Comic Catch Up #2

And part 2 of my catch up. 7 more down. 7 to go.

Charismagic: The Death Princess #1 – The original Charismagic arc lasted six issues. While not the most unique series out there, the set up – a Las Vegas magician who winds up having actual powers and a cat that can speak – was enjoyable and the main character was likeable. Now we have the new series Charismagic: The Death Princess. It’s still clearly set in the same universe as Charismagic, but I can’t say that I’m all that intrigued by the new characters, am disappointed that the villaininess is a typically under-dressed and over-endowed and the narration makes me have a booming voice my head and trying to sound Very Epic when it really is just rather uninspired. I just can’t recommend it and I’ve taken this off my pull list.

Mara #1 – Picked up on the recommendation from the guys at my shop. Although set in “the future” it’s clear that the future isn’t necessarily all that far out from the world we live in now, except instead of idolizing actors, we idolize sports stars and idolize them to a point that national pride is on the line in international match ups. One of the biggest sports stars in this world is Mara, a volleyball player. And she suddenly starts developing special abilities during a charitable match that’s being broadcast live across the world. Um…okay? I don’t mind the set-up – why not sports stars – but the rest? It should be making me feel curious about what’s going on and somehow it isn’t. It’s always nice seeing a female protagonist who isn’t displaying a ton of flesh and is known and recognized for a talent beyond looking hot in armor, but this just isn’t grabbing me. I’m all for creator-owned titles and will continue to find ways to support them. I just won’t be supporting this book.

And the next five are all part of the giant Batman Death of the Family crossover event. Normally I don’t follow that many Bat titles. Part of it has always been that I’m bad at keeping current (hence me having 19 issues of various comics to read this week) and part of it is because not all titles are created equal. Some aren’t as well written and others are just too violent for my liking (Detective was a turn off for me in that way). Still, I haven’t checked into the various bat titles since like issue 3 and thought that this event would be a good time to try….and I was immediately reminded why I don’t follow every title. The quality really does run the gamut. I’ve now taken myself back off subscription and will be continuing to follow bits and pieces. Thoughts on individual titles are below:

Batman #15 – The one title I’ve been following since the new 52 relaunch and still the gold standard across all of the Bat-series. Scott Snyder’s intellectual works fantastically well with a character like the Joker – and the Riddler who makes an appearance in a side story. His Joker is the kind of menacing threat Mark Hamil perfected, the Joker that you don’t even want to be on the same continent with let alone the same room. And the ending of the main story, with what Batman sees in Joker’s eyes? Guh. Wow. There is some weakness when trying to make the juggling of all the various Bat-characters come together, it’s a bit expository, but that’s to be expected. This is also a book that makes you wonder how continuity works in terms of what is happening when. But it’s still enjoyable enough that you stop thinking about those kind of things and enjoy the ride for what it is. I can’t wait for what’s next.

Batgirl #14-#15 – The strange saga of Gail Simone’s firing-then-rehiring aside (I still don’t get that), she really is probably second only to Snyder in quality of her writing of any of the Bat titles. Her Barbara Gordon is a complex character, her version of the Joker is satisfyingly creepy and not quite sane and the art is great. This is one of the titles I’ll continue reading on its own, even after the crossover ends.

Batman and Robin #15 – This isn’t going on my pull list. Tomasi isn’t quite at the level of the others and honestly, seeing a Robin this young going up against Joker alone just doesn’t feel right to me. He’s just too big a villain, too dangerous that I can’t buy it. I guess that one of the major conceits of this title that it IS from Robin’s point of view, but it’s just not working for me. It’s not a bad title (Snyder and Simone have huge shoes to fill) it’s just not one that works for me.

Teen Titans #15 – Nor this. This is not the issue to try and get into the book. I don’t know who these people are. The Joker is lacking that extra level of menace that the Joker demands and that has been seen in some of the Jokers in other titles. Again – a case of not a bad representation, just not as good as some of the others. Maybe one day I’ll go back and try again, but not feeling it now.

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