An Unstoppable Doom Patrol #3 Micro-Review – Road Trip! (with Green Lanterns!)

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

TITLE: Unstoppable Doom Patrol #3 (of 6)
AUTHOR: Dennis Culver
ARTISTS: Chris Burnham, Brian Reber (Colorist), Pat Brosseau (Letterer)
RELEASED: May 23, 2023

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This book feels like it’s starting to settle into a groove. Which kinda sucks, considering it’s only going to be six issues long…

For yours truly, Chris Burnham’s art continues to be the big selling point for this series. I really dig his figure rendering, and the texture he adds to everything. As the cover indicates, we get two Green Lanterns in this issue as a bonus.

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An Unstoppable Doom Patrol #2 Micro-Review – Can They Do That..?

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***TITLE: Action Comics #1054

Unstoppable Doom Patrol 2, cover, April 2023, Chris BurnhamTITLE:
Unstoppable Doom Patrol #2 (of 6)
: Dennis Culver
ARTISTS: Chris Burnham, Brian Reber (Colorist), Pat Brosseau (Letterer)
RELEASED: April 25, 2023

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

There’s a great two-page spread in this issue, featuring a bird’s eye view of the team’s home base, the Shelter. The roof is peeled off, so you can see everything inside. I’m a sucker for stuff like that.

So…do they blow up a kid in this issue? Cuz it kinda looks like they blow up a kid. Can they do that..?

Chris Burnham and Brian Reber feel tailor-made for a Doom Patrol book. Let’s count our blessings that they’re here.

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An Unstoppable Doom Patrol #1 Micro-Review – “Things Are About to Get Weird.”

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

Unstoppable Doom Patrol 1, cover, March 2023, Chris Burnham, Nick FilardiTITLE: Unstoppable Doom Patrol #1
AUTHOR: Dennis Culver
ARTISTS: Chris Burnham, Brian Reber (Colorist), Pat Brosseau (Letterer). Cover by Burnham & Nick Filardi.
RELEASED: March 28, 2023

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’m always pleased to see Chris Burnham’s name on a book. I’ve got a fondness for him that dates back to his work on Batman. From a quality standpoint, his work here is everything I was hoping for.

There’s a character on the first page of this issue who says, “Things are about to get weird.” I love that as a sort of mission statement for this book. And indeed, there’s plenty of weird stuff going on here.

All that being said, we did not need a gratuitous Batman appearance in this, the first issue. What is this, a Superman book?

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A Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League – Superman #1 Micro-Review – Growing Up Superboy

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

Dark Crisis Worlds Without a Justice League Superman 1, cover, 2022, Chris BurnhamTITLE: Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League – Superman #1
AUTHORS: Tom King, Brandon Thomas
Chris Burnham, Fico Ossio, Adriano Lucas (Colorist), Sebastian Cheng (Colorist), Troy Peteri (Letterer)

RELEASED: July 12, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The whole Batman and Robin aesthetic aside, which yet again proves DC has virtually no idea how to write non-Batman characters, this is a pretty cool story. It imagines a world where Clark and Lois are there for Jon Kent’s teen years, with Clark taking on a very George Reeves fatherly type role.

I don’t see Chris Burnham’s work nearly as much as I’d like to. So having him on this issue is a treat. His art has a really nice texture to it, and I’ve always enjoyed his figure rendering.

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A Batman Incorporated: Demon Star Review – Wanted Dead: The Boy Wonder

Batman Incorporated, Vol. 1: Demon StarTITLE: Batman Incorporated, Vol. 1: Demon Star
AUTHOR: Grant Morrison
PENCILLERS: Chris Burnham, Frazer Irving
COLLECTS: Batman Incorporated #0-6
FORMAT: Hardcover
PRICE: $24.99
RELEASED: April 8, 2013

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Batman Incorporated is like The Walking Dead, in the sense that it’s much better to read as a trade than in single issues. Unlike a lot of mainstream superhero comics, Batman Incorporated doesn’t take any time to recap things on a month-to-month basis. These days, most of Marvel’s books dedicate at least a paragraph on their title/credits page to reminding readers what’s going on. That’s not to say Batman Incorporated is obligated to do so, but it makes it tougher to simply pick an issue up from the shop and read it. But when you read issues #1-6 one after the other, it’s pretty damn good.

More or less picking up where the previous volume left off (It’s the New 52 now, so Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain, and certain other characters aren’t there anymore.), Talia al Ghul has been revealed as the leader of the terrorist group Leviathan. She has placed a bounty on the head of her son, Damian, a.k.a. Robin. Batman benches Damian just as Leviathan strikes Gotham City. But even the Dark Knight doesn’t know how deeply Talia’s insurgents have penetrated the city, and Damian isn’t about to stand by and watch Gotham be torn apart. Though in the end, it will cost him dearly…

Batman Incorporated #1, Chris BurnhamReaders should take their hats off to Chris Burnham for this one. His characters look very vibrant, expressive, and well defined. The various Robin alums actually look like different people, as opposed to a bunch of dark haired clones of varying ages. Plus, he makes the Brett Booth Red Robin costume look kinda cool. Even Brett Booth couldn’t do that. One might argue that his Damian looks a bit too young. He’s supposed to be 10, right? This one looks like he might be seven or eight. Even so, it’s one of the better Damian renderings I’ve seen. He actually looks and acts like a child.

One of the reasons the Batman Incorporated concept works so well is because it makes a certain amount of sense. Looking at it from an in-story perspective, Batman has so many partners, associates and stringers that to not expand like this is almost a waste. Some fans argued that the concept takes too much away from the character’s dark and shadowy mystique to be worthwhile. I understand that notion, and I’m certainly glad we’ve ditched the  pre-reboot “bat-light” suit. But from a character standpoint, it fits with the whole “war on crime” theme, doesn’t it? Putting aside suspension of disbelief, if you’re a man whose crusade against crime has been reasonably successful for several years, why wouldn’t you attempt to do that kind of good on a grander scale? If you buy into the idea of Batman, it makes sense.

Batman Incorporated, Chris Burnham, Batman & RobinUnlike the first volume of Incorporated, the events we see here take place primarily in Gotham City. Pre-New 52, the series sent Batman to places like Japan, Argentina and France, as he recruited new heroes for the group. This portion of the story feels more focused, and more of an emotional core to it, what with the father-mother-son dynamic. I say this portion of the story, because I can only assume this is more or less where Grant Morrison was taking things before the reboot happened. He and Burnham have had to adjust accordingly, but the basic plot is intact. So it doesn’t seem to be a matter of Morrison downplaying the international elements of Batman Incorporated, but rather this being the next chapter in the story. Either way, the events of Demon Star are better than the “recruitment drive” we saw in the first book.

In truth, the international characters in this book are surprisingly pushed to the side in favor of the “usual suspects,” i.e. Nightwing, Red Robin, even Jason Todd. Granted, there’s a milestone moment in the lives of Knight & Squire. But in the context of this book, characters like Batwing and El Gaucho are interchangeable with any other DC hero who has ties to Batman. I find that odd considering Batman Incorporated is supposed to be a global network of heroes.

Batman Incorporated #0, Frazer IrvingThe Demon Star calls upon just enough of Batman’s rich history to add something extra for longtime fans, while not alienating new readers. Characters like El Gaucho and Hood were hidden gems before Morrison dug them up for Batman Incorporated. But he and Burnham also revisit Talia’s entire backstory, and to their credit, they don’t muck it up and “modernize” it like so many creators did with the #0 issues last September. They add their own unique and intriguing elements, but they also incorporate the classic Denny O’Neil/Bob Brown material from her first appearance in 1972′s Batman #411, and allude to some of the classic Neal Adams stuff. There’s even an allusion to Villains United. It’s nice to see this kind of thing, considering these days DC is going out of their way not to mention it.

All in all The Demon Star builds very well. In that sense, it’s one of the better Bat-books we’ve seen since the New 52. It’s also a very effective set up for what we know lays ahead for Damian, and is a fitting next chapter in the romance-turned-rivalry between Batman and Talia. For Batman fans, it’s a can’t-miss.

RATING: 9/10

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