Guest Reviews: @BatWatcher @DCComics Birds of Prey #17, DC Universe Presents #17, Nightwing #17

Birds of Prey #17 CoverDC Universe Presents #17 CoverNightwing #17 Cover

Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch. Included are DC's; Birds of Prey #17, DC Universe Presents #17, & Nightwing #17. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.



Birds of Prey #17 - Heart Stopper


The Birds are trapped fighting Basilisk—in total darkness!


Something strange is happening to Black Canary…and only one man can be responsible. But Kurt Lance died years ago—right?


Preview



Heartstopper


Birds has been massively disappointing recently, and I've already read the preview for this issue, and I know I have no reason to expect things to get better. Is Birds of Prey a scream, or is it for the birds? (yep, I just made both those puns. Suck it class!)

In this issue, the Birds are attacked by killer Russian robots, private security, and each other.

DC, Please Cancel This Series

I really hate this series. I am extremely thankful that the current writer, Duane Swierczynski, is finishing up his run and leaving the series. If Marx does not turn it around, then I am calling for its cancellations because my money and time is worth more than this crap! Honestly, it's not the truly bad series that tick me off, its the ones that just so clearly are phoning it in every month. I could make up plots like these in a couple hours. It's just frustrating to no end.

Anyway, I do not have anything but concentrated rage to say in any organized way, so we will do this with...

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 5/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4.3



DC Universe Presents #17 - Roy's Night Out


RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS fans take note as ARSENAL takes the stage in this special issue!


Roy Harper is all too familiar with the road to hell being paved with good intentions, so he’s not totally surprised when an attempt to help Killer Croc leaves him running for his life on the streets of Japan.


Guest-starring Red Hood and Starfire!


Preview



Roy's Night Out


Obviously, I'm covering this issue of DC Universe Presents because it focuses on Arsenal who is famous from Teen Titans and is currently a member of the Outlaws. I'm pretty interested in seeing what happens when Arsenal meets once more with Killer Croc. In case anybody is out of the loop, Arsenal became an alcoholic for a time and took on Killer Croc in an attempt to commit suicide via super villain, but once Croc figured this out, he actually refused to kill Roy and encouraged him to clean himself up. It's an odd dynamic, but somehow, it seems in line with at least some portrayals of Killer Croc. Now, presumably, there will be a reckoning between these two for Croc promised not to show the same mercy to Roy if they met again. This issue is written by Joe Keatinge (former writer of Image's Glory and current writer of Image's H*** Yeah, Morbius the Living Vampire, The Amazing Spider-Man and a new volume of Glory) and the art is handled by comic newbie Ricken. (current artist of H*** Yeah and Glory). Is Arsenal a sharply written story with a nice point, or does it miss the mark entirely? (Oh yeah! Those are puns! I roll like that)

In this issue, Arsenal is captured by the Chinese Triad, but he makes a daring escape so that he can rescue his enemy in need, Killer Croc.

Fun, Fun Nonsense

In the spirit of cutting to the chase, this was a blast. It's kind of like what I keep hoping Nocenti's Catwoman will evolve into, a story that is just a fun adventure with no delusions of being anything profound. Were there better comics ton the market in the past two weeks? Sure, but there were a lot more that were much worse.

Keatinge understands who the DCNU Roy Harper is, and he runs with it and makes the whole story a blast. Nearly the entire issue is filled with Roy's sarcastic and self-defacing inner monologue, and its great because Roy has no illusions about himself or the world around him. He does not take himself or the situation to seriously, and he is constantly making jokes though at the risk of practicing some dime store psychology, I would say his flippant and comedic attitude comes from the same places as most comedians get their material, a very dark place. Roy and the other Outlaws for that matter could not be so flippant if they did not have at least some part of them which did not care whether they live or die.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.7



Nightwing #17 - The Long Week


Dick Grayson’s life lies in ruins in the wake of the events surrounding “DEATH OF THE FAMILY”!


Is his career as Nightwing over? Where will he go now?


Will the voice of reason come from Damian Wayne?


Preview



The Long Week


Death of the Family is finally over, and we can finally see the fallout left over from Joker's rampage. A lot of people are complaining that Death of the Family has not made a lasting impact on the universe. Personally, I don't feel that every plot line has to be a game changer to justify its existence. On the other hand, almost all the authors of the various tie ins claimed that this crossover was going to affect the characters for years to come, and this is nowhere more evidenced than with Nightwing who, if appearances are not deceiving, lost his entire business through Joker's attack. We also know that Joker managed to get under the skin of Dick and all the other members of the Bat Family, so at bare minimum, I expect to see some emotional fallout in the upcoming issues of the bat protégées. Does this current title live up to expectations and show that Joker did leave a mark on Dick Grayson's soul, or is this just a throwaway issue following up a throwaway event?

In this issue, Grayson tries to process his emotions while all his friends reassure him that things will be okay.

(Slow Clap)

Kyle Higgins, the author of Nightwing, promised emotional fallout, and that is exactly what we get. I really respected Higgins slow burn approach to this issue, and by that I mean that this was about as slow paced an issue as you ever get in mainstream comics. The typical formula of superhero comics is battle or surprise at the beginning, narrative development in the middle, and battle/revelation/cliffhanger at the end. This issue gives the finger to all that, and its for the better.

I loved the first page of this issue which, rather than a big battle, opened up with a sort of montage of panels highlighting the effects of Joker's rampage and the pain he brought with him. The story then goes into totaling up the damage to Grayson personally hitting every category. We learn the damage to Dick physically and fiscally not to mention in terms of friends' lives. All the while, Dick stays stony and resolute trying to put on a brave face for the world, yet any fan of Nightwing should know that Grayson wearing a game face is an easy indication that something is wrong, yet the other members of the Bat Family seem to be missing the signs perhaps due to their own emotional stress. It's an odd pacing for a comic, but it succeeds in creating a solemn tone for the story.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.7


Purchase Birds of Prey #17
Purchase DC Universe Presents #17
Purchase Nightwing #17
Jeremy Sims is a blogger at https://batwatch.squarespace.com/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of this review has been authorized by the original author.

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