Pick of the Week:
Batman Creature of the Night #1 introduces us to Bruce Wainwright and his great uncle, Alton Frederick “Alfred” Tepson. This is a unique Elseworld tale due to its “real world” setting. Young Wainwright was a Batman fan who experienced a tragedy similar to his namesake. I commend Kurt Busiek for addressing a concern I had about post-trauma Bruce and whether he received any professional help to overcome his grief and present circumstances. Busiek also gave us a hint about what career path an adult emotionally healed/healthy Bruce would pursue. The reader could empathize with Bruce who dealt with the loss & the cruelty of isolation alone, Gruncle Alton who is trying to do his best by Bruce, and Officer Gordon Hoover who is doing his best to close the Wainwright murder case. I assume that the Batman seen in the book was a tulpa (thoughtform) created by Bruce to gain a measure of justice/closure. John Paul Leon did a fantastic job on the art, the emotions was tangible on the characters’ faces and the scenes were rich and detailed.
Batman Annual #2 made me wonder if they retcon’ed any murders committed by Selina long with her daughter. I can’t imagine Bruce marrying someone who has taken a life with his moral compass. I found it interesting that Bat & Cat still end up having a Helena Wayne as a daughter even-though she was retcon’ed into a separate character altogether. King continues to handle the Bat franchise well. I appreciate what Lark did with the senior Bat, Cat, and aged cast.
Moon Knight #189 delighted beyond words with Khonshu serving as the narrator. The fight scene with tattooed assailant reminded me of Drax’s encounter with those space terrors in the sense that both were horrified by what they saw in the heroes’ minds. I love that Moonknight has become more than a Batman knockoff. I earnestly hope that Moonknight is the Netflix show and it is based on his most recent iteration (from Ellis onward).
X-Men Blue #16 reminds us that X-Men & timey wimey mix-ups go together like PB & J. I am slightly confused by this latest mess because I thought Secret Wars & the Richards stabilized any lingering instability and mess. Vamp Ororo seems to be a much needed companion/confidante for young Scott. It’s a treat to see the 2099 cast again minus the stylized 90’s art.
Spider-Gwen #26 is in many ways more interesting than Spider-Man. A plague of Thor Frogs? Seriously, Throgs! Celestial Thumbing wrestling? The last time trippy stuff like that happened in a series format was Nextwave. Robbi Rodriguez continues to do a bang-up job making the characters so fluid and vibrant.
U.S.Avengers #12 earned infinite cool points with a Skrull Mafia world and a “Riverdale” world. I loved how the creative team tied it into the recent Skrull development like Secret Invasion. I am surprised that the Skrull race is still so vibrant, always assumed that they were at the brink of extinction. Seeing two black Skrulls made me wonder if there were ethnic difference among the Skrull or was it something as trivial as hair style to them.
Poe Dameron #21 felt so odd to see Leia on print in light of the fact that I will never see her onscreen again in the flesh. I honestly don’t want to see Naboo against because the prequels left such a bad taste in my mouth. Angel Unzeuta did an excellent job in capturing her likeness.
Justice League of America Annual #1 felts like the ultimate buddy comedy film. Lobo & Dinah are the perfect foil for each other. Part of me was hoping that Tribb was the NuLobo
The Meh Pile:
Many books were extra meh but nothing worth burning or mentioning.
This review was written in partnership with Pop Culture Network. They can be found on their website: www.popculturenetwork.com