SpartanNerd…Micro Reviews 1

New thing.  MICRO REVIEWS!

These posts will be brief summary thoughts concerning my feelings about various “nerdtainment” items.  This is becoming a necessity, as I am getting more content than I have time for a formal review.

 

SUICIDE SQUAD.  I promise, I will bring a full review after I see it a second time.  I saw this on opening weekend, and was impressed.  Very nice movie, that remained faithful to the comic book characters.  Harley Quinn stole the show…

 

HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: “THE THREE TERRORS” (Short Animation)…This is now available on iTunes, and I watched it today.  It is ten minutes of an attempt by Super7 to revive the Filmation style of animation.  This little cartoon hit it at about 80%.  Alan Oppenheimer still voices Skeletor, but he just doesn’t have the high pitches that he carried in his younger days.

 

SPEAKING OF SUPER7…I was shocked to hear of their takeover of MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CLASSICS.  I think their small figure line is cute and interesting, maybe even worth the $5 a figure.  But I don’t own any…I am in the camp with many other fans that jittery times are ahead.  Why would Mattel pass that property?  I am glad Digital River is done.  Maybe shipping will be cheaper.

 

METALLICA: “HARDWIRED FOR DESTRUCTION”…This is the only track and also is the title track) released so far, for an album slated to release on November 18.  It’s about time!  The few reviews on iTunes so far compare the song to stuff on “Justice for All.”  I think the singing might be a little smoother than what was on “Death Magnetic,” but the band’s all around sound is about the same.  Robert Trujillo is KILLING that bass!

 

YOUNG JUSTICE…I began watching this again…I watched it last year.  What a great cartoon!  I wish more would happen.

 

DC COMICS: REBIRTH..I have been reading Batman as well as Robin, Son of Batman, and also I picked up All Star Batman.  So far, the most powerful story is the Batman book that came out this week.  Batman #5 dropped a couple of bombs, that they are going to kill Batman ONCE AGAIN.  And that Duke Thomas is going to marry Gotham Girl.

 

MAGIC THE GATHERING: CONSPIRACY-TAKE THE CROWN…The spoilers released so far have fans scratching their heads.  This set looks to bring more power and almost better reprints than Eternal Masters and Modern Masters 2015.  Very odd!

 

First Ever Micro-Reviews!  Let me know what you think in the comments!

 

 

Spoiler Free SpartanNerd

DC Comics made me REALLY MAD.  (again)

I have thoroughly enjoyed “The New 52.”  Many people are down on it.  But I like it because it is accessible to me.  Moreso than the old continuity of nearly 1000 issues of Detective and Action comics.  And “Crisis” after “infinite crisis” after “crisis on Earth 27” or whatever ridiculous intimidating thing they could throw out there.  No wonder I liked Marvel better.

When I jumped into the New 52, when it really WAS NEW, I was surprised how easily I took to Damien being Robin.  I didn’t even know there was a Batgirl other than Barbara Gordon, and was fine just seeing the familiar redhead.  Superman was reset, as was Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, the Justice League.  And so on.  Wonder Woman was even cool to me.  And all of these guys continue to keep me entertained.

But DC has burned me, too.  A subscriber.

For instance, I reported how mad I was that they killed off Damien Wayne suddenly.  Pretty much at the end of “Death of the Family.”  I had every issue I could get my hands on.  Even the side titles I wouldn’t normally have read.  But they killed him off in “Batman Incorporated.”  A book I wasn’t reading, because the art wasn’t that good and it was kind of an “old 52” story.so I could focus on the Joker.  One reason why I subscribed was so I wouldn’t MISS ANYTHING.

Another reason for subscribing though, was to have something fresh and new to read, to look forward to. To think about.  To predict.

DC blew it.  Longtime Hub City Geeks know that I have written extensively about who was going to take over as Robin.  What was going to happen.  Etc.  I REVEL in not knowing.  I like to be surprised.  I don’t read spoiler sites.  I avoid blogs and commentary.  (Odd.  Isn’t that what The SpartanNerd Blog is all about?)  But I do that because I want to be surprised.  I don’t want stuff spoiled.

But it is hard.  So hard.  Especially when DC Comics puts THIS IMAGE AND ARTICLE in the back of every comic.

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No more conjecture required.  Damien DOES LIVE AGAIN.  And he has super powers too.  No more wondering if Stephanie Brown from Batman Eternal will replace him.  Or if Carrie Kelly will.  Or if maybe Red Robin comes back.  Or Jason.  Sure, we knew the Robin from a few years in the future is a new different guy.  No more wondering about Collin Rowe, or Harper Rowe.  No more mystery.  I know, the series was called “Robin Rises.”  But that still could have had a mystery ending.  Instead, we see Damien busting Kalibak upside the head.  No Hellbat suit required.  No Justice League required.  He might be Superman level, from the looks of it.

I am just disappointed that DC decided to go ahead and spoil this.  Why not do like Marvel did with AGE OF ULTRON, and black bag the cover?  Why not do what they did leading up to the death of Damien, and spoil out fake covers?

They make an excuse for themselves.  They say something like “You’ve read “the internets.”  Or something.  NOPE.  I DIDN’T.  How many others out there are like me?

So thanks a lot for taking some of the fun out of it, DC.

Batman and Robin has been the best written Bat book consistently.  I have to say, I am looking forward to seeing Damien back.  I like the little guy.  I was sad to see him go.  I think it would have been cool to have Carrie Kelly or Stephanie Brown.  But we didn’t get that.  I’m cool with that.  I just am not cool with the spoilers.

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

I only have one big thing to highlight…

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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!…Batman and Robin #33

Being a cheapskate, I get a subscription in the mail to most of the Bat-titles, including Batman and Robin.  So generally I don’t get to read the stories until as many as two weeks after they come out.

But once in awhile, the moons and planets align, and I get a comic on the day it comes out…even more rarely even a day early…

This is why I have a SCOOP today.  Batman and Robin #33 came right on time!  (I would point out that Batman #33 hasn’t arrived yet. I don’t fully understand how the comics come so irregularly to my mailbox!)

Here are the details, and my review…

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The cover shows exactly what this book is all about.  Tension between Batman and the Justice League.  I don’t like that Lex Luthor is a part of the Justice League, and am getting used to seeing him with all of the good guys.  And is Captain Cold a League member too, or is he just hanging out with Luthor?

The story left off after “Robin Rises:Omega #1”, where Shazaam just “saved Batman” from flying through that portal to Apokalips hanging onto that flying Paradaemon.  Batman then proceeds to beat him.  I detailed my delight in all of this here!

So the league is having a meeting.  Batman is trying to justify going to Darkseid’s dimension/planet, reminding the league that Darkseid had already tried to invade once before.  Luthor sums it up.  “It is all about Robin.”  SO Batman does this…

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I thought…”Oh man.  He just hacked Cyborg to force him to Boom tube.”  Not exactly.  Batman was thinking very clearly.  He went up to the Watchtower Satellite, where he has some gear stashed.  Not just any gear…

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“The Hellbat.”  Is this the same suit depicted in the pages of Batman and Robin before?  If so, I didn’t know its title, and I think this is the first time the origin of the suit is explored.  The Justice League forged it to help Batman with his weaknesses.  (He is the only Justice Leaguer with NO POWERS!)

I like how we get this old school style page, summarizing the creation of “The Hellbat.”

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This is old school…I mean, we could have had a mini-series about the creation of this suit!

Apparently, Batman plans on taking this suit to Apokalips.  I would like to point out that Batman has already been to Apokalips once before, when Darkseid invaded Earth….And then he didn’t have this suit, and was successful!

So the rest of the league catch up with Batman, and Captain Cold puts his Cold Gun to Batman’s head…Poor Cyborg gets one pulled on him AGAIN!

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Batman goes home.  He says he’s “tired.”  Yeah right.  He goes home and smashes Damien’s tombstone.

Superman shows up…Where has he been?  Why did we have Shazaam before when Glorious Godfrey showed up?  Batman and Superman have one of the warmest conversations we have seen in the New 52.  (And they even have their own joint title, where they mostly put each other down.)

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Batman asked Superman to come down…His neck hurts.  I don’t know if he was telling the truth or not.  I kind of thought he might be up to something else.  But we don’t see anything happen…

Batman and Superman apparently part ways.  Batman shows up in the Batcave, greeting the entire Bat-family, (sans Dick Grayson.)!!!

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They are all going to tackle this.

 

I like how this is an issue about issues…The Justice League values vs. their personal values.  Batman directly asks Aquaman if he would feel the same as him if it were about Mera.  I like that.  Arthur has no reply, except “That isn’t fair.”  But it was fair.

I don’t like how Cyborg got hated on so much.  And really, he was just kind of a bystander…(Same as almost always.)  The hacking of the teleport system as well as becoming the target of redirection for the cold gun were just wrong.  I guess I wish it were Shazaam that was the target, or Lex Luthor.

So the next issue of Batman and Robin will be about Batman relating to Red Robin, Red Hood, and Batgirl.  This title should be about the Bat-family.  I hope this brings them closer together…The Joker has fragmented them so, and then with the loss of Damien and the seeming loss of Dick they have been at odds with one another.

I rate Batman and Robin #33 at 5/5.  This read kept me on the edge of my chair.  The whole “Hellbat” thing was a great bonus.  Batman bested the Justice League, another great thing.  We saw a warm conversation between Clark and Bruce, something we almost never see anymore, and finally we saw the Bat-family assembled, ready to work together on something!  The art is great as well, showing a tortured Bruce Wayne as the story progresses.  Really, this book deserves every bit of the 5 points.  What would you give it, oh Hub City Geeks?  Comment and let me know what you think!

 

SpartanNerd Comic Review…Robin Rises: Omega

 

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This is definitely one of my favorite recent books!  Last month in “Batman and Robin Ras Al Ghul” #32, Batman beat the tar out of Ras…We see Batman beat a lot of people up.  But this time was…special!  He literally lost his temper and was just about to kill him for attempting to resurrect Damien in a Lazarus Pit.  The book came to a sudden and unexpected halt when Glorious Godfrey arrived, from Apokalips!  This is where “Robin Rises: Omega” would have begun…

Luckily, I guess for people who haven’t been consistent readers, the special “Omega” issue starts off with a series of flashbacks to bring you up to speed.  The flashbacks are a wonderful summary of the saga of Damien’s life and death, and how Batman grieved, avenged, and eventually came to terms with the loss of his son.  I would point out that the art here is in some cases FAR SUPERIOR to the original art that appeared in the mainstream comics!  Here are some examples below…

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Damien was killed by this big guy, “The Heretic.”  My grainy photo here is way better than the original art of Damien’s final moment in “Batman Incorporated. #8”

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Here is an example of a different kind of improvement.  The original art that appeared in “Batman and Robin Red Robin #19″  was cool, showing Batman dissecting Frankenstein quite gruesomely.  Here we get to see an even gorier picture of that same scene.

 

After the flashbacks, we get back into the main story with the battle between Batman and Glorious Godfrey.  It seems Glorious Godfrey thinks Batman has a crystal that belongs to him…(Actually Ras used it to activate the Lazarus Pit and it is in the coffin with Damien’s body.  Batman doesn’t know…)

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This is where it pays off to read EVERYTHING THAT CONNCECTS TO THE STORY.  If you read Batman and Superman, (I have read every issue…) then you saw this chaos crystal.  “Robin Rises: Omega” gives us this momentary flashback.  It seems that in the displacing of time and space that happened in the issues with Kaiyo, the Chaos Crystal was a player, and Batman’s memory was scrambled a little bit to where he knows something happened but doesn’t seem to know.    It is in his subconscious.  Somehow Ras has taken this piece of the crystal, and Batman hasn’t a clue because of this mind scrambling effect.  But it rushes back to him in his anger!

 

Most of this issue is a welcome battle royale.  Basically you have Batman, Titus (Damien’s great dane), Frankenstein, and Ras Al’ghul and his army verses Glorious Godfrey and his parademon goons from Apokalips.  There is some humorous dialogue just before the battle, where Batman indicates to Frankenstein that right now, the real enemy is Apokalips, considering the circumstances.  Batman knows Darkseid is far more of a threat that Ras.

It turns out that we get to see how much of a ninja all of these characters are.  Even Titus draws some blood!  This huge battle comes to “Duex Ex Machina” when the Justice League busts in.

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No Superman this time (he has some sickness, “Superman Doomed,”  I’ve only lightly read this.)  Instead we get Cheeseball.  Yep.  Shazam.  Shazam just does what he does.  Flys off the handle making rash decisions.  We see Aquaman call Orcas at just the right moment.  We see Wonder Woman do her awesome thing.  Cyborg calculatedly using his weapons.  But Shazam just messes things up.  Then, when Batman tries to go through the Boom Tube to Apokalips as Glorious Godfrey makes his hasty escape, Shazam thinks he’s saving Batman by knocking him off of the flying parademon.  Then we get these beautiful scenes.  (Sorry.  I am leaving the profanity here.)

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Everyone who reads my blog knows I don’t like Shazam.  So these pictures are priceless.  GO BATMAN!

The issue ends with a seething Batman declaring that he is going to bring Damien back alive!

I can’t wait for “Batman and Robin” #33!  (This time no strikethrough.  The title is officially supposed to be called Batman and Robin again…We’ll see what that means!)

I give Robin Rises: Omega a 5/5!  The art is an improvement over what was already established in some cases.  There is a tide of emotions that go with this book, mostly anticipation and excitement, then amazement, humor, and finally you are feeling like Batman at the end of the book.  This is what comics should do every week!  This is probably my favorite piece of this story since issue 19.  (Well, #32 was really good.)

Contrasting what is going on here compared to the two weekly titles, “Batman Eternal” and “Future’s End,” where the characters and story seems to be floundering, and you get snips and pieces that don’t really move you, “Robin Rises: Omega” is a great read!

What do you think, oh Hub City Geeks?  Do you agree with my rating of 5/5?  Send a comment and let me know!

 

SpartanNerd…The Hunt for Robin

I’m waaayyy too busy to read spoilers from “solicitations.”  So maybe I was the last to find out that they have announced the end of the whole “Damian Wayne’s death” debacle.  I read it at the end of Batman Eternal #11, in the promo-info page.  “Robin Rises.”

But a twist is here that I didn’t expect anytime soon…This is going to be a story about Apokolips!

 

I have been tempted to get this..being a fan of Darkseid.

I can barely contain my excitement about this guys.  I am really a fan of Robin.  I don’t know why, but the character always has appealed to me, differently that Batman does.  For instance I really enjoyed some of those, most of those that I read really, the solo titles featuring only Robin.  I had a Robin Annual one time that I read over and over featuring Eclipso and the Black Diamond.For me this was always Tim Drake, someone who is always getting the wrong end of the stick as far as writing goes with the New 52 comics.  He also doesn’t really get drawn well.  I like his New 52 costume.  But I don’t like his face.  I generally like him in other medium, like the Teen Titans cartoon for instance.  This is the Robin I remember the best after Dick Grayson on the old 1966 show.

 

I’d purchase this again in a second if I ever saw it again for sale!

Not sure who is in the cave in Batman #28, the spoiler issue for Batman Eternal.  Me and everyone else seems to have thought that would be Carrie Kelly as Robin.  But there is a Robin in Future’s end spoiler pages and all…a mystery Robin of the regular “boy” type, though older for sure.  Is that Damian?

We saw this image in Futures End #2 at Green Arrow’s funeral. Who is this?

 

Who is this? Maybe not Robin at all? Carrie Kelly? My first thought wasn’t Carrie. It was Cullen Row.  There is a feminine shape sort of…But Cullen is sort of feminine.  (Readers of my blog might remember an infamous post about my thoughts on Cullen as Robin.)

 

Well I can’t wait!  There is a mini-series coming out as well, Robin Rises: Omega is the first issue.   My assumption is the series will end with Alpha.  Ending to Beginning.  If Damian is brought back to life, and this is the strong implied signal, then what does that mean for Carrie Kelly, Stephanie Brown, Tim Drake, and other potential Robins?

 

I for one hope they do bring him back.  Too many Robins have been killed off.  If they want to change Robin to someone else, then they can at least still bring Batman’s son back to life, and we can get more Damian action.  I don’t want them to make him evil, either.  Bruce did a good job of reforming him.

 

What do you think, readers?  Leave a comment, let me know!