A Batman #128 Micro-Review – Zur-En-Arrh: Year One?

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

Batman 128, cover, 2022, Jorge JimenezTITLE: Batman #128
AUTHOR: Chip Zdarsky
ARTISTS:
Jorge Jimenez, Leonardo Romero, Tomeu Morey (Colorist), Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer)

RELEASED: October 4, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Since he took the wheel on Batman, Chip Zdarsky’s back-up stories have been particularly strong. So much so that I’ve actually enjoyed them more than the main features. For the last few months we had a tale centered around Catwoman. This month begins “I Am a Gun,” which takes us back to the origin of the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh.

Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire’s art is what really make it stand out for me. It reminds me quite a bit of what Robin: Year One and Batgirl: Year One looked like. That’s to say, it’s great work.

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Batman – One Bad Day: Two-Face #1 Micro-Review – Sins of the Son

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Batman - One Bad Day Two Face 1, cover, 2022, Javier Fernandez, Jordie BellaireTITLE: Batman – One Bad Day: Two-Face #1
AUTHOR: Mariko Tamaki
ARTISTS:
Javier Fernandez, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Ariana Maher (Letterer)

RELEASED: September 20, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This issue is centered around a seemingly reformed Harvey Dent throwing a birthday/retirement party for his father. Kudos to Mariko Tamaki, as I don’t think we’ve met Harvey’s dad before, have we? I know he’s been referenced…

There’s a great sense of dread that permeates much of this story. It’s like reading a Greek tragedy. You pretty much know what the ending is going to be, and you know it’s not going to be good. But somehow you can’t look away.

What’s more, it’s a beautifully drawn and colored Greek tragedy, thanks to Javier Fernandez and Jordie Bellaire.

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A Batman vs. Robin #1 Micro-Review – Unprepared For Class

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

Batman vs Robin 1, cover, 2022, Mahmud Asrar, Nathan FairbairnTITLE: Batman vs. Robin #1
AUTHOR: Mark Waid
ARTISTS:
Mahmud Asrar, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Steve Wands (Letterer). Cover by Asrar & Nathan Fairbairn.
RELEASED:
September 13, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I feel a little bit unprepared for class on this one, like finishing Joshua Williamson’s Robin series would have been helpful coming into Batman vs. Robin. But nonetheless, newcomers are in fairly good hands with Mark Waid.

Tim Hunter accompanies Damian in his fight against his father. The fight takes them to the Batcave, and Hunter uses a bunch of empty Batman and Robin costumes against the Dark Knight. I loved that.

So…is Alfred back now? Yes? Please?

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An Ant-Man #2 Micro-Review – Meeting Eric O’Grady

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

Ant-Man 2, cover, 2022, Tom ReillyTITLE: Ant-Man #2 (of 4)
AUTHOR: Al Ewing
ARTISTS
: Tom Reilly, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Cory Petit (Letterer)
RELEASED:
August 31, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I came into this issue knowing nothing about the history of its main character, Eric O’Grady. But I came out wanting more from him. (Kudos to Marvel editorial for pointing out some additional O’Grady stories after the issue concludes.) That’s a tribute not only to the character and his story, but Al Ewing’s handling of this particular issue. I’d argue this issue is actually a little more friendly toward new readers than the first one.

Tom Reilly and Jordie Bellaire do another stellar job, with an issue that looks very different than the last one. Another excellent cover, too.

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Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League – Green Lantern #1 Micro-Review – Two Snapshots

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

Worlds Without a Justice League Green Lantern, cover, 2022, Fernando BlancoTITLE: Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League – Green Lantern #1
AUTHORS: Philip Kennedy Johnson, Jeremy Adams
ARTISTS:
Fernando Blanco, Jack Herbert, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Alex Guimaraes (Colorist), Troy Peteri (Letterer)
RELEASED:
August 9, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

So what we have here are glimpses at two worlds made from the essences of John Stewart and Hawkgirl, respectively. Though what these two stories really amount to are brief character snapshots, i.e. a look at what makes each character tick. And from that standpoint, they both more or less succeed.

This issue also has a giant undead baby monster with bat wings. Because comics are bizarre and wonderful like that.

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An Ant-Man #1 Micro-Review – Tiny Time Travel

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

Ant-Man 1, cover, 2022, Tom ReillyTITLE: Ant-Man #1 (of 4)
AUTHOR: Al Ewing
ARTISTS:
Tom Reilly, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Cory Petit (Letterer)
RELEASED:
July 27, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Even as someone who’s not overly familiar with Ant-Man, this issue is a lot of fun. It’s flavored like a ’60s superhero comic, complete with page-yellowing by colorist Jordie Bellaire. Our heroes are squeaky clean. Our villains twirl their mustaches with delight. They even have a cringeworthy name: The Ant-Agonists. (That can’t be the first time someone has used that…can it?)

If this issue is any indication, this four-issue tribute for Ant-Man’s 60th anniversary won’t be for everybody. But Ant-Man fans and comic book lovers should enjoy the ride.

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A Superman ’78 #6 Micro-Review – A Rush to Satisfaction

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

Superman 78 6, cover, 2022, Mikel JaninTITLE: Superman ’78 #3
AUTHOR: Robert Venditti
ARTISTS:
Wilfredo Torres, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Dave Lanphear (Letterer). Cover by Mikel Janin.

RELEASED: January 25, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Things feel a little rushed in this conclusion to Superman ’78. But I can’t bring mysef to throw too much shade at it. Venditti and Torres still manage to close things on a satisfactory note.

Torres gives us a pretty conspicuous Goonies cameo here. And probably a few more that I’m missing.

In the end, Superman ’78 is one of the better nostalgia books DC has put out in the last several years. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: This could have been Superman III. And perhaps it should have been.

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A Superman ’78 #5 Micro-Review – Is that Shaggy?

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

Superman 78 5, cover, 2021, Francis ManapulTITLE: Superman ’78 #5
AUTHOR: Robert Venditti
ARTISTS:
Wilfredo Torres, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Dave Lanphear (Letterer). Cover by Francis Manapul.

RELEASED: December 28, 2021

For whatever reason, this issue decides to give us a cameo from Shaggy of Scooby Doo fame (among various others). Why? Well, why the hell not…?

I really can’t say enough good things about Wilfredo Torres’ art in these issues. This is truly a career performance for him. His art really sells you on the idea that this could have been one of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies.

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A Batman: The Imposter #3 Micro-Review – Unique, Compelling, and Worthy

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

Batman the Imposter 3, cover, 2021, Andrea SorrentinoTITLE: Batman: The Imposter #3
AUTHOR: Mattson Tomlin
ARTISTS: Andrea Sorrentino, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Steve Wands (Letterer)

RELEASED: December 14, 2021

With this being the final issue, we can officially call The Imposter a worthy addition to DC’s Black Label imprint. Andrea Sorrentino provides a suitably gritty texture along with often typical outside-the-box layouts. Meanwhile, Mattson Tomlin creates compelling dynamics between his unique takes on Bruce Wayne and Leslie Thompkins. As well as, and more importantly, Bruce and Gotham cop Blair Wong.

Tomlin and Sorrentino’s takes on Ratcatcher and Ventriloquist were also really compelling. Should DC come back to this well, I’d be curious to see how they approach other villains.

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A Superman ’78 #4 Micro-Review – The Superman III That Could Have Been…

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

Superman 78 cover, 2021, Brad WalkerTITLE: Superman ’78 #4

AUTHOR: Robert Venditti
ARTISTS: Wilfredo Torres, Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Dave Lanphear (Letterer). Cover by Brad Walker & Nathan Fairbairn.

RELEASED: November 23, 2021

Superman ’78 feels very much in line with Superman II. Specifically, the Richard Donner cut. In both stories, Clark gets a taste of a different sort of life. In the movie, it’s life without super powers. Here, it’s life as a member of a Kryptonian society. In that sense, Venditti’s script offers us a great consistency.

Take that, along with Torres’ excellent renderings of the characters, and Venditti’s spot-on takes on Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, and Superman ’78 feels like it could have been Superman III. All things considered, that’s probably the best compliment it can receive.

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