I debated calling this another catch up post, but really I only have 4 issues right now as my pick list is on the slim side at this time. Currently my pick list is:
– True Blood
– Star Trek Countdown to Darkness
Indies that are techincally ongoing but MIA
– Cold War
Yeah, it’s rather heavy on the Bat-titles right now, but suppose it can’t be helped. The end of 2012 saw several series that I enjoyed wrap up their run and I just haven’t found replacements yet. But I remain diligent in my search 🙂 Anyway, because my list is small and I’m reading a lot of books lately, I’ve been more binging on comics than reading them weekly. I did decide to catch up now because tomorrow I’m getting my hands on Batman #17, the end of Death of the Family and not have to go through the backlog then!
Batgirl 16 – one of the overriding themes of Batman as a whole is what separates Batman from the villains that he pursues, that thin line between hero and vigilante. Of course, the line is something that a lot of hero comics have to grapple with, but since the villains of the Bat-verse are all, at their core, human (like Batman) it’s a much more delicate line to walk than say, the X-Men battling Magneto. And generally the answer is that he doesn’t kill, not even people like the Joker, whom the world would probably consider it a favor if Batman finally offed him once and for all. And while I think it is a good theme, here in Batgirl 16 it just feels…old. This issue felt like filler, getting us to where we needed to go for Snyder’s wrap-up in Batman 17 but otherwise offering little else. Like in issue 15, Barbara is grappling with her desire to kill the Joker and how it’s increasingly difficult to resist the temptation. And that’s about it. While it’s a very valid struggle to have given her past with the Joker, it isn’t offering us anything that we didn’t see the issue before. I’m glad that the Death of the Family storyarc is being wrapped up, because issues like this point to the fact that it possibly went on an issue too long.
Nightwing 16 – it’s funny, Batgirl 16 and Nightwing 16 really did the same thing – wrap up the arc to get to the reveal in Batman 17, and yet it feels so much more substantial here. I give credit for that to the writer and how Joker was used in this issue. He felt much more the player of mind games that gives him the edge that we know. Simone tried to go there and didn’t quite succeed. Once again, kudos to HIggins. Outside of Snyder, this remains the best Joker out there.
Batman 16 – Thought I had read this already, but guess not! Guh. This is why I love Scott Snyder. Even when I’ve approached Joker fatigue he can remind me why I love the character so much. The use of the Asylum and the use of the Rogue’s Gallery is just perfect. And in a lot of ways, the point that Joker makes about the Bat family is incredibly true (even as he misses what Batman gains by having them around). Although I am ready for it to end and even though I do think I enjoyed The Court of Owls a bit more, I can’t say that I’m disappointed and I’m still so eager to see what comes next and that is the highest compliment I can give to any writer, prose, comic or otherwise.
Talon #4 – Okay. So not -everything- Scott Snyder does is pure gold. I was a bit underwhelmed by this. So the Court has unleashed a 150-year old Talon from hibernation and is set against our hero. He goes by the name of “The Gotham Butcher” but honestly just reminds me more of a souped-up Bane. So yeah, that was kind of a disappointment. On the other hand, it does feel like the introductory arc of sorts has now drawn to an end. We know the players as individuals, we know the game, and now they players will come together to fight the good fight. I’m not sure that this series is as strong as say, American Vampire, but it’s still enjoyable in its own right and I’ll keep reading it, at least for a few more issues.
Phew! Made it 😀