SpartanNerd Thoughts…Death of Batman and Joker, as well as the New 52

We all knew it was coming…The Convergence, and the end of the New 52 branding.  Months of announcements.  Lots of speculation and a few spoilers.

We read “Batman Eternal” all the way through, and slogged through Forever Evil, Future’s End, and Batman Zero Year.  We saw Robin (Damien Wayne) fall and rise.

It has been thrilling, really.  A far better expense than buying satellite or cable TV.  Much better investment.  (The only thing I miss about live TV is no NFL.  Otherwise, Netflix and DVDs and other media do just fine.)

I have to say it hasn’t been without its problems, though.  I haven’t been entirely happy with every storyline.  I canceled my subscription to Action Comics, Justice League, and Aquaman.  I didn’t even care about the characters or the story the way a good comic book should make you.  Shazam!  (who cares?)  (The Others. Etc)  I would receive my books ninety percent of the time over a week after the release date, and with these three titles, I would not even have remembered what happened in the issue prior.  In the case of Masters of the Universe (which I still will be reading) I cancelled the subscription because many of the books arrived damaged!  (I will be picking up my MOTU books from The Tangled Web from now on.)

But Batman has been different.  When I started reading The New 52, I found a character that I could really relate to.  I watched “Batman the Animated Series” and all of the Batman movies as a kid, and also watched re-runs of that campy TV show from the 1960’s.  We had some Batman comics around as well, and Batman was something my Grandma could relate to and talk about some…she said she read Batman comics as a child.  The character of Robin has always had some appeal to me as well.  Always somehow balancing the seriousness of Batman.  Robin is someone usually missing from the movies, and it makes me feel like the stories are missing a crucial element.

So I hung onto the titles Detective Comics, Batman, and Batman and Robin.  And didn’t even think twice about purchasing the weekly Batman Eternal title…I was dedicated!

The Joker is the other part of this.  Readers were captivated by Detective comics #1.  Joker’s face was cut off!  What did this mean?  How would this work?  DC got our attention!  And it about drove me insane.  For an entire year I loyally read every Batman book (except Batman Incorporated, a lingering soul from the old universe), and was then rewarded with the HUGE “Death of the Family” story arc.  It was brilliant!

And after the epic conclusion to that story, we went right into Robin’s death, and the Batman and Robin title became a sort of variety show, with Batman either teaming up with or having drama with some other main character.

I could go on and on.  But I am finally satisfied at where it all ends.

Batman #40 is the finale of the Joker returns story…And at the end of this strangely covered issue, (in contrast to the other covers in the “Endgame” arc,) the two arch enemies find their demise.  The fight was SO EPIC!  Of all the Batman fights, this one may be the most gruesome.  More blood spilt in this comic than almost any other Batman book before now.  And did I see Batman bite off the Joker’s ear?  Incredible.  And then he turns the Joker’s own deception against him.

For me, this is the perfect conclusion.  I’m still a little shocked.  I didn’t really see it coming.  Sure, I heard the spoiler about the Jim Gordon in the robotic Batman suit.  But killing Batman and Joker seemed out of the question.  This is sort of old hat, no?  Bruce Wayne has been killed before.  And we always know that Joker will be back.  And Bruce was just re-unified with Damien…

With Batman and Joker’s deaths…I feel I have a complete Batman collection of stories.  I picked up the free comic book…which confirms at least Bruce Wayne Batman is gone for the next foreseeable run of DC books.  We all know both characters will be back…But I don’t feel the need to read this for awhile.  I have a story from Zero Year (beginning) to Endgame (conclusion).  And feel a sense of relief.

Thanks, DC for a great run on Batman!

What’s next for the SpartanNerd?

More Masters of the Universe…

More Gundams…(forthcoming!)

More action figure reviews…

More Magic the Gathering posts…

Possibly a return to Spider-Man.

I am interested in Transformers…especially classic types.

But I am going to take the time to go back and re-read my Batman books, from beginning to end.  And enjoy them.  Summer Vacation is just around the corner!  Maybe I’ll even post reviews about the story arcs, like I originally intended.

Keep reading, oh Hub City Geeks!

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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.

SpartanNerd Comics Commentary…He’s BAAACK!

“No.  No. Not HIM!”  Batman utters this line pretty often.  Is it poor writing?

He says this as Superman grins a Joker-ish grin at him.

Yes indeed.  The Joker returned before Robin has been claimed.  BIG SURPRISE!

Back in Summer 2013, as the “Zero Year” storyline was hitting the shelves, and the “Death of the Family” story fresh in our minds, not to mention Damian’s sudden death, there was an innocuous “Batman Annual #2” issue promising a blurb from Zero Year.  To me, I read this issue and enjoyed it, but thought the Zero Year part of the story was just added as hype to sell the book and maximize money from that particular story event.

But here we are.  November 2014.  A year and a half later or round about.  And all this time, sitting in my comic book storage box and yours too, was a secondary character named Eric Border.  A nice guy.  Someone who cared for the patients…a truly caring doctor.

And he was the Joker.  Biding his time!  (I dug through my comics to re-read “Annual #2”.  Oh the planning that went into this!  There were hints in that issue we would have never seen!)

 

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This twist had me reeling!  When I read this in Batman #36,  I was shocked!  Not real clear entirely how he got his new “mug.”  But he has one, and is looking younger and more current.  (He also has his old face, so what has “Joker’s Daughter” been wearing?)

This storyline, “Endgame,” has been a little disjunct so far.  For instance, suddenly without warning, the Justice League starts attacking Batman.  He is prepared to neutralize them all, but when he spits the “kryptonite gum” in Superman’s face, we don’t really see it making Superman suddenly crash.  A tiny dose of the stuff was enough to beat him?  And because Batman Eternal hasn’t been completed yet, we are having to infer where and why Batman has set up shop by reading the tiny details between the lines.  And we keep seeing a couple of sidekicks, one “Lark” and the other “Bluebird.”  These haven’t been explained sufficiently.  At least “Lark” hasn’t.  (Isn’t Lark the Penguin’s lackey?)

(I’m starting to think Stephanie Brown may be the next Robin.  I’m thinking the “Damian Resurrection” story might be a bait and switch.)

So, I’m not the least bit worried about Batman being stuck in that cell paralyzed by the Joker and being poisoned by gas.  This is the classic Batman scenario.  Classic like in “1960’s” TV show!  Batman will get out of it somehow in issue #37.  Can’t wait!

One more thing…there is a backup story going on, which evidently will give us new information about the Joker and his origin.  A bunch of minor sickos have kidnapped Maureen, (who was dropped off by Eric Border,) and are telling her the stories the Joker told them to tell her.  All different crazy takes on who the Joker is and where he is from.  The first one in Batman #35 about the Joker being a demon rising out of the swamp on a mystical crossroads was pretty freaky.  Actually really disturbing.  And then #36’s story about him being an alien robot, also weird.  We the readers know for certain that these stories can’t be true.

Time to go back and read Zero Year again, and get a look at that chemistry teacher who was loading tanks for the Red Hood gang.  (was this in issue #24?)

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…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!