Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: The Next Batman: Second Son #4

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: The Next Batman: Second Son #4
AUTHOR: John Ridley
ARTISTS: Travel Foreman, Mark Morales & John Livesay (Inkers), Rex Lokus (Colorist), Deron Bennett (Letterer). Cover by Doug Braithwaite.
RELEASED: March 16, 2021

Tim Fox’s brother Luke Fox was Batwing, the New 52 hero who was essentially supposed to be the Batman of Africa. Even though Batwing fits pretty organically into this early portion of Tim Fox’s origin story as Batman, it somehow still feels like DC is trying to shoehorn him into this book. I’ll risk speaking for the majority of comic book fans when I say: We didn’t care about Batwing then, we don’t care about Batwing now.

The Fox family drama element in this book is surprisingly compelling. It feels natural. And unlike Batwing, not shoehorned in.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

Weekly Comic 100s: The Next Batman: Second Son #2

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

TITLE: The Next Batman: Second Son #2
AUTHOR: John Ridley
ARTISTS: Tony Akins, Travel Foreman, Marco Failla (Breakdowns), Mark Morales (Inker), Rex Lokus (Colorist), Deron Bennett (Letterer)
RELEASED: March 2, 2021

So what we’ve got here is an origin story for Tim Fox’s Batman. There’s plenty of intrigue there. Though don’t let the cover confuse you: That’s Tim’s brother Luke Fox as Batwing.

There’s a decent amount of talk about the “Joker War” storyline here. The implication seems to be that in this universe, that’s where everything fell apart. No more Bruce Wayne as Batman, no more Commissioner Gordon, and a full-on ban of masked vigilantes in Gotham. It’s a whole new world out there, people…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Posted in Comic Books/Graphic Novels

A Batgirl #48 Review – Video Games, a T-Rex, and…Mind Wipes???

Batgirl #48, 2016, coverTITLE: Batgirl #48
AUTHORS: Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart
PENCILLER: Babs Tarr
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASED: February 3, 2016

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

“It’s a Birds of Prey reunion!” That’s basically what the cover is saying to comic book fans. In retrospect, it’s a wonder DC fouled up the New 52 incarnation of that book. The Birds of Prey concept has a lot going for it. But at its core it was about the friendship between Babs and Dinah (and sometimes Huntress). Considering how well Batgirl has been going, and how Black Canary factors into it, Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr might just be the heirs to Birds of Prey. Come to think of it, is DC even doing anything with Huntress right now?

But I digress…

Fragments of Barbara’s memory have gone missing. The question is, why? And what does it have to do with her brain apparently being tampered with? Thankfully, Black Canary is there for a little extra back-up. But not before Batgirl and Batwing take on Co-Op, a villainous duo with a flair for gaming.

Batgirl #48, Babs Tarr, Batwing picnicConsidering how much history there is in the Barbara Gordon/Dick Grayson romance, the success of Barbara’s romance with Luke Fox has been a pleasant surprise. And then they had to taint it in this issue by reminding us that he’s Batwing. Luke Fox works just fine as Barbara’s super-smart boyfriend who’s now helping her in a new business venture. He doesn’t need to be a superhero. In fact, that was part of what made Batgirl #45 so cool, when Babs chose Luke over the muscular, dashing and daring Dick Grayson. That’s not to say Luke should be helpless, and I know the Batgirl team weren’t the ones who made him Batwing. But c’mon. Can’t that whole concept just be left as a relic of the reboot?

These Co-Op villains are pretty fun. They’re written pretty tongue-in-cheek, but that’s part of their charm. And their presence gives Tarr and and the artistic team a chance to go all out with a blaze of colorful, cartoony madness. Our villains are dressed like TRON characters, one of them is riding T-Rex, our heroes are placed inside a pro wrestling arena and are fighting a big luchador. It’s one of the nuttiest sequences we’ve seen from a DC book in quite awhile. I’d be more than okay with seeing these guys again.

Batgirl #48, 2016, Babs and DinahTarr really gets a chance to show off her versatility in this issue. We go absolutely crazy near the beginning of the issue. Then in the middle we have some cartoony anger and snark when Babs and Dinah come across a few Black Canary fans (shown right). Then at the end, we get a dramatic scene where the other characters are terribly concerned for Batgirl’s wellbeing. While it couldn’t have been done without Fletcher and Stewart’s writing, make no mistake about it, Babs Tarr’s art is the element that truly ushered in this new era for Batgirl. Look no further than this issue for the evidence.

Our main villain is someone Babs has seen in a nightmare, and who has in-depth access to her mind. Going forward, this has the potential to be something very scary, and very personal. It’s something very much befitting the upcoming 50th issue, and they’re even tying it back to their first story, collected in The Batgirl of Burnside. Batwing notwithstanding, Team Batgirl has yet to let us down. And I don’t see that trend changing in the near future.

Images from batman-news.com. 

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