I started off my week’s reading with Batman Adventures #17, which is the last issue of the series. Without spoiling it, as I was reading this, I had to ask myself, “If Batman is ‘the world’s greatest detective,’ wouldn’t he have caught the main character in the story much sooner in his career?” But then, I always had trouble wondering the time-frame when these stories where set in during Batman’s career & not knowing exactly where I stood with this title. Earlier stories showed Eel O’Brien (Plastic Man) still running around as a hood, for example. Once I got past my internal question, I did enjoy the story after I reluctantly bought the premise. I noticed more references to past Bat artists here (Giella, Paris, Novick, et al), as given character names, streets, or building names, than anywhere else in my recent memory; not that it’s not deserved, but I thought it almost bordered on some overkill which hindered the flow when I was reading the story.
For something different, I went to one of my favorite titles, Daredevil #63, that I wonder if anyone else out there is reading. (Sorry if I sound harsh, I just have a hard time convincing non-DD readers to try it.) If I say it’s a “typical” Bendis/Maleev collaboration, I am not being derogatory; it’s a good thing. This book is still on my “top 10 title” list. I love the dialogue and the subplots. Black Widow is one of my favorite characters and I’m lovin’ every minute of her being back in DD with the Bendis spin on it. I confess, the opening recap page is a big help to me as the issues are chapters of a bigger story-arc. I do find reading issues consecutively enhances my enjoyment more.
After I was mildly disappointed with the first two weeks of the “War Games”/Batman storyline, I have to admit the story is finally getting a bit more interesting. Oddly enough, Batman: Gotham Knights #56 didn’t even have Batman appear in the issue itself. I’m starting to get a handle on the different mob families (what’s left of them) running around now. I think it would’ve helped if all the hired muscle villains on page 3 were identified for old and new fan alike. (What’s Trickster doing in Gotham?) In Batman’s absence in this issue, we see Nightwing, Batgirl, Tarantula and Orpheus all running around. There’s Hush, posing invincible too. He’s seen having a confab with some unidentified mystery-man in the shadows early on (which makes me wonder why was his identity hidden if he doesn’t appear to be a major mob player, and didn’t seem to move the story along. Hmmm … we’ll see.)
And no one dressed as Robin (Tim OR Steph) appears in Robin #129. Tim stars in this issue dressed as himself as he’s thrust and forced into the mob war happenings. Gone is the unsure, unconfident, mistake-making Tim that was shown not too long ago. If you missed the self-assured, heroic aspect of the Tim Drake character, he’s back.
I decided to give DC’s Manhunter #1 a try; a female, with no relation or mention of the previous incarnations of the character (yet). She’s a prosecuter by day and a heroine vigilante by night. (Geez, that sounds like the premise to that “Samurai” tv show with Joe Penny on that “Best shows that never aired” special on tv a few nights ago.) It wasn’t as bad as it sounds though. The best thing going for the book is the realness feel you get in some of the recent Marvel MAX books; especially in the courtroom scene that’s shown here where she tries to convict a DCU villain. (The villain in question has apparently now evolved into a meta-human serial-killer.) Our “heroine,” Kate Spencer is a smoker. I kinda thought that was unusual for someone doing all these ninja-like moves later on. There was no explaination or origin yet as to why she’s putting on a costume or anything of that sort; though she pauses while looking at a Joker playing card, which makes you wonder if he’s somehow invovled. The setting is L.A. which shows DC musta figured they had to set something out there. I really saw nothing to distiguish it as any other city (other than that one building that posed as the Daily Planet on the '50s Superman tv show which was shown outside a window). I’m not familiar with writer Marc Andreyko (writer) or Jesus Saiz (penciller) previous works. It did hold my interest though and I will pick up the next issue.