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Wacky Wizard Games Imprint and Three New Games Announced by @wwizardgames

Wise Wizard Games announced the launch of Wacky Wizard Games, a new brand imprint focused on family-friendly, lightweight games. Three games are planned for release in 2024 as part of this new brand imprint: Star Realms Academy, Caution Signs, and Pack the Essentials. If you are interested and attending PAX Unplugged they will have prototypes of Caution Signs and Pack the Essentials. "We are super excited to be adding this new family friendly product line to our catalog. We wanted to maintain the focus of Wise Wizard Games on strategy card and dice games with geeky themes, and have created Wacky Wizard Games as an umbrella for lightweight games with a more whimsical, cute vibe," shared Debbie Moynihan, COO of Wise Wizard Games. Star Realms Academy Forge your own star realms, overloaded with cuteness! A kid friendly but still fun for grown-ups version of the popular Star Realms deckbuilding game for 2 players. A little less math, no reading necessary, but still tons of fun! 

@BatWatcher Reviews: @DCComic Batman Dark Knight, Catwoman, Red Hood and the Outlaws

Here are today's Guest Reviews by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch. Included are DC's; Batman: The Dark Knight Annual #1, Catwoman Annual #1, and Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #1. 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.

Batman: The Dark Knight Annual #1 - Once Upon a Midnight Dreary

In “Once Upon a Midnight Dreary” three of The Dark Knight’s greatest foes unite in to tackle the threat of Batman head-on! Will the diabolical scheming of Scarecrow, Mad Hatter and The Penguin be too much for Batman to handle?


Featuring The Mad Hatter, The Penguin, and Scarecrow

I have unequivocally harsh on this series as a whole. The original arc was laughably bad and the next several were not much better. The only time I've really felt the series was doing well was in the first several issues on the current Mad Hatter story, but now that Jervis Tetch's origin has been forgotten and Hurwitz decided to punctuate the Hatter's evil by having Natalie, Bruce's “one true love,” die at Hatter's hands, I've soured on the current arc as well. Is there no hope for this series?

The Dark Knight Annual is here to challenge the notion that the series is doomed. Hurwitz is once again pulling out a trope we've all seen many times, a super villain team up, but the preview to this story succeeded in capturing my imagination. We know Penguin, Scarecrow, and Mad Hatter are all being brought together in a tangled web, but who is weaving this pattern? The mystery has me eager to find out.

Does The Dark Knight Annual #1 prove that this series has potential or confirm that this is the worst Batman series on the market?

In this issue, Penguin, Scarecrow and Mad Hatter find themselves trapped in an abandoned house with Batman terrorizing them.

Breaking New Grounds Is Not Always Good

I will give Hurwitz props for one thing; he did not simply retell a preexisting story with a few altered details. Though he has been guilty of stealing basic plots from other stories with his Scarecrow arc and to a lesser degree his Mad Hatter arc, he actually breaks some fresh ground with this story. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like this, so kudos to Hurwitz (former writer of Vengeance of the Moon Knight and Penguin: Pride and Prejudice and current writer of The Dark Knight) for trying something new.

Of course, it didn't work very well which pretty much nullifies the props for the initiative.

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 - 4/5
Verdict - 3.4
 - (Buy Batman: The Dark Knight Annual #1) SAVE 10%

Catwoman Annual #1 - Black Ice

It’s Cat vs. Bird for the dark heart of Gotham City! Kicking off an explosive new storyline that continues into CATWOMAN, Selina must choose work for a master—or pay a high price for her freedom!


The Penguin Gang War Starts Here!

Ah, Selina. You have seen better days my friend. I think I prefer the fat dried up old whore version of you in The Dark Knight Returns over your current incarnation. Then again, maybe I'm being too harsh. It's not this current version of you that I hate so much as it is the writing of your adventures. Things happen with little or no sense, the art has been sub par, and you just don't seem like yourself. I've beaten myself into a creative coma trying to bust through a giant wall of writer's block and find a way to express just what is wrong about the current series, but though I can point out specific flaws all day long, I can't seem to put my finger on one central crack in your structure. Your stories under Ann Nocenti (former writer for Daredevil and current writer for Catwoman and Katana) have been just plain bad, and I wish I could do something to save you.

Ah well, enough moaning about your current dilemma.

As for this annual, Penguin is targeting Catwoman because she stole some jewels from his dead mother. A gang called the Rat Tails is apparently our group of good characters who will be engaged in a gang war with Penguin. The demon Escalate showed up in the last issue of Catwoman. No telling if he will be present in this one. I guess that's about it. Time to suffer yet another indignity and read this piece of poo.

Does Catwoman Annual #1 rub the fur the wrong way or is this issue more fun than a barrel of catnip?

In this issue, the police get involved in a case of murder in the badlands and Selina has something to do with it.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating

Cover & Solicit - 2/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 2/5
Verdict - 2.4
 - (Buy Catwoman Annual #1) SAVE 10%

Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #1 - Trust Fall

Arsenal finally confronts Green Arrow, but it may be a short-lived reunion as someone from their past has targeted them both. Find out what the feud between Arsenal and Green Arrow is about, along with secrets from Roy Harper’s history.


Dark Destinies!

Oh boy! I think this is going to be good. Let's review, shall we?

Jason had his memory wiped because he was tired of his life sucking, Arsenal is determined to get Jason his memories back whether he wants them or not, Starfire was just revealed to be lying about her poor memory skills.,Ducra and the Proctor are manipulating the Outlaws for an unknown purpose, the worlds' assassins are going to be hunting the Outlaws down at the behest of some unknown financier, and Green Arrow is coming into town to save his ex-partner in crime fighting, Roy Harper. It sounds like a good time to me. Let's get to it.

Does Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #1 show that James Tynion can deliver solid action as well as drama or is this going to be another issue which gives Hoodies a conniption fit?

In this issue, Green Arrow and Cheshire pay a visit to the Outlaws' island.

Just Like Old Times

This issue felt much more like the series did under Scott Lobdell's (former writer of Uncanny X-Men and current writer of Teen Titans, Superman and Action Comics) pen that Tynion's (current writer of Talon, Red Hood and the Outlaws, and Batman) past two issues, and that's a bit of a mixed blessing.

The main thing that this issue has in common with Lobdell's run is that the action is back to it's previous level of intensity. The Outlaws fight quite a bit, and there is also a fun line or two of dialogue. The story is definitely not slow covering a good bit of ground in its forty or so pages.

Also like Lobdell's run, a lot of elements feel thrown in at random. For instance, Cheshire plays the part of the main villain in this issue, but in addition to her martial arts prowess and skill with toxins, Tynion changed her to have some superpowers which...seem a bit out of place to me. I suppose as new unexplained power go, they are okay, but she would have been a much more impressive threat if she had managed to keep the Outlaws on their toes without this new power. I suspect that fans of Cheshire from previous series will probably be outraged by the idea that she needs to rely on superhuman abilities now to be one of the world's best assassins.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating

Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.9
 - (Buy Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #1) SAVE 10%

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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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