I’ve decided to merge two of my hobbies by blogging my reactions to the comic books I read each week. Here’s my first installment. Are there spoilers? You betcha!

This was a big week for me, with eight books, because I skipped last week (it was a fifth Wednesday). As you know, comic books are scheduled to come out a particular week each month. On the rare occasion that a month has five Wednesdays, the comic book companies often fill them with special issues or, occasionally, a few delayed titles. While collectors like me curse fifth Wednesdays, I’m sure the creators relish them, because they add a week to the deadline grind.

Deadpool #15, Posehn, Duggan, Shalvey and Bellaire.
The Deadpool soft reboot continues to please, with bits of backstory revealed in context of ongoing plot development. I’m interested to see what Posehn and crew do with the Wolverine-Captain America crossover storyline.

Deadpool kills Deadpool #3, Bunn, Espin, and Gandini.
This book continues the long saga of one Deadpool’s ¬†(of the many in the multiverse) attempt to commit suicide by killing all of the other characters in the multiverse. Now he’s down to just killing Deadpools. Hilights of this month’s issue include Pandapool (the species that makes you extinct!) and Lady Deadpool killing Galactipool by exploding the Bea Arthur (Deadpool’s spaceship) in his face. Plus the Howard the Duck reference at the end is pure gold to an HTD fanboy like me.

The Joker #1 (Batman #23.1), Kubert, Clarke, and Blond.
The first of the DC ‘Villains Month’ comics for me, it’s clear that this promotion is mostly a money grab and isn’t driven by artistic vision. The books have a 1990’s style gimmick 3D covers, which seems to justify an additional $1 in their price. The Joker book tries to add some pathos to the Joker’s backstory while invoking a Batman villain from before the New 52 reboot. I never have been a fan of humanized-ape stories, so that may be why this one didn’t do it for me, but I’d rather just had another installment of Scott Snyder’s Year Zero storyline. Wait, I will? This week? With Batman issue 23.2: The Riddler? Oh, I see: the other money grab here is stacking the most popular titles with extra issues this month. Don’t think you can keep fooling me all month, DC.

Two-Face#1 (Batman and Robin #23.1), Tomasi, March, Morey.
This villain special issue wasn’t as bad as the Joker issue, and it clearly ties into 1) Tomasi’s¬†continuing Batman and Robin storyline and 2) the Court of Owls storyline that Snyder so masterfully wove into the New 52 reboot of the Bat-family titles. I didn’t feel quite as ripped off by this one, and my initial feeling of irresolution at the conclusion was assuaged when I realized a Two-Face story should be properly unresolved at the end.

As an aside, I can no longer take Two-Face seriously. Two years ago, my kids got a Two-Face action figure for Xmas, to fight their legion of Batmen (5 at last count). My son was unable to pronounce the villain’s name correctly, though, so he became “Toothpaste” for all time.

Batman Superman #3, Pak Lee, Cinar.
I promised last month to take a long look at this book and decide whether to keep it on my pull list. Superman has a way of killing comic books for me, after all. When I finished the book, I was convinced I’d keep it next month, but now… I can’t remember why. I’m having a hard time caring about the story, where young Bruce and Clark have been thrown into an alternate universe with old Bruce and Clark (and Diana!) by a vaguely motivated malevolent female deity. And now: Darkseid! Or something. Maybe someone else who cares more can tell me how it all turns out, but I’m not picking this one up any more.

Batman Incorporated Special #1 (various)
This book stands as a final wrap-up of the many Batmen of the old Batman Inc., told as an anthology by several different creative teams. In the end, I felt like it was worth its $4.99 price tag. I think my favorite bit was the first story, about the Batman of Japan stopping a black-market organ theft operation that used vending machines to distribute organs stolen from salary men staying at capsule hotels. Yowza! Plus: Bat-Cow at the end.

Legends of the Dark Knight #12, Albuquerque, Milligan, Burchielli.
This title is an anthology, published first online and then later in print (I only buy print comic books). The first story this month is dissatisfying: it is a disjunct, rambling tale that seems to end in a future Bruce Wayne becoming the Joker because he was too effective as Batman. Hm.

The second story is a cliffhanger, depicting a Batman whose liquidity has been disastrously diminished by the housing bubble. He’s forced to go all Year One again, fighting criminals with his hands and feet, instead of gadgets… Will he survive his first night? I’m actually curious, so I’ll be back next Bat-Month to find out.

The Shadow: Year One #5, Wagner, Torres.
I’m really enjoyoing Matt Wagner’s tale of the Shadow’s first year. He has a compelling villan, plenty of mafioso cannon fodder, and he’s struck the right tone with the Shadow’s character interactions. Plus, the story is told from Margo Lane’s perspective, so it has a nice feminist bent to it: she’s holding her own with Lamont in his fight against villainy. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

 

Do you read any of these titles? If so, let me know your take in the comments. Or did I miss any particularly good comics this week? Let me know!