Natalie’s Wednesday in Comics 6/29/2016

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I only bought one new comic this week, Grayson Annual #3; and might I say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It’s a really fun one shot issue that takes place some time before the end of the Grayson series.  I’m a little puzzled as to why DC chose not to put out any Rebirth issues this week but who knows, right?  Since it was such a short week for me I hit the bargain boxes and picked up a few things there.

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Titans Hunt by Dan Abnett

Titans HuntTitans Hunt by Dan Abnett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Titans Hunt wrapped up last week with issue eight and addresses [sort of] the status of The New 52’s original Titan’s team. This story spun out of the Convergence storyline and if the solicits can be trusted appears to be the direct lead into the Titan’s Rebirth #1 that goes on sale 6/15/2016.

There have been numerous members of the Titans over the years but the line up we are given here is: Dick Grayson, Donna Troy, Garth, Lilith, Roy Harper, Hawk, Dove, Herald, Bumble Bee, Cave Boy, and mentioned is The Forgotten Titan [Who is possibly the pre-52 Wally West.] I’ll be honest I don’t remember Herald and Caveboy but I guess they were a thing at some point.

Basicly this story starts out with Lilith appearing to the other Titans as a waking dream and giving them cryptic messages to remember and find each other. They do and then they have to face a very old Titan’s villain.

I thought the story was pretty solid and it was fun. I might not be too objective though, the Titans are favorites of mine and I was really just happy to see a story featuring these characters again. Oh, and I really enjoyed the art too.

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The graphic novel for Titans Hunt comes out September 20, 2016, and is up for preorder on Amazon right now.  And here are a couple of pages where the Titans fight each other…  Garth and Donna duking it out while Grayson mostly tries not to become collateral damage.

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And here are Lilith, Hawk and Dove making holes in walls.

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Midnighter, Vol. 1: Out by Steve Orlando

Midnighter, Vol. 1: OutMidnighter, Vol. 1: Out by Steve Orlando

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Midnighter is an acquired character that DC got when Wildstorm became one of their imprints. Originally he was a member of a team called The Authority, and lived with his husband another hero named Apollo. In this rebooted version, he and Apollo are not together anymore and it isn’t clear if he was ever married to him or not. In fact this story sort of starts out with Apollo and Midnighter breaking up so that Midnighter can try to figure out who he is because of the things he’s gone through. This volume collects MIDNIGHTER #1-6.

If you are expecting Midnighters origin to be presented on a silver platter to you in this volume, you’re going to be disappointed. Details are scarce and you’ll have to infer much from reading between the lines with this one. You see Midnighter himself doesn’t even know and I think that this is the intent of the way it’s presented. You will need to go on the adventure with him and see if you can figure it out.

The highlight of the book for me of course was the crossover with Dick Grayson which worked out better than you might think considering that Midnighter is not the type of guy who abhors killing. The two of them met in the Grayson title and seem to play well off of each other.

Even though Midnighter broke up with Apollo he seems to be looking to find himself a new boyfriend.  It’s curious to think about it, because it isn’t really clear if he’s just looking for a sex partner or if he wants a deeper connection.  What’s really at the heart of his break up with Apollo?

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Midnighter rescued this little girl and took her home to her mother, so he’s not a complete sociopath I guess.

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Midnighter and Dick Grayson talking after Midnighter “abducts” him.

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I didn’t mention too much about the art in this volume but I liked it alright.  Here is a depiction of Midnighter processing information with his computer like brain.

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I received an advance readers copy of this book from NetGalley in exchage for feedback and a review.

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Batgirl, Vol. 2: Family Business by Cameron Stewart

Batgirl, Vol. 2: Family BusinessBatgirl, Vol. 2: Family Business by Cameron Stewart

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The second volume of the relaunched Batgirl series contains BATGIRL #41-45, ANNUAL #3, and the Sneak Peek story from CONVERGENCE: INFINITY INC. #2. It’s all a bunch of uneventful guest appearances for the most part. I hated the two guest appearances by Dick Grayson which seemed to be out of character and stupid. The only overarching plot points I could detect were some very shallow and poorly executed side character romances.

To sum it up I’d call it mediocrity in pink. In my opinion you can skip this volume of Batgirl. It’s boring, banal, and trying to hard to be cutesy cutesy. Even the art was beginning to annoy me by the end of the book.

Jim Gordon is the first character to make a guest appearance in this volume of Batgirl. Here he is comming out to his daughter the he is the new Batman.  That look that Barbra has on her face in panel 6 pretty much sums up my feelings about the whole Gordan as Batman storyline.
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A lot of the book has scenes like this with Batgirl interacting with one of the many side characters.  It feels like she flirts with every guy in her social circle.

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This is the first time Dick Grayson makes an appearance in this volume.  He disguises himself and she doesn’t know it’s him.  Her eyeing his butt up as he’s leaving is I guess some sort of homage to Midnighter saying that he can identify him by his rear over in the main Grayson title.  The art here is less annoying looking than the other art in the book.

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Here’s another guest appearance this time by the girls from Gotham Academy.  I hate the way Batgirl looks here.  To me it’s like a deformed disney princess look.

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I obtained an advance readers digital copy of this book through NetGalley’s Read to Review program.

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Grayson, Vol 2: We All Die At Dawn by Tom King

Grayson, Vol 2: We All Die At DawnGrayson, Vol 2: We All Die At Dawn by Tom King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have so much love for this volume of Grayson. I was a bit neutral on the first volume but I’ve really warmed up to the storyline and have gotten totally into it. I think I just needed a little time to adjust my mindset to this new take on the character. The story is exciting and fun. I didn’t even put it down, I just read it straight through. Volume 2 reprints GRAYSON #5-9, and GRAYSON ANNUAL #1.

The title of this volume is We All Die At Dawn, and pays homage to the classic Batman story Robin Dies At Dawn, originally published in Batman #156. This story is actually referenced in the first part of the book as Grayson recounts the events from his point of view. That issue of Batman is reprinted in Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told [ISBN# 978-0446391238] if you would like to track down the source material.

This story picks up where the first volume left off and continues the macabre organ hunt across the desert. Midnighter features prominently in these stories as well and there are some fun interactions between Dick and he. I know that Dick actually appears in the Midnighter series as well but that volume isn’t available yet so I’m not sure how interwoven those stories are, or if they even have anything to do with each other. Good to know though if you like this one.

The second part that takes place in Ireland, and I enjoyed the storytelling style that was implemented. I really thought it was fun. Tom King certainly depicted a version of Grayson that I felt was particularly keeping with his long and varied history. I was actually reminded of the often maligned and underappreciated Devin Grayson run on Gotham Knights and Nightwing. Mostly for the ambiguous sexuality that she sort of played on in her run.

The last part of the graphic novel seems to be setting up a new story arc. We also get to see the girls from the academy again.

And of course this volume also has great art in it. I especially enjoy the spiral motifs used some places, that give it that funky retro vibe. So when is volume three coming out anyway? I’m ready for it now!

Dick’s POV from Batman #156:

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I’m down with Tom King’s take on who Dick is.

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I’m still not crazy about Helena but she was less annoying in this volume, mostly because she wasn’t that important to the plot.

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They call me Rock, Rockin’ Rob… Tweet.  Tweet.  Tweet.

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And Grayson’s fanclub:

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I received an advance reader’s copy of this book through NetGalley’s read and review program; but I’ll be buying a copy of this one to keep ASAP.

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Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 7: Anarky by Francis Manapul

Batman: Detective Comics, Vol. 7: AnarkyBatman: Detective Comics, Vol. 7: Anarky by Francis Manapul

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four stories are collected in this volume.

DETECTIVE COMICS #35-36 is a two part story called Terminal. I like this story the best of those in this book. It takes place in the Gotham Airport Terminal as a terrorist unleashes a biological weapon and the whole place is put on lockdown. The art in this story is dark, grim, and depressing looking; it really lends itself well to the story being told and adds to the atmosphere. My favorite character Dick Grayson also has a part in this too, as he helps Batman from afar. It could have almost have taken place at any point in Batman history.

Batman was at the airport as Bruce Wayne when the plane hit the terminal so to speak…

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It seems to be an established fact that Dick Grayson is extremely good looking.  I’m of the belief that he might actually be the most attractive superhero in the DCU.  Everyone remarks about it, even this guy:

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DETECTIVE COMICS #37-40 reprints the main story called Anarky. It has phonalmal art attached to it and really dynamic layouts. The beginning of this story was very interesting and started out with Batman fighting the Mad Hatter, where he discovers the remains of a bunch of young children. Now what does the Mad Hatter have to do with Anarky you might be asking yourself, well I was anyway. That’s pretty much what this story is about. I thought this story was good but it did lack a little in the suspense department for me. Lonnie Machin aka Moneyspider is in this, as well as Harvey Bullock and his current partner.

Batman and Bullock getting beat up:

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DETECTIVE COMICS: ENDGAME #1 — This is the weakest part of the collection. It features Lonnie Machin aka Moneyspider, the kid that was in the Anarky story and a bunch of cameo appearances by different Batman Family members. I’m not even sure what this is the endgame for. Except that a bunch of people have been infected with Joker gas and Lonnie is trying to get across the city to his mother. It’s an ok, but absolutely skippable story.

Batman family fighting together.  My question is why crotch shots of both of the ladies?  Sigh.

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AND DETECTIVE COMICS: FUTURES END #1 — Another of these time skip forward stories with future Batman teaming up with the Riddler to go up against Calander Man. The end of this was sort of evil and I admit I laughed.

This sort of sums it up:

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I received this graphic novel through NetGalley’s Read and Review Program.

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Nightwing / Batgirl Handbag

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I received a slightly belated Christmas gift today.  A handbag with Nightwing and Batgirl on it.  I love it!  I only wish that the graphic had been placed slightly lower so that the handle didn’t block part of Batgirl’s face, but other than that the bag is great.  It seems to be fairly well made although I haven’t had a chance to put it to the test myself.  I’ll probably use this until it falls apart.