Tag: deron bennett

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    Review: Batman #7 — The Monster Men are Here

    batman 7 rebirth review

    batman-7-rebirth-coverThe first crossover of the Rebirth era has arrived! Night of The Monster Men kicks off in Batman #7. A hurricane is on target to destroy Gotham. Batman calls on Batwoman, Nightwing, Spoiler, Orphan, and Clayface to help him avert disaster and ensure that no Gothamites fall victim to the approaching storm. The forces of nature aren’t the only adversaries the Bat family will find themselves up against. As the storm grows near, Doctor Hugo Strange is ready to unleash his army of daikaju on the citizens of Gotham.

    Since Tom King took over the flagship Batman series in Rebirth, we’ve been seeing a lot more of Batman’s leadership abilities, mentoring and guiding his team. This welcome theme continues into Batman #7, even though King has taken a back seat to Steve Orlando in this installment. Having Orlando write all of the Monster Men crossover scripts while consulting with the regular writers of the individual titles should lend a nice level of continuity to the crossover itself, but the writing here is noticeably different than King’s solo efforts in the series thus far.

    Riley Rossmo’s artwork has a gritty, throwback quality to it. I probably could have gone my entire life without seeing Hugo Strange’s hairy backside, but the Monster Men themselves are exactly what they should be, monstrous abominations. Colorist Ivan Plascencia brings a muted palette offset by flashes of bright color that sets the table brilliantly for the oncoming storm(s).

    This first chapter of Night of the Monster Men nicely sets up the second installment, found in Nightwing #5, also released September 21, 2016. Part three can be found in Detective Comics #941, releasing September 28, 2016. Parts four through six will conclude the storyline in Batman #8, Nightwing #6, and Detective Comics #942, all releasing next month.

    Batman #7, DC Comics, released September 21, 2016, Rated T, plot by Steve Orlando and Tom King, script by Steve Orlando, pencils and inks by Riley Rossmo, colors by Ivan Plascencia, letters by Deron Bennett, cover by Yanick Paquette and Nathan Fairbairn, variant cover by Tim Sale.

    Review by Brendan Allen

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    Review: Batman #6 – I Can Help with the Pain

    Review Batman #6

    batman #6 coverIn Batman #5, we saw Gotham Girl give up the goods on her brother Gotham. Not only did she spill it, giving up the secret that gave her and her brother Hank their super abilities, she actually killed Gotham herself in order to save Gotham City. That’s enough to make anyone go 2007-bald-Britney crazy.

    In Batman #6, we see Claire running all over Gotham City battling such low level jobbers as Colonel Blimp and Kite Man. The trouble is, while she’s flying all over Gotham fighting crime, she is trading her life for these small victories. The deal that Gotham and Gotham Girl made takes years off her life in exchange for hours of super abilities.

    Batman is at a loss for how to help Claire deal with her grief, but knows that if he doesn’t intervene, she will be dead within a couple weeks. Batman knows all about grief, but maybe isn’t the model of emotional health when it comes to grief management. Alfred delivers the best line of the series when Batman asks him how he helped Bruce deal with his own grief.

    “…each night you leave this perfectly lovely house and go leaping off buildings dressed as a giant bat. Do you really think I helped you?”

    This issue does an excellent job wrapping up the emotional fallout from the I Am Gotham storyline. It also sets up the next story arc, Night of the Monster Men, where we’ll see Batman working with Nightwing and Batwoman in the first crossover of the Rebirth era. Hopefully we’ll also get to see Duke finally leave the Batcave.

    In case you missed it, Tom King just won the 2016 Harvey Award for Most Promising New Talent. Well deserved, sir. Congratulations!

    Batman #6, DC Comics, rated T, released September 7, 2016, written by Tom King, pencils by Ivan Reis, inks by Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, and Scott Hanna, colors by Marcelo Mailo, letters by Deron Bennett, cover by David Finch, Danny Miki, and Jordie Bellaire, variant cover by Tim Sale, $2.69

    Review by Brendan Allen

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    Review: Batman Rebirth #1

    Review: Batman Rebirth

    batman rebirth #1I’ve been waiting months for Batman Rebirth #1 to be released. I wasn’t disappointed. Scott Snyder uses this collaboration to seamlessly pass the torch to Tom King, who will be taking the helm for the new Batman series releasing June 15, 2016. Snyder will move on to write All-Star Batman, releasing in August of this year. The story feels like a natural segue from the last issue of the New 52 Batman into the new series and teases some interesting developments for future installments.

    The story opens with Duke Thomas, from the We Are Robin series, standing at the door of Wayne Manor. The obvious assumption is that Duke will be taking up the green and red as our new Robin. You know what they say about assumptions.

    While some liberties have been taken with his appearance and abilities, Calendar Man is an appropriate villain choice for this transition from New 52 into Rebirth. This version of Calendar Man ages with the seasons, young in the Spring, growing older until he dies in Winter, to molt and be reborn the following Spring. Calendar Man has hidden spores of an unnamed biological agent all over the city and is using some mechanism to speed up the seasons so the spores will mature more quickly and disperse.

    There is a repetitive theme of seasonal change throughout the story. Seasons change, heroes and villains change, writers change, but in the end, we end up right back at the beginning.

    Overall, this is a very good chapter. The writing is very solid, although I am a little anxious for the new series to pick up so we can see how much of this story is Snyder’s voice, and what King will bring on his own. The artwork is some of the most innovative I’ve seen. Mikel Janin pulls out some tricks I’ve never seen. In one instance, he uses gutters and panels to form a bat symbol at the bottom of a two-page spread.

    If this issue is any indication of what is to come, I’m all in.

    Batman Rebirth #1, released 6/1/2016; writers: Scott Snyder and Tom King, art and cover: Mikel Janin, colors: June Chung, letters: Deron Bennett, $2.69.

    Review by Brendan Allen.

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