Thursday, August 29, 2019

Batman/Superman #1 by Joshua Williamson - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: Up in the sky, in the dark of the night, trust no one - for the infected walk among us. Spinning out of the devastating events of THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS, Superman and Batman are together once more in an all-new monthly series - and they're facing a terrifying new threat that could strike from anywhere. The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel must journey into the depths of Gotham City to learn which of their fellow heroes has been transformed into the horrifying horseman of their most dangerous and deranged foe ever. Our heroes will need to fight to survive, but an even more dangerous question lurks in the shadows: Can Superman and Batman even trust each other?

I've been a fan of the previous Batman/Superman series, and this new one by Joshua Williamson seems to be following in their footsteps. The Batman Who Laughs (from the Dark Nights: Metal series last year) has been harassing Batman and his friends over the past year or so, and now it seems that he has kidnapped an innocent boy. As Batman and Superman track the missing child down, they discover something horrible; The Batman Who Laughs has infected six people with the Joker serum from his dark universe. And even worse, the infected could be anyone, from ordinary citizens to heroes to villains. This is one of Batman's greatest fears, as he says something along the lines of "We (heroes) would make even better villains than the villains we face." And with that, the issue ends with a terrific twist, as the first of the new Sinister Six reveals themself.

Man, this issue flew right along. The pacing was terrific, and the reveal at the end was well done. I don't have much background with The Batman Who Laughs, but I didn't feel that I was missing that much, due to Williamson's excellent writing. This evil Batman is an excellent villain, and the premise of this series promises an exciting read every month. I also enjoy the uncertainty that has now been created for Batman and Superman, even between themselves. There is no real way to be sure just who has been infected, and the prospect of an ultimate evil version of some of DC's greatest heroes is downright intriguing to me. It will be interesting to see if the transformation in this issue (and further ones in upcoming issues) will have any lasting affect on the DC Universe at large. Hopefully this isn't just some one off story where everything is reset at the end.

I, for one, really enjoyed Joshua Williamson's Batman/Superman #1 and can't wait to see where he takes our heroes in future issues. Grab this if you're a fan of the Batman/Superman books, The Batman Who Laughs, or just someone who likes to see heroes go bad.

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

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Event Leviathan #3 by Brian Michael Bendis - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: From the award-winning team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev, it’s DC’s biggest whodunit in years! The world’s greatest detectives—Batman, Green Arrow, Lois Lane, Plastic Man, the Question and Martian Manhunter—have gathered to solve the mystery behind the true identity of Leviathan’s leaders and the destruction of the world’s top intelligence agencies! Red Hood is their leading suspect—and he is on the loose! Plus, the Silencer takes her shot! This mystery will unleash a new evil on the DC Universe!

In my opinion, Event Leviathan #3 is the best issue so far! Brian Michael Bendis does a super job writing this issue, and unlike with issue #2, I didn't feel like I had missed out on something due to any tie-in issues.

To summarize, at the end of issue #2, Batman and his group of detectives, spearheaded by Damian Wayne, basically accused Red Hood/Jason Todd of being Leviathan. This issue shows the immediate consequences of that decision and is told mostly through flashbacks showing Red Hood trying to get away from the detectives. And while the action is nearly constant, it's Red Hood's constant running commentary and observations that add depth to the mystery of Leviathan. He presents some very logical ideas about just who or what he is or isn't, and what Leviathan might be. He also asks a very interesting question that makes the detectives stop and reconsider everything: Where is Amanda Waller? The issue wraps up with an interesting twist that may take this series in a totally different direction.

I really enjoyed Jason Todd in this issue. I feel like he has been a very unevenly written character over the past years, but Bendis does a great job capturing both his ruthlessness, his particular moral code, and his intelligence (which particularly stands out in relation to Batman and the others). I also feel like this story has hit its stride, and rather than feel a bit confused after reading, I now find myself looking forward anxiously to the next chapter of this story. Bendis has firmly hooked me.

I highly recommend Event Leviathan #3 by Brian Michael Bendis. It presents a vital chapter in an intriguing mystery that has shaken up the covert part of the DC Universe. Grab your copy and get a bit closer to solving the mystery of who Leviathan is, and what his endgame might be.

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

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Dreaming #12 by Simon Spurrier - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: The search is over. The trail is cold. A crown must be conferred. A great reception is held for the envoys and ambassadors of the outer realms—but who greets them from the throne of tales? And somewhere, out in the world, the man who tore down the King of Dreams looks upon his work...and feels nothing.

The Dreaming #12 wraps up the second arc of Simon Spurrier's new series. In this issue, we finally get an idea of what Daniel/Dream has been up to, but most of it focuses on the new temporary ruler of the Dreaming, the strange AI moth-looking thing, who I believe doesn't really have a name, at least until the end of the story. Abel is trying to keep would-be invaders out of the Dreaming, and the new ruler is forced to confront what it really is. Additionally, Dora and Matthew finish their quest, and what they find is not at all what I expected. 

One of the things I usually enjoy about the Sandman books, and in this case The Dreaming, is the use of stories to explain bigger concepts, including the larger story of the book. In this case, the lord of the Dreaming tells a story/history to explain the nature of the Dreaming and Daniel's new purpose. This tale also leads to a realization about just what exactly is going on, and has potentially huge consequences for the entire Dreaming moving forward. In fact, I was really surprised by the ending (maybe I shouldn't have been, but I was focused on hoping this wasn't just a way to have a new Dream). I'm really curious as to how Spurrier is going take things moving forward. There were also several hints that Dora has a bigger part to play, and her true nature is important to that. And I'll confess, I find myself wanting to know what/who she really is moreso now than earlier in this series.

Overall, The Dreaming #12 by Simon Spurrier was a satisfactory ending to this arc, and the first dozen issues overall. Spurrier has done a nice job laying the groundwork for his run on The Dreaming and their are now several storylines that he can explore in both the near future and the long run. I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops. I highly recommend both this issue and the series.

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