigo did not fair very well against Koga and his doll Dalk. It was actually only do to a timely arrival/takeover of Ichigo's hollow that allowed him to win. It looks like if Ichigo does not gain back the power of his bankai he will continue to have to deal with his inner hollow. Speaking of Ichigo's inner hollow I got to give Ichigo's voice actor Johnny Yong Bosch making Ichigo inner hollow sound like such a twisted version of Ichigo. The appearance of Ichigo's inner hollow definitely gave this episode the needed boost of being slightly above average.
Episode Rating - 7.8/10
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion 22: Bloodstained Euphie
Wow! Just wow. After it looked like Code Geass may end up having a happy ending for all the main characters the people behind Code Geass gives us an ending that left me with my jaw on the floor. The last few episodes including the first 10 of this episode has shown that Lelouch and Nunally maybe able to live a happy life with Euphie and Suzaku. I got to say that the meeting between Lelouch/Zero and Euphie was a very touching scene because Euphie out the nice brother side of Lelouch that he only shows when he is around Nunally. And for all the "evil" Lelouch has done in the past as Zero in the end Zero is just a mask Lelouch wears to do what he cannot do as Lelouch Lamperouge Britannian high school student. The true Lelouch is the warm brother he is when around Nunally and Euphie which is what makes the last ten minutes of this episode so shocking and sad. In the end it looks like CC warning to Lelouch that he would loose control of his Geass came true in the worst moment possible because it was a small joke Lelouch tells Euphie upon agreeing to Euphie piece treaty that she should shot all of the Japanese in the crowd when his Geass goes control. The amount of bloodshed we see when Euphie starts shooting all the Japanese in attendance is just shocking amount for any anime let alone TV show. What makes it more sad is when Lelouch orders the Black Knights to kill Euphie while unsuccessfully holding back his tears. It is moments like this that makes me draw comparisons between Code Geass and Deathnote as well as the differences between the two animes. Also throwing in the subplot of Suzaku seeing some of CC history when they came into contact just shows how the people behind this show have been laying the groundwork all the way back to earlier episodes that lead up to the events of this episode.
Episode Rating - 9.5/10
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Action Comics #870 - This is the final issue of the fantastic Brainiac arc and I can't wait to see how Johns is going to resolve this story with this issue. Now even though I have enjoyed this story this is the last issue of Action Comics I am picking up because after this issue the Action Comics, Superman, and Supergirl are going to be telling same story. And my wallet is not big enough to pick up two additional titles but this wont take away from my enjoyment of this issue.
Avengers/Invaders #5 - I have been enjoying this mini-series. It is just a shame that this series seems to be playing second fiddle to Final Crisis and Secret Invasion. I am expecting a great interaction between present and past Bucky and how the Bucky from the past reacts to his future self being Captain America.
Green Lantern #35 - This is another Johns title that is having the closing issue for the story arc. I have been surprised that I have enjoyed this Secret Origin arc since I already new Hal's origin. Johns has used this retelling of Hal's origin to add some key characters that play a role for the Red and Black Lanterns that just build on my anticipation of the upcoming "Blackest Night" event.
Green Lantern Corps #29 - With this issue I am official adding GLC to my pull list. I have only been getting this title on a sporadic basis before now but since I just can't wait for "Blackest Night" I am getting anything that builds up to that event. Also I am interested to see what Tomasi is going to do with Star Sapphire Corps.
Invincible Iron Man #6 - While Fraction started off strong in this new title he has quickly fallen to making Invincible Iron Man a typical superhero comic. I am still on the fence whether to drop this title or not since Iron Man has been part of my top three favorite Marvel characters with Spider-man and Captain America. It doesn't make my decision any easier that this is the only Iron Man title on the market with Iron Man Director of SHIELD being replaced with a War Machine title.
Posted by Kevin at 8:32 PM
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artist: Don Kramer
Inker: Jay Leisten
Nightwing enters the safe house were he left Carol and is surrounded by all of Batman's Rogue Gallery or so he thinks. In actuality Nightwing is being affected by the Scarecrow fear toxin in his system which has caused him think he is in a room covered in blood and all the Rogues ready to attack him. Because all the Rogues are all hallucinations caused by the Scarecrow toxin Nightwing does not hold back and brutally takes down all of the Rogues until only Two-Face is left. Two-Face informs Nightwing that he is the real one and the one that shot Nightwing with the bullet filled with the Scarecrow toxin with the help of Deathstorkes training from a year ago he received/paid for.
Still under the influence of the toxin Two-Face throw's one of his coins at Nightwing which he thinks is the size similar to the one Bruce has in the batcave. Two-Face uses this distraction to grabs Carol, and even though she pleads for Harvey not to do this but unluckly for her only the Two-Face persona is present, and she is shot by Two-Face. During this time Nightwing falls out the window and pictures when his parents fell to their death. Even though he knows they are not really their he still saves himself and his parents. By the time Nightwing gets to Carol, who he first thinks is Barbara, she is already dead.
Nightwing and Harvey/Two-Face go to Carol's funeral, hiding in the shadows, thinking to themselves quietly. Later Harvey meets with the man who hired his Two-Face persona to kill Carol. Harvey blames this man for Carol's death and kills him stating "Nightwing was suppose to save her(Carol)"
Nightwing #149 was another great issue in Tomasi's current run. Between Tomasi's work on Nightwing and Green Lantern Corps he is quickly proving to be one of my favorite comic writers. It just feels that Tomasi was born to write this title and hopefully, depending on what happens in "Batman RIP," Tomasi is on Nightwing for a long time.
Tomasi understands that Dick Grayson/Nightwing is half Batman and half James Bond. I have always seen Dick as being the man Bruce would have turned out to be if be was able to put all his demon's to rest and moved on from his parents death. The scene were Dick saves his parents even is a perfect example of the difference of how Bruce and Dick feel about there parents deaths. Bruce has always used his parents deaths as one of the prime motivation for being Batman and has never really moved on from their deaths. Dick on the other has been able to move on from his parents deaths and his motivation for being Nightwing is to save people from evil which means that he does not always have to be dark and brooding all the time like Bruce is when Batman.
It was also great to see Dick cut loose on all of Batman's Rogue Galley even though they were all hallucination. All Batman related characters have always had to hold back in order not to land a killing blow to the villains and thugs they fight on a daily basis which they can easily do if they want to. But by knowing that all the Rogues aren't real we get to see how dangerous Dick, and the rest of the Batfamily, can be if they didn't hold back. When Dick takes down Joker with the crowbar and the images of Batman and Jason's Robin in the background was just another awesome scene involving the Joker (check out Batman #680 for more Joker awesomeness).
The other great thing about this story is how Tomasi has been portraying how insane Harvey is with his two distinct personas: Harvey Dent attorney and Two Face the evil mastermind. It is great how Tomasi is portraying both personas as being seperate from one another and that whenever Harvey is in a scene you never know which persona your talking to. With the skills Harvey has learned from Deathstroke I can't waith to see the Nightwing vs Two-Face showdown we are sure to get in the next issue.
Don Krammer's art in this issue was flatout brilliant. The blood filled room were Nightwing was fighting all the Rogues was just a great visual that help portray what the effects of the Scarecrow toxin look like. Krammer also draws a great Two-Face and the scene were he is yelling and firing the two guns at the guy perfectly portrays the insane state of mind he is in with the death of Carol.