Quick Hits: Reviews of Batman & Robin #20 and more…

Batman & Robin #20

Batman & Robin #20: Well, probably no need to go back into how we here at Nerdy Nothings felt about the last 3-issue run of Batman & Robin—one of our favorite series here—so let’s just say we’re happy to see a return to form with issue #20. Grant Morrison’s handpicked writer, Peter Tomasi, takes the reins here with this issue and Patrick Gleason jumps in on artistic duties. There’s quite a few good character moments in this issue as the focus shifts back to the dynamic between Baman, Dick Grayson, and Robin, Damian Wayne, as it should be. The first issue of this arc sets up a new mystery involving Man-Bat and readers everywhere breath a sigh of relief. A
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Flash #9: Does anyone draw comics like Francis Manapul? I think not. Though I frequently miss his work on Superboy (his gorgeous pencils are particularly suited to a rustic setting), the truth is the guy’s a rock star no matter what he draws, and Flash is consistently one of the best-looking books on the stands. Thanks to Geoff Johns, it’s a pretty good read, too. Flash #9 is the first issue officially labeled “The Road to Flashpoint,” which seems to be a crossover where a villain (Reverse Flash?) alters superheroes’ origins to change reality to his liking. Call me a sucker, but that sounds pretty cool. This issue only hints at that, as an alternate-universe traveler comes to warn Barry Allen of impending doom and the Central City Police investigate the murder of a strange superhero. It’s an alluring look at what’s to come, and I’m pretty excited to see what happens next. A
Review by Rebel Rikki

Knight & Squire #5: Issue five of this faux-Britcom series is dedicated to one of the cleverest comic villains I’ve ever seen: Jarvis Poker, the British Joker. Poker loves the style of the original Joker, but he doesn’t have the heart to actually kill people. His crime sprees are elaborate hoaxes, and the last thing on his mind is hurting anyone. When he finds out he’s dying, he decides to go out with a big show, which heroes Knight and Squire help him orchestrate. But the arrival of a sinister presence from America may taint Jarvis’ innocent plans. It’s truly a testament to writer Paul Cornell’s talent that you feel sad for the sickly Jarvis, who spent his life idolizing a madman that’s a far worse person than he. Art by Jimmy Broxton perfectly compliments the script, and I hope DC finds another project for him as soon as this miniseries wraps up next month.  A
Review by Rebel Rikki

The New Avengers #9: Nick Fury seems to be everywhere these days—even when it’s not really him, as in Secret Avengers—and now he’s popping up in New Avengers in a series of flashbacks as Fury and Dum Dum Duggan are recruited for something called the Avengers Initiative. Hmmm, sounds like something I’ve seen in a couple of movies… In the meantime our team of Avengers is staking our some shady goings-on in Rhode Island. I’m not quite sure how these two stories will intersect, but it’s hard to argue with the artwork of Howard Chaykin—the flashbacks—and Mike Deodato—the present day. B+
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Star Trek: Infestation #1: IDW’s crossover makes its way into the Star Trek universe as a multidimensional zombie plague strikes the backwater colony of Calibus VII. Of course, through the magic of convenient writing, Kirk, Spock, Bones and three random crewmen are stranded alone on said colony, forced to survive the zombies for five days while they await the Enterprise’s arrival. It’s a trite plot, to be sure, but I think that’s exactly what our first look at zombies in the Star Trek universe demands. It’s a whole lot of fun seeing these classic heroes battle even more-classic monsters completely in keeping with the rules of the genre. Additionally, the art by Gary Erskine and Casey Maloney is top-notch. So far Infestation is shaping up to be tremendous fun. My one complaint: did IDW have to use the TOS crew? I would’ve loved to have seen the precision ingenuity and teamwork of the TNG guys (especially Data and Worf) deal with a zombie invasion.  A-
Review by Rebel Rikki

Secret Warriors #24: To say a lot happens in this issue is a massive understatement. We get flashbacks of dealing with the formation of the Grey Team as Nick Fury—him again—recruits his son Mikel to gather up a new team of “catterpillars,” those with superpowers unknown to those in power. I don’t want to give too much away about the makings up of this team and their missions, but the tensions has definitely been ratcheted up one step further in this issue. One of the strongest series from Marvel in the last few years is continuing to build to an incendiary conclusion. A
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Transformers #16: Megatron finally makes his return to Earth in Transformers #16, and trouble comes with him. It turns out he doesn’t care much about the Autobots anymore; mostly he wants revenge on mankind for daring to defy his occupation a couple years ago. All of this happens in the middle of a gigantic political mess, as global protestors take to violent means of voicing their displeasure at the US government working with any Cybertronians, despite their professed allegiance. Writer Mike Costa turns in another fine issue, filled with political intrigue and nice bits of character shining through, and Alex Milne rocks it on pencils like usual. However, if IDW’s current Transformers series has one weakness, it’s that sometimes issues decompress the plot a little too much, and I think #16 falls victim to that trend.  B
Review by Rebel Rikki

Wolverine #5.1: I like the idea of these .1 issues from Marvel, their purpose being to allow new readers a fresh jumping-on point to popular series. I’m just not sure that’s what they achieved with this issue of Wolverine. The story is strong as it deals with Logan’s new girlfriend, Melita, throwing a surprise party on his birthday—his real birthday. However, Wolverine 5 ended off with Logan—newly freed from hell and his spirit back in his body—rendered temporarily insane and ready to battle his X-Men teammates… none of that is addressed in this issue so I think this may confuse new readers who picked this issue up and are looking forward to issue #6. On the other hand, writer Jason Aaron did a good job of introducing new readers to Wolverine and explaining his roles and friendships with the X-Men and the Avengers, and Deadpool even shows up in a nice nod-and-wink to X-Force. Also, very strong art from Jefte Palo. B
Review by Spaceman Spiff

Unwritten #22: The excellence that is Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ Unwritten continues in issue #22, as protagonist Tom Taylor learns what it means to hijack a narrative for his own benefit. In this comic, though, that has literal meaning: Tom, trapped in the novel Moby Dick, has brought the story to a crashing halt in order to escape back to reality. However, it’s not as easy as he thinks, and he soon finds himself sucked even deeper into a web of interconnected narratives. There’re so many levels of metaphor and intertextuality operating in this comic that you can barely scratch the surface of what it’s saying in one read-through, and that’s how you know it’s going to be one of the great comic sagas.  A
Review by Rebel Rikki

tags: avengers, batman & robin, flash, knight & squire, secret warriors, star trek, transformers, unwritten, wolverine

  • http://twitter.com/MikeMeneghini MikeMeneghini

    That batman issue was great.

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