@BatWatcher Reviews: @DCComics Teen Titans #18, Batwing #19, Detective Comics #19, Worlds' Finest #11


Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch. Included are DC's; Teen Titans #18, Batwing #19, Detective Comics #19 and Worlds' Finest #11. 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.



Teen Titans #18 - To Belle and Back


Unknown to the Teen Titans, Red Robin’s condition is worsening after the events of “DEATH OF THE FAMILY.” And now Red Robin must face an even greater tragedy!


The new Dr. Light is coming for Solstice!


Guest-starring the Suicide Squad!


Preview



Requiem

There was a brief period several months ago, during Teen Titans #13-14 I believe, that I actually thought Teen Titans might be getting good, but that...was quite a long time ago, and it hasn't. I'm tired of Teen Titans. Nothing particularly interesting even happens, the characters are unlikable, and there are about a million and a half subplots, few of which actually concern me. Last issue revealed that Tim Drake was possessed or some such, and I do not really care. With that amazing build up, let's see what this issue actually has to offer.

Does Teen Titans surprise and delight my heart or singe and destroy my brain?

In this issue, Tim mourns the loss of Damian and then gives the Teen Titans a mission, saving teen superheroes before they get hurt.

Requiem for Teen Titans

The question remains the same for every tie in. Is it worth buying? The answer? No.

If you are just wanting to buy this issue to see some mourning over Damian, I cannot recommend it. The problem is not that there is no mourning but that the mourning is insincere.

The relationship between Tim and Damian has always been characterized by jealousy and resentment. Damian hates that Tim, the impostor son of Batman, took what Damian saw as his role as partner of the Bat. That resentment on Damian's part led to a couple brutal attacks which eventually led Tim to absolutely despise the brat.

Now we are in a new universe with a new Tim, so you could reasonably say that this dynamic is less of a barrier in the DCNU, but the problem is that Tim and Damian have had almost no interaction in the DCNU, so the only past we can reference is the past of the DCU. For that reason, seeing the downright gushy banter between Tim and Damian comes off as completely lame. Tim is more deserving than ever of being called a Mary Sue by openly sobbing over his loss of Damian, yet, there is no reason to think they really have that deep a connection. Furthermore, Tim sees Damian in his imagination, and Damian goes from character appropriate antagonism to almost immediate support and approval of Tim. It is all incredibly stupid.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


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



Batwing #19 - The End of the Beginning


Batwing quits—and what new member of the Batman family is ready to take his place?


Preview



A Hero Falls... A New Knight Rises


Two weeks ago on the day comics came out, I woke up, and the first thing I did was buy and download Batwing and skip to the end to find out who would next be wearing the mantle. I almost never do this sort of thing, but this question had been nagging at me for over a month, and I did not want to be tortured all day at work wondering who it was, so I peeked. Despite the fact that it was the first issue I looked at that day, I have not reviewed it until now. I go in order of popularity in my reviews starting with the most popular titles and working my way down, so Tec' got most of my attention that night. I also prioritize the new articles of BatWatch over the old overdue articles, and for the past two weeks, I've been swept from project to project both in and out of BatWatch, and though I did finally manage to actually read the issue, I'm just now getting words on paper. Even now, I am going to be criminally unjust to the book by being very brief, but I have got to get caught up on past reviews, so I'm cutting corners.

This issue promises to do two monumental things. It is going to end the story of David Zavimbe, and it is going to introduce a new Batwing. To deliver this tale, we have the new writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray.

Is this a fitting end to a noble hero of Batman, Incorporated or is this a tragic betrayal for a loyal soldier in DC's army?

An End for David Zavimbe

In short, I think this was a pretty good conclusion for David in terms of plot points. The presentation of this final chapter of his story left a little to be desired, but we will get to that later.

I'm glad David's tenure ended in a conversation with Bruce because this is also how his career as Batwing began, and that gave the story a sort of bookend feeling that went a long ways in selling the concept that David's story is done. Though I enjoyed the apparent promise to kill those who deserved it at the end of Batwing #18, I'm glad David ended up resigning from his position rather than being fired because he chose to kill. It feels like David was ready to move on, and though I know he is a fictional character with no will of his own, I kind of feel like his willingness to move on gives me permission to move on as well and enjoy a new character in the role.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


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



Detective Comics #19 - The 900; Birth of a Family; Birdwatching; War Council; Through a Blue Lens


In a special oversized celebratory issue, Batman is challenged by the "Mystery of the 900!”


Preview



What is the 900?


Preparing to read Detective Comics #19, (Detective Comics #900 for those fans counting at home) I find myself with mixed emotions. On the positive side, this is an extra long issue commemorating Detective Comics 900th uninterrupted issue which I believe is a record second only to Action Comics. Also, John Layman (former writer of Image's Chew and current writer of Detective Comics) has been doing an excellent job writing the series, and Jason Fabok's (former penciler for Aspen MLT's Michael Turner's Soulfire, Superman/Batman, and The Dark Knight cover artist for Batwing and current penciler of Detective Comics) pencils are consistently excellent. That being said, I also have some reasons to be nervous. This month's WTF certified covers are supposed to be particularly thrilling with their big reveals, yet the second half of this cover reveals nothing more than man-bats and the less than gripping question, “What is the 900?” In addition, some tidbits I've seen from the issue make it clear that the Bat Clan is bickering like teenagers, and it's hard to get to excited over a group of creatures who were originally created just to be a pun on the protagonist's name. I'm torn and unsure of what to expect.

Does Detective Comics #900 prove to be a worthy tribute to seventy-five years of detective stories, or is this a case in which the trail has gone cold?

These five stories are mostly separate, so I'm going to review them separately.

The 900

In The 900, Batman fights off an infection that threatens to turn Gotham into a city of man-bats.

One Up for Fabok and One Down for Layman

After reading this story, I have to say that my positive view of Layman's writing was damaged a little with this for several reasons, but let's get the positives out of the way first. Layman's Batman is still my favorite current version of the character. He is brutal but not vindictive, intelligent without acting flawless, and reserved without being hostile. Another plus is that Layman continues to weave the Emperor Penguin story into this without letting it interfere with the main story.

As nice as these features are, things lurk in these pages which are considerably less flattering to Layman's legacy as a Bat writer.

First up, the intro feels wrong. Early in the story, we see a woman approaching a pharmacy carrying a young child. When she gets inside, she tells the shop owner she needs medicine for her baby, and then she suddenly collapses. When she turns back around, both she and her child have turned into man-bats. (or woman- and child-bats to be politically correct) This is a brilliant scene, but it is undermined by the prologue preceding it which already made it clear that there are a bunch of man-bats running around, and for that reason, it is no big shock to see them pop up unexpectedly.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4.1


Worlds' Finest #11 - Putting it Together


Mr. Terrific and Power Girl reunited? But if Michael Holt is still on Earth 2, who is kissing Karen Starr?


Preview



The Man of Her Dreams... Or a New Nightmare?


I'm not sure what to expect from this issue. I've found Worlds' Finest to be horrible in general, but...I actually liked the last issue. Power Girl's actions were stupid, but she realized her stupidity and corrected it which made it a kind of fun, brief story about the misuse of power. For Helena's part, her breakdown over the death of Damian was so sudden and complete that it actually landed emotionally with me despite the shipshod construction of Helena and Damian's friendship a couple of issues prior.

Does this issue convince me that Worlds' Finest actually has potential under the current writer, or is this just a case of a broken clock telling the correct time twice a day?

In this issue, Huntress breaks back into the Holt Mansion to uncover his secrets.

Bat Droppings

Seeing as how I am getting this review done nearly a week late, I'm going to do this Bat Droppings style.


  1. Kudos to Barry Kitson (writer and artist for L.E.G.I.O.N., artist for Azrael, and penciler for Titans and current artist for Worlds' Finest and Vertigo's Fairest) for a cool cover design which worked especially well with the gatefold design.
  2. Ken Lashley (former artist of Excalibur and current cover artist for The Ravagers, Team 7, Stormwatch, Suicide Squad and Superboy and artist for Worlds' Finest) does the Huntress part of this story, and his style fits quite nicely with Helena. Something about the rough edges really works well for her personality in my opinion.


Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 2/5
Verdict - 2.7


Purchase DC Comics
Jeremy Sims is a blogger at https://batwatch.squarespace.com/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of these reviews has been authorized by the original author.

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