Tag Archives: Oracle

Batgirl #21: Review!

12 May

You know, it’s surprising to think that I’ve followed this series for nearly two years.  For that long, it has been going strongly.  And this issue keeps up the pace.

Now, the series has never been phenomenal, but it’s never been really bad either.  It coasts at a nice even pace that is light-hearted and fun.  There is a bright spot in the Batman universe and that is Stephanie Brown.

In this issue, Bryan Q. Miller puts Batgirl up against another college student member of The Scythe.  The endgame is rather unclear on what The Scythe will do, but we know that they are not out to kill Batgirl.  Instead, they are pursuing their own means for some sort of benefactor.  I find this rather interesting because the goal isn’t necessarily to kill the hero or even hurt them, it’s instead to go about their business and hope for no further interruptions.  But, interruptions they get in the plentiful as Stephanie kicks some ass.

There is also the side plot of Wendy Harris and she makes a decision that will take her out of the immediate picture (I’m sure the side quest will be shown in further issues) which effectively leads Stephanie out on her own.  Overall, there is tight plotting.

However, I can’t help but to think that this series will work so much better as a trade.  I tend to forget exactly what is going on from month to month and it leads me a little confused right at the beginning.  So, this will definitely lead to more re-reads.The inker also has some fun on a couple of panels making things a little muddier and impressionistic.

Overall, interesting story that’s compelling but doesn’t necessarily wow.

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Batman: The Return – Review

19 Nov

This comic started out really neat.  I mean, you get to see bats fighting! Bats!  That’s right, bats in a Batman comic!  Hurrah!  This lovely lead-in to the main feature balanced pretty well.  And then, onto the main feature, we get Bruce Wayne back at his old tricks BUT BIGGER.

Now, this section seemed a bit rushed especially since I figured Bruce’s briefing of the Bat Family would last a bit longer with Red Robin at least getting a few good lines.  Nevertheless, this was about Bruce.  Except, then it went to Bruce and Damian in ridiculous robot costumes.  I couldn’t tell if they were inside the robot or outside or whatever until a decent amount into the scene.  A nearly forgettable character is introduced along with the criminal organization that will face off against Batman Inc.  I’m intrigued but not overly excited.

I suppose my biggest complaint was all of the unnecessary extra content.  It basically goes “oooh… here’s the original pencils!  Now, here are the inked pencils!  Oh, new designs!  Golly gee this is fantastic!  Let’s throw in some of the finalized scripts!  Yipee!”  Now, I’m not going to complain and be like “hey, you should have offered me more pages of art!”  But, at the very least, they could have offered some of the bonus material on their The Source website, cut it out of the comic, and raised the price down a dollar.  That would have made me much more pleased.

Nevertheless, the comic itself was decent, and it functions as a good kickoff to the new era of Batman.

Super HeroiHOT #25: Cassandra Cain

17 Nov

So, last week I covered Miss Cassandra Cain’s mother Lady Shiva.  Well, that got me so energized as to do Cassandra Cain because, sure, you know, I do a lot of Batman related characters.  Nevertheless, she’s quite the worthy character to pit it out against everyone else.

APPEARANCE:

Cassandra’s Batgirl costume has become nearly as iconic as a Batman costume (there are dozens, of course).  It is so slick and simple yet incredibly effective.  When the only things that are not black on the costume is a silhouetted bat symbol and a utility belt (which she hardly ever uses), then you’ve got something very intimidating.

The most noticeable thing on the costume is the face mask.  This has literally been sewn on by Cassandra to cover up her nose and mouth.  Plus, there are special lenses over the eyes to make the face seem completely shrouded.  This fits the entire get up of Cassandra.  She is a deadly fighter that is all about stealth and efficiency.  There are no items on her outfit that are unplanned for or unusable.

Out of costume, Cassandra is the daughter of the Asian Lady Shiva and the Caucasian David Cain.  So, she is mixed race but comes off looking more Asian than anything else.  Most Asian characters are often shown as back up characters, but not too frequently in leading roles.

However, Cassie is no longer Batgirl.  And, as of this month, she was finally shown post-Batgirl in the pages of Red Robin #17.  And, as I said in the interview, I’m really digging this new look.  The majority of it seems completely practical.  The only thing that stands out to me as possibly a problem is the scarf, but that sort of makes up for her no longer having a cape.  Nevertheless, this new look really works and works damn well.  So, I really hope that they keep this good thing going on her few appearances that will probably make the rounds over the next year or so.

Plus, I have to give it to artists: in most cases, Cassie’s body was never really exploited.  Sure, there were some questionable scenes when she was out of costume, but, compared to most other superheroines, there was not a plentiful abundance of dehumanizing images.  With a track record of killer costumes and the refusal to exploit her body, I’ll make the unprecedented move of:

Appearance: 11/10

 

PERSONALITY:

Cassandra is a very determined being.  As shown from above, she keeps fighting even after she’s down or harmed or whatever.  It’s really quite impressive.  Her determination defines her.

So determined she goes after cars… while being dragged behind them with a tension line… and being shot at.

Now, to some, she may be very short answered and curt, but, to those people, I reply with: She was raised for 8 years without a single word ever being uttered to her.  That’s right, to those who do not know, David Cain raised his daughter to understand the language of the body rather than any verbal language.  So, even after a couple of years as being Batgirl, she has yet to learn how to read or write.  She can, however, communicate fairly well talking.

As seen above with Spoiler, Cassandra can be very forward.  Sure, she is trying to protect Stephanie, but she does it by applying a pressure point disabling method.

She can also have a good laugh about the finer points in life.

Nevertheless, you have to give her the benefit of the doubt with all of her occasional problems with communicating.

Personality: 9/10

 

SUPERPOWERS:

Just in case you’re unsure, Cassie’s in black and Lady Shiva’s in orange.

So, all of that being raised by David Cain until she was 8 with absolutely no communication verbally did something quite spectacular for her.  She learned the language of body movement.  Although, she did psychically lose it and had to be retrained by Lady Shiva.  Nevertheless, Cassandra shows the extraordinary ability to know what someone’s about to do whether that’s dodging bullets at close range or disabling someone.  Cassandra always seems to have the upperhand and it is rare to see someone overpower her for long.  Hell, SHE BEAT LADY SHIVA everyone… oh, and this didn’t happen just once, it happened twice – possibly a third depending on who’s counting.

Do you know what this means?  She can go toe to toe with Batman – Bruce Wayne is arguably the most skilled fighter in the DC Universe – and nearly win!  That’s crazy!

On top of this, she’s been trained as an assassin… which, as a child, you know, she actually killed someone.  Ignoring that, she can, as the above picture shows, move without being seen or heard even in broad daylight.  She is essentially a shadow with no owner.

That’s just plain badass.

Superpowers: 10/10

 

SECRET IDENTITY:

There was, at one point, a time when Cassandra actually attempted to have a Secret Identity.  This was when she was living in Bludhaven… then, you know, a big Crisis of the Infinite variety came around and BLUDHAVEN WAS BOMBED… the whole city wiped out.  Way to go Chemo, way to go.

That was basically the only time in which Cassie had a secret identity.  But, we can’t really blame her, she was trained as a deadly assassin from birth and fighting really was the only thing she knew.  So, she never really had much of an opportunity to develop a secret identity.  And, in some cases, she was more devoted to Batman’s cause than he was… at least time wise.

Secret Identity: 9/10

 

Additional Items:

Sometimes, Cassie’s violence and fighting just seemed a little too excessive.  Such as, you know, cracking your mom’s neck to disable her and then hanging her on a hook above a Lazarus pit…  Or, perhaps taking a sword and slicing a main artery in Ravager’s neck that would only give her ten minutes to live.  She’s a hero but she has no real worries about casualties.  If she’s not the one killing or those immediately around her, then it’s okay.  Such would be the case when those really fucking annoying gun-toting twins (totally forget their names) were shooting at her and Robin, and she got them to shoot and kill each other.  That’s a little much.

-2

There was that whole thing with her being drugged, taking over the League of Assassins, being Deathstroke’s plaything, trying to kill the Titans thing… yeah, you know, the one that got fans shitting in their pants with upsetness.  It was a terrible move on DC’s part and did not fit with the character, but that does not mean it didn’t happen.  And, for that:

-2

I don’t have an exact image for it, but I can still tell you how awesome it was: Cassie survived a LAZARUS PIT WITHOUT GOING CRAZY.  Let’s just give the little ol’ example of Jason Todd.  Hey, the guy’s kind of brain dead, let’s revive him in the pit: CRAZY.  Oh, Ra’s Al Ghul seems like a nice gentlemen, oh, he wants eternal life, well here’s a Lazarus Pit: CRAZY.  Yet, Cassandra is revived by Shiva in the Lazarus Pit and Cassie, by her own will, meditates the crazy off and survives not crazy.  No one has never been revived by the Pit without going at least a little bit crazy except for Cassie…. yeah, that’s badass.

+3

TOTAL SCORE:

38/40 or 95%

Cassie lines them up and knocks them down.  Pure badass.

Batgirl #15: Review

13 Nov

Okay, the intro to this comic with Dustin Nguyen’s little mini, chibi, cute whatevers is adorable.  However, I found it a little off putting that Stephanie and Oracle would be so open to letting Proxy in on the Bat-Family’s secrets.

Nevertheless, after the beginning I was hooked.  Plus, I was just really pumped for Dustin Nguyen taking over art duties.

…But, something happened…

The comic wasn’t actually all that good.

Sure, we had Stephanie’s idiosyncratic quips that are usually cute and chuckle-worthy… yet they just didn’t seem as good this time around.  And, the overall plot just wasn’t that creative.  It was the typical “OMG THE HERO’S BEEN SET UP AS A VILLAIN!!!” that we’ve seen dozens of times before.

On top of that, the art wasn’t that great.  Sure, it had Dustin’s charismatic expression, but it just didn’t do that much for me.

Overall, I walked away from this comic a little disappointed that it was mediocre.  Sure, I’ll keep on coming back to this issue because when it works, it really works.  But, the last couple of issues just haven’t seemed as great as before.  I think it’s about time Stephanie got a serious batch of Rogues Gallery-abled villains… that don’t do the typical bait and switch.

A whole new slew of comic reevus

9 Jun

Well, I didn’t get comics for a month or so… There was a lot waiting for me.

Unfortunately, I forgot to pick up Grizzly Shark and Sea Bear, Return of Bruce Wayne #2, and my LCS still hasn’t received Tales of the TMNT #69.

Overall, I was fairly pleased with my pulls, and I even went out on a limb and bought some Marvel which was, surprisingly, really good.

So, let’s start it off with the bad and move towards the awesome:

Green Lantern #54:

It’s really unfortunate that most of these scenes in this book were sort of seen in others (mostly Brightest Day), and I’m a little tired of Green Lantern.  Honestly, this book is testing my patience.  It looks pretty and Doug Mahnke does his best with trying to make the Star Sapphire costume look not so slutty, but I feel like Geoff Johns is just trying to outdo himself with the next big, cosmic event.  Therefore, character studies are shot down for a rather boring plot.  And Lobo, seriously?  I’m giving this comic three more tries.  If it fails twice in those three times, then it’s out.

The best part of this comic, though, was Dex-Star (the Red Lantern Cat) kicking some ass.

Batgirl #11:

I’ll begin this by mentioning that there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this issue.  I feel like Bryan Q. Miller is doing a knockout job developing a voice for Stephanie.  Sure, Lee Garbett & Pere Perez’s pencils sort of make Stephanie’s boobs fluctuate size on a nearly frame by frame basis, but the art’s overall good.  Everyone’s doing a good job.  My problem is that the comic is doing things that have been done before.  Sure, these are all sort of training exercises for Stephanie, but the stakes are obvious and I don’t feel like there’s any real big threat.  The Calculator is nice, but that’s more so Barbara’s villain.  Is Stephanie going to get any of her own.

As far as dream sequences go, this was one of the more interesting ones out of the thousands out there in comic land.

Girl Comics #2:

I feel like this comic should be longer than it is.  I feel like there should be more stories in it.  Hell, I’m being charged $5 goddamn dollars for it, I might as well get some more stories.  Plus, what’s up with the shipping delay?

Alright, refocus on what’s actually here in the comic.  Unfortunately, it was hit and miss.  I enjoyed the intro again even if it felt like I was rereading the intro from before (I really liked the variation of She-Hulk’s costume).  The Inhumans was kinda bleh.  However, I really liked the hairdressing story because it didn’t really feel like it was shoving the issue of “hey, girls like to get their hair done!” but more so a thing that they do that shows a different aspect of their lives.  I liked the art and coloring on the “Do You Ever?” story even if the script was a bit lacking.  The two page spread of MJ searching for another superhero boyfriend was delightfully taking stabs at the machismo behind many male superheroes which made me pretty giddy.  The Dr. Strange story was a major disappointment.  I just did not understand what was going on.

So, overall, okay, but nothing major.

Batman #700(!):

Alright, I had to dish out the $5 on this landmark issue.  I figured it would probably not be that great, but, strangely, I found it to be pretty gosh darn good.  Now, let me preface it with me walking home 3 and a half miles in the rain worrying about my comics getting wet.  Then, it began pouring – like Puget Sound every day in February pouring – and I sought refuge.  Enter coffee shop and a warm chai.

I opened it up, and found this time-spanning narrative not confusing but, despite being defined by time periods, timeless.  Grant Morrison hit the mark on portraying that, no matter what, there will always be a need for a Batman in comics/the comic world.  Naturally, Frank Quitely’s frenetic energy in his section made a major impression.  It was unfortunate that he couldn’t finish the whole “Today” section.  I feel like they could have simply put a “Tonight” label after the switch to slightly differentiate between the artists and acknowledge the change up.

Now, I’m not a fan of Damien becoming Batman in the future.  Particularly because I think the transition would be too easy for the character… and I don’t like his batsuit.  So, that part was kinda “hmm meh” for me.  However, 2-Face-2 was hilarious as was the final joke.

The “And Tomorrow” section was genius showing off all the different Batmen that have come, gone, or will pass.  I really like the Full masked, silver-emblazoned one.

Overall, this is a pretty good story for a Batman fan with a little bit for everyone.  Sometimes, it didn’t hit the mark.  When it did, though, it was lovely.

Heralds #s 1 & 2:

After reading Kelly Thompson’s review of Her-alds, I decided to give it a try.  And, honestly, I am so glad I did.

Some Superheroes who just all happen to be women get together through an interesting means, and then, all of a sudden, a clones (of scientists and historical figures creating some funny moments with Einstein and later Hitler), Dinosaur, chaotic thing happens.  They bond together over fighting and then come together in the second issue over Frankie Raye and how she plays in the overall importance of recent events.

The art on these issues is amazing.  Some commentators (anonymous comments on other people’s reviews) have said that the art style is too indie or doesn’t differentiate between the women.  I would have to counter this by stating that I am not familiar in any depth with the majority of these characters, and I could tell them apart through facial differences.  Plus, I really like the slim, short-haired She-Hulk.  I mean, she’s lean but with lots of muscle.  Who’s to say the Gamma radiation has to make her bulky just to give her immense strength?

At times, the plot can be a little overwhelming and the dialogue quick, but another read through brings along more enjoyment.  Trust me, the first read is still just as good as you’re briskly trying to read what’s next.  This got me to chuckle aloud, which, as said numerous times before, is a hard thing to do.  Check out the Thompson review to see some pages from the actual book to see the interior art.

Red Robin #13:

Tim Drake-Wayne.  Marriage fake.  Identity.  New duds.  Checklists.  Hard Decisions.  Worth it?

I know that this comic is worth it.  You barely have to be knowledgeable about Tim Drake or this series to still really enjoy it, and the twist is wonderful.  God, I love this comic (and the writer switch – Fabian Nicieza who’s written Tim Drake before – hardly altered anything; a nice transition).

Invincible #72:

Within the Invincible Universe, I feel like Kirkman is at his best with writing violence.  I believe this also probably gives Ryan Ottley much more to play around with.  Anyone noticed the similar attacks Conquest utilizes?  Come on, the frames are nearly the same.

This issue completely surprised me in a good way.  The melodrama’s out of the way, and now it’s just super hard hitting and awesome.  I never knew breathing could be so great!

The Walking Dead #72:

God, does Kirkman know how to nail that final page for every issue.  I mean, it also works really fluidly during the trades, too.  Still, I just love it.

This issue focuses pretty heavy on the adjustment process with emphasis on Michonne, Andrea, and Glenn.  Um, yeah… mostly my favorite characters.  It’s nice to not see any zombies for a bit; although, I’m sure that will change next issue.  This is just such a consistently great comic.

Bat Family Comics: Early March

15 Mar

A short crossover between two titles and the thrilling beginning to the RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE (ugh…).  This was an interesting week for the Bat-verse.

Batman and Robin #10:

What a massive sword for such tiny arms

Well, this was a fairly more text-heavy issue of the comic.  It had some bright moments like Alfred adjusting the temperature to the Batmobile or Damien actually showing some positive emotion.  I’m intrigued by Oberton Sexton.  I like watching Dick get all detective-y and try to inspire Damien to do it too.  I’m a little disappointed that Damien has been brainwashed.  I love the inks and the shading by Andy Clarke even if he draws Damien a little too old and some of the angles are a little awkward (see Talia sitting on her throne).

Overall, I guess I’m along for the ride… even if the Library is too massive.  Even if I find it to be a little dumb that Bruce Wayne couldn’t even recognize himself in some of the portraits of his family.  Even if the Wayne Mansion was basically destroyed and now all of a sudden there are hidden rooms being found (especially when you would think that Bruce Wayne as a contingency plan for everything making it seem likely that he’d have the entire mansion sonar-ly mapped out).

Overall:

Batgirl #8:

Motorcycle race: GO!

You know what’s strange?  Batgirl was more badass in Red Robin #10 while Red Robin was more of a badass in Batgirl.

I at times either love or hate the art in this issue.  It just seems like the scratchiness really serves it while noses can come off too pointy.  Plus, I’m pretty sure Stephanie’s boobs change sizes probably 8 times.  The reveal of her in a strapless dress has some nice inking, but her boobs are suddenly gigantic when, for the most part, before they were well contained in her costume.  Does her costume just serve as a massive sports bra? I don’t understand.  The inks really vary in this issue which throws me off.

The best part is really the writing.  Bryan Q. Miller has captured Stephanie Brown’s voice that I think no other writer really has before.  It’s both funny, emotional, and strong.  Where the art fluctuates in its quality, the writing stays consistently great.

Red Robin #10:

Oh, Memories...

I like how the cover actually shows that characters grow up in comics.  Anyway, like I said before, Tim may be all super smart and figure out Ra’s Al Ghul’s plan in this comic, but it is Stephanie who truly shines.

The first scene is completely badass and got me to chuckle a bit with pure excitement at seeing Stephanie finally outclass Tim.

Ra’s Al Ghul is at his best in this issue, but I don’t really see why he actually meets Tommy Elliott/Hush/Bruce Wayne stand-in in person.  This is totally against his style of being in the shadows.  Nevertheless, he is a menacing badass, and I love it.

On one hand, I’m really sad to see Chris Yost go because his run on this book has been great with 3-4 issue arcs all building onto each other for a massive story and actually showing the grim Tim Drake finally coming back to his older roots of being at least partly cheerful.

I am so happy that Marcus To is on this book.  He is a really underrated artist at the moment.  Sure, some of his angles are pretty conventional, but he is on the right track to being one of the greats.  His style is simplistic, but he has great shading (congrats to Ray McCarthy for inking) and is very respectful of all characters.

Two simple artistic problems happened in this issue which is mostly the fault of an editor for not catching.  1. Stephanie’s dress is different from the party than in Batgirl (both books were probably being drawn at the same time making it hard to coordinate the designs), and, on page 5, Tim’s Robin costume is a hybrid between his original and his Post-Superboy death one.  I think this is mostly because the colorist messed up, but who knows.

Overall, it was a fun read that made me crave more pages afterward.

Review Time! 12/19/09

19 Dec

Alright, I’ve been a bad little boy lately… well, to tell you the truth, due mostly to circumstances out of my immediate control, I did not go to the comic book shop for three weeks!  And yet, I’m one of those weekly people… Damn.  So, these are fairly recent comics.

They’re ordered from best to worse, once again.

Donatello: The Brain Thief #4 of 4

Wow, that’s all I can really say to sum up this miniseries.  Jim Lawson really fulfilled on his promise in the interview that I did with him (that you can read here: https://mechanisticmoth.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/an-interview-with-jim-lawson/ ) that this miniseries would show a much darker side to Donatello than ever seen before.  Frankly, I haven’t been this surprised with the character since he fell, broke his leg, and then used a gun to save Karai in City at War way back when.

The pacing on this issue is phenomenal with so many quiet, introspective moments that really emphasize the horrible lengths Donatello will go to for some sort of better good.  I read it so quick that I read it again… and then again… then I read all 4 issues again.  Expect to see this miniseries on a list at the end of the year!

I really have to refrain from going into too much detail about this book because it’s just one that you have to read on your own.  And, don’t fear readers, this miniseries is pretty easy to pick up without ever reading any TMNT stories before.

Batgirl #5:

You know what really makes me happy?  The best titles coming out of the Bat-Family right now are ones that feature Strong Female characters.  Batgirl and Detective Comics.  The characters are truly dynamic.  You get Barbara Gordon who is disabled and in a wheelchair but still empowered, sexy, intelligent, and playing the very important role of being Oracle.  Couple that with her working with Stephanie Brown who’s only been vigilante-ing it for a couple years (comic book time) who is sassy yet smart and fierce.  Not only that, out of any of the characters in the Bat-verse, Stephanie actually brings some much needed light to the dark of Gotham.

Plus, what’s this!? The women aren’t drawn with giant T & A in this book!  There’s even a stab by the writer at other books that do this (which was pretty darn good).

Any issue of Batgirl is great for first time readers because the stories are pretty issue inclusive, and they’re very attractive for first time readers because of the stories being fun, thrilling, and fresh.

Plus, there’s an Omen joke in here (connection between the boy in the movie and the son of Bruce Wayne-aka the new Robin) that I’ve been waiting for for quite awhile.

Read this, you won’t be disappointed… unless you get a copy like I did… which is when the colors bleed on a couple pages because the printer was off from the registration marks… which is really frustrating (especially when it happens multiple times a week) because it detracts from the art.

Invincible Iron Man #21:

This is the best comic coming out of Marvel.

Despite the somewhat contrived way of getting Tony’s knowledge back, this comic works really well.  Fraction does a great job of leaving some mystery as to what the hell is happening inside Tony’s subconscious as he tries to make it back too.

The art’s really neat.

There’s some pretty strong female characters in the book despite the occasional large boobs that they’re graced with.

There’s no reason not to read this book, really.

Red Robin #7:

You know, I have to say that I think it’s pretty darn funny that the only good books coming out of the Bat-verse post-(the atrocious)-Battle for the Cowl are pretty unrelated from Batman.

Here we have Tim Drake traveling around the world in search for the missing Bruce Wayne.  ‘Cept, he’s had to hit it up with the League of Assassins to go toe to toe with the Council of Spiders… sure, that sounds a bit confusing, but it makes sense when you read it.

I really love the new artist on the series Marcus To, he’s really showing his talent with this book.

I also enjoy how we experience the weirdness alongside Tam Fox since this is her Introduction to Super Hero-ing and Assassins/Ninjas… it gets pretty funny to read her reactions, but you still feel vested in the interests of the characters.

I have to admit, I was a little surprised by the climax of Ra’s Al Ghul being there the whole time to only be taken out by a touch by poison lady… Ra’s Al Ghul is the most dangerous man on earth, so… how could someone just walk up and put their hand on him?  Oh well.  It was  a good sport.

The Walking Dead #68:

Alright, it’s pretty easy for me to say that The Walking Dead is one of the best comics out on the market.  Hell, it’s really easy.  However, this issue is totally a transitional one, and it shows.  Nevertheless, Robert Kirkman pulls it off and makes it not entirely boring and hints at some other stuff in it.

After the (awesome!) Fear the Hunters storyline the gang has done some pretty terrible things and find out that Eugene who seemed like he had contacts with the government and was leading them to Washington D.C., was actually lying in order for him to survive.  Disgruntled and starving, a man just walks up to the group out of the woods and offers them a spot in the special community he lives in.

Very intriguing.  But, this issue is working in between the short run of Fear the Hunters and the story line once they end up in the community.  So, it’s meet and greet/ Rick’s kind of mean again.

I really enjoyed how in the couple of panels, Kirkman (heavily) suggested that the partners from the town doing the scoping for people to join the community Aaron and Eric are homosexuals.  They both seem very empowered characters and I hope to see more of them in the future of the series.

Green Lantern Corps #43:

You know, it would probably be helpful for me to go and read the reviews I did for the previous issue of a comic that I did before rating the newest one just to make sure there’s some consistency.  Oh well.

Kyle Rayner isn’t dead!  Big surprise since I already knew it with the Origins and Omens from last year.  However, it wasn’t a completely useless tool used by Tomasi because Kyle’s “death” basically gave the impetus for Guy Gardner to become a Red Lantern/aka complete badass.  Since he’s got two rings on his fingers, Guy can just go around “killing” the undead Black Lanterns in droves.  Other than that, though, the issue is kind of sad, in a way.  It had some cool ideas but there was this overall sadness to it that was strange.

Other than that, the issue was neat, but it didn’t completely flow.  This comic just seems to go by way too fast when not much is actually shown but you know there’s a lot going on.  I don’t know, maybe they could pull an Amazing Spider-Man on us and release three issues a month!

Tales of the TMNT #65:

Okay, I had a really hard time with this issue.  The overall premise of delivering a somewhat Holiday-time Tale along with everything else going on in this issue was really good.  I just don’t believe that it was carried out to the best possible degree.  This issue’s all Berger, and I believe that at times his writing can sway between okay and great which is the same for his art.  The Turtles sway between Archie style and Eric Talbot style which are pretty distinct differences.

The best part of this story, however, is the Rat King.  The Rat King is by far one of the best ever characters in the Mirage-Universe who is fairly underutilized (he died during or before City at War depending) because he’s the only person to have ever successfully messed with Splinter.  This issue gives us about 10 frames worth of Rat King, and all of them are classic.  I really wish more of the issue focused on the Rat King than the mystical guy and the snow oni.

I mean, how did the guy even find out about the Turtles?  It seems so arbitrary.

The thing that did it for me to bring this one down from a 3 to a 2.5 was because of the binding issues which have absolutely no connection to Mirage or the story.  It just really pissed me off when the pages of my comic were still perforated and attached together so I had to tear the tops of them apart which, in the process, bent all of my pages.  It was frustrating and a first.

How I view it, is that 3 stars is average, and 2.5 stars is squeeking just below the surface of that.