I’ve decided to consolidate my weekly posts into just a roundup — just as well, since there weren’t many comics of interest to me this past week!
Batman Eternal #52
This weekly series celebrating all things Batman has drawn to a close. More page space was left for resolution/follow up than I expected. The ending was predictable, with all of Gotham coming together with Batman’s many allies to save the city — but I wouldn’t have accepted anything less.
My main takeaway from the series is this: when the plot moved quickly and kept up a high pace, it worked. But most of the 52 issues were draggy, with the story seemingly going nowhere. The writers shot themselves in the foot by upping the stakes too quickly into the series, I feel. And there was too little focus on developing relationships and dynamics between Batman’s various allies. The aborted romance between Jason and Barbara was rendered awkward by the spectre of Dick Grayson’s absence left unexplained and hanging between them.
Even with 52 issues worth of issues, I felt many characters got the short shrift — but particularly Stephanie, Harper, Batwing. The series would have been better served with a greater focus on character development than plodding along a complicated and hole-filled plot. As it is, the main triumph of the series, for me, is in the re-introduction of Julia Pennyworth. I look forward to reading more of her in the main Batman title.
Gotham Academy: Endgame #1
This issue reminds me of the recent Lumberjanes issue featuring that book’s characters telling scary stories… because that’s exactly what happens here, minus the campfire but plus a blackout induced by the Joker terrorising Gotham city.
The scary stories all relate to the Joker, and were all sufficiently sinister indeed. Each story was illustrated by a different artist (just like that Lumberjanes issue!). It was difficult choosing just one panel to showcase!
Wonder Woman #40
I finished this issue feeling very discomfited. I don’t likethe direction this arc has gone at all, with the Amazons disobeying their leader and ambushing their abandoned brothers in a mass genocide. I might stick around for the conclusion in June’s Wonder Woman annual, but I might very well just stop reading this title altogether. There’s still Sensation Comics, anyway (and I do need to catch up to that).
Donna Troy’s costume is badass. Her personality here though… BIG SIGH. It’s everything wrong with the New 52.
Batman & Robin Annual #3
Batman and Robin in space! It’s a cute story about Bruce and Damian having an adventure on the moon involving creepy space astronauts… but do we really need another cute story about Bruce and Damian as father and son? I feel like that’s a dead horse that’s been beaten excessively. It also bothers me how many writers emphasise their relationship as being “uniquely” parent/child, when in fact most of the Robin relationships with Batman have been exactly that (particularly Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, where Dick was Robin for almost 40 years!).
I wasn’t interested to read this, but felt obligated. It provides some interesting backstory for the Convergence event that takes over the DC comics universe for the next two months; this will be useful for anyone planning to check out the various tie-in comics that are being released (I am definitely checking out the Batgirl issues featuring Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and Tim Drake as they were directly before the New 52 reboot!).
It’s a shame how long it took me to get to this issue, because it is excellent! I love how Robbie Thompson writes Cindy as humorous and personable but also filled with all the many emotions we as human beings experience every day: sadness, frustration, loneliness, and all that awful stuff.
This issue saw Cindy have a chance reunion with her old boyfriend, under awkward circumstances; I’m glad that she got to meet someone from her past sooner than later. He’s engaged to someone else now, which might sound stereotypical for this sort of “man out of time returns” tale, but honestly feels too real. A motif in this issue is how life goes on and sadly, most things don’t stay the same — Cindy’s old boyfriend, her favourite pizza place, or her family (who mysteriously up and moved away some years back). This is something I’ve always struggled with, myself; that inability to accept change, so seeing it through Cindy’s eyes was very poignant.
And I love how she retains her light-heartedness even as she continued building her new life.
Stacy Lee’s art (with Ian Herring’s colours) continues to be completely and utterly gorgeous.
Comics for next week: Captain Marvel #14, Convegence: Batgirl #1 (squee!!), Convergence: Nightwing & Oracle #1, and Ody-C #4!