Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Event Leviathan #1 by Brian Michael Bendis - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: The groundbreaking and always-inventive team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev (Jinxworld’s SCARLET, Marvel’s Daredevil) reunite on a mystery thriller that stretches across the DC Universe and touches every character from Batman to Superman to the Question to Talia al Ghul. With startling ease, a newly dangerous and aggressive Leviathan wipes out all its competition and now turns its sights to molding the world into its vision of order. Can the new threat’s growth be stopped...and who’s guiding its new agents of chaos?

First off, I haven't been reading Superman and did not read the Leviathan one shot last week, so I'm coming to Event Leviathan #1, by Brian Michael Bendis, completely blank. I knew that there was a new secret group called Leviathan (or thought I knew) that was wiping out the other groups, and that's about it. Which brings me to the first issue of this mini-series (I'm not sure how long its supposed to be at this point).

Anyway, this issue is totally an introduction to what happened with Leviathan: He/They kidnapped Superman, then let him go. Then they attacked all the world's secret organizations and wiped them out. They also set things up so heroes wouldn't necessarily trust each other due to some suspicious circumstances. This issue opens with Batman and Lois Lane both running into each other as they explore the remains of a super secret ARGUS installation, one which know one was supposed to know the true nature of. They encounter Steve Trevor and Green Arrow, and begin to piece together some of what's going on. They make a plan: gather the world's greatest detectives and track down Talia al Ghul (who may have been Leviathan previously?) and whoever/whatever is currently acting as Leviathan. The issue ends with an interesting surprise twist based on information presented to the reader earlier in the issue.

I don't know what to think of Event Leviathan yet. I enjoy a good event comic/mystery and like Bendis's storytelling, so I'm in for this (at least for a few issues). I am curious about what is going on, and the mystery has grabbed my interest. Bendis is typically really good at spooling out long story arcs. I'm also curious to read his take on Batman. However, I feel like having read some previous books that led in to this would have been helpful. In my opinion, big event books should be easily accessible, because they attempt to draw in more readers than just the Superman fan or the Batman fan. I will definitely hang in there for a bit, but if it seems like I'm lacking knowledge, I may have to wait for the collected editions, or go track down some Superman books.

I would recommend Event Leviathan #1. Brian Michael Bendis has my trust enough that I'm curious to see where this is going and how its going to effect the DC Universe as a whole. However, I would not wait long to get on board or I'm afraid that newer readers will be lost or behind.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Dreaming #10 by Simon Spurrier - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: The Dream Hunters chart the footsteps of their absent lord through realms infernal and external, stumbling at last upon an unexpected treasure...while the new incumbent upon the throne of the Dreaming—scared of its own mind—at last decides who, and how, to be.

The Dreaming #10 by Simon Spurrier continues the search for Daniel, the Lord of the Dreaming. While Code (or whatever its name is), the new Lord of the Dreaming, is trying to figure out just what exactly it is, with some help from Abel, Code decides to follow Dora's quest by seeing through Matthew the Raven's eyes. Meanwhile, Dora and Matthew arrive in Hell and run into a Balaam, with whom Dora had a relationship once. Balaam has been demoted, but is eager to help in exchange for a payment. There is also some other weird demon creature that shows up.

So, Spurrier seems to be telling two stories here. One is the quest, where Dora and Matthew discover that Daniel exchanged a dream with an ancient demon for an egg, which hatched. What was in the egg is still a mystery. Along the way, they have a discussion about the shapes of things. Meanwhile, Abel and Code (?) are discussing how dreams (and events in general, I believe) don't make a lot of sense or are understood until/unless a shape is enforced upon them. This seems to have been some part of Daniel/Dream's job as Lord of the Dreaming, and it also sparks a conversation about things should have just one shape, or many different varieties.

As a story, I'm really enjoying The Dreaming. Spurrier is telling an interesting tale that seems to be adding to the Sandman mythology. I'm also anxious to find out what is happening to and with Daniel, and then move on to some other story arc. Spurrier also seems to be commenting on the nature of stories (and life), much as Gaiman did throughout the original Sandman series. It's this, in my opinion, that gave Sandman it's lasting appeal, and I appreciate Spurrier following along the same lines, while still telling something wholly new. It's a fine line to walk when you're following a master storyteller and his famous work, trying to honor it yet push it in new directions. At this point, I think Spurrier is doing a fine job.

Once again, I recommend The Dreaming by Simon Spurrier. This latest issue (#10) continues the quest for Daniel story arc and throws out some interesting ideas about stories. I recommend it, particularly to fans of Neil Gaiman.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics and Vertigo in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Batman: Last Knight On Earth #1 by Scott Snyder - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: Bruce Wayne wakes up in Arkham Asylum. Young. Sane.

And...he was never Batman.

So begins this sprawling tale of the Dark Knight as he embarks on a quest through a devastated DC landscape featuring a massive cast of familiar faces from the DC Universe. As he tries to piece together the mystery of his past, he must unravel the cause of this terrible future and track down the unspeakable force that destroyed the world as he knew it…

From the powerhouse creative team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, the team that reinvented Batman from the emotional depths of “Court of Owls” to the bombastic power of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, DC Black Label is proud to present the bimonthly, three-issue miniseries BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH, published at DC’s standard comic trim size.

This could be the last Batman story ever told…

Batman: Last Knight On Earth #1 by Scott Snyder is an interesting read. It seems to be many things at once, several of which might be feints by Snyder. However, it was an intriguing story, and Snyder's track record bodes well.

When Last Knight on Earth opens, Batman is doing his thing, tracking a mysterious case that leads him to Crime Alley. He encounters a weird version of himself as a child, and then he is shot. He wakes up in Arkham, where the people helping him are strange versions of his villains. He is told he's never recovered from his parents' deaths and did something bad. He's been living in a fantasy as "Batman" and imagined the staff as villains. Then there is a Matrix moment, and Bruce discovers he isn't what he thinks he is, and the world is basically a post-apocalyptic wasteland. He finds Joker's head in a jar, and together they try to find out what happened and who is responsible. And that's just the first third or so of the book.

Snyder uses this first issue to set up the story he wants to tell, and it's a heck of a setup. I found myself trying to figure out what was going on, only to discover I was wrong multiple times. I'm still not sure that Snyder's plot isn't going to pivot once again, but I have a feeling that the villain will definitely be a surprising reveal once it happens. The characters are fun, particularly a cameo by Wonder Woman, mostly because they don't have to be part of the Batman cannon of stories (This is a DC Black Label book) and Snyder can put his own spin on them, both in how they look and how they act. I think this premise is also pretty intriguing, and it's fun to see Batman in a different environment than normal.

Overall, there's a lot of potential in Batman: Last Knight On Earth #1 by Scott Snyder. I'm curious to see where he takes the story as it progresses. If you are a fan of Batman, Scott Snyder, or post-apocalyptic stories, check this book out. It's worth picking up.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.