Kyle’s Comic Reviews, Week of June 26

I think I might have set a new personal record with seven* books in my box this week. I know that’s a relatively low number among the geek community, but it’s more than I typically find time for. What’s more notable is the fact that all seven were somewhere between “good” and “remarkable.”

If I ran DC, I’d make everyone drop what they’re doing and take a moment to read Talon #9  (by James Tynion IV, art by Miguel Sepulveda) for a perfect example of how a crossover between books can benefit everyone involved. This was the first time I’ve ever read Talon, I knew next to nothing about the series until recently, and after this week (and last week’s Birds of Prey), I’m adding it to my pull list.

The last time I followed one of my favorite characters into a crossover was when The Flash made a brief appearance in Dial H, and that was a complete and total waste of my time and money. This was a masterfully executed combination that both benefits Birds of Prey readers (with the best insight to date into Strix’s backstory) and perfectly introduces new readers to the Talon series, giving us enough information about the character and his motivations to draw me in without spending a whole book recapping and boring the existing fanbase.

Coming out of the crossover I feel better about Birds of Prey, which I’ve previously mentioned being down on, and I’m hooked on Talon. This is how an event like this should work.

Everything else I read this week was good, just not as good. So I’ll try to be a little quicker with my comments on the rest. To the bullet points!

  • Back in February I picked up a copy of TMNT for nostalgia purposes, wasn’t thrilled with it and wrote it off. A reader convinced me to give it another shot and I’m very glad they did. TMNT #23 is a great chunk of a storyline involving Leonardo’s abduction by the Shredder and is beautifully drawn. IDW is really milking the Turtles’ popularity with lots of mini-series and tie-ins, but I’m eating it all up and nothing has disappointed me.
  • A couple of months ago I got the DC Comics New 52 #1 collection from the library, read Aquaman #1 and, in something I never expected, got hooked on the series. If you read Aquaman Volume 1 and 2 and jump ahead to #20, you’ll be able to catch on to more or less everything going on. Aquaman #21 is a great multi-faceted story that doesn’t feel too short like multi-faceted books frequently do.
  • Batman: The Dark Knight #21 is a great wrap-up to the Mad Hatter storyline, but probably won’t do you much good unless you’ve been reading the books that led into it. I’m always confused when trying to figure out how this book fits into the storyline with the other Bat books.
  • Teen Titans #21 features an interesting fight between the Titans and the sons of Trigon with creative use of powers and abilities, but in the end I feel like it’s possible you could skip ahead from #20 to #22 and not feel like you missed anything.
  • Justice League of America #5 is a nice advancement of the story leading into the Trinity War storyline. The only thing that bugged me about this book is that they made  a big show of killing off Catwoman in #4 (and you knew she wasn’t dead, otherwise what would they do with her series?), then took it back in the most predictable possible way.
  • Finally, I’m always excited for a new Flash comic but The Flash #21 felt like a filler while we wait for a confrontation with Reverse Flash next month. The Kid Flash story wasn’t bad, but there wasn’t a single thing about it that’s likely to be relevant going forward.

Looking ahead to next week, I’m looking forward to Green Arrow #22, Green Lantern #22, and Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1.

* – It actually would have been eight, but a shipping issue meant I didn’t get Justice League Dark.

 

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Comic Book Reviews, 05/29/2013

Justice League Of America #4: Geoff Johns is continuing to build a new world out of bits and pieces of the past several DC continuities, but he’s doing it while at the same time telling some compelling stories and dealing with the capes and tights set as characters, not just walking and talking plot points.

It isn’t teased on the cover, but I’m something like 90% sure this is part of the build up to this summer’s Trinity War crossover, which I am mostly comfortable with in that the books I understand to be essential to the crossover are already ones I read anyway. (And anyway what bugs me the most about crossovers isn’t that they make you purchase comics you otherwise wouldn’t have, but that they drop in and break up whatever story and character development was going on in the series you were going to buy anyway. Whatever faults the Trinity War ends up having, and I’m betting “superheroes spend more time fighting each other than they do fighting actual freaking villains” shows up prominently here, every indication is that it’s going to be part of the ongoing stories in the three Justice League titles, not an interruption of them. So that’s good.)

This issue also shows that you can come up with a good Catwoman-centric comic book. (It’s just too bad that her own series isn’t keen on doing the same.) She’s the headliner in this book, and she pulls off some impressive detective work and some clever repartee. The book continues to explore the rest of the second-string Justice League and the shady machinations of Amanda Waller in putting it all together.

In what’s probably not an auspicious sign, regular penciler David Finch needs a fill-in three issues into the series. Brett Booth doesn’t really try to match Finch’s work at all, although he keeps the character designs intact. Instead, he draws the issue in his own style. Frankly, I’ve always been at most whelmed by Finch, so this isn’t a bad thing — Booth has a much more polished style than Finch that I actually rather like.

So, y’know, you could do worse things than read this story.

X-Men #1: This is widely known as the series where all the leads are female. It handles this roughly in line with how the title doesn’t; they aren’t X-Women or whatever, they’re an X-Men team that happens to be all-female, with no time explaining why this particular group of X-Men is a team. Frankly, there’s enough A-listers here to make it credible, and the idea of multiple X-Men teams is so entrenched at this point that the book doesn’t need a lot of justification on that front either.

It’s all the other things the book doesn’t explain that can make it a bit difficult for people who don’t routinely make theirs Marvel. There’s a character reveal about halfway through that features someone whose non-comic appearances are limited to a very badly reviewed video game and an X-Men anime, so if you weren’t reading Grant Morrison’s X-Men run, roughly half this issue is going to go right over your head, because the comic does not stop to answer any questions about why you should care who this guy is. The comic somehow makes Jubilee’s post-M-Day backstory even more convoluted (seriously, I’ve checked two different wikis and I can’t figure out what the hell Jubilee was supposed to have been doing before this book). And since this is a series set in the ongoing Marvel continuity, I have no idea if this book plans on answering half these questions or if I’m just expected to pick up a dozen or so trades and figure it out for myself. (As distracting as all those little notes from the editor were in classic Marvel comics, this comic could damn well use some.)

Having said that. Oliver Coipel draws a beautiful comic — he does great work with faces and character moments in addition to doing really well with kinetic action sequences, and given the cast of this book it’s great that Marvel found an artist who realizes there’s more than one female body type in the world (there isn’t a lot of diversity here, nobody will be mistaken for Zephyr from Harbinger, but the characters aren’t just copies of each other with different color hair). And it sets up an interesting premise for it’s opening storyline. You should probably pick this up.

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Star Trek Into Darkness, All The Spoilers Edition

If you haven’t seen Star Trek Into Darkness yet, this isn’t for you. This post contains spoilers, and you owe it to yourself to go into this movie unspoilt. (This goes especially for you, Liz.) You can go here for my spoiler-free observations.

Again, spoilers lie ahead! If you haven’t seen the movie, go away.

Everyone who hasn’t seen the movie gone yet? Please?

If you turn another page, we’ll get closer to the end of this book, and there is a monster at the end of this book.

Seriously, last chance. Stop reading NOW if you haven’t seen the film.

Okay. As you may know about me, I am a massive Star Trek fan. I had pretty much given up on the franchise after Voyager, Enterprise and the post-First Contact movies, though. This is one of those “tale as old as time” things, pretty much every Trekkie with a modicum of taste would tell you the same thing.

I’m young enough that the Next Generation was probably my first Star Trek, and I know why many consider it the best series. (Note, none of those reasons is “the second season.”) But even though TNG was my first love, it’s never been my deepest. The original series, although it was dated even when I first ran across it as a kid catching late-night reruns on KLJB Fox 18 whenever my parents would let me stay up late enough to do so. And I fell in love with the crew of the Enterprise — with Captain Kirk, Mister Spock, Bones, Scotty, the whole lot of them.

And I think this is one point where people who aren’t Trekkies fail to understand the show. Part of it is the label of science fiction, which Star Trek has never worn particularly well — partly because Star Trek has always sat on the very, very soft end of the Moh’s Scale Of Science Fiction Hardness, partly because Star Trek (especially the original series) has always been unafraid to pilfer (if not outright steal) from any other genre it could lay its grubby little mitts on. The original series would do a legal drama one episode, the next the Enterprise would be acting out a submarine drama, another it would be following a plot gently dusted off from an old story set in the age of sail. It borrowed from the Western, from Shakespeare, it told vampire stories and stories about witches and Jack the Ripper and it told actual science fiction stories about truly alien creatures like the Horta.

In a sense, Star Trek owed much to the idea of the anthology show and the pulp tradition, borrowing and mixing liberally. It never stopped being science fiction (that would have to wait for The Next Generation’s holodeck abuse), but it didn’t mind being something else at the same time. The thread running between all of these disparate episodes was the ship and her crew. The Enterprise of that time can be an acquired taste, particularly the interior (the reboot has pretty much abandoned most ties with the set design of the original series, which I can’t honestly say I mind), but especially from the outside she’s still a wonder and a beauty, if you’re into that sort of thing. (And I am. Oh, do I love you, pretty pretty spaceships.)

But for those of us who fell in love with the show, what we really fell in love with were the characters. Kirk was handsome, charismatic, got all the girls and was still pretty damn smart. Spock was pretty much the role model for every high school nerd to felt ostracized. Bones, Uhura, Chekov, Sulu, Scotty… they all had their faults, but they all had their glories, and they always felt like a family, and a family you’d want to be a part of.

And I remember vividly the first time I saw The Wrath of Khan, and Spock, well, Spock died.  And I cried, and I think my mother had to rush out to the video rental store (yes, kids, those were a thing) to pick up The Search For Spock to convince me that everything was going to be okay.

And… you did see the movie first, right? You paid attention to my warning up top, right? Good. So they do that scene again, only with Kirk dying from radiation poisoning and Spock outside the chamber. And it… I mean, rationally, I can think of a dozen reasons the scene shouldn’t work. It’s transparently manipulative, and it plays directly on our recollection of the original scene. It’s deliberately playing with one of the most iconic moments in Star Trek history in a rather subversive way. And the plot twist, unlike the method for Spock’s miraculous resurection that my mom had to run out and fetch for me, it was telegraphed well in advance. (I’m just shooting this Tribble up with Khan blood, it won’t be important later.) Plus, y’know, Paramount isn’t going to let them kill off Kirk two films into the gravy train.

But, but I still cried again.

And what’s interesting is how Spock cries, too. In the original, he didn’t cry. He was stoic in the face of his own death. What grieved him so was the prospect of losing a friend to tragedy, and knowing (they even point this out, in case we missed it) that he would have done the same as his friend, had their places been switched.

Which I think is what’s most misunderstood about this new Trek series. It is undeniably a big dumb summer tentpole movie, something even the the original series never was even in its movie adaptations (the TNG movies sometimes listed in this direction, often disasterously). But the original Star Trek was constantly reinventing itself, both in genre and in medium. It can survive one more transition, to summer popcorn flick, if it keeps the core intact, and that core is the characters.

And there are so many moments, large and small, where this film really gets these characters. Scotty’s moments of wholly-justified insubordination against Kirk, and his refusal to back down even when it means losing his place in Starfleet, are very true to the character from the original, and show a much deeper and broader understanding of the characters than the caricatures they’d become over the past few decades. It’s real easy to capture the “I cannae do it, Captain, I dinnae have the power” moments for Mister Scott. It takes a deeper understanding of the character to embody everything else about him. The Scotty in this movie reminded me of him in “A Taste of Armageddon,” for instance, where when left in command of the Enterprise in a hostile situation and being second-guessed by a Federation big-wig, he managed to pull off some impressive feats that not even Kirk would have come to on his own.

The genius of this new series is that the characters are preserved and then used. The actors all do an extraordinary job of embodying the characters while making them their own; there are moments that strongly evoke the original performances, but never do the actors resort to outright mimickry or parody. And so it is with how the characters are written — they aren’t preserved, they aren’t props and museum pieces, they’re brought back to life. The situations are different (if often more than a little familiar), and now we get to see how these characters react to the changes.

The film ends up being a love letter to the old Star Trek and a successful big dumb action movie at the same time. (Although the new Trek isn’t as dumb as its detractors like to say; there is some social commentary, although at times it does veer towards the Stock Social Commentary For Post-9/11 Films With Large Explosions, it’s a bit smarter than that.) It’s like seeing one of your favorite current bands cover some of your favorite songs from years ago — they’re still great tunes, and they’re great performances and everyone involve clearly loves performing them as much as you love hearing them. I couldn’t ask for more.

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Star Trek Into Darkness, first thoughts

I will have a longer, spoilertastic essay up at some point this weekend, I think. I hope, at least. First, though, an entirely spoiler free summary of my viewing experience.

The important things you need to know:

  • There is no post-credits stinger, so you can feel free to leave the movie when it ends.
  • This isn’t the movie that makes anyone a believer in 3D, but it isn’t the hack job that a lot of conversions to 3D are. It’s used effectively and subtly, but not so subtly that you have to take your glasses off every now and then to make sure you didn’t wander into the wrong theater. And it’s a really, really bright movie, which counteracts the primary downside of 3D conversion, which is rendering movies too darkly. Having said that, so far as I’m aware, there is no 2D IMAX version. And this movie was shot in 65mm and it looks gorgeous on the big IMAX screens. So, if you’re on the fence on to 3D or not 3D, the benefits of IMAX are a big plus.
  • If you didn’t like the 2009 movie, you’re probably not going to like this. It’s still a big tentpole movie, it still moves really fast, it isn’t idea-driven. But I think people overrate how idea-driven Star Trek was originally, there are certainly idea-driven episodes but the show was just as often about its characters and all of those characters are lovingly and faithfully preserved here. And if you see Captain Kirk getting into a fistfight and say, “That’s not my father’s Star Trek,” you really misunderstand your father’s Star Trek. The thing about this new series that’s the least faithful to the original Trek is that Chris Pine never takes his shirt off; Shatner went shirtless at some point in roughly a third of the episodes in the original series.
  • If you liked the 2009 film, though, you’re in for a real treat. Just like that one, it plays with the original, throwing in a lot of little things you’re only going to catch if you’re steeped in the old CBS series and the movies, but it’s constructed organically in such a way that if you haven’t, you can still have a good time. (I thought much the same about Iron Man 3, in that it throws several bones to heavy Marvel fanboys without sacrificing the whole movie to them.)

In short: I loved it, I loved it, I loved it. But I can’t say much more without discussing specific plot points of the movie, so that’ll have to come in a separate post.

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Bat Books in “WTF” Month: Kyle’s Comic Reviews for 4/10/13

Sorry I’ve been away for a while. Been kind of busy. At any rate, I’m back now and have three Batman titles from my pull list this week.

Batman and Robin #19 (by Peter J. Tomasi with art from Pat Gleason and Mick Gray) is actually “Batman and Red Robin” on the cover, and features a thorough turn to the weird in the aftermath of Damian Wayne’s death.* This issue is bizarre, dark and morbid, with cameos from Frankenstein and Carrie Kelley that probably would’ve been better served by having their own separate issues. I also wouldn’t be surprised if there’s not a single element of this story (or either of the somewhat disconnected stories) that turns out to be relevant going forward, although Tomasi told the New York Post that his plans for Kelley “play well into the future.” (h/t IGN)

While Batman grieves Damian in that issue, he’s on to the first issue of a storyline with Clayface in Batman #19 (by Scott Snyder, with art from Greg Capullo and Danny Miki). I was really excited for this book because I loved the direction #18 was headed last month, but today all of that seems forgotten as they launch this new story. If I’d written a review last month, I would’ve recommended #18 as a good jumping-in point for people considering getting into the series. Now, you might as well skip it. #19 isn’t bad, it’s just not what I was hoping for.

Finally, the best book I read this week is Batgirl #19 (by Gail Simone, with art from Daniel Sampere, Jonathan Glapion and Marc Deering). It’s an epic conclusion of Barbara Gordon’s longstanding feud with her brother, James Gordon Jr., and the entire buildup to this event is worth picking up if you haven’t seen it.

This is also the only issue with a foldout cover that I think actually makes sense in connection with the story. I get the gimmicky nature of what DC is trying to do by giving every issue a “shocking” foldout cover in April, but when you try to cram a one size fits all promotion into dozens of books some of the results just end up contrived or silly.

Looking back at my books from last week, the foldout cover made sense for Green Lantern and I could see making a case for Green Arrow’s. But the Batman and Robin and Batman foldouts this week were little more than red herrings.

On my pull list for next week: Birds of Prey, Nightwing, Red Hood and the Outlaws

* – By the way, I still haven’t seen Damian Wayne’s end in Batman Incorporated. It’s not a title on my pull list, it sold out on its release date before I got a copy and, months later, I still haven’t found a reprint. So thanks for that, DC.

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Red Hood And The Outlaws #17 And More: Kyle’s Comic Reviews For 2/20/13

I read five books this week, and I’m greatly surprised by what turned out to be my favorite.

I picked up Red Hood and the Outlaws #17 (by Scott Lobdell, with art from Ardian Syaf, Robson Rocha, Ken Lashley and Wayne Faucher) on a whim despite the fact that I had previously decided to stop following the series, and ended up getting the book that maybe should’ve been billed as the actual conclusion to Batman’s “Death Of The Family” series.

Last week I complained that the official ending of the crossover event in Batman #17 came off a bit hollow, that everyone being ok, the Joker being gone and no one wanting to talk about it seemed like an empty finish. This issue is something of an epilogue, then, with Jason Todd actually talking to several members of the Bat Family and finally giving us a true vision of what the actual aftermath of the event may look like.

Damian Wayne plays an odd role in this book as something of a brooding teenager (more on him later), although he does sum up everything I don’t like about Arsenal’s look by asking him if he’s supposed to be “Redneck Man.” The third member of Red Hood’s team is Starfire, who is still dressed as a near-nude space slut, but at least now is being written as if she isn’t completely one-dimensional and emotionless.

All told, I’ll probably try to get over my issues with this series and pick up a couple of months to see where this goes. It’s the only thing I picked up this week that I’d classify as “must read.”

The crossover aftermath is also the big story in Nightwing #17 (written by Kyle Higgins with art from Juan Jose Ryp and Roger Bonet), where we see Dick Grayson struggling to come to grips with his crumbling life following the Joker’s assault on Haly’s Circus. This time we get another odd cameo from Damian Wayne as the voice of reason, and the one person who realizes Nightwing isn’t ok.

Let me detour for a moment from this conversation on Nightwing to say something about Damian Wayne. He makes a pair of appearances this week, once as a somewhat petulant child and once as the only one observant enough to spot the problem with Dick Grayson and prevent him from doing something regrettable. Not only do those two appearances seem to contradict each other, but they’re also both more substantial than his role in his own book from last week.

Getting back to Nightwing, though, the events in this issue have me seriously concerned about where this book is going. The storyline about resurrecting Haly’s Circus appears to have been cast aside, and this month’s “Channel 52″ pages (an awful idea, by the way) suggest Nightwing is leaving Gotham City for Chicago.  If they’re serious about removing Nightwing from Gotham (and presumably the Bat Family storylines), then I wonder how long this series can last as a stand-alone feature.

Elsewhere in books whose long-term direction I’m questioning, we have Birds of Prey #17 (by Duane Swierczynski, art by Romano Molenaar and Vicente Cifuentes), the latest installment in a series that could probably just be called “Black Canary and Friends.”

I picked up Volume 1 of this series a few months ago and loved it, back when the BoP team was:

  • Black Canary
  • Starling
  • Batgirl
  • Katana
  • Poison Ivy

The mix was a little weird, but their interactions were good and the story was compelling. Less than a year later, 40% of that original team is gone and Katana and Poison Ivy have been replaced by Strix, a Talon who does not speak, and Condor, a bizarre fit as a male character on what had been an all-female team.

And, for a variety of reasons, I’m just not invested in this current group.

  • Black Canary has been dealing with the same issue (inability to control her powers) for four issues now with no notable steps towards identifying the reason or fixing it.
  • I’ve read eleven of the 17 issues in this series and all I can tell you about Starling is that she wears a corset and “people” appear to be after her.
  • Batgirl is Batgirl, but she has her own series to do Batgirl things.
  • Condor was a villain in this series three issues ago, and seems completely out of place on this team.
  • Strix is a voiceless, faceless character.

When you combine a nondescript team with a storyline that doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to get anywhere, you have a book I’m considering dumping from my pulls.

I’ve complained loudly about Green Lantern before, so I won’t burn too much space on the same complaints regarding Green Lantern #17 (written by Geoff Johns, art by Doug Mahnke et al). Suffice it to say my concerns about Hal Jordan being shelved in his own book remain in play as he’s a fringe character in this issue, but this time so is Simon Baz.

Finally, for the sake of nostalgia I ventured outside of my DC bubble and picked up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #19. One of the truly pleasant surprises of my adulthood is the fact that the TMNT still have some wide appeal decades after I loved the cartoon as a kid. It’s cool to pick up a comic and see fringe characters from the cartoon (whose action figures I have around here somewhere) back in action.

With that said, before I finished this book (which features the TMNT and the Neutrinos teaming up to fight Krang), my feeling went from nostalgic to “I’ve seen this before.” There’s nothing about this retelling of the story that compelled me to give it any more than a cursory glance again.

I also meant to pick up a copy of Justice League of America #1 this week, but didn’t reserve one and my comic shop sold out before I got there on Wednesday. I haven’t seen many reviews of the book yet, but the fact that so many people were interested (anecdotally at least) seems like good news to me.

On my pull list for next week: Justice League Dark #17 and The Flash #17.

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Batman #17 And More: Kyle’s Comic Reviews For 2/15/13

The east coast snowstorm delayed delivery of my books this week, but I eventually got four and one of them was very well-anticipated.

Batman #17 (written by Scott Snyder, art by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion) was billed as the “shocking conclusion” to the “Death of the Family” story arc, but I honestly didn’t find it all that shocking. After a multi-month buildup across multiple books, I was expecting something more than “everyone is fine and the Joker is gone” from the final issue in the series.

Even the final explanation to Batman’s extended insistence that the Joker doesn’t actually know the Bat family’s true identities comes across as hollow: Despite all the evidence to the contrary presented over multiple months, we’re left with the conclusion that the Joker couldn’t possibly know Batman and friends’ secret identity because Batman thinks he doesn’t care. This is Batman’s second major event since The New 52 and both have centered around an adversary (first the Court of Owls, now the Joker) that has gotten the best of him based on his insistence that what is must not be. This time they didn’t even bother forcing him to change his perceptions. Hopefully we’ll see something new with #18.

With that storyline wrapped up, the other Bat books are free to move onto their own storylines this month. I think they did a great job of that in Batgirl #17 (written by Ray Fawkes, art by Daniel Sampere and Vincente Cifuentes*), which for my money was the best book I read this week. The focal shift to James Gordon Jr., alluded to in #16 last month, is seamless. This issue has gone straight from a can’t-miss storyline into another great one, and I’m excited to see where it goes.

Meanwhile, Batman and Robin #17 (written by Peter J. Tomasi, art by Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray) did a much less exciting job with the transition. I recently praised B&R Annual #1 as a great stand-alone introduction to the series, but this month’s issue is another stand-alone affair that may or may not do much to hold the attention of any new fans they’ve gained recently. This issue’s little journey through Batman, Robin and Alfred’s dreams really doesn’t add a lot to the conversation, and if you’ve missed it I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to catch up.

Finally, I was pleasantly surprised by Katana #1 (written by Ann Nocenti with art by Alex Sanchez), a solid debut to the character’s first stand-alone series. Katana has a chance to be a real breakout character in the coming months as a member of the Justice League of America and a supporting character in the new Batman cartoon, and this book won’t hurt that opportunity.

Part of me is wondering if Katana isn’t getting her own book in response to criticisms of DC’s lack of strong female characters and female writers. Katana is a relative rarity as a female character where “sexy” isn’t a primary attribute. I just flipped through the book again to confirm, and there isn’t even a single panel in this issue where a female character has cleavage showing. This is a significant departure from, for example, Ann Nocenti’s recent portrayals of Catwoman.

With that said, Katana’s “strong female character” vibe comes with an odd twist: The book reveals that her swordsmanship comes not from her but from her sword, which controls her in battle and contains the soul of her dead husband. So Katana is a badass female character…but in her strongest moments she’s controlled by a man.

Moving on to the book itself, this is a compelling story of Katana’s return to the US and the start of her battle with Coil, who knows the secret of her sword. I’m glad I added it to my pull list and don’t anticipate removing it anytime soon.

My only quibble with the plotline in this book is that Katana left Birds of Prey just a few months ago to stay in Japan. Now she’s already back in San Francisco and presumably in the US to stay, since she’s a part of the new JLA. If you’re just going to bring her back in a month or two, why have her leave at all?

Looking ahead to next week, I’m expecting Birds of Prey #17, Green Lantern #17 and Nightwing #17 in my box.

* – The DC website credits Gail Simone, Ed Benes and Juan Jose Ryp for having produced Batgirl #17, but the cover credits Fawkes, Sampere and Cifuentes. If I were responsible for this great book, nothing would irritate me more than someone else getting credit for it.

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