Howdy, nerds. PattyinRealLife here filling in for ChristenaGarcia this week, bringing you a recap of last night’s episode.
Let’s just jump right in.
Last week ended on a bit of a cliffhanger.
Last night’s episode opens with Penguin’s return to Gotham, heralded by a series of petty thefts just within his own line of sight, and a story being broadcast on the news about
Bernie Madoff a fellow named Danzer who is charged with a massive Ponzi scheme.
Enter: The Balloonman.
I know we are all very excited for the new Gotham show, I bet we all have things that we would like to see happen. I wanted to go over the list of some of what I would like to see happen over the series, not just the first season because we all know that this will be the set up season for the show.
We catch up where last issue left off, with the GCPD training their guns on the street fight between Silver and his lady friend, and Barbara (in civilian clothes) and Strix (of the Court of Owls).
Babs and Strix are outside of the home of a kidnapped girl, trying to find her before Silver ‘splodes her… Because… He thinks that she’s a vampire. Because…
The cops tell him to lower his weapon, he refuses, and Barbara is trying to figure out a way to diffuse this situation because she’s worried that, if she doesn’t, Strix will, and she’ll do it by knocking the shit out of each and every cop out there before resuming the fight, and then probably running out of time, etc. Plus, if shit doesn’t get solved soon, someone will recognize her when the glare goes down and she lowers her hands.
But, it’s okay, because Silver comes to the fore again, threatening the police to kill himself in a really sarcastic manner. When they refuse to lower their guns, this whole page happens and I don’t understand any of it.
Why would you arbitrarily slice your throat? How does that relatively not forceful action cause you to flip a billion feet? Did you really just include this because you needed to fill a page? Did you think this was clever? Or did you do it because you think that that last panel was so super cool and totally worth it?
Because it’s really just idiot. You could have had a distraction caused by a giant robot stomping around in the background or a fight between other Gotham rogues or Bat-people, and I would have bought that.
As it stands, the villain is able to get into his Rolls Royce, which then sprouts a machine gun and rips the GCPD cops and their cars APART, as Barbara bangs on the window, completely unscathed.
Strix pulls Barbara away and they manage to escape the GCPD’s notice. A call from Knightfall gives them the lead they needed.
Back at Uchida’s Dracula’esque mansion, he gets patched up by girl-Alfred and given a whole carafe of something-or-another to chug as Batgirl and Strix creep around the building, looking for a way inside.
We also get a little bit of backstory for this dude and all of his crazy.
The door pretty much magically opens for Batgirl and Strix, and Silver further invites them in, specifically asking them to drink his blood.
Obviously, fighting ensues, and apparently this dude is actually pretty good.
Strix soon gains the upper hand, and it about to end this crazy motherfucker, but Barbara won’t let her.
Lucky for her, Strix doesn’t take it personally, and Barbara knocks Silver down, trying to talk some sense into him, like she probably should have from the beginning.
This simple explanation that I guess nobody else ever tried explaining to him is apparently enough to snap him out of his delusion because, Cissy rounds the corner, asking if she can go home now, and Silver very calmly asks her where his assistant is, calling her “Child” instead of “Demon” for the first time.
And then, VINDICATION.
Because THIS happens.
That’s right. That’s right. All along, vampires were real. And this little girl was one. And she killed and ate her father. And this disappearance happened a while ago, but NOBODY fucking noticed this little girl’s sudden aversion to things like, oh, say, sunlight?
Vampires are fucking real now. As evidenced by the fact that the line above, “Stop. I command it,” was spoken by a shirtless dude wearing leather pants (pictured below) who entres during a convenient strike of lightning and when asked who exactly he is, responds, “I? Vampire.” Y’know, using the type of syntax that no one does.
He tells them that Cissy’s been dead for a while, that this is only her shell, and that now she’s his responsibility since her undead power and whatever has been calling to him. And it looks like he’s been trying to find her on foot..?
Either way, the moment doesn’t last long, since Cissy spontaneously combusts. The reason?
Then, everybody there fucking disappears in a swarm of bats.
AND THAT’S THE END OF THE ISSUE.
That’s how it ends! We’re in third -person limited-ish, it looks like, so we’re seeing it from Batgirl’s perspective… Except for all of the times we see Silver’s actions and his actual perspective. And that’s all we get! Batgirl was wrong. Silver was right. Vampires are a thing.
And the only other witness is a mute with poor writing skills?
Okay, so, really, now… This has just added more fuel to my, “I’m pretty sure that Batgirl is going crazy and wouldn’t that kinda be cool?” fire.
All of the shit that came out of left field? The shit that made not sense? The various and very obvious oversights, like not looking more thatn halfway down a sheet of paper when she’s supposed to be the brilliant protege of the world’s greatest detective and the commissioner’s daughter and she has a photographic memory to boot?
And then that last bit of internal monologue? “How do I convince myself this actually happened in the morning?”
I guess you don’t.
You’ve already lived it, whether reality or a delusion.
And this is the latest in a line of things that have happened that bear no explanation, that make no sense, that are getting increasingly more creeptastic, and that no one but her can recount! Supposedly murdering her brother and being hunted by her father? The ventriloquist with the living, independently moving and murderous doll?
And now fucking vampires.
I really do hope that Barbara is losing it. I really do. Not only would it be good writing and a really interesting story arc to eventually get to, but…
If the alternative is just a series of poorly written one-shots and uninteresting additions to a personal rogues gallery?
Yeah, give me crazy. Because I’ve had enough of terrible writing in the DC New 52.
But, that fact that Silver saw Barbara and Strix as being vampires, and that he was right about Cissy, poses an interesting idea. She is crazy. Or she’s got some kind of growing darkness in her. Heck, Strix has all kinds of darkness floating around inside of her tragic history. Oh! Actually, Strix IS undead!
Oh, I hope that this shit actually plays out in a decent way.
Until next time, nerds.
Sooo… Funny story.
That whole Gothtopia storyline? From last issue? That all takes place in other books. So, I still don’t know what’s going on in there. I guess I’ll do a recap once the story wraps up. For now…. We have VAMPIRES?!?
Okay. Why not?
In this issue, we add a new character to Batgirl’s cast. His name is Uchida, but he goes by Silver when he’s…
Gets brought a beverage and then is bathed by his female butler? No…
Hero-worships the villains of Gotham? No…
Oh, wait, here it is.
While he dons a Phantom of the Opera mask and practices opening fire on the Bat-Family with automatic weaponry.
So, cut to Barbara, running across rooftops and totally aware of the fact that somebody is following her.
She’s been trying to take out copycat killers, fans of the Brisby Killers from way back in the first issue.
But by the time she gets to ground level…
And she realizes who it must’ve been.
Of course, they do battle. Because using your words is only for toddlers and people in court-mandated anger management classes.
Now, remember, kids. Use your words. Because it turns out that Batgirl just punched a friend in the face.
Strix is a member of Birds of Prey, mostly because she’s dangerous as fuck and can be both trained as a hero and kept tabs on as a potential threat. She’s a threat because she’s a girl who lost her family, her ability to speak, her childhood, and then was “chosen as a Talon, an ageless, undead assassin, for the Court of Owls.” Luckily, Batgirl notes, she trusts her.
Babs asks her why she’s following her. Strix points to a lost child poster and Barbara assures her that the Gotham PD are actually pretty darn good when it comes to finding lost children.
Barbara asks why she insists that this become a Batgirl thing. Strix points out a part of the poster that points out that the missing girl, Cissy Chastain, cannot speak due to a childhood illness. She writes out for Batgirl that she’s a detective, that they’ll find the girl together, and that that’s why she didn’t want to contact the rest of the Birds of Prey.
Okay. Not exactly a reasonable explanation as far as not having several extra sets of eyes and their resources looking for a missing child. But whatever. Comics.
Barbara takes a sec to ziptie the crooks up for the cops before they set out. Apparently, though, her detective skills need some work because she misses some pretty glaring problems here.
Silver, meanwhile, is spying on the both of them. And this is what the scene looks like to him.
For some reason, Batgirl thinks that the best first option is to strike a deal with Knightfall. Just fucking right away. Before she’s even tried anything else.
Back in the alley, Silver does the knocked out gang members the favour of murdering them. Hooray!
At Barbara’s apartment, she’s got Strix looking through her closet for plainclothes detective type clothing. Strix immediately picks out Babs’ pink, frilly prom dress, clutching it to her chest like treasure.
They show up at the Chastain home to interview the missing girl’s mother. Babara uses a GCPD badge that she just “found” in the ladies’ locker room at the station. Because she’s a thief.
Anywho, the mother reveals that her husband disappeared some time back. Barbara thinks that the two events must be related.
But there aren’t a lot of leads, unfortunately, so Babs and Strix are back to hoofing it. But before they can hail a cab, and before Barbara can call her way too fucking needy boyfriend back, Silver shows up.
She plays dumb, and he waxes on about how the Bats are controlling the city, given free reign and owning towers and sewers alike. She asks him for clarification, kind of seeing where he’s going with this and concerned, but also seeing more than a little bit of crazy in this whole situation.
He claims to have killed dozens of her kind. Cue the fight scene.
This whacko is a whacko, but he’s also ready for her.
The police arrive and Barbara immediately assumes a protective, I’m-the-victim position, but it’s not 100% clear that she’s not going to be arrested.
Silver boasts, though, that he’s already won anyways. Because, you see dear readers, he’s captured the vampire queen. And strapped a bomb to her. And the bomb will go off at dawn and kill her.
Of course, the little girl is the vampire queen to this guy. Silver is totally going to turn out to be her dad and this is gonna be some kind of psychological thing where he blames her for the fact that his wife and his sex life never quite bounced back since before the pregnancy or some bullshit. Like that scene in “The Heat” but instead of soliciting a prostitute, the guy from “Arrested Development” designs an elaborate plot to assign classic movie monster personas and then murder them horribly. So… Well, note really like that scene in “The Heat” at all, then I guess.
Sooo, Awesome. Child abduction. Crazy people with delusions and hallucinations. And a bomb with a countdown of just a few hours. And a missing father somewhere in this whole mess.
So, I think that I’ve already mentioned that I hope that Batgirl is slowly going crazy. She’s a character that I can really see going rogue. I actually don’t think that anyone in the Bat-Family, and I mean really in the Bat-Family has ever become a real villain. Plus, she would make an incredible nemesis for virtually anyone in the DCU, but particularly for Batman. A true match. Because, yes, he’s outmatched her in the past, but she’s always held back. If she no longer held back, but he continued to do so (and we all know that he would still feel an obligation to her), she’d whoop his ass.
But I digress… Often.
I do hope, in the meantime, that she is arrested for being a part of this street fight. How is Barbara going to explain her mad skills, her appearance at the home of a woman whose daughter is the subject of a police investigation, and her possession of a GCPD badge and subsequently impersonating an officer?
That’s what I want to read about next week. Oh, and saving a young child’s like, too, I suppose.
See you then!
I don’t know what “Gothtopia” is. I’m going to figure it out by the end of this review, but for now, dear readers, realize that I’m going into this issue with zero idea of what in the world is going on in here. As always, I review the comic as I read through it on the first time, then summarize shit once I’ve taken a sec to gather my thoughts and form my oh, so many opinions.
Let’s explore my ignorance together, shall we? Let’s begin.
The comic opens with Babs narrating the morning routine of Angela Ramirez, a woman with family and a good job, managing the Joker Brand Ice Cream Company.
Apparently, Gotham City is the safest, the nicest, the friendliest city in ‘Murica, and even the weather is a balmy 90 degrees and sunny in February! Everyone is happy in Gotham. Everyone smiles. But Ms. Ramirez has started having nightmares. And she’s not smiling any more.
Cut to the Gordon household, where a cheerful Barbara wakes to her dad making breakfast, and the promise of bacon as she scrambles for clean pants.
She muses on the love she has for her family. Her mother is still around. Her dad is carefree. Her brother, James Jr., is a volunteer at a soup kitchen. And her cat is fat as fuck. There’s your first, second, and third warning bells right there.
And in this perfect, crime-free Gotham? She’s still Batgirl for some reason.
…Okay. I’mma wait.
And her partner is crime-stopping is… Charise Carnes. Fucking Knightfall. But here, she’s “Daybreak.”
Back at the Ice Cream factory, Ms. Ramirez tells
Steve Urkel an underling named Leo that she’s started scheduling surprise inspections of the flavouring vats. Anybody else’s ears perk up at the mention of “vats” at the “Joker” Ice Cream factory?
On the roof above the ice cream truck, Babs, who has only been referred to so far as “Bluebell” (and isn’t that an ice cream brand itself and WHY is there still a bat on her chest, then?) refuses to buy ice cream. This appears to be due to the fear of clowns. HA!
Right after that little meeting, a bus full of children from Gotham Elementary (How can there be only the one elementary school?!) arrives, making me really nervous all of a sudden.
And then this happens.
The trucks can’t be called back because all of the radios are down. Somehow, even the cellular phones aren’t working. So, Barbara tells Daybreak to “make the call” and steals one of the poisoned people’s motorcycles, tailing an ice cream truck that’s just made its way into a public park. She slaps a dude’s ice cream out of his hand, and he, naturally, takes a swing at her head.
Urkell is telling Ramirez about the poisoned ice cream, saying that they can’t give any of it to the kids, of course. Ramirez responds by donning a clown mask, hoisting a pistol, and assuring him that nothing bad could ever happen in Gotham.
Naturally, she shoots Steve Urkell (Did I do that?). However, she promptly reassures the children, saying that they’ll be together forever, unlike the little girl she once had, and unlike her former husband. She tells them to call her Mother Mercy.
Awesome. That’s not creepy at all.
Babs and Charise arrive on the scene and the GCPD is there ahead of her. Detective McKenna wants her to go in on the DL and take the aggressor out, but Detective Bullock is also there, belittling her and saying that Mayor Cobblepot has given the order to use a sniper on the way.
Inside, Ramirez is traumatizing the children further by telling them her very tragic story wherein she was called in by the police to identify the smiling corpses of her husband and daughter. Despite their deaths, she says she was still happy, still smiling, just like all of Gotham. She questions this fact. She says that she wants to forget, but she can’t with the city plastered with the smiling Joker face logo. So, she’s gonna go all Heaven’s Gate on these kids and she and the kids will all eat ice cream and stay together, smiling forever.
Outside, Daybreak offers Babs a distraction in the form of blowing up Bullock’s car.
The sniper is still on the roof. It’s not much of a distraction as Barbara sails over ALL of the police, who are all looking directly at her, some even pointing in case you inexplicably missed her.
Right before Ramirez forces the first kid to eat, Barbara bursts in, elbowing this woman who put so much thought into her plan but apparently never learned how to use that fucking gun in the FACE.
The “very bad day” making her a raving, mass-murdering psychopath reminds me of “The Killing Joke.”
…And then it reminds Barbara, too. And Ramirez sees that she’s not the only person who remembers another life, another truth.
While the Barbara has a mini panic attack, the sniper makes his move. Ramirez is struck in the solar plexus, not the heart or the head so this sniper should be FIRED, but it gives her enough time to give us some last words about her family and some other such bullshit… Trying to make me feel feelings, DC?!?!?! Better publishers than you have tried.
Barbara clings to the fact that the kids are safe. She wants to forget this day. She plans to. She even says, that if this is her waking up…
How very un-Barbara-like. To dismiss reality. To delude herself.
So, as if we didn’t know that it would be already, this “Gothtopia” is a problem. And, as I mentioned “Emperor Joker” earlier and DC is really out of ideas, I’m willing to wager that the whole thing is some kind of illusion-y thing. The Joker is probably behind it all, but that might be a red herring because DC likes to pretend that they’re clever. And while I do like Gail Simone on Batgirl (and I liked her Wonder Woman run, too, but that’s a whole other story), I also read “Leaving Megalopolis,” her recent independently published trade, and it fell really flat. So… Obviously, I’m going to give it a try. I’ll try to pick up the Detective Comics and other Bat-books tie-ins (DAMMIT.) and I’ll summarize shit you the rest of you nerds.
The issue, overall, was entertaining. But one thing is still bothering me, and is completely unconscionable even before the rest of the story unfolds…
See you next time, kids! And remember: Don’t drink the Kool-Aid!
This issue wraps up the “Batgirl: Wanted” arc. Going in, I was anxious, hoping that Commissioner Gordon would finally find out his daughter’s secret. The mixture of emotions should be powerful, between pride and anger and confusion and sorrow, since his daughter was a hero to all of Gotham… At least until she seemingly killed James Gordon Jr. Of course, in comics, we know that a body unrecovered is a character still alive, but I digress…
The minions of
Bitchface McGee Knightfall are still mid-murder of Commissioner Gordon. They’ve got Meta-Humans in their ranks and Grotesque has a pair of bolt cutters hovering around Jim’s pinky finger. But just as they’re about to start a-choppin’, Batgirl bursts through the front window on her motor cycle.
Babs crashes her bike into Bonebreaker, chucks some Batarangs at Gretel, and makes to escape with the Commish, when this Mirror shows up, claiming that they’re “on the list” because they’ve “both cheated death.” Whatevs. Batgirl chucks another Batarang at his face (because she didn’t learn a lesson the last time she threw a Batarang at some bitch), knocking him off kilter and giving her and Gordon Sr. the time they need to literally trap themselves in the fucking basement. While they, argue, though, Bonebreaker calls Knightfall to tattle on Batgirl…
This is actually a pretty good idea. Too bad it doesn’t seem likely to happen, especially as Knightfall tells the terrifyingly named “Michael” to burn the whole house down with everyone (EVERYONE) inside if her thugs screw up the hit. Waiting in the lamest ambush ever, at the top of the stairs to the basement, Bonebreaker and the others try to coax Batgirl out of hiding, promising not to fight and to give her hugs and candies and a nice cup of hot cocoa, maybe a blanket while they just go on ahead and murder her father. She, of course, is not terribly fond of this idea.
Batgirl is able to fight off the Knightfall minions by using their numbers and strength against them by fighting them in a tiny little hallway which didn’t look all that tiny when she and her dad walked through it a few pages earlier. Downstairs, the Commissioner takes out Michael as he tries to sneak in (BY TALKING LOUDLY ON HIS CELL PHONE) and start burning shit up.
Gordon passes up his gun in favour of activating an adorable little small scale Bat Signal. Seeing that half of their crew is no loonger in fighting shape, plus given that Gotham PD and the Bat Family are all likely on their way, Bonebreaker and Company sluggishly pick themselves up and head out through that gaping hole that Babs put in the house, and… Batgirl just lets them go. Like, seriously, she actually just lets them walk away.
It is at this point, after the imminent threat has past, Jim Gordon pulls out his service pistol and points it at the back of her head. She challenges him as a police officer, saying that she acted the only way that she could, and he admits that he knew what kind of actual fucking psycho
And here comes the moment that I’ve been waiting for– !
Mother. FUCKER. She resigns herself to revealing her secret and he LOOKS AWAY. Not even catching shit in his peripherals. I mean, should I really be surprised? He hasn’t been able to identify his own daughter for years despite the fact that most of her face is actually visible, her distinguishing and highly recessive trait red hair has been showing for all of this time, and, y’know, he has actually met his daughter before… But I was really hoping that this was going to be the moment. An arc that spanned several issues, culminating in very little, especially as Ricky even survives his ordeal and wakes back up by the end of this issue.
Of course, none of this is the big reveal of this issue…
BIG FUCKING SURPRISE. Did I call it? Because, yes, I called the fuck out of it. In fact, the panel is so understated and the moment so fleeting, I’d think that writer Gail Simone just fucking expected us all to come to this conclusion readily.
Yes, James Gordon Jr. is back to be a psychopathic murderer another day, this time with an eyepatch! THIS is most likely why Jim Sr. couldn’t find out about his daughter’s secret identity right now; they’ve got to have more family drama to play up when James Jr. comes back into the light and they realize that he’s alive… Likely after he manipulates a bunch of crap in the shadows to ruin Jim Sr. and Barbara’s lives as much as possible in the meantime.
Next issue ties into “Gothtopia” and what the fuck is that?! Find out with us when I review Batgirl #27 in a month!
Thanks for reading!
Hello, Fangirls, and Happy Holidays!
Let’s get down to business…
…Excuse me. As always, Some reviews may be more expansive than others (because sometimes I just don’t care). Anywho, jumping right in:
Batgirl #25 – This issue was a “Zero Year” story, following Barbara dealing with a natural disaster in Gotham and all of it’s complications. Rather than this being a Batgirl story, we simply see a younger, pre-Bat Babs trying to protect her brother.
CopDad Jim Gordon orders them to stay in the house as he goes out to help and, like, five minutes later, another officer bangs on the door and orders them to evacuate. So, Barbara throws her whole life into a backpack and straps on a MOLLE/tactical vest because of reasons and she and James Jr. head to a local community centre/refugee camp. At this second location, while James Jr. bemoans the water leaking from the ceiling and Babs meets a behemoth of a man who assures her he’s but a humble gentle giant, the building collapses into a massive sinkhole and Barbara proves that climbing the rope in gym class really does have real-world applications and she climbs to safety, even occasionally diving back into the water to save people in what is an obvious and desperate cry for help, herself.
She almost slips and the Giant saves her. The group begins to hop along across rooftops, keeping moving because building inspectors don’t exist in Gotham City and every-fucking-thing’s about to collapse. Of course, inevitably, the group is separated when Giant Guy is crossing and the steel ladder they’ve been using as a bridge inexplicably collapses (because that happens). He urges the others to throw their belongings across the gap so that they themselves will be lighter and he can catch them when they jump… Then he promptly apologizes for his impending douchebaggery and makes to abscond with their treasures. Barbara sees him hoist the bag which has her most treasured shit she threw into a sack on her way out of the door and it leads her to leap across the gap between roofs and tackle a man she admittedly couldn’t possibly take on. She promptly defeats him by throwing him off of a roof after, of course, letting go of the material possessions she tackled him for in the first place.
The issue ends with the group of survivors on this last rooftop (don’t ask me how they all got across). That’s right. It ends. Just like that. So, we learn that Barbara is insanely lucky, kind of stupid RE: self-preservation, and anti-materialistic at the flip of a hypocritical switch.
Not the finest issue and I have no idea why there needed to be a break between issues of a single arc.
Batwoman #25 – “Zero Year” continues. Kate Kane travels home from West Point to Gotham to attend the funeral of her murdered uncle Phil. Cameos by Alfred and Bruce ensue, the latter speaking with an old-timey formality about justice and criminals and all that jazz. As a storm is rolling in, she decides to sneak out and take on some burglars and would-be murderers. She does so, saving a young boy in the process, and catching the eye of a fresh-faced Sawyer when the police arrive. Aaaand that’s pretty much it. So far, all of the Zero Year stories have been pretty mediocre…
Birds of Prey #26 – Another “Zero Year” story, this time following a young Black Canary before the fishnets. She was homeless, abandoned, dumpster diving, until a martial arts instructor found her and trained her. She eventually took over his dojo, but a disaster in Gotham (not sure if it’s the same one from Batgirl) ends with the building burning to the ground. She isn’t there until it’s too late to salvage, instead fighting off looters and ninjas, but she is saved from a return to life on the streets when some dude from the government who she’s just met up and offers her a job. Another issue with very little in the way of substance.
Catwoman #25 – Fuck me. “Zero Year.” HO-kay… Selina Kyle is a petty thief who snatches some douchebag’s backpack, only to find it full of rock-climbing equipment (including a grappling gun, somehow). The stuff is valuable, but she can’t sell it because a bad storm is rolling in and bitches only wanna buy food, water, fuel, etc. Her local grocery store is run by a good man named Mr. Archuleta who Selina actually consciously refuses stealing from, since he’s up at the front of the store, imposing a ration so that everyone will at least get something. Of course, an insanely wealthy man named Arnett Crocker shows up in person with two goons to load up everything in the store into a single black van so that he can throw an end-of-the-world party for his rich buddies. Selina tries to stop him by scratching one of the goons in the face, but end up being socked in the face.
As would we all in this situation, a completely green Selina uses the rock-climbing equipment to infiltrate Crocker’s party from the rooftop. She arrives and changes into a long black dress with an impressive slit and her hair done up and introduces herself to the shindig’s host. On the way, we pass familiar faces like Oswald Cobblepot (the Penguin) and Basil Karlo (Clayface).
Crocker tkes her towards one of his “back rooms (blech),” passing throw a masquerade of escorts in various costumes, a casino room, a circus room for some reason… But their walk is interrupted by the goon Selina scratched earlier telling the boss that “that guy” he’s expecting is here. He doesn’t recognize Selina, and she watches through the peephole to see exactly what kind of exchange is happening behind that closed door. Crocker presents an unknown buyer with a selection of prototype batteries, stolen by Black Mask the previous week. They are what is powering his entire building at the moment… But Selina’s eavesdropping is interrupted by the reappearing of the goon (not wearing the bandage he sported in the previous shot and also having no scabs in a moment of lazy colouring).
Crocker orders her death, and Selina teases that the dress isn’t the only thing she found in the back room…
She disarms the goon with the knife and the buyer with a gun and catches Crocker around the neck with her new toy. She inventories herself as she ties the men up and swipes the batteries, turning to find– .
She uses the batteries to power her own block (including Archie’s Grocery), and muses on her own lack of mad skillz, but looks towards practicing her craft of master thievery. Of all of the “Zero Year” stories, this is probably the best, and that’s really something considering how much I don’t enjoy the regular Catwoman series issues. There was an origin, a conflict, and a resolution. Y’know, like there really should be in a one-shot. Of course, just because something is entertaining doesn’t mean it’s necessarilly good, as Selina’s inner monologue constantly noting the fact that she’s inexperienced, winging it, and generally a poor decision-maker is pretty awkward. Like, why are you doing this, then?!
Next month’s episode is teased with the tagline “Catwoman at ROCK BOTTOM!” See you, Selina.
Earth 2 #17 – This being the Fangirl Perspective, we are focusing on the character of Lois Lane in this series, even as her consciousness has been downloaded into the Red Tornado. Soooooo brief recap: Superman is brainwashed and evil. He is tearing shit APART, and the only thing stopping him from drilling into the army base like wet TP is the Flash. The speedster’s brilliant plan?
Below ground, Major Sato faces off against Batman OR DOES SHE? It turns out, this cowled man isn’t Bruce! He is, however, super strong and apparently invulnerable and, just as we’re about to find out who he is, RedTornado! Lois shows up to pry him away from Sato.
Sato shoots Batman in the head, he survives, and goes to free Aquawoman from one of many shady-ass stasis pods used to detain criminals and enemies of the state (more on that later). Half-way around the world, the Flash is leading Superman on a foot chase, but evil Supes uses Darkseid-style unnecessarily-bendy-heat-vision to knock him over, then swoops in to grab and crush his ankle, and then return to the Arkham Command rubble to capture Mr. Terrific and Co-Commander Sloan for Apokolips.
Back underground, Batman is freeing his second of three targets from a blacked-out canister, telling Lois that it’s been blacked out to hide the atrocities of the world army. It turns out to be a young Jimmy Olsen, the solitary force behind a hacker group called “Accountable” that systematically released classified government records. Hooray for social commentary! Jimmy takes it pretty well in stride that he’s waking up from stasis, seemingly actually relieved that it’s not the year 3000, hello Futurama reference. He asks if any of them has a phone.
Jimmy sees that Parademons are invading from fire pits all over the world, and Batman veers off from the group towards his third target, even as Aquawoman (who hates that name, BTW) urges them to leave. Batman moves purposefully towards the Joker, suspended in his own tubey chamber thing, and Sato moves to intercept; she will not let him release such a monster. But Batman has another idea and reaches for a GUN on his utility belt.
Now, with a bloodied and SUPER dead Joker left behind, Batman is ready to lead an independently capable group of strong women to battle an unstoppable force, even though nobody knows who the fuck he is behind that cowl (although I’m betting Jason Todd, somehow, ’cause of guns and stuff).
I actually mildly enjoyed the issue. This series is promising, although I have to wonder how long this ongoing series is going to be, as well as whether we’re going to see any interaction in the Batman/Superman/World’s Finest crossover next month… It really helps that this is an alternate universe; I don’t care quite as much about discrepancies since it’s not the main universe… Come to think of it, they should just go ahead and reveal that the New 52 is just an alternate universe and the old universe is still out there! You’re welcome, DC.
Harley Quinn #0 – I have NO fucking idea what I just read. Panel after panel of breaking the fourth wall, wherein Harley realises she’s in a comic, wants to pick the artist herself, and writers Palmiotti and Conner talk to her all along the way. The comedy fell flat, the name-dropping intolerable, and Conner’s complete Mary Sue moment really ruined this for me…
Let’s hope the first actual issue is worth my time.
Supergirl #025 – This is part 3 of the “Krypton Returns”
trainwreck storyline. Supergirl is in the clutches of H’El, her evil ex-boyfriend (gag) who is still fucking trying to resurrect Krypton at the expense of Earth/the Universe/whatever it is this time. She bemoans his betrayals and bitches about the Kryptonite poisoning, then hits him in the face and picks up a spear, and through these couple of pages, we see three awkward shots of her ass.
Also, in this issue, Superman muses on the bittersweet moment he got to meet and speak to his biological mother (but his thoughts are interrupted by his uniform changing due to time-travely hijinks and the appearance of some unseen character mocking the change), and Superboy battles a weird-ass version of the Eradicator* as a slightly younger (and much more lively/much less angsty) Kara Zor-El is kind of useless, but at least she doesn’t hate Kon yet. Superboy can’t kill him, so, instead, he punts the Eradicator into a portal and the creature thunks straight into Smallville, Kansas.
H’El shows up at that moment, trying to kill Kon, even as he is simultaneously fighting Supergirl in another timeline. Both heroes are able to figure that out, and the two try to take advantage of that fact. BUT! Before Supergirl can prove that she isn’t totally useless, an alternate timeline version of Kon tackles H’El and Supergirl makes the giant-but-apparently-accurate leap in logic: “When I defeated Kon, did I become their leader– And now it’s the tribal instinct of the clones to protect me?” H’El, who already has gone on about how he’s not Kryptonian and how he’s a singularity, is outraged at the clones’ behaviour, so… I guess H’El is a clone?
In the very last panel, Supergirl has hoisted a spear (and is holding it backwards) and is about to engage H’El as her randomly devoted, face-tattooed clone army cheers her on. The suspense is killing me! Will Kon survive? Who was talking to Clark? Just how useless is Kara? What of H’El or the Eradicator? Will I care?!
*(SIDE-NOTE: He refers to himself as the embodiment of entropy, but he also maintains that he is going to ensure that everyone who is going to die on Krypton is going to die on Krypton. HOWEVER, entropy is a decline into disorder. Death is not disorder. Death is perfect order. So, basically, bad writing strikes again.)
Superman/Wonder Woman #2 – *Swallows the vomit* Okay, let’s get this over with… The issue picks up where last left off, with Diana and Clark saving a ship or something (who remembers?) but the former being sidelined by a punch to the face from (drumroll, please) — DOOMSDAY! For those who maybe weren’t aware, Superman never died in the New 52. He and Doomsday have never met let alone come to blows. So, the first to meet the monster is Diana, who is promptly suckerpunched and has both of her arms broken.
There is a moment here where the Amazon thinks to herself, “Okay, your arms aren’t your only weapons, you can fly, etc.” But we never get to see that pan out because the issue takes an awkward jump to Superman placing the ship he’d previously lifted out of the water back into the water. He asks her if she’s alright, and she responds with something along the lines of, “Oh, yeah, totes. I mean, my broken arms are already healed because I’m a bastard child of Zeus and stuff.” But she does remark about never having been hit that hard. Superman takes her to the Fortress of Solitude (TM) and a page and a half of exposition later, we find that the Kryptonians had imprisoned Doomsday in the Phantom Zone, but that the barrier between ours and that dimension must be weakening. What that would make Doomsday appear on Earth instead of Krypton, I do not know. Clark worries, but Diana places a reassuring hand on his giant pectorals and tells him that he is going to win because he’s not just mighty but also a good ol’ Kansas farm boy… With a fucking demi-goddess for a girlfriend.
In the next scene, Diana has taken Clark to see Hephaestus about weapons, and their conversation alludes to him possibly constructing a suit of divine armour. Their scheming is interrupted by Apollo and Strife, who then proceed to belittle Superman just like
my family at Thanksgiving the Greek gods are known to. Apollo calls Superman (due to his Alien heritage) an inhuman “thing” and says it doesn’t even bother him who Diana chooses to “slut around with.” Superman asks Apollo to clarify their definition of “god” and, satisfied, tells Apollo that he’s glad that he won’t have to hold back if the new ruler of Olympus disses his boo-tay like that again.
Then we see a brief moment of Cat Grant from the Daily Planet leaving him an angry voicemail… So, I guess Lois and Clark can’t even be partners in journalism.
Ahem. So, Diana freaks out with a massive “NO!” because Clark’s been slapped into one of the vats of molten something-or-another in Hephaestus’ forge, and Strife delightfully says that she’ll never see Superman the same, strong way again after that TKO. In a moment which I’m sure is meant to be much more impressive, Clark emerges from the fire pit and socks Apollo on the jaw. The god of the sun is knocked back and down… But not ACROSS THE FUCKING ROOM like a certain bro from Krypton. Apollo then blasts Clark with, I dunno, a ray form his face (like ya do), but Clark emerges all glowy because, y’know, sunlight.
Apollo takes himself a pounding and Clark returns to politely thank Hephaestus for his help. Strife, in the background, gushes. Meanwhile, in Wonder Woman, she’s sworn to kill Diana and stuff, but let’s ignore that for comedy that is misogynistic and falls utterly flat. After all, this is New 52 DC.
The issue wraps with a bunch of guys on camelback in the desert being ripped apart by something unseen… And the apparent return of General Zod. And me snoring.
Wonder Woman #025 – Strife commissions a weapon to defeat Wonder Woman and Hephaestus provides her with what looks like a single, red-hot nail. Hephaestus, even though he made the thing, is skeptical, but Strife looks super psyched. Meanwhile, Cassandra is on flying metal cockroach of a plane and using Ol’ What’s-His-Name to find baby Zeke (because, obviously, he’s a child of prophecy and destined to be ultra powerful).
Hermes and his weird-ass chicken feet are creeping all over Diana (dressed in a burlap sack but still wearing her tiara in public), Hera, and Zeke’s-Mom-Whose-Name- I-Also-Forget as they eat lunch and discuss how mortality made Hera a shit ton less crazy. Suddenly, Orion zooms overhead and announces that they’re under attack. He fries the tree that Hermes is leaning against and the two fight TO THE DEATH– Except for that they don’t because Strife shows up to giver her condolences to her brother, mother, and “baby sister” Diana amongst all of the fucking oblivious mortals just eating their sammiches and shit. Diana apologizes for Ares’ death, and Strife’s pretty much like, “Psh. Yeah, sure you are, skank.”
In a quick scene, we see Dio serving bits of a still living and conscious First Born to Apollo for dinner, because why not? We then return to Diana’s apartment (where that severed head is still on the mantle) and Strife is giving out presents AND THERE ARE BALLOONS! She has brought Hera the peacock feathered cloak she wore as queen of the gods, making her mother sort of sadly nostalgic, and has brought War’s horned helmet to Diana. Diana calls her a bitch and it rolls off of Strife’s shoulders as she gives the last gift, a magic spider-silk blanket for baby Zeke.
Back on the airship with Cassandra, she reveals that she, too, is a demigod, and then What’s-His-Face goes nuts and talks to no one as warthog- or dog-men chill out underground with video screens in a single, unexplained panel.
Back in the apartment, Orion has a temper tantrum because Diana won’t let him fight Hermes in her living room and Strife watches on with an amused smile.
Sriracha Siracca blows in through the window and warns Diana that Milan (HA! That’s What’s-His-Name’s fucking name!) is being held captive by Cassandra, that he loves her, but that she’s torturing him, etc… Orion and all of his testosterone use the distraction to open up a BOOM Tube and Diana asks Strife to keep watch as she, Siracca, and Hermes travel to Chernobyl to save Milan from Cassandra. Strife is confused by the notion of Diana’s trust in her, but when Zeke’s mom re-entres the room, we see that their journey to Chernobyl apparently falls right into Strife’s plan.
World’s Finest #17 – This issue felt very much like filler. I’m still holding out for the crossover with Batman/Superman in January, but the past few issue shave fallen very flat. In this issue, Karen’s trying to find the silver lining of her still-fluctuating power levels by… Getting a tattoo?
Right, because she’s a tremendously successful business woman and getting another distinguishing characteristic is gonna be great for the maintenance of her secret identity.
Speaking of which… While Helena is off trying to track down a coincidentally heavily tattooed murderess avec les pouvoirs super, Karen has decided that now would be a good time to go for the ultimate sunbath, hitching a $10 million ride on a shuttle to Right-In-Fucking-Front-Of-The-Sun, where she promptly strips down in front of the shocked pilot and goes for a little space walk.
So, Helena’s trying to tackle this tattooed chick who, by the way, has tattoo-related super powers… And Karen’s sunbathing takes a bad turn when she apparently overloads. This, for some reason, sends her falling back towards Earth.
Karen conveniently lands in the water that runs under the bridge that Helena is also conveniently fighting a low-grade supervillain atop… And the impact distracts Helena so that she can go to her friend and comrade’s aid and so that Tattooed Chick can run away to fight in another issue. Whoo…
I actually had lots of pictures to attach to this review, but so little happened in this issue that I had to go back through and make sure that it was a full issue! This series opened a lot stronger, I feel, and I need them not to coast. The crossover needs to be amazing, because I’m considering dropping a lot of books and, until now, World’s Finest wasn’t among them.
What happened to you, DC? You used to be cool.
That’s it for the reviews this month! See you next time, Nerds!
Hello, dear readers, and welcome to “What’s New, 52?” Here I plan to discuss recent comic book releases and news in the DC universe with a focus on female heroes and supporting characters.This week, we start with a review of Wonder Woman #25, then a few bullet reviews, and wrap it up with comic book news and opinion on some of the more recent teasers and previews.
Review: Wonder Woman #25: Entre the Goddess of War
The New 52 incarnation of Wonder Woman is a significant departure from Classic Diana Prince. In her previous origin, Diana of Themiscrya is daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, an immortal race of warrior women living on an Island Paradise, protected by Hera from the world of man. She has no father, instead having been sculpted by her mother out of clay from the island and breathed into live by the queen of the gods. In the New 52, the gods of Olympus are warped, keeping more in touch with the gods of Greek mythology, but Wonder Woman’s origin has been changed to align more with a well known cliche. Diana is now simply another bastard child of Zeus.
But let’s simply gloss over the defeminization of the character by taking a totally independent female character and reworking her origin story to make it dependent on a man (and a womanizing chauvinist of a man at that).
A prophecy had been foretold that one of Zeus’s children would die at the hand of another, and Wonder Woman seems to have been the instrument of this prophecy. Per the events of Wonder Woman #24, Diana is now the Goddess of War, holding a seat on Olympus under the new King of the Gods, a to-date highly duplicitous Apollo.
You see, last issue, Wonder Woman was made to kill Ares, the god of war, and so now, because the transitive properties of “The Santa Clause” apparently work in all aspects of the divine, she is now expected to become him.
The old War is dead, she killed him, and is now the new War. In comics past, she and Ares have always been at odds because, even though the Amazons are a warriour people, they don’t revel in it; they do it out of duty and honour, and often enough just to stop some bad shit from going down. Apollo expects her to sit with them at Olympic board meetings and such so that they can vote on the colour of the paper for the new newsletter or something. She, because her senses of justice and compassion and her respect of the value of life, wants nothing to do with the position of “War.”
Meanwhile, a mortal Hera is sharing as apartment Odd-Couple Style with Zeus’s latest booty (whose name I forget but who named the baby Zeke in case we weren’t sure that she was white trash after we initially meet her soliciting sex at a truck stop).
As Diana tells Apollo off and Apollo coolly tells Diana that she’s got no choice, the traitorous Hermes, who feels bad about what he did but is more visibly hurt by the women’s rejection of him, takes Diana home. The comic closes back on Olympus, where Strife, despite her major c-word attitude this whole time, apparently took it personally and is planning to take Diana da fuck out. Bitch is all over the place.
So, next month, it looks like Strife is going to be battling Wonder Woman for the seat of War on Olympus. Wonder Woman will probably defeat her, because losing would mean death and the series is going to keep going, so… I also don’t see Wonder Woman straight up killing another god, so she’ll probably remain War for a while while Strife pulls back and tries to make her life hell.
I will admit, I am actually a little intrigued by the idea of Wonder Woman, one of DC’s most compassionate characters, having to deal. Will she suddenly start gaining power when people fight amongst themselves? Will she kinda like it? Or will she instill aggression in those around her, even without being conscious of it? Brian Azzarello is a good writer, and hopefully he does the premise justice.
On the other hand, I hope to editor at DC don’t use this as an opportunity to sully yet another one of their most iconic characters, and really the only female character who isn’t just becoming an awful person on the brink. I think she’s going to get a little darker, at least for a little while.
Time will tell.
Alright. A brief summary and my opinion in a paragraph and a picture or less. Remember, this is only for books with strong female protagonists (not too many team books).
Batgirl #24 – Babs’ dad done just shot her boyfriend. She’s understandably upset, but to stop her father from being murdered by a group of super-powered hitmen hired by a crazy heriess, she is forced to put the costume on one more time… Which we, of course, know won’t actually be one more time.
Batwoman #24 – Batman cameo. Lots of classic Batman rogues. Lots of action. I can’t get past Batwoman’s white white skin.
Bird of Prey #24 – Batgirl and some chick I’ve never heard of have to rescue Black Canary and some other characters who don’t really matter… And here I thought that the whole purpose of the reboot was so that every book could line up their timelines properly. Silly me.
Catwoman #24 – WHY ARE PEOPLE PASSING AROUND THE JOKER’S FACE! I still don’t get the reasoning for him having it cut off in the first place, let alone bitches wearing rotting skin pinned to their own faces.
Earth 2 #17 – Lois Lane’s consciousness has been downloaded into a lady-version of the Red Tornado robot. She was dead in this universe, but now she’s a hollow shell of the strong woman she once was, and the man she loves is a brainwashed mass murderer. The New 52 ain’t doin’ my girl Lois right. She’s been resurrected with the sole purpose of talking down the marauding Man of Steel. And then her dad dies in her arms. Hm.
Supergirl #24 – Daddy issues.
Superman/Wonder Woman #1 – Let’s talk about our relationship, intercut with scenes of a really anticlimactic battle/rescue operation. Oh, and even thought you’re going to approach our date with an awkward, boyish charm, I’mma totally pull a sword on you because that’s the basis for a healthy relationship that seems stable and should continue. I can’t even.
World’s Finest #16 – Power Girl’s powers are going haywaire like Karen Starr circa 1997, so recycled ideas = angry Patty. I do like the book, though. I’m just really waiting for something big to happen here. A lot of this comic seems like filler, but I know that next year, they’re actually going to meet Batman and Superman in the most uncomfortable pseudo-family reunion since… Well, any of my family functions.
NEWS OF THE WEEK: Sorry, Supergirl; Red’s Really Not Your Colour
The big news this the past few days for female DC superheroines seems to be that Supergirl is going to be inducted into the ranks of the Red Lanterns.
That’s right. Supergirl is going to barf up acid blood, her shiny red ring is going to cut out her heart, and she’s going to be a Kryptonian powerhouse with unstoppable, irrational rage.
Except… Oh, wait. No, it’s not. It’s just more of the same “gritty” bullshit that DC has homogenized their
Universe UNIVERSES into for the past two years.
The New DCU seems to just me mired in negativity. And, while I realise that heroes are more realistically going to have more bad days than particularly stellar ones, it’s just not something that I want to read. I can see it in the Bat-Books; Barbara Gordon’s personal life and crime-fighting persona taking hit after hit jives with the whole of Gotham City. Gotham is an admittedly terrible place to live and has been so for pretty much all of it’s written history. The criminals are always looking to up the stakes and even the lowliest thug would love the chance to try and take out a member of the Bat Family. That’s established. And that’s going to take a huge toll on a person who’s not as balls out crazy as Bruce Wayne’s night-time alter-ego, so Batgirl’s losing it I can see.
But this isn’t the case with the Super Books. At least, pre New 52, Metropolis was a decent place to live. Clean, high-tech, prone to supervillains, and sporting a neighbourhood called Suicide Slum, sure, but the murder rate is way below that of Gotham. Plus, over it all, Metropolis has their golden boy, the Big Blue Boyscout. His little-cousin-who-is-actually-older-than-him also lives there and is struggling to find her place on this strange new planet and discover the hero within– Except that none of that is true any more, either, is it? Superman’s either a superpowered douchebag (which of course we need in the world) in “Action Comics” or he’s standoffish and dating Wonder Woman for no good reason.
And Superboy is being replaced by his murderer, the biological child of Lois and Clark from an apparently alternate future who happens to be completely batshit crazy and no one is going to know the difference. BeeTeeDubs, Marvel did the same fucking thing a couple of months ago with the “Superiour Spider-Man” title, and I dropped the book after two insufferable issues.
But I digress.
According to Wikipedia, a Red Lantern’s rage is specific to the rage felt after a significant loss. What more, though, can she lose at this point? Is this going to be like The Walking Dead, where every time there’s a new character, I’m going to have to be prepared for them to be killed off unceremoniously? If it turns out that this sense of loss that fuels her transition into a RL is the loss of Krypton, I’m gonna barf. Why is she mired in this? I mean, I understand. She lost her home, her family, she’s an even more petulant version of Katie Kaboom, etc.
But does the editorial staff at DC really think that it’s good writing for your character to be stunted for MONTHS? Oh, no, wait. TWO YEARS! My personal experience with comics is that my favourites have been series which establish a good selection of supporting characters for their protagonists, and when said protagonists display signs of steady growth as a character. Hell, that’s why Spider-Man was such a great success from it’s launch way back into the before time. Peter Parker was the draw! He was a person that the fanboys could se into the life of, that wasn’t this hyper powerful, unattainable figure but rather someone with whom they could relate. The character becomes that much more compelling, and that’s why I’m stalwart in my opinion that Peter David’s Supergirl run from ’96 through ’01 was the best iteration of the character since pre-Crisis Kara moved to Chicago and got an apartment and went to college LIKE A PERSON in the Daring New Adventures of Supergirl (1982-1984).
“But Patty,” you gasp, “Surely this is only a temporary gimmick, anyways! Why are you getting so upset?”
Well, see, I do figure that it’s going to be a temporary situation, what with her having her own series to star in and all. My issue is that Red Lanterns… Are mindless. This either means that the story will be unintelligent, full of mindless destruction and shock for the sake of shock value (whoopee), or it means that someone will be manipulating her and her rampage.
And I’m getting upset because I’m a fangirl. We’re either panicking, swooning, glomping, or raging.
We know that love isn’t the answer (sorry Harry Potter), as feeling love will kill a Red Lantern (because SCIENCE). Also, removal of the Red Lantern ring causes instant death for the (former) wearer, unless there’s a Blue Lantern there to slip a Blue Lantern ring onto their finger first. Are there any really cool Blue Lanterns left? I can’t think of any. And I also doubt that almost anybody would be able to get in close enough to a rage-a-holic Kryptonian with a power ring to slip a second ring daintily on their finger. Even if somebody does turn her into a Blue Lantern, it’s going to be such a hard 180 that I’ll have a hard time buying it, personally. Plus there’s the fact that nobody’s been de-Red-Lantern-ed without at least having some lingering effects from their own incredible toxic and corrosive blood substitute…
So, y’know, assholes with anger issues are always great. Oh! Hey, since we’ve run out of ideas anyways, remember the 90s? Remember how much everybody loved Guy Gardner before they found a way to rationalize his irrationality?
I’m better now.
The point is, I’m going to read it. I’m just worried about having to read through something that’ll make me so mad that I’ll suddenly find myself with a red ring of doom stuck on my ring finger…
Thanks for reading through my ramblings, and be sure to come back mid-December for another installment of “What’s New, 52?” in which we’ll (probably) be focusing on the upcoming release “Harely Quinn” #0.