SpartanNerd Thoughts…The End of the New 52, Batman Eternal, and Future’s End

It’s Spring Break!  I have some time, readers.

I have pretty well determined I am jumping off of the DC Comics at this point.  I am not going to read Convergence.  I feel I have collected enough comics.  In fact, I have a nearly complete collection of Batman comics from the New 52.  This is a good stopping place for me…I recently purchased a “drawer box” and moved my MOTU comics to that box.  The other three top loader boxes I have a almost completely full.

I have been very devoted to reading Batman titles.  The only titles I skipped were “Batman Inc.” and I didn’t read all of “Batman: Dark Knight.”  logically, I felt Batman, Inc was a holdover from the old DC Universe…the universe I didn’t read.  I also didn’t think the art was as good as the other titles.  I hated that they killed Damien in those pages.  I eventually purchased a copy of that issue.

I am going to start cherry picking comics.  Maybe picking up graphic novels.  Doing more digital comics.  And I will continue to get Masters of the Universe comics.  I am a SLAVE!

(I also will pick up Batman #40…the final issue of “Endgame.  This book is late, coming out April 29.)

I have two reviews to offer here at the end.  One positive.  The other not so much.  Lets start positive.

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

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Batman Eternal: Issue 52, (conclusion)

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Batman Eternal ends with an oversized final issue, finally revealing our secret bossman as Lincoln March and tying up the loose ends of “what happens next” with the different characters.

What I really liked about this issue was the beating scene, where Lincoln tries to take out Batman when he is tired and weak. But Bruce proves to be the stronger fighter.  And when the city people rise up and fight down the evil people that are burning down and pillaging the city, this answers the question about whether Gotham really is a victim…a city of good people ravaged by criminals.  I like how Batman’s allies rally around him, including Jim Gordon, to bring in Lincoln.

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Other points of interest…In the “One Week Later,” Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown seem to find the beginning of their romance.

Maggie Sawyer is the new Police Commissioner.  Am I wrong in thinking that now she knows Batman’s secret identity, being so closely aligned with Batwoman?  (i don’t know much about Batwoman.  But isn’t Maggie her partner?)

The Court of Owls takes Lincoln March back under, explaining their appearance in Endgame.

This feels like a good closing to a series that is fifty-two issues long.  And the dedicated reader is rewarded with more details about the Court of Owls.  There is supposed to be another Batman Eternal series on tap soon.  I am going to miss that one, though.  All around, I feel like I got my moneys worth, which brings me to the next not-so-positive review.

Future’s End: Issue 48, (conclusion?)

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This is the worst ending I have ever read in comics.  EVER.  I am going to try and keep the four letter words down…but that is how strongly I feel about it.  Mad enough to cuss.

Really, when you read every issue, weekly for 48 weeks straight, and then you are rewarded with the ending we have here.  Oh yes.  Reason to be mad.

This book has been a terrific read.  Why such a dumb ending?  Really.  UGH.

So why am I so disgusted?  Two issues ago, Terry McGinnis was killed.  OK.  Fine.  I haven’t ever been a Batman Beyond fan.  But I like what they did with him.  And I enjoyed the unlikely romance between him and Plastique.

So Tim Drake takes his costume.  I’m OK with that too.  He is certainly worthy.  But next is where the rushed writing, nonsensical ideas, and the flat ending all come in.  In issue 47, Tim Drake (Batman Beyond) goes back in time to prevent Brother Eye from terminating humanity (just like in Terminator, oh so cliche’.)  They wind up having a conversation, and Brother Eye, seeming still to be a “good guy”, agrees to preventing the action that triggered it all.  Then Brother Eye uses his time travel capabilities to send Tim back.  We are greeted with a final panel of issue 47 with Tim in a situation where a peaceful light is shining on him.   Nothing more.  So I was hotly anticipating what would happen next.  Tim would find the world fixed.  etc.

In issue 48 we see what that peaceful light was.  The reader thinks “Oh yeah.  Heroes save the day.”  And we now have a nice happy conclusion to the New 52 timeline.  IF ONLY THIS WERE TRUE.

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I’ll admit I was a little thrilled when Maddison’s eyes turned into Brother Eye’s eyes, and her speech text became red.

The peaceful landing that Tim received was apparently a ruse.  Brother Eye intended to trap him and assimilate him as one of his bugs.  So the real madison jumps in, is thirty years older, and Tim is apparently now in the 35 years in the future timeline, where the whole thing started, not in the year he was supposed to be returned to.

Basically there is a resistance against the machines, led by Madison, they manage to escape.  But the book ends with Brother Eye looking down on the ruins of the city.

So the heroes failed?  Brother eye has taken over the world.  Tim says that Brother Eye hasn’t won.  Not yet.

OK, how has he NOT WON?  The New 52 universe is ending, and this is the end of the Future’s End comic book.

BOO!!!  They should have given us a clue about what to read next.  And if that something was supposed to be Convergence, then TOO BAD DC.  YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE CLEAR.

Enough of my rant.  All I’m saying is I might just throw up if Endgame doesn’t end well.  (Alfred’s hand got chopped off!)

Maybe I shouldn’t be so mad?  Didn’t the other DC Universes in the past come to abrupt decay?  I have heard about Superboy Prime punching reality, and am knowledgeable somewhat of the Flash inadvertently creating the New 52 universe, with the old universe just “disappearing.”  These worlds are supposed to be revisited with Convergence.  Because I am so ignorant of all that, I am just going to refrain.

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SpartanNerd Christmas Thoughts.

I am really in the season already.  Considering that most years I feel overworked, directing all kinds of music, this year I feel more relaxed.  Maybe because I am really into the play I am helping direct this time.  Or maybe because the church Christmas cantata really does it for me.  I don’t know.  But today is Thanksgiving, and I am just about ready to put that tree up!

Hub City geeks are probably wondering what it is I might actually want for Christmas.  Well I already know some things coming my way.  Or at least towards me so that I might review them here at SpartanNerd.com.  So here’s the list!

1.  I am getting a foil Windswept Heath for my anniversary.  Those of you who REALLY know me will appreciate why I like this card so much!

2.  The Dual Deck Anthology is as good as pre-ordered!  I will review it as soon as I get it, guys and girls.  I am absolutely psyched!

3.  SpartanKid jumped me on this one.  He wants the new “Nihiri, the Lithomancer” Commander deck!

4.  And the same kid is asking for the new set of Mega-Man cards!  (Will keep my readers posted as I can review things.)

5.  Looks like I missed out on getting a Battle Ram…:(  Regardless, I will have my eye on the MattyCollector Flash Sales on Cyber Monday.

6.  Oh yes.  It seems it is time for a big upgrade.  The SpartanNerd family is moving from the “old school” style of TV to the flat screen style!  Now we can enjoy modern games the way they should be enjoyed!

In other news, I am actually thinking about NOT subscribing to Batman comics anymore.  Not because I don’t like them.  But because I feel out of the loop.  The subscriber is punished for his loyalty.  Sure, you get a better deal on your comics.  This year has been great in the value department.  But on the other hand, sometimes the books are WEEKS late.  Also, at least one issue was lost in the mail this year.  And occasionally they arrive beat up.  I intend to keep reading them, but cherry picking.  And I suppose paying newsstand price.  I find myself buying comics weekly anyways, with Batman Eternal and Futures End.  Those will be wrapping up in the spring, just about time for my subscriptions to run out.  If I want to really serve the blogosphere, then I should make this change.

What do you think, Hub-City geeks?  Let me know in the comments!

SpartanNerd Thoughts…How did the “Junk Aggro” do, and “Arkham Manor”

Sorry no posts for awhile.  Like I said in my last post.  Life is happening!  Maybe not an excuse for not blogging for over two weeks. But still.  I been drained!

In my spare time, I have continued reading comics and nurturing my MTG skills.  I did OK at the big box tournament.  Not spectacular.  But OK.  I didn’t win or anything.  My “junk aggro” deck is really fun to play.  Way more fun than Mono Black Control was.  Some of my issues are deck design.  I can’t decide how much of what to put in there.  And I played a lot of goldfish, solitaire, challenge decks, etc.  One concern is that in order to have a consistant mana-base to support the three colors, The land hurts you!  I prefer to skip the Tri-Lands.  What good are they on the turn they come out?  Instead I am running “Mana Confluence.”  I am running three “Windswept Heath” so that is three more points of damage.  Two “Caves of Koilos” and one ” Llanowar Wastes.”  See what I mean?  Add to that “Herald of Torment” stinging you for one each turn, and “Thoughtsieze” hurting you too.  And you can drain yourself just to maintain a board presence.  Maybe I should re-think the Tri-Lands.  I have rethought “Thoughtsieze.”

I have been surprised by some cards as well.  “Abzan Charm” has ALWAYS WORKED.  As well as “Abzan Ascendancy.”  But how much of each to run?  I like hitting “Phalanx Leader” with the charm, boosting everyone else.  Then there is “Siege Rhino” and “Anafenza the Foremost.”  These guys are stars.

I haven’t really found a place for “Wingmate Roc” yet.  I like him, though.  I am finding that “Bile Blight” is really just about only useful as a one off removal spell most of the time, with the exception of the chumps that a few cards continually make.  I only own one copy of “Brimaz, King of Oreskos” as well, which isn’t really enough.  I don’t think he made a show even once last week.

Some of my problem was luck.  (A certain player played basically the exact same thing against me, only he had the right stuff at the right time to finish me quick.  Frustrating!)

I drew one match.  I was surprised that my deck could hold up.  It was the first full on control player I have played since the rotation.  I overran this guy on turn six in match one.  But match two he held me off.  But surprisingly, I was able to keep the pressure on him for like, thirty minutes or longer.  He was running three “Elspeth, Sun’s Champion.”  I downfalled one, overran another.  But couldn’t stop number three.  Match three went to turns and that was all she wrote.

As far as comics, there is something bothering me, and not bothering me at the same time.  Does that make sense?  The “Batman” title has moved onto stories that surpass “Batman Eternal.”  So the cat is out of the bag that Alfred is OK.  And Julia Pennyworth is still “Penny-Two.”  Oh yeah.  Arkham Asylum was destroyed and so the operation moved to…Wayne Manor!

(Dumb Idea.  Only belongs in the comics. Oh yeah!)

Issues dealing with “Arkham Manor” have begun coming out.  And it has its own title now as well.

But Shouldn’t DC have waited?  I would have preferred it to be so.  They make us wait for other important stuff.  Like for instance WHAT ABOUT DAMIAN?!  Some other things haven’t been revealed, (I don’t think.)  Like who is police commissioner.  Is Jim back?  I didn’t read “Arkham Manor #1.”  I have too much other stuff to read.  Maybe I’ll change my mind?

But what is left for Batman Eternal to reveal?  I’m thinking it’s “Hush” who is talking to Bruce in Issue #1. Maybe I’m wrong.  I suppose there is no resolution to the Nano-Virus problem.  (This keeps being brought up, but we don’t really see how bad of a problem it must be.)  Catwoman is becoming “Selena the Lion.”  Spoiler is dropping hints to Batman.  Ok, Stephanie Brown must just happen to be a natural, like Tim Drake.

What are my other thoughts?  In playing Final Fantasy VII again…(This game has been going for over a year and a half.  I rarely play,)…anyways I am at the part of the game where you breed the chocobos.  Whenever I complete this game I am going to hunt down FFX again, and maybe even FFX-2.

(But maybe I should nurture my Destiny game instead)

And then there’s the big Christmas looming ahead.  I shouldn’t be so selfish, and feel guilty as such.  But I really want the new Battle Ram with Man-At-Arms, Snake Armor two pack, Duel Deck anthology, and maybe a Fantasy Crate subscription.

TALL ORDER!

(And I need a new phone 😦   )

Probably all of this won’t happen. (HO HO HO!)

 

SpartanNerd Comics Review and Discussion…DC Weekly Title…Batman Eternal (So Far)

This review will discuss Batman Eternal #1-10

 

I was told that if I wanted to know what was going down in DC Comics, as a whole, then I’d better keep up with Batman Eternal and Futures End, two weekly titles from DC.  I don’t get a subscription for them in the mail..(You can’t, can you?)  So that means a trip to purchase them somewhere weekly, and a faithful reader of my blog knows where I get mine!

 

Stephanie Brown in the New 52

She’s Back! Wonder where the idea where the hoodie came from?

The teaser issue for Batman Eternal was Batman #28.  Stephanie Brown is back, as Spoiler no less.  That was enough for me!  Harper Row is a Hero at odds with Batman, and Catwoman has transformed back into a full-on villain.  YES!  I don’t like how cold she is, though.  There is a mystery person in the cave, who must be Carrie Kelly…if not her then I don’t know who? The teaser issue happens chronologically during the middle or last act of the story…so everything else we have gotten to read has been a build-up.

 

The first page is very disturbing.  And I think this is an image we might forget easily, but shouldn’t.  Bruce Wayne is tied to the Bat Signal, bleeding while the city burns around him.

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First Page of Batman Eternal. Don’t Forget it!

 

So far Professor Pyg has been a creepy enemy.  This is my first experience with the professor.  He’s about as nuts as they come. But Pyg has been a diversion.  My first thought was he is being played…Carmine Falcone is back, doing stuff behind the scenes manipulating Pyg.  And apparently in the New 52 continuity Falcone has been more than a scary mob boss in the past, at least according to Batman and Catwoman’s reaction to figuring it out.  “Not Him!”

There are some more villains introduced…The Penguin gets scared.  And within a few issues he is toppled as top mob leader.  Then there are the so called Minor villains…”Cluemaster” and some of his friends who I am not quite sure of…Stephanie Brown is Cluemaster’s daughter…and she overhears his plans…and begins to try and “spoil” them.  We know where this is going!  But there is another shadowy villain here that we don’t know or get to see just yet.  But Stephanie knows who it is.  The plans are to burn gotham…Let’s not forget the first page of the story!

 

Cluemaster and his super-villain buddies.

Who are these guys?

Three more plot threads…Alfred’s daughter…it seems she will be taking up Alfred’s time.  Bruce met her in Hong Kong trying to get the same mob boss as we was…someone who had beaten Falcone.  I didn’t even know he had a daughter!  Then there’s a “Nanobot Swarm,” or something.  It infects Cullen Row…Red Robin has the key to this one.    It turns out that at the end of Issue #5 Hugo Strange is involved in this story as well.

 

And the thing that I think I have the least grip on…Deacon Blackfire and Dr. Phosphorus.  Who are these guys?

Issue #10 is very pivotal, it seems. Pyg attacks Falcone. So I guess that means he isn’t working for Falcone after all! Batman convinced him that Falcone was playing him a few issues earlier. But it doesn’t seem so now. Issue #10 also suggests that Lt. Bard, of the Gotham Police is indeed routing for Batman.
So far everyone’s here except The Joker!  (I don’t expect to see him or the Riddler, both with recent stories.). Two Face committed Suicide recently.  Maybe we’ll see Mr. Freeze.

 

I don’t like how the “Bat Family” is arguing with itself so much.  Bruce and Barbara never have kind words for each other it seems.  DC hasn’t written a good Red Robin story since the New 52 started.  You’ve got Jason Todd always sulled up.  And now Dick Grayson is off the team because the world thinks he’s dead…Batman knows better, but won’t let the cat out of the bag to the “Bat Family.”  ARGGH!

What has me hooked about this book currently isn’t all of the sensationalism…instead it is the mystery element.  Who is the shadowy person giving orders to Cluemaster?  It is someone who can pull strings and remain hidden.  Someone who can be sure the Falcone gang ousts the Penguin and controls the police force…someone who can be certain that two sub trains crash head on, with the blame falling on Jim Gordon.  Who is this mastermind?  Someone ten steps ahead of everyone.  If the Joker wasn’t obviously NOT this villain, I would say it was him.  It isn’t going to be Edward Nygma…fairly certain of that.  I thought that maybe it was Catwoman.  Maybe she is behind it all.  But she is too much on the good guy side as of issue #10, and though she needs to fall a little to get where she is in the teaser issue, I don’t think she would be able to pull this off riding the fence currently.

The art has been 100% good until issue #10, where everyone seems to be scribbled.  I couldn’t recognize anyone, hardly.  I hope that doesn’t become the norm for this book.  i HATE bad comic art.