Batman and Robin #34…Robin Rises part 3, SpartanNerd thoughts

I only have one big thing to highlight…



The last page!  Batman flies off into Apokolips wearing the Hellbat suit!   Now we have to wait until OCTOBER to see what happens next!

This book pretty much confirmed that this isn’t the same suit we have been seeing.  It looks awesome!

(It’s not that I’m not excited about the Futures End event, but DC is keeping us in SUSPENSE about Robin!

OK, one more thing to say.  Bruce totally lied to his bat-family AGAIN, when saying he was going to be transparent.  Dick Grayson was alive and well and present at the meeting.  He should have just told them.

SpartanNerd Scoop….Detective Comics #27 review

Why is this a scoop…Almost nobody has reviewed this yet!  I Googled to read other peoples reviews, and they were quite scant.

Variant Cover #2.  This was the cover most often seen in ads.

So I scooped all of Nerd-dom this time!  (Probably not really)

Detective Comics #27 in 1939 was the first time Batman appeared anywhere.  Not long after, Detective Comics was completely about Batman.  And that is all the information I could regurgitate that I most likely learned from Wikipedia at some point!

Fast forward to the New 52.  The current DC Comics universe.  New readers might not know, The New 52 was a massive relaunch of DC Comics two Septembers ago.  The SpartanNerd began reading them then, being intimidated by the vast history of DC Comics before the relaunch.  I felt it would be a good jumping-on point.  And I was correct!  This relaunch included a re-numbering, each issue became #1.  And so now, we are back at #27, and to celebrate the milestone of the original Detective Comics #27, DC has printed a MASSIVE tribute issue!

There are six variant covers…I picked up variant cover #2 in the comic book store last night.  Cover #1 will likely come to me in the mail with my subscription.  Other covers include a Frank Miller Catwoman cover.  (And then there are 3 more, oh math scholars!)

Cover #2, by Christ Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn is kind of cartoony…featuring Batman very large, with Batwoman, Batwing, the Talon, and someone else….???  (I almost thought it was the Talon, but then saw him in the air….)

There is an ad, right behind the cover, but it is just about the only ad in the whole thing.  There is an ad for the Kubert school somewhere in it, but besides the back cover, that’s about it.  (A quick flip reminded me of a Scribblenauts ad.)

The first real page is a table of contents\credits page.  We get seven different stories in this issue!  I am going to go down them all, and put forth my review!  There will likely be SPOILERS….READ NO FURTHER IF YOU WANT UNTAINTED EARS!

The table of contents\credits page.


Hope you heeded my warning!  This first story is meant to be a classic Batman story.*  The art is the average of what we have seen since the late 1980’s   We see Bruce Wayne talking to himself, and talking to himself.  Which was sort of off-putting to me at first.  But I have been reading these things long enough to know that something was going on.  In the end, we were seeing snips from “The Journal of the Bat-Man.”  I like that Batman says one time “I’m still too new at this!”  The end of this story has someone falling into an acid vat, and the last panel of course shows their hand climbing out.

Now, I am certain that this isn’t supposed to be a canonical story.  The New 52 story of the Joker has been hashed out several times.  We saw the Red Hood fall into a vat in the Zero Year Batman story.  Not to mention the Joker reinforcing this origin story in “Death of the Family,” and even making Harley go through the experience.

No, this isn’t a mainline story.  It sets the stage for the vignettes we are going to be getting throughout the rest of the book.

I LIKE THE ART, I LIKE THE STORY, RATING 5/5.  I like the pulpy nature of it!
*This is a re-telling of the original Detective Comics #27.  Oddly, I didn’t remember it panning out the way this did


This story begins with a cover, letting you know what it coming!

The “cover art” of “Old School”

Basically, you begin with old-style comics material, with Batman and Robin in their original looks.  As the story progresses, Batman’s costume evolves, and the artwork does as well, until it looks like Detective Comics artwork looks now, as different villains do ridiculous things to him.  How is this vignette justified?  Batman has fallen asleep in a comic books store, and people are dressed in costumes all around him for Batman’s 75th Anniversary party.  The last panel, he picks up a copy of “Detective Comics #27”  (The original.)



Probably a non-cannonical story also.  This one shows Batman as old as he would be for real, with Alfred in a wheelchair.  We see Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne also.  Dick is still night wing, and Damien is currently Batman.  And Barbara Gordon is the commissioner.  They are celebrating his birthday, and an alarm goes off.  So the younger heroes go off to work!  But Bruce decides to suit up and beat them to the crime scene!  They come back, the work already done, wondering how it was possible….

I like how we get to see Damien alive…But other than that, I think it is weak story.  And I don’t care for all the cursing…it seems there is some four letter bomb on every page.  I don’t like the lines either.  It says Bertram is the artist, who is that?  It looks like …. something you would see in I don’t know.  Something I wouldn’t read.



Oddly, this story is labeled “Hero” in the Table of Contents, it is called “Rain” on its first page.  The art is far superior to the previous vignette.  And it says Five Years Ago.  This is to tell the regular readers that this happened at about the time the Justice League came on the scene in the New 52 Story arc.  It is the shortest story, and the most puzzling.  I like it…but…

Basically, Batman comes in from the Batmobile, swoops down and saves a woman and her child, who then says “Thank you for saving me…again..”  Before Batman can question him about what he said, BOOM, an explosion happens and Batman saves the kid.  The kid is called “Junior” by his mom.  What I can make of this is the kid must be James Gordon, Jr.  But maybe not…He looks like it with those glasses and the way that hair is parted.  But if this is five years ago, it seems the kid couldn’t be James Gordon, Jr.  He looks to be early 20’s?  This kid looks like he’s 11 at the oldest…



I am all about sacrificial characters.  So right away, I am pulled into this story.  The first thing we see is The Phantom Stranger, a character fairly new to me, with the whole Pandora/Trinity War/Forever Evil story arc.  Anyways, the Phantom Stranger shows Batman what life would be like if he got his wish…If his parents had lived through their murder.  (If his father was only wounded).

Batman sees several things.  His parents live on and shelter him.  Dick Grayson winds up on Death Row, he is married to Natalya Trusevich (recently killed by the Mad Hatter in The Dark Knight #20, a Russian pianist.  She was tragically dropped onto the Bat-Signal.)  They have a child as well.  And Ras Al Ghul is taking over Europe.

As pleasant as the thought is to Bruce of not losing his parents, he sees that the world lost something more without the Batman.  And in order for Batman to exist, his parents had to be killed.  Such irony.

I like that they brought Natalya back.  All around, not much has been said about Bruce’s grief over the loss of his lover.  It was all around the same time that Damian was killed, so that overshadowed this story.  (That and the fact that the Mad Hatter thing was a little weak).



“And all is right in the world”…Catwoman gets to be Batman’s lover,
Batman has a permanent understudy.

Now for the real deal.  This is what would have been printed in Detective Comics #27 if it wasn’t a big extravaganza.  And there has been tons of hype!  And…the final panel of the last Detective Comics story arc featured “Catbird,” the new “Robin,”  not really putting the question of who the next Robin will be to rest, however.  Catbird is Catwoman in a Robin-esque costume.

All the previews prepared us for this.  Gotham is now the safest city in America, bighter and more akin to Metropolis.  And it is a “Utopia” because of Batman and his fellow heroes.  It is furthermore a Utopia because people have what they desire.  The Roman Sionis is Commissioner.  Catwoman is Batman’s lover, and fully knows his identity.  (They are seen together in the bat cave unmasked.)  The Oswald Cobblepot is the mayor.  All of the heroes seem to be brighter.  “Blue Belle and Brightbat” are apparently Batwoman and Bat-Girl.  (Maybe.)  Batwing is now “Flying Fox”.  The Talon is “the Gothamite.”  Birds of Prey are now “Wings of Truth.”

And Batman is redesigned.  He has a lighter colored costume.  It almost looks white!  Really a bright grey.  As the story progresses, we’re not really sure what is happening.  Batman appears to be more of a policeman in this comic, not really fighting crime so much as helping people with tragedy.  And he is unable to explain or save people who are committing suicide, (there is a higher suicide rate than usual.)  Apparently Bruce catches wind that something has changed about him, and Selina and the other Heroes want to stop him from uncovering the truth.  Batman winds up in the asylum with his enemies at the end.

Questions…Should I be buying all relevant issues to “get” this story?  It says I should follow the Gothtopia storyline in Batwing 27, Batgirl 27, Catwoman 27, and Birds of Prey 28.  I haven’t read any of these titles before.  Should I have picked up Batwing last night?  I guess we’ll see.  I haven’t read a single Batwing story.  It does say “next: INSTITUTIONALIZED.”



The final vignette, a future reality.  Batman has clones of himself working as Batman.  He sees an older version of himself tutoring his new clone.  It is apparently 200 years in the future, and Batman is still at work.  We get to see lots of different future Batmen and Robins, and future villains and threats.


SpartanNerds overall review of Detective Comics #27…It was all I hoped it would be!  5/5!

Death of the Family review

DC Comics did it right when they began the New 52 with the Joker having his face cut off……and then keeping us in suspense for a year!

Along the way, Gotham policemen pranked each other with it, Harley Quinn tried to steal the face, and had a twisted moment with it and her new boyfriend, Deadshot.

And then the Joker returned, and he didn’t disappoint!  Right away he kills an entire station of Gotham policemen.  When we see him, he has his face horrifically strapped to his head, and stretched into a gruesome smile.  He spends no time catching up with Batman, and having some famous dialogue about how his “bat-family” makes him weaker.

This was also a cool trip through the New 52 origin of the Joker, (and Harley Quinn, too.)  DC portrayed the Joker as remixing his original crimes.  All of this echoed stuff from the old DC universes. Now it seems there is a solid origin story.  Batman knocked The Red Hood into a vat of chemicals, and it made him into the Joker.  That whole bit about him being a chemist also still seems to be true.

The Joker slowly picks off each Bat-Family member.  He does the biggest number on Batgirl, capturing her mom, removing her finger, and using it to propose to BatGirl.  Of course, she has to play along, or her mom will get blown up!  NightWing has his circus scared away because one of the clowns was killed for resembling the Joker.  Red Hood, Red Robin, and Robin (Damian) all get captured and thrown together in a cell.  (Damian’s book was really gruesome.)  Also, Alfred was attacked and Joker Gassed.  Every Bat Family member’s story ends with a suspenseful panel of the Joker holding a giant dinner platter about to open the lid….

The Bat Family is disenfranchised because apparently Bruce knew that the Joker might have figured out his identity, and thus was able to figure out everyone else’s.  It is never clear exactly how he figured out all of the personal details of how to get at the family members.  But Bruce seems to think that the Joker doesn’t want to know, and also blinds himself to what must be obvious to someone as brilliant as him with his insanity.   This detail is reinforced a couple of times if you think back.  In “Red Hood and the Outlaws #0” the Joker quickly cuts off someone who is trying to point out Batman’s identity, etc.

I suppose that the Joker really does need Batman and Family to keep him busy.  Otherwise he could have easily killed them all off in the end.  Instead he “plays a joke” on Batman by presenting their severed faces on a platter.  (not their real faces)

How is he defeated?  Of course Batman had no trouble saving the family members.  Then when he chases down the Joker and threatens him that he has figured out his identity, Joker won’t hear of it and throws himself down into the sewer, dropping his face in the process.

So far, the Bat Family members are rather irked at Bruce.  It is a wonder they won’t answer his calls and stuff….Damian was just killed.  They are not helping their mentor mourn.  They are THAT MAD.

Where will this go?  I wonder about the Joker’s face.  Is he going to appear as someone else, with a healthy face next?  The future is wide open on the part of the Joker.  He kind of always comes and goes, and now this won’t be much different.  I wonder if a whole “Joker in disguise” storyline might be coming up.  Or maybe he will grow his face back?  Or something else?  Anyone else out there have any theories?

I think maybe DC was trying to create some space around Batman.  Give him more room.  Isn’t this kind of process always going on?  Now he doesn’t even have an official Robin.  Batman is working alone for the most part.  It won’t be long though before the family is close again, so…..

So what do you think, Hub City Geeks?  Comment!  Join the show!  Make my little blog grow!  Increase the traffic flow!  Come on nerds Disco! (DISCO, DISCO DUCK!)

Robin Laid an Egg follow-up…….

A friend recklessly spoiled who the new Robin is to me….before I got my book in the mail.  And my guesses were entirely wrong.

I should have seen this coming, though.  Didn’t they recently release “The Dark Knight Returns” on video?  I haven’t seen it.

So welcome to the New 52, Carrie Kelly.  I suppose that wasn’t too much of a spoiler for anyone.  It is Thursday, after-all.  Maybe if ANYONE OUT THERE EVER READS THIS, I might receive a comment, even a complaint!

 Follow up to the follow up, I read some more news…..It seems that Carrie actually MIGHT NOT be Robin after all.    I guess we gotta keep reading.  I can’t wait until my issue comes in the mail!

Groovy Dork list

So I am going to create a new feature….The Groovy Dork list!  You’ll see how it works.  Also, I’m experimenting with pictures!

GROOVY  Detective Comics #19 is 80 pages!  Because I am a subscriber, that is a 600% value!

DORK    Anyone heard the song “Icky Thump” by the White Stripes?  I know it isn’t a new song, but I listened to it in its entirety yesterday when it played on 93.3 The Planet a few days ago.  This is seriously the worst song I think I have ever heard.  And I have a degree in music!  I am a lover of nearly all things RAWK.  But this is just wrong.  Give my my noise rock, death metal, Ben Folds FIve, Weezer, oldies, classic, whatever.  But not this.  My ears are infected now after hearing that.

GROOVY    Batman #19 came with a special cover for subscribers, and included a free digital copy!

DORK     Alysia?  Really?  Maybe she was being sarcastic?  I am referring to Batgirl #19.  Was this really necessary?  Now I have to keep this away from my children until they are older.  It’s a good story, though.

GROOVY    The Russell Stover’s S’more cookie is over the top!  I got one from the Dollar General Market here at the edge of the world.

DORK    I have lost lots of Magic The Gathering matches…..I probably don’t have a good shot tomorrow either, with my four color humans and angels deck.  But I am a slave to my habit.  So I’ll eat my candy with my pork and beans, and drive myself over to Mad Max’s tomorrow night.  Maybe I can post this as GROOVY sometime.

Robin Laid an Egg…..

So who is the new Robin going to be?  We know that there WILL BE a new Robin…..after all, they haven’t announced a cancelation of the Batman and Robin title.  Lots of speculation flying around.  Here are the leading theories, in no ranking order, but starred for clarity.  Pro’s and cons after each one.

*     Tim Drake.  Lots of fans love Tim!  He was Robin for like, 20 years!

Pro.  Lots of fans like Tim.  Pro.  The current Teen Titan’s is a crappy title.  Keep Tim around.  reassign the others.

Con.  Same ol’  Same ol’.

*     Stephanie Brown.

Pro.  The writers have pretended to forget Stephanie.  It’s like she hasn’t happened in the New 52.

Con.  I don’t see a con to this one.  A blond girl Robin…..I LOVE IT!

*      Harper Row

Pro.  She’s “current….”

Con.  Is she really a “fan favorite?”  Or is that a load of hype?

*     Harper Row’s brother  (Andy?  Don’t have the book handy for reference)

Pro.  Once again, he’s “Current”

Con.  I see no appeal so far.  He hasn’t done anything except be a victim.

*     Damien Wayne

Pro.  I miss him already.  So do other people.

Con.  Can the story grow?  How soon?  Will the rest of Batman and Robin for the next year be devoted to his resurrection?  That would be fitting for Damien.

Con.  The writers say they don’t have current plans to bring him back.

*     Jason Todd/ Red Hood

Pro.  This would be interesting.  It would be a way for Batman and Jason to BOTH get one over on the Joker.

Con.  Would we lose the Red Hood?

My thoughts.

Of the above, I hope the whole Harper Row and her brother thing becomes it’s own separate story arc.  But neither of these seem to be Robin worthy.  I hate Harper’s design.  I don’t care for the Bull Nose Ring she has adorning her boogers.  Hey, I had pink hair once.  But her purple hair (his too) just detracts from the character.  It is distracting.  An even worse move would be to make her brother into Robin.  This would SURELY grab headlines.  A gay Robin.  Oh yeah.  This is EXACTLY what I am afraid they are going to do though, for shock value, and publicity.  They are going to hurt Harper, or kill her, and Andy will step up and avenge her by becoming Robin.  He has been a victim so far, so they have plenty of room to develop him.  Think I am being unfair?  Just look at what happened with Miles Morales.  They chose an “ethnic” Spider-Man for the headlines.  But the Gay angle might not even work out as well.  We already have a gay Green Lantern in Earth 2, and a Batwoman. (Look how well these two are loved…they aren’t) Harper has a real Lesbian vibe, this hasn’t been explored, but so far the brother has been confirmed homosexual.  I like their two stories.  I even like their characters.  I just don’t want to see either one of them fill the hole that is left behind after the great job Damien did.

Most of all, I hope they bring Jason Todd back as Robin.  Again, this would be a great joke on the Joker!  Maybe he wouldn’t even have to stop being the Red Hood.  He has already put on a “Wingman” costume, apparently in Batman Inc.  He would slide right into the role, with demons to fight similar to Damien’s.  He would be edgy as well.  Batman would try and reign him in, and probably be successful.  Did anyone else read “Red Hood and the Outlaws” #18?  I read that thing three times.  Bruce’s fatherly embrace of his adopted son was heart wrenching.  Here we have two family members torn apart by tragedy, being brought back together by more tragedy.  And Bruce was showing real love here.  He could have only learned that by raising Damien.  He could only show this in the context of losing Damien and having a severely wounded Jason.  This would be a true continuation of Jason Todd’s story.  And maybe many people who were so torn up about this back in the early 1990’s would come back and listen.  We could see a Batman who has grown from losing two Robins, both of them his sons.  But he gets a second chance with one.  For real.

What about the others?  I don’t know why the writers are so allergic to Stephanie Brown.  I fear it is because she is the “anti-Harper,” if Harper is to become the next girl Robin.  This could be a chance to bring her up to date, though.  They could have retconned her existence for a reason…They wanted a re-do.  Like all of the other heroes pretty much got.  She’s cuter than Harper.  She doesn’t have an innocent background, though, with the whole “teenage pregnancy” scandal.

And what about Tim.  I just don’t see it happening.  I see Tim becoming like Dick.  He will be his own hero.  Sort of like he has been as Red Robin.  I think some people would like it.  I liked Tim as Robin, in the few books I had of Robin back in the 1990’s.  I also liked him in the cartoons.

Hey, it could be somebody else.  Who knows.  Maybe more flashpoint timewarps will happen, and Dick will be it.  Maybe all the other Bat Family will disappear into a fog.  I don’t want to see this.  But hey, it’s comics.

So in order, my favorite to least favorite picks for a new Robin

1.  Damien Wayne
2.  Jason Todd
3.  Stephanie Brown
4.  Tim Drake
5.  Harper Row
6.  “Brother” Row
7.  A combination of the twin Rows, both as Robins.  (Didn’t mention this above.  It could happen.)