Brightest Day #14: Acrobats

“I just hope there’s more to life than a good cheeseburger.” — Boston Brand/Deadman

This Brightest Day chapter focuses on one character—Deadman. Not only will comic book readers know what happens to Boston Brand’s quest to find someone who will replace him as the bearer of the White Lantern ring, but more interestingly we get to see the origins of the ghost in the red acrobatic suit.

Brightest Day #14

Thinking that Batman is the worthy guardian of the Earth–and hence the perfect bearer of the White Lantern ring–Deadman goes to Gotham City. But things turned bad, when he finds himself right in the middle of a heist masterminded by Mr. Freeze. While Batman will definitely be in the pages of this issue, I believe the cover art is a bit misleading. Still, fans will definitely find themselves thunderstruck after reading this ish.

Again, Geoff Johns delivers a great story. Now that Brightest Day is halfway through to its conclusion and the main characters have been fully developed and set, I’m sure that readers can expect more energetic installments from Johns. It is also worth mentioning that right from the start, the art by Ivan Reis perfectly captures the strength of Johns’ writing. For this issue in particular, Reis did an amazing job in Deadman’s movements and facial expressions.

Batman #704: Eye of the Beholder

“That was a total Bruce move. And now, the Grayson finish!”— Dick Grayson/Batman

This issue bursts with mysteries, right from the opening pages and all thru the end. First, there’s a gruesome murder of a member of some secret organization. Then, we see Batman, Robin and Catgirl exchanging blows with the Reaper. What’s more intriguing is that a wealthy organization, represented by a woman named Sasha Lo, is bent on buying a few blocks off Crime Alley, which is owned by Bruce Wayne.

Batman #704

But the thing that really stirred up the hornet’s nest in this issue is seeing Batman hot on the heels of a character known as Peacock, who’s actually Ms. Sasha Lo clad in some colorful outfit that mimics the appearance of, well, a peacock. The only problem is a group of well-trained Oriental assassins are also on the hunt for Ms. Lo. Well, it does not matter anymore if Peacock a friend or foe. Sure enough, Batman will be caught in the crossfire.

With the numerous Batman storylines right now, you would think that this issue is yet another huge piece of the puzzle for fans who want to stay informed with what’s happening with the Dark Knight right now. But surprisingly, Batman #704 actually signifies a fresh chapter in the lives of Dick Grayson as the Caped Crusader, Damian Wayne as Robin, and the citizens of Gotham City. After the return of Bruce Wayne, who now has bigger plans in his head, this book—I believe—will be Dick Grayson’s domain. So far, the storyline has got me hooked, but let me tell you right off the bat that the art work is very impressive as well. Tony Daniel returns as writer and artist.

Batman Incorporated #1: Mr. Unkown is Dead

Speaking of perfect jumping-on points in the world of Batman, well this comic book is another issue written by Grant Morrison that new and old fans of the Dark Knight will find to be straightforward and painless to read. A whole new story is presented here, in which the globe-spanning mission to fight crime that Bruce Wayne has set in motion begins. This issue is brisk, vigorous, action-packed and a bit macabre in the opening scenes. When compared to Batman: The Return #1, also written by Morrison and out this week, this issue definitely has a bigger oomph! For one, this first issue of Batman Incorporated digs deeper into Bruce Wayne’s global agenda.

Batman Incorporated #1

The opening pages take us to Japan, where Mr. Unknown—the erstwhile Batman of Japan (more like The Question for me)—has been murdered by the crazy villain known as Lord Death Man. No doubt, Mr. Unkown would have been the first international recruit for Batman Incorporated. Meanwhile, Batman and Catwoman break into one of the laboratories run by Dr. Sivana. Apart from the action, comic book readers can look forward to the prominent part that Catwoman plays here and definitely in later issues. The chitchats between Batman and Catwoman while they work are amusing, even hilarious at times.

Yanick Paquette provides the artwork for the series. His work is amazing, with lots of dark lines and detailed character expressions.

Green Lantern #59: Lorek Tarr Lok

Members of the Green Lantern Corps take the backseat in this issue as the Indigo Tribe take the spotlight. While the hunt for the remaining super emotional entities continues, a new host for the indigo super entity known as Proselyte has been found. But more than that, many readers will be surprised, if not totally troubled by the fact that a new member of the tribe used be the second baddest ass (after Nekron) in the universe during the Blackest Night war. Plus, a disturbing truth about how the indigo rings work on their bearers’ emotions will be uncovered.

Green Lantern #59

Another scene to watch out for is the big debate between Hal Jordan and Barry Allen (aka The Flash) which actually began in the last issue. Hal’s latest selection of team mates has been criticized by Barry. The fact that Hal continues to work with Larfleeze and Blue Lantern Saint Walker—and previously with Atrocitus and Sinestro—has become too hard to swallow not only for The Flash, but apparently even for Batman and Superman.

To make things worse, one of the most vicious super entities in the universe takes control of Barry Allen. Needless to say, the situation between Green Lantern and Flash has taken a dreadful turn and everyone’s guess as to what will happen next is as good as mine.

All in all, this is another remarkable issue written by Geoff Johns. The recent ethical conflict between Green Lantern and Flash is a classic in the making. I’m hoping that the next issue will continue to surprise us readers. Special mention goes to artist Doug Mahnke whose work in the Green Lantern series has tremendously improved. I personally like the dark lines and spaces, along with the very expressive faces of the character.

Batman: The Return #1 — Planet Gotham

“Starting today, we fight ideas with better ideas. The idea of crime with the idea of Batman.” – Batman/Bruce Wayne

Bruce Wayne is finally back. And he’s not only ready to suit up as Batman, but he’s also taking the Dark Knight’s brand of crime fighting to a whole new level. This comes as a result of something that Bruce has seen while he was lost in the timestream. This one-shot issue lays down the groundwork for how the Bat Family will operate in the years to come.

Batman: The Return #1

Here, we see Bruce Wayne setting into motion his grand master plan called Batman Incorporated, which basically creates an empire of Bat-men who will operate all around the world. Bruce also sets down the new roles that will be played by Dick Grayson (Batman 2), Damian Wayne (Robin), Stephanie Brown (Batgirl), Tim Drake (Red Robin) and Barbara Gordon (Oracle) in this new evolution for the Bat Family. Apart from the bigger mission, Batman and his friends will meet new allies and face new foes. And that’s what makes this issue all the more electrifying.

Well, this could be another fantastic new idea from writer Grant Morrison. My only concern is that, if other crime fighters across the globe are given the Bat-franchise and are then literally allowed to wear the exact same Bat suit, some fans may see the Dark Knight mythos being diluted, if not totally weakened. Are we seeing the transformation of Batman’s story into something similar to that of Iron Man, whose armor designs have been acquired or stolen by other individuals besides Tony Stark?

True, many comic book fans find Grant Morrison’s work on Batman to be overly cerebral. Well, this issue is quite different. As it defines a new Bruce Wayne, this comic book is the perfect jump-on point for Batman fans, especially those who were not able to keep up with the major Dark Knight story arcs written by Morrison in the last four years or so. This one-shot comic book has tons of action. The art by David Finch offers dynamic and magnificent details that complement the intensity and rapid pacing of Morrison’s story. I particularly like the first pages that tell the story of a bat that’s just not that eager to die even if it’s already staring at the end of its 40-year old life.