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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Bunch of Comic and Graphic Novel Reviews

Title: Batman: The Killing Joke
Author: Alan Moore
Illustrators: Brian Bolland
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: March 1988
Pages: 50
Genres: Graphic Novels
Source: Library
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For the first time the Joker's origin is revealed in this tale of insanity and human perseverance. Looking to prove that any man can be pushed past his breaking point and go mad, the Joker attempts to drive Commissioner Gordon insane. 

After shooting and permanently paralyzing his daughter Barbara (a.k.a. Batgirl), the Joker kidnaps the commissioner and attacks his mind in hopes of breaking the man. 

But refusing to give up, Gordon maintains his sanity with the help of Batman in an effort to beset the madman.

MY REVIEW
This review MAY contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

This is one of my favorite Batman stories. I think that most notable thing about this piece is that it includes the Joker's origin story. The past that made him who he is. One bad day transformed him into The Joker. We get a small glimpse of what he was like before that transformation. 

I love how dark the story is. It's gritty, intense, unexpected, unsettling, and really quite tragic in Barbara Gordon's case. I think that the darker aspect makes this Batman read extremely memorable. In the end, Batman and the Joker share a laugh and it just sets a certain ambiance to the overall story. It's great. 

I can't express how much I loved this! Alan Moore is brilliant and Brian Bolland knows exactly how to set the mood with his gorgeous illustrations. This is a must-read for all Batman fans!



Title: Batman Volume 10: Epilogue
Series: Batman Volume II #10
Author: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV
Illustrators: Greg Capullo, Rafael Albuquerque
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: December 20, 2016
Genres: Comic Books, Trade Paperbacks, Graphic Novels
Source: Library

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After a bloody and brutal battle with Mr. Bloom, Bruce Wayne has reclaimed his mantle as the Dark Knight. But with the city broken and his mind slowly mending together, Batman will have to pick up the pieces of his shattered life and reclaim Gotham City as his own. But what will he do when echoes from his past ripple out into his beloved city’s future?

Collecting: Batman 51-52, Annual 4, Futures End, Rebirth


MY REVIEW
This review MAY contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

This volume was more of a mashup of leftover comics than a solid story. The individual stories weren't bad for the most part, they just felt like they had no real point or purpose. There was one that I didn't care for because it didn't seem to coincide with the Batman that I know and love, but it is what it is. The others are leave or take really. Nothing super special, nothing truly bad. This volume seemed rather short though. I don't know that I would want to pay for this volume at full price. I would much rather snag it in a good sale or secondhand to fill out my collection and keep things nice and neat. But I'm in no hurry. =P 

Title: Batman and Robin Volume 1: Born to Kill
Series: Batman and Robin Volume II #1
Author: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciler: Patrick Gleason
Inkers: Mick Gray, Guy Major
Colourist: John Kalisz
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Pages: 192
Genres: Comics, Trade Paperbacks, Graphic Novels
Source: Library
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As a part of the acclaimed DC Comics--The New 52 event of September 2011, Batman begins battling evil with his son, Damian, at his side, Batman now realizes that the hardest part of the job may be trying to work together.

As Batman and Robin try to adjust to their new partnership, a figure emerges from Bruce Wayne's past: His name is NoBody, and he's not happy that Batman Incorporated is shining a light on his own shadowy war against evil...

Collecting: Batman and Robin 1-8

MY REVIEW
This review MAY contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

I honestly enjoyed every moment of this one. The only thing that irked me a tiny bit was that Damian's character growth seemed to decrease instead of progress. He was learning so much with Dick and they were doing so well together. There was respect there and it was awesome. Now Damian is all pouty drama queen again. He thinks that he doesn't need direction and that it's his way or nothing. He won't listen to Batman at all and they bump heads a lot in this one. But Damian's regression was part of the conflict as a whole for this volume and it couldn't have gone where it needed to without it. 

There is a villain in this volume. It is someone from Bruce's past during an integral time that had him testing his morals. But the real story unfolds between Bruce and Damian. Bruce trying to be a father and save Damian's soul, and Damian pushing back and fighting against his upbringing. The villain plays into this as well, which makes for a well-rounded story. 



Title: Batman and Robin Volume 2: Pearl
Series: Batman and Robin Volume II #2
Author: Peter J. Tomasi
Artists: Patrick Gleason, Lee GarbettAndy Clarke, Mick Gray, John Kalisz, Ray McCarthy, Keith Champagne, Tom Nguyen, Tomás Giorello, Allen Passalaqua, Carlos M. Mangual, Dezi Sienty
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Genres: Comic Books, Trade Paperbacks, Graphic Novels
Source: Library
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After the events of Batman and Robin, Volume 1: Born to Kill, it’s obvious that Damian has a long way to go before he’ll be accepted into Gotham City’s crimefighting family. Will Damian ever be able to live up to the standards that Nightwing, Red Robin and Red Hood set before him?

After a battle with the former Robins, can Damian’s convictions stand up to a confrontation with the Dark Knight’s greatest foe: The Joker?

Collecting: Batman and Robin 0, 9-14


MY REVIEW
This review MAY contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

I really enjoyed this volume. I liked Damian much more in this volume. At least towards the end. He was way more respectful and he and Bruce even shared a tender father/son moment at the end. It was quite endearing. I liked the undertone of Damian trying to prove himself to the other Robins. He challenges them and has to come out on top. I really liked what Dick told him in the end. And I am glad that he was the one to do it. 

I didn't particularly like the villain in this volume, whose name I can't even remember. He was very forgettable and had no clear motive other than to watch Batman suffer as the villain dies of a particularly grotesque condition of rotting/melting skin/organs. I think a little backstory on the villain would have been helpful. It would have at least made me feel something for the villain. I walked away from this book not caring about him in the least. 

On this same note, I would have liked to know more about the strange zombie cult. There could have been so much more done with it. All we find out is that the Joker has something to do with it. 

Overall, this was a very enjoyable volume. I definitely recommend for Robin fans or fans of the duo!


Title: Batman and Robin Volume 3: Death of the Family
Series: Batman and Robin Volume II #3
Authors: Peter J. Tomasi, Scott Snyder
Artists: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, Ardian Syaf
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: December 3, 2013
Pages: 160
Genres: Comic Books, Trade Paperbacks, Graphic Novels
Source: Library
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A direct tie to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman, Volume 3: Death in the Family, comes the disturbingly creepy and psychological thriller of Batman and Robin by the all star team of Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason.
The Joker returns to test Batman and the extended Bat-family but when he squares off against Batman's son Damian aka Robin! With Batman's life hanging in the balance, The Clown Prince of Crime pushes Robin to his limits and beyond. And with the 300th anniversary of the founding of Gotham approaches, tragedy strikes the Bat-family.

Collecting: Batman and Robin 15-17, Annual 1; Batman 17

MY REVIEW
This review MAY contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

This volume was middle of the road for me. The scene with Damian and the Joker was okay. Not terrible by any means, but nothing to really wow me. The scene with Damian tricking Bruce by sending him on a scavenger hunt around the world while he stays home and patrols as Batman was kind of cute. I honestly didn't care for the dream sequence. I have never been a huge fan of those if I'm being truthful. They definitely show the state of mind that the characters are in, but overall it felt like a waste of time reading it. 

The dinner table scene with the Joker in the Batman issue was the best thing about this volume. I really loved the Death of the Family on the Batman side. If that Batman issue was not included in this volume I likely would have rated lower than four stars. If you are more of a Batman fan than a Robin fan then I would skip this volume and stick to the Batman Death of the Family trade paperback. If you are a Robin fan then you may find this one enjoyable. 

If you've read any Batman comics, which are your favorite? If not, do you like any of the Batman movies? Or recommend a read!

1 comments:

  1. Thank's for sharing your thoughts on all these Batman Comics and Graphic Novels.

    ReplyDelete

 

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