Thursday, April 26, 2012

Comic Reviews: Night of the Owls Part 1 (Batman and Nightwing #8) and Red Hood #8

It's finally here!

The Night of the Owls crossover event began with Wednesday's set of comics.

The majority of Bat titles will all hold their parts of the event in May, and I'll be reviewing each of them as they come out. However, Batman and Nightwing are getting started this month.

Sorry for the delay in my reviews here. Between my last two research papers in this semester and a death in my family (no comments about this, please), I really haven't had much time to draft up blogs.

Nonetheless, let's get to the reviews!

Red Hood and The Outlaws #8

OK, so I am going to go out of order in the reviews this month because I want to take out the non-Owls story first.

I will say that I did enjoy this story, but it was the second part that really carried it. The first part was, well, fine, just not great.

Red Hood, Starfire and Arsenal head down to Gotham in this issue to save child hostages from Suzie Su. While  this did manage to get all three involved in a mission (and tease a Starfire-Arsenal relationship), I can't help but feel a little underwhelmed by the villain. It was Jason Todd vs. a 600-pound woman.

The woman was disgusting to look at, and I can certainly rejoice in the fact that this woman is dead and gone.

Her last monologue really didn't do much to give make a reader feel sympathy. It was basically, "I'm bad, don't want to change and will keep killing until I kill you." Although the killing is still not something the normal Bat-family would do, it's hard to blame Jason for this one. Maybe that's the point, and he's not supposed to look like a man who crosses the line whenever someone pisses him off, but this just felt like a caricature of an ethical crisis than an actual one.

The second half of the book was far better in my opinion. It led into the Night of the Owls, set up an awesome fight between the Outlaws and Mr. Freeze, and it showed some really nice insight into Jason's relationship with Tim Drake. I am definitely looking forward to Jason-Bruce and Dick-Starfire reunion issues.

On the whole, I would pick up this issue. The first half was weird, but it advanced all three nicely, and the second half is a good NOTO set-up.

Batman #8

I am SO GLAD the worker at Maximum Comics told me to read this before Nightwing.

Don't let the "Prologue" mantra on Nightwing fool you: This is where the storyline begins, and boy is it amazing.

Bruce's house is under attack and the Owls force he and Alfred into a hidden compartment of the Batcave to reorganize.

Batman fights in what I can only describe to be a robotic body suit while Alfred decodes the plans of the Talons. Everything about the last two sentences reeks of awesomeness.

Bruce's multiple storylines of stress and damaged body cause him to put his guard down for just a moment, and it costs him the high ground in this ambush. That armor of Batman's is EPIC and I love the concept of him racing the sub-zero temperatures to the end of the fight.

The book was $1 more because of an 8-page supplement, which actually was not a side story. It was actually the same story continued with a different artist, and it actually worked.

Obviously, the whole book was done well, but the change in art style really matched the hurried, desperate mood of the situation.

I loved this book and can't wait for next month.

Nightwing #8

As I said, this is called a Prequel, and in many ways it is. But it goes past the end of the Batman book, and what happens before isn't necessary to understand Batman.

So I read this second. Basically it's two stories: One of Dick Grayson's great-grandfather and the other on Dick trying to save the mayor of Gotham City.

Both are done incredibly well, and I love how the two stories collide at the end of the book to set up the next issue. My only complaint is that William Cobb's story was hurried toward the end. Not much detail is given as to the 'betrayal' he suffered, and I hope next issue fleshes that out more.

The art of this book is immaculate, and in many ways is right on par with Batman.

I am so excited to see where Dick's storyline goes after the NOTO crossover, but I am even more excited to see how this showdown turns out.

Sorry again for the whole delay, but I promise I'll be on my game for the May issues. I'll see you in the first Wednesday in May!

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