Weekly Comics Roundup – July 12th, 2013
In this edition of our Weekly Comics Roundup, Jamie Righetti breaks down what she picked up this week and whether or not you should spend your hard earned dollars on DC’s Trinity War.
- Batman #22:
Writer: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo and Danny Miki
Scott Snyder’s Zero Year brings us back to the beginning of Bruce Wayne’s journey as Batman. As established in Part One, The Red Hood is terrorizing Gotham City and Batman is trying to stop them and find out who is behind the hood.
The Red Hood lets it slip that he’s receiving stolen weapons tech from Wayne Industries and Bruce goes into attack mode trying to yank off the Red Hood’s mask until ZAP. Remember that? From The Dark Knight? What’s interesting about this scene is that it highlights that Bruce is making a ton of mistakes – his mask gets ripped off and he has to fight by covering up his identity with his arm or one of the knocked out goons. As he parachutes away he wonders why it isn’t working.
The DNA sample Bruce lifted from the Red Hood leader doesn’t have a match and Bruce talks about the gang’s random attacks – a bomb at a school for the deaf among them. Of course, at this point I’m thinking THE JOKER! But we’ll have to wait and see. There’s a great exchange here between Alfred and Bruce, where Alfred basically calls him a coward for pretending to be dead in the public’s eye, hiding away from Wayne Manor and letting Wayne Industries fall into his uncle’s hands (Batman Begins anyone?). He says Bruce’s parents would be ashamed and our damaged little boy isn’t having that. He goes on the attack and gets stopped dead in his tracks by the most delicious bitchslap EVER. Well done, Pennyworth.
There’s also a really great exchange between Bruce and Edward Nygma, revealed in the first issue to be Philip Kane’s advisor. We get a brilliant panel depicting an Ouroboros (the circular snake eating it’s own tail) board game, with the dialogue and artwork laid out in numbered squares. I loved this panel so much. Through this, Bruce discovers that his uncle has been slipping Wayne weapons tech to the Red Hood.
I won’t ruin the ending, but the final panel of the Red Hood walking away from an exploding apartment with some serious swagger was definitely dope.
VERDICT: Although there are a lot of familiar references to the Nolan movies, the exchange between Bruce and Nygma made this worth it for me. There’s also a short epilogue depicting Bruce’s pre-Batman training. Pick this one up.
- Superman Unchained #2
Writer: Scott Snyder
Art: Jim Lee with Scott Williams and Dustin Nguyen
As established in Issue #1, Ascension, an anti-technology terrorist group, have been launching attacks around the world. First, they caused a handful of satellites to plummet out of space towards earth and in the beginning of this issue, they’ve turned the Apollodorus, an all-in-one construction robot, into a rogue destroyer. What I enjoy about Superman Unchained so far is that we get to see Clark sweat. This isn’t him swooping in and saving the day with a smile. He struggles. We watch him calculate how much time he has, he runs through his different powers and their potential outcomes. Sure, he wins in the end, but it’s never easy or perfect. I like that.
Clark drops into the Batcave, where Bruce fills him in on the piece of crashed satellite that Clark discovered in the first issue. Bruce tells him that the giant handprint was left by someone who is also powered by the sun but is more powerful than Superman. Between the information given to him by Bruce and a conversation with Lois about where her father is stationed, Clark finds the Army’s secret hideout in Utah.
Clark finds himself in a standoff with General Lane, who informs him that the weapons surrounding him are powered by black hole lasers and black hole bullets and were designed specifically to take him down. Poor Supes. Some idiot fires on him too early, which causes him to lose control of his powers. But before they can fire again and take him out, a huge creature bursts up from the ground and says he’ll handle Superman. Oh boy.
Lois meanwhile, is flying to the coast of Nova Scotia at the behest of a mystery man who was discovered tangled into the nets of a commercial fishing boat with his eyes burned out. On the brink of death he requested to speak with Lane, but before she can make it there Ascension hack into her plane and cause it to start plummeting from the sky.
OH, and Lex Luthor breaks out of M.A.W., a high-security prison in Metropolis. Wee.
VERDICT: Look, aside from a few must-read graphic novels, I’ve never really read Superman comics so I’m definitely digging what’s going on so far in Superman Unchained. What I also enjoy is that unlike Zero Year in Batman, the story isn’t relying on the plot of Man of Steel. The fear of Superman going rogue also gets highlighted plenty of times, which feeds in nicely with Trinity War. Definitely worth reading.
- Jamie’s Pick of the Week: Justice League #22
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Ivan Reis, Rod Reis and Oclair Albert
Okay kids, here it is. The big one. The good guys. vs. the good guys vs. the kinda maybe good guys. THE TRINITY WAR HAS BEGUN! (P.S. SPOILERS)
And right from the jump we get one of my absolute favorite DC characters, Madame Xanadu. A young girl stumbles into her clairvoyant shop complaining of bad dreams that she fears are turning into reality. So Madame Xanadu turns to her tarot deck and as she begins to turn over each card, we see the events leading up to the Trinity War begin to unfold.
Let me say it now: I need, want and MUST HAVE these tarot cards. And now, let the magic of the internets make that happen. Anyway, I really liked having the story get told through the unfolding of the cards.
We start off with The Boy, Shazam, wanting to spread the ashes of Black Adam across the Kahndaq Desert, an area that is has recently been restricted by the government. Madame Xanadu then turns over The Hero and The Warrior, and we see Superman and Wonder Woman being approached by Pandora, one of the scorned Trinity of Sin. She tells them that she was manipulated into freeing the Seven Sins but that by re-opening the box, they can eradicate evil forever. She shoves the skull into Superman’s hands, convinced that he’s the only one who can touch it and survive. Except the box takes over and possess him. Pandora shoots him in the shoulder and he drops the skull, returning to normal. Sort of.
Batman calls in telling them that Shazam is entering Kahndaq. They don’t know much about him, let alone what he’s doing there and so they decide to intervene. Kahndaq think they’re being invaded, which in turn triggers the attention of Director Waller, who immediately dispatches the Justice League of America to take down the rogue Justice League.
As Madame Xanadu turns over more cards, we learn there are mystery players involved, including the Phantom Stranger and the Secret Society that the Justice League of America have been trying to take down. The innocent young woman turns out to be Plastique, who causes Madame Xanadu’s shop to explode. Sob.
Back in Kahndaq, the tension has been escalating between the Justice League and the Justice League of America. Doctor Light gets inundated by Superman’s solar power and blasts Wonder Woman. Superman is enraged because that’s his boo (sigh) and kills Doctor Light. WHAT? But before you go defending Man of Steel, it’s implied Supes was manipulated, presumably by touching Pandora’s Box (….), and so begins an all out war between the two teams. How Justice League Dark will come into play is still to be seen.
VERDICT: Look, I’m always a fan of these epic DC universe events. I loved Final Crisis. I…okay, I can’t say that I loved Flashpoint but I’m definitely digging Trinity War so far. This is definitely a must read. It’ll be playing out across the pages of Justice League, Justice League of America AND Justice League Dark so be sure to scoop all the issues. And watch this video of Geoff Johns spoiling the ending. No really.