Saturday, January 16, 2010

Comic Reviews - Batman Goes to the Birds

Action Comics #885
After trading a sample of her blood to Jax-Ur in exchange for him curing Nighting's rapid aging, Flamebird must help him excape S.T.A.R. Labs. They make it as far as the roof before running into The Guardian, Mon-El and the Science Police. Rather than continue fighting humans and making an even worse case for Kryptonians, our heroes surrender. While the arrest is being made, we discover another of Zod's sleepers on the Science Police force. Things get worse as Nightwing and Flamebird are celled in via some red-son radiated rooms. and Zod's sleeper places what appears to be a kryptonite-laced bomb in the labs. Nightwing uses his one phone call to call for Lois and a race is one between Lois and her father to get to the Kryptonians first. Lois arrives first but Gen. Lane arrives with full forces and it's a stand-off... until Guardian switches sides and attempts to help his new prisoners escape. In the midst of the escape, Zod's krypto-bomb explodes and we're left wondering who will still be alive next issue. The main story is followed up with the continuation of the adventures of Captain Atom which begins with him facing the Justice League. The League kicks him around a bit before Mon-El and Hal Jordan stop them and realize that Atom's telling the truth and he's back on the side of good. He explains to them that he's been trapped in the magical realm that General Lane has been planning on using against the Kryptonians and that he needs to go back there to stop him. With no Zatanna around, the JLA has no idea how to return the good Captain to magic-land. Of course, that doesn't mean the Shadowpact hasn't got an idea or two!
Score: 3.5 out of 5

Batman #695
Batman continues to track down Kitrina Falcone via a little interrogation of a few of Gotham's criminally-inclined citizens. Kitrinia, in turn, has her own run in with Catwoman. Batman makes a pit-stop at the newly rebuilt Arkham Asylum to discuss the mental profile of Black Mask with Dr. Arkham. Meanwhile, Huntress is on the tail of Mario Falcone who is heading out of town. The chase comes to a screeching halt when the new Reaper arrives and attempts to kill Falcone. Huntress and Batman save Falcone but the Reaper escapes in a cloud of poisonous gas. Back at the Bat-Cave, Damien says he's solved the mystery of the hypnotic gas masks that he's been working on and wonders if Dick has figured them out as well. Batman catches up with Catwoman to retrieve Kitrinia only to find that she's escaped a set-up that supposedly was inescapable according to Bruce. The meeting of the Bat and the Cat is cut short with a call from Oracle with a tip on where Kitrina may be hiding out and Batman is off in persuit. Cut to a brief interlude with Edward Nigma in a phone booth telling someone that he's slowly getting his memory back and that he's dumping his conversation partner as a client. It appears that the client was the Penguin and that the Riddler is on his way back to becoming a threat to Gotham. Back on the trail of Kitrina, Batman arrives at a run down amusement park and instantly makes the mistake of following a mysterious character into a fun house where he's attacked by a murder of crows with poisoned beaks. Through clouded vision, Batman comes face to face with the Penguin and Mad Hatter as they present him with his very own version of a mind-controlling gas mask. These tales with Dick behind the cowl make me kind of sad that we all know the "Return of Bruce Wayne" is coming soon. I think Dick's been doing a good job as Bats and is bringing a fresh take on the character that honestly was growing stale being the uber-genius that no one could take down. My hope is that, when Bruce returns, he takes on a role similar to that in Batman Beyond and allows Dick to keep the cowl.
Score: 4.5 out of 5


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